Book Review: Case Closed Volume 60

Case Closed Volume 60 cover

I hope that everyone's week is still going well.

Aside from thinking of possibly taking a break from covering the books I got from Amazon, so I do not get burnt out and can get work in more on my new story that I plan to release, things have been going relatively well.

As a lot of you guys should be aware, out of all the books I got from Amazon, there were two or so titles that I had preordered and the last of those preordered titles came recently, so I better get cracking before going through with deciding whether or not to take that break.

Today, I will be doing just that by covering that recent title, which is called Case Closed Volume 60 by Gosho Aoyama.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

Jimmy and the gang are holed up in a karaoke joint, as the investigation into how the recent murder commences, and Jimmy now has three additional suspects to deal with, but even if he can resolve the case he must deal with somebody in his group who has had suspicions of the true identity of Conan Edogawa for longest time.

Unfortunately for Jimmy, the karaoke case and this individual are not only the things he has to deal with, when Jodie informs Jimmy that Kir said that a dangerous member of Black Org, called Bourbon, was about to make a move and Haibara detects the presence of a Black Org member in the middle of a case that she, Jimmy, and the other members of the Junior Detective League were asked to into.

I kind of liked this volume.

As usual, the case that started up in the previous volume concluded here and ended up being fairly interesting, though not as interesting as the other events that happened within the pages of this volume.

This is exactly what was I expecting by how well the case started off and things did not seem to be too obvious, though there were a few strange things that did appear, but that was mainly because I do not smoke, nor do I live with anybody who heavily smokes, instead of the strange behaviors and state of the room.

While this is still not enough to say for sure Gosho Aoyama got the spark back he had in the early volumes, I still want to give him some props for doing things right.

I also liked how many of the other cases were not that dull.

For longest time, the cases featured in Detective Conan seemed to fluctuate between okay, good, and dull, with the only interesting cases being those that involved either Black Org or Kaito Kuroba, the current KID.

However, in this volume, none of the cases featured either Kaito Kuroba or Black Org as the center of the case.

Yes, Haibara did detect the presence of a Black Org member moments after we find out that Kir warned the FBI about Bourbon, but Haibara also noted within the case that had focus that the presence disappeared.

While I have knowledge of what is to happen in future cases, including the knowledge of the identity of Bourbon, I was still quite suspicious of things and it made me wanted to continue reading the case all the way through.

Out of the cases that were shown in this volume though, the case that really impressed me was the case of TV producer.

Not only were things not too obvious, but it was very misleading, even for Jimmy, apparently.

During that case, Gosho Aoyama presents only one suspect, which made me think that this was a case dealing more with how the crime was committed than who was behind it, and, foolishly, I was so focus on trying to see what would break the guy and how well he kept up his fa├žade of innocence.

However, it turned out that guy was just covering for the true culprit.

Even though this did kind of dampen the intrigue behind this case a bit, because things were a bit too similar to the Knight Baron case at Izu, which occurs in volume 8 of the manga and episodes 68-70 of the anime, it was really surprising because the culprit was hardly present throughout much of the case, whereas the culprit of the Izu case had an awful lot of screen time.

This is enough to make a relatively interesting case, much more so than Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, which is one of the books, if not the book, that popularized the now all too common faked death scenario.

In fact, if Gosho Aoyama had gone the faked death route, I would have been really disappointed in him, because those cases only work if done right, much like how the so-called lower forms of comedy are only funny if they are done right.

Good job, Gosho. This is exactly what fans of the detective, mystery, and crime fiction expect and you delivered

Hopefully, he can keep up this kind of quality of mystery, though I doubt that the charm from the early volumes will ever return.

Another nice thing was how there were quite a few funny moments present.

While comedy is one of the labels people apply to this series, a lot of the comedy has grown awfully stale throughout course of its run of hundreds of episodes and chapters, and I have not really felt like laughing too much.

Here, however, there seemed to be plenty to laugh about, even if it fell more in line with the same thing seen throughout the whole series already.

The three things that had me really laughing the most though happened during the karaoke case and the Hammer Man case.

First, when Eisuke was the prime suspect, he gave off a strange face, which made Serena think that Eisuke was guilty, he denied being the culprit and said that he saw two of the four suspects, who both appeared to be male, kiss each other.

Now, I will admit that I do kind of get disgusted at the sight of two males kissing each other, much like Eisuke did, but what made this really funny is that one of those two suspects were actually female.

Seriously, that woman did not even look like a woman, since her neck was not as skinny as it should have been and her face did not look to that of a female's either.

I guess that Gosho that is trying to get into the harem trap cliché that is found in anime these days.

Then again, I have encountered a girl once who looked like a male, so seeing this is not a surprise, but it really generated quite a chuckle from me.

As for the other two funny things occurred in the Hammer Man case.

During that case, Jimmy knocks Serena out to give off his deduction, like usual, and all of the sudden Meguire and Takagi start comparing Serena to Richard, with the latter saying that the two do not have the same position entirely when Jimmy knocks them out, even though neither of the two cops actually see Jimmy knock them out.

Jimmy has been doing this for a countless number already, and these guys finally start seeing similarities?

True, we do not always recognize things outright or remember them clearly enough, as illustrated by an exhibit page found on the website of San Francisco's Exploratorium, and is similar to something seen in Brain Games or one of its many knock offs, but that does not change that the fact that I was laughing about the fact that characters who did not know, or suspect, Conan Edogawa's true identity was Jimmy Kudo were finally connecting the dots.

This makes me really want to continue on with series, just so I can see the day where Jimmy is called out on it, or Richard being found dead, like a certain fan-made comic that I remember seeing online, which a Google+ user named MeitanteiX found for me.

The final, and funniest moment, that made me laugh happened towards the end of the case.

When the Hammer Man case was resolved, Takagi is in a meeting with fellow police officers while the superintendent calls out for volunteers to be on a stakeout, and Takagi volunteers, thinking that he will be with Sato Miwako, whom he almost kissed earlier in the case, and ends up being paired with a male detective named Sato.

Seeing the how uncomfortable the whole atmosphere was between Takagi and this new Sato really had me laughing a whole lot.

Honestly, Takagi should have asked more questions before he jumped the gun like he did.

Then again, if Gosho had him be smarter about things, this little gem of comedy would not have been able to be at the top of my list of funniest moments in Detective Conan, though not as hilarious as what happened the Mist Goblin case, where one of the funniest moments helped solve the case.

After how much of a dry spell Detective Conan has seen as of late in recent releases from Viz Media, I am happy to see that there is something to really laugh about now.

While I know that Gosho is not going to have anything funny like these moments for a while, if at all, I still want to Gosho some major applause for actually making me laugh.

Good job, Gosho. Here is to hoping that you can add in more hilarious moments before this series ends, at least if it occurs before Jimmy and his allies finally go head to head with the boss of Black Org, which everyone expects to happen soon in the Japanese releases, since the only threat left after unmasking the second-in-command is the boss him or herself.

The thing that I like the most about this volume though was how quickly this volume was pulled into more of the plot than usual by introducing a new member of Black Org.

While major Black Org operatives have shown up from time to time, before having the arcs being labelled as their arc, things seemed to progress rather slowly, not that Detective Conan has ever been a fast moving series.

For example, when Vermouth made her appearance in volume 24, I had no idea that she was going to be the next person that Jimmy and the gang would have to contend with until Gin and Vodka were talking about what their next move would be after realizing that they failed to kill Haibara.

Likewise, in the volumes following the confrontation with Vermouth, which occurred in volume 42, I was not expecting yet another member of Black Org to show up in volume 48.

After all, Haibara, who created APTX 4869, did not come onto the scene until volume 18, and aside from her, Gin, Vodka, and the person that Mitch met in volume 35, there were no living members or former members of Black Org.

Here, however, unlike the five or six volumes that separate the meeting or confrontation of one Black Org member to the next, the new Black Org member is named in this volume, the volume that concludes Akai and Kir's meeting.

Yes, it would make plenty of sense that Jimmy and the FBI would find out where the next threat is coming from, since Kir agreed to share information with them, but it was still pretty quick, and it makes me want to get the next few volumes and find out who Bourbon is right now, even though I know his identity already.

Nice job, Gosho. Fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction do not want things to be very easy to predict, and you met those expectations fairly well by introducing a new member so quickly.

Now if only Viz sped up the releases of these volumes, so that I and those that only follow the Viz Media releases would not need to wait until the year 2021 to find out who Bourbon is.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked.

Because none of the cases were especially dull and there was quite a bit to laugh about, as well as the fact that Kir revealed the name of another Black Org agent, this volume was fairly decent.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from issues that are too minor to talk about, there is only one thing that really bothered me.

This volume screamed that something going on.

As many of you guys should know, I have extensive, but not complete, knowledge of what happens in the three hundred or so chapters that were published after the chapters found in this volume, which does help me determine what cases are important and which ones are not, and while that can cause me to become disappointed in the way things occur, much like I how was disappointed by A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 1, this is not one of those moments where I only see a problem because of knowledge of what is to come.

This is most obvious in two particular incidents.

First, when Jimmy talks with Eisuke, once the murder case at the karaoke joint was solved, Eisuke says that something was weird about the FBI, as if somebody was killed, and moments later, Jimmy gives off an expression saying that everything was going according to plan, while saying in his mind that it is okay.

With all the stuff that happened in the recent Black Org incident, it would make sense that Jimmy, Akai, and Kir thought things through carefully, but this is supposed to be a mystery series and whether or not Akai is alive is supposed to be a huge mystery.

Seriously, Gosho?! This might not be a dead giveaway about the truth of what happened when Kir was forced to shoot Akai, but it really ruins the whole perfect mystery that you set up in the previous volume.

Even if I did not know about the events yet to come, I could have somewhat figured out the truth, especially with what happens later.

The thing that really made this a problem though is when the Red, White, Yellow arson case was resolved.

During the course of that case, Jimmy knew that Bourbon was about to move and Jodie asked him to look after Haibara, so as not to raise the suspicions of Black Org, yet Jimmy let Okiya, whom Haibara refused to allow to stay with her and Dr. Agasa because she suspect he was a Black Org member, stay in his house, which was right next door, saying that a fan of Sherlock Holmes could not possibly be a bad person.

What the heck, Jimmy?! You were in the room while Haibara was hiding behind Agasa, and Haibara is usually only scared of people that give her the impression that they are Black Org.

In fact, Jimmy even questioned her of why she was scared during the investigation, and she did not answer.

Not only was it suspicious how Jimmy ignored Haibara's emotional state, but Jimmy even had one case back in volumes 12 and 13, or episodes 57 and 58 in the anime, where all the suspects were fans of Sherlock Holmes.

I may have believed that Okiya was Bourbon when these chapters were originally published over in Japan, but reading these chapters now makes me want to hit myself for not realizing what I know now, because Jimmy would not have let Okiya be so close to Haibara if he were Bourbon.

At this point, I really wish that Gosho made this one of Jimmy's greatest mistakes, and for the fans of series that do not know as much as I do, I kind of believe that they expect Bourbon will do something right here and now, since that is what I expected when I first read these chapters.

Fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction want to be surprised about every revelation, and there is no surprise in anything if the truth about a mysterious event is already hinted at.

Gosho should already know this much already, because this volume was originally released in Japan on January, 12, 2008, according to Detective Conan World, and volume 1 was released on June 18, 1994, according to a link that can be found on the page I already linked to, which means that Gosho has been writing stories that fit either or all three of those genres for roughly 14 to 15 years.

As a result, I cannot overlook this issue, and will label this a major issue.

Please, Gosho, do not make this kind of mistake in either the currently running Rum arc or the Boss arc, when Gosho finally decides to bring the boss out, because that will only ruin the series further.

While there is only one problem present, the fact that it was present and it was something that should be easily noticeable by people who are reading these chapters for the first time, as well as those familiar with detective, mystery, and crime fiction, really hurt the quality of this volume.

Despite the fact that there was quite a bit to like, the negative outweighed this enough to only make this good enough to kill time.

I hesitantly recommend this to fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, because most of the cases were relatively decent, in spite of how the content ruins a big mystery.

Detective Conan fans may want to give this a shot too, but I really recommend skipping ahead as soon as the Red, White, and Yellow arson case is solved, unless you are fine with how obvious the results of Akai and Kir's meeting becomes after this case.

As for everyone else, if your observational skills are highly adept, I recommending avoiding this volume like the plague, but it would not be too much of disappointment for those just getting into the series, or the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres in general.

What are your thoughts on Case Closed Volume 60? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.