I hope that everyone is having a good week, and are getting used to being back to the daily grind, unless you are still on break.
Things have been going fairly well, and I am glad that I can still do something that I enjoy.
A while back, before I got the books I recently purchased, I had preordered some books, and the second of those title arrived a little after I finished reading the last book.
Today, I will be reviewing that book, which is called Case Closed Volume 63 by Gosho Aoyama.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Jimmy Kudo still cannot catch a break, as more cases come his way, such as a murder case at a sushi restaurant and the mystery of a car that can drive over fog and a rider who could also stand on the fog.
However, things become most complicated for Jimmy when the prototype antidote begins to wear off quicker than usual, and if he is not careful, his secret might get blown before he and Harley can bring the case to a close.
While Detective Conan may be a favorite of mine, more so the manga than the anime, I do not always like what I see happening in the series.
And this is one of those times where I can say that I was not overly impressed.
Fortunately, it was not so disappointing that my fellow Detective Conan fans would have to see what things are like when I am given reason to skip right to what I hated, like I did with the Yu Yu Hakusho movie.
As per the usual order of things, the first few chapters conclude the case that had begun back in previous volume, which shows that Japan is fairly capable of keeping things quite consistent across the volume.
The series itself might be in a bit of a downward spiral at this point, seeing as I am encountering cases that I remember reading before I first dropped the series, but nothing is far worse that a publisher cannot keep up a consistent pattern and quality, because doing such a thing would just turn away readers, and neither writers nor publishers want to disappoint the clients, the readers, to the point where they cannot make any money, which does make me want to give them a bit of applause for doing something right.
If they can keep this up, though I doubt that they would fail too badly, then it would be a godsend in my eyes
I also liked how there were at least two interesting cases.
Even though I do not expect everything to be perfect, nor even had surprising tricks, this series has a huge following of fans that were or have become interested in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, much like myself, and those people want to see a good case in the books that they read.
In the case of this volume, there were only two cases that seemed to fit the The bill of a decent, if not great case.
Those were the Silver Witch case and the Kojima, or Kaminski, case.
While both of those cases were not on the same level as some of the best Black Org and KID cases, they both did not seem to be too obvious and actually made me want to investigated, and were the real highlight of this volume, because I just did not want to put this book down when those two started up.
The mysteries of the cases might be a little simple, when compared to the cases that first got me interested in the series, but I, and any other fan of the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres would gladly take these two cases over the abomination that was episode 6 of the anime, where the culprit and method was just too obvious.
If even these cases were as dull as the other present in the volume, I think that I would have been much more disappointed in this volume than I am because Gosho point have forgotten how to craft a good mystery for the audience to sink their teeth into, though they may not exactly need to follow Van Dine's Twenty Rules or Knox's Ten Commandments, both of which Agatha Christie supposedly ignored in the final book featuring Hercule Poirot, and I probably would permanently dropped this series.
However, because Gosho did not completely and utterly fail to deliver any decent cases, I am willing to give him a pat on the back for a job well done, while wishing that he would bring in something just as intriguing as the meeting between Akai and Kir that occurred back in volumes 58 and 59, which might just be the best that fans will ever get from the glory days of this series.
For now, I just hope the series does not go downhill so fast that fans where I live and UK fans do not get any more volumes, seeing as the Viz translations are the official releases for the two regions, and this was the last volume released in Sweden.
Another thing that I really liked was how there were a few humorous moments.
While Detective Conan has not been quite as funny as was back in the first 26 volumes, all of which I own copies of, the staleness was getting a little boring to the point where I could not enjoy this series too much, and I was finally able to get enough of a chuckle to make me forget the distasteful feeling I got from checking out a Hannibal Lecter book, which had possibly one of the best examples of how vulgarity and profanity could make a book less enjoyable.
The funniest of those occurred in the two least interesting cases to be found in this volume.
First, after the case from the previous volume concluded, Jimmy started to experience the usual symptoms that occur before he becomes a kid again and Rachel is determined to keep holding onto him, but when she wakes up, she finds the boy she calls Conan and believes that Jimmy gave her the slip, but we, as the audience, know that he was still there.
Gosho may be going back on trying to tease us about whether or not Rachel will find out the truth, which is kind of tiring at this point, but I do not remember finding one of these moments as funny as it was here, except for maybe The Case of the Mysterious Gifts that occurs in volume 3 of the manga, or episode 7 of the anime, which was one of the last episodes that is the same number in both the Japanese and FUNimation releases, and it really helped to make it easier for me to be able to enjoy this volume.
The thing that really had me laughing though was something that occurred in the revolving sushi restaurant case.
Towards the beginning of the case, Harley and Jimmy talk about the events that gave me a chuckle earlier when he finally asks Jimmy if he requested emergency doses from Agasa and Haibara, eventually leading to Jimmy getting embarrassed and telling Harley to quit it, but then tries to divert the Junior Detective League's interest away by saying he was talking about squid with sushi.
Later on, at the restaurant, Jimmy begins trying to figure out what he wants, but before he can place an order, Amy told him that she placed an order for squid for him, thinking that was what he really wanted and actually hands it to him.
Yes, we see Jimmy trying to make sure that the kids do not stick their noses where he does not want them to, but I do not really remember Gosho making a joke about it, since does not really happen much, if at all, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
This is the kind of comedic moments that I really needed and wished to see from this series, and Gosho is finally able to deliver.
I might not be following this series to get a good laugh consistently, since I am more attracted to the cases, but this definitely helped to keep the volume from being one of the worst from the series that I have read, since this is actually something that I feel like giving Gosho Aoyama a ton applause for accomplishing something enjoyable.
The thing that I liked the most though was that Jimmy did not come off as a complete know-it-all in all of the cases presented.
Throughout the course of the entire Detective Conan series, Jimmy has been presented as the stereotypical Sherlock, being kind of a merger between mainstream Sherlock and the Sherlock created by Arthur Conan Doyle, and such characters tend to come off as too perfect, which might have been the reason Agatha Christie took Poirot in a different direction. Jimmy Kudo, in my eyes, has been coming off as way too perfect during this series, which will probably become more apparent in a case that Viz will not release until late 2022 to early 2023, unless they speed up the releases.
Here, however, in the Silver Witch case, Jimmy is the one that ends up needing hints from Richard's truly pointless dialogue, whereas as it is usually Jimmy's useless, yet intentional, dialogue or actions that steers Richard towards the truth, which shows that Jimmy is not perfect in his ability to observe things and put the pieces together.
By having Jimmy have a tough time putting things together, it ends up making him seem more like a human, because, even when we know a lot, it is difficult for us to see the truth or answer, and it makes me end up liking him a bit more, though I would not really say that Jimmy Kudo is my favorite detective, and it seemed to give a feeling that I could actually beat him, and makes me feel like giving Gosho another round of applause.
Hopefully, Gosho remembers that Jimmy is still human in later chapters, especially when he finally breaks the 1000-chapter threshold, which should happen in Japan this year, because a detective that is too good is just as tiring as incompetent police officers or federal agents.
Then again, this series is not technically called a masterpiece like Spice & Wolf is, so I am not going to be dropping the series if Jimmy comes off as too perfect again, as that is only a minor gripe in a work like this.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could not be added to what I already talked about.
Because things have been able to stay consistent, there were things to chuckle or laugh about, there were some good cases, and Jimmy did not come off as too perfect, this book was fairly decent.
Although there were some things that I liked, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos, only one thing really bothered me.
Half the cases in this book were dull.
While some of the cases in this book were completely horrible, as I did not feel like my time was completely wasted, two of the four cases presented just failed to ignite my interest.
First, in the murder case that concludes this volume, the culprit ended up being too obvious.
Now, the culprit was not as obvious as the murderer in the sixth episode of the anime, but for those of us that are familiar with either police procedure or the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, there are people that we are going to suspect rather quickly for one reason or another before there have been so many cases where those individuals ended up being guilty, and Gosho Aoyama chose one of those kinds of suspects to be the culprit.
Really, Gosho? Criminals might be obvious when reading through things again in many works of the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, but this case is supposed to be a true whodunnit, and having the person who discovered the body being the guilty party is rather unimpressive.
I was hoping that this case would turn out better than it did, but, other than Sato and Takagi underestimating Jimmy and Harley and the stuff with Rachel, this was does not get me pumped to read the volume any further.
Readers of any type of fiction want to be drawn in to a work, and fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction are no different. To attract those readers, the early cases in an anthology or installment must grab the reader's attention and make them surprised by the solution, but when I combine the conclusion of the case with its beginning, I do not get the feeling that I had been given this great case at all, like I would have been led to believe if I judged cases by what I got, instead of judging them as a whole.
The first person to discover a body being the culprit is just as clichéd as having the new employee of an establishment being a villain, and I am rather disappointed in Gosho, because even releasing this volume at the same time as the last one would not have fixed this issue.
Seriously, Gosho, you need to go back and find out how to make a decent case, before you make this series any worse than it is becoming, because being reminded that a clichéd and obvious idea does not make a reader want to go back and read it all.
The other case that really kept me from being able to enjoy this volume was the revolving sushi restaurant case.
Even though this case did start off a bit better than the one before it, it felt just as unimpressive because things were seemingly just as obvious.
While the culprit this time was not one of the most obvious suspects in the realm of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, it still came off just as bad because it was once again the very first person I guessed.
Now some of you guys might be shouting at me because I stated in my review of A Pocket Full of Rye that I try not to jump on board with any particular individual, but I also said that I do sometimes make the mistake of assuming somebody is guilty, and in this case, my guess was right.
I do not hate particularly hate it when I when I am right, as I do enjoy defeating the detective as much as any other fan of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, but this is reminding me of my horrible experience with The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the first book to feature Hercule Poirot, because my first guess ended up being right and nothing really confused me.
Likewise, in this case, there was nothing really solid enough to lead me into suspecting any one of the other three, which is a required element for any whodunnit good, and it just led to one of those moments where fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction are disappointed that they were right, as opposed to elated, which only comes if everything done right.
Gosho has been writing works in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres for roughly a decade or so, and even reading or watching such works, since all volumes have a mystery library segment at the end of each volume, according to a page on Detective Conan World's wiki, yet he does not seem to understand this.
What happened, Gosho? Are you really going to let the series die this this? If so, I do not see how I and many others can continue to follow this, especially because I remember that this series used to be so good.
Unfortunately, I now feel more like Kuwabara did at Yusuke's wake, which can be seen in a YouTube video.
If this is what Gosho is going to be delivering now, I do not see how this could be worth following, even with my knowledge of future events, and Gosho should be ashamed for delivering such unimpressive work.
Although it sounds like Gosho Aoyama was the big problem here, the things he did were not really enough to make me rather impressed with the fact that half the cases were bad, and made this such a big issue with me.
Over in Japan, there are people who take the chapters that have been published in the various magazines and compile them into the volumes that publishers where I live get, as an interview that I first linked to in my review of Erased Volume 3 says that publishers like Viz have absolutely no creative control, and while I am happy that there is some bit of consistency between Detective Conan releases, I am angry with the fact that the people over in Japan thought that it was a good idea to start things off with these two cases.
The first few cases of a volume of a manga series in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres need to start off with interesting cases to be able to grab the reader's attention and keep it, but because they started this volume off with these two cases, they actually made it that much harder for me to enjoy the volume from beginning to end.
What the heck? Japan has produce quite a few interesting titles, few of which I have read, since I have troubles reading anything not using the Roman alphabet, and many of the companies out there should know when to begin and end a manga volume, but whoever Shogakukan, the people who publish the magazine where Detective Conan is serialized, put in charge of compiling this volume did seem to realize that this was a rather poor way to start a volume.
If this were my first experience with Detective Conan, I would not have even bothered with the series, as this is a poor excuse of an installment to the series as a whole, and has me thinking that it is no wonder that Swedish citizens would have to import these volumes from countries.
Hopefully, things will improve in the next volume, which will become available in October, according to the product page on Amazon, as the current pattern in volume releases tells me that there should be all new cases, as opposed to ones that are being continued, but do not be surprised if things because worse from this point onwards.
Thankfully, this was the only that bugged me to no end, so I do berate anyone any further for ruining a series that I consider one of my favorites.
While there was only one issue, the fact that more than one party was responsible for making it as bad as it was hurt the quality of the book badly enough to take this from being okay to terrible.
Despite the fact that there were a few things to like, such as a decent second half and humor, the negatives were major enough to only make this good enough to kill time, bordering on a waste of time.
I only recommend this to fans of Detective Conan, as they will probably like this the most, though like the fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, they might be more impressed with the last two cases, which were the only cases worth reading.
As for everyone else, I recommend avoiding this like the plague, because it does not demonstrate how great the series can be, nor does it serve as a good introduction to the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres in general, except for the last two cases.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or buying the other volumes of this series from Amazon, so that I can continue following the series that we all know and enjoy and possibly find other worthwhile reads, and doing whatever you do when you find something that impresses you.
Also, as another reminder, I have set some goals for the Detective Conan community and Patreon, regardless of amount pledged, which is still the best method to support me (only US and possibly UK and Canadian citizens can help me through the Amazon links provided), and they are as follows:
- 5 or more patrons
- patrons I will go back and review volumes 1-26 of the manga, which includes events like Haibara's introduction.
- 10 or more patrons
- I will consider reviewing the latest episodes of the anime, starting with the next one to be released on Crunchyroll from when I reach this goal.
Use an app on your phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken to the web version of this article.