I hope that everyone is doing well, as they get back to the daily grind.
Things have gone fairly well here, with very little interruption, and I can still do something that I enjoy.
Recently, I received another one of the four titles I had preordered this month and it is time to get my butt in gear, before I possibly stress myself out by not having a because of the simulcast that I decided to cover.
Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Case Closed Volume 64 by Gosho Aoyama.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
It might seem like Jimmy and the gang have finally gotten some time to relax, as the Junior Detective gets to have a relaxing fishing trip.
However, this is only the calm before the storm, as Jimmy suddenly finds himself wrapped up a few different cases, such as the sudden discovery of a corpse of a recently deceased rich girl, a case of finding a childhood friend that turns into a hunt for a serial killer, and a challenge that was seemingly issued by somebody posing as an ever elusive thief to the man that wants to capture him, and Jimmy is determined to solve each one, even if it is in front somebody that might be the rumored Bourbon.
While the previous volume failed to impress me, thanks to the fact that it started off with two cases that were not that interesting, I know that it would take more than one volume to truly show that the series has gone downhill in more than the comedy department.
And after reading this, I can say that I actually liked it.
As expected from the usual pattern established by more than 60 volumes, none of the cases featured were continuations of cases from before.
Even though this is nothing to truly be excited about, since many long time fans would know about such a pattern in the volume releases, there is some importance to being consistent when it comes to creating great work and making money, no matter how flawed that work is, especially mine, because even though fans of any genre of fiction enjoy seeing improvement over time, which will eventually peak, they do not like it when things change too drastically.
For example, when FUNimation brought the series to television screens where I live, they kept all of the extended length episodes the way they were in Japan, though they were still numbered as individual parts and shown as individual episodes on Adult Swim, and things stayed that way right up to the point where Kaito Kuroba made his first appearance in Detective Conan.
However, when they rereleased all of the episodes from before, along with cases that had been manga exclusive here, as Viz had already released up to volume 27 around the time FUNimation originally released their fourth season set, which had release dates of January 2009 and February 2009 respectively, according to a page on Detective Conan World's wiki and the product page on Amazon that I linked to in my 2013 review of that set, FUNimation suddenly decided to have episodes 96 and 118 be literally presented as six episodes, even though the three previous extended length episodes were still intact and the sets were being advertised as unedited and uncut.
When they did that, I felt cheated and betrayed because this was not what FUNimation did before, since they never really had false advertising before this, at least in the other titles I got from them before then, and it made me regret ever buying those sets, though the later rereleases and iTunes releases of those five sets finally removed the notion that the episodes were unedited and uncut.
If FUNimation had not done that, I would have been much happier, as I would have been seeing these episodes in a way that was closer to what the Japanese fans got, though not exactly perfect, and they might have been much more willing to release episodes 124+, thus making Haibara a character not exclusive to the manga and movies here.
Unfortunately, because of they did do something like that, and just kept trying to release the first 123 episodes over and over, along with poor marketing, Detective Conan utterly failed in their hands.
The manga, on other hand, has been doing relatively here, at least enough so that it has a better release schedule than Hayate the Combat Butler, and Viz never really did anything as drastic as FUNimation, with many of the chapters in the volumes have matching up with how they are presented on the sites hosting fan translation.
Viz and other companies releasing manga here may not have too much freedom with what they can do with the installments of their series, as revealed in an interview that I linked to my reviews of the previous volume and Erased Volume 3, but they still deserve to be given a nice round of applause for not dropping the ball like FUNimation did.
Hopefully, Viz can keep this up as they release more volumes, because they are already doing a good job of keeping their fans and Detective Conan fans happy, though Detective Conan fans here and in the UK would prefer to see releases as quickly as the German and Vietnamese releases, which are both in the 90's range, as I mentioned in my review of volume 61.
Then again, Viz Media is only made up of humans and they tend to make mistakes, like we do, so I would not be surprised if they do slip up from time to time, unless it is as bad as what Yen Press did with Judge Volume 6.
I also liked how most of the cases were interesting in this volume.
While I would not say that things are anywhere near the levels that they were when this series started or when Akai and Kir confronted each other, things seemed to have dramatically improved over the previous volume.
Back in the previous volume, things were practically unbearable because not only were half the cases dull, but those dull cases started off the whole volume, and made it hard for me to immerse myself in the pages of that volume.
Fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction want to immerse themselves in a good case or heist that makes them ask questions and walk away satisfied with the results, which are created through various means, such as those standardized by Agatha Christie and other writers that lived in her day, and if they do not get that in anthology of complete work, they are not going to want to continue on with that writer's work.
In the case of that volume, the reason it failed miserably was because Gosho Aoyama made the culprit one of the most obvious candidates and whoever Shogakukan had compile the chapters into the volume just made things seem worse by placing those cases where they did.
Here, however, most of the cases had pretty great starts and were not too obvious or easy to guess, especially seeing as nothing really got on my bad side as much as what happened in volume 60.
This is what I and many others want to see, and Gosho Aoyama finally delivered.
If things were as easy to guess as the cases that started the previous volume, I would have really considering dropping this series once again, even with my knowledge of future events, as Gosho would have shown that he reached his peak at the time Kir shot Akai and there would be no point in continuing.
Fortunately, that did not happen, and I can finally walk away feeling satisfied with what I read.
Of course, since it was not completely Gosho's fault that the last volume was so bad, unless he has a say over how each volume starts and ends, the people that Shogakukan had compile these chapters into this volume deserve some credit too, as they started the volume off with some interesting cases this time, which made me not want to stop reading for any reason.
Hopefully, the next few volumes start off as good as this one did, because I and other fans of this series would rather be singing the praises of both Gosho Aoyama, Shogakukan, and the other people who put in the time to give us a series we enjoy instead of berating them for delivering as poor of a product as Yen Press did with the aforementioned volume of Judge.
Another nice thing about this volume was how there were a few things that made me chuckle.
Even though the humor was mostly the same kinds of things that fans of the series are used to and have found stale, things seemed to have been executed a bit better to the point where it actually did seem to be quite funny.
For the longest time, things have been feeling rather stale, because things have been done over and over with exactness that it is hardly worth mentioning, or even easy to remember when such moments were genuinely funny, but now, it seems like the series may be getting its charm back a bit.
However, with the way things are in this volume, it seems like I am actually having fun reading this series again, instead of just reading with the desire to find out how the Boss of Black Org is, which may happen soon because the series is currently focused on finding the identity of Rum, Black Org's second in command, and wanting to see some more great cases.
The thing that really made me chuckle though was something happened during the case to find a childhood friend.
In that case, after Jimmy, Richard, and Rachel get the details of the case, they go to the clients home and after dinner, Rachel tries to get Jimmy to take a bath with her, but he says he does not want to, while blushing from embarrassment, before trying to say okay and Rachel decides not to have one either.
This was absolutely hilarious because it both reminded me of the fact that they bathed together in the series already and that he was still embarrassed.
Yes, Rachel still has no idea that Conan and Jimmy are the same person and she might get mad if she found out, but Jimmy is currently in a child's body and his blushing and hesitant response makes him seem like a pervert.
If this scene did not really play out, I probably would have found myself a bit bored, even though the mystery itself was not bad, because no reader should ever be in a state when they cannot relax, as we can miss things if we are too guarded or too focused on something.
However, with this in here, it still pretty funny to see how Rachel is doing things with Jimmy that she probably would be doing if Jimmy was not able to convince her that he and Conan are not the same person, and I actually feel like giving Gosho even more applause.
Nice job, Gosho. With the way things are going, the series might not be going into a steep nose dive yet, and I am actually looking forward to seeing where things go.
The thing that I liked the most though was how two cases ended up being connected to each other.
While this may not exactly be new in this series, seeing as a missing person case involving robbers turned into a murder case and the revelation that Gin and Vodka were part of a powerful syndicate, it was still quite interesting to see, as most of the cases not involving Black Org do not seem to be anything more than individual cases.
In this volume, during the case to uncover the identity of the client's childhood friend, the police show up and say that one of the two men might be a serial killer that they were chasing, and then a case concerning that killer's identity becomes the main focus in the next case, after finding out that their guess was wrong.
One of the biggest problems with this series is that red herrings, other than those concerning Black Org members and possibly Kaito Kuroba's disguises, seems to not really exist, at least now, because the things that usually point to guilt end up showing that the guy is indeed guilty, thus helping newbies to the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres much more likely to fall for those red herrings.
Here, however, with the two separate cases being connected, Gosho seems to be finally incorporating red herrings, because I am led to believe that one of the suspects in the first case is a killer, because of how well he matched up with what the police were looking for, and being surprised about how wrong that conclusion had made me interested in continuing on with the rest of this volume.
If Gosho did have that man be the killer that the police were looking for, I would have been disappointed, because it would have been too easy figure out, I problem would have been annoyed enough that I might have missed the start of what might be another case involving Kaito Kuroba, which starts off quite well, because I would have been reminded of how terrible things were in the previous volume.
Fortunately, it looks like Gosho has not completely lost his way, and can still bring something good to the table, which makes me want to give him another good round of applause.
This is what fans of the series have always wanted to see, and by having a case that has neither Black Org or Kaito Kuroba, I cannot be any prouder for having read through this volume.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could stand out on its own.
Because Viz and the people that Shogakukan have put these volumes together have remained consistent in their release, Gosho was able deliver some interesting cases this time and the people that put these volumes together did not have it start so poorly, there seemed to be things to laugh about again, and that there was a case that really seemed to grab my attention that involved neither Black Org nor Kaito Kuroba, this was actually a great installment to the series and a great read.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed this volume, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about and things are would only be annoying to people who have extensive knowledge of future events, nothing really bothered me too much.
As a result, I would have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.
Considering that there was quite a bit to like, such as how things started off better than they did in the last volume, this was definitely worth reading.
I recommend this to fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, as well as fans of Detective Conan, as there is plenty of content in this volume that it would make it worth it for those people to read it, especially how the cases in this volume was an improvement.
As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try because most of the cases start and end in this volume, which makes it a good introduction to the series, as well as the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres in general.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or buy a copy of this volume from either Amazon or the Book Depository, who helped me close the gap in my Detective Conan manga collection, so that I can continue following this series that all enjoy and find more worthwhile reads for you guys, and do whatever you do when you find something that impresses you.
Also, I am not to sure of how much longer my Amazon affiliate links will work, so, other than Patreon, which still remains the best way to help me get more volumes, Book Depository might be a better option for any international readers to purchase volumes, since their affiliate program is not as bothersome as Amazon's (I technically need to apply for affiliate status with each of Amazon's domains, whereas Book Depository simply has only one).
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