Book Review: Case Closed Volume 70

Case Closed Volume 70 cover

I hope everyone is having a good week, regardless of whether
it is just more of the daily grind or being spent while relaxing.

Things have been going pretty well here, as I can still do
what I enjoy doing.

A while back, I was finally able to place an order for the
titles I was hoping to get this month, and the second of the titles recently
arrived.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Case Closed Volume 70 by Gosho
Aoyama.

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

Jimmy Kudo never catches a break, and things this time
around are no different, as he must tackle two more cases when after finding
the truth of of the current case, and one of those cases is another chance
encounter with Kaito Kuroba.

However, unlike most occasions, Kaito says he intends to
return things taken by another phantom thief, as well as perform a cleansing at
his next target, and Jimmy is determined to find out what is going on.

While Detective Conan is a favorite series of mine,
there have been quite a few highs and lows, with the previous
volume
being among one of the high points, so I cannot really go that easy
on it.

Thankfully, after reading this volume, I can say that I
really enjoyed it.

From the moment I opened up this volume and started reading
it, I found myself so engrossed in it that I did not want to stop reading for
any reason.

As I have said on multiple occasions, one of the most
important things in a work of fiction is how things begin, as the beginning is
supposed to bring the audience into a new world, thus giving them a temporary
escape from the stresses of their lives, and if the beginning does things well
enough, the audience will be willing to overlook the most minor of flaws.

While this can be accomplished in a variety of ways,
depending on the kind of work and the medium used to present it, Detective
Conan
, or Case Closed, as it is known here, is published in a serialized
format and that means that the only way that things can start off is by picking
things up in a way that makes sense from how the last installment.

In the last volume, things ended off right in the middle of
a case, which did not really impress me enough to call it the perfect ending,
due to being overwhelmed by how there were so many consecutive volumes that tried
to garner interest by finishing the volume with the start of another case, and
this volume started off by completing that case.

Even though I am not particularly happy with this start, it
did do its job quite well in grabbing my attention, by reminding me about what
had occurred and that this case was almost over.

If Shogakukan, or whoever they had put this volume together,
had not started things off here, I would have been really disappointed, even if
I am still fed up with cases being used to hook the attention of readers,
because this volume was supposed to feature the conclusion, and by not having
the conclusion, Shogakukan, or whoever they had put the volume together, would
have been having consistency issues.

Fortunately, Shogakukan remembered that the last installment
had an actual hook and delivered it as expected, which makes me want to give
them a good round of applause.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to start off just
well as this one did, at least in the installments that conclude cases, but
knowing that the people over at Shogakukan are only human, just like the rest
of us, I would not be surprised if things go downhill again.

I also liked how I was not left in the dark by just being
given kanji.

While one of the things that has been great about Viz
Media’s Detective Conan releases, aside from still taking place in
Japan, was how they were able to maintain the clues the Japanese fans gotten,
which was something FUNimation never did, especially when names were part of
the clues, such as what occurs in the second movie.

However, as nice as it was that fans of the series, like me,
got the same clues Japanese fans got, Viz Media has had a terrible track record
of remembering who their audience was because they just threw out kanji and
expected readers would know how to read them, thereby taking away one of the
things that fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction enjoy, which is
solving the mystery before the detective or uncovering how the criminal
committed a crime before it is revealed.

Even though I did let Viz Media off the hook the last time
they made this mistake, as it had nothing to do with the case, and was easier
to overlook, I did make note of why this was such a big problem and that Viz
needs to realize that their audience, primarily those in English speaking
countries, such as the US and UK, are not going to be able to read stuff not
using the Roman alphabet.

Thankfully, in this volume, in the case that closes out the
volume, Viz makes things a little easier to notice by providing names and the
kanji characters together.

While I am not entirely pleased by this, as the names are
only tied to the kanji at the conclusion of the case, instead of being given a
Romaji variant right when the kanji comes up, it is at least a step in the
right direction.

If Viz had continued to assume that most of its audience
could read kanji, I would have been disappointed enough to drop this series
because of major issues like that, rather than cases getting so bad that the
series is not longer worth, and Viz should be aware of the capabilities of the
majority of the audience.

Fortunately, Viz remembered that the bulk of their audience
are fluent in English and decided to improve things a bit, which makes me want
to give them some applause for a job well done.

Hopefully, Viz can continue to improve in area in the
future, because I would really like to show fans of detective, mystery, and
crime fiction why this series is so good, but as long as Viz continues to think
everyone in its audience can read kanji, this will continue to be issue for
people.

Another thing that I liked was how most of the cases were interesting.

While there were only two cases in this volume, if you do
not count the one at the beginning, as it concluded the case from the previous,
just like in the last volume, things never really seemed dull or really that
obvious, except for one case that I was not too happy about because it did not
really seem to fit the mold of Detective Conan in an overall sense.

The first case, which was concluding the case from the
previous volume, ended up being interesting for a conclusion and one that could
only be figured out if you really thought things out, in addition to noticing
things, even though my interest did kind of take hit over the span of time that
passed between releases.

However, the case that really took me by surprise was the
final case.

Even though I was not entirely pleased to see Gosho Aoyama
create a case that appears to have been inspired by The
Hound of the Baskervilles
, which I was very disappointed with due to it
being a little obvious, Gosho seemed to do a very good job of taking what
seemed like an interesting case and put in the touches that many fans of
detective, mystery, and crime fiction have come to expect ever since Agatha
Christie and her peers created the standards we have today, such as
misdirecting the audience, in order to provide a real challenge.

While there is speculation that The Hound of the
Baskervilles
was not intended to be a mystery, according to a section
on the Wikipedia page for the book, which I can see from why I did not really
enjoy the book and Sherlock really did come off as a deus ex machina in the
ending, I still had troubles really enjoying it because I had gone in with
expectations that I should not have had, hence the reason why a half empty
glass is much better than a full one.

Here, however, the incident taking place in the final case,
which Gosho does not try to hide that he possibly took inspiration from, is
utilized as an actual case, instead of a Victorian creeper that at least one
person thinks Doyle’s work was, and had me wondering exactly who was behind
what was going on.

If either Shogakukan, or whoever they had put this volume
together, had not included this case or Gosho had really messed things up, I
would have been a little disappointed, as I would have had to right this volume
off as just a minor foot note in the annals of Detective Conan‘s long
life.

Thankfully, both Shogakukan and Gosho put in enough work to
at least make things interesting, even if it nowhere near the level enjoyment I
had with the previous volume, which makes me want to give them a good round of
applause.

The thing that I liked the most though was the couple of
humorous moments of humor to be found in the final case.

While this volume was very sorely lacking in the humor
department, which was a real disappointment, when compared to the last volume,
where there were things to laugh about in every case, the humor itself came
back for the final case in the volume.

First after we see Jimmy, Richard, and Rachel sitting down
to watch what I want to believe is The Hound of the Baskervilles, as Richard
and Rachel are annoyed when Jimmy reveals the dog was painted with phosphorous
by the criminals, Harley comes in and asks Jimmy to tag along and visit
somebody named Shinichi Kudo, who ends up dead.

When I noticed this, I was laughing because of how it could
be reported that the star detective was dead.

Even though this is not exactly a hidden gem in this volume
that only fans that follow the Japanese releases or people that are as far
along in this series as I really am, thanks to Viz making note on the page with
the name reveal that Shinichi is the name Jimmy goes by in the Japanese
releases, as well as many of the international fans, it was still quite funny
because it was a nice reminder that many people share the same name in our
society and how it could really mess people up, with my most recent encounter
of people confusing me with a video gaming streamer.

In the world of the Internet, there are many people that
think they need an alias, because they do not want to be identified very easily
or tracked, but there are some people out there, such as myself, that are very
fortunate to have a name that is quite common because things would be
attributed to somebody a little more famous than the actual person, or people
would not realize that they are individual people, who have no relation,
because they will always associate something with the one that they know.

In this instance, if the media found out a guy named
Shinichi Kudo ended up dead, if they did not release an image, they would
assume that Japan’s pride and joy had kicked the bucket and there would
probably be some kind of uproar, and just thinking about that gave me quite a
bit of a chuckle.

The other thing that made me laugh, and probably more so
than Jimmy’s Japanese name showing up, was when Harley and the gang went on a
trip.

After Jimmy and Harley noticed something at the scene where
the person named Shinichi Kudo died, they decide to go check out the home of
the family and ask an elderly man where to go, the man advises them to stay
away, using the clichéd statement we have heard dozens times in our lived about
curiosity and the cat.

What was so funny about that is that a lot of times, it is
used to not only keep people out of danger, which this man was trying, but it
is also used to kill off our potential and accept things we have been told to
believe are true, such as doing things that are harmful to our bodies because
we do not want to offend others, even though we have also been told that
something is not okay or right, just because everyone else thinks so.

Upon hearing this, Harley is annoyed, and Richard just says
he wants to know where to go and does not care, because, like the audience,
they know something is up.

As tiring as it may be to see this kind of situation to the
point where it is not particularly funny, the way it plays off did give me some
sort of chuckle because I knew that human curiosity is what drove our
innovations and advancements that society has experienced so far.

If Gosho had omitted these small moments of humor, one of
which might have been more enjoyable if Viz had not noted down Jimmy Kudo’s
Japanese name, though I am glad they did for the sake of those not as familiar
with Detective Conan as me, I would have been pretty disappointed
because things had felt kind of average before these moments cropped up.

Fortunately, Gosho allowed there to be a small bit of humor
in at least one case, and that makes me feel like giving him some minor
applause.

Hopefully, there would be more things to laugh about in
future volumes, as the humor is supposed to be what makes this series so
enjoyable, aside from the interesting cases, but because of what I will happen
in the series, I would not be surprised if this is the true beginning of the
end for this series.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least stood out as much as what I already talked
about.

Because my interest was captured quickly and held right up
to the end, Viz took steps to make the kanji as clear as possible, though still
not quite perfect, most of the cases were interesting, and there were some
small moments that gave me a chuckle, this was a fairly decent read.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, and some things that could be inferred from what I talked about,
there was only one thing that really bothered me, which was the case featuring
Kaito Kuroba.

One of the things that almost every fan of Detective
Conan
looks forward to is a clash between Jimmy Kudo and Kaito Kuroba, or
even a case featuring Kaito, as those tend to be very interesting, more so the
clash between the two geniuses, which could be considered today’s equivalent of
the rivalry between Sherlock and Lupin, and I look forward to those cases too.

However, the case featured in here seemed to be a little
disappointing.

Now, some of you guys familiar with the KID case featured in
this volume will say that this is different because Kaito does not intend to steal
anything, nor are we wondering constantly who Kaito is disguised as overall,
though the characters still seem to be, but the feel of this case overall, once
the excitement died down from actually reading through it, which was certainly
a thrill, did not really seem to be something that I would consider to be part
of Detective Conan because everything was focus on the two men that had
items who authenticity was questionable and they were looking to take advantage
of Kaito’s plans, and they even knew his habits during his heists, like
cancelling his plans when the crowd was barred from entering the location of
his target.

With how things were going, I was expecting Jimmy and Kaito
to work together to expose the people who were obviously frauds, especially
considering Kaito reminded Jimmy that he was there to return items that we find
out another phantom thief, who is suggested to be related to him in this case
and has their identity confirmed in Magic Kaito, had stolen, but I found
myself rooting more for Kaito than Jimmy.

The case itself is not necessarily bad, otherwise I would
not have really enjoyed it, but I wish it was in Magic Kaito instead
because the feel of things came off as mostly belonging to that series.

Then again, seeing as Magic Kaito is not available
for purchase where I live, I can overlook this a bit, since this is not the
first time where Kaito Kuroba is not an enemy, and it did help make the volume
seem more interesting overall.

Hopefully, the next Kaito Kuroba case would be better than
this, but I would not be surprised if something like this happens again.

Thankfully, that was the only thing that I was kind of
annoyed with, so Gosho and everyone else that is working hard to bring us this
series can walk away knowing that all is not lost.

While there was one thing that was kind of annoying, the
fact that it actually helped make things enjoyable, even if it felt like
something that should not have been in this series.

Despite the fact that there was a case that really did not
seem like it should have been in Detective Conan, the fact that it added
to the enjoyment, in spite of my minor annoyance with it, made this worth
reading.

I recommend this to fans of Detective Conan, as well
as fans of the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, though the Kaito
Kuroba case might not be that big of a highlight for Detective Conan
fans.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
seeing as the first chapter concludes a case that started in the last volume, I
would recommend reading the previous volume first.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on either Patreon or SubscrieStar, or, if you would
like a copy of the reviewed title, buy
Case Closed Volume 70
from Book Depository, who helped me close the
gap in my Detective Conan collection and offers free shipping to many
countries around the world, so that I can continue following this series and
maybe find more worthwhile reads for you guys to check out.

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