Book Review: Case Closed Volume 74

Detective Conan Volume 74 cover.

I hope everyone is doing well, especially considering the messy
and tiresome situation many have found themselves in.

Things are going well here, as I can still do what I want,
and spent some time tinkering with things here.

For a while now, I have been taking a gander through
Amazon’s catalog, to make sure I can place preorders for the series I follow, and
I was able to finally place an order for one of those titles.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Case Closed Volume 74 by Gosho
Aoyama.

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

Jimmy’s life is still as busy as ever, as more cases keep
cropping up the moment he wraps one up, one of which rekindles the fire of
rivalry between the two greatest detectives in Japan.

However, a recent acquaintance has been catching the eye of
many of Jimmy’s allies and the teen detectives are determined to keep her in
check after a case that had only recently cropped up, by keeping her away from
what may be the most baffling case yet.

While Detective Conan has had many ups and downs,
even taking into account the chapters that Viz has yet to publish here, it is
still decent enough to check out without being able to have too much bias,
aside from memories of when it was the best it was.

After reading this volume, I found it to be okay.

From the moment I opened up this book and started reading, I
found myself engrossed enough that I did not want to pull myself away from
reading, though not to the extent that I would have liked.

One of the most important things in a work of fiction is how
it begins, as the beginning is supposed to pull the audience into another
world, so that they can get that temporary escape that they desire.

While this hook can be created in many ways, depending on
the medium and genre, Detective Conan, like many other manga series, was
originally published in a serialized format, which means that each installment
has to begin in a way that makes sense, based upon how the last installment
concluded.

In the previous
volume
, things ended right in the middle of a case where Richard, Rachel,
and Sera, the latter of which made their debut in that volume, were held
captive by man who was determined to kill the person responsible for killing
his sister, demanding that Richard tell him who his sister called the mouse, with
the whole thing giving me a feeling that things were not yet over, though
glancing through it quickly right now does make me feel like it was dragged.

In this volume, things pick up right from that point, by having
the captor starting to make his move.

While I am a little annoyed with how the guy acted,
especially because it reminded me of the pathetic reasoning why the protagonist
of Judge was killed by his childhood friend in the final volume,
this was the way I wished this volume would have started out and Shogakukan, or
whoever they had put this volume together for them, chose to start this volume
off in the best way it could have possibly started.

If Shogakukan, or whoever they had put this volume together,
chosen a different place to start this volume or Gosho had written the first
chapter of the volume in a way that it was obviously the end of the case,
though it certainly did conclude the case, I would have been even more
disappointed than I already am with how the volumes have been recently, which
would make me feel like quitting this series again, much like how the recent
cases in the anime on Crunchyroll are even more like the manga chapters now, with
cases being one episode a part, rather than merging all parts into one episode.

Fortunately, things did not start off in a way that made it
feel my time was being wasted, which means that can give both Gosho Aoyama and
Shogakukan a passing grade.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to start off just as
well as this one did, though I want to see this series go back to the pattern
of every other volume featuring the start of a new case, so that the truly
exciting events to come would feel more interesting if they do span multiple
volumes, and will also help attract new readers, but seeing how things
currently are, I would not be surprised if it continues when Viz reaches the
chapters where the boss of Black Org is actually named, even if it still unknown
whether said person is dead or alive.

I also liked was how most of the cases were kind of
interesting.

Even though I would not say they were the most interesting
for me, seeing as I remember most of the cases in this volume, even who the
culprit were, what the proof was, or how a trick was pulled off, they were all still
decent enough to give people reading these cases for the first time a good
enough challenge, with very little being obvious and nobody really giving
themselves away by what they say or do, unlike episode
6
of the anime.

If even the cases were dull, outside of being obvious for
those that have already read through these cases, I would have been extremely disappointed
because Gosho is usually good making cases that are quite enjoyable the first
time through, with there only being a few rough patches among the cases I
missed out on and finally got to read by reading through volumes 27+, since
only newer stuff has been even more disappointing than this, and that would
have really made me grow tired of this series.

Thankfully, the cases were only dull to me because of how
good my memory can be, so I can still let Gosho get by with another passing
grade, even though I would not say he is completely out of the woods in this
regard.

Hopefully, the cases will continue to be decent all the way
until Viz finally enters the Rum arc, which should occur within this
current decade if Viz keeps up the quarterly releases, but considering how bad
the current crop of cases in the Japanese releases have been, I would not be
surprised if things get notably worse before the year 2030 rolls around.

The thing that I liked the most though was how mysteries
started to deepen around Sera Masumi and even Okiya.

While there was indeed something I was more impressed with
than this little aspect of the volume, I have to settle on this one that came
in second, because I would be ruining a case that actually exposed me to something
I had not heard of before.

Even though I already know who Okiya and Sera are and their
motivations, the way Gosho presents them in the pages of these volumes, with
how observant Sera is and Okiya’s suspicious action makes me want to forget
what I what know and start theorizing how they could be Bourbon, the Black Org
operative that is currently on the move in this arc, as if I was reading
through these chapters for the first time again.

If Shogakukan, or whoever put this volume together for them,
had made the same mistake that was made in volume 60,
though I did blame Gosho for that in the review, with Sera being shown to
obviously not be Bourbon, I would have been very angry because Bourbon’s
identity is supposed to be as much of a mystery right now as Akai’s fate when
he met Kir, and even made this volume even more boring for those rereading the
chapters in these volumes, like I am.

Fortunately, nothing quite as atrocious as what happened in
volume 60 happened here, which means that Shogakukan, or whoever put this
volume together for them, can walk away with a round of applause for at least
keeping some things a mystery.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to maintain the
little amount of mystery that is still in this arc, so that people only reading
the Viz Media releases can see how exciting the events to be seen in their
releases this year can remain as exciting as the first time, but considering
that Akai’s fate has already been spoiled without me revealing what will happen
in the volumes to come here before 2025, I would not be surprised if Shogakukan
does something to confirm the identity of Rum or Black Org’s boss sooner than
they should.

Outside of those things, I cannot really thing of anything
else I particularly liked, at least without spoiling the trick the behind one
of the cases.

Because my interest was captured relatively quickly and held
right up to the end, the cases were decent, and I was made to want to forget
what I know already, this was a pretty decent read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, only one thing really bothered me about this volume, which was
how the cases to be largely boring.

While I did say that they were decent cases, I also said
that I found them dull because I remembered too much.

Now, remembering things should not be that big of a deal, as
it is not unheard of for fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction to go
back and reread their favorite cases or, in the case of Lupin, heists, but the
joy from rereading those comes about because they were so well done, at least
in the eyes of the reader, that the reader is able to enjoy it just as much on
a reread or, like my experience reading volume 67,
there are interesting things that can be found only upon rereading.

Here, however, there was not really anything that really
pulled my interest in, as I was thinking, “When is such and such going to
occur?”, instead of showing any genuine interest in the cases themselves.

By having feelings like that, it showed me that Gosho did
not really put too much work into these cases to have them be as exciting as
the confrontation be Akai and Kir and only did enough to make the cases
interesting enough for reading only one time through, with the possible
exception of the final case of the volume.

Yes, the vast majority of cases in this volume are not
really that important to the plot overall, like most other cases found in Detective Conan, so I should not expect them to be interesting upon rereading, but
that does not change the fact that it really kills any reason to reread the
events again.

After all, other than hearing that somebody really liked
their work, writers also like to hear that their work pleased people enough to
read through the title, or titles, more than once.

If a work can only impress a reader the first time around,
the work itself, and possibly even the writer, would just become another grain
in the sands of time, rather than remembered fondly.

Sadly, the cases in this volume will likely be buried by the
sands of time because most of them do not do what is necessary for people to
think of them fondly.

Hopefully, Gosho can create more cases that are just as
memorable and exciting as the early cases of the series, because I would much
rather remember this series fondly when it finally ends, but seeing as how
there is not really any excitement or anything else interesting to be found in
this volume, I would not be surprised if hardly anyone remembers this series
when it does conclude.

Thankfully, that was the only really problem I had with this
volume, so Gosho Aoyama and Shogakukan, or whoever they had put this volume
together, can walk away knowing that they did not do anything truly atrocious.

While there was only one thing that bothered, the fact that
it is only really present in subsequent reads prevents it from doing any real
damage.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and the only
real negative was noticeable for those rereading the contents of the volume,
this was definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of Detective Conan,
as they will like this the most, though maybe only the first time through.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
do not expect to be able to enjoy this upon the second or third read, even if
you are more of a fan of the detective, mystery, or crime fiction genres than a
fan of Detective Conan.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on either Patreon or SubscribeStar, or if you
would like to check out the reviewed title for yourself, buy
Case Closed Volume 74
from Book Depository, who offers free shipping
to many countries around the world, so that I can continue following this
series, and possibly become active here sooner than when I expect funds to free
up.

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