Book Review: Case Closed Volume 77

Detective Conan Volume 77 cover

I hope everyone has been doing well, even if stressors from
the previous year have yet to dissipate.

Aside from things being highly stressful here, which should
go away soon, things have been decent and I can still do the things I enjoy.

A while ago, I was browsing Amazon, to make sure I can keep
tabs on series I regularly follow and was able to preorder one of those titles.

Now that it has arrived, I guess it is time to get down to
business.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Case Closed Volume 77 by Gosho
Aoyama.

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

There is still no rest for weary, as Jimmy is pulled into
more cases, just when one concludes.

However, amid the murder cases that come his way, such as
the death of the head of a publishing business and the Junior Detective League
stumbling across a body being buried, and Jimmy is determine to solve them,
unaware that the Bourbon suspects are starting to learn things that were meant
to be secret.

While the previous
volume
ended up being okay, mainly due to the usual annoyance of cases that
are practically over starting off the next installment, that does not mean that
things have gone downhill quite as much as they have in the Japanese releases,
so I do not feel like writing things off just yet.

After reading this volume, I must say that I really enjoyed it,
though it only just barely hit that mark for me.

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

As I have said a countless number of times on here before,
to the point where I am likely just as sick of it as everyone else, one of the
most important things in a work of fiction is how things begin, because the
beginning is supposed to transport the audience to a new world, thereby giving
them the temporary escape that they desire.

While this kind of hook can be accomplished in many
different ways, depending on the genre and the medium used to present the work,
Detective Conan, like many other manga, was originally published in a
serialized format, which means that each installment must start somewhere that
makes sense, based upon how the previous installment ended.

In the previous volume, The final case featured Takagi being
taken captive and put in a life or death situation that he had to be rescued
from, ultimately ending with the death of the person responsible for putting
him in the situation he was in.

Even though I was not particularly fond of this ending,
because the case was practically over and it was obvious, even if one had not read
through the case before, that Jimmy and the gang was going to find him, the ending
itself was still good enough to generate intrigue around how Takagi would be
saved and if they would make it in time.

In this volume, things pick up from that point, by having
Sato report that the person responsible for Takagi’s situation was dead,
leaving them to find out where Takagi was by themselves, allowing us to see how
the situation would resolve itself.

By starting things off like this, it was easy to get pulled
right back into the series and have some amount of excitement, thoughI can only
give Gosho Aoyama and Shogakukan, or whoever compiled this volume for them, a barely
passing grade because the excitement only exists for first time readers, though
they might also be turned off at this point by how many volumes featured
unnecessary cliffhanger endings.

If things did not start off here, I would have been even
more disappointed than if the volume started off in a way that I would have
preferred, as there was not really any other way this volume could have started
off on as good of a note, especially when considering that there was still
supposed to be some mystery surrounding the identity of Bourbon at this point.

Thankfully, Shogakukan, or whoever they had compile this
volume for them, made a decent enough decision for starting things off where
they did, but that does not really change the fact that I can only give them a
barely passing grade.

I also liked how Okiya found out Jimmy’s secret in the
middle of the one of the cases.

While Okiya’s true identity is not really as much of a
mystery in the volumes releases, in comparison to when these chapters were
actually new in the weekly releases, thanks to the decisions made in volume 60
and the events of volume 67
that were enjoyable, regardless of whether one already read through the case
that excited me or not, there was no way of knowing whether he knew that Jimmy
and the kid he called Conan were the same, in spite of the fact that Jimmy
obviously knew who he was.

When Rachel, Sera, and Serena encounter something
reminiscent of a ten year old case Jimmy told her about, they decide drop by
Jimmy’s house to check the case details, which annoys Jimmy and interrupts
Okiya brushing his teeth, they discuss what happened 10 years ago and why
Booker Kudo dropped the case.

During the conversation, Okiya suggests calling Jimmy to
help piece things together, and when Jimmy does figure it out, Okiya is seen
eavesdropping on the conversation as Jimmy leaves the bathroom, noting to
himself that he got the picture now.

Not only did I like this moment because it showed how easy
it was for people to figure things out, but I also really like how similar it
was to the events of movie
3
, where Kaito Kuroba discovered Jimmy’s true identity while disguised as
Santos.

While I do not really remember seeing Santos listening in on
Jimmy’s conversation in that movie, I do remember that it was reason that Kaito
Kuroba learned of Jimmy’s identity in the movie franchise, which occurred
before he would have likely found out in the manga, if he has at all, seeing as
the only time he could have gotten that info canonically would be in the events
about to transpire.

By seeing this I found more interest in the callback
reference of this moment than wondering if Bourbon has possibly found out that
the kid everyone calls Conan is actually the genius detective thought to be dead,
which is something that I likely would have expected had I read through this
case before I got the knowledge of future events that I have now.

If Gosho had not included a moment like this, I would have
found myself much more disappointed with the case that featured this because
the case was not really that interesting, after finding out the truth of both
the case Booker Kudo dropped and the presented here.

However, because Gosho did include it in the case, it added
in the possibility that Jimmy may have slipped up, which creates some kind of
suspense for people that are not caught up with the Japanese releases.

Hopefully, more moments like this crop up in the future
volumes, when the boss of Black Org finally comes into the picture, seeing as
Rum’s identity has been revealed but not given a name beyond the alias he was
introduced with, as that will help bring this series to a nice conclusion, and
possibly make the steep decline in quality bearable, but considering the fact that
the mysteries themselves tend to get disappointing, I doubt trying to create
this kind of suspense would work that well too often.

The thing that I liked the most though was how this volume
ended.

Aside from how things begin, another important aspect to a
work of fiction is how things end, as the ending is supposed to either leave
the audience feeling satisfied, if the work is a standalone work or final
installment in a series, or a desire to read more, if it is an installment in a
series.

So far, in many of the volumes, cases ended on a
cliffhanger, suggesting that there is more to the case, and it really gets
tiresome when the answer is revealed only a chapter or two later.

Now, I do understand that finding a good way to start and
end an installment in a series is not that easy of a task, as a great beginning
could potentially lead to a disappointing end, which is highly likely in works
like Detective Conan, whose chapters first appear in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday, but one of the
nice things about this series, or even Q.E.D. and C.M.B. from Katou Motohiro, is
that one can jump in almost anywhere, whereas manga like Pandora Hearts
and A Silent Voice requires one to be invested right from the beginning,
an endings with cliffhangers make it difficult to really recommend volumes to
newcomers.

While this volume does have a cliffhanger, however, the
cliffhanger is on events other than how the culprit will get caught or corner
or how a rescue will turn out because all the cases presented are concluded and
there are hints that something big is about to happen.

After Jimmy unmasks the person the Junior Detective League
saw trying to bury a body, they show Sera a video of who helped them escape,
which seemed to be somebody she recognized.

Later on, after Haibara chastised Jimmy for forcing her to
take the prototype antidote for APTX 4869, Toru is seen accessing Richard’s
computer, where he sees the picture of Haibara and notices the ring which was
mentioned at the beginning of the case, and even notices somebody else is
trying to access Richard’s computer, with the final panel showing Okiya at a
computer drinking Bourbon.

Even though I was not entranced as much as I was when I
first saw these panels, which was when the Japanese releases were still in the
Bourbon arc, I still found myself hyped because the two events I am looking
forward to seeing again will be coming soon, though only one of them will be
showing up this year, due to Viz only releasing 4 volumes a year.

If Gosho had no ended the final case of the volume like this
or Shogakukan, or whoever they had put this volume together, had decided to put
these moments in the next volume, rather than in this one, I would have been
mad because I would have felt like my time was wasted, which is something
readers do not like to feel.

Fortunately, this cliffhanger was included in this volume
and actually has me excited for events that will likely not be seen where I
live until late next year and early 2023, which really helped to save the volume
from just being ok.

Hopefully, there future volumes will have more cliffhangers
like this, rather than the normal cliffhangers, as that will help keep readers
like me feel invested, thereby making sure that everyone involved in bringing Detective
Conan
to the world get the recognition they would like and keeping the fans
happy, but I am not sure there will be much of these moments, seeing as the
only consistency in this series now is the 10 to 11 chapters in each volume.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that could not be shoehorned in or give out
too many major moments.

Because the volume started off rather well, in spite of the
fact that it was one I would rather not see for a while, an event reminded me of
things that happened in the movies and does kind of raise the stakes for people
that never read these chapters before, and the cliffhanger ending this time was
one of the more desirable ones, this was a very 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, nothing really seemed to bother me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth
mentioning.

Considering that there were a few things to like and nothing
to really hate, unless one wants to be real nit picky, this was definitely
worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of Detective Conan,
as they will be able to enjoy this the most and have the easiest time getting
into this.

As for everyone else, it might be worth trying out, but I
would suggest reading previous volumes first, especially for those who are fans
of detective, mystery, and crime fiction.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me or either Patreon or SubscribeStar, or if you would
like to judge the reviewed title for yourself, buy
Case Closed Volume 77
from Book Depository, who has helped me fill
in the gaps in my Detective Conan collection, so that I can continue following
a series enjoyed by many and possibly find more worthwhile reads for you guys
to check out.

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