Book Review: Case Closed Volume 86

Detective Conan volume 86 cover

I hope everyone is doing well, even if more tings than usual have
cropped up.

Things are going
fairly well here, aside from some stressful moments, and I can still
do what I like.

A while back, I
tried looking around for the titles I follow and managed to place
orders for some, but one had me waiting quite a while before I could
order it and that title has recently arrived, which means it is time
to get off my butt.

Today, I will be
reviewing that title, which is called Case
Closed Volume 86
by Gosho Aoyama.

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

After completing yet
another case, more cases drop into Jimmy’s lap to solve.

However, things
start to become anxiety inducing when Haibara reveals that one of the
code names he learned about is associated with the number two man of
Black Org whose identity is mystery, even to members of the

While the previous
was alright, with the only complaint being that it ended
by introducing somebody that should typically only show up towards
the end of a series and Detective Conan itself is showing no
signs of ending yet, that does not mean I can really let things pass,
especially now that the Viz releases are starting a currently ongoing

After reading this
volume, I have to say that I kind of liked it, though not quite as
much as I would have hoped.

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

As I have stated a
countless number of times, likely to the point where some of might
want to sigh, one of the most important things in a work of fiction
is how things begin, as the beginning is supposed to transport the
audience to another world, thereby giving them the temporary escape
that they desire.

While this kind of
hook can be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on the work
in question and the medium used to present it, Detective Conan,
like many other manga, is published in a serial publication, which
means that things have to begin in a way that makes sense based upon
how the last installment ended.

In the previous
volume, Jimmy tried meeting with Sera and the mysterious girl
privately but ended up getting involved in a case, with the final
panel showing that Jimmy and Sera had figured out the killer’s
identity and their trick.

As expected, this
volume starts off with the answer portion of the case, which is
supposed to be a real highlight for fans of detective, mystery, and
crime fiction.

Even though I am not
entirely happy with this kind of beginning, due to how often it has
occurred and that there is usually very little pay off by holding out
the answer until the next volume, it did catch my interest enough to
make me curious as to the truth behind the case and did have he pay
off of generating some questions for further on in the series.

Hopefully, things
get better as the series progresses, as a boring beginning can still
be bad, even if it does its job well.

I also liked kind of
liked how Rum, the newly introduced member of Black Org was expanded
on a bit.

While I do know
things about Rum, like his identity, though his name is still a
mystery, since his identity was revealed by putting on a disguise, he
has been a member that at this point in the series that has had
little revealed about him, in comparison to the deceased member,

The only thing we
did know about him was that he had more authority than Gin because he
was labeled as a much big fish.

However, in this
volume, when Jimmy asks Haibara about Rum, Haibara reveals that they
are the second command of the organization and the rumors regarding
them have a hard time pining down a particular description, aside
from a characteristic regarding their eyes, which is revealed at the
conclusion of the second case.

Even though these
tidbits do not give us too much insight into who Rum is and what they
are capable of, though one translation I have seen bring’s Rum’s
gender itself into question too, since it uses male pronouns in a
generic context and makes me feel like they are as talented at
disguise as Vermouth, Yukiko, and Kaito Kuroba, it still makes me
want to find out exactly who they are, beyond what I know about from
the Japanese releases.

I may not exactly be
thrilled with this stuff being revealed only a volume after they were
first mentioned, because I think Rum being Black Org’s number two
should have either been revealed from the start or waited until later
on in the arc, but this was still a much better pay off for the wait
than having to go through yet another case that was pointlessly
dragged out like I did in the beginning.

If Gosho Aoyama had
left out the part of Rum being the second in command, leaving it a
mystery, and only revealed the fact that nothing but a characteristic
of his eyes was verifiable, I would have been able to say that this
was a smart move, but I can only call reveals like these as alright.

I hope there is more
to Rum that will crop up, especially when the Viz releases finally
reveal Rum’s identity, but considering how the previous volume made
me feel like the series is almost over, though that was mainly due to
what I already knew, some of which was revealed in this volume, I
would not be surprised if it the info regarding Rum stops coming up.

Another thing that I
liked were the humorous moments.

Aside from the cases
to be found in this series that typically cater to fans of detective,
mystery, and crime fiction, one of the this I like about this series
are the comedic moments, seeing as those comedic moments can help
things feel more real and keep things from becoming too intense.

While this volume
features the normal comedic moments that have likely grown stale at
this moment, there were a couple of moments that had me chuckling,
like Kazuha telling Rachel about Harley revealing his feelings for
her at a bridge.

However, the thing
that really stuck out to me was how one of the suspects questions why
a child is butting into an investigation.

Now, by this point,
we all know that Jimmy, or Conan as the characters in that universe
call him, is the one solving all these cases and has the smarts to
back it up, but seeing it pointed out here brings up how ridiculously
funny the whole thing is and that the cops have been largely ignoring

Yes, Jimmy has
proven himself, even in his current predicament, so the cops should
understandably takes his questions and observations more seriously,
not to mention that they would look pretty stupid for continually
kicking him out of the scene, but it reminds me of how funny it is
that so many criminals have lost to a child in this series and how it
must be quite humiliating to discover that fact.

Then again, aside
from the FBI and a few of the detectives, only one person has
actively sought a consultation from Jimmy directly in the Japanese
releases, instead of getting it by asking Richard for help.

If this moment was
not in this volume, I would have just written things off as par for
the course, which would not necessarily be bad, but it might not have
saved this volume from going to okay to bad.

Fortunately, Gosho
Aoyama remembered that the comedic moments were just as much part of
the series charm as the mysteries, so I can let him go with a passing
grade here.

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

Other than how
things begin, another important aspect in a work of fiction is how
things end, because the ending is supposed to either leave the
audience feeling satisfied, in the event that it is a standalone work
or the final installment in a series, or have audience anxious to
find out what happens next, in the event that it is part of a series.

Even though I am not
exactly fond of the ending of this volume, since it ends as a new
case has begun and I have not hidden my disgust of such endings, the
ending of this volume is on the good side of the cliffhanger ending
spectrum in both its excitement and the fact that it is not a bore
fest from knowing that the next volume will reveal everything in the
first chapter.

In many of the
volumes I have complained about this kind of ending, Jimmy has
everything figured out from the culprit’s identity, to how the
committed the crime, and the exact evidence that he needs to break
them only for the chapter to just reveal everything in front of
everyone, though there is sometimes a trap used instead of an
outright reveal.

Here, however, this
case feels like it has only just begun and is only getting more
interesting, which makes me glad that I had already preordered a copy
of the next volume, which is expected to be released in July, accord
to the product
on Amazon.

This is the way a
volume should conclude if it ends with the start of a new case and
Shogakukan, or whoever they had put this volume together, made an
excellent decision in having it end like this.

If things had ended
like they typically had, where the case was practically over already,
I would have been just as disgusted as I have been when I spot it.

Fortunately, this
volume did not conclude with such a disaster of an end, where the
only possible anxiety is find out if you are right.

Hopefully, more
volumes have endings as great as this one was, because will help
maintain the readership and hopefully gain more readers, even though
I suspect we are nearing the end of Detective Conan now.

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

Because the
beginning did its job, more about Rum was revealed, there were things
to laugh about, and the ending was one of the better times a volume
has concluded with the start of a case, this was a 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, which was how Rum was revealed.

Now, some of you
guys that know just as much as me about what is to come might be
saying that there was not really anything revealed here beyond Rum
being second in command of Black Org and their physical
characteristics being a mystery, except for a detail regarding their
eyes, and you would be right.

However, Rum is
supposed to be a very mysterious individual at this point in the
series to the point where we have a lot of suspects due to the vague
descriptions, including rumors of appearances they took being decoys.

The translators Viz
hand working on this volume, however, characterized Rum as a man, by
saying they were a muscular man, feminine man, or an elderly man
after Jimmy asked if they were male or female and that Haibara never
met them.

I am not exactly big
on the pronoun thing that people are worried about now, since I am
more of on the side that believes we should not be worrying about
such things and that it furthers stereotypes, but the decision to
translate things like this does not sit right with me.

If the team working
on the translation of Detective Conan for Viz had went with
either a generic use of male pronouns, which my generation grew up
hearing and reading when gender was unknown, or the much more
historical and reemerging use of the singular use of they and
them, it would have kept
things as mysterious as they should be right now.

the way that they decided to translate here reveals Rum’s gender as
male, which narrows the pool of suspects later on more than what
would make sense when taking into account the Japanese releases.

might not be as devastating as how Akai had been confirmed to be
Okiya all the way back in volume
, when Akai was
supposed to have been believed to be dead, but I would still prefer
the questions regarding Rum’s identity to be preserved as much as
they were in the Japanese releases, seeing as there is already an
English translation of these chapters that keeps the details
regarding Rum as vague as they should be.

things do not get as bad with the reveal of Rum’s identity here as
they did with Akai being Okiya, but I would not be surprised if I
encounter a volume that makes it plain as day who Rum is before we
actually see him put on his disguise in the Viz releases.

nothing else really bothered me, so Gosho Aoyama and Shogakukan, or
whoever they had put this volume together, can walk away knowing the
did not fail completely, even though Viz should probably proofread
things better.

there was only one thing that bothered, the fact that it only spoiled
the gender of a newly introduced Black Org member keeps it from
hurting the experience too much.

the fact that a character is not as mysterious as they should be at
this point in the series, the stuff that was good or okay balanced
things out enough to make it worth reading.

mainly recommend this to fans of Detective Conan,
as they will like this the most.

for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
considering that this may very well be part of the beginning of the
final portion of the series, depending on how many more chapters the
Japanese releases will see, it might be better to read the earlier
volumes first.

you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider
supporting me on either Patreon
or SubscribeStar,
of if you would like a copy of the reviewed title for yourself, buy
a copy of Case
Closed Volume 86
from Book
Depository, who has offered free shipping to many countries around
the world and helped me complete the gaps in my Detective
collection, so that I can
continue following this series and maybe find some other worthwhile
reads for you guys to check out.

Copyright © 2023 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.