I hope everyone had a nice break from the almost daily posting that occurred. Things like that are not common here, since I have mainly been reviewing new or short series and books, but because of that, the month of July has been my most active month yet, even including last year’s posts, which were posted under the old brycec.dyndns.org address. Well, in an earlier post, I said was likely to review the Detective Conan (Case Closed) episodes. As there are a lot of episodes to cover (123 (Japanese count) or 130 (FUNimation count)), I will be reviewing each episode, in order to keep my place. Today, I will be reviewing episode 1 of Detective Conan (Case Closed).
As I gave a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
After wrapping up another case, Jimmy Kudo, who is considered a great detective, is scolded by his childhood friend, Rachel, because he forgot that she was promised that he would take her to Tropical Land for winning a karate tournament. However, the park is not as much fun as Rachel had hoped it to be. While on a roller coaster, somebody literally loses his or her head and Jimmy must solve the case before an innocent person is arrested. Later that day, Jimmy, wondering what one of the suspects from earlier was up to, eavesdrops on the completion of a blackmail transaction. Unfortunately for him, they catch him and have to decide what to do with him.
Honestly, I did not really care for this episode. When I originally saw it on television, before it was removed from broadcast supposedly due to poor ratings, I enjoyed it, but I had seen the other episodes, so it did kind of interest me, since I thought Jimmy finally got his body back. However, as I look at it now, having read so many titles in crime and detective fiction, I cannot really say that this was a great episode. On the other hand, there were things that I did like. For example, Jimmy noted that when Sherlock and Watson met for the first time, Sherlock knew right away that Watson was a doctor when shaking his hand. Of course, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle explains that in the later stories, but he was correct that Sherlock knew Watson’s occupation from shaking his hand in A Study in Scarlet. After saying that, Jimmy demonstrates the same thing in front of Rachel. When seeing this without having read any of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, this would certainly seem very interesting and I was even impressed, though it has been a while since I saw this or read the Sherlock stories prior to The Hound of the Baskervilles. Like Sherlock though, it was not just the handshake that revealed what the person was. After all, Rachel pointed out that calluses on the hand could also come from a tennis racket, not just swinging on bars. Unfortunately, like the way Jack The Ripper was found in The Phantom of Baker Street, I cannot really say if this is accurate or not, so it would be best to consult people who deal with athletes like gymnasts and/or tennis players. Jimmy also showed that he was quite intelligent. Another thing was certainly good was the fact that there is at least one funny scene, but that does not change the seriousness of this episode. The first episode displayed Jimmy’s intelligence and had one accurate fact concerning Sherlock that will definitely impress people that have not read the Sherlock stories or those that have not read them in a while.
Even though there is some good and things are explained a bit for those who started watching at later episodes, there are definitely problems. Two cases are covered in this episode, much like its manga counterpart, but these just do not seem that interesting. Yes, the first case just introduces us to Jimmy’s style and is not meant for the audience to solve, especially considering we see the same crime being investigated at the time it happens. However, it is just a case to let us see some of Jimmy intelligence. While it is necessary for the reader to be introduced to the detective’s style, we do not really get to see Jimmy investigate anything, like we see Sherlock investigating in A Study in Scarlet or Hercule Poirot investigating the Styles mystery in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. The second case, where we actually do see a bit of Jimmy’s keen eye for detail, is a bit better but there is still one problem. The culprit is too obvious. Before the murder that occurs at Tropical Land, we see the girl that Jimmy shakes hands with wearing a necklace. After the incident, but before we are introduced to the police, a pearl is found by Amy, a member of the Junior Detective League in the movies and later episodes. This makes us wonder where it came from, which is nice as they give us some kind of question. However, the necklace is now missing too, which pretty much says it outright who was responsible. Seriously, that has to be the easiest pilot mystery in the world. Then again, I cannot really think of any show that has a great pilot. If I were to see this episode for the first time in my life, not just in a while, after having read all of the detective and crime fiction that I have today, I would not have picked up this series. On other hand, this series was technically my introduction to crime, detective, and mystery fiction, so I do have to be grateful to this series, as I was not as knowledgeable then as I am now. The episode is not that great, but considering that almost nothing has a good pilot episode, I can kind of overlook this. Because of the fact that the culprit in our very first mystery was obvious, it sure does take down the quality a bit.
Because of the culprit being obvious, I cannot really say that this is a great place to start, unless one has never read a detective, crime, or mystery novel before. I certainly recommend it to fans of the Detective Conan manga and anime, as it goes over how Jimmy is now a kid again. For new comers to detective, crime, and mystery fiction, it is definitely a good place to start, since everyone knows the name Sherlock these days, even those that never read the stories featuring him. For those that are fans of detective, crime, and/or mystery fiction, the movies or later episodes are a better place to start. For everyone else, I cannot really say whether or not you will enjoy this episode or series as of yet.
What are your thoughts on Case Closed episode 1? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.