Book Review: Case Closed Volume 78

Detective Conan Volume 78 cover.

I hope everyone is doing well, especially now that the
vaccines have been coming out to the populous, one of which reported fights
viruses in a new way.

Aside from being in quite a bit of pain and experiencing a
few annoyances, things have been going well here.

A while ago, I took a look around for titles I follow and
managed to place some preorders, one of which arrived recently.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Case Closed Volume 78 by
Gosho Aoyama.

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

After surviving a camping trip, where Haibara’s hand had
been forced, the Junior Detective League believes that they are in for a treat
with a train renowned for its entertaining staged mysteries.

However, unknown to them, Black Org has deduced that the one
they are looking for is onboard and plans to snuff them out, unless Jimmy can
outwit them again, while solving a murder committed under the guise of the fake
mystery the riders have been expecting.

While the previous
volume
ended up just barely passing the minimum threshold, that does not
mean the series has quite yet hits its lowest, which can be seen in the cases
that could be seen over on Crunchyroll,
so I can still try to tackle this series with a mostly fair base.

After reading this volume, I must say that I very much
enjoyed it.

Just like many other installments in Detective Conan,
the moment I opened up this volume and started reading the first few pages, I
found myself engrossed enough that I did not want to stop reading for any
reason.

As I have stated many times before, one of the most
important things in a work of fiction is the beginning, as it helps transport
the audience into a new realm.

While this kind of draw can be done in various ways,
depending on the kind of work it is and the medium used to present it, Detective
Conan
, like other manga series, was originally published in a serialized
format, which means that each successive installment needs to pick things up in
a way that makes sense, based upon how the last installment concluded.

In the previous volume, Haibara was forced to take the
prototype antidote for APTX 4869, in order to save the Junior Detective League,
which she was not happy about, and talks with Jimmy about the man who had
trapped them in that cabin.

Later on, we see Amuro looking at footage from the recent
case, who notices the ring pass for the case that occurs in this volume, and
then supposedly gets cracked by Okiya, who everybody should know by now is
Akai, with the final panel trying to give the audience suspicions that Okiya is
Bourbon.

In this volume, things start off with Gin and Vodka talking
to Vermouth, expressing their doubts of Bourbon’s intel saying that Shiho, the
person that only Vermouth knows is Haibara, will be on the Bell Tree Express,
with Vermouth remembering the promise she made to Jimmy, saying in her thoughts
that she will not be the one to kill Haibara and that she must die.

This start had me right on the edge of my seat from
beginning, though I cannot say that it was the only factor, considering the
fact that this was not the first time I read through this case.

If things did not start off with the conversation between
the members of Black Org, I would have been a little disappointed, as that was
the only way this volume could have really started off well and the scene
shifts to the Junior Detective at the train station not long after Vermouth
realizes she cannot fully keep her promise to Jimmy.

Thankfully, Gosho Aoyama started the first chapter in the
only way that really made any sense and Shogakukan, or whoever thay had compile
this volume, decided to start the volume here, thereby starting this volume off
on the best foot possible.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to start of just as
well as this one did, as that will give fans a reason to come back, and
possibly help to attract more eyes, but seeing as things get worse when Black
Org’s number two becomes the focus, I doubt that there would be very many chapters
that could serve as good openers.

I also liked were the references to Agatha Christie’s Murder
on the Orient Express
.

While this was not particularly surprising to me, as I had read
that book not long before initially reading these chapters and felt like it was
quite similar to that work, I really liked how there were references to it,
like Richard trying to pass himself off as Hercule Mooirot, though one
translation has him use the name Mouri Poirou, and Richard even hypothesized
that the passengers gathered around the victim and shot him, much like what
actually happened in Murder on the Orient Express, except for the fact
that Cassetti was stabbed, not shot.

When I read through this case for the first time, I did not
really notice all of these details, so I kind of thought that Gosho was being a
little lazy, but reading through it now, it feels like Gosho is paying great
homage to one of Agatha Christie’s most well-known works.

If Gosho had not included direct references to Agatha
Christie’s work, there is a chance that I still would have been able to enjoy
the case itself, but I feel like things would not quite be as fun, even
considering that the murder case featured on the train did not really end like
Christie’s aforementioned book, with the truth being so hard for people to
believe that they settled on a mysterious stranger taking the blame.

Fortunately, Gosho did give references to Christie’s book,
which helped to make things feel more refreshing.

Hopefully, there will be more instances like this when Gosho
makes cases based on those found in the works of other famous writers, but
because this is one of the cases that I can draw a parallel to real works of
fiction, I doubt there will be too many to come.

Another thing that I liked was how Bourbon was revealed.

Even though I cannot say that I was too surprised,
considering how quickly Okiya’s true identity was revealed to the audience in
the volume releases and Sera saw the photo of Shiho before Amuro and Bourbon
gained access via less ethical means, the way it played out seemed to be just
as thrilling as when I first read through the case.

While I would not exactly put this up there with the Kir and
Akai confrontation from volume 58,
as knowledge of the future does spoil the excitement a big, it still left me a
little shocked about the identity of Bourbon, until I remembered who he was.

If Gosho had not written these events so well, I think I
would be more disappointed than I am, thereby souring my enjoyment.

Thankfully, Gosho was able to write this sequence in a way
that knowledge of the future and other spoilers could not entirely ruin the
moment.

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

Aside from how things begin, another important aspect in a
work of fiction is how things end, as that will either leave the audience
feeling satisfied, if it is a standalone work or the final installment of a
series, or make them crave more, if it is an installment in a series.

While this does end on the kind of ending I have grown to
hate in Detective Conan, it is not really that annoying because it feels
like the case has only just begun, instead of being made to feel like there was
only one chapter left in the case.

After Bourbon was revealed and Jimmy goes through a phase in
the next case being suspicious of him, we see Nakamori talking about Kaito
Kuroba’s next heist, which leads Rachel, Sera, Serena, and Jimmy to the museum
where Kaito will perform his next heist.

After hearing the details about Kaito’s target and seeing
Nakamori show his overconfidence, Kaito Kuroba makes his move, with the last
panel leavin Jimmy and the gang wondering how he took the jewel.

This is the proper way to do a cliffhanger ending and both
Gosho Aoyama and Shogakukan, or whoever they had compile this volume, really
delivered.

If Shogakukan, or whoever compiled this volume for them, had
ended the volume only shortly before we find out Kaito’s trick, I would have
been really disappointed, as that would have likely been a rather poor cliffhanger.

Fortunately, that did not happen, which help the volume end
just as well as this one did.

Hopefully, future volumes would have these kinds of
cliffhangers, instead of the cliffhangers that one can see will be resolved in
the next chapter, but considering this is not quite yet the lowest Detective
Conan
has gone, I expect more annoying cliffhangers to show up.

Because the main highlight of the volume started things off
in the best way possible, giving an enjoyable homage to one of Agatha
Christie’s greatest works, the Bourbon reveal was kind of exciting for more
than one read, and the start off the next Kid case proved to be one of the
better cliffhanger endings, this was a pretty decent read.

Although I liked the volume, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as most of the typos to be found, only two things really bothered me, both
of which occur around the same point in the volume.

First, after being revealed to be Bourbon, Amuro asks
Vermouth if he can pull the files on Amuro’s death again, due to him believing
that he saw Akai during his confrontation with Sherry.

Amuro was not the one who died, or even the one that was
suspected to have died, so why ask for files on himself.

Now, seeing as this is likely an issue with either Viz or
the translator, due to other translations having Amuro asking for the files
surrounding Akai’s death, I still cannot believe that this was one of the typos
that slipped through.

This is not the kind of typo I can overlook easily because
it presents issues in the story, which is something that nobody should put up
with.

If Viz had taken time to fix this, I could have let it go,
but I cannot.

Hopefully, Viz can learn from this and do better proofreading,
so they do not create too much confusion, even though there are likely to be
people other than me that noticed this was a typo and are more willing to let
it slide.

The thing that I had the most problems with though is Kaito
Kuroba’s involvement in a Black Org case.

While Kaito Kuroba’s cases seem to be just as interesting as
a Black Org case, due to the kind of challenge he presents Jimmy, that does not
mean that Kaito Kuroba and Black Org can mesh together too well, especially in
the Bell Tree Express arc.

After reading through the case and seeing very little notice
of Kaito Kuroba’s actions, it felt like Gosho Aoyama had shoehorned him in
because he could not figure out a way for Haibara to come out of this alive,
like he intended, so he had Kaito Kuroba confront Amuro as Shiho, without
letting the audience know it was Kaito until he had fulfilled his role.

If Kaito was involved in the case than he was, I think
things would have been better, but the way things went, it feels very much like
a cop out.

Thankfully, it looks like Gosho has learned his lesson, as
there were rumors that this will be the only time Kaito Kuroba will be involved
in a Black Org case, which makes sense, with how hard it is to make him fit
into such cases.

Still, that does not change the fact that I feel like Kaito
Kuroba should not have been made a participating member in Jimmy’s fight
against Black Org.

Hopefully, Gosho will keep his word to not include Kaito
Kuroba, as that will help mitigate the feeling that something was done as a cop
out, but I would not be surprised if this happens when Rum’s true name and
appearance are revealed, seeing as the Japanese fans already know who Rum is.

Thankfully, nothing else really bothered me too much, so I
can let Gosho Aoyama and Shogakukan, whoever they had compile this volume for
them, go with some dignity in that they deliver something decent.

While there were only two things that annoyed, they both did
enough damage to bring the quality of the release down a bit.

Despite the fact that only only one of the two issues I
brought up was bad enough to be considered anything more than minor, though the
other was a little more than I could overlook, there was enough good to make
this worth reading, even if I cannot say this was the greatest Detective
Conan
release ever.

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

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
the gripes I had might diminish the enjoyment a bit, even if you take a gander
at the previous volumes first, which I highly encourage.

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, uy a copy of Case
Closed Volume 78
from Book Depository, who has helped me fill the gap
in my Detective Conan collection and offers free shipping to many countries
around the world, so that I can continue following Detective Conan and possibly
find other worthwhile reads for you guys to check out.

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