Book Review: Case Closed Volume 79

Detective Conan Volume 79 cover

I hope everybody is doing well, especially now that everything is
starting to open up again.

Aside from some
frustrations, things are still going fairly well, as I can still do
the things that I enjoy.

For a while, I have
been keeping my eye on Amazon, to be able to place some preorders for
titles I follow, and I finally managed to place an order for a title,
which had arrived this week, meaning that it is time to get off my
butt.

Today, I will be
reviewing that title, which is called Case
Closed Volume 79
by Gosho Aoyama.

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

After repaying a
favor to Kaito Kuroba, Jimmy has more cases up his sleeve to deal
with, such as the strange case of a man found dead in his apartment
with circumstances making one question what really happened.

However, after the
case of the strange death, Otaki, who had arrived in Tokyo with
Harley and Kazuha, receives a call from Harley’s dad, wanting him
to look into a case that sends shivers down his spine, and Jimmy and
Harley are eager to find out what is going on.

While the previous
volume
was quite enjoyable, things are not guaranteed to have
returned to how things were when this series began, so I still need
to keep on my toes.

And after reading
this, I must say that I found it to be okay.

Thankfully, there
were things to like, so I do not need to jump into anything that
irked me.

From the moment I
opened up this book and started reading, 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 before, one of the most important things in
a work of fiction is how things begin, as the beginning is supposed
to bring the audience into another world, thereby giving them the
temporary escape that they desire.

While there are many
ways to hook the audience, depending on the genre and the medium used
to present the work, Detective Conan, like many other manga
out there, was originally published in a serial publication, which
means that things need to start off in a way that makes sense, based
upon how the last installment concluded.

In the previous
installment, Kaito Kuroba, who once again decided to target a jewel
that Serena’s uncle had on display, started to make his move,
leaving card behind saying that the deed was done, leaving everyone
baffled as to how Kid had managed to pull it off, which left me, as a
reader, on the edge of my seat, even though I am so tired of the
volumes ending with pointless cliffhangers.

In this volume,
things pick up from right after Kaito’s declaration, with Serena’s
uncle finding a card restating the declaration from the end of the
last volume, beginning the investigation phase of the case.

This was the only
real way this volume could have started off and if the first few
panels had started things of any later, I would have been very
disappointed, especially because I finally got a decent cliffhanger
ending this time, as opposed to the cliffhanger ending that screams
to me that they should have just put in the last chapter of the case,
instead of dragging things.

But seeing this kind
of beginning after the great cliffhanger of the previous volume, it
really pulled me in to the case, as if this case were new to me, even
if I still remembered who Kaito Kuroba had disguised himself as
during this case, making this one of the best beginnings I have seen
in a while, and making me want to give both Gosho Aoyama and
Shogakukan, or whoever they had compile this volume, some good round
of applause.

Hopefully, more
volumes will start off as well as this one did, but due to the plague
of volumes in this series that end in cliffhangers, only to be
wrapped up in the first chapter of the nect volume, I do not think a
beginning like this will present itself for awhile.

I also liked was how
most of the cases were quite good, at least for what was
presented in the volume.

One of the things
that really draws me to this series is the mystery presented, which
can be just as enjoyable as the best Sherlock stories, or even
Agatha Christie’s best works, as I enjoy the fun that can be found
from trying to figure out who the culprit is, and two thirds of the
cases presented here were quite good for what was presented in the
volume.

The first case,
which was just a continuation of a KID case, did a good job of making
me wonder who Kaito Kuroba was disguised as, making me want to forget
who he really was, and even made me wonder just how he had pulled off
this most recent heist, which had an even more surprising end, thoug
h only if this was the first time reading through this case.

The second case was
the third case, which did not finish up in this volume, was also
quite interesting, with quite a few red herring moments, though I do
not remember exactly how many there were with what was presented, and
kept making me want to go back and forth between people, while giving
off a nice horror-like vibe, even if it was not as good as the
mountain
villa case
back in volume 5.

While I am a little
disappointed that the number of interesting cases was not a perfect
three out of three, this is still quite an accomplishment to have
most of the cases do things right, by challenging the reader and
making them want to second guess themselves.

This is what fans of
detective, mystery, and crime fiction want to see and after a bit of
a slump, Gosho was finally able to deliver, even if I can only really
count it partially, due to the first case of the volume being yet
another KID case.

If Gosho Aoyama had
failed to provide any interesting cases in this volume, I would have
been really disappointed, even if I expected a big slump to happen as
we get closer to the stuff Japan is currently seeing that has so far
only appeared in anime form where I live, because that would mean the
true decline happened much earlier in this series.

Fortunately, the
cases presented were not a complete disappointment, and Gosho was
able to deliver what was expected, which means that he deserves some
praise for a job well done.

Another thing that I
liked was there were things that actually made me laugh.

Aside from the
interesting cases, another thing that I really enjoy in this series
are the comedic moments that are actually funny, such as Takagi’s
foolish assumption in volume
60
or Richard’s embarrassing moment in the mist
goblin case
from volume 11, which ended up being relevant to
solving the case.

Yes, I have said
before that the humor in this series is kind of growing stale, which
is to be expect of series that go on for as long as Detective
Conan
has, but that does not mean there will never be any sort of
gems.

In fact, this one
had a nice gem as well contained within the KID case featured.

After Jimmy made his
deduction via Serena, which in itself was a funny coincidence that
happened during the case, he walked out the door with Rachel, Sera,
and Serena, who continued talking about the case, with Sera noting
that not everything was explained, which then leads into the big
reveal of who Kaito Kuroba was disguised as.

Not long after Jimmy
tells Kaito Kuroba that he will let him go, as favor for what he did
during the recent skirmish with Black Org, the real individual who
Kaito Kuroba had disguise themselves as comes running out in their
underwear and Kaito Kuroba is still in disbelief that the person he
went for was a girl.

This moment was so
well done and so funny because Sera, if you have not been able to
guess by now was Kaito Kuroba, reminds me of Kino from Kino’s
Journey
and the big joke that crops up there.

In Kino’s
Journey
, Kino, the titular protagonist, keeps getting mistaken
for a being a boy, which I find weird in the recent anime adaptation,
whereas it made sense in the original adaptation from 2003.

Here, Gosho designed
Sera in a way that such mistakes can be easy to make, and Kaito’s
reaction to finding out that Sera was female was almost as priceless
as the awkward moment between Takagi and a male detective named Sato.

While I would have
definitely preferred something a lot more fresh than this, it was
still nice to see something that was truly funny in a series where
things have grown stale.

If Gosho had not
incorporated this moment into this recent KID case, I would have been
a little disappointed, as I doubt there would have been any other
good way to explain why Jimmy decided to let Kaito Kuroba go free,
but I still would have been able to live with things a bit, as the
real twist of the case would have still be funny enough on its own.

Thankfully, Gosho
had decided to go the route we ultimately see in this volume, which
makes me feel like giving him another good round of applause for a
job well done.

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

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

Even though the
ending of many volumes in Detective Conan do not really end in
a way I find satisfying, including this very volume itself, they tend
to still do the right thing, which is give readers an incentive to
want to read the next installment as soon as possible.

Here, in this
volume, while I do kind of feel like things are being dragged out a
bit by the cliffhanger looking through it now, I found myself
immediately wanting to get my hands on the next volume, which will
not be released here until October, according to the product
page
on Amazon, while actually reading through it, thereby making
it one of the better cliffhanger endings.

If Gosho Aoyama had
made the final chapter of this volume end with the kind of
cliffhanger that just screamed that this was over, making me wish a
12th chapter had been added just to conclude the case, I
would have been really angry, as that is the kind of cliffhanger
people really hate.

Fortunately, Gosho
had a cliffhanger that was good enough to make me feeling like giving
him a passing grade.

Hopefully, future
volumes will be able to end just as well as this one did, as it will
help readers come back for more, but because I am still weary of
volumes that end when there is only one chapter left in the case, I
am actually wishing for more volumes that end with the conclusion of
a case.

Outside of those
things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at
least that either could stand out as much as what was mention or
could not be shoe horned in.

Because the volume
started things off well, two thirds of the cases were actually
decent, there were things to laugh about, and the cliffhanger ending
was one of the better cliffhangers in the series to date, this was a
fairly decent read.

Although there were
things that I liked, 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 boring and obvious the second
case of the volume was.

While the second
case of the volume did have a great start, with Jimmy and Harley
being disappointed that the person found hanging did indeed commit
suicide and then seeing somebody shoot themselves, only to discover
it was actually murder, things kind of went downhill from there when
they started questioning suspects.

The first two
suspects acted quite normal for suspects, though the police failed to
give reason for wanting the suspect’s hand, which did allow for
some kind of red herring, but when they got to the third suspect, she
was all too willing to show her arm and said that water washes away
gunpowder.

While it is indeed
true that GSR can be washed away, according to a document
on the website for the office of the
Attorney General of California
, the fact that the suspect knew
what they were looking for gunpowder.

Now, one could
explain it away that she would of course know because Harley, acting
like Richard, states that it would be possible for her to stage a
fake suicide by gunshot and that she wrote the same kind of stuff as
Gosho Aoyama, but the way things proceeded made the whole thing a
dead give away, as noted by Harley, but for different reasons.

If this case had
started off with us seeing the culprit commit the act and then made
it so that Harley and Jimmy had to crack her alibi, I would have been
able to enjoy the case a lot more, as the actions she made would have
not been quite as big flags to her guilt, due to us already knowing
she was the one who killed the victim, but because Gosho decided to
have this be the typical whodunnit, it fell rather flat in my book,
making me want to dock a few points.

Hopefully, Gosho can
deliver a better whodunnit next time, but because he is human, I am
not sure if there will be improvements, especially now that we are
getting closer to the point where the readers start to encounter some
truly terrible cases.

Thankfully, that was
the only thing that really bugged me, so Gosho Aoyama can walk away
knowing that he is not a completely failure.

While only one thing
really bothered me, it was bad enough to diminish my enjoyment of
this volume.

Despite the fact
that there was quite a bit to like, the only negative did enough
damage to make this only good enough to kill time.

I mainly recommend
this to fans of Detective Conan, as they will like this the
most, though fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction should be
able to enjoy it, with two thirds of the cases being pretty decent.

As for everyone
else, this might be worth giving a try, but seeing as the start of
this volume concludes a case that is progress, it might be best to
read the previous volume first.

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 a copy of the reviewed title, buy
a copy of Case
Closed Volume 79
from Book Depository, who has helped me fill
in the gap in my Detective Conan collection, so that I can
continue following this series and maybe find more worthwhile reads
for you guys to check out.

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