Case Closed (aka Detective Conan) Vol. #02 -

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 184
  • ISBN: 1-59116-587-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Case Closed (aka Detective Conan) Vol. #02

By Michelle Ramonetti     April 04, 2007
Release Date: October 01, 2004

Case Closed (aka Detective Conan) Vol.#02
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Gosho Aoyama
Translated by:Joe Yamazaki
Adapted by:Naoko Amemiya

What They Say
High-school mystery fan Shin'ichi Kudo is actually one of his high school's best minds, but he gets his reality checks from his childhood friend and almost-girlfriend Ran Mori. Nothing can keep Shin'ichi from a case, until he follows a suspicious man into a park, is accosted from behind, and fed a strange chemical which renders him unconscious. When he awakens, he has been transformed into a puny grade schooler!

The hapless boy finds a home with eccentric inventor Professor Agasa, who searches for a cure for his condition. While he's waiting to be restored to his adolescence, Shin'ichi takes on the name Conan Edogawa (borrowed from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the last name of the famous Japanese mystery writer Edogawa Ranpo). As Conan, he plays the part of the little brother that Ran never had, and helps her incompetent private-detective father solve all of the gruesome murder mysteries that come their way.

The Review
Jimmy Kudo, alias Conan Edogawa, is now physically stuck as a kid until further notice because his first lead on the Men in Black went nowhere. What's the shrunken Sherlock to do? It's elementary: elementary school.

At this early point in the series, Conan has managed to escape death, move into the detective agency, and call Rachel with his voice-altering bowtie to tell her that he's safe. With a transfer to Teitan Elementary School, it's from this semi-comfortable situation that his mystery adventures continue. In fact, expect all plot and character development to happen within cases. Volume 2 has three of them: the fire festival murder (Files 1-3), the missing person case (Files 4-7), and the haunted mansion case (Files 8-10).

Though the brilliant detective finds it painful to add "one plus one" again, he gets his old adrenaline rush of solving mysteries when Richard becomes a murderer's unwitting alibi. Equipped with super-powered sneakers, courtesy of Dr. Agasa - who proves himself very useful in this volume - Conan regains the ability to take down criminals singlehandedly. Or at least he thinks he does. The missing person case ends in tragedy, touching on Conan's greatest weakness: impatience. Conan might be cocky, but far worse is his habit of rushing to catch criminals - with or without help. While this dynamism makes Conan a hero, Agasa sagely points out that such risky business requires caution, especially where the Men in Black are concerned. This volume concludes on a lighter note by introducing Conan's new classmates, George, Mitch, and Amy, as they drag Conan into a spooky house that may or may not be haunted.

Since the story is still beginning to take shape in Volume 2 (in Japan, Aoyama is working on Volume 58), the highlights are character moments. Near the beginning, Richard expresses concern over Conan's missing parents and later wonders if Conan, who drops clever hints about each mystery, is more than what he seems. It's a refreshing break from Richard's beer swilling and Yoko worship! We also see Rachel fly into karate action again, leaping from the agency window and shattering a car door - which further proves that it's safer not to get on this girl's bad side. The dynamic between the gluttonous George, scientific Mitch, and cute Amy is not to be missed, either. Most of all, the second case's tragic ending touches the heart when, after the phantomlike Men in Black slip away, Conan tells a dying woman his real name.

Unfortunately, VIZ's translated sound effects can be distracting because their bubble letters overwhelm the artwork. On the other hand, though main character names are Americanized, VIZ preserves Japanese cultural/linguistic references and the names of minor characters. Changed and unchanged names may look strange side by side, but in such a slice-of-life series, a cultural reference can be the key to solving a mystery.

Will Conan uncover the black syndicate and recover his normal size? At twice the pace of the filler-packed anime, Case Closed leaves us guessing but eager for more.


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