Case Closed: Case 01 Vol. #4: Wrong Answers Resolved - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 150
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Case Closed (Detective Conan)

Case Closed: Case 01 Vol. #4: Wrong Answers Resolved

By Chris Beveridge     September 21, 2006
Release Date: September 19, 2006


Case Closed: Case 01 Vol. #4: Wrong Answers Resolved
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Another moon rises over the city where shady souls stir and Conan Edogawa isn't afraid of the dark. Conan doesn't swoon over movie stars, but he'll swoop down on a murderer. He doesn't get sea sick; he uncovers secret killers on an ocean cruise. Conan doesn't hold a grudge, but he'll be ready if an amnesiac assassin remembers theirs.

He's a kid busting kidnapping plots, and a dog's best friend when a pooch gets his paws bloody and can't speak for himself. Count yourself lucky at dawn if you bump into Conan Edogawa at night.

This isn't child's play. This is revenge and regret, served cold like the hearts of those criminal souls that Conan comes across every day. Do you have what it takes to step through the darkest shadows of the city?

Contains episodes 22-27:
Lights, Camera... Murder
Smooth Sailing Part 1
Smooth Sailing Part 2
Better Off Forgotten
The Counterfeit Ransom Kidnapping
Jack Attacks

The Review!
With the first season of the show settling into place and getting its rhythm, we get six new episodes that thankfully keep the kids to a minimum.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series has a pretty basic stereo mix and not all that much noteworthy in terms of forward soundstage directionality. We didn't have any issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback. We did sample portions of the English language track and I liked how some of it came out, as it punched up the opening sequence a bit and gave a bit more clarity to the voices, but it's a trade-off I don't want to do with the changes made to the English "reversioning."

Video:
Originally airing in 1996, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The transfer for Detective Conan looks good but shows signs of its budget and how well the materials have been taken care of since the original airings. The opening and ending sequences, which are done as alternate angles with one being geared towards the Japanese credits and the other with the English credits, show a fair bit of nicks and dirt throughout each segment. The main show itself is relatively clean but the style of animation used allows for some of the darker backgrounds to look a bit shifty and pixilated at times. It avoids outright macroblocking through but the colors are not as solid as they should be when it comes to night scenes with blacks and blues. Cross coloration also shows up here and there throughout the show as does some aliasing, but neither to really bothersome levels for the most part. If you flip back and forth between the angles during the opening and ending, you'll note that the English version looks a bit more full in color and depending on how fast and effective your player is at doing the angle change, there may be a gap between the visuals as well.

Packaging:
While the series is still aimed at the market that saw it on Cartoon Network by using the English language logo of Case Closed, the package in general has been nicely reworked and fixes things I really didn't like about the previous style. The dark nature of it is gone for the most part as is the strip along the bottom with the volume name again the yellow and black and the Cartoon Network logo. The elimination of those two things and a lighter background format that has the feeling of a case folder works very well. The dark tan used for the folder allows the character artwork to stand out well against it since that's in full color but not quite as murky as the previous series with its black surrounding it. The back cover keeps to what we saw before for the most part though as it lists the episode numbers and titles on the folder and a summary of what to expect. There's a strip of shots from the show along the right and the bottom portion has a good technical grid of what to expect and the usual other tidbits. No insert is included with the release.

Menu:
Completely redone from the previous style, the menus here are still a bit dark with its faded nature. It uses the style mostly from the front cover with a shot of Conan in the foreground and the Case Closed logo along the top while character artwork from these episodes are in the background.. The navigation menu is reworked a fair bit, this time around to include which volume it is and for the actual selections which is done in standard text mode instead of the stylized font they were using before. The layout is different and easier to navigate than the old one. In terms of player presets, this is somewhat better but still a problem. Unlike other FUNimation discs there is only one English subtitle track as no close captioned/dubtitle track is included. The problem comes in that the track is simply numbered and not labeled as an English subtitle track so players are unable to recognize it and don't play it.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Case One season comes to a close with this volume as we get a new mix of six episodes that cover a wide range of new murders. Similar to past volumes, you wonder just how violent this country would be if the cases that you see in this show are any indication. While gun related murders may be low, the murder rate itself is rather high.

The six episode mix on this volume is pretty good as we get four standalone tales and a two part storyline that for the most part keeps Conan's junior detective friends out of the picture. This is important to me since I continue to detest these guys and they tend to drag the show down into even more unbelievable situations. The simple fact that so many murders and other events happen around Conan is problematic enough but when the other kids seem to be dragged into many of them it just gets weirder.

The best storyline on this volume comes in the two-part piece called "Smooth Sailing." Taking place on a luxury cruiser of some size, Kogoro, Ran and Conan get a helping hand from the boat's captain as he helps them from being fairly well abandoned during their trip and giving them a ride back to the mainland. This doesn't go over well with his father though, the elderly patriarch of the family that actually owns the entire cruiser. As well as the island where they all just came from. He simply doesn't like any strangers on the boat so having someone there is bad enough but it's even worse when they find out that Kogoro is a detective. Like most families there is plenty of dirt but a wealthy family tends to have more. The patriarch of the family makes that even worse since he's so controlling and verbally abusive towards others. So when he ends up dead, everyone on the cruiser is suspect. Like other two part episodes, the extra length for the mystery to unfold allows for the larger cast and more background that lets it all work much better.

The standalone material on this volume isn't all that bad either though. One episode has someone that Kogoro had put away before getting out of jail and possibly looking for revenge. This gets tied up in a storyline about a woman that ends up on their doorstep with no memory other than a part of her name. Figuring out who she is, since it's apparent she's got some history to her with the way she moves, is fun to watch and to see how it ties together to the main storyline. Another episode deals with a kidnapping of a businessman's daughter but he's more interested in finishing out the deal he's got than getting his daughter back. With a reputation as a corporate raider, Kogoro and the others hold him in low esteem and it's merited when you see how he deals with everyone. Figuring out the trick behind the mystery here isn't too hard considering the small cast but you can't be too sure what quirk will be mixed in to it.

In Summary:
These early episodes of Case Closed definitely feel different than the later seasons that have come out before it. You can see some of the standard items being fleshed out as well as the way Conan deals with most situations. This volume doesn't have anything really outstanding to it but the cases are interesting for the most part even if they are fairly easy to solve early on. Watching it in one sitting, it's over two hours of solid Conan fun and was pretty enjoyable for what it is. I'm much happier that FUNimation is releasing these in larger chunks though I can see a lot of people still holding out for full season collections.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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