Case Closed: Case 04 Vol. #04: Broken Dreams - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Case Closed (Detective Conan)

Case Closed: Case 04 Vol. #04: Broken Dreams

By Chris Beveridge     January 10, 2005
Release Date: January 11, 2005


Case Closed: Case 04 Vol. #04: Broken Dreams
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
t's double trouble on Kiji Island as an unsinkable ghost ship patrols the dark waters surrounding the peaceful island. While some deem this a terrible omen, other more industrious citizens cash in on the opportunity to make a fast buck, both in tourism and securing the rumored 1 billion in gold believed still on board!

What's more, Richard faces a murder rap and it's up to Conan to clear his good name. But when the two prime suspects are themselves murdered, Conan is left clueless. As the death toll rises, could the curse of those poor souls lost on the doomed vessel be true?

Contains:
062: Illustrated Murder
063: Ghost Ship Murder Part 1
064: Ghost Ship Murder Part 2

The Review!
Providing both a stand alone tale and a two part mystery, Case Closed has some good episodes here with interesting murders along the way.

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 the 5.1 remixing 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 starting its airing run back in 1996, the full frame 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 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.

Please see our review of Case One Volume One for the list of complaints we have with how the release is setup, something that isn't worth adding to each review but is worth referencing.

Packaging:
The series logo is fairly kiddish with a dark tinge to it that works okay but not terribly well. The front cover uses a yellow police sticker along the bottom to provide the volume name and uses the center area to provide some character artwork for the show, this time featuring Conan with his arms folded across his chest giving a very serious look that's just humorous to look at while the shadowed image of one of the secondary characters from this volume is next to him. Even better, it's got a "As Seen on Cartoon Network" block on it. Has nobody heard of burst stickers? The back cover has a small row of shots from the show along the right while the rest of it is made up in a file folder rough style. The "Case" listing is to indicate what season it is and then it provides the volume title and the episode numbers and titles for each of the episodes. The discs features are listed below the fairly detailed summary that uses all the English language names. The discs features are fairly easy to read and it's laid out well enough. As seems to be becoming more common with FUNimation releases, there is no insert with this release. Considering the length of this series, it should have been in a thinpak case as well.

Menu:
The main menu is a somewhat odd looking piece where on the right you've got the young Conan dressed up as Sherlock Holmes, complete with pipe, and the left has the disc selections on what I guess could be newspaper clippings? It doesn't click with me as to what it's trying to represent. The background looks to be that of a brick wall with some sections covered over in concrete but done in shades of blue and grey. One area I continue to dislike heavily with FUNimation discs is the language selection. When you make a selection, nothing changes to indicate what it's set at. There's no visual representation showing what the disc will play at when it runs. The menus here have decent access times and submenus load quickly but on the downside the disc did not read our players language presets and defaulted to English audio with no subtitles and to angle one.

Extras:
The extras mirror previous volumes in general. The character profiles section, again heavily leaning on the English language version by using names from the dub, provides some small details and artwork on the main cast. There's a section to go to more characters but it does indicate that you'll spoil things before going into it, which is a plus since it reveals kidnappers and other mystery men for the episodes on the disc. Conan's Gadgets section is designed so that when new pieces are introduced they're able to be highlighted, and we get a couple of them on this volume, each with pictures and a quick jump the video section where it occurs; again, only in English language and no subtitles available. The opening and ending songs, which are the clean versions of the opening and endings, allow for instant switching to either of the languages as well as the English 5.1 mix. The last thing on the disc is some sort of "Crack the Case" mystery game and I'll admit that I have no interest in solving these kinds of things.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the problems that I have with this series is something that I end up having to run with an assumption of rather than any real evidence. Since the home video release, which is all that I've seen, has skipped the first three Case's other than the first volume worth of episodes, it's impossible to tell whether the series has really been like this all along or whether it had something really great at first and then hit this plateau where it is now. I can jump into a series at any point and figure things out, but being unable to figure out how well it stands against the unseen earlier parts is annoying.

The mix of episodes in this release is pretty good, especially since it's free of those kids that Conan ends up hanging out with. The first episode is a stand alone episode that has Kogoro at a meeting with an artist but the artist is very late for the meeting. As it turns out, Kogoro thought he was meeting an artist who had made many paintings of him but instead learns that it's an artist who wanted to meet a famous detective as he does paintings in that genre and has a book out about all of his works. The meeting almost doesn't happen because the painter was practically ninety minutes late to it. Of course, we see him across the street committing a murder in his mistress' apartment when he learns that she's been signing all of the paintings he's been passing off as his. That fit of rage when he learned that he'd been taken for a ride and used comes to the surface, though he does regret it afterwards. But just not enough to confess but rather to set up an elaborate suicide that everyone can see after he arrives across the street for his meeting. It's an interesting setup that he came up with to cause her death but it's one of those kinds that's more complex than it should be and more complex than someone who just freaked out about killing someone would likely come up with either. Too many mistakes too easily made. It makes for a mildly interesting episode in the first half and a standard Conan-deduction in the second half.

The two part story that follows it is much more interesting but that's just a given in that it gets to spend pretty much the entire first episode going over the setup and having more characters involved before it goes into the second act which is the same as so many other episodes. Kogoro again finds himself invited somewhere and he takes advantage of any kind of free trip he can get, especially since they talk up his detective skills and many great mysteries that have been solved, all courtesy of Conan of course. Heading out to Kiji Island, the place is all a twitter about the recent discovery of a ghost ship that had sunk some seven years before but has since turned up again and is now on display, generating some much needed new tourism to the island. The ship is still something of a mystery though as when it disappeared seven years prior, it had about a billion yen worth of hard gold on it but that is nowhere to be found now.

Kogoro's arrival on the island is well greeted but as he learns he's been brought there by the mayor for more than just a lecture or two and a bit of publicity. He wants him to figure out the mystery of the missing gold so that they island can collect it, or at least a portion of it before the government takes it back like it was trying to do seven years prior. Kogoro's actually up for it since it keeps him on the island a bit longer but his enthusiasm starts to wane as a series of attacks are set off against him and the townspeople keep talking about a curse from several hundred years ago and how it's affecting things today and causing much of the misfortune.

The mystery here is fairly well told and it's good in that there are a variety of characters that all have different motivations in wanting to find the gold or to keep it a secret. Normally I haven't cared for the additional child characters in the show but the Suzu character that comes into this one has some fun messing with Conan, including forcing him to give her a kiss on the cheek so she can reveal a secret or two about the place to him. But the episodes do suffer from some of the basics that are just part of the anime style, such as never trust someone with the small eyes in a series like this. I was surprised that, even while watching this in Japanese with my four year old sitting next to me, she made that deduction right off the bat and picked out the villain about a quarter of the way through the show, just based on the shape of their eyes.

In Summary:
While I do continue to enjoy Case Closed on a simple level, sometimes I'm reminded just how simple the show is. The episodes here are pretty enjoyable when taken into context of how the series works, though some of the set up is a bit more elaborate than I thought someone would do in a time of crisis, but these aren't big mastermind stories that will really shock or surprise, particularly episodes where you see the actual murder committed before your eyes and then have to work backwards on how to solve it for someone else. Case Closed isn't a world changing series but I'm still enjoying it and glad in a way that I'm not subjected to a large number of episodes at a time since that would kill it.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles,Textless Songs

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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