Case Closed: Case 04 Vol. #05: Dubious Intent -

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Mania Grade: B-

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  • 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: 19.95
  • 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. #05: Dubious Intent

By Chris Beveridge     February 24, 2005
Release Date: March 01, 2005

Case Closed: Case 04 Vol. #05: Dubious Intent
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.

What They Say
Trouble comes in threes for this Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim star in this baffling set of mysteries!

First, Conan and the Junior Detective League visit the set monster movie and stumble onto a real-life murder! The kids must uncover the truth behind the grizzly killing before the death toll rises higher!

Then Richard must choose between friendship and the Law. Only Conan can find the clues and piece together the truth that will either condemn Richard’s mentor, or set him free!

Finally a relaxing night quickly turns into the search for a kidnapped little boy. As they search to find the truth, nothing is certain, except the kidnapper’s deadly ultimatum: No police, no mercy, no time!

065: Gomera
066: The Three Fingerprints
067: The Crab and the Whale

The Review!
Going for three standalone mysteries, this volume provides some good mysteries but continues to make Tokyo look like a city full of murderers behind every corner.

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."

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.

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 activating his radar portion of his glasses while behind him you can see elements from the third episode of the release. 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..

The main menu is another basic Conan shot with him scratching at his chin a bit in deep thought while along the left it 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.

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.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With each volume of the series things can be so completely hit or miss on the enjoyment factor that it's almost with some trepidation that you go into each volume. Will this one have anything really interesting or will it play out exactly like some of the previous mysteries? Will there by anything of the mythos material here or is that to be kept to an absolute minimum for a long time to come. While I still enjoy the show with its basic and simple murder mysteries and other nefarious acts, there are some volumes where the content is just so repetitive that you wonder why you keep going back.

The three tales here actually are some of the more enjoyable ones of recent memory in that they're all fairly separate and don't overlap much. The opening episode is a bit of fun that deals with the movie industry in Japan when the kids, thankfully not heavily used this time around, visit the set of the movie franchise Gomera. Dr. Asaga is actually a friend of the director/creator so he's able to get them in while filming the final movie. The producer behind the franchise has decided that these kinds of movies are done and over with and it's on to other things next so Gomera will be shelved while he tries to get some members of the production into other kinds of films. Naturally, there's an attack involved due to so much motive and Conan is able to use Dr. Asaga much like he does Mori to reveal the secrets behind it. I liked this episode since it has fun with the rubber suit movies but also because it deals with the cast whose been doing something for ten years and are kind of outgrowing their material.

The middle episode is an interesting one that deals with a fellow detective in the police of Kogoro's and it ends up in a murder mystery when things go badly during a meeting with one of the gang leaders he's dealing with. This one is a bit more roundabout than the others in getting to its conclusion but it left a few more areas a mystery until it got around to revealing the trick. What I really liked was the last episode which has Conan stumbling upon a kidnapping where he overhears the phone conversation of someone who has come to drop off the money so he can get his son back. Letting Kogoro and Ran know, the three fly into action to help him deal with it but they keep themselves quiet about it so they don't attract attention to their helping him out since it'd probably alert the kidnappers.

Though this episode does have them all running around trying to piece together clues to figure out where the kidnappers may be, what really appealed with it is that Kogoro really doesn't come across like an idiot this time around. He knows to not draw attention to their attempts to help the father, he's got a number of ideas that make perfect sense and Conan really doesn't contradict him or make fun of him at all throughout it. With it being a mystery in progress as opposed to walking in on an already completed murder, the pace is a bit faster and they have to move quicker to figure things out so the lackadaisical banter isn't there and it has a bit more oomph to it.

In Summary:
There isn't anything revolutionary here but the series is continuing on just as it has been. The three episodes here were rather enjoyable and played out much as expected. At this point people have more than made their decisions about the show so all I can really say is that I'm still liking things but wish they had done things differently as this is a show that practically begs for half-season box sets at a time. This volume brings Case Four to a close and provides three fun stories that work like most other stories in the Conan universe.

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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