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: 19.98
- 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 05 Vol. #3: Triple Threat
By Chris Beveridge
August 01, 2005
Release Date: July 26, 2005
What They Say
While guests at Sebastian Manor, Conan and Rachel find themselves embroiled in a chilling murder. But more disturbing than the brutal death of the millionaire, Rodrick Appenheimer, is the prime list of suspects, his triplet sons! Then, an S.O.S. in a bottle leads the Junior Detective League into a labyrinth of danger and deception that could spell their ends!
Finally, a killer claiming to be an infamous movie villain threatens a celebrity, it is up to Conan, Richard, and Rachel to unmask the truth before the culprit makes good on his cryptic warning: At the stroke of Midnight, you will die!The Review!
A triple threat of three new standalone mysteries makes up this case file and we get more fun with Conan and friends.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 mixture of the kiddish looking logo and the darker almost CSI-like backgrounds continue to not mesh that well here. 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 wearing his best Sherlock Holmes style outfit while behind him you can see elements from one of the episodes. 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.Menu:
The main menu is another basic Conan shot with him angling his watch gun at the viewer 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.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.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Case Closed moves through three contiguous episodes this volume as it covers episodes seventy-four through seventy-six and each of them is a separate tale. While none of the tales really reach a truly interesting level that you wonder how it's all being done, there are some entertaining ones and one that felt like you were going see the Brady kids wander through it.
The opening episode has a case of patricide going on as Conan and Ran are visiting a friend of hers who is the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. The villa is next to another close friends villa, so close in fact that one of the sons from that villa is marrying into the other one. So when that night as the storm rolls into the bay, the father comes over to have dinner and watch some TV since his satellite is out and he can't miss the baseball game, it's like one big family gathering of sorts. It all goes downhill though when he goes home afterwards and the girls are walking back to their room and see him being murdered outside of the villa. What's surprising is that it's being done by the man that's supposed to be marrying into the family.
It'd be an open and shut case since they saw most of his face but the next morning when it's all clear and the cops are there, they find out that the fiancé is actually one of a set of triplets. His two brothers look the same from the angle the girls saw as he was wearing a hat and a mask over his lower half of his face and they all look the same otherwise. It's an interesting quandry and without Kogoro there, Conan is able to easily manipulate the cops into getting the right questions asked and forcing the situation so that he can examine all of their poor alibi's. It's a nicely done episode and the problem of triplets being suspect is fun but the reasoning behind the murder was the weakest part.
The second episode here felt like a Brady kids adventure to me as it's a beach episode that focuses on a young woman who is being set up to be killed, again with a weak motivation by the villain, and he does so by setting up an alibi by hanging out with Conan and everyone else that came down to the beach. The young woman manages to send out a call for help though with a message in a bottle and Conan is able to find her in a cove nearby. With the help of the other kids they're able to get to her but not before they realize that the tide is coming in too fast and they can't get out of the cove. So they're forced back deeper into the caves in order to try and find an escape route before the water rushes in. There's no real surprises here, the motivations are weak, the plot feels really strung out and they rely on pointing out the physics of the situation a lot. This is the kind of murder plot you know you've seen done before and executed much better.
The final story on the volume is the most interesting of the three as it deals with an actor from a film series called Shinigami Jinnai who is being threatened by a "real" Shinigami Jinnai. The threat becomes public after Kogoro is asked to look into the case. With this being a movie related episode, they draw in all sorts of players into things such as directors and other celebrities but it's not long before an actual death occurs under very strange circumstances. This episode marks the return of the standard style of having Kogoro and the police detective being present for the investigations and being relatively easily led on by Conan through his tricks. The mystery this time around is a bit more elaborate than a few others, especially on this volume, but does reinforce that people needlessly make these things far more complicated than they need to be. Tape on the window, elevators tied with fishing string, recorded sound effects and more make this murder rather elaborate and sort of puts it into a level of disbelief.In Summary:
Case Closed continues to be a series that I'm finding enjoyable on a base level of something that's easy to put in and watch and is over in an hour. It's fun to see some of the creative ways that mysteries are solved that are very unique to the Japanese lifestyle and some of the setups since they go to a wide variety of professions and occupations that don't normally get covered in series. There are definitely weak spots though and a few are very evident on this volume, but this is the lightest of fare sometimes and still better than most of the card game related anime that's out there.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles,Textless Songs
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.