Case Closed: Case 05 Vol. #5: Covering Up - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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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 05 Vol. #5: Covering Up

By Chris Beveridge     December 26, 2005
Release Date: December 20, 2005


Case Closed: Case 05 Vol. #5: Covering Up
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Mahjong is a game of strategy, skill, and luck... three things the perpetrator of a sinister murder hopes he has on his side! Or is it her side?

Then, Conan and Rachel's relaxing day out turns into a nightmare when they become embroiled in a ban robbery ending in murder. Just when Inspector Meguire thinks he's solved the crime, Conan discovers a hidden agenda that busts the case wide open!

Finally, when Conan and the Junior Detective League set out to help an ailing homeless man, they soon end up involved in a new murder mystery. They know who did it, but getting anyone to listen to them is the real mystery!

Contains the following episodes:
77 - Murder and Mahjong
82 - The Revengeful Robber
83 - Dead Hobo

The Review!
Conan returns for another three standalone adventures that are all fairly solid and interesting to watch, though some are more obvious than others.

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 a rather good shot that has the young Conan in bright colors while showing a shadowed version of his old self behind 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 is 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. Conan's Gadgets section is designed so that when new pieces are introduced they're able to be highlighted, 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 brings things to a close with this volume for the fifth case/season as the three episodes here round things out. Each of these tales stands alone and cover very different kinds of murders which is definitely helps as there is no real central feeling or style to how all of this played out. Barring the usage of the Junior Detectives League a bit in the third episode, this was another fast but fun set of episodes.

The opening episode is unfortunately mis-titled as "Murder and Mahjong" as Mahjong makes up all of maybe four minutes or so during the opening as Kogoro is playing with some friends and one of them leaves. So in order to keep playing properly, one of them calls across the street to a financial company where the president is working late but loves mahjong. He agrees to come over within thirty minutes so he can finish up his counting, appears flustered for a moment and then hangs up. He never shows of course and the group with Kogoro, Conan and Ran in tow go over to check it out only to find the man dead in a locked room. And as usually happens, a number of employees show up at this late hour for various reasons, some of which are suspect, and the hunt begins. The revelations of method for this particular murder are very thin but as the show is aimed more at the Hardy Boys level but in a 20 minute format, it's easy to overlook the simplicities like this. The detectives do luck out by having the actual murderer often confess or concede their role pretty frequently.

The second story was more interesting since locked room mysteries tend to have very stretching methods used to them. Sonoko is brought back in for a bit as she, Ran and Conan finish up some daytime bowling and head to the bank so Ran can cash a check for her father. This turns out badly when a bank robber shows up in the rather cramped place and starts causing trouble from at first knocking out one person and then threatening everyone until he gets the money he wants. The robbery ends up going badly though and shots are fired and not everyone comes out of it alive. There's a lot of deception going on with this particular incident and watching it unfold is fun as the characters try to figure it out but to the viewer, it's very obvious what's going on and a very standard story. There are some routes taken in figuring it out that are just completely missed which involve, well, basic cell phone technology that could have wrapped things up far earlier, but it's something where it's easy to ignore such things in favor of a smoother storyline.

The last story ended up being the weakest of the three not only for the murder and the reasons behind it but because it included for a brief bit the Junior Detective League. The kids continue to annoy me to no end but at least they were fairly minimal here and only ended up influencing the first five minutes or so of the storyline as they come across a hobo and beat him senseless with a pop fly during their baseball game. He ends up in the hospital and Conan follows-up on him only to find that the man who had lost his memory suddenly regained it and disappeared. He turns up dead not long after that though and with a bad twist that lets them find a family relation, everything falls plainly and obviously into place. There's just a combination of things that simply don't work too well with this storyline but my distaste for the League is right there at the top.

In Summary:
While the end episode on this volume was weak, the other two were fun to watch and had their moments while playing out. The Case Closed series continues to be my only real exposure to mystery stories these days so it's good to get it in small doses like this. The straightforward approaches that Conan and the others take is still a good bit of fun even after all the episodes I've seen so far though I am finding that I appreciate the multiple episode storylines more and more as it goes along. There are some good standalones out there to be had of course and we get some interesting ones here but they simply don't have the time to really tell a good mystery. This volume hits the mid range for the most part but they're still fun and enjoyable overall.

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, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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