"Note to self: 'Stay away from the psycho with the dead mommy laptop.'"
What They Say:
The criminal mind is a twisted one and Jimmy Kudo knows the shady corridors of humanity like no other detective in the business. He's put more scum behind bars than just about anyone on the beat and his skills have earned him plenty of enemies, and he pays the price one dark night... being poisoned and left for dead.
But rather than meeting his end in a shallow grave, Jimmy gets a new beginning. Awakening to find himself transformed, the evil elixir of his faceless foes has changed him into a small boy - the perfect cover! Utilizing his unlikely new persona and cutting edge technology, Jimmy is hot on the trail of his assailants as Conan Edogawa.
The path to justice will be littered with cruelty and madness, the worst of man on display as this sleuth cuts through the underworld in search of answers, solving one sick crime at a time. Truth is not open to interpretation. There's no room for error when life and limb are on the line.
Contains episodes 53-79.
This mystery series is filled with intrigue and some of the strangest crimes you can imagine. Here it continues to steadily march forward into its' third season. As the diminutive and witty detective is fond of saying "one truth will prevail."
For the purpose of this review, the English audio track was used. The English track was a stereo mix and was very easy to understand. The dialogue was also very easy to discern from the music and sound effects. The sound effects themselves were minimal. With the introduction of a new opening song in episode 55, the lyrics became hard to understand in some parts. This season also saw the inclusion of two new ending songs.
Originally airing back in the late 90's, this season relied heavily on cel-based animation. The transfer to digital went relatively smooth, but there were still a few errors. Towards the beginning of this season, there were a few spots that had scenes that were lighter than normal. There was also a noticeable amount of cyan color casting on the side of the temple in episode 53. In episode 72 there was also a case of "pan jitter." This occurred during a horizontal pan in the line-up scene.
The third season box set of Case Closed is similar to the previous 2. The box is a relatively small slip-case style box roughly the size of a traditional dvd case. On the front is a contemplative Conan with an upset Amy standing next to the Inspector. A monochrome Gin and Vodka lurk in the background. This is all topped off with the eye-catching "Do Not Cross" yellow police tape along the bottom portion of the box. The back of the box is mostly in dark colors, with a psychotic looking masked man aiming a gun. A small summary written in a 'typewriter' font is also included. Along the bottom portion are a few Polaroid* snapshots. This continued the feeling of being 'behind the scenes' of a crime scene. "Polaroids" were a popular type of photograph that produced photos within minutes without having to spend added time in a darkroom.
Inside of the box were two double hubbed thin pack cases which house the next four volumes of this series. The cover art was reversible. On the first set, the cover art featured a picture of the whole gang. Conan and the Jr. Detective League take center stage, with a Richard, the Inspector, Rachel and the Professor in the background. The back featured an image of a coffee stained case file. The volume and its corresponding episodes were listed on the back using the same 'typewriter' font. The reverse side featured promotional art of Conan and Rachel dining at a European café. The second case featured Conan and a happy Rachel. The back cover used the case file method to list the episodes included on these next two volumes. The reverse of the cover art of Rachel watching Jimmy's back as he runs away from her.
While the "box" is paper thin, its compact shape is greatly appreciated. This is largely due to the fact of the epic length of this series. The third season box looks nice when placed amongst the others.
The main menu for all the disks featured a nicely themed static image of manila folders and Polaroids. In the background behind this was a coffee stained sheet that listed the series name, season number and the disk volume. Each menu had its' own theme music as well. The tabs on the folders were used to select the desired submenu or to just play all the episodes. The choices were highlighted with what looked like droplets of blood. The other two submenus were for accessing specific episodes and for set-up options. The Polaroids featured people from the episodes on that particular disk. The menus were very easy to use and navigate.
The extras continued to be minimal in this set. This time Richard is the focus of the "Character Spotlight" segment. Conan's gadgets include information concerning his wristwatch stun gun.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
"As long as man is bound to his own humanity, he can never commit a perfect crime."
The characters have continued to grow in this season. Young Jimmy Kudo has seemingly accepted his predicament. Time has allowed for him to become adjusted to being in the body of a child and he doesn't seem to be in too great of a hurry to get his old body back. Richard also seems more at ease with Conan as well at the beginning. Detective Moore not only manages to solve a case with minimal prompting, but also shows a greater strength in his character. When he's targeted on an island by unknown assailants, an old man offers him his fishing boat so that Richard may leave. In a strong showing of bravado, he replies that he refuses to be "scared by some greedy opportunists." His character is further fleshed out by being provided with an introduction to Richard's old boss and his former teacher later in the season. When even Conan seems stumped, the old teacher is able to inspire him in much the same manner as Conan constantly 'inspires' Richard. The last character that was introduced in this season was that of "Phantom Thief 1412." His trademark consists of sending announcements in the form of cryptic notes as to where he will strike next. He can be described as a virtual chameleon. He is capable of imitating voices and disguising himself as others with a frightening amount of accuracy. In one such case, he managed to kiss another person while masquerading as their loved one. In another instance he successfully imitated the voices of two different officials.
Revenge for destroyed dreams and hope is a big motivator for the crimes in this season. Whether it is something as little as a film negative or as big as stopping someone's impending marriage, it seems that nothing is too insignificant to spur a murder when a persons' dream is shattered.
One of the episodes that I liked in this set was a 'baby's day out' styled scenario with a murderous twist added. In this episode, the Jr. Detective League is participating in a "New Shopper's Day" event. The purpose of which is to allow various small children to become comfortable with the idea of going shopping without the aid of their parents. To this end, the young children are each given a list of items that they are to purchase. The winner has the honor of being named "The Best New Shopper of the Year." This is where a young boy named Christopher enters the picture. He is an only child who is at the wrong place at the wrong time. As a result he unknowingly becomes a witness to a murder. A normal trip around town then became fraught with peril for the boy. Ironically it turned out that the little boy did have a reason to be at such a dangerous place. He had remembered the small family store called "Archie's" that had once called the abandoned building its' home. Once he saw the young man he asked for the last two items on his list with a smile. Needless to say, this act caused the aforementioned young man to break down in sadness. In turn, he spun a tragic tale of a loan shark who continuously milked him for everything he had left until he had been driven out of business.
Sometimes these stories are frightfully realistic. In those cases there is no really excessive drama or elaborate plot. One such case concerned the story of a young girl being chased to a new town by a stalker. Constantly having her privacy invaded, she lived in perpetual fear until the day he physically assaulted her. What happened after begs the question, "Can justice be served when those who should be punished are the victims themselves?"
It is this contrast between the real and the elaborate scenarios that make it possible to become drawn into this series. Although there is little to no plot progression over these several episodes, the series is less of a "how to turn Conan back to Jimmy" and more of a "weekly mystery case." At times it feels like it can be compared to the serial nature of the old mystery radio shows. It is always surprising that the creators have managed to dream up such a large number of murders, as well as the various means of committing them. Some of the intricacies and leaps of logic are rather complex. As evidenced by the conclusion that a security camera aided in the murder of one person's partner. In some cases the willing suspension of disbelief had to occur before some of these explanations could be accepted and given.
This season set was different than the previous two sets in a few ways. One of the most noticeable instances took place during the first two episodes with the exclusion of the introduction between the two parts. In some ways it was nice as it allowed for a more seamless transition. There was also another strong difference between the three seasons. In a seemingly odd move for a detective series where most of the crimes are murders, there is a significant reduction in bloodshed. This occurs even in scenes where it would be expected, such as a large I-beam squashing a man.
When dreams are shattered and tampered with, normal people turn towards drastic measures. The third season of this detective series saw several imaginative scenarios of what humans are capable of when they feel that they are against the wall. Conan also gained an impressive foe in the form of the "Phantom Thief." There was frightfully little in the terms of plot progression. Despite that, "Case Closed" continues to draw the viewer into the world of kid detective Conan Edogawa. For those who like detective shows or mystery shows in general, this is a neat series to get into. However if you'd like to have something with a definitive end within 100 episodes or less, steer clear. This is more of a mystery show that has Jimmy potentially returning to normal as a bonus instead of a focus. As with the previous two seasons, this one still managed to include quite a bit of action into almost every episode.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
106" 16x9 DaLite HC Screen, Panasonic PT-AX100U LCD Projector 720p native, Playstation 3 , DVD Upconversion handled by Playstation 3, Sony STR-DE835 500W Receiver DD/DTS, Klipsch Reference System (RB-61, CS-52 and RS-42) speakers, Sony SA-WMS5 100 Watt powered subwoofer, DVI to HDMI (PC to Projector), Digital Coaxial Cable (PC to Receiver).