A volume full of close calls for Conan and his friends.
Author/Artist: Gosho Aoyama
Translation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
What They Say
Jimmy Kudo, the son of a world-renowned mystery writer, is a high school detective who has cracked the most baffling of cases. One day while on a date with his childhood friend Rachel Moore, Jimmy observes a pair of men in black involved in some shady business. The men capture Jimmy and give him a poisonous substance to rub out their witness. But instead of killing him, it turns him into a little kid! Jimmy takes on the pseudonym Conan Edogawa and continues to solve all the difficult cases that come his way. All the while, he's looking for the men in black and the mysterious organization they're with in order to find a cure for his miniature malady.
On the Ropes A pro wrestler is murdered before a match, and the killer is caught on camera: the famous masked wrestler Wolf Face! But was it really Wolf Face behind the mask, or is someone trying to frame the champ? It's up to Conan to identify the murderer--and up to Rachel to pin him to the mat!
Picking up from where the last volume left off, this volume opens with Conan as the hostage of jewel thieves. The escape is anti-climatic, but what follows is a tense standoff of wits and wills where Conan attempts to gain some ground against the men in black.
The rest of the volume leaves the overarching plot behind and manages to fit three complete cases in; a missing priceless scroll, the murder of a professional wrestler, and a tense hostage situation.
The first case is the least sinister, as Conan and the junior detectives end up involved in what appears to be a robbery. The clue that solves the case involves the Girls’ Day dolls that Amy is promised by the friend of a neighbor. It’s a simple case and it’s easy to guess correctly who the culprit was. Having a case that doesn’t involve murder-most-foul is a nice change of pace.
The death of a professional wrestler is the focus of the next case. I find it somewhat amusing that they were at a wrestling match to begin with. It’s obvious the lead wrestler is set up, and most of the legwork involved in figuring out the murderer’s identity is child’s play for Conan. He spends much of the case trying to maintain his cover while leading the other detectives to the correct killer. The killer almost takes out Conan, making it the second close call in this volume for him.
The last case focuses on Harley and his girlfriend, who find themselves literally tied up when late to meet Conan, Rachel and Mr. Moore. Harley had been checking on a friend of his father and is caught up in a dangerous situation. It turns into a race against time, complete with secret codes to crack and Harley leaving clues for Conan to track him down. All this while Harley takes a beating from his captives and tries to protect Kazuha.
Case Closed remains a consistently fun read with attractive detailed art and an interesting cast of characters. That’s quite impressive considering that this is volume 38 of a series which shows no signs of ending. While no progress is made towards the men in black storyline this time, the standalone cases cover a wide range of crimes. The wrestling case is the standout of this volume, although the last case is the most suspenseful and had the highest stakes for everyone involved. Thankfully, this time the volume concludes at the end of a case instead of ending on a cliffhanger.