Murder continues to be quite the common factor where Conan goes, which makes you wonder why he gets invited to so many places.
Writer/Artist: Gosho Aoyama
Translation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
Adaptation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
What They Say
When ace high school detective Jimmy Kudo is fed a mysterious substance by a pair of nefarious men in black--poof! He is physically tranformed into a first grader. Until Jimmy can find a cure for his miniature malady, he takes on the pseudonym Conan Edogawa and continues to solve all the cases that come his way.
The Mermaid VanishesWhile Conan tries to prove that a corpse found deep in the woods was the victim of more than just a hunting accident, the Junior Detective League gains a new member: a curious bear cub! Then Detective Moore's office is graced by a very traditional lady with very traditional--and very deadly--sword skills. And at a place called Mermaid Island, a woman is found hanged under a waterfall. It seems the legendary mermaid's curse has struck again...unless Conan and Harley Hartwell can find an all-too-human culprit!
With Case Closed still an ongoing series, Viz Media certainly has plenty of ground to cover and these stories come to us from the long lost year of 2000. I have to admit that I would like to see the graphic novels catch up to the current stories as I’d like to see how Aoyama deals with the changes in technology since he first started the book. There’s bound to be plenty that’s still the same – murder follows Conan everywhere of course – but some of the little twists and turns that can be done because of tech would make for some different angles to be played.
This installment of Case Closed has a few stories to it, though it’s done in a way to ensure that you keep reading into the next volume. The opening tale here is a continuation from the previous volume involving the hunters who get involved in a murder, but it’s the reasons why the suspect killed someone that is most unclear. With Anita and Mitch in hiding, it comes down to them leaving the right kind of clues for Conan to find so he can figure out who it is that did the deed. It’s a difficult story to get into without the first half of it here, not having seen the previous volume, but with the flashbacks that are provided and the case wrap-up when Conan reveals the killer, it does come together well enough that you can enjoy it.
When it comes to self contained stories in this volume, the two that are here are of mixed results. There’s a two chapter story that I thought was a lot of fun as it was almost a locked-room murder where Moore gets hired to find a man who has a picture that a woman wants from when the two were in grade school. Naturally, when he and Conan and Rachel show up there, they find the man in his apartment murdered with the picture in his hand. Alongside a neighbor who helped them in as he knew the man well, it turns into a series of very convenient reasons why some of them would have murdered him. Conan is continually suspect of the client because she has lied so many times, but the reasons for it aren’t clear. In the space of the two chapters they deal with a decent little murder that’s amusingly dated with its talk of laserdisc players.
The main big story in this volume is a bit less interesting because it runs with a concept that I’ve felt has been overplayed and never terribly interesting to begin with. Covering six chapters, Conan and several others including Harley go to a somewhat remote village where there’s a tale of the mermaid’s flesh that grants immortality. The story focuses somewhat on a woman who is a hundred and thirty years old and maintains a shrine there as she has for many decades. There’s an interesting lottery system with special arrows and more where people get special fortunes told. There’s a lot of material to this story that feels like it’s too much with how it’s told, almost too wordy. With a group of friends who have stayed on the island because of parents who died together in really disturbing ways, when someone well known on the island ends up going missing and a trio of murders occurs, there are almost too many suspects. The story is fairly linear, but it’s the kind where when you get to the explanation at the end, it’s only then that it really starts to click with what’s going on. Something about this one really didn’t gel well for me and made it difficult to get into.
As should be expected, Case Closed ends with a new story arc involving the murder of ganguro girls that visit a particular department store. It’s an amusing story with murder mixed into it simply because you have Moore ogling all the hot women and completely unaware of their heavily tanned nature and the way it was so popular, at least at the time. It certainly makes you want to get the next volume to see where it will all go, which is why it’s a fun story to end on. After not seeing any Case Closed TV episodes in awhile, I’m enjoying getting a few more stories in this form even if I have to put up with the completely idiotic Americanization of some of the names for whatever reasons were thought of as valid back when the book started. If not for that, this would be a lot more recommended.