Case Closed Season 2 Collection (Mania.com)

By:Lori Lancaster
Review Date: Thursday, July 16, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The pint-sized detective is back with a slew of new cases to crack.

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... By 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, and 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 all 26 episodes of season two!

The Review!
Audio:

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 never overwhelmed by the music or sound effects.  The sound effects themselves were minimal and mostly to add a little bit more ambiance to the scene. 

Video:

Originally airing back in the late 90's, this season relied heavily on cel-based animation.  The transfer to digital went much smoother in this set than it did in the previous one.  The video itself was a bit darker and the colors were brighter than in the previous set.  There were still a few issues though.  The most noticeable of these issues were a few cases of overly bright episodes.  This washout occurred during episodes 34, 36 and 40. The former episode only had slight white out when dealing with a few close-ups of the Professor's face.  With episode 36 there was only one overly bright scene of the group at the beginning. Episode 40 suffered from over brightness as well as a bit of cyan color shifting during the initial party scene.  The scene transitioned between normal to overly bright for the most part.  After the first few minutes it settled down and continued on normally.  The common thread seemed to have all been episodes that were mostly dark in nature with a few normally lit scenes at the beginning. Around episode 44 there was a noticeable change in animation style, and the video quality improved a bit as well.  There were still a few minor issues such as slight jitter and greenish tinge in a few places during episode 48.

Packaging:

The second season of Case Closed comes housed in one small slip-case style box roughly the size of a traditional dvd case.

Inside it held a total of four dvds in two double-hubbed thin pack cases. The box itself is paper thin and features glossy artwork.  It continued the series' usage of muted color.  The front cover features Conan, Rachel, and Harley at a crime scene. The familiar eye-catching "Do Not Cross" yellow police tape reappears along the bottom portion of the box. The back of the box is mostly in dark colors and has a psychotic looking mummified man in a dark cloak.  A small summary written with a 'typewriter' font is also included.  Along the bottom portion are a few Polaroid snapshots.  Inside of the box were two double-hubbed thin pack cases which housed the next four volumes of this series. The cover art was reversible. On the first set, the cover art featured Conan looking for clues.  The back featured the familiar image of a coffee stained case file.  The volume and the corresponding episodes were listed on the back using the same 'typewriter' font. The reverse side featured a side by side image of Conan and Jimmy looking particularly pleased.  The second case featured the main cast. The reverse is the same piece of art that the first case used.

While the "box" is paper thin, its' compact shape is greatly appreciated as it saves on shelf space. It also fits nicely on the shelf next to the first season one, as they are both in the same style.

Menu:

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 photos featured people from the episodes on that particular disk. The menus were very easy to use and navigate. 

Extras:

The extras in this set are pretty sparse. There is a character spotlight on Rachel this time.  Conan's gadgets focuses on his useful 'bow-tie voice transmitter.'

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

"Oh what a tangled web they weave."  As several cases turn up with an intricate set of circumstances, it's Conan Edogawa's job to discover the 'one truth' amongst the clues.

The second season sees the main cast return again to solve more mysteries.  The first few episodes show glimpses into Jimmy's and Richard's pasts through the usage of former classmates and a dog.  In Richard's case it also shows the beginning of a trend to solve certain crimes on his own with minimal prompting from Conan.  In the obligatory hot springs episode, one of Richard's old college chums was murdered.  As it natural, he was shocked at not only the death of his friend, but as to what it also implied.  No matter how much he disliked it, he was determined to go slowly and solve the case. As a matter of respect, Conan decided to forgo his normal 'talking mouthpiece' act and only prompt him slightly to make sure he kept on the right track.  Further glimpses into Richard's life come from an interview on a TV show and from the introduction of Rachel's mother.  In the former case, Richard admits that he can never remember his cases as he always finds himself sleepy after solving them.  Rachel's mom is a very sharp lawyer who glares at Conan the first time she sees him.  Much to Conan's dismay, she has cautioned Rachel to be wary of marrying a childhood sweetheart, especially if they turn out to be detectives. Of her marriage she said the only benefit she had ever received was a beautiful daughter and a few judo tricks. On a curious note she still wears her wedding ring.  The last character introduction in this season is that of Harley.  Billed as a detective prodigy from the West, he initially comes off as an arrogant and rude young man who thinks he is the best.  However, it seems like he may hold a key to the recovery of Jimmy Kudo.

It seemed that the major theme for the cases in this box set was of murders done for revenge.  In several cases, the perpetrators were grieving survivors who should have been able to have garnered justice as they were eye witnesses to the crimes themselves.  However as a police officer had mentioned in the case of a reckless driver, it was the victim's word against the others.  This then ended up leading to vigilantism in a few of the cases.  In one situation a young girl had watched as her older brother was kidnapped by a man and the police dismissed her statements as those belonging to a young child. They had said that she was "too young to be able to properly identify the killer." This was stated despite the fact that she had seen him clear as day.  That little girl grew up to become a productive member of society, but with a large wound upon her heart. Meticulously placing all her pieces onto the playing field, she set herself up with the perfect alibi to protect herself while she took out the man who had evaded justice so many years before.  The depth that she went to and all the planning involved made this one of my favorite episodes in this set.

One of the things that is surprising is the amount of times that Rachel is targeted for seeing something she shouldn't see.  Typically, Conan would end up being able to help save her at the last instant.  In such situations, he will either make a stunning soccer move or shove her out of the way.  Strangely enough, Rachel doesn't think that these continued rescues are odd at all. I suppose the most tragic of murders in this season is that which was committed due to a misunderstanding.  It is nice to see the inclusion of stories that are a bit more realistic in some cases.  Despite the video issues, the encoding has improved over the previous box set and it is not as distracting as it was before.

In Summary:

As the series progressed, the art style is a lot less noticeable than it was at first. Video encoding issues continue to crop up in the second season, but thankfully it is not to the same level as the first.  It is nice being able to witness the transformation of Richard from down-and-out detective to "The Great Richard Moore." The introduction of Rachel's mother and Jimmy's rival is also nice. Having someone that keeps Conan on his toes is a good touch and adds a little bit of humility to his character. It would be interesting to see how their interaction with each other progresses in the future.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment

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).



Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
MSRP: 49.98
Running time: 600
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Case Closed (Detective Conan)