My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an adventure of Sherlock-Holmes-maniac high schooler Shinichi Kudo solving many difficult cases within a seven-year-old body and pseudonym Conan Edogawa. There is only one truth!
Being a little boy, Shinichi realizes that he has to do a lot more than convincing Ran and Kogoro to let him stay with them and solving cases by impersonating Kogoro. Professor Agasa states the obvious, even though he is a high schooler, he has an appearance of a first grader. People will be suspicious if he doesn’t go to school. Therefore, he enrolls Conan in his old school, Teitan Elementary School. Moreover, his condition hinders him from capturing criminals, so Professor Agasa creates a gadget named Power-Enhancing Kick Shoes using electricity and magnetic fields to add tremendous power to any objects Conan kicks. He also creates Criminal Tracking Glasses able to track down and locate the transmitter within 20 km radius.
After school, accidentally Conan meets Kogoro who has been following certain somebody for three consecutive days. He is paid a large sum of money despite such easy task. To their surprise, the burned body of that man is found shortly afterwards and the only possible murderer has a perfect alibi. However, a perfect alibi is not a problem when Conan has no doubt about the identity of the murderer. It is the first case Conan solves using the Power-Enhancing Kick Shoes.
The next case is a disappearance case. A young woman named Masami Hirota asks Kogoro to find her missing father, her only blood relative. Surprisingly, when they follow Ran’s ridiculous advice, they manage to find him and reunite the father and the daughter. However, Ran gets worried since she cannot contact Masami afterwards and goes to their apartment, only to find the dead body of Hirota and the broken glasses of Masami. Conan follows the transmitter he accidentally put on Masami’s wristwatch and strangely the signal brings him to a pachinko building where he stumbles on a very large man. Meanwhile, Ran notices another suspicious large man spying on Detective Mouri’s Agency. Being subdued by Ran, the man admits that he is a detective also hired to find Masami’s father by the large man Conan met previously saying that Masami’s father is his elder brother and his only blood relative. The detectives are confused with the two stories contradicting each other. Conan decides to follow his transmitter once again only to find out that the large man has been poisoned in his room and he is, indeed, wearing Masami’s wristwatch. To make it more confusing, Inspectur Megure calls Kogoro telling him that Hirota was a bachelor, which means that he didn’t have any daughter. Relating the case to the recent one billion yen robbery, Conan manages to unveil the truth leading him to his second encounter with Black Organization.
The last case in this book introduces three important elementary schoolers in the series, cute Ayumi, fat Genta, and smart Mitsuhiko. Those three persuade Conan to accompany them investigating a haunted house. Obviously, in Conan’s world, there is no such thing as ghosts. He finds many strange things about the house and realizes that he should solve the mystery faster before his new friends keep vanishing one by one. Another new gadget invented by Professor Agasa is introduced in this case: Elasticity Suspenders which enables Conan to lift heavy objects he cannot lift with mere child’s strength. Conan manages to solve yet another tragic case, ending the mystery of the haunted house.
Even though the anonymous large detective subdued by Ran makes his first and last appearance in this book, somehow I kind of like this character. First of all, he looks so frightening with his big and tall body, and sunglasses hiding his eyes. Totally awesome compared to Kogoro. Yet, when the sunglasses are removed… the impression goes ‘poof’. However, that’s the funny part I love the most, especially since Kogoro and Conan laugh out loud. I know it’s so impolite to laugh out loud at someone’s weakness, but I guess I might do the same if were there. My bad.
I do wonder, though, for someone like Gin who claims that silencing people by killing them is the organization’s way, why did he shoot Akemi Miyano on the stomach rather than the head? Headshot means instant death. Why risking her being alive for some minutes and leaving her behind? To let her have a painful death? I think it’s not a good reason enough. By doing so, Gin gives Akemi enough opportunity to reveal the location of the money and even the fact that she is a member of Black Organization to Conan. Or maybe because she is only a minor who almost knows nothing about the organization except their dress code that Gin feels so confident to leave her before making sure she is dead?
Moreover, the case is closed with assumption that she kills herself over the guilt of the crime. Despite her fingerprints on the pistol, is it strange that someone kills herself by shooting her stomach? In many suicidal cases, I think people tend to shoot their heads or chests or any parts of their bodies that ensure instant and less painful death. Otherwise, somebody will find out and maybe manage to call ambulance faster or give them first aid, increasing the chance of survival.