Review: Case Closed, Vol. 4

Case Closed, Vol. 4
Case Closed, Vol. 4 by Gosho Aoyama

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I’m high-school detective Shinichi Kudo. When I went to an amusement park with my childhood friend and classmate, Ran Mouri, I saw a suspicious transaction between some men in black. While I was watching the deal, I didn’t notice another man in black coming at me from behind. The man gave me some poison, and when I woke up… My body had shrunk! If they found out that Shinichi Kudo was still alive, they will come after me and put people around me in danger. Following Professor Agasa’s advice to hide my true identity, I blurted out ‘Conan Edogawa’ when Ran asked for my name. In order to get more information on the men in black, I decided to stay with Ran whose father is a private detective. However, because her father is such a lousy detective, I’ve been using my own deductive ability to solve cases for him. Thanks to me, he’s a famous detective. I may have shrunk, but my intellect is still that of a great detective. There is always only one truth!”

This book consists of three finished cases.

The first case is depicting the bloody and vicious artwork.

Superstitious phenomenon of walking armoured knight is rumoured to be happened in Beika Art Museum. Feeling curious, Ran persuades Conan and Kogoro to pay the museum a visit. Not only they find that the museum is almost devoid of visitors, they learn that the museum is on the verge of closing permanently. After a grand tour to the whole part of the museum, exhausting Conan and Kogoro, Ran notices another part of the museum they haven’t see yet, the Hell Gallery. There they find a scene taken from the hell itself, a gruesome bloody murder imitating ‘Divine Punishment’, a no less gruesome painting. The surveillance camera records the whole scene… revealing the impossible murderer: a walking armoured knight. A piece of paper written and thrown by the victim in his last moment shows the name of the murderer… Will the case be solved that easily?

The second case is Conan’s third encounter with Black Organization, where he learns the name code of the two men he met at the amusement park.

Kogoro, Ran, and Conan are on their way to Kyoto on a train for the wedding of Kogoro’s friend. When Conan leaves his seat to keep Kogoro from questioning his parents leaving him behind without news, he accidentally finds out that Gin and Vodka are on the same train! Using a miniature hidden microphone on his glasses, another gadget by Professor Agasa, he manages to eavesdrop their horrible plan to kill someone they are supposed to meet at that train along with other passengers with a time bomb inside a black suitcase given to that certain person. Failing to stop them from leaving the train, Conan now must be successful to find the bomb before the time limit from four suspicious passengers: a salesman, a career woman, a deaf old man, and a mean-looking gigantic man.

The third case is the second case featuring the Detective Boys: too-easy-for-children codes or too-difficult-for-adults codes?

Ayumi accidentally takes the wrong bag similar to her own when she goes to the restroom during her visit to a museum with Ran and other members of the Detective Boys. The bag has a strange paper inside with weird symbols and the word ‘ORO’. The children believe it will lead them to hidden treasure and begin to solve and follow the code. They are unaware that three suspicious men are always lurking behind them, watching and waiting for the children to solve the code and find the treasure for them.

What I do like from this book
• Ran’s fear of ghost. It’s kind of irony because she is strong enough to punch a hole into the wall without even flinching.
• Shinichi, by any means, is a master of acting. He cleverly plays innocent acts of a child either to solve a case or to convince Ran that he is truly a 7-years-old boy. He can even do that in the presence of Black Organization. Poor Ran, though, who has no idea about Conan’s dilemma. She just thinks that Conan is a naughty child that she should keep watching for.
• This is the first case where the Detective Boys run into a dangerous case, since they deal with a gang of foreign thief. Yet somehow, they can beat the dangerous adults, the armed ones, no less, proving that the weakest can win against the strongest with the power of wit.
• My favorite scene in the second case: when Conan tries to find the certain person with the bomb from Gin and Vodka, and accidentally drop the black suitcase of the gigantic-looking man, only to reveal that the suitcase contains a large amount of cute underwear.

What I don’t like from this book
• The first case involves too much blood and violence for any children to stomach. Even the adults cannot truly tolerate the live recording of the murder. Yet, Megure, Mouri and several police let Conan (or maybe they do not notice him there) check the surveillance camera with them. Ran, who is also present at the crime scene, isn’t seen to watch it, but somehow she forgets about Conan.
• In the second case, Conan kicks the suitcase containing the bomb to prevent the bomb explodes in the bullet train. The bomb flies and explodes outside, far enough to not harm anybody. However, shouldn’t the bomb explode when Conan makes contact with the suitcase? Gin warns that the bomb will explode due to strong impact. So why the bomb is not explode even when Conan kicks it using his power-enhanced shoes?
• In the end of third case, Inspector Megure is shown to pat the children while smiling widely, thanking them for capturing the rest of the gang of the thief. However, shouldn’t he (and other policemen) reprimand or yell at the children as well? It happens at night and it is surely not the time for children to be outside without any adult with them, even though there are five of them. Moreover, none of their parents or guardians calls the police to report that the children are not home yet. Isn’t it strange? They’re only first graders; shouldn’t they be home after sunset?
• Though I find it funny, I also find that the children’s imagination about how they will be killed by the gang terrifying. What kind of TV programs that they watch or books they read? How could children of 7 years old think about being killed by being burnt and sunk? I don’t think children supposed to know about being shot with a gun either.
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