Review: Case Closed, Vol. 5

Case Closed, Vol. 5
Case Closed, Vol. 5 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 two finished cases and one unfinished case.

The first case is a brutal mutilation case. Close the book immediately if you can’t stomach a dismembered corpse.
Ran and Conan are invited to one of the mountain villa of Suzuki family by Sonoko Suzuki, the second daughter happened to be Ran’s best friend and classmate. They meet with other guests invited to the villa belonging to the same film club as the first daughter of the family, Ayako, minus a girl dead about two years ago. The mention of her name raises the tension in the room somehow. Before Conan truly grasp the truth about the death, one of the members of the club has gone missing and the body is found brutally murdered in the forest in such terrible state. Is the murderer one of the rest members of the club or the suspicious bandaged man which some of them encounter on their way to the villa? Why the murderer is determined to make Ran the second victim? This will be the first case portraying the birth of Deduction Queen Sonoko.

The second case is a tragic poisoning case because of a misunderstanding.
Through her father’s connections, Sonoko gets a lucky chance to meet her favorite singer, Tatsuya Kimura. She invites Ran and Conan to accompany her and together they enjoy a karaoke session with the singer, his manager and band mates. Unfortunately, the joyful session ends when Tatsuya starts to criticize and insults the others when he is very drunk. Apparently, one of them cannot take his insults very well since the singer starts coughing blood and collapses to his death after eating the served food. Yet, the evidence found on Tatsuya’s car brings another possibility. Is it homicide or suicide? This is the very first time Conan uses his true identity as Shinichi to solve the case after being shrunk, through the speaker in the karaoke room.

The third case is a rather peculiar kidnapping case.
An unfamiliar woman comes to Mouri Agency and introduces herself as Conan’s mother to Ran who opens the door. Being worried with Conan’s parents not having tried to contact them regarding their son, Ran is very happy to return Conan to the lady. Later on her car, Conan confronts her about her true identity and to his dismay, the woman knows about his real parents: Shinichi Kudo’s parents. Now Conan is trapped in a very dangerous game. Are the woman and her partner, a masked man, really members of Black Organization? Can he stop their horrible plan to poison another target? Can he even escape from dangerous positions they keep putting him in with his current state?

What I do like from this book
• The first case. It is the first introduction of Sonoko Suzuki and I like how Aoyama shapes the character. Even though she is the daughter of a very wealthy family, somehow she is not a pompous princess. She goes to the same school Ran goes to (even though she can go to much better school). She has a good friendship with Ran, someone who’s not her caliber. She acts like a normal teenager, dreaming of finding a boy for her (even though she practically can have everything she asks for with her family’s wealth and power). Though she gets jealous and angry when the man she is interested with prefers Ran, somehow it doesn’t affect their friendship (since she still walks home – that’s true, she walks home, not being picked up by a limousine or something – with Ran and invites her to meet Tatsuya afterwards). She might a bit stupid and ignorant (similar to Kogoro’s reaction when he is impersonated by Conan for the first time) and some might think that those are not suitable characters for a princess, I can’t care less. She is perfect that way.

What I don’t like from this book
• I totally agree with Conan’s inner voice when Ran constantly stumbles upon men in various naked states while trying to find their room in the villa. Why can’t she knock first? I won’t truly question the first mistake, but to repeat it two more times consecutively is rather… annoying. I mean, when you are invited to your friend’s villa and you think you are the only one to be invited, you can do the same mistake when you are facing so many doors (but you can prevent it by asking which room prepared for you). If you unintentionally enter a room and find it occupied already, you will think that some other rooms have been occupied as well, won’t you? Therefore, you will knock first to ensure the room is empty or not, or like I have mentioned before, ask your friend which room is for you. Surprisingly, the three men are changing clothes in the same time. It is a bit illogical, yet I understand its intention to humour the readers. And it actually works.
• I cannot fathom the mental state of the murderer to be able to endure bringing the head of the victim inside his clothes, on his stomach, no less. It is gross. Really. But again, he is capable to behead the victim as well as cut off her one hand and one leg, so maybe he doesn’t mind having the beheaded head so close to his body. Furthermore, I can’t fathom his reason to cut off the hand and the leg as well. He needs the head to create an alibi for him, but what is the benefit of cutting the hand and the leg? If he truly wants to dismember the victim, why stop with cutting a hand and a leg?
• And why oh why the only handsome man in the first case is such a scaredy-cat? It makes the murderer looks a lot better than him.
• The tragedy of the second case. What a stupid girl the murderer is. She has plastic surgery to make her beautiful, in hope to please Tatsuya. However, he doesn’t act as she expects him to. Because of that, she chooses murder? Oh come on. Can’t she just ask or speak to Tatsuya about it? Don’t be so weak! Regardless, she still admits that she loves him after killing him. Bullshit. If she truly loves him, she will try to understand his change first. I think she kills him because of her stinging pride that Tatsuya treats her bad after she turns into a beautiful woman. Somebody should shout in her ears: you want Tatsuya’s love? Beautify your brain first before your face.
• Due to his recklessness in using his name to solve the second case, Ran waits for him in front of his house for hours, thinking that he has returned. Not wanting to disappoint her, Conan turns off the power in his house and touches Ran’s hand on the railing, pretending to be his old self. However, no matter what, he touches Ran with Conan’s hand, a hand of a child. Can’t Ran realize it? Obviously the size of Shinichi’s hand and Conan’s hand is different, and she is supposed to notice it even during the blackout. Should I just overlook it because love is blind?
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