Tag Archive | manga

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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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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Review: Case Closed, Vol. 3

Case Closed, Vol. 3
Case Closed, Vol. 3 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 2 finished cases.

This is a story of a secret admirer who can’t speak his feelings through words and chooses the way of murders instead.

Ran and Conan aren’t sure to either blame or thank Kogoro for his recklessness to forget the departure time of the ship they’re supposed to go aboard from their little tour on a little island. Luckily, Hatamoto’s family had celebrated the wedding of the youngest granddaughter of the family on that island and they offer Mouri to join them back to main island on their rented cruise ship. Little do they know that the family head of Hatamoto will get killed that day after some rumor of inheritance spread among the rest of the family. The husband of the new married couple is accused as the main suspect due to his relation as the sole heir of the owner of the rival company. Is it truly a revenge to avenge his father’s suicide due to the taking over of the company by Hatamoto or is it something entirely different? Sleeping Kogoro presents to solve the case once again.

This is the case of someone puts the blame of losing someone dear to another.

A surgeon comes to Mouri Agency bringing many used toys, admitting that he receives all the toys, along with some money, from unknown different addresses for each month in the last 2 years. Despite the happiness of his only boy to receive the toys, the surgeon feels afraid since he cannot find the giver among the circle of his coworkers, families, or even thankful patients. Moreover, today package includes a strange letter, indicating that the sender will take something of surgeon for the replacement of all the toys and money sent. By observing the medical record of the hospital where the surgeon works at, Conan manages to reveal yet another sad case.

What I do like from this book
• A long case involving a big family on a cruise ship. Long case means more complicated case. And in this case, the readers are falsely led to believe that the murderer is the avenging son of a dead rival businessman. I never thought that the real murderer will be the less suspicious and weakest member of the family. It shows that someone looking less dangerous can be the most dangerous of all.
• Ran is convinced that Conan is actually Shinichi after witnessing his behaviors during the second case. Yet, instead of thinking about the logic of a high-schooler turns into such a child, she concerns herself more in the events when she admits her interest in Shinichi. The way Conan tries to convince Ran otherwise by pretending to be extremely attracted to the toys is cute.
• The touching ending of the second case. A heart of a man full of hatred towards the surgeon failing to save his son’s life, leading to him planning to murder the surgeon’s son, melts by the innocent happiness of the surgeon’s son. The fact that the surgeon chooses to forgive the man and refuse to report him to the police for his attempted murder on his son by reasoning that he understands the feeling of a father is very touching. The surgeon truly has a big heart.

What I don’t like from this book
• The murderer in the first case whom I consider a totally psychopath. First, his motive for the first murder is his anger towards the victim who doesn’t bless his desire granddaughter, who is, in a sense, his cousin. It’s a poor reason to commit murder. To prevent unwanted decision regarding the inheritance is much better reason. Moreover, he does nothing to try to speak his feelings to the granddaughter. This man has courage to speak to his grandfather about his intention to marry the granddaughter, but he has no effort to approach the girl. He keeps painting her over, turning himself into a stalker instead of a secret admirer. And nobody notices his paintings after it is too late. He even kills another person to silence him and even hurts himself to avoid suspicion. What a crazy man.
• For the second case, I think the surgeon is a little bit too ‘stupid’, if I may use the harsh word. For a surgeon, I think he should have good enough deductive ability to find out the sender of the toys, money, letter, and flowers, especially from the flowers sent each 3 August. The date has spoken much. He, as the insider of the hospital, can gain access to the hospital record more easily than the outsiders. Can’t he try to find out what happened on previous 3-Augusts by himself? He shouldn’t need a detective to do that for him.
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Review: Case Closed, Vol. 2

Case Closed, Vol. 2
Case Closed, Vol. 2 by Gosho Aoyama

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.

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Review: Case Closed, Vol. 1

Case Closed, Vol. 1
Case Closed, Vol. 1 by Gosho Aoyama

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Any lover of crime and detective stories must know about this well-known manga by Aoyama Gosho. Having been extremely popular for over a decade, this manga has developed into anime, movie, TV special, live action, and even video games. Once, I was a big fan, but now, I am only a fan among many of fans hoping that Aoyama Gosho will finish it ASAP, since the stories have gone a bit too far and too long that I keep asking, ‘When will this manga end?’ and kind of losing the euphoria over waiting for the new chapter. Nevertheless, I still praise the author’s ability to be able to present Detective Conan with one-of-a-kind, fresh, amazing, and new cases each time. Well, that is one of many reasons why I decide to review this series, which means, there are 90 more reviews to go. Huff.

High school student Shinichi Kudo is a fanatic fan of Sherlock Holmes and having a world famous novelist of detective novels as a father makes him develop a brilliant brain to solve many criminal cases that even other detectives and the police department cannot solve. One day, he goes to an amusement park with his childhood friend, Ran Mouri, and accidentally gets involved in a bloody murder. While he manages to solve the case and reveals the murderer, he notices two suspicious men in black among the suspects. His curiosity leads him to spy on one of them, but he is interrupted by the attack of the second man sneaking behind him. Rather than killing him with a gunshot that obviously will alert the police, they decide to force-feed him with a new poison developed by their organization and leave him behind to die. Instead of killing him, the poison turns his body into a child’s body.

Shinichi determines to hunt down the Black Organization to get the antidote and return to his original body. However, he realizes that he cannot reveal his condition to anybody for fear of the organization will look for him to kill him, and harms his family and friends in the process. So, he decides to hide his true identity and only let Professor Agasa, the scientist living next door, knows about everything. He takes a pseudonym name, Conan Edogawa, and lives with Ran and his father, a lame detective Kogoro Mouri, by reasoning that any information about the Black Organization will reach a detective agency. However, Kogoro Mouri is a very incompetent detective. Even though Shinichi can solve the case given to Mouri, nobody will believe a child’s deduction. Therefore, Shinichi asks Professor Agasa to develop some inventions to help him, some of which are stun-gun wristwatch that enables him to put Kogoro Mouri to sleep and voice-changing bowtie which enables him to impersonate Kogoro Mouri. And so, Sleeping Kogoro is born.

Though I like detective stories, I do not truly like the idea of being a detective, particularly after reading this book. Even if you are able to know many things from only a quick glance and notice many things that everybody else normally doesn’t notice by being so observant, the job of a detective requires you to be highly curious, or known as ‘kepo’ in Indonesian slang, which actually stands for ‘knowing every particular object’. The thing is, something that you are curious about can be something that you do not need to know or something that you do better not know of. In this case, Shinichi are curious about an illegal transaction that leads him to an organization so dangerous it does not even think twice to kill him in order to silent him. He’s lucky, though, to be alive despite his shrunken body. But, of course, Detective Conan will not exist if Shinichi is not curious about this organization at the first place. But in reality, any amateur detective might want to reconsider about being a detective to avoid getting into similar situation.

Speaking about curiosity, I wonder why nobody truly pays attention to the bump on Mouri’s head or at least rushes to his side the moment the ashtray hits his head. I know it’s only Conan supposed to know about it (since he is the one kicking the ashtray), but should you check on somebody who makes an abrupt change of movement? They only ask him what’s wrong and remain in their position. But again, of course, if they truly rush to his side, Sleeping Kogoro will never be born. Luckily, he is awakened by his burning cigarette at the right moment. Just imagine what will happen if he is still knocked unconscious even after he ‘finishes’ his deduction.

For a detective story where logic and truth become priorities, there are many coincidences, don’t you think?

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