「ああ 知りたいのなら、教えてあげるよ。 あの世でね」
"Who... are you really?"
"If you really want to know, I'll tell you. In the afterworld..."
Fourth post in the Conan re-reading series. Once again not spoiler-free, at least not for the overall storyline. Might occasionally refer to events in future volumes (though I try to keep that in check). Anyway, I'm over the halfway point now!
Detective Conan manga & movies:
Part 1: Volumes 1 ~ 10
Part 2: Volumes 11~20; The Timebombed Skyscraper (1) / The Fourteenth Target (2)
Part 3: Volumes 21~30; The Last Wizard of the Century (3) / Captured in Her Eyes (4)
Part 4: Volumes 31~40; Countdown to Heaven (5) / The Phantom of Baker Street (6)
Part 5: Volumes 41~50; Crossroad in the Ancient Capital (7) / Magician of the Silver Sky (8) / Strategy Above the Depths (9)
Part 6: Volumes 51~60; Private Eyes' Requiem (10) / Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure (11)
Part 7: Volumes 61~70; Full Score of Fear (12) / The Raven Chaser (13) / Lost Ship in the Sky (14)
Part 8: Volumes 71~80; Quarter of Silence (15) / The Eleventh Striker (16) / Private Eye in the Distant Sea (17)
(You will find the links to the reviews of volume 70, 72~76, 78, 82~87 and the films Quarter of Silence (15), The Eleventh Striker (16), Private Eye in the Distant Sea (17), Dimensional Sniper (18) in the library)
Keyhole: Chief Superintendent Tooyama
Cases: Murder Intent in the Pottery Class; Mouri Kogorou's Imposter; Mystery Caught in the Net; Double Mystery in Osaka - The Naniwa Warrior and Toyotomi's Castle (1); Double Mystery in Osaka - The Naniwa Swordsman and Toyotomi's Castle (2)
Characters: Okita Soushi (Or.: Yaiba)
Mouri Kogorou's Imposter is mostly fun because of the idea: an imposter of Kogorou who gets killed. The plot itself is not very memorable though. For some reason though, Mystery Caught in the Net is one of the stories I remember best, probably because it was one of the first Conan stories I read. The alibi trick is pretty neat and the story is actually also the first time Haibara and Ran talk to each other. I'm also wondering whether the fact that Chief Inspector Yokomizo can't swim will be significant later. The first part of Double Mystery in Osaka - The Naniwa Warrior and Toyotomi's Castle is really great, because it's a case that Hattori solves by himself. After a lot of foreshadowing by saying his father and mother are good at kendou, we are also finally told Hattori himself is proficient at it. A cameo by Okita Soushi from Aoyama's previous series, Yaiba, makes things kinda confusing though. Magic Kaito and Yaiba are definately in the same world, with characters going to the same school and stuff, and Magic Kaito and Conan also share the same universe, but somehow Yaiba's alien rabbits, legendary swords and demons don't seem to fit Conan. The second part of the Osaka's double mystery starts out pretty big, with people getting burned to a crisp and references to the three daimyou of Japan. Oh, and obligatory Hattori wounds: getting cut in the face and punched by his dad.
Keyhole: Otaki Gorou
Cases: Double Mystery in Osaka - The Naniwa Swordsman and Toyotomi's Castle (2); Secret of the Idols; The Man Who Came From Chicago; MPD Detectives' Love Story 4
Characters: James Black
Plot: Connection between Akai Shuuichi and James Black; [Cool Guy];
Despite the great beginning though, I don't really like the second part of the Osaka double mystery. We do get to see Hattori's father doing something though this time and just like with Shinichi's father, it's suggested that Hattori's father is still miles ahead of his son. In the second story, Okino Youko appears after a long absence and the case even makes a reference to the TV-series Detective Samonji (volume 19). A rather standard story though, with the search for a disappeared weapon. The Man Who Came From Chicago is mostly important as an introduction story for new chess piece James Black, who has a connection with that other mysterious man Akai Shuuichi. Black is kidnapped and as this is a Detective Boys story, we are of course presented with a code to crack. Which is OK, I guess, but I particularly liked the last scene where the police get the kidnappers. In the final story, Satou is forced to attend a omiai, with her partner being Shiratori. Takagi has till dawn to save Satou, but is held back by that ever-present problem: contradicting testimonies. Three people saw a robber, but they all describe the robber differently. The which-of-the-three formula is not particular original maybe, but they are usually quite fun.
Movie 5: Countdown to Heaven
Release: 21 April, 2001
Black Organisation: Hara Yoshiaki
Ah, the movie seen by many fans as the best Conan movie. Because this was the first time we actually saw the Black Organisation in action in a movie and it's really intense. Gin and Vodka are on the search for Miyano Shiho/Haibara, while the opening of a twin tower is interrupted by a murder and bombs. I think this is the first time in the movies that Ran stops being the main damsel in distress (ignoring the end of the previous movie) and also the first time that she jumps. She jumps a lot in the movies. Anyway, I like this movie quite a bit too, but mainly because of Gin and Vodka's actions. And the cool action scene at the end of the movie. As a Conan movie, this has everything you'd wish for: action, the Black Organisation and murder. Oh, and continuity with the first movie.
Keyhole: Detective Chiba
Cases: MPD Detectives' Love Story 4; Valentine's Truth; A Crime's Memento; The Hidden, Rushed Omission
Plot: Satou owes Takagi a date; Police files on Mouri Kogorou stolen; [Cool Kid]
Conan's working hard as a Cupid for Satou and Takagi in MPD Detectives' Love Story 4 (with a little help of Dr. Araide), and Satou owes Takagi a date for saving her from her omimai. The Valentine story is pretty popular I think, but I really don't like it. There are no real scenes that strike me as memorable, nor is the story particular smart or anything. I did notice that Makoto did something in this story that was copied in the movie The Raven Chaser. I really like A Crime's Memento though; a very simple, yet effective way to create an alibi that seems doable in real life. Here Takagi and Megure also mention that all the files on the cases Mouri Kogorou has worked on had been stolen from the police department, suggesting that someone is checking up on him (or Conan). The Hidden, Rushed Omission is actually the first Conan story I read and I still really like it. A very abstract dying message and Jodie is usually a pretty fun character to have in a story anyway.
Keyhole: Yokomizo Juugo
Cases: The Hidden, Rushed Omission, The Great Detective from the West VS The English Teacher; Maze's Hooligan; China Town - Deja Vu in the Rain; Kudou Shinichi - Case in NY
Characters: Sharon Vineyard
Police: Police Inspector Yokomizo Juugo (Kanagawa; younger twin of Shizuoka's Yokomizo); Police Inspector Radish Redwood (New York)
Plot: Jodie's hidden pictures; [A Secret Makes a Woman Woman]; Sharon Vineyard meets Shinichi and Ran
By now, Conan is pretty sure that Chris Vineyard is a member of the Organisation, because she has disappeared from the public eye ever since the incident with Pisco. And because of that, Jodie, the only foreign woman in the cast (with a body that is kinda like Chris) is a bit suspicious. A red herring, or a double bluff by Aoyama? Anyway, Conan and Hattori decide to investigate her (by just knocking on her door and inviting her for dinner) and solve a murder that happens in her apartment. At the end of the case, the reader finds out that Jodie has pictures of the case Shinichi solved at Teitan High (volume 26), a case that was solved even before Jodie appeared in Japan! Oh, and she drinks sherry. The next story is a which-of-the-three story, with a hooligan being stabbed inside a busy train. Conan quickly manages to reduce the amount of suspects to only three and then the classic spot-the-odd-one game begins. The China Town story is another Classic Conan story: finding out how the murderer poisoned this victim. I really like this story, because it's actually something I have thought about myself too (well, not actually poisoning somebody, just about the possibility of doing it like that). The story also introduces the grumpy younger twin brother of Shizukoka Prefecture's Yokomizo. And finally, the last story is a flashback case and the direct sequel to Shinichi's first case (volume 21). Ran and Shinichi are in New York, visiting Shinichi's mother. On the way to the theater, they meet Sharon Vineyard, the mother of Chris. Sharon is also a famous actress and friends with Yukiko, as the two had studied under the same magician (disguises and the like). The magician also happens to be Kuroba Touichi (KID's father). Yes, by now, Aoyama's super-related world with every character being acquinted to another and every happening in either Beika or Haido is getting a bit ridiculous...
Keyhole: Sharon Vineyard
Cases: Kudou Shinichi - Case in NY; The Truth Behind the Ghost Mansion; Mitsuhiko Lost in the Woods; Princess of the Lone Isle and the Dragon Palace
Characters: Tsuburaya Asami
Plot: Shinichi and Ran save a serial murderer, Ran remembers Akai is an FBI agent, Namubuchi confirmed as a BO member
Kudou's case in NY is a bit like the Furuhata Ninzaburou episode Piano Lesson, with the situation on stage not being what they seem and a certain group of people hiding something from another group of people. The last part of the case, with Ran and Shinichi encountering a serial murderer (whom they save from falling of a staircase) and Ran meeting Akai Shuuichi, at that time seemingly an FBI agent, doesn't really fit with the rest, but the events here are pretty important for the overall storyline Aoyama is building. Other interesting points are the fact that Conan still has the handkerchief they got from Sharon and that the serial murderer they met died that night. The Ghost Mansion story is not very interesting, with ghostly apparations in an old lodge house. I like Mitsuhiko Lost in the Woods more, with the Detective Boys trying to figure out what has happened to Mitsuhiko. First appearance of Mitsuhiko's sister Asami (hello Asami Mitsuhiko reference!) and an unexpected appearance by Namabuchi, the serial murderer caught in volume 19. Haibara confirms that he was a lower-end Organisation member. The final story is a closed circle story, with murders happening on an Okinawa island where a TV show pitting Hattori and The Sleeping Kogorou against each other was planned.
Keyhole: Matsuda Junpei
Cases: Princess of the Lone Isle and the Dragon Palace; March of Evil Intent and Saints; The Trembling Metropolice Police Department - 12 Million Hostages
Characters: Detective Matsuda Junpei (Tokyo MPD)
Plot: Satou's trauma over Matsuda's death
The Island story features a neat trick to create an alibi, but somehow the story doesn't really appeal to me. Obligatory Hattori in danger moment: nearly getting swept away by underwater currents. The second story is more like an introduction to the last story, with bombs hidden in Tokyo and the Detective Boys trying to figure out where the bombs are set and more importantly, what the bomber's intent is. The Trembling Metropolice Police Department - 12 Million Hostages is this volume's main story though and one of the best stories in Conan-history, period. With the whole of Tokyo as a mad bomber's hostage, this is also a story on a totally different scale from previous stories. The bomber first lures policemen in disarming his bombs, only to promise them to give them clues to even bigger bombs hidden in the city three seconds before detonation. Three years ago, detective Matsuda Junpei (and love interest to Satou) gave his life for such a hint and died. Now the bomber has come back and this time it's Conan and Takagi who are forced to choose whether they wait for the hint or not. And one of the greatest scenes of Conan history has to be Takagi asking Conan, a couple of seconds before the bomb is going to explode: 'Who are you really?'
Keyhole: Akai Shuuichi
Cases The Trembling Metropolice Police Department - 12 Million Hostages; The Invisible Suspect; A Message Left without a Voice; Contact with the Black Organisation - Negotiation; Contact with the Black Organisation - Chase
Item: Anywhere Ball Dispensing Belt
Plot: Conan gets hold of the diary, [We can be both God and Devil since we are trying to raise the dead against the stream of time]
The Trembling Metropolice Police Department - 12 Million Hostages ends with Satou getting over her trauma (thus giving Takagi a real chance with her). The second story is an OK story, with Ruri, a famous actress and an old classmate of Eri and Kogorou appearing. The case revolves around the search for a murder weapon, but the best part of the story is that Kogorou actually solves this case on its own and even outsmarts Conan. The next story, with a dying message, is mostly memorable because Conan actually gets a tangible clue to the Black Organisation. The murdered programmer had been contacted by Tequila (volume 12) to create a program for the Black Organisation. Conan manages get hold on the programmer's diary and discovers that that night the Organisation is going to contact the programmer (of course not knowing he had been murdered just now).
Movie 6: The Phantom of Baker Street
Release: April 20, 2002
The strangest movie of them all. Written by Nozawa Hisashi, the story has a double storyline with children caught within a virtual reality game called Noah's Ark. If they don't clear the game, they will never wake up from the game again. Meanwhile in the real world, a murder is commited and the detective here is actually Kudou Yuusaku (assisted by
Cases: Contact with the Black Organisation - Desperation; The Dolls Dyed in the Color of the Setting Sun; The Tarnished Masked Hero; Hattori Heiji in Desperate Danger!
Police: Police inspector Momose (Tokyo MPD)
Black Organisation: Miyano Atsushi (scientist)
Keyhole: Police Inspector Yuminaga
Cases: The Red Horse in the Blaze; Friendship You Can't Buy with Money; The Small Client
Police: Police Inspector Yuminaga (Tokyo MPD)
The opening story is a homage to Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders, with an arsonist who leaves little statues of a red blazing horse at the scene of the crime. Mouri meets his old superior Yuminaga again (Mouri wasn't always at Homicide) and we have a story that is very much like Christie's classic, but one that can stand easily on its own. The second story is one of the few stories I actually saw in animation first. The Detective Boys meet a group of friends with a trailer. They go watch fireworks together, but on the way back they find the dead body of one of the friends. The trick is pretty easy to see through, but I have to say that the final clue is hidden really, really deviously. The final story starts out as a search for the mother of a child-actor, but ends in another which-of-the-three type story. Not really memorable or anything at all. Oh, and Kogorou actually seems to have build up a bit of immunity to the tranquilizer, as it takes some time before he falls asleep now. Not sure if this will came back later.
Keyhole: Kinoshita Fusae
Cases: MPD Detectives' Love Story 5, The Suspicous Hot Curry, A First Love the Color of a Gingko; The Two Alike Princesses
Characters: Kuriyama Midori, Kinoshita Fusae
Black Organisation: Miyano Elena (scientist)
The first story starts out hilarious with almost the complete (male) police force trying to ruin Satou and Takagi's date in Tropical Land, even going as far as arranging for the Detective Boys to be there too. Takagi accidently switches his bag for someone else's and discovers that there are drugs hidden there. Satou, Takagi and the DBs search the park for the drug courier (and Takagi's bag, because Takagi had actually bought Satou a ring). The second story has a great trick to create an alibi. Well, the trick itself is not particular original, but the execution is great. The last story is another DB story, but with a twist: the Detective Boys try to solve a code left by Dr. Agasa's first love pointing to a certain place. Agasa never solved it, but as the writer promised to be at the place every 10 years until Agasa will shop up, the Detective Boys give their all in order to solve it. In between it's mentioned that Haibara's mother, Elena, is in fact English. Once again, not sure whether this is really relevant or not. In the final story, Eri and Ran take up a case Kogorou was supposed to solve. He has used up all the advance money (and more!), so they can't cancel the request anymore, but Kogorou isn't in any state to do anything now, so Eri decides to help. Yukiko makes an appearance too, marking the first time the parents meet in the series (even though they are in fact friends).
This batch is way too intense. The Osaka cases, introducing James Black, the files on Kogorou getting stolen, the New York flash back case, Jodie Saintemillion popping up as a suspect, Chris Vineyard and Sharon Vineyard and the big bombing case in Tokyo. It's almost ridiculous how much is happening in the first couple of volumes. After the Tokyo Bombing case, you'd think Aoyama would give the reader a rest, but no, Contact with the Black Organisation kicks in and we get closer to Gin and Vodka than ever before. These volumes are really crazy. But like I said in the previous post, Aoyama is now just moving his actors on the stage to prepare for a big surprise in the near future. Pretty much everything that happens in these couple of volumes (and the previous 10 volumes) actually connects this event.I originally started reading Conan around 37~38 actually, reading random stories rather than every volume in order. It was therefore kinda hard to really appreciate Aoyama's structuring and clueing, but as I read it now and knowing what will happen, I really have to say Aoyama's is preparing the stage wonderfully.
Original Japanese title(s): 青山剛昌 『名探偵コナン』第３１巻～４０巻 / 『名探偵コナン 天国へのカウントダウン』 / 『名探偵コナン ベーカー街（ストリート）の亡霊』