Saturday, July 9, 2011



"No, you were right, believing in life until you have made sure someone is dead, that's what makes a great detective a great detective"
"Detective Conan"

Volumes 51~60, so only one big post left after this one! And yes, that also means that there will be fewer Conan-centric posts from that point on!

This batch of volumes is very good, with a very tense Black Organisation story, set-up and wrap-up of the Hondou Eisuke storyline and a couple of very good stories. And I had forgotten a lot of these stories actually. Most of these seemed familiar, but with most of them I didn't remember the solution until late in the story, or even not at all. So yeah, re-reading was necessary. Oh, and the usual spoiler warning.

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)

Volume 51
Keyhole: Kuriyama Midori
Cases: Heiji's Memories; Chase of the Fish Mail; Hunting for Shellfish with a Sigh; Mystery of the Russian Blue; The Sealed Mansion
Plot: Hondou Eisuke is watching Conan

A rather tame volume, this one. The conclusion to Heiji's Memories is pretty much as expected: the case itself is awesome, but the way Aoyama keeps linking everybody's past with each other is really getting ridiculous (and it gets even more ridiculous in volume 55). Chase of the Fish Mail is a type of story that comes up less often in the series, being a type of the code cracking subgenre: interpretation of children's words. Azusa of Cafe Poirot has another problem with cellphones, as she is getting weird mails from a little child that often visits the restaurant. The mails suggest that the kid's life might be in danger, but how to find out his whereabouts? Mystery of the Russian Blue is a rather strange story, dealing with Eri's new cat Gorou and an enigmatic mail a client asked Kogorou to solve. The code is... pretty easy, I think. It's not like everybody in Japan uses it, but I think most people (of my age) should know about it. Finally, The Sealed Mansion is actually set in one of the mansions next to the Suzuki mountain villa (volume 5). A mysterious face that looks out of a window that couldn't have been opened and a locked room murder are the elements of this not particular exciting story, but now Conan at least knows that Hondou Eisuke is secretly watching him.

Volume 52
Keyhole: Yamamura Misae
Cases: Preview of Fate and Relations; Metropolis Police Detectives' Love Story 7 - The Fake Wedding; The Topsy Turvy Conclusion; Sonoko's Red Handkerchief
Characters: Yamamura Misae

Preview of Fate and Relations is a pretty cute story, where the Detective Boys visit a preview of the movie Star Blade VI. The DBs get acquinted with another fan in the line, but there is something sinister behind his enigmatic actions.In Metropolis Police Detectives' Love Story 7 - The Fake Wedding, Takagi and Yumi dress up as a bride and groom who are threatened by a burglar whom they had chased away. It is thought that the burglar has sneaked into the reception disguised as a guest, as a dead body dressed in suit was found a bit earlier. It's a pretty classic which-of-the-three story, not particular memorable or anything. In The Topsy Turvy Conclusion, a writer kills his ghost-writer (and steals his manuscript meant for his own debut). The Detective Boys happen to find the dead body, but all in the collector's items stored in the anteroom have for some reason been placed topsy-turvy. A Queen-ish story, with a Queenish answer. In Sonoko's Red Handkerchief, Sonoko wants to hang her handkerchief from a tree, as a sign for Makoto to find her, just like in the popular TV love drama. Luck has it that they find the dead body of a man they had met earlier that day. The only clue to the murderer is a mark in the victim's notebook. Oh, and police inspector Yamamura's grandmother gets mentioned again (and features as the keyhole character this volume). A rather dense police detective who lives with his grandmother whom he watches TV dramas with? Furuhata Ninzaburou's Imaizumi.

Volume 53
Keyhole: Higashio Maria
Cases: Kaitou KID and the Four Masterpieces; Grand Strategy of Class 1B!; Shadow of the Black Organisation - The Young Witness / The Strange Illumination; Shadow of the Black Organisation - The Strangely Large Compensation; Falling Stars of Pearls
Characters: Higasho Maria; Funemoto Touji
Plot: Mizunashi Rena (Kir) has been unconcious for two months; Eisuke uses the same interrogation technique like Mizunashi Rena; Conan finds out Eisuke is investigating Mizunashi Rena's whereabouts;

In Kaitou KID and the Four Masterpieces, a letter signed by KID tells a famous painter he is going to steal his newest work, the last in a series of four. The heist ends in the murder of the painter's father-in-law (and the theft of the painting). Has KID finally commited his first murder? Not really a KID heist story, but the plot is great, so no complaints here. Grand Strategy of Class 1B! is a cute little story, where teacher Kobayashi has prepared a little game for the kids of 1B, involving two new kids in the class. In Shadow of the Black Organisation - The Young Witness / The Strange Illumination, Eisuke invites himself as an assistent to Mouri Kogorou, who has taken a case offered by a little boy. The kid swears he had seen a man throw the dead body of the famous rockstar who has gone missing for some days from a bridge around New Year, but he can't remember where it was exactly. A bit like those other children's talk code cracking stories, but made more interesting as it is clear that Hondou Eisuke is more than he seems, using high level interrogation techniques, being a lot more smarter than he seems and apparently trying to get information about Mizunashi Rena (Kir) out of Kogorou. The next day, Eisuke brings a new case to Kogorou, one he found on the net. Someone is seemingly in the same situation as the red-headed Wilson in The Red Headed League, being paid a small fortune for a seemingly meaningless job. During the investigation, they meet up with Megure, who is investigating a murder. The son of the family where the murder happened, is surprisingly the kid who was witness to the crash and capture of Mizunashi Rena/Kir in volume 49. And even more important, it seems that Vermouth has visited the house too!

Movie 10: Private Eyes' Requiem
Release: April 16, 2006

A special movie in honor of the the 10th anniversary of the anime. As such, this movie has an all-star cast of pretty much every important character in the series (most in short cameos), with Mouri Kogorou and other detectives hired to investigate an old case. If they refuse, Ran and the other will get blown up by the bombs set on their arms (without their knowing; they think it's a normal VIP entry pass for the entertainment park). The movie is mostly memorable because of the cast (and an awesome team-up action by Conan and Hattori at the end of the movie) and one I enjoyed very much, but I really couldn't tell you anything about what the case the detectives are investigating. So it's probably not that interesting detective-wise.

Volume 54
Keyhole: Koshimizu Natsuki
Cases: Shadow of the Black Organisation - The Strangely Large Compensation; Falling Stars of Pearls; The Unbreakable Snow Man; Three Days with Hattori Heiji (1); Three Days with Hattori Heiji (2)
Characters:  Koshimizu Natsuki; Tokitsu Junya
Plot: Vermouth knows Kir (Mizunashi Rena) had an accident; In the past, Kir killed a spy called Hondou; Hattori is asked to investigate both Mizunashi Rena and Hondou Eisuke

The murder in Shadow of the Black Organisation - The Strangely Large Compensation; Falling Stars of Pearls is not directly connected with the Black Organisation, but we know that Vermouth is on the track of Mizunashi Rena, as she found out from the kid Toji that she has been in an accident. Gin also tells Vodka about the time Mizunashi Rena killed a spy in the Organisation and that the name of the spy was Hondou. Conan is also very careful with Eisuke, sending him away (using Kogorou's voice) before he proceeds with the investigation, fearing Eisuke would see through the voice-changing bowtie trick. The Detective Boys go snowboarding in The Unbreakable Snow Man. When a woman is found drowned in lake, it is thought that she fell from a cliff into the lake, but Conan thinks it's not just an accident. A rather predicable story. Three Days with Hattori Heiji (1) is a pretty OK story, revolving around a disappearing corpse inside a temple. In this story, Conan asks Hattori to investigate both Mizunashi Rena and Hondou Eisuke, as they both seem to have ties to Osaka. In Three Days with Hattori Heiji (2), Hattori is asked to enter the Detective Koushien, a match between the four great high school detectives of Japan (North, South, East and West), held on a remote island.

Volume 55
Keyhole: Kuroba Touichi
Cases:  Three Days with Hattori Heiji (2); Genta's Deadly Shoot; Young Kudou Shinichi's Adventure; Laywer Kisaki Eri's Love
Plot: Kudou Yuusaku knows that Kuroba Touichi is Kaitou KID

And one of the entrants is Koshimizu Natsuki, the only female high-school detective we have seen in the series and she is from Fukuoka too! She speaks Hakata-dialect only once or twice though. Which is absoletely cute though! The locked room murder the four detectives have to solve is brilliant in its simplicity and I really hope we'll see Koshimizu again in the series. This series totally needs a Fukuoka story. What about a scene on top of Fukuoka Tower a la the Tsuutenkaku scene in Osaka? Dogen? Yoka toko yaro, Hakata! In Genta's Deadly Shoot a German the Detective Boys had just met is murdered. Just before he died, Conan asked who killed him, and the German pointed to... Genta. Is Genta the murderer? Well no, and the dying message is a bit too fanciful, but hey, it works in Dutch too! Young Kudou Shinichi's Adventure is a story I have some problems with. The plot itself is cute, with a young Shinichi and Ran following a set of codes, left by a mysterious man at school. In the course of their 'investigation', we also meet some of the other characters, which is fun. And we know that Kuroba Touichi (the original KID) was the one who taught disguise skills to Yukiko. But why have Yuusaku know that Touichi is KID and let them be rivals like Conan/KID? This super-interrelated world with mirror-images everywhere in the Aoyama world is really getting ridiculous. Laywer Kisaki Eri's Love is a short story with Ran overinterpretating things. Becaue she does that. A lot.

Volume 56
Keyhole: Ethan Hondou
Cases: Metropolis Police Detectives' Love Story 8 - The Ring Finger on her Left Hand; The Yamanba's Knife; The Whereabouts of the Black Photograph; Clash of Red and Black - Start / Blood Relative
Characters: Ethan Hondou
Plot: Hondou Eisuke lived in Osaka; Conan acquires photo of Hondou's father; Hondou's father worked at the Company, Mizunashi Rena has bloodtype AB

Why is Satou wearing a ring on her left hand? Takagi is not really concentrating on the case in Metropolis Police Detectives' Love Story 8 - The Ring Finger on her Left Hand, as the rings bugs him. A lot. A ring also plays a big part in the poisoning of a celebrated writer. It seems like suicide, as all doors were locked before the coffee was made, but suicides are very rare in Conan. The trick used here actually a variation on those we saw in the first cases with Hattori and Haibara. The Yamanba's Knife is a short story, with the DB's (and Agasa) getting lost in the mountains and ending up in the house of old little woman. A second group also arrives there, consisting of two hosts and their customer. She gets killed, but where did the murder weapon go? And then the investigation regarding Hondou Eisuke and Mizunashi Rena continues, as Hattori discovered that Eisuke used to live in Osaka and that his father used to visit a restaurant with his colleagues, who all wore black. The grandson of the owner of the restaurant has a photo of Eisuke's father and Conan, Agasa and Ai quickly go there to get it, solving a little case of breaking and entering. Acquiring the picture, Conan is also told that Hondou seemed to work at something called the Company. Clash of Red and Black - Start / Blood Relative is the start of the wrap-up of the Hondou Eisuke story-line. Here Conan finds out that Eisuke has been visiting hospitals in search of his sister, who looks precisely like Mizunashi Rena. He is also told about that Eisuke had an accident in the past and received his sisters' blood. While Eisuke says he doesn't think that Mizunashi Rena is his sister, Ran suggests visiting her father's friend who is a big fan of Mizunashi Rena. They get wrapped up in a phone fraud case, but finally find out that Mizunashi Rena has bloodtype AB, while Eisuke says he has type O, meaning Mizunashi Rena can't be his sister (as he wouldn't be able to receive her blood).

Volume 57
Keyhole: James Black
Cases: Clash of Red and Black - Start / Blood Relative; Devil of the TV Station; Man on the Run; Clash of Red and Black - Coma / Infiltration
Plot: Birth certificate confirms Eisuke is bloodtype O; Ethan Hondou was an undercover CIA agent; Eisuke is snooping around Haido Central Hospital; the Organisation has infiltrated the hospital;

Luck has it that Eisuke is going to visit the mansion where his mother worked as a maid in the past to pick up some lost items (including a certificate with his bloodtype, confirming it as type O). Kogorou happens to be invited to the mansion too, to investigate the murder on the son of the family some time ago. During their visit, the head of the family is found hanged inside his study, Suicide or murder? Conan also discovers that Eisuke has a scar on his chest from an operation, that will turn to be very significant later. In Devil of the TV Station, Satan Onitsuka, a rock star, kills the director of his production company at the Nichiuri TV station. The Detective Boys happen to be visiting the studio and Conan quickly suspects Satan Onitsuka, but has trouble finding proof for it. The story revolves around two tricks (how did Satan get out of his room and how did he get a hold of a mirror), one of them being practically copied out of a Furuhata Ninzaburou episode. Man on the Run is a short story about Kogorou being on the run for someone. Funny, but more like a short breather for the longest Conan-story up until now, spanning more than a volume: Clash of Red and Black. It starts with many revelations: Hondou Ethan, father of Eisuke, was an undercover CIA spy in the Organisation, killed by Kir (Mizunashi Rena). Hondou Eisuke has been frantically searching around hospitals for Mizunashi Rena, suspecting that someone has killed his sister and had her face surgically changed to look like her. Furthermore, Eisuke had once heard his father use the mail-adress of the Organisation's boss (which sounds like nanatsu no ko if entered on a phone) and he heard the mail-adress again in the Haido Central Hospital, which is where Mizunashi Rena is; meaning that the Organisation already infiltrated the hospital. Jodie, James Black and Conan go to the hospital immediately and discover that a patient has been asking around. Conan also discovers that Eisuke had leukemia.

Movie 11: Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure
Release: April 21, 2007

Absolutely. Boring. Movie. The fact that the opening sequence is rather different from the other movies should have set me off. A quest for treasure means this is a rather Detective Boys heavy movie too. It includes some forensic investigation, but this is really the worst Conan movie. Some friends said they liked it, because of the Ran/Sonoko friendship scenes and stuff, but that is certainly not why I am watching Conan. It actually took me a while to get over the utter shock of this movie and gather enough courage to see the next Conan movie.

Volume 58
Keyhole: Andre Camel
Characters: Andre Camel
Black Organisation:  Kusuda Rikumichi; Kir (Mizunashi Rena = Hondou Akemi); Rye (Maboroshi Dai = Akai Shuuichi) (not anymore)
Cases: Clash of Red and Black -  Coma / Infiltration; Clash of Red and Black - Awakening / Disturbance / Disguise / Testament; Clash of Red and Black - Suspicion / Innocence / Desperation / Killed in the line of Duty
Plot: Kusuda commits suicide; a past between Akai Shuuichi and Miyano Akemi; Mizunashi Rena uncovered als CIA agent and sister of Eisuke; Mizunashi Rena returns to the Organisation; Jodie borrows Conan's cellphone; Akai get shot by Mizunashi Rena

Superspecialawesome volume! The whole volume is one single story, the longest until now. Too much happens: the FBI find out who the mole is thanks to Conan, but he escapes and commits suicide; thus notifying that Mizunashi Rena is in the hospital. The Organisation plays a cat-and-mouse game with the FBI who are trying to protect Mizunashi Rena (and the other patients in the hospital), which is stunning! With hightened security, we also meet FBI agent Andre Camel, who looks a bit like Vodka. Akai's past is explored and Conan is told that he used to be a spy in the Organisation with the codename Rye and that he dated Miyano Akemi, Haibara's sister in the past. Because the Organisation found out about Akai (thanks to a mistake by Camel), the Organisation started to distrust Akemi, and the 100 Million Yen Robbery (volume 2) was actually meant to prove her loyalty to the Organisation as well as getting her sister out of the Organisation. Conan and Akai seem to get along very good, coming up with a whole series of plans of actions. Mizunashi Rena is also uncovered as Hondou Hidemi, CIA spy in the Organisation and indeed the daughter of Hondou Eisuke and sister of Eisuke. Her father commited suicide to save his daughter and the mission, making it seem like she had killed a spy. Eisuke changed bloodtypes after his leukemia operation, meaning he has AB type, just like his sister. Akai Shuuichi and Conan strike a deal with Mizunashi Rena; they'll return her to the Organisation, in exchange for information. She accepts and through several double bluffs she gets back in the Organisation, making it seem like she escaped on her own from the FBI, marking a short pause in the battle between the FBI and the Organisation. Andre Camel gets caught up in a murder case during this break, a case with three foreigners as suspects. Jodie comes to help him, and it is during this time that the Boss orders Kir (through Gin) to kill Akai Shuuichi, in order to clear any suspicions of her having struck any deals with the FBI. And she indeed lures him out, saying she needs protection and shoots him on the spot, under the watchful eyes of Gin.

Volume 59
Keyhole: Yamato Kansuke
Characters: Torada (nee Uehara) Yui 
Police: Police Inspector Yamato Kansuke (Nagano)
Cases: Clash of Red and Black - Suspicion / Innocence / Desperation / Killed in the line of Duty; Laywer Kisaki Eri's Testimony; Fuurinkazan - Armored Warrior in the Maze / Conclusion of Shadow and Lightning; The Dead Angle in the Karaoke Box
Plot:  Fingerprints of the dead body match those on Conan's phone; Jodie gives Conan a different phone back;

The car with Akai Shuuichi's body is blown up by Kir. Jodie remembers that Conan's cellphone (which she is borrowing) has Akai's fingerprints on them and asks the police to check them with the dead body's prints. They match.  Laywer Kisaki Eri's Testimony is a short story where a killer uses Eri as her alibi: the murderer was cutting Eri's hair when the murder took place. A very mechanical, Shimada Souji-esque trick. Fuurinkazan - Armored warrior in the maze / Conclusion of Shadow and Lightning is one of the best stories in Conan history, period. Two rivaling families, murders commited following a Fuurinkazan motive, appearance by Hattori, first appearance by Yamato Kansuke, a hard-boiled one-eyed detective with a limp. A must-read. The Dead Angle in the Karaoke Box is the last Hondou Eisuke story (for now). It starts with Hondou and Conan both trying to buy Shinmei Kaori's (volume 19) new book, and they (together with Sonoko and Ran) end up in a karaoke box, where a murder is committed.

Volume 60
Keyhole: Okiya Subaru
Characters: Okiya Subaru 
Black Organisation: Bourbon
Cases: The Dead Angle in the Karaoke Box; Red, White, Yellow and the Detective Boys / Mystery of the W Code; The True Identity of the Urban Legend; Murderous Intent is the Fragrance of Coffee
Plot: Hondou Eisuke finds out that Conan is Shinichi; leaves for America to enter the CIA; Okiya Subaru moves in the Kudou residence

The Dead Angle in the Karaoke Box is a story that revolves around the search for a murder weapon, and is very much like a certain Furuhata Ninzaburou story, but a bit more practical. In the end, Hondou Eisuke tells Conan he's going to the States and baits Conan into telling him he's actually Shinichi, something he had suspected from the beginning. In Red, White, Yellow and the Detective Boys / Mystery of the W Code, the mansion of the classmate of the Detective Boys is burned down. The Detective Boys were asked by the kid to investigate one of the persons renting a room at their place, saying he was rather suspicous. Once again code cracking of a kid's story, but more interesting is the introduction of Okiya Subaru, a student who was renting a room there and thus a suspect. Haibara seems to feel a Organisation vibe from him and he seems to be a bit too smart. As Mizunashi Rena had leaked information to Jodie, saying that a new Organisation member with the codename Bourbon has been sent to investigate around the Beika area, Conan, Jodie and Haibara suspect that this Bourbon is looking for Haibara. And Okiya seems like the best suspect for Bourbon. To much surprise of Haibara though, Conan tells Okiya to live in the Kudou mansion, saying nobody lives there now anyway. In The True Identity of the Urban Legend, 'The Hammer Man' has been murdering women with a hammer and the police has found out where he lives. When they enter his home though, they find him strangled to death. A story that revolves around misdirection and actually re-uses the same trick a couple of volumes earlier, but done much better. Murderous Intent is the Fragrance of Coffee also revolves around misdirection, with a poisoning murder and actually a very good story, IMHO, even though it's set up quite simple.

Hondou Eisuke was introduced in volume 59, but is pretty much the main player in this set of stories, as he is searching for the missing Mizunashi Rena. The conclusion of this is in The Clash of Red and Black (volumes 57~59) is really intense and one of the best Conan stories. I don't really like Hondou Eisuke as a character, as he was either a Conan-type of character, 'accidently' helping the detective or just too suspicious, so I'm glad he's gone, but I have to admit the arc itself is very good. With both the CIA and FBI in the story, a mole in the Organisation and the death (?) of Akai Shuuichi, it's not really clear how big the finale of Conan is going to be though. The Organisation is getting bigger by the minute, it seems.

The best 'normal' stories in these volumes are the Hattori stories; the Detective Koushien is great with four (five) great detectives gathered, including someone from Fukuoka! The Fuurinkazan story is just amazing with great story-telling and an awesome theme for the murders.

And now just the last 10 volumes! 

Original Japanese title(s): 『名探偵コナン』第51巻~60巻 / 『名探偵コナン 探偵たちの鎮魂歌(レクイエム)』 / 『名探偵コナン紺碧の棺(ジョッリー・ロジャー)』


  1. Reading these reviews makes me wish that Viz would sped up their release schedule.

  2. Heh, I would've thought you'd read these (spoiler-heavy) posts only until where they are with the Viz release (somewhere around 40?).

    If I remember correctly, Viz is releasing Conan at approx. the same pace (or maybe slightly faster) as in Japan (a volume every 3~4 months), so it will take some years, I guess...

    Of course, German and French releases are pretty much up-to-date... ;P