Words are like blades. You might hurt someone just by saying them"
"Detective Conan Quarter of Silence"
How strange it feels to write a review of a Detective Conan movie 6 months after the release! I was lucky enough to have seen The Raven Chaser and Lost Ship in the Sky in the theaters when I was in Japan, but no such luck this year, so I had to wait for the home-release of 2011's Conan movie. Which was this month. Next year will be different though!
Though in hindsight, it is sorta fitting that I didn't see Detective Conan Quarter of Silence in the theaters, but at home. Both The Raven Chaser and Lost Ship in the Sky were rather fanservicy movies, with loads of action scenes and guest appearances. Watching those movies on the big silver screen was really worth it. Compared to the previous two movies, Quarter of Silence is a rather tame one. In fact, it is one of the soberest Conan movies (in terms of fanservice) of all time. No Black Organisation, no KID or Hattori, no serial killings with five or six victims. Just a simple investigation. Sure, it's still a Conan movie, so we see Conan do some impossibly awesome action scenes at the beginning and the ending of the movie and things explode (a lot!), but the difference guest appearances and the relatively few action scenes do make this movie feel less spectacular. At least, I don't think I missed something of the experience by watching the movie on TV instead of on a big screen.
It starts out impressive though, with an attempt on the governor's life by blowing up a new train line the governor is riding. Let's just say that lots of things explode and move. Then the story makes some weird jumps, with Conan miraculously guessing that he might find some clue to the bomber's identity in a snow resort village, that was re-located 5 years ago because of the construction of a gigantic dam. Here we find a) five friends who don't seem to get along anymore, b) a boy who has been in a coma for 8 years but finally awakes, and c) a dead man in the middle of a snow field. And the Detective Boys wander around, stuff happens and things explode and Conan plays around with his new gadget, the turbo-engine snowboard. Oh, and there is something about a quarter of silence.
Don't expect too much of the impossible crime situation though. Compared to previous Conan movies, this is movie is also really light on the detecting, with any viewer probably placing all the puzzle pieces in the right place the moment they pop up in the story. The movie has some nice (non-detectivy) moments though, especially with the comparison of the situation Conan and Ai are in to the boy who went into a coma as a 7 year old and woke up as a 15 year old: he's still a kid on the inside, despite his body being that of a teenager.
Oh, and because it's mandatory that Conan does some impossibly awesome things in the movies: Conan does some impossibly awesome things with his skateboard/snowboard. Conan always seems physically indestructable in the movies and also in better physical shape than most adults (outrunning adults and stuff) which is kinda strange seeing as he's in the body of a six-year old, but all well, I always switch on the suspension of disbelief button when I watch a Conan movie.
That didn't work for the guest voice actor though. Watanabe Yoichi, a war photographer who has become quite the popular TV personality since 2010, is also known for (because of?) his distinct speech pattern, which is well articulated and actually quite soothing, but impossibly slow. His speech pattern is so recognizable that any viewer would instantly think of him, which is simply distracting. It was even worse than Daigo's guest voice acting in The Raven Chaser, which was really distracing too.
Oh, and am I the only one who looks forward to the new remix oｆ the Detective Conan theme every year? The Quarter of Silence remix feels a bit slower than the previous ones, but I like it!
Original Japanese title(s): 『名探偵コナン 沈黙の１５分（クォーター）』