Turn the roulette of destiny
All the things I think deeply about are mysteries
Look, the person of my destiny is here
I've been looking at you all the time
Turn the Roulette of Destiny (Zard)
Finding this note wedged between the pages of a second hand copy of Ayatsuji Yukito's Suishakan no Satsujin ("The Water Mill House Murders") made my day. It says: "The identity of the murderer is revealed beyond this point.Try to deduce it yourself first!".
It's half April, which means it is time for the annual Conan-media barrage here in Japan. The 16th movie, The Eleventh Striker, was released Friday, but sadly enough I still haven't found anyone to go together with... (I don't like going to the theaters alone). I did pick up the newest volume of the manga however and next week I'll pick up the new videogame. And I hope to find 'ways to obtain' the live action special broadcast in the weekend (I don't own a television here). Aoyama Goushou totally owns my wallet.
a limited release with a small Conan figure based on the movie. I was glad to see that although it might take weeks to read a book here compared to the couple of days back home, at least my Conan-Reading-Speed (we will see whether the abbreviation CRS will be used on a regular basis from now on) is still the same. Which means a couple of hours. The newest volume starts with the continuation of the last case of volume 74 (And for sinister reasons, the case name has actually changed on the official Conan web database, between the release of volume 74 and now). The police is still trying to figure out who poisoned the son of the design bureau's president when the president herself is also poisoned in her home office in Design of Poison and Illusions (initially known as The Distorted Optical Illusion Murder Case). It is a double poisoning case here and the trick behind the first one (the son's poisoning) is actually quite neat, as it is a simple yet very effective and believable one. The mother's poisoning however is rather hard to believe. I think the trick is based on an actual scientific concept, but it just seems so... unrealistic. And it makes for a really uncertain poisoning method. Too bad, as the main theme of this story (optical illusions) is really fun and some things done here are neat, but the final poisoning leaves a slightly disappointing aftertaste.
The premise of The Great Deduction of the Fake Mouri Kogorou mirrors the concept of a story in volume 31. This time though, the fake Mouri Kogorou turns out to be not so evil (and dead): a young man has been visiting an old granny pretending to be Mouri Kogorou because his girlfriend asked him to watch over her grandmother. Having recently been the victim of a burglar, she has grown suspicious of everything, but thanks to 'Mouri Kogorou' solving all kinds of mysteries for her, she has been able to sleep well again. And then coincidence brings the fake Mouri Kogorou, Ran, Conan to a murder scene in the apartment complex next to the grandmother's house. The case itself is not too complex, though fun as a simple, yet believable alibi trick is used that almost seems to have sprouted out of the head of a creative child, while the way everyone (and in particular, the fake Mouri Kogorou) tries to keep up appearances in front of the grandmother and the suspects is very amusing.
Man, I wish I could translate. The Japanese title of The Case of Shuu, the Red Oil is actually a play on words on Char (Sha), the Red Comet, the main antagonist of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series (which has been featured in Conan quite often the last few years actually). An unknown person has been vandalizing cars, breaking into them and writing "Die" with graffiti on the inner roofs of the cars. The latest victim is officer Chiba, who joins forces with Yumi of the traffic police and... Naeko, Chiba's childhood love introduced in volume 71. Naeko is aware of Chiba's identity (he remembers his first love, but doesn't realise that he is actually working with her now) and the Detective Boys try to make Chiba realise that Naeko is his first love. In short, this is another classic Metropolitan Police Love Story. Which actually also often seem to be connected to missing link stories. Here, the police has troubles finding out what the common point is between the vandalized cars. The main mystery itself is not very exciting (and the missing link is quite obvious), but this story works if you're into Metropolitan Police Love story arcs.
The Mysterious Detective and the Nails of Destiny introduces us to another possible Bourbon candidate, (a Black Organization member who supposedly has infiltrated the cast). The private detective Amuro Tooru lends his name of the Gundam protagonist Amuro Ray (whose voice actor is Furuya Tooru) and makes his first appearance as a suspect of the murder on Kogorou's high school friend's bride-to-be. The bride-to-be supposdely called her fiance, saying only goodbye, before she blew up her own car (and herself), but traces show that she might have been in a fight just before the explosion, which would mean that it might have been murder. I am not a big fan of the mystery, mainly because it does not seem to work with this length. It is a short, three chapter story, but I think this is one of those cases where blowing things up, making the case bigger and larger would have been benifical to the story. As it is now, the story seems to lack direction as all things had to be tidied up by the last chapter. The conclusion however, is heartbreaking.
A bit of a bland volume. The Hattori case is not that great, and while I certainly had fun with the fake Mouri Kogorou, Chiba's love story and the new character Amuro Tooru, I wasn't too impressed by the mysteries. Which should always stay the main focus of this series. All well, I hope the movie/game/TV special manages to satisfy my needs!
Original Japanese title(s): 青山剛昌 『名探偵コナン』第75巻