"But you're as just much a Death God as Mr Mouri, you know... You keep popping up at murder scenes..."
"Detective Conan" Volume 82
Oh wow, I just realized that I haven't written reviews for the Detective Conan manga for over a year now! The last one was for volume 78, and while I definitely have been keeping up with the series, I somehow managed to forget the reviews. Again and again. And again. Let's fix that!
Detective Conan manga & movies:
Part 1: 『平成のホームズ』: The Heisei Holmes (volumes 1 ~ 10)
Part 2: 『奇妙な集まり』: A Strange Gathering (volumes 11~20; The Timebombed Skysraper/The Fourteenth Target)
Part 3: 『心強き名探偵達』: The Brave Detectives (volumes 21~30; The Last Wizard of the Century/Captured in Her Eyes)
Part 4: 『白い影・・・黒い影・・・』: White Shadow... Black Shadow... (volumes 31~40; Countdown to Heaven/The Phantom of Baker Street)
Part 5: 『満月の夜と黒い宴の罠』: A Full Moon's Night and Trap at a Black Banquet (volumes 41~50; Crossroad in the Ancient Capital/Magician of the Silver Sky/Strategy Above the Depths)
Part 6: 『探偵甲子園』: Detective Koushien (volumes 51~60; Private Eyes' Requiem/Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure)
Part 7: 『よくあるパターン』: A Common Pattern (volumes 61~70; Full Score of Fear/The Raven Chaser/Lost Ship in the Sky)
(You will find the links to the reviews of volume 70, 72~76, 78, and the films Quarter of Silence, The Eleventh Striker, Private Eye in the Distant Sea in the library)
Volume 82 of Detective Conan was released about a month ago, and starts with Kaitou KID VS Kyougoku Makoto: The Outcome of the Dangerous Bet, which is pretty much what the title says it is. Phantom thief KID has announced to steal another jewel from Suzuki Jiroukichi, who should know better by now. Placing jewels on skyscrapers, on the back of turtles, having children guard it, none of his plans to stop the phantom thief have ever succeeded. The single line of defense this time is Kyougoku Makoto, boyfriend of Jiroukichi's niece and world champion karate. Will the famous thief win, or a man can dodge bullets? These KID vs Jiroukichi stories were fun the first few times, but they seem to pop up way too often lately (wasn't the last one in volume 80 or 81?!). This time the theft is kinda easy to solve (despite the trick also depending on obscure facts nobody is ever going to know), which makes it a forgettable story. Mostly. The one thing that will stick, is the fact that lately Conan characters have become too strong (see also Ran's role in the movie Private Eye in the Distant Sea). Sure, Makoto had always been strong, being able to dodge rifle shots at point blank range (or more precisely, he could dodge the shots, because he was so close), but the feats he performs here... Overall, a disappointing story though.
A Case Beckoning Cat consists of two cases actually, though the official Conan site treats it as one, larger case. The first part of the story is about a stray cat Azusa (of Cafe Poirot) has been taking care of. After the publication of an article on Cafe Poirot, featuring a picture of Azusa and the cat, no less than three persons appear, each claiming the cat is their own. Can Great Detective Mouri Kogorou determine the true owner of the cat? In the second part, the Detective Boys go visit the new owner of the cat, but they discover a nearly dead body in the apartment. An apartment locked from the inside, to be precise. Who attacked the cat's new owner and how did the assailant escape?
There's this phenomena, that if you learn a new word, you suddenly seem to see it everywhere, right? I am not sure whether it also occurs when applying it to your own mother tongue, but it definitely appears often when studying new languages. Its probably just the fact being able to actually recognize and comprehend the word, which makes it seem like it appears more often, but what about tropes and trivia? The first part of A Case Beckoning Cat features a... fact, a trope maybe, that I first learned about about a half year ago in a detective story. Since then, I've seen the exact same fact used in at least three other detective stories in just these six months. And it's not even that interesting a fact! It's not used in a surprising way here or anything like that at all, so to me, it feels like more of the same. It's also an obscure fact, I guess, which again makes the story less interesting to me personally (like the KID story).
The second half of A Case Beckoning Cat on the other hand does not invoke a trope I've seen in other detectives, but in the Conan series itself. A mish-mash of elements of a very early Conan story, and one that appeared somewhere between volume 20~30. Once again a disappointing story overall. The final complete story in volume 82, A Time-Bending Alibi, has the same problem: it's basically the exact same trick like a story in volume 44. Sure, it's arranged a bit, and the scale is admittedly bigger, but the base is the same, and too obvious from the start.
Volume 82 ends with the beginning of a new story, which seems more interesting than the rest of the volume, but as I don't want to write about unfinished stories...
All in all a very disappointing volume. Which is quite rare for Conan, actually. As there's usually around three stories per volume, there's almost always at least one story I really like, but volume 82 was a real letdown. The previous volumes were quite strong actually, so maybe artist Aoyama Goushou should have played with the order of the stories a bit for a more balanced experience... But I'll keep on reading anyway. Aoyama once said he wanted to wrap up the story before volume 100, and we're definitely nearing the end!
Original Japanese title(s): 青山剛昌 『名探偵コナン』第82巻