Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Divide and Conquer

While we tried to make a date to go in a group to see the new Detective Conan movie, the group kept growing and growing (last count was near the 1o) and everybody had different classes at different times, so in the end we decided to use the good old Scooby-Doo (TM) tactic of "Let's split up, gang!".

We had already held a general repetition last week when too many people crammed into my room to watch last year's Detective Conan: The Raven Chaser, so I was really looking forward to this year's Detective Conan: Lost Ship in the Sky.

Which was... difficult to classify. This time keywords are to be never eaten okonomiyaki, epic falling, skateboards, footballs and bandages and bio-terrorists, but the movie featured no real detecting (not even a murder!) and it was mostly like any hijack movie. It's still leagues ahead of Detective Conan: Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure, but it lacks immensely in the detecting department. Well, I might as well say there is no detecting at all. Which is something you'd expect from a series called Detective Conan.

But Arsene Lupin-expy Kaitou KID also appears in the movie, and that just saves EVERYTHING . I was really all set to hate this movie, but somehow, the interactions of KID with the other character (especially Ran!) saved the movie. And this time there were no weird unsolved threads of plot.

Funny thing was the fact that there was almost nobody in the theater. Differences with last year are two days and the fact we went to the 15:00 viewing, but it was totally different from last year's packed Ikebukero experience. (C.f. with Liar Game - The Final Stage, which I also visited on a weekday, in the afternoon, which was packed). People here don't like Conan?

And damn you, Detective Conan Movie Committee! Now I'll have to come back next year again to catch the 15th movie...

Original Japanese title(s): 『名探偵コナン 天空の難破船(ロスとシップ)』

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Danse Macabre

"Y'see, this is where you and everyone else give up. You're making the big mistake of sticking to what's likely rather than what's logical."
"Danse Macabre"

In the timespan of one year, there is usually ridiculously little to look forward to for me regarding detectives. Classic mysteries are not written as often as they used to be and in the end I tend to only pick up older books. Even here in Japan, where there orthodox mysteries are still written relatively often, I tend to pick up books over 5 years old (mostly because of prices though~).

The only detective-related thing I every year can look forward to is the Detective Conan annual movie. For which I've already gathered a band of wannabe detectives to go together with. And also for the new Trick movie. For which I have also gathered a band of wannabe psychics to go together with. But this year, I had mostly been looking forward to Easter. Not because of a new Doctor Who series (well, maybe also because of that), but mostly because a new Jonathan Creek special would be shown. Last year's special, The Grinning Man was, ignoring some pacing problems, quite entertaining and in the meantime, I had been watching the original series.

Jonathan Creek tells the story of the titular magic act designer, who is always getting involved in (seemingly) impossible crimes. Locked room murders, disappearing people, appearing dead bodies, the classics of yore. And even though it sounds like a throwback to good old times at this time and age, the show feels surprising refreshing, with its witty writing and often solid plots. Often, but not always though. Writer Renwick seems to have trouble maintaining a standard for the series, especially the later seasons suffer from it and the series stopped in 2004. But with the disguised revival pilot 2009 special The Grinning Man he and Creek seemed back on track.

Seemed. Because if The Grinning Man reminded me of the earlier Creek seasons, The Judas Tree was definitely reminding me of the later seasons. I really wanted to like it. And I admit, the setting was quite good, similar to The Grinning Man with a haunting past and a truly spooky feeling. And then comes the ass pull, which, as the name implies, was totally uncalled for and not fair. Add in an admittely amusing, yet "What did he just say?! in a negative way" solution to a crime in the past and it left a bad, bad aftertaste. That and I really, really don't like Creek's assistent.

Should Creek retire? Maybe. Still, I would want a better special to be the final Creek episode...

Today's song: Camille Saint-Saëns [Arranged by Julian Stewart Lindsay] - Danse Macabre (Theme of Jonathan Creek)