Saturday, August 6, 2011


"There are two things that I consider inexcusable. Poisoning, and betrayal! Only a coward would hurt people using either of these tactics"
"Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney - Trials & Tribulations"

About halfway through Meitantei Conan - Kudou Shinichi e no Chousenjou ("Detective Conan - A Challenge Letter for Kudou Shinichi"), the show starts to have some really awful episodes. Never a good sign. I hope they come up with the stories based on the manga soon....

Meitantei Conan - Kudou Shinichi e no Chousenjou (Detective Conan - A Challenge Letter for Kudou Shinichi)
Episode 1 (July 7, 2011): Before he turned into Conan, the high school detective solved the mystery of the adultery murder!
Episode 2 (July 14, 2011): The locked room murder commited on air! Reveal the secret cursed by the psychic
Episode 3 (July 21, 2011): Murder Case in a Locked Courtroom! Reveal the Trick of the Hostess Murder
Episode 4 (July 28, 2011): Perfect Crime! Murder Notice at a Wedding, Reveal the Locked Room Poisoning Trick
Episode 5 (August 5, 2011): The Glamorous Murder Trick of the Actress who lost her Memory - Perfect Murder at the Summer House
Episode 6 (August 11, 2011): The Magnificent Murderous Kiss of Twenty Beauties! The Murderous Intent Hidden in the Murder Equation!
Episode 7 (August 18, 2011): Inheritance Murder Among Bloody Relatives! Reveal the Mystery of the Kidnapping Trick!
Episode 8 (August 25, 2011): A Woman's Determination, Revenge on the Molester! The Murder Trick hidden in the Security Camera
Episode 9 (September 01, 2011): Hattori Heiji and the Mystery of the Invisible Locked Room Murder Weapon! Deduction Battle between the Detectives of East and West
Episode 10 (September 08, 2011): The Mystery of the Body that Moved 200 KM Within An Instant! Reveal the Perfect Crime Scheme of the Evil Woman
Episode 11 (September 15, 2011): A Kiss Is the Reason for Murder, A Revenge Murder After 20 Years! The Mystery of the Perfect Alibi
Episode 12 (September 22, 2011): I Killed Her! 3 Single Murderers? Reveal the Mystery of the Fake Murder!
Episode 13 (September 29, 2011): Ran Dies! The Final Challenge of the True Criminal to the Genius Detective - Reveal the Mystery of the White Room

Like the previous episode, episode five ("The Glamorous Murder Trick of the Actress who lost her Memory - Perfect Murder at the Summer House") is a poisoning story. The murder victim is a famous film director who was working with Shinichi on a movie. The victim died after drinking his tea and everything seems to point to his wife as the main suspect (whose motive would be that her husband was having an affair). The problem? The wife lost her memory when she saw her husband die.

This was an awful episode. Really, really awful. I have seen my share of boring, bad stories, but this one ranks among the 'best' of them. The poisoning trick is like the very first trick that will come into your head when you see the scene, while the amnesia subplot is as bad as you would expect it to be. Though I have to admit that even that subplot was better plotted than the poisoning story. The trick used by the murderer could maybe fool the peole who were at the scene at the time of the crime, but never the police. And the way the murderer tried to wipe the evidence was awfully stupid. It's like screaming you're the murderer yourself. And seriously, visual hints in a visual media are alright and such, but this was a bit ridiculous. The only good point about the story is the somewhat downer-ending, which was quite darker than what you'd expect from Conan (which has its share of downer-endings).

I associate poisoning stories very strongly with Conan, as they occur very often in the manga. And they are often done quite well, with a good mix of (usually visual) hints and a sound foundation in 'the real world'. For example, last night I was re-reading Conan 63 (yes... the last Conan manga post is still coming), which has a story with a poisoning in a kaitenzushi. The location makes up for an interesting spot for a poisoning, with all the moving parts and etiquette involved and the trick was indeed well integrated in the location. The trick used in this week's episode of the Conan drama, is just boring and the most basic of basic tricks. The previous episode, while certainly not a perfect story, at least had a better trick.

On the slightly bright side: the overall storyline is finally moving. At the end of the episode, after they move into the next room, Ran gets hit by a poison arrow, and Shinichi and Kogorou have five minutes to figure out the next password. Still not sure what's going to happen, but as we enter the last half of the series, we should see more of the overall storyline. I hope. Of course, if they stay at the quality of this episode, they might do all the main storyline-things in just the last 10 minutes of the final episode...

Original Japanese title(s): 『名探偵コナン 工藤新一への挑戦状』 サブタイトル「記憶を消した女優の華麗なる殺人トリック 避暑地での完全犯罪」
Date & Password: 2010.08.12; ジョユウ

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