Saturday, September 10, 2011

「真実の三角関係って一体どういうこと? 」

「後ほどでエエのよ。 ここは前半みんな走った後で中盤から後半で息切れた時にフッとこれが一番良いのよ」
『ヘキサゴンIIクイズパレード!!』 (2011.09.07)

"It's kinda busy in the first half of the show. So I think it's better to go lightly now..."
"No, no, let's go full gear the whole day"
"Later is better! After everybody has finished running around and is out of breath in the first half, I'll just pop out, that's the best!"
"Hexagon II Quiz Parade!!" (2011.09.07)

With the show almost over and mostly mediocre episodes, I don't expect much of the remaining episodes of Meitantei Conan - Kudou Shinichi e no Chousenjou (Detective Conan - A Challenge Letter for Kudou Shinichi). When the series first started, I was hoping the series would pick up after the first half, but that didn't really happen. And the preview for this week's episode wasn't really interesting either, so.... wa... wait. Ha...hah? Did my eyes fool me, or was episode 10 actually a good episode?!

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

Episode 10 ("The Mystery of the Body that Moved 200 KM Within An Instant! Reveal the Perfect Crime Scheme of the Evil Woman") actually features an interesting problem, which is pretty rare in this series (this is indeed the most original story since... episode 3?). A client of Kogorou is attacked by a stalker during her videochat session with Ran. Ran rushes to the apartment, but no sign of the client, just a totally ransacked apartment and signs of violence (blood traces). She calls the police and Shinichi, but even the client isn't found even after a complete search of the apartment block

And here comes the interesting part: the dead body of the client is eventually found, but in a Weekly Mansion in Saitama. Which by car is located about three hours away from the client's apartment. Yet the client was definately killed during the time she was videochatting with Ran. What makes the problem even more interesting is that the police have a suspect (the stalker), but he was seen by Ran at the client's apartment around the time the murder must have happened. So here we have a murderer (stalker), at the crime scene (apartment) as witnessed by Ran, but the body at a place 200 kilometers away from the crime scene! If the client was murdered in her own apartment, how did the murderer move her body to the place where she was discovered? And if the client was murdered at the place where she was discovered, how did the murderer manage to be at the apartment at the same time?

This episode really caught me by surprise. At first I thought it would be like the Murder Collector story of Tantei Gakuen Q ("Detective Academy Q"), as it featured a murder caught on video, but it turned to be quite different. In a positive way. I won't say the story is perfect, but it's a relatively complex story for this series that is also done relatively well. The main trick is pretty cool and the final deduction Shinichi made was actually impressive. There are some points in the story that really need some polishing though (including the final deduction), but I'll just blame at the time-constraints this series has. With a bit more running time / rewriting, this could really have been a very, very good story. But even as it is now, it's pretty good. I don't know where this sudden rise in quality this late in the series comes from, but you won't hear me complaining about it. I actually find it incredible that that the scriptwriter of this episode was also the person who wrote the awful episode 8. He also co-wrote the second episode, which was OK-ish. Meaning he wrote the best, one of the mediocre and the worst episode of the series.

And I certainly didn't expect to mention his name in conjunction with this series, but the episode is a lot like Norizuki Rintarou's stories. The modern urban setting is certainly a trademark of his short stories and the movement of characters in the modern maze of buildings is one of the more interesting parts in his more complex plots. Actually, the main trick itself is also very much like Norizuki's puzzles (even invoking Queen), especially Toshi Densetsu Puzzle.

Oh, and you'll always get my attention with a Yaiba reference!

The next episode is actually the first one to be based on the manga (volume 26; Desperate Revival [The Return of Shinichi & The Promised Place]), which fans should recognize as one of the more interesting episodes in Conan history. I'm a bit disappointed that didn't go with a 'bigger' story, but seeing as this series does feature Shinichi and Ran as a duo, it's an understandable choice. Just wondering how they're going to tie this in with the main series! The live action series has made no mention at all until now about Shinichi turning into Conan in the future, so it'll be interesting to see how they're going to explain that!

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「200キロを瞬間移動した死体の謎! 悪女の完全犯罪計画を暴け」
Date & Password: 2010.07.27; ビデオチャット

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