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Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

January 5, 2010 by  



A solid mystery with action, suspense and humor featuring Detective Conan, Kaito Kid (phantom thief) and many of the characters from the popular long-running anime series.  Fans of the series will definitely enjoy this third film!

Image courtesy of © Gosho Aoyama/Shogakukuan-Yomiuri-TV-Universal Music-Sho-Pro-Toho-TMS. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century

DURATION: 100 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9, English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, Japanese Stereo, English Subtitles

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: December 15, 2009

Originally Created by Gosho Aoyama

Directed by Kenji Kodama

Screenplay: Kazunari Kouchi

Storyboard: Kenji Kodama

Music by Katsuo Ono

Character Designs by Masaaki Sudoh

Art Director: Yukihiro Shibutani

Chief Animation Director: Junko Yamanaka, Kei Hyoudou, Masaaki Sudoh, Yoshihiro Shimizu

Animation Director: Makoto Sato

Art Design: Hiroyuki Mitsumoto, Kazunari Roppongi

Producer: Masahito Yoshioka, Michiko Suwa

Anime Production by Kokuichi Tokyo Movie Shinsha

Featuring the following voice talent:

Kappei Yamaguchi/Jerry Jewell as Kaitou (Phantom Thief) Kid, Shinichi Kudou

Minami Takayama/Alison Viktorin as Conan Edogawa

Kaneto Shiozawa/Eric Vale as Inspector Shiratori (Inspector Santos)

Chafurin/Mark Stoddard as Detective Megure (Inspector Joseph Megure)

Akio Ohtsuka as Inui Shoichi

Akira Kamiya/R. Bruce Elliott as Kogoroh Mohri (Richard Moore)

Eisuke Yoda as Sawabe Kuranosuke

Emi Shinohara as Kousaka Natsumi

Fumio Matsuoka as Suzuki Shiro

Haruhiko Jo as Sergei Ovchinnikov

Ikue Ohtani as Mitsuhiko Tsuburaya

Kenichi Ogata/Bill Flynn as Dr. Agatha (Dr. Agasa)

Megumi Hayashibara as Ai Haibara

Mitsuru Miyamoto as Nishino Makoto

Naoko Matsui/Laura Bailey as Suzuki Sonoko (Serena Sebastian)

Nobuo Tanaka as Chaki Jintarou

Ryo Horikawa/Kevin M. Connolly as Hattori Heiji (Harley Hartwell)

Toshiko Fujita as Seiran Urashi

Unshou Ishizuka as Inspector Nakamori

Wakana Yamazaki/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Ran Mohri (Rachel Moore)

Wataru Takagi as Genta Kojima

Yukiko Iwai as Ayumi Yoshida

Yuko Miyamura as Toyama Kazuha

A phantom thief is on the loose, and his explosive capers are knocking out lights all over town! His target is a priceless Russian heirloom that people are literally dying to get their hands on. Pint-sized gumshoe Conan Edogawa is on the case, but there’s more to this mystery than anyone suspects. The good guys seem bad and the bad guys seem good, and not even the boy detective knows who to trust. Worse yet, a rogue sniper is making sure anyone in the way catches a bullet dead in the eye. Things are heating up, and Conan’s gonna need help to uncover the Last Wizard of the Century!

“Meitantei Conan” or “Detective Konan” (“Case Closed” in the U.S.) has been one of the longest running manga and anime series in Japan.  Written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama and featured in Weekly Shonen Sunday since 1994, the anime series which started back in 1996 is well-nearing 600-episodes and 14 movies have been released in Japan.

FUNimation Entertainment have released several of the movies on DVD in Dec. 2009.  “Cased Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century” is the third “Meitantei Conan” film that was in theaters in Japan back in April 1999 and was a success earning around 1.45 billion yen (over a million US).  The film was directed by Kenji Kodama (director for the “City Hunter” films, “Case Closed” TV series, “Tales of the Abyss”, etc.) and a screenplay by Kazunari Kouchi (has written the screenplay for the TV series and all films).  Character design is by Masaaki Sudoh (who worked on “Kekko Kamen” OAV and “Momotaro Densetsu”) and music by Katsuo Ono (“Lupin III vs. Detective Conan” special and the “Detective Conan” TV series and films).

The main storyline of “Case Closed” focuses on a popular high school detective named Jimmy Kudo (Shinichi Kudo).  One day while going to an amusement park with his friend Rachel Moore (Ran Mohri), Jimmy saw two men suspiciously dealing something in the dark.  Unbeknown to Jimmy, a man behind him had spotted him and hit him with a bat and forced him to ingest a poison capsule.   Jimmy survived but the capsule somehow shrunk him to a child.  If these thugs found out that Jimmy is still alive, they may hurt the people around him.  So, his good friend Dr. Agasa (who helps Jimmy by building him gadgets which include a stun-gun wrist watch, voice changing bow-tie, solar powered skateboard and powerful shoes) suggested he wear a disguise.  When Ran began asking who his name was, Jimmy replied Conan Edogawa.

So, in order to find out who the men are, he wound up living with Ran and her detective father, Richard Moore (Kogoro Mori).  Only two people know Conan’s true identity: Harley Hartwell (Hattori Heiji), popular detective from the high school in the west and Vye Graythorne (Ai Haibara), a transfer student who originally worked with the thugs who gave Jimmy the poison pill but in order to escape, she ingested the poison pill and shrunk.

Together with some friends, Jimmy as Conan continues to take down criminals with his detective skills.

In “Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century”, the phantom thief (Kaito Kid) is back and now he has his eyes in stealing the memories imperial egg.  The phantom thief had left a note that he would be going after it but signed his name as “The Last Wizard of the Century”.

While at the Suzuki Modern Art Museum, Conan, Rachel, Richard and Serina Sebastian (Sonoko Suzuki in Japanese dialogue version).  The four meet four people who have interest in obtaining the egg: Surugei Ovchinikovz (Selgei Ovchinicov), the Russian Embassy’s first secretary; Giordono Infantino (Shouichi Inui), a fine art dealer; Seiran Hoshi (Hoshi Seiran), a Chinese researcher on the Romanov Dynasty and Ray Segue (Ryu Sagawa), a freelance cameraman and photographer.

As the group awaits for the phantom thief to steal the egg, a decoy egg is put in its place, while the real egg is kept in another building.  But the phantom thief is way ahead of them and has figured out where the real egg is hidden.  But as Conan goes after the phantom thief who has captured the egg but during the chase, an unknown person shoots him.  Conan is able to find the egg and also the phantom thief’s pigeon.

While Conan tries to find out who shot at the phantom thief, one of the four people who were interested in the egg has been killed.  Conan and the detectives must work quickly to find out who is responsible.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century” is a film that came out back in April 1999.  So, you can tell it’s an older anime but because it is a film, films tend to have a much higher budget than the TV series so you see more detail and shading in the art backgrounds.  Picture quality is slight blurry but it’s satisfactory considering it’s an older anime using cels and is not digital.  Also, the film does have a few dust particles that can be seen from time to time but it’s not distracting at all.

Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 English and Japanese Stereo.   English audio dialogue is clear from the center and music and sound effects are more front channel driven.  Voice acting is well done on the English side but for those who followed the Japanese series may get confused by the changing of the names.  Japanese audio is well-done and for those who have a modern home theater receiver and a 5.1, 7.2 or higher setup, my preference was to have audio set on all channels for a more immersive soundscape.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century” comes with FUNimation Entertainment trailers only.

I grew up with “Meitantei Conan” and I own several Japanese manga volumes which helped me learn Japanese and have watched the original Japanese anime series including the Japanese drama.  But I have never seen any of the animated films before, so it was a pleasure to see FUNimation Entertainment show their dedication in releasing the films in the US.

As for “Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century”, Kaito Kid (phantom thief) fans will definitely enjoy his presence in this film.  In fact, there’s a pretty interesting twist revealed at the end which I won’t get into but for the most, the film was well-written.  And keeping consistent with the TV series, a film that showcases Conan investigating this latest case and the film features a lot of action, a good number of characters from the TV series appearing in this film and for the most part, a pretty solid mystery case.

For those who have never watched the television series, you can still get into the film because there is a brief introduction of how Jimmy Kudo became Conan Edogawa and also explanation of his various gadgets that he uses and also the supporting characters that appear in the film.

As for the TV PG rating, because Conan has the appearance of a child, “Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century” is not a children’s animated film.  People get shot and killed or physically hurt in this detective animated film.

Overall, if you enjoyed the animated or manga series or an anime fan wanting a solid mystery film, “Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century” is definitely worth watching!

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