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Case Closed! vol. 63 by Gosho Aoyama (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

caseclosed-54

“Case Closed!” volume 54 is another entertaining mystery volume featuring four cases as Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo and the Junior Detective League and investigators must try to solve. A fun and entertaining detective series worth reading but for those who expect some sort of finality, don’t expect “Case Closed!” to end anytime soon. If you enjoy detective cases with humor and interesting cases, then “Case Closed!” is a manga series for you!

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Image courtesy of © 1994 Gosho Aoyama. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Case Closed! Vol. 63

STORY AND ART BY: Gosho Aoyama (青山 剛昌)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

Available on July 11, 2017


At a revolving sushi restaurant, a food critic is poisoned. Who slipped cyanide into the buffet? Something’s fishy about this crime, but Conan is on hand to serve up justice!

Then a man dies at a strange contest for men who share the same last name…and the chief suspect is George’s dad! And Conan joins the hunt for a drag racer called the Silver Witch who literally drives people to their deaths…


Anita Hailey (Ai Habara in the Japanese version) is the creator of APTX 4869, the pill that shrunk Jimmy Kudo and her to a child.  While both she and Jimmy retain their memories despite a new body, the former Black Organization operative is on the run and working with Professor Agasa.

She has developed a new pill that could give her and Jimmy at least four hours of time to have their original body before it shrinks to a child again.

And in this latest volume, Jimmy and Harly Hartwell (Hattori Heiji in the Japanese manga) are trying to solve a murder case involving a street racer.  With three people who last saw the victim, were either of them responsible for murdering the man?

In another case, Professor Agasa takes the Junior Detectives out to a revolving sushi restaurant.  But after they finished eating and were about to leave, a rude, yet famous food critic dies inside the restaurant.  Who is responsible for killing him?

In the third case, Nichiuri TV is having a major contest and George (of the Junior Detective) is telling everyone of how is father is going on television to compete in hopes to win a hanging scroll drawn by Sankyu and worth a lot of money.

In actuality, the contest is a front for a millionaire who owns Kaminski Department Stores and Railroads, who has had his two of his three scrolls stolen and now looking to find the thief responsible and hoping the contest will bring the thief out to the public.  But when Kaminski confronts someone about the stolen scrolls, not long after, the millionaire is found dead.  Who is responsible for the murder?

Read about the thrilling mystery adventures of Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo in a thrilling 63rd volume of “Case Closed!”.

What is “Case Closed!”?

“Meitantei Conan” or “Detective Conan” (“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, a total of 82 volumes have been released in Japan.the anime series which started back in 1996 is well-nearing 870-episodes and 21 movies have been released in Japan.

For those not familiar with “Case Closed”, the TV series 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, one man from the Black Organization suspiciously dealing something in the dark.

Unbeknownst 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 five people know Conan’s true identity: Dr. Agasa, both of Jimmy’s parents, Harley Hartwell (Hattori Heiji), popular detective from the high school in the west and Vye Graythorn (Shiho Miyano), a former member of the Black Organization who betrays the criminal group after the member Gin kills her older sister.

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


He’s the amazing boy detective….Conan Edogawa, the shrunken version of famous teenage detective, Shinichi Kudo.

Wanting to find a way to get back to his original size thanks to the Black Organization, for now, Shinichi must use his superior detective skills to help investigators as Conan Edogawa.

But trying make sure that no one suspects him of being anyone else.

And for nearly 25-years, the adventures of Conan Edogawa in “Cased Closed!” (Meitantei Conan) have entertained readers and viewers in many cases which showcase him utilizing his fantastic investigative skills but doing all he can to make sure that his team or the investigators help solve the case, not to give away his true identity.

For those wanting to enjoy Gosho Aoyama’s popular manga series “Case Closed!”, the good news is that aside from the first volume (which introduces the primary characters), anyone can pick up the series and begin reading at any volume because each graphic novel features an independent storyline.

For the 63rd volume of “Case Closed!”, Conan who has taken a new pill that allows him to be Jimmy for four hours, is on a murder case with Harley.  As the two work together along with detectives to find out who is responsible, Jimmy starts to feel sick and worries that he may revert back to Conan.  Knowing he solve this case immediately before people find out his secret.

Another case revolves around a murder at a revolving sushi restaurant (kaitenzushi) but the junior detectives must find out how the person was murdered and who at the restaurant was responsible.

And third case revolving the death of a millionaire who was hosting a competition for an expensive wall scroll on public TV.  But one of the contestants is George’s father.  Was he involved in the millionaire’s death?

As always, Gosho Aoyama’s work is amazing with his unique character design but it’s the story telling and the thought process that goes into solving each case, is what has made the series a fan favorite for 20-years.

Overall, “Case Closed!” volume 63 is another entertaining mystery volume featuring four cases as Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo and the Junior Detective League and investigators must try to solve. A fun and entertaining detective series worth reading but for those who expect some sort of finality, don’t expect “Case Closed!” to end anytime soon.

If anything, we are fortunate that Jimmy can revert back to his true form for a short while, to help those around them feel at ease when they wonder why Jimmy is hardly around.  But the pill is not yet perfected and is experimental.  Hartley worries that his body will find a way to fight off the pills effect of changing him to normal but Jimmy worries why the pill is not as effective and the four hour window may have shortened.

If you enjoy detective cases with humor and interesting cases, then “Case Closed!” is a manga series for you!

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Case Closed! Vol. 54 by Gosho Aoyama (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

April 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

caseclosed-54

“Case Closed!” volume 54 is another entertaining mystery volume featuring four cases as Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo and the Junior Detective League and investigators must try to solve. A fun and entertaining detective series worth reading but for those who expect some sort of finality, don’t expect “Case Closed!” to end anytime soon. If you enjoy detective cases with humor and interesting cases, then “Case Closed!” is a manga series for you!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Image courtesy of © 1994 Gosho Aoyama. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Case Closed! Vol. 54

STORY AND ART BY: Gosho Aoyama (青山 剛昌)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

Available on April 14, 2014

When a woman dies in a snowboarding accident, Conan senses foul play, but the only evidence he has is the chill up his spine. Maybe a suspicious snowman contains the proof he needs! Then, on an old-fashioned cherry blossom viewing trip, Conan and Harley Hartwell stumble upon a haunted shrine. The monks tell a strange story about a room that swallows corpses. Can Conan and Harley prove the culprit isn’t an ancient curse, but a very human killer?

Jimmy must help the detectives find out who killed a wealthy woman, meanwhile at a ski resort, another woman is found dead.

Another case features a monk claiming he saw a dead woman at the temple and a contest between the best junior detectives from the North, East, West and South compete in a Detective Koshien.  But is this a real contest?

Read about the thrilling mystery adventures of Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo in a thrilling 54th volume of “Case Closed!”.

What is “Case Closed!”?

“Meitantei Conan” or “Detective Conan” (“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, a total of 82 volumes have been released in Japan.the anime series which started back in 1996 is well-nearing 750-episodes and 14 movies have been released in Japan.

For those not familiar with “Case Closed”, the TV series 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, one man from the Black Organization suspiciously dealing something in the dark.

Unbeknownst 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 five people know Conan’s true identity: Dr. Agasa, both of Jimmy’s parents, Harley Hartwell (Hattori Heiji), popular detective from the high school in the west and Vye Graythorn (Shiho Miyano), a former member of the Black Organization who betrays the criminal group after the member Gin kills her older sister.

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

He’s the amazing boy detective….Conan Edogawa, the shrunken version of famous teenage detective, Shinichi Kudo.

Wanting to find a way to get back to his original size thanks to the Black Organization, for now, Shinichi must use his superior detective skills to help investigators as Conan Edogawa.

But trying make sure that no one suspects him of being anyone else.

And for 20-years, the adventures of Conan Edogawa in “Cased Closed!” (Meitantei Conan) have entertained readers and viewers in many cases which showcase him utilizing his fantastic investigative skills but doing all he can to make sure that his team or the investigators help solve the case, not to give away his true identity.

For those wanting to enjoy Gosho Aoyama’s popular manga series “Case Closed!”, the good news is that aside from the first volume (which introduces the primary characters), anyone can pick up the series and begin reading at any volume because each graphic novel features an independent storyline.

For the 54th volume of “Case Closed!”, Conan and detectives are busy with a number of cases.  One case features the death of a wealthy mother, another features the death of female skiier, another features a monk who claims he saw a dead woman at the temple and what happens when the best young detectives are brought together to take part in a Detective Koshien (competition)?

As always, Gosho Aoyama’s work is amazing with his unique character design but it’s the story telling and the thought process that goes into solving each case, is what has made the series a fan favorite for 20-years.

Overall, “Case Closed!” volume 54 is another entertaining mystery volume featuring four cases as Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo and the Junior Detective League and investigators must try to solve. A fun and entertaining detective series worth reading but for those who expect some sort of finality, don’t expect “Case Closed!” to end anytime soon.

If you enjoy detective cases with humor and interesting cases, then “Case Closed!” is a manga series for you!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Case Closed! Vol. 50 by Gosho Aoyama (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

March 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

detectiveconan-50

“Case Closed!” volume 50 is another entertaining mystery volume featuring three cases as Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo and the Junior Detective League and investigators must try to solve.  A fun and entertaining detective series  worth reading!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Image courtesy of © 1994 Gosho Aoyama. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Case Closed! Vol. 50

STORY AND ART BY: Gosho Aoyama (青山 剛昌)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

Available on April 8, 2014

A reporter is found dead just before an interview with the Junior Detective League. Conan is determined to close the case… but with his teacher watching, he has to do it without letting on that he’s smarter than the average first grader!

Then, flash back to one of Jimmy’s first cases! When a death takes place at a ski resort, everyone believes a legendary ghost has struck again. But two middle schoolers think otherwise: young Jimmy Kudo and young Harley Hartwell! Which boy genius will solve the mystery first?

Has a boy been kidnapped and can the Junior Detective League and investigators find him?  Meanwhile, what happens when a well-known writer is murdered?  And who will become the new advisor for the Junior Detective League?

And to commemorate the 50th volume, mangaka Gosho Aoyama features a story about Jimmy and Harley in middle school trying to solve a murder case at a ski resort.

Read about the thrilling mystery adventures of Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo in another thrilling 50th volume of “Case Closed!”.

What is “Case Closed!”?

“Meitantei Conan” or “Detective Conan” (“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, a total of 82 volumes have been released in Japan.the anime series which started back in 1996 is well-nearing 750-episodes and 14 movies have been released in Japan.

For those not familiar with “Case Closed”, the TV series 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, one man from the Black Organization suspiciously dealing something in the dark.

Unbeknownst 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 five people know Conan’s true identity: Dr. Agasa, both of Jimmy’s parents, Harley Hartwell (Hattori Heiji), popular detective from the high school in the west and Vye Graythorn (Shiho Miyano), a former member of the Black Organization who betrays the criminal group after the member Gin kills her older sister.

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

He’s the amazing boy detective….Conan Edogawa, the shrunken version of famous teenage detective, Shinichi Kudo.

Wanting to find a way to get back to his original size thanks to the Black Organization, for now, Shinichi must use his superior detective skills to help investigators as Conan Edogawa.

But trying make sure that no one suspects him of being anyone else.

And for 20-years, the adventures of Conan Edogawa in “Cased Closed!” (Meitantei Conan) have entertained readers and viewers in many cases which showcase him utilizing his fantastic investigative skills but doing all he can to make sure that his team or the investigators help solve the case, not to give away his true identity.

For those wanting to enjoy Gosho Aoyama’s popular manga series “Case Closed!”, the good news is that aside from the first volume (which introduces the primary characters), anyone can pick up the series and begin reading at any volume because each graphic novel features an independent storyline.

For the 50th volume of “Case Closed!”, Conan and friends of the Junior Mystery League must solve a case of a missing boy.  Was he kidnapped?  Or is there more to the story than his guardians are telling them?

Meanwhile, a famous writer who was planning on interviewing the Junior Mystery League is murdered and with the only clues leading to an answering machine with multiple voice messages, will it be enough for the league and the investigators to solve who murdered the writer?

And because this is the 50th volume, Gosho Aoyama wanted to do something special by featuring a story of Jimmy Kudo and Hartley Hartwell when they were in middle school.

As always, Gosho Aoyama’s work is amazing with his unique character design but it’s the story telling and the thought process that goes into solving each case, is what has made the series a fan favorite for 20-years.

Overall, “Case Closed!” volume 50 is another entertaining mystery volume featuring three cases as Conan Edogawa/Jimmy Kudo and the Junior Detective League and investigators must try to solve.  A fun and entertaining detective series  worth reading!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

February 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

More mystery and suspense awaits you in the sixth “Case Closed” film, “Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street”.  This time Conan, Rachel and the Junior Detectives are forced to take part in a virtual case to find and capture Jack the Ripper.

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

DVD TITLE: Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street

DURATION: 110 Minutes

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

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: February 16, 2010

Originally Created by Gosho Aoyama

Directed by Kenji Kodama

Screenplay: Hisashi Nozawa

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 (Jimmy) 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)

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

Megumi Hayashibara as Ai Haibara (Vye Blackthorn)

Sho Hayami as Jack the Ripper

Sumi Shimamoto as Irene Adler

Urara Takano as Shinya Takizawa

Wakana Yamazaki as Ran Mohri

The game is afoot! Conan Edogawa may look like he’s only in elementary school, my dear Watson, but he possesses perhaps the keenest eye for detail of any living detective.

Conan’s latest case finds him trapped in a virtual recreation of 19th century London and pitted against none other than Jack the Ripper! To save his friends, Conan must follow in the footsteps of his hero – Sherlock Holmes – and crack a case that’s gone unsolved for over a hundred years. Catching the most notorious serial killer of all time is their only chance of survival, but Conan will have to be smarter than Sherlock to apprehend the Phantom of Baker Street!

“Meitantei Conan” or “Detective Conan” (“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 has recently released the sixth film of “Case Closed” titled “The Phantom of Baker Street”.  The film was shown in theaters on April 2002 and is the first film in the series written by Hisashi Nozawa and would once again feature a collaboration with Japanese rock band B’z who would sing the ending theme song “Everlasting”.

A little background on “Case Closed” and the main character:

For those not familiar with “Case Closed”, the TV series 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, one man from the Black Organization 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 five people know Conan’s true identity: Dr. Agasa, both of Jimmy’s parents, Harley Hartwell (Hattori Heiji), popular detective from the high school in the west and Vye Graythorn (Shiho Miyano), a former member of the Black Organization who betrays the criminal group after the member Gin kills her older sister.

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

The Phantom of Baker Street

In the sixth movie, “Case Closed: Phantom of Baker Street”, the film begins with a news report about a 10-year-old kid named Hiroki Sawada who is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The child is known for developing the DNA Search Program which can trace ancestors using skin and blood data and now developing a mechanical brain known as “Noah’s Ark” which has grown five years old in one year.

We then see the young Hiroki initiate a program on his computer and says goodbye to it, alarms go on and his father and security go to check on him, they then realize that Hiroki has jumped off the building and has killed himself.

We then see Conan and the members of the Junior Detective League, Rachel and many others trying out a new virtual game to test out their detective skills.  So, Conan and the Junior Detective League must go to virtual 19th Century London and participate in the game.  But suddenly the artificial intelligence behind the game, Noah’s Ark, has shut down any possibility for the detectives to exit the game and now the game becomes real.  If they don’t finish the game, each will die.

Noah’s Ark has a goal is to reset society and eliminate children who were born from corrupt politicians and greedy doctors.  If anyone tries to rescue them, they will also die.

So, Conan and the Junior Detectives are now in a virtual world where Jack the Ripper lives.  Now, they must now try and find out how to catch the serial killer or else they will be killed.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street” is a film that came out back in April 2002. As the “Cased Closed” films move up each year, there is a noticeable difference in animation quality especially compared to the previous five films. Animation is detailed and much more vibrant and even more detail and shading on the surrounding and background artwork.  This latest film does use of CG effects work but for the most part, animation and character designs are on par with the last film.  Art backgrounds are detailed at times and well-painted, while character designs are similar as they were in previous films.

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 for the English dub 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 immerse soundscape.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street” 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 Phantom of Baker Street”, I knew one of these days there would be a film based on a virtual reality detective case (ala “Star Trek: The Next Generation” award winning episode “The Big Goodbye”) and what best than to take on one of the mot notorious unsolved cases in world’s history, the murders caused by Jack the Ripper.  Especially how the writers would try to connect Jack the Ripper to modern times but also once again, showing how much Rachel cares about Jimmy and  also would go out lengths to protect Conan.

It’s important to note that one watching these films do not need to watch the TV series because the films do a good job introducing the characters especially how Jimmy Kudo became Conan.  So, pretty much everyone can get into the films quite easily.

Like the previous films on DVD, there are no special features included but the FUNimation Entertainment trailers. I do wish that in future releases of films on DVD, the theatrical and teaser trailers and even the television commercials would be included.

Overall, “Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street” is another enjoyable “Cased Closed” film featuring Conan, Rachel and the Junior Detectives taking on another major case and film once again worth checking out!

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

January 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

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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