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by Carl Kimlinger,

Case Closed

DVD 2.1

Case Closed DVD 2.1
The second season of Case Closed kicks off with a two part tale of murder, this time closer to home, as one of Mori/Moore's college friends is offed during a class reunion. Then it's on to four more tales of killing and logic as Conan winnows out the truth about: a suspicious heart-attack, a TV studio shooting, the slaying of a high-powered lawyer's spouse, and a locked-stall public-restroom murder.
Bloodshed follows Conan wherever he goes: hot springs resorts, television studios, even the toilet. Nowhere is safe from the murderous curse of Conan. You'd think the guy would be shunned. If there was a premeditated murder every time you went somewhere with a kid, wouldn't you stop hanging out with him? Naturally these kinds of coincidences (how is it that Conan conveniently observes exactly those incidents necessary to solve the crime each and every time?) are par for the course when dealing with mystery stories, something that anyone who has watched or read any sort of mystery series knows all too well. Fans of mysteries must simply take them in stride. The real show isn't the setup, it's the mystery.

There are four necessary elements in solving any (fictional) murder: the identity of the killer, the process by which they committed the crime, their motive for doing so, and concrete proof of their guilt. Case Closed is primarily interested in the process and the proof. Motives are usually revealed at the very end, either as afterthoughts or in order to create sympathy for the guilty party, and often the identity of the killer is revealed early on. The criminals in Case Closed are invariably clever fellows with a strong desire to outwit and mislead the investigators of their crime. Thus, the process of unraveling how the victim became a victim becomes a battle of wits between Conan and the perpetrator. Herein lies the show's true strength: the demonstration of Conan's deductive capabilities as he constructs the truth from the tiny fragments of it left scattered throughout the criminal's manipulation of the crime scene. It's formulaic—Conan encounters crime, snoops around, reconstructs the truth, tranquilizes Mori/Moore, reveals the truth to everyone, presents ironclad proof, and the criminal confesses, roll credits—but it's an effective one (you don't put out as many episodes as Case Closed without doing something right).

That said, this volume is best when breaking the formula. The class reunion murder reveals a serious side of perpetual goof Mori that proves that he didn't survive as PI for as long as he did by being a total incompetent. In response, Conan allows him to solve the murder (with a little help, naturally) without putting him down with anesthetic. The toilet stall murder case begins with a comic sequence in which Conan's deductive prowess falls victim to the blinding effects of jealousy, and he learns a little more about Ran/Rachel's family life. Good mysteries are essential, but good characters are just as important.

One of the most notable aspects of Case Closed is the disjuncture between its slightly silly look and its gruesome content. Characters are skinny-faced, pointy-nosed caricatures with giant ears and gangly limbs; Conan himself is little more than a giant head, four limbs, and a bow-tie. Movement is minimal overall, not because of budgetary restrictions (although, given the volume of episodes produced, that is most definitely a contributing factor) but because sleuthing simply isn't an action-oriented pastime. The effort is better spent on detailed, meticulously constructed crime scenes, character's faces, and the bloody, artistically composed tableaus that mark the initial discovery of each new corpse.

The major musical themes have yet to change: they're simple, effective, and a tad odd. Music is used throughout, but is rarely intrusive. It wouldn't sound good on its own, but in the context of the show it's not only appropriate but devilishly catchy; it's hard not to hum along once Conan's "thinking" theme starts up as he forges the final links of his chain of logic. The opening and closer are catchy pop-rock tunes that, while not brilliant, definitely grow on you.

Funimation's dub for this title remains problematic. Not because of the acting, either in terms of quality or appropriateness (both of which are impeccable), but because of how far it strays from the original Japanese. Normally this wouldn't be a problem as long as the tone and meaning of the show are retained (Funimation excels at doing this, and Case Closed is no different). But in Case Closed, as detail-oriented as it is, clues are sometimes glossed over or completely lost due to changes made in the script. This volume features a few of them, and while it doesn't really affect the outcome too greatly, and most fans likely won't even notice it, it is taking artistic license a bit too far. I don't mind the name changes; I don't care about the elimination of mild sexual innuendo or the lessening of Conan's sarcastic sense of humor. Heck, even the fact that they live somewhere where every sign is in Japanese, yet everyone has English names doesn't phase me (just imagine that they live in an alternate reality in which Japan took over America during World War II and you'll be fine). But when the script starts to affect the mysteries (the entire reason that I watch the series) I can't help but bristle a little.

Other than Funimation previews, there are no extras on this disc, but with six whole episodes of crime bustin' fun, who cares.

It isn't the best starting point for newcomers to the series (although few will have problems picking up the basics of the show), but with six episodes, solid mysteries, and not one but two instances of the show's rare character moments, this is a cornucopia of Conan goodness for established fans.
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : B
Story : B-
Animation : C+
Art : C
Music : B-

+ Mori/Moore gets a rare chance to shine; as fun in it's second season as it ever was.
Unremarkable art and animation; formulaic; unlikely to win any new converts.

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Production Info:
Chief Director:
Kenji Kodama
Yasuichiro Yamamoto
Nobuharu Kamanaka
Kenji Kodama
Kōjin Ochi
Masato Sato
Yasuichiro Yamamoto
Masashi Abe
Yuuichi Higurashi
Yasushi Hirano
Shūichi Hirokawa
Chika Ichimaru
Tatsurō Inamoto
Toshiki Inoue
Asami Ishikawa
Shigenori Kageyama
Aki Kajiwara
Fumiharu Kamanaka
Takaomi Kanasaki
Yū Kaneko
Yutaka Kaneko
Hiroshi Kashiwabara
Kanji Kashiwabara
Kenji Kodama
Kazunari Kouchi
Hiroshi Kurimoto
Chisato Matsuda
Yoshihisa Matsumoto
Johei Matsuura
Hiroshi Matsuzono
Junichi Miyashita
Takeshi Mochizuki
Yasutoshi Murakawa
Kazuo Nogami
Hideaki Oba
Hirohito Ochi
Nobuo Ogizawa
Takeo Ohno
Toshimichi Okawa
Takahiro Ōkura
Umesaburo Sagawa
Umezaburō Sagawa
Masaaki Sakurai
Michiyo Sakurai
Takeharu Sakurai
Toshiyuki Tabe
Seiki Taichū
Masaki Tsuji
Michiko Tsumura
Yoshio Urasawa
Yasuichiro Yamamoto
Akatsuki Yamatoya
Teruse Yatsu
Masashi Abe
Yujiro Abe
Fū Chisaka
Katsumi Endō
Mio Hidenin
Toshiki Hirano
Shūichi Hirokawa
Pyeon-Gang Ho
Yasuyuki Honda
Chika Ichimaru
Susumu Ishizaki
Shigenori Kageyama
Fumiharu Kamanaka
Nobuharu Kamanaka
Hajime Kamegaki
Sachiko Kamimura
Jiro Kanai
Takaomi Kanasaki
Mitsuko Kase
Kenji Kodama
Kanae Komoda
Tomochi Kosaka
Hiroshi Kurimoto
Koichiro Kuroda
Natsuhiko Kyogoku
Yoshihisa Matsumoto
Johei Matsuura
Hiroshi Matsuzono
Yasumi Mikamoto
Tomonori Mine
Susumu Mitsunaka
Shigeru Morikawa
Gaku Nakata
Kazuo Nogami
Hideaki Oba
Hirohito Ochi
Kōjin Ochi
Rokou Ogiwara
Akihiro Okuzawa
Umesaburo Sagawa
Michiyo Sakurai
Sumito Sasaki
Masato Sato
Katsuya Shigehara
Toshimasa Suzuki
Seiki Taichū
Hiroaki Takagi
Hirotoshi Takaya
Iwao Teraoka
Hatsuki Tsuji
Sumio Watanabe
Yasuichiro Yamamoto
Ryō Yasumura
Teruse Yatsu
Akira Yoshimura
Episode Director:
Masashi Abe
Matsuo Asami
Yōsuke Fujino
Yōko Fukushima
Takeshi Furuta
Nana Harada
Makiko Hayase
Susumu Ishizaki
Mashu Itō
Fumiharu Kamanaka
Hajime Kamegaki
Kenji Kodama
Eiichi Kuboyama
Hiroshi Kurimoto
Koichiro Kuroda
Satoshi Kuwabara
Natsuhiko Kyogoku
Johei Matsuura
Kou Matsuzono
Yasuhiro Minami
Keitaro Motonaga
Aisu Mugino
Tazumi Mukaiyama
Yoshitaka Nagaoka
Taiki Nishimura
Kazuo Nogami
Hideaki Oba
Hirohito Ochi
Rokou Ogiwara
Sumito Sasaki
Ikurō Satō
Masato Sato
Toshiya Shinohara
Yoshio Suzuki
Hiroaki Takagi
Hirotoshi Takaya
Mari Tominaga
Minoru Tozawa
Yuji Yamaguchi
Yasuichiro Yamamoto
Masakazu Yamazaki
Shigeru Yamazaki
Katsuyoshi Yatabe
Akira Yoshimura
Unit Director:
Noriyuki Fukuda
Toshiki Hirano
Naoki Horiuchi
Aki Imai
Shunsuke Ishihara
Nobuharu Kamanaka
Kenji Kodama
Tomochi Kosaka
Yoshitaka Nagaoka
Gaku Nakata
Masato Sato
Hiroyuki Seshita
Kobun Shizuno
Toshimasa Suzuki
Yoshio Suzuki
Yasuichiro Yamamoto
Music: Katsuo Ono
Original creator: Gosho Aoyama
Character Design:
Nobuyuki Iwai
Seiji Muta
Masatomo Sudō
Mari Tominaga
Junko Yamanaka
Art Director:
Kazuhiro Arai
Hiroyuki Hasegawa
Junichi Higashi
Tetsuo Imaizumi
Tsutomu Ishigaki
Megumi Kato
Yasutada Kato
Yumiko Kirimoto
Takahiro Koyama
Hiroyuki Mitsumoto
Takamasa Nakakuki
Hirofumi Sakagami
Shunsuke Sakai
Yukihiro Shibutani
Shinichi Tanimura
Shunichiro Yoshihara
Chief Animation Director:
Nobuyuki Iwai
Masatomo Sudō
Animation Director:
Yukiko Akiyama
Kiyotoshi Aoi
Kana Aoki
Reiko Aoki
Atsushi Aono
Shigeki Awai
Jie Qiong Chen
Xiao Lan Chen
Rira Endō
Katsunori Enokimoto
Yasushi Fujiki
Maki Fujioka
Rie Fujiwara
Yuya Fujiwara
Tomoko Fukunaga
Hitoshi Haga
Takehiro Hamatsu
Yasutaka Hanabusa
Miyuki Hanawa
Minefumi Harada
Masashi Hasegawa
Katsumi Hashimoto
Masanori Hashimoto
Yoshitsugu Hatano
Miyu Hattori
Takashi Hirabayashi
Masayuki Hiraoka
Chiemi Hironaka
Hiroyuki Horiuchi
Wei Hu
Feng Huang
Takashi Hyoudo
Kei Hyoudou
Akane Imada
Ryuta Imaizumi
Ayu Imoto
Yoshikatsu Inoue
Keiichi Ishida
Masayuki Ishihori
Shigeru Ishii
Yumiko Ishii
Satoshi Ishino
Masahiko Itojima
Nobuyuki Iwai
Gil Yong Jang
Yukari Kamiaka
Tomomi Kamiya
Tomoyuki Kanno
Hiroaki Kawaguchi
Akio Kawamura
Akiko Kawashima
Dae Hoon Kim
Ichizō Kobayashi
Katsutoshi Kobayashi
Yukari Kobayashi
Aki Kumada
Aki Kumata
Kaneaki Kusaka
Jeon Jong Lee
Sung Jin Lee
Xue Chun Lin
Rei Masunaga
Tomoyuki Matsumoto
Shinichiro Minami
Kana Miyai
Minoru Morita
Hideyuki Motohashi
Akiko Motoyoshi
Chiharu Mukai
Tsutomu Murakami
Hiromi Muranaka
Seiji Muta
Kaoru Nagakawa
Miharu Nagano
Ai Nakatani
Yukiko Nakaya
Daisuke Niinuma
Asako Nishida
Shinobu Nishiyama
Michiyuki Nōjō
Miori Nomura
Rie Ogasawara
Haruo Ogawara
Jun Ohara
Hirona Okada
Kanako Ono
Miwa Oshima
Mina Ōtaka
Ken'ichi Ōtomo
Midori Otsuka
Ho Ryeol Park
Juri Saitō
Shinaki Saito
Keiko Sasaki
Toshiko Sasaki
Yuuka Satō
Shosuke Shimizu
Yoshiharu Shimizu
Yoshihiro Shimizu
Yusuke Shimizu
Izumi Shimura
Kumiko Shishido
Mitsuru Sōma
Masatomo Sudō
Sayuri Sugifuji
Michiaki Sugimoto
Falco Suzuki
Katsushi Suzuki
Shinichi Suzuki
Yūsuke Suzuki
Hiroaki Takagi
Kosei Takahashi
Naoki Takahashi
Nariyuki Takahashi
Tokushō Takahashi
Makoto Takahoko
Hirotoshi Takatani
Hirotoshi Takaya
Akira Takeuchi
Kii Tanaka
Miho Tanaka
Yasushi Tanaka
Keiji Tani
Moriyasu Taniguchi
Shigenori Taniguchi
Ayako Tauchi
Eiichi Tokura
Mari Tominaga
Asuka Tsubuki
Ryuji Tsuzuku
Yui Ushinohama
Yukari Watabe
Akira Watanabe
Ippeita Watanabe
Mei Xie
Mayumi Yamamoto
Michitaka Yamamoto
Takashi Yamamoto
Shunryō Yamamura
Junko Yamanaka
Masakazu Yamazaki
Noriyoshi Yamazaki
Minoru Yamazawa
Jouji Yanase
Guo Fu Yang
Hiroto Yokote
Nanae Yonemoto
Kyōko Yoshimi
Hui Hai Yu
Yi Zhang
Feng Zheng
Deng Jia Zi
Art design:
Yasuyuki Honda
Nobutaka Ike
Hiroshi Izumi
Hiroyuki Mitsumoto
Kazunari Roppongi
Takeyuki Takahashi
Sound Director:
Motoi Izawa
Katsuyoshi Kobayashi
Yasuo Uragami
Yasuyuki Uragami
Keiko Urakami
Yasuyuki Urakami
Co-Director: Kobun Shizuno
Director of Photography:
Hironobu Horikoshi
Toshihiro Kawada
Takashi Nomura
Takahisa Ogawa
Masaki Yoshida
Keiichi Ishiyama
Shuichi Kitada
Hiroaki Kobayashi
Tetsu Kojima
Takeshi Shioguchi
Michihiko Suwa
Kiyoaki Terashima
Masataka Tōdō
Kazuhiko Yagiuchi
Takeshi Yamakawa
Isato Yonekura
Masahito Yoshioka
Licensed by: FUNimation Entertainment

Full encyclopedia details about
Case Closed (TV)

Release information about
Case Closed - The Exploits of Genius (DVD 2.1)

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