by Rebecca Silverman,

Case Closed

GN 47

Case Closed GN 47
Teen age sleuth turned elementary school student Jimmy Kudo may have a problem – Rachel is well on her way to figuring out that he and Conan Edogawa are the same person! Can he thwart her sleuthing skills while turning his own to solving the murder of a woman that mirrors one committed twelve years prior, to say nothing of the apparent suicide of a jewel thief and the death of a magician?

After forty-seven volumes of watching pint-sized Conan use Jimmy's logic to solve mysteries, to say nothing of the way the older boy communicated through the younger, it isn't surprising that Rachel Moore is finally starting to put the pieces together. Technically this began in volume 46, where the beginning of the case is located, but the main body of the mystery is contained within this book. Rachel has seen more than enough to give her serious questions about the precocious young boy who strangely showed up around the same time Jimmy “left,” and it's kind of a relief to see her really working on her own mystery, one that could have bigger implications for the series in general. Since this isn't the final volume of Case Closed, it's fairly obvious that this won't be fully resolved, but watching Rachel watch Conan while he tries to solve a murder and thwart her probing is enjoyable.

There are three case resolutions in this book, two of them belonging to complete cases. As has been mentioned, the murder of Mrs. Tomoko Kariya began in the previous volume, with her hiring Detective Moore to find her missing cell phone. While this feels like a somewhat lame reason to hire a detective, the case quickly escalates into a murder, one that apparently mirrors the death of her husband's brother's girlfriend twelve years ago. The brother also vanished at that time, presumed dead. All of the remaining family members, two brothers and a father, have excellent alibis, so it seems like the murder must be the work of a random outsider who has been twelve years in hiding. Naturally Conan solves the case, but in terms of interest, Rachel trying to out Jimmy is slightly more entertaining.

Of the three mysteries, probably the best is the second, which deals with the apparent suicide of a jewel thief. After robbing a store where Detective Takagi is shopping (and being tailed by the kids of the Junior Detective League, a man in a helmet runs up onto the roof and jumps, only to die on the roof of the moving truck parked directly beneath him. This strikes the gang as odd – why rob a store only to kill yourself? This case is a good one not only in that there are clues for the observant reader to pick up as she goes through – and go back to when she starts to figure things out – but nothing is too obvious. That said, the villain of the piece is fairly easy to figure out, but the how of the crime is much more complex, and the villain's plans and preparations more interesting than those in the previous case. The entire League gets to help solve the crime, mixing things up from the other two cases in the book, and Amy gets to shine during the denouement, but the spotlight still very much belongs to Conan.

The final case in the book is also the shortest, as it would have to be to be complete within the page constraints. This story brings Harley and Kazuha back as they, Conan, and Rachel go to a magic show. (Watching the boys grump through each trick is pretty amusing.) Later they accompany three magicians back to a fourth magician's house, where a murder is committed and the gang teams up to solve it. This case has a much more Scooby Doo feel to it, partly because there are magicians involved, which of course leads to some tricks of that nature. But more simply, this case is not as interesting as the other two because there is less to it, and the more straightforward nature of the murder and its resolution is fairly basic.

By this point Aoyama has hammered out how he wants his characters to look, and for the most part he does just fine with that. Rachel's hairstyle occasionally gets a bit out of control in terms of the hank of hair that stands up, and in a few cases the mirroring effect of the light in the eyes is overdone, giving people a strangely shiny look, but everyone is distinct and polished. The pages continue to be a bit too cramped for easy reading, and spotting visual clues can be quite difficult with the small, crowded panels, but overall this volume looks pretty good. Viz continues to mix the English names given to some of the characters in early days with the original Japanese names of later characters, which does sort of give the impression that this story takes place in a Japanese neighborhood in an English speaking country, but at this point it is hardly worth complaining. Volume forty-seven of Case Closed continues the series' tradition of difficult but plausible mysteries and stylized artwork that makes for entertaining reading, especially for mystery fans. It isn't the best volume, but it still is fun to watch that darn kid unmask the bad guys.

Production Info:
Overall : B
Story : B
Art : B-

+ Mysteries have clues that the readers can use to piece things together. Amy gets a couple of good lines, and the second case is especially interesting.
Pages and panels are very cramped, third case feels weak compared to the other two. Rachel occasionally looks like she has a horn.

Story & Art: Gosho Aoyama

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