Case Closed 38

January 11, 2012

Gosho Aoyama – Viz – 2011 – 74+ volumes

The cover to this volume shocked me a little bit! Conan appears to be wearing chaps with no pants, bikini briefs, and a vest with no shirt. He’s dressed like a little fujoshi cowboy, and throwing the horns. Again, Conan, who is in first grade. I was really confused, until I read the author notes that explained he was wearing the outfit of Aoyama’s favorite wrestler as a kid. Then I was relieved. Still… it’s a little scary.

Anyway, wrestling is one of the stories in this book! The star is Wolf Face, a lucha libre wrestler and all-around nice guy. He’s framed for murder, and Conan has to figure out why someone would want people to think that Wolf Face would kill his smarmy rival. There’s damning video footage, but it’s all about the mask. Also, this is a Sleeping Moore mystery, so we get a bonus at the beginning when we see Richard taping a promo, questioning what the big deal is about wrestling, then screaming his lungs out cheering during a match. Excellent.

There were two fairly decent mysteries, one was the conclusion to the story from last volume, where Conan is trying to set up the Black Organization while simultaneously catching some unrelated murderers-at-large. His traps for the Black Organization are rather devious. Predictably, this doesn’t really get him anywhere, but the climax where he hides in a locker while the Black Organization thugs search for the “sly fox” that set them up is pretty fantastic.

The last case in the book is a Harley/Kazuha mystery where the two are caught by bad guys, and Conan, Rachael, and Detective Moore have to find them. Actually, Rachael and Detective Moore aren’t really privy to the situation, and it’s Conan that solves the crime without them this time, though they do help him investigate when Harley and Kazuha don’t show up for a visit. It’s a fairly exciting mystery, with Harley and Kazuha tied up in an attic, with Conan periodically coming back to the door of the house and interrogating the suspect, but satisfied every time that Harley and Kazuha aren’t there.

Another mystery is one dealing with a stolen ancient scroll and Hina dolls. This one’s neat too, if only because I’ve never read a story that explained the symbolism behind Hina dolls this well before.

Basically, it’s another volume of Case Closed. Again, I enjoy this series in a very sitcom-y way, where I love reading the mysteries and watching the characters do their thing. I just criticized Otomen for having no forward momentum, and Case Closed is definitely guilty of this, but on the other hand, Otomen is a romance, and a romance with no movement always feels a little bad. I love Case Closed though, and it’s maintained the same quality for all its one-shot mysteries since volume one. I imagine I’ll keep picking up volumes until it ends, whenever that is. There are at least 35 more volumes after this, though, so it’s hard to say when that will be.

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