Case Closed, Season Five – DVD Review

CaseClosed5

Review by: Edward Zacharias
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 615 minutes
Genre: Mystery
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: Available Now

The real mystery is how this series remains to be brilliant.

I love Case Closed for many reasons, the principle reason being that, no matter how many times we watch Conan shoot Richard Moore with his darts to turn him into the “Sleeping Sleuth” in order to lay out all the dirty details of a case, this show remains considerably entertaining no matter what happens. Where other shows would have clearly become too repetitive to the point of being unwatchable, Case Closed remains to be thoroughly entertaining enough that the mysteries remain fresh and intriguing.

Sure, we would like to see Jimmy (as Conan, of course) move forward in the case that turned him into a little boy in the first place but what’s the fun in that? He does mention the reason why he continues to push Richard’s career forward into celebrity status but he doesn’t really push Richard into looking into the group that wanted him dead in the first place. It’s good to see that he hasn’t forgotten his real objectives, at least. As I said, though, where the fun in watching him chase the men that turned him into a pint-sized sleuth when he’s got so many interesting cases to solve.

In Season Five, bits of Jimmy’s life come into light as well as his relationship with Rachel. In the first episode of the set, Episode 106, an attractive young woman named Annette Peters comes to Jimmy’s house claiming to be Jimmy’s first love. She’s also a member of the Who Done It Club who came to invite Jimmy but ends up inviting Richard, Rachel, Conan and Rachel’s friend Serena. When a fire nearly kills Annette, it is Conan who jumps on the case to figure out what happened.

Thus begins a number of cases Conan tackles … some of which are elaborate enough that they require more than just one episode to solve such as the first episode. We follow Conan as he attempts to solve a crime involving a famous movie star on the verge of a divorce when his wife drops dead in front of him. Then follows a case where Rachel’s new culinary arts teacher ends up with a needle-sized hole in her back. Could it be one of her students? In another episode, two sisters who happen to be fans of Richard’s favorite pop star, Yoko, when one of the sisters ends up dead in her bathtub.

Like in past episodes, vacationing with Richard never results in the trio enjoying a peaceful holiday. When they go out snorkeling, they find a girl that went missing … in the bottom of a reef. In another beach trip, Richard finds himself getting some attention from some college girls that heard about him. When one of the college girls is bitten by a poisonous water snake, everyone begins to suspect that is was done in person. One of the interesting parts about this episode is that it features Rachel’s mother and Richard’s ex-wife.

Then there are the episodes that feature the Junior Detective League as Conan and his young friends solve a crime that involves a client who believes his sister was murdered and buried in the front yard of his sister’s client. In another case, the kids (as well as Richard and Rachel) are invited to a Masked Yaiba costume party when a partygoer ends up dead it’s the kids on the case. The children are even targeted by a man who runs Amy over with his car and then turns himself in after a body where this man works is discovered by the police. They even help a weather girl for a news channel who goes missing.

Speaking of the weather girl case, I won’t give it away but in this episode nobody ends up dead. It’s great to see episodes about murder but it’s also refreshing to see cases that don’t end with a corpse. For instance, one episode has Richard accepting a case from a client who hires him to investigate strange occurrences in the house he and his brother inherited from their grandfather. In another episode, Conan and his young friends think that their school might be haunted. In one of my favorite episodes, the daughter of a famous mystery writer might be kidnapped because something is wrong about the way he faxes the chapters of his latest work.

There are a few surprisingly smart episodes such as a case that involves rival sleuth Harley taking Conan along in a serial killer case or the case where Richard watches a former client drop to hear death in an expensive villa. Richard is invited to a banquet in another episode only to find out that a journalist for a tabloid rag is murdered. There are episodes that are actually quite better watching them in its original Japanese mainly due to the text in the episode. These episodes – such as the one with the weather girl – try hard to make the text clues work make sense.

Case Closed, Season Five, doesn’t do anything new but then again why fix what isn’t broken, right? Case Closed continues to be a brilliant and mesmerizing mystery series that – even after five seasons – remains to be one of the best in the genre. This is definitely another season fans will love to have in their collection.

 

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: B+
Conan finds himself in danger in the fifth season but then again he has his young friends and even Harley as backup. Some of the cases are quite surprisingly complex while others are almost too obvious from the very beginning. Still, it’s always a blast watching Conan unravel the mystery in the end.

VIDEO QUALITY: B
FUNimation does a great job of transferring the original episodes on DVD and they really do look great like past season set releases.

AUDIO QUALITY: B+
The English dub voices do a great job and, once again, they do a good job of keeping up with the original Japanese. Personally, the original Japanese voices make more sense as far as some of the more elaborate episodes are concerned.

EXTRAS: C-
It’s good to see the Character Spotlight again (this time recognizing the Junior Detective League) and Conan’s Gadgets. There’s also the collection of trailers as well but the real treat comes in the original Japanese voice work.

OVERALL: B+
Season Five of Case Closed brings us more of the same and that’s fine with us considering how astonishingly creative the series is and how amusingly diverse the mysteries are in this set alone. It’s also good to see that a few of the mysteries aren’t too serious or somber making the fifth season yet another treat worth savoring.

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