Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $19.98 US
Running Time: 100 minutes
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: Available Now
This is Conan at his best and Richard Moore at his smartest.
The Case Closed anime and manga series has long been a remarkable series that managed to do justice to the mystery genre as well as introduce a genuinely unique gimmick that just doesn’t seem to get old. Sure we like out sleuths to be intelligent and brilliant men but how many fictional detectives do you know that have been shrunk down to kid size and sporting some nifty gadgets by a loveable mad scientist? FUNimation brings us the rest of the Case Closed movies with Case Closed Movie: The Last Wizard of the Century being Conan Edogawa’s finest moment so far.
This being the third movie in the Case Closed series, The Last Wizard of the Century features the reoccurring character and one of Conan’s most elusive rivals, the Phantom Thief Kid. Having pulled a job and escaped the clutches of the police, the Kid sends a note to authorities that he plans to steal the Russian Imperial “Easter Egg” that is to be showcased in the Osaka Castle. Naturally, law enforcement officials take this claim seriously and even put Richard Moore on the task force to catch the Phantom Thief Kid before he makes good on his promise.
Of course, if Richard is going than so is his daughter Rachel and – of course – Conan who is already trying to decipher the Kid’s note that mentions “the last wizard of the century.” Heading to Osaka where Rachel’s friend Serena is waiting to introduce them to experts on Russian heirlooms and artifacts, Conan finds out that even his rival Harley Hartwell is here to lend a hand in capturing the Kid. It seems that more than just one mysterious thief is looking to get his hands on the heirlooms. With Russian representatives that want the Egg returned to Mother Russia as well as a young woman named Natasha who claims that her great grandfather made the Faberge Egg for the Russian Czar and his family.
While Conan is keeping his eyes on the people near the Egg, the Phantom Thief Kid makes his attempt to steal the heirlooms be creating diversions. Not quite fooling Conan or Harley, the pair race to catch the kid only for Harley to be badly injured in the chase and the Kid being shot by a mysterious sniper. With no body to be found, though, Conan just doesn’t know what fate befell the Phantom Thief Kid but he does feel that the Kid is out of the picture … for now.
With the worry of the Egg being stolen behind them, a new mystery is waiting to be unlocked and that is the Egg is but the first part of a clue leading to a second Egg. Unlocking its mystery and the possibility that Natasha might know where the second Egg might be thanks to a key she carries with him and the fact that the first Egg has a visual clue that Conan discovers as they all head out to find the next Egg.
Joining them is also the Junior Detective League with Doctor Agasa along for the ride but it doesn’t take long before the sniper – which Conan finds out has quite a reputation and the codename Scorpion – is on their trail too as the assassin takes out a few members of their party. Soon, the movie becomes a traditional Case Close Who Done It? as the suspects and body count start to climb. Oh, and Richard actually makes some really intelligent deductions this time around … which is very unusual for the man.
Unlike the first two movies, The Last Wizard of the Century simply feels like a long version of a really good Case Closed episode. While the addition of the Junior Detectives doesn’t really add to the story, it’s great to see all the familiar characters come together in the final moments of the episode as the mystery behind the Eggs are finally revealed. Sure, the mystery behind the identity of the Scorpion isn’t too hard to solve but – in the end – the finale is actually a lot more enjoyable than expected. At least, it’s a lot more effective than the ending found in the first two movies.
Case Closed Movie: The Last Wizard of the Century is a more than decent feature film and one that Case Closed fans will actually find refreshingly enjoyable. It’s rare for a movie based on a popular anime series to be just as good as the series itself (the Yu Yu Hakusho movies pulls it off beautifully) but this one does manage to be as fun as the series.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
The Phantom Thief Kid is at it again and this time he sets his eyes on some priceless Faberge eggs that belonged to the Czar but it become clear to super sleuth Conan Edogawa that the Kid isn’t the only one looking to get their hands on the heirlooms. On top of that, a deadly sniper is hunting down anyone who gets in the way of snatching the prize.
VIDEO QUALITY: B+
The movie looks great on DVD and manages to capture the look and feel of a Case Closed episode so nothing really over-the-top spectacular about the effects in this film.
AUDIO QUALITY: B+
Like the series, the voice acting is handled well enough whether we’re talking about the original Japanese voices or the English dub that does a great job with the dialogue. Oh, and the closing theme song, “One,” just plain rocks.
There are no real extras to speak of except for a few trailers and that’s about it. Still it’s great to see this movie on DVD.
While the mystery is far from complex, The Last Wizard of the Century is one of the more exciting and easily enjoyable of the Case Closed movies so far. It’s great to see all the elements and characters that make the Case Closed series such a fan favorite come together well enough to make this movie proof that one truth still prevails even as a feature film.