Well, it took me a good hour or two of thinking, but eventually, I finally decided to start on Detective Conan Volume 1 for the beginning of my blogging journey. Now, normally, I would try to solve these mysteries as I go along, but, I do remember the solutions to all of the ones featured in this volume. So, for these circumstances, I’ve added something before I begin.
Do I remember this work?: In this case, the answer is yes.
So please know, that when I am reviewing this, I go in with full knowledge of what is about to occur in these chapters.
But before I begin with reviewing these mysteries, I suppose I should give a basic outline to the series, for those who don’t know anything about it, though I find that hard to believe. I suppose what I’m really doing is just padding my word count, so I feel like I’m doing something.
Is it really spoilers to say that Shinichi Kudo, high school detective, ends up as Edogawa Conan by the end of the first case? I sure hope not, as that would mean I’ve accidentally spoiled someone, and I’d rather not do that. But, considering there’s a child on the volume cover, I suppose I must make some risk.
Roller Coaster Murder Case: 1
But yes, Shinichi Kudo (in the dub, known as Jimmy), egotistical high-school detective, dubbed “The Heisei Holmes” (Heisei being a period of Japanese history, from 1989 to 2019, as Google so reliably informs me), solves the murder of a man’s wife. This is done by revealing that the killer jumped between two windows, using the edge of the roof to get nearby. (This is not a spoiler, considering this is all said and done in the first page.)
After solving this case, we get to meet Ran Mouri, (Rachel in the dub). There is instant relationship tension, though regrettably, it hasn’t been progressed much in 20-or-so years, from what I remember. Regardless, one thing leads to another, and Shinichi ends up at Tropical Park Land, a theme park.
And there, we get to see the first on-screen (on-page?) murder in Detective Conan, where the victim, a man named Kishida, is decapitated while riding a roller-coaster, with Shinichi and Ran.
Not very pretty, is it? In any case, after the ride, there are seven possible suspects, though two of these are immediately discounted, being Shinichi and Ran, themselves. There seems to be an obvious suspect, as the woman sitting next to the victim has a knife in her bag. However, is this really the truth?
In considering the solution, I found it pretty alright. The old “women don’t have strength” argument does come up, but it’s minor. I’m questioning the physics of the method in question, but I don’t find it off-putting.
But, would I have solved it? In this case, regrettably, the answer is no. When I read this, for the first time, I was not able to solve this, as, it’s simply too over-the-top to actually think of it, for me anyways.
After the case, Shinichi meets two men in black, on that very rollercoaster, sees them being criminals, and gets forcefed a drug, and turns in to a child! That’s all in one chapter by the way. We have two cases left, over 8 chapters, in the volume.
The second case is…
Company President’s Daughter Case: 2
This case features the kidnapping of, can you guess, a company president’s daughter, named Akiko Tani, 10 years old. But before that, Shinichi, or Conan, as he is now, meets Ran, and goes to the Mouri Detective Agency. Also, he meets Professor Agasa, who is the first person to know his identity!
See, here’s what I like about this case, in the beginning, you’re led to believe this is a retread of that one Sherlock Holmes story, the one with the thing that happened with that at that time. If you know, you know. And it is, regrettably. But after the first chapter, it improves! Not by a whole, not at all, but it certainly isn’t the worst.
The first part of the case is finding out who kidnapped the girl, while the second is identifying where the kidnapped girl is. Both have satisfactory solutions, though as I mentioned, the second one is more original. But even then, it’s still a pretty basic case. This is definitely the worst case in this volume, I’m sad to say, only barely elevated by it’s ending, and even then, not by much.
Was I able to solve it? This time, the answer is yes. I was able to get the first part right, and considering how that’s more important, considering the second half is a glorified chase scene, I’m alright giving this one to me.
Scores are level coming in to the final case of this volume…
An Idol’s Locked Room Murder Case: 3
Kogoro Mouri’s most favourite celebrity, Yoko Okino (a Yoko Ono reference? Maybe I’m reading too much into it?), arrives at the Mouri Detective Agency to share about her stalker, along with her manager, Yamagishi. However, when Kogoro, Ran, and Conan arrive at Yoko’s house to investigate, what they find instead is a dead body.
Apart from Yoko and Yamagishi, there is also one more suspect, Yoko’s rival, Yuko Ikezawa. The victim’s name is Fujie Akiyoshi, and it seems like all of the suspects had some motive to kill him. And clearly one of them did. And it’s up to Conan to figure out just who.
It’s also important to consider that this is technically the first locked-room mystery we see, however, our description of it can be soured by the fact that all of the available suspects have keys.
As for the solution itself, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has never heard of it. It’s entered the realm of riddles, and I myself heard of it, before ever reading Conan. It’s a decent solution, but again, not something wonderful. But who knows, maybe Conan popularised it, and it’s a case of “Seinfeld Is Unfunny“. I hope so, anyways.
Did I manage to solve this mystery? From what I recollect, yes. Having prior knowledge of the riddle this is based on helps, certainly, no doubt.
Final thoughts on this volume, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it, but it isn’t the strongest. I liked the first case the most, I think it’s the strongest. The rest are of alright to decent quality. All in all, a decent introduction, no doubt, and there’s a trace of the greatness to come!
Now… it’s time for the Spoiler-Full section! All spoilers will be white, this won’t be a particularly long section, if you can believe it. I’ve been rambling long enough anyhow.
So, let’s begin with the first case, the roller-coaster one. Here, we see a strong outline, with a bold solution. The decapitation is horrific, and certainly sets the tone. The killer’s motive is a bit weak, but compared to everything else we’re going to see, it could be said to be quite sane.
The second case is the kidnapping. If you were not reminded of ‘Silver Blaze’, then honestly, you should read it. It is a quite wonderful tale, and one of the best in the Holmes canon. The double kidnapping idea is quite clever, and I enjoyed the motive of the fake kidnapper! The ending was a bit rough, considering how the father didn’t really change, did he?
As for the locked room suicide case, well, it’s like that riddle of the man who killed himself with nothing to stand on. He stood on an ice block, if that wasn’t clear. All the background details in the story however, such as the motive, and the suspects, make it more enjoyable than just that however!
Well, that was a fun ride. Took me like an hour to write this, and this is probably nothing anyways, but that was fun. I haven’t read the beginning Conan cases in a long time, and this was quite enjoyable! So here’s to many more in the future.
Cases Solved: 2
Cases Unsolved: 1
Next time, I’ll probably be looking at the Father Brown short story, ‘The Blue Cross’, and ‘The Secret Garden’. See you then!