Why did I read it: Case Closed has been insanely popular with teens at every library I’ve been at so after watching six movies over the course of about as many months, I figured it was time to read the manga.
How I would rate it: Some cases have been more fun than others, but over all I would give the first 12 volumes a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
Summary: (In my own words this time.)
Jimmy Kudo has been poisoned and shrunk down to kidlet size. While hiding from mysterious men in black, he has to rely not only on his gadget-creating friend Dr. Agasa, but high school pal and crush Rachel Moore as well as her inept gumshoe father, Richard. Pretending to be a little boy named Conan Edogawa, he can still be close enough to mysteries to ensure that one truth prevails and the culprit gets caught. With the use of special watch with a tranquilizer dart built in and a voice-modifying bowtie, he’s able to knock people unconscious and pretend to speak for them in order to solve the most bizarre cases you can and can’t imagine.
Review: I’ll give you a moment to digest that summary. Done? Okay.
As you can tell, Case Closed is another example of the peculiar and off-beat being treated as fairly common place, but with sort of a lighter spin on it than the last few manga titles I’ve been reading. I wasn’t actually sure I would like it. Not so much because of the weird humor, but because I’m not much of a mystery buff. What Aoyama does well though is provide just enough cases that the reader can figure them out combined with a lot of odd cases that come close to defying logic as I understand it. The artwork is also really terrific and Conan’s little face is absolutely adorable.
Sometimes I found aspects of the manga frustrating because I’m not big on coded riddles and in those cases I felt like something got a bit lost in translation since my Japanese is very basic. And I occasionally wished someone would solve the case before Jimmy/Conan. But for the most part I found the cases to be both engaging and intriguing. Jimmy/Conan has some hilarious thoughts in regards to the adults around him, and Rachel’s father is really ridiculous. I cannot even explain some of the stranger aspects of the book such as Jimmy’s parents’ behavior or the way people go about comitting crimes, but it really is addicting. I liked Jimmy working to keep his secret while wishing he could tell Rachel how he feels. I especially love the fact that he had to go back to grade school and has made friends with 3 kids who are about as goofy as they can be.
In conclusion, really good. I’ve read 12 volumes and I have a feeling I’ll be reading plenty more of them as soon as possible. I can definitely see the appeal for teen or adult fans of anything mystery-related, particularly those who play a lot of Professor Layton games or enjoy trying to solve cases before fictional detectives. But even if you’re just looking for something out of the ordinary, Case Closed is an excellent pick.