Case Closed: Volume 1

Story and Art by: Gosho Aoyama

Published By: Viz

Reviewed by Justine Manzano

Case Closed Cover     Iíve been taking a lot of reading recommendations from my friends lately and they always seem to turn out well for me so I guess Iíll keep running with them.  This particular recommendation came from a Manga loving friend who decided I must read Case Closed by Gosho Aoyama.  Now, Iím no Manga expert, but I do enjoy it and this has been one of my favorites to date.

    Case Closed follows the adventures of Jimmy Kudo, a junior in high school whose love of the great mystery novels, most especially Sherlock Holmes, has made him into an expert detective at a very young age.  Jimmy is trusted by the Police Department and is very good at what he does.  He takes pride in this fact, even though his best-friend and pseudo-girlfriend Rachel Moore mocks him about it.  Then, one day, Jimmy canít resist the urge to follow up on a dangerous hunch.  Following this hunch leads to him being beaten and force-fed a strange fluid meant to kill him.  But it doesnít kill him.  What it does is turn him into a six-year-old boy or at least he appears to be one. 

     It doesnít take him long to realize that nobody will take him seriously in his new body.  Enlisting the help of his next door neighbor, Dr. Agasa, Jimmy tries to track down a cure for his new condition, all the while continuously searching for the men who did this to him.  Jimmy changes his name to Conan Edogawa and goes to Rachel for help, claiming that he is a relative of Dr. Agasa and needs to stay with her.  She agrees and Conan plans to use her detective fatherís contacts to help find the culprits.  However, as he soon discovers, Rachelís father isnít very good at what he does, and may need more help from the six-year-old boy than heíll ever admit.  So, on the road to unlocking the mystery of his new age level, Jimmy erÖ.Conan must help solve Detective Mooreís cases and rebuild his contacts-or else he wonít have anywhere else to look.

      This story is excellently written and drawn.  This author was obviously a fan of Sherlock Holmes and it shows in every mystery that pops up in Volume 1 of this series.  The mysteries keep the reader guessing but thatís only half the fun.  Jimmy and Rachel have a hilarious relationship.  They are both in love but never quite able to share it.  Detective Moore is the ultimate bumbling detective and itís a surprising amount of fun to watch the tiny Conan bail him out of bad situations time and again; very reminiscent of the old Inspector Gadget cartoon series.

       All in all, this is a very fun book.  Itís sweet, and the mysteries are interesting.  The drawings are adorable, especially little Conan.  But the biggest surprise for me was how much I felt for Jimmy.  For a story involving events that arenít physically possible, it wasnít hard at all to understand Jimmyís frustration at his transformation.  I donít know anybody who doesnít still remember what it was like to have someone tell them they were ďtoo young to understandĒ and Case Closed taps into that feeling.  Plus, mysteries are just plain fun.


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