Case Closed The Time Bombed Skyscraper - Animated Film Review
Case Closed is one of the most popular stories in Japan. It was created as a manga series in 1994 by Gosho Aoyama. The basis behind it is that a young teenager Jimmy Kudo is a detective and is well known for his crime solving skills. One day while out on a day out with his best friend Rachel he saw a criminal transaction and in a split second was knocked out from behind and drugged and his body shrunk into a small boy. He picks the name Conan Edogawa to protect his true identity and he goes to live with Rachel and her father Richard Moore who is a private detective to try and find out who poisoned him and get his original body back. The manga was made into the Anime series in 1996 and is still going today.
The stories in Case Closed are normally based around murder mystery cases. However this film which was the first of many to be produced, didn't stick to its normal story base. The first couple of moments into the film see's us establish the characters and introduces how Conan can put Richard to sleep with a trank gun in his wrist watch and then solves the murder case that has been set for him. However this is the only murder mystery solved in the film which for me was disappointing.
That sounds wrong but when the series is dubbed a 'Murder Mystery Series' you gear yourself up for murder and what can sometimes be graphic images in Case Closed (especially in the Manga series) yet this didn't have that. Then to make it worse the murder wasn't really a one to untangle it was open and shut from Conan's perspective. However this isn't to say that the overall film was poor.
The murder links into the rest of the story well which is good considering in some films the murder seems to get forgotten very quickly even though it is a big link to other parts of the film. What I like in this film or any of the Case Closed series is that characters who were mentioned or shown in the beginning are mentioned throughout. For instance the gentleman murdered at the beginning, his name and the family are mentioned at least 4 times during the film putting it back into perspective that there is a connection to them in some way.
The rest of the film is set up like its one big riddle from start to finish about where the bombs are and how they are to be stopped. Though to me some of the clues are far to vague so how Conan even works it out is beyond me. But I believe part of this is due to how the scripts were translated and it probably makes more sense in Japanese.
What I do like is that the story is well through out. There are some very clever ways the bombs have been built and the locations they had been put in as well as the way Conan pieces bits together from each bomb site to work out more about the criminal behind it.
The explosions and other effects are brilliantly drawn considering they were all done by hand. No computerized 3D effects here people which for me makes it even more special because greater detail has been put into it making it more thrilling. They are not afraid to give that little bit of risk by getting characters hurt and normally Conan is the first on this list as he would rather solve the case and save others and do what ever it takes. However I normally find that if the character didn't become so close to situations he was in he would be able to do more but this isn't always the case so you can't complain that the character isn't passionate and good at what he does.
The backgrounds are always fantastic and one of my favorite shots is of the railway bridge where you get a real sense of the area. But also you get to see all the little details, like the boats on the river, the fact the bridge has lamps on it for on a night or where ever tree is planted. The place always feels alive and lived in. Whereas the newer films that were produced don't seem to have this level of detail.
For me its the little connections in the film that let it down the most. They are not necessarily important but to me it keeps the consistency of the story and the quality up. For example the bomber contacts Jimmy on his home phone number yet everyone has been told that Jimmy is away on a case so why would the bomber ring him from home? If this bomber is as good as he says he is why hasn't he found his mobile number which is what he asks Jimmy for anyway.
The other is that the bomber speaks to Jimmy as Conan uses his voice changing bow tie. Yet Conan turns up at the bomb site and other than a quick few questions the bomber doesn't seem bothered that Conan is involved but not Jimmy? Yet this point that Conan had answered the phone was covered up pretty well, because in the heat of the moment he had 'forgotten' to change his voice.
There is a few other little points which are similar but it certainly doesn't stop the over all flow of the film.
There is always some lovely character moments in the film as well. There is always a child sense of humor behind Rachel and Jimmy's relationship but their connection as characters is always very strong. Rachel doesn't know Jimmy shrank into Conan but yet I always get the feel deep down she knows Jimmy is there. It comes across in quite often. But there is comedy character moments between the children as well as how Richard despises Conan but adores Rachel to the point of over reacting when she becomes trapped. Jimmy will always do anything to save and protect Rachel and this is one of my favorite moments in the film where there is just no hope but they are together to the end.
Overall its not the best film out of the Case Closed films but for the very first film it was ok. The characters stick to their profiles and the story is interesting and has its thrills the backgrounds are crisp and detailed and the relationships solid but its not without its flaws.
My rating is a 6 out of 10.
Case Closed and none of these images belong to me I just use them as reference for my review.