Case Closed Volume Four is a manga by Gosho Aoyama, and it was published in North America by Viz Media in 2005. The series is rated “T+” for older teens; with what I’ve read of the Case Closed series, I would agree with this rating.
Case Closed focuses on Jimmy Kudo, a teen detective who was shrunk back down to his first grade self after a crime organization forces him to take an experimental poison and leaves him for dead. In order to hide his identity, the younger version of Jimmy takes on the name of Conan Edogawa. Without letting on that he is Jimmy, he goes to live with his friend Rachel Moore and her bumbling detective father, Richard Moore.
There are a total of three mysteries that appear in this volume of Case Closed. While all three of these stories appear in the anime series, the beginning of the third mystery is told a little differently between the two mediums.
The first mystery sees Conan, Rachel, and Richard going to an art museum after hearing about a suit of armor at the museum moving around by itself. While they are there, they meet the curator, and learn that the museum will be shutting down because the new owner wants to turn the property into a hotel. The new owner of the museum is murdered while Conan and the others are there, and Conan helps to crack the case. There’s really no difference between the telling of this story between the manga and the anime.
The second mystery opens with Conan, Rachel, and Richard traveling on a train to Kyoto so Richard can attend a friend’s wedding. While on the train, Conan bumps into two members of the crime syndicate that made him take the poison. Conan finds a way to spy on them, in the hopes of getting some of the poison so Dr. Agasa can try to come up with an antidote. Unfortunately, Conan gets more than he bargained for when he learns they had a transaction on the train and that there’s a bomb involved. Conan tries to crack the case before the bomb can go off. The plot of the story is the same between the manga and the anime, but the anime telling added the members of the Junior Detective League to the story. In a lot of respects, I think the manga telling of the story is stronger; in the anime, the Junior Detective League members really didn’t add anything of any real significance to this story.
The final mystery sees Conan and the rest of the Junior Detective League getting a hold of a code that belongs to an Italian gang that shows where something they stole is hidden. Through some work and skill, Conan and the others crack the code and figure out the location. When this story was adapted for the anime, the beginning part of the story was cut out, and this beginning portion serves as a transition between the train story and the code story. To me, it was a little disappointing that this section of the story was removed in the anime, because I think it sets up the mystery better; in the anime, the way this story begins feels a little on the “hokey” side.
I really enjoy the Case Closed manga series. While I know the stories from seeing the anime before reading the manga, I’m still impressed by how Aoyama really makes the reader think as they’re reading each mystery. Case Closed is a manga series that can be appreciated by both manga readers and by mystery fans who may not normally read manga.