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Detective Conan Case Review:
Case #1: The Big Shrink
The Big Shrink can be thought of in two ways. In one respect, the entire
series is about the shrinking of Shinichi, yet it also the name of the
first English episode. In that first episode we have two cases to solve,
both short but both sweet. So, rather than reviewing the whole series
at once, I'll review the first two cases together. I prefer to review
things as cases rather than episodes, as two parters are pretty much just
extended cases. Anywho, now to the review.
Episode Summary: Murder. A rich businessman is shot at a party full of
people. The police are baffled, but then Shinichi Kudo, ace detective,
comes in and solves the case. Being a skilled soccer player, he even stops
the criminal by using a globe. After a good pat on the back from his friend
Inspector Meguire, he heads home. He has school the next day. ^^
After a quick intervention with his wacky scientist neighbor, Shinichi
heads to school, giggling with arrogance as he overhears comments about
him from gitty school girls and television news programs. After meeting
up his friend Ran, Shinichi is reminded that he has to take her out on
a date for winning a Karate championship.
The two go to Tropical Land, a gigantic amusement park. When they got
on the Roller Coaster, there were 8 passangers. During the ride, one of
them lost his head. Literally. After solving the case in his usual brilliance,
Shinichi follows one of the suspects that was on the Roller Coaster with
him, and witnesses a crime. Unfortunatly, one of the other suspects, an
accomplice of the man he followed, smacked him in the back of the head.
They decided to use Shinichi as a guinea pig for a new substance developed
by their organazation, and leave Shinichi to die.
The substance didn't kill Shinichi. It only shrunk him.
Critique (Possible Spoilers): I have to say that this was an EXCELLENT
introduction to the series. The manga version was decent, but the anime
version was introduced as well as a fine piece of cinema. The way they
introduced Kogoro was so similar to the way he would be introduced in
a movie it actually shocked me how well it was done.
Then we had the anime version of the opening case. In the manga, the man
had killed his wife. We didn't get to see the crime happen, or see much
of Shinichi's brilliance. Any of us could have guessed what he did in
the manga. But in the anime, we saw Shinichi's method of deduction and
enough description of the case for it to be one of those five minute mysteries.
The opening mystery itself was very well done in the anime, and it is
a shame that it was so short. I thought the whole wheelchair thing was
both brilliant and original.
Then we have the second case in the episode, the murder on the roller
coaster. This is another brilliant case and is also one of the most original
mysteries I've ever seen or read. Unlike the first mystery, this one was
better in the manga than in the episode. In the anime (or at least the
English version) , they failed to fully explain how the murder was commited
(using the piano wire in the pearls). It really bugged me, but it was
probably the dubbing.
One other great thing about this episode is the Holmes like deductions he
makes. There is reference to Holmes' ability to find out someone's life
story by just shaking their hand. In this case, Shinichi finds out that
the murderer is a gymnist before even shaking her hand!
Then of course, the most important part of this episode is the shrinking
of Shinichi. It's what starts the series is about. I'm going to say I liked
the anime version of the final parts of the case more (as I found him taking
pictures a bit annoying. Plus they'd make sound), and I'm also going to
say that I'm proud this detective story broke the ever too common rule of
staying out of Sci-Fi. In this series we have Sci-Fi bond-like gadgets and
of course the shrinking, but other than that all the cases are usually within
the realm of reality so they are solvable.
Overall I must say that this is one of the best cases in Detective Conan.
While the mysteries in this case are short, it's the beginning. And any
Holmes fan knows how great a Study in Scarlet is.
Overall Rating: 10/10
Pros: Excellent Beginning, Good Character Introduction, Original Mysteries
Cons: Beginning Mysteries are short
Mystery Reconmendations: The Kidnapped Debutante (Detective Conan Case
#2) , Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie), A Study in Scarlet
(Sir Arthut Conan Doyle), The Murders in the Rue Morgue (Edgar Allan Poe)
Anime Reconmendations: Tenchi Muyo, InuYasha, Sherlock Hound