With the FBI backed into a corner, it’s time for a showdown with the Men in Black.
Story/Art: Gosho Aoyama
Translation/Adaptation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
What They Say
THE CLASH OF RED AND BLACK
Kir, a captured agent of the Men in Black, lies comatose in a hospital, her location a matter of international security. When the Men in Black discover her whereabouts, Conan needs help from the professionals. Time for the pint-size detective to team up with the FBI! With help from the Feds, Conan hatches a plan. But at every turn the Men in Black are one step ahead. The biggest, most explosive, most game-changing case in Conan’s career is under way!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
It’s rare that Case Closed devotes the majority of a book to the Men in Black storyline, let alone the entirety of one of the volumes. Yet that’s what happens here as the Mizunashi storyline comes to a head when the Men in Black track her to a specific hospital. These guys don’t play around, and all of the games have a definite human cost with named players. With such high stakes, the tension ramps up beyond the victim of the week caseload.
The game of cat and mouse becomes more frantic as pieces are removed from the board. First Conan figures out the MiB agent planted in the hospital. He gets made just before pinpointing Rena’s hospital room. He isn’t taken alive, but his death confirms for the MiB Rena’s location. From that point on chaos reigns as the MiB launch a plan to confuse the FBI and tease out Rena’s location.
A series of seemingly random incidents floods the hospital with victims and deliveries, starting a cascading bomb threat. One shady FBI agent could be a plant, and likely is, and Conan and Akai are two steps behind trying to figure out what the MiB are up to. With bombs everywhere, potential plants inside the organization, and little time left everything appears to go south. The potential for serious collateral damage is high.
Never underestimate Conan though. For once I buy the complicated plan the good guys come up with. It’s dangerous and requires a level of trust that is almost blind faith, but everything has a logic to it that makes sense. Some of the biggest lingering questions of the last several volumes, such as the identity of Rena and her relationship with Eisuke, are cleared up. Plenty of misdirection keeps the story moving and the reader guessing as to who is working for whom and where everyone’s loyalties lie. It’s gripping in a way this series rarely is because for once the stakes feel real.
Just when it appears that the trouble with the Men in Black is over for now, but one agent is dragged back into a seemingly unrelated murder case. The case itself in the typical standard case for this series, with the typical revenge plot. The involvement of a known suspect is a comical coincidence which serves as a misdirection of its own for the audience, as we are lead into a false sense of security while the MiB get the last laugh in a game that they always seem to have the upper hand in. Will Conan and the others ever truly win a round against the most dangerous criminal organization in Japan?
This is a volume not to miss for Case Closed fans. The most recent developments in the Men in Black storyline come to the forefront. For every move that the MiB make against the FBI, Conan and Akai seem to be three moves behind. Even their winning move is a gamble which could prove to be handing the bad guys a valuable asset. It’s a bet which by the end of this volume is starting to look like the wrong move. The ending leaves everyone waiting to learn the fate of this latest tussle with the Men in Black, and if team Conan is left with yet another loss.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A –
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B +
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: April 12th, 2016