Jimmy Kudo was trailing two suspicious men in black. Known as Gin and Vodka, the nefarious duo attacked the ace high school detective and administered a mysterious substance that physically transformed the teen into a first grader. While searching for a cure, Jimmy adopts a new identity, becoming elementary school student, Conan Edogawa. Acting alone and sometimes with his friends, the Junior Detective League (JDL), Jimmy/Conan continues to solve criminal cases and mysteries.
As Case Closed, Vol. 57 (“A Devil of a Case”) opens, Conan remains on his quest to unravel the mystery of Rena Mizunashi, a reporter with ties to the Men in Black and the “Syndicate.” It seems that recently-made acquaintance, Eisuke Hondo, is looking for Rena because she resembles his missing older sister. However, a health crisis that Eisuke once suffered complicates blood relationships.
Meanwhile, Conan assists the famous detective Richard Moore, a.k.a. “Sleeping Moore,” on murder case. The first involves a wealthy man who wants Moore to resolve the unsolved murder of his son from a year earlier. When another murder occurs, Conan discovers that he might be facing a killer from Hades itself. Next, the JDL is visiting a television studio when they encounter Satan Onizuka, the lead singer of the visual rock band, Styx's III. After Satan's agent is murdered, Conan starts to believe that something evil lurks under Satan's mascara.
THE LOWDOWN: Anyone who is a regular reader of my reviews knows that I love the Case Closed manga. Known as Detective Conan in Japan, this cozy mystery will cozy up to any mystery fan, and it has certainly won me over. I love it more than ever.
Case Closed Volume 57 offers two mysteries that are solved in a few chapters. It also continues the latest arc in the saga of Conan's struggle against the “Men in Black.” If it all seems the same, it is not. Case Closed's delights are not always in the whodunit. In this volume, there is a single-chapter tale starring “Sleeping” Moore that involves the Japanese tradition of the “otoshidama,” and it is a joy to read. Every once in awhile, series creator Gosho Aoyama shows that his characters are lovable even when they aren't chasing bad guys, revealing murderers, and unraveling conspiracies.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for fun mystery fiction will want to investigate the “Shonen Sunday” detective manga, Case Closed.