DVD Review: Case Closed Season One (1996)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Sunday, June 29, 2014 0 comments

"Case Closed Season One" is an animated Comedy Drama Crime show about a guy in his late-teens named "Jimmy Kudo". Jimmy also happens to be a great athlete and detective and he has been hired by the police on many occasions to help them solve some tough crimes (mainly murder). One day he is invited to go to an amusement park with his childhood friend (and his crush) named "Rachel Moore" and he accepts as he believes that to be the best place to confess his love to her. While at the amusement park Jimmy and Rachel decide to go on the haunted house ride and get into a conversation with some people while waiting in line. While on the ride Jimmy notices something weird and when the ride ends we see that one of the people on the ride got their head sliced off (ouch). Jimmy gathers all the people who were on the ride so he can solve the case. Jimmy ends up solving the mystery and gets ready to head home but he notices some very suspicious looking people and he then starts to follow them. Jimmy witnesses a deal going on but the suspicious people spot him and then begin to poison Jimmy but instead of the poison killing him it instead turns him into a child. Now Jimmy is going under the name "Conan Edogawa" and is under the care of Rachel and her father "Richard Moore" and helps them out by solving crimes while he is trying to figure out how to turn himself back into his old self. Daaan da dun dun! Daaan da dun dun duuunnnnn!* (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

The story telling in this show is very episodic and repetitive with nearly every episode being about murder that conveniently happens when the main characters are around. Now that might sound tedious and dull but it was actually pretty darn good. They found a way to keep it fun and fresh every time and the reason why is how insane the cases became. Sure the cases may seem like a simple case of murder but what made them so entertaining was how unnecessarily complicated the cases are and it'll keep you on the edge of your seat wondering "how are they going to top themselves this episode?". There is some action in this show and it is very exciting with a style that's a mixture of high-tech technology from "Six Million Dollar Man (1973 - 1978)" and football kicks that are reminiscent of the animated series "Captain Tsubasa (1983 - 1986)". The comedy in this show is mainly slapstick and it worked well and did make me laugh.  One problem I had with the show was that it didn't know if it wanted to be a show for kids or adults as the show seems like it wants to be a kids show but then out of nowhere it turns into a show for adults as you see some very gruesome death scenes that aren't good for kids.

One thing I was worried about with this show was that Jimmy would become a very worn out character once he turned into a child, instead he kept his charm and personality plus he gained more in the process and ended up being a really great character. All of the other main characters were also pretty great with unique personalities that helped made this show a blast to watch. The minor characters that change from episode to episode were mostly good but there were some that were a bit bland.

Art-work looks a little aged as it looks faded and dry but other than that I liked the look as it has a very charming cartoony look. It's not overly cartoony to where everything looks overly exaggerated (but it is a little exaggerated) but cartoony enough to where they aren't trying to make them look as human as possible. The character designs are very charming and I do like how the characters look like what their age is as the teenagers actually look like teens instead of porn stars playing high school students, the adults also look like adults and the children look like children. The youthful characters look really cute with big eyes that are full of hopes of dreams while the adults have a more mature look to them with eyes that give them a "we are grown ups and we are serious" and I like that a lot as it adds uniqueness to the art-work. One problem though is that the children are drawn a bit too short to where they are the size of toddlers but other than that they look just like how kids look like. Backgrounds look very beautiful and really captures the feeling of being in the city. Animation in this show is decent but you will get the occasional cheap looking moment where a character talks without their mouth animating and some choppy scenes.

The English dub in this show was very good with voices that worked perfectly with the characters and the acting was also good. I wouldn't say it is a perfect dub though as there were some characters with odd voices that had acting that was stiff and forced. One thing I really loved was that when Jimmy talked in his kid form he has a child's voice but when he is thinking he has his normal grown-up voice as it added some charm and detail. I really loved most of the soundtrack as it had a very charming jazz sound that suited the crime theme of the show well. The part of the soundtrack I didn't like was the English opening theme as it had the most corny fake punk rock sound that was annoying as all heck and thank goodness you can skip over it with the "skip chapter" button on your DVD remote.

Overall this was a very good show and really entertaining to the point that you just can't stop watching it. I highly recommend watching this one but I fear that this show will lose it's luster after another season or two. Fun viewing.

*Note: "Dragnet (1951 - 1959)" reference.

Title: Case Closed Season One
Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Animation/Anime, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Action
Running Time: 624 Minutes (26 Episodes)
Distributor: Hanabee Entertainment
Rating: M15+ (Animated violence)
Price: $49.99
Recommended: Yes


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