Ongoing Investigations: Case #152January 13, 2012
I thought it appropriate to make Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence (movie 15) my first anime of 2012 and it set the year off right! In this case Conan takes on a bomber looking to destroy a dam but there is a lot more to this mystery in the small snowy town Kitanosawa whose residents have many secrets. The film starts off with a flashback many years in the past of a young boy being chased and falling down the mountain side. We then move to present day where Conan must first stop a threat to the Governor of Tokyo and a train bomb that leads them to Niigata Prefecture. We learn that the town of Kitanosawa was relocated five years prior when the dam building took place and it was not popular with many of the residents. The setting plays a major role in the film as it is small and fairly isolated and we have the added attraction of snow and all the dangers that come with it. We meet a group of childhood friends with a lot of complications between them and that boy on the mountain top, don’t count him out yet. Since there are multiple mysteries going on it keeps you guessing in good form. There isn’t too much romance in this film which is a nice break and I really enjoyed the friendship that The Detective Boys kindred with the injured boy from the mountain. This movie loves to push the limits of Conan’s skateboard from having him go upside down in a tunnel to its transformation into a snowboard which he uses to create an avalanche in the final tense climax. This in a very enjoyable addition to the franchise making me feel as if they are on a roll with the Conan movies!
I finally got to reading Twin Spica six through ten when I borrowed them from Narutaki. As I stated when I made this the manga of the month the story mixes the best of science fictions hopeful dreams of progress with the draw of excellent human drama. And it has not dropped off in the least. Although it is a story about space the main focus is the characters, their interactions, and their growth. We learn that everyone has at least one major secret that they are keeping from everyone. Some are huge, some are bizarre, some are very personal, and one is all three. But no matter how wacky anyone’s secret is Kou Yaginuma makes sure that it has an appropriate emotional gravitas. And so powerful moments are still effective. Marika Ukita’s angry loneliness, Shu Suzuki’s carefree facade, Kei Oumi’s blitzkrieging energy, and even Asumi Kamogawa’s melancholy earnestness will always carefully play with your heart and mind without ever feeling manipulative. There is at least one story in each book that will make your earnestly well up with emotion while still having a light mood that prevents you from feeling emotionally blogged down. I am glad to see everyone is still growing. Marika Ukita clearly has had the most obvious arc of growth but everyone is moving forward at their own pace. I will say that chapter 10 ended rather unexpectedly for me. I thought something like that might happen but not at that point in the story. With only two books left to go this is a great time to start the series if you have not picked it up.
Seems that since they didn’t throw Heiji into the 15th movie, they decided to have him play prominently in Detective Conan Magic File 5. Sadly this short is rather dull. It concerns a mix-up of souvenirs that Sonoko and the kids brought back from their trip. It pretty much consists of Heiji sitting on the couch and speculating on how it occurred. The end is at least rather amusing as Heiji plays a prank on Conan.
As always I keep reading Zettai Karen Children for while is partially a reprehensible manga it makes up for it by being amazingly entertaining. The latest arc has brought a previously only periphery villain to the forefront and has the death of a major character. While I don’t they are fully dead it explains why they never appear in any flash forwards. Zettai Karen Children has always been moving along but this really feels like a major plot point has occurred even more than the time skip oddly enough. But the worst part is I think I have become a horrible, evil, and somewhat detestable Zettai Karen Children shipper. I have unknowingly begun to ship Shiho Sannomiya and Shuji Sakaki. There is something slightly wrong with the age gap involved but I don’t care. They just work so well together and play off each other in a most entertaining manner. They will probably just end up throwing Shiho together with Tim Toy but I have my dreams as they stand now. (Goodness I feel dirty.)
I happily finished up Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 1000% (eps. 8-13) and truly the second half is spectacular. Since Haruka essential turns the guys into a boy band with her as the song writer things just get more crazy. The headmaster had a few more challenges in store, but don’t worry they literally rock his world with their songs. Haruka has an identity crisis, she works it out in the end, but not before the guys show up on the hillside near her grandmother’s to sing to her. A few things stood out to me after finishing the show. First, there is very little physical intimacy in the series, seriously it ends with everyone giving high-fives to Haruka. On a similar note, despite being filled with pretty boys there isn’t much fan-service/shirts off/etc. even when they going to an island. Finally, it may be one of the only times I’ve seen a cold, stoic guy actually apologize for his behavior and change. This series need a sequel ASAP!
The problem with being caught up with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is I now have to wait a month for the next chapter of JojoLion. That is far too long. I love Hirohiko Araki’s work. His story and characters are amazing but that man cannot draw a cute girl to save his life. I know that Daiya Higashikata is supposed to be a cutie. Her bear hoodie is very cute. She is a progressive rock fan (specifically Yes) so you know she is super cool. She is blind so she even has moe points but seems very capable to be a bit anti-moe. But when you look at her character design all you can think is, “I know you are trying so hard but just like Yasuho Hirose you just can’t make your heroines physically attractive can you?” Oh well. Shine on your crazy manga-ka. By the way I wrote this while listening to Heart of the Sunrise as was appropriate.