Ongoing Investigations: Case #136

Detective Conan movie 9: Strategy Above the Depths takes place on a luxury cruise line, but thanks to today’s technology they aren’t totally cut off from the outside world as the usual police are flown in to investigate. I found this aspect to be slightly disappointing actually, but they want to get in all those favorite faces. There is a lot going on on this ship including conspiracy, murder, and bombs. Since these movies are known for spectacle, these bombs go off creating havoc just as the killer is confronted. While this time around the audience knows the culprit from the beginning, there are still some twists as Conan tries to uncover the clues and motive. Knowing the answer beforehand allows you to follow Conan’s logic, but it takes some of the fun out of trying to deduce the perpetrator. And when most of the people are safely off the ship, an intense show down begins as Conan and Kogoro look for Ran on the fast sinking vessel. This Conan movie lands in the middle for me, not super great fun but certainly not a lame film either.

I got Hayate the Combat Butler volume 15 for my birthday but I never did talk about it. It is nice to go back to a long string of silly stories considering all the drama with Ruka Suirenji and doujin and how serious it has been recently in the manga. We get two really great Nagi chapters with her wandering around the mansion at night and her building RC cars. They are great little stories and the RC storyline has one of my favorite lines of all time, “An Otaku who lacks love and care is just a nerd.” Good Nagi and Hayate moments throughout. This volume also has two Fumi Hibino chapters. I usually think her chapters are funny but she is easily my least favorite Hayate character. It also ends with the beginning of a Hinagiku story which I am sure will make many people happy. But speaking of making people happy there is a Maria story and a little Maria fan service as well. Great volume all in all.

In Kekkaishi vols. 2526, not only does the conspiracy of the Shadow Organization start to become more clear, it seems to be setting up the final arc of the series. It is obvious now that not only is someone in the group destroying deities, that someone looks to be the head. Of course, with so many people involved as well as recent disappearances and murders, one can’t really take anything at face value. But possibly the most interesting development of all is Yoshimori bonding with Karasumori, as if he can feel and speak to it. Things are just getting more complicated by the volume what with so many conflicting people and information, plus we are seeing more of the elusive Masamori and his plans.

I recently finished the first 6 books of Jojo’s Part 6: Stone Ocean. Hirohiko Araki decides to in yet another unexpected direction by setting part 6 inside a women’s prison. Jolyne Kujo is the first female protagonist of the series and the neglected daughter of part 3’s Jotaro Kujo. She is a punk girl set up for murder in a prison filled with stand users who are being controlled by someone with dastardly plans for the Joestar family. She is an entertaining heroine and a good female character in the Jojo’s tradition. This part is set in Florida so I am surprised the AWO crew has not gotten around to discussing it so can remark on how obviously 100% accurate everything in the series is. I must say that Foo Fighters is one of the strangest characters in a series renowned for strange characters. I won’t ruin it. You just have to meet Foo Fighters for yourself. I am curious to see where this goes as the main antagonist has finally been revealed. A great addition to the series.  If you are not sold then I have a simple pitch: The opening scene of this arc is a discussion of female masturbation. Please at least read the rest of the article before you going search for Stone Ocean.

I finally read Spider-Man: One More Day and, possibly because of all the buzz and craziness it generated when it first came out, I didn’t really find myself on either side of the fence. The dire circumstances of Aunt May slowly dying really unhinges Peter. And in classic fashion, making a deal with the devil has more fine print than anyone imagines. The ending is sad, but kind of fairytale like, at least to me who believes no matter what Mary Jane and Peter will come together again, someday. I don’t really care for Joe Quesada as an artist, he tends to use a lot of line work on people’s faces which makes everyone look very old (even children).

I finished Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with episodes 8-26. I was glad to see the strong start lead into a great middle and a satisfying conclusion. By hook and by crook Captain America, the Black Panther, and Hawkeye join the Avengers. I find it interesting that Iron Man is the leader when Captain America really seems the commander type. But as they said Cap knows how to be a good solider as much as a good leader. Thankfully all the new Avengers add their own little spin to the crew which I enjoy. The best part of the series is that all the individual story lines flow in and out of each other. While every arc is very distinct there are minor pieces that are setting themselves up or winding down from other arcs in the series.  The last arc does well to tie everything together that has come before as we see that everything has been building up to this. My only real complaint is that the Wasp is so clearly the token woman and the weakest member of the team. She has her moments to shine but she still suffers from weak girl syndrome. A shame really but a clear sign of the attitude towards women that is still in American super hero comics. But that is a minor complaint that will not stop me from watching season 2 in October. Despite all the weirdness going on with American comics recently a show like this shows you there is still an amazing core for stories at the heart of the genre.


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