「缶ジュースの自動販売機、どうしても欲しいものが2つあったとします。ホットコーヒーと烏龍茶、どっちを飲もうかって迷ってしまう時ってありますよね。 そういう時はこうやって2つのボタンを同時に押す。すると無意識のうちに本当に欲しい方のボタンを先に押してしまうって言うんですが…まあ、お試し下さ い。二者択一と言えば…」
"Suppose you're standing in front of a drinks machine and you really want to drink something. Sometimes you just can't choose: hot coffee or oolong tea. At such a time, you push both buttons at the same time. They say you will push the button of the drink you really want most first unconciously. Please try it some time. Talking about having to choose..."
"Furuhata Ninzaburou: Red? Blue?"
I've always wondered why some comics are released on the same day. Take Detective Conan and Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo for example. You wouldn't believe how often these rival detective series are released on the same day. Of course, now that both series are serialized, it's not very strange new volumes are released close to each other (as their publication schedules obviously overlap), but even during the years Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo was an irregular series, it occured often that these series would arrive in the stores on the same day. You'd think that it would make more sense to have these two detective series, from two different publishers, released on different days...
Today: a Short Short featuring the two newest volumes of these series, released about two weeks ago.
Detective Conan 84 starts with Prologue of the Scarlet Detective, a flashback case about a murder in an aquarium. Shinichi (before he changed to Conan) and Ran happened to be there (not on a date, Ran emphasizes) and after some preliminary deductions by Shinichi, the police manages to get the suspects lists down from everyone in the aquarium to just three persons. But they all appear to have a solid alibi, because each of them had been taking pictures and movies with their phones. The alibi trick is ridiculous actually, in a sorta funny way, and it's a miracle it worked. Also, this case is supposed to be set in the past, but why is everyone using smartphones? There was a time when Conan had to use a earring-shaped phone and bentou box fax!
The second story, The Person Behind the Devil's Voice, has the Detective Boys participating in a kite competition. During the competition, one of the contestants falls in the river as he backed up holding his team's kite. At first, this appears to be an accident, but Conan suspects someone told the man to back up all the way to the river. Problem: all witnesses say none of the suspects could have spoken to the victim because he was standing quite a distance from everyone. I actually liked the main trick behind the story quite much, but the rest of the story is disappointing, and it's not even because of the Detective Boys! The case is solved by an incredible stroke of luck, which kinda kills an otherwise okay story. Herb Tea, the Scent of Death on the other hand has a disappointing trick, but an interesting enough premise: a group of friends holds a tea party to cheer up their hospitalized friend, and one of them is poisoned during the party. But how? It's a simple story and setting, but it has a Christie-esque vibe to it. Too bad the trick depends on Obscure Knowledge That Wasn't Hinted At.
But the previous story and Bourbon's Piece to Solve the Puzzle are actually set-ups for a bigger story. There is the story about a teacher being attacked by an unknown assailant at school and it's a fairly good story (though a bit hard to do without some cultural knowledge, though not nearly as obscure as the previous story). But the story is also about the Black Organization spy Bourbon, who has been hanging out around the heroes of story for a long time (even though his cover was blown ages ago), who is investigating a certain important event that happened back in volume 58! In fact, these stories are branded as the Prologue to Scarlet and it appears that the next volume will feature a long story resolving several storylines that have been going on for years, similar to the volume-length stories in volume 42, volume 58 and volume 78.
Detective Conan 84 was an okay volume, but it was probably just a 'silence-before-the-storm' volume and I can't wait for the next!
the first volume). Now that I've read the complete story, I think it's an okay story within the annals of Kindaichi Shounen. Like I mentioned in the review of the first volume, the first half is quite unique in the sense that you don't actually get the confirmation that anything has happened to the people who disappeared because of the Snow Demon. There is a pretty daring trick used by the murderer that seems a bit hard to pull off, but that has been often the case in the series (in fact, the solution to one of the disappearances reminds strongly of a certain early case). At times The Snow Demon Legend Murder Case does feel like a repetition of earlier stories at certain points, but it I definitely like it more than most of the 20th anniversary series.
Volume 2 also brings us the start of The Murder in the Phantom School Building, which is going full throttle into nostalgia lane. Hajime, grandson of the great detective Kindaichi Kousuke and his childhood friend Miyuki participate in a treasure hunt tour on the isolated Kogane Island, still the home to ruins of an old mining town. Inspector Kenmochi and his superior Akechi are also present, because Takatoo Youichi, a professional 'planner of crime' and Hajime's nemesis, has hinted at some event happening on the island. And of course, one by one the participants of the treasure hunt are killed by seemingly the ghost of a teacher...
An isolated island? Check! Treasure hunt? Check! Maps and conveniently unusable passages? Check! A large number of the cast students? Check! Excluding Hong Kong, the last time Kindaichi Shounen featured a story on an island, or a water-related place was actually back in 2010. The Murder in the Phantom School Building actually feels fresh, despite it being a fairly classically built story. The use of Takatoo in the story also attracts attention, especially considering his last appearance, but Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R 2 only features half of the story, so we'll have to wait for the next volume to see how this story turns out.
And yes, I will probably discuss Conan and Kindaichi Shounen together in Short Short posts as long as they are released close to each other. Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R 3 is already scheduled for half September, so let's hope Conan 85 will also be published around the same time!
Original Japanese title(s): 青山剛昌 『名探偵コナン』第84巻; 天城征丸（原）、さとうふみや（画）『金田一少年の事件簿Ｒ』第2巻