Case Closed Movie 6: The Phantom of Baker Street
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The game is afoot! Conan Edogawa may look like he’s only in elementary school, my dear Watson, but he possesses perhaps the keenest eye for detail of any living detective. His latest case finds him trapped in a virtual recreation of 19th century London and pitted against none other than Jack the Ripper! To save his friends, Conan must follow in the footsteps of his hero – Sherlock Holmes – and crack a case that’s gone unsolved for over a hundred years. Catching the most notorious serial killer of all time is their only chance of survival, but Conan will have to be smarter than Sherlock to apprehend the Phantom of Baker Street!
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FUNimation Entertainment has recently released the sixth film of "Case Closed" titled "The Phantom of Baker Street". The film was shown in theaters on April 2002 and is the first film in the series written by Hisashi Nozawa and would once again feature a collaboration with Japanese rock band B'z who would sing the ending theme song "Everlasting".
In the sixth movie, "Case Closed: Phantom of Baker Street", the film begins with a news report about a 10-year-old kid named Hiroki Sawada who is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The child is known for developing the DNA Search Program which can trace ancestors using skin and blood data and now developing a mechanical brain known as "Noah's Ark" which has grown five years old in one year.
We then see the young Hiroki initiate a program on his computer and says goodbye to it, alarms go on and his father and security go to check on him, they then realize that Hiroki has jumped off the building and has killed himself.
We then see Conan and the members of the Junior Detective League, Rachel and many others trying out a new virtual game to test out their detective skills. So, Conan and the Junior Detective League must go to virtual 19th Century London and participate in the game. But suddenly the artificial intelligence behind the game, Noah's Ark, has shut down any possibility for the detectives to exit the game and now the game becomes real. If they don't finish the game, each will die.
Noah's Ark has a goal is to reset society and eliminate children who were born from corrupt politicians and greedy doctors. If anyone tries to rescue them, they will also die.
So, Conan and the Junior Detectives are now in a virtual world where Jack the Ripper lives. Now, they must now try and find out how to catch the serial killer or else they will be killed.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street" is a film that came out back in April 2002. As the "Cased Closed" films move up each year, there is a noticeable difference in animation quality especially compared to the previous five films. Animation is detailed and much more vibrant and even more detail and shading on the surrounding and background artwork. This latest film does use of CG effects work but for the most part, animation and character designs are on par with the last film. Art backgrounds are detailed at times and well-painted, while character designs are similar as they were in previous films.
Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 English and Japanese Stereo. English audio dialogue is clear from the center and music and sound effects are more front channel driven. Voice acting is well done for the English dub but for those who followed the Japanese series may get confused by the changing of the names. Japanese audio is well-done and for those who have a modern home theater receiver and a 5.1, 7.2 or higher setup, my preference was to have audio set on all channels for a more immerse soundscape.
Subtitles are in English.
"Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street" comes with FUNimation Entertainment trailers only.
I grew up with "Meitantei Conan" and I own several Japanese manga volumes which helped me learn Japanese and have watched the original Japanese anime series including the Japanese drama. But I have never seen any of the animated films before, so it was a pleasure to see FUNimation Entertainment show their dedication in releasing the films in the US.
As for "Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street", I knew one of these days there would be a film based on a virtual reality detective case (ala "Star Trek: The Next Generation" award winning episode "The Big Goodbye") and what best than to take on one of the mot notorious unsolved cases in world's history, the murders caused by Jack the Ripper. Especially how the writers would try to connect Jack the Ripper to modern times but also once again, showing how much Rachel cares about Jimmy and also would go out lengths to protect Conan.
It's important to note that one watching these films do not need to watch the TV series because the films do a good job introducing the characters especially how Jimmy Kudo became Conan. So, pretty much everyone can get into the films quite easily.
Like the previous films on DVD, there are no special features included but the FUNimation Entertainment trailers. I do wish that in future releases of films on DVD, the theatrical and teaser trailers and even the television commercials would be included.
Overall, "Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street" is another enjoyable "Cased Closed" film featuring Conan, Rachel and the Junior Detectives taking on another major case and film once again worth checking out!
In the movie Conan must now go back in time using a virtual reality system created by a young boy genius who was mysteriously killed, and solve both the crimes involving Jack the Ripper in the virtual reality system and also gather clues to discover who killed the young boy genius programmer and another person at the premier of the ne virtual reality system. It is not too violent, and it still has all of the wonderful pieces to a great mystery/detective movie.
Afterwards, Shinichi and company head off to London 1888, in order to uncover the real identity of Jack The Ripper.
Surprisingly, Jack the Ripper is not the only one present. With the mention of Inspector Lestrade, the gang finds out that Sherlock is also present in the game.
With the number of players dwindling, it is up to Shinichi to not only discover Jack the Ripper's identity, but also bring everyone that had lost back to life.
This movie was very good, with only a few problems, none of which were due to FUNimation. For example, there are subtitles on scenes that have been originally and dubbed in English. This was kind of horrible, but it did not take much away from the movie. FUNimation did not intentionally do that.
As was mentioned before, Sherlock makes an appearance and so do characters like Irene Adler and Professor Moriarty and Sebastian Moran.
As always, there is a Japanese audio track, for those of you who do not like the English dub.
I would suggest this movie to Sherlock fans and Detective Conan fans, as this meshes the world of Detective Conan with the world of Sherlock.
Coming in at a total runtime of 100 minutes, The Phantom of Baker Street spans a single DVD housed within a standard-sized clamshell case. The show wears an appropriate if not slightly conservative TV PG rating (due to a steady dose of animated violence rather than inappropriate language or nudity).
Language options are standard sub & dub, which means the viewer has the choice of the original Japanese dialog track (stereo) or an English dub (Dolby Digital 5.1) and the option of running English subtitles with either.
The story of Phantom of Barker Street goes something like this: Fellow (but natural) kid genius, Hiroki commits suicide due to the pressures placed upon him, leaving behind an artificial intelligence program called Noah's Ark, which among other things, has the ability to mature 5-years for every 1 year of realtime.
Conan, Vi, Rachel and The Junior Detective League weasel their way into being members of the 50 children chosen to sample a new virtual reality video game that actually cocoons its users in a capsule to provide the ultimate gaming experience.
It turns out the players have their choice of different themes/adventures to participate in while in the game. Conan and his friends enter London in the 19th century during the time of Jack the Ripper. Soon after the kids enter the game, Noah's Ark takes over the program and immediately closes all exits to the game. It reasons that someone must solve at least one of the game scenarios successfully to win the freedom of all of the 50 captured participants. For Conan and company, the game goes from high-tech fun, to a situation of life or death stakes against a program of vast intellect.
Aside from the longer runtime there are some notable differences between the film and the series. Among them is a reliance upon revealing pieces of pre-Conan life for Jimmy Kudo as threads with which to solve the mystery as well as mysteries that are themselves more complex (involving half a dozen key clues to solve rather than the one or two common of the series). Also Richard Moore is portrayed as being far-less dopey and actually contributes to the case's conclusion on multiple occasions; so dramatic is this change that the gimmick of Conan knocking Richard out via a tranquilizer dart then using his voice-changing bow-tie to reveal the solved case in the end is omitted entirely!
There also tends to be a greater focus on Conan's pal and fellow-age-reduced Anita Hailey (Vi in English), Dr. Hershel Agasa and the gadgets he invented to aid Conan on his mission.
As is always the case (no pun intended) with this show, the artwork and visual style aren't extremely rich or polished. Instead the animation is fairly simplistic but gets the job done. Focusing on the show's beauty (or lack thereof) is truly missing the whole point of what makes Case Closed so special. This is suspense-driven story telling that goes the extra mile to make sure each motion picture provides sufficient resolve. I consider myself a competent wannabe detective, but failed to solve this one prior to Conan's unraveling of clues at the end!
The English dub is pure first-class Funimation all the way, which means it just nails the little language details that make the original mystery fun. I can only imagine the work, planning, and translating this must require to get right. The effort pays dividends though when you view the finished product and literally forget that this wasn't originally written in English.
In all, quite an entertaining addition to a solid franchise. I enjoyed it thoroughly and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to existing fans and neophytes of the franchise alike.