Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Case Closed: The Time Bombed Skyscraper is the first film released for the Case Closed anime franchise. The film, which was directed by Kanetsugu Kodama, was released to Japanese theaters on April 19, 1997. FUNimation Entertainment, which holds the North American distribution rights for the film, released it on DVD on October 3, 2006.
The Time Bombed Skyscraper opens with Richard Moore, Rachel Moore, and Conan Edogawa trying to solve a murder at a mansion. Conan uses his regular stunt of utilizing his watch to put Richard to sleep and the voice-changing bowtie to speak in Richard's voice to reveal the suspect of the murder.
After this, Conan is seen sorting the mail at Dr. Agasa's house. He finds a piece of mail addressed to Jimmy Kudo, his identity from before he was forced to take an experimental poison by a crime syndicate that shrunk him. The piece of mail is an invitation to a party thrown by a famous architect named Leo Joel. Using the voice-changing bowtie to make himself sound like Jimmy, Conan calls Rachel and asks her to go to the party in his place. Rachel will only agree if Jimmy will see with a movie with her on Saturday. He ends up agreeing, but is unsure how he will follow through.
Rachel, along with Richard and Conan, attend the party. At the party, Conan and Rachel see a gallery of Leo's work, which includes the mansion where the murder took place at the beginning of the film, as well as the building where Rachel is taking Jimmy to see the movie.
After the party, a rash of arsons is striking mansions, including the one where the murder was at the start of the film. Also, it's being reported on the news that a cache of explosive material has been stolen.
On Saturday, Conan receives a call on Jimmy's cell phone from a man with a disguised voice. The man gives Jimmy a challenge by giving him clues as to where bombs are hidden around the city, as well as a time limit for when the bombs will go off. As Conan, he has to figure out where the bombs are in time and let the police know so they can be disarmed. Conan realizes there's a connection between the arsons, bombs, and the architect's work. The film reaches a climax with Rachel and the location of the final bomb.
When it comes to the film, I thought it wasn't as strong as it could have been. As a viewer, I found it a little too easy to figure out the connection that Conan realizes, as well as who the guilty party is. Also, the first couple of bombs in the challenge to Jimmy felt rather unnecessary; it felt like they were there more to stretch out the story than they were to progress the story. Personally, I thought this story would have worked better as a two-part episode in the anime series instead of a 90-minute film.
As for the DVD release of the film, there were only two extras included: "Character Profiles" and "Trailers." The character profiles included a one-page writeup and a picture for each character; the characters included are Conan, Jimmy, Rachel, Richard, Dr. Agasa, Inspector Meguire, Junior Detective League, and The Bomber. It should be noted that Meguire's new assistant, who is introduced in this film, does not get a character profile in this feature.
The trailers included on this disc are for FUNimation Channel, Case Closed, Full Metal Panic, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki, Dragon Ball Z, Negima, Fullmetal Alchemist, and the Z-Store.
Case Closed: The Time Bombed Skyscraper isn't one of the better Case Closed mysteries I have seen. However, if you're a Case Closed fan that wants to have everything that FUNimation has released for the series, then you need to add this DVD to your home video collection.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this film that my husband and I purchased.