Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Case Closed: The Fourteenth Target is the second film released for the Case Closed anime franchise. The film, which was directed by Kanetsugu Kodama, was released to Japanese theaters on April 18, 1998. FUNimation Entertainment, which holds the North American distribution rights for the film, released it on DVD on November 20, 2007.
The Fourteenth Target begins with Ran/Rachel having a dream about her mother being shot. She calls her mother and tells her about the dream, and Eri/Eva brushes it off. After hanging up the phone, Eri/Eva muses about whether or not her daughter remembers something. Meanwhile, Murakami, the leader of a gambling ring, is being released from prison. As he walks away from the prison, he is seen taking out a notebook and seeing the name "Kogoro Mori" written inside of it.
Ran/Rachel has set up a dinner date that includes her estranged parents, herself, and Conan. While there, they meet Kouhei Sawkai, a sommelier who is an old friend of Ran/Rachel's parents. Kogoro/Richard and Eri/Eva seem to be hitting it off, but then Kogoro/Richard sees a woman who owns a hospitality bar he frequents with another man and flips out. Eri/Eva becomes upset and cuts the dinner date short, much to Ran/Rachel's chagrin.
The next day, Inspector Meguire is shot with a crossbow while out for a jog, and a paper mache knife is found near him. Luckily, Meguire is only injured. Then, Eri/Eva receives a box of her favorite chocolates with a paper mache flower attached to it, but there is no sender listed. Thinking it's an apology gift from Kogoro/Richard for what had happened at the dinner date, she eats one of the chocolates. Eri/Eva is poisoned, but she comes through all right.
Conan visits Dr. Agasa at his home to discuss what's been happening while Agasa is fixing Conan's skateboard. A rock is thrown through the window in the front door; when Agasa goes to check what's going on, someone on a motorcycle shoots him with a crossbow. Conan tries to follow the attacker, but ends up losing sight of them. When he returns to Dr. Agasa's home, he finds a paper mache scepter laying on the ground.
Conan deduces that the paper mache objects correspond to what the King, Queen, and Jack are holding in a deck of cards. He also figures out that each victim has the playing card's number as part of their name, and that they all have some kind of a connection to Kogoro/Richard. Together, Kogoro/Richard and Conan must figure out who the remaining victims are and solve the crime.
Compared to the first Case Closed film, I thought that this story worked a lot better as a feature film. In some respects, the story could have been expanded even more. However, since the story features a large number of targets, it was probably easier to rush the story a little more in order to fill a 90-minute runtime. This film also features some interesting backstory for Kogoro/Richard, so it's worth seeing this film just for that alone. After seeing this backstory, I understand the character of Kogoro/Richard a bit better.
As for the DVD release of the film, the only extra included were trailers. The trailers included on this release are for Tsubasa, Robotech, Glass Fleet, Yu Yu Hakusho, My Santa, Fullmetal Alchemist, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki, and the Z-Store. Overall, I felt like FUNimation didn't put a lot of effort into this release, and only did the absolute minimum that was needed in order to get it out into the marketplace.
Regardless of the lack of bonus material, Case Closed: The Fourteenth Target should be in the home video library of anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of Case Closed.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this film that my husband and I purchased.