Detective News

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Some of the fun that I'd get out of reading DETECTIVE CONAN was piecing together and working out the mystery as the chapters were released. My proficiency in a forum dedicated to workout out murder mysteries was high enough that people started calling me "Kristantei". I easily had a 95% success rate with my theories.

I've been absent from the series for a few years, without any options for the newest chapters. This is my first experience with Masumi Sera. I notice she's not in the wiki -- yet. With Crunchyroll simulcasting the series' latest episodes, I thought I would give this new murder mystery a try.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my deductions from this first part.

Tragedy of the Red Woman [Steam] (赤い女の惨劇 [湯煙], Akai Onna no Sengeki [Yukemuri])

All the of current events are surrounded by a murder from 15 years ago. The "Red Woman" story. She was never captured and still at large. Three years following, a high school Sotoko went missing for one week, and was found at the bottom of a wet quicksand pit. She was only found because her shoes were found nearby. Although, was she drowned or stabbed? They never mention her cause of death.

The Red Woman is being blamed, because of the knife that was located near where the body was found. How do they know this was the same knife from the event three years prior? when the Red Woman first killed, they were crimes of sudden rage and impulse. Even the death of the officer could be attributed to an act of panic. What would be her motive to attack a random person in the woods? I think she's being set up as perpetrator of a planned murder. Someone needs to be looking for another killer, so the police don't look too hard at those present with better motive. A crazy woman missing in the woods for years is a good option.

Victim

Masaie Hakuya (薄谷 昌家, Hakuya Masaie)

  • Age: 28
  • Status: Deceased
  • Cause of Death: Possible Drowning
  • Points of Interest: Bath Salts

Notes-

The points of interest about Masaie are that he has a rather adept interest in bath salts and he seemed to be the most shaken by the discussion of "The Red Woman". He was also found in the swamp by Jinsuke earlier in the day.

He's sort of a larger fellow, so overpowering him to kill him seems difficult. We'll need to wait for a cause of death before going too far. Just because he was found in the hot water doesn't mean that's how he died.

What are the possible motives for his death? Does he know something about the earlier death of Sotoko and was silenced from ever talking, or was he some how responsible for Sotoko's death -- either on purpose or accidental --, and his murder is revenge based.

Suspects

It seems that every character has a potentially shaky alibi. At the moment, they all could have killed Masaie.

Tamami Minegishi (峰岸 珠美, Minegishi Tamami)

  • Age: 28
  • Status: Suspect
  • Points of Interest: Called for detectives and a talented cook

Notes-

Tamami seems to be the most interested in having the recent string of strange events looked into. She even asked for photographs to be brought. The content of those are still unknown. However, she doesn't have a solid alibi. She is only heard calling out from the kitchen asking what Ran and Sonoko wanted to eat for dinner. They gave no answer, and Tamami declined any assistance. Did she not want anyone in the kitchen to know she wasn't really there the whole time.

At the moment, she seems unlikely to be the killer. Why invite a well known detective if you're planning an elaborate murder? Although, she wouldn't be the first killer to think she could manipulate a detective.

I'd want to look in the kitchen to see the status of the meals being prepared. Even if there is food there, is it hot or cold? She could have prepared dinner ahead of time to create her alibi.

Sumika Kawana (河名 澄香, Kawana Sumika)

  • Age: 28
  • Status: Suspect
  • Points of Interest: Brought photos, and controlled Ran and Sokono's movements in the rental home.

Notes-

Sumika is an interesting suspect. She engaged Ran and Sonoko to help her clean up. However, that could be used to control where they were in the house while she was elsewhere in the house killing Masaie. She gave them specific tasks to be in one room to know where they were.

A point of interest is the commotion Ran and Sonoko heard upstairs with the vacuum running. Was the loud vacuum sound being used to mask the screams of Masaie being killed, to create an alibi for her location, or a bit of both?

Jinsuke Ninda (任田 甚輔, Ninda Jinsuke)

  • Age: 29
  • Status: Suspect
  • Points of Interest: Carries a thin bat with him everywhere to ward off "them(??)".

Notes-

The thing that's odd about him is how he made the point of saying that the store he was walking to is 1 kilometer away to get the drinks. Who brings up the distance they're going to walk? To that point, why wouldn't he get the drinks they need on the way there to begin with? The house was already so well stocked with food that a rather elaborate dinner could be made to feed everyone present. Why didn't it have enough drinks?

If he's the killer, he could have been building his alibi by giving the impression that he was a distance away when Masaie was murdered. When in reality, he had the drinks ahead of time in the woods, killed Masaie, and returned around dinner time, when everyone in the house was preparing for dinner and someone would be taking a bath to find the body before his return.

I'd be interested in seeing if he has a receipt from the store, which would have a time of purchase; and to count either the number or content of the drinks. Conan is a wild card. If Jinsuke's the killer and this was planned, he wouldn't be likely to know the age of the people visiting. He already thought that Masumi Sera was a male. If he doesn't have drinks appropriate for people underage, that's very telling.

Deductions

Being the first part of the case, I don't want to get too far ahead of the evidence. What is beyond question is that the murder of Masaie was long in planning. This was in no way a crime of opportunity. It was well known among the whole group that Masaie had an interest in bath salts. It's likely that tending to the bath is always his duty when they visit the cabin yearly. The killer would be able to plan his murder and how to hide the body.

I suspect that the reoccurring incidents with red objects was building suspicion on the Red Woman for a crime that would happen at a later date. Plant the seed in everyone's mind.

What I have to ask, why was Masaie lurking in the swamp? They come there yearly since high school. He would know where it's unsafe, so I don't buy that he was lost. I suspect he was looking for something. Something related to the death of Sotoko.

I'm a bit unclear about where the bath is located in the house right now. That's a pretty important factor to this event.

Given the current situation, Sumika is the best suspect for the killer. The way she drew Ran and Sonoko into the bath, and the body was found some time later there. It was as if she was showing them it was empty, but was it really? The bath was mostly covered and was tinted green from bath salts. Sumika removed one side of the heated bath cover, was Masaie's body underneath the other half? (This trick was used once before in this series)

With Sumika walking around the house and bringing others along with her, it shortens any window for another killer to set up the bizarre situation in which the body was found.

The word "Steam" in the title could be a clue. Heat can be used to manipulate estimate TOD (Time of Death) and make it appear a person died at a different time. It could make him appear as if he died sooner than he actually did.

Lastly, who is the wild woman we see as they talk about the Red Woman? It's possible that she is actually the actual Red Woman, who's been in hiding. Being alone in the woods for 15 years is suspicious enough. It would explain her ragged appearance. Her current interest in the house could be that she's seen something in the woods recently, but too afraid to come forward due to fear of facing her crimes.

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Super Duper Mini Review



Ghost Hunt (originally titled Akuryo Series) is anime adaptation of the manga of the same name, which is based on the light novels of the same name.  There are 25 episodes produced by J.C. Staff.

Show Info

 
Genres: comedy, drama, horror, mystery, psychological, supernatural, thriller
Themes: ghosts, occult, spirits, vampires

Plot Summary via Wikipedia

Ghost Hunt follows the ghost hunting adventures of Mai Taniyama, a first year high school student, who becomes involved with the Shibuya Psychic Research Center (SPR) and its young manager, Kazuya Shibuya. When Mai accidentally injures Shibuya's assistant Lin Koujo, and breaks an expensive video camera being used by SPR in an investigation at her school, she works as a part-time assistant with SPR to repay her debt.

Mai nicknames Kazuya Shibuya "Naru" because she believes he has a narcissistic attitude, and the nickname is generally adopted by all those who come to eventually work with SPR on their paranormal cases: a Buddhist monk, Houshou Takigawa; a shrine maiden, Ayako Matsuzaki; a famous psychic, Masako Hara; and Catholic Priest, John Brown. Later in the series, they are assisted by a third-year high school student, Osamu Yasuhara (who works as an assistant beside Mai) and by Mori Madoka, Naru's mentor.

Ghost Hunt also explores the paranormal abilities of the characters, particularly focusing on Mai's "latent psychic abilities," demonstrated by her dreaming about information relevant to their cases. She is often joined in her dreams by someone who she assumes to be Naru acting as a spirit guide, but whom is later revealed to be someone quite unexpected.


Pros and Cons

 Pros:
  • A likable cast of characters.
  • One of the shows that benefits from the episodic format.
  • The cases started a little simple, but got more complex over time.
  • The cases were enjoyable.  Really enjoyed the 2nd to last case.
 
Cons:
  • One of the shows that losses it's magic after watching it a second time.  I will know exactly how the cases get solved.

Final Thoughts

An enjoyable occult detective show that's fun all the way through.

Who is this For

 If you enjoy episodic detective shows like Detective Conan or anything of the nature and don't mind supernatural stuff, will get a kick out of this show.
 
If you would like the watch the show, check it out over at Hulu.
 

Sources *Spoilers Abound*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Hunt_%28light_novel%29
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=6817


THE END


Don't forget to check out my ongoing blog for my Super Duper Mini Reviews and my written reviews.            :) 
 

Q: What's a Super Duper Mini Review?
A: Well, since I'm done with long, written reviews for now, I decided to put a short list of what I liked and didn't like about the shows I watch.  For some info about the show like genre, plot summary, etc., I borrow (mainly copy and paste  :P) some info from Anime News Network, Wikipedia or the Anime Vice wiki.  So people wont think I'm plagiarizing, I do post sources.
 
Q:  Why are these blogs so short and half assed?
A:  Well, I want to put in as little effort as possible.  Why?  Cause I'm lazy.
 
Q:  Do you care if people don't read these?
A:  Kinda.  One of the main things that keeps me making these things is so I can spread the word of shows/mangas that people aren't aware of.
 
Q: Sometimes there a few or no cons, does that mean the show is perfect?
A: No.  Usually when I make these, I like to highlight the things I liked more then the negatives.  I'm one of those people who enjoys just about anything as long as it's entertaining.  I can easily look past a show's faults if I find enjoyment from it.  Remember, nothing is perfect.

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