ReviewWriter: Elaine EweWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Detective Conan: Private Eye In The Distant Sea" marks the 17th entry in the "Detective Conan" movie series. This time, Conan and his friends are ready to board the state-of-the art Aegis vessel in an exclusive tour. Their vacation takes a turn for the worst when a series of mysterious events take place, such as a sudden attack by an unidentified sea vessel, the presence of a female officer in an all-male crew and the discovery of a severed left arm. Before Conan can make heads or tails of the events, he finds out that the ship is being infiltrated by a mysterious foreigner known as Spy X, who wants to steal the ship's state secrets, and if successful, Japan's defence may be in jeopardy.
There is nothing new in the formula for fans of "Detective Conan". The film moves from one point to another like it always did: a series of mysterious and unconnected events take place which raises Conan's suspicions, a body is found, Ran's father Kogoro Mouri begins making half-assed deductions, a highly dramatic event takes place and Conan reveals killer. However, worn out as the formula may be, "Detective Conan: Private Eye In The Distant Sea" is an exciting addition to the long-running franchise because of its ability to stir up drama and surprises in inherently cliche situations, which makes the film accessible to non-fans of the franchise, although being a fan of anime is a must.
This is because casual movie-watchers may find "Private Eye In The Distant Sea" to be overly fantastical whereas seasoned anime-watchers are used to seeing Conan perform his super kick with his Power-Enhancing Kick Shoes created by Professor Agasa. Audiences may also roll their eyes at the dramatic ending that puts even "Titanic" to shame, but it is all in a day's work for "Detective Conan". This is not to excuse the film from its flaws, but you can't compare a film like this to films from Studio Ghibli, which clearly include adults in their target audience.
So why should fans of "Detective Conan" watch this? Compared to the previous movie, "Private Eye In The Distant Sea" has a larger cast, with the addition of Osaka detective Heiji Hattori and his romantic interest, Kazuha Toyama. Heiji was originally Conan's rival before he was soundly defeated by Conan and learnt about his secret identity. Conan's love interest Ran Mouri also gets more screen time here, at the cost of the Detective Boys' (Ayumi Yoshida, Mitsuhiko Tsuburaya, Genta Kojima and Ai Haibara) screen time. The music in this film is also very well-done, simply because it plays during all the exciting bits of the film, which helps to heighten the tension, although the theme song "One More Time" by Kazuyoshi Saito is not very memorable.
In conclusion, "Detective Conan: Private Eye In The Distant Sea" is by no means an overwhelmingly praiseworthy effort, but the film justifies the time and money spent because it is something different from the usual Disney and Pixar fare that we have all been accustomed to. The mystery is very well-explained, but patience is needed to digest all the technical bits and fantastical elements, not to mention that there aren't very many bodies dropping throughout its 110 minutes.Cinema Online, 09 September 2013