On the second-to-last story arc of Magic Kaito…

Episode 22 Summary:

Kaito has his sights set on a giant ruby, but eventually calls it off when he realizes it is the Red Tear, owned by the Hopper Magic Troupe.  As he and Aoko go the movies one afternoon, they bump into Jody Hopper, the woman who inherited the magic troupe from her grandfather.  She claims that tonight’s magic show will be the last, and gives Aoko two tickets.  In the corner of his eye, Kaito notices a man who he had seen before—a man named Snake, who is part of the shady organization after the Pandora gem.  Kaito quickly pieces together that Snake is after Jody’s ruby.

What is it with the Magic Kaito series and parents dying horribly and leaving their children behind.

At the show, a fake Kaito Kid in cahoots with Snake causes a ruckus and lures away the police, while Snake and his gang hold Jody’s performers hostage in exchange for the ruby.  Fortunately, Kaito Kid actually did arrive to the show, though not to steal the ruby, but rather to protect it–and Jody.  He and Jody manage to escape to the revolving restaurant upstairs, and with some quick thinking the Kid swiftly dispatches of Snake and the fake Kaito Kid.

What a twist!

Kaito Kid then reveals the secret of the Red Tear to Jody.  The ruby actually works like a projector!  Jody’s grandfather left behind a message for her within this gem.  The reason Jody dislikes magic so much is because her parents were killed in a freak magic accident.  However, Jody’s grandfather still begs her to remember the fun she had doing magic.  Seeing this, Jody decides to give magic one more shot.  Having protected Jody and the ruby, Kaito makes his exit.

I’d joke that this is where all the episode’s budget went, but that’s probably true.

This scene was just too pretty for me to pass up.

My Opinion:

I really liked this particular story arc in the manga, and I’m kinda disappointed with how the anime handled it.  The animation in this episode was just terrible.  Characters looking off-model, jerky animation scenes, and very noticeable animating shortcuts everywhere.  Heck, I had to discard many screencaps because the animation was so wonky!  Though, I think this is just a by-product of being the second to last story arc of the anime.  The next story for Magic Kaito is a two-parter finale, so most of the budget probably went towards that.

It’s still a big shame that this arc got such bad treatment, though.  Honestly, the whole episode seemed really rushed to me, because so much story had to be crammed into 20-something minutes.  This really should have been a two-parter like the Chat Noir arc was.

Anyway, Jody still got a bit of a chance to shine, despite being pretty much the damsel in distress this episode.  Bad animation and rushed pacing aside, Jody’s story is a touching one; and I really wish we could have gotten more episodes where Kaito interacts with other magicians.  Akako’s appearance here felt kind of unnecessary, but I suppose that will probably be the last we’ll see of her considering what story arc is coming up next…

Out of five for this episode:

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Episode 23 Summary:

Toichi’s final message for his son.

This time, Kaito has his eyes set on a giant black diamond called “Midnight Crow.”  Unfortunately, Kaito nearly gets caught on this heist, thanks to a man named Harry Nezumi, who’s working with the police to bust magicians.  However, Kaito Kid isn’t the one Harry’s after.  Rather, it is ANOTHER phantom thief, who goes by the name “Corbeau.”

Look who finally decided to show up.

Kaito unexpectedly meets up with Corbeau one night while he’s masquerading as the Kid.  Corbeau insults Kaito’s way of thieving, and then challenges him.  If Kaito can’t figure out how he steals the Midnight Crow, then Kaito will have to retire as a thief.  Kaito accepts and puts out his own challenge—if he can see through Corbeau’s tricks, then Corbeau will have to retire as a thief.  To these conditions, Corbeau agrees.

So this is Corbeau’s “calling card.”

That night, Kaito just stands by and watches as Corbeau adeptly steals the Midnight Crow, even under Harry’s watchful eye.  Kaito is impressed, but worried; as he can’t quickly figure out how Corbeau did it.  All the while, Kaito feels that there’s something very familiar about the older man…

When Kaito gets home that night, he’s surprised to find… his mother?!

Is THIS where all the budget for this episode went? /sarcasm

My Opinion:

Augh the bad animation continues here.  Seriously, this is the last story arc for the anime and the animation is still this bad?!  Other than that, I’m really excited to see where this story arc goes.  I haven’t actually read this particular chapter in the Magic Kaito manga, as it was just drawn and released recently by Aoyama to coincide with the airing of the Magic Kaito anime.

There are tons of hints that Corbeau is Toichi, Kaito’s dad.  But at the same time it’s just as likely that this is all just a trick to get us to believe that.  For all we know, Corbeau could just be some guy copying Toichi’s style.  Despite not having read this particular story arc, I know that Corbeau’s true identity is ultimately left unanswered.  So… what will happen in the anime, then?  This is the final story arc for the anime—are they really going to leave us hanging with an open-ended final episode?  I’m about 80% sure that that will be the case, but if that happens I’m going to be sorely disappointed.  I was really hoping for Magic Kaito to be its own series, with a proper beginning and ending.  But with all the Kid vs. Conan episodes, it’s pretty obvious that this is just meant to be a spin-off series to Conan’s.  And since Conan’s series hasn’t ended yet, I doubt we’ll get a “real” ending for Kaito either.

That aside, it’s interesting to see Kaito just being an observer this episode instead of the one initiating the heist.  And since this is the last story arc, it’s only fitting that Kaito finally meets a thief who appears to be an even better magician than him.  How will this heist end?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.

Out of five for this episode:

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I’m just reusing caption jokes here but look who finally decided to show up!

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