Megure's Sealed Secret
The episode starts with a dark-skinned young lady in a phone booth at night, speaking to someone over the phone. Right after she is done calling, and when she was getting ready to return to her nearby car, a man dragging a club comes up from behind her and knocks her out with it.
|Grave Physical Injury - Attempted Murder|
The next scene shows Ran and Sonoko shopping for a sweater as Sonoko wants to buy for Makoto Kyogoku; Sonoko gets scolded by Ran when she learns that Sonoko wants to make it pass as if she had knitted the sweater for him. Kogoro and Conan left the girls to do their shopping, and while crossing the street Kogoro notices a good looking girl coming out of a phone booth. Conan notices that she left a ball-point pen in the booth so Kogoro grabs it and went to the lady to give it to her. As Kogoro touches her, she tackles him to the ground; Inspector Megure, Wataru Takagi and two other police officers come out and jump on Kogoro without realizing that it is Kogoro.
After they find out it is Kogoro, they all go to a pasta shop and explain the case to Kogoro. It is also shown that the lady who attacked Kogoro was Miwako Sato, posing as a decoy. They show him pictures of the three different victims (Ryouko Mizutani, Hitomi Endou, and Michiko Ishiguro - the girl from the first scene): all of them are young women with bleached hair, fashionable clothes and deep tans, and according to their testimonies the man attacking them was around their own height, meaning around 150 cms tall.
Sonoko arrives to the pasta shop right then and upon seeing the girls's pictures she identifies them as Ganguro, girls who change their looks drastically to look fashionable and exotic and as a way to rebel against Japanese society. After being unable to figure out a relation between the victims other than their looks, Kogoro brings up a case about a string of female high-school students being hit by cars, which happened 20 years ago. Inspector Megure looks shocked, stands up and says they should get back to the investigation.
As Inspector Megure is about to leave, he tells Sato and Takagi that they should start at the beginning. Then Conan spots something else similar to the three victims and Sonoko: they all are wearing rather fashionable jewelry pieces that are given as a gift in a particular shop if you spend 10,000 yen or more there. Megure approaches her, checks on the jewels Sonoko's wearing and compares them to the photos: all of the girls are at least one piece of the jewelry set, though Sonoko has them all due to having purchased lots of stuff there.
Sonoko calls Ran to ask where she is. She says she's in a parking lot and then she screams in terror because she has just found another victim. Said victim is a 20 year old girl named Tae Aizawa, who used to work at the same store: again, a very young woman with bleached hair, tanned skin, and wearing the special jewelry gifts. Unlike the others, however, Aizawa is actually dead.
The victim's boyfriend, arrives to the crime scene. His name is Noriyuki Shirakawa, he works as a cook in the convenience store owned by his dad, and he had asked Aizawa to meet up with him so they'd reunite with his dad. Some possible suspects gather in the scene: Shirakawa's father Haruyoshi (who opposed to him and Tae's relationship), the waitress Yuri Konno who also was a friend of Noriyuki Shirakawa, and a guard named Sadakane who used to work for another convenience store, whom Haruyoshi Shirakawa accuses of being the killer to ruin the store's reputation. He then also tells his son to get a new girlfriend, one "with a clean slate". Yuri Konno then explains that Aizawa was related to another case a year ago: she accidentally hit a young boy named Akira Sakurai with her car in the parking garage and killed him, thus she renounced to her job and was searching for another before she died.
Among the investigation questions, Noriyuki freaks out when his father is mentioned as a possible suspect for the case in general. He snaps and tells the police "You are all useless!" in horror and frustration. Upon hearing Noriyuki's words, Megure goes into a shocked state and remembers a very young woman saying the same phrase in tears... as well as saying "Why are you suprised? I said I was going to play decoy." Then the woman's face in his memories is shown again, except she's bleeding profusely and says "Guess... it didn't go as smoothly as in the movies." Megure drops to his knee and looks like he has a headache; he says it's nothing when Kogoro and Sato show concern, and Yuri offers apologies before taking Noriyuki away, but Conan suspects something.
Conan then brings up other points. First, only Mizutani (first victim) and Ishiguro (third) could offer reliable descriptions, since Endou (second) was attacked from behind and couldn't see who attacked her. Second: the girls weren't wearing much, even though it was freezing and at night, meaning they were in the way to their own vehicles where either was warmer or they had their coats. Sato says she will wear the decoy outfit she wore before and exit her car, in case she can do more. Inspector Megure then shouts "Didn't I say no more decoys!?" Superintendant Matsumoto arrives and asks if it's "that case" from before. Megure denies it and Conan thinks something is strange with him...
After asking Kogoro if she can borrow his keys, Sonoko puts her and Ran's shopping bags in the car and then goes searching for the restroom, unaware that she's being watched over by the culprit who, for a then-unknown reason, decides to follow her...
The investigation continues, and when the policemen accidentally drop Aizawa's shoe and cannot put it back on since it doesn't fit, Conan deduces that the killer took her shoes away to hide how he was tracking and attacking girls with similar footwear. Since all of the girls attacked were gyarus, he also deduces that Aizawa was using platform boots, which are very popular among them. Sato hears this and says that a year ago, in the incident that took the life of little Akira Sakurai, Aizawa was supposedly wearing platform footwear; the boy's parents told this to the judge and said that was the reason why Aizawa didn't step properly on the brake and ended up hitting him. Megure sends out Takagi to find more info about the accident, and then tells the others to seek for the culprit who is still not too far from them.
After discussing some more details, Takagi returns and confirms the information already given. Conan and Ran see that Sonoko isn't with them; Ran mentions that Sonoko was supposed to go to the car and then to the restroom, and then Conan realizes that Sonoko was wearing platform boots... like all the victims. Ran calls Sonoko to her cellphone, and Sonoko says she's looking for a safe way out since the lights are out.
- In Part 1, the scene where Ran screams is a part of Closing 37.
- Also the part where Megure drops to his knee is also in Closing 37
- Except for Sonoko, all of the women attacked by the culprit have dark skin and bleached hair. They were members of a Japanese subculture known as Gyaru, in which young women rebel against the very conservative Japanese society by bleaching their hair, adquiring deep tans, and more often than not behaving like fashionable wild party girls without much concern for the future. Such a subgroup and its equivalents are viewed in contempt by lots of Japanese people, who accuse them of being selfish, materialistic and shallow. This is seen in Haruyoshi Shirakawa's words about Noriyuki Shirakawa dating a "girl without a clean state", and how everyone comments that the girls were wearing skimpy clothes in the freezing winter.
- Kogoro doesn't seem to be very aware about the Gyarus, as he only comments that "the girls looked like they were living in the jungle or something" (alluding to their unnatural tans), and adds that "they just don't look like normal Japanese people". Then Sonoko correctly identifies the girls as part of the Gyarus, referring to them by their more popular nickname "ganguro". Sato adds that Endou, the second victim, is actually a "yamanba", a Gyaru/ganguro with specially dark skin.
- A parallel is made between the Gyaru girls and young female delinquent schoolgirls, known as Sukeban (girl delinquents). Said school girls are identified by, among other things, wearing their school skirts much longer than usual. Like the Gyaru group, they were very hated by Japanese society, to the point of being denounced in the eighties as "omens of downfall" due to their rebellious and arrogant attitude. Midori Megure and her deceased best friend were sukeban.
Both episodes were remastered on the 15th and 22th of January 2011, respectively.