Yawwwwwn. As specified in one of my previous Detective Conan OVA reviews, I have a firm belief that each OVA became successively worse. While none of the OVAs could beat Detective Conan OVA 5 in suckage level, Detective Conan: A Challenge from Agasa (aka Detective Conan OVA 7) comes dangerously close.
The initial premise is boring from the get-go: the Professor has been kidnapped and wants the children's help in saving him. Of course, he's given them various clues to help them along their way, and Conan and company use their powers of deduction to decipher said clues, as always. Soon into the action we discover that the Professor was simply playing a game with our heroes - a game which becomes real once he is actually kidnapped. While this could have been an interesting setup, nothing unusual enough happens to warrant more than a passing glance at the screen. Everyday villains are introduced that don't manage to capture our attention, and the conclusion is standard at best.
Given Detective Conan OVA 7's short length, there's not much more to say about the story; I found it to be a flat out average yawnfest, and think the best target audience would be fans of the TV series who want to watch anything with the Detective Conan name on it - boring or not.
Like the other Detective Conan titles before it, the animation is decent and appropriate for the content, but is not memorable or groundbreaking. The vibrant colors and saturation helped make Detective Conan OVA 7 better than the first few OVAs, though.
As with every Detective Conan title, the animation is passable and perfectly fine, but not groundbreaking or breathtaking. I appreciate the backgrounds a bit more than usual in this version of the OVA, as the wine cellar, food displays and aerial views of the house are exceptionally detailed and colorful.
As with all of the other OVAs (except Detective Conan OVA 1), little can be said about the characters and their interactions. No back story is given into the lives of the major players, and the villains are boring and uninteresting at best.
Like Detective Conan OVA 5, Detective Conan OVA 7 would be enjoyed only by die hard fans who want to watch every episode possible. It plays out like a normal episode, doesn't have any unusual elements to raise it above an "average" score, and overall sits firmly on a 5.
The plotline of Conan OVA # 7, A Challenge from Agasa (TMS Entertainment, 2007), is as basic as one can get ... and predictable. Prof. Agasa feigns his own kidnapping, though it is obvious that he is merely testing the Detective Boys' skill at detection. Face it, without a few hints from Conan, the team of legitimate first graders is in a situation of being over their heads. They need the skills of shrunk down senpai Conan and Ai to get all the clues solved until they get to the point where the fake kidnapping becomes real. Prof. Agasa blunders across an actual factual kidnapping of a middle school girl and gets snatched himself. Now the Detective Boys (with apologies to Ayume and Ai ... you go, girls!) have to use their wits under duress knowing that the real deal must be solved by first graders.
Cameo appearances seem to be the thing for this seventh special feature. Ran and Sonoko pause from their shopping plans to give the tykes their 'ganbares.' Kogoro crashes the same restaurant where the kids celebrate a successful case. But the success behind this case is Ayume, Genta, and Mitsuhiko rising to the occasion. The rest seems to play out as a streak of dumb luck. Reinterpreting the lame clues from a professor working without his glasses showed promise, but in the end, the kidnappers just bungled.
As bungled was the animation, which seemed to parody the style of the manga from which Case Closed: Detective Conan was derived. Up to now, the OVAs demonstrated the subtle changes in animation used by TMS up to this point. This time, it had a 'blast to the past' feel, particularly in the character design of Prof. Agasa. More buffoonish than academic. The music was catchy, but the really good tunes are still reserved for the series.
The whole project resonated like a piece done as a favor to the manga company to generate cash from the fans. Hence, you can call this a mercenary piece.
And when you're out to make the quick buck, quality gets left at the door.