Movie 04: “Captured In Her Eyes”
Original Japanese Premiere Date: April 22, 2000
Original American Release Date: December 29, 2009
Original Version Written By: Kazunari Kochi
Original Version Directed By: Kenji Kodama
American Version Written By: Matt Chaney
American Version Directed By: Leah Clark
The fourth Detective Conan movie is a hard film to review because there really isn’t any sort of middle road or happy medium when it comes to quality. Every scene in this film is either wonderfully executed or painfully absurd, making the movie a pretty conflicting experience as a whole. The mystery itself is terrific, and the notion of a killer possibly being within the police department itself is a great concept (even if that’s not what really happens, it’s fun to see them momentarily flirt with the idea). The movie’s very good at building tension, and is very suspenseful at times (the attack on Sato and Ran’s reaction to it are especially gripping). Tropical Land is a fantastic setting for the climax, and most of the chase scenes set inside the theme park (with exceptions that I’ll mention below), as well as the final confrontation at the fountains, are standout sequences in an already magnificent series.
As I mentioned, though, this movie has both good and bad. The plot developments that come with the clichéd “main character gets amnesia” story are predictable and dull, and the movie faults whenever it makes an attempt at sentiment. From prolonged, exaggerated reaction shots to everybody’s curiously slow walking animation, the movie is laughably overdramatic, even considering the dark subject matter. There are certain scenes that I’m just embarrassed to watch. In layman’s terms, the movie’s corny. It’s at its best when it focuses on the murder cases, as they contain subtlety that isn’t present in the heartfelt parts of the film.
Then there’s the music. I know how much Katsuo Ōno loves his synthesizer, and he hasn’t shied away from using it in episodes, films, and the series’ vocal songs, but he usually (though not always) manages to disguise it better than he does here. There are some genuine instrumental tracks here and there (including the main theme, which is a lazily recycled, previously-recorded version as opposed to a new arrangement like every other movie has gotten), but too many compositions in this movie just sound like they’re coming from a synthesizer.
This movie also features the debut of “Superhero Conan,” and nearly every film from now on will contain at least one ridiculously improbable scene to facepalm at. These are the parts of the Tropical Land climax that I just can’t enjoy. The series already expects us to swallow enough implausible nonsense as it is (such as Conan’s 100% accuracy whenever he kicks something), but to see Conan skateboard down a long slide, jump at least 70 feet through the air, land on a damn roller coaster railing, grind on it, and then safely land on the ground as if nothing happened is beyond ridiculous, especially for a series as grounded in realism as this one. The boat chase features almost the same amount of silliness.
The American version continues to impress after the excellence of the previous film’s dub. Once again, the TMS edits are the biggest issues, and we have more dialogue edits than we did in movie three, but none of the rewrites harm the film as a whole. In terms of voice direction, I thought J. Michael Tatum was absolutely fantastic as the villain. He balances the “kind, caring doctor” and the “calculating, wicked killer” flawlessly, and it’s sad to know we’ll never see the character again.
While we’re on the subject of voices, I can’t very well ignore the introduction of Miwako Sato (or, as the dub calls her, Simone). She’s played by Kate Oxley in the dub, and I think for a debut performance, she does a fine job. My only complaint would be a lack of emotion during the shooting scene (her reserved grunts make it sound like she’s being shoved rather than being shot), but the voice itself is very fitting. Seeing as this is the character’s first, last, and only appearance in the dub, though, it’s disappointing that we don’t get to hear more of Oxley’s work.
Name Conversion Guide
Miwako Sato = Simone
Yoichiro Shiba = Sheffield
Toshiro Odagiri = Osterman
Kyosuke Kazato = Christian Clemendale
Toshiya Odagiri = Tobias Osterman
Tamotsu Jinno = Thomas Jinno
Tamaki Jinno = Tamia Jinno
Makoto Tomonari = Michael Tomlinson
Inspector Tomonari = Inspector Tomlinson
Kotaro Haretsuki = Corban
Despite being named “Jill” in the second movie, Midori Kuriyama (Eri’s secretary) keeps her Japanese name this time. The credits seem to call her “Melanie,” though, which just makes the whole situation even more confusing. Ginza, Tokyo’s shopping and entertainment district, goes unnamed in the dub.
Our first edit of the film is the expected title card alteration.
Now we come to the movie’s opening credits sequence, which once again means we’re at the most butchered part of the film. Let’s get started.
The shot of Conan standing beside an unconscious Kogoro is freeze-framed. Originally, we got to see Conan walk out from behind him, but the international version freezes him in mid-movement.
The film’s next two shots, which show Conan and Professor Agasa, are also freeze-framed. This time, we miss out on some animation of Agasa excitedly turning around in his chair.
The scenes of Conan riding the Solar-Powered Skateboard and using the Criminal Location Glasses are zoomed in to cut out the Japanese credits.
Conan seems frustrated in this next shot, likely because his legs have been cut out of the zoomed-in picture.
An interesting pan shot of Conan, Gin, and Vodka has been reduced to two simple screenshots in the international version.
Lastly, the scene of Conan and Ran watching helplessly as the ground crumbles beneath them is zoomed in.
The Detective Boys’ riddle to Conan is changed for the dub. In the Japanese version, Haibara looks at the moon and says that Conan “is not summer.” When put together, the numbers six, seven, and eight (which represent June, July, and August, the summer months) form a Japanese phrase that means he’s a good person. So, when Haibara says that Conan “is not summer,” what she’s really doing is insulting Conan by saying that he’s not a decent guy.
The dub gets all of this right, except that the kids tell Conan that Haibara said that he “is like summer,” which gives the entire riddle the opposite meaning. I’m thinking Matt Chaney, the dub’s writer, probably just got confused by the riddle, because I doubt this error was intentional.
The gray boxes make their debut in this movie by translating Osamu Narasawa’s information.
Next, Detective Shiba’s information is translated.
Shortly after that, the establishing shot of the Metropolitan Police Department is translated.
In the very next shot, we have another gray box.
Our next translation box takes us into the superintendent’s office…
… followed by one for the superintendent himself.
Next, the shot of the “T. Jinno” text seems to have been both zoomed-in and edited to remove the text.
Lastly, the establishing shot of the Sun Plaza Hotel has been translated.
It’s a minor change, but when Rachel checks her purse at the storage desk, the dub neglects to mention that her tag number is 87.
Doctor Kazato receives his very own gray box in this shot.
His dub name is “Clemendale,” which FUNi manages to misspell in his gray box.
Once again, FUNimation makes the mistake of calling Richard and Eva “ex-husband” and “ex-wife.” They’re still married, just separated.
The film’s most famous quote, “Need not to know,” is removed from both the English dialogue and the film itself.
These paint edits are among the few that appear to have been done not by TMS, but by FUNimation’s staff.
Toshiya Odagiri makes his debut next, and with a new character comes a new gray box.
The Beika Yakushino Hospital’s information is translated this time.
Officer Chiba is our next character to be gray-boxed.
Tamotsu Jinno receives the honor of being in the first ever photograph to be gray-boxed.
Next, three consecutive shots in a row are edited as Megure explains Jinno’s murder case.
Simone’s name is bafflingly misspelled.
Finally, Tamaki Jinno’s information is translated.
Meguire states during the flashback that the temperature was over 100 degrees, but it was only about 95 degrees in the Japanese version. What an odd change.
The shot of the Toto University Hospital features a gray box edit.
A gray box appears to let us know how many days have passed.
A gray box appears for Makoto Tomonari’s basic information.
A second shot of the Sun Plaza Hotel is edited.
Conan’s inner monologue gives us quite an oddity in one of his reflection scenes.
Conan (Thinking): “After Detective Simone’s murder, none of the partygoers tested positive for traces of gunpowder.”
Whoa there, bud. She’s not dead yet. There’s no reason to sound so pessimistic. Plus, a line like that is only going to make the audience think she’s dead. Originally, Conan only refers to Sato’s shooting as “the incident.”
This is actually a pretty common error made throughout the dub. Characters are constantly saying “Simone’s death” or “Simone’s murder” over and over in the American version, whereas none of the characters ever say she’s dead in the Japanese version.
The establishing shot of Toshiro Odagiri’s home features a video edit.
Once that scene concludes, we go back to the Beika Yakushino Hospital where another gray box awaits us.
A bit of a minor change occurs during an exchange between Rachel and Serena.
Rachel: “Hey, Serena…”
Serena: “Aw, you don’t have to thank me for being such a great friend!”
Originally, Ran refers to Sonoko as “Sonoko-san,” which is a Japanese honorific of casual respect. Sonoko then responds by saying that she doesn’t have to use that honorific and can simply call her “Sonoko.” This change didn’t really have to occur. After all, the intent of the scene could have been accomplished in English by having Rachel say “Miss Serena,” but I guess rewriting the scene was more fun or something.
When Mitch asks Doctor Agasa if they can stay at Tropical Land until nighttime, Agasa’s response is different in the dub.
Agasa: “Sure thing, kids! I guess that you can consider this your reward for solving the case.”
Originally, Professor Agasa said that they were planning on staying at Tropical Land until nighttime anyway because that’s how long Shinichi and Ran stayed there when they came. After all, the gang’s still trying to get Ran’s memory back. That seems like awfully important information, so why exclude it?
A gray box welcomes us back to the Toto University Hospital.
In the film’s final character box edit, Eri’s secretary, Midori, has her information translated.
As Conan reveals the identity of the killer, two shots during his explanation are edited.
It would seem that even the awesomeness of Tropical Land itself isn’t enough to escape a gray box.
… or two.
The series’ go-to vocal song, “Kimi ga Ireba,” plays during the film just like it did in the three movies prior. This time, the song chimes in when Ran regains her memory and confronts the killer. In movie three, FUNimation chose not to dub an English version of the song and instead only included the vocal-less, karaoke version. This practice sadly but predictably carries over to this film as well.
It’s especially disappointing because the song comes in during the resolution of the film’s climax. Everything in the entire movie has been building up to this one moment, and the insert song reflects just how big a moment it’s supposed to be. Without any lyrics, the scene doesn’t stand out nearly as much, and the result is a less exhilarating finale.
The fact that FUNi already has an English version of this song dubbed, yet chose not to put it into the film, just makes the whole situation even more confusing.
Mr. Chaney just had to get one more rewrite in before the movie ended, I guess.
Richard: “I was actually aware that it was him all along, of course. I should have just followed my instincts.”
Originally, Kogoro was telling Conan and Ran that Superintendent Odagiri filled him in on everything that was happening, which explains how he knew the case had been re-opened by Odagiri personally. But I guess a goofy line from Richard was more important, because we all know he doesn’t get nearly enough of those in the series as it is…
Our last “Need not to know” edit pops up in the film’s final shot before the ending song begins.
Like with the three previous movies, the English credits are placed over the final shot of the film. The Japanese version of the ending song, “Because You Are Here,” is used.
The scenes used in the Japanese version are very Ran-centric (which makes sense, seeing as how she’s basically the star of the film), and the live-action scenes feature a bunch of cool amusement park footage, so it’s a shame dubbies won’t get to see the original credits.
Once again, the music edit and TMS’ meddling are the worst complaints to be made, and though FUNi’s dub script for the movie is near-perfect, the odd changes here and there prove that they’re still willing to pointlessly rewrite certain lines. The American version still earns a recommendation from me, though, and the fact that none of the TV series’ bigger rewrites have appeared in these movies is always reassuring. See you next time!