Episode 001 – “The Jet Coaster Murder Case”

Title Logo

Japanese Episode 001: “The Jet Coaster Murder Case”
American Episode 001: “The Big Shrink”
Original Japanese Air Date: January 08, 1996
Original American Air Date: May 24, 2004
Based On Manga: File 001 (Volume 01, Chapter 01)
Next Conan’s Hint: Skyscraper
Original Version Written By: Hiroshi Kashiwabara
Original Version Directed By: Kenji Kodama
American Version Written By: Jared Hedges
American Version Directed By: Christopher Sabat & Mike McFarland

Episode 001 Main

Episode Thoughts
Ah, the one that started it all. This episode introduces us to Shinichi, Ran, and nearly every member of the main cast, including some who weren’t introduced in the manga version of this story. It does a fine job of setting up the universe and its characters, but presents a less than compelling (if not implausible) murder case. I suppose that works to the episode’s benefit since it’s meant to serve as an introduction to the overarching story, so it’s only fitting that the focus be on the main narrative rather than the mystery sub-plot. Still, first-time fans looking for an immediately gripping mystery show probably won’t be hooked on the series with the murder case provided here. Fortunately, the mysteries improve as the series progresses.

This episode’s dub is pretty much what you’d expect from FUNimation circa 2004. This script is usually faithful (especially for the explanations of the mysteries themselves), though the writers are never afraid to take liberties for the sake of adding a “good” joke. The footage itself is mostly unedited. FUNi had their paint editors hard at work for the Cartoon Network airing and the original DVDs, though they’ve switched back to using nearly all of the original Japanese footage in subsequent releases (with exceptions that I’ll make sure to note). Since a good majority of the main cast is introduced here, we’re given many important voices to digest, and I think they’re (mostly) fitting.

Jerry Jewell’s voice is much deeper than Kappei Yamaguchi’s, making Jimmy sound more like an adult than a teenager. Even with that in mind, I can’t say I dislike his performance. He gets the character’s cocky, sarcastic attitude down without sounding cynical, while still coming across as a caring protagonist and passionate detective geek when he needs to. I’ve also noticed (while watching the series with a group of people) that Mr. Jewell’s voice is very attention-grabbing. When Jimmy talks, the audience is at full attention, which is absolutely vital for a character who gives you rides on his train of thought so frequently. Overall, I think Jewell has been nicely cast here, even if his voice may be deep for a high school student.

Colleen Clinkenbeard is nearly flawless as Rachel. Her performance really runs the gamut, completely nailing the character at her most confident, most vulnerable, and everything in-between. Robert Bruce Elliott steals the show as Richard, even if he sounds nothing like Akira Kamiya’s Kogorō. Mark Stoddard has a great voice for Meguire, but the character is given this annoying “cliché movie cop” manner of speech that thankfully fades away as the series progresses. Monica Rial’s Amy sounds enough like a little girl, albeit a very high-pitched one, and you can tell Cynthia Cranz is really trying her darnedest to make Mitch sound like a believable(ish) young boy.

My only real complaints regarding casting are Professor Agasa, Genta, and the organization members. Bill Flynn’s voice for Dr. Agasa is perfectly fine, but the random German accent just kills it. Dameon Clarke’s mush-mouth performance as George is obviously motivated by nothing other than the little guy’s love of food. It’s insufferable at times. Gin admittedly sounds pretty good, though his voice isn’t anywhere near as sinister as Yukitoshi Hori’s. Vodka unfortunately sounds like a stereotypical gangster (He even calls people “Mac!”). It could be much better, but the character appears so rarely in the dub that it’s hardly an issue.

Logically, Katsuo Ōno’s musical score is retained in the dub, so all of the instrumental background music is intact (with exceptions noted on a case-by-case basis).

Name Conversion Guide

Main Characters
Shinichi Kudō = Jimmy Kudo

Ran Mōri = Rachel Moore
Kogorō Mōri = Richard Moore
Inspector Jūzō Megure = Inspector Joseph Meguire
Professor Hiroshi Agasa = Dr. Herschel Agasa
Ayumi Yoshida = Amy Yeager
Mitsuhiko Tsuburaya = Mitch Tennison
Genta Kojima = George Kaminski

Minor Characters
Hitomi = Haley

Aiko = Ashley
Reiko = Ricki
Kishida = Kenneth

Mr. Yamazaki, the show’s very first murder victim (What an honor!), keeps his original name in the American version. Yatsubishi Bank, however, goes unnamed in the dub.

Video / Music Edit
You know it’s going to be a bumpy ride when the very first shot of the series is edited…

In the original opening of this episode, the Japanese “Detective Conan” logo faded in over a shot of the mansion in the rain. FUNimation received the TMS international version of this episode, in which this shot was replaced with TMS’ English “Detective Conan” logo.

Episode 001 01 Logo (TMS)

Due to the series’ title change, FUNi replaces this with their “Case Closed” logo.

Logo (FUNi)

It’s also worth noting that FUNi’s English version of “Mune Ga DokiDoki” (“The Heart Is Pounding” in English) syncs up with the footage slightly differently than the Japanese version of the song does. Not really a big change, but a change nonetheless.

Dialogue Edits
This is an incredibly minor change, but it struck me as odd. As Shinichi knocks the newly-revealed murderer to the floor with the globe, he screams “Goal!” in plain English. In the dub, Jimmy screams “Score!” I normally wouldn’t record such a small alteration, but considering the character’s love for soccer, changing “goal” to a broader term like “score” seems to take away from the character’s personality, albeit slightly.

What really struck me as odd is that the original dialogue was already in English, yet Mr. Hedges decided to change it anyway.

A more major alteration occurs as Shinichi’s catchphrase is reworded for the American version. Shinichi’s motto, “真実はいつも一つ” (“Shinjitsu wa itsumo hitotsu,” or “There is always only one truth,” in English), is changed to “one truth prevails.” They get the same point across, but these lines are so iconic that the comparison just has to be made.

Dialogue Edits
Later, in the exchange between Jimmy and Inspector Meguire just before the title card, we get a few oddities. First up is Meguire’s line:

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Megure: “You’ve helped us out once again, Kudōkun! Sorry it always has to come to that…” Meguire: “Well Jimmy, you put it to bed once again! Y’know, the chief’s given me a bigger desk since you started helping me out.”

Inspector Megure is a tad more formal with Shinichi in the original version, calling the character by his family name: Kudō. He also doesn’t mention a promotion like Inspector Meguire does.

In the following line, Shinichi introduces himself to the audience by telling Megure to contact “the great detective Shinichi Kudō!” should he run into anymore tough cases. Jimmy doesn’t announce his name in the dub, leaving the viewer to piece together his full name via dialogue throughout the episode.

Video Edit
The episode’s title card is translated. And when I say “translated,” I really mean “replaced with an entirely different title altogether.”

Episode 001 02J Episode 001 02E

This change occurs in every episode, so I won’t bother mentioning it again.

Dialogue Edits
In the American version, Dr. Agasa mentions an alarm clock that he built for Jimmy. This is never stated in the original Japanese version.

FUNi gets most of Professor Agasa’s dialogue regarding his Personal Mobility Rocket into the American version, though they neglect to mention that in addition to eliminating traffic jams, the professor also wants to be “filthy rich.” Seconds later, Dr. Agasa purposely turns on the device in the dub, whereas in the original version, it’s implied that he turns it on by accident.

Dialogue Edit
The anchorman on the television news provides some important information about Shinichi that isn’t carried over into the dub. Originally, this is the first time in the series that Shinichi is referred to as a “modern-day Sherlock Holmes.” It is also mentioned that Shinichi is considered by many to be the “savior of the police department.” These tidbits are sadly dropped from the dub, which I feel undermines the vast impact Shinichi’s had during his short time as a detective.

Dialogue Edit / Side Note
On top of all that, the dub anchorman states Jimmy’s age to be 17, which opens an entirely different can of worms regarding how old these characters actually are. Japanese guidebooks for the series vaguely specify Shinichi’s age as “16-17,” but to my knowledge, they’ve never gone into additional detail regarding how old he is during certain story arcs (though he does celebrate a birthday in the first feature film).

So really, I’m not 100% sure whether the dub line is an error or not. I’m tempted to say Shinichi’s still 16 (since this is the first episode, and all), but Conan states that he’s 17 in the original Japanese opening narration for episodes 003-004. Granted, these are anime-only and thus can easily be disregarded, but I suppose the age in the dub line is justified, even if the whole issue is incredibly confusing.

Dialogue Edits
During Jimmy’s talk with Rachel on the way to school, FUNi’s corny line disorder from the late ’90s decides to rear its ugly head.

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Shinichi: “It’s not my fault your father doesn’t get much work. He’s just not as good at it.” Jimmy: “Hey, it’s not my fault. Your dad hasn’t solved a case since VHS was cool.”

… Ouch. That reeks. The delivery isn’t great either, but then again, there’s no good way to say that line. Moving on…

A few seconds later when the two arrive at school, Rachel mentions that Jimmy used to be on the “varsity” soccer team. Originally, all we learn is that Shinichi used to be in the soccer club. Whether he was first-string or not is never mentioned.

Dialogue Edits
One of Mitsuhiko’s first lines in the series is altered as he, Ayumi, and Genta contemplate riding the Mystery Coaster.

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Mitsuhiko: “Ayumi-chan, we only have enough money left to ride the train back home.” Mitch: “After the cave ride, chili dogs, then cave ride again, we’re out of money.”

Mitch is far more specific about what the trio spent their money on, and doesn’t seem to be as concerned about getting home as his Japanese counterpart is.

The dub then adds an ounce of foreshadowing as Jimmy notices Amy, Mitch, and George sneaking into the Mystery Coaster at Tropical Land.

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Shinichi: “Those guys… Trying to sneak in for free, huh? Kids these days…” Jimmy: “Sneakin’ in the back so they don’t have to pay. Children… I’m glad I’m past that phase.”

I can’t really say I object to this line. It’s a cute little thing that Mr. Hedges managed to fit in without deleting any of the original dialogue. It certainly wasn’t needed, and I don’t want to imply that it’s okay for FUNi to add stuff like this just because they can. I just can’t bring myself to get upset over such a harmless addition.

Dialogue Edits
A lot of the dialogue edits in this episode involve Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, and Genta. One of their conversations is altered as they wander around inside the Mystery Coaster.

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Genta: “N-Now what do we do?” George: “Ugh, I can’t see anything.”
Ayumi: “We just need to get in line from here.” Amy: “That’s half the fun. We just have to find the line.”
Mitsuhiko: “Which way is the line?” Mitch: “But what if there’s spiders?”
Ayumi: “That’s what we’re trying to figure out.” Amy: “Trust me, there’s nothing scary. Well, not too scary…”

Mitch’s arachnophobia is dub-only, while Amy’s dialogue seems to imply that she sneaks into roller coasters with some amount of regularity. That’s not exactly in-character for someone like her. Actually, this whole filler subplot with Ayumi wanting to sneak into the Mystery Coaster is pretty out-of-character. She’s not normally this mischievous.

The following exchange gives Jimmy some rather odd dialogue.

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Shinichi: “Do you get what Conan Doyle was trying to say? That Holmes was-” Jimmy: “Then, they were chasing this weird ape guy across the river, but the trick of it was that the-”

I’m not entirely sure what’s being referenced here. “The Adventure Of The Creeping Man?” That’s the closest thing I can think of, but even that doesn’t sound right. I haven’t the slightest idea.

Less than a minute later…

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Ran: “But, you know… I really was looking forward to this.” Rachel: “Oh, and seriously, I’ve been thinking… Why’d you agree to come out with me?”

I simply can’t figure out the logic behind Rachel’s question. We’ve already learned that these two came to the amusement park to celebrate Ran winning her karate tournament. There’s your reason. Furthermore, the phrasing bothers me. Does Jimmy really need persuasion to “agree to come” anywhere with Rachel (his best friend since childhood)? You would think that they just normally hang out like this.

The original line works so well. Why change it?

Dialogue Edits
As soon as our victim’s disembodied head lands on the ground next to the three kids…

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Genta: “W-What was that just now?! Let’s hurry and get out of here!” George: “What the?! What’s that?! I have to use the bathroom now!”

This is the first of many (many, many, MANY) silly dialogue changes for George. This poor guy gets more lame dub-only lines than any other character in the show. Just remember, it all started right here.

Then, as the children exit the coaster…

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Mitsuhiko: “That sounds like police cars!” Mitch: “Listen! The police came for us!”
Shinichi: “Hey, you guys.” Jimmy: “Sneaking in?”
Mitsuhiko: “W-W-We didn’t just sneak in for free!” Mitch: “No! Uh, we live here! We’re cave people!”
Ayumi: “Ah! Mister, aren’t you that high school detective?!” Amy: “I saw you on TV! You’re the teenage detective guy.”
Shinichi: “Shinichi Kudō‘s the name.” Jimmy: “At your service, kid.”

Of the three children, you’d think Mitch would be the least likely to come up with that “cave people” line. Also notice how Shinichi actually introduces himself to Ayumi, whereas Jimmy doesn’t. That’s twice now that the character has introduced himself by name, and twice that his introduction was rewritten for the dub.

Later, Meguire says that during the interrogation for the Mystery Coaster murder, Gin and Vodka refused to reveal their names. This isn’t stated in the original version.

Video Edit
The Japanese “Detective Conan” logo is removed from the eyecatches in (nearly) every episode of the dub.

Eyecatch Eyecatch 02

I can’t say for sure whether this was done by FUNimation or TMS, but I’m tempted to guess it was the latter.

Side Note
In both the Japanese and the American versions, a few details about the jet coaster case are left unexplained. Regardless of language, the episode still makes the assumption that you’ve read the manga version prior. You see, both Hitomi’s motive for and execution of her crime are simplified in the cartoon. The anime doesn’t bother to explain that Hitomi replaced the string in her pearl necklace with piano wire (though it is implied in a flashback scene). Her motive is also simplified. In the manga, Hitomi decided to kill Kishida because he dumped her for Aiko. None of this is stated in the cartoon; the only information we’re given is that Hitomi killed Kishida because he left her.

Either way, those are pretty lousy reasons to kill a human being. The dub tries to rationalize it a tad more by having Haley state that the victim made “some promises that you can’t break” before dumping her, but it still doesn’t completely give the character a believable motive. As it stands, though, the case is left partly unexplained due to its manga-to-anime adaption.

Dialogue Edit / Side Note
In the original manga, it’s stated that Hitomi had also planned to take her own life with large doses of sleeping pills after pulling off the murder. The Japanese version of the anime doesn’t state this, but the American version does. So apparently, FUNi’s writers did a bit of extra research before dubbing the series, which really shows how seriously they’re taking their work. Props to them.

Money Edit
When the company director opens the suitcase revealing the money, Shinichi comments that there must be at least 100 million yen inside. In the dub, Jimmy says that there must be at least one million dollars inside the case.

Dialogue Edits
Vodka states in the dub that the incriminating film he’s carrying shows the director’s company smuggling “naughty things.” If the dialogue had been adapted from the Japanese version properly, we would have learned that those “naughty things” were actually weapons.

Later, Gin tells Vodka not to shoot Shinichi because Tropical Land is still crawling with policemen. In the American version, they choose not to shoot Jimmy because they “can’t afford to leave a bullet trail.”

Video Edits
Although FUNimation’s current DVD releases feature most of the original Japanese footage, a few video edits from the Cartoon Network airing are sloppily inserted into the video by mistake. Our first instance of this occurs during the “next episode” preview, in which the books on Conan’s shelf are translated.

Episode 002 02J Episode 002 02E

Just to clarify, this is not a TMS edit. The Japanese footage was included on FUNi’s original DVD release of this episode with no problems. The inclusion of this edit is a complete, 100% mistake on FUNi’s part. The edit itself is very well done, but that isn’t the issue. FUNi’s season sets are advertised as “uncut & unedited,” so goofs like these (and trust me, there are more of them) are unprofessional and unwelcome.

Lastly, the title card for the “next episode” preview is “translated.”

Episode 001 03J Episode 001 03E

Like the first title card edit, this occurs in every episode, so I won’t bring it up past this comparison.

Final Thoughts
This episode shows us what we should expect from FUNi’s American dub, and the result is a mixed bag. The casting is satisfactory (with a few missteps), the most important dialogue is preserved, and the original music is kept. The only true problem is script accuracy, which fluctuates depending on the dub writer. One episode down, only 122 to go. See you next time!

Episode 001 04

Directory 01

, , , , ,

  1. #1 by Yuan on May 16, 2017 - 9:26 AM

    “The Japanese “Detective Conan” logo is removed from the eyecatches in (nearly) every episode of the dub.”

    After I checked the Chinese dubbed version of Detective Conan, I think the edit was done by FUNi rather than TMS.

    The TMS-edited version is now rather hard to find in China these days. I checked the episodes I downlowded years ago.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: