Episode 002 – “The Company President’s Daughter Abduction Case”

Title Logo

Japanese Episode 002: “The Company President’s Daughter Abduction Case”
American Episode 002: “The Kidnapped Debutante”
Original Japanese Air Date: January 15, 1996
Original American Air Date: May 25, 2004
Based On Manga: Files 002-005 (Volume 01, Chapters 02-05)
Next Conan’s Hint: Ice
Original Version Written By: Hiroshi Kashiwabara
Original Version Directed By: Kenji Kodama
American Version Written By: John Burgmeier
American Version Directed By: Christopher Sabat & Mike McFarland

Episode 002 Main

Episode Thoughts
Our two-part series opening concludes here, and it’s very entertaining. Masatomo Sudō, this episode’s animation director, does a great job here with the character designs (Everybody’s so cute and round!), and the scene in which Shinichi convinces Professor Agasa that he’s become a child again is one of my favorite moments in the series. Of course, this was the first episode of the show that I ever saw, so whenever I watch it, the nostalgia comes flowing back. As with the first episode, the mystery presented here isn’t the best, and I think that’s due to the fact that once we leave the company president’s yard, there’s not much the viewer can do to play along anymore. It’s a fictional city, so the audience can’t really deduce the daughter’s location if they don’t know where anything is. Nonetheless, it’s a diverting story, and we’re given an introduction to a few more character traits. We see Ran’s karate skills against an opponent for the first time, Shinichi realizes that his small body is going to be a problem during cases, and Kogorō shows his silly, cocky side.

We’re also introduced to our title character: Shinichi’s alter ego, Conan Edogawa. More importantly, we’re introduced to the actresses who play him: Minami Takayama and Alison Retzloff Viktorin, both of whom are simply fantastic and settle into their roles instantly. Takayama is no stranger to Gōshō Aoyama series; she also played the title character in the cartoon adaption of the author’s previous manga of the same name. Mrs. Viktorin’s relatively new to voice acting (especially compared to Takayama), but she doesn’t do any worse of a job.

This episode’s dub script fares even better than the first. Virtually nothing has been changed, making for a very light comparison. If anything, this episode is just a showcase for how great both Mrs. Viktorin and Robert Bruce Elliott are in their roles. Mr. Elliott gets Richard’s cocky laugh and absurdity down pat, yet knows perfectly well when to play it straight. He really makes the role his own. Mrs. Viktorin is absolutely adorable here, especially in her scenes with Bill Flynn’s Dr. Agasa. It’s just a treat to listen to, and I don’t think there was a single aspect of the voice direction that could have been handled better in the American version.

The biggest change of the episode (and the entire series, for that matter), is Conan’s inner monologue. In the original Japanese version, it alternates between Kappei Yamaguchi’s Shinichi and a more mature-sounding version of Minami Takayama’s Conan. It’s pretty inconsistent; the voices change for no particular reason during various episodes. In the dub, Conan’s inner monologue is just Jimmy. To throw away my “purist card” for a second and be perfectly honest, I prefer the American version in this area. Not only does it give this part of the show some consistency that the original version lacks, but it keeps the point of the series (that this is a teenager trapped in a child’s body) fresh in our minds at all times. It also allows Jerry Jewell to be more involved with the show. I mean, I’d love it if Conan’s inner monologue in the original version was just Kappei Yamaguchi. That would be awesome. I realize it’s unusual to prefer the dubbed version of such a major aspect of the series, but it’s something that I really do feel is an improvement.

Name Conversion Guide

Minor Characters
Mr. Tani = Mr. Tanner

Akiko Tani = Michelle Tanner

Futatsubashi Middle School = Franklin Junior High School

Hyakuji Park = High Park

Ha-ha, Michelle Tanner. Because Full House was a thing…

The Colombo restaurant is called Colombo’s Bistro in the American version, while Asō the butler and Jumbo the dog are fortunate enough to keep their original Japanese names. Conan is the only main character to keep his full original name in FUNi’s version.

Dialogue Edit
Just as he did in the previous episode, Jimmy states that he’s 17 in the first few moments of the American version. Again, the issue of certain characters’ ages in this series can get incredibly confusing, but at least FUNi’s keeping a consistent number. Luckily, age references in the dub become less and less common after this episode.

Dialogue Edits
The M
ōri family’s first conversation of the episode is slightly rewritten…

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Ran: “Honestly, Father, can’t you stop making a mess? This is why you can’t get any jobs and why Mother ran out on you!” Rachel: “Dad, what are you doing? Just look at this place! This isn’t an office, it’s a pigsty! It’s no wonder you haven’t had a case in months!”
Kogorō: “I choose what jobs I take.” Richard: “You’re wrong, I just polished off a whole case.”

… The joke, of course, being that Richard has just finished a whole case of beer. It’s clever, but as a result we lose any reference to Eri Kisaki, who won’t be making her debut for another 30 episodes. Series newcomers wondering where the heck Rachel’s mother is would have probably appreciated being able to hear this line in the dub.

An Americanization rewrite occurs about a minute later. Ran tells her father that Shinichi’s parents moved to America three years prior in the original version. The dub of the series takes place in America, though (Or at least, most of it does…? It’s weird.), so Rachel merely tells Richard that Jimmy’s parents have moved “overseas.”

Finally, as Ran heads over to Shinichi’s house…

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Ran: “I’m going to stop by Shinichi’s house for a bit!” Rachel: “Ugh, I’m going over to his house!”
Kogorō: “Huh?! What about my dinner?!” Richard: “Wait! I was kidding!”

I guess Mr. Burgmeier was trying to make Richard sound less insensitive by not having him ask for his dinner. It’s strange; later in the dub they’ll be changing dialogue to make Richard sound more insensitive.

Dialogue Edit
When Ran hugs Conan, Conan’s inner monologue comments on how good her chest feels. Dub Conan isn’t quite as perverted, simply thinking about how well his disguise (glasses) worked.

Video Edits
In two of the Cartoon Network video edits that accidentally found their way into FUNi’s season sets, the books on Shinichi’s bookshelf are translated.

Episode 002 01J Episode 002 01E

Episode 002 02J Episode 002 02E

Unfortunately, this scene is recycled for the intros to nearly all of the first 30 episodes, so this book edit sadly appears in every single opening song sequence for dub episodes 003-016, 018-023, and 025-031.

Dialogue Edit
Professor Agasa gives a different excuse for being unable to keep Conan at his house in each version.

Original Japanese Version American Dub
Agasa: “This child’s parents got into an accident and are in the hospital. They’ve asked me to look after him, but I live a bachelor’s life, you see…” Agasa: “His parents were in a-an accident, and they’re in the hospital. A-And with my ongoing experiments, my house is not the best place for a child.”

They get the same point across; Professor Agasa is busy with other pursuits.

Money Edit
The ransom for the company president’s daughter is changed from 300 million yen to three million dollars in the dub.

Final Thoughts
FUNi gives us a dub of the second episode that’s even better than the first. A subtle instance of Americanization and a perversion cover-up are the most extreme changes to be found. I do wish they had kept the line explaining the whereabouts of Ran’s mother, though. The sole video edit is undoubtedly the most annoying change due to its appearance being an accident. Regardless, the whole episode’s incredibly charming in both languages, and the dub even finds a way to improve upon an aspect that I wasn’t too crazy about in the original version. See you next time!

Episode 002 03

Directory 02 Directory 01

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