Episode 009 – “The Tenkaichi Night Festival Murder Case”

Japanese Episode 009: “The Tenkaichi Night Festival Murder Case”
American Episode 009: “Festival Fiasco”
Original Japanese Air Date: March 04, 1996
Original American Air Date: June 07, 2004
Based On Manga: Files 059-061 (Volume 06, Chapter 09 – Volume 07, Chapter 01)
Next Conan’s Hint: Video Game
Original Version Written By: Kazunari Kōchi
Original Version Directed By: Kenji Kodama
American Version Written By: Eric Vale & Matt Chaney
American Version Directed By: Eric Vale

Episode Thoughts
The stories in Detective Conan can commonly be divided into three distinct formulas.  First, we have the normal murder mysteries in which Conan has to deduce the killer from a group of people, similar to an animated version of Clue.  Secondly, we have the cases involving the Detective Boys, which are slightly more adventure-based in nature and played out like episodes of Scooby-Doo, sans the Great Dane and the ghosts.  Then, we have our third basic formula, in which both Conan and the audience already know who the killer is, but we have to find some way to prove it.  This third formula makes its anime debut in this episode, and I really like it.  This is another testament to my “simple cases are best” argument, and I love it when the mysteries delve into basic human psychology like Conan’s observation with the victim’s toothbrush being present.  Conan’s balloon provides some good laughs, and Sango Yokomizo, the inspector who shows up whenever the gang ventures into the
Saitama Prefecture (and later, the Shizuoka Prefecture), makes his debut here.

This case pretty much brings the American adaption back up to its normal standards of quality after the abundance of changes present in the previous episode.  That doesn’t mean everything’s 100% accurate, but it’s a step in the right direction.  Inspector Worthington’s voice is okay, but just as he does with his voice for George, Dameon Clarke takes his acting a step too far and crosses the line into “cartoony.”  Worthington’s a little more incompetent than his Japanese counterpart, but like a good majority of the recurring characters, he appears so rarely that his voice is almost a non-issue.

Chuck Huber Villain / Murderer / Douchebag Count: 03.

Name Conversion Guide

Main Characters
Inspector Sango Yokomizo = Inspector Worthington

Minor Characters
Satoru Imatake = Salvador Emerson

Norikazu Sasai = Nicodimus Stanley
Tomokazu Imai = Thompson Imez
Mr. Yamada = Mr. Johansen

The unnamed mountains in the Japanese version are called “Mt. Roosevelt” in the dub.  The Japanese version of this episode takes place in Saitama, which goes unnamed in the dub.  The Saitama Police Department is renamed the “Southside Police Department.”  Imatake’s “Naomoto Award” is changed to a “Manchester Prize,” which (as far as I can tell) are both made-up honors.  The magazine that serializes Imatake’s writing is changed from Literature Era to Booklovers’ Review in the dub.  Finally, Imatake’s “Heroic Sword Legend” stories are renamed “The Legend of the Sword.”

Dialogue Edit
The news reporter who appears at the beginning of the episode originally gives the audience a general overview of the Tenkaichi Fire Festival before the episode shifts its focus to Imatake and Sasai in the hotel room.  In the dub, the reporter doesn’t give an explanation of what happens at the festival at all, instead making general statements about how the event is about to get underway.

Because of this change, dub watchers don’t find out about the event’s festivities until Rachel talks about them in the next scene.

Dialogue Edits
In the original version, the Japanese characters for the phrase “Tenkaichi” are being lit up on the mountains.  First “Ten,” then “Ka,” and then “Ichi.”  In the dub, the words are “Heaven,” “beneath,” and “best,” which is a fine translation.  “Tenkaichi” can be translated to “best beneath the heavens,” so it’s almost a direct adaption.

The dub does goof this up once, though.  When the “Ichi” character is lit up, Rachel gets excited because they just “lit the second word,” when it’s actually the third character.  Oops!

After Ran’s explanation, Conan’s inner monologue sarcastically comments that the whole ceremony is basically just a copy of Kyoto’s Daimonji Fire Festival.  Referencing this ceremony in the dub would have likely resulted in confused looks and blank stares from the American audience, so Conan’s comment is changed to a complaint about Rachel always explaining everything to him like he’s a little kid.

Dialogue Edit
In the dub, Nicodimus states that he has just returned from Morocco.  Originally, Norikazu just says that he often goes on oversea trips, never specifying any particular location.

Dialogue Edits
The dub omits an important piece of information when Nicodimus hands over the manuscript of his story to Johansen.  Originally, Norikazu explained that he had brought the draft with him because Imatake had wanted to read it.  The dub doesn’t mention this, though, which makes it look like Nicodimus just happened to have a random manuscript in his luggage for seemingly no reason at all.

Norikazu also threatens to sue Inspector Yokomizo for not letting him leave the crime scene, something that Nicodimus never does.

Side Note
Anybody else find it funny how Conan’s able to knock Kogor
ō out, drag him to the chair, reposition his body, and rearrange the pictures on the table without any of the dozen people in the room seeing him?  This happens often in the series, but it really makes me laugh whenever Conan does such a long list of noticeable things with so many people around and nobody’s any the wiser.  It’s almost as funny as nobody seeing a flying ashtray bouncing off walls and slamming Kogorō in the back of the neck, even though everyone’s eyes are on him.

I love silly plot devices so much.

Dialogue Edit
During Norikazu’s confession, his final words about winning the Naomoto Award with Imatake were originally directed towards Ran.  That’s why there are so many reaction shots of her in this scene.  In the dub, Nicodimus isn’t talking to anyone in particular.

Dialogue Edit
During the epilogue, Kogor
ō makes a (very corny) pun in the Japanese version.  Here’s my translation of what he says.

Original Japanese Version
Kogorō: “The murderer was Sasai.  That makes it a “sasai” (“trivial”) case!  Get it?!”

The joke here is that Sasai is the name of the killer, but the word “sasai” can also mean “trivial” or “petty” in Japanese.  In response to this bad pun, Yokomizo and the other officers pretend to laugh along with Kogorō and the episode ends.

None of this made it into the dub.  Puns are usually hard to adapt from language to language without losing the humor, so FUNi decided not to bother and just rewrote the whole scene.  In the American version, Richard just says that while he can’t really remember the case too well, he’s sure he solved it brilliantly.

Final Thoughts
You guys know the drill by now.  Common dub rewrites like covering up cultural references and rewriting inadaptable puns are present here, but nothing is changed in the mystery itself.  The only thing that annoys me is that the dub writers are still wasting valuable mouth flaps in the animation by cutting out the small, minor details that would help the cases make just a little more sense (like mentioning why Nicodimus had his manuscript in his luggage, for example) in favor of useless lines that don’t provide the audience with any new information.  See you next time!

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