Japanese Episode 012: “The Ayumi-chan Abduction Case”
American Episode 013: “Kidnapped: Amy”
Original Japanese Air Date: April 15, 1996
Original American Air Date: June 14, 2004
Based On Manga: Files 081-083 (Volume 09, Chapters 01-03)
Next Conan’s Hint: One Billion Yen (Dub Hint: 100 Million Dollars)
Original Version Written By: Junichi Miyashita
Original Version Directed By: Kenji Kodama
American Version Written By: Eric Vale & Andrew Rye
American Version Directed By: Christopher Bevins
After a long string of episodes that require us to really put our minds to work, we’re treated to a case that allows us to simply turn our brains off and enjoy the characters. Conan deducing the location of Ayumi’s “kidnappers” based on sounds alone is a very interesting concept, one which I wish Aoyama would expand upon in future cases. I suppose there’s a little bit of detective knowledge that can be learned from this episode, but these characters inhabit a fictional city, so there’s no way the audience can play along with the mystery when they have no idea where anything is. I do love how Conan is dead wrong in every conclusion he comes to about these “kidnappers,” and I like that the main characters can have antagonists who haven’t done a single thing wrong. It’s more realistic; not everybody’s a deranged killer or a psychopath.
This is more of a character episode than anything else, so fans who dislike the Detective Boys (and apparently there are many, though I can’t figure out why) are likely to be disappointed. We learn of Mitsuhiko and Genta’s feelings for Ayumi, Ayumi confirms her crush on Conan, and we get yet another example of Mitsuhiko’s love for scientific, rational thinking. We also get the anime debut of two detective gadgets: The Communication Badges and The Solar-Powered Skateboard. While the latter is usually one of my least favorite contraptions in Conan’s arsenal, it nonetheless makes this episode extremely entertaining. The big chase scene throughout the streets of Beika City is a fantastic climax for such a fun story.
The American version faithfully dubs the insert song, and the script is actually pretty solid. For once, I don’t have to write walls of text to explain any complicated rewrites. Aside from a small handful of light changes and the now-standard Americanizing, this episode has received quite a faithful dub.
Name Conversion Guide
Beika Bridge = Baker Bridge
Beika Tunnel = Baker Tunnel
The intersection in District Two is simply referred to as “the financial district” in the American version. The Yotsubishi Gas Station isn’t given a name in the dub.
Just as George starts counting and the rest of the kids run off to hide…
|Conan (Thinking): “Why fight it anymore? I mean, I get to play games like I’m a kid again. It’s not as bad as I make it out to be.”|
Japanese Conan isn’t as optimistic as his dub counterpart. Originally, Conan starts worrying that his IQ is going to rapidly drop if he continues playing with the kids.
Genta’s counting is also changed. In the Japanese version of the anime, Genta really does count to 100, while George skips most of the numbers in the dub (“45… 49… 100!”). However, it is worth mentioning that in the original manga, Genta does skip numbers when counting, just like George does in the dub. Of course, we’ll probably never know if FUNi changed Genta’s counting to reference the manga version, or if they just changed it to make George look stupid.
This episode features the series’ very first insert song: “Soba Ni Iru Kara” (“Because I’m Near,” in English). Just as they did with the opening and ending songs, FUNimation creates their own English version of the tune, though it’s hard to make out any of the dub lyrics with the episode’s dialogue playing (loudly) over it. All I can tell is that the singer who performs it is the same person who performed the English version of the first opening, which is a neat bit of consistency since both songs were originally performed by The High-Lows in Japanese.
The amount of money that Amy finds in the trunk of the car is changed from one hundred million yen to one hundred thousand dollars.
When Ayumi mentions the plastic bag behind her in the trunk, Genta asks if it’s filled with grilled eel lunches. In the dub, George just bluntly tells Amy to open the bag.
Dub-Conan states that the police roadblock is “about a mile away,” but no distance is specified in the Japanese version.
The Detective Badges have a broadcast radius of 20 kilometers in the original version. The badges in the dub are apparently more powerful, with a 20 mile radius.
As the “kidnappers” stop at the gas station, they receive a friendly offer from the staff.
|Original Japanese Version
|Employee: “They’re free hand towels and t-shirts, courtesy of the station’s ten years of business.”|
Originally, the towels and t-shirts were Kamen Yaiba merchandise. I’m still not sure why the dub writers are so determined to cover up references to Gōshō Aoyama’s previous series (they haven’t missed one yet!), but it happens so often that I’m pretty much numb to the disappointment by now.
In the dub, when Conan’s skateboard starts running out of solar power, Conan asks himself why Dr. Agasa didn’t add an alternative energy source to the gadget. Conan never mentions Professor Agasa in the original version; he just realizes that he has to think of something quickly before the skateboard completely stops moving.
I think it’s cute how once Ayumi’s “rescued,” Conan, Mitsuhiko, and Genta form a triangle around her to protect her. D’aww.
The dub states that the real kidnapper was confirmed to have been arrested “more than twenty minutes ago,” but the original version never specifies a time frame.
The most severe change here is the Yaiba cover-up, which we should all know to expect by now. I suspect the few instances of added dialogue were only inserted to fill in mouth flaps, and the rest of the alterations thankfully aren’t major enough to affect the story. I do wish the English version of the insert song was more audible, and it slightly irks me that they had George skip numbers while he was counting (depending on their motive for doing so, of course). See you next time!