Episode 022 – “The Luxury Liner Serial Murder Case (Part 1)”

Japanese Episode 022: “The Luxury Liner Serial Murder Case (Part 1)”
American Episode 023: “Smooth Sailing (Part 1)”
Original Japanese Air Date: July 01, 1996
Original American Air Date: June 30, 2004
Based On Manga: Files 020-022 (Volume 03, Chapters 01-03)
Next Conan’s Hint: Sketch Book
Original Version Organized By: Kenji Kodama
Original Version Directed By: Kenji Kodama
American Version Written By: Eric Vale & Matt Chaney
American Version Directed By: Eric Vale

Episode 022 01

Episode Thoughts
We’re finally at the first two-parter of the series!  I really like this one, even if it does get very predictable in its second half.  It’s pretty obvious who the culprit is once all the clues are found, much more obvious than it should be, and the “Next Conan’s Hint” segments practically scream “this person did it!” so while that wasn’t handled well, the case itself is good.

I think what I find most enjoyable about the animated adaption is that the musical score features a bunch of remixed versions of pieces that have played over the past twenty episodes.  The music is normally performed, at least in this part of the series, by the Katsuo Ōno Band, which features Katsuo Ōno and six others (Takeru Muraoka, Sueaki Harada, Kiyoshi Hayami, Kiyoshi Tanaka, Tadashi Masuoka, and Tatsuhiko Hizawa) on various instruments.  For these episodes, though, a bunch of tunes have been remixed using a synthesizer, and they all sound really good.

I had fond memories of the dub of this episode because I remembered this two-parter having very little changes, so I was pretty excited to compare this one because I thought I wouldn’t have much to report.  I remembered horribly, horribly wrong.  I was very surprised by how many alterations there were.  Those of you who like Richard being really, really stupid might like the dub, but that’s about it.

Name Conversion Guide

Minor Characters
Natsue Hatamoto = Suzanna Hannigan

Takeshi Zaiki = Theodore Zimmer
Gozo Hatamoto = Joseph Hannigan
Kitaro Hatamoto = Jacob Hannigan
Mariko Hatamoto = Meredith Hannigan
Joji Hatamoto = Isaac Hannigan
Ichiro Hatamoto = Lucas Hannigan
Akie Hatamoto = Ari Hannigan
Tatsuo Hatamoto = Shannon Hannigan
Kenji Suzuki = Willard
Isao Zaiki = Edward Zimmer

Hatamoto Island = Hannigan Island

Shoichi and Miyuki Hatamoto, Natsue’s parents who died in an accident, go unnamed in the dub.  Actually, scratch that.  They aren’t just unnamed; they go entirely unmentioned!

Dialogue Edit
The dub doesn’t entirely explain how Conan and the M
ōri family got on the luxury liner.  Kogorō didn’t oversleep like the dub said; he originally just forgot what time the return ferry was supposed to leave.  The dub also neglects to mention that Conan and company would have been stranded on the island for three more days if they hadn’t gotten on the ship.

Dialogue Edit
The dub never explains why Suzanna was crying at the beginning of the episode.  Originally, Natsue said that she was crying because she was thinking about her deceased parents and how much she wished they could have seen her in her wedding dress.  In the dub, she dismisses the subject altogether, instead talking about how Conan and company will have to spend time with her “crazy” family in the ship.

Dialogue Edit
Tatsuo’s comment about how he’s in debt isn’t mentioned in the dub.  Also, when Takeshi goes to visit Gozo in his room, Gozo comments on how Takeshi’s habit of scratching his cheek when he’s embarrassed is a quality he got from his father.

Dialogue Edit
Gozo/Joseph’s opinion on detectives is different depending on which version you watch.  Gozo just thinks they’re despicable (upon hearing this, Conan’s inner monologue agrees that Kogor
ō is indeed despicable, so Gozo is half right).

Joseph, on the other hand, thinks they need to be shot.  Geez, that’s quite a leap.  It should probably go without saying that Conan’s comment is altered as well, since we know he wouldn’t agree that Richard needs to be shot.  In the dub, Conan just sarcastically thinks about how “sweet” Joseph is.

Dialogue Edit
When Richard is determining the victim’s time of death:

American Dub
Richard: “I’d say he’s been dead anywhere from 7 to 43 minutes.  Those may seem like numbers I’ve picked at random, but I assure you they’re not.”

No, I’m pretty sure they were picked at random.  Originally, Kogorō said that he had been dead for about 40 or 50 minutes, which is a more useful analysis since we now know the murder could have only taken place within those ten minutes.  I mean, c’mon, 7-43 minutes?  How is that helpful?

Additionally, he also asks the butler, Kenji, if he was the first one to find the body, which is why he turns toward that character in the animation.  This was taken out of the dub so that Richard could make that “they’re not random numbers” statement.

Dialogue Edit
In fact, to add onto that previous dialogue edit, pretty much the entire interrogation scene between Kogor
ō and the Hatamoto family was rewritten for the dub.  Instead of having Richard ask questions and find information, the dub has him spend time telling suspects to “stay on their toes” and things that don’t really give the audience any information at all.  I’d say about half of Kogorō’s questions were eliminated from the dub.

The scene is more or less the same in both languages up until Kogorō/Richard points out that the weapon is missing from the scene, and that’s when it really gets change-happy.  Shannon’s joke about the weapon being dissolved by the victim’s blood “because it was so full of acid” was dub-only, and what’s worse is that the dub has Richard fall for this joke, asking if that’s really possible.  The dub tries to make Richard into an idiot when he really isn’t, which will happen again in this episode as well.

Dialogue Edit
Wow, three dialogue edit sections for the same exact scene?  That’s gotta be a record.

When Richard catches onto the fact that it was Joseph himself who locked the door, his explanation is quite sillier in the dub.

American Dub
Richard: “He was stabbed outside, possibly by a ninja, then he ran inside and locked the door to avoid the ninja who was bearing down on him with his terrible ninja stealth!  That’s when he collapsed and died!”

Ninjas?!  Are you freaking kidding me?

As we continue…

American Dub
Conan: “So the part about the ninjas was a joke, right?”
Richard: *laughs* “Maybe.  I haven’t seen any ninjas running around, but I guess that’s the point of being a ninja…”

This line has become somewhat of a fan favorite.  I’m part of a minority of fans who really dislike this line.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the humor is lost on me or anything.  It’s a funny dialogue exchange, and I think it would work if it were coming out of the mouth of Homer Simpson or something.  It’s just that this line doesn’t suit Kogorō/Richard at all.

I sometimes see people trying to defend this line by saying “it’s okay because Richard’s stupid, remember?”  Except Kogorō/Richard isn’t stupid.  He’s impatient, biased, and he jumps to conclusions.  Those are the reasons why he’s such a mediocre detective.  He just doesn’t put forth the effort.  He is not stupid by any means; the man knows what he’s talking about when he’s focused.

Dialogue Edit
I think it should go without saying that Meredith’s sarcastic line about modeling for a swimsuit magazine was dub-only.

Dialogue Edit
It’s never stated that Gozo hates everything Joji cooks in the original, but that’s what’s stated in the dub.  Originally, Gozo just really didn’t like Western-style food (keep in mind that “Western” in this case refers to the French cuisine that was served at the wedding; remember that France is West from Japan).

Dialogue Edit
More idiocy from Richard here:

American Dub
Richard: “I guess we need to find the murder weapon and search it for fingerprints, but I’m thirsty so let’s go get some juice.”

Originally, there wasn’t a line transitioning to the scene back at the dining room.  The characters probably just all decided that they needed a break to take everything in.  This line just makes Richard seem like an uncaring jerk more than anything.  He’d rather be having juice than finding a murderer?  How can he be so callous?

Dialogue Edit
The dub says that Joseph had his will written up the day before his death, which I find very hard to believe.  I’m sure he had it written up before than and just didn’t mention it to his family.  The original version never specified when he had the will made.  A few seconds later when Tatsuo and Akie start arguing, the dub has Ari make fun of Shannon’s lack of ability as a Punk Rock musician.  Tatsuo is a musician too, but no genre is mentioned in the Japanese version.

Final Thoughts
I was hoping the changes would stop after a while, but they just kept coming!  This episode was littered with them throughout, but the main things that get me are the forced idiocy of Richard and the exclusion of many vital pieces of information in the interrogation scene.  See you next time!


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  1. #1 by KID1412 on January 7, 2014 - 5:16 AM

    I love the background music in this episode. When I first caught this two parter on Adult Swim I thought it must be fairly far in the series because they finally remixed the music and Conan refers to Richard as uncle which I assumed he was doing because they had been together for a long time. I was surprised when I found out how early this case actually is.

    I completely agree with you about the changes to make Richard look dumb not belonging. I remember when I first watched this episode I just thought that’s how the case was written and I liked those jokes all right so it’s not like those are inherently bad jokes or anything but they just don’t belong here. Like you said it does a disservice to the character.

    I also really thought at first that there was a legit reason for why Richard said the guy died between 7 and 43 minutes prior. One thing I always assumed watching this dub was that even though they insert corny jokes here and there they generally get the details for the cases themselves correct. I’m realizing reading through these comparisons that the dub was even worse than I thought.

  2. #2 by Shalamar on August 10, 2016 - 5:12 PM

    Interestingly, when Joji reappears in the Kaitou Kid episode, the dub for some reason changes his name and says that he met Richard at Reika Gilmore’s birthday party, there his name is changed to Dirk Copeland. I guess the writers didn’t remember him and were too lazy to actually find out who the guy was. Also I really don’t understand why they changed Joji to “Issac”, wouldn’t the romanized “George” have made more sense?

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