Ran and Conan have been invited to visit Osaka by Heiji and Kazuha. Once there, they run across three children - Mayumi, Mikihiko, and Kenta - who have an uncanny resemblance to Ayumi, Mitsuhiko, and Genta. The trio is searching for their friend Satoshi who has gone missing, and they want Heiji's help to find him. Soon, our detectives discover that Satoshi's disappearance may have something to do with a bank robbery that happened earlier in the day. It's a race against the clock to save Satoshi before it's too late!
StoryOn my quest to add every Detective Conan OVA to the database, I inevitably ran across Detective Conan: Conan and Heiji and the Vanished Boy (aka Detective Conan OVA 3); while the most sentimental yet of the Detective Conan OVAs, it also proved to be one of the less interesting attempts. The first problem is the story: while only thirty minutes in length, it's disjointed and somewhat random. Conan and Ran have traveled to Osaka and, as always, run into a mystery they can't refuse. First, they meet three children who have a strange resemblance to their friends at home. Is there a reason for this? No, not really - which makes me wonder why Conan's creators chose to include this plot element. The children ask for help finding their missing friend; and thus, the rest of the OVA is filled with Conan's typical sleuthing skills as he tries to track down where the boy might be. Though attempting to figure out where the boy's "secret place" is located using clues is interesting on some levels, I just wasn't able to actively engage with the story. I'm not sure if it was because watching Detective Conan OVA 3 felt like watching any-other-Detective-Conan-episode, but nevertheless the story didn't thrill me. Easily, Detective Conan OVA 3's main redeeming value came from its sentimental conclusion; it's not something you can necessarily figure out on your own, but is endearing enough to elicit the faintest bit of empathy towards the young boy.Fans of Detective Conan episodes will appreciate the OVA's story; others will probably be bored, confused (due to the lack of introduction to the franchise) and uninterested. AnimationAs with every Detective Conan title, the animation is passable and perfectly fine, but not groundbreaking or breathtaking. Detective Conan OVA 3, specifically, has better overall colors and saturation, so the score is bumped up a bit. SoundThere's not much to say about the audio in any specific Detective Conan OVA; each has a borderline-cheesy soundtrack filled with jazzy tracks that help accentuate its story. While the audio serves as a decent complement to the investigations and deductions, it isn't memorable or spectacular.CharactersIt's difficult to write the same text for each Detective Conan review I write; the usual characters such as Conan and Ran are exactly like they are in the series - not much else needs to be said.My main gripe with Detective Conan OVA 3's characters is the seemingly random introduction of the three children. What was the point of making them look like their friends back home? Was it to help you empathize with their plight? Was it simply a random decision that was meant to have more meaning than I gleamed from it? They are essentially a red herring, as you spend the entire time wondering if there's a hidden truth behind their existence. Minus points for that. The villains are one-dimensional and forgettable, with no exceptional or memorable qualities. OverallDetective Conan OVA 3 is one of my less favorite OVAs in the franchise. The characters appear to have been thrown in randomly as an unimportant red herring, and the villains and final "reason" for the mystery were uninspiring. While a brief amount of sentimentalism is helpful, I'd venture to say that only hardcore Detective Conan fans would find this to be a worthwhile watch.