Scar Akai is Bourbon theory

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This article documents a former theory that Scar Akai was Bourbon in disguise and explains the evidence and his motives for disguising as Akai. It was officially revealed that Scar Akai was Bourbon in disguise at Teito Bank, Beika Department Store, and in front of Mouri Detective Agency, while Vermouth was Scar Akai on the Bell Tree Express.

Scar Akai was a mysterious person of unknown allegiance who appeared some time after Kir apparently killed Shuichi Akai. One fan theory was that Scar Akai could be Bourbon who, with Vermouth's help, disguised as Akai and was appearing before the FBI agents in order to gauge whether the real Akai is alive or not based on their reactions. Bourbon, who hates Akai and refuses to believe that anyone else could kill him, believes Akai's death was faked with help of Kir and the FBI.


Scar Akai is not the real Akai

Scar Akai is right handed, not left handed like Akai

Scar Akai after firing a gun with his right hand. The skin around his eyes that the duct tape previously covered is hidden in shadow and the gun hides the scar completely.

Scar Akai used his right hand to fire a handgun and to hand back a cellphone. It is unlikely scar Akai is simply using his right hand because he injured his left. In the "Teito Bank Heist",[1] he easily escaped the duct tape binding his hands, yet probably did not use the same method that Jodie Starling used[2] because there was still duct tape over his mouth.[3] It doesn't make much sense for him to remove it and then put the duct tape back over his mouth again afterwards. Removing the tape with only one hand, especially if he is using his off hand, would be difficult if the robbers are watching him. His eyes were covered so scar Akai couldn't be sure that no one was watching until the robbers pretended to be hostages which would give him only a few minutes to escape.

Scar Akai's behavior does not make sense if he is Akai

Scar Akai doesn't appear to have lost his memory

If Scar Akai is the real Akai, one must assume he either has his memory or he doesn't have it. If he has his memory, Akai would absolutely not wander around in the open since it puts the undercover CIA Hidemi Hondou at risk with no gains to be made from doing so. The Black Organization's actions in the "Thirteen Red Shirts" case[4] demonstrate the danger.

If Akai has amnesia, then it is plausible Akai would walk around in the open without knowing the danger he is in, however Scar Akai's actions strongly suggest his memory is still intact. He seems to be stalking the FBI by appearing before them: something he would not do if he had lost all of his memory. Further emphasizing the point, Akai also apparently left a warning message to Jodie on her drink coaster during the events of the thirteen red shirts case. If perhaps Scar Akai recognized the FBI a little and felt comfortable enough to leave Jodie a message, it is strange that he would not speak to the FBI agents since Scar Akai is clearly capable of speaking.[5] Scar Akai also appears to recognize Chianti.[6]

These contradictions are resolved if Scar Akai is someone else in disguise as Akai and is trying to gauge from the FBI's reactions whether the real Akai is dead or not.

Scar Akai is faking inability to speak in front of the FBI

Scar Akai has avoided speaking in front of the FBI. Jodie assumed he lost his voice at first, but it was later proven that Scar Akai is capable of speaking when he returned a phone.[5] One may assume that Scar Akai became deaf but this does not explain why when Jodie called out to him and grabbed his arm, he didn't react at all. Deafness contradicts with his correct and prompt compliance with the robber's vocal demands at the Teito bank heist and the bomber's demands at the Beika dept store. If Scar Akai was deaf, he wouldn't have been able to solve the red shirts case because he wouldn't have been able to read the receipts from where he was standing to see the time of purchase. Even if Scar Akai could lip read, if he was deaf he would not have been able to figure out the bank robbers' plans and know it was safe to remove his duct tape.

A more reasonable explanation is that Scar Akai is not Akai and avoided speaking because he is unable to imitate Akai's voice.

Gin's actions suggest that he doesn't think Scar Akai is the real Akai

After Gin called Kir in the Thirteen Red Shirts case,[4] he held a gun to her head for the duration of the stakeout. After Gin observes Scar Akai[7], he gives the order for Chianti to leave, and he lowers the gun from Kir's head.[8] While Gin might not have wanted to shoot Kir with an unsilenced gun in front of a busy department store that is filled with police, if he thought that Kir was a traitor who had helped Akai fake his death, Gin would not have lowered his gun since Kir may attempt to retaliate in some fashion now that her cover has been blown. The lowering of the gun is concession on Gin's part that he knows or strongly suspects Scar Akai isn't the real Akai.

Scar Akai is probably a Black Organization operative rather than an FBI agent, a CIA agent, or a third party

Haibara gets a very strong fear reaction from Scar Akai when he walks nearby on the Bell Tree express train. She even turns to look at him to identify the source.[9]

Scar Akai almost certainly isn't in the FBI or CIA because there isn't a single beneficial reason to wander about in the open disguised as Akai, and doing so risks compromising Hidemi who is an asset to both aforementioned agencies. Civilians around where Scar Akai appears are also put at risk of becoming collateral damage should the Black Organization attack. The obvious remaining choices are that Scar Akai is a member of the Black Organization or a third party.

If Scar Akai is a member of a third party, then perhaps he is trying to lure the Black Organization out with a disguise because he knows Akai was a serious threat to them and apparently died; however, this means the hypothetical third party Scar Akai doesn't care about or doesn't know about Hidemi Hondou being a spy. If a third party was interested in luring out the Black Organization, then simply appearing as Akai somewhere would be enough. Specifically appearing with FBI agents puts the agents at risk as well as endangering any civilians that happen to be around. Since most third party intelligence or police organizations like Interpol or the PSIA would be allied with the FBI or the CIA, they would avoid doing this. Another issue is that the existence of Interpol, PSIA, or any other agency investigating the Black Organization has not been hinted as was the case with the FBI in the Vermouth arc[10] or CIA in the Kir arc.[11] It is possible that Scar Akai may be a member of a rival criminal organization, but again there is no evidence of one existing. Finally, third parties run into the problem of how exactly they found out about the circumstances of Akai’s death well enough to time their agent’s arrival and appearance to match Akai. In conclusion, the most likely option is Scar Akai is a member of the Black Organization.

If Scar Akai is a Black Organization operative, then he is most likely Bourbon

At the Beika department store case, Scar Akai was present at the same time as all the other known codenamed Black Organization members except Bourbon (and the boss). Assuming Scar Akai is a member of the Black Organization, Bourbon is the logical choice. Kir noted that Bourbon is skilled at deduction, a trait that scar Akai shows by solving the red shirt's case and figuring out the bank robber's plans.[12] Bourbon doesn't believe Akai is dead,[13] so it makes sense that Bourbon would create a plan to discover if the real Akai is alive. Gin also described him as secretive[13] which is demonstrated when Gin, not knowing that Bourbon was in disguise as Akai with a burn, set up snipers to kill him thinking he is the real Akai. Much later during the Bell Tree Express arc, although all three Bourbon suspects (Subaru Okiya, Tooru Amuro and Masumi Sera) appear, Scar Akai appears as a person seperate from all of them. However, if one were to assume this Scar Akai were someone else, presumably Vermouth, then it isn't impossible for this situation to occur and Vermouth's presense would overshadow Bourbon's Black Organization aura from Ai Haibara. The Scar Akai on the train also sports a longer scar and different clothing, leading credence to the fact that Scar Akai is just some disguise.

Bourbon is not a made up agent to test Kir

The conversation with Gin, Vodka, and Kir about Bourbon [13] does imply that Bourbon is a real person rather than a made up agent meant to test if Kir was leaking information. Gin’s comments about scar Akai suggest Scar Akai is Bourbon.[8][14]

Gin: “Hmph... Always doing as he pleases... that bastard irritates me”.
Kir: “Eh? Who?”
Gin: “……… Just as you said…Someone you wish was only in a novel… A great detective, like Sherlock Holmes…”

Gin's line about scar Akai “always doing as he pleases...” implies that Bourbon is doing things on his own, which Gin said Bourbon tends to do.[13] -->

Bourbon disguises as Scar Akai to discover if the real Akai faked his death

Bourbon, with the boss's approval and Vermouth's help, has disguised as scar Akai and is observing the FBI agents' reactions to his sudden appearances in order to gauge whether the FBI believe Akai is dead or helped him with a fake death plan.

Bourbon's motive - He doesn't believe Akai is dead

Gin and Vodka saw Akai’s “assassination” carried out, so this would appear to negate any reason the Black Organization would have to look into Akai’s death; however, Gin spoke to the fact that Bourbon hates Akai with a passion and believes he is the only one capable of killing Shuichi Akai and is therefore likely to suspect a trick in the FBI agent’s death.[13] Thus, Bourbon has motivation to investigate Akai’s death.

Bourbon's mission - Disguise as Akai to test the FBI's reactions

So far, Scar Akai has only appeared in front of FBI agents rather than around Tokyo generally with the exception of Sera. The most obvious reason for a Black Organization member to do so would be to gauge from the FBI's reactions to the disguise whether Akai is really dead. The FBI agents Scar Akai has appeared in front of so far, Jodie Starling[15] and Andre Camel,[16] were known to be close to Akai and thus would be considered likely compatriots if Akai needed help faking his death. As for why Scar Akai would target Sera, it is widely speculated that Sera is Akai's younger sister. Targeting her confirms her relationship to Akai, and thus her potential as a tool to lure out Akai later if need be. Sera's reaction to the burned face of Scar Akai can reveal if she has seen or heard from the real Akai in the interim and thus is a contact of Akai's. (It seems she is not.)

Bourbon's disguise - Created with help from Vermouth

The conversation between Gin and Vermouth about getting the boss's approval.

The conversation between Gin and Vermouth about getting the boss's approval[17] can be interpreted as Vermouth informing Gin of Bourbon's plan to disguise as Akai with Vermouth's help and test the reactions of the FBI agents. In that scene, there is a panel with no speech where Vermouth faces Gin and whispers something to him. This signifies a conversation between Gin and Vermouth that the readers were not allowed to hear. At this time, Vermouth informs Gin that Scar Akai is Bourbon in disguise, and that she helped with that disguise as part of a plan to test the FBI's reactions to him to see if Akai is still alive. Gin asks if Vermouth got authorization from the boss to go through with this plan and disguise Bourbon as Akai. Vermouth affirms this and explains that the boss is cautious and wants to make doubly certain the FBI didn't plan a trick with Kir to fake Akai's death.
This conversation implies that the Black Organization lied to Kir about Bourbon's true mission so that Kir could not alert any FBI colleagues that they were going to be probed. Kir was told Bourbon was looking for Sherry.[13]

Vermouth's help with the disguise explains the discrepancy between the excellence of the Scar Akai mask and Bourbon's inability to mimic voices which requires him to pretend he is mute. Bourbon damaging his mask by removing the tape covering his eyes in the Teito Bank heist explains the artistic reasons why the upper part of Scar Akai's face was drawn in shadow and the gun was positioned to hide the damaged scar.[3]

Bourbon's investigation - He suspects Kir is a traitor

As additional evidence, Scar Akai has Kogoro’s cellphone number either memorized or specifically noted down. Kogoro's landline still seems to be the primary call route for first time clients as of the Kir arc, indicating that it is Kogoro's public business number. An obvious explanation for why a Black Organization operative would have Kogoro’s cell number is that Scar Akai got it from Kir’s phone which has a text message from Kogoro with his routing number that was sent sometime after the Ding-Dong-Dash case.[18] It would be impossible for Akai to fake his death without Kir being an accomplice, so Kir would be a natural target for anyone investigating Akai's death. Kogoro would have sent the text message later, most likely after looking up his routing number because he didn’t give her the number immediately at her apartment. Kir's cellphone was most likely left in Gin’s car after she changed clothes following the failed first round of the attempted assassination of Domon.[19] Kir switched contact methods to a radio with a mike like Vermouth because she was on a motorcycle and wearing a helmet.[20] As long as no one else in the Organization tampered with her cellphone while she was in the hospital, it is unlikely the message was erased before Bourbon would have the chance to investigate it.

Scar Akai's actions, even the seemingly contradictory ones, can fit with Bourbon's motives and personality

Why would Bourbon protect Conan in the Teito Bank Heist case? – There are several possible motives

If Scar Akai is Bourbon, it is unexpected that an Organization member would choose to rescue Conan and shooting a gun would risk calling attention to himself. There are several reasons why Bourbon might do this.

Vermouth's promise

Much later, Vermouth mentions that she and Bourbon have a promise with one another which went unstated. At the time Vermouth mentioned the promise she was watching an accident scene where the Bourbon suspects Tooru Amuro, Subaru Okiya, and Masumi Sera were finishing up a case that involved Conan being kidnapped and held at gunpoint. At the time Vermouth said Bourbon earned some trust. We know that Vermouth has a soft spot for Conan and Ran so the promise may have involved Bourbon watching out for Conan, which explains why Scar Akai acted to protect Conan at the bank case.

Conan's involvement in past Black Organization cases

Conan's picture in the newspaper article about Akemi Miyano's death. Ai Haibara

Bourbon may have his own reasons for wanting to rescue Conan. If Bourbon has access to any Black Organization intelligence, as would be expected of someone specializing in intelligence gathering, he may have discovered Conan or someone matching Conan's description has appeared at several relevant cases. The more Bourbon knows about Conan's appearances, the stronger Bourbon’s motive for wanting to make sure Conan is around to watch or investigate because Bourbon may not get all the answers from his other lines of investigation.
If Bourbon were to recognize Conan from one case, it would be the Ding-Dong-Dash case since Bourbon already has info on Kogoro from that time because he knows the detective’s cellphone number offhand. Beyond that, Bourbon may also recognize Conan from the billion yen robbery case and newspaper picture that ran with the story about Akemi Miyano’s death.[21] Bourbon would most likely have taken note of that since Akemi was close to Akai. Bourbon must not have too deeply incriminating info on Conan yet because if Bourbon realized how brilliant Conan was, knew that Conan had been with the FBI, and that Conan and Akai had a working relationship and spent time planning together, then Bourbon would have chosen to investigate Conan before Jodie or Camel.

Convenient means of escape

Firing the gun also provided a convenient way to escape. If Bourbon is wearing a mask, he would have damaged it by removing the duct tape covering his eyes.[3] Thus, Bourbon would want to leave the bank quickly while Jodie is unconscious so she doesn’t realize Scar Akai is a disguise. Firing a gun would bring the police rushing in and would stir up the crowd providing cover. It would also mean Scar Akai could leave that much sooner. Scar Akai could have fired the gun at the ceiling or similar, but firing it at Conan's attacker gives his disguise additional credence in Jodie's eyes because the real Akai would have rescued a child. Lastly, Scar Akai may have found Conan interesting: Conan did ruin the thieves' plan and used his voice changer so that Scar Akai could hear it.[22]

Why would Bourbon not tell the other Black Organization agents what he is doing? – Bourbon has a secretive personality

Bourbon would not expect much help from his fellow operatives seeing as how Gin, Vodka, and Chianti assumed that Akai was dead. Also, Gin specifically pointed out that Bourbon was, “like Vermouth, he’s [Bourbon] a secretive one… I have no idea where he is or what it is he’s doing...”[13] He also had to make sure Kir would not learn about his real mission as she might tip off the FBI that they were going to be probed.

Why would Bourbon do something risky like text-message Kogoro? – Bourbon isn’t adverse to taking risks

Scar Akai has consistently engaged in behavior that can be seen as risky: he chose to appear in front of the FBI dressed as Akai despite not knowing how they would react, he shot the robber holding Conan in the bank,[3] and he didn’t tell his fellow operatives about his disguise-as-Akai plan which almost caused him to be shot by his own side.[6] Scar Akai was cautious about mailing Kogoro in that he used a handkerchief to avoid leaving fingerprints on the random man’s phone he “borrowed”.[5]

How could Bourbon tolerate disguising as his most hated enemy? – Bourbon is willing because he wants to find out about the condition of the real Akai

If Bourbon truly believes he is the only person who can kill Akai and deeply despises him, then he would be willing to disguise as Akai in order to achieve his goal. In the Shiragami case,[23] there is a comparable scenario where a teenager who wanted to get revenge on Shinichi Kudo underwent plastic surgery to copy Shinichi's appearance exactly and then attempted to carry out and blame Shinichi for a murder. Also, appearing as Akai will rub salt in the wounds of the agents who cared about him.

See also


  1. ^ Manga Volume 65, File 5: "Shaking Heart"
  2. ^ Manga Volume 65, File 4, Page 6: "The Trap"
  3. ^ a b c d Manga Volume 65, File 5, Page 14: "Shaking Heart" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "679p14" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "679p14" defined multiple times with different content
  4. ^ a b Manga Volume 67, File 5-8: "13 Red Shirts case"
  5. ^ a b c Manga Volume 67, File 8, Page 5: "Silent Clash"
  6. ^ a b Manga Volume 67, File 8, Page 12: "Silent Clash"
  7. ^ Manga Volume 67, File 8, Page 10: Silent Clash
  8. ^ a b Manga Volume 67, File 8, Page 13: Silent Clash Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "704p13" defined multiple times with different content
  9. ^ Manga File 818, pg 14: "Mystery Train: All Aboard!"
  10. ^ There are several examples, but the first is in Manga Volume 33, File 11: pgs 13-14, ○×△□!?. Later it was proven the FBI were involved after Akai is seen with agents in Manga Volume 35, File 4, pg 18: Golden Apple 5.
  11. ^ Manga Volume 56, file 9, pgs 13-16: Company. "The Company" is a well known nickname for the CIA.
  12. ^ He must have figured out the bank robber's plans in order to know when it was safe to remove his duct tape without being caught.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Manga Volume 67, File 7, page 3: "The Truth Amidst the Snowstorm" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "703p3" defined multiple times with different content
  14. ^ Manga Volume 67, File 8, pg 14: "Silent Clash"
  15. ^ Manga Volume 65, File 3, pg 6: The fated individual
  16. ^ Manga Volume 67, File 4, pg 11: Dangerous area
  17. ^ Manga Volume 67, File 8, pg 11: "Silent Clash"
  18. ^ Manga Volume 48, File 9, pg 16: "Ding-Dong Dash"
  19. ^ Manga Volume 49, File 2, pg 15: "New Order"
  20. ^ Manga Volume 49, File 3, pg 9: "Black Organization versus FBI 1"
  21. ^ Manga Volume 18, File 10, pg 15: Checkmate
  22. ^ Scar Akai most likely knew the robbers' plan because he knew when it was safe to remove his duct tape. He would have realized that Conan's instructions given in the lead bank robber's voice were someone else's doing. Furthermore, on page 12 in chapter V65-5, Conan explained how he could tell the bank robbers apart in a loud enough voice that the hostages had turned around to listen. Bourbon would have realized that the children were responsible somehow.
  23. ^ Manga Volume 62, Files 5-10