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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Battle Frontier
Japanese Episode AG 145: "Pokemon Contest - The Yamabuki Convention (Part Two)"
American Episode 415: "A Hurdle for Squirtle"
Japanese Air Date: September 22nd, 2005
American Air Date: June 24th, 2006
The Yamabuki City Pokemon Contest has begun! The competition begins with the appeals round, and the first contestant is Harley and his Noctus. After stunning the crowd with his pokemon's combination of grass-type techniques and dark-type techniques, Musashi takes the stage with Kojirou's Sabonea. By enduring the pain of its sharp needles during a hug between trainer and pokemon, Musashi is able to appeal to the judges' emotions and earn herself a spot in the second round. Last up is Haruka, whose Wakashamo wows the crowd by working with its trainer in perfect harmony. After the appeals round, the Coordinators who've made it to the second round are announced and, sure enough, Haruka, Harley, and Musashi all make it. The second round begins with Musashi's Sonansu facing off against Harley's Ariados. Harley doesn't want to attack Musashi's pokemon out of fear of its counterattack capabilities, but a yellow card issued by Lillian prompts him to attack. The pokemon's String Shot attack humiliates Sonansu and earns Harley enough points to advance to the next round. Haruka continues through the competition as well, eventually ending up at the finals. The battle between Harley and Haruka begins, and for a while it looks like Harley's Ariados has an advantage over Haruka's Zenigame. However, by exploiting the recoil caused whenever Zenigame uses Ice Beam, Haruka is able to lead her water-type pokemon out of Ariados' trap and defeats the spider pokemon. Now that Haruka has won the final battle, she is rewarded the Yamabuki City Pokemon Contest ribbon! As Haruka eagerly awaits her next contest, Satoshi thinks ahead to his next Battle Frontier challenge in the Battle Arena.
In the words of Lillian (well, the Japanese Lillian, anyway): "HERE...WE...GOOOOOO!!!!!!!"
This episode is the start of the hatred a lot of fans have for Haruka's Zenigame. Everyone thinks its victory against Harley is ridiculous, putting it on the same level as Satoshi's victory against Fuu and Ran because of how it's all determined by luck. Fans complain the recoil from Ice Beam is only brought up in this episode, making this weakness seem like a cheap plot device designed to award Haruka a victory she didn't deserve. I'd have to agree.
Cheap victory aside, the episode did have some good points. The Harley vs. Musashi battle was great, and Musashi's appeals round was interesting. Though I do feel like Haruka's appeals round wasn't thought out very well...I mean, the crowd was impressed with a big bird tying its trainer's bandana for her. That's not exactly anything I'd consider crowd-stopping.
The dubbed version is alright except for Harley's singing. Andy Rannels may do a good job voicing Harley and he normally has a great singing voice (he would go on to do The Book of Mormon for Christ's sake) but 4Kids sure did find a way to pull a terrible performance out of him here. Or maybe he was just singing badly on purpose because of how wacked out the character is? Anyways, 4Kids used quite a bit of Japanese music in this episode, so at least some of the audio in this episode was nice to listen to.
Cut--5 seconds altogether
The first three seconds of the episode are removed. Because 4Kids hates that shot of the Contest Hall.
Later, two seconds are removed from the episode's title screen.
Lillian: "Only truly amazing Coordinators who win this ribbon will move on to hopefully win Contests all across the region...and get the five badges necessary to have any chance of entering the Grand Festival!"
Five badges? 4Kids, badges are for Pokemon Gyms while ribbons are for Pokemon Contests. It's not that hard.
Y'know, it's really hard to feel sorry for 4Kids losing the license to Pokémon when they've been working on this show for so long and still make dumb errors like this.
Cut--5 seconds altogether
Two seconds are removed from the shot after Kids' WB!'s final commercial break.
Finally, three seconds are removed from the episode's TO BE CONTINUED... screen.
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