Japanese Episode
AG 164

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Battle Frontier

Episode AG 164
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode AG 164:  "Jukain!  The Comeback of the Dawn!!"
American Episode 434:
"Cutting the Ties That Bind"
Japanese Air Date:  February 9th, 2006
American Air Date:  November 4th, 2006
Important Characters:  Palace Guardian Ukon (Palace Maven Spencer)

As Satoshi and his pokemon train for the next Battle Frontier challenge, Jukain becomes increasingly frustrated at its inability to perform its battle techniques.  The pokemon eventually runs off into the forest, so Satoshi chases after it.  Eventually, the young trainer reunites with his pokemon and tries to convince it to return to the Pokemon Center.  Suddenly, a swarm of Spear appear and chase them off a cliff and into a river!  Pikachu gets separated from Satoshi and Jukain, so a search for the electric pokemon begins.  Meanwhile, Enishida arrives at the Pokemon Center where Haruka-tachi are waiting for Satoshi to return.  There, he tells them that the Spear in the forest are very protective of the Cocoon who are trying to evolve there and tells our heroes that Satoshi is in grave danger!  As they search through the forest, they come across the Palace Guardian Ukon and Pikachu!  The Frontier Brain had found Satoshi's mouse pokemon washed up on the shore, so he decided to take care of it.  After a night's rest, Satoshi and Jukain resume their search.  Eventually, they are lead to a dead end with a bunch of Spear on their tail!  Things look bad until Pikachu and the others appear to take care of the bug-type pokemon.  After Ukon introduces himself to Satoshi, the Rocket-Dan appear and attempt to kidnap Pikachu and Jukain!  During the struggle, Jukain regains its battle techniques and is able to use them to send the Rocket trio blasting off again!  Now that Jukain is back to 100%, Satoshi challenges Ukon to a duel.  The battle for Satoshi's fifth Frontier Symbol will begin the next day...can Satoshi win?  To be continued!

It's time for Satoshi to meet the fifth Frontier Brain, and...I'm unimpressed.  Sure, the whole nature-loving thing is nice, but Ukon really did come across as one of the most bland Frontier Brains yet.  Luckily, this episode is saved by spending so much time on Satoshi's and Jukain's relationship, something that pays off in the pokemon regaining the abilities it lost a few episodes ago.

Other things I noticed about this episode was the homage to the fourth episode with the Rocket-Dan's little tank thingee and the battle between Satoshi and Spear.  I'm sorry, but the hilariously bad animation of Satoshi swinging that stick around to fight off those bee pokemon reminded me of something you'd see on Sealab 2021.  It's too funny not to laugh at.

I don't know why NOA chose to change "Palace Guardian" to "Palace Maven," and I don't know why PUSA decided to give Spencer such a young-sounding voice.  I mean, I understand that the guy's all about living with nature and is probably in great shape considering his age, but his English voice made him sound about 30 years too young.  I'm also not too thrilled with Sceptile's performance in this episode.  It's the first episode where the pokemon's had to do any amount of acting, and its vocal performance is a complete swing and a miss.  Why is it so hard for the voice actor to make Sceptile sound angry without sounding like it's throwing up at the same time?

Also, the Japanese version had this really kick-ass music playing when Ukon makes his grand entrance into the episode, but the English version makes the whole moment sort of "meh." 

Spear keeps its Japanese voice like it has in the hundreds of other episodes it's appeared in.

Music Edit
After the main commercial break, Boku no Best Friend e can be heard from the point where Ukon starts talking about getting all his ingredients from nature all the way until the part where we see that first shot of Cocoon's face.  In the dub, we get a bunch of instrumental music.

Side Note
Did anyone else do a double take when Spencer uttered this line?

Spencer:  "Sounds like it's time to go and look for your Ash."

I know it's extremely immature of me, but I couldn't help but laugh at that.

Added Footage--3 seconds
The TO BE CONTINUED screen is extended by three seconds.  It's especially obvious in this episode because there's all this animation going on and then -BAM-...the screen just freezes.  Kind of funny-looking, if you ask me.

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