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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Battle Frontier
Japanese Episode AG 184: "Aipom and the King!"
American Episode 454: "Aipom And Circumstance!"
Japanese Air Date: July 6th, 2006
American Air Date: December 14th, 2006
Important Characters: Hiyoshi (Hank), Zeus (village elder)
Satoshi and his friends have stopped for lunch on their way to Fennel Valley. While they eat, Aipom becomes jealous of Pikachu's close bond with Satoshi and runs away. Satoshi and Takeshi chase the pokemon and, along the way, come across a village that's in the middle of choosing its new king. A villager explains that the person who has the village's crown in his possession by the time the end-of-the-day gong sounds will become the ruler of the village for the next year. Suddenly, Satoshi sees that his Aipom has taken the crown! The other villagers chase Aipom to retrieve the crown, forcing the pokemon to become separated from its trainer. Satoshi and Takeshi, along with a villager named Hiyoshi, search for the pokemon using Hiroshi's Nosepass. After Satoshi reunites with his pokemon, Satoshi offers to stay with Aipom for the entire year if it's chosen to be the king. Suddenly, the Rocket-Dan attempt to steal the crown with a flock of mechanical Onidrill robots! Luckily, Hiyoshi comes up with some plans that enable Satoshi to fend off the Rocket-Dan and eventually send them blasting off Later, Hiyoshi is able to get the crown off by feeding Aipom a sour berry that makes the crown easier to remove. As soon as he does, the gong rings, making him the king of the village! With a mixture of happy for Hiyoshi and relief that his pokemon won't have to stay in the village for a whole year, Satoshi and his friends continue on their journey to Fennel Valley and the final Frontier Brain.
This episode is pretty decent, all things considered. With only a few filler episodes left before the end of the series, the anime producers really could have just phoned it all in and crapped out a really terrible episode. They'll definitely do that in the next episode, but for this one, some genuine efforts were made to make this one stand out among the others.
This episode does make me question the way the societies of the Pokemon world are laid out, though. I mean, why would a village exist so close to a tourist spot like the Sekiei Plateau? Wouldn't the people in that area be more likely to move to one of the cities adjacent to the plateau? Judging from Hiyoshi's modern Monster Ball, the villagers have contact with the outside world, so it's not like we're dealing with a village full of people who are too proud to move in with outsiders. And why would they run their government in a way that even a pokemon could become the leader of their people for a year?
Another thing to point out is the weird feeling I get watching everyone be surprised that Aipom can use Double Team. Of course, it's common knowledge now, but it's kind of neat to look back and remember a time when we were all blissfully unaware of what would eventually happen to this little monkey.
Finally, random CGI Nosepass is funny to me for some reason.
The script in the dubbed version is pretty abysmal. It somehow manages to be worse than the script for "The Ole' Berate And Switch!," a feat that I was hoping Pokémon USA wouldn't repeat. Other than that, Zeus (the old guy in a toga) doesn't seem to get a dub name, but he's not all that important, so whatever.
The Rocket-Dan's Onidrill robots keep their Japanese voices.
There are more of these in this episode than I'd like. The first one happens during the cold opening:
May: "Aw? Isn't that sweet? It's like a crown of flowers!"
Originally, Haruka says "How cute! Aipom sure is a girl after all, huh?" (Kawaii wa ne? Eipamu yappari onna no ko, ne?)
It's kind of an important line to change, wouldn't you say?
Ash: "My hat's sure been gettin' around."
Originally, Satoshi wonders why his hat would just randomly fall out of the sky the way it did. The dub version makes it sound like Ash is just shrugging off the fact that his hat just happened to fall from the sky the way it did.
Jessie: "Cut the Mankey business and give back that crown!"
You just used this joke three episodes ago, PUSA. It wasn't funny then, and y'know what? It isn't funny now.
I can't blame PUSA for the next dialogue edit since there's an untranslatable pun involved. This is the dialogue that occurs when Team Rocket is blasting off in the dub:
Jessie: "How can I be a queen without a crown?"
James: "I know they're small, but they're the best I've got."
Jessie: [tosses the bottle caps away] "Sorry. Only a pinhead could wear these."
James: "Aaaaaaah! How could you do such a thing?!"
Meowth: "Easy! This queen's a royal pain!" [cold wind]
The Japanese version, like I said, contains a pun. In Japanese, the world oukan (王冠) can mean both crown and bottlecap, depending on context. So, when the trio is blasting off, Musashi says that she wants an oukan ("crown"). Kojirou responds by offering her his oukan ("bottlecaps"), but Musashi simply throws them out. After Kojirou cries about her treating his collection like garbage, Nyasu states that Kojirou's oukan aren't the same as the oukan Musashi wants.
Like I said, it's a pun that doesn't work in English, so it had to be rewritten. It is weird, though, that the dub never states that the tiny things in James' hand are bottlecaps.
Ash: "Looks like...I'm gonna be hanging around here with Aipom for the next year."
May: "I guess..."
Originally, Satoshi says that he'll have to stay with Aipom, by himself, for the next year. That "by myself" part is important because he's basically telling Haruka and the others to go on without him, something that Ash doesn't say to his friends in the dub.
I also find May's reaction to be pretty funny. Seems to have kind of a "sucks to be you" tone to it if you ask me.
Added Footage--3 seconds
The TO BE CONTINUED... screen is ______ seconds longer in the dub than it is in the Japanese version. I'm pretty sure you know what goes in the blank there.
(is tired of trying to think of new and interesting ways to say the same damn thing in every single comparison...)
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