Chronicles Episode 013
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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Pokémon Chronicles
Weekly Pokemon Broadcasting Station #044: "The Rocket-Dan! Love and the Origin of Youth"
Pokémon Chronicles Episode 13: "Training Daze"
Japanese Air Date: September 30th, 2003
American Air Date: August 19th, 2006
Important Characters: Viper-Kyoukai (Drill Sergeant Viper), Sakaki (Giovanni)
As the Rocket-Dan are sent blasting off again, the trio reminisces about their days as trainees of the Rocket-Dan. The flashback starts as Musashi, one of the top students of the Red Team, abandons her teammate to save her own hide. This doesn't escape the notice of Viper, the agent in charge of training new potential agents, so he asks Sakaki what should be done. Sakaki decides to give Musashi one more chance and tells Viper to find one more partner for her. Just then, a Rocket-Dan agent bursts into the room and reports that they've found a rare pokemon...a Nyasu who can speak human language! As Sakaki tries to figure out what to do with this annoying pokemon, Viper introduces Musashi to her newest teammate; Kojirou. The duo is given the talking Nyasu as their partner, and the trio sets off on an exercise during which the members of the team form a strong bond. At one point, our heroes have to cross a rickety bridge, but the ropes holding it up break midway through! Noticing that his added weight is causing distress for his teammates, Kojirou lets go, sending himself plummeting into the water in order to save the others. After the mission, the Rocket trio is sent on one final test; to steal a red Kabigon from an office penthouse. The trio of Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyasu are in direct competition with Yamato, Kosaburou, and Ratta, but Musashi-tachi prove to be the stronger team. Even though both teams eventually fail at securing the red Kabigon, they are rewarded agent status and graduate from their training. Back in the present, the Rocket-Dan remember their graduation day fondly and are filled with a new hope as the lovely charmy villains fly through the air once again.
Nowadays, whenever I start to do a comparison, I look through the episode discussions on various Pokémon message boards. These topics offer fans' opinions on the episode, of course, but they may also reveal questions fans have about what was or wasn't edited, mistakes that maybe I didn't catch when I watched the dub, and general observations I may have missed. One thing I came across in my research for this episode was the following LiveJournal icon, posted here with Blackjack Gabbiani's permission:
"Continuity is for the weak" is right. This episode seems to go out of its way to contradict previous episodes as much as possible by having Yamato and Kosaburou meet Musashi and Kojirou long before their debut episode in Kanto, as well as by forgetting about things like the Pokemon Seminar and the bike gang Musashi and Kojirou were in.
The script in the dub version is absolute crap. Literally half the episode is rewritten for no reason, and Eric Stuart's performance in this one is just terrible. Now don't get me wrong; the guy can pull off "James the obnoxious gay stereotype" perfectly. But when it comes to playing "James the serious Team Rocket member," he fails HORRIBLY. Mr. Stuart's sucked in "A Poached Ego!," and he sucks just as much in this one as well.
Rachel Lillis, on the other hand, does a great job. I really liked Viper's VA as well.
For your reference, this episode was released between episodes AG 044, "Kasumi Enters! Togepi and the Kingdom of Illusions!" ("The Princess and the Togepi") and AG 045, "To the Other Side of the Mirage! Togepi's Paradise!" ("A Togepi Mirage!"). In the Japanese version, Maemuki Roketto-Dan is used as the episode's ending theme.
Persian keeps its Japanese voice.
Eh...do I even need to mention that the music has been changed in this episode? No? Didn't think so.
The first shot of the episode is shortened by one second.
The majority of the edits in this episode fall under this category. Here we go:
First of all, 4Kids adds a ton of narration to the opening shot of the flashback. You know, the one where we see Musashi being lowered over the giant Freezer statue. Originally, she stops talking as soon as the scene goes from black and white.
The title screen is changed from the old Kanto title screen to the newer Jouto screen, just like in the previous episodes.
When Viper-Kyoukai ("Instructor Viper") is going through the clipboard with all the Rocket recruits, he says "The top members of the blue team are the brilliant team of Yamato, Kosanji...um, I mean, Kosaburou, and Ratta." In the dub, Drill Sergeant Viper doesn't even mention Butch's name, so he doesn't get the chance to botch it up.
In the Japanese version, Musashi's gone through twelve teammates. In the dub, she's only gone through ten.
When the Rocket Grunt barges into Sakaki's office, he tells Sakaki that they've discovered something rare; a talking pokemon. At that point, Nyasu appears. In the dub, the grunt just says that Meowth insisted on seeing him, which doesn't make much sense since Meowth would really have no reason to idolize Giovanni when he hasn't even met the guy.
Later, in the locker room, Yamato tells Musashi that everyone on the team calls her Shinigami Musashi ("Musashi, the God of Death" or, alternately, "The Grim Reaper, Musashi") because of her bad track record with her teammates. In the dub, Cassidy just says that she's gotten a bad reputation for being difficult to work with.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to say how much I liked all of Cassidy's condescending "hon" and "sweetie" and "Jessy-Jess" we hear in her conversation with Jessie. It added a nice little dynamic to the conversation that really shows off how irritated they are with each other.
Right before Viper-Kyoukai introduces Musashi to Kojirou, he informs her that she's been chosen as the top recruit on the red team. In the dub, Viper just tells her to report for more training exercises.
James gives us this later on:
Jessie: "Listen up, James. I hope you're good...because I'm not going to carry you."
James: "No one's carried me since my mom-ma!"
In the Japanese version, Musashi tells Kojirou that she's already gone through twelve partners. She also doesn't call him by name, which I think is kinda important because it shows how she isn't so quick to get attached to her teammates. Kojirou interrupts her, wags his finger, and says that he's not interested in the other guys who have failed before him.
I also find James' line delivery to be awkward for some reason. I can't put my finger on it...
Later, James suggests that Jessie's misfortune is because she hadn't found the right partner yet, while Kojirou says that he won't run away when the going gets tough.
A second is cut from the fade-out into the scene on the race track.
When Kojirou is running on the track and falls into the pit, he reiterates how he won't run away as he climbs out of the hole. In the dub, James just says that it'll take more than that to slow him down.
Giovanni's "I don't care what you do with him! I just want him out of here!" isn't even close to a translation of the original line. Sakaki is originally being informed that they haven't found a pokemon for Musashi's team yet. The following scenes with Nyasu, of course, lead Sakaki to his decision to throw him in with Musashi and Kojirou.
Later, the whole campfire scene is...well, completely rewritten. You know those games where you'll have two similar pictures, side by side, and it's up to you to spot all the differences? Well, let's play that game with this campfire conversation. My translation of the Japanese dialogue is on the left, and the English is on the right:
How many did you spot?
And as much flack this episode gets for effing up the Rocket-Dan's continuity, the Japanese version at least does a better job of remembering the past than the dub does. Kojirou's constant "running away" thing is a direct reference to him running away his parents and the girl they set him up with, and Musashi's "I've always been alone" alludes not only to her bad luck with her teammates, but also to the fact that she's been alone ever since her mother died. If the writers had just remembered a few of the older Kanto episodes, this one would be as close to perfect as you could ask for.
Music Edit/Cut--1 second
Right as Nyasu says the above line of dialogue, Soko ni Sora ga Aru Kara starts to play in the background and continues until the rope snaps as Kojirou crosses the bridge. In the dub, this is replaced with no less than twelve different music cues.
Also, the opening shot of this scene is shortened by a second in the dub.
Sound Effects Edit
During the scene where we see Kojirou in the hospital, 4Kids removes the sound effects of the breathing machine and the EKG machine.
As the Rocket-Dan make their way through the tower, Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni plays in the background. In the dub, 4Kids actually uses their own vocal song, Team Rocket's Rockin'. As far as dub songs go, it isn't that bad, so it's not that big a deal to me.
This one's pretty major.
In the Japanese version, Viper-Kyoukai says that neither team was able to secure the red Kabigon. This much is the same in both versions. However, in the Japanese version, Viper-Kyoukai explains how both teams have made it further than any other team before, so he awards both of them agent status. In the dub, only Jessie and James are awarded this status; Butch and Cassidy are merely given the title of VIT; Villains in Training.
Therefore, in the dub, Butch and Cassidy get their agent status after Jessie and James, which really makes it seem like they just barely made it into the Rocket-Dan. And considering how favored they are by Giovanni, that doesn't make any sense at all.
To coincide with the above edit, a shot of Yamato and Kosaburou cheering is cut from the dub. Y'know, since it wouldn't make sense for them to be cheering since they just lost to Jessie and James in the English version.
Video Edit/Added Footage--2 seconds
4Kids ends the episode with an iris-out effect to remove the TO BE CONTINUED text at the bottom of the screen.
They also extend the final shot of the episode by two seconds.
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