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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl
Japanese Episode DP 001: "Setting Off! From Futaba Town to Masago Town!"
American Episode 465: "Following a Maiden Voyage!"
Orchid-Hakase's Big Encyclopedia: Starter Pokemon
Japanese Air Date: September 28th, 2006
American Air Date: April 20th, 2007
Important Characters: Hikari (Dawn), Nanakamado-Hakase (Professor Rowan), Ayako (Johanna), Momoan (Marion), Yuuzou (Professor Rowan's assistant), Satoshi (Ash Ketchum), Musashi (Jessie), Kojirou (James), Orchid-Hakase (Professor Oak), Kenji (Tracey)
Important Places: Shin'ou Region (Sinnou Region), Futaba Town (Littleroot Town), Masago Town (Sandgem Town), Lake Shinji (Verity Lake)
On her tenth birthday, a young girl from Futaba Town named Hikari prepares to start on her pokemon journey. She wants to become a famous Pokemon Coordinator like her mother, so she spends the morning of her departure thinking about what kind of pokemon she wants to choose as her starter. In the Shin'ou region, trainers have a choice between the fire-type Hikozaru, the water-type Potchama, and the grass-type Naetle. After packing her belongings, Hikari heads toward Nanakamado-Hakase's lab, located in the nearby Masago Town. She has a little trouble finding the professor's lab, but eventually she's able to find it after bumping into the professor. However, when they arrive at the lab, they find that two of the starter pokemon are missing! The lab assistants explain that two of the pokemon got in a fight and disturbed a Mukkuru and a Mukuhawk, causing a big disruption that ended with Hikozaru and Potchama escaping. Hikari decides to help retrieve the pokemon, so she heads into the forest to find them. Eventually, she encounters Potchama and helps it fend off a group of Ariados who were attacking it, developing a deep bond with the water-pokemon in the process. After escaping the bug-type pokemon, Hikari and Potchama stop at Lake Shinji, where they see the silhouette of the legendary pokemon Emrit! After returning the pokemon to Nanakamado-Hakase's lab and telling them of the pokemon she saw, she tells the professor that she would like Potchama to be her starter pokemon. With that, Hikari's pokemon journey has begun! Meanwhile, a boat from the Kanto region arrives in Shin'ou, carrying with it a young trainer from Masara Town named Satoshi. After landing in the region, his Pikachu is captured by the Rocket-Dan! The Rocket trio don't have the pokemon for long before a quarrel breaks out that enables Pikachu to escape into the woods. Now that Pikachu is loose again, will Satoshi be able to reclaim it? Or will the Rocket-Dan find the pokemon first? To be continued!
I still remember the buzz about this series before it aired in Japan (I know it was only a few months ago, but still...). All the promotions put Hikari in the spotlight, and for the first time since...well, ever, fans had a legitimate reason to believe that Satoshi wasn't going to Shin'ou. Of course, that ended up not being the case, but seeing the way this first episode plays out, it's not hard to imagine what such a series would be like. Hikari is an accumulation of all the experience the writers got from Haruka, and I'm sure we'll have just as many memorable moments with her as we had with Haruka.
One thing I found amusing was the fact that Hikari just sort of abandoned all those other pokemon who were stuck in Ariados' web. She got her Potchama out of there and just bolted, leaving all those other pokemon as Ariados food. Way to go Hikari.
The dubbed version of these three episodes (which were re-edited to make a "movie") was a bit off-putting to me. I hadn't seen the PUSA dub in a few months, so when I was watching these episodes in English, everything sounded really off to me. At first, Dawn sounds like she was being voiced by a high-pitched LittleKuriboh, but after a while she sort of settles into a bootleg Lisa Oritz-type voice. Johanna can't emote worth a shit, and Professor Rowan's performance made me imagine Dr. Frank'N'Furter in a recording booth. Even the assistant's "Staraptor! What's that Whirlwind for!?" was terribly acted.
I actually didn't mind the opening song (it's certainly better than the Dragon Ball GT and One Piece raps), even if it did clash horribly with the animation taken from the bubblegum J-Pop opening. I mean, putting rap lyrics over the "Good Good Smile" part of Together? You should know better than that, PUSA. To their credit, the theme song has been stuck in my head for the last day and a half, so I guess PUSA's mission has been accomplished.
Pikachu, Aipom, and Ariados keep their Japanese voices.
Y'know, I've seen a lot of people praise PUSA for "keeping a lot of the Japanese background music," but I honestly can't see what they're talking about. Out of the twenty different musical cues heard in the Japanese version (yes, I actually counted), only five of those pieces are left in the dub. For those of you who aren't that great with math, that basically means that PUSA got rid of 75% of the Japanese music.
Now I don't know about you guys, but that's way below acceptable. All the music heard in the Japanese version of this episode is brand new (they don't start recycling old music until the next episode), yet the dub uses old 4Kids tracks from back in the late 90's. Yet people are ok with this!?
In Japan, an opening theme didn't play with this episode when it debuted, so they had the show's title displayed before we get all those shots of Hikari's house. For the dub, this is removed and replaced by the rap opening.
Since PUSA was obviously trying to edit this as a movie, it's odd that they wouldn't take the opportunity to put a movie-like title screen here instead.
During the beginning scenes of this episode, some of the credits that would ordinarily be shown during the opening animation are displayed on the screen. These are, of coursed, missing from the dub.
Only a few lines into the episode and we already get a goof-up:
Narrator: "And this young lady, Dawn, is one of those people, as her tenth birthday has come and gone, and her pokemon now waits in the wings."
"Come and gone?" That makes it sound like this episode takes place sometime after her tenth birthday, doesn't it? While the Japanese version doesn't outright state that this episode takes place on Hikari's tenth birthday, it does give the viewer the ability to make that assumption. The English version does not.
The episode's title screen is removed from the dub.
This'll happen two more times throughout the "movie."
A paint edit!? In a PUSA-era episode!?
Click on each image for a larger version.
It's a perfectly understandable edit, and it does look very good (especially for a first-time effort), so I won't be too hard on them.
A perfectly translatable joke gets trashed in the dub:
Dawn: "Hey, I'm here! For my pokémon!"
Inappropriately voiced noodle shop owner: "Ya came to da right place, kid! Hey! You're eatin' too, aren't ya?"
Originally, Hikari opened the door and said "Hi! One pokemon please!" The ramen shop owner then screams "One pokemon, coming up!" (as if he's calling out a food order) and then, after realizing his mistake, tells Hikari that they don't serve pokemon there.
They rewrite this joke, yet they leave in the stuff about Orchid-Hakase's poetry in the third episode...
The dub, like always, removed the eyecatches. It's not surprising in the least, but I thought I'd go ahead and post pictures of them.
Looking at those, you really do get the feeling that Hikari is the real star of the show, don't you?
Team Rocket gets some really crappy lines in this episode, but this one stood out to me:
Jessie: "You're such a Poké-child."
If you've been going to this site for any length of time, you know how much I despise lines like that.
How do you take three episodes and edit them to make it look like it's all one movie? Remove the final scenes of each episode and pretend like they don't exist, of course!
I really like it when the TV series does weird things like this, so it's disappointing to see them removed from the dub.
The assumption is that all of these "changes to turn this into a movie" will be restored once these episodes re-air as actual episodes, so hopefully you guys will get to see these scenes in action before too long.
Starting with this episode, the Japanese version has a new segment that plays after each episode called Orchid-Hakase's Big Encyclopedia.
This segment, which is really just the Orchid-Hakase lecture segments in disguise, showcase various pokemon/items/locations/occupations in the Pokemon world.
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