Japanese Episode
DP 050

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl

Japanese Episode DP 050
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode DP 050:  "Everyone Participate!  Tag Battle!!"
American Episode 1049:  "Tag!  We're it...!"

Japanese Air Date:  October 4th, 2007
American Air Date:  February 1st, 2008
Important Characters:  Enta (Enta), Kouhei (Conway), Honoka (Hollie)

The Tag Battle tournament that Naoshi had told Satoshi about has begun!  Satoshi, Takeshi, and Hikari all decide to enter, so they all gather with the other participating trainers to hear the rules.  Each contestant is paired up with another trainer for the three day event, and before long our heroes are able to find their partners.  Hikari's partner is a Yadoking-training tactician named Kouhei, and Takeshi's partner is a beautiful Kyamome trainer named Honoka. Satoshi's partner, on the other hand, is none other than Shinji!  As expected, Satoshi's rival refuses to train with his partner and instead tells Satoshi to stay out of his way.  Later that afternoon, the opening matches begin.  Hikari and Kouhei are able to win by having Kouhei's Yadoking focus on defense while Hikari's Potchama goes in for the attack.  After the match, Satoshi and Shinji have another confrontation, during which Satoshi learns Shinji's true purpose for entering the tournament.  Shinji wants to have his Hikozaru face against a strong fire-type pokemon, hoping that its attacks will be able to power up his own pokemon.  Later, Takeshi and Honoka use Kyamome's speed and Usokki's power to defeat their opponents.  Not long after their victory is Satoshi's and Shinji's turn.  At first, Pikachu and Hikozaru have trouble making any headway with the Boober and Saidon they're fighting against, prompting Satoshi to grow frustrated with Shinji's unwillingness to work together.  However, through their own individual efforts, both trainers are able to pull through and knock out their powerful opponents.  After the match, Satoshi's friends comment on how close the duo had come to defeat and how they'll need to learn to work as a team if they're to have a chance at winning the tournament.  Now that the first day of the Tag Battle tournament is over, our heroes wonder what battles lie in store for them in the coming days.

So the time has come for Diamond & Pearl to have its first tournament mini-saga!  Other than the Whirl Cup back in Jouto, I don't think we've really had any non-League tourneys like this for quite a while.  It certainly makes the agonizingly long wait for Satoshi's third badge seem that much shorter, huh?

This episode also gave us Kouhei and Honoka, the first new main-ish characters we've had since Nozomi was introduced.  Of the two, I think Kouhei is the most interesting (and not just because he looks like a creepy grown-up version of Masato), but I can't wait to see what the anime has in store for both of these unique trainers.  The episode had three really good battles - I especially liked Satoshi's battle since it seemed like a parody of his battle against Katsura way back in Kanto - in addition to some foreshadowing with Hikozaru. 

Fans of the English version were anxious to find out what Kouhei's and Honoka's dubbed names would be, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out why.  It's one of the aspects of the fandom that I'll never get; I mean, why is everyone so eager to toss away the Japanese names that they had been using for months and months in favor of some English names that a few people up in New York came up with?  Why does that idea seem to thrill people?  And why are fans so quick to downgrade the Japanese names from "these are what we're going to call these characters" to "useless trivia that only elitist snobs use to make themselves seem smarter" in the first place?

On to the actual episode...just more music stuff to report, really.  The scene that stuck out the most to me this time was the part where Enta (way to recycle names, Japan) shows everyone the prize for winning the tournament.  In the Japanese version, there's no music playing; we just hear the sound of the bells chiming.  In the dub, however, we get this piece of background music that practically drowns out the sound of the bells that everyone's supposed to be listening to.  It's a lot like the heartbeat scene in the previous episode; PUSA manages to muck it up by thoughtlessly slapping some music over it.

Kyamome, Yanyanma, and Saidon keep their Japanese voice. 

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