Japanese Episode
DP 121







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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl

Japanese Episode DP 121
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode DP 121:  "The Loner, Yukikaburi"
American Episode 1216:  "The Lonely Snover!"

Japanese Air Date:  April 2nd, 2009
American Air Date:  August 22nd, 2009
Important Places:  Tatsunami Town (Sandalstraw Town)

On the way to Kissaki City, Satoshi stops to train his Hayashigame.  As it's wrapping up, our heroes find themselves the victims of a random ice attack!  Hikozaru and its flame helps them escape, but the cause of the blizzard remains a mystery.  Later, everyone trips over a knot in the grass, prompting everyone to conclude that a pokemon is behind these mishaps.  Before long, they discover that their theory is correct as they come face to face with a Yukikaburi.  After a very brief struggle, Yukikaburi shows everyone that it's really not that bad and that it just wants to be their friend.  So, Satoshi and the others invite it to come and hang out with them for the night.  As everyone sleeps, the Rocket-Dan attempt to kidnap the frost tree pokemon but are quickly thwarted.  A second attempt is made the next day, this time using a rocket powered balloon.  Satoshi-tachi aren't able to keep up with the trio, so Hayashigame gathers up all of its determination and learns Rock Climb so it can reach the Rocket-Dan and send them packing.  Later, a group of small children run into our heroes and instantly become infatuated with Yukikaburi.  As our heroes decide to let Yukikaburi stay with the children so that it won't be lonely anymore, they learn that there's a Pokemon Contest coming up in nearby Tatsunami Town.  So, with a new goal in sight, Satoshi-tachi make a detour to Tatsunami Town, hoping that Hikari will be able to earn her fifth ribbon.


Thoughts
I thought this episode was alright.  Nothing special, really, but there wasn't anything too bad about it, either.  On the one hand, you get a number of neat things going on, such as Hayashigame actually using something other than Razor Leaf, a mischievous pokemon, and another crazy Rocket-Dan fantasy.  But at the same time, you have that completely pointless first Rocket-Dan attack that seemed to be thrown in there just to kill time.  And then, everything is wrapped up too conveniently at the end with the schoolchildren and that woman who just happens to bring up the Pokemon Contest that just happens to be taking place in the town in front of everyone.  It's like the writers kept going back and forth with this one, thinking they had too much free time one moment and then deciding that they have to rush everything the next.  We get an extremely unbalanced episode as a result.

It's kind of a shame that this episode isn't better than it is because it marks the first episode to be produced in high definition.  A lot of the fandom seems to be confused as to what that actually means, from what I've gathered; I get the impression that a lot of people think that HD is just a fancy way of saying widescreen.  But there's really a lot more to it than that.  Going into a detailed explanation would be way beyond the scope of this website, but the basic gist of it is that the show is now being made in a way that takes full advantage of the picture clarity and audio capabilities of HD TVs and Blu-Ray discs.  A more thorough, yet easy-to-understand, explanation can be found here.

The dub wasn't broadcast in high definition, but I'll go more into that later.

Another important thing about this episode is Hayashigame learning Rock Climb.  Now, I've seen a complaint here or there that it doesn't make any sense because Rock Climb is an HM move and therefore cannot be learned naturally.  And when I read these comments, I just sit back and think to myself "Why the fuck does that matter?"  Really, now.  Hayashigame has claws.  It uses said claws to climb steep surfaces.  The TV series calls it Rock Climb.  Big freakin' deal.  The way some people obsess with pokemon moves and making sure that x pokemon can learn x move in x game is just something that I can't get into.

The dubbed version of this was just like the original episode; nothing special, really.  We get a new opening, which is a step up from the awkwardly edited episode clip fest that we've had to put up with for the past fifteen episodes.  And getting rid of those pokemon cries at the end?  THANK GOD.  We also get a competently translated episode title, for once, so that's something worth celebrating as well.

Moeyo Giza-Mimi Pichuu! replaces Ashita wa Kitto as the ending theme as of this episode in Japan to go along with the show's new format. 

Video Edit
In Japan, the episode aired in high definition, with a 16:9 ratio.  In the U.S., it aired in standard definition in a 4:3 ratio.



So what's going on here?  Why did this change take place?

The explanation would take up too much space here, so I put everything on this page.  And when you're done looking at that, check out the image gallery I've posted comparing the HD versions of select scenes to their SD counterparts.

Interestingly, the episode was aired uncropped in Canada.  It's very likely that the show will be presented in 16:9 for the inevitable DVD release.

Side Note
People who watched the Japanese version of this episode will notice a little Notch-Eared Pichu logo on the episode's title screen.  And they'll then notice that that little logo isn't present in the English version.



Basically, that Pichu logo was part of a promotion the producers were doing for Arceus - To the Conquering of Spacetime.  Fans would count how many times that little Pichu logo popped up during the program - usually during the title screen and eyecatches - and then go to a website and plug in the answer.  Correct answers would earn participants the ability to download a specially made desktop wallpaper, and when you put them all together, you'd get an image of Arceus.  Whee.

This icon isn't present in the English version because TPCI isn't running the same contest.

Side Note
Another side note; the tentacle-y move used by Yukikaburi is, indeed, Ingrain.  A lot of fans seem to be confused, thinking it's really Wood Hammer or Frenzy Plant or something and that calling it "Ingrain" is a dub mistake.  But it's not.  The attack is Ingrain in the Japanese version as well.

We also got some new eyecatches with this episode, something that dub viewers missed out on.




Pretty nice, huh?

Music Edit
During the whole part where Hayashigame learns Rock Climb and uses it to finish of the Rocket-Dan, Together 2008 is played in the Japanese version.  It actually works fairly well here since they time everything so that the words "Rock Climb" (Rokku Kuraimu hora nori koetara) are sung during the part where Hayashigame actually uses the attack.

In the dub, this is replaced by some instrumental stuff that I've already forgotten.

Dialogue Edit
At the end of the episode, our heroes meet a woman and a bunch of kids.  And, of course, Brock moves in to flirt:

Brock:  "Excuse me beautiful and caring teacher, my name is Brock!"

In the Japanese version, Takeshi never says that that woman is a teacher.  Sure, she probably is, but the confirmation that she's a teacher is dub-only.

Instead, Takeshi just says "Nice to meet you."


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