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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl
Japanese Episode DP 128: "The Battle Pyramid! Shinji vs. Jindai!!"
American Episode 1223: "A Pyramiding Rage!"
Japanese Air Date: May 21st, 2009
American Air Date: October 17th, 2009
Important Characters: Jindai (Brandon), Soutarou (Samuel), Mikoto (Temple Maiden Maria)
Important Places: Kissaki Temple (Snowpoint Temple)
Satoshi is still outside the Kissaki Gym after winning his seventh badge when his rival Shinji shows up. He's there to ask Suzuna for a Gym Battle, but she requests they postpone it until the following day to allow her pokemon to rest. The next day, Shinji's brother Reiji arrives in town on business. As he's chatting with his brother, a giant pyramid shaped fortress flies theatrically overhead! Everyone immediately recognizes it as the Battle Pyramid, the facility owned by the Frontier Brain Jindai! As everyone chases after the facility, Shinji learns that Satoshi once challenged the Kanto Battle Frontier and was even able to defeat the Pyramid King! When they finally catch up with the Frontier Brain, they learn that he's in the area to research the Kissaki Temple. Without warning, Shinji challenges Jindai to a full battle! Jindai sees how Shinji hopes to succeed where his brother failed and agrees to battle with him right away. The six-on-six match begins, but Shinji's Boober, Hariteyama, Elebuu, Nidoking, Kodora, and Ringuma aren't even able to knock out any of Jindai's legendary pokemon. Shinji humbly accepts defeat and asks Suzuna if they can have their Gym Battle at a later date. Just then, Reiji tells Shinji that he should face Satoshi in a full battle. The two trainers agree and decide to hold their battle in ten days at Lake Eichi. Suddenly, Jindai receives word that something terrible has happened at the Kissaki Temple! What could be happening at this temple said to be filled with history? To be continued!
One of the best things about Diamond & Pearl is how the writers never hesitate to pull from this franchise's vast history. While other series try to go for the whole "fresh start" angle and avoid references to the past whenever possible, Diamond & Pearl goes more for the "hey, remember when this happened!?" thing. The Battle Frontier arc wasn't really that old at the time this episode aired, but it was still nice to see the writers remind us that, hey, Satoshi has quite a few achievements under his belt.
The references to the past were fantastic, but the writers step it up even more by making everything else about this episode great as well. We get a little bit of backstory for Shinji and Reiji. We get a fantastic battle that only lasts half an episode but still manages to not feel too rushed or cheap. And then there's the team Shinji used to face Jindai. He was originally planning to challenge Suzuna that morning, not Jindai, so the team he used in his impromptu battle against the Frontier Brain was catered to defeat her. Hariteyama (fighting-type), Boober (fire-type), and Kodora (steel-type) all have type advantages over ice-type pokemon while Ringuma, Elebuu, and Nidoking all know fighting-type moves. Little things like that make this episode one of the series' best.
I also liked how the episode didn't revolve around Satoshi or any of his traveling companions for a change. I've always liked Shinji episodes because it's so rare to see anyone outside the two main trios get this much attention. I really don't have any problems Satoshi and genuinely like the kid, but I also don't need to see him front and center in every single episode. Taking breaks in episodes like this one is a nice change of pace.
For the two years or so between Shinji's introduction and the time this episode aired, speculation that Jindai was Shinji's father was rampant. I mean, just look at them!
This speculation basically stems from how similar the two look since even though there are plenty of examples of children who look nothing like their parents in this franchise. Satoshi doesn't really look like his mother, for example. And Haruka and Masato don't really look like their parents, either. But still, since Jindai and Shinji look so similar, fans immediately assumed that this would be the episode where their speculation would prove to be true as soon as its title was made known.
As great as this episode was, there were a few things about it that keep nagging at me. Why didn't the writers do more with Nozomi and Shinji, both here and in future episodes? I may be wrong about this, but I think this is the only time we ever see the two interact, and that's a real shame. Also, Jindai remembers Satoshi and Takeshi, but he doesn't bother to ask where Haruka and Masato were? And has Jindai retired his strategy of using Lock On, seeing as how this is the second battle in a row he hasn't used it? Just how long has Jindai had his Regirock, considering he had it with him when he battled Reiji however long ago? Why does Shinji ridicule Satoshi for using a Hayashigame in an ice-type gym and then brings in a Nidoking the very next day?
The dub only keeps three pieces of music. We don't get our first piece of Japanese music until nearly sixteen minutes into this 22 minute episode, and that's just atrocious. And if that isn't enough, we get the return of Brandon and his terrible, terrible voice actor. On the plus side, Paul's voice actor is pretty decent when his character starts to get pissed off at the end of the episode, and Jindai's assistant Soutarou finally gets a name in the English version.
Regirock, Registeel, and Regice all keep their Japanese voices.
During the cold opening,
Ash: "Hey Paul, check it out. I just got my seventh badge. One more and I'm in the Sinnoh League. How many do you have?"
Paul: "That's none of your business!"
Originally, Shinji's reply to Satoshi's question is "what's the point of asking me that?" Paul's "that's none of your business!", in contrast, sounds like a little kid pouting.
So the Japanese title screen update gets updated whenever Satoshi wins a new badge. I imagine most people don't notice it because it's one of those "blink and you'll miss it" type of things, so here are some screenshots:
The dub doesn't bother to update the title screen, ever.
Later that night, Paul's training by himself outside when Ash approaches him.
Ash: "That battlin' style Torterra showed us a while back worked out really well."
Paul: "You said you were serious about wanting to win at Snowpoint City. So why do you still need Torterra to hold your hand?"
Paul's line is completely different here. In the Japanese version, he asks Satoshi why he thought he'd have Dodaitoise with him when he knows he's busy preparing to challenge the Kissaki Gym. This then leads to his next line, where he belittles Satoshi for using Hayashigame.
Outside the Pyramid, the Temple Maiden Maria arrives on the scene:
Maria: "We've been waiting for you, Pyramid King."
In the Japanese version, she simply refers to the Frontier Brain as "Jindai." She doesn't address him by his title the way she does in the dub.
After Brandon accepts Paul's challenge:
Ash: "Hey Brandon, it would be really great if you'd let us watch your battle."
Brandon: "Hmm...young man?"
Paul: "I don't care."
The Pokémon Company International usually translates Shinji's dialogue pretty faithfully, but they unfortunately ruin things by directing his voice actor to overdo the "I'm a condescending asshole" part of his character. This exchange here is a great example of that. In the Japanese version, Furushima Kiyotaka delivers Shinji's kamaimasen (構いません), or "I don't mind," rather politely. Shinji does respect his elders, after all. In the dub, however, Julián Rebolledo makes Paul sound annoyed by Brandon's question and, as a result, makes him come across as being a little rude. The feel we get from this scene is completely different in the dub.
Before the battle, we get a fairly major rewrite during Reggie's flashback:
Reggie: "Paul was a new Trainer and had just gotten his Turtwig. He had gone to Kanto during his Sinnoh journey because he wanted to watch my battle."
Not quite. Reiji tells Satoshi and his friends that Shinji decided to go to Kanto before traveling through Shin'ou, not during. The original dialogue places the events of this flashback a bit earlier than it is in the dub.
After his battle with Reggie, Brandon starts to criticize it:
Brandon: "No~! You challenged me and I truly did enjoy our battle today. But the fact remains that your battling style is little more than standard, ordinary fare. Now where is your true inner strength!?"
Jindai never tells Reiji that he enjoyed his battle in the Japanese version. Instead, he harshly tells Shinji's brother that he's seen enough of his battle and that the only good thing about it is how neat and well put together it is.
Interestingly, the closed captions for this episode have Brandon say "neatly put together," which is far more accurate that what he eventually ends up saying in the dub. I'm guessing the closed captions are based on an early version of the script and that changes were made later? But if that's the case, then...why bother changing it?
Also, the "No~!" he says here was originally katsu! (喝！), which is a fairly untranslatable exclamation used to scold others.
So you may be wondering what's up with the little game the Rocket-Dan was playing after doing "rock paper scissors."
This second round is something that's done fairly often in Japan but is pretty much unknown in the West called Atchi Muite Hoi!? (あっち向いてホイ！？), or "Look Over There!". After counting to three, the winner of the rock paper scissors match says the title of the game while pointing in one of four directions (up, down, left, or right). At the same time, the other player moves his or her head in one of four directions. If the winner of the match is pointing in the same direction that the loser's head is turned toward, the game is over and the person who initially won the rock paper scissors match is declared the victor. If the winner's finger is pointed in a different direction from the loser's head, however, the initial rock paper scissors victory is canceled out and the two players start over from the beginning. Since it's kind of rare for both players to be pointing in the same direction at the same time, this second round tends to extend the game quite a bit.
Again, "Look Over There!" doesn't really exist outside of Japan, and I think TPCI did the best they could, all things considered.
Dawn breaks out her PokéDex to look up Brandon's Registeel:
PokéDex: "Registeel, the Iron Pokémon. Because Registeel's body has been tempered by underground pressure for thousands of years, its body cannot be scratched."
The Japanese Pokemon Zukan tells us that Registeel's body has been tempered for tens of thousands of years, not just thousands.
After Paul calls out his final Pokémon:
Dawn: "Paul's last Pokémon..."
Candice: "Not only is it a bad matchup, Regirock's just too powerful. It's almost over."
Candice's "It's almost over" was originally "The result is obvious" (勝負は見えてるよ).
After the battle's over, Brandon assesses Paul's performance:
Brandon: "You've done an excellent job raising and training your Pokémon, but you allow your emotions to betray you on the battlefield! We will battle again one day when you've learned to control them."
Jindai tells Shinji that he wants to battle his calm self someday. Brandon, on the other hand, says that they will.
Paul: "You can expect to see me at the Snowpoint Gym."
Candice: "Great, Paul! I'll be looking forward to it!"
Shinji tells Suzuna that he wants to have his Gym Battle "another time." The dub makes it sound like he's going to head to the gym right away.
Brock: "Reggie, what about the time and place?"
Reggie: "Exactly ten days from now. At the Pokémon Center near Lake Acuity.
Reiji says the same thing that Reggie does but adds that the battle will take place at noon.
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