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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl
Japanese Episode DP 149: "Keep Pikachu and Potchama Apart!!"
American Episode 1244: "Sticking with Who You Know!"
Japanese Air Date: October 29th, 2009
American Air Date: March 20th, 2010
Important Characters: Kodama-Hakase (Professor Kodama)
After Satoshi-tachi settle down at a Pokemon Center, Potchama and Pikachu get into an argument. Without warning, the two pokemon begin to inexplicably act as if they're in love with each other! Attempts to pull the two apart prove to be futile, so Satoshi and his friends return to the Pokemon Center to see what can be done. When they arrive, they notice that other trainers are having the same problem with their pokemon! Takeshi notices that the pokemon who seem to be attracted to each other are water-types and electric-types. He then deduces that their attraction must be caused by some outside force and asks Joi if there's anyone in the area who has been having trouble with bickering pokemon lately. Joi immediately thinks of Kodama-Hakase, a professor whose laboratory is just behind the Center. The trainers pay Kodama-Hakase a visit and discover that a machine he's building is behind the pokemon's strange behavior! The professor had built the machine to get his Nuoh and Coil to become friends, but for some reason they're the only two who aren't affected. When the Rocket-Dan steal Kodama-Hakase's invention, the professor's pokemon step up and help retrieve it for their master. Later, Takeshi figures out that Nuoh and Coil didn't actually have trouble getting along; they were simply psyching each other up for upcoming battles and that the machine didn't affect them because they were both dual types. Now that all the pokemon are back to normal, Satoshi and his friends resume their training.
Takeshi got on my nerves in this episode.
I often complain about Takeshi not really doing enough, but this time, I actually feel the opposite. In this episode, he somehow is able to figure out things that both Joi and Kodama-Hakase - who both have to have had some amount of higher education, mind you - are too stupid to solve themselves. He seriously just walks into the middle of things, takes a glance around, and then BAM - instantly makes guesses that end up being 100% accurate. A lot of people say that Takeshi is useless and that he's dead weight in this saga, but if he wasn't around in an episode like this, absolutely nothing would have been resolved because everyone else is just so effing brain dead.
Other than that, though, this episode was pretty fun. The image of Pikachu and Potchama embracing each other with hearts in their eyes is pretty amusing, in a weird sort of way. I was also amused by the professor's machine and how it was still able to work even after it was uprooted from the lab with no power source to keep it going. Yeah, it's stupid, but I was somehow able to laugh it off.
It sucks that this episode's being overshadowed by the batch of episodes that follow it, but I guess that would be true of anything coming before a trio of episodes that finishes off years' worth of build-up.
Cartoon Network begins airing the series in its proper aspect ratio again, making me cautiously optimistic about the future. I remain cautious because I remember them switching back to cropping the show before, but I have my fingers crossed that the network's finally got its act together. As far as the actual dubbing goes, TPCI gives us a rare treat by keeping Kodama-Hakase's name. The English version still has some TPCI music infecting the episode, but it does at least keep the Winter Sonata-esque music that plays whenever Pikachu and Potchama start getting all lovey-dovey.
We've got a few of these in this episode.
In the original version, Kodama-Hakase can't remember whether his new assistants are called the Rocket-Dan or the Pocket-Dan or whatever. The dub kind of glosses over this.
I also wanted to bring up this exchange before the commercial break because of how little sense it makes:
Trainers: "Nurse Joy, please do something!"
Nurse Joy: "Well, I'll try...I hope."
"I hope?" Um...what?
The dub calls Kodama-Hakase's 仲 よしるんるん君 (Nakayoshi Run-Run-Kun, or "The Euphoric Good Friend-kun") the "Affinity Enabler."
Brock: "I think it's possible what we're seeing isn't happening naturally."
Dawn: "What do you mean?"
Brock: "There's absolutely no way these two would be acting like this for all sorts of reasons. No, the only way this makes sense is if someone is causing this to happen."
And what would those reasons be...?
In the Japanese version, Takeshi says that there's no way two pokemon of the same gender - in this case, Pikachu and Potchama - would be behaving like this. And that, therefore, their behavior can only be explained by saying that some outside force is causing this to happen.
These lines do two things. One, they reconfirm Pikachu's and Potchama's genders. Two, they pretty much show Takeshi stating that he doesn't believe pokemon can be gay for each other and that any pokemon who act in such a way must be doing so against their own volition. Since, y'know, it's unnatural.
I don't know if the vaguely homophobic nature of Takeshi's line had anything to do with TPCI's rewrite, but I wouldn't be surprised. I also wouldn't be surprised if the line was changed just for the hell of it, either.
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