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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl
Japanese Episode DP 152: "Dialga and Palkia! The Final Battle!!"
American Episode 1247: "The Battle Finale of Legend!"
Japanese Air Date: November 12th, 2009
American Air Date: April 10th, 2010
After subduing Satoshi and his friends, the Ginga-Dan heads toward Mt. Tengan in order to open up the Spear Pillar. As the Ginga-Dan members make their preparations, the Champion Shirona arrives on the scene, defeats Jupiter, and frees Satoshi and the others. When our heroes finally catch up to their enemies, they see Akagi using the power of the lake pokemon to summon Dialga and Palkia! After a quick battle with Saturn and Mars, the young trainers snap the lake trio out of its trance-like state. They're too late, however, and Dialga and Palkia are able to cross into their world anyway! As soon as the god pokemon materialize into the new dimension, the Red Chain is activated and the pokemon fall under Akagi's control. They're ordered to create a new universe, ignoring the fact that doing so will wipe out the existing one. A portal is opened, so Akagi, leaving his commanders behind, steps into the new world to become its ruler. As the universe around them begins to collapse, Satoshi, Hikari, and Takeshi sync with Agnome, Emrit, and Yuxie, respectively, to release Dialga and Palkia from the Red Chain. Once freed, the duo combine their powers to destroy Akagi's universe and then return to their home dimensions. Later, the police come to arrest the remaining members of the Ginga-Dan, effectively dismantling the team once and for all. With the Shin'ou region out of danger, Satoshi and his friends bid farewell to everyone who helped them and continue on their journey.
When Diamond & Pearl started back in 2006, did any of us actually think they'd handle the evil team as well as they did? Did any of us actually have any hope, after the disaster that was the Magma-Aqua finale, that the writers were capable of starting a story, building it up over a few years, and then actually ending it in a satisfactory way?
I know I didn't.
This episode, like the ones leading up to it, gets so many things right. I think the part I liked the most is how each of our heroes - Satoshi, Hikari, and Takeshi - got to play a role. The part where each trainer synched up with their lake trio counterpart to help stop Dialga's and Palkia's rampage was the perfect way to tie everything together, and the fact that they had to use such unorthodox methods to save the day really made this episode stand out. And the episode ending with a mystery (what happened to Pluto?) was just icing on the cake.
Another thing that stood out to me is the fact that Akagi pretty much accomplished everything he set out to do. In a lot of ways, he won. He got the Lake Trio, he got the various artifacts needed to create the Red Chain, he got Dialga and Palkia, he got a new world, and he got to live in said new world. Quite frankly, Satoshi and the others didn't thwart shit. They saved the Shin'ou region from being destroyed, sure, but that doesn't change the fact that the enemy still got everything it wanted.
I do think the finale could have benefited from having one more episode, though. Had we gotten four episodes instead of three, we could have actually had one-on-one battles with each of the commanders instead of the quick little one hit KOs we got instead. I'm not disappointed with, say, the way Gureggru one-hit KOed its rival, but I still would have liked to have seen more. A fourth episode would have also given us a chance to see more of the effects the creation of the new universe was having on the rest of the Shin'ou region. Other than a few quick shots at Shigeru and Nanakamado-Hakase, we really don't get a real sense that this whole thing is affecting the entire region, do we? If we had gotten to see shots of Shinji or Hikari's mom, or shots of the pokemon in the region preparing themselves like they did in the second movie, the crisis the region found itself in would have felt a little more serious.
Still, I think the episode was paced as well as could be expected. Things could have been better, sure, but they also could have been a lot, lot worse.
The dubbed version continues that "so close, yet so far" feeling by giving us like 99% of the Japanese music. I don't mean to sound ungrateful or anything, but what is the deal with TPCI leaving everything alone except the title screen music? Why not just leave all the music and get that perfect 100% score? Other than that, there's some voice actor stuff I think is worth mentioning, but I'll get to that later in the comparison.
The word "god" is said about half a dozen times in the Japanese version of this episode. Of course, it doesn't show up at all in the English version for the same reasons as always and is replaced by "original one" and "original power" instead.
I wanted to bring up the voice acting final scene where Akagi heads toward the new universe. Miyake Kenta (Japanese) and Sean Schemmel (English) have some very different takes on the final scene.
Mr. Miyake's performance as he's walking into the new universe is one that's quiet and subdued. He barely talks above a whisper but is still able to convey the sense that he's ecstatic about what he's about to do. He doesn't overdo it, but he doesn't under perform, either. Mr. Schemmel's performance, on the other hand, plays Cyrus more like a stereotypical megalomaniac. His voice is louder, and he screams a lot more.
I've posted a video here for you to check for yourself.
While I prefer the Japanese version of the scene (surprise surprise!), I found myself not hating the English version. It's a different take, sure, but I can totally see how they'd come up with that. I guess it also helps that we don't actually see Cyrus' face during this scene. Had there been a visual to go along with the voice, I likely would have found a disconnect between the animation and the audio and would feel a lot more negatively about it.
Mars' scream in the dub, however, is pretty awful. I think we can all agree on that.
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