Japanese Episode
DP 153

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl

Japanese Episode DP 153
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode DP 153:  "Lots of Danger!  Kojirou's Treasure Chest!!"
American Episode 1248: 
"The Treasure is All Mine!"
Japanese Air Date:  November 26th, 2009
American Air Date:  April 17th, 2010
Important Characters: 
Rumika (Jessiebelle), "Maman" ("Mommy"), "Papan" ("Daddy"), Butler (Sebastian), Guar-chan (Growlie)

While participating in a practice battle one day, Satoshi's Moukazaru unearths a treasure chest.  Curious to see what's inside, Satoshi and the others attempt to open it.  After a few unsuccessful attempts, Kojirou appears and announces that the treasure chest belongs to him and that its secrets can never be allowed to be revealed!  Satoshi and his friends ignore him and turn the treasure chest in to a nearby mansion instead.  There, Musashi, disguised as Kojirou's fiance Rumika, arrives and attempts to grab the treasure chest for herself.  Everything is going according to plan until Guar-chan, Kojirou's pet Guardie, jumps its trainer and reveals his identity.  After putting the butler away for a while, Kojirou finally reveals the contents of the chest; a love letter to Rumika!  He tells everyone that he had written it before he found out his fiance was a psychopath and that if it was ever found, Rumika would view it as a certificate of marriage!  Suddenly, the mansion's security system alerts everyone to the fact that the butler has summoned Rumika to the area!  Kojirou and the others escape to an underground tunnel.  Once they're back on land, they decide that since they can't open the chest, they'll just destroy it.  Kojirou's Guardie is able to damage the chest enough to activate its emergency escape mechanisms, causing it to turn into a rocket and fly away.  With the love letter out of the vicinity, Kojirou asks Satoshi to have his Pikachu send them blasting off so they can escape his fiance.  The young trainer complies, and the Rocket-Dan is sent flying off away from Rumika.  With the treasure chest out of everyone's hands, our heroes resume on the road to Asatsuki Town.

You know what's even more surprising than having a good evil team finale in this show?  Having a character from eleven years ago show up in the very next episode.

While I do think the transition from the ultra serious "save the world" story of the previous episode to the lighthearted comedy of this episode was really abrupt, the episode itself was still very entertaining.  For a number of obvious reasons, this episode had a lot of expectations going into it, and I don't think many people walked away disappointed.  The story here is a lot more coherent than what we had in "Guardie and Kojirou," the characters were funny (with Kojirou's butler stealing the show), and learning more about the characters' backstory is always a plus.  There was still some of that bad Kanto-esque writing on display here (why did Satoshi and his friends just randomly go to some nearby mansion when they had said, earlier, that they were going to give the chest to Junsa?) and the whole thing with Rumika's hair staying red in the transition to digital animation when Musashi's hair had turned magenta is weird.  But overall, I think we have another modern day classic on our hands.

Episodes like this one are perfect examples of why I don't normally watch the dub.  I was dreading this one because I know that TPCI and Team Rocket are a heartbreaking combination, and after sitting through this, it seems that my apprehension was justified.  Terrible dialogue and awful voice acting make this one a chore to sit through, and having to listen to all of that while the dub's uninspired musical score makes its unwelcome return only makes things worse.  Looking back, it's hard to imagine that there was ever a time where I would declare that the Pokémon Company International's treatment of the Rocket trio was any different from what 4Kids did.  Or, that there was ever a time when I thought Jimmy "the Japanese translation is not funny at all" Zoppi was actually better than Eric Stuart.  I don't have a problem with the kids, really, but Team Rocket in this version is pretty much intolerable.

Side Note
What the hell was up with Team Rocket's accents when they were disguised as pirates?  Were they going for pirate, American version of an English accent, or some weird combination of both?

On the plus side, at least we didn't get any lame gay jokes out of that scene.  Had 4Kids been around, I'm sure the someone would have called James a pirate or something.

On an unrelated note, one of the toys in Kojirou's thought bubble is a kendama.

Dialogue Edit
It's been a while since I've had anything related to Japanese culture to report.

James:  "Although...it might contain an allowance or two."

Originally, Kojirou says that the chest probably contains money he got for New Year's (otoshidama).  New Year's Day in Japan is a lot like Christmas in western countries in that kids receive presents including, but not limited to, money.

You may remember that Kojirou's Dogas was given to him as present for oseibo, which is a similar, year end gift. 

The dub changes it to "an allowance or two."  Otoshidama tend to be more than regular allowance (just like Christmas presents tend to be more than regular allowances), but I guess the meaning's close enough.

Side Note
I'm about to launch into a rant, Dogasu from the year 2000-style.  If you like the English version and like Team Rocket in it, then I'd just skip down to the next heading if I were you.

The scene where James remembers that the treasure chest belongs to him is a perfect example of why I can't stand Team Rocket in this dub.  I hate the way the writers "punch up" the dialogue by making every line rhyme, for no goddamn reason.  I'd make the obligatory Dr. Seuss reference here, but I honestly feel that the writing in his books, however simplistic it may be, is still worlds ahead of the dreck they come up with for this show.  I honestly don't understand how the writers of this show are able to look at the Rocket-Dan in the Japanese version and conclude that having them say everything as if they have an allergy to talking like normal fucking human beings is the way to go. 

What's even more maddening is the fact that they have James talk this way in the flashback as well.  So what, the dub is making him talk like that retroactively now?  Also, good job dubbers on making young James sound like a kid who went through puberty way too early.

Do they think the new lines are funny?  Do little American kids (and not, say, jaded twenty-somethings) laugh at this stuff?  Or do they roll their eyes and headdesk with the rest of us?

I used to think that the people who would go on message boards and talk about how annoying Team Rocket is were crazy.  But really, what they're tired of is Team Rocket, not the Rocket-Dan.  The Rocket-Dan is funny and endearing, while Team Rocket is a glaring example of what happens when adults try to be hip.  I can see why so many fans preferred the way 4Kids handled the trio; they had their problems, sure, but at least I could sit through a Rocket-centered comedy episode and come out of it not wanting to shoot a kitten.

Dialogue Edit
Toward the end of the episode,

James:  "Hey!  I just remembered!  The password to open the treasure chest is "open password!""

Yet, in the first half of the episode:

James:  "I believe it's the word "open" followed by the name of a Pokémon."

"Password" certainly isn't the name of a pokemon, so what gives?

In Japanese, the way one would say "open sesame" is 開けゴマ (Hirake Goma).  Gomazou (Phanpy in the English version) has a name that starts with goma, so in the original version of this episode, the password used to open Kojirou's treasure chest is Hirake Gomazou.  Wocka wocka wocka.

Changing the password to "open password" could have worked if the dub hadn't properly translated that one line in the first half of the episode.  But since the editors didn't catch that, dub viewers are left with this confusing inconsistency.

Jessiebelle:  "The chest would be a lovely gift for our marriage."
Meowth:  "That ain't Jess!  That's Jessiebelle!"
James:  "Ahh!  Talk about a real shotgun wedding!"

Haha, wut?  How does James' line make sense in the least?


Jessiebelle:  "You're not running properly!"

Originally, Rumika just does this weird scream / laugh thing.

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