Japanese Episode
DP 161

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl

Japanese Episode DP 161
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode DP 161:  "The Curtain Raises!  Pokemon Contest - The Asatsuki Convention!!"
American Episode 1304: 
"Yes in Dee Dee, It's Dawn!"
Japanese Air Date:  January 28th, 2010
American Air Date:  June 26th, 2010
Important Places:  Asatsuki Town (Daybreak Town)

Hikari and her friends have finally arrived in Asatsuki Town!  Outside the town's Pokemon Center, Hikari spots a Plusle and Minun and begins to panic!  The pokemon belong to Urara, the Coordinator Hikari met at the Akebi Convention.  Urara decides to show her Appeals performance to Hikari in order to psyche her out, but the young Coordinator faints when the electric pokemon get near!  Later, inside the Pokemon Center, Satoshi and Takeshi ask her why she's so afraid of Urara's pokemon.  She explains that when she was in kindergarten, she was put in charge of taking care of the school's Plusle and Minun.  One day, an attack from the two pokemon left her hair sparkling, so the other kids at the school started calling her "Pikari" from then on.  Satoshi and Takeshi tell Hikari that she should take this opportunity to put the past behind her and encourage her to do her best.  Unknown to Hikari, meanwhile, Urara's has been eavesdropping!  The double Appeals round starts as Candy Musalina performs a snake charming act involving her Habunake and Muscippa.  Hikari takes the stage shortly after, wowing the judges with a mixture of ice and water attacks.  The final Coordinator is Urara, who uses the odd combination of Gabite and Purin to pull off some unique combinations.  After the round is over, the three Coordinators find out that they've all qualified to compete in the second round!  Will Hikari be able to win against Urara's Plusle and Minun?  To be continued!

Is it just me, or does it seem like Hikari and her friends have been on the road to Asatsuki Town for a while now?  I know it hasn't been that long, comparatively speaking, but it still feels like it's taken us forever to get to this point.

I feel like it's been worth the wait.  This episode tells us the reason why Hikari was given that Pikari nickname, a plot point that was introduced in an episode that premiered almost three years earlier.  I honestly never expected to see the writers follow this through to the end, but I guess that just goes to show you how much the writers have changed over the years.

I'm also thankful that the writers didn't make this the last Contest before the Grand Festival.  They did that twice with Haruka, so I'm happy to see them find some other way to inject the final Contest with an extra bit of drama.  While I'm not happy with Hikari's Appeal (didn't the writers get their fill of water and ice combinations during the Battle Frontier arc?), the rest of the Contest is entertaining.  I particularly liked Candy Musalina's Appeal, especially since she used that awesome Arbok flute during the whole thing.  I love it when the writers throws us little Easter eggs like that.

The big thing about the dubbed version of this episode is how TPCI handled Dawn's nickname.  I have mixed feelings about it, but I'll go more into that later.  One thing I find hilarious, however, is how the summary on Pokémon.com still has, as of this writing, a completely different explanation for why everyone calls her "Dee Dee."  While I'm OK-ish with what we eventually ended up with, I'm kind of curious to see how "Dee Dee Dancer" would have worked out.

The terrifying live action version of Dotchi ~ Nyo? is replaced by the animated version again, but this won't be the last we see of it.

Plusle and Minun keep their Japanese voices.

Dialogue Edit
Toward the beginning of the episode:

Ursula:  "I know.  As a special treat, I'll give you a taste of Plusle and Minun's Contest performance.  Now pay attention and you're bound to feel major happiness and joy!"

The original reason for Urara showing Hikari her Appeal is to psyche her out for the Contest.  She figures that if she shows Hikari what she's up against, she'll start to feel the pressure and won't be able to perform as well. 

The next bit of dialogue I want to talk about is the part that everyone remembers this episode for:  "Diamond Dandruff."

Kenny:  "You're hair's sparkling like a diamond."
Leona:  "Like dandruff!"
Kenny:  "I'm calling you "Diamond Dandruff"."
Leona:  "Yeah, good idea!"
Kenny:  "Or Dee Dee for short.  Perfect!"

A little later,

Kenny:  "Hey there Diamond Dandruff Dee Dee!"
Boy:  ""Diamond Dandruff" huh?"
Girl:  "Dee Dee!"

I don't feel like I have to tell you this, but just in case; Hikari's nickname in the original is "Pikari."  The reason she was given that name is because her hair was sparkling, which, in Japanese, is pika pika (ピカピカ).  Obviously, this is the same word that Pikachu gets part of its name from (the -chu part comes from the Japanese onomatopoeia of a mouse squeaking). 

I mentioned earlier that I thought the explanation that the dub had come up with was "OK-ish."  On the one hand, it is a pretty clever bit of writing on TPCI's part.  I certainly wouldn't have been able to come up with that, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.  The fact that the nickname includes the names of one of the games this show is based on is a nice little bonus.

On the other hand, the nickname is too clever.  Kengo and Yumomi and everyone else in that class are in a Japanese kindergarten (called youchien, 幼稚園), which means they're anywhere from three to six years old.  The problem I have with the nickname in the dub is that it makes us assume that not only are these kids clever enough to come up with a nickname as poetic as "Diamond Dandruff," but that it was also the first thing that popped into their minds.  As in, they saw Dawn's hair sparkling, and then just like that - "Diamond Dandruff."  I have the feeling that if I or any of you guys were put on the spot like that, none of us would have been able to come up with anything even remotely that clever.  Yet super genius Kenny and Leona and the random kids in their class did.

Still, I'm willing to cut the dub some slack because I honestly don't know what else they could have come up with.  I do wonder if The Pokémon Company International contacted the Japanese writers back in Season 10 and asked them to explain what the nickname meant so that they'd be ready for this day to come.  They probably didn't and had to make this up on the spot, but it's still an interesting thought to entertain.

Later in the episode, Marian announces the start of the Contest:

Marian:  "The cheers and excitement are mounting, which can mean only one thing.  Get ready for the fabulous Daybreak Town Pokémon Contest!"

Originally, Momoan does some weird counting thing, going from one to five.  I guess she's counting the number of Ribbons needed to enter the Grand Festival?  *shrugs*

When Jesselina's turn comes:

Meowth:  "Those two are in sync!"
James:  "If not, I shudder to think."

Notice how James has his hands together, as if he's praying?  Originally, he was wishing (not quite the same, but whatever) for his friend's success, not implying...I dunno, that she's going to beat them if she doesn't win? 

Music Edit
Candy Musalina uses the Arbok flute to play the song that Alice played in the first Diamond & Pearl movie, Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai.  It's similar to Track 10 on the movie's soundtrack ("Alice's Reed Pipe," アリスの草笛), but it's not quite the same.

The same flute in the dub, curiously, doesn't make a sound.  At first, I thought the song the dub started playing at the start of this scene was supposed to be coming from Jesselina's flute, but when the music continued even after she removed it from her mouth, it became clear that it was just a background track. 

Dialogue Edit
Next up, we get some Team Rocket hilarity:

James:  "She's a hit and we won't be!"
Meowth:  "Better she rocks their world than ours!"

Haha, it's funny because Jessie is an abusive asshole who hates her friends!

Originally, they were just saying how happy they are for their friend's success.

Ursula:  "Gabite and Jigglypuff, you were great!"

Originally, Urara only thanks her Gabite.  Purin doesn't get any love from its trainer.

So basically, the dubbers make the Rocket trio as unlikeable as they can while trying to make Ursula more kind and understanding.  Sounds like TPCI to me!

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