Japanese Episode
DP 162

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl

Japanese Episode DP 162
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode DP 162:  "Double Battle!  (Hikari) vs. Plusle and Minun!!"
American Episode 1305: 
"Playing the Performance Encore!"
Japanese Air Date:  February 4th, 2010
American Air Date:  July 3rd, 2010

The battle round of the Asatsuki Town Pokemon Contest has begun!  The first match pits Urara against Candy Musalina and ends with Urara as the victor.  In a later battle, Hikari attempts to get Mammoo and Hinoarashi to use their Flame Ice combination.  The technique fails, however, causing Hikari to reconsider using that strategy.  Before long, it is announced that the Coordinators who will take the stage during the Contest finals will be Hikari and Urara!  Hikari is able to chip away at Urara's points at first, but before long her opponent orders Plusle and Minun to use Encore.  The attack prevents Mammoo and Hinoarashi from using any attack other than the one they had just used, severely limiting their movements!  Urara launches a series of counterattacks that result in an explosion that causes Hikari's hair to sparkle.  The young Coordinator is mortified at the thought of her "Pikari" nickname surfacing on her beloved Contest stage, but she pulls herself together and becomes determined not to let it get to her.  She orders her pokemon to attack each other, freeing them from Plusle's and Minun's spell.  With only moments left on the clock, Hikari orders her pokemon to try Flame Ice one more time.  The combination works and is able to take away enough of Urara's points to earn Hikari a victory.  With that, Hikari wins her fifth Pokemon Contest ribbon!  Now that Hikari has qualified for the Grand Festival, she sets off with Satoshi toward Nagisa City and his final gym challenge.

If this episode does nothing else, I hope it teaches the writers that all Contests should be at least two episodes long.

The fact that the Asatsuki Town Pokemon Contest was allowed to go on for two episodes makes all the difference in the world.  The pacing was great, nothing felt too rushed or cheap, and it gave the Contest the appropriate weight it deserved.  Those one episode Contests don't have a chance of being as memorable as this one.

There really are too many good things I can say about this episode.  Urara is great and seems to be doing her best to avoid becoming a Harley clone.  I also liked her Plusle and Minun; from their Dragon Ball Z-like Fusion Dance (or, if you prefer, Fushigix) to them copying Pikachu's Final Smash, the two Houen pokemon really put on an entertaining battle.  I was also fond of Candy Musalina's combination of Smokescreen and Sonic Boom since it provided one of the most visually appealing attacks in recent memory.  The animation in this episode was top-notch, the music was extremely fitting...I could go on and on.

I tend to dismiss the faults people find with this episode because I really don't think any of them are too unusual.  Yes, Mammoo is a ground-type and, by the rules set in the video games, Plusle's and Minun's Spark attacks shouldn't have worked.  Yet I don't care because to me, there's nothing unusual about a ball of electricity harming a big elephant.  Are wooly mammoths somehow impervious to electricity or something?  I've also seen people bring up the fact that the last 30 seconds of the battle actually lasted two minutes in real time.  But if you're going to complain about something as silly as that, you might as well complain about the fact that nothing this show does, ever, matches up with real world time.  A 30-second battle should only last 30 seconds, yet the show is allowed to skip hours upon hours whenever something happens "the next day?"  Psssh.

The English version kept most of the Japanese music alone (that pesky title screen prevents me from being able to say "all") for the first time this season.  The writers also resisted the urge to rewrite every one of Team Rocket's lines, something that I'm most thankful for.  If more episodes were like this, my "job" would certainly be a whole lot easier.

Dialogue Edit
In the Japanese version, Urara gives Candy Musalina a nickname; "Candy Oneesama" (キャンディお姉様, "Candy Lady").  Ursula doesn't give Jesselina any nicknames in the dub.

The next little oddity occurs right before Dawn's match against random unnamed dude:

Ash:  "Mammoo-swine and Cyndaquil, go get 'em!"

Seems like Ash accidentally started calling Dawn's Pokémon by its Japanese name instead.  Womp womp.

Side Note
If I had to fault the dub for anything in this episode, it'd have to be the scene in the dressing room right before the finals.  The reason I have a problem with it is because Ursula inexplicably puts on this valley girl voice for this scene and this scene only.  Thanks to the fact that the camera is focused on Piplup the whole time, one can just sit there and imagine Dawn arguing with one of Misty's sisters instead.  Go ahead, try it. 

Thankfully, Ursula drops the bad accent once the battle starts, but still...what the heck?

Dialogue Edit
Now, let's look at the second half of the episode:

Ursula:  "Guess I'll just take away as many points from Dee Dee as I can!"

Originally, Urara doesn't mention Hikari's nickname on-stage in front of everyone.  She won't do that until after the attacks cause Hikari's hair to sparkle.

Dawn:  "Since Encore can only block a Pokémon's moves but not its spirit, all Mamoswine and Cyndaquil needed was a fighting chance to break free.  And that chance came straight from the heart!"

Hikari's explanation is a little different.  While she also explains that Encore can only block a pokemon's moves, just like Dawn does, the rest of her speech isn't quite the same.  She says that the technique can't control their movements, so she was able to take drastic measures (having her pokemon attack each other and causing her to lose a lot of points) to snap them out of their spell.  None of that "heart of the cards" (or whatever) stuff is in her original explanation.

Marian:  "That brings this year's exciting Daybreak Town Pokémon Contest to a close.  Thank you so much for coming!  And remember, ladies and gentlemen, as always, we'll see you~ next time!"

The dub sure does like to make it seem like Pokémon Contests only happen once a year, don't they?

The Japanese version doesn't say anything about this or any other Pokemon Contest only taking place once a year.  It's possible, sure, but I feel that if the Japanese version doesn't state it outright, the dub shouldn't, either.

Ash:  "Congratulations Dawn!"
Brock:  "That's ribbon number five."
Pikachu:  "Pika Pika!"
Dawn:  "Thanks all of you!  Yup, all mine!  This ribbon is the best one of all!"

"So, you know, fuck those other four ribbons that you guys worked so hard to win for me."

Hikari doesn't go all "farewell scene in The Wizard of Oz" on us in the Japanese version; she simply states that she finally has the five ribbons needed to enter the Grand Festival.

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