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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl
Japanese Episode DP 170: "Kikuno of the Four Heavenly Kings! Kabarudon vs. Dodaitoise!!"
American Episode 1313: "An Elite Coverup!"
Japanese Air Date: April 1st, 2010
American Air Date: August 21st, 2010
Important Characters: Kikuno (Bertha), Kikkuhno (N/A), Yohshichi (Roland)
As Satoshi and his friends continue toward the Lakeside Resort, they meet a young boy named Yohshichi. During the course of their conversation, Yohshichi mentions leaving his Buby at a daycare that promised to evolve his pokemon after only two hours. Satoshi and the others think that sounds suspicious, so they have Yohshichi guide them to the daycare. When they arrive, they see that the owners have packed up and run away! At that moment, an elderly relative of Yohshichi named Kikkuhno arrives and offers to help out. With her assistance, the thieves who took Buby are found and revealed to be the Rocket-Dan. They run away and hide, so Kikkuhno uses the opportunity to help hone the trainers' observational skills. Once everyone catches up to the Rocket-Dan and backs them into a corner, they resort to using machines to power up their pokemon. The enhancements don't work, however, and Kikkuhno's pokemon make quick work of the trio. Later, it is revealed that "Kikkuhno" is actually Kikuno of the Four Heavenly Kings! Satoshi excitedly challenges Kikuno to a battle, hoping to use this rare opportunity to test his skills. She accepts, so a match between Kikuno's Kabarudon and Satoshi's Dodaitoise is arranged. Kikuno reinforces her lessons about the importance of observation to her young opponent as she battles, and for a while it seems like Satoshi is getting the hang of it. Satoshi ends up losing the battle, but he walks away knowing that the experience he gained will help him in the Shin'ou League.
It may have taken (exactly!) thirteen years, but the TV show has finally done it; they've showcased all four members of a region's Four Heavenly Kings in said region.
It's kind of weird the way they went about it, though. Most of this episode plays out like a filler episode about a kid who gets his Buby stolen by the Rocket-Dan. Hell, the Kabarudon vs. Dodaitoise battle advertised in the episode's title doesn't even begin until ¾ of the way in! Yet, I don't really feel that Kikuno was gypped in any way. She works great as a mentor, doesn't put up with crap, has that thing about not wanting to advertise her status to everyone, gets annoyed when people don't do what the hell she says, and gets to show off quite a few of her pokemon. In fact, I'd probably even go on to say that she is, as of this writing, my favorite member of the Four Heavenly Kings that's been showcased so far.
I also like the fact that she pushes Yohshichi to actually do something instead of just standing around and watching. Where was she when Takeshi was spending most of Shin'ou being completely useless? And while I'm speaking about Takeshi, I love that moment when he gets pulled aside and has that little talk with Kikuno. I'm a huge fan of seeing interactions between characters who rarely say anything to one another, and this was no exception.
I'm kind of on the fence when it comes to the whole lesson of this episode. Having good observation skills are great and all, but why bring it up now? When has Satoshi, outside of failing to see through the Rocket-Dan's lame disguises (something even Kikuno is guilty of!), ever displayed a lack of observational skills? Doesn't a lot of Satoshi's prowess as a trainer come from the fact that he's able to see what's going on and make quick decisions? It reminded me a lot of Genji's advice back in Advanced Generation about being too overconfident; Satoshi's "flaw" didn't really exist before that episode, either. If you're going to use members of the Four Heavenly Kings to teach Satoshi a lesson, writers, shouldn't you make sure the problem they're there to fix actually exists in the first place?
The dub actually has some dialogue edits more substantial than omitting minor information or making Team Rocket unlikable dickfaces, so that's different. On the bright side, TPCI proves, once again, that they're really great at casting older women. Bertha's voice actor (Emily Williams?) is no Matsuoka Youko, but she comes pretty damn close.
Let's start off with the Boss Fantasy!
Meowth: "Or it's his boithday and he can't light dat load o' candles. What's a boithday boss ta do?"
Trying to transcribe Meowth's dialogue is tough.
Anyway, originally, Nyasu simply calls Sakaki's celebration a "party," not a "birthday party." Who lights the candles on their own birthday cake, anyway?
I'm also amused that someone actually bothered to count the number of candles on that "birthday" cake. I'm also creeped out by the fact that I actually paused that scene to confirm that the number was correct.
God, I have no life.
Roland: "Excuse me, but is that your Pikachu?"
Ash: "Uh, yeah. This is my buddy. Meet Pikachu."
Pikachu: "Pika Pikachu!"
I actually prefer the dubbed line here because Satoshi had a really stupid line originally. Blasphemy, I know! In the Japanese version, Satoshi confirms that Pikachu is his and then asks if Yohshichi likes pokemon. Which is a really, really dumb question given how pretty much every person they meet, ever, loves pokemon with all their heart.
I also wanted to point out that, in the dub, Piplup reacts to Pikachu's name before Roland gets a chance to say it. TPCI probably should have had Roland say Pikachu's name earlier in the sentence.
One of the big changes that was made to this episode is the dub not bothering to give Bertha a pseudonym.
In the Japanese version, everyone calls this old lady "Kikkuhno" (キックーノ). She's introduced as Kikkuhno, and for most of the episode, that's what everyone calls her. In fact, Kikuno herself uses the name! I figure that Kikuno, not wanting to brag about her status as a member of the Four Heavenly Kings, uses this name to allow her to walk around without everyone pestering her for a battle or whatever. Everyone else is using it, she figures, so why not just play along?
Once Takeshi slips up at the end of the episode, she introduces herself as Kikuno. For the rest of the episode, that's the name everyone uses to refer to her by.
The dub could have easily done the same thing, having Roland call Bertha "Bertie" or something, but they didn't for whatever reason. She's just "Bertha" throughout the whole thing.
Once Brock figures out that Bertha is Bertha:
Brock: "You're not Bertha of the Elite Four, are you?"
Bertha: "That's right, I am. But I don't like to be called one of the Elite Four, at all. It's a secret!"
In the Japanese version, Takeshi whispers the first part of his conversation. Brock, on the other hand, practically shouts it.
Also, Kikuno's line here asks Takeshi to please keep it a secret. Bertha's line, to me, sounds more like a statement of fact than a request.
Next up is the second big change of the episode:
Brock: "Is this your grandson?"
Bertha: "Child of a cousin. Roland says he wants to get better at Pokémon battles, so I was asked to look after him."
Originally, Kikuno states that Yohshichi is the shiseki no ko (親戚の子だよ), or "child of a relative."
The dub makes Roland out to be Bertha's first cousin once removed. Which, to be fair, could be the relation that Yohshichi and Kikuno share. But, since the Japanese version doesn't explicitly say this like the dub does, I have to point it out. Because essentially, TPCI is just making shit up, not unlike what 4Kids used to do back in the day.
Bertha: "Maybe this is a good time to give you some advice. You would do well to strengthen your powers of observation."
Ash: "I'll have to think about that."
Satoshi originally just repeats the word "observation" back at Kikuno.
James: "They're not psychic, they're dumb!"
What? Does anyone know what this line is supposed to mean, and how it fits in with anything else they're saying?
Originally, Kojirou asks how their cover was blown.
The names of the Rocket-Dan's special attacks are a little different in the Japanese version. The metal Mukuhawk attack is called the Tsubame Gaeshi Gaeshi, or "Tsubame Gaeshi Reversal." The dub calls this "Aerial Ace Defense." The metal Glion attack is called Hasami Girochin Gaeshi, or "Claw Guillotine Reversal," but the dub calls it "Guillotine Defense."
The attacks the Rocket-Dan's pokemon use after being equipped with the power parts all have the word "Super" in front of them ("Super Vine Whip" and "Super Poison Tail") while in the dub, they all have the word "Power" in front of them ("Power Vine Whip" and "Power Poison Tail").
After the power-ups are revealed,
Bertha: "How dare you tamper with Pokémon like that! Every Pokémon battle has to be executed fair and square. What a Pokémon doesn't naturally have it does without!"
Jessie: "Complaint? Save it for the twerps! Seviper, go!"
James: "Right! You're just jealous! Carnivine, now!"
Kikuno's last sentence in the Japanese version states that pokemon don't need unnecessary power ups. Kojirou's line is also different, saying that winning is the only thing they care about.
Bertha's big speech as the smoke clears has an echo effect in both versions, but the dub has the effect show up a little bit earlier. Originally, the echo doesn't start until Kikuno starts telling Hikari that the advice she's giving can apply to her as well, but the dub applies it as soon as the smoke appears. I found the original version to be a little weird because the timing of the whole thing made it seem like Kikuno was suddenly telepathic, so I'm actually OK with the change the dub made here.
Also, Kikuno only says Satoshi's name a few times in the episode and even seems a little unsure of it at the end of the episode. Bertha seems to be more familiar with Ash in contrast.
Ash: "Observation. I'm an observer! I'm doin' it!"
I know that "eye-rollingly" is not an actual adjective, but if it was, I'd be sure to use it to describe that line, and the delivery of it, as "eye-rollingly awful."
Originally, Satoshi keeps repeating to himself the need to observe.
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