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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl
Japanese Episode DP 179: "An Electric Shock Battle! The Final Badge!!"
American Episode 1322: "The Eighth Wonder of the Sinnoh World!"
Japanese Air Date: June 3rd, 2010
American Air Date: October 30th, 2010
Important Places: Suzuran Island (Lily of the Valley Island)
Satoshi is back in Nagisa City and is ready to fight Denji for his final badge! The first match between Satoshi's Dodaitoise and Denji's Elekibull ends in Denji's favor after his pokemon surprises Dodaitoise with Ice Punch. Satoshi's second pokemon is Pikachu, whose electric attacks have no effect on Elekibull because of its Electric Engine ability. Luckily, Pikachu's Static Electricity ability kicks in and paralyzes Elekibull, allowing Satoshi's pokemon to get in close enough to use Iron Tail. The next match is between Denji's Thunders and Satoshi's Goukazaru and ends when Goukazaru surprises its opponent with a powerful Mach Punch. Denji's final pokemon is Röntora. Satoshi recalls Goukazaru and has Pikachu go up next, but his electric mouse pokemon is quickly defeated. Down to one pokemon each, Denji and his Röntora face off against Satoshi and his Goukazaru. Röntora easily overpowers the weakened fire-type and beats it until its Raging Flames ability kicks in! Hikari and the others worry that Goukazaru will rampage like it has in the past, but Satoshi's pokemon surprises everyone by having full control over its actions! Goukazaru attacks Röntora with a super charged Flame Wheel and knocks out its opponent, winning the match for Satoshi and earning him the Beacon Badge. After the battle, Ohba tells Satoshi and his friends that the Pokemon League will take place in one month on a place called Suzuran Island. Now that Satoshi has the eight badges needed to enter the Pokemon League, he sets off for the island with the dream of winning the Shin'ou League.
It's been over a year since Satoshi got his seventh Shin'ou League badge. Was it worth the wait?
That seems like a very strange question to me because that's not really the way TV shows work. The writers didn't wait 52 episodes between Gym Battles because they were hoarding precious moments of awesome the way a squirrel stores nuts for the winter. No, they waited 52 episodes between Gym Battles because, well, they had other shit to take care of. It's silly to think that we "deserve" a super fantastic Gym Battle because the writers who give us free entertainment week after week had the gall to not give the show's hero a tiny piece of metal 20 episodes ago.
So what about the actual episode itself? I didn't think it was super amazing awesome or anything, but it wasn't bad, either. I liked the fact that the writers have Abilities play such a huge role in the battles now and refrained from giving anyone any overly cheap victories. It kind of sucks that Dodaitoise lost given its absolutely terrible track record following its evolution from Naetle, but I guess the writers see the giant grass-type as their Worf or Wolverine or something.
I'm not really feeling the part at the end with Goukazaru, though. It suddenly being able to control its Raging Flames randomly like that leaves a bad taste in my mouth since there was absolutely no build up to it. Can it suddenly control something it's been struggling with the entire series because it evolved? Because if that's the reason, the writers did a pretty lousy job of making that clear. We're missing the Chekhov's gun needed to make this all work, and the whole power up just feels like one big deus ex machina to help Satoshi win a battle he would have otherwise lost.
I was, however, amused by that shot of all the challengers lining up to battle Denji at the beginning of the episode. He has this giant stadium with empty seats everywhere, yet he doesn't bother to invite them in to watch. Just what are those seats for, anyway? As I watched this episode, I kept thinking back to those poor guys and gals out there standing in line, wondering what's going on inside and when they'll finally get a chance to rest their aching feet.
The English version is fairly decent, all things considered. The next episode preview this is pretty unique since both Hikari and Kengo narrate the thing, but dub viewers don't get to see that because TPCI hates us or something. On a positive note, I wanted to point out the fact that TPCI got Shock Wave right this time, something they messed up during the Grand Festival. Nice to see them avoid repeating some of their mistakes!
The trend of having script changes before we can even get past the damn opening theme continues!
Volkner: "Welcome back. Today's a great day for a battle, so let's give it all we've got. Agreed?"
Ash: "Of course. I'm really looking forward to it."
Denji apologizes to Satoshi for making him wait so long for the rematch. Volkner does not.
After Electivire's Motor Drive Ability takes effect:
Ash: (thinking) "OK, it'll be alright. Electric type moves may have no effect, but if we can get close enough and use Iron Tail..."
In the Japanese version, Satoshi tells himself to calm down in addition to everything else Ash says in the English version. Guess TPCI couldn't fit in those two extra syllables ("calm down") in despite the lack of mouth flaps to worry about.
James: "Let's try the back door. Works at home."
Jessie: "And for now, this is our home."
Meowth: "No prob. Home sweet home."
I thought we were done with the "James is a flaming gay man" jokes back with 4Kids lost the license to the series. No? OK!
Anyway, nobody in the Japanese version says anything about Kojirou having to sneak into his own home or whatever it is the dub's implying. They simply state that they're going to try entering through the back entrance this time and boast about how it'll be a piece of cake for them.
A few seconds later,
Meowth: "You'd think a guy trying to conserve energy wouldn't be wastin' watts on us."
After getting shocked, Nyasu mentions that it's just like Denji to have an electric barrier given his name. "Denji," as some of you may be aware, comes from the word denji (電磁), or "electromagnetic." As you can see, this pun didn't make it across the Pacific.
Fast forward to way later in the episode, after the part where Röntora almost knocks out Goukazaru.
Volkner: "It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun. Though I regret doing this...now Luxray! Use Thunder Fang and let's wrap this up!"
The way Denji's lines are worded is different from the dub. In the Japanese version, Denji tells Satoshi that it's a shame how their fun time came to an end so quickly.
When Team Rocket's blasting off:
Jessie: "It's cheaper than a beauty parlor."
James: "My appointment's not 'til next week."
Meowth: "Well, I just made you both appointments for the rubber room."
Team Rocket: "We're blasting off again~!"
Meowth's going to submit his friends to a mental asylum, because they're clinically insane and unfit to mingle with the rest of society! What whimsy!!
Nyasu's line in the original is that he's gotten tired of trying to capture the Nagisa Tower. TPCI didn't give dub viewers a closure to their attempted caper because, hey, Meowth insulting his friends is funnier.
Finally, the big scene at the end of the episode:
Dawn: "No Infernape, please don't!"
Ash: "Stop! Pikachu, wait! We're cool. Right? Yeah, you know I believe in you."
I can't decide what I like about the English version less; the lines Ash is given ("We're cool?" Really!?) or the overly peppy way his voice actor delivers said lines. This human adult sized monkey whose head is on fire is swaggering toward you with a murderous look on its face. Don't be so freakin' peppy while talking to it. Jesus.
In the original version, Satoshi kind of stammers a bit before finally spitting out the "I believe in you." You actually feel like he's having to gather up the courage needed to remain calm and collected in this situation, something you don't get from the dub at all.
From the moment Goukazaru shows that it has its Blaze under control up until the first shot outside the gym, the current opening theme to the series, Saikoh Everyday!, is used as an insert song. The dub replaces it with one of their stock background pieces.
Suzuran Island becomes Lily of the Valley Island for the dub. "Lily of the Valley" is a direct translation of the Japanese name and is a flower said to be representative of the Hokkaido region (on which Shin'ou is based), so hey, that's pretty cool.
I've seen people complain that the name in the English version is "too literal" and is too long, ignoring the fact that long place names actually do exist.
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