Japanese Episode
DP 191

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Diamond & Pearl

Japanese Episode DP 191
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode DP 191:  "Memories are Pearls!  Friendships are Diamonds!!"
American Episode 1334:  "Memories are Made of Bliss!"

Japanese Air Date:  September 9th, 2010
American Air Date:  February 5th, 2011
Important Characters:  Sakaki's secretary (Giovanni's secretary?)

After a leisurely morning spent at Hikari's house in Futaba Town, Satoshi and Takeshi discuss their plans to head back to Kanto. At first, Hikari plans to go with them to their home region, but a letter from one of the judges from the Yosuga Collection arrives asking her to come to town with her Mimirol!  Meanwhile, Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyasu are ordered to return to the Rocket-Dan headquarters to receive a new assignment.  Later, Hikari announces that she'll stay in the Shin'ou region for the time being.  Potchama becomes upset at the idea of saying goodbye to its friends and runs away, so Satoshi and the others chase after it.  Potchama is eventually found by Pikachu and Togekiss and share a good cry among the three of them.  Suddenly, the Rocket-Dan strikes!  Satoshi-tachi arrive just in time to see the trio making off with their pokemon and initiate a battle to get them back.  The Rocket-Dan comes at them with all the pokemon they've got, but Satoshi, Hikari, and Takeshi work together to defeat the trio.  Back at Hikari's house, Satoshi watches a battle between Ohba and Shirona being broadcast on TV.  After the fiery match, the three Trainers stand up and renew their vows; Satoshi will be a Pokemon Master, Hikari will be a Top Coordinator, and Takeshi will be a Pokemon Doctor.  Later, the time comes for everyone to say goodbye at the Futaba Town port.  The three friends thank each other for everything and wish each other good luck on their journeys ahead.

Writing a series finale is hard.  Writing a series finale that's actually any good is even harder.  Luckily, the people in charge of Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl managed to give us a final episode that, at least for me, provides the series with a satisfactory conclusion.

While I do maintain that we needed at least one more episode between the end of the league and the end of the series, I only say that because I wanted to see more episodes like this one.  Watching everyone laze about Hikari's comically huge house is always fun, and the scene where Pikachu goes to wake up its trainer is the sort of moment I wish this series had the time to show us more often.  The main plot of this episode, the one about Potchama being upset at its friends leaving, was also fantastically done.  It's a natural thing for a pokemon to be upset at leaving its friends, yet for some reason we never got to see a main character's pokemon act this way until now.  I guess it has a lot to do with Potchama's mascot status and the fact that it's spent most of its time outside its Monster Ball, but it's still weird that the writers have never tried to do this sort of episode before now.

The one major issue I had with this episode was that abrupt battle between Ohba and Shirona.  What was the point of wasting our time with that?  Did we really need to see the fulfillment of a simple throwaway comment Ohba made eleven episodes ago?  The transition to the battle is incredibly jarring and the whole thing seemed tacked in there to pad out the episode.  Satoshi was, and always has been, fired up about being a Pokemon Master.  He didn't need to watch a televised match in order to re-ignite a passion that was never in any trouble of dying out in the first place.

This episode is also bittersweet for me because I've decided that this is the Rocket trio's grand finale.  They're still in Best Wishes!, of course, but anyone who knows me knows that I hate the boring robot lobotomy patients they've become in the fourth TV series.  The trio's dead to me now, and for all intents and purposes, this episode is their farewell.  They had a good run (thirteen years!) and the episodes where they actually *were* entertaining characters aren't going anywhere, so I always have the opportunity to go back and rewatch those 600+ episodes if I ever find myself missing their antics.  Thanks for all the good times, Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyasu!

It's weird to watch this episode with the knowledge that this is the last time we're ever going to see Sonansu, Habunake, Muscippa and the others.  Because when this episode first came out, we had no idea.  We all knew that Musashi and Kojirou were going to get new uniforms and that they were being sent to the Isshu region for a "new mission," but we really had no reason to believe that their old pokemon would get unceremoniously dumped in the process.  With that in mind, though, I do like how just about every Rocket pokemon got to battle in this episode and how it took Satoshi, Hikari, and Takeshi to finally bring them down.  It's a fantastic battle that really feel like it's worthy of being the Rocket-Dan's last hurrah.

This is a pretty big milestone for TPCI, as this is the first Pocket Monsters series they've ever completed, start to finish.  4Kids did all of the original Pocket Monsters series and a good three fourths of Advanced Generation, but
The Pokémon Company International is the one that did the entirety of Diamond & Pearl.  Unfortunately, the company didn't really do anything to make this momentous episode stand out in any way.  The music is alright, kind of, but there are a few script changes that got on my nerves and the Piplup crying scene was about as unbearable as I had imagined it'd be.  I guess this would be the part where I express my hope that TPCI will get their act together next season, but there are only so many times I can watch my cautious optimism be crushed before I just give up hope that this dub will ever be better than subpar. 

Hoothoot keeps its Japanese voice.

Side Note
The music for this episode was alright, but there were two major pieces of music missing in the dub.

The first piece of music is what I guess we can call the new Rocket-Dan theme music.  It's the piece that plays almost every time a Rocket member is on-screen in Best Wishes! (well, as of this writing, anyway) and is the only piece of music from this series that'll get carried over to the new one.  In the Japanese version, the song is played during both the scenes featuring Sakaki's secretary, but the English dub removes replaces it each time it's used.

The second is Sora no Hanataba (氷空の花束), or "The Sky Bouquet."  It's the piece that plays at the very end of Giratina and the Bouquet, Shami and is Track 22 on its official soundtrack.  In this episode, the piece starts playing almost immediately after the end of the battle between Ohba and Shirona and continues until the end credits.  I'm not surprised TPCI removed this - they took out the instrumental version of Chiisaki Mono during the last episode of Advanced Generation, after all - but it's still incredibly disappointing.  The music absolutely makes that scene, and the whole episode loses a lot of its impact because of its absence.

Dialogue Edit
There are a lot of these.

The first one comes up during breakfast:

Johanna:  "Boys, the boat to Kanto leaves this afternoon, so be sure you're not late."
Ash:  "Right!"

Ayako tells Satoshi and Takeshi that the ferry to the Kanto region leaves in the evening.  The dub changes this to "afternoon" despite the fact that the sun is clearly on its way down when the trio part ways at the end of the episode.

The magazine that Hikari receives from Hoshino is PokeKyan (ポケキャン), or "PokeCan."  In the dub, this same magazine is referred to as "PokéChic."

As Delibird arrives:

James:  "What's that?"
Delibird:  "Deli~li~!"
Team Rocket:  "Delibird, ho!"
Jessie:  "With provisions in tow!"
Wobbuffet:  "Wob~buffet!"
Team Rocket:  "Is that a sack lunch?"
Jessie:  "Spill the beans!  I just love beans!  Yay!"
James:  "It's chow time, hooray!"
Delibird:  "Deli Deli."
Jessie:  "Beans don't come in a book."
Meowth:  "It's from headquarters!"
(Delibird flies away)
Jessie and James:  "Wait!  No dessert!?"

The general idea of this scene from the Japanese version - that the Rocket-Dan want food from Delibird - is still there in the dub.  But the English version adds all this extra stuff about Jessie loving beans (what?) and the trio wanting dessert that just isn't there in the Japanese version.

Side Note
Meowth puts on his Giovanni Boss Fantasy voice when reading the letter from Team Rocket headquarters.  Nyasu, on the other hand, reads the letter in his regular voice.

Dialogue Edit
As Team Rocket cries tears of joy:

James:  "Our report must have helped cause such a fuss!"
Meowth:  "Yeah?  What report?"
Jessie:  "Remember, the one we filed immediately after we defeated Hunter J and Team Galactic!"
Meowth:  "Yeah, that was slick!"
James:  "Self promotion sure did the trick."

Jessie's line in the middle there is the reason I'm bringing this particular exchange up.  In the original version, Musashi states that they wrote that they defeated Pokemon Hunter J and the Ginga-Dan, not that they actually did.  The English version makes it sound like they've actually convinced themselves that they were the ones who brought them down, which just isn't the case.  They never actually say this directly in the Japanese version, but I think it's pretty clear that the trio is fully aware that the report they sent to Sakaki was a load of bull.

Also, I'm pretty sure the Japanese version has never referred to J as simply "Hunter J."  As far as I can recall, it's always been either "Pokemon Hunter J" or just "J."

Back at Dawn's house:

Dawn:  "Well, Buneary, are you up for this?"
Buneary:  "Bun~y!"
Pikachu:  "Pi Pikachu Pika!"
Buneary:  "Buneary!"
Dawn:  "Then it's settled!  You're going to become an honest-to-goodness Pokémon model!"
Buneary:  "Bun Bun Bun!"
Ash:  "Wow, Buneary is really psyched!"
Piplup:  "Piplup!"
Ash:  "Good luck, Buneary, and promise you'll let us know as soon as the magazine comes out."

Two things here.  One, Dawn is a lot pushier than Hikari is, stating that Buneary definitely will be a
Pokémon model instead of cheering it on to do its best the way Hikari does.  Two, the "magazine" that Ash mentions in the last line there was originally a "book" in the Japanese version.  I guess TPCI felt kids would find "fashion magazines" to make more sense than "fashion books?"

Right when Ash and his friends catch up to Team Rocket in the second half of the episode:

Ash:  "Alright!  Give Pikachu and all of them back now!"
Meowth:  "Sorry, no can do!  Handin' them over to a troupe of twerpy trainers could be bad for our health.  And we like being healthy --"
Ash:  "Brave Bird!"

Nyasu's line got completely rewritten here.  Originally, he explains that they won't give the pokemon back to trainers who have the gall to leave their pokemon unattended and that they only have themselves to blame for the kidnapping.

Music Edit
During the battle between Ohba and Shirona, Together 2007, the remix of the first opening theme that was used for the first Diamond & Pearl movie, Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkari, is used as an insert song.  It's kind of weird that they'd use the movie remix instead of just using the TV version, but whatever.  Something that sets this sequence apart from others in the series is the fact that all the little quick cuts in the animation are actually timed to the music.  This isn't something that's often done with Japanese animation.

The English version replaces this with the opening theme to this season, We Will Carry On, awkwardly placed "Sinnoh League Victors...Pokémon!" lyrics and all.  Since TPCI replaced the song used in the original, the video is no longer synched up with the music and all the quick cuts end up looking random as hell.

Here's the funny thing, though.  I actually took the song from the Darkrai movie - We Will Be Heroes - and synched it up to the footage in this episode.  And you know what?  It actually works a lot better.  I mean, sure, the singer repeating "Darkrai" is kind of awkward, but the part talking about "being one" fits the animation like a glove.  I had prepared a video for you guys and everything, but the video hosting site I use rejected its submission on the grounds of copyright infringement.  Still, it's an easy enough exercise to do yourself; just start We Will Be Heroes at the same time this episode starts playing We Will Carry On and watch how well the song fits.  It's not quite at the same level as, say, Dark Side of the Rainbow, but it's still pretty cool.

I know there's absolutely no way in hell TPCI would ever play a Japanese song in their version of the show, but the least they could have done is play their equivalent of the song used.

Dialogue Edit
After the match is over, Ash tells everyone about his dreams:

Ash:  "Someday, somehow, I'm gonna win the Champion League and become Champion Master."
Pikachu:  "Pika!  Pika Pika!"
Ash:  "You're right!  And of course that means I'll finally be a Pokémon Master!"
Pikachu:  "Pikachu!"

God, this is the sort of thing that fans will be waving around for years, isn't it?  "You guys!  All Ash has to do to be a Pok
émon Master is win the Champion League.  He said so himself!!"  And for years and years, those of us who know better will have to be doing damage control for this shit.  Ugh.

Originally, Satoshi states that winning the Champion League and becoming the Champion Master is one step toward becoming a Pokemon Master.  Being the Champion Master isn't the same thing as being a Pok
emon Master, yet the dub has suddenly decided that that's all there is to it.  Which then means that Cynthia is a Pokémon Master, apparently. 

So if anyone out there ever tries to claim that all Ash has to do to be a Pok
émon Master is beat the Champion Master, kindly let them know that no, that isn't actually the case. 

Right as the clock strikes three:

Johanna:  "It's three o'clock you two!  Almost time to go."

Ayako doesn't give the exact time in the Japanese version.  Johanna does.

Cut Footage -- 1 minute, 21 seconds
The ending theme Kimi no Mune ni La La La got removed from the English version of this episode.  This would ordinarily be a completely unremarkable thing to report since the dub never plays the ending animation for the TV series, but this time the omission is different.  In this episode, short montages for each of the hero characters are shown in the upper left and right-hand corners of the screen for the duration of the song.  These montages are organized into four sections; the Hikari portion, the Takeshi portion, the Satoshi portion, and a general DP group portion. 

I've compiled a collection of screenshots from each portion and posted them on the pages linked to below.

Since the dub never plays the ending themes, ever, these montages got axed.  It's the most predictable omission ever, but it still sucks for dub-only viewers who are left wondering why Dawn and Brock never got a collection of clips to bid them farewell.

Scene Shift
In Japan, the scenes featuring Satoshi and Takeshi arriving in Kanto and parting ways are played after the ending theme.  In the English version, they're shifted to before the ending credits.

Dialogue Edit
The wording of this last bit bugged me:

Ash:  "You can do it, Pokémon Doctor Brock."
Brock:  "Pokémon Master Ash...you can too."

In the Japanese version, both trainers wish each other luck on their goals.  In the dub, they act like they've already achieved said goals.  I suppose the English version could be going for this whole "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" type of thing, but the delivery is so off here that it's hard to tell.

...And that's it for Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl!  Here's to another generation of writing about differences between the Japanese version and the English version of a cartoon aimed at ten year olds!

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