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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Houen Region
Japanese Episode 001: "Aratanaru Daichi! Aratanaru Bouken!!"
Pokemon Dare Da? None (Japanese), Kyogre, Groudon, Beautifly, Wynaut, Torchic, Treeko, Mudkip, Pelipper, Poochyena, Relicanth, Sharpedo, and Duskull (American--sneak peek), Lanturn (American--regular version)
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture: Entei
Japanese Air Date: November 21st, 2002
American Air Date: March 15th, 2003 (sneak peek), November 1st, 2003 (regular)
Important Characters: Satoshi (Ash Ketchum), Haruka (May), Odamaki-Hakase (Professor Birch), Musashi (Jessie), Kojirou (James), Josh (Joshua)
Important Places: Houen Region (Hoenn Region), Mishiro Town (Littleroot Town), Kotoki Town (Oldale Town)
As Satoshi and a sick Pikachu ride the boat on the way to the Houen Region, a young girl named Haruka rides her bicycle to the lab of her father's friend, Odamaki-Hakase, to receive her starter pokemon. When Satoshi gets off the boat, he finds out that there is no Pokemon Center nearby, so he calls Odamaki-Hakase's lab to get a ride. The young professor comes and takes Satoshi and his Pikachu to his lab, where the professor attempts to get rid of Pikachu's excess energy. The machine he uses to do that overloads, and after a large explosion a delirious Pikachu runs out of the lab. Satoshi and Odamaki-Hakase split up to cover more ground, because if they don't find the pokemon soon it'll explode! As Odamaki-Hakase gets into trouble with some Pochiena (which Haruka helps him out of), Satoshi finds his confused pokemon. While in a daze, Pikachu hurls itself off a nearby cliff, but Satoshi is able to catch it before it falls too far. Pikachu begins to come to its senses just as Musashi and Kojirou appear to kidnap Pikachu. Using a battery-shaped robot, they inadvertently cure Pikachu's illness by draining all of its excess electricity out of its body. After the Rocket-Dan are defeated, Pikachu makes a recovery at the Pokemon Center. After Haruka picks out her first pokemon (an Achamo), she decides to join Satoshi on his journey to prevent having to travel by herself. Satoshi's journey in Houen has now begun!!
As far as the dub goes, we have a few interesting things going on. We got to hear what the dubbed Haruka sounds like. May, as she's now known as in the dub, is very obviously voiced by Veronica Taylor, who does very little to distinguish May's voice from Ash's mom's voice. She's a ten-year-old girl, but she sure doesn't sound like it in the dub (then again, she also looks a little old to be ten, but that's just how anime is sometimes). Professor Birch has a typical gruff man voice (I think it's done by the same guy who does Kaiba's voice in the dubbed Yu-Gi-Oh!?), but that's OK since he's not that important anyway. And Josh, who surprisingly gets to keep his name, sounded alright as well. In addition, 4Kids surprised us all by keeping the Japanese title screen layout--y'know, the PokeNavi-type Satoshi and the map of Houen that has the episode title and the little arrow pointing to where they're going. I was certainly pleasantly surprised when I saw that, that's for sure.
Back in March 2003, Kids' WB! played this episode (along with the second one) as part of a special sneak peek of the new series right as the games Pokémon Ruby & Pokémon Sapphire were being released. The sneak peek versions didn't have an opening theme or a title screen, but, except for the part right before the title screen, the rest of the episode was exactly the same.
Sneak Peek: "But just between you and I, what I'm more interested in is traveling and seeing new places. [screams as her bike goes down the hill] I guess I...shoulda worn a...helmet."
Regular Version: "But just between you and me, what I'm more interested in is traveling and seeing new places. There it is, Littleroot Town, up ahead! [screams as her bike goes down the hill] I guess I...shoulda worn a...helmet."
Also, all the little noises May makes (like screaming, cheering, and other such utterances) are different depending on which version you watch. In addition, in the regular version, May pronounces pokemon as "poh-kay-mon" at one point, where in the preview she just says "pokemon" like everyone else.
I guess this part was redubbed because 4Kids thought that Veronica Taylor could do better or something, having her redub the first part after she's gotten a chance to get into her character a little bit more. Or maybe they got so many complaints from fans about her voice that they had that little part redubbed. Whatever the reason, they only did it for that one scene...the rest of her lines in the episode are identical. People swear that they can hear a difference in her voice throughout the episode, but I can't really tell. The lines are identical and, as far as I can tell, the acting is the same as well. It's only in that very first scene that I can hear a difference; the rest all sounds the same to me.
In the dub, they just continued with the "Who's that Pokémon" thing, showcasing a pokemon that had nothing to do with the episode. In fact, all they did was take the Pokémon Master Quest eyecatch and pasted a Pokémon Advanced logo over it. Though I didn't expect 4Kids to keep the Japanese eyecatch (seeing as how they change the music and names and whatnot), it just baffles me that they would continue with an eyecatch that they have to update episode after episode. Why not just have the one eyecatch and be done with it?
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