Japanese Episode
AG 044






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Houen Region

AG Episode 044
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode AG 044: "Kasumi Toujou!  Togepii to Maboroshi no Oukoku!"
      ("Kasumi Enters!  Togepi and the Kingdom of Illusions!")
American Episode 316: "The Princess and the Togepi"
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture:  HoHo
Japanese Air Date:  September 25th, 2003
American Air Date:  September 25th, 2004
Important Characters:  Kasumi (Misty), Hanzou (Colonel Hansen), Princess Sara (Seera-Hime), Miranda (Miranda)
Important Places:  Hanada City (Cerulean City), The Kingdom of Illusions (Mirage Kingdom)

The gang is waiting for the arrival of a friend, and soon enough that friend's identity is revealed:  the Hanada City Gym Leader and Satoshi's old traveling companion, Kasumi!  After the proper introductions are made to Haruka and Masato, Kasumi reveals that she's in the Houen region to attend a Togepi Festival.  As she approaches the hotel where she is meant to stay, two figures shrouded in robes divert her from the hotel and onto a zeppelin.  After shoving her into the blimp, Satoshi and his friends stowaway, wondering what these mysterious figures plan to do with their friend.  When the blimp lands, the hooded figures reveal themselves to be Musashi and Kojirou, working for a man named Hanzou!  Hanzou is an officer of the Maboroshi no Oukoku (Kingdom of Illusions), and he wants to take Togepi for himself!  As Satoshi and Takeshi face off against Hanzou and his bug-type pokemon, Kasumi, Haruka, and Masato make a run for it.  Hanzou's pokemon catch up with the young Gym Leader, so Kasumi is forced to fight.  However, in the ensuing battle, her Togepi is sent blasting off!  It lands in the hands of Seera-Hime, the princess of the Kingdom of Illusions.  Satoshi and his friends approach the castle and find Kasumi's pokemon.  The princess' caretaker reveals that Togepi is the key to proving a king's validity as ruler, and that Hanzou is after it in order to take the throne!  The king arranges a blimp to take Kasumi out of the kingdom, but before she can flee to safety, Hanzou attacks!  Can Kasumi protect her Togepi?  To be continued!


Thoughts
I hate this two-parter.

The reason I don't like these two episodes is because it feels like three episodes squashed into two.  I feel like there should have been an episode before this one to help the transition from "Let Bagons be Bagons" to "The Princess and the Togepi" work better. 

The problem I have with the episode is that there are huge gaps in the plot that we're forced to fill in with our imaginations.  So suddenly Satoshi has been keeping up with Kasumi (via telephone, I'd guess) even though he hasn't really mentioned her once in the past 43 episodes?   And why are Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyasu working for this guy named Hanzou?  And after our heroes' battle with Hanzou, how is this group of little kids allowed to just walk into the princess' room and talk to the ruler of the country? The whole episode comes across as pandering to all the Kasumi fans out there, which is great if you love Kasumi and think Haruka should die a horrible death.  For everyone else, it just seems like a sad attempt to boost ratings.

However, I will say that I liked the fact that the writers brought Kanto Kasumi over to the Houen region instead of boring Jouto Kasumi.  They remembered her fear of bug pokemon (which the writers seem to have trouble being consistent about), and she actually got to battle on-screen instead of sit there and do nothing. 

The dubbed version and my copy of the Japanese version wouldn't sync up, which at first tells me that the dubbed version is time elapsed for some reason.  However, since my copy of the dub is a low quality video file, I'm going to assume that the sync-up problems are due to the format of the dubbed version I'm using.  I'll check this episode again when I can record the episode off TV or buy the DVD.  As for the new voices we hear this go around, I'm not a fan of Sara's voice, and Miranda's voice, while not bad, took some getting used to.  However, all the other new voices sounded fine to me, and I'm glad that they gave Hansen the voice he has now instead of the voice he had in a preview commercial for the Pokémon Advanced Challenge season (which sounded like the examiner in "The Ultimate Test") that aired months earlier. 

Music Edit
The Japanese version of this episode (and the next one) used a lot of the music from the fifth movie, but the dubbed version doesn't use any of it.  I remember hearing all this crap from the people at 4Kids about anime soundtracks nowadays being unbelievably expensive, but it's hard to take that excuse seriously when we know that 4Kids has the right to the music.  We heard all this music in Pok
émon Heroes, so why can't we hear it in this episode?

Cut--7 seconds altogether
A six-second transition between the palace, where Hanzou is plotting, and the zeppelin, where Kasumi is getting ready to leave, is cut entirely.

Castle
Transition
The Blimp

Also, a second is cut from the TO BE CONTINUED... screen.


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