Japanese Episode
AG 052






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Houen Region

AG Episode 052
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode AG 052: "Purasuru to Mainan!  Ouen no Michi!?"
      ("Plusle and Minun!  The Path to Cheering!?")
American Episode 324: "Cheer Pressure"
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture:  Meganium
Japanese Air Date:  November 20th, 2003
American Air Date:  November 6th, 2004
Important Characters:  Sekidoh (Sheridan), Kojironosuke (Jamster), Musamusako (Jessica)
Important Places:  Entotsu Yama (Mt. Chimney)

Now that Haruka has finished up at the Hajitsuge Convention, the gang now finds themselves on the road to Fuen Town.  Along the way, they hear the beat of a large drum, so the group goes to investigate.  What they find is their old friend from the lighthouse, Kazuchi!  He has now joined a pokemon cheerleading group that uses cheering to revitalize pokemon in battle.  Satoshi and his friends want a demonstration, so the leader of the squad, Sekidoh, agrees.  First up is Takeshi and his Forretress versus Kojirou (in disguise) and his Sabonea.  Takeshi's pokemon seems to have the upper hand until the cheerleaders start beating their drum, revitalizing Kojirou's pokemon and giving it enough of a boost in strength to win the battle.  Masato thinks something is awry, so he does some snooping around as the second match, featuring Satoshi and Pikachu against Musashi (also in disguise) and Habunake, plays out.  As the battle plays out similar to the way the first one did, Masato discovers that there are pokemon hidden inside the cheerleaders' drums that are using pokemon techniques to boost the pokemon in battle!  Masato exposes Sekidoh's scheme, shocking the rest of the cheerleaders.  Sekidoh quickly flees the scene, allowing the Rocket-Dan to take center stage and attempt to capture Pikachu.  Their plan fails when Kazuchi steps in and uses his Plusle and Minun to energize Satoshi's Pikachu enough to break through their trap.  After the battle, Kazuchi says that he wants to win his battles through his own strength, so he bids Satoshi farewell as they continue on the road to the next city.


Thoughts
Episodes that occur after a Gym Battle or Contest episodes usually tend to suck really bad, but this episode is an exception.  Sure, it's a filler that doesn't offer any new pokemon, and the reappearance of a filler character from about fourteen episodes ago doesn't accomplish anything other than to shove Plusle and Minun down our throats, it's still kind of entertaining.  If nothing else, I enjoyed the Tetsujin 28-Gou (Gigantor) parody robot, and I wouldn't mind if Sekidoh appeared again.

The dubbed version is OK.  They kept in the kanji that was on the drums, which honestly surprised the crap out of me.  I'm guessing they let this kanji slide because a) it doesn't really look too much like Japanese since they're only straight lines, and b) they didn't want to have to bother with the hassle of painting the kanji out in the scenes where we have powder coming out of the drums, slightly obscuring the kanji.  The only other thing about the dub I can think of right now is Jessie's nickname--it's the same nickname she used in the last episode.  A bit unoriginal, don't you think?

Smile replaces Soko ni Sora ga Aru Kara as the ending theme as of this episode in Japan.

Cut--2 seconds
Two seconds are trimmed from the opening of the episode.

Dialogue Edit

The dub leaves out a little bit of information at the beginning of the episode:

Max:  "Where are you going, Ash?"
Ash:  "Where do you think?  We're going to Lavaridge Town and my next gym battle, of course."
Max:  "Oh.  I just wondered, seeing as how Lavaridge Town is that way."

The Japanese version gave the same information, but it also adds that the gang has to pass through Entotsu Yama (Mt. Chimney) in order to get to Fuen Town.

Cut--2 seconds
Two more seconds are cut from the scene after the episode's title screen.

Dialogue Edit
You know the scene in the dub where Jessie and James are talking about cheerleaders, and James talks about how he was a cheerleader?  And then Meowth suggests that Team Rocket needs to have their own pep squad?

This probably goes without saying, but the scene was completely rewritten in the dub.  Originally, Musashi talks about how much money is in the cheerleading business, and the rest of the scene features the trio talking about all the expensive food they'll be able to buy (there's also a pun on matsutake mushrooms, I believe). 

The change wouldn't bother me if it didn't try to add some sort of stupid backstory to James involving him and cheerleading.  So James was a cheerleader?  Alright, 4Kids, your version of Kojirou is a stereotypically flaming homosexual.  WE GET IT ALREADY. 

Music Edit
In the Japanese version, the tenth ending theme to the original series, Takeshi's Paradise, is played during the scene where Takeshi is flirting with all the cheerleaders.  In the dub, they have a few pieces of instrumental music replace it.

Cut--2 seconds
Two seconds are cut from the TO BE CONTINUED... screen.

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