Japanese Episode
AG 070

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Houen Region

Episode AG 070
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode AG 070: "Touka JIMU no Ikusa!  Itsutsu Me no BAJJI!!"

      ("The War of the Touka Gym!  The Fifth Badge!")
American Episode 342: "Balance of Power"
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture:  Yanyanma
Japanese Air Date: April 1st, 2004
American Air Date:  March 19th, 2005

The battle for Satoshi's fifth Houen Gym Badge has begun!  Senri starts out with Namakero, and no matter how hard it tries, Pikachu is unable to get a single attack to hit.  Namakero uses a Blizzard attack on Pikachu, paralyzing it, so Satoshi decides to substitute it with his Cotoise.  Satoshi's fire-type pokemon uses its Flamethrower attack to power through Namakero's Blizzard, winning its first Houen Gym Battle.  Next up is Senri's Yarukimono, who quickly knocks out Satoshi's fire-type.  Satoshi sends his Pikachu back out, and he soon devises a plan to use Pikachu's Static Shock characteristic to paralyze the lazy pokemon, enabling Pikachu to hit it with an Iron Tail attack.  Senri's second pokemon gets knocked out, but as soon as it does Pikachu faints as well!  Both trainers only have one pokemon left, so Senri sends out his Kekking while Satoshi sends out his Juptoru.  Kekking proves to be a very powerful pokemon, and Juptoru wears itself in its assault.  When the grass-type pokemon is almost out of stamina, its Overgrow characteristic kicks in, giving it just enough power to defeat the massive pokemon.  Satoshi has won, so Senri presents the Balance Badge to the young trainer.  However, Masato swipes the badge from his father and runs off!  The young boy is upset that his father lost, and wonders how Senri can be taking his defeat so well.  After everyone talks it out for a while, Masato emerges and returns the Balance Badge to Satoshi.  Now with five badge, Satoshi starts his journey to the next town!

So here we are, the long-awaited rematch with Senri.  And you know what?  It's pretty disappointing.  I mean, yeah, it was great to see Cotoise in its first (and only) Houen Gym Battle, and the fact that it defeated one of Senri's pokemon made me cheer for who is perhaps Satoshi's most underused pokemon since Gomazou.  And I won't even complain about the one-hit KO's, since Satoshi's pokemon won through a one-hit KO as much as Senri's pokemon did.  

But the rest of the gym battle?  The animation during the Kekking / Juptoru battle had what could be the most embarrassing animation I've seen the series produce EVER.  And then there was the fact that Satoshi benefited from all these characteristic perks, but Senri's pokemon didn't get to show off their characteristics.  A bit one-sided, don't you think?  

My biggest disapointment with this episode, however, was that we don't get a better farewell to Senri.  I would have really liked to have seen Haruka talk to her father a bit more and let her get some character development instead of letting her brother take it all for himself.  Did she ever tell him that she's decided to become a Coordinator?  Did she return the badge case he gave her?  Did she show her family the two ribbons she had earned so far?  Or her new pokemon?  We never really find out, and it just seems like a waste to not deal with it here.

The episode wasn't all bad, though.  I liked seeing the Rocket-Dan building their Secret Base, as it was a nice foreshadowing for the next episode.  I also really liked the scene with Masato at the end, if for no other reason than to remind us that something called "characterization" exists in this Advanced Generation series.

Anyway, as far as the dub goes, there isn't too much to report.  The major change in this episode is the music (especially in the second half of the episode).  Other than that, it's pretty boring for me, edit-wise.

The Challenger!! replaces Advance Adventure as the opening theme in this episode.  Of course, 4Kids started using their second opening theme about 30 episodes earlier, so fans of the English version got all the spoilers that the second opening theme contains much earlier than fans in Japan did.  The Japanese opening had an animation error involving the Kamex that appears, but that error will be fixed by AG 072.

Cut--2 seconds
Two seconds are cut from the first shot of the episode.

Dialogue Edit
Max says this right before the battle starts:

Max:  "Well, you seem to be forgettin' that people are saying Dad's so strong he's gonna end up a member of the Elite Four.  But, that's not to say that Ash hasn't gotten stronger too, but he's still no match for Dad."

While Masato does mention people talking about his father as being strong in the original, he never mentions the Elite Four (Shi Ten'nou in Japanese) by name.

Cut--1 second
A second is cut from the shot of Pikachu after the Trainer's Choice commercial break.  In addition, the audio of Pikachu saying "Pika" is muted in the dub of this scene.

Music Edit
When Juptoru starts to feel the effects of Overgrow, the song OK! (the third opening theme to the first Pocket Monsters series) started playing in the background in the Japanese version.  This is replaced in the dub by your standard 4Kids fight music.

Cut--3 seconds altogether
A second is trimmed from the shot of Masato right before Kids' WB!'s final commercial break.

Also, two seconds are taken away from the pan shot of the outside of Senri's gym after the commercial break is over.

Cut--3 seconds
Three seconds are cut from the TO BE CONTINUED... screen.

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