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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Best Wishes!
Japanese Episode BW 002: "Iris and Kibago!"
American Episode 1402: "Enter Iris and Axew!"
Japanese Air Date: September 23rd, 2010
American Air Date: February 12th, 2011
Important Characters: Iris (Iris)
Important Places: Sanyou City (Striaton City)
The thundercloud caused by the legendary pokemon Zekrom disappears, enabling Satoshi's Pikachu to use electric attacks again! Later that night, the young trainer tells his mom and Orchid-Hakase that he's decided to travel around the Isshu region and compete in the Isshu League! Before setting off, Araragi-Hakase tells him that the closest gym is in nearby Sanyou City. On the road, Satoshi's new Pokemon Zukan tells him that a Kibago is in a nearby bush, so he throws a Monster Ball to catch it. Much to his surprise, the "Kibago" he tried to catch is really a girl named Iris! Once the introductions are out of the way, Satoshi mentions seeing Zekrom back in Kanoko Town, piquing the young girl's interest. Iris follows Satoshi to learn more as the young trainer makes unsuccessful attempts at capturing his first Isshu pokemon. Eventually, he runs into a Mamepato and is able to weaken it enough to add it to his team! As Satoshi celebrates his new capture, the Rocket-Dan appear and kidnap his Pikachu and Iris' Kibago! Musashi's newly captured Koromori is able to fend off Satoshi's Mamepato, allowing them to escape. Just as the trio is making their getaway, the Mijumaru from Araragi-Hakase's laboratory appears out of nowhere and attacks! The trio retreats, and Pikachu and Kibago are returned to their trainers. Later, Satoshi and Iris take their pokemon to a nearby Pokemon Center. As Satoshi and Iris thank each other for their work that day, the Mijumaru that had been following Satoshi looks on from the distance.
I like "Iris and Kibago!" Honest. But, I still have about a million complaints about the episode.
I'll start with the parts I do like. The art in both this episode and the last episode have been phenomenal, and the color palette used really helps highlight this. Iris is introduced, and though she doesn't do much in these first few episodes, she's still a really fun character who has some great interactions with Satoshi. Speaking of Satoshi, I can't think of another episode where I've liked Matsumoto Rika's voice acting more. She absolutely nails every single one of her lines here and gives me yet another reminder that she is the only person whose voice I want to hear coming out of Satoshi's mouth.
And now, the complaining. I'm not too happy with the way the whole "Pikachu's affected by Zekrom" thing just sort of got swept under the rug. Like seriously, the problem that lasted most of the previous episode that was used as the cliffhanger gets wrapped up before the opening theme? Really!? I'm also not a huge fan of Satoshi catching the regional bird again. I know having a flying type is useful for a number of reasons, but Satoshi's obligation to catch the regional bird makes his teams so predictable. Pikachu, regional bird, starters...seriously, where's the variety?
And then there's the Rocket-Dan. I don't want to spend too much time talking about them here because I know that most of you already know how I feel, so I'll just say that this is the episode where it's made clear that the Rocket trio a lot of us have loved for the past thirteen years is dead. Sure, they grab Pikachu with a mechanical hand, perform the motto, engage in a pokemon battle, escape in a hot air balloon, get shot down, and eventually get defeated. But this time, they do all this while having the personalities of lobotomized robot zombies. They're just so freaking boring here, and unfortunately, they only get worse as the series goes on. And don't even get me started on the BS about them not being able to get their old pokemon back.
The English version puts our fears to rest by showing us that it's actually dubbing Team Rocket accurately. A lot of people (myself included) were worried that The Pokémon Company International was going to continue to dub the trio the way they had been since Diamond & Pearl, and I think these fears were fairly justified. Luckily, that didn't come to pass, and the trio's dialogue is more faithful than it's ever been. Jimmy Zoppi and Michele Knotz are still adjusting to their new roles, and I actually think that's a good thing. The little hint of goofiness left in their voices actually makes the transition from Diamond & Pearl to Best Wishes! a lot less jarring. I'll always prefer Hayashibara Megumi, Miki Shin'ichirou, and Inuyama Inuko, of course, but I do like how the dub voice actors are handling things here.
The script for this episode includes lots of little exaggerations. Take this bit of dialogue after the title screen, for example:
Ash: "I've decided my next journey will be right here."
Delia and Professor Oak: "Huh?"
Ash: "For sure! I wanna meet all the Pokémon from Unova! And I'll make a bunch of new friends, too!"
In the Japanese version, Satoshi just states that he wants to meet pokemon in the Isshu region. In the dub, he wants to meet all of them.
A few lines later:
Delia: "Pikachu, take good care of Ash."
Pikachu: "Pika Pika!"
Professor Oak: "And call us from time to time. I'll look forward to hearing about the new Pokémon you've met. How does that sound?"
It sounds like a rewrite to me! In the Japanese version, Orchid-Hakase asks Satoshi to call him and report about all the unusual and rare pokemon he meets, while in the dub, he wants to know about any new pokemon he encounters, period. The "unusual and rare" part isn't there in the dub.
Next, when bidding Ash farewell on his journey:
Delia: "Where's your handkerchief? Are your clothes packed? Do you have clean underwear?"
I never realized it before now, but in the five seasons TPCI's had the show, Delia's only shown up...once? TPCI didn't bring back Delia's creepy obsession with her son's underwear then, and I just kind of assumed that it was a thing of the past. Looks like I was wrong!
Originally, Hanako's third question is "Did you forget anything?"
After Iris meets Pikachu:
Iris: "Whoa, no way! Pikachu!? You've got to be the sweetest thing ever! It's so cute! And those jiggling cheeks. Can't find anything this jiggly in Unova."
"Can't find anything this jiggly in Unova?" That's just...ew.
Anyway, the reason I brought this up is because of the word Unova. The scriptwriter for this episode must have had a hard on for the word or something because he or she uses it every chance he gets. I actually counted, because I'm a sad person with nothing better to do, and found that TPCI uses the word "Unova" twenty-one times. The Japanese version, in contrast, only uses "Isshu" about a dozen times.
After the main commercial break:
Ash: "Unova's got lots of cool Pokémon. Not just Zekrom. I'll meet them all."
Let's continue exaggerating, shall we? In the Japanese version, Satoshi states that the pokemon in the region are mysterious. He doesn't say anything about meeting any of them, much less all of them.
Later that night:
Ash: "That Unova sky's full of stars."
Unova Unova Unova Unova Unova!
Satoshi says the same thing that Ash does, minus the region name.
The following morning:
Ash: "Iris left early, y'know? I wonder where she could've gone."
Pikachu: "Pika Pika."
Satoshi tells Pikachu that Iris was already gone when they woke up. In the dub, however, she "left early," which isn't quite as explicit.
This episode also gives us the debut of the Rocket-Dan's new motto. First, here's the Japanese version:
And here's my translation:
Musashi: "If you ask "You guys again!?""
Kojirou: "We'll give you an answer for the sake of tomorrow."
Musashi: "Future! The white future is the color of evil."
Kojirou: "Universe! The iron hammer comes down on the black world."
Nyasu: "Our names are chiseled in this earth."
Musashi: "The passionate destroyer, Musashi!"
Kojirou: "The pure heart of darkness, Kojirou!"
Nyasu: "The infinite knowledge, Nyasu!"
Rocket-Dan: "Now, gather! Under the name of the Rocket-Dan!"
Now, the version heard in the dub:
Jessie: "Again!? is the question, so twerpish indeed."
James: "The answer to come, as we feel the need."
Jessie: "Bringing the blinding white light of evil into the future."
James: "Thrusting the hammer of justice down onto the black darkness of the universe."
Meowth: "And carving our names in the rock of eternity."
Jessie: "The fiery destroyer, Jessie!"
James: "And with thunderous emotion, I am James!"
Meowth: "Wisest of the wise, Meowth!"
Team Rocket: "Now gather, under the name of Team Rocket!"
Pretty surprising how accurate that is, isn't it? For the first time ever, the Rocket-Dan's motto is actually given a faithful translation instead of the dubbers just making up whatever. This is a very good thing after the previous motto, where the rewrites clashed horribly with some of the images used.
And to those of you upset that the English version of the motto doesn't rhyme, think about the fact that a motto, by definition, doesn't necessarily have to rhyme. We're used to Team Rocket's mottos rhyming because all the others did, but there's no real rule saying that they have to. The Japanese versions of the mottos don't rhyme, after all.
Finally, after Jessie calls out her new Pokémon:
Ash: "What's that?"
Iris: "It's a Woobat!"
Meowth: "A Woobat. That name's got a nice ring to it."
Jessie: "Nice ring is a good thing."
And just like that, TPCI slips back into DP mode. That didn't take long.
Originally, the fact that Nyasu didn't know what Koromori was called was a lot clearer. His original line is Nyaruhodo! Aitsu wa Koromori to iu no nya (にゃるほど！あいつはコロモリと言うのニャー), or "That's right, nya. That thing's called "Koromori" nya."
The dub removes the next episode preview, to no one's surprise.
I guess TPCI is taking this whole "let's get better at our jobs" thing one step at a time?
Well, there's always the next series.
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