Japanese Episode
BW 003

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Best Wishes!

Japanese Episode BW 003
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode BW 003:  "Mijumaru!  Meguroc!  In the Knick of Time!!"
American Episode 1403:  "A Sandile Gusher of Change!"
Pokemon Live Caster:  Isshu Region starter pokemon

Japanese Air Date:  September 30th, 2010
American Air Date:  February 19th, 2011
Important Characters:  Dan (Dan)

As Satoshi heads for Sanyou City, he finds himself being followed by Iris and the Mijumaru who helped him defeat the Rocket-Dan.  The water-type pokemon approaches Satoshi and shows signs that it wants to join his party, so the young trainer calls Araragi-Hakase and has its Monster Ball sent to him.  Mijumaru runs off while Satoshi is talking to the professor, so its new trainer is forced to chase after it.  This leads him and Iris straight into a pitfall.  A young boy named Dan helps them climb out and explains that the hole was dug by the crocodile pokemon Meguroc.  He explains that the pokemon had been causing trouble at his father’s spa, driving away all their customers with its seemingly random acts of vandalism.  After finally tracking down Mijumaru at the spa and dealing with an attack by the Rocket-Dan, Satoshi and Iris discover that the Meguroc were only trying to get everyone away to safety before a series of geysers erupt and flood the area.  They almost succeed in leading everyone to safety when the geysers go off, spewing hot water everywhere and isolating a group of pokemon on a rock!  Satoshi, together with the Meguroc, form a bridge that enables the trapped pokemon to cross the boiling hot water to safety.  Later, Dan and his father repurpose the spa as a hot springs resort and thank Satoshi and Iris for all their hard work.  As Satoshi and Iris continue toward Sanyou City, the sunglasses wearing leader of the Meguroc follows behind.

I know I’ve been really down on Best Wishes! lately, but these first few episodes really do have their share of problems.  I’m not some old curmudgeon who wants everything to remind me of “the good ol’ days,” nor do I need the show to completely reinvent itself to keep myself from getting bored.  But a bland episode is a bland episode.

The episode’s main plot is the kind of cookie cutter thing we’ve seen a million times before.  Random character of the day is terrorized by a pokemon, and it’s up to Satoshi and his friend(s) to solve the character of the day’s problem.  The thing with this episode is that Satoshi and Iris don't really contribute much to the plot at all.  Dan and his father would have eventually figured out that the Meguroc were only trying to help, the geysers would have erupted regardless, and the Meguroc would have formed a bridge to rescue the pokemon without Satoshi.  The little bit that Satoshi and Pikachu did do – convincing the terrified pokemon to move off the rock and extending the Meguroc’s bridge when the rock gives way – could have been done by just about anybody.

And then there’s Mijumaru.  I like the pokemon and all, but the writers’ attempt at making it the next Potchama can get really overbearing at times.  The whole thing reeks of effort, and I can’t think of how the writers’ intentions could be any more obvious.  “Do you like it yet?  How about now?  Now?  NOW!?”  Geez.  I do like, however, the fact that the writers remembered that Mijumaru already has a Monster Ball and therefore can’t be captured out in the wild.  The writers forgetting this detail would have bugged the hell out of me, so I’m happy to see them remember.

The Rocket-Dan are still doing the same repetitive stuff people complained about them doing before, but since they’re being all emotionless and joyless now, their antics are somehow “better.”  I will say this, however; I actually do like that they have trenchcoats now.  It always did seem weird that Musashi and Kojirou could get away with just walking around with a big red “R” on their shirts without drawing any attention to themselves, so I see the addition of civilian clothes to their wardrobe as being a big plus.  They’re certainly better than those awful shirts they were wearing during the Shin'ou League.

The English version gives us three episodes in a row without any dub music, really supporting this idea that the dub really has changed for the better.  The dub has "gotten better" and then gone back to being crap after a few episodes before, so I still have my guard up.  I do think that this time the change might actually be permanent, but the dozen or so years of precedent can't be shrugged off so easily.  The script in this episode is also really good, especially compared to the last episode, and Sandile's voice is the closest a pokemon's voice has been to its Japanese counterpart in a long time.  Overall, there's very little to complain about, and that's a great feeling.

As of this episode, Kokoro no Fanfare is used as the ending theme.

Dialogue Edit
The shell that Mijumaru takes off and throws at people is called a hotachi (ホタチ), a made-up word combining hotategai (ホタテガイ), or "scallop," and tachi (太刀), a Japanese long sword.  The word tachi can also be found in the name of Mijumaru's evolved form, Futachimaru.

In the English dub, Oshawott's weapon is called a "scalchop," which is a combination of "scallop" and "chop."

Sound Edit
After the flashback with Professor Juniper letting Oshawott out of its PokéBall from the first episode, the sound of another PokéBall can be heard in the background.  It seems like maybe TPCI simply recycled the audio from the first episode and, for some reason, didn't hit the stop button on the sound effects track until a few seconds after the flashback was over.  This same error does not occur in the Japanese version.

A similar thing occurs after Dan's flashback about the Sandile causing all the trouble at his hotel.  After that flashback is over, that kind of "whoosh" sound you hear at the end of the flashback plays a second time when Iris shrugs her shoulders ("I don't understand how a bunch of friendly Sandile could have suddenly gotten destructive").  Again, this same error doesn't happen in the Japanese version.

I assume this will all be sorted out for the reruns, or at the very least for the eventual DVD release.

Dialogue Edit
While Team Rocket's using their binoculars to spy on a half naked ten year old boy, Sandile appears again:

Jessie:  "Not you again!"
James:  "Why must you be so persistent!?"
Meowth:  "Stay here and you'll blow our cover."

Originally, Nyasu isn't worried about Meguroc blowing their cover; he simply tells Meguroc that it's an eyesore.

Side Note
The Japanese version of this episode debuts a new segment, Ookido-Hakase no Pokemon Raibu Kyasutaa (オーキド博士のポケモンライブキャスター), or "Orchid-Hakase's Pokemon Live Caster."  It's basically the spiritual successor of the Orchid-Hakase Pokemon lectures from the previous series.

Orchid-Hakase's Pokemon Live Caster

The English version, of course, removes this segment from this and every episode that follows.

Also, I think now is as good a time as any to mention that the English version of the games changing Live Caster to "Xtransceiver" is one of the more pointless changes in recent memory.

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