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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Best Wishes!
Japanese Episode BW 005: "Sanyou Gym! Satoshi vs. Baopp, Hiyapp, and Yanapp!"
American Episode 1405: "Triple Leaders, Team Threats!"
Pokemon Live Caster: Tsutarja
Japanese Air Date: October 14th, 2010
American Air Date: March 5th, 2011
Important Characters: Dent (Cilan), Pod (Chili), Corn (Cress)
Satoshi has finally arrived in Sanyou City! As he looks for the city's gym, he and Iris are approached by a Pokemon Sommelier named Dent. He takes them to the Gym where he and his brothers announce that the three of them are the Sanyou City Gym Leaders! The brothers explain that at the Sanyou City Gym, challengers can choose which Gym Leader to face: Pod and his Baopp, Dent and his Yanapp, or Corn and his Hiyapp. Satoshi decides to challenge all three, so a best two out of three battle is arranged. The first match is between Satoshi's Pokabu and Pod's Baopp. The pig pokemon is getting pummeled by Baopp's Dig attack until it decides to follow Baopp into one of the holes it dug. It then bites down on Baopp's tail, hurls it into the air, and knocks it out with a Tackle attack. The next match is between Satoshi's Pikachu and Corn's Hiyapp. Corn had developed a strategy to counter electric types by combining Hiyapp's Water Gun and Mud Play techniques to prevent his opponent's attacks from hitting it. Pikachu eventually succumbs to Hiyapp's barrage of well thought-out attacks, much to Satoshi's surprise. The final match is between Satoshi's Mijumaru and Dent's Yanapp. Mijumaru tries to push forward with Tackle and Water Gun, but Yanapp easily dodges the onslaught. After dishing out a few attacks itself, Yanapp prepares to launch a powerful Solar Beam attack! Will Mijumaru be able to get out of the way in time? To be continued!
Watching Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! after coming off Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl has felt kind of strange. While Diamond & Pearl was most certainly a kids’ show, Best Wishes! is making the fact that it targets elementary school kids much more obvious. The atmosphere, the whole “Satoshi not knowing much of anything,” the lack of “complex” battles…it certainly feels like a show aimed at the younger crowd. Going into the first “official” battle since the end of the Shin'ou League, I was interested to see how this new series would handle things. Will we get to see any hints of the progress the writers made during Diamond & Pearl when it comes to writing Gym Battles, or will we get a Kanto-style battle to match the Kanto feeling the rest of the show's been giving off?
Well, we get a little bit of both, in my opinion. The match between Baopp and Pokabu was one of those BS matches where the protagonist withstands an impossible amount of damage before making an implausible comeback, but the strategy Satoshi used to defeat Baopp is one of those I can see DP Satoshi coming up with. The match between Hiyapp and Pikachu, I felt, was a lot better. Yes, Pikachu should have been able to wipe the floor with the pokemon, but Corn clearly had a much better strategy in place. All the power in the world doesn't help if you can't actually hit your opponent, y'know, and I see Pikachu's loss more as a testament to how good a trainer Corn is than how bad a trainer Satoshi is. The comedic battle between Mijumaru and Yanapp gave off a Kanto vibe to me, but I found the character interactions a lot more entertaining. The battles may not have been as amazing as the ones we got at the end of Diamond & Pearl, but I think anyone expecting them to be has some rather unrealistic expectations.
The match-ups, on the other hand, puzzle me a bit. In the games, you battle the monkey who's strong against the starter you chose. If you choose Mijumaru, a water-type, you have to fight against Yanapp, a grass-type. Tsutarja trainers have to fight Baopp, and those who went with Pokabu have to fight Corn and his Hiyapp. In the TV series, we've got Mijumaru going up Yanapp just like in the games, so no problem there. Yet Pokabu, for some reason, didn't fight against Hiyapp. And Satoshi doesn't have a Tsutarja yet (OMG SPOILER!), so the only pokemon left are Pikachu and Mamepato. And since the writers seem to hate Mamepato, for whatever reason, Pikachu went up instead. A Pikachu vs. Baopp fight would have made a lot more sense, but instead we got Pikachu vs. Hiyapp. What in the world were the writers thinking?
People who like the Best Wishes! Rocket-Dan often complain about how the pre-BW trio used to ruin the flow of gym episodes by interrupting them with useless scenes. While this isn't entirely unfair – was the stuff in the Nagisa gym episode really necessary, for example? – it's not as if this “problem” ever went away. In this episode, for instance, the Rocket-Dan interrupt the gym battle to give us a useless “walking through the streets” scene and then, later, a “let's set up our appearance in the next episode” scene. The latter may seem important in principal, but would the next episode have not made sense if we didn't have the scene in this episode? After all, we didn't need to see the Ginga-Dan being ordered to go to wherever before their big episodes; they just showed up at Mt. Tengan or wherever else and allowed us to fill in the blanks. If the Rocket trio hadn't appeared in this episode at all and the next episode had them just show up at the Site of Dreams, I'm pretty sure we'd have been able to put two and two together.
Finally, I just wanted to mention that this is the first "Pokemon Live Caster" segment to be devoted to a single pokemon. And, I have to say, I really miss the old lectures where we'd get a new piece of animation of a pokemon attacking Orchid-Hakase. This new segment we get in Best Wishes! is just so boring in comparison.
Cilan makes his debut here, and I can't say his voice gave me a great first impression. Maybe I'll warm up to it eventually like I did with Dawn's, but of course it's too early to tell at this point. The dub has also seemed to fix its no-filter-on-the-PokéDex's-voice problem, thankfully. Oshawott's voice hasn't really gotten much better, but it's still not as bad as Piplup was on its best day, so that's something.
Dent's job title in the Japanese version is “Pokemon Sommelier.” In the dub, it's “Pokémon Connoisseur.”
It's kind of a predictable change, given how “Sommelier” has ties to alcohol that the censors might not have been happy with and all. Sure, Cartoon Network is OK with glasses of wine, as seen most recently during the previous episode's Team Rocket motto, but a fleeting image of alcohol and a guy who's clearly under 21 being a “sommelier” are two different things.
“Connoisseur” is a good enough alternative and is a lot better than some of the other titles they could have come up with, so I can't be too upset.
Inside the Gym, Ash gets fed up with the waiters:
Ash: "I just wanna have a Striaton City Gym Battle!"
Girls: "Gym Battle!?"
Ash: "That's what I said! I'm thinking this would be a good time to go. C'mon, Pikachu."
Pikachu: "Pika Pika."
Satoshi is angrier than Ash is, saying that he doesn't have any use for a place like that. Ash just sort of awkwardly excuses himself.
The next two occur during the Gym Leaders' introductions. First, after Chili's speech:
Girls: "What a dreamboat!"
This isn't really a change since the original line was suteki, or "how cool!" I'm just bringing it up because "dreamboat" is such an embarrassingly outdated thing to say.
A few lines later:
Girl with green shirt: "I can't believe we get to see another battle today~."
Girl with white shirt: "Yeah, it's like the happiest day of my life."
Girl with blue shirt: "I can't wait to see it."
Just to clarify, when the girl in the green shirt says "another battle today," she's not saying that there was another Gym Battle earlier that day. She's saying that there have been Gym Battles in days in the past and is happy that today won't go by without a battle. The English line isn't really a rewrite or anything, but it does have that extra implication that the original Japanese line doesn't due to the way it's worded.
Next, when scanning the Gym Leaders' pokemon:
Pokédex: "The temperature on the tuft of its head can reach 600 degrees when it's angry."
We get the standard Celsius to Fahrenheit thing going on here. The temperature in the original version is 300 degrees Celsius.
Next up, the battle between Satoshi and Pod. Pod has this thing in the Japanese version where he refers to himself as "ore-sama" which shows us that he really thinks a lot of himself. Maybe you remember the Shin'ou Gym Leader Maximum Mask talking the same way? Chili, like Crasher Wake, doesn't really have anything like this going on in the English version.
After Tepig gets hit with Dig:
Girls: "That's the way to show them Chili! Fight! Fight! Fight!"
Originally, they cheer for both Pod and Baopp. In the dub, they only cheer for Chili.
During the battle between Satoshi and Corn, Corn uses very polite Japanese when ordering his pokemon to attack. He also tends to refer to himself in the third person, for some reason. Cress doesn't do any of this in the English version.
Before Pikachu attempts to use Volt Tackle on Panpour:
Girl with grey hair: "Wow, it looks like Cress is going all the way once more!"
Girl who looks like Eriko: "Dreamboats."
Girl with brown hair: "Isn't he?"
Did...did that Eriko looking girl just say "dreamboats?" As in plural? As in, she's calling both Cress and his Panpour "dreamboats?"
After Cress is declared the winner:
Girls: "Go Cress! Go Cress! Go Cress Go!"
Originally, the girls just scream.
At the end of the Team Rocket briefing scene:
Giovanni: “Investigate the Dream Site and gain complete control of that energy. That is your new mission."
Silly Giovanni; the name of the location you're sending your agents to is the Dreamyard, according to the English versions of the games. “Dream Site” is the Japanese name of the place.
Also, in the Japanese version, Sakaki only orders Musashi-tachi to look for clues on the new energy. In the dub, he wants them to actually gain control of it.
Before the fight between Oshawott and Pansage:
Ash: "I need you to be strong. You're the only Pokémon that can get the job done. You're one of my strongest Pokémon. It's up to you!"
Satoshi tells his Mijumaru that it's the strongest pokemon he has with him out of the ones he has with him right now. Ash is a little more generous, telling Oshawott that it's one of his strongest Pokémon ever caught.
After Cilan orders Pansage to use Solar Beam:
Girls: "Pansage! Pansage! Let's go!"
In the Japanese version, the girls just scream and yell out deta! (出た！), or "here it comes," indicating that they recognize the attack.
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