Japanese Episode
BW 039

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Best Wishes!

BW 039
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode BW 039:  "Everyone Gather!  The Don Battle!!"
American Episode 1439:  "Reunion Battles In Nimbasa!"

Pokemon Live Caster:  N/A
Japanese Air Date:  July 7th, 2011
American Air Date:  October 29th, 2011
Important Characters: 
Takemitsu (Freddy "The Scoop" Omartian), Sanshiroh (Silvester), Dino (Dino), Omega (Omega), Antonio (Antonio), Ibushi (Emmanuel), Sekimoto (Scooter), Yoshihiko (Jimmy Ray),
Important Places:  Raimon Town (Nimbasa Town)

Satoshi, Iris, Dent, and Luke have all arrived in Raimon Town, the site of the Don Battle tournament!  As they prepare to register, their old friends and rivals show up outside the stadium, one by one.  Bel, Cabernet, Langley, and Shooty have all come to participate in the tournament and vow to defeat their respective rivals.  Once registration is completed, the opening ceremony begins!  Don George tells everyone that the tournament will consist of one-on-one battles and that pokemon substitutions will not be allowed.  He then announces that the prize for winning the tournament is a complete set of Feathers that can be used to boost a pokemon's attributes!  The first match is one between Langley and a Bature trainer named Sanshiroh.  The tiny electric-type pokemon is able to deliver a powerful 100,000 Volt attack but is eventually brought down when Langley's Tsunbear falls on top of it.  After a few more matches, Satoshi and Cabernet's turn comes up.  Satoshi decides to use his inexperienced Gamagaru against Cabernet's Muland, and for a while it seems like her "new vintage" has the upper hand.  Luckily, Gamagaru is able to aim a Mud Shot attack right into Muland's open mouth, keeping it occupied long enough to hit it with Hydro Pump.  Cabernet's pokemon is knocked out, giving Satoshi his first victory of the tournament!  The next match in the Don Battle will be between Dent and Shooty.  Who will be the winner, and who will advance to the finals?  To be continued!

Remember the Don Battle tournament, before it got all terrible?  I do, and this opening episode reminds me of a time when I actually had hope that this four episode arc would be an entertaining way to spend roughly two hours of my life.

I used to think that Best Wishes had this problem with recurring characters and having anything resembling a sense of continuity, but this episode proves that the writers are still willing to reuse characters from earlier episodes.  Seeing Satoshi-tachi's rivals interact with the people they seem to hate so much is fantastic fun, and there are so many funny moments in this episode that it kind of makes me sad that they don't appear more often.  From Iris manipulating Zorroa-Langley like a puppet to Cabernet ignoring everyone who's not Dent, the comedy in this episode really makes things so much better. 

Speaking of comedy:  Yoshihiko.  The writers seriously need to bring him back in the future.

The battle between Tsunbear and Bature was seriously one of my favorite battles of the series so far, which admittedly isn't saying a whole lot.  I especially liked how it already had swirly eyes - this show's shorthand for "unconscious" - when it was dragging itself out from under its opponent.  I guess "unable to battle" doesn't mean "unable to crawl so you can faint where everyone can see you," huh?  The battle between Satoshi and Cabernet wasn't so exciting, and it is weird how both Gamagaru and Cabernet are now calm all of a sudden.  But it was still alright.

Oh, and Shooty exists, I guess?  He was pretty much the only downer of this episode, but at least his reaction to his rival gave us that great image of Satoshi with his face all puckered up, Purin-style.

There isn't a whole lot to say about the English version.  Burgundy speaks a lot more French than Cabernet does, which is a shame considering how much she butchers the pronunciations.  The big thing about this episode, though, is the revelation that the Don Battles is renamed the Club Battles.  It seems like a minor change, I know, but think about it.  Don George has, in addition to hosting a tournament in a stadium that includes giant statues of himself in the most macho poses imaginable, decided to name the whole thing after himself.  In short, the Raimon Town Don George is a complete narcissist.  Sure, a lot of that still comes through in the dub, but not having the tournament named after the man himself sort of lessens the impact, y'know?

Dialogue Edit

James' first line of the episode is also the first dialogue edit of the episode:

Jessie:  "Nimbasa City..."
Meowth:  "Site of our next assignment."
James:  "Right.  An assignment illuminated with the joy of shining success."
Jessie:  "Yes...just like that brightly lit ferris wheel."
Meowth:  "Which is almost as bright as our hopes and dreams."
James:  "Right.  And it's all for our beloved Boss!"

Here's a page from the handbook on writing dialogue for the Black & White Rockets:  One, have James start all of his sentences with the word "right."  Two, only use Meowth to complete his teammate's sentences.  Three, make sure their exchange doesn't sound anything like a conversation that people in real life would have, ever.

Anyway, the reason I brought this up is because James' first line is a rewrite.  Originally, he tells Musashi and Nyasu that their next mission will begin there without any of the optimistic "shining success" stuff that the dub adds.

In Nimbasa Town:

Ash:  "So the battle tournament's gonna be here in Nimbasa City!"
Pikachu:  "Pika!"
Cilan:  "Home of the world famous giant ferris wheel."

Dent says that the ferris wheel is famous, but he doesn't say that it's world famous.

Bianca runs off to register:

Ash:  "Awesome.  Let's go register."
Bianca:  "Yeah, let's!  Come on!  Hurry!"
Luke:  "She must take great vitamins."

In the Japanese version, Luke says that Bel seems like a really busy person.  TPCI took that line and changed it to have him suggest that she's on drugs, for some reason.

Before announcing the match-ups for the first round, Don George starts things off:

Don George:  "And now, on behalf of Nimbasa Town and the Don George Pokémon Battle Club, it is my distinct privilege to get things rolling with that old familiar phrase "Let the Club Battle begin!""

Originally, Don George doesn't claim to be speaking on behalf of Raimon Town.  Instead, he explains that the title of the tournament, the "Don Battle," is short for Don Jooji Shusai Pokemon Batoru Toonamento Taikai (ドン・ジョージ主催バトルトーナメント大会), or "The Don George Pokemon Battle Tournament." 

Also..."that old familiar phrase?"  You mean the phrase that nobody has ever said since the series began, ever?

Side Note
The names of all the Don Battle contestants who debut here are based on pro wrestlers who are active in Japan.  Going through all of them takes a bit of time, so I put everything on its own page to keep this page from being too cluttered.  I hope you learn something!

Dialogue Edit
Right before the main commercial break:

Freddy:  "So, let me hand the play-by-play over to Don George!"
Don George:  "Wait, I'm the head of the Pokémon Battle Club, and you're the sports anchor.  It's yours."
Freddy:  "Alright, the pleasure's all mine!  Begin the battle extravaganza!"

Look at these two jokesters, going back and forth like that while avoiding making eye contact with one another.  It's too bad this "witty banter" wasn't in the Japanese version at all!

Originally, Don George says that he'll be co-hosting the event along with Takemitsu and that he'll do his best.  English Don George apparently wants to leave it all to Freddy, though?

Also, Don George doesn't say anything about Takemitsu being a "sports anchor" in the Japanese version.

Next, let's fast forward to right before Ash reveals which Pok
émon he'll be using against Burgundy:

Trip:  "One thing I know, it'll be a mess for sure."
Luke:  "Nah.  It'll be exciting."

It sounds like Luke is responding to Trip here, doesn't it?  The thing is, their comments don't have a "nah" connecting the two in the Japanese version like they do in the dub.  I know we can't really get a good feel for how far apart everyone's sitting, but I sort of get this feeling that Shooty isn't even sitting within earshot of Luke.

After Ash reveals that his Palpitoad's never been in a battle before:

Burgundy:  "You've got more courage than I thought if you're using a tournament battle with a connoisseuse as a test.  So let's see your specialty du jour!"

Cabernet asks Satoshi if he thinks he really should decant his pokemon for a little bit longer before taking her on.  This alcohol reference got removed from the dub.

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