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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Best Wishes!
Japanese Episode BW 046: "Nyasu the Nyagotiator! Break Through the Tsunbear Forest!!"
American Episode 1446: "Beartic Mountain Feud!"
Pokemon Live Caster: Gothemme
Japanese Air Date: September 8th, 2011
American Air Date: December 17th, 2011
Important Characters: Cliff (Cliff)
A powerful storm blows through a forest one night, separating a Kumashun from its celebration! Two days later, Satoshi and his friends come across the lost pokemon and listen to its story. They attempt to return the Kumashun to a celebration of Tsunbear they encounter moments later, but the Ice-Type pokemon don't seem to recognize the little bear pokemon! A forest ranger named Cliff guides our heroes back to his cabin and explains that there are actually two groups of Tsunbear: one that lives at the foot of the mountains and one that lives at the summit. They find out that the Kumashun they're helping is from the summit group, so Satoshi and his friends venture back out into the forest to find the correct celebration. As they make their way toward the top of the mountain, Satoshi and his friends are attacked and get separated from their pokemon! Satoshi and his friends look for their pokemon while Pikachu, Nyasu and the others search for some food to give the hungry Kumashun. Unfortunately, their search ends with Nyasu accidentally stealing some of the Tsunbear's food! Luckily, Satoshi-tachi were able to find the mountain top Tsunbear and, with their help, is able to help stop the other group's rampage. Later, Cliff tells Satoshi and his friends that he'll help the Tsunbear find somewhere with lots of food so they won't have to fight like that again. Now that everything's back to normal, Satoshi and his friends return to the road to Raimon City.
So this episode here, the one about herbivorous polar bears living in a forest, which is also located in an area that should be mostly desert because, hey, why not? Can't say I'm a huge fan of it.
...Which is kind of disappointing considering how great the previous episode was. What happened, Best Wishes! writers? Did you use up all your awesome in the previous week's episode and the thrilling drama surrounding territorial polar bears in this one was the best you could come up with? Did you really look at a bear pokemon with a giant snot drop hanging off its face and say "nah, we got nothing to work with here"?
The lack of "Nyagotiating" was also a bit annoying since Nyasu can't "nyagotiate" worth a shit in this episode. I mean how messed up is it when Satoshi and the other humans are able to get the summit Tsunbear on their side at the end of the episode, all by themselves, while Nyasu is busy getting his ass beat? Cliff mentions how useful it would be to have a talking Nyasu before awkwardly trying to capture him for himself (also, what the hell, dude?), yet how useful could he really be if all he's able to do is piss off a bunch of Tsunbear by stealing their fruit?
There is some good stuff here, like the bit of personality we get when Pikachu and Pokabu voice their reservations about taking the fruit that Nyasu and Mijumaru found. And the part where Nyasu refers to Satoshi and his friends as "Satoshi-tachi" on two separate occasions, while creepy, is also something that sets this episode apart. But other than that...there's not a whole lot to say about this one. "Meh episode is meh," as the kids on the Internet like to say these days.
Here's a fun fact: A group of polar bears is known as a "celebration." So that's pretty neat, I guess?
The dub of this episode is unique because the closed captions identify Meowth as a "Meowthiator" - which I guess is the dub's version of "Nyagotiator?" - even though nobody actually says the word out loud. I wonder why the lines changed between the time the script was written and the time the actors were brought into the recording booth. Could no one decide on the best way to pronounce this made-up word? Did they think it sounded stupid? Did they decide, and rightly so, I must say, that throwing a made-up word that they've made no effort to explain into the last episode of a four-episode arc would be too confusing? Who knows!
Iris notices the storm damage around her:
Iris: "I can't believe what a mess this path is."
Axew: "Skew skew!"
Meowth: "Probably from the storm a couple of days ago."
The Japanese version explicitly says "two days" (２日前の) throughout the episode, but the dub goes with "a couple of days" instead. I of course realize that "a couple of days" is technically the same thing as "two days," but the former is also often used colloquially (at least in American English) to mean "a few" or "three or four." We're not usually so strict when it comes to the whole "couple of days = exactly two days" thing, y'know? So while there's room for interpretation in the dub, the Japanese version is very clear - two days exactly.
As soon as the first Beartic to appear after the title screen shows up:
Meowth: "It's a Beartic!"
Nyasu doesn't say anything in the Japanese version.
The Meowthiator negotiator appears:
Meowth: "I'm not sure why you fine Pokémon are hot under the collar, but I'm sure we can talk it out. There's really no need to throw your blood pressure way up into the clouds, right?"
Cilan: "Those Beartic just used Icy Wind!"
Meowth: "Look, I'm not the one who needs cooling off!"
Nyasu tells the Tsunbear that they should cool their heads and work things out. They freeze him with their Icy Wind attack, so Nyasu responds by saying that he's not the one who needs to cool his head.
This could have been translated directly without any problems, but I guess the dub didn't feel like it?
Over at Cliff's cabin, our heroes wonder why the two Beartic celebrations are fighting each other:
Cilan: "Obviously there's gotta be a reason why those Beartic were so mad."
Iris: "Yeah, I've never seen Pokémon get really upset without something provoking them."
Iris' extra bit about never seeing Pokémon get upset without provocation isn't there in the Japanese version. Instead, she simply wonders what caused the Tsunbear to be so agitated.
Next, Cliff decides to just up and catch a pokemon who's obviously traveling with someone else:
Cliff: "I can't tell you how helpful it would be to have a Meowth who could talk. Hope you don't mind me catching it. Let's go!"
TPCI actually makes Cliff less of a dick than he was in the Japanese version. Originally, he tells Satoshi and his friends that he'll go ahead and catch the pokemon; he doesn't "hope they don't mind" like he does in the dub.
Also, I kind of love dub Cliff's delivery of this line here. "Hope you don't mind me catching it. I mean, I'm not going to actually bother to wait for you to answer me one way or the other, I don't have all day you know. Let's go!"
Back in the forest, Ash and his friends run into the Beartic from the foot of the mountain again:
Iris: "We're surrounded by three of them!"
Iris doesn't count the number of Tsunbear in the Japanese version. She just states that they're surrounded.
Negotiating attempt number two:
Meowth: "Now, tell Meowth what's wrong. Every little thing that's eatin' away at your insides. (The Beartic all attack with Icy Wind again) Ow~! I said tell me, not freeze me!"
Again, Nyasu does the "just cool your head / you don't have to cool *my* head!" thing and, again, TPCI refuses to translate that.
Also, Beartic seem to think that the words "tell" and "freeze" sound alike, for some reason.
Later, the Rocket duo is spotted in the Nimbasa City subway.
Ingo: "Nimbasa City is depending on our investigation. My instinct tells me we should proceed this way."
Originally, Nobori says that they're the only ones who should be down there at this hour. Which is actually kind of weird when you think about it. The establishing shot of the train station clearly shows that it's the middle of the day, so why would they be the only ones down there? Wouldn't you think they'd only have subway staff walking around railways in the middle of the night, when the trains aren't running?
I guess the dub felt the same way and decided to change Ingo's line, with the added bonus of giving him a reason to do the whole pointing and calling thing I mentioned in the last episode.
After the commercial break, the Pokémon realize they've been separated from their Trainers:
Oshawott: "Osha Oshawott."
Meowth: "Huh!? What do ya mean it's my fault? None of this would have happened if you hadn't popped outta your PokéBall, bub!"
Oshawott: "Osha Osha wott wott!"
Nyasu doesn't blame Mijumaru for their predicament in the Japanese version; instead, he says that he can't be blamed because he's also victim in all of this.
After discovering the Beartic's stash of Berries:
Meowth: "It's a Berry bash! And the sun comes shining on down. And what goes around comes around."
Nyasu says that it looks like heaven hasn't abandoned them just yet (天はニャーたちを見放さなかったニャ). Of course, this being a reference to religion and all, it got changed for the dub.
Next, we see how much more of a jerk Meowth is than Nyasu:
Pikachu: "Pika! Pika Pika!"
Meowth: "Really? You think someone else hand-picked all of this?"
Meowth: "So what? You know the old saying. Ready? It's finder's keepers and loser's weepers!"
Oshawott: "Osha! Osha!"
Meowth: "See? We're just a lucky link in the food chain. Tough toenails for whoever picked this grub."
Oshawott: "Oshawott! Osha Osha-wott! Osha!"
Meowth: "Last one back's a rotten Pokémon!"
Nyasu isn't all like "screw those guys" the way he is in the dub. Instead, he reasons his crime away by saying that food circulating around like that is what keeps the world turning. He then goes on to say that by sharing food with one another, everyone can become companions on their journey.
A few moments later, the Beartic confront the Pokémon who stole their food. There are so many rewrites here, so I'll just put both scripts together side by side:
I think the part that bothers me the most about all this is the part where Meowth looks down at his paws and realizes that the Berries he stole really were gathered by the Beartic. The Japanese version makes sense - the Tsunbear outright tell him that the Berries they're holding were gathered by them, causing Nyasu to finally realize what they've done. In the English version, on the other hand, this same realization just comes out of nowhere. How does Meowth get "these Berries really do belong to these guys" out of "Don't lay your hang-ups on us!"? Doesn't the whole thing seem kind of random?
I'm also a bit weirded out by the "it's a free country" line, but I'm not sure why.
Finally, Ash and his friends say goodbye to the Cubchoo:
Meowth: "Don't forget to write!"
Meowth: "I'm gonna miss that kid."
Nyasu is a little bit more indirect in the Japanese version; there, he wistfully says "There it goes."
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