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Japanese Episode BW 047: "A Mad Run! The Battle Subway!! (Part One)"
American Episode 1447: "Crisis from the Underground Up!"
Pokemon Live Caster: N/A
Japanese Air Date: September 15th, 2011
American Air Date: December 31st, 2011
Important Characters: Kenji (Tracey)
Satoshi and his friends have finally arrived in Raimon City! Satoshi wants to go straight to the Pokemon Gym but is convinced to make a detour to the city's Pokemon Center first. On the way, our heroes hear rumors about a mysterious "Ghost Train" that's been causing a commotion lately. When our heroes eventually arrive at the Pokemon Center, Nyasu convinces Satoshi and his friends to leave all their pokemon there to get some rest. Once past the Center's security systems, Nyasu informs Musashi and Kojirou that he's ready to begin! He places Pikachu and Kibago in small cages and then dumps them, along with the rest of the pokemon in the Pokemon Center, into a train car that his teammates had set up for him. Meanwhile, Satoshi and the others notice that the phones are all down and hear about trouble at the city's drawbridge. Thinking that these aren't just random mishaps all occurring at the same time, our heroes rush to check on the pokemon left at the Pokemon Center. Before long, they discover that Nyasu had only been pretending to be on their side to pull off this major heist! Satoshi, with the help of the Subway Masters Nobori and Kudari, begin to chase after the trio as they make their getaway in the Ghost Train. Unfortunately, a number of fake Ghost Trains are successful at keeping Satoshi and his friends off their tail! Can our heroes catch up to the Rocket-Dan and stop their evil plans? To be continued!
So, the Battle Subway two-parter.
First of all, Japanese version...why are these episodes known as "A Mad Run! The Battle Subway!!" (激走！！バトルサブウェイ！！)? The Battle Subway is an actual thing in the games, y'know, and what we see in these two episodes aren't really it. Wouldn't that title be better for the episode where Satoshi and Dent face the Subway Masters a few episodes from now?
Second of all...this two-parter is terrible. Watching the two episodes separately as opposed to watching them as an hour-long special - which is the way they debuted on TV-Tokyo back in September 2011 - really helps make them more bearable. And this episode, with Dent being all Dent-y, is the better of the two. But man oh man...this two-parter is still a chore to sit through.
A lot of people disagree with me, though, saying that this is the climax of this epic storyline and proof that the writers' decision to change the Rocket trio into zombie robots was all worth it. I do not agree with this at all.
I suppose my biggest problem with this whole thing is how the writers take a simple plot - the Rocket-Dan steal a bunch of pokemon - and then drag it out for-e-ver. Was there really any reason this needed to be a two-parter? If you took out all the filler that was obviously added to pad the episode out - the obscene amount of time spent going over the Pokemon Center's security systems, the fake Ghost Trains, the thrilling scenes featuring Dent driving a small car (Is he going to turn left? Right? Go straight? OH MY GOD THE TENSION!!!) - you could have fit everything in easily. But no, that wouldn't be "epic" enough! So instead, they took a 20 minute plot and stretched it out to 40 minutes for the sake of making this story seem bigger than it really is.
The Rocket-Dan's plan of creating a diversion at the bridge to keep the police from noticing their actions inside the Pokemon Center seems like a good plan, but it actually ended up doing more harm than good. Remember, Dent didn't think anything was wrong until he looked at all the strange things that had been going on lately - the Ghost Train, the communications system going out, the drawbridge incident - and concluded that there was no way those were all coincidences. But if the Rocket-Dan hadn't tampered with the communication systems and the drawbridge, Dent and the others probably wouldn't have had any reason to be suspicious. Especially since Tabun'ne let Nyasu into the inner parts of the Pokemon Center; he didn't have to worry about tripping any alarms like he would have if he had broken in. By the time Satoshi and his friends would have gone to check on their pokemon - which probably would have been hours later than they actually end up doing here - the Rocket-Dan would have been long gone.
(Also, I'm guessing they messed around with the communications system to prevent the police from talking with each other, maybe? It's never really adequately explained.)
People also like to paint the whole "Nyasu gets Satoshi and his friends to trust him" as a "win" for the BW Rocket trio and act like it shows how they're so much better at being villains now. But is convincing Satoshi to trust you really something to brag about? Remember, this is the same Satoshi who looked at these guys in the fourth episode of Diamond & Pearl and thought "Yeah, I can trust 'em!"
But wait, my bad. Taking five episodes to gain the same amount of trust that it's taken five minutes to gain in every other "the Rocket trio tricks Satoshi-tachi" scenario is just so much better. Obviously.
There are other shitty parts too, like Satoshi having absolutely zero reaction to Nyasu re-joining the Rocket-Dan. Wasn't Nyasu joining the team kind of the entire point of this Nyagotiator arc? And wouldn't you therefore think that his betrayal would be something worth spending a little bit of extra time on? Instead of dicking around with decoy Ghost Trains for the last 1/3 of the episode - something that was much more entertaining and far less time consuming in this episode, by the way - why not spend a little time showing Satoshi and his friends being upset?
At least the Kenji mention was nice.
The English script here is movie-level, which is a nice change of pace from the random rewrites we usually get in the TV series. And now that Meowth is back to being a robot, we don't have to worry about the dub giving him awful dialogue anymore. So...yay? There's still too much dub music (as in more than zero) but TPCI at least manages to keep some of the more "important" pieces of background music.
There were a few things I wanted to bring up that occur throughout the episode.
Dent's "Metro Sommelier" gets changed, predictably enough, to "Metro Connoisseur." I'm glad they didn't change the metro part, especially considering the other definition of the word.
Nobori and Kudari refer to Dent as Dent-sama, which is all sorts of hilarious. Also, Kudari refers to Nobori as Nobori-niisan (ノボリ兄さん), or "Big Brother Nobori," indicating that Nobori's the older of the two. The dub ignores both of these.
Finally, according to PocketMonsters.net, the timetable seen in this image has, apparently, a list of the various train lines that run throughout Raimon City.
Those lines are, according to the site, the Sobu, Chuo, Yamanote, Keihin(-Tohoku), and Oedo Line; in other words, all the major train lines in Tokyo. Which is amusing considering that the Isshu Region is based on New York. But! ...I can't really make any of those words out in the larger version of the image above. I mean if I squint really hard I can maybe make out some of those - the real world Yamanote Line is always represented by a green line on all the JR Train maps, and the text beside the green square up there kind of looks like it could say the Pokemon language equivalent of "Yamanote," for example - but I still don't know. It's certainly nothing I would have ever picked up on by myself, at any rate.
What do you guys think?
All of these involve Cilan, oddly enough.
Cilan introduces Nimbasa City:
Cilan: "Wow. And there are other places for having battles besides the Nimbasa City Gym. Apparently there are so many Trainers who come here to sharpen their battling skills Nimbasa City's nicknamed 'Battle Central.'"
The city's nickname in the Japanese version is Pokemon Batoru no Seichi (ポケモンバトルの聖地), or the "Pokemon Battle Holy Land." You can probably guess why TPCI changed it.
The same name change occurs again when Cilan talks about the Pokémon being kept in the Pokémon Center later in the episode.
After witnessing the Ghost Train, Cilan greets the Subway Bosses:
Cilan: "Ingo! Emmet! It's been much too long!"
Emmet: "If it isn't our favorite Metro Connoisseur!"
Kudari doesn't call Dent his "favorite" anything; in fact, he isn't even 100% sure of who Dent is! Originally, Kudari says "You're that Metro Sommelier Dent, right?"
Cilan gets all fired up after hearing about the Ghost Train:
Cilan: "How dare someone endanger the lives of innocent passengers and taint the subway's reputation?"
Originally, Dent says that he can't forgive someone who would threaten the safety of those who love the subway. But the dub goes with "endanger the lives of innocent passengers," which is actually a bit more edgy than the Japanese version. That's pretty surprising.
This was just too good to not bring up;
Meowth: "I became buddies with you dumb twerps so I could pull off an inside job. Breaking into that vault was a piece of cake. And I'd be rude if I didn't thank you from the bottom of my calculatin' heart!"
"...bottom of my calculatin' heart?" OMG YOU GUYS TEAM ROCKET REALLY ARE A BUNCH OF ROBOTS NOW THIS PROVES IT!!!!!!!!
Cilan: "Five hundred yards until the D3 point!"
Dent originally states that there are 500 meters until the D3 point. Five hundred meters is about 547 yards, so the dub makes the D3 point just a little bit closer than it was in the Japanese version.
OMG BIGGEST CHANGE EVAR THIS DUB IS SH1TT!!!!1!!!11!1!!!!
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