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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Jouto Region
Japanese Episode 118: "The Rookie's Chicorita!"
English Episode 313: "The Double Trouble Header"
Pokemon Dare Da? Chicorita (Japanese), Heracross (English)
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture: Starmie
Japanese Air Date: October 21st, 1999
American Air Date: October 21st, 2000
Important Characters: Nanako (Casey), the Elebuus (the Electabuzz), the Starmies (Starmie), the Koikings (Magikarp)
As our heroes head for Kikyou City, they come across a rookie trainer in the forest. The young girl, named Nanako, quickly becomes interested in Satoshi's Pikachu because of its yellow color. She explains that she's a fan of the professional baseball team the Elebuus and is therefore a fan of all yellow pokemon. Things take a turn for the worse, however, when Satoshi puts down the Elebuus. Nanako challenges Satoshi to a battle to defend the team's honor, but all three of her pokemon are defeated by Satoshi's Lizardon. The rookie trainer runs off crying while the others wonder if Satoshi was too hard on her. Eventually, the Rocket-Dan intercept Nanako and convince the young trainer that Satoshi cheated his way through the match. This enrages Nanako, so she calls for a rematch at a nearby baseball stadium. There, her Chicorita faces off against Satoshi's Pikachu. The rookie's Chicorita is able to hold its own for a while since it has a type advantage, but the Rocket-Dan interrupt the battle before it can come to an end. The Rocket-Dan's attack convinces Nanako that the cheaters are the Rocket-Dan and that Satoshi is actually a pretty decent guy. Nanako and Satoshi combine Pikachu's and Chicorita's powers to send the Rocket-Dan blasting off again. Later, Nanako bids farewell to her new friend, promising him that she'll become stronger and face him again someday. As the young girl leaves, Satoshi reflects on the fact that he didn't make a new friend that day; he made a new rival instead.
This is the first
episode that I can think of where Satoshi is presented as a "veteran"
who has to look after a "rookie." It's a nice little nod to the
fact that Satoshi has been
doing this whole pokemon trainer thing for a while and is therefore
pretty decent at it and is a nice change of pace from the usual
plotlines this show's given us up until now. It's a plotline
reused again (why hello there, first half of Houen), but at this point
in the series, it's still new and fresh.
This episode also
presents an interesting issue; Satoshi's Pikachu actually has a bit of
a struggle against a rookie's Chicorita even though it just beat a
Kairyuu just a few episodes before. So...what happened
here? Did Pikachu somehow power down or something before it
entered the Jouto region? Did the writers just forget that Pikachu just won the
Orange League for its trainer? It's infuriating, it makes no
sense, and, unfortunately, it'll happen again in Diamond & Pearl. Great.
As far as Nanako
goes...she's alright, I guess. I'm not a huge fan of the
character, and I really don't see why it was decided to make her a
recurring character when there are so many other trainers who would be
more interesting to see multiple times. She's alright; I just don't think she's
super amazing enough to warrant multiple appearances.
Sounds a lot like
our Nanako, doesn't it?
The Starmies are
apparently based on the Yokohama Baystars (Starmie...Baystar...get it?) while the
Koiking are based on the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Kuchiba
City is modeled after the real-world Yokohama, so maybe the Starmies
are based there?
Casey was a lot
more annoying to me in the dub than Nanako was, and I think a lot of it
has to do with her voice. It's just so overly loud and
grating and doesn't have any of the charm that her Japanese voice
actress has but, like I've said before, the character won't show up too
many times in the future. So I guess I can put up with it a few
its Japanese voice, making it the only starter pokemon, as of this
writing, to not get a dub voice.
We get a mistranslation right off the bat (no pun intended):
Ash: "I sure am glad we got to see a real live Totodile!"
Misty: "Yeah, and that Cyndaquil was one of the cutest Pokémon I've ever seen."
Brock: "Too bad we didn't get to see a Chikorita."
None of those lines match up to what was originally said.
Originally, Satoshi said that he wanted to hurry up and capture a new pokemon. Then, Kasumi chimes in and says how cute Waninoko was and how she wants one, while Takeshi says that, as for him, he'd want a Hinoarashi.
The next few things have to do with Nanako. For starters...she talks with a Kansai dialect in the Japanese version. This was, most likely, done on purpose since the Hanshin Tigers are from the Kansai region, which is also the real-world equivalent of the Jouto region. Nanako has a number of Kansai-isms, such as calling Satoshi Satoshi-han rather than Satoshi-san and referring to herself as uchi instead of watashi or atashi.
In the dub, she has the same midwest American accent that most of the other characters in this show has. You would think that a dub that will just randomly give accents to characters left and right would jump at this chance. Yet they don't. Weird.
And now, let's talk about Nanako's Elebuus song.
The music used in
the background is
the same for both versions, but the lyrics are totally different.
Here are the Japanese lyrics, complete with translation:
* Mt. Suribachi
is known as "Mt. Mortar" in the English version of the games.
version, on the other hand, completely throws out the Japanese lyrics
and does its own thing:
We all love Electabuzz, no other team's the same.
The players charge the field and electrify the game.
They pitch and catch and run so quick, their baseball bats are thunder sticks
Their power hitters do the trick, Electabuzz, our favorite pick
We love their yellow colors and their black parts are the best
Electabuzz - they're better than the rest
As you can see,
the English version is quite a bit more wordy and doesn't contain any
of the pokemon-specific terms (Mt. Mortar, Quick Attack, etc.) that the
Japanese one does. The Japanese version also contains a lot of
the elements present in the Hanshin Tigers' cheerleading song - like a
mention of the wind blowing and the constant chants of "Hooray!" - that
the English version does not.
This episode has
all the lame baseball puns you'd expect. It also has this stinker:
saggin' dragon of yours doesn't scare us,
image to view a larger version.
Jessie: "Just between you and me, that twerp's got a reputation for violating a little-known Pokémon rule that forbids using a Charizard against new trainers and then laughing about it behind their back."
This line is a complete rewrite of the
corresponding line in the Japanese version. Originally, Musashi
tells Nanako that Satoshi's been giving money to "that team" to recruit
the best players. This is a reference to the Yomiuri Giants,
the rival team of the Hanshin Tigers who is fairly well-known in Japan
for using underhanded methods to recruit their players. By
comparing Satoshi to the (unnamed) rival team, Musashi is basically
telling Nanako that he can't be trusted.
I'm guessing this line got changed because
the majority of Americans wouldn't get the reference.
I would have
thought 4Kids would have gone in and changed those to an A and C instead, but they left it
cheerleading robots appear and release a bunch of air-filled
balloons. This is yet another reference to the Hanshin Tigers,
who apparently do the same thing during the seventh inning.
And that brings
us directly to our next Dialogue Edit:
The robots' cheer in the Japanese version is Ato hitori ("One more time!"). Kojirou asks Nyasu why they're chanting that, and Nyasu explains that it's only to pump Nanako up for the battle.
The dub changes the chant to "Gotta Catch 'Em All" which...well...doesn't make much sense. Because Casey's not trying to capture anything here, 4Kids.
The whole Rocket-Dan motto in this episode is one huge homage to Kyojin no Hoshi, an obscure-in-the-West series that gets parodied every now and then on this show. I tried to find the exact scene(s) that was being parodied in the motto, but going through a 182-episode series to find it just wasn't all that feasible. So, for the time being, I'll be posting images of similar scenes to show you an example of what's being parodied here.
The motto starts off with Musashi and Kojirou, playing the roles of Hoshi Hyuuma and Ban Chuuta, respectively. Musashi, decked out in Hyuuma's #16 jersey, performs his signature pitch, the Big League Ball (大リーグボール).
Kojirou catches the ball, and the two run in for a hug.
Finally, in the background, you can see Nyasu, dressed like Hoshi Akiko (Hyuuma's sister), looking on from behind a tree.
While I do complain about the show losing its "Japanese-ness" from time to time, I do have to admit that scenes like this show that it is still there, in some form.
The next one of these involves Ash's advice to Casey:
Casey: "Ow! I give up! I give up!"
Ash: "We can't just quit and let Team Rocket beat us!"
Ash: "A Pokémon match is just like baseball! You gotta take whatever the other team throws at ya. And hang in there 'til the last out!"
This was basically rewritten for the dub. You see, in the Japanese version, Satoshi tells Nanako to keep her eyes on the ball. He then tells her that pokemon is just like baseball in that you can't take your eyes off your opponent.
I guess 4Kids changed those lines to make Ash's advice more relevant to the situation at hand or something? I dunno.
Which brings us to...
When Satoshi is standing up to the Rocket-Dan's baseball machine, he gets hit in the face by two of the balls (*snicker*). These two hits are removed in the dub and are instead covered up by one of those full-screen impact stars from later in the episode.
I'm not that surprised by this edit, really. It's a shame, really; those are some really funny images of Satoshi that dub viewers missed out on.
I'm kind of digging how these edits transition into each other so well.
In the very next scene, Ash has this to say:
Ash: "I forgot to mention...there's one big difference between a Pokémon match and baseball."
Casey: "What's that?"
Ash: "A Pokéball's not...a beanball."
There was originally an untranslatable Japanese pun here. Satoshi tells Nanako that, because it's a ball, something occasionally goes wrong. He does this by using the words ボール (booru, or "ball") and たまに (tama ni, or "occasionally"). Nanako asks what that something *is*, and Satoshi responds by saying ボールだから、たま、って (booru dakara, tama, tte). Which, if you tried to translate it into English, would be something like "Since it's a ball, it's a ball."
The joke here is that both the words booru and tama mean "ball" in English. So when Satoshi says tama ni one sentence earlier, he makes a connection between booru and tama and then comments on it.
Brock: "Hmm...That Casey's gonna be a very interesting young lady. I wonder if she has a sister."
In the Japanese version, Takeshi is actually perving on Nanako, saying that she'd be a lot of fun in about eight years or so. That's really, really creepy if you think about it.
Ash: "I can't wait 'til we meet again! 'Cause the next time I see her, she's not gonna be a rookie anymore. She's gonna be...a real pro."
The first part is the same in both versions. But the second part has Satoshi saying that Nanako will be a new rival, not a pro.
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