Japanese Episode
118






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Jouto Region

Japanese Episode 120
Episode Stats:

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.


Thoughts
Now that Satoshi and his friends are actually in the Jouto region, it's time for them to start meeting the region's first trainers. 

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 that'll get 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.

The Elebuus baseball team that Nanako is so obsessed with is based on the real world baseball team the Hanshin TigersWikipedia has this to say about the team's fans:

Tigers fans are known as perhaps the most fanatical and dedicated fans in all of Japanese professional baseball. They often outnumber the home team fans at Tigers "away" games. Tigers fans also have a reputation for rough behavior and a willingness to brawl with other fans or with each other, although long fights are rare.

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 more times.

Chicorita keeps its Japanese voice, making it the only starter pokemon, as of this writing, to not get a dub voice.

Dialogue Edit
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:

Japanese Lyrics
Japanese Lyrics (romanized)
スリバチ山の風に乗り Suribachi Yama no kaze ni nori
でんこうせっかやってくる
Denkou sekka yatte kuru
ひかりのかべだ、かみなりパンチ
Hikari no kabe da, kaminari panchi
睨みつけるぞ、エレブーズ
Nirami tsukeru zo, Elebuuzu!
フレー! フレー!
Furee!  Furee!
フレーフレーフレー!エレブーズ! Furee furee furee!  Elebuuzu!

Translation
Riding the winds of Mt. Suribachi*
The Quick Attack is coming
It's a Light Screen, and then a Thunder Punch
Get in control, Elebuus!
Hooray, hooray!
Hooray hooray hooray!  Elebuus!

* Mt. Suribachi is known as "Mt. Mortar" in the English version of the games.

The English 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.

Moving on,

This episode has all the lame baseball puns you'd expect.  It also has this stinker:

Casey:  "That saggin' dragon of yours doesn't scare us, Ash Ketchum!"

"Saggin' dragon?"  Lame.

Paint Edit
The text on that (TV?) tower during Nanako's flashback gets erased.  Originally, it looked like it was saying "The Poo-."

Japanese English

Click on each image to view a larger version.

Dialogue Edit
After the commercial break, Musashi and Kojirou start talking to Nanako, dressed up as Elebuus fans.  To add to the illusion, the duo talks to Nanako in the Kansai dialect.  This doesn't occur in the dub because Casey wasn't really given a unique accent for Jessie and James to attempt to imitate.

Also, in the Japanese version, Kojirou produces some strange Kansai dialect that threatens to give away their identity, so Musashi stomps on his foot.  In the English version, 4Kids simply has him blurt out things that reveal that they've fought him as enemies before.

Later,

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.

Side Note
I noticed how the S (for Satoshi) and the N (for Nanako) are left as-is in the dub.


I would have thought 4Kids would have gone in and changed those to an A and C instead, but they left it alone.  Huh.

Later, the 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:

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.

Side Note
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).

Kyojin no Hoshi Pocket Monsters

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.

Kyojin no Hoshi Pocket Monsters

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. 


Dialogue Edit
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!"
Casey:  *gasp!*
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...

Video Edit
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.

Dialogue Edit
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.

Later,


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.

Finally,

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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