Japanese Episode
121






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Jouto Region

Japanese Episode 123
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 121:  "Hoho and the Suspicious Forest!"
English Episode 316:  "Illusion Confusion!"
Pokemon Dare Da?   Hoho (Japanese), Bellossom (English)
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture:  Pigeon
Japanese Air Date:  November 11th, 1999
American Air Date:  November 4th, 2000
Important Characters:  Suzu-sama (Hagatha), Kane-sama (Nagatha)

Satoshi and his friends are lost in a forest!  The young trainers try desperately to find an exit, but they get distracted by horrifying illusions!  At that moment, Shigeru unexpectedly appears with a Hoho by his side!  After the bird pokemon causes the images to vanish, Satoshi’s rival explains that it is the only pokemon who’s able to lead them out of the forest.  Satoshi-tachi search for a Hoho of their own and are eventually led to a shrine in the middle of the forest.  There, an old woman calling herself Suzu-sama explains that she rents out the pokemon to trainers passing by but that the only Hoho she has left has never been able to guide travelers out of the forest.  Satoshi, not wanting to fall behind his rival, decides to take his chances with the pokemon anyway.  The Hoho appears to be cowardly at first, but Satoshi and Kasumi give it a pep talk to snap it out of it.  Suddenly, the Rocket-Dan attack, but a series of illusions quickly distracts the trio. More illusions continue to appear until Hoho is finally able to gather enough courage to use its powers to fight back. It's discovered that the cause of the illusions are a group of Ghost and Gängar, so Satoshi has his pokemon attack. The pokemon run away, enabling the trio to continue their way through the forest without any more interruptions. Our heroes eventually come across the exit and, after thanking Hoho for all its hard work, continue on the road to Kikyou City.

Thoughts
I liked this episode.  Seeing our heroes lost in a forest is surprisingly satisfying.  It almost makes me wish there was a forest like that in the actual games that would require you to rent a Hoho to get out, but I can understand why they didn't want to put a bunch of dungeons in between the first two towns in the game. 

We also get some funny and memorable characters-of-the-day, so that's kind of nice.

And how about that sucky appearance by Shigeru?  It's the rival's first appearance in the saga yet he's only on-screen for like two minutes.  You would think that the writers would have used him better in this scene - after all, he is Satoshi's main rival at this point - but instead they have him perform a role that any random character-of-the-day could do.  How disappointing.

Another thing I noticed about these early Jouto episodes is that they're not doing that good a job of making the new Jouto pokemon seem awesome.  Like...the Waninoko in the first episode seemed kind of stupid, the Chicorita in the second episode lost its first battle, the Heracross in the third episode needed to be rescued from a bunch of Kanto pokemon, and the Donphan in the previous episode actually got captured by the Rocket-Dan.  And then we have the Hoho in this one, a pokemon who's pretty much completely useless until the end.  Sure, all of these pokemon would end up redeeming themselves in some way at the end of their respective episodes. But it seems like the writers have this thing against having the Jouto pokemon upstage Satoshi's Kanto pokemon.  It's weird.

The dubbed version is a lot better, script-wise, than it's been for a little while now.  Other than that, the thing for which I'll remember the English version of this episode the most is definitely going to be Hagatha's and Nagatha's dub voices.  Like...is it me, or do they both sound like members of Teen Girl Squad?  I totally expected one of them to just randomly shout "sooooooo good!" any second.

Hoho keeps its Japanese voice.

Dialogue Edit
After Ash looks up Hoothoot's info in the Pok
édex:

Gary:  "Unprepared as usual.  Don't you know you have to use a Hoothoot to get through this forest?"
Ash:  "What do you mean?  What happens if we don't?"
Gary:  "You'll get lost here...forever."
Ash:  "Forever!?"

In the Japanese version, Shigeru isn't nearly as dramatic.  He simply says that without a Hoho, Satoshi will maybe not be able to leave (tabun nukararenai...kono mori o).

Later,

Gary:  "I've caught so many Pokémon I must have lost track of time.  Y'see...that's what makes me a great Pokémon Trainer!"

Shigeru isn't quite as boastful in the original; he simply says that he fell in love with catching the pokemon in the area without bragging about how great he is.

Gary:  "As soon as I got to this forest, I sized up the situation and took action.  I realized I needed a Hoothoot and I got one!"

Here, Shigeru says that he needs to obtain more power in order to enter the Jouto League and become a great trainer.  Which sounds a lot more humble than his English counterpart.

Finally,

James:  "I knew I shouldn't have bought that salesman's cheap line."
Jessie:  "Why did you?  Why did you get lassoed by some twine merchant!?"
Meowth:  "He got roped in."

In the Japanese version, Nyasu tells us that the reason they bought the cheap rope was because they didn't have enough money for the better stuff.  Which is why he's holding up a little change purse.

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