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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Jouto Region
Japanese Episode 134: "The Valley of Lizardon! Until the Day We Meet Again!"
English Episode 329: "Charizard's Burning Ambitions"
Pokemon Dare Da? Lizardon (Japanese), Sunflora (English)
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture: Nidoqueen
Japanese Air Date: February 10th, 2000
American Air Date: February 3rd, 2001
Important Characters: Sieg (Liza), Charla (Lisa-chan)
Important Places: Lizafic Valley (Charicific Valley)
On the way to Hiwada Town, Satoshi and his friends talk about how strong his Lizardon is and how it's nearly unbeatable in battle. Suddenly, a woman named Sieg and her Lizardon appear before the group! She had heard rumors that a trainer who had just defeated the Kikyou City Gym Leader with a Lizardon and deduces that Satoshi is that trainer. After he confirms her suspicions, she invites him to come visit her at the Lizafic Valley. The Lizafic Valley is a place where Lizardon are raised to be as strong as possible, so Satoshi, wanting his pokemon to train there, accepts. She decides to make Satoshi ride his Lizardon to the valley and becomes dismayed when she finds that Satoshi's pokemon is only barely able to keep up! When it finally arrives, it's greeted by many other Lizardon who all outclass it in size and strength! After trying to go up against a few of the valley's Lizardon and losing horribly, Sieg kicks Satoshi's pokemon out and tells it not to come back. That night, the determined pokemon keeps itself submerged in water to strengthen its body. The next morning, Lizardon hops out of the water to take care of one of the Rocket-Dan's mechas. Once they're out of the way, Sieg acknowledges the tenacity of Satoshi's pokemon and decides to let it in after all. With a heavy heart, Satoshi orders his pokemon to stay behind and become stronger. Not giving himself a chance to change his mind, Satoshi pushes ahead on his journey through the Jouto region.
One of the problems with the original Gold & Silver games is the fact that you can bring in your super leveled up team from the older games fairly early on. This gave players the potential to pretty much plow through the second half of Jouto with a party of overpowered monsters and eliminates any sort of challenge that would have otherwise been present. It's kind of like what Satoshi does in the early part of Jouto.
I really like the
fact that the cast, no doubt acting as mouthpieces for the writers
themselves, express how unfair it is for Satoshi to be going after
beginning trainers with a powerhouse like Lizardon. It's as if
they recognized that they've given him a pokemon that's too strong
and that it will have to go if they want to restore any semblance of
balance to his team. Finding an opponent that could actually make
Lizardon sweat a little bit was no doubt becoming too difficult, so it
got the boot. And I'm OK with that. The writers had pretty
much exhausted Satoshi's
Lizardon as a character anyway,
and it would have most likely just continue to stagnate if it had
This one also
stands out because it's an early Jouto episode that doesn't debut any new
pokemon. And other than the image that flashed on the screen when
the Rocket trio was counting the brats' pokemon, the only Jouto pokemon
to even show up in this episode was Togepi. And even then, Togepi
sort of feels like a Kanto
pokemon to me since it debuted so early in the region. No, this
exists to correct some issues with Satoshi's team and help get the
adventure back on track and not to advertise the new games. I
wish we had more episodes like this.
The dub...dear God, the dub. With the
million rewrites this episode has, I wonder if 4Kids actually wasn't
given a copy of the original script and was instead forced to guess
what the characters are saying, Samurai
Pizza Cats style. As you'll see below, the company rewrites a ton of lines, most of which were
rather straightforward and not at all difficult to translate into
English. This episode also made me realize one of
the (many) reasons I don't care for Lisa Ortiz as a voice actor:
also has this really annoying tendency to speak as if every word in the
script is written in bold italics. If she'd stop trying to act so much and just talk like a
normal human fucking being, her performances would be so, so much better.
All the Lizardon
in this episode keep their Japanese voices.
There are two things about this episode I thought was worth mentioning that didn't really belong in any other part of this essay.
The Japanese title of this episode may come from the film Mata Au Hi Made (また逢う日まで), or "Until the Day We Meet Again." I say "may" because while the title of the movie is used as the title of this episode, nothing else about the two really matches up. The movie is about a young couple that's torn apart when the man gets drafted to help fight in World War II while this episode of Pocket Monsters is about a boy parting with his friend. I guess the very general idea of being separated from someone you care about is there, but "stay here with other pokemon and get strong" is quite different from "I'm leaving to fight in a war, and I might die."
And then there's the character who debuted in this episode. Sieg (written out in Japanese as ジーク) seems to come from an epic poem from Germany named Nibelungenlied. It's about a dragon slayer named Siegfried, and...well actually, that's pretty much where the similarities end. Unless, of course, there's some episode in which Sieg bathes herself in dragon blood to gain invulnerability or uses her invisibility cloak to sneak into the bedroom of the queen of Iceland and beat the crap out of her that I don't know about. MAKE THIS HAPPEN, FAN ARTISTS!!!!
Team Rocket's the victim of a lot of this episode's rewrites. First up,
Jessie: "Meowth, maybe we should pick on somebody else for a change."
Meowth: "Noooooooo! We've got the brains and the nerve to beat 'em!"
Originally, Musashi kind of breaks the fourth wall by telling Nyasu that their problem is that they're going up against the increasingly popular Pikachu. Nyasu then denies this, saying that it's their lack of strength, not popularity, that's causing them to fail so often.
Next, James counts the twerps' Pokémon:
James: "We do
have a lot of
nerve, but the twerps have a lot more Pokémon. There's
one...two...three...four...five...six seven eight...nine...ten...eleven
Kojirou starts to
count but kind of trails off by the time he reaches the number
seven. In the dub, James makes it all the way to twelve, which is
kind of ridiculous since there are actually fifteen pokemon onscreen.
After counting their own Pokémon and deciding that they lack the strength to take on Ash and the others:
can we win
against something so big? So scary?"
Sakaki-sama in the Japanese version. Instead, they talk about how
popular Lizardon is (I guess they can't stop attacking that fourth
wall?) and how, long story short, it's just too strong for them to
defeat. At the
end, the three of them
gather together and declare Lizardon "unfair."
We're only just
now making it past the episode's title screen.
Later, Ash and
his friends meet Liza. Pretty much every line here is a rewrite,
so I thought it'd be easier to put everything into chart form.
There's about a
million rewrites going on during this exchange.
line here had Satoshi questioning how an echo was able to produce a new
word like "unfair." Sieg steps in and tells Satoshi
that he shouldn't be able to under normal circumstances. During
this line, she refers to our heroes as shounen ("boy"), shoujo ("girl") and oniisan (in this context, "young
man") and will continue to use these for the rest of the episode.
This two part edit comes after hearing Liza's offer to go with her to the Charicific Valley. First:
all be delighted
to come, right Ash?"
say Satoshi's name in the original. Which leads us to the second
and Misty can
ride in back. Just hop right on into the basket."
If I was Misty,
I'd be freaked out if a woman I just met somehow already knew my name.
refers to Kasumi and Takeshi as shoujo
and oniisan again. In
fact, the Lizardon trainer never refers
to anybody by
their real name throughout the entire episode. I don't know if
this is because she doesn't know their names (nobody ever introduces
themselves to her) or if she just thinks so little of them that she
doesn't think it's worth the effort to remember them. But
the reason is, this little character quirk is lost in the dub.
Also, she refers
to her Lizardon as her kawaii
Risa-chan (かわいいリサちゃん), or her "cute Lisa-chan" throughout the
episode. The closest the dub gets to this is when they have Liza
call her Charizard "my little Charla" in the second half of the
episode, but the rest of the time they just kind of ignore this.
Next, Liza tells
Ash to follow her to the Charicific Valley. Again, there were too
many rewrites here for me to not
do a table:
To recap: no, Satoshi never says that he's never ridden on his Lizardon before in the Japanese version. Also, Liza thinks Ash is fat, for some reason.
On the ride to the valley:
Misty: "Hey, you're not taking us to jail cuz you think we're poachers!?"
Liza: "No! Of course I don't! I can see that you all love Pokémon! Please, don't worry. You're safe with me."
Originally, Sieg tells Kasumi that she's only interested in finding out what kind of Lizardon "that boy's" (Satoshi's) Lizardon is. She doesn't mention thinking that they love pokemon or reassure Kasumi that they're all safe with her the way she does in the dub.
As the Rocket trio is sliding their way into the valley, somehow:
Jessie: "Too bad we didn't think of this sooner. At this rate we'll be in the Charicific Valley in no time!"
James: "And once we get down there we'll select a Charizard of our very own!"
In the Japanese version, Musashi quotes the first line of the Karl Busse poem Über den Bergen, or "Over the Mountains." I guess because the trio's sliding down the side of one during this scene? Anyway, the line she says is Yama no anata no sora to'oku Rizafikku Baree ga aru to iu (山のあなたの空遠くリザフィック・バレーがあるという), or "Far away on the other side of the mountain is where the Lizafic Valley is said to be." The line in the original poem (well, the Japanese translation of the original poem, anyway) is Yama no anata no sora to'oku "saiwasi" sumu to hito no iu (山のあなたの空遠く「幸い」住むと人のいう), or "Far away on the other side of the mountain is where happiness is said to be." So, as you can see, Musashi fudges it around a bit.
Arriving at the valley:
Liza: "Welcome! This is the Charicific Valley. This is a special place. A place where Charizard have lived in peace for thousands of years. This is the ancient place where the greatest Charizard in Pokémon history come from.."
The "Charizard have lived in peace for thousands of years" and the "greatest Charizard in Pokémon history" parts are both inventions of the dub. In the Japanese version, Sieg only says that the Lizardon in the valley are seen as being like the mamori gami (守り神), or "guardian deities" of the area. Additionally, Sieg is finished with her little speech before the end of the pan-up shot of the main gate of the valley, but in the dub, Liza doesn't stop talking until her Charla actually lands.
A few sentences later,
Liza: "The Charizard here don't depend on human trainers to help them become stronger. They all train and compete against each other to learn and grow. Because the training here is so intense, and the competition is so fierce, the Charizard here turn out to be the best in the whole world."
Again, the dub oversells the valley. Originally, the "best in the whole world" part is never said by Sieg.
Once Ash and his Charizard finally catch up with everyone:
Liza: "Only weak Charizard show off like that. If you don't mind me saying so, it could use some serious training."
Ash: "Comments like that burn me up!"
Sieg doesn't put down Satoshi as a trainer in the original version. Instead, she warns him against letting his Lizardon shooting out fire randomly and says that if he's not careful, he'll get burned. A few seconds later, that very thing happens.
I'm surprised 4Kids didn't have Liza say something along the lines of "if you play with fire, you're gonna get burnt!," since it's exactly the horrible kind of line you'd expect them to write. "Comments like that burn me up!" is a nice try, but it's not quite as punny as I've come to expect from them.
We're now into the second half of the episode!
Liza: "I'm sorry Ash, but you can't challenge Charla because she isn't even a wild Pokémon. I've trained her myself since she was just a Charmander."
Yeah...no. Sieg tells Satoshi that Lisa-chan is her cute Lizardon a few times, but she never says that she raised it since it was just a Hitokage. It's possible, yes, but it's not something that's supposed to be confirmed here.
Cut -- 2 seconds
Satoshi's Lizardon gets hit in the face after breathing fire on the most gentle Lizardon in the valley. The actual hit got cut from the dub and replaced with a full screen impact star from later in the episode.
Satoshi's Lizardon gets hit in a similar way later on, but that time the impact star we see in the English version is also there in the Japanese version. The Japanese animators are a bit inconsistent when it comes to using these impact stars, so this edit, while regrettable, does make things at least a little bit more uniform than they were originally.
Ash's Charizard refuses to quit!
Ash: "I don't care, Charizard. You'll always be the perfect Charizard for me, even if you're not as strong as some other Charizard are."
Satoshi tells Lizardon that he'll work with it to help it become stronger. Ash doesn't make a similar promise.
After Charizard gets smacked again and again:
Liza: "If your Charizard doesn't give up now, I can't be responsible for what happens."
In the Japanese version, Sieg says that she understands how Satoshi's pokemon feels but that it really is no use for it to continue like that. In the dub, she's afraid that Ash is the litigious type?
Next, Team Rocket looks at their giant bug-catching robot:
Jessie: "Then let's improve our chances and try our new secret weapon."
Meowth: "Hmm...what are we gonna call that, Jessie?"
Jessie: "Uh, we'll probably call it a gigantic mistake."
James: "It looked a lot better online."
Meowth: "Hey guys, look!"
Jessie and James: "What is it?"
This is one of the few understandable dialogue edits in the episode as it involves two untranslatable puns.
Originally, Musashi wonders who in the world decided to make a bug-catching robot to go up against a Lizardon. The way you say "who in the world" in Japanese is doko no doitsu (どこのどいつ) which, as you can see, is written out entirely in hiragana. Change the doitsu part from hiragana to katakana, however, and you end up with ドイツ, or the Japanese way of saying "Germany." Musashi, having fun with the fact that doitsu and doitsu are homonyms, throws in the word itaria (イタリア), or "Italy," for good measure. Kojirou decides to join in on the fun and suggests the mecha came from (オランダ), or Holland instead.
This is all ignored in the dub. Also, 4Kids gives Kojirou's line to Meowth, for some reason.
After Musashi's next line, Kojirou kind of laughs all of this off (he doesn't say anything about buying it online the way he does in the dub) and Nyasu says that they should just mushi it. In Japanese, the word for bug, mushi (虫), sounds identical to the word for "ignore that," mushi (無視). So, Nyasu is playing with the fact that the word for "bug" (as in the bug-catching robot before them) and the word for "ignore" sound the same.
Again, none of this could have been translated, so 4Kids just rewrote it instead.
After Liza tells Charizard to stop pounding on the gate:
Jessie: "It makes me absolutely furious to see the way that girl is humiliating the twerp's Charizard by not letting it battle."
James: "Why? Should she humiliate it some other way?"
(Jessie hits James)
Meowth: "I think you're much more humiliating than she is."
(Jessie steps on Meowth's head)
Jessie: "Give Charizard a break!"
Musashi is originally upset that Sieg seems to have tricked Lizardon into thinking it had a chance and getting its hopes up before turning it away. Kojirou asks if Musashi's so upset because something similar to this happened in her past, prompting Nyasu to suggest that someone Musashi had a crush on back in the day spurned her in a similar way. Musashi responds to her teammates' prodding questions by beating them up.
Also, Jessie, Liza did let Ash's Charizard battle. Several times, actually.
As the gate's closing:
Liza: "You'll never be a great Charizard if you act tough and don't respect your own limitations. Stay there, cool down, and think about how you can improve yourself."
Sieg was actually talking to Satoshi, telling him that Lizardon will be OK as long as the flame on its tail doesn't go out. After all, it's been a while since this show's gone over this fact, right? This warning here is also the reason a lot of the shots throughout the rest of the episode are close-ups of Lizardon's flame. The dub replaces Sieg's reminder with a lesson about respecting one's limitations.
As Team Rocket's crying:
James: "Poor thing. I understand. I understand your pain!"
Jessie: "Do you, James?"
James: "I can imagine how it feels to be utterly rejected."
Meowth: "You and Jess don't have to imagine."
(Jessie and James beat up Meowth)
Nyasu's line in the original is "Are you guys bringing up that old story again," referring to the line 4Kids rewrote earlier in the episode.
Later that night, Meowth translates what Charizard's saying to itself. After that scene:
Jessie: "We're on your side!"
James: "Yeah, we're rooting for ya!"
Meowth: "Losers gotta stick together!"
Originally, Kojirou's line is kokoro ni taiyou (心に太陽), an idiomatic phrase that roughly means "keep hope in your heart." Literally, however, it means "the sun of your heart." Nyasu decides to continue this astrological theme by saying "...and tonight's a full moon!"
The English language doesn't have a phrase similar to kokoro ni taiyou, so Meowth referencing the moon all of a sudden like that would seem random.
The following morning, the Rocket trio embark on their mission. Practically every line here got rewritten.
I personally liked the "we don't really know if it's a man or a woman" bit (remember, the romance between Lizardon and Lisa-chan hasn't become a "thing" yet), but the dub did away with it. I also like how the Japanese version doesn't beat us over the head with the Rocket trio's plan the way the dub does.
After Charizard delivers the final blow:
The Japanese version includes this idea about the villains of the series not really liking how un-villainous they're being in this episode. None of this doubt is there in the dub.
Also, when the trio actually blasts off, their mouths move but no sound comes out in the English version.
Now that they're taken care of, Ash tells Charizard to stay behind with the others:
Ash: "You got a lot of things to learn, Charizard. You'd better get started. They're waitin' for ya."
Satoshi tells Lizardon that the path ahead for it isn't with him, but with the other Lizardon (リザードン、お前の行き先はこっちじゃない。あっちだ。). The dub gives the same general feel but adds a "lot of things to learn" thing in there for some reason.
In the very next line:
Ash: "Maybe I'll see you around sometime."
Here, Satoshi tells Lizardon to become stronger.
Ash: "I don't wanna leave you, but I know you have to stay. Train hard, Charizard. We'll meet again someday. Goodbye old friend. Don't...forget me."
The first and fifth sentences here were both added by the dub.
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