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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Jouto Region

Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 194: "Oodairu VS Kamekkusu!  Sumou BATORU!!"

      ("Oodairu VS. Kamex!  Sumo Battle!!")
English Episode 437:  "Ring Masters"
Pokemon Dare Da?   Oodairu (Japanese), Ledyba (English)
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture:  Kara-Kara
Japanese Air Date:  April 19th, 2001
American Air Date:  March 16th, 2002
Important Characters:  Raiden (Raiden), Shoonosuke (Shonosuke), 
    Musashiyama (Jessiyaki), Kojirouga (Jamisosoupi)
Important Places:  Rikishii Town ("an intriguing little village")

Satoshi-tachi continue their journey when they encounter a town featuring a Pokemon Sumo Competition.  In the competition, the pokemon battling do so using only their own strength--no special attacks are used.  Satoshi becomes excited and decides to enter, so he has his Kabigon (the only pokemon he owns that fulfills the weight requirement) sent to him.  Musashi and Kojirou enter the contest as well, but they are quickly disqualified for cheating and are sent packing.  Satoshi's Kabigon advances to the final round thanks to its belly, and it only has to battle Raiden and his Oodairu to win.  The well-trained Oodairu seems to have the upper hand for most of the match, but Kabigon is able to win at the last second.  Satoshi wins the coveted King's Rock and sends his Kabigon back to Ookido-Hakase.

Pokemon and sumo wrestling--you knew it had to be combined someday, and so here it is.  It's actually a pretty interesting episode, and Satoshi's Kabigon finally gets some much-needed airtime.  And of course, the Rocket-Dan steal the show with their adorable Sonansu dressed up like a Miltank.  Good stuff, good stuff. 

This episode had a really great script, except for the fact that the dub loses a lot of the allusions to sumo wrestlng that the anime producers threw in:

  • The town Satoshi-tachi are in ("Rikishii Town") has a sumo origin.  The term rikishii literally means "strong man" and refers to anyone participating in sumo (it's basically the Japanese word for what we call "sumo wrestlers").  Thanks to the Sumo FAQ Glossary for the definition.
  • Both Musashiyama and Kojirouga (the alias' Musashi and Kojirou use for the tournament) are named after famous sumo wrestlers.  Musashiyama Takeshi (1909-1969) was a famous 260-pound, six foot one (116 kg, 185 cm) sumo wrestler who decided to travel to America to become a boxer.  I couldn't find anything on Kojirou's alias, but I'm certain that Kojirouga is named after a famous sumo wrestler.
Despite these omissions, I was amazed at how much of the "Japanese-ness" of the episode was retained.  It was certainly better than most.  Despite the good job 4Kids did with this episode, they still made a  dumb edit...

Paint Edit
Right when James says:

James:  "Look at these--souvenir Poke prints!"

...a little red kana symbol is erased from the bottom of the little paper that has the print.  It looked a lot like the katakana symbol "ka," but it could have also been that kanji symbol that looks very similar (chikara, or "power")--nevertheless, it's probably a symbol to tell who the printmaker was or something like that.  Take a look at the unedited picture for yourself.

Now would someone explain to me why this edit was made?  This is an episode centered around sumo wrestling, a Japanese sport.  The "characters-of-the-day" retain their Japanese names, and the announcer uses his very Japanese introductions ("from the east~~~ from the west~~~").  Yet 4Kids felt that this symbol was too Japanese and had to be erased!?  I don't get it at all, I just don't get it.

Cut--2 sec.
Another victim of Season 4's change of format--in the original version, right before the battle between Raiden's Oodairu and the other guy's Kamex, there's a commercial break.  The two trainers yell their commands (in the dub, they say "Let's go!  Charge it!" and "Come on Blastoise!  Let's win this!"), we see Oodairu and Kamex charge, then we go to commercial.  Come back, the footage of Oodairu and Kamex charging at each other is replayed, and then the battle commences.  Since the commercial break in the dub occurred earlier in the episode, they just cut out the repeated shot of the two pokemon charging and continued with the episode.  It's absolutely seemless, and it's really not a big deal as no important footage is lost.  Hey, there's really not much else to talk about in these Jouto episodes, so might as well take what I can get...

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