Japanese Episode
220






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Jouto Region

Japanese Episode 220
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 220: "The Mystery of Pokemon X!!"
English Episode 511:  "The Mystery is History"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Sanagirasu (Japanese), Spearow (English)
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture:  Freezer
Japanese Air Date:  October 11th, 2001
American Air Date:  November 23rd, 2002
Important Characters:  Osamu (Oscar), Namba-Hakase (Professor Namba), Silver (Silver), Cruise (Cruise)
Important Places:  Orange Islands (Orange Islands)

It's not long after running into Leon that our heroes also run into its Trainer, Hiroshi!  As Satoshi and his old rival catch up they discover that both parties have come to the island to search for clues about the mysterious pokemon.  They decide to search for clues together on a nearby island.  As they walk they run into a young boy named Osamu who they eventually learn has befriended a kid Lugia!  However the Rocket-Dan's Yamato and Kosaburou appear to try to kidnap the legendary pokemon but are thwarted when Luka appears and rams their fortress with her boat.  After the Rocket-Dan leaves the kid Lugia's parent appears in front of its child and befriends Satoshi and the others.  Meanwhile, Musashi and her teammates sneak into the Rocket-Dan's underwater headquarters and discover that the organization is planning to develop some kind of artificial pokemon strength enhancer.  The group then makes a second attempt at capturing the kid Lugia by sending out a decoy to lure the baby into their clutches.  Satoshi and the others try to stop Yamato and Kosaburou but they aren't able to prevent them from kidnapping the kid Lugia.  What will happen to the kid Lugia?  And what is this artificial strength enhancer the Rocket-Dan's working on?  To be continued!


Thoughts
I guess this three-parter, for all intents and purposes, serves as the big evil team finale for the original series?  Similar to the Groudon and Kyogre two-parter from Advanced Generation or the Dialga and Palkia three-parter from Diamond & Pearl?  There are some big differences, of course - mainly the fact that the evil organization in this particular storyline doesn't disband at the end - but it's still a big showdown between our heroes and an evil team over a game's version mascot so it still counts, right? 

For a first time effort I thought they did a pretty decent job.  The TV series wasn't used to doing stories of this scope back then and yet the fact that they managed to handle everything well, especially with as many characters as they have, is actually kind of amazing.  Nothing about this three-parter drags on and nothing about it feels too rushed, either.  There are some questionable elements to it - Luka is only here to babysit Togepi and Osamu is completely useless until Part Three - but overall I'd say they did a good job of juggling all the characters who were in this.

If there was anything I didn't super care for was Hiroshi coming back.  Not because I hate the guy or anything but because he could have been written out of this three-parter and nobody would have noticed.  None of what he does is something only he could do and the revelation that he has a Sanagirasu and a Lizard never really go anywhere.  His presence doesn't hurt the three-parter so I'm OK with it but it doesn't exactly help things either.

This episode is also a big one because it confirms that the movie Revelation Lugia actually took place in the timeline of the TV series.  I mean, of course it does, why wouldn't it?, but some people need to actually hear the characters directly reference the events of the movie with their mouths before they'll actually believe it.  Well luckily for those people both Kojirou and Satoshi do just that in both the Japanese and English versions of this episode so so much for that, right?

Some fans like to freak out about the fact that there's a baby Lugia because Lugia's a legendary pokemon and OMG ITS N0T SUPP0S3D 2B ABEL TO BREEED and ugh.  Just stop.  Lugia's a living creature and it didn't just materialize out of nothing.  Yes the games have this mechanic where the legendary pokemon don't breed but that's more to prevent players from breeding a team of nothing but Mewtwo than any kind of statement about pokemon biology.  If you're the kind of fan who freaks out every time the TV show ignores elements from the video games no matter how awkward and clunky they'd be to implement in a TV show's narrative then I really think you need to just sit back and relax.  It's just a TV show.

And now let's look at what was changed between the Japanese version and the English version of a children's cartoon released nearly two decades ago!

This episode introduces us to Namba-Hakase which means it also introduces us to 4Kids' horribly miscast Professor Namba voice.  One of the things I like about the Japanese version is that they'll have these joke characters but the casting director won't just reduce them to one-dimensional caricatures and will instead have the characters portrayed by actors who actually speak like normal human beings.  The jokes come from the things the characters do and say, not how waaaa~cky!!! their voices sound.  I wish 4Kids had learned to do the same.

The two Lugia keep their Japanese voices throughout this three-parter.  Neither one of their voice actors are credited but most Japanese fansites I've run into believe the older one is being voiced by Konishi Katsuyuki while the younger one is voiced by Hayashibara Megumi.

Paint Edit
Maps!

Japanese
English
Japanese
English
Japanese
English

4Kids adds a label for Ogi Isle that wasn't in the original, making this one of the rare cases where 4Kids adds text to a blank sign. 

Click on each image to view a larger version.

Rearranged Footage
4Kids decided to shake things up from the way they usually do things by shuffling some of the footage around at the beginning of the episode.  Originally Hiroshi doesn't make his appearance until after the episode's title screen but 4Kids decided to move his scenes to the front instead.  I guess they thought this would work as a better teaser?

Japanese is on the left, English is on the right:

Japanese English

Leon Sparky
Title Screen Ash
Ash Richie
Hiroshi Title Screen
Ogi Island Ogi Island

Dialogue Edit
Let's get into it:

Richie:  "I haven't seen you since the Pokémon League!"

Originally Hiroshi refers to the league by its actual name, the Sekiei Convention.  The English equivalent of that is "Indigo League" but 4Kids decided to change that to the more generic "Pokémon League" for whatever reason.

Everyone expresses amazement that they were able to meet up:

Misty:  "Being with old friends sometimes feels like you've never been apart."
Brock:  "Even the Pok
émon are happy together."
Misty:  "(laughs) We'll have to come up with a name for that dance!"

Originally Kasumi expresses amazement that they were able to reunite randomly like this while Takeshi guesses it's because the two of them have some kind of bond that drew them together.  Kasumi then comments on how happy the pokemon seem to look.

Richie explains why he's in the area:

Richie:  "In fact I've been doing a lot of research on places it's likely to show up.  There haven't been many reports and witnesses don't even agree on what it looks like but all the sightings were here in the Ogi Isle area.  So I figured I'd come here and see what might turn up."

The "and witnesses don't even agree on what it looks like" and everything after that is pure 4Kids.  Originally Hiroshi tells our heroes that after reading eyewitness accounts he was able to take their reports about where the mysterious pokemon appeared and where it was headed and deduced that there's something suspicious about the Oki Island area. 

And now here's proof that 4Kids literally doesn't know up from down:

Ash:  "You know, I think we might have had one of those sightings ourselves."
Richie:  "You saw it?"
Ash:  "Actually we just saw the shadow flying over us.  It was right near Blue Rock Isle, and it was flying really fast."

Ash says that the mysterious Pok
émon was "flying over us" when it was pretty obvious that the shadow was swimming below our heroes, not flying above them:

Up or Down

Also, Ash (and later Richie) refers to Blue Point Isle by its Japanese name, Blue Rock Isle.

Cut - 3 seconds
This three-second shot of our heroes riding in a boat was cut, most likely for time.

Boat

Also I like how there just happens to be an empty boat on what appears to be an otherwise deserted island.  There's nothing suspicious about that at all.


Dialogue Edit
Richie starts grillin' Oliver:

Richie:  "Can we ask you something?"
Oliver:  "Uh, what?"
Richie:  "Do you live on this island?"
Oliver:  "Uh-huh.  See, I live on the other side of the island but I come here to play in the bay all the time."

Originally Osamu tells Hiroshi that he actually lives on Oki Island (the island they just came from) but that he comes to this deserted island to play all the time.


Next is Oliver's turn to have his words rewritten:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Takeshi:  "For example, have you seen any unusual pokemon or heard any rumors like that?"
Brock:  "Have you seen any kind of flying Pokémon at all?  Or maybe just heard the rumors of some being sighted?"
Osamu:  "Not at all!  Besides, if there was a pokemon like that then this island would be bustling with people."
Oliver:  "I sure haven't!  If something as unusual as a mysterious Pokémon was anywhere around here I'm sure I would've seen it!"
Satoshi:  "Now that you mention it..."
Ash:  "Yeah, guess you're probably right about that."
Pikachu:  "Pika..."
Pikachu:  "Pika..."

Osamu has a point; if there was a legendary pokemon in the area then there'd be people coming from all over trying to get a piece of the action.  Oliver's point about him knowing about a mysterious Pok
émon doesn't make as much sense because why would we think that?  "Oh, this boy we assume is lying to us is telling us that he didn't see anything.  I instantly believe you!" 

Oliver gets nervous:

Oliver:  "You should try some of the other islands around here.  Uh, w-well, I gotta go clean my nails.  Good luck.  Bye!"
Ash:  "Hmm, I was really hoping he'd be able to help."
Pikachu:  "Pika."
Brock:  "Yeah, all the same, though, it was nice to meet someone so concerned about his personal hygiene."

"Yeah, most of the people we meet on our travels are disgusting trash people!  I'm so glad to meet a freaky nipple-less kid who tells people he just met about something as weird as fingernail hygiene"

Originally Osamu repeats what he said earlier about there not being any mysterious pokemon in the area before telling our heroes not to believe every rumor they hear.  Takeshi then realizes that finding the pokemon they're looking for isn't going to be all that easy after all.

Elsewhere:

Rocket Grunt with camera:  "Make the call."
Rocket Grunt with communicator:  "Acquisition of target complete."

You do realize that "acquisition" means that you actually caught the pokemon, right?  Simply taking a low quality video of your target's not the same thing.

In the Japanese version the grunt tells Namba-Hakase that he's reporting from Reconnaissance Team C and that they've found the pokemon they've been looking for.

Rocket Grunt with communicator:  "Professor, we have a possible Pokémon X and are standing by."
Professor Namba:  "I had about given up!  What is it you've found?"
Rocket Grunt with communicator:  "We have found the boy, and he has what appears to be a mysterious Pokémon."

There are a few things going on here.

One, the "Pok
émon X" part is a reference to the title given to the second movie, Revelation Lugia, during the early stages of its promotion.  It's a nickname that'll be reused a few years later in the Nintendo GameCube game Pokemon XD

Maboroshi no Pokemon X

Lugia was never given the nickname "Pokémon X" in any of the promotional materials leading up to the release of The Power of One so dub-only viewers have no idea that there's a connection here.

Two, as you're probably aware of by now, there's this running gag with Namba-Hakase where the people he surrounds himself with keep messing up his name.  It's basically the exact same thing as the Kosaburou name joke, or the Kenyan name joke, or any of the other awful "my name's not ___!" running gags that this show likes to recycle so much for whatever reason. 

In the Japanese version of the above exchange, the Rocket Grunt refers to Namba-Hakase as Tamba-Hakase by mistake, and Namba-Hakase's first line ever is "It's not Tamba, it's Namba."  The English dub doesn't bother with this gag at all and rewrites every instance of it throughout this entire three-parter.  4Kids won't actually get around to bringing this gag over until they tackle Chronicles a few years later.

Three, the Rocket Grunt says "We have found the boy," indicating that Team Rocket knew who Oliver was beforehand.  No such inference is made in the Japanese version.

Rocket Grunt:  "What are your orders, sir?"
Professor Namba:  "The same thing I always order: fish sticks!"
Rocket Grunt:  "Uh, no sir, I mean orders for the agents."

Originally the grunt refers to the professor as Samba-Hakase.  Namba-Hakase angrily corrects him.


Richie calls Cruise into battle:

Richie:  "Pupitar, use Take Down!"

Originally Hiroshi orders Cruise to use Headbutt, not Take Down.


Luka shows up, for some reason:

Luka:  "Oh no you don't, Cassidy!"

In the Japanese version Luka refers to these people she's never met before as "you guys" instead.

In the Rocket trio's submarine:

Jessie:  "Wasn't that Cassidy and what's-his-name?"
James:  "It's Butch.  He's a little sensitive about that."
Jessie:  "Who cares?  Just follow 'em."
James and Meowth:  "Aye aye!"
Meowth:  "Just when I was about to take my break."

Originally Kojirou simply wonders what those two are up to without bringing up Kosaburou or how everyone messes up his name.

I also have no idea what Meowth is talking about here.  Originally there wasn't any dialogue.

Cut - 1 second
This shot of Luka's foot touching the ground got removed from the dub.



I'm guessing this was just another time cut.

Dialogue Edit
Our heroes wonder why this Lugia's so small:

Richie:  "Well maybe it's a young Lugia."
Oliver:  "Yeah, it's still just a kid.  It's the same age as me.  I decided I'd call it "Silver.""

The "it's the same age as me" part is pure fiction.  Nothing even remotely close to that's even implied in the Japanese version.


Cut - 4 seconds
A four-second shot of Hiroshi looking at Lugia and its child playing gets cut from the dub.



The accompanying dialogue here is "A parent and child Lugia, huh?"

Dialogue Edit
In the Japanese version Luka's talking to her dead grandfather while in the English dub she's talking to her great-grandfather.  It's the same edit they made in "Mantine Overboard!" and it didn't make sense then either.

Oh look, Team Rocket's talking again:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Kojirou:  "...but why do we have to dress up like the Rocket-Dan?"
James:  "So tell me again, why do we have to wear these uncool Team Rocket uniforms?"
Musashi:  "It can't be helped. 
Jessie:  "It's all part of that same plan of gaining success by doing preferably zero work."
Nyasu:  "What do you mean nya?"
Meowth:  "But we failed last time."
Musashi:  "We're going to find out what Yamato and the others are up to."
Jessie:  "The greatest ideas down through all history have always been stolen!"
Nyasu:  "And what happens after we do that nya?"
Meowth:  "Is dat a documented fact?"
Musashi:  "We'll find out what they're up to and take the good parts for ourselves.  And if we present those to the Boss then he'll even forgive us for all our failures up until now."
Jessie:  "As distasteful as it is to admit, our past couple of schemes have backfired!  Now this time we'll present someone else's evil scheme to the Boss and just take the credit!"
Kojirou:  "I see!  That's a good plan!"
James:  "Ooh I love taking undue credit!"
Musashi:  "And so what if they have this underwater base or that submarine?  It's all just so gaudy, isn't it?"
Jessie:  "Well that's good because I'm officially retired from thinking up genius plans just to have you two bumble them."
Nyasu:  "It is nya.  But you've got to admit they are doing so much better for themselves than we are nya."
Meowth:  "Wow, dat's harsh.  But I gotta admit dat's a good plan seeing hows their stuff's always so much better than ours."
Kojirou:  "It's because our failures keep piling up and up."
James:  "I still don't think that was a very nice thing to say."
Musashi:  "And that's exactly why we need to restore our good name!  At the very least we have to beat Yamato and the others!"
Jessie:  "Because we're bad!  We're not supposed to be nice! Grr I'm sick of losing to them and it's not going to happen again!"

Can't...breathe...so...much...schtick...

I mean, yes, a lot of what they're saying is approximately the same, but the way the dub has the trio talk to each other is just so ugh

Back on the bridge (?):

Cassidy:  "Professor Namba."
Professor Namba:  "Oh, there you are!  Where is my lunch?"
Cassidy:  "No sir, we're not the caterers, we're Butch and Cassidy."

Here Yamato refers to Namba-Hakase as Roomba-Hakase.

Professor Namba:  "You see, both Charizard and Feraligatr failed in my tests.  I need a Lugia for my Pokémon Power Magnifying Project."

Close.  Originally Namba-Hakase says that a Lizardon or Ordile-class pokemon won't be sufficient and that it'll take something as powerful as a Lugia to complete his project.  The implication here is that while both Lizardon and Ordile are strong they're not quite strong enough for what he's planning.

Professor Namba:  "Initiate backup capture plan.  We do have one of those, yes?"

Namba-Hakase calls for his agents to initiate Plan B (since Plan A, as outlined earlier, failed).  He's not as unsure about the existence of a backup plan as he is in the dub.

Namba's hungry:

Cassidy:  "You two!  Over there!  Run to the galley and fetch the professor something to eat!  While you're at it bring me some of those little fishy crackers!"

Yamato simply tells the Rocket trio to get food for the professor; she doesn't ask for any for herself.

This is also the second time in this episode that fish has been brought up as a food.  I guess the dub didn't get the memo that real-world animals were kind of a no-no by this point in the series.

The rest of the episode is surprisingly alright, dialogue-wise.  The dub kind of has Team Rocket overdo it with the "we're bad guys and that means we're nasty!" schtick but other than that the last four minutes or so of the episode isn't too awful.


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