Japanese Episode
004






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Episode 004
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 004:  "
The Samurai Boy's Challenge!"
American Episode 104:  "Challenge of the Samurai"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Trancell
Japanese Air Date:  April 22nd, 1997
American Air Date:  September 11th, 1998
Important Characters:  Samurai (Samurai)
Important Places:  Tokiwa Forest (Viridian Forest)

Satoshi and Kasumi continue traveling through Tokiwa Forest when Satoshi is approached by an armored boy with a sword.  The trainer, known simply as Samurai, wants to battle Satoshi because he's from Masara Town.  Satoshi accepts.  After having his Pigeon beaten by Samurai's Kairos, Satoshi sends his Trancell out to take care of his opponent.  Next, Samurai sends out his own Trancell to battle Satoshi's Trancell.  Since each pokemon can only use the Harden technique, the battle isn't able to go anywhere.  After a long stalemate, a hive of Spear appear and start chasing our heroes, causing an abrupt end to their battle!  During this chase, Satoshi's Trancell is taken by a Spear, but the young trainer is not able to go back to rescue it.  After a restless night spent worrying about his pokemon, Satoshi finds Trancell surrounded by a bunch of Spear.  He grabs his pokemon and makes a run for it, but one of the faster Spear is able to knock the pokemon out of his hands.  Satoshi is worried that his pokemon is hurt, but when he picks it up, he notices that it's glowing!  Trancell evolves into Butterfree and uses its Sleep Powder to knock out the bee pokemon, ending the long chase.  Satoshi asks Samurai if he wants to continue their battle, but the young boy declines, saying that Satoshi has already displayed a better command of pokemon than he could.  Satoshi leaves the forest and heads for Nibi City, home of his first Pokemon Gym challenge.


Thoughts
This episode is the first "meh" episode of the series (in my opinion, of course).  While the episode breaks a lot of new ground for the series (the debut of five different pokemon, the first "character-of-the-day," the first appearance of a comic relief Rocket-Dan), it's still a rather dull 22 minutes.  Samurai is a reeeeeally boring character, and the only things he's remembered for is swinging a sword around and participating in that Trancell vs. Trancell battle.  Luckily, we'll get some more interesting people show up later down the road, but it's a shame that the first character-of-the-day is so dull and uninteresting.

The dubbed version is alright aside from the problems that the dub always has.  I don't like the way the dub adds an -s to the end of pokemon's names to make them plural, but that won't last too much longer, so it's no big deal. 

Beedle and Butterfree keep their Japanese voices.  Kairos doesn't have a voice in either version, and Cocoon has a voice in the Japanese version but doesn't have one in the dub.

Dialogue Edit
Some puns just don't translate well...

Misty:  (Screams)  "I think I see another bug!  Gross!"
Ash:  "Maybe it's a...Cowterpie!"
Misty:  "That's not funny!"

You're right, Misty, that wasn't funny. 

In the Japanese version, when Kasumi's clinging on to that tree, she says "Mushi!  Mushi!  Mushi!  ...Mushi!" which means "Bug!  Bug!  Bug!  ...Bug!"  Well, then Satoshi, in a cow costume, says "Ushi?" Ushi is the Japanese word for cow, and sounds a lot like mushi.

Of course, that just doesn't translate into English at all since the words "bug" and "cow" sound nothing alike, so they had to rewrite the scene.  It would have been easier for 4Kids to just cut it out, but I guess their writers like a little workout every now and then.

Side Note
The anime producers did a neat thing with this episode by having the battle music interrupted in the original.  When Satoshi tries to catch the Beedle, the battle music is playing until the next scene (the one where Samurai meets Kasumi) interrupts the music.  That scene plays out, and then we cut back to Satoshi's battle and the battle music picks up where it left off.  In the dub, they just use two different pieces of music for each scene.  This happens again later in the episode, and 4Kids uses different music for that as well.

I really like neat music editing things like this, so I get a bit upset whenever 4Kids changes it in the dub because they think they can do a better job of scoring a scene than the creators.

Side Note
Look veeeerry carefully on Ash's sleeping bag during the scene at night.  If you have a good copy of the episode, you'll be able to see the word "Satoshi" written in English letters inside a yellow box on Satoshi's sleeping bag.  4Kids' must not have caught that one.

Paint Edit
The word mika is painted off Musashi's cocoon at the end of the episode.

Japanese English

Click on each image for a larger version.

I don't know what mika is, but Reed Nelson of LupinTheThird.net e-mailed me with a theory that makes a lot of sense:

My thought is that it might have originally been a box of "みかん" (Mikan) tangerines, and the last character is just cut off (with the box being torn and all).

It makes a lot of sense to me, so that's what I'll believe until someone provides a different explanation.

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