Old Updates Archive
Japanese Episode 021: “Bye Bye Butterfree"
American Episode 120: “Bye Bye Butterfree”
Pokemon Dare Da? Butterfree
Japanese Air Date: August 19th, 1997
American Air Date: October 5th, 1998
On the way to Yamabuki City, our heroes witness a flock of Butterfree gathered in one area. Takeshi explains that it's the Butterfree's mating season and that each of the butterfly pokemon are trying to find a partner to mate with. Satoshi, wanting his Butterfree to get in on the fun, lets it out of its Monster Ball to join the others. However, it has trouble attracting a mate. Satoshi and his friends attempt to coach Butterfree in the ways of love, but the pokemon's feelings toward a pink Butterfree in the flock go unnoticed. Suddenly, the Rocket-Dan appear in a helicopter and start scooping up all the pokemon in a giant net! Satoshi's Butterfree escapes capture and is able to lead its trainer to the trio's base where our heroes are able to successfully free the kidnapped pokemon. The Rocket-Dan get back into their helicopter to recapture the pokemon, but Butterfree, with the help of Pikachu, is able to defeat the pokemon thieves once and for all. Butterfree's heroic acts are noticed by the pink Butterfree, and the two decide to cross the ocean to lay their eggs. Satoshi tries to fight back the tears as he bids farewell to his pokemon, wishing it the best of luck with its new girlfriend.
But if you think
about it...the only fate Satoshi's Butterfree could possibly have is to
be released back into the wild. Think about it for a sec; it's a
fully evolved pokemon who's not all that powerful and
who - let's face it - didn't really have much of a personality to begin
with. If it hadn't been released, the pokemon would have been
sent back to Orchid-Hakase's ranch where it would have rotted away the
rest of its days.
So while it may
suck that Satoshi let one of his friends go, I think it's a lot better
to see it go off with its mate instead of sticking around an old man's
ranch for the rest of its days.
version is alright other than OMG
4KIDS CENSORED BUTTERFREE'S DEATH
THEY ARE NAZI RAPIST PEDOPHILES!!!!!!! Or! The idea
Butterfree died is a stupid fan rumor that really, really needs to
die. There's also some weird flashback stuff going on at the end
of the episode, but I'll go more into detail later.
One change that
stuck out to me was at the beginning of the episode. The
plays at the beginning of the episode
continues playing through the title screen and then a little bit
afterwards; they don’t break it in the middle and use the usual title
music like they do in the dub.
So there's this rumor going around that in the Japanese version of this episode, Takeshi says that right after the Butterfree mate, they die. I guess the idea is that some real-world butterflies die after they mate and that Butterfree, in the Japanese version, is only following suit. There are other versions of the rumor state that the Pokemon Bestiary is the one that actually gives this fact despite the fact that the device doesn't have a single line of dialogue in the entire episode.
Either way, the
idea is that Butterfree dies and 4Kids edited this out to prevent the
kiddies from being upset at
the idea of one of their pokemon friends biting the dust.
This rumor isn't
true in the least. Butterfree is still very much alive.
Finding out how a
rumor this old got started is a little bit on the impossible
side, especially since the rumors are pretty vague when it comes to
exactly when in the episode this explanation is supposedly given.
However, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that this is the line that the rumors
Takeshi also says
pretty much the same thing at the end of the episode when everyone's
bidding Butterfree adieu.
If I had to guess, I'd say that the reason for this "Butterfree dies" rumor is that someone mistook the word shison (子孫, "offspring") for the word shisou (死傷, "injuries and death"). It's an easy enough mistake to make, I suppose, provided you completely ignore the rest of the sentence and zone in solely on the word "death." For years, though, people just took these fans' word for it, convinced that 4Kids was trying to shield us from the horrible, horrible truth.
convinced for years despite the fact that the pokemon is shown, still
very much alive, in Glory
Day (one of the Advanced
Generation ending themes) and Spurt!
(one of the Advanced Generation
opening themes) years later.
line? The 4Kids version line is pretty much a direct translation,
and the whole "Butterfree dies after it mates" thing is a load of
Click on each image to view a larger version.
The dub version
just sort of has the camera focus on a blank banner, something that's
really kind of odd when you sit there and think about it.
Click on each image to view a larger version.
Later, during the
very first Boss Fantasy of the entire franchise:
the Boss hears about this, I'll be top cat again."
Effects Edit/Music Edit/Scene Replacement
For one thing,
the original soundtrack didn't have any sound effects at all; all we
heard was the background music Namida,
nochi Hare (Track 38 on the Anime OST). 4Kids, for
whatever reason, decided to add all those sound effects back in.
Trancell evolves into Butterfree, the Japanese version plays the first
opening theme, Mezase Pokemon Master.
The dub plays the English equivalent, Pokémon
Theme. And while the thought is nice (both versions play the
series' opening theme, which is kinda cool, I guess), it's a little
to hear the singers talking about how we "Gotta Catch 'Em All" as
Butterfree leaves with tears in its eyes. Granted, the Japanese
lyrics aren't much better,
but it at
least didn't reek of late 90s commercialism so much.
The last thing
worth mentioning is a scene replacement; the next-to-last shot of the
montage in the Japanese version is a shot of Satoshi issuing an order
to his pokemon. I guess 4Kids didn't like seeing him during
Butterfree's montage because they replaced it with a shot of Butterfree
really aren't that major, but they are a pretty ominous sign of the
tampering 4Kids will do to just about every other flashback in the
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