Japanese Episode
023






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 023
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 023:  "Get One at the Pokemon Tower!"
American Episode 122:  "The Tower of Terror"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Gängar
Japanese Air Date:  September 2nd, 1997
American Air Date:  October 7th, 1998
Important Places:  Shion Town (Lavender Town), Pokemon Tower (Pokemon Tower)

Satoshi and his friends are on the way to Shion Town in order to get a ghost pokemon to use in a rematch against the Gym Leader Natsume.  Once they arrive at the Pokemon Tower, the home of these ghost pokemon, they hear mysterious voices coming from the inside and become scared.  The voices, as it turns out, belong to the Rocket-Dan trio as they are being tormented by the three ghost pokemon who reside there; Ghos, Ghost, and Gängar.  Later, our heroes manage to work up the nerve to enter the tower, but they are quickly scared away when the ghost pokemon use their psychic abilities to make the tower look possessed.  Later, Satoshi decides to try again, this time alone.  After meeting with the ghost pokemon face-to-face, Satoshi is knocked out by a falling chandelier.  The ghost pokemon separate his spirit from his body and then take him flying around the town.  Eventually, Satoshi figures out that the pokemon are lonely and want somebody to play with, so he tells them that he can't stay because he has to follow his dreams.  The ghost pokemon seem to understand and return Satoshi's spirit to his body.  The young boy decides that he won't be able to get any of the pokemon to come with him and resigns himself to figuring out another way to defeat Natsume until, suddenly, Ghost appears and decides to tag along!  Will Satoshi be able to defeat the Yamabuki City Gym Leader now that he has a new ghost-type pokemon by his side?  To be continued!


Thoughts
This episode, like the Masaki episode, is really just a bunch of random events thrown together to introduce an aspect of the video games.  This time, it's the Pokemon Tower.  I really wish the show's producers had done more with Shion Town than simply show us the Pokemon Tower, but I guess even the Japanese censors weren't comfortable with showing a town full of possessed people running about and crying over pokemon killed by the Rocket-Dan.

Oddly enough, the actual music from Shion Town, Genwaku no Bijo (Track 31 on the OST) is nowhere to be found in this episode.  Weird.

This is also the episode where Satoshi "gets" Ghost, something that's still debated to this day.  Did the young boy actually get the pokemon, Monster Ball and all?  Or did the pokemon just follow Satoshi around of its own volition?  It's something that fans speculate about to this day and is something that definitely has some strong arguments on both sides.  On the Japanese side of things, the word GET in the episode's title (written as ゲット) is the word used whenever a trainer actually captures a pokemon in a Monster Ball.  At the same time, the narrator, when summarizing the events of this episode at the end, states that Ghost is merely following Satoshi (the verb he uses is 付いて行く), not that he GOT the pokemon.

Personally, I think any ambiguity here is intentional.

One more thing I'd like to bring up is just how much violence against humans is present in this episode.  In just one episode, we see Takeshi get electrocuted by Pikachu, Satoshi get electrocuted by Pikachu, Nyasu scratch Musashi's face, Takeshi get barbecued by Hitokage's Flamethrower, the guy on the TV hitting the other guy with a road sign, Satoshi, Kasumi, and Takeshi get barbecued by Hitokage's Flamethrower, the Rocket-Dan get electrocuted by Pikachu, the Rocket-Dan set on fire with Hitokage's Flamethrower, Musashi get hit in the face with a Monster Ball thrown by Satoshi, a chandelier fall on Satoshi, and Satoshi pick up Kasumi and then throw her onto Takeshi.  Nowadays, the show is so sanitized and internationalized that a modern-day episode wouldn't be allowed to get away with even half the stuff that this one did.

The English version of this episode was kind of temporarily banned after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 presumably because of the episode's title (though the aforementioned violence and the whole "ghost pokemon making death look like something that's fun" thing might have been a factor as well).  The ban appears to have been lifted, though, as the episode was included on the DVD box set released in 2006 and has aired on TV a few times since.

Gängar, despite the fact that it has the same name in both Japanese and English, has a different voice in the dub.

Cut--2 seconds
The first two seconds of the episode - which are just a fade-in to the shot that begins the episode - are removed from the dub.

Dialogue Edit
We get another mention of Hell in this episode!

Misty:  "Horrible!  It sounds really horrible in there!"
Brock:  "You're right.  They must have some kinda torture chamber in there."
Ash:  "Torture chamber?"

Originally, Takeshi says that it sounds like the voices are escaping from beyond Hell, something that Satoshi guesses is right.  "Torture chamber" is a pretty clever alternative that totally conveys the same meaning, showing us that 4Kids doesn't always fall back on lame cover-ups and whatnot.

Paint Edit
The two paint edits of this episode involve the party room.  The first one occurs on the note that shows up at the banquet.


I'm not sure why 4Kids was trying to make it look like the note was written with watercolor paint or something.

Then a few seconds later, the banner that comes from the ball said irasshai ("Welcome") in the Japanese version.  It's translated for the dub.


It's kind of weird that 4Kids would change the pattern of the shadows in addition to the text, isn't it?

Click on each image to view a larger version.

Dialogue Edit
Let's talk about death cover-ups, shall we?

Ash:  "Oh no!  We've been totally separated from our bodies!"
Haunter:  "Haunter Haunter!"
Ash:  "No way!  I don't wanna be a ghost yet!"

Originally, Satoshi offers a very straightforward "I don't want to die!" (mada shinitakunai tte ba!).  "I don't wanna be a ghost yet" still gets the point across, of course, but it isn't nearly as straightforward.

Brock:  "Come on!  Wake up!"
Misty:  "Oh Ash!  Can't you hear me?"

In the Japanese version, Kasumi says "Satoshi!  You can't die on us!" (Satoshi!  Shinja dame!).

Just like the thing about whether or not Ghost counts as one of Satoshi's pokemon, there's a certain amount of ambiguity surrounding whether or not Satoshi actually dies in this episode.  The truth is, it's never stated that Satoshi and Pikachu die in either version.  I wouldn't expect the dub to be straightforward about that kind of thing, but I fully believe that Kanto-era Pocket Monsters would have the guts to tell us, straight-out, that Satoshi and Pikachu died.  But they didn't.

In my opinion, if you believe that Satoshi and Pikachu actually died in this episode, then you also have to believe that Ghost has the power to bring people back from the dead.  Which isn't something I'm ready to accept, really.

Dead or not, though, you would think that a chandelier falling on Satoshi would mean a couple of broken bones or a bruise or something.

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