Japanese Episode
027






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 027
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 027:  "Sleeper and Pokemon Hypnotism!?"
American Episode 126:
  "Hypno's Naptime"

Pokemon Dare Da?  Koduck
Japanese Air Date:  September 30th, 1997
American Air Date:  October 13th, 1998
Important Characters:  Hajime (Arnold), Pokemon Daisuki Club (Pokemon Lovers Club)
Important Places:  Yoyoyo Town (HopHopHop Town)

Satoshi and his friends find themselves in Yoyoyo Town.  There, they counter a mother who mistakes Satoshi for her missing son.  Our heroes soon find out that children all over the town have gone missing, so they offer to help the local Junsa solve the mystery.  A stop by the local Pokemon Center doesn't provide any clues about the missing children, but our heroes do discover that all of the pokemon in the Center seem to have lost their energy.  Junsa takes out a sleep wave detector and finds that a strong reading is nearby, so she takes Satoshi and his friends with her as she pinpoints the signal.  They eventually come across the Pokemon Daisuki Club, a group of wealthy trainers who use the hypnotic pokemon Sleep and Sleeper to help them get to sleep.  Takeshi deduces that waves used to do this have inadvertently caused the pokemon in the area to lose their energy as a side effect.  Our heroes later find out that the waves also hypnotized the missing children to believe that they were pokemon and that they had all gathered in a nearby park!  After fending off an attempt by the Rocket-Dan to steal the hypnosis pokemon, Sleep is taken to the various victims to reverse the effects of its waves.  As our heroes prepare to leave the city, Kasumi inadvertently captures a Koduck that had been hanging out at the Pokemon Center!  With a new pokemon added to the group, our heroes continue on their journey to Satoshi's next challenge. 


Thoughts
This episode...God, where do I start?  I think I like it, but not because it's a good episode or anything.  I think part of the reason I like it is because of how it makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

Like, the whole thing is fine at first.  We're presented with a mystery, and for a little while there the story makes some very logical progressions.  Let's go to the Pokemon Center and see if the kids there know anything.  Makes sense, right?  But then everything just goes all to hell when Junsa (and, later, the Rocket-Dan) pulls out a freakin' sleep wave detector.  Because, y'know, that's what police officers just happen to carry around with them at all times.  I can totally imagine Junsa's orientation day at the police station.  "OK...here's your badge, your gun, and your standard issue sleep wave detector.  Good luck." 

And then, she's lead to some big-ass mansion on top of a skyscraper, and nobody thinks to question why anyone would build a mansion up there in the first place.  Then our heroes go in and meet a group of rich old people who have trouble sleeping from all the stress they have.  Which is kind of funny since these guys are just hanging out in a mansion in the middle of the fucking day instead of, I dunno, going to their jobs.  And what's with the random wine drinking?  "Hey, I can't sleep right now.  Wanna come over to my place and drink your day away instead?"  "Sure!"

At least that one guy states that they don't take any sleep medicine.  Mixing alcohol and drugs ain't cool, yo.

The craziest thing to me, though, is the fact that the children who had gone missing just happen to be up in the garden adjacent to the mansion that's on the roof of a skyscraper.  Like...how did that happen?  They either had to have already been up there when they got hypnotized - which makes the Pokemon Daisuki Club a group of fucking kidnappers - or it happened when they were down on the ground and then they just wandered into the garden.  That's next to the mansion on the roof of a giant skyscraper.  Like...I'm seriously imagining that little girl who thinks she's a Koiking flopping into the lobby of the building, flopping into the elevator, and then somehow jumping up and hitting the "Roof" button.  All while making little Koiking noises.

Also, for some reason, Takeshi is an expert on sleep pokemon and hypnosis related conditions.  No idea why.

I also love how Hajime's mom just happens to be up on the garden beside the mansion on the roof of the skyscraper, just waiting for her son to snap out of it.  Why would she have had any reason to think he was up there?  And why did she wait until he was all better before making an appearance? 

So yeah, I think I actually do like this episode after all.  Just because of how messed up it is.

This is also the episode that was the inspiration for this thread over on Bulbagarden, which in turn inspired the Recycled Characters page on this site.  So if nothing else, it's good for that.  The episode is also one of the first "let's tack a random pokemon capture at the end of an otherwise worthless episode" thing that the series will do a countless number of times from now until the end of the series, so I guess that's something worth mentioning.

The dubbed version has a great "WTF!?" edit to end the first half of their first year with.  Other than that, though, we get some dialogue edits and a paint edit or two.

Paint Edit
The text on the missing kids' posters got erased and replaced with little dots.  All the posters say pretty much the same thing - "If you see this child, please contact us."

Japanese

English

Click on each image to view a larger version.

Dialogue Edit
Kasumi gets a line change here:

Ash:  "This must be a pretty dangerous town."
Misty:  "My picture's gonna be on posters...when I'm a big, famous star!"
Ash and Brock:  (after giving Misty a look)  "Huh?"
Misty:  "Excuse me!?"
Ash:  "Maybe in horror movies!"
Pikachu:  "Pikachu!"

Originally, Kasumi's first line has her saying that she'd better watch out for kidnappers because she's so cute.  Satoshi and Takeshi kind of give her a look, prompting her to go "What!?"  Satoshi then pats Pikachu's head and tells Kasumi that, fine, she is cute and that she had better watch out.

I guess the dub changed this because they didn't want parents walking into the room and hearing one of the main characters act so nonchalant about a subject like child abduction. 

Paint Edit
Two more shots get edited:


And one more:


Click on each image to view a larger version.

Side Note
You know the part when Satoshi looks at Hajime's mom and is reminded of his own mom?

Well, in the Japanese version, we get a flashback of scenes from the first episode, "Pokemon I Choose You!




4Kids, being 4Kids, couldn't just leave well enough alone and decided to replace these clips.  With clips from "Beauty and The Beach."  An episode they wouldn't get around to dubbing for another two years.

Like...what was the logic behind that decision!?  Maybe they thought it would be better for Ash to think about the most recent time he had seen his mother instead of the first time?  But when that "most recent time" comes from an episode that, as far as dub viewers know, doesn't exist, you run into problems.  I wonder how many fans watched this episode and wondered "wait a minute...when did that happen!?"  I'm sure there were more than a few.

Even today, this edit is weird because the majority of Pokémon fans in the U.S. have never seen "Beauty and The Beach" and would therefore have no reason to know where those clips came from.

Dialogue Edit
The dub adds an echo effect to everyone's voices during the scenes in the Pokemon Center and, later, inside the Pokémon Lover's Club's mansion.  There was no echo in the Japanese version of either scene.

Later, when Junsa's sleep wave detector starts to go off, Kasumi asks her if that's her cell phone going off.  In the dub, Misty asks if that's her radio instead.

But can you imagine if that annoying sound that the sleep wave detector makes was actually somebody's ringtone?  GOD.

Also, I'm kind of surprised that 4Kids kept in the Pokemon Zukan's line about Sleep being based on a dream-eating tapir since that's a myth that only exists in Japan.  But I guess they were willing to let this one slide.

A few lines later:

PLC Gentleman:  "You see, all of our members absolutely adore Pokémon and, well, Hypno has become our favorite."

That's kind of a dickish thing to say, old man, what with Drowsee sitting right there and all.  It reminds me a lot of Dorothy's "I'll miss you most of all" line to the Scarecrow at the end of The Wizard of Oz.

Originally, the unnamed old man simply says that the pokemon has become popular among the members of the Pokemon Daisuki Club.

Music Edit
So this episode has the standard number of music filler / replacements, right?  Which is why I usually don't bring it up.

But this time, there was a scene where the way the dub scored a scene and the way the Japanese version scored the scene were completely different.  I'm talking about the part where Kasumi runs out of the mansion, thinking she's a Pawou.

In the Japanese music, jovial, carefree music is played to accentuate the ridiculousness of the image of Kasumi running around like a little seal.  The dubbed version, on the other hand, adds some really serious music, changing the whole thing from a funny "hey look at this seal girl!" scene to a "oh no this girl is running off unsupervised!"

I'll post a video clip later comparing the two scenes.

Dialogue Edit
The condition that Brock calls "Pokémon-itis" in the dub is called Pokemon Gaeri (ポケモンがえ り), which literally translates to "Changing into a pokemon." 
The third book in the Kids Pocket Books Pocket Monsters series  - a series of books in Japan that contain all sorts of behind-the-scenes information - indicates that the term Pokemon Gaeri is similar to Senzo Gaeri (先祖がえり), which is one of the terms that translates to atavism.  Now atavism deals with evolutionary traits that had vanished generations ago - like humans having large, primate-like canines - showing up in modern times.  That doesn't really seem to fit in with anything that happens in this episode, but the term is related to atavistic regression, which is a hypnotic technique used to make people regress to an earlier time.

I wonder what they says about the kids - including Kasumi - who were affected by that?

It's kind of an awkward thing to translate - I changed it to "Pokemon Hypnosis" for simplicity's sake - so I guess that's why 4Kids changed the term as well.

This next line is one of the episode's more famous ones:

James:  "I don't get it.  Why didn't we do this from the beginning?"
Jessie:  "We have to fill a half hour."

Originally, Musashi doesn't break the fourth wall here; she just tells Kojirou to stop his complaining.

Later, when all the kids wake up, they state what they want to be when they grow up.  And 4Kids decides to change all their goals. The kid who wants to be a Pokémon Trainer in the dub wants to be a Pokemon Master in the Japanese version.  The Ralph Wiggum-sounding boy who wants to be a fireman in the dub wanted to be a pilot.  And the little girl who wanted to be a doctor wanted to be the world's best cook in the Japanese version.

I guess 4Kids changed the little girl's dream to make it a little less stereotypical (reminds me of this VG Cats comic), but the others?  I have no idea.

Finally,

Misty:  "Sometimes I wonder what the Pokémon dream about."
Ash:  "I'd love to know that, too."
Brock:  "They must have been dreaming of getting stronger and evolving."
Misty:  "I dream about that sometimes too."

You...what, Misty?  You dream about getting stronger and evolving?  4Kids didn't think that was a really, really weird thing to have her say?

Originally, Kasumi says that she bets that getting stronger and evolving aren't the only things pokemon dream about.  Which I guess is implying that they dream about friendships or love or something like that.

Cut--3 seconds
At the end of the episode, right after Satoshi looks up Koduck's information on his Zukan (that Koduck always suffers from a headache), Takeshi, Kasumi, and Pikachu do the "Yo Yo Yo" hopping thing they did at the episode's beginning.  It gets cut from the dub.


I tried to do some research to find out if this (and the similar scene at the beginning of the episode) has any special meaning - I thought it was some kind of kabuki thing or something - but I couldn't come up with anything.  It's a pretty random scene that can't really be rewritten, from 4Kids' point of view, so I guess they decided not to bother with it and just remove it altogether. 

The piece of music that ends the episode starts when this shot does, so when the dub removed this scene, they created a noticeable skip in the music.

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