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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region
Japanese Episode 028: "Rokon! The Breeder Battle!"
American Episode 127: "Pokémon Fashion Flash"
Pokemon Dare Da? Rokon
Japanese Air Date: October 7th, 1997
American Air Date: October 14th, 1998
Important Characters: Yuki (Suzy)
Important Places: Scissor Street (Scissor Street), Lovely-Charmy Salon (Salon Roquet), Pokemon Salon Rokon (N/A)
Takeshi has brought his friends to Scissor Street, a place where many famous Pokemon Breeders are known to gather. As our heroes walk around, they notice a flashy salon called the Lovely-Charmy Salon that seems to be attracting a lot of attention. Before long, Takeshi spots the place he had originally been looking for - the Pokemon Salon Rokon owned by a famous Breeder named Yuki - and decides to go inside. After Takeshi introduces himself to her, he impresses her by earning the trust of her Rokon. Later, Kasumi brings up the salon they saw earlier. Yuki explains that potential customers are being drawn away to the gaudy new place, so Satoshi and Takeshi offer to help her attract more customers. Kasumi, meanwhile, decides to take her Koduck over to the Lovely-Charmy Salon to get a makeover. As Satoshi and his Pikachu help teach a class on pokemon massage, Kasumi learns that the operators of the Lovely-Charmy Salon are none other than the Rocket-Dan! The young Gym Leader is kidnapped, but luckily, her Koduck is able to get away and bring the others to the salon. A battle ensues, and the Rocket-Dan are actually able to hold their own until Yuki appears with her Rokon and has it use Fire Spin to shut down their operation. Back at Yuki's salon, the Breeder thanks Takeshi for all his work and decides to let him use her Rokon on his journey. With a new pokemon in hand, Takeshi and the others leave Scissor Street for their next adventure.
I really like this episode. While the overall episode is a bit on the preachy side, the episode still manages to have enough of the zany, over-the-top randomness that the Kanto episodes are remembered for to keep things interesting. We get to see a lot of "interesting" fashion, to say the least, Kojirou cross-dressing for a third time, and some really great, rubbery animation. People who don't really know much about animation will claim that the animation in this show got better when it eventually switched over to digital ink and paint, but that isn't the case at all. This episode's animation - as in, the way the characters move - beats out many of the modern-day episodes. It's a shame that all the episodes can't look this good.
I guess if I had to find a problem with this episode, it would be the idea that Rokon defeating the Rocket-Dan somehow causes the fashion-obssessed people on Scissor Street to turn over a new leaf. Like...if Rokon had been teased throughout this episode for being ugly or whatever, then it showing that looks aren't everything would have actually worked. But instead, we get a pokemon who's actually praised for its outer beauty show up and shoot fire at a pair of crossdressing villains. And, somehow, that teaches the townspeople not to judge a book by its cover? Um...what?
The dubbed version of this episode has a whopping twenty-two paint edits. Which is the largest number this series has had yet. Other than that, there's not a whole lot going on. Though the summary of this episode up on the official website has some amusing errors:
"Caesar Street" is just flat-out nuts, but what about Coron? Could it have been a name that 4Kids had considered using for Yuki before settling on Suzy? It looks like it may have been an attempt to give a nod to the Japanese version by taking Vulpix's Japanese name and then rearranging the letters to make a new name. And then maybe it was rejected because they thought it was too gross and decided to go the alliteration route instead? Or maybe I'm looking into things too much and the guy who typed that summary up didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Who knows?
Nyasu no Uta replaces Hyaku Gojuu Ichi as the ending theme as of this episode in Japan, while the ending theme for the dub remains the same.
On the left side, the
that says "Salon" beside the picture
of Booster has been erased. Further down, the vertical sign that
"Free Free" (?) has also had its text erased. A little bit of
illegible text has been removed from the two signs beside the the
picture of Beedle. The Beedle sign got some
scribbles erased as well.
And that was just in one shot.
Yeah, it's really
minor, but I'm kind of desperate to find something to talk about that doesn't have to do with digital
I love how they got the l in "salon" right but screwed up
l in "Sally."
So here's a shot of the poster advertising the Lovely-Charmy
salon. The name of the salon in the Japanese version, by the way,
is taken from Kojirou's final line in the Japanese version of the
Here's the front of the actual salon. Lots of edits
(Yeah, you can argue that "effeminate man" and "male transvestite" doesn't' necessarily translate to "homosexual," but I think the intention here is fairly obvious).
The amazing part of all this is that 4Kids pretty much kept the character intact. And when you consider that this episode was dubbed in the era of the Cloverway dub of Sailor Moon, the fact that a gay character wasn't "censored" for an American release is a pretty big deal..
Misty: "I love its hair! I wish I had hair like Vulpix that looks so shiny and soft.Kasumi says all of that as well, but she also asks for permission to touch Rokon. Misty isn't quite as polite in the dub.
Brock: "The sensational Suzy of Scissor Street has been awarded the trophy for excellence at the World Pokémon Breeder's Contest for three consecutive years! Wait...there's more! Lights. In addition to that, the readers of Pokémon Friends Magazine named her the most popular Breeder four years running! And her hugely popular website records over 10,000 hits per day!"There are a couple of things worth mentioning here. For one thing, the only achievement that both Yuki and Suzy have in common is the first one (and even that has some embellishments here and there). Everything else was invented by 4Kids; originally, the other two achievements were being named "Trainer of the Year" the previous year and being named the Number One Breeder for four years in a row. The whole "website" thing is a dub invention.
Misty: "Ha! Anyway, Psyduck and I are so cute we'll look good whatever fashion we wear!"In the original, Satoshi asks who the cute one she was referring to is supposed to be. Kasumi replies that she's the cute one. Which is why she's pointing at herself as she's shouting.
Ash: "I'm sure Psyduck will."
Misty: "What do you know about fashion!?"
I have no idea why the dub would change this since it's a perfectly translatable bit of dialogue.
The pokemon used in the eyecatch in both versions is the same, but the Japanese version uses a different picture of Rokon.
I like the
Japanese one a bit better (surprise!) because it actually focuses on
the tails that the pokemon gets its name from. That, and it's not
the same old stock art we'll be seeing pop up again and again and again.
In Japan - just
anywhere else, really - it's not uncommon for teenage girls to imitate
celebrity fashion. And when that happens, a new word to refer to
this fashion is created by taking the first two syllables of the
celebrity's name and adding ラー (-rer) to it. So we get words like
"Amurer" (from Amuro Namie),
"Kaharer" (from Kahara Tomomi),
and "Chanler" (people who enjoy Chanel products).
based on the fashion of Shinohara Tomoe,
a singer / talent / actress / designer / music producer. The English version of
her Wikipedia page doesn't really go into any detail about her fashion,
but the Japanese
entry does. Here's my translation of part of it:
Seems like a pretty good fit to me.
Now, let's talk about the Rocket-Dan's outfits:
for these two came from the characters in Ikeda Riyouko's famous series
The Rose of Versailles.
Kojirou's costume seems to be based on the character of Oscar
François de Jarjayes while Musashi is dressed like her love
Grandier. One of the jokes here is that in The Rose of Versailles, Oscar is a
woman who is raised as a boy while here, Kojirou is a man dressing like
series will also serve as the inspiration for other characters as well, so this won't
be the last time we see these costumes.
I think my
favorite paint edit of the episode, though, is this scene transition.
In the Japanese
version, this is a close-up of Yuki's salon that serves as a transition
from the scene outside the Lovely-Charmy Salon to the scene inside the
Pokemon Salon Rokon. But since this text was erased for the dub,
it becomes this random, boring shot of an orange awning. Would
dub viewers really have had any reason to associate this orange awning
with Suzy's shop?
It reminds me a
lot of a comment Chris Psaros made on his DBZ
Uncensored site long, long ago:
| Dogasu's Backpack is a
fan-created website Pocket Monsters (Pokémon) is ©
1995-2010 Nintendo / Creatures Inc. /
GAME FREAK, Inc. / Pokémon USA / 4Kids Entertainment
infringement of copyrights is meant by the creation of the web site.
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