Japanese Episode
037






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 037
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 037:  "Metamon and the Mimicry Girl"
American Episode 135:  "Ditto's Mysterious Mansion"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Metamon
Japanese Air Date:  December 9th, 1997
American Air Date:  October 26th, 1998
Important Characters:  Imite (Duplica), Sato-chan (Ashy-boy)
Important Places:  Imite House (The House of Imite)

In order to take refuge from a sudden rain storm, Satoshi and his friends head into a large mansion.  Once inside, they stumble across another Satoshi and Pikachu!  The Satoshi they meet ends up being a mimicry girl named Imite, and the Pikachu is her partner pokemon, Metamon.  Imite tells Satoshi that Metamon is capable of transforming into any other pokemon and invites him to a battle to see what it can do.  Satoshi accepts, but the young trainer is unable to win against Imite's pokemon.  Takeshi reasons that the reason Imite won is because she has a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of pokemon and what techniques they can use.  Later, Imite tells the party that her Metamon has this problem where it's unable to mimic a pokemon's face properly.  At that moment, the Rocket-Dan appear and kidnap the transform pokemon!  The trio takes it back to one of their hideouts, where they attempt to have it transform into a Miniryuu to give to their boss.  After a few unsuccessful attempts, Imite's Metamon is eventually able to overcome its problem and becomes able to imitate faces.  Satoshi-tachi finds the trio's hideout, but when they arrive, they see two Nyasu!  The Rocket-Dan attempt to pass off their Nyasu as the real Metamon, but Imite sees through their deception and attacks.  With the help of Satoshi, the Rocket-Dan is prevented from escaping and Imite's pokemon is returned.  Later, the sun comes back out, and Satoshi and his friends bid farewell to the aspiring Metamon Master before hitting the road again.


Thoughts
I am a firm believer in the idea that this TV show can make you change your mind about a pokemon that you really don't have any strong feelings toward when you're just playing the games.  For me, Metamon is one such pokemon.  Before this episode, I really didn't think much of the little blob.  I think it caused a glitch in my copy of Pokemon Red, so I pretty much avoided that thing like plague back then.  Once I saw it on TV, though, its beady little eyes and its dopey smile won me over.

I don't know quite how I feel about Metamon's ability to transform into non-pokemon, though.  It's kind of cool, I guess, but it just seems to push the whole concept of a transformation pokemon overboard.  You would think that being able to transform into any pokemon, ever, would be enough.  But no.  It also has to have the power to turn into a motherfucking cannon and shoot a Pikachu at your face.  Because, y'know, it was a weakling without it.

Its trainer is alright, I guess, but her eyebrows creep me the hell out.

I'd have to say that my favorite part of the whole episode, though, is Satoshi-tachi's version of the Rocket-Dan motto.  I remember watching that scene so many times, back in the day, that I actually wore out the tape I had recorded it on.  Yeah, we've seen the protagonists do their version of the motto before, and we'll see them do it again later.  But this is the only episode where they go all-out, even going so far as to wear their costumes.  That's just awesome.

And speaking of the Rocket-Dan, I wonder who that mystery "first love" of Musashi's is.  Was he a fellow orphan?  Did he know that Musashi liked him?  What's his name?  What does his actual face look like?  Where is he now?  Is he still playing soccer somewhere?  Why does the series never ever follow up on this??????

The dubbed version goes and gives Imite a new name even though they left the name of her house alone.  I can kind of understand (though don't really agree with) the explanation that they change Japanese names that are difficult to pronounce to more Western-sounding names.  But changing one name to another, but then still keeping the old name for something else?  It's Kuriboh's Shoe all over again!  Other than that, this is only the fourth episode of the series, so far, to not have any non title screen paint edits.  Thirty-seven episodes into the series, and only three other episodes have gotten by without some digital paint slapped on it.  And guess how many of those paint edits were necessary to get the show on American TV?

Metamon only keeps its Japanese voice when it's transformed into Pikachu.  Every other time, it gets a new English voice.

Side Note
Imite is referred to as the モノマネむすめ (monomane musume; "Mimicry Girl") in the episode's Japanese title, which just also happens to be the name of an NPC in Yamabuki City.  In the English versions of the games, that character is known as "Copycat."

So, is Imite meant to be the same character?  I don't know, but the dub pretty much removes this connection since, by this point in the series, they had stopped simply translating the Japanese titles and started making up their own instead.  Had 4Kids done what they were doing at the start of the season, this episode would have probably been known as "Ditto and the Copycat" instead.


Dialogue Edit
Imite calls Satoshi "Sato-chan" and her Metamon "Meta-chan" several times throughout the episode.  In the dub, Duplica calls Ash "Ashy-boy" twice and her Ditto "Little Ditto" only once.  Jessie also calls Ditto "Little Ditto" for the short time she has possession of it.

Duplica:  "I just want to become the greatest Ditto master."
Ash, Misty, and Brock:  "A Ditto master?"
Duplica:  "You've got it!  And I wanna be a big star!"

Duplica's Japanese counterpart states that she wants to be a comedian (芸人, geinin), not a star.  The word geinin carries a connotation that Imite will be performing with a partner (in this case, Metamon) that isn't carried over with "big star."  Those of you who follow the variety program Pokemon Sunday will be familiar with the style of comedy geinin are known for.

Later, during the flashback:

Duplica:  "OK Ditto, Transform!"
Ditto:  "Voltorb!"
Audience member:  "It's still got that dumb face!"
Duplica:  "That's...so...you can tell them apart!"

Originally, the heckler says that Metamon transformed into a Marumine, not a Biriridama.  And hey, there just happens to be a Marumine right there in the audience!  Imite then tries to cover her tracks by announcing that Metamon has successfully transformed into a Marumine, as if that was her intention all along.

It's a joke that could have been brought over without any problems.  But, y'know, why not rewrite it instead?

The Rocket-Dan scene after the commercial break has a few things going on.  First up,

Jessie:  "Transform into this.  Won't you please?  Please?  Pretty please?"
James:  "Become Dratini, the Pokémon we've never been able to capture."

James' line is a reference to "The Legend of Miniryuu," an episode that, as we all know, was never aired in the U.S.  Whoops.

Then, during the series' very first Boss Fantasy ever, the dub adds that weird filter to Jessie's voice that they added to Giovanni's voice back in "Battle Aboard the St. Anne."  There wasn't any filter added to Sakaki's voice in the Japanese version of that episode, so no filter was added to Musashi's voice in this one, either.

James:  "Your first love sure has...an interesting face!"
Meowth:  "Especially if you're interested in Ditto!"

There was a pun here in the Japanese version.  Originally, Kojirou said お前の初恋の子ってのはすげー薄っぺらなヤツになってんだなー (omae no hatsukoi no ko tte no wa sugee usuppera na yatsu nantenda na~), which would be something like "Your first love sure was a thin guy!"  In Japan, calling someone thin (薄い, usui), as in "a thin sheet of paper," is basically the same as calling someone shallow or superficial. 

(By the way, you wouldn't use the word usui to refer to a person not weighing much.  In that case, the word やせた (yaseta) would be used instead).

The pun here is that Metamon transformed into a photograph which, as images printed on paper tend to be, very thin.

I guess a similar type of pun in English would be if you told someone that you were hot and they replied with a "well, someone's full of himself today."

Instead of focusing on the fact that Metamon transformed into a photograph, dubbed James and Meowth laugh at the Ditto face instead.

This episode also gets a different Team Rocket motto.  Here's the English version, minus Jessie's and James' interjections:

Ash:  "Prepare for trouble!"
Brock:  "And make it double double."
Misty:  "To protect the world from devastation,"
Duplica:  "To ignite all people within our nation,"
Ash:  "To denounce the evils of truth and love,"
Misty:  "To extend our reach to the stars above."
Ash:  "Ash!"
Misty:  "Misty!"
Brock:  "...and Brock!"
Duplica:  "Duplica...that's right!"
Brock:  "Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light."
Duplica:  "Surrender now or prepare to fight all of us!"
Pikachu:  "Pika Pika!"

The Japanese version is as follows:

Satoshi:  "Nanda kanda to kikaretara!"
サ トシ: 「なんだかんだと聞かれたら!」
Takeshi:  "Kotaete ageru ga yo no nasake!"
タ ケシ: 「答えてあげるが世の情け!」
Kasumi:  "Sekai no hakai o fusegu tame"
カ スミ: 「世界の破壊を防ぐため-」
Imite:  "Sekai no heiwa o mamoru tame"
イ ミテ: 「世界の平和を守るため-」
Satoshi:  "Ai to shinjitsu no seigi o tsuranuku"
サ トシ: 「愛と真実の正義をつらぬく」
Kasumi:  "Raburii Chaamii na shujinkou!"
カ スミ: 「ラブリーチャーミーな主人公!」
Satoshi:  "Satoshi!"
サ トシ: 「サトシ!」
Kasumi:  "Kasumi!"
カ スミ: 「カスミ!」
Takeshi:  "Takeshi!"
タ ケシ: 「タケシ!」
Imite:  "Imite...gesuto dakedo."
イ ミテ: 「イミテ…ゲストだけど」
Takeshi:  "Ginga o kakeru, Poketto-Dan no ore-tachi ni wa!"
タ ケシ: 「銀河をかけるポケット団の俺たちには!」
Imite:  "Howaito Hooru!  Shiroi ashita ga matteru ze!!"
イ ミテ: 「ホワイトホール!白い明日がまってるぜ!!」
Pikachu:  "Pika pika!"
ピ カチュウ: 「ピカピカ!」

And a translation:

Satoshi:  "If you ask us about this and that!"
Takeshi:  "The answer will be at the world's mercy."
Kasumi:  "To prevent the destruction of the world"
Imite:  "To protect the peace of the world"
Satoshi:  "Pierce the justice of love and truth"
Kasumi:  "We are the lovely and charming heroes!"
Satoshi: "Satoshi!"
Kasumi:  "Kasumi!"
Takeshi:  "Takeshi!"
Imite:  "Imite!  ...but I'm just a guest."
Takeshi:  "The Pocket-Dan, who reach across the galaxy!!!"
Imite:  "A White Hole!  A white tomorrow is waiting!!"
Pikachu:  "Pika pika!"

Since the dubbed version of the Team Rocket motto isn't a translation of the Japanese motto, the dubbed version of this special Duplica version isn't a translation, either.  No surprise there, really.


Right after the motto,

Duplica:  "Hey, I know!  Maybe we should all become actors!"

Imite instead tells everyone that they really have a knack for mimicry.  But I guess 4Kids wanted to throw in an actor reference to go along with their "big star" line earlier in the episode.

Meowth:  "Dimwits!  How'd you manage to mess this one up!?"
James:  "You're in no position to complain!"

Yet another pun!

This time, the joke has to do with the phrases 詰めが甘い (tsume ga amai) and 爪を立てる (tsume o tateru).  The first phrase, said by Nyasu, means "that didn't turn out the way you wanted!" (with "that" being the plan to swap out Nyasu with Metamon), while the second phrase means that Nyasu is digging its claws into something (in this case, the balloon).  As you can see, the word tsume appears in both sentences and is the basis of the pun.

The dub just glossed over it because, really, there's not really much that they could have done with that.

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