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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region
Japanese Episode 042: "Showdown! Pokemon Gym!"
American Episode 139: "Showdown at Dark City"
Pokemon Dare Da? Strike
Japanese Air Date: April 30th, 1998
American Air Date: October 30th, 1998
Important Characters: Yas (???), Kas (???)
Important Places: Dark City (Dark City), Yas Gym (Yas Gym), Kas Gym (Kas Gym)
Satoshi and his friends arrive in Dark City, a place being terrorized by a gang war between the Yas Gym and the Kas Gym. The two organizations are competing to become official Pokemon Gyms, and their battles are causing collateral damage throughout the city! The Rocket-Dan enter the restaurant Satoshi and his friends had taken refuge in and start making demands, so the young trainers chase them off. A recruiter from the Yas Gym sees the battle and is impressed, so she decides to take them to her gym. There, the gym's leader decides to test their strength with his Strike. As the pokemon thrashes about, it inadvertently sends a spray of ketchup into its eyes, causing everything around it to go red. The pokemon goes into a rampage and is recalled, baffling Satoshi and his friends. Eventually, they realize that the color red makes the gangs' pokemon go berserk and decides to use that knowledge to their advantage. After the trainers set up a few traps around the city, they wait for the two gyms to meet again to continue their brawl. This time, Satoshi and the citizens of Dark City dump everyone with a red liquid, confusing the gyms' pokemon and causing mass confusion. After the pokemon knock themselves out, the two gym leaders see the error of their ways and vow to help restore all the damage they've done to the city. With Dark City now on the road to recovery, Satoshi and his friends are free to go on to their next adventure.
That's not to say
that this episode isn't at least a little bit crazy! The choice
of spotlighted pokemon is strange (I'm
imagining a giant poster with two darts thrown haphazardly at "Elebuu"
and "Strike"), but not as much as their weaknesses. The color red
causes Elebuu and Strike to go berserk, yet both gyms have the color
in their logos. So why aren't the pokemon attacking everyone
wearing a gym uniform? Especially the Kas uniform, which includes
red gloves, boots, and collars? How about Sawamura's boxing
gloves? Kingler's body? And why does the ketchup Strike
stupidly gets squirt in its eyes make it see red, anyway? I'm not
going to attack my eyes with a packet of ketchup to test this out, but
I'm pretty sure squirting condiments in your eyes will temporarily
blind you, not make everything go all monochromatic on you.
questioning why Pikachu suddenly likes ketchup, why everyone seems to
be in love with the fact that it likes ketchup, and why it's pretty
much dropped after this episode. I think its love for ketchup is
brought up again like once or twice after this episode, but everyone
acts like it's this "thing" that's some major aspect of Pikachu's
character and is brought up all the time.
But the most
bizarre thing, to me, is the fact that the
inspector from the Pokemon League ends up being Joi, of all
people. Doesn't that seem a bit strange? Like, why is a
nurse going around and judging whether or not an organization is good
enough to be counted as an official gym? Wouldn't she be too busy
being a nurse and taking care of sick pokemon to go around sipping coffee
masks and making
custom-made Monster Balls?
I do like the
episode, though, even though I don't understand a lot of it. I
especially like the
setting just because of how different it is. This
episode uses a much darker color palette than most, and that really
makes it stand out more than the hundreds of episodes that take place
in the middle of a bright and cloudless day. Seeing Takeshi's
Rokon single-handedly take out the Rocket-Dan is also a great treat.
something I didn't know before starting work on this comparison.
Apparently, Yas and Kas are actually the names of the leaders of both
gyms, according to Volume 11 of the Pocket
Monsters Film Comic. I had always just thought of them as
"the Yas Gym Leader" and "the Kas Gym Leader," but I guess their names
are actually supposed to be, simply, Yas and Kas. Huh.
Elebuu keeps its funny, funny Japanese voice.
The plot of Yojimbo
is going to seem very familiar to those who have watched this episode
of Pocket Monsters. In
Kurosawa's film, a masterless samurai who takes on the pseudonym
Kuwabatake Sanjuro wanders into a dreary town being ravaged by a gang
war between a silk merchant named Tazaemon and and a saké merchant named
After the main character is hired as a bodyguard (or "yojimbo") for
each side, he
decides that both are equally distasteful and decides to
manipulate them to destroy one another.
In addition to all this, some Japanese fansites state that a working title of this episode was "Pokemon Yojimbo" (ポケモンようじんぼう), or "Pokemon Bodyguard." They don't really state their sources so it's an unconfirmed rumor, but it's pretty interesting to think about if it's true.
The movie is over on Netflix and is being sold through retailers like Amazon, so check it out if you ever get the chance. It can be a little slow at times and some of the makeup work is kind of distracting, but it's a solid film with a great lead actor and an awesome soundtrack.
The first paint edit of the episode, believe it or not, isn't from that big "Dark City" sign at the start of the episode. It's from this pan of the city instead.
Click on each
image for a larger version.
The text, which
you'll actually be able to read if you click on the image to enlarge
it, says resutoran (レストラン),
name's Ash. I wanna become the world's greatest Pokémon
Also, Satoshi mentions that he's traveling around to reach his goals, but Ash doesn't mention this.
The little signs inside the restaurant telling patrons what items are available to order get completely removed from the walls.
Click here to view more pictures from the scene.
4Kids goes into their "let's rewrite Team Rocket's dialogue" mode. There's a lot going on here, so I think it'll be easier if I just show you the two versions side by side:
Japanese food to more Western food? Check. Randomly adding bullshit information? Check.
Also, notice how the dub switches Musashi's and Kojirou's lines around, for no reason at all?
Cook: "I don't want any trouble."
Meowth: "You won't give us lunch but you don't want trouble, huh?"
Jessie: "You're talking to the wrong customers if you don't want any trouble."
Cook: "Please leave me alone. I don't want any trouble."
James: "Trouble!? I can't resist, Jessie."
Jessie: "Neither can I! Prepare for trouble!"
James: "Make it double!"
The dubbed version doesn't really make sense to me. I mean, the fact that the cook says the word "trouble" is what prompts the duo to start reciting their motto, right? Then why aren't they affected by hearing the word the other three times it's said? Everyone's all "trouble" this and "trouble" that, but no one seems to care until the animation requires them to.
The first line in the Japanese version of the Rocket-Dan's motto is nanda kanda (なんだかんだ), or "something or other" or "this or that." The owner of the restaurant uses this phrase only once ("Or you saying this or that?"), so the Rocket-Dan don't have had any reason to react to it until then.
After Brock's Vulpix fries Team Rocket:
James: "Well done."
This is almost the exact same joke present in the Japanese version! Originally, Nyasu and Musashi say the exact same thing as their English counterparts, but Kojirou messes up and says "Wel come" (in English) instead. As the trio is running away, Musashi yells at Kojirou and tells him that he got it wrong.
The dub fixed Kojirou's mistake (and ruined the joke) and didn't have Jessie say anything to her partner as they were running away.
After the battle, Ash is about to give the Yas Recruiter lady his fake name. He looks down at the smashed plate of spaghetti and says:
Yas Recruiter: "Ketchup?"
The first fake name Satoshi gives out is Napolitan (as in "Napolitan Spaghetti"). The Yas Recruiter responds by asking if that means he's from Italy. The dub removes this real world reference.
The fake names the dub gives out are Tom Ato for Ash, Anne Chovi for Misty, and Caesar Salad for Brock. I wonder whether or not non-Americans get the "Tom Ato" thing since they don't pronounce the word "tomato" the same way we Yanks do.
In Japanese, the nicknames are Omurice Ketchupurou (オムライスケチャップ郎) for Satoshi, Chicken Rice Sauceko (チキンライスソース子) for Kasumi, and Curry Rice Chutney Zaemon (カレーライスチャツネザエモン or カレーライスチャツネ左右衛門) for Takeshi. All of the names used in the Japanese version are dishes you'd find in a typical Japanese-style restaurant (Omurice and Ketchup, Chicken Rice and Sauce, and Curry Rice and Chutney) with a Japanese-type name tacked on to the end (-rou, -ko, and -zaemon).
Omurice, by the way, is the food that Satoshi's head turns into at the very end of the episode and doesn't look a thing like a "tom ato." 4Kids could have probably chosen their nickname a little better.
The scroll in the Yas Gym that says tairyoku (体力), or "strength," gets its text removed. A total of six scenes are altered.
Click here to view more pictures from the scene.
After the commercial break, the sign that says "Kas Gym" in katakana gets its text erased and replaced with the Kas logo.
I do wish 4Kids had shifted the Kas logo up a little higher to make everything all nice and centered, but oh well.
After that red liquid is poured on Yas and Kas, Strike runs past Elebuu. The sign at the top of the screen that says P.M FA. Kurabu (P.M FA.クラブ), or "P.M. FA. Club" gets all its text erased.
The final two paint edits of the episode occur when Joi tells Yas and Kas to let Satoshi teach them how to become better trainers.
The text there says Resutoran Sheru- (レストランシェル), which I guess is supposed to be "Restaurant Shellder."
Click on each image for a larger version.
Right at the end of the episode:
Boys: "Can we have your autograph? Pikachu?"
Pikachu: "Pi? Pika?"
Ash: "Oh well. Pikachu really is the star."
Satoshi doesn't break the fourth wall in the Japanese version. He simply asks the boys if they're sure they're idolizing the right person.
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