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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region
photography!" was bound to come sooner or later. And, well, centering
an episode around a character who doesn't want to take pictures of
pokemon that look too posed or unnatural actually fits this show really
well. One of the things this TV series does better than pretty much
everything else is showing how humans and pokemon co-exist and how
important it is for the former to care about the feelings of the
latter. Seeing little Pikachu here, all nervous and uncomfortable
a camera, and then seeing Satoshi recognize this and react accordingly
is just something the games weren't capable of showing back in 1996.
Tohru is an
alright character, I guess. The best thing I can think to say about him
is that he's voiced
by Kappei Yamaguchi, who would go on to voice Usopp in
a little-known series called One
Piece. It's super obvious when you go back and watch this
episode because his Tohru voice is almost exactly the same as his Usopp
voice but I think it works to give Tohru this nice "I'm just doing the
best I can" quality about him that wouldn't be there otherwise. Him
tagging along for three episode is a bit weird (there's absolutely
nothing in this episode that indicates that he'll be returning next
week) but he doesn't really do much harm so I don't really mind.
So what's the deal? Well, it turns out that, according to an interview with the late Satoru Iwata, Pokemon Snap didn't actually start out as a Pokemon game at all:
My guess is that the TV
series introduced this photographer character, just because, and HAL
Laboratory later decided that he would be a good fit for their upcoming
on-rails first person shooter game. In later series characters from
side games showing up to promote their new games is kind of normal but
in this case it seems like things happened the other way around.
Viper-type pun / play on words being the central pillar of a TV
often causes problems whenever said show is exported overseas but
luckily for 4Kids the "catch" / "catch on film" mix-up in this episode
adapted into English with no problem whatsoever. Did the other
non-English dubs get off so lucky, I wonder? Is there any language out
there where the joke doesn't
work and so the localizers had to come up with something completely new?
Note - Rice balls
rice balls are pretty good."
Oh. They just
call them rice balls. Not donuts, not éclairs, not sandwiches. Just rice
(I know 4Kids
will absolutely go back to insulting viewers' intelligence by renaming
them in future episodes but for now let's just enjoy this, shall we?)
So what's the kid's name in this episode?
If you watched this episode in Canada, or the UK, or Australia, or anywhere else that airs the English dub then his name's Snap. But! For those of you who watched it on Kids' WB! in the U.S., the character's called Todd. In order for this to happen, 4Kids had to record two versions of this episode; one where people refer to him as "Snap" and another where they call him "Todd." By my count, there would have been nine lines total in this episode that would have had to be redubbed to accommodate this name change.
So what in the
world is going on here? Beats me. A popular idea is that Kids' WB!
mandated the change over fears of angering the lawyers over at Kellogg's due to
the fact that the cereal conglomerate also
a character named "Snap" but as far as I know we've never seen anything
from either party even implying
that this was ever an
issue. Plus, the character is called "Snap" in pretty much everything
else released in the U.S. - the Pokemon
Snap game itself, the DVD releases of the show, the
official website - so if there was any real legal worries then
wouldn't those have been
scrubbed as well? I'm not super convinced.
Regardless of what the reason was, his name would later be retconned to "Todd Snap" later on to kind of give him the same name in all English-speaking regions.
A visual pun
requires an explanation:
Brock: "If you
wanted to take a picture, why didn't you just ask us first?"
tells our heroes that he's a tensai
kamerman (天才カメラマン), or "genius cameraman." Satoshi mishears kameraman as Kamekkusu (カメックス), as in the name
of the pokemon, and so Tohru shows up in the next shot wearing a Kamex
The Master /
Masker thing 4Kids comes up with works pretty well, for what it's
In this first
picture, the magazine's name Pokemon
no Tomo (ポケモンの友), or "Pokemon Friend." It's the same magazine
the Eevee trainers used back in "The Four Eevee
Brothers" but I guess 4Kids didn't realize this because they
renamed it Pokémon Times
in this episode.
The text inside
the magazine says Kore wa Putera da!
(これがプテラだ！), or "This is Ptera!"
Click on each
image to view a larger version.
It's incredible how two people can be brought together by a single
photograph. It's funny when you think about it. You're in the picture and nobody knows who
you are and I take your
picture and I'm world famous!"
Japanese line, for comparison's sake: "Maybe we were bound by the
threads of fate to meet each other. To think that you showed up
in a photo,
even if just by accident, taken by a genius cameraman such as myself."
(僕たちは運命の糸に導かれた出会ったかもしれない。僕が天才カメラマンとして認められた写真に、偶然とは言え君が写してた何てさ). It sounds similar, but notice how the
Japanese version doesn't have Tohru insulting Satoshi the way Snap does
with Ash in the English dub.
like this will keep happening throughout the rest of the episode; Snap
will make these snippy little comments attacking Ash that just weren't
there in the Japanese version, all with that same same condescending
Gary voice that Jimmy Zoppi uses for Ash's rival. The result is a
character who's way less
likable in the English dub than the Japanese version for reasons that
aren't entirely clear.
is rather inconsistent with the way they write Snap and the rest of the
episodes he appears in are much, much closer to the Japanese rendition
of the character than this episode is.
Ash: "I love
Takeshi says that they're all hungry since they didn't get to finish
eating their rice balls earlier.
Click on each image
to view a larger version.
The two versions are completely different but I don't hate the English dialogue here or anything like that. The fourth wall breaking Meowth does there is actually pretty clever!
After Team Rocket leave a trap for our heroes:
The English version doesn't really make any sense to me. Why does the ground being soft make it a good place to wait for Pikachu?
The magazine's article gets all its text erased:
A lot of the text is cut off here but here's what we can see:
The text beside his picture says "This is a big -" (これが大)...maybe it's meant to say something like "big discovery?" The next line say "camera boy" (カメラ少年).
The text at the bottom says "Tohru-kun, age 10,..." (トオル君 (10)) followed by "of Ptera" (プテラの). Maybe the full text is meant to be something like "Tohru-kun, age 10, took a picture of Ptera."
Looking at the pictures above, you'll also see that the English version is zoomed in on considerably more than the Japanese one. In the original the camera pulls back to reveal the full text of the article but in the English version this zoom-out effect is removed, presumably to give 4Kids less text to have to erase.
It's a shame this didn't get translated because we get a piece of information in the Japanese version (Tohru's age) that's not present in the English dub.
Ash tricks Team Rocket:
Ash: "OK, everybody, just smile for the camera! You're gonna love this shot."
Ash: "What's the magic word?"
Team Rocket: "Cheese."
Photographers in Japan also tell their subjects to say "cheese" whenever they want them to smile but that's not the only phrase they have! Some of them will also say ichi tasu ichi wa? (1 + 1 = ?) and the people being photographed respond by saying ni (2). Ni, pronounced like the English word knee, forces your mouth to smile the same way saying the word "cheese" does.
In the Japanese version, Satoshi says the 1 + 1 = line to get the Rocket trio to smile instead of "cheese."
Jessie decides to say a poem:
Jessie: "But first, a poem. Team Rocket drifted down the stream...and now we screa~m!"
In Japanese: "Here's a poem...you don't want to fall down a waterfall but you will...aaaahhh we're falling~!" (ここで一句‥‥滝つぼに、落ちたくないけど落ちていく、ああ落ちていく～).
...it's not a
good poem in either language.
Misty and Brock
catch up with the other ten year olds:
The adventure they just had didn't really show how Snap likes Pokémon so I'm not sure what Ash is getting at here. He knows they both like Pokémon because he wasn't willing to let another human being fall to his death? Is that what we're supposed to think?
Finally, I wanted to share with you this screenshot from the next episode preview. If you remember one of the questions that's asked during the test then you'll see what they're doing here:
It really is a shame that Western fans never get to see neat little Easter eggs like these in the English dub.
This page was last updated on June 18th, 2017
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