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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region
Satoshi and his friends are rushing to catch a ferry off Guren Island when they literally bump into a wild Kameil! Satoshi calls out his Zenigame to communicate with the pokemon and, after a dramatic-sounding chat, the two of them jump into the water and start swimming! Our heroes have no choice but to follow them to a nearby island inhabited by a bunch of Zenigame and Kameil. When they land Satoshi and his friends are surprised to find that every single pokemon on the island is fast asleep! After Pikachu shocks everyone awake our heroes discover that the issue started the day the island's leader, Kamex, returned from a trip across the sea. Kameil came back some time later, found all its friends asleep, and rushed over to Guren Island to find help. After a thorough investigation Satoshi notices that Purin is stuck inside one Kamex’s cannons, singing its song for the entire island to hear! They don't have time to extract the pokemon, however, as the Rocket-Dan soon appear and try to steal all the turtle pokemon for themselves. Fortunately, their Gyarados mecha ends up being no match for the leader Kamex’s brute strength and the Rocket trio is sent blasting off. Purin is also freed during this battle and, after a quick song, leaves the island behind as well. Now that everyone's problems have been solved our heroes bid farewell to the turtle pokemon and return to their journey back to Tokiwa City and Satoshi's final badge.
"Kamex's Island" serves as the (proper) debut of both Kameil and Kamex. It's an alright enough episode, I guess, but it seriously squanders multiple opportunities for what I think are some better, much more interesting stories.
Let's start with Zenigame and work our way up. Is this meant to be the "Zenigame also refuses to evolve" episode of the series? I mean, we spend the entirety of "Kamex's Island" in this area inhabited solely by the pokemon's evolved forms and yet the topic of Satoshi's Zenigame evolving is never specifically brought up. Wouldn't you think that someone would have mentioned it, even if just in passing? I complained about how Fushigidane's last focus episode didn't really answer the question of why Satoshi's pokemon didn't want to evolve but at least that one made the attempt to bring up the topic in the first place. This one doesn't even bother to do that!
Next up, Kameil. Zenigame's evolved form is modeled after minogame, a turtle in Japanese folklore who's said to have lived for 10,000 years and whose tail is made of seaweed. And so, armed with this knowledge, the writer of this episode goes "here's a turtle that's slightly bigger than Zenigame. The end." To be perfectly honest I'm not sure how exactly they could have incorporated any of the above into an interesting episode either. Still, I think letting Kameil do something, anything to make itself stand out would have been better than the nothing sandwich we get here, wouldn't you say?
And then there's Kamex. The final evolved form of Zenigame, Kamex, is treated as a king who's powerful enough to basically destroy the Rocket-Dan's Gyarados mecha all by itself. So far, so good. But the thing that bothers me about Kamex as a species, and the storyline that I wish they had pursued instead, has to do with those big-ass metal cannons coming out of its back. Like, what in the world are those? Are they a natural part of its body? They seem to be made out of metal so maybe not? Kamex's debut episode (or any episode, really) would have been a fantastic opportunity to address how this pokemon seems to be an unholy abomination of turtle and steel but the show's writers apparently didn't think this was anything worth exploring. It's just, oh yeah, this turtle has cannons on its back for some reason. Let's just stuff a balloon in there and call it a day.
This episode takes place on a tropical island and has no Japanese writing anywhere so 4Kids wasn't as busy as they usually are. There's still lots of rewrites and some terrible 90s slang later on but other than that it's your standard Season 2 dub episode.
Let's start with the post-flashback narration:
"With Ash's seventh badge in hand, our heroes head for the next Gym.
But they'll have to hurry to catch the last ferry off Cinnabar Island."
The "last ferry"
part was made up for the dub. In the original they're simply running
late for this particular
ferry; there's nothing in the Japanese version to indicate that there's
not going to be another one later that day.
Ash bumps into a wild Wartortle:
Brock: "Wow, a
Wartortle. Talk about your rare Pokémon."
...says the guy
who apparently doesn't know what Wartortle are called.
In the original
Satoshi is able to pick up the pokemon's name without any problem. His
reaction to the Pokemon
Bestiary explanation at the end there is a simple naruhodo
(なるほど), or "I see...," not some out-of-character insult.
Later, on the way
to the island:
Brock: "Hey Ash, look! There's an island ahead."Satoshi responds to Takeshi telling him that the island's not on a map by saying "Eh...an island not on a map...?" (え～地図にない島か？). The dub decides to go for a non-sequitor about the shape of the island instead.
Ash: "It's so small."
Misty: "What island is it?"
Brock: "Hmm, it's not even on this map."
Ash: "Hey, it looks just like a Squirtle shell!"
Later, Pikachu attacks Ash after he falls asleep:
Ash: "Pikachu! Cut it out!"
Squirtle: "Squirtle! Squirtle!"
Misty: "What's the matter, Ash? Dreaming about being a Pokémon Master?"
Ouch, Misty! Kasumi doesn't deliver any kind of sick burn in the original, instead explaining that he got woken up like that because he had the gall to be fast asleep during such an urgent situation (あんたがこの緊急事態にグースカ寝てるからよ).
Ash explains what happened:
Ash: "I heard this sound coming from Blastoise and fell asleep, right?"
Misty: "What kind of a sound?"
Ash: "Some kind of weird music that sounded kind of familiar."
Which then prompts Misty and Brock to make these faces:
I've seen dub fans explain the above exchange by saying that it shows that Misty and Brock have realized that this "weird music" Ash is talking about came from Jigglypuff. In the Japanese version, however, the look has a different meaning behind it because what Satoshi says beforehand is different: "It sounded like something echoing from the depths of Hell" (何かこう、地獄の底から響いてくるような).
Now you might think "wow, that's a really dark and creepy thing for a ten-year-old to be saying!" And, well, based on the look they give each other Kasumi and Takeshi would tend to agree. But I think it's also worth pointing out that in Japan, the idea of Heaven and Hell being places that actually exist is one that's only shared by less than 1% of the population. For Satoshi, as well as most other kids in Japan, the idea of "Hell" is just that; an idea. Nothing more, nothing less. A ten-year-old boy bringing something like this up isn't so strange, all things considered.
Later, after Brock figures out what happened on the island:
Misty: "Gee, people have searched for the turtle Pokémon's breeding grounds for years. Could this really be it?"
Brock: "Imagine all the stuff I can learn about Pokémon breeding if you're right."
Kasumi uses the word seisokuchi (生息地), which is closer to "habitat" than "breeding grounds." Also, Takeshi doesn't bring up Pokemon Breeding in the original; he simply states that they could learn a lot by being on this island.
Team Rocket gets ready to take the Blastoise:
Meowth wonders why he
always gets roped into these things after volunteering to be the one to
catch Blastoise...? Huh?
Click on each image to view
a larger version.
The only really untranslatable thing here is Takeshi's line. In the original he takes the real Japanese phrase kami no kokoro, kami no mizo shiru (神の心、神のみぞ知る), or "God only knows," and replaces the word kami ("God") with the similar-sounding kame ("turtle"). So instead of "God only knows," he's basically saying "Turtle only knows."
Next, there's a bit of
in-fighting with the Rocket trio:
In today's installment of
Rocket trio dialogue that could have absolutely been translated as-is,
we get an exchange about who gets to keep a pokemon changed to an
exchange about who gets to take credit
for capturing a pokemon. I
couldn't even begin to tell you what was going through the minds of the
people who decided that what we see on the left up there couldn't be
Later, the Rocket trio are
brought on shore where they quickly turn on their saviors:
Jessie: "They're about to
In the original Takeshi is a little
bit more friendly, instead warning the trio that the ship they're
running back to doesn't work anymore.
After Blastoise wakes up:
Ash: "Just in time! Team Rocket stopped dead in its tracks!"Guess which of these lines is a rewrite~?
Brock: "Blastoise is the bomb!"
In the Japanese version Takeshi states "That's the king of the turtles for you!" (さすが亀々の王！)
After Jigglypuff's song:
The line I've translated as
"the case has been closed" is ikken
rakuchaku (一件落着), a line that's typically used to close out
historical dramas on TV. Accordingly, the Japanese version plays the
sound of kabuki clackers right after Satoshi's line. The dub changes
the line and also mutes this
I think the Japanese version might be
making a reference to the soon-to-be-released (production-wise) movie Mewtwo Strikes Back but their
little bit here could absolutely be something else. In any case, 4Kids
rewrote it to something a little less random-sounding.
This page was last updated on July 23rd, 2017
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