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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 067
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 065:  "Rival Showdown!  The Orchid Laboratory"
American Episode 212:  "Showdown at the Po-ké Corrall"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Betobeton (Japanese), Slowbro (English)
Japanese Air Date:  October 8th, 1998
American Air Date:  September 30th, 1999
Important Places:  Sekiei Plateau (Indigo Plateau)

Now that they're back in Masara Town, Satoshi and his friends head to Orchid-Hakase's lab to learn more about the Pokemon League.  There, the professor tells Satoshi and Shigeru that the two of them are the only Trainers out of the four who left that day to return to Masara Town with eight badges or more.  He also tells them that the Pokemon League will be held in the Sekiei Plateau two months from now.  He evaluates both their Pokemon Zukan and finds that while Satoshi's seen more types of pokemon Shigeru's actually captured more.  Elsewhere, Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyasu are returning to the Rocket-Dan headquarters when they see the building exploding and Mewtwo flying away.  When they approach the wreckage they find Sakaki crawling into this helicopter, ready to make a run for it.  Before he leaves, however, he tells the trio they're free to do whatever they want.  Back at the lab, Satoshi and the others are given a tour of the campus.  They get a look at the storage room where Orchid-Hakase keeps all the Monster Balls sent to him and the fields where he observes the pokemon in the wild.  The Rocket trio attack Satoshi and the others but luckily for our heroes Satoshi's Kentauros stampede past at just the right moment to send the villains blasting off.  Later, Shigeru leaves the ranch after telling Satoshi that the two of them will meet again at the Pokemon League.  Only two months left before the big tournament!

This is a very unusual episode of Pocket Monsters in that nothing happens in it at all and yet a ton of stuff happens at the same time. 

This episode does not have a plot.  Orchid-Hakase drops some important exposition - when and where the Pokemon League is (which, at least during Kanto, is simply referred to as the "Pokemon League" instead of, say, the Sekiei League), what happened to the other two Trainers who left Masara Town the same time Satoshi and Shigeru did, what the rivals' Pokemon Zukan look like - but then after that it's just a montage of random scenes.  Here's Orchid-Hakase showing Satoshi and Shigeru around the ranch they've probably visited a hundred times before, just because!  And now here's the Rocket-Dan getting attacked by pokemon, one after the other!  Oh wait, did we waste too much time dicking around to give this episode a proper conclusion?  Alright, let's just have Satoshi's Kentaros stampede through the area and be done with it. 

If it wasn't for the Pokemon Shock incident then this episode would have probably aired on June 30th, 1998, several weeks before Mewtwo Strikes Back was scheduled to hit theaters.  But since the show went on a four month hiatus this episode didn't end up airing until October.  So much for that!

I guess this is also the TV show's idea of wrapping up the Rocket-Dan?  I mean obviously in the games Red is the one to defeat Sakaki and cause the organization to disband but in the TV show they opted to have Mewtwo presumably kill everyone in the headquarters (That's what we're supposed to assume, right?  There's no way anyone else survived that explosion), leaving only Sakaki and the Rocket trio.  I don't know if the producers of the TV series would have necessarily known about the pokemon mafia returning to Gold & Silver at the time this episode was written (late 1997 / early 1998) so their decision to not write the organization out of the show most likely had to do with the Rocket trio's popularity at the time.  On a related note, are we supposed to assume that the Rocket-Dan's headquarters is near Masara Town?  Its location in relation to everywhere else in this show is kind of vague but that's the feeling it seems like we're supposed to have.

If people had been keeping up with the Japanese version back in 1998 they probably would have wondered how the dub was going to handle the massive plot hole caused by them skipping the gun episode where Ash caught all those Tauros.  Well the answer is that they don't even try to explain anything and hope we don't notice (BTW, this is something they'll do again a few years later).  It's just "Oh, all of a sudden Ash has 30 Tauros.  OK."  This is also the second episode in as many weeks where there's a typo on the episode's title screen, so LOL.

Title Screen

The Kentauros keep their Japanese voices.

Dialogue Edit
There aren't any cuts or paint edits in this one but holy crap the script for this episode more than makes up for that.  I don't know who was in charge of this one (the credits just have a long list of names under a generic "Adaptations by" credit) but they sure seemed to enjoy taking the original script and going "nah, I can do better."

Ash comes downstairs for breakfast (Which is apparently some kind of stew? Do people eat stew for breakfast?):

Delia:  "When Mr. Mime sees something dirty, he has to clean it.  Right Mimey?"
Mr. Mime:  "Mr. Mime."
Misty:  "Maybe now you can go another week without taking a bath."

Originally Satoshi's mother defended Bari-chan, saying that it only wanted to make Satoshi nice and clean.  Kasumi then tells Satoshi that having his face sucked on by a vaccuum cleaner at least saves him the trouble of having to wash his face himself (よかったじゃない、顔を洗う手間が省けて).

Also, Delia refers to Mimey as a "he" even though the Japanese version doesn't.

A few lines later:

Delia:  "Oh, Mimey, would you go and pick some more vegetables from the garden, please?"
Ash:  "Hey, that used to be my job."

Satoshi's mom asks for herbs instead of generic vegetables, but also Satoshi's response is "Well, isn't (Bari-chan) a little suck-up?" (ちっ、調子いいヤツ).

The Rocket trio:

Japanese Version
English Version
Musashi:  "Ah~ we're coming back empty-handed after all, aren't we?"
Jessie:  "Well, there's no use pretending anymore."
Kojirou:  "What are we going to say to the Boss?"
James:  "We haven't successfully stolen a single Pokémon for the Boss."
Nyasu:  "No matter how you look at it the three of us are definitely going to get fired Nya."
Meowth:  "We're just victims of C.F.S. - Chronic Failure Syndrome."
All three:  "Ya na kanjii~"
James:  "There's his fabulous headquarters."
Musashi:  "But y'know...if we're just going to get fired..."
Jessie:  "Wait a minute.  What's the worst he can do to us?"
Kojirou:  "...and if the Boss is just going to get mad at us..."
James:  "He can yell and scream and fire us all."
Nyasu:  "...then going back would be a pretty dumb thing to do, Nya?"
Meowth:  "Not if we quit first."
All three:  "Let's get out of here!"
All:  "We quit!  Let's go!"

So yeah!  Lots of little differences here.  4Kids brings the yuks with their brilliant "C.F.S." thing (Does anyone actually enjoy hokey lines like this?) before having the Team Rocket trio quit the organization.  Which of course is an incredibly out-of-character thing for them to do.

Giovanni's about to get on the helicopter:

Jessie:  "But, sir, is there anything we can do for you?"
Giovanni:  "Just do your job for a change!"
Jessie:  "I'm sorry I asked."

Sakaki's order in the Japanese version is to "Do what you see fit, just like you've been doing up until now" (今までどおり、適当にやっていろ!).

After he leaves:

Jessie:  "You just heard what the Boss said, didn't you?"
James:  "He just wants us to do our job."
Meowth:  "The head honcho just gave us a major vote of confidence."

Musashi's and Kojirou's lines in the Japanese version have them doing a variation of the opening lines of their motto:  "If we're asked to do things just like we've been doing up until now."" (今までどーりと言われたら) / "It's thanks to the world that we're not getting the axe" (クビじゃないのが世の情け).  Nyasu then responds "That means we can stay in the Rocket-Dan Nya?" (ニャーたちはまだロケット団やってっていいニャ?).

I suppose 4Kids "translation" of the Rocket-Dan's motto doesn't really lend itself to the rewrite that this scene calls for ("Prepare for...doing our job?") so I guess it's understandable that they didn't even try to recreate this cute little moment for the dub.  Still a shame, though.

Music Edit
This one's so strange.

So after the above exchange, the Rocket trio stands with their heads held high, ready to start fresh.  At this point the opening notes of Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni start to play in the background.  It's only the first ten seconds or so of the song and so it cuts away before any of the song's vocals kick in.  The song's completely safe, from a localization point of view.

The dub decides to do away with that and play a shortened version of the Rocket-Dan's motto theme instead.  Not the one that they created for the First Movie, mind you; the one created by Miyazaki Shinji for the Japanese version of the TV series.

In other words, 4Kids swapped out one piece of Japanese instrumental music for another.

One of the most common theories as to why the dub even bothers to replace the Japanese music in the first place is so 4Kids / TPCI can charge royalties for the new stuff whenever it's used in any of the non-English dubs of the show.  But replacing one piece of Japanese music (which 4Kids does not own) for another piece of Japanese music (which 4Kids also does not own) doesn't allow them to do that.  From a financial point of view the change here is completely pointless.

Another theory is "well, we think our music is better" but, again, this isn't "our" music.  It's Japan's music.

Maybe the rights to Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni were too expensive / weren't free since it's a vocal song and those tend to be handled differently (yes, that includes the instrumental versions)?  But then they used the song in "Go West, Young Meowth" five episodes later (and also in the Purin episode from last season) which tells me that using the song isn't that prohibitively expensive.

So that leaves...we think this Team Rocket song is better than this Team Rocket song?  We like change for the sake of change? 

Dialogue Edit
The scene inside Oak's lab is basically one big rewrite after the other. 

First up:

Oak:  "Alright, calm down you two.  Why can't Pallet's two top Pokémon Trainers get along?"
Gary and Ash:  "Top Trainer!?  Not him!"
Oak:  "That's right.  You're both such fine Trainers that you'll be Pokémon Masters before long.  You might even be able to learn from each other."
Gary and Ash:  "Hmph!"

Orchid-Hakase calls the two of them "our stars of hope" which is kind of the same as "top Trainer," I guess, but it still feels a little different.  Oak's "You might even be able to learn from each other," however, is pure 4Kids; originally Orchid-Hakase just says he's happy that the two of them have so much potential.

Oak:  "Here's your Krabby, Ash."
Ash:  "How ya doin', Krabby?  Long time no see."
Gary:  "That's his, huh?  Ha!"

Orchid-Hakase doesn't explicitly state that this Crab is Satoshi's; Shigeru is left to figure that out on his own.  Shigeru's line here is different, too; originally he says "'Long time no see...?'" with a hint of disbelief in his voice.  Had Satoshi really not seen his pokemon in so long?

Here's the juicy part:

Oak:  "Ash, four Pokémon Trainers left Pallet Town on their Pokémon journeys, but you and Gary have earned the most badges and I'm very proud."
Ash:  "Oh, what happened to the other two?"
Oak:  "They both got off to an excellent start but they just didn't have the skill."
Ash:  "Oh, that's too bad."
Gary:  "They just wimped out."

Shigeru's final line here is "their training wasn't enough," implying that they quit because of a lack of skill, not because they were wimps.

After Oak praises Ash for getting eight badges:

Ash:  "Well gee, thank you."
Misty:  "Hey, the Pokémon deserve lots of credit too."
Pikachu:  "Pika."
Ash:  "Misty's right.  Maybe they deserve more credit than me."

Originally Satoshi says that he put in a lot of work too (俺だってそれなりに頑張ったんだけどなー), which, as you can see, is actually the opposite of what Ash says.

Professor Oak tells the young Trainers that the Pok
émon League is in two months:

Gary:  "I'm not saying you're a bad Trainer, Ash, it's just that you don't have what it takes to beat me."
Ash:  "We'll just see about that."

Shigeru's line in the Japanese version is "If we're both the "stars of hope" then that means we're at least at the same level, right?" (同じ希望の星ならせめて僕と同じレベルになってもらわないとね).  Satoshi angrily asks him what he's trying to say with that.

The Rocket trio visit mom's house:

Jessie:  "Good morning.  We're from PNN, the Pokémon News Network."
James:  "Is that little son of yours at home?  Because we'd love to feature an interview with him about his return to Pallet for our show Pokémon Masters of Tomorrow."

Here, Kojirou asks for an interview but accidentally starts to call him Jaari Boy ("twerp").  He catches his mistake and, after stammering for a bit, finally refers to him as "Satoshi-kun."  The English dub, to make up for the mouth flaps not being used to deliver this perfectly translatable bit of dialogue, has James yammer on about some made-up show
Pokémon Masters of Tomorrow instead.

Also, Musashi introduces themselves as reporters from right there in Masara Town, something Jessie doesn't bother to do.

Back at Oak's house:

Gary:  "So Ash, I guess you're happy with how your Krabby's doing here?"
Ash:  "My Krabby's fine."

In the original Shigeru questions the "long time no see" comment he heard Satoshi give earlier.  Satoshi responds by saying "And what of it?"

Gary:  "Maybe I shouldn't have said anything but I thought you might like to know how...real Trainers work."
Brock:  "You gotta stop this, Professor, or there's gonna be a fight."
Oak:  "I'm sorry, Brock, but I'm a professor, not a referee."

The professor's reply to Takeshi's plea in the Japanese version is quite different.  Originally he tells Takeshi that the two of them have been fighting like that ever since they were little (あの二人は昔からあんな風じゃったからのう).  Shigeru's first line is completely different too: originally he says that battles can get ugly if you don't use your head.

A few lines later:

Japanese Version
English Version
Shigeru:  "For example, in Gym Leader battles I look up the Gym Leader's Type and signature pokemon and swap out my pokemon accordingly."
Gary:  "And here's another little tip.  Different Pokémon types do better against different Gym Leaders' attacks.  If you study the Leaders' attacks before every match you can choose the best Pokémon to beat 'em."
Orchid-Hakase:  "That's my grandson.  Thinking things through."
Oak:  "Excellent strategy.  That's my grandson."
Shigeru:  "Of course I can't forget to calculate my opponent's level and take that into account."
Gary:  "That's why it's so important to know what kind of Pokémon can beat your opponent's attacks."

This whole speech in the Japanese version has Shigeru telling Satoshi what he does himself.  The dubbed version, on the other hand, is him telling Satoshi what he (Ash) should do.  In the last line he also talks about calculating levels, something the dub leaves out altogether.

The very next line:

Japanese Version
English Version
Takeshi:  "So what would you do against a Rock-Type pokemon?"
Brock:  "What kind of Pokémon would you use against my Geodude?"
Shigeru:  "I'd mainly have a Water-Type, y'know, but I'd prepare a Grass-Type for backup.  And how about Satoshi-kun?"
Gary:  "I'd use a Water Pokémon against a Rock-Type but I'd have a Grass Pokémon ready for back-up.  What would you use, Ash?"
Kasumi:  "He used Pikachu!"
Misty:  "He'd use Pikachu."
Shigeru:  "Using an Electric-Type against a Rock-Type is such a rookie thing to do!"
Gary:  "Ha!  Everybody knows you shouldn't use an Electric Pokémon against a Rock-Type.  What a loser."
Satoshi:  "I got the badge either way, didn't I?"
Ash:  "I'm no loser!  I earned eight badges!"

Lots of tense changes here.  In the Japanese version they're talking about the battle that Satoshi had against Takeshi while in the English dub they're talking about a hypothetical battle against any Rock-Type Trainer.

After having their PokéDexes evaluated:

Gary:  "You use your PokéDex every time you see a Pokémon, but I know so much about 'em I capture 'em first and ask questions later."
Ash:  "Is that the best way?"
Gary:  "Of course it's the best way."

Shigeru's first line there has him scolding Satoshi, saying that if he has time to open his Pokemon Zukan and listen to it describe each pokemon then he has time to actually catch them.

Right before the commercial break 4Kids unleashes this on us:

Oak:  "Let's poké-round my laboratory."


Misty finds out that Gary has over 200

Misty:  "If there's only around 150 kinds of Pokémon, you must have captured more than one of some kinds."
Gary:  "You can never have too many Pokémon.  That's my motto.  The more Pokémon you have, the better position you're in to win battles."

Shigeru doesn't have any such motto in the Japanese version.  He does, however, say that he's not happy only having one of each pokemon and that if there's a chance the next one he finds is stronger than the one he caught beforehand then there's no reason not to catch it.

Shigeru's basically Shinji lite at this moment.

More fighting:

Japanese Version
English Version
Satoshi:  "My pokemon and I are friends.  Numbers aren't important."
Ash:  "Having lots of Pokémon isn't important.  It's what you teach and what you learn."
Shigeru:  "That's what I'd expect someone with as few pokemon as you to say."
Gary:  "I'd say that too if I had as few Pokémon as you."
Satoshi:  "What did you say?  If that's how you feel then how about we battle?"
Ash:  "Oh yeah?  The ones I have are ten times better than yours!"
Shigeru:  "Look at that, getting all worked up over something like this.  You really are a kid, huh?"
Gary:  "You're not as good a Trainer as I am.  Why don't you just admit it?"
Satoshi:  "You're the one who's a kid."
Ash:  "I'm a better Trainer than you'll ever be."

Shigeru's basically Iris lite.

Also, a lot of the above got rewritten, but you can look at the two there and see for yourself.

Oak gives his speech:

Oak:  "Pokémon are special and they need our special care."
Pikachu:  "Pika."
Oak:  "Just like ever other living creature, they deserve our consideration and our respect.  If we care for them the way we care for those we love, we'll be able to live in peace as we learn about them and ourselves.  My research has taught me that we need to deal with Pokémon like we need to deal with people - as individuals - if we want to discover their mysteries."

So here's the Japanese version:  "Pokemon are truly mysterious living creatures.  Evolution, special powers...you can even say they surpass other living beings.  We'll have to become friends with them if we want to understand their secrets.  Humans and pokemon co-exist.  My life's work begins with me understanding each pokemon, one by one."

A bit later, during Professor Oak's breakdown of a typical day at his ranch, he frames everything by how close they occur to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  This isn't done in the Japanese version.

After that:

Oak:  "And that's basically what I do everyday."
Ash:  "You must get to learn a lot, living with so many Pokémon."

Originally Satoshi compares Orchid-Hakase to a zookeeper, indicating that zoos exist in the Japanese version.  Real-world animals had already more or less been retconned out of the series by this point so is this a pokemon zoo? 

Gary meets his "new" Pok

Gary:  "Hiya, Doduo.  How's everything going today?"

Shigeru calls his Dodo "My Sweet" (マイ・スイート) but Gary doesn't give his pokemon a similar pet name in the dub.

Oak:  "We believe there are lots of Pokémon that no one has ever captured or even seen."
Brock:  "Yeah, some people used to say that there were only 150 Pokémon.  Then we discovered Togepi."

What's this "we" business?  You didn't discover jack squat, Brock.

Originally Takeshi merely cites Togepi as an example of a pokemon outside the original 150 pokemon.

After Ash and Gary see eye to eye about something:

Brock:  "They really love Pokémon."
Misty:  "Then maybe they can like each other."

Takeshi:  "Those two are really fired up, aren't they?"  Kasumi:  "What do you expect from two rivals?"

The Japanese version is far less shippy. 

The Rocket trio crawl out of their hole:

Jessie:  "That smokes gets in your eyes."
James:  "Show me the way to go home.  I'm tired and I want to go to bed."
Meowth:  "Volare."

And now Meowth is Italian, apparently.

Y'know, if it weren't for the closed captions I wouldn't have had any idea what Meowth was saying here.  Is this something that kids get?  Or adults, for that matter?

After Misty finds out that they have to help repair the fence:

Misty:  "Us too?"
Oak:   "Believe me, helping others, sharing their burdens...that's the way to become a better Trainer, a better friend, and a better person."

Orchid-Hakase's original line is "Effort  Willpower!  Sense of duty!  It's said that anything can become experience for a Trainer during his training." (努力!根性!義理人情!!トレーナーの修行は何事も経験値がモノを言うのじゃ)

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