Japanese Episode
076






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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 076
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 076:  "The Ice Field! The Fiery Battle!"
American Episode 222:  "Fire and Ice"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Nidorino (Japanese), Koffing (English)
Dr. Orchid's Pokemon Course:  Pokemon League Special
Japanese Air Date:  December 24th, 1998
American Air Date:  November 6th, 1999
Important Characters:  Seiji (Pete Pebbleman)

Satoshi's second match, this time on the Rock Field, ends with his Zenigame using a powerful Rocket Headbutt on his opponent's Nidorino! After the battle, Kasumi and Takeshi want to take Satoshi's pokemon to a Pokemon Center to rest but the young Trainer from Masara Town decides to wander off on his own to get dinner first. Satoshi walks around the Representative Village for a bit, marveling at all the attractions and amenities available to Trainers, before his friends catch up to him and drag him to a Pokemon Center. Once inside, however, our heroes soon discover that the facility is owned by none other than the Rocket-Dan! After a quick battle, Satoshi and his friends make their way to a real Pokemon Center. Later, Satoshi begins his third match on the Ice Field against a Trainer named Seiji. During their second battle, Seiji is counting on his Parshen's high defense to get him through the match but Satoshi's Kingler is able to gradually wear it down until it faints. The third battle is between Seijis Windie and Satoshi's Pikachu. Seiji orders his pokemon to use its Dai Moji attack to melt the ice on the arena, thinking that removing the floor will severely limit Pikachu's mobility, but Satoshi just has his Pikachu use the newly damp arena to send a powered-up 10,000 Volt attack to its opponent. Windie is defeated, giving Satoshi his third victory in the Sekiei Pokemon League! Can Satoshi keep this momentum going? To be continued!


Thoughts
A few comparisons ago I talked about how the Sekiei Pokemon League really doesn't like to show things like "battling" or "pokemon" and this episode is a fantastic example of what I was talking about.

"The Ice Field! The Fiery Battle!" is basically one big ol' filler sandwich, with the entire middle portion consisting of Satoshi kind of dicking around the Representative Village for a good 15 minutes or so. Like, I don't need action 24/7 or anything and I literally just talked about how much I enjoy some of the slower paced stuff. And the filler content in this episode is actually a lot of fun, with Takeshi using his ability to distinguish the seemingly identical Joy apart to help see through the Rocket trio's disguises and then getting to battle them (with an Iwark who's apparently a giant now) all by himself. And there was some great Tamagawa animation on display in this one as well.

But...this is the Pokemon League. Why are the main events being treated as these things you can just sort of tack onto the beginning and end of an episode? Why didn't we get to see the entirety of Satoshi's second and third matches? It really feels like
the writer of this episode wanted to just hurry up and get the battles, aka the things we all came here to see in the first place, out of the way so he could spend his time...showing us that Trainers get to eat for free? And that also sometimes Pokemon Centers are crowded? What? At one point I thought that maybe he was trying to do something with the whole "Satoshi selfishly puts his own hunger ahead of the well-being of his pokemon" thing but that ends up being a whole lot of nothing so I don't know what the point of any of that middle section was.

The battles themselves, what little of them we see anyway, are decent enough. Zenigame vs. Nidorino isn't anything to write home about but hey, it's not every day you see a Nidorino so at least that's something. Kingler vs. Parshen was kind of meh only because I don't really understand Seiji's strategy (was he just trying to tire Kingler out?) and that huge-ass crack Kingler made in Parshen's shell seems like the kind of unnecessary roughness that would earn Satoshi an automatic DQ. The battle between Pikachu and Windie made way more sense, though when I was watching it I kept wondering how Kasumi and Takeshi basically coaching their friend through the battle isn't somehow against any kind of league rules. We don't see anybody else in the Sekiei Pokemon League getting help from their friends so why is it OK for Satoshi to?

One thing I've been noticing about the 4Kids dub lately is just how loud it is. Like, it really does seem like the actors are all shouting their lines because they know that's the only way they'll have any chance of ever being heard over all that filler music 4Kids has droning on and on in the background. If I was in the voice actors' shoes I'd probably be shouting too! On the plus side, the script this time around is better than last week's (groan-worthy puns notwithstanding) and there's even a shot of the devil's writin' for a brief moment so there are some silver linings to cling on to.

Cut - 3 seconds
The same "Pockemon League" screen that was cut from the previous episode gets cut from the recap as well.

Pockemon League

Oddly enough, the posters in the Rocket-Dan's fake Pokémon Center in the second half of the episode remain intact despite saying "Pock mon." So I guess the Engrish-y "Battle of Water Field" was the reason for the cut after all?

Dialogue Edit
4Kids makes the same mistake they made in the previous episode:

Announcer:  "Now the second battle here on the Rock Field is about to begin. Each of the Trainers has just one Pokémon left."

I really, really love how the second sentence not only contradicts the first sentence but also goes against the animation it's paired with!

Finals

In the Japanese original the narrator tells us that the second match is about to end, not begin (試合はいよいよ大嵐を迎えております).

Ash and unnamed guy pick their third Pokémon:

Announcer:  "And the red Trainer chooses a Nidorino. Now let's see what Pokémon the popular newcomer Ash Ketchum chooses to face the powerful Nidorino."

The "popular newcomer" part there is dub-only; in the Japanese version the announcer merely wonders what pokemon Satoshi will use.

Ash's turn:

Ash:  "I choose you...Squirtle!"

Similar to the "saying Raticate while showing Venomoth" thing from the last episode, the translation is fine but the timing is all messed up. In the English dub, Pikachu reacts before Ash reveals that he's going to go with Squirtle when he shouldn't be doing so until after. The previous episode's messed up timing at least had mouthflaps to consider; what's the excuse this time?

Gary comments on Ash's second victory:

Gary:  "He better enjoy all his celebrating now. 'Cause when his luck runs out, Ash Ketchum won't have anything to cheer about. Unless he wants to cheer for me, right, girls?"

The first sentence is fine but everything else is a rewrite. Originally Shigeru warns that the Pokemon League isn't something Satoshi can just breeze through thanks to a string of flukes (マグレで勝ち続けられるほどポケモンリーグは甘くはない) and then declares that he'll be the one who wins in the end (最後に勝つのはこの僕さ).

Shortly after the "Petit Purin" sign (which I'm honestly surprised wasn't edited), Ash has this to say:

Ash:  "Just hang in there till we find that restaurant I saw this morning."
Pikachu:  "Pikachu."

Satoshi doesn't say anything about "this morning" in the original; instead he tells Pikachu that he wants to get to a restaurant and be allowed to stuff his face (レストランについたら腹いっぱい食べさせてやるからな).

Paint Edit
The two shots with the Pokemon in Love movie posters get edited.

Japanese
English
Japanese
English

When these same posters showed up "Go West, Young Meowth" every bit of English text ended up getting erased. This time, however, the word "Pokemon" part gets kept but then the words "In Love" painted on top of the "The Movie" text on the original. 4Kids is usually a lot more consistent about these kinds of edits so I wonder what was going on here.

(Of course, they could have easily just left the poster as-is since, y'know, it's already in English...)

Cut - 13 seconds
Right after the above paint edit there's a 13-second sequence of Ash looking around at various Pokemon-related merchandise on sale. The footage is missing from the American DVD but seems to be present on other countries' broadcasts / DVD releases.









My guess is that this was a Kids' WB!-only edit
to avoid seeming like the show's advertising real world products (in this case, various pokemon dolls) in violation of the FCC's policies against host selling. But that, unlike the other Kids' WB! exclusive edits, this one actually did make its way over to the Viz DVD release?

Or maybe it's something else completely random. Who can tell!

Music Edit
During the parade scene, Type Wild, the current ending theme of the TV series, is replaced by Viridian City song from 4Kids' Pokémon 2.B.A. Master CD.

Dialogue Edit
Nurse Joy tries to calm everyone down:

Nurse Joy:  "May I have your attention please? Due to the Pokémon League competition this Center is now completely full. If your Pokémon need emergency care, please take them to the nearest Pokémon Center."

Originally Joy tells everyone that due to an accident this Pokemon Center is full (皆さん、すみません。アクシデントがあって、このポケモンセンターは大混雑しています). It's a small difference, sure, but the English dub makes it sound more like the Pokemon Center was caught unaware by just how many people were going to attend the Pokemon League when no such thing is implied in the original.

Cut - 14 seconds
Another long cut! This time it's a sequence where Satoshi is just looking for a restaurant...?






"Hmm...there's definitely a Pokemon Center around here..."



"Something smells good!"

This scene is also present in other countries' broadcasts / DVD releases so it's been dubbed and everything. I wonder why it's not on the American DVD release then?

Paint Edit
And, right after the above cut is this shot of Restaurant Dodo's.

Japanese
English

The Japanese sign says Resutoran DoDo's (レストランDoDo's), or "Restaurant Dodo's," and it seems likely that it's meant to be a parody of the Coco's Family Restaurant chain of Japanese curry diners in Japan. The English version changes it to "All You Can Eat," which of course isn't a translation at all but after a year and a half of watching 4Kids just erase text without bothering to put anything in its place I'll take what I can get.

Either way, it kind of feels like this restaurant specializes in cooking up dead bird pokemon, a grim prospect made even worse by the shot of a bunch of fried "chicken" a few seconds later.

Dialogue Edit
The rest of the edits in this episode are script changes.

After Ash enters the restaurant:

Waitress:  "Would you like a plate?"
Ash:  "Yeah, but only if it's a...collection plate. (laughs)"

In the Japanese version Satoshi is not a good little Protestant familiar with the practice of donating money to his House of Worship; instead, he tells the waitress that he just doesn't have any money (ん?あのオレ、お金が…).

After Pikachu saves Togepi from falling silverware:

Ash:  "Hey, what are you doing there, Pikachu? Practicing to be in the circus?"

Originally Satoshi tells Pikachu that the other people in the restaurant are going to be angry with them if it doesn't stop goofing around (何やってんだ、ピカチュウ?店の人に怒られるぞ).

Eyecatch
Unnamed Rock Field dude's pokemon gets replaced by this glorious thing of beauty.

Japanese
English

The only other time Nidorino will ever get featured in the eyecatch is in Jouto but 4Kids replaces him there as well! I kind of feel bad for the little guy...

Dialogue Edit
Brock hangs around the scene of an accident perving on women:

Brock:  "Ahh, you're the Joy from Saffron City, ahh."

That Joy's actually from Haneda (Cerulean) City, according to the Japanese version.

Ash and his friends are lured into an alley by a man in a dress:

Misty:  "This place...doesn't seem right."
Brock:  "Well it must be a Pokémon Center 'cause it's got a very beautiful Nurse Joy."

One of the central conceits of this episode is that Takeshi is able to use the tiny details that most people overlook - h
eight, skirt length, how long their fingernails are, etc. - to help him tell all the Joy and Junsar apart. So why would it have Takeshi describe a fake Joy as "very beautiful" only to have him realize that something's off a few moments later?

Well the answer is that he wouldn't, at least not originally. In the Japanese version all Takeshi says to Satoshi is that this must be a legit Pokemon Center because it has a Joy and everything (いや、ジョーイさんがいるんだから、ちゃんとしたポケモンセンターだと思うぞ).

Team Rocket make their getaway:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Musashi:  "The fact that you couldn't see through the special effects make-up we got from Holywood was your undoing."
Jessie:  "We'd love to stay and see the rest of the big competition but we've simply got to fly."
Kojirou:  "It cost us quite a bit of money you know."
James:  "But we really enjoyed our vacation."
Nyarth:  "And that's why we didn't have any money and had to patch together a bunch of our older balloons to make this one nya."
Meowth:  "So we're bringing home this cute little Pikachu in a bottle as a souvenir!"

That little reference to Holywood that Musashi makes is a nice little touch. Bonus points for the sheer insanity of her spending an exorbitant amount of money legally acquiring a plastic mask and then going around referring to it as "make up."

Later, the third round begins:

Announcer:  "Now we're waiting for this third round match between Pallet Town's Ash Ketchum and Pewter City's Pete Pebbleman to continue!"

The "Pewter City" part is dub-only; the Japanese version never states what city Seiji's from.

Also, "Pete Pebbleman"? What, are we in The Flinstones now or something?

Kingler beats on Cloyster's shell:

Misty:  "Wait, Ash. Cloyster should be losing hit points, too."
Brock:  "That's right! Just let Kingler hang in there!"

The game feature "hit points" isn't mentioned in the original; instead, Kasumi uses the much more generic "taking damage" (待って!パルシェンにもダメージが溜まっているはずよ)

Later, Arcanine melts the ice field when Brock says:

Brock:  "Quick, Ash, you'd better have Pikachu take a dive!"
Ash:  "You mean just quit?"
Brock:  "No, I mean...dive under the water."

One untranslatable pun gets swapped out for another! Originally Takeshi says Satoshi! Yo sutete koso ukabu se mo aru (
サトシ!世捨てて こそ浮かもある), which I would directly translate as "Satoshi! Those who throw their world away still have a chance." It's basically the Japanese equivalent of "fortune favors the bold" or "he that fears death lives not." It also features the word ukabu (浮かぶ), which means to float.

The 4Kids dub comes up with "take a dive," which offers the great sort of misunderstanding present in the Japanese version while preserving the water connection made by ukabu. Pretty decent!

Side Note
This week's "Dr. Orchid's Pokemon Course" segment talks about the way the Pokemon League is set up.

Dr. Orchid:  "This time we'll be going over how the League matches are set up. The Pokemon League is a tournament where the people who win each round progress to the next. The matches in the first through fourth rounds are held on these special fields called the Water, Grass, Ice, and Rock Fields. Since you're only allowed to use three pokemon in each match a lot of Trainers think long and hard about where to use which pokemon. From the fifth round onward the battles take place in the Sekiei Stadium where the opening ceremonies were held. This time 256 Trainers are competing in the competition. Who among those will, after a long battle, become the sole winner? Who will it be? I'm looking forward to finding out myself!"

And here are the clips they decided to use:















This is the first time the number of participants in the Sekiei Pokemon League has been revealed, something dub fans won't find out until it's mentioned during the League's closing ceremonies a few episodes from now.


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