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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region
Japanese Extra Episode 02: "Iwaku as a Bivouac"
While on the road to their next destination, Satoshi and his friends come upon a fork in the road. The road they choose ends up leading through a snow-covered mountain but Satoshi insists on tackling the mountain head on instead of backtracking and taking the easier route. As a snowstorm starts to come in, Takeshi suggests that the group dig themselves a cave until the storm goes away. They're about to get started when a strong gust of wind blows Pikachu away! Satoshi runs after his pokemon and eventually rescues it but he soon finds that he's been separated from the others. Remembering Takeshi's plan, Satoshi uses his Hitokage to create shelter to weather out the storm. As the night drags on, Satoshi decides that his pokemon would be warmer inside of their Monster Balls, but they won't hear of it; they stay up with Satoshi and keep him warm throughout the night. Morning comes and the storm has subsided, so Satoshi ventures out to find his friends. Takeshi and Kasumi are quickly found and reveal that they found an underground hot spring where they spent a comfortable night soaking in the warm water! Satoshi-tachi, riding in a Nyasu balloon that had gotten away from the Rocket-Dan earlier, fly the rest of the way out of the snow-covered mountains and into the next city.
A lot of people like the Kanto region because there's something about it that's different from the other regions. Some of that has to do with storylines they had the balls to run back then but don't anymore and some of it has to do with the show's "let's just throw random stuff out there and see what sticks" mentality that's the complete opposite of the committee-run paint-by-numbers product the show has become. And some of it has to do with how Kanto didn't mind taking these peaceful detours like the one we see in this episode.
It's hard to imagine them making an episode like this anymore. There are no new pokemon debuts, no characters of the day, and nothing in the way of a story, really. It's just the main character walking around in the snow for about 20 minutes or so. The episode comes across to me as a collection of random little skits that the writers knew weren't strong enough to carry an episode on their own but knew would somehow manage to work when crammed together into a half hour of television.
If you ask me if I like this episode, I'd have to respond with a very confident "I don't know." I like the idea. I like how different it feels from the rest of the series. And I really liked seeing Musashi's effed up childhood and how different her view of her life is from everyone else's. But at the same time...nothing really happens. Scenes tend to drag on longer than they should. It's nice that we have that touching scene in the cave where Satoshi's pokemon all come out to help warm him up but is that worth sitting through Satoshi making his friends go through a mountain they very much do not want to go through in order to get there? I mean if this episode teaches us anything is that Satoshi loves his pokemon very much but doesn't give a shit about his human friends.
I also feel like the lack of any scene featuring Takeshi and Kasumi wondering where Satoshi and Pikachu are after they get separated from the group is also a huge omission, though I wonder if part of that is due to the way they were treated earlier. "Wow! A hot spring! Well, we really should be more worried about what happened to our friend in the blizzard, but eff him, it's his fault we're in this mess in the first place."
This is the last episode created before the Pokemon Shock incident to debut in Japan and is therefore the last episode to have its animation edited in order to make it suitable to air. This is super obvious during the blizzard scenes; I guess the snow flashing across the screen violated the new guidelines set in place in the wake of the Pokemon Shock incident and so large portions of this episode had to be slowed down in order to make it suitable to air. The episode looks like ass with the all the ghosting going on and I really wish there was a way we could see the unedited version but I guess it'll never see the light of day.
One thing that strikes me about the Japanese version is how little music there is in this episode. Entire scenes will have absolutely no background music and all you can hear are the sounds of the wind blowing across the mountains. It really makes our heroes' predicament seem that much more dire as it shows just how isolated they all are from civilization. The English dub does away with all this by Mickey Mousing the whole thing like they usually do and in the process absolutely kill part of what makes this episode so unique.
Side Note - Airing Out-of-Order
This is the last of the four "it was created as a regular episode but ended up airing as a bangaihen (番外編), or "special episode," instead" episodes.
As you've already read plenty of times before now, this episode, along with "Fierce Fighting! Pokemon Hinamatsuri", "It's Children's Day, Everyone Gather!," and "Rougela's Christmas" was aired later than originally intended due to the four-month hiatus the show went on because of the Pokemon Shock incident. This episode was supposed to air before the Eevee episode, which is why Satoshi's Hitokage is still a Hitokage, but it didn't actually end up airing until after Satoshi had already gotten his eighth badge.
This original order is also why the clips that retell what happens in this episode in the Best Wishes! Season 2 Episode N episode "Get Fired Up! Lizardon vs. Kairyuu!" are placed before the Nassy episode clips.
(By the way, the redone voice acting in that Best Wishes! episode...ugh. I love Matsumoto Rika and all but her delivery of the "You idiots...don't you know you'll catch a cold?" line was soooooo much better in the original episode)
The official website doesn't list any of these four episodes (or the Porygon one) as being "regular episodes" even though that's the way they were originally produced. Which means that, officially, Kanto is only 77 episodes long, not 82. I think that's BS, however, so as far as this site is concerned these all count as regular episodes.
Right before the title screen:
Misty: "Aah! I don't wanna go mountain climbing!"
Ash: "What's a little hill? C'mon, Pik."
There's no real dialogue change here; I just wanted to express how glad I am that "Pik" never caught on as a nickname for Pikachu.
Climbing up the mountain:
Brock: "The compass went crazy. This mountain must have so much iron that it's throwing the needle off."
Misty: "If the compass doesn't work how are we gonna find our way?"
Brock: "Now don't panic. If the sun's up there about 3:00, according to my calculations, that means..."
Ash and Misty: "What? What does it mean?"
Brock: "We're lost."
The English version is actually a lot more specific than the Japanese version. Originally Takeshi says that there's something in the mountain that's affecting its magnetic field but doesn't mention iron specifically. Later, he talks about the generic "position of the sun" instead of identifying it as being at 3:00.
Next, the Rocket-Dan!
Musashi: "Don't tell me that you've never eaten a snow-gasbord?"
James: "What is a..."
Jessie: "Snow-gasbord. One of the few cherished memories of my otherwise wretched childhood."
What the dub calls a "snow-gasbord" is just "I got to eat a lot" (gochisou ga taberareru) in Japanese. Jessie's bit here about "...my otherwise wretched childhood" isn't in the original either.
Now here's where 4Kids just starts making shit up:
Jessie: "Snow! Snow! I love it so! Yay! Ha ha ha!"
Mom: "Jessie? Snow-gasbord's ready."
Jessie: "Oh boy!"
Mom: "Here, darling. I made all your favorite dishes."
Mom: "Here's a snow loaf with snow sauce, a sampler of sushi snow rolls, Ida-snow potatoes with snow sour cream, and for dessert, a bowl of your favorite, snow pudding. Happy snow-gasbord!"
Jessie: "This is the best snow-gasbord any Mommy ever made!"
This is normally the part where I go through the food 4Kids tells us about and tell you what's different (spoiler alert: "Ida-snow potatoes" is not a translation of anything), but there's something bigger here: Jessie's "Mommy."
As we all know, Musashi's mother is Miyamoto, the Rocket-Dan agent who went out to South America to track down Myuu in the radio drama The Birth of Myuutwo. She hears reports of Myuu showing up in the area and, desperate to capture the pokemon and use it to help her earn enough money to give her daughter a good life, decides to stay up there until she finds it. She never does find the elusive pokemon and apparently spends the rest of her life up in the mountains, wondering how her daughter is doing.
Now it's possible that this episode, which was originally scheduled to air on TV-Tokyo on January 6th, 1998, was written before The Birth of Myuutwo and therefore predates the creation of Miyamoto. And it's possible that person responsible for writing the screenplay for this episode, Yonemura Shouji, intended that to be her mother in the absence of any information about Miyamoto.
But here's the thing; there's no point in the Japanese version of this episode where Musashi refers to this woman as "mommy." All three instances of Jessie using the word "mom" (or a variation of it) in this episode were rewrites by 4Kids: in this particular case, Musashi's original line is "We must be blessed to be treated to a feast this grand" (こんな贅沢して罰当たらないのかしら．．．).
Some fan sites believe this older woman (who sounds nothing like Touma Yumi's performance as Miyamoto) is actually Musashi's grandmother but there's no real proof of that either. She definitely has a distinctively "old woman" voice, though.
Oh, and as for the food? Rice balls made from wrapping seaweed around snow ("snow loaf with snow sauce"), norimaki made with snow instead of white rice ("a sampler of sushi snow rolls"), snow sushi without any toppings on it ("Ida-snow potatoes"), and plain shaved ice without any syrup on it ("snow pudding").
Speaking of food:
Yeah, kind of different, isn't it? I like the idea that Musashi thinks that what she was fed as a child is what actual sushi is and am sad to see the dub not attempt to bring that aspect of the character over. The dub also makes Jessie aware of how poor she was growing up ("We had to make do") while Musashi seems to be more or less oblivious to this fact.
After the Rocket trio's balloon floats away:
Hayashibara Megumi's shouyuuuuuuuu~!! ("SOY SAUUUUUUCE~~~!!!!!") is the real star here, but I'd also like to say that I feel like the Japanese version flows a lot better than the English one does. The 4Kids dialogue doesn't mention soy sauce until Jessie randomly strikes that power up pose and by that point it's a little late.
Also I know that Meowth's ketchup thing is supposed to be a pun but I can't really figure out what 4Kids is going for. "I think I'd rather catch up on my snow rolls, because they're running away or something and I have to chase after them? Even though earlier on I expressed how disgusted I am with the whole idea in the first place?"
Next, the episode's title comes into play:
The term "bivouac" is used to describe a type of makeshift shelter used when climbing mountains or scouting. The Japanese way of writing it out is bibaaku (ビバーク), which, as you may have already noticed, bears a striking resemblance to the pokemon name Iwaaku (イワーク). Bibaaku, Iwaaku...I think you can see where the pun is here.
"Onix," on the other hand, doesn't sound a thing like "bivouac" so 4Kids decided to just say screw it and made up their own dialogue.
There's also the part up there in the Japanese version about "If you wander around out here you risk your life," something the dub very purposefully sidesteps in the English script.
Pokemon Dare Da?
The pokemon used during the eyecatch is changed because, hey, Season Two!!
This is really the only episode where it makes sense to use Pigeon as the eyecatch pokemon so let's use Muk instead.
Paint Edit / Cut - 23 seconds altogether / Dialogue Edit
So. I guess someone at 4Kids or Kids' WB! or whoever was worried about kids playing with matches, since this is the 1950s and that's totally a thing that kids still do. And so this scene with the Rocket trio in the igloo got heavily edited.
First up, Nyasu's lit match gets changed to a candle.
Click on each image to view a larger version.
Next, Musashi puts down her sushi rolls and starts to launch into this sushi seller bit. The dub has her say "Dinner time! Mom's secret recipe snow rolls" because, y'know, 4Kids really really wants you to believe that the old woman in that flashback was Jessie's mom.
Next is a sixteen second sequence that gets removed from the dub because it features Nyasu lighting up matches in the background. Seriously. He strikes a match, it goes out, and so he strikes another one. THANK GOD 4KIDS IS KEEPING THE CHILDREN AWAY FROM THIS FILTH.
It also just happens that this sixteen second scene has Musashi doing this whole schtick where she's acting like a worker at a sushi restaurant. 4Kids got rid of horrible matches and avoided having to figure out some "clever" way to localize the dialogue. Two birds, one stone!
The English version comes back with the shot of James saying "I'm just not in the mood for frozen food." Originally Kojirou says "Even if you had soy sauce I'd still decline" (しょうゆがあっても遠慮するけど).
Next, Nyasu looks down at the three matches he just went through (or, if you're watching the dub, the three burnt matches that just appeared out of nowhere) and distributes them to each of his teammates:
The following shot of Nyasu shows him saying iku nya ("Let's do this") and then striking a match up in front of his face. Nyasu's mouth only moves two times here. In the English dub, 4Kids loops the animation of Nyasu talking so that his mouth moves six times instead of just two ("I'll try anything to warm up"). They then cut away before Nyasu lights the match and holds the fire right up to his face. Altogether three seconds are trimmed from this shot.
The footage of the dream sequence is the same but the dialogue's different.
As you can see, the Japanese Rocket trio kind of piggybacks off each other, each member trying to outdo the person before them. The English version has them speaking independently. Oh, and also Meowth talks about clam chowder for some reason.
By the way, the table Musashi's sitting in front of during her fantasy is most likely a kotatsu, the same type of table heating thing that was shown in the previous episode.
The first four seconds of the very next shot has Musashi holding a lit match, so it had to go. The dub comes back in as soon as the smoke from Musashi's match clears away.
The rest of the footage in this episode is left alone. Altogether there are 23 seconds of footage cut, a paint edit, a shot where the footage of Nyasu' talking is looped, and several rewrites, all because the censors have this silly problem with matches.
Oh, and just to close out the scene:
Jessie: "Wake up or you'll freeze!"
Originally Musashi tells them that if they fall asleep they'll die.
Veronica Taylor's Ash is a lot less forceful than Matsumoto Rika's Satoshi is when the Trainer recalls his pokemon back into their PokéBalls / Monster Balls. The dialogue is more or less the same but the voice actors deliver their lines is quite differently.
Right after all of Ash's Pokémon come out of their PokéBalls to warm up their Trainer:
Ash: "You win. Guess we'll all be cold together. That's right. We'll be cold all together."
The original Japanese line is "You idiots...don't you know you'll catch a cold? But y'know...I really am warm now" (バカだなぁ、風邪ひいても知らないぞ？でも．．．すっごくあったかいや).
Ash is reunited with his friends:
Satoshi shows concern for his friends after being stuck out in a blizzard all night! Ash...not as much.
Team Rocket finds a hot spring:
Team Rocket: "Team Rocket is warming up again~!"
I believe this is the first instance, production-wise, that the Rocket trio utter their ii kanji (いい感じ) catch phrase of theirs. I say "production-wise" because this episode getting pushed back because of the Pokemon Shock made it so that the phrase debuted at the end of the movie Myuutwo Strikes Back instead.
Anyway, the English dub does the same thing it does with ya na kanji and has the Rocket trio changes what they say based on the context rather than having a set phrase that gets repeated episode to episode.
Jessie: "It's too hot to stay in."
James: "But it's too cold to get out."
Meowth: "I'm gonna wind up with hot feet and a head cold."
Team Rocket: "We're all washed up~!"
The ""We're all washed up~!" is the aforementioned ya na kanji and serves as a contrast to the ii kanji from before. You don't really get that from the dub because it uses two completely different phrases instead.
As I mentioned earlier, this episode ended up airing about nine months later than originally planned. One of the side effects of waiting so long to air this one is that the post-credits segment that the show had adopted the previous month - Orchid-Hakase's Pokemon Course (オーキド博士のポケモン講座) - didn't exist when this particular episode was made and so a new one had to be thrown together at the last minute.
Making up a brand new segment would have required an enormous amount of time and effort and so a music video for a shortened version of the ending theme to Myuutwo Strikes Back, Kaze to Issho ni, was shown in its place. The movie had already come and gone by that point but I guess they figured that airing this was better than nothing. The video consists of clips from the movie itself and includes a non-Kanzenban shot of a windmill, for what that's worth.
Unfortunately, this music video has never been released on any of the Myuutwo Strikes Back DVDs and Blu-rays and will likely never see the light of day apart from this episode.
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