Pokemon Sunday
Episode 281

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | TV Specials

Pokemon Sunday Episode 281
Episode Stats:

Pokemon Sunday Episode 281:  "Pokemon Ranger and the Tracks of Light" (Part Two)"
Pokemon.com Special Episode:  "Pokémon Ranger Guardian Signs" (second half)
Japanese Air Date:  March 7th, 2010
American Air Date:  November 10th, 2010
Important Characters:  Booker (Booker)
Important Places:  Reinbow Island (Renbow Island), Yasuri Cave (Rasp Cavern)

After washing up on Dorop Island, Natsuya has come across a Pichu holding a ukulele!  The young Pokemon Ranger uses his Capture Styler to calm the pokemon down and let it know that he's its friend.  Later, Natsuya learns that the Ukulele Pichu saw the Pokemon Nappers kidnap all of its friends on Dorop Island!  After talking with one of Pichu's friends, a boat maker named Booker, Natsuya learns that the Pokemon Nappers have headed toward Reinbow Island.  Once on the island, Pichu leads Natsuya to Yasuri Cave.  Pichu uses an electric attack to incapacitate the female grunt guarding the entrance, allowing it to go after the rest of the Nappers.  Inside, Red Eye and the male grunt are using small explosives to extract a stone tablet with a strange symbol on it.  Pichu enters the room and attacks Red Eye, so he uses a Zugaidos he has under his control to fight back.  The pokemon headbutts Pichu, throwing it against the wall and smashing its ukulele!  Natsuya, who had just entered the room moments before, notices the Pokemon Nappers making their escape!  After he frees Zugaidos from the Pokemon Nappers' control, Natsuya runs outside and witnesses the evil team flying away on their flying machines!  Suddenly, the sky becomes dark and thunder clouds swirl around in the sky.  Before long, the legendary pokemon Raikou appears before everyone!  Will Natsuya be able to complete his mission?  To be continued in Pokemon Ranger and the Tracks of Light on the Nintendo DS!

In the week between the first part and the second part, in Japan (of course), the game that this special is based on actually came out.  When I watched this episode, I wondered if this half would make any sense to the people who hadn't played the game yet.  This special skips quite a bit of the set-up and doesn't really explain much of anything, so I wonder if people who haven't played the games were able to follow along. 

The plot in this special doesn't wrap up and we're instead meant to continue the story on the DS game.  Kind of a lame cop-out, isn't it?  It's the same type of thing that happens with the comic adaptations of the movies, though, so it's not like this sort of thing is unprecedented.  And it's not like the writers would have had time to wrap anything up anyway, given the short runtime.  I guess this was all they could do.

Another thing I wonder about is whether or not this special is considered to be a part of the same canon as Diamond & Pearl or if it's treated as its own entity.  In addition to Natsuya's aforementioned lack of a personality, something he has plenty of in the TV series, the fact that the Ukulele Pichu he befriends in this episode is nowhere to be seen in Diamond & Pearl raises some questions in my mind.  Then again, he is voiced by the same person in both this special and the TV series.  So I don't know.

One other thing I think is worth bringing up is the fact that this special contains some game music that we had never heard in the TV series before.  The Pokemon Ranger and the Tracks of Light title screen music and the music that plays whenever you try to capture a pokemon are both heard in this special, while the rest of the soundtrack consists of stuff from the movies (particularly the Manaphy one).  I doubt we'll ever hear this Ranger game music used in the TV series ever again, so that makes this special stand out that much more.

Like the previous episode, this second part of the special was cropped to 4:3 when aired on TV but was actually animated in 16:9.

Like I mentioned last time, the English version of this special combines the two parts into one longer short.  Other than that, there really isn't anything "wrong" with this. 

Cut -- 1 minute, 2 seconds
The recap, title screen, and the opening narration of this special are removed. 
Viewers who pay attention to Ben's attempt to capture Pichu will notice that the cut from the previous episode and the cut at the beginning of this special cause the music to skip.  The opening narration is set against recycled footage of Natsuya beginning to capture the Ukulele Pichu, so dub viewers aren't missing anything new.

Paint Edit
Just like in the first half, the subtitles got translated for the English version.  Here's Reinbow Island...


And here's Yasuri Cave.


And that's about it, really.  Like I said before, the script in this special is accurate and all the Japanese music is kept, so there's nothing else to bring up edit-wise. 

Pokemon Sunday Episode 280




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