TV Special 01
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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | TV Specials
Japanese TV Special: "Mewtwo! I Am Here"
American Direct-to-Video Johto Movie: "Mewtwo Returns"
Japanese Air Date: December 30th, 2000
American Release Date: December 5th, 2001
Important Characters: Domino (Domino), Luna Carson (Luna Carson), Penicillina (Cullen Calix), Luka Carson (Luka Carson)
Important Places: Pures Rock (Mt. Quena), Clear Lake (Purity Lake), Pure River (Purity River)
Mewtwo, since its adventures in the first movie, has since been hiding away on an island with all its clones. Satoshi-tachi are traveling through Jouto as it starts to rain, and while trying to find shelter they befriend a young girl, Luna. As they're talking at her place, the Rocket-Dan appear and kidnap Pikachu. Their balloon gets caught up in the windy storm, so the Rocket-Dan, Pikachu, and Satoshi-tachi (who are holding on to a rope hanging from the balloon) crash, right into Mewtwo's island. Sakaki, who had found out about Mewtwo's location through his secret agent Domino, appears with the Rocket-Dan Combat Unit. They lock Satoshi-tachi and Musashi-tachi into prison cells while they use two robots to shoot energy beams at Mewtwo, paralyzing it. Satoshi-tachi escape their cells and are able to knock the robots out of commission, freeing Mewtwo. The pokemon then uses its powers to make everyone who would hurt it and its clones (the Rocket-Dan) forget the events that had occurred, and Mewtwo decides to let the clone pokemon out of isolation and let them join the rest of the world.
Like the movie it's a sequel to, this special does has some cool ideas
but the whole thing kind of falls apart in the execution. I think
the main issue I have with it is that it doesn't seem to be able to
decide what it's about. One minute it's all about Mewtwo and the
next it's focused on the clones and the next it's going on some
environmental spiel, and as a result it isn't really able to do much of
anything with any of them. It doesn't do one or two things well;
it tries to do five or six things and ends up half-assing every single
one of them.
with the special is with Mewtwo itself; it's just too freaking
powerful to be put in any sort of believable danger. It can move
an entire lake underground but it doesn't think to teleport the
Rocket-Dan's blimps away when it sees them approaching? I do
think going after the weaker pokemon was a good way around the lack of
any sort of "Mewtwo Kryptonite," but what was preventing Mewtwo from
just blasting everyone away before they could get anywhere near the
others? There were quite a few times when Mewtwo could have just
put an end to everything and didn't, and its inaction really gets
ridiculous at parts.
animation is absolutely gorgeous and the music is phenomenal, as
always. And the voice acting! Oh my God, Ichimura Masachika
just continues to be in a league of his own. He really brings
Mewtwo to life here and I'm so, so happy they were able to get him to
reprise his role for this special because it wouldn't have been the
same without him. I also like how the story's quite a bit darker than what
we're used to, what with all the death threats and whatnot, though,
again, a lot of that could have been solved if everyone would stop just
standing around and actually do
something. Finally, I think the fact that Domino hasn't been used
again is nothing short of criminal because she's an amazingly kick-ass
villain who really deserves more screentime than she ended up getting.
expecting the English dub to be as terrible as it ended up being.
I went into this comparison thinking that it wasn't going to be as bad
as the first movie, but it actually ended being just as terrible, if
not worse. I maintain that the first movie dub sucking is a
greater tragedy because "Mewtwo Strikes Back" is a much more important
work than "Mewtwo Returns" is, but it's still sad that 4Kids treated
this special so poorly. A terrible script, replacement music,
awkward voice acting...the number of things the dub gets right can be
counted on one hand. Dub fans are getting cheated.
The clone Nyasu
Pikachu keep their Japanese voices.
I really cannot
overstate what a difference the music makes in this. When I was
listening to the English version I felt like I kept hearing the same
four or five tracks being used over and over and over, mainly because
a) I was, and b) the music in the English dub just doesn't have the
same range as Miyazaki Shinji's score. The grand sweeping
fanfares, the tense music that plays during the dramatic scenes, the
peaceful melodies...the dub tries
to replicate all this, but in the end it all just ends up all feeling
the same from the piece of music that played before.
If you've never
seen the Japanese version of this special, I urge you to check it out
just for the music alone. Trust me.
Edit / Music Edit
Oh! And the
flashbacks are also kept in their correct aspect ratio instead of being
cropped to 4:3. That was a pleasant surprise.
also features something that you don't really see too often in this
franchise; two different actors performing the same line of
dialouge. Philip Bartlett, who did the voice of Mewtwo in the
first movie, was not asked to come back for this special and so Dan
Green took over the role. Which means that the one
line in the flashback that was kept from the original movie - "I was
born a Pokémon, I was created. And
my creators have used and betrayed me. So...I stand alone" - gets
redubbed by Dan Green for the special.
Neither one of them are Ichimura
Masachika, though, so I don't really care which one's "better."
I'll let someone else debate that.
version, on the other hand...y'know, it's not often I defend the things
that 4Kids does, but I can absolutely see why they didn't copy what was
done in the Japanese version. You see, back in its home country,
this flashback aired without any narration whatsoever.
Additionally, the clips that are shown are played exactly as they
did in the actual film itself - same dialogue, same music,
same sound effects, everything. And that's the problem; the
people in charge of
editing this flashback together didn't even bother to re-edit any of
audio, so what ends up happening is we'll get a scene playing and
then there will be an abrupt edit that cuts the music /
dialogue / sound effects off. And it happens over and
over and over.
This same thing
will happen again in the Advanced
Generation clip show "Satoshi
The Hottest Battles in Houen!!"
Let's get this party started:
are live satellite pictures of a remote area of the Johto region.
Extreme weather makes it uninhabitable...for people. But keep
In the Japanese
version, Domino tells Sakaki that this is Pures Rock and explains that
they're not usually able to get images of the area that clear because
of the thick clouds that are usually looming over the area.
She also doesn't
say anything about this being in "a remote area of the Johto region."
place is...beautiful. But what right have I to judge? What
do I know of this world and its beauty? I am not like other
creatures. I am not of this world. We are clones,
copies...products of science."
Well, at least
4Kids got the first line right.
asks who it is - a callback to the line it repeated over and over in
the first movie - and then states that it is Mewtwo, a pokemon created
by humans from a fossil of the legendary pokemon Mew in order to fight
It then looks back at the clone pokemon gathered around it and states
that they are clones that it (Mewtwo) brought into this world.
The dub kind of
covered a lot of this in their version of the recap of the first movie
earlier on so 4Kids probably felt that repeating that information here
redundant, though the loss of Mewtwo mentioning that it was the one
who created the clones gathered around it is a regrettable one.
are outcasts. So we must live as outcasts if we are to live at
all. We shall stay here, far from the world...far from man.
It is our only hope. For if we do not live in secret, we shall
never find peace."
So the dub tries
to make it seem like the copies have been discriminated against and are
having to hide out because society rejects them. The thing is,
none of this is in the Japanese version. Or in the English dub,
I mean, have you
ever seen any of these clone pokemon being discriminated against?
Do we have any reason to believe that these pokemon who, for the most
part look like every other pokemon in this series, wouldn't be able to
live amongst other pokemon?
The title screen for the dub's a bit flashier and lasts a bit longer than the Japanese one. The original just had the special's title as white text against a black background while the dub actually has some animation behind it.
Ash, Brock, and Misty have some wondrous wordplay before:
Misty: "Wonder how we get across it?"
Brock: "The book says it's almost impossible on foot. The only way to get across is by bus, but it only makes the trip once a month."
The bus makes the trip around the canyon once a week according to this wacky thing known as the Japanese version. Which is still crappy, but not nearly as crappy as the bus in the English version.
Brock explains why they can't make the bus:
Brock: "But I've been planning to try a brand new recipe and make spicy pizza pancakes for lunch."
Takeshi just wants to make pancakes with lots of syrup. Why won't you let him, 4Kids? Why!?!?
So this is one of those things that people will be messaging me about if I don't include it even though it's probably the most meaningless change in the entire special:
Brock: "Hey, I know! I'll use my trusty frying pan...as a drying pan!"
From a comparison point of view, this is pretty boring; 4Kids' line is just a more colorful way of conveying the Japanese line Konna toki wa, furaipan no kasa gawari ni...naranai na? (こんなときは、フライパンの傘がわりに．．．ならないな？), or "At times like this, I'll use my frying pan instead of an umbrella...pretty neat, huh?" Not much of a big deal at all.
But, like I said before, I kind of have to bring it up because of the line's meme status. I mean, there are Facebook groups devoted to the line! T-shirts have been made! There is romance fanfiction (that's supposed to be played for laughs question mark?) about Brock's secret love for this frying pan. It's crazy.
Meowth talks about typhoons while James chows down on some dango:
Meowth: "According to the guidebook, "The unique geologic formations and atmospheric conditions of Purity Canyon create severe and unpredictable weather. Because blizzards, thunderstorms, and typhoons are likely, we advise tourists to avoid this area.""
Some differences with Nyasu's guidebook:
Jessie: "How many times must our plans be destroyed?"
James: "Before they're allowed to be tried."
Meowth: ""The answer, my friends, is blowin' in the wind.""
No Bob Dylan reference in the Japanese version; instead, Nyasu asks "everyone, all together now..." before the trio blasts off.
Let's meet Luna:
Luna: "It doesn't look like there are any more passengers for this month's trip."
Luna's line about the bus being full and it being better to leave now actually starts here, but since the English line is able to get this same information across with fewer words 4Kids went and added this line at the beginning about there not being any more passengers for "this month's trip."
She also addresses Luka as oneesan, or "big sister," something that English dub viewers never get.
Brock hits on Luna:
Brock: "Forget the bus. If you'd like to stay dry there's plenty of room under my frying pan if we get real close."
In the Japanese version, Takeshi makes a reference to him using his frying pan in place of an umbrella (the "drying pan" line) by telling Luna that they can use his cooking utensil as an Ai-Ai-Gasa ("Love Love Umbrella"), which is basically the Japanese equivalent of a heart with an arrow through it. Longtime visitors of this site will recognize that heart umbrella thing from a paint edit made to "The Pokemon Ensured-Victory Manual," which was also an episode written by Shudou Takeshi.
The dub line is pretty neat, though, in a creepy perverted kind of way.
Luna invites our heroes inside:
Luna: "It's hard enough to make it by bus. On foot, you don't have a chance. Why don't we all get out of this rain?"
Originally, Luna comments that Satoshi and his friends are covered in mud and offers to let them go inside to have a shower.
Mewtwo talks to the Pikachu and Meowth clones while watching a TV that is somehow able to work inside this cave:
Mewtwo: "You believe there is another reason? That I felt concern? That I cared about the safety of those humans?"
Meowth: "Nyaa Nyaa."
Mewtwo: "I assure you that was not the case. I could never feel compassion for humans."
Here's what Japanese Mewtwo says: "Hmm? That's not all? "You didn't want to hurt those humans"...that's what you want to say? Do you think I'm a pokemon capable of being that kind to humans? Me? Mewtwo? Don't be ridiculous."
The Japanese Mewtwo doesn't flat-out say that Nyasu is wrong and one could argue that it actually agrees with Nyasu on some level. In the English dub, on the other hand, Mewtwo explicitly says that it doesn't care for humans and sounds rather pissed off at Meowth for even asking. The difference between the two is quite dramatic and is, unfortunately, indicative of what the rest of the special will give us.
Back in the cabin:
Luna: "The company that runs the buses built this lodge about ten years ago. People who miss the bus stay here until the next one comes around in a month."
Ash: "We can't stay here a whole month."
Don't be mad at Luna, Ash. She's not the one who decided to quadruple the amount of time you're having to wait there; that's all on 4Kids.
Also, Luna's first line was pulled out of 4Kids' ass. Originally, Luna states that they have lodging there where they can stay for the week until the next bus.
Ash tastes the water that most definitely does not have any hallucinogenic in it:
Ash: "If you ask me it kinda tastes like something's been swimming around in it."
Originally, Satoshi makes a nice reference to his family by saying that the water's alright but that the milk cocoa his mom makes is better.
Canoeing through the river:
Brock: "I know how much you hate Bug Pokémon. And nice clean water's just what Bug Pokémon love."
Misty: "That's just fine because this is one time I'm not gonna let Bug Pokémon bug me."
Here, Kasumi says that with all this clear water around her, she'll have no problem ignoring (mushi-shima~su, 無視しま～す) the bug (mushi, 虫) pokemon around her. As you can see, this is a play on words that doesn't really lend itself to a direct translation, so 4Kids changed it to "let Bug Pokémon bug me" instead.
Brock suggests they all climb over Mt. Quena to get across the valley:
Luna: "Mt. Quena's the highest mountain in the whole Johto region."
Nope, never says that in the Japanese version.
Originally, she says that because of the steep cliffs, humans have not been able to contaminate Pures Rock and that the place is therefore still in its natural state. TVs and staircases and jail cells and all.
(I may have added that last part in myself)
Luna: "At the top of the mountain is Clarity Lake. It goes on for miles and miles, and the water is incredibly clean and clear."
Japanese Luna talks about how there's this huge forest and that in the center of the forest is a lake known as Clear Lake. English Luna doesn't mention the forest at all.
Luna: "The height of the mountain and the weather even keep visitors away. The only ones that live up there are some wild Pokémon, types that can thrive in the extreme conditions."
Here, Luna tells our heroes that the water from the lake flows down through the ground of Pures Rock and into Pure River.
And yes, I agree that names like "Pures Rock," "Clear Lake," and "Pure River" are pretty lame. Pures Rock (ピュアーズロック) sounds very similar to Ayers Rock (エアーズロック) when spoken in Japanese, though, so maybe there was at least a tiny bit of thought put into these names?
Mewtwo talks again, which means 4Kids rewrites everything it says, again:
Well, at least they left
the moon part in.
The main problems I have
with this are a) Japanese Mewtwo talks to
the other clones while English Mewtwo merely talks at them, and b) the English dub
loses Pikachu's line about living on that island being like living in a
jail. It may not seem like much at first glance, but the meaning
coupled with the delivery (Dan Green sounds pissed off here) really alter the
scene rather dramatically.
For the dub, all of these are cut out so that you wouldn't know that there were multiple commercial breaks throughout and to make it flow more like a movie.Dialogue Edit
The most painful voice in the English dub of this special makes its entrance:
Domino: "Good morning!"
Ash: "A visitor?"
Misty: "At this hour?"
Domino: "I said "good morning" 'cause even though it's after midnight, if I said "good night," you might go to bed."
Domino doesn't say that it's after midnight in the Japanese version.
Also, Luna asks who it is as she's opening the door in the original. The English dub, on the other hand, doesn't have her say anything.
Luna: "Working for the bus company is my part-time job. I'm actually here observing native Pokémon and their habitats."
The Japanese Luna Carson says that she does both jobs but she doesn't actually say that either one of them is her full time work. For all we know the bus station job is her full time job and her research work is just a hobby.
Domino talks again:
Domino: "Oh wow! I can't believe I'm finally meeting the Luna Carson! I'm like a totally off the hook fan of yours! I wanna be exactly like you when I get old!"
That slang was dated even when this special came out. It's just embarrassing now.
Domino more or less says the same thing in the Japanese version, only way, way less obnoxiously.
Luna: "I'm afraid I have some bad news: The bus won't be back for another month."
One week. The bus won't be back for another week.
"I came to study...*awkward pause*...the water."
Cullen: "Here's a sample I took today. I've come here to explore Mt. Quena and unravel the secret of this miraculous water."
Penicillina tells Luna that he wants to study Clear Lake and says that this is the source of Pure River. The English dub has him use the much less specific "Mt. Quena."
Cullen also says that he took the sample "today" even though Penicillina makes no such claim in the Japanese version.
Team Rocket's balloon rockets into the sky:
Jessie: "Farewell, my love. This unfeeling rocket now carries me away towards the pale and heartless moon."
Musashi makes a reference to an old Frank Sinatra song (and Neon Genesis Evangelion ending theme) by saying Saraba ii otoko! Mujou no roketto watashi o tsuki made tsurete tte! "Furai Mii Tu Za Muun!" (さらば いい男！無情のロケット私を月まで連れてって！「フライ ミー トゥ ザ ムーン」), which all translates to "Farewell you good man! This heartless rocket is taking me all the way to the moon! "Fly Me To The Moon!"
So the English dub gets a Bob Dylan reference while the Japanese version gets a Frank Sinatra one. Huh.
We remarkably go the rest of part one without any significant script changes, believe it or not.
Cut - 23 seconds
Right after Giovanni crushes his glass of bourbon with his bare hand (also, what the eff!?) and his helicopter flies off, there are a bunch of still shots of each character as the narrator asks what will happen next.
You can see more of the shots that were removed from this sequence here.
For the dub, these shots were probably taken out to make it seem like this was, as the DVD box advertises, a "Johto Movie Adventure."
Domino spots the other clone Pokémon:
Domino: "I've spotted Pokémon with bio-prints similar to Mewtwo's."
Giovanni: "That doesn't surprise me. It's natural that Mewtwo should want to be with its own kind, no matter how unnatural they may be."
Sakaki doesn't say anything about the other clones being "unnatural"; he simply states that it's not surprising that even Mewtwo would want companionship.
Domino begins her self-introduction:
Jessie: "Is that your real name?"
Domino: "I don't reveal my true identity. That's a secret I keep to myself. Things are...simpler that way."
Originally, Domino responds by reciting an altered version of the opening lines of the Rocket-Dan's motto.
The original, for those of you who forgot, is Nanda kanda to kikaretara / kotaete ageru ga yo no nasake (なんだかんだと聞かれたら答えてあげるが世 の情け), which means "If we're asked about this or that / It's up to the world whether or not we answer."
Domino's version "Anta dare?" to kikaretara / futsuu wa zettai kotaenai. Sore ga honto no Roketto-Dan (「あんた誰？」と聞かれ たら普通は絶対答えない。それがほんとのロケット団。) translates to "If we're asked "Who are you?" / Then it's normal for us to not answer. That is the real Rocket-Dan."
Domino: "But, within the elite ranks of Team Rocket, I have an identity that's known to all. My fellow agents know me as 009, Domino. But my adversaries know me as simply the Black Tulip."
Japanese Domino adds that she's an "A-Class Numbers" member of the group. The dub decides to portray this by having her say she's an elite member instead.
Cullen: "Black Tulip? But you told me you worked for the Pokémon Institute."
Domino: "I do, but Team Rocket has agents working everywhere."
Japanese Domino doesn't confirm that she ever worked at the institute in the original.
After crash landing:
Jessie: "Do either of you think it might be a good idea to explore the possibility of utilizing an alternate means of transportation?"
Meowth: "Not really."
Here, Musashi asks why they don't even have one or two safety devices installed on their balloon, and Nyasu replies by saying that it wasn't in their budget.
Mewtwo stops the fight between Pikachu and Pikachu:
Mewtwo: "No! Fighting is senseless."
Mewtwo tells the clone Pikachu to back down and not to engage in any unnecessary battles. Not this first movie Brother My Brother bullcrap.
Mewtwo: "There is nothing to be gained from such battling. You are the same as the other Pokémon, neither stronger nor weaker. You proved that the last time we met and battled the Pokémon from which we were copied."
The Japanese Mewtwo doesn't make a reference to the events of the first movie here; it simply states that both the copy pokemon and the original pokemon are living beings.
Mewtwo: "I searched for a place to live in secret and in peace. Now these humans have found us again."
In the first sentence in the Japanese version, Mewtwo says that it had wanted the Rocket trio to forget about all of them but that them running into it on this island like this has made that for naught.
Pikachu talks to Pikachu:
Pikachu: "Pika, Pikachu! Pika Pika! Pikachu!"
Meowth: ""But because of what we are, we can't live in that world like you do.""
Pikachu: "Pika! Pikachu, Pika. Pikachu."
Meowth: ""Whatever we do or wherever we go, we don't belong.""
One of the annoying things the English dub of both this and the first movie does is change the characters' questions into statements of facts. "Am I the strongest pokemon in the world?" became "I am the strongest Pokémon in the world," for example, because this is America goddammit and we don't have time for any of that wishy-washy bullcrap. So when I see these lines, where both of Pikachu's questions in the original get mutated into statements, completely changing the Pikachu's character in the process, all I can do is sigh and shake my head.
The very next exchange!
The English dub just kind of has Team Rocket rambling on about nothing, doesn't it? Jessie suddenly goes into this non-sequitor about being treated as a misfit when she was little and then they start quoting their motto even though nothing in there is relevant to what any of them are talking about.
We're officially at the halfway point now!
The Pikachu clone addresses the others:
Meowth: "It said "If we don't do something to get out of here they're gonna catch us and use us in Pokémon cloning experiments."
Originally, Pikachu just said that they'll be captured and used in the Rocket-Dan's experiments; it doesn't specify "cloning" experiments the way the dub Pikachu does.
Meowth: ""Just because we're clones don't mean they can treat us any way they want.""
In the Japanese version, Pikachu tells everyone that now is their chance to strike out.
Mewtwo watches Team Rocket approach from the video monitors in its cave:
Mewtwo: "If the humans will not leave us in peace, so be it. We will leave this place and search for another."
Japanese Mewtwo also identifies the humans as their parents, something the dub Mewtwo fails to do. It's kind of an important line that really should have been left in.
Meowth: "They'll let you go as long as I do my job and don't try any funny stuff. Haa~!"
Meowth Clone: "Nyaa~!"
No such promise is made in the Japanese version; instead, Nyasu talks about the moon, which is why the clone Nyasu pipes up at the end there.
Amazingly, Mewtwo's monologue about whether it's better to protect the pokemon at the cost of their freedom was translated faithfully for the dub. I think that may be one of the few speeches given by Mewtwo in this special that's actually the same in both versions, so I'll happily move on to the next rewrite:
Ash and his friends arrive at Purity Lake:
Cullen: "Luna, this spring must be the source for Purity River."
Penicillina actually mentioned Clear Lake being the source of Purity River earlier in the special, but Cullen apparently didn't find this out until just now.
Cullen keeps talking about the water:
Cullen: "Water is essential for life. And the quality of water helps determine the quality of life."
Luna: "Yes. This place is bursting with life. That's because it's clean here. Untouched. Pure. And the source of that purity is the spring."
Originally, Luna says that if the balance of nature is disrupted, it won't be only the pokemon's health that's affected; their sensibility and personalities will become warped as well.
Every now and then I'm reminded how I'm not the average fan and that the things that are important to me aren't important to everyone else. I think the world of the background music for example but couldn't care less about seeing a pokemon using a move that it can't legally learn in the games, yet most fans seem to be the opposite. Different people pay attention to different things.
The baby Nidoqueen scenes in this special are another perfect example of this. I've seen so many people freak the hell out because, *gasp*, Nidoqueen can't breed and even if they could their babies would be Nidoran not small Nidoqueen OMG THE WRITERS ARE STUPID HOW COULD THEY MISS SOMETHING SO OBVIOUS. And the whole time I'm reading these rants and am thinking "Um...really!? Who gives a shit?"
A lot of people do, apparently, and I just don't get it. An adult pokemon has a baby, and that baby is a smaller version of the big one. That doesn't strike me as weird at all.
If I had to freak out over something, I'd freak out over how this tiny Nidoqueen (Nidoprincess?) has those big boobs even though it's still quite small. Gross.
The clone Meowth almost gets caught by Team Rocket:
Meowth: "Sorry, pal. I didn't mean to scratch you up. I just don't want them to catch you. Come on. We gotta get out of here. Run for it!"
In the Japanese version, the clone Nyasu says "The moon is round today as well, isn't it?" (月は今日も丸いか). Nyasu then tells the other Nyasu that this isn't the time for it to be admiring the moon and that the only round thing it should be worried about are the Monster Balls raining down on them.
When Mewtwo rescues the pokemon that had been caught by the Rocket-Dan's Monster Balls, it lets out a grunt each time it swings its arm around to attack. These grunts are removed from the dub.
After Giovanni's robots knock Mewtwo to the ground:
Giovanni: "Well, it seems my new equipment is worth the considerable investment."
Originally, Sakaki tells Mewtwo that the power of humans is nothing to look down on.
This "considerable investment" line is also a bit problematic since one could look at this line at the end of the special and be like "Waitaminute...if this was such a "considerable investment," wouldn't Giovanni notice the gaping hole in his budget and wonder where that money went? And then maybe even trace it back to Mewtwo?"
Just translate the dialogue, 4Kids. It makes things so much easier.
Mewtwo talks to Giovanni:
Mewtwo: "You should fear my powers most of all. You cannot conquer me."
Giovanni: "Your psychic attacks bend the wills of living creatures but they cannot influence machines."
Nope: Mewtwo asks Sakaki if he really thinks those heartless machines of his are able to win against it. Sakaki responds by saying that their purpose is to merely capture Mewtwo, not defeat it.
Our heroes get captured by Domino:
Domino: "We can't let anyone interfere and prevent us from reaching our objectives. We can't let you leave until our operation is over."
Ash: "You better."
Wow, Domino actually says the opposite in the Japanese version. Originally, she says that even though they don't have any use for humans, they can't just let them walk out of there after seeing everything they've seen. I guess this thinly veiled death threat was too much for 4Kids, though, so it got rewritten.
The Rocket duo sits in their jail cell:
I don't get why the English version has Team Rocket go on about the motto and then have them do a variation of a catch phrase that's not even a part of it.
The shot zooming away from the mountain top after the aforementioned "Looks like Team Rocket's never blasting off again" is a bit longer in the original.
The scene zooms out, and then it freezes while the narrator asks what will happen next. Again, this was probably done to make it seem as though this is really a movie, but the way the screen fades to black and the music cuts out really makes the transition super obvious.
Giovanni gets a report:
Domino: "009 to Giovanni. Except for Pokémon brought by a young trainer, the island's populated by Pokémon clones. And we've got 'em. Over."
Japanese Domino adds that the young trainer's name is Satoshi, but English Domino doesn't give his name to her boss in the dub.
Giovanni threatens Mewtwo:
Giovanni: "Mewtwo! Are you going to let your little friends battle me alone?"
Originally, Sakaki tells Mewtwo that whether the clone pokemon are allowed to live or get killed depends on what it does next (生かすも殺すもお前の出方次第だ). The dub softens this threat considerably.
Meowth decides to join the clone pokemon:
Meowth: "Well, OK. I have to admit I ain't got a lot of experience at being unselfish. But if you can do it, I guess I can give it a try."
After Nyasu decides to stay with the clones, he looks up and asks the others to keep this a secret from Sakaki. This gets replaced with "But if you can do it, I guess I can give it a try" in the dub.
Giovanni: "Do I take it that you're willing to obey my commands?"
Mewtwo: "No. I would sooner leave this world than serve you."
Giovanni: "I suggest you reconsider your opinion. If you choose to defy me, your fellow creations will all be used in our experiments and will certainly leave this world."
While the threat's more or less the same in Japanese, the word they use to refer to death is kieru (消える), or "disappear." I wish the dub had gone with that instead of the much more awkward sounding "leave this world" because holy crap does that sound like the most stereotypical cover-up for death ever.
Mewtwo decides to give in to Giovanni:
Mewtwo: "Stand away. I must submit to him."
Here, Mewtwo tells the others to move away because it's the one Sakaki's after, not them.
Giovanni: "This is a very charming place. I had a feeling you'd find a pretty little hideaway like this. It's perfect for my new laboratory."
Sakaki wants to turn the area into a secret base, not a laboratory.
Giovanni: "Finally I will create a vast army of the world's most powerful Pokémon. And you. You will be at its head, carrying out my commands! Together, we will rule the earth!"
In the Japanese Sakaki doesn't say anything about world domination. Instead he tells Mewtwo to look forward to the day when his army is complete.
Domino asks how Mewtwo's doing:
Giovanni: "It's stronger than I realized. Its brainwaves haven't altered in the least! If this goes on much longer, its body will be destroyed before its will is!"
Domino: "You can't destroy it! It could take years to clone it again."
Giovanni: "I know that! But this has become a battle between Mewtwo's will and mine!"
More death cover-ups: here, Sakaki says that Mewtwo's body is weakening, prompting Domino to say that if it dies then they'll have lost everything they've worked so hard for (死んでしまっては元も子もないのでは). Sakaki says that he doesn't care and, like Giovanni, says that this has become a battle of wills.
Aside from avoiding the use of the word "die," Domino's line in the English version implies that Team Rocket can just make another Mewtwo when there's no such implication in the Japanese version.
Also, what is up with Sakaki just smashing things with his hands in this special? First the glass in the helicopter and then his phone...somebody just needs to calm the hell down.
One more eyecatch.
We're in the home stretch!
The bug pokemon attack.
Giovanni: "Be quiet."
Originally, Sakaki asks his pokemon what's wrong. But whatever, English Persian, shut up.
When Domino attacks the bug pokemon by throwing a bunch of tulips at them, she shouts out Midare Uchi (乱れ撃ち), or "Shoot Blindly!!", yelling it out as if it was the name of an attack. Domino doesn't say anything at all in the English dub.
After Mewtwo destroys the machines that had been trapping it:
Ash: "You did it. You beat 'em."
Mewtwo: "Yes...but I have also destroyed...myself."
Here, the Japanese version has Mewtwo say that its surpassed its limits. Destroy would be an alright way to convey this, I guess, but since the dub keeps using the word as a substitute for "die," over and over, its use here kind of makes Mewtwo sound more suicidal than it did in the original.
This is also as good a time as any to express how annoying it is that Mewtwo keeps insisting on adding all these dramatic...pauses to its speech...especially since there aren't any...mouth flaps to worry about.
Jessie and James spot the Boss:
Jessie: "It's the boss. What do we do?"
James: "If he sees us, he may do something drastic, like ask for our expense report."
Haha, office humor, that's something that resonates with the kids, amirite?
Originally, Kojirou says that it'll be bad if the boss catches them just dawdling around like this.
Brock and Misty help ward off Team Rocket:
Brock: "You take Mewtwo."
Now take a look at this screenshot. Does it look like he's saying "NO!" to you? Or does it look like he's maybe ordering the other Rocket-Dan members to attack, which is what he's actually doing?
I think I'm going to start pulling a Giovanni from now on and just raise my hand and shout "NO!" whenever I don't like something. Gosh, why isn't this a meme instead of that drying pan line?
Ash brings Mewtwo to the spring:
Cullen: "What Pokémon is that?"
Ash: "This is Mewtwo. It's real weak and it needs to get into that spring water fast or it's not going to make it!"
Satoshi adds that he doesn't think simply drinking the water will be enough; Mewtwo's going to have to be completely submerged if it's to be saved.
Mewtwo starts sinking into the water while that music that sounds like a poor man's version of the Mr. Freeze theme from Batman The Animated Series plays:
Mewtwo: "I have seen this place. I have been here before."
The first line in the Japanese version is Koko wa doko da? (ここはどこだ？), or "Where is this place?", and it's another little throwback to the questions Mewtwo kept asking itself in the first movie. The English Mewtwo isn't know for asking the same questions, so 4Kids probably thought it was OK to rewrite this.
Mewtwo: "If these waters have the same restoring effect on me as they do on other Pokémon - Pokémon who belong to this world - could it be that this world is my rightful place too?"
Japanese Mewtwo comes to the same conclusion, but the wording's a bit different. Originally, after noticing that the waters have the same healing effect on it that it has on other pokemon, it then says "Who am I? I am, at the very least, a living creature who is allowed to live in this world" (私は誰だ？私は少なくともこの星に生きていい生き物だ).
After Mewtwo defeats everyone in a really anticlimatic matter and then moves an entire lake underground:
Ash: "Wait'l I call Professor Oak and tell him about this!"
Satoshi doesn't randomly decide to call Orchid-Hakase in the Japanese version; he simply comments on how amazing Mewtwo's power is.
I thought this was kind of amusing:
Brock: "And just forgetting things doesn't change the fact that they happened."
God, I wish I could forget this horrible, horrible dub. But, like Brock says, just forgetting it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
Mewtwo is persuaded to let Ash and his friends remember:
Mewtwo: "Yes. They deserve to remember. If we are able to look to the future as other Pokémon do, we must also be able to look to the past. The shame of that past is not ours. It belongs to those who used our past to set us apart."
...like you? Mewtwo, who spent the entire first movie and the first part of this TV special going on and on about how you're all different from everyone else because you're a clone? What?
There's none of this "shame of the past" nonsense in the Japanese version. Instead, Mewtwo tells the pokemon there that they have just as much a right to live in this world as anyone else and that they should leave on a journey out into that world.
The clone Pokémon fly away:
Meowth: "If you ever see our balloon, fly by and say hello."
Clone Meowth: "Nyaa! Nyaa!"
Nyasu tells the clone that the moon is full and that it's the perfect weather for a flying.
Right as Ash is about to leave:
Ash: "This time, we'll both be able to remember."
"This time?" So did Mewtwo tell Ash about the events of the first movie off-screen somewhere? Like, did Mewtwo go up and was like "Oh yeah, I sort of tricked you into risking your life to come to my island so I could steal your Pokémon, and also you got turned to stone but it was OK because a bunch of Pokémon cried and brought you back to life, and then after all that I erased your memory."
Originally, Satoshi tells Mewtwo that he would like to see it again (また会える日が来ればいいな).
As Mewtwo leaves:
Mewtwo: "If, someday, you hear my voice, know that it is my spirit calling across time and space to yours."
Japanese Mewtwo: "If you ever hear me calling your name, try turning around. I might be right there..."
Not quite the same as "across time and space," is it?
Let's check in with the boring characters nobody cares about!
Luka: "Luna called and said you might need a ride back to the city, so I..."
Originally, Luka calls out that the once-a-week bus has arrived. She doesn't say anything about being called there by Luna.
Cullen: "I won't be going back. Luna and I discovered we have a lot in common besides research."
The Japanese line is a whole lot less shippy, as most shippy lines in the 4Kids dub tend to be: originally, Penicillina says that he'll be staying there to continue his research.
In the city:
Mewtwo: "I will remember...you~?...always."
It's hard to depict it here in text, but Dan Green's delivery of this line cracked me up.
Anyway, in the Japanese version Mewtwo says "I am here." It's finally found the answer to one of the questions it had been asking since the beginning of the first movie, "Where am I?" It brings Mewtwo's entire story to a nice close.
But whatever, fuck that, let's just have Mewtwo say that it'll remember Ash, that's good enough, right?
And the final line of the special:
Narrator: "Our friends continue on their journey. But in a faraway city, stories are told of a mysterious Pokémon who roams freely...but always...by moonlight."
Wow, 4Kids, that "always by moonlight" part isn't completely random at all.
The Japanese narrator says "After that, an urban legend about a mysterious pokemon who lives in some city somewhere is whispered. But there isn't anyone who knows whether that's true or not" (その後大都会のどこかに不思議なポケモンが住んでいるという都市伝説がささやかれるようになった。だがその実体を知る者は誰もいない).
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