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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Orange Islands
088: "The Island of Pink Pokémon"
Satoshi and his friends are riding along the ocean when they suddenly
find themselves being sucked into a whirlpool! The water currents spit
them out onto Pinkan Island, a remote isle whose Pokémon
inhabitants are all the color pink! Once ashore, Satoshi ends up
inadvertently goading a pink Saihorn into charging at them but is saved
when Kasumi’s Togepy surreptitiously uses Metronome to teleport him out
of danger. Later, our heroes meet the island’s Junsar. She explains
that the island’s Pokémon are all pink because of their diet of
Pinkan Berries, a special fruit that somehow dyes their bodies pink.
She also tells them that the island is basically off-limits to the
general public for fears of it being overrun by poachers wanting to get
the alternately colored Pokémon for themselves. The Rocket trio,
meanwhile, unknowingly prove Junsar right by trying to poach a pink
Nidoking they come across. The Drill Pokémon easily sends the
trio packing but is so fired up by its encounter that it starts to
rampage about the island. Satoshi and his friends try to subdue it with
their own Pokémon but nothing they do seems to work. Nidoking
responds with a Hyper Beam but our heroes are saved…by a psychic
barrier!? Junsar then steps in and puts an end to Nidoking’s attacks by
skillfully tying it up with a rope. Later, Junsar accompanies Satoshi
and his friends off the island as Kasumi wonders if her Togepy maybe
has some kind of hidden power…
But the thing I actually
like the most about this episode is its attempt to further along the
whole "when is Togepy finally going to learn an attack?" storyline that
was started a
few episodes ago. The
now, and even though nothing will ever really come out of it (it'll
only use the attack two more times before it leaves
the cast for good) I do appreciate the show taking the time out to at
least try to have some sort
of character development for Kasumi's chirping egg baby. I also really
enjoyed the little cutaway of the Hanada City Gym Leader trying to
her Togepy to use Headbutt because it shows us that yes, our heroes are doing things in
between the episodes we see on TV! The whole thing makes it feel like
characters in this show are actual living, breathing people who have
lives outside what's shown on TV-Tokyo, as silly as that probably
Unfortunately, all this
is kind of dampened by how this also marks the last time this show will
bother to depict any of the special Pokémon that are supposed to
make the Orange Islands so unique. Remember how the arc
started? Welcome to the Orange Islands, a tropical archipelago that's
home to Pokémon you can't find anywhere else! Hey
look, the Pokémon on Dr. Uchikido's
laboratory all have strange
markings on them! And over there is an Iwark made
entirely out of
crystal glass! What's this? An island where all the Pokémon
are pink!? Wow!
But now, the only
Pokémon we're going to see on the Orange Islands from the next episode
onwards are the same ones you can find pretty
much everyone else. Why did the show abandon the region's biggest
gimmick when we're not even a third of the way through the story arc? One reason, maybe, is
that the show's writers realized that
giving an episode unique Pokémon doesn't make for compelling
television in and of itself. Because let's face it, "The Island of Pink
Pokémon" is a
setting, not a story. The plot here, of our heroes being chased by a
rhino in the first half and then being chased by a different
rhino in the second, could have happened literally anywhere else in the
Pokémon World and pretty much nothing would have needed to be
changed. I wonder if the writers realized this themselves and said
y'know what, we don't need to bother coming up with any more gimmicky
Pokémon because it's not going to affect how we write the show
one way or the other.
The Pink Saihorn, the two
Pink Nidoran, and the Pink Nidoking keep their Japanese voices.
Misty recalls trying to teach Togepi some attacks:
Satoshi's response is that Kasumi is an oya baka (親バカ), a word that can be translated as "doting parent" or "you spoil it too much," among others, but that also happens to have the word baka (バカ) in it. Baka, by itself, means "idiot." In the Japanese version of this exchange, Kasumi most likely hears the word baka and assumes Satoshi's calling her an idiot, hence the ear pulling and whatnot.
The English dub, for what it's worth, comes up with a pretty good substitution by having Ash question her skills as a Trainer rather than her skills as a parent.
Ash wakes up on Pinkan Island:
This is a super minor change that I ordinarily wouldn't bother bringing up except for that fact that I've seen certain fans online try to use the dub line as "evidence" that Ash loves Misty because her name is the only (human) one he brings up.
Pinkan Island keeps its Japanese name. In any other franchise the fact that the name appears written out in English several times would have been enough to make that a given but this is Pokémon we're talking about. Things like this have been changed before, and they'll be changed again in the future.
Geographically, Pinkan Island may be based on a similar looking island in Thailand named Khao Phing Kan. Like Pinkan Island, it too is an island consisting of tall karst towers that make it difficult for your average tourist to access.
When written out in Japanese, Phing Kan Island becomes Pinkan Tou (ピンカン島), which just so happens to be the exact same spelling used for the island in this episode of Pocket Monsters. So here's my theory; I bet the writers were researching various islands in Southeast Asia, trying to come up with ideas they could use for the show, and came across this island called Pinkan Tou. And then someone said hey, that sounds kind of like the color pink...what if we had an island where all the Pokémon are pink? And we can use the tall cliffs here to explain why these Pokémon developed the way they did?
I don't have any proof of this, of course, but the pieces fit together too well for there to not be at least some amount of truth to it, right?
Kenji gets excited about Pinkan Island:
Kenji doesn't expect to find any new Pokémon the way Tracey does; he just really, really wants to cross this place off his bucket list.
Ash and his friends find the Pink Rhyhorn:
There are a lot of tiny little changes throughout but the ones that stick out to me are how the dub makes both Misty and Tracey less sure / more surprised at what they're seeing than Kasumi and Kenji are.
After Kenji says his catchphrase (which 4Kids changes to "Just stand still, Rhyhorn...and I will sketch a masterpiece!" this time around) the observation begins:
Eight meters is about 26 feet, a measurement usually reserved for things like moving trucks. The Pokémon species Onix, for comparison's sake, are about 8.8 meters long, or about 28 feet. Needless to say the Rhyhorn in this episode is nowhere near that long.
The fact that we go from 1.8 to 8 makes me wonder if perhaps whoever was checking the English script that day meant to write 1.8 but, for whatever reason, left off the "one point" from the front there. It's possible, right? It's also odd to me that 4Kids didn't convert the measurements to the imperial system in the first place since they almost never leave metric measurements as-is.
Officer Jenny approaches our heroes:
Junsar's first line of the episode gets muted out in the dub for some reason.
The Rocket trio stumble upon Pinkan Island:
As you can see, both Kojirou and Nyarth have their eyes on a bigger prize, wondering if the entire island is home to a wide variety of pink Pokémon and not just the one their partner just described to him.
The Rocket trio get sucked into a whirlpool:
Another example of 4Kids removing dialogue! Why is the company acting so out-of-character today? Are they feeling OK?
After saving the Pink Rhyhorn:
Surprisingly I'm not going to talk about Ash's play on words, which is actually the exact same joke they make in the Japanese version! Instead I want to focus on Jenny's line because originally she says that she's the only human the Pokémon on Pinkan Island have ever met which, if you listen to what Dr. Ookido says in the second half of the episode, you know is a complete lie. And so 4Kids rewrite here actually makes a bit more sense.
Officer Jenny tells our heroes about the Pinkan Berries:
There are a few places where the two version's stories match up but for the most part 4Kids rewrites the whole thing. The original doesn't mention anything about Pinkan Island being "the only place in the world" where the berries grow, while the English version also doesn't mention that the Pokémon have been eating the berries for generations. Tracey's guess about the berries having some kind of "natural chemical" in them is also a 4Kids invention.
Ash worries about his Pokémon:
The Pink-achu "joke," unlike the "Shyhorn" joke from earlier, is a dub invention.
It's also a bit weird to me that Ash only seems to notice that Pikachu's tail has turned pink when its cheeks have also very obviously changed color.
The eyecatch Pokémon:
No unique Pink Saihorn art for you, dub fans!
The Rocket trio dream about opening up a theme park:
The trio's song in the Japanese version is them singing out what they're planning to do right this second. The song in the English dub, on the other hand, is presumably what they'll be singing to their potential customers in the future.
I have to say, though, "come and visit once a year" is probably not a lyric that any theme park would ever sing toward its patrons.
James sees a pink Lickitung:
Nyarth's line here is a reference to the fact that they already made that joke with Purin right after the commercial break. It's the kind of gag 4Kids usually looooooooves to insert into the show at random points so it's really weird to see them rewrite one when it's being handed to them on a silver platter like this.
Later, Jessie's Lickitung goes into the cave with the Nidoran and, after a few seconds, comes running out.
In the Japanese version we can clearly hear Beroringa crying (as in boo-hoo crying) while it runs back toward its Trainer. In the English dub, however, Jessie's Lickitung just says "Tung tung tung tung" a bunch of times in its regular everyday voice. Jessie does make a reference to her Pokémon crying ("I wonder what it's whimpering about") but, except for the blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of tears coming out of its eyes, you wouldn't really know it based on the way 4Kids chose to dub this scene.
Back at the police box:
The term Junsar uses to describe Pinkan Island is sekai-teki isan (世界的遺産), a phrase similar to the term sekai isan (世界遺産), or World Heritage Site. Does a Pokémon World equivalent of UNESCO exist, I wonder?
Also, "I'm not going to press charges against any of you this time"...like, is Officer Jenny seriously telling a bunch of preteens that she would have actually arrested them for accidentally washing up on an island? What the hell?
And then, a few seconds later:
Why is the dub making it sound like the police arresting a group of children is the most normal thing ever???
Later, Ash and his friends confront Team Rocket:
As you can see, Satoshi doesn't command any specific attack the way Ash does.
A few seconds later, Jessie turns to the twerps and says "Well then, we'll just have to capture your Pikachu, too."
After this line, 4Kids adds a growl from Nidoking -- who's still off-screen at this point -- that wasn't there in the Japanese version.
Our heroes are chased by the Pink Nidoking:
Has anyone ever sat down and counted the number of times 4Kids has mixed up Staryu's and Starmie's names? Because I feel like the company stumbles over the two Pokémon's names all the time.
Junsar guides our heroes off the island after taking care of the Pink Nidoking. On the boat, Misty has this to say:
There are a lot of little
here that I don't understand. Why doesn't Misty list out the attacks
"Teleport" and "Barrier" the way Kasumi does? And why does she think
Hyper Beam "missed" the pink Nidoking when it was very obviously
In Japanese the attack's name is pretty
simple; yubi o furu (ゆびをふる),
or "Finger Waggle." Pokémon who can use this attack do so by --
it! -- waggling their fingers, with the idea being that magicians
and other people with mysterious powers shake their fingers whenever
they want to produce something unexpected. There's also an idea of
people pointing at various things when playing eeny, meeny, miny, moe;
which attack should I use now?
The simplicity of the name is part of what makes Togepy learning the attack make sense. Randomly shaking one's fingers is something babies just do, y'know? And so a Togepy inadvertently learning "Finger Waggle" during regular play is something that's completely within the realm of possibility.
This is a little more awkward in the English version since the attack name was changed to "Metronome." Babies doing a "Finger Waggle," I get, but are babies operating a device used to help musicians keep time? Seems less likely! The general idea of Kasumi's Togepy stumbling its way into learning a new attack is something that's present in both versions and so it all works out in the end, I guess, but I do think the Japanese name "Finger Waggle" makes more sense in this particular case.
While on the topic of Metronome:
The Japanese version doesn't spell everything out the way the English dub does.
This page was last updated on May 3rd, 2021
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