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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Orange Islands

Japanese Episode 089

Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 089:  "The Secret of Kabuto's Fossil"
American Episode 235:  "Shell Shock!"
Pokémon Dare Da?  Kabuto (Japanese), Ponyta (English)
Dr. Ookido's Pokémon Course:  Paras
Japanese Air Date:  March 25th, 1999
American Air Date:  March 4th, 2000
Important People:  Tadokoro (Umberto)
Important Places:  Fukuhara Island No. 4 (N/A)

A small motorboat zipping past Satoshi and his friends draws their attention to a nearby deserted island. They follow it and find that a TV crew is there to document an expedition to find fossils of the prehistoric Pokémon Kabuto! Our heroes convince the Joy who runs the expedition to let them tag along. On their way to the site, the team find themselves constantly having to stop to take care of an avalanche of boulders that keep falling on their path. Pikachu spots a suspicious old man hanging around after one such incident and so Satoshi follows his Pokémon on its chase. Once they catch up to the old man, Tadokoro, he confesses that he’s the one who caused the landslides! Tadokoro wants to put a stop to their expedition because he’s afraid that the digging the team will be doing will trigger a great disaster spoken of in an old prophecy. The expedition continues anyway and before long the team finds a cave whose walls are completely covered by dozens of Kabuto fossils! The Rocket-Dan appears to steal the Pokémon and, in doing so, causes a cave-in that causes the whole island to shake violently. Everyone else runs to the forest, builds themselves a raft, and evacuates the island just in time to watch it sink into the ocean! As they marvel at the incredible event they just witnessed they wish the Kabuto good luck as they begin their journey to find a new island to call home.

Something I've always found interesting about kids' cartoons like Pocket Monsters is how they'll sometimes be rooted in some truly ghoulish concepts, some real nightmare scenario type shit that the show just never bothers to acknowledge in any way whatsoever. When you get down to it, Pokémon is a show about elementary school aged children roaming around the countryside, ripping wild animals away from their natural habitats and then forcing them to battle each in other in glorified cock fights. That is a lot for a kids' show and so the TV series, wisely, just sort of glosses over that part of the show's DNA. Shh, it's OK, don't think about it too much, just keep your mouth shut and watch the cute little yellow mouse thing do cute little mouse things.

Going one step further, single episodes of the series are also sometimes based on some truly ghastly premises that are then, likewise, glossed right on over.
The topic of this comparison, "The Secret of Kabuto's Fossil," definitely falls under this category.

The first half of the episode features a middle aged man pushing boulders onto a group of explorers and the elementary school aged children walking around with them. He explains that he's doing all this to keep the team from carrying out their expedition, and pretty much everyone in the show seems to accept this as a perfectly reasonable justification for his actions. Despite the fact that said actions basically boil down to attempted murder. Sneaking around and stealing tools or breaking equipment would have also kept the expedition team from carrying out their research but nope, this old man decides that the best thing for him to do to save this random island is to cause an avalanche of boulders to rain down upon a group of unsuspecting scientists.

The second half of the episode, meanwhile, features the Rocket trio wiping an entire island off the map. Something that also, somehow, doesn't seem to bother anyone in this episode even the tiniest bit. Isn't that super weird? Oh and also, the Kabuto are all homeless now because of the chain of events triggered by the trio's bomb, but whatevs, I'm sure they can take care of themselves alright. Good luck out there, little buddies!

I really feel like if this was any other show then someone would have been like "What the hell's wrong with you!? You could've gotten somebody killed!" and then everyone would have stood around berating this old man / villainous trio for going about their business in the most dickishly irresponsible way ever. But nope, nobody seems to be all that upset by any of this! The way everyone just kind of rolls with the punches as much as they do is something I just couldn't get out of my head the entire time I was watching this episode, y'know?

As distracting as that all was "The Secret of Kabuto's Fossil" did manage to at least have some memorable characters-of-the-day. I loved the TV reporter character and I'm kind of bummed she's never been brought back because her presence in this episode really helped liven things up. She (and her crew) were ultimately useless in the grand scheme of things but her constant running commentary offered some great comic relief in what was otherwise a fairly serious episode. Tadokoro is also fine, I guess, even though -- and I cannot stress this enough -- he did try to murder a group of children.

It was also interesting to see what the show does with Kabuto, who -- and no offense to any of you Kabuto stans out there -- is kind of a nothing Pokémon. I mean, imagine being a screenwriter for this show and being assigned to write the Kabuto episode. The Pokémon hadn't had a starring role in any other episode to date (it just kind of stood there in its debut episode) and so all you have to go off of is the character design and its Pokémon Bestiary entry from the Pocket Monsters Red & Green video games:


A Pokémon that was resurrected from a fossil found in what was once the ocean floor eons ago. (It protects itself with its hard shell)
こだい せいぶつの かせきから さいせいしたポケモン。かたい カラで みを まもっている。

What do you even do with something like that? The solution the show came up with is kind of hilarious, actually. They have the Kabuto wake up after sleeping for more than half the episode, eat (?) a TV camera, tickle Kojirou, one of them boops the Rocket trio's hot air balloon to make it blast off, and then they all just kind of swim around for a bit before setting off for their new home. And I think that's pretty much it...? We're now more than 20 years removed from "The Secret of Kabuto's Fossil" and this episode is still the Pokémon's biggest showcase yet because...well...what else are you going to do with it?

Some characters do not get renamed from the Japanese version to the English version, which is generally very, very good. But then sometimes, the dub gets to an episode that features the debut of said character and they come up with some unique pronunciation that varies so much from the Japanese original that it's almost as if the character in question got a brand new name anyway. The English dub mispronouncing Kabuto as Ka-BOO-toh, with the stress in the middle there, is not the most extreme example of this phenomenon (I'd say that award goes to either Rayquaza and/or Arceus) but it's still something that absolutely stands out to me.

Rhydon and Kabuto keep their Japanese voices.

Dialogue Edit
The very first line of the episode:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
ナレーション 「ラプラスに乗りオレンジ諸島を巡って旅を続けるサトシたち。さ て今回はどんな島に上陸するのかな?」
Narrator:  "Riding on the back of Laplace, Satoshi and his friends continue their journey through the Orange Islands. What kind of island will they land on this time around?"
Narrator:  "Well, this is getting to be a familiar scene. Sunny skies, balmy breezes, and our heroes drifting toward some tropical adventure. Announcers never get to have any fun."

I imagine that, when you're in charge of putting out 52 episodes a year, every year, that there are a lot of late nights where you've just straight up had enough. You're sleep deprived, you've been writing scripts for hours and hours, and you've been dealing with one mini disaster after the other. And so yeah, why not take the rather pedestrian opening narration from the Japanese version and jazz it up a bit

I can't say I necessarily like the change, but I can at least understand the sentiment behind it.

Side Note
What is the name of the island in this episode?

The island is only ever referred to in-episode as mujin-tou
(無人島), or simply "uninhabited island." This is a kid's show after all, and so it's very important that we all know that no one dies when the island sinks into the ocean at the end. The official guide book The Memorial Book of Orange Islands, likewise, only ever refers to it as an "uninhabited island" (無人島). The book also give us a neat little bit of trivia: the episode's screenwriter, Mr. Shinzo Fujita, reveals that his original plan for the episode was to give the island an actual name:

カ ブトたちが 眠っていた島は、最初は「ユズ島」という名前にしようと考えていました。
At first I was thinking about calling the island where the Kabuto are sleeping "Yuzu Island."

He eventually abandoned the idea and switched over to referring to the island in this episode as  "uninhabited island"." The name "Yuzu Island," meanwhile, would end up getting dusted off and used for the island where Satoshi gets his third Orange League Gym Badge.

So that's the end of the story, right? Not quite; the Pocket Monsters Film Comic version of the episode -- that's where screenshots from the episode are arranged into comic book panels and then have word balloons and sound effects drawn over them to make the whole thing read like a comic book -- has a section in the back of the third Orange Islands volume that identifies this episode's mujin-tou by a brand new name, "Fukuhara Island No. 4" (フクハラ4号島).

The "Fukuhara" part probably comes from the Fukuhara Orange, a type of rare citrus fruit discovered in Japan in the early 1900s (thanks for the heads up, Abcboy!). The "Number 4" part of the island's name, however, is a mystery. It implies that there's at least a Fukuhara Island Number 1-3 out there somewhere but I don't know what else there is to say beyond that.

As far as I know the idea that this island is called "Fukuhara Island No. 4" is only ever presented in this one page from this one book from 1999. I haven't been able to find a single other source that repeats this same information

For the English version of the episode, meanwhile, 4Kids follows the lead of the Japanese version of the actual episode itself and also only ever bothers to refer to this island as an "uninhabited island."

Dialogue Edit
The reporter, well, reports:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
レポーター 「本格的な発掘調査のためここにベースキャンプが設営されました。そしてこれこそが、今回問題となっているカブトの化石で す!」
Reporter:  "We're coming at you from the base camp set up for this full-fledged archeological dig. And over here we've got the talk of the hour, a Kabuto fossil!"
Reporter:  "I'm here at the team's base of operations for this fossil hunt, and for a world television exclusive: a first look at the object that's triggered their investigations."

The "world television exclusive" part isn't in the Japanese version.

The reporter continues:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
レポーター 「これは先日ある漁師さんが網にかかっていたもので、専門家により まさしく本物であることが確認されました。そして数々の検証の結果、この島から!流れてきたことが判明したのです!」
Reporter:  "What you see here was picked up by a fisherman's net just a few days ago. Experts have already confirmed its authenticity, with further analysis leading them to conclude that the fossil was originally on this very island before drifting away."
Reporter:  "Beneath the layers of silt and soil lie the fossilized remains of the long-extinct Pokémon, Kabuto. Caught in a fisherman's net a week ago, experts working round the clock have determined that it was somehow dislodged from its ancient resting place on this island. and drifted into the international spotlight."

What's your favorite difference here? Is it the random sentence about Kabuto being extinct at the beginning of the dub version? The Japanese version's "a few days" vs. the English dub's "a week ago"? The English dub not mentioning anything about experts validating the fossil's authenticity? 4Kids continuing to insist that this incident is in the "international spotlight" despite there not being anything else in the episode to support that? 4Kids gives us so many to choose from it's hard to pick just one!

The Pokédex speaks:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
ポケモン図鑑 「カブト、こうらポケモン。カブトガニの祖先ともカメの祖先とも 言われている。固い甲羅で身を守り、海を上手に泳いでいたと思わる。」
Pokémon Bestiary:  "Kabuto, the Shellfish Pokémon. It is said to be the ancestor of both the horseshoe crab and the turtle. It uses its hard shell to protect its body and is thought to have been able to swim expertly through the sea."
Pokédex:  "Kabuto, the Ancient Pokémon. Though this Pokémon is now believed to be extinct, it had a hard shell that protected its body and is believed to have been a powerful swimmer."

No real world animal references for you, dub fans!

The Rocket trio spot the twerps:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
ムサシ 「ふふ~ジャリボーイたち、あんな無人島で何やってんのかしらね」
Musashi:  "Ho ho...I wonder what those twerps are doing on that uninhabited island."
Jessie:  "Hmm. I wonder what a TV crew could be doing with those twerps on that island?"
コジロウ 「ってムサシ!サボってないでお前も漕げよ!」
Kojirou:  "Hey, Musashi! Stop slacking off and start pedaling!"
James:  "Just because you're wondering doesn't mean you should stop pedaling!"
ニャース 「とにかく今日という今日は絶対にあのピカチュウをゲットするんだか らニャ」
Nyarth:  "Who cares what they're doing on that island? Today's the day we're getting that Pikachu for sure Nya."
Meowth:  "Hey, if we hurry up and catch Pikachu maybe we can catch some face time on television, too."
ムサシ 「おー!」
Musashi:  "Right!"
Jessie:  "Aha!"

As you can see, the Rocket trio in the original aren't really thinking about being on TV as a reason to go on the island. For them the chance to get Pikachu is all the motivation they need.

The expedition team sets off:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
レポーター 「カブトの化石があると思われる入り江を目指し、調査隊が出発しま した。果たして化石は発見できるのでしょうか?我々も総力を挙げて取材を続けます。」
Reporter:  "The expedition team has set off for the bay where the Kabuto fossils are thought to be located. Will they be able to find them in the end? We'll continue our coverage no matter what happens."
Reporter:  "This dedicated band of explorers is beginning a torturous trek to find where the mysterious Kabuto fossil could have come from, and we'll be here to record every dramatic moment of their adventure."

The Japanese version makes it clear that the expedition team is going into this job with a clear idea of where to go first while the English version is a bit more vague.

Our heroes start their trek:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
レポーター 「深いジャングルが続きます。果たして調査隊は目指す入り江に無事 に辿り着けるのでしょう」
Reporter:  "We continue to make our way deep through the jungle. Will the expedition team be able to make it to the bay after all?"
Reporter:  "We're about to begin our climb along a treacherous mountain path but these brave explorers seem incapable of fear."

These two lines of dialogue are completely different for seemingly no reason whatsoever!

The Rocket trio follow behind in a little throwaway scene:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
コジロウ  「ま…待ってくれ!」
Kojirou:  "Hey...wait up a minute!"
James:  "Oh~ oh~"
ムサシ 「ったく!何やってんのよ?」
Musashi:  "Oh come on! What are you doing back there?"
Jessie:  "James, you're lagging behind."
ニャース 「もっとシャキシャキ歩くニャ」
Nyarth:  "Pick up the pace already Nya."
Meowth:  "Yeah, walk a little faster, will ya?"
コジロウ 「…んなこと言われてるさ」
Kojirou:  "That's easier said than done..."
James:  "Uh, that's easy for you to say."
ムサシ 「大体何でその格好しなけにゃないのよ?」
Musashi:  "Hey, why did you need to bring all that anyway?"
Jessie:  "Well, nobody told you to bring that heavy backpack."
コジロウ 「何言ってんだ?山は甘く見てるとひどい目に合うんだぞ!」
Kojirou:  "Are you kidding me? If we underestimate these mountains now then we'll be in a world of trouble later!"
James:  "And nobody told you to bring that nasty attitude, either, but I'm stuck with both."

This would be mostly OK in a "well 4Kids played things loose with the translation but the overall spirit is sorta-kinda the same" -type of way if it wasn't for that last line, where James just straight up insults his teammate out of nowhere.

Our heroes arrive at the bay:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
レポーター 「遂にやりました!想像絶する困難を乗り越え我々はついに目的地で ある島の入り江に到着したのです。」
Reporter:  "We've finally done it! After many trials and tribulations we've finally arrived at our destination: the island's bay."
Reporter:  "We've finally reached our destination: a hidden bay here on the island's desolate northern shore where experts believe the recently discovered Kabuto fossil may have come from."

The "northern shore" part is dub-only; the original doesn't make any mention of what side of the island this bay's located.

(Also, I'm no cartographer or anything but doesn't that look more like the south-eastern end to you?)

Joy commands her Pokémon to save their lives:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
ジョーイ 「サイドン!岩を破壊するのよ!」
Joy:  "Saidon! Destroy that rock!"
Nurse Joy:  "Rhydon, Horn Drill that rock now!"
レポーター  「出ました!サイドンのつのドリル!然しもの落石もこれには かないません!」
Reporter:  "And there you have it folks! Saidon's Horn Drill attack! Not even falling rocks are a match for this Pokémon!"
Reporter:  "Amazing! For the second time today a Pokémon saves the group from almost certain disaster."

Something tells me about 90% of the reporter's dialogue in this episode is going to be a complete rewrite, huh?

Anyway, the dub gives the job of identifying the Horn Drill attack to Nurse Joy when it was actually the reporter who gives us this information in the original.

Kabuto vs. Ponyta!


We won't see another Ponyta show up in the TV series again until a Pokémon Master Quest episode that debuts a little under three years from when "Shell Shock!" first aired. I guess the dub really wants to make this segment as challenging as they can make it, huh?

Dialogue Edit
Umberto introduces himself...sort of.

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
レポーター 「大変なことになりました!何と調査隊を妨害する謎の老人が出現し ました!」
Reporter:  "What an exciting development! The mysterious old man who's been getting in the way of the excavation team has shown himself!"
Reporter:  "Now, a shocking revelation as this deranged old man claims responsibility for these brutal attacks."
タドコロ  「謎の老人ではない!わしは隣の島の親切の男タドコロじゃ!」
Tadokoro:  "Who are you calling a mysterious old man!? The name's Tadokoro, and I'm a friendly man from the next island over!"
Umberto:  "I'm not that old, and I'm definitely not deranged! I'm just trying to do you people a big favor!"
レポーター 「タ…タドコロさん?」
Reporter:  "Mr...Tadokoro?"
Reporter:  "A big favor!?"
サトシ 「何が親切な男だよ?」
Satoshi:  "You call what you did friendly?"
Ash:  "You call those rocks favors?"

There sure is a lot to unpack here! The old man actually tells us his name in the Japanese version while English dub viewers never get actually get this information, either here or anywhere else in the actual episode itself. The only reason I can even say that his name is "Umberto" is because that's what he's called on this random Topps Trading Card from the year 2000.

Umberto (Italian) isn't any less foreign a name than Tadokoro (Japanese) is but I've already given my thoughts on changes like this in the past so I won't bother to repeat them here.

The dub also omits the part where Tadokoro reveals that he lives on the next island over, for some reason.

Also! Did you know that in November 2020, the Associated Press updated their style guide by advising not to use "derogatory terms, such as insane, crazy/crazed, nuts or deranged, unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story"? In other words, this enthusiastic young reporter here would definitely have been reprimanded for her use of the word "deranged" if she had made this report 20 years later!

Umberto tells us about the prophecy:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
タドコロ 「島が荒れ、赤い月が輝く時海は闇につつまれる。そして、大いなる災 いが起こるであろう!」
Tadokoro:  "When the island stirs and the island is bathed in a red moonlight, the sea will be swallowed in darkness. And lo, a great disaster will befall the land!"
Umberto:  "When the scavengers arrive, the moon will glow an angry red. The land itself will vanish and be swallowed by the sea!"
ケンジ 「大いなる災い?」
Kenji:  "Great disaster?"
Tracey:  "Swallowed by the sea?"
サトシ  「何なんだ?」
Satoshi:  "What kind of disaster?"
Ash:  "What does that mean?"
タドコロ  「謎じゃ。島を荒らすときっと大変なことになるぞ!」
Tadokoro:  "Nobody knows. All I know is that if you disturb this island then something bad's going to happen for sure!"
Umberto:  "If you disturb this island you will bring about great harm!"

I guess this is a case of 4Kids just warming up for the big prophecy rewrite they'll be doing for the second movie, huh?

The big change here is that 4Kids made sure to explicitly mention a watery disaster in their version while the prophecy in the Japanese version is much more ambiguous. Make a mental note of this because it'll come up again later in the episode.

The Kabuto fossils are found:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
隊員 「隊長!見つけました!化石です!カブトの化石です!」
Party Member:  "Ms. Director! We've found them! The fossils! The Kabuto fossils!"
Archaeologist:  "We found one! We found one! We've just found another Kabuto fossil!"

The Japanese language can be tricky because nouns don't have singular or plural forms by default and so a word like kaseki can mean either (one) fossil or (many) fossils depending on the context. I personally think it makes more sense for everyone to use the plural form fossils here since the archaeologist then proceeds to lead everyone to a cave where there are clearly dozens of the little guys hanging around but I suppose I could also see an argument for keeping the word singular.

Something a bit more clear cut, however, is that the dub's use of the word "another" ("We've just found another Kabuto fossil") is a clear rewrite. If you want to use "another" in Japanese the way the dub does here then you'd probably would have had a phrase like mata (また) or mou hitotsu no (もうひとつの) or hoka no (他の) or any number of other phrases not present in the Japanese original. "We've just found another fossil" implies that this team has found Kabuto fossils before but nothing else in the episode really supports that claim.

After another Kenji catchphrase cover-up (this time kansatsu sasete moraimasu becomes "Hmm...could this be a...") we get an appearance by the Rocket trio:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
レポーター 「またもや我々を襲うスリルとはサスペンス!一体これは何なん だーっ?」
Reporter:  "And once again we're visited by thrills and suspense! What in the world is going on heeeere?"
Reporter:  "Our exclusive report is taking yet another dramatic twist! What could it be this time?"
ムサシ 「何なんだーっかんなんだと聞かれたら」
Musashi:  "If you ask us 'what in the world is going on heeeeere?'"
Jessie:  "Prepare for trouble!"
コジロウ 「答えてあげるが世の情けー」
Kojirou:  "It's up to the world whether or not we answer."
James:  "Make it double!"

For those of you who maybe haven't had the Rocket trio's Japanese motto etched into your hearts since the late 1990s (*cough*), the first line of the Japanese version of the Rocket trio's motto is Nanda kanda to kikaretara, a phrase you'll usually see translated as "If you ask us about this or that." Well, you know how the trio sometimes makes their grand entrance after a big explosion, which in turn prompts some character of the day to exclaim something like "What's going on here!?" A lot of the time Musashi will respond by just saying the regular version of her part of the motto -- "If you ask us about this or that" -- but other times she'll decide to have a little bit of fun with it and actually mock the person (or Pokémon) who just screamed out.

In the case of this episode, for example, Musashi takes the reporter's "What in the world is going on heeeere?" and alters the first line of her motto to make it "If you ask us about this and that 'what in the world is going on heeeere?" Megumi Hayashibara even goes as far as mimic the delivery of the previous actor, as a treat.

I'm not 100% sure but I'm preeeeeetty sure this is the first time ever that Musashi ever does this. She'll go on to do this a countless number of times in the decades that follow, with a lot of Western fans really picking up on this habit at the end of Sun & Moon when Musashi mocks the Ultra Beast who comes to attack the Alola League competition.

The English dub does its own thing where they'll rewrite the first two lines of the motto but I'm not aware of them having Jessie mock the person who just shouted out the way Musashi does.

Team Rocket appears in the cave:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
ムサシ 「ピカチュウを追ってきたらこんなにたくさんの宝の山に出会うなんて超 ハッピー!」
Musashi:  "We came here to get Pikachu only to then come across this absolute mountain of treasure?! How lucky are we?"
Jessie:  "So sorry we can't stay and snipe, but we've got to haul away this beauteous bounty of Kabuto booty."
ニャース 「この化石はニャたちがいただくニャ」
Nyarth:  "We'll be nyabbing these fossils Nya."
Meowth:  "These'll make great doorstops at the Boss' mansion."

And people criticize the Rocket trio's dialogue in the TPCi dub for having too much rhymey alliteration!

Team Rocket makes their escape:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
ムサシ 「あはははん!カブトの化石はいただいていくよ~」
Musashi:  "Ah ha ha ha! We'll be taking these Kabuto fossils and be on our way now!"
Jessie:  "Our behavior is simply a-bomb-inable, isn't it? Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

Let's be honest; you didn't need me to tell you that "our behavior is simply a-bomb-inable" was a 4Kids rewrite, did you?

The Rocket trio admire the view:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
コジロウ 「大漁!大漁!」
Kojirou:  "What a haul!"
James:  "We won the shell game."
ニャース 「いい感じニャ~」
Nyarth:  "What a great feeling Nya~!"
Meowth:  "Success at last."
ムサシ 「真っ赤なお月様もあたしたち応援してるわ」
Musashi:  "Even that red moon over there's cheering us on."
Jessie:  "Even that red moonlight can't stop us now."

The moon is the trio's friend in the Japanese version but their sworn enemy in the English one, I guess...?

The great disaster starts:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
ジョーイ 「もしかしてこの島はカブトの化石の上にできてるんじゃあ…」
Joy:  "Can it be...this island's sitting on the top of the Kabuto fossils..."
Joy:  "This whole island must have built up around the fossilized Kabuto."
ケンジ 「だとすると…」
Kenji:  "Then that means..."
Tracey:  "Then that means..."
ジョーイ 「この島はもうすぐ沈む!」
Joy:  "It's only a matter of time before this whole island sinks into the ocean!"
Joy:  "The island is breaking apart!"
サトシとカスミ 「ええっ!」
Satoshi and Kasumi:  "Eh!?"
Ash and Misty:  (screams)

Earlier I mentioned how 4Kids changed the prophecy and that in the original version, the "great disaster" that was foretold was shrouded in mystery. Maybe a fire? An earthquake? A plague, perhaps? Nobody knew what was going to happen, and so when the island starts to sink our heroes, understandably, start to freak out.

In the dubbed version, however, everyone already knows that the island was going to sink because its version of the prophecy was way more specific. They're all still surprised because let's face it,
an island sinking into the sea is a shocking event regardless of whether or not you know about it in advance. But the Japanese version has all of that in addition to the surprise of everyone finding out just what the "great disaster" was in the first place, making this big reveal even more impactful.

So how do we get off the island?

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
隊員 A 「船で脱出しましょう!」
Party Member A:  "Let's use the boats to escape!"
Archaeologist A:  "Let's head for the boat and get out of here!"
隊員 B 「だが!この暗さで船なら入り江に戻れるのか?」 Party Member B:  "That won't work! Do you really think we'd be able to make it back to this bay in this darkness?"
Archaeologist B:  "We can't. The boat's too far away. There's nowhere we can run to."
タドコロ 「森じゃ!大いなる災いが起きたとき、人は森に向かう!そしてイカダ を作るのじゃ!」
Tadokoro:  "The forest! When the great disaster occurred, the people headed into the forest! And then they built a raft!"
Umberto:  "The forest. The prophecy says, 'When the sea comes to swallow you flee to the forest. Build rafts and save yourselves."

Umberto's "The prophecy says..." part is a dub invention. But also, if this was a part of the prophecy all along then why wouldn't he have said so back when he was dramatically reciting it? Seems like the kind of thing you'd probably want to leave in, right?

Our heroes make a run for it:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
ジョーイ 「行くわよみんな!」
Joy:  "Let's go everybody!"
Ash:  "Hurry!"
みんな 「おっー!」
Everyone:  "Right!"
レポーター 「こうなったら気合と根性で取材を!」
Reporter:  "Alright everybody, we've still got a job to do! Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work!"
Reporter:  "Have you seen my makeup kit?"
テレビクルー 「おっー!」
TV Crew:  "Roger!"
TV Crew:  "I think it's on the boat!"

Haha, it's funny because sexism!

As everyone else works their asses off to make a raft:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
レポーター 「場面はいよいよクライマックス!果たして我々の運命はいかに?」
Reporter:  "We've finally reached the climax of our adventure! What will be our ultimate fate?"
Reporter:  "This is even more exciting than my two-part special report on Kadabra's spoon removal."

Part One:  "Hey Kadabra, let me have your spoon."
Part Two: "OK we got its spoon, all we really had to do was just grab it from out of its hand."


Side Note
For some reason the noises the Kabuto make as they swim off into the distance at the end of the episode are all muted from the dub.

The Pokémon's cries are left in pretty much every other scene in the episode so having them removed from this one scene, and this one scene only, is certainly odd.

Dialogue Edit
The episode's ending narration:

Japanese (original)
Japanese (translated)
English Dub
ナレーション 「こうらポケモン・カブトは生きていた。その謎と不思議はサトシ たちにとって貴重な体験となった。そして、サトシたちの旅はさらに続くのである」
Narrator:  "The Shellfish Pokémon, Kabuto, is still alive. For Satoshi and his friends, getting to see this mystery and marvel first-hand was an invaluable experience. And now, Satoshi and his friends' journey will continue onwards."
Narrator:  "And so, another mystery of the Pokémon world is revealed. What new surprises lie ahead for our heroes? Who knows? But they're out there. They're out there."

If 4Kids is so tired of having to come up with lines for the narrator, as evident by the opening and ending narration of this episode here, then may I suggest something daring? How about -- and hear me out, now -- the original dialogue just gets translated, as-is, instead of rewritten from the ground up? Because that seems like it'd be a lot less work to me.

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This page was last updated on June 6th, 2021




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