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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Orange Islands
Japanese Episode 097: "The Honor of Strike the Warrior"
American Episode 243: "Tracey Gets Bugged"
Pokémon Dare Da? Strike (Japan), Pinsir (English)
Dr. Ookido's Pokémon Course: Arbo
Japanese Air Date: May 20th, 1999
American Air Date: April 1st, 2000
Important Places: Murcott Island (Murcott Island)
his friends make a stop at Murcott Island so that Kenji can observe the
Bug-Type Pokémon said to be inhabiting the island. Our heroes
walk through the island's forests, meeting all sorts of Bug-Types, when
they come across a badly injured Strike. The Mantis Pokémon
doesn't seem to want to accept Kenji's help and so the Pokémon
Watcher has no choice but to use a Monster Ball to get the
Pokémon and then carry it to a nearby Pokémon Center. As
Strike is lying in recovery, the local Joy recognizes her patient as
the former leader of a nearby congregation of Strike. She explains that
the Pokémon was chased away for being too old and feeble and
guesses it's probably trying to find some way to regain its honor.
Later, Strike breaks out of its room and returns to its congregation
only to find they've all been captured by the Rocket-Dan! Kenji's
Strike frees its fellow Mantis Pokémon from their net and then
decides to take on the Rocket trio all by itself. It holds its own for
a while, insisting that it battle alone, but it eventually allows the
new leader of the congregation to step in and finish the battle
together. With the group of Strike now safe, Kenji's Strike earns the
respect of its former congregation while also learning to respect the
Trainer who worked so hard to protect it. Our heroes bid Murcott Island
farewell, ready to travel the rest of the Orange Islands.
Hey look everybody, Kenji finally gets himself a new Pokémon! And it's only taken him...now wait just a minute here. It's been thirteen episodes!? You're telling me Kenji's debut was thirteen episodes ago and he's only just now getting a new Pokémon!? And hold on..."The Honor of Strike the Warrior" also marks the first time we ever get to see Kenji in an actual on-screen Pokémon battle!?!? What!?
This is absolutely wild to me. Kenji's been on the show a quarter of a year in real world time and yet we're only just now seeing him getting around to doing the things that everybody else in the show Pokémon does! What in the world were they waiting for!? I'm thinking back to the last two plus decades of this show and I don't think we've ever had any other traveling companion of age (sorry Masato and Eureka!) be as late a bloomer as Mr. Pokémon Watcher here.
This is also the episode
where Kenji finds out that Kasumi has a fear of bugs. This is something
else that might seem really late until you realize he wouldn't have had
reason to know this since she's been perfectly find around his Kongpang
all this time. Why would he assume Kasumi has anything against
Bug-Type Pokémon when the giant fly monster he travels around
with doesn't seem to elicit any sort of reaction from her whatsoever?
episode would've been the perfect time to bring this up but I guess
screenplay writer Atsuhiro Tomioka thought it was kind of too late to
try to start addressing that now.
Thankfully, the Rocket trio is here to help salvage this otherwise pedestrian episode. Musashi getting so upset over something like an unexpected haircut is absolute comedy gold, and Megumi Hayashibara does a phenomenal job bringing the character's ups and downs to life. The trio is just so, so good in this. There are a lot of episodes that would have been absolute chores to sit through if it weren't for the Rocket trio and this episode here is a perfect example of that.
The only other noteworthy
thing about this episode to me is how absolutely rough it looks,
animation-wise. There are a few good looking cuts in this, sure, and I
recognize that animating a fairly long battle where you have all five Rocket-Dan Pokémon
going up against a bunch of Strike is no easy feat. But the powers that
be had to go and schedule this episode the week after that amazing Asada / Iwane combo we just got, making the
whole thing look worse in comparison.
A lot of Pokémon fans have this
idea that Pokémon just go around saying their names, and while
that is true for a significant number of them it's also true that this
more of a thing in the English dub than it is in the Japanese original.
Take Strike, for instance. Kenji's Strike emits a bunch of low-pitched
only sometimes emitting sounds that sorta-kinda sound like one of
syllables in its name. But in the English dub, Eric Stuart just steps
in the booth and says "Scyther" a bunch of times, perfectly
enunciating each and every syllable as if he's auditioning for a radio
play or something. The same thing happens with a bunch of the other
Bug-Type Pokémon in the episode as well. "Weedle~!" "Venomoth!"
"Metapod, Metapod!"...they all sound very much like actors in a
recording booth reciting Pokémon names. You do get this
sometimes with the Japanese version, yes, I'm not denying that. But
more often than not the
actors in the original actually put in the effort to make their voices
sound like actual animal cries and not just a bunch of actors in a
studio, something I can't really say about some of their dub
If you're Dogasu, someone
who's been doing Pokémon
episode comparisons for the better part of 20
years, you start to notice little patterns about the English dub that your
average fan probably wouldn't even bat an eyelash at. For example, the
opening narration. If what the narrator says in the English dub is
faithful to what's in the Japanese original then good news, you're
about to enjoy an episode with a relatively accurate script! But if
it's a random rewrite, or -- like in the case of this episode, the
exact opposite of what he says in the original -- then I'd better
buckle in because they got the rewrite-happy writer to work on this one.
Tracey is excited about
visiting the island:
Kenji brings up this idea that the island might be home to some undiscovered Bug-Type Pokémon (Rediba had already been revealed by this point, thanks to the Movie 2 promotion, so it's not a stretch to think it could've made a cameo here) but 4Kids removes Kenji's suggestion for some reason.
Also, "bug element Pokémon" sounds like the type of weird turn of phrase you'd hear in an early Season One episode, back before they had solidified which phrases they were going to use.
Tracey learns a basic fact about a friend he's been traveling around with for the past thirteen episodes:
The whole "get a real
taste of Pokémon Watching" thing gets removed from the dub in
favor of some rather uneventful filler dialogue.
"Um...why is the camera
suddenly focusing on us now?" wonders Marill and Venonat. "Nobody
us at all!"
After the episode's title screen, Tracey spots a group of Caterpie:
OK first of all, "a"
Caterpie? Some Watcher you
are, Tracey; you're clearly staring at
like half a dozen of the
And then there's Kasumi's
line. I've chosen to render mushi wa
mushi as "bugs really bug me." It literally means "to ignore
bugs," with the Japanese word for "ignore" (mushi) sounding identical to the
Japanese word for "bug" (mushi),
but that doesn't really work in English and so I replaced it with a
similar bug pun instead.
After Misty's encounter
with Pinsir, Tracey talks about how great his Pokémon are:
Um...Venonat isn't a
Bug-Type, Misty? Are you sure about that?
Ash scans Scyther with
The part about Strike
using its blades to hunt prey gets rewritten for the dub.
The Rocket trio get shot
Musashi's rather normal
observation gets replaced with a pun about falling from the sky.
Over at the
Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy updates our heroes on Scyther's
The Japanese version's
"it'll probably take a while" gets turned into the much more specific
going to take a few days" for the English dub.
Nurse Joy explains
Kenji's Scyther's backstory:
Wow, they just completely
rewrote Joy's line here, didn't they? The dub line is fine and is in-character enough, I
guess, but you know what? So was the Japanese original!
Nurse Joy continues to
tell these random kids about the history of their neighborhood giant
There are a lot of
differences here, but the biggest one is the part where Kasumi more or
less confirms that Kenji's Strike is a male by referring to it as a
Tracey gets advice from
First; Dr. Ookido refers to Strike as senshi (戦士), or "warriors." The word senshi will be used several times throughout the episode to describe Kenji's Pokémon, and while the dub keeps it a few times (Ash's "A Scyther's a natural born warrior" after the Rocket scene below) it rewrites it more often than not.
Also, "And then it was captured by you" feels like a pretty sick burn from Professor Oak! Originally, it's just the fact that it was gotten that has Strike upset; Kenji being the one to do so had nothing to do with it.
Finally, Dr. Ookido's advice is to get to know your Pokémon while Professor Oak's advice is just to cheer it up.
Outside, the Rocket trio gets away from the congregation of Scyther:
The dub's actually been getting better about keeping in death-related words in recent episodes ("kill" was used both in the previous episode and will be used in the next one) so seeing it get censored out of this one is a bit odd.
Jessie finds out her hair
got chopped off:
This right here is one of the highlights of the episode for me. The way Megumi Hayashibara screams "Musashi Strikes Back!" in English is just about the funniest thing ever. It also works as a play on words; "Musashi Strikes Back!" is obviously very similar to the title of the first Pocket Monsters movie, but it also contains the word "Strike," as in the Mantis Pokémon this episode's all about.
The English dub replaces this with "I'm gonna get that Scyther!"
Hey look, the Pokémon used in the English version's eyecatch this week actually appears in the episode!
That's something, right?
The Rocket trio round up the congregation of Scyther:
"Birdlime" is a type of glue trap used here in the real world to trap birds out in the wild. Its widespread use has threatened to drive many bird species to extinction and so many world governments have been trying to outlaw it the last few decades.
Your average 10-year-old American kid probably has no idea what "birdlime" is and so 4Kids simplified this weapon to just "goo."
Back at the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy unwraps Scyther's bandages:
Is this Mantis Pokémon almost better or does it still have a way to go? Depends on what version of the show you're watching, apparently!
In 4Kids' defense, the Japanese line appears to contradict what we'll see in the very next scene, where Strike can't even fly a few meters without having to stop to catch its breath, so I can sort of understand the logic behind this particular dub change.
Scyther runs away:
Whoa, get a load of Ash's bloodlust here! He can't wait to see this old, weak mantis thing get mauled to death!
Nurse Joy says goodbye to the episode:
The implication in the Japanese version here is that our heroes return to the Pokémon Center after the events of this episode, something we don't get in the English dub.
On the other hand, the English version is much nicer to Nurse Joy here, having Misty actually acknowledge her instead of just running off without so much as a goodbye.
Meanwhile, Jessie is going through it.
I had assumed Musashi's "beautiful black hair" line was meant to be a parody of something (some old movie? cartoon?) but the fact that the Anime Film Comic version of this episode changes Nyarth's reaction here to "But her hair's red, not black" (黒髪じゃな くて赤髪ニャ) tells me it maybe isn't a parody and is just be a case of Musashi being completely delusional.
Our heroes finally get a glimpse of Jessie with her new hairstyle, which prompts them to recite a modified version of their motto:
I imagine that when it comes to these motto variations, 4Kids looks at the general theme of the Japanese version (in this case, "hair") and then just lets its writers loose, free to write whatever the hell they want with little to no regard to staying faithful to the original. I'm guessing this is the case because if you look at it line by line basically nothing's the same between the two versions.
Our heroes react:
Musashi's line is a pun; in the original she takes the regular word for "mantis," kamakiri (カマキリ), and changes the second letter from "ma" to "mi" to make kamikiri (カミキリ) mushi, literally "hair clipper bug." Since that doesn't quite work as a pun in English I rendered it as "betraying mantis" in my translation above.
Most of the rest of the episode is a battle, which thankfully means there's very little dialogue for 4Kids to rewrite. However, we do get a few changes. The first one comes after Tracey explains how it defeated Victreebel by figuring out it's going to use Razor Leaf:
This isn't a rewrite, per se, but it can be considered a mistake since Jessie refers to Arbok's attack not by its officially localized name, "Poison Sting," but by a direct translation of its Japanese name dokubari instead.
This next one comes after the other Scyther step in to help Tracey's Pokémon:
This, on the other hand, is a completely different attack altogether! The attack Kenji calls out is Cut, not Slash.
The Rocket trio is defeated:
The jokes here are completely different, aren't they!
Finally, the narrator ends the episode with a baffling little monologue:
What in the world is the narrator in the English version even talking about? "We can find those same things, but only if we look"...that's what 4Kids wants us to take away from this episode? Based on...what now, exactly?
This page was last updated on September 1st, 2022
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