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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Jouto Region

Japanese Episode 122
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 120:  "Donphan's Valley!"
English Episode 315:  "Roll On, Pokémon!"
Pokemon Dare Da?   Donphan (Japanese), Hoothoot (English)
Orchid-Hakase Pokemon Lecture:  Fushigibana
Japanese Air Date:  November 4th, 1999
American Air Date:  November 4th, 2000
Important Characters:  Hiiragi (Rochelle)

On their way to the next city, Satoshi and his friends reach a valley.  After experiencing a landslide, our heroes come across a Donphan.  Takeshi and Satoshi both make an attempt to capture the elephant pokemon, but their battle is interrupted when a young woman named Hiiragi appears.  She tells the trainers that the Donphan belongs to her.  Later, she explains that the Donphan - along with other Donphan in the area - have been trained to sniff out a mineral called agate.  Hiiragi eventually leaves our heroes, asking them not to try to capture any more Donphan.  The Rocket-Dan, meanwhile, overhear a different group of people talking about the Donphan and decide to capture the pokemon for themselves.  They happen to come across Hiiragi and her Donphan, so they overtake the young girl and kidnap Donphan for themselves!  Hiiragi escapes and seeks out Satoshi-tachi and for help, and before long, the trainers come face-to-face with the Rocket trio.  A battle begins, but the Rocket-Dan is quickly defeated.  Later, Hiiragi gives a demonstration of the Donphan's agate finding abilities, and our heroes determine that the landslide they had experienced earlier was a result of the pokemon's search.  Hiiragi then asks if there's any way to repay Satoshi, and he responds by asking for a rematch against her Donphan.  Satoshi's Heracross and Hiiragi's Donphan battle it out for a while, but Hiiragi's pokemon eventually comes out the winner.  Satoshi thanks Hiiragi for the battle before resuming his journey, happy with the experiences he was able to gain.

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first filler episode of the Jouto region!

And you know what's weird?  I actually liked this episode a lot more than that non-filler episode about Heracross we just had.

I couldn't really put my finger on why I didn't like the previous episode, and this time, I'm having the opposite problem; I can't really figure out why I do like this episode.  There are a few things that stick out to me, for sure.  We actually get to see Takeshi randomly step up and decide that he wants to catch a pokemon.  And then, we see him battle not once, but two times in the same episode!  And then, if that's not enough, Kasumi got a little screentime as well.

But the rest of it?  Eh...I can't say I cared.  I mean, an elephant finding rocks is kind of unique, I guess, but it's not all that interesting.  And yet, I enjoy this episode anyway.  It's weird.

The dubbed version has a lot of rewrites.  That's not really anything new, but in this episode, the rewrites actually eliminate a few plot points from the Japanese version.  Whoops.  The script writers for this episode also have this nasty habit of making everyone act all stuck up and out-of-character for good chunks of the episode. 

Donphan keeps its Japanese voice.

Dialogue Edit
The first dialogue thingee happens while Satoshi and Takeshi are arguing about who should capture Donphan.

Ash:  "I'll help it grow!"
Brock:  "Don't be selfish, Ash.  Think of what's best for that Donphan!"
Ash:  "I'm what's best for that Donphan!"

Originally, Takeshi brings up the fact that Satoshi just caught a Heracross and that he should step aside and give him a chance.  Satoshi then responds that he should be the one to catch it because he saw it first.

I really have no idea why 4Kids would rewrite this.

The dub keeps mispronouncing Donphan's name, something that drove me up the wall this entire episode.  I mean...the pokemon keeps pronouncing it as dohn-fahn throughout the whole freakin' episode, yet all the humans in the dub go around calling it dawn-fan.  Did 4Kids not listen to the way the pokemon pronounced its own name?  Gah.

Moving on...

You know the mineral that Hiiragi is having the Donphan look for?  Well, the dub calls it amberite while, in the Japanese version, the mineral is actually agate (メノウ).  What's weird is that Tracey West's novelization of this episode got the mineral name correct.

Rochelle:  "I should go, but please don't try to catch any more Donphan here because they belong to me."

Not quite, Rochelle.  Originally, Hiiragi tells Satoshi and his friends not to try to capture any more Donphan because they all have trainers.  Which kind of implies that they belong to other people.

Later, Nyasu tells Musashi and Kojirou how he found out about Donphan's ability to find agate.  In the dub, Meowth says that they were at a "rest stop on the mountain" while in the original, he identifies the place as an odango shop.  Hence the odango that he's eating throughout this scene.

And is it me, or were the two guys talking about the amberite being really, really cheesy in the delivery of their lines?  Were the actors really that bad?  Or were they just having fun at the overly clunky and expositional dialogue they were given?

Later, we swap out one idiom for another:

Jessie:  "And we owe our success to the brilliant plan of our favorite Pokémon Meowth!  Haha!  You're a genius, Meowth!"
James:  "What's with the fan?"
Jessie:  "It's for all this hot air."

In the Japanese version, Musashi says that they'll be living the good life soon.  She does this by repeating the Japanese idiom hidari uchiwa.  The book Japanese Business Language - The Essential Dictionary can explain this far better than I ever could:

The samurai of feudal days were constantly on the alert against surprise attacks and always kept their right hand free so that they could make a quick grab for their sword.  Thus, to cool himself in the hot summer, he used a fan (uchi-wa) with his left (hidari) hand.  From this, hidari-uchiwa came to be used to mean "be prepared for the unexpected", "to have something in reserve", and then "to have presence of mind, composure" and finally "to live without worries, comfortably".

Thus, it is the dream of all Japanese salaried workers to achieve the state of hidari-uchiwa - a life of comfort and ease, with a house of his own, sufficient money in the bank, pension, childrena ll grown up, and no worries of any kind.

Kojirou's line, in the original version, has him telling Musashi that the fan that she's holding in that scene is actually in her right hand, not her left.  Since none of this would have made any sense to the dub's target audience, they swapped out that Japanese idiom for the "hot air" one.

After Team Rocket's dealt with:

Brock:  "I guess you must be pretty impressed by us."
Rochelle:  "Oh I am Brock.  You were all amazing.  But the one I fell in love with...was Pikachu, naturally."

Originally, Takeshi isn't nearly as full of himself as Brock is.  He simply tells Hiiragi that he's happy that the pokemon were safe.  Then, Hiiragi replies by saying that the ones she wanted to thank for defeating the Rocket-Dan was Satoshi-kun-tachi ("Satoshi-kun and his friends").  Pikachu isn't mentioned at all.

Brock:  "Uh...what do you do with all the amberite after you find it, Rochelle?"
Rochelle:  "Lots of artists and craftspeople live nearby.  They make their living carving statues and jewelry from amberite.  So they count on me to supply it and luckily, my Donphan are strong enough to find it."

Here, Takeshi asks Hiiragi why she has the Donphan look for agate in the first place.  She replies by telling him that the people from her village (watashi-tachi no mura) have been making sculptures out of the agate for a long time and that they need the Donphan to help gather the raw materials for them.

So basically, the dub omits the fact that Rochelle is from the same place as the artists she's helping.

One more thing worth mentioning:

Ash:  "Oh...you sure put up a great battle."
Heracross:  "Hera..."
Rochelle:  "Especially against an experienced Donphan like mine."
Ash:  "That's true.  We just need...a little more training."

In the Japanese version, Satoshi asks his pokemon if it's OK.  Then, Hiiragi steps in and says that it looks like she won.

I don't like the English version of this scene because it makes Rochelle sound a lot more stuck up than she should.  You just beat a little pre-teen at a pokemon battle, ma'am; there's no need for you to start bragging about how experienced you are. 


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