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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 022
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 022:
"Cayce!  The Supernatural Showdown!"
American Episode 121:  "Abra and the Psychic Showdown"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Cayce
Japanese Air Date:  August 26th, 1997
American Air Date:  October 6th, 1998
Important Characters:  Natsume (Sabrina)
Important Places:  Yamabuki City (Saffron City), Shion Town (Lavender Town)

Satoshi-tachi have finally arrived in Yamabuki City!  When they get there they are greeted by the Rocket-Dan, who promptly kidnap Satoshi's Pikachu.  There doesn't seem to be any way for Satoshi and his friends to retrieve it until a little girl shows up and, using her psychic powers, rescues Pikachu.  The girl then teleports Satoshi-tachi to the city's pokemon gym, where Satoshi wastes no time in challenging the gym leader Natsume.  Natsume's psychic-type Yungeller is much too powerful for Satoshi's Pikachu, so Natsume gains an easy victory.  The little girl from before, who had been sitting in Natsume's lap during the battle, decides that the consequence for Satoshi's loss is to "play" with her.  So, she uses her powers to shrink Satoshi-tachi and then transports them all into a doll house!  Satoshi-tachi are about to be crushed by a ball thrown by the the little girl when a mysterious bearded man appears and teleports them away.  Once they get to safety, the man tells Satoshi that there's a slim chance that Satoshi can beat Nastume's psychic pokemon if he comes back with a ghost-type pokemon from Shion Town.  With that, Satoshi sets off to get a pokemon that will help him defeat the powerful Gym Leader.  Will his strategy work?  To be continued!

Yup, time for another gym leader battle, and with Natsume we get the most fleshed-out gym leader battle (other than Takeshi and Kasumi, of course) in the Kanto region.  The anime pretty much completely reimagined Natsume from the ground up, and while some purists could be upset that the anime took so many liberties with the character, I honestly don't think the decision was a bad one.  The Gym Leaders, especially in those early Red/Green days, were pretty damn uninteresting as it was, so any attempt to give them a backstory or unique quirk is A-OK with me.

As for the episode itself, we get a number of great moments.  The warp tiles bit was a nice nod to the games and is possibly (though unconfirmed!) appearance of the Silph Company from the games.  Gotta take what we can get, I guess.  And how about that dollhouse nudity, huh?  Don't see that everyday, do you?  I also enjoyed seeing all the psychics in the room and still wonder, to this day, what the hell ever happened to those guys.  Especially inexplicable Russian accent in the dub guy.

One thing I tried to research but couldn't find an answer to was why that aforementioned psychic dude was wearing a surgical mask.  I know that in Japan, surgical masks are worn by people who have colds as a way to prevent others from catching it, but I'm not sure if it has any specific meaning within the psychic community or if it's a reference to some obscure Japanese cultural thing that I'm just not getting.  The only thing I found was this article instructing psychics how to prevent colds by creating a surgical mask with their auras, but I really don't think that's what the anime producers were going for.

What we can be sure of, though, are the origins of the pokemon used in this episode.  Cayce ("Abra" in the English version) is most likely based on Egar Cayce, a psychic who was famous for going into trances in order to give readings.  Meanwhile Yungeller ("Kadabra") is most likely based on Uri Geller, a psychic who's famous for bending spoons with his mind.  Any of that ring a bell?  The latter would eventually go on to sue Nintendo but would lose, by the way. 

The dubbed version has a few Japanese text cover-ups, but that's about it.  Lisa Oritz's Sabrina is surprisingly good but is overshadowed by the horrible laugh of the little girl.  GOOD GOD her laugh is painful.

Cayce keeps its Japanese voice - sort of.  It's Japanese voice is heard in the dub, but they also have some guy say "Abra~" over the voice at the same time.  Weird.

Paint Edit
In the shot that pans down Yamabuki City (right before Satoshi-tachi go through the city's entrance), the arch above the entrance gets changed.  The edit's pretty difficult to see in the images below, so you'll want to click on them to view them full size.

Can't really be too upset about this edit, really.

Dialogue Edit
A lot of the dialogue during the Team Rocket scenes is pretty poorly translated.

When Satoshi and his friends are first congratulated by the Rocket-Dan, Satoshi says something like "I definitely may be dumb, but there's something weird about getting congratulated by strangers!"  In the dub, Ash isn't nearly as self deprecating.

Lastly, there's all this talk about Team Rocket and them trying to have a TV show ("The Prepare for Trouble and Make it Double" show) with the twerps guessing that it'll be canceled.  That whole dialogue is dub-only; originally, they just say that part of their motto (Nanda kanda to kikare bla bla bla) with the kids commenting about how boring their routine is getting.

Paint Edit
When the Rocket-Dan change from their costumes to their uniforms, the text that flashes on screen, しばらくお待ちください ("Please Wait a Moment") gets translated.

Click on each image to view a larger version.

Later, when Takeshi takes a bite out of the plastic cake, the word カキ ("crunch") appears on the right-hand side.  This is erased by 4Kids.

Click on each image to view a larger version.

Check out the sloppy editing on Brock's left index finger in the English version.  Whoops.

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