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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region
Japanese Episode 026: "Erika and Kusaihana"
American Episode 125: "Pokemon Scent-sation"
Pokemon Dare Da? Kusaihana
Japanese Air Date: September 23rd, 1997
American Air Date: October 12th, 1998
Important Characters: Erika (Erika), Sato-chan (Ashley)
Important Places: Tamamushi City (Celadon City)
Satoshi and his friends have now arrived in Tamamushi City! As our heroes walk around the city, Kasumi becomes enamored with a perfume shop while Takeshi drools over the store's staff. Satoshi tells everyone that he thinks perfume is useless, prompting the shop staff to lecture him before kicking him out of the store. Satoshi says that he doesn't care about that shop anyway and heads off to the Gym to battle the Gym Leader, but the girls working at the Gym refuse to let him in! Apparently, the perfume shop had contacted the Tamamushi City Gym and had told the staff not to let him in because he hated perfume so much. Meanwhile, the Rocket-Dan break into the Gym to steal a rare perfume that's supposed to be inside, but they are thrown out as well. Eventually, Satoshi comes across the Rocket trio and is told that they know a way to get him into that gym. Satoshi reluctantly agrees, and before long, he's wearing a wig and a dress! By disguising himself as a girl who likes perfume, Satoshi is able to gain access to the gym and come face-to-face with its Gym Leader, Erika. His cover is blown before long but Erika accepts his challenge anyway, agreeing to a three-on-three battle. After Erika's Monjara paralyzes Satoshi's Fushigidane, the young trainer recalls his pokemon and brings out Hitokage. The fire-type pokemon easily defeats its next opponent, Utsudon, so Erika sends out her final pokemon - Kusaihana. The Gym Battle is interrupted when the Rocket-Dan appear and light off a few bombs, causing a fire that rages throughout the gym. After everyone gets out safely, Erika notices that her Kusaihana is missing and fears that it's still inside. Satoshi doesn't hesitate in running into the gym and retrieving the pokemon, almost getting caught up in the fire in the process. Once the fire is taken care of, Erika gives Satoshi the Rainbow Badge.
disappointing to see how rushed this part of the series is when you
consider the potential here. I mean...Tamamushi City is one of
the biggest cities in the Kanto region, yet in the TV series, all we
get to see is a
perfume shop and a gym. Couldn't they have spent a few episodes
inside the city instead of immediately moving on to a filler-only town
instead? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
I'm also not a
huge fan of Erika handing her badge over because it's yet another cheap Kanto badge that
Satoshi kind of earned but didn't really. Remember how Satoshi
hesitated about taking the badge Takeshi gave him even though he didn't
*actually* win that battle? Because it looks like the sense of
hesitation on display there has completely vanished by this
point. If I was in
charge, I would have had Satoshi reject it and insist on a
rematch. Then, the next episode could have been devoted solely to
the Gym Battle (with, say, a Rocket-Dan subplot involving the Game
Corner to keep them busy) and Satoshi would have won through actually defeating his opponent in a
pokemon battle. Crazy, I know.
The thing is -
other than all that stuff I female dogged about, I actually enjoyed the
episode. Satoshi having to dress up as a girl to get
into a Gym is something we don't see everyday, and the way the whole
thing was handled was pretty hilarious. I also thought it was
clever how the pokemon Kusaihana kept defeating with its stench
(Dogas, Betobeto) are the very pokemon you wouldn't expect to succumb to bad
smell - I mean, Kusaihana stinks so bad that a ball full of toxic gas
and a creature that's basically living sludge can't handle its
This episode also
had some references to anybody who's a fan of Japanese girls'
cartoons. I think the most obvious example is the Revolutionary Girl Utena-esque
The perfume girls
and Girl Scouts who help Erika out are also, apparently, supposed to
resemble the main characters from the girls' show Wedding Peach. Compare this picture
took of the girls from this episode of Pocket Monsters with the images on this
fansite for Wedding Peach
and judge for yourself. Personally, I only think one of the girls look similar, but
maybe some of you can look around and see something I'm not. Both
Pocket Monsters and Wedding Peach were directed by
Kunihiko Yuyama, and Hikami Kyouko,
the voice actress who provides Erika's voice in the Japanese version,
also did the voice of the titular character in Wedding Peach.
Monjara and Utsudon keep their Japanese voices.Paint Edit
The first shot of the episode doesn't have any edits to it, which is surprising since you can see the word Purin, written in English letters, beside a picture of a Purin (Jigglypuff). Guess 4Kids thought it went by too quickly for people to notice or something.
Then again, the paint edit on the sign hanging from the ceiling behind this girl's pigtail goes by pretty quickly too:
The next shot tampered with is the one in which Kasumi
sniffs the perfume that was just applied to her. The Japanese
text here says "This year's color is this flower color."
The very next shot has two
edits. The smaller paint edit is a little ridiculous since all we
see in the Japanese version are mere squiggles.
The next shot has four edits. Can you spot them all?
And one more shot inside the perfume shop.
Click on each
image to view a larger version.
I mean...I've mentioned the whole "missing the tree for the
forest" edits this show's been doing several
But I feel like bringing it up again. I mean, come on, 4Kids...if
you're going to insist on Americanizing everything, you should at least
do it right. Don't half-ass it.
Theeeeeere we go. Now there's
something American kids can understand!
These text paint edits really are ridiculous, huh?
really do anything like this for the English version. English
doesn't have an equivalent, but a close enough approximation of keigo can be done - you'd just have
to have Erika address Ash as "Mr. Ketchum" the whole time and avoiding
the use of contractions (cannot instead of can't, for example) and
other slang-y dialogue.
Japanese Erika didn't do was just go into tangents for no reason:
"Hi. What's your name?" (Erika smiles)
So what's with
that random spelling lesson, Erika? Are you giving an argument or
trying to fire up your local baseball team?
Erika's dialogue made a little bit more sense; in the Japanese version,
she simply responds (angrily) at Satoshi's claim that perfume is
"meaningless" (意味がない) by telling him that it helps relax people, gives
them energy, and gives people peace of mind.
4Kids' line kind of does the same, but the way
it's so awkwardly handled makes it feel like there should be another
line squeezed in there somewhere in order to set it all up.
Later, at the Gym:
Girl Scout: "I
wouldn't let you in if you were the last Pokémon trainer on
whole "But this show doesn't take place on Earth! It takes place
in its own world!!" thing for a minute, the reason I brought this line
up is because this isn't really a translation of what was said in the
Japanese version. Originally, the girl scout tells Satoshi that
the perfume shop had called them and told them about how he doesn't
like perfume. She then says that the Gym Leader has since ordered
them not to let this trainer (Satoshi, of course) come in.
dub, by contrast, kind of just has the girl scouts already know about Ash without any
A few lines
later, Ash calls the Gym Leader a "Gym Master." Weird. For
those of you wondering, Satoshi uses the correct terminology.
Now, for some
Team Rocket stuff.
we break inside, we'll steal the secret formula for their
perfume. Then I'll be as irresistible as Cleopatra!"
Two things here;
one, Jessie's mention of real-life figure Cleopatra is dub-only.
Two, is it just me, or does Eric Stuart sound like he's trying to do
his best Snagglepuss
impersonation with this line?
Also, that shot
of Meowth with all the boxes that say CAT FOOD on it? It was like
that in the Japanese version as well. 4Kids' digital paint didn't
touch that shot at all.
After the Rockets
meet up with Kusaihana:
smells like old sneakers, mixed with some rotten eggs, and dead fish
with just a hint of skunk fumes."
In the Japanese
version, Kojirou states that the gas smells like "nattou mixed with the smell of
socks that have never been taken off for one whole year with a hint of
garlic." The nattou
reference I can see taking out, but the rest of it would have
translated over just fine.
Later, we get one
of the dub's more memorable lines due to an untranslatable Japanese pun:
nose feels like it's on fire!"
In Japanese, the
word hana can mean two
things. It can mean "flower" (written as 花), like the hana in Kusaihana's name, but it
can also mean "nose" (written as 鼻). Either way, it's pronounced
the same way, and you're supposed to use context clues to figure out
which meaning the speaker's going for.
In the Japanese
version, Nyasu is freaking out like everyone else because of
Kusaihana's stench. Then, Musashi mentions the word hana (as in "flower"), and that
gets Nyasu to start thinking about his own hana ("nose"). The rest of
the scene plays out the same, more or less, except Nyasu doesn't
mention anything about the cartoonists not drawing him a nose - he just
states that he simply doesn't have one without breaking the fourth
The flower / nose
thing will be repeated at the end of the episode after the Rocket-Dan
open the extract of Kusaihana that they had stolen from the gym.
Click on each
image to view a larger version.
As you can see,
4Kids actually erased some of the banners altogether.
The first banner
on the left just has unintelligible scribbling on it, the next one over
(the blue one) says "Bargain PK" (as in PoKemon), the next one (pink)
says "Sale" along with some scribbling, and the fourth one there says
PK (Pokemon) with some scribbling on it. The sign on the side of
the building there just has a bunch of scribbles on it.
Meowth: "Just one question: what am I supposed to do with this blaster ball?"
So "bomb" is a
bad word now? We have to use "blaster ball?"
4Kids is weird sometimes.
The image of Kusaihana used for the eyecatch is a little different in each version:
Click on each image to view a larger version.
It looks like 4Kids added some "snot" to the area where Gloom's nose would be? Um...what?
When Ashley is introduced to Erika:
Girl Scout: "Trainer Erika!
Girl Scout: "I'd like to introduce our new student!"
Kind of implies that Erika's running a school here, doesn't it?
In the Japanese version, they just say shinjin (新人), which can mean "new applicant" or "new person."
The next line is one that I've seen brought up by fans
Erika: "I accept your challenge. It's my duty under the league rules."
Japanese Erika doesn't mention anything about any "league rules." I doubt the whole idea that Gym Leaders "have to" accept any challenges that come their way is some kind of formal rule - I'll bet it's just one of those things that's just kind of expected of Gym Leaders.
Either way, it's obvious that Erika doesn't really care about the rules because she spends half the episode not accepting Satoshi's challenge. So whatever.
Later, we get a line uttered during the fire scene that's just cheesy beyond belief:
Girl Scout: "We've gotta catch em' all!"
it? That's what they say...in.....the........show. Ha.
Finally, the dub
adds a bit of information that isn't present in the Japanese version:
deep gratitude, I present you with this Rainbow Badge."
In the Japanese
version, Erika doesn't say the "with deep gratitude" part. She
just gives the badge to Satoshi without really explaining what she's
giving it to him for.
Not that he cares
or anything since early Kanto Satoshi just takes whatever badges he can
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