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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 031
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 031:  "Full of Digda!"
American Episode 130:  "Dig Those Diglett!"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Digda
Japanese Air Date:  October 28th, 1997
American Air Date:  October 19th, 1998
Important Characters:  Kantoku (???)
Important Places:  Sekichiku City (Fuchsia City), Dam (Gaiva Dam), Ohtsu! Go! (Gaiva Hot Springs Resort)

After deciding to head toward Sekichiku City for Satoshi's next Gym Battle, our heroes begin making their way through the mountain that stands in the way.  As they make their way through, however, they witness a number of construction trucks being overturned!  After meeting with the director of a dam construction project, they learn that the cause of the accidents is the tiny mole pokemon, Digda.  Their actions are making it difficult to complete the construction, so the director calls out to all able Pokemon Trainers to come and exterminate the ground-type pokemon.  Among the large crowd that gathers is Shigeru, who updates Satoshi on the status of his journey.  Eventually, the trainers who had gathered find out that none of their pokemon will come out of their Monster Balls when called.  Shigeru and the others eventually leave, but Satoshi and his friends stick around to figure out why the Digda are causing all this trouble in the first place.  After following the pokemon around for a while, they figure out that they were merely trying to protect the area from the environmental effects the dam's completion would have on the pokemon.  Once the director of the dam learns this, he decides to cancel the construction.  Suddenly, the Rocket-Dan appear and announce that their Dogas and Arbo have evolved!  The trio attacks with Matadogas and Arbok, but they are quickly sent blasting off by Digda and its evolved form, Dugtrio.  With the Digda no longer causing any trouble and the Rocket-Dan dealt with, our heroes resume their journey to Sekichiku City.

I really liked this episode...when I was younger.  But looking back on it now, as a jaded, grumpy old man, I can't say I feel the same way.

I can't say I'm a fan of the way the show dealt with Dogas' and Arbo's evolutions.  An event as big as that was dealt with as if it was something that they hastily threw in to fill time, and I have real problems with that.  And if that wasn't enough, they didn't even power up the pokemon any, instead having them defeated just as easily as they always had been.

If I was in charge, I'd have given them the entire episode.  But then again, I may be a little biased considering my screenname and all.

Another thing that bothered me about this one is the moral they tried to shove down our throats.  The basic message of the episode is that "dams = bad," but that line of reasoning conveniently ignores the fact that dams are built for a reason.  The director and his crew wouldn't have been brought in to build a dam for nothing, yet we never get to find out why because the show is too busy trying to cram this bogus message down our throats.

Also...the director would not have had the authority to shut down the project.  He would have been contracted by some outside company to do the work and wouldn't be able to just cancel it as he pleases; he'd have to get approval from a number of people first.  And that's to say nothing of the fact that the cancellation of the dam probably cost all those workers some much-needed money. 

And what was up with that sign that the Rocket-Dan found at the end of the episode?  The man just decided to end the project, yet he already had signs up announcing its cancellation?  Really?

But, to be fair, this episode had a lot of good things to say about it.  The episode's titular characters were quite memorable, as was Shigeru's appearance.  And even though I don't like the way Dogas and Arbo evolved, I'm happy that they were at least allowed to.  Can you imagine if those two pokemon had never evolved?  Me neither.

The dubbed version has a lot of rewrites, but most of them are pretty understandable.  Others...not so much.  I also wanted to say that I actually found Diglett's dubbed voice to be just as good as the Japanese voice, a compliment I seldom hand out.

Arbok keeps its Japanese voice.  Which kind of makes it easier for 4Kids since it's going to be showing up in just about every episode for the rest of the series.

Dialogue Edit
The food that Musashi and Kojirou are eating get renamed for the dub.  Musashi's curry becomes Chinese food (because curry isn't from India, apparently?) while Kojirou's ochazuke becomes tea and crumpets.

While I don't expect any American kid to know what the hell ochazuke is, I would at least expect them to know that "tea and crumpets" usually aren't eaten in bowls with chopsticks. 


Jessie:  "This place looks like a battle zone."
James:  "Maybe we're being attacked by aliens from another planet."
Jessie:  "What planet are you from?"

In the Japanese version, Kojirou wonders if the trucks and the blasts are being caused by one of those treasure hunter TV shows or some kind of Ultra (as in Ultraman?) squadron. 

Paint Edit
When the director tells Satoshi about the reward for exterminating the Digda, he holds up a flyer for the hot spring, "Ohtsu!  Go!"  The text and the little hot springs symbol at the bottom get erased for the English version.

Japanese English

This is kind of funny because now, in the English version, the director is holding up a blank sheet of paper.  Because nothing says "come to my hot springs!" like a big blue square.

Also, the reward in the Japanese version is a three night four day stay at the hot springs, while the dub ups the reward to a six night seven day stay.

A few scenes later, the sign on one of the buses Shigeru brings with him gets its text removed.  The Japanese there says ポケモントレーナー御一行様 ("The Pokemon Trainer Party").

Japanese English

And while I'm talking about these buses...did you ever notice that, later in the episode, Shigeru and his girls just sort of leave without taking these buses back with them?  What a dick.

Click on each image to view a larger version.

Dialogue Edit
One of the running "gags," for lack of a better term, in this episode is the fact that Satoshi was the fourth to leave Masara Town.  While this is mentioned once in the dub, the Japanese version stays with it for a while due to the fact that Satoshi's name has the number four in it. 

The whole thing begins with Shigeru's line:

Gary:  "Now watch as I step up to the plate...and hit a Pokémon grand slam!"

Originally, Shigeru said the very translatable "This isn't like baseball, where being the fourth batter is the best." 

Next, in the Japanese version, Kasumi and Takeshi pretty much agree with him.  In the dub, however, they call Gary "detestable."  Which, aside from being a complete rewrite, seems like a weird thing for them to say considering that they never really show any distaste for the guy ever again.

What's also interesting here is that until "Beauty and the Beach" was dubbed about two years later, this episode contained the first meeting between Gary and Ash's friends.  I wonder if that had anything to do with the rewrite of Misty's and Brock's lines here.

Video Edit
For the second episode in a row, we get an impact star replacement.  This time, it happens when Takeshi hits Satoshi after he wonders whether or not Shigeru's friends are pokemon.

Japanese English

My gut reaction was to assume that the copy I had of the Japanese version was of the more flashy, pre-Porygon airing and that the replacement was done over in Japan.  But I found out that it's not (it's from a Kids Station airing), which makes me think this was done on 4Kids' side instead.

Soooo...any theories?

Dialogue Edit
There are tons and tons of these before the commercial break.  *Deep breath*

Shigeru's friends call Takeshi an ojii-sama ("old man") while they call Brock "sir."

Next, Takeshi asks the girls for their 電話番号 ("phone number"), ポケベル番号 ("pager number"), and their 郵便番号 ("postal code").  All three of those have the word 番号 ("number") in them, continuing the whole "number" theme that Shigeru started earlier.  Since the English translations of those don't share the same word (we say "postal code," not "postal number"), the things Brock wanted got changed.

Next, Gary tells the director that he'll be sure to get rid of all the Digda for him before calling everyone "losers."  In the Japanese version, he's talking to Satoshi, not the director, and tells him that he's going on ahead.  As he's leaving, he tells the "Number Four Satoshi" that he should come along, too.

The number talk continues with the Rocket-Dan's scene.  The scene was completely rewritten for the dub, so I think it'll be easier to just post a side-by-side comparison and go from there. 
My translation of the Japanese dialogue is on the left, while the dub dialogue's on the right:

Japanese Version
English Version
Musashi:  "Hey, what's our number?  You know, our Rocket-Dan registration number?"
Jessie:  "We're Pokémon Trainers, aren't we?  Why don't we try to win that reward?"
Kojirou:  "It's second to none."
James:  "That's a brilliant idea, Jessie."
Musashi:  "You're right!  I'll bet our registration number has more digits in it than an international phone number!  How great!"
Jessie:  "If we get rid of the Diglett, we spend a week at that hot spring resort.  I  could use a rest."
Kojirou:  "Yeah!  Listen up, everyone, and be amazed!  Our num-"
James:  "I could use a little relaxation myself, Jessie.  I'll get rid of those Diglett!"
Musashi:  "Waaaait a second.  It's supposed to be a secret, right?"
Jessie:  "Don't forget, James, we're a team~!"
Kojirou:  "I guess the more secrets we have, the more evil we'll seem."
James:  "You're right.  I almost forgot that."
Both:  "In any case, we're second to none!"
Both:  "And our team is...Team Rocket!"
Nyasu:  "Be careful whenever you dial a number.  Zero Zero Nyan-derful."
Meowth:  "Hello, uh, I wonder if it's possible to get traded to a less embarrassing team."

What's going on in the Japanese version is a misinterpretation of the phrase keta ga chigau.  It's an idiom that means "to be no match for" or "to be second to none," but the literal translation is "the number is wrong."  The joke here is that Musashi and Kojirou mean the non-literal version ("it's second to none") when the "the number is wrong" meaning could apply here as well.  I mean, Musashi thinks that the longer the number, the better it is.  Obviously this duo doesn't know what the hell they're talking about.

Nyasu's line at the end there is a parody of an ad campaign the cell phone company KDDI (then KDD) was airing on TV at the time.  The slogan used for the ad is "Zero Zero One-derful" (001 is Japan's international call prefix), but in this scene, Nyasu replaces the one with a nya.  I'm guessing the reason they added that in was because of the whole wrong number thing and because of Musashi's earlier comment about international calls.

The whole thing got rewritten for the dub.  4Kids could have done something to keep the spirit of the original misunderstanding intact, but I guess they thought that would require too much effort and took the easy way out instead.

James' line about the aliens returning was also dub-only.  Originally, the two express their shame at Nyasu calling them out.

In the very next scene, the director is addressing all the trainers who had gathered to exterminate the Digda.  When he yells at Satoshi to pay attention, he calls him "the fourth one from the front."  One of the ways to say the number four in Japanese is shi, so Satoshi replies by saying that the least he could do is call him by name.  At that point, he realizes that his name is Satoshi and becomes upset.  Takeshi tells him that it doesn't mean anything, adding that his name is Takeshi.  Then, in the very next line, Musashi steps forth (fourth?) and says "My name is Musashi!"

The dubbed version has the director call Ash out as "you with the Pikachu on your head" and eliminates Satoshi's realization from the script.  That's not too weird since Ash doesn't have the number four in his name the way Satoshi does.  What is weird is that they translated Musashi's line directly, something that doesn't make a lick of sense without the context.

Next, Musashi looks over the crowd and comments on how many trainers there are.  Kojirou responds by saying that there aren't as many as their registration number, prompting Nyasu to scratch his face.  Since the dub got rid of all that registration number talk earlier, they rewrote this to have Jessie commenting on the trainers' fashion instead.

Paint Edit
Kojirou's calculator has all these symbols on it that really don't make any sense at all, so 4Kids erased them.


Click on each image to view a larger version.

Dialogue Edit
The thing Jessie and James call "The Principle of Induced Evolution" is known as the ポケモン進化の法則 ("Principle of Evolution").  I'm not sure why 4Kids decided to add the word "induced" in there; that implies that they're forcing the pokemon to evolve, the way you would with an elemental stone, when that simply isn't the case.

After the commercial break, Shigeru rattles off Digda's stats to the director.  Shigeru's stats are in the metric system, while Gary's stats have been converted to the American system.

Later, after the various trainers try calling out their pokemon, Satoshi steps up to give it a try.  As he does so, he says 俺が四番。。。いや。俺の出番だ! ("I'm number four (yonban)...I mean, it's my turn (deban)!").  The dub skips this pun and has him say that it's his turn instead.

As Gary's leaving, he delivers a terrible "Hasta la vista, Poké-people!"  Lame.

As our heroes get out of the hot spring, we see that they're wearing bathing suits.  In the dub, Brock says "Ash, shouldn't we put some clothes on first?"  Originally, Takeshi asks if it's really OK for them to even be wearing bathing suits since they're at a hot spring; in Japan, you're supposed to go into those things naked.  I see the line as a kind of tongue-in-cheek comment - kind of a "you didn't really think we were going to show a bunch of naked kids on TV, did you?" type of thing.

The next line is one of those mistakes that everyone's known about for ages:

Brock:  "Diglett plows the ground and Dugtrio plants the trees."

I don't think I have to tell you what's wrong with this.  Originally, Takeshi doesn't directly contradict what we see on-screen and correctly states that Dugtrio plows the ground and that the Digda are the ones who plant the trees.

And finally,

Brock:  "All of our Pokémon realized that before we did."
Misty:  "That's why none of them would leave their PokBalls, even when their masters ordered them to."

In the Japanese version, Kasumi doesn't use the term "master"; instead, she uses "trainer," a term that doesn't seem nearly as awkward to me as "master" does.

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