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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 034
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 034:  "Garura's Lullaby"
American Episode 133:  "The Kangaskhan Kid"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Garura
Japanese Air Date:  November 18th, 1997
American Air Date:  October 22nd, 1998
Important Characters:  Tarou (Tommy), Tarsan (Tomo), Mama (Mama), Papa (Papa)
Important Places:  Safari Zone (Safari Zone)

Satoshi and his friends have entered a pokemon preserve on the way to the Safari Zone.  There, they decide to help a Junsa protect the pokemon being poached in the area.  When our heroes arrive on the scene of one such attempt, they see the Rocket-Dan attacking a group of Garura!  A jungle boy named Tarsan arrives and attacks the trio to prevent them from continuing.  After Tarsan returns to the jungle, a couple known simply as Mama and Papa emerge from a helicopter and tells everyone that they're looking for their son, Tarou.  Before long, it becomes clear that Tarou is the same little boy who protected the Garura earlier.  The young trainers help the couple look for their son, but when they find him, they aren't able to convince him that Mama and Papa are his real parents.  A Garura's scream prompts Tarsan to run off, so our heroes follow him.  When they catch up, they see the Rocket-Dan trying to catch the Garura again with a giant mecha!  After our heroes launch a few futile attacks, Mama's and Papa's helicopter arrives and crashes into the robot!  The mecha is destroyed and the Rocket-Dan are sent blasting off, but it seems as if Tarsan's parents sacrificed their life in order to make that happen.  Suddenly, Tarsan's parents emerge from the wreckage and announce that they've decided to live in the jungle with Tarsan and all the Garura.  Our heroes leave the newly reunited family and continue their journey through the Safari Zone.

This is a perfect example of an episode that would never get made today.  I mean, pointing a gun at our heroes?  Dropping a kid from a helicopter?  "Naughty" jokes?  A fake-out death?  Is this the same squeaky clean, whitewashed product we get today?

If you ignore all that for a moment, you'll find a really great episode with some really great characters.  The real breakouts of this episode are Mama and Papa, a pair whose insanity is only rivaled by their ability to make us smile.  Can anyone watch this episode for the first time and not laugh at them?  It doesn't seem feasible that there are people out there who cannot.

If this episode had a flaw, it was the way it portrayed the titular pokemon.  Garura are mother and child pokemon who are very protective of their young, yet we don't get to see any of that.  Instead, we get this boring herd thing going on where none of them get to show off anything resembling a personality while some little boy steps in and protects the babies that the adults should be fighting for. 

The dubbed version of this episode is significant because of the content edit in the second half of the episode.  Another thing that stands out is that Kangaskhan (a name I constantly have trouble spelling correctly, by the way) has an awful, awful voice.  These are supposed to be weird motherly kangaroo things with voices that can soothe their young ones to sleep, but the dub just has them sound like these horrible monsters who are pissed off all the time.  If I was a baby Kangaskhan and had to listen to that voice trying to lull me to sleep, I think I'd have grown up with severe trauma.

Dialogue Edit
So you know how 4Kids made the last episode take place in the Safari Zone even though that's not really where they were?  Well, the dub decides to make this episode take place in the Safari Zone as well even though they said, at the end of the last episode, that they were leaving the Safari Zone.

So if you're following the Japanese version, Satoshi and his friends leave the Safari Land and head into the Safari Zone.  If you're following the dub, Ash and his friends leave the Safari Zone and head into the Safari Zone.  Hooray for redundancy!

Later, we're introduced to Tarsan.  The source of his Japanese name is pretty freaking obvious, but I guess the dub was afraid of trigger-happy lawyers and decided to play things safe by giving him a different name. 

Toward the end of the first half of the episode, we get this little exchange:

Mama:  "There's nothing but a parachute left."
Papa:  "Maybe if you had been holding him this wouldn't have happened."

Originally, Papa figures that Tarou has turned into a star in the sky, which is obviously a euphemism for death.  Mama replies by yelling that that's not what happened.

It's clear that the English version wants to remove the whole death thing (which is kind of funny since they left in the helicopter crash at the end of the episode), so they decided to rewrite this scene.  The rewrite is pretty funny in its own right, so I can't be too mad at them for this.  They could have done a lot, lot worse.

After the commercial break, Satoshi and his friends have to carry Papa and Mama around.  In the dub, Mama says,

Mama:  "I apologize for this.  Papa doesn't get outdoors much, and he's not in the best of shape."
Papa:  "I admit it."

In the Japanese version, Mama says that since Papa's not in good shape because he's a company president (社長).  Which kind of helps explain how they have their own helicopter and whatnot.  For whatever reason, though, the dub takes out this explanation.

Cut--2 seconds / Dialogue Edit
You want tit jokes in Pocket Monsters?  Then this is the episode for you!

After Tomo throws his boomerang and hits Ash in the head, the following dialogue takes place:

Tomo:  "You hurt Kangaskhan!  That bad!"
Misty:  "No we didn't!  Brock was just trying to help the baby Kangaskhan because it's hurt!  That is until you threw your boomerang at 'em.  Now apologize!"

As soon as Misty finishes her line, there's a two second zoom-in shot of her chest.  4Kids cuts this footage and extends the previous shot by freeze framing it for two seconds.

Kasumi's chest

The reason for this shot is because Tarsan's next line, in the Japanese version, is "Can I suck at your breasts?" (オッパイのんでいいか?).  Which, obviously, pisses Kasumi off and causes her to react violently.

The dub changes Tarsan's line to "You people, or Pokémon?"  Interestingly, you can still here the "zoom in" sound effect in the dub even though the actual zooming in footage was cut.

A few lines later, Mama and Papa arrive on the scene.  In the dub, Tomo looks at his Mama, then Misty, then Mama again, then Misty again, and says:

Tomo:  "They Pokémon, or peoples?"
Misty:  "They're peoples!  Uh, people!"

Originally, he goes back and forth between the two women and asks the same question:  "Can I suck at your breasts?" 

The dub obviously isn't going to keep some immature breast feeding jokes, so they found a way to rewrite them to make Tomo still sound rude without having the censors come down on them.  It's still a little off since one wonders why Tomo only questions whether or not the females are humans, but I guess we're supposed to overlook that or something.

Side Note
While Tarsan's remembering his past, the dub keeps in Garura's Japanese cries.  I guess even they realized that having their Kangaskhan voice trying to sing a lullaby just wouldn't work?

Later, the aforementioned
breast feeding conversation is alluded to when Papa appears and flashes his chest to everyone.

The dialogue in both versions is the same, as are the visuals.  The difference is that in the Japanese version, Papa's open shirt is an obvious allusion to Tarsan's earlier question while in the dub, it's a lingering reminder that something's missing from earlier in the episode.  They couldn't have really cut it since Misty dragging him away sets up the fact that he's absent from the rest of the scene, so it becomes this sort of weird non sequitur instead.

By the way, anyone who wants a good laugh should check out this protest rant on Jon Kelly's website.

Paint Edit
Kojirou's Hissatsu Panchi (必殺パンチ, or "Sure-Kill Punch") sign gets its text erased for the dub.

Japanese English

Click on each image for a larger version.

This one's a little strange because, earlier in the episode, James pulls down a similar sign, but that one had writing on it.  So wouldn't you think that 4Kids would have painted something on this sign for consistency's sake?

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