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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 047

Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 047: "Lucky's Medical Charts"
American Episode 045:  "A Chansey Operation"
Pokemon Dare Da?   Arbok
Japanese Air Date:  June 4th, 1998
American Air Date:  March 6th, 1999
Important Characters:  Dr. Doc (Dr. Proctor)

Pikachu is enjoying a snack one day when an apple accidentally ends up getting lodged in its throat! There aren't any Pokemon Centers nearby so our heroes rush it to a nearby hospital for humans but are dismayed to discover that it's closed for the day! Luckily, a single doctor named Dr. Doc just happens to pass by and so Satoshi convinces him to let them inside so his Pikachu can get treatment. Shortly after the apple’s dislodged from Pikachu’s throat, the hospital receives a phone call from a Joy who tells everyone that there was a traffic accident nearby in which a large number of pokemon were injured! The Pokemon Center she works for is currently at capacity so Dr. Doc invites her to bring the injured pokemon to his hospital for emergency treatment. Once the pokemon arrive, our heroes, under the guidance of Dr. Doc, treat their pokemon patients one after the other. At one point Dr. Doc is accidentally knocked out by a sedative so Satoshi and his friends are forced to tend to the pokemon all by themselves! Meanwhile, the Rocket trio, who had also been roped into helping out at the hospital, attempt to steal the still-recovering pokemon! Unfortunately for them, Dr. Doc’s anesthetic wears off just in time for him to arrive on the scene and stop them from getting away with the hospital's pokemon. Now that all the injured pokemon have been tended to, our heroes leave the hospital for their next adventure.

After last week’s rather “meh” offering, where a lot of things happened but ended up not being just OK, this week we get an episode where absolutely nothing of consequence happens but offers a much more interesting story.

The fact that this episode looks at human medicine vs. pokemon medicine is just one of the reasons it ends up being so entertaining. Is there a huge difference between the two? As it turns out...not really! Dr. Doc seems to have no problem treating patients belonging to species entirely different from what he went to medical school for, and apparently Joy's job is so easy that even a group of children are able to get through the day without too much trouble. But I guess when pokemon medicine consists entirely of gluing things together and untangling a bunch of knots then just about anyone can do it?

There's also some great stuff in here that show off the various unique ways pokemon can be injured. A Dodrio whose heads get tangled up? A Ratta with broken teeth? An Utsudon with a Biriridama stuck in its mouth? All pretty clever! I like to think that, when he was brainstorming ideas for this episode, screenplay writer Hideki Sonoda had this huge list of ideas for potential injuries but that there wasn't enough time to show everything so he had to end up cutting a bunch out. I also like to think that, if this episode was remade today, the writers would have so much more to work with than Mr. Sonoda did in 1998 considering there are now literally hundreds more pokemon to play with. A Mareep with gum stuck in its wool? A Rotom who can't get out of some electronic equipment? A Gachigoras with lockjaw? Episodes like this seem like they'd write themselves and I'm honestly kind of surprised there isn't a "Lucky's Medical Charts"-type episode in every series.

But as entertaining as the episode is, one thing really kinda spoils it for me; the fact that Dr. Proctor is a pedophile. Like, he just is. Some of the comments he makes to Kasumi are really quite inappropriate and the fact that he makes her run around in a fetish nurse costume (while Satoshi and Takeshi get away with just swapping out their jackets for lab coats, by the way) for half the episode is just all kinds of wrong. And I know it's pretty vague, but isn't Musashi also potentially underage? Japan has a weird history with pedophilia (it wasn't made illegal to own child pornography until 2014!!), however, and for late-1990s Japan Dr. Doc's hitting on Kasumi wouldn't have been any less weird that it was for him to be hitting on Musashi or Joy.
The script for the English dub is pretty decent, for the most part. I'm surprised all the pedophile stuff got left in since this episode would have had to go through so many people before it got on the air. This episode also has a ton of red crosses in it that don't get changed which, again, I'm surprised about considering how the Red Cross is notoriously strict about how their emblem is used in entertainment. On the other hand, the Kids' WB! airing of this episode censored the needle going into the doctor's arm and removed the word "die" but not "kill" from its script. The English dub is a weird series of contradictions is what I'm saying.

Dialogue Edit
We start this episode off with the sign on the front of the hospital that says honjitsu kyushin (本日休診), or "not accepting any patients today," gets translated as CLOSED for the English dub.


After so many episodes of 4Kids just erasing text it's nice to see them actually translating something for a change.

I’m also sure there are more than a few of you out there wondering why 1) a hospital could take a day off in the first place, and 2) why a doctor would spend his day off meandering around his place of work instead of just relaxing at home.

The answer to the first question can be found in the way Japanese hospitals are run. In Japan, there are actually some hospitals that do take days off every week and aren't run 24/7 the way hospitals in the West are. This isn’t true for all hospitals, of course, and if you happen to have an emergency on one of those days then you’re expected to just find another hospital to go to. If you live in a densely populated area like Tokyo then that just means you have to go somewhere a few blocks away, max. It's super inconvenient but it's also the system everyone's used to in Japan.

As for why a doctor would spend his day off at work? That’s a little tougher to answer. A lot of people who run their own offices in Japan – think doctors, lawyers, etc. - will come in on their days off to tackle some of the paperwork they couldn’t get to during the week. The idea is that the phones aren’t ringing off the hook like they are during regular business hours so nights / weekends are the perfect opportunity to finally tackle some of their backlog of work. Dr. Doc doesn’t seem like that serious a worker (he spends a lot of the first half of the episode yawning, after all) but maybe that's what the episode was going for anyway?

Or, you can just chalk all this up to “general Kanto weirdness” and try not to think too hard about it. Either way works.

Side Note
Dr. Doc is apparently based on George Clooney’s character Doug Ross from the show American drama E.R. Rikiya Koyama, who provides the voice for Dr. Doc in this episode, was also the voice of Doug Ross in the Japanese dub of E.R.

Dr. Doc Doug Ross

In the Japanese version Dr. Doc speaks quite a bit of English, most likely because of this George Clooney connection. Oddly enough, most of this English dialogue from the original gets changed to different English dialogue for the 4Kids dub; the doctor saying "yes" when Takeshi brings over the defribulator gets changed to "good," for example.  No, I don't get it either.

The doctor in Pocket Monsters is also a bit of a womanizer, and while I've never seen an episode of E.R. in my life it seems like Dr. Ross kind of acts the same way? *shrugs* And I don't mean to harp on this so much, but the pedophilia thing kind of ruins the whole homage, wouldn't you say?

Dialogue Edit
Ash pleads with Dr. Proctor:

Dr. Proctor:  "This is a hospital for people. Why don't you take your Pokémon to Joy at the Pokémon Center?"
Ash:  "It's too far to the Pokémon Center. We might not make it. Please, you have to look at Pikachu."

Ash's "We might not make it" was originally "Pikachu seems like it's going to die!" (ピカチュウが死にそうなんです!) in the Japanese version.

My first instinct is to say that this is just another instance of the dub trying to dance around the concept of death but then Jessie outright says the word "kill" later on in the episode ("I wanted you to cure it, not kill it!") so I dunno.

Side Note
Dr. Proctor says this as he prepares to fire up the defribulator:

Dr. Proctor:  "A Pikachu would need about...10,000 volts. All right, clear!"

This is an accurate translation of what's said in the Japanese version but because of another change made in the English localization the significance of that number isn't quite as obvious. Because as many of this site's visitors are probably already aware, the attack known as "Thunderbolt" in the English version was originally called Juu-man Boruto (10万ボルト), or "10,000 Volts" in the Japanese version.

Dr. Doc stating that Pikachu needs 10,000 volts, in that context, makes a whole lot of sense but since the English version went and changed the attack name the doctor's reference here kind of gets lost in translation.

Dialogue Edit
Right before the phone rings:

Dr. Proctor:  "I knew I should've been a lawyer."

No dashed dreams in the Japanese version! Originally the good doctor laments the fact that his day off has been ruined.

The doctor flirts:

Dr. Proctor:  "By the way, Nurse Joy, would you be interested in going out for pizza Saturday night?"
Nurse Joy:  "You can talk to me about pizza after our work is done."

The doctor actually does ask Joy to join him for pizza in the Japanese version, but he asks to go out on "next Sunday," not Saturday.

And also, doesn't the odd way Dr. Proctor emphasizes the word pizza make it sound like a failed attempt at double entendre? *Cue terrible pizza / doctor sex puns*

As the sirens approach the hospital:

Dr. Proctor:  "They never told us about this in med school."

Originally the doctor comments on how busy his day off as become.

Jessie and James are about to meet the doctor:

Jessie:  "Can someone please remove this Raticate? It insists on trying to take a bite out of our Arbok!"
James:  "Arbok, beat it. Am-scray!"

This one's pretty obvious just by looking at the animation, right?

In the original Kojirou tells Ratta to leave, not Arbok.

Paint Edit
The word koban (小判) is erased from the coins in the background behind Meowth.


This is as good a time as any to talk about the way the English dub deals with Nyarth’s coin. In Japan it’s common knowledge that koban are the actual coins people used back in the Edo period (1603 to 1868). Nyarth is based on a maneki neko (招き猫), or “beckoning cat,” and since real-world maneki neko have these coins on their foreheads it makes sense for one of them to appear on Nyarth's head as well.


Westerners, of course, don’t have any of that historical / cultural context when they watch Pokémon so to them Meowth is just a talking cat with some weird coin on his head.

The 4Kids dub, accordingly, takes to referring to the koban as a “charm.” It’s not that strange a localization choice given how the coins actually are placed on maneki neko in the first place as a sort of charm to help attract fortune, and their choice never ends up biting them in the ass later on so it's fine.

Whether you want to call it a coin or a charm, however, the fact remains that in this episode, the Rocket duo's cat pokemon is upset about losing the thing on its forehead. And isn't that all that matters?

Dialogue Edit
Right after the above paint edit we get a series of mostly untranslatable puns.

Let’s start by looking at what they said in the original. Nyarth asks for a koban (小判), or coin, but what he gets instead is:

gohan (ご飯), or “rice”
goban (碁盤), or “Go board”
kouban (交番), or “police box”
Konpang (コンパン), as in the pokemon

It's unclear if Lucky is simply mishearing what Nyarth is saying or if it's deliberately being cheeky, but either way the pokemon brings a bunch of items that it thinks sound like the word
koban. So how does 4Kids handle this?

Meowth:  "Somebody help me find my charm! I'll pay any price!"
Chansey:  "Chansey?" (hands Meowth a bowl of rice)
Meowth:  "Oh, thanks! I said price, not rice!"
Chansey:  "Chansey!" (hands Meowth a Go board)
Meowth:  "I don't wanna play! Find my charm, pu-lease!"
Chansey:  "Chansey!" (hands Meowth a police box)
Office Jenny:  "Did someone call the police?"
Meowth:  "My charm! My charm! My charm!"
Venonat:  "Venonat!"
Meowth:  "Will you...get off of me!"

They handle it by redoing two of the puns ("rice" and "police") but end up ignoring the Go and Kongpang ones. And, to be fair, it's a tough scene to localize! I certainly can't think of a way to make this whole bit flow in English and still make any amount of sense.

So while in the English version this scene is just Chansey bringing Meowth a bunch of random garbage for no apparent reason, please know that this all actually made sense in the original!

Side Note
In the version of this episode that aired on Kids' WB!, these two shots of the needle going into Dr. Doc's arm got edited. I don't have access to the episodes as they aired back in 1999 so I tried doing my best mock-ups.

Dub mock-up

Based on notes I made over a decade ago, the Kids' WB! version of this first scene simply froze the shot at the point you see on the right there to avoid showing the needle actually going into the doctor's arm there on the left. As the needle magically floats there in mid-air, all pixelated and shit, the audio of the needle actually piercing the doctor's skin as well as everyone's reaction to what's happening from the unedited version continues to play.

Unedited Dub mock-up

The second shot, meanwhile, was zoomed way the eff in to avoid showing the needle sticking out of his arm altogether.

(if anyone has a copy of the episode as it aired on Kids' WB!, please let me know!)

The issue here, obviously, is that Kids' WB! didn't want to show a man with a needle sticking out of his arm because then it would look like he's shooting up heroin or something? *shrugs* The scenes in question are left completely uncensored in literally every other release of the episode so this is just another in a growing list of examples of Kids' WB! being a little bit more strict than everyone else.

(Also, the shot of Arbok getting shot up earlier in the episode was left completely intact on Kids' WB!, so there's that)

Dialogue Edit

Later in the episode, Team Rocket attacks the twerps with what James dubs "The Stretcher Catcher." In the Japanese version these "mecha" are called "The Fearsome Stretchers" (恐怖のストレッチャー).

Paint Edit
The yellow sign on the building behind Satoshi's head / behind Kasumi's backpack at the very end of the episode gets its text erased.


From what I can tell the text says Sankaku something-I-can't-quite-make-out (サンカク <不明>), or "Triangle ???." Whatever it says, 4Kids gets rid of it.

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