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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 060

Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 060:  "Kamex's Island"
American Episode 205:  "Beach Blank-Out Blastoise"
Pokemon Dare Da?  Kamex (Japan), Horsea (US)
Japanese Air Date:  August 27th, 1998
American Air Date:  September 20th, 1999

Satoshi and his friends are rushing to catch a ferry off Guren Island when they literally bump into a wild Kameil! Satoshi calls out his Zenigame to communicate with the pokemon and, after a dramatic-sounding chat, the two of them jump into the water and start swimming! Our heroes have no choice but to follow them to a nearby island inhabited by a bunch of Zenigame and Kameil. When they land Satoshi and his friends are surprised to find that every single pokemon on the island is fast asleep! After Pikachu shocks everyone awake our heroes discover that the issue started the day the island's leader, Kamex, returned from a trip across the sea. Kameil came back some time later, found all its friends asleep, and rushed over to Guren Island to find help. After a thorough investigation Satoshi notices that Purin is stuck inside one Kamex’s cannons, singing its song for the entire island to hear! They don't have time to extract the pokemon, however, as the Rocket-Dan soon appear and try to steal all the turtle pokemon for themselves. Fortunately, their Gyarados mecha ends up being no match for the leader Kamex’s brute strength and the Rocket trio is sent blasting off. Purin is also freed during this battle and, after a quick song, leaves the island behind as well. Now that everyone's problems have been solved our heroes bid farewell to the turtle pokemon and return to their journey back to Tokiwa City and Satoshi's final badge.

"Kamex's Island" serves as the (proper) debut of both Kameil and Kamex. It's an alright enough episode, I guess, but it seriously squanders multiple opportunities for what I think are some better, much more interesting stories.

Let's start with Zenigame and work our way up. Is this meant to be the "Zenigame also refuses to evolve" episode of the series? I mean, we spend the entirety of "Kamex's Island" in this area inhabited solely by the pokemon's evolved forms and yet the topic of Satoshi's Zenigame evolving is never specifically brought up. Wouldn't you think that someone would have mentioned it, even if just in passing? I complained about how Fushigidane's last focus episode didn't really answer the question of why Satoshi's pokemon didn't want to evolve but at least that one made the attempt to bring up the topic in the first place. This one doesn't even bother to do that!

Next up, Kameil. Zenigame's evolved form is modeled after minogame, a turtle in Japanese folklore who's said to have lived for 10,000 years and whose tail is made of seaweed. And so, armed with this knowledge, the writer of this episode goes "here's a turtle that's slightly bigger than Zenigame. The end." To be perfectly honest I'm not sure how exactly they could have incorporated any of the above into an interesting episode either. Still, I think letting Kameil do something, anything to make itself stand out would have been better than the nothing sandwich we get here, wouldn't you say?

And then there's Kamex. The final evolved form of Zenigame, Kamex, is treated as a king who's powerful enough to basically destroy the Rocket-Dan's Gyarados mecha all by itself. So far, so good. But the thing that bothers me about Kamex as a species, and the storyline that I wish they had pursued instead, has to do with those big-ass metal cannons coming out of its back. Like, what in the world are those? Are they a natural part of its body? They seem to be made out of metal so maybe not? Kamex's debut episode (or any episode, really) would have been a fantastic opportunity to address how this pokemon seems to be an unholy abomination of turtle and steel but the show's writers apparently didn't think this was anything worth exploring. It's just, oh yeah, this turtle has cannons on its back for some reason. Let's just stuff a balloon in there and call it a day.

This episode takes place on a tropical island and has no Japanese writing anywhere so 4Kids wasn't as busy as they usually are. There's still lots of rewrites and some terrible 90s slang later on but other than that it's your standard Season 2 dub episode.

Dialogue Edit
Let's start with the post-flashback narration:

Narrator:  "With Ash's seventh badge in hand, our heroes head for the next Gym. But they'll have to hurry to catch the last ferry off Cinnabar Island."

The "last ferry" part was made up for the dub. In the original they're simply running late for this particular ferry; there's nothing in the Japanese version to indicate that there's not going to be another one later that day.

Shortly after, Ash bumps into a wild Wartortle:

Brock:  "Wow, a Wartortle. Talk about your rare Pokémon."
Ash:  "A War-what-tle?"
édex:  "Wartortle, the turtle Pokémon. The evolved form of Squirtle. Its long, furry tail is a symbol of its age and wisdom."
Ash:  "It doesn't look smart."

...says the guy who apparently doesn't know what Wartortle are called.

In the original Satoshi is able to pick up the pokemon's name without any problem. His reaction to the Pokemon Bestiary explanation at the end there is a simple naruhodo (なるほど), or "I see...," not some out-of-character insult.

Later, on the way to the island:

Brock:  "Hey Ash, look! There's an island ahead."
Ash:  "It's so small."
Misty:  "What island is it?"
Brock:  "Hmm, it's not even on this map."
Ash:  "Hey, it looks just like a Squirtle shell!"

Satoshi responds to Takeshi telling him that the island's not on a map by saying "Eh...an island not on a map...?" (え~地図にない島か?). The dub decides to go for a non-sequitor about the shape of the island instead.

Later, Pikachu attacks Ash after he falls asleep:

Ash:  "Pikachu! Cut it out!"
Squirtle:  "Squirtle! Squirtle!"
Misty:  "What's the matter, Ash? Dreaming about being a Pokémon Master?"

Ouch, Misty! Kasumi doesn't deliver any kind of sick burn in the original, instead explaining that he got woken up like that because he had the gall to be fast asleep during such an urgent situation (あんたがこの緊急事態にグースカ寝てるからよ).

Ash explains what happened:

Ash:  "I heard this sound coming from Blastoise and fell asleep, right?"
Squirtle:  "Squirtle."
Misty:  "What kind of a sound?"
Ash:  "Some kind of weird music that sounded kind of familiar."

Which then prompts Misty and Brock to make these faces:

I've seen dub fans explain the above exchange by saying that it shows that Misty and Brock have realized that this "weird music" Ash is talking about came from Jigglypuff. In the Japanese version, however, the look has a different meaning behind it because what Satoshi says beforehand is different:  "It sounded like something echoing from the depths of Hell" (何かこう、地獄の底から響いてくるような).

Now you might think "wow, that's a really dark and creepy thing for a ten-year-old to be saying!" And, well, based on the look they give each other Kasumi and Takeshi would tend to agree. But I think it's also worth pointing out that in Japan, the idea of Heaven and Hell being places that actually exist is one that's only shared by less than 1% of the population. For Satoshi, as well as most other kids in Japan, the idea of "Hell" is just that; an idea. Nothing more, nothing less. A ten-year-old boy bringing something like this up isn't so strange, all things considered.

Later, after Brock figures out what happened on the island:

Misty:  "Gee, people have searched for the turtle Pokémon's breeding grounds for years. Could this really be it?"
Brock:  "Imagine all the stuff I can learn about Pokémon breeding if you're right."

Kasumi uses the word seisokuchi (生息地), which is closer to "habitat" than "breeding grounds." Also, Takeshi doesn't bring up Pokemon Breeding in the original; he simply states that they could learn a lot by being on this island.

Team Rocket gets ready to take the Blastoise:

Japanese Version
English Version
Musashi:  "Dispatch the reconnaissance team!"
Jessie:  "Who wants to be the hero?"
Nyarth:  "Who's going to go Nya?"
Meowth:  "I do! I do!"
Musashi and Kojirou:  "One, two..."
(Jessie and James make these weird gasping noises as they back away)
Musashi:  "OK, have fun!"
James:  "Be our guest, Meowth."
Kojirou:  "You're a pokemon we can count on! Way to go!"
Jessie:  "Best of luck!"
Nyarth:  "I guess I don't have to tiptoe and can just walk normally nya...
Meowth:  "Why do I always get roped into these things?"

Meowth wonders why he always gets roped into these things after volunteering to be the one to catch Blastoise...? Huh?

Well, at least a Horsea actually does show up in this episode...


Click on each image to view a larger version.

Dialogue Edit
Ash's Squirtle takes charge:

Japanese Version
English Version
Kasumi:  "I wouldn't expect anything less from the former leader of the Zenigame Squad."
Misty:  "Ash, your Squirtle's a real leader!"
Satoshi:  "Yup. Those sunglasses aren't just for show."
Ash:  "Well, that's what happens when you've got a great Trainer."
Takeshi:  "I guess Kame only knows for sure..."
Brock:  "Hmm, or maybe they're just impressed by the sunglasses."
Satoshi and Kasumi:  "Huh?"
Ash and Misty:  "Huh?"

The only really untranslatable thing here is Takeshi's line. In the original he takes the real Japanese phrase kami no kokoro, kami no mizo shiru (神の心、神のみぞ知る), or "God only knows," and replaces the word kami ("God") with the similar-sounding kame ("turtle"). So instead of "God only knows," he's basically saying "Turtle only knows."

Next, there's a bit of in-fighting with the Rocket trio:

Japanese Version
English Version
Musashi:  "But there is one problem..."
Jessie:  "I think there may be some confusion."
Nyarth:  "Nya nya...it's come to this..."
Meowth:  "Who's gonna get credit for swiping 'em?"
Kojirou:  ""Who gets to keep it?"...you mean?"
James:  "I think we better clear this up, don't you?"
Musashi:  "That's correct! Since there's only one Kamex the question of who will be its Trainer is a huge big problem!"
Jessie:  "If you remember I was the one who pushed the button so I should get credit for capturing it!"
Nyarth:  "The correct thing to say would be either "huge problem" or "big problem" only nya~"
Meowth:  "But before that I was the one who put my nine lives on the line to grab Blastoise."
Musashi:  "I'll be the one to get it."
Jessie:  "I was the one who caught it."
Kojirou:  "No, it's going to be me."
James:  "What about me?"
Nyarth:  "I'll take it nya!"
Meowth:  "Hehe, you couldn't catch a cold."
(Nyarth gets hit)
(Meowth gets hit)
Musashi:  "You're a pokemon, aren't you!?"
Jessie:  "You stay out of this Meowth!"
Kojirou:  "Get out of here with that!"
James:  "Pokémon aren't for Pokémon!"

In today's installment of Rocket trio dialogue that could have absolutely been translated as-is, we get an exchange about who gets to keep a pokemon changed to an exchange about who gets to take credit for capturing a pokemon. I couldn't even begin to tell you what was going through the minds of the people who decided that what we see on the left up there couldn't be left as-is.

Later, the Rocket trio are brought on shore where they quickly turn on their saviors:

Jessie:  "They're about to attack."
James:  "Let's head for the ship!"
Meowth:  "Meow~th!"
Brock:  "Good! And don't come back!"

In the original Takeshi is a little bit more friendly, instead warning the trio that the ship they're running back to doesn't work anymore.

After Blastoise wakes up:

Ash:  "Just in time! Team Rocket stopped dead in its tracks!"
Brock:  "Blastoise is the bomb!"

Guess which of these lines is a rewrite~?

In the Japanese version Takeshi states "That's the king of the turtles for you!" (さすが亀々の王!)

After Jigglypuff's song:

Japanese Version
English Version
Takeshi: "That Purin's graffiti skills are getting better..."
Brock:  "Hey, Jigglypuff's a real...Pok-asso."
Kasumi:  "That was never the issue! Look at the way it's causing trouble for so many people...!"
Misty:  "I don't think this is funny! I look like a cartoon character!"
Satoshi:  "It's fine, it's fine. And with this, the case has been closed!"
Ash:  "A cartoon character? Like that could ever happen!"

The line I've translated as "the case has been closed" is ikken rakuchaku (一件落着), a line that's typically used to close out historical dramas on TV. Accordingly, the Japanese version plays the sound of kabuki clackers right after Satoshi's line. The dub changes the line and also mutes this sound effect.


Japanese Version
English Version
All:  "Ah! You face looks weird!"
All:  "This was all your fault!"
Kojirou:  "By the way, where am I? Who am I?"
James:  "I'm getting sick of all this humiliation."
Musashi:  "This is the sea? I'm Musashi."
Jessie:  "I'm getting sick of...always losing."
Nyarth:  "Nya~ Where's the exit?"
Meowth:  "And I'm gettin' seasick."
All:  "Ya na kanji~"
All:  "Looks like Team Rocket's drifting off again."

I think the Japanese version might be making a reference to the soon-to-be-released (production-wise) movie Mewtwo Strikes Back but their little bit here could absolutely be something else. In any case, 4Kids rewrote it to something a little less random-sounding.

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