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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 061

Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 061:  "Hanada Gym! The Underwater Battle!"
American Episode 206:  "The Misty Mermaid"
Pokémon Dare Da?  Tattu (Japan), Clefairy (US)
Dr. Orchid's Pokémon Lecture:  Koiking
Japanese Air Date:  September 3rd, 1998
American Air Date:  September 23rd, 1999

While stopping in a city on the mainland one day, Satoshi and his friends notice that Kasumi's Tattu doesn't seem to be very energetic. They decide that letting it swim around in a big pool like the one at the Hanada Gym would be good for it so our heroes make a quick detour to Kasumi's hometown. Once they arrive at the Gym they are greeted by Sakura, Ayame, and Botan who waste no time in begging Kasumi to help them out by starring in an underwater ballet they're putting on scheduled to open tomorrow! Kasumi reluctantly agrees. Opening day comes and the Gym is packed with customers eager to see the love story between a mermaid princess and a charming prince. About halfway through the show the Rocket-Dan appear, dressed as the play's villains, and attempt to take all the Gym's pokemon for themselves! Kasumi, Satoshi, and Takeshi join together and are able to send the trio packing as the audience, thinking this is all part of the show, cheers wildly. Later, the play is declared a huge success and so Kasumi's sisters decide to double up on their roles to allow their baby sister to continue traveling. They do ask her to leave some of her pokemon behind to help out, however, so Kasumi agrees to leave her Starmie and Tattu behind. Now that the underwater ballet's future is secured and Tattu has a nice big pool to play in our heroes resume their journey to Tokiwa City.

Now that we're in the part of Kanto where everyone's backtracking through old locales, it's interesting to see where the writers decide to send our heroes and where they decide wasn't worth a revisit.

For example, in this episode we get to go back to Hanada City to see Kasumi's sisters again. And it's nice to see a familiar location with callbacks to the past! But isn't it kind of odd that we don't get a similar type of episode in this series for Takeshi and Nibi City? Why do Satoshi and Kasumi get to revisit their hometowns but Takeshi, who honestly has more of a reason to want to go back home to check in on how everybody's doing than anyone else in this show, doesn't? Was there some financial reason involving the large number of voice actors that would have been required for a trip back to his hometown? Or were they just not able to think of a good story for a return to Nibi City?

Not that this episode has a "good story" either, to be honest. Kasumi's sisters planned to put on a show and sold out all their tickets and everything but then don't bother to take the basic step of securing a lead actor and so they rope their baby sister, who just happens to be in town, to help them out of the graves they dug themselves? What if Kasumi was still on Guren Island on the show's opening night? It's a dumb premise for an episode but I guess it does do a great job of showing how Kasumi, a character who's usually a very strong and powerful presence in this show, is still really just the baby sister to a trio of girls who love her but who also don't hesitate to use her if they think it'll help them out.

The episode's resolution is also kind of a mess (oh, we'll just have this one double up, which is something we could have done all along) and I honestly don't get why they decided to have Kasumi leave two of her pokemon behind. Tattu is kind of a nothing character who hasn't done jack since its debut episode so whatever, but Starmie, while also being a personality-less void, is at least one of the principal members of Kasumi's in-game team. Why take it away from her? Did the show's producers think that Kasumi having two starfish pokemon was kind of redundant? And how the hell did the equally useless, equally personality-less Tosakinto survive this episode?

Unfortunately, the thing I think about with this episode more than anything else is how it's probably the ugliest looking one in maybe the entire franchise?  Everyone's off-model, the proportions are all off, the movements are stiff, the drawings are lazy...it's just a mess from beginning to end. And to think that we had Iwane just two weeks ago!
The animation director for this episode is Hiromichi Hayashi and this is his first (and I think last!) time he's worked on the series and to be honest I can absolutely see why that is.

As far as the English dub goes, Misty's sisters, like, totally make a comeback and are, like, still just as totally awful as ever! I mean, you know a localization is bad when you actually dread episodes featuring certain characters because of what the dub's done to them, you know? Kasumi's sisters have their dense moments in the original, sure, but the vapid valley girl thing the dub has going on is the typical 4Kids "let's take this one aspect of a character and crank it up to eleven" practice that is unfortunately used way too often in this version of the show.

Dialogue Edit
The narrator gets us started today with a rather big change:

Narrator:  "Today, we join Ash, Misty, and Brock at the entrance to Viridian City. Now that Ash has won a Volcano Badge at Cinnabar Gym, he's set his sights on the Earth Badge here."

Wrong! Our heroes aren't actually in Tokiwa City, according to the Japanese version; they're merely on their way to Tokiwa City. This park everyone's hanging out at is just located in some random, no-name city.

This rewrite doesn't even make any sense because the dub makes it sound like Ash and his friends went from Cinnabar to Viridian and then, instead of heading straight to the Gym like you would expect them to do, make a super round-about trip to Cerulean City instead. I know the Kanto episodes kind of play it loose with the geography of the region and all but come on now.

Paint Edit
The subject of the paint edits in today's episode are the outside of the Gym, which gets its HANADA text changed to CERULEAN:


And the poster advertising the underwater play.


The Japanese in the poster says Suichuu Baree Shoo (水中バレエショー), or "Underwater Ballet Show." At the bottom left are just random blobs but the bit on the right there says Hanada Jimu Tokusetsu Puuru (ハナダジム特 設プール), or "The Hanada Gym Special Pool."

The English version of the poster adds a bunch of extra text ("Exciting!" and "Fantastic!" can be seen over the Underwater Ballet text, and there's a bunch of new text in red at the bottom that's hard to make out) as well as two images of PokéBalls.

Dialogue Edit
Ash points out the obvious:

Ash:  "You know, if her hair was just a little bit different, that girl would almost look like you, Misty."
Misty:  (laughs nervously)
Brock:  "I would swim the deepest sea if I could meet a mermaid like her."

Ash isn't wrong, of course, but his line isn't the same as what's in the Japanese version. Originally Satoshi comments on how weird this Gym is since they do things like swimming shows (as seen in "The Water Flowers of Hanada City") and underwater ballet shows (this episode).

4Kids' rewrite does make Brock sound super awkward though. "This girl looks just like the one we've been spending every day of our lives traveling with for the last however many months." "I'm in love!" "Um..."

Paint Edit
The poster, again.


Dialogue Edit
Next up is the conversation where Misty's sisters try to get her to help them out. And, well, large chunks of it get rewritten:

Japanese Version
English Version
Botan:  "Well, it's fine if the newbie fails."
Lily:  "All those people...they're gonna be disappointed."
Kasumi:  "What!? Did you say something!?"
Misty:  "Well that's too bad!"
Botan:  "Oh, nothing..."
Lily:  "And the kids."
Sakura:  "But we've already hung up the posters and everything."
Daisy:  "And we, like, advertised you on radio and TV."
Ayame:  "Plus the tickets are already sold out."
Violet:  "And the tickets are totally selling out."
Satoshi:  "Wow...that's amazing."
Ash:  "Can I get a seat?"
Kasumi:  "You've gotta be joking."
Misty:  "I am not doing this."
Sakura:  "And on top of all that, the first performance is tomorrow."
Daisy:  "But the first performance is tomorrow."
Kasumi:  "Tomorrow!?"
Misty:  "Tomorrow!?"
Sakura:  "Please, Kasumi. Say you'll do it."
Daisy:  "Please Misty, please. Do it for us."
Kasumi:  "Oh..."
Misty:  "Oh..."
Satoshi:  "You should go for it, Kasumi."
Ash:  "Just give it a shot, Misty."
Takeshi:  "They can't just cancel the show now...huh?"
Brock:  "Sure Misty, I'll bet that you can pull it off...huh?"
Ayame:  "Thank you, Takeshi-kun, Satoshi-kun."
Violet:  "You understand how important this is!"
Botan:  "Kasumi really does have some great friends."
Lily:  "You wouldn't turn your back on your hometown, would you?"
Sakura:  "Please think of this as you saving our Hanada Gym...please, Kasumi."
Daisy:  "For the sake of the Cerulean Gym, please Misty. We really need you."
Kasumi:  "I'll do it."
Misty:  "Oh...I'll do it."
Botan and Ayame:  "Yes!"
Lily and Violet:  "We got her!"
Botan:  "You see? Kasumi can never turn down her big sister Sakura, right?"
Lily:  "We could always get our baby sister to do whatever we wanted."
Ayame:  "For sure! It's just like you said." (both laugh)
Violet:  "This is like a total flashback."(both laugh)

Nothing earth shattering here, though Botan teasing Kasumi being changed to Lily worrying about the disappointed customers is an odd choice.

The plot of "The Magical Mermaid" (which is called "The Mermaid Princess' Holiday" (人魚姫の休日) in the Japanese version, by the way) is pretty different between versions as well. Here's how the rehearsal goes:

Japanese Version
English Version
Botan:  "I should really be the mermaid since I'm so beautiful but I'm kindly giving the role over to you instead."
Lily:  "We tie you up and try to make you tell us where the sunken treasure is. But when you won't tell us we get really rough."
Kasumi:  "But it's not like I wanted to do this in the first pl...Ow! That hurt!"
Misty:  "Uh, can we use a stand-in for this part?...Ow"
Ayame:  "Just do it!"
Violet:  "Don't get cute."
Kasumi:  "I get it, I get it. 'Oh no! Someone help me!!'"
Misty:  "I'm doing you the favor, remember? So stop picking on me. I'm doing the best I can!"
Ayame:  "And at that part, big sister Sakura will come out in costume as the prince who arrives to fight off the villains."
Violet:  "OK, then Daisy comes out, dressed up as the charming prince, and she, like, fights off the villain and saves you."
Sakura:  "Hai! Yaa! Taa!"
Daisy:  "Hyah! Unh! Hyah!
Ayame:  "And then the mermaid and the prince stand like this and live together with Pawou and the others. And they live happily ever after."
Violet:  "The magical mermaid and the prince fall totally in love and raise a whole lot of Seel and live happily ever after.
Pawou:  "Pawou-wou."
Seel:  "Seel Seel Seel."
Takeshi:  "Oh~ That's a fantastic story."
Brock:  "I...like that charming prince."
Satoshi:  "I'm really moved!"
Ash:  "I like the Seel."
Kasumi:  "Yeah yeah..."
Misty:  "You would."

The top change, where Botan complains about Kasumi taking the part of the mermaid while holding a sword up to her face, I get. It probably looks too much like Kasumi's sister is threatening her life here and so 4Kids changed it. Changing Takeshi's "That's a fantastic story" to "I like the charming prince," though? What?

Paint Edit
The outside of the Gym / poster are edited again when the Rocket trio stops by..

Japanese English

Side Note
James' line about taking modern dancing lessons when he was a young boy is actually the same in both versions! The only reason I'm bringing up this non-change is because 4Kids usually likes to fudge around with things like so I thought it would be noteworthy to point out whenever they don't change something. Yes, that's where we are with the dub at this point.

Paint Edit
The outside of the Gym / poster get edited once again, this time during the show's opening day.


I'm starting to see a pattern here...


Click on each image to view a larger version.

Dialogue Edit
Team Rocket enters the scene:

Meowth:  "Meow-how-how-how-oth! Looks like the real bad guys showed up!"
Jessie:  "What do you mean "bad"? Nobody's better and stealing Water Pokémon than we are."
James:  "And next time we steal men's clothes."

Originally Kojirou says that this is a daring and bold plan that they've hatched. Nothing is brought up about the fact that Team Rocket is cross dressing again.

(You know that if this was Season 8 4Kids they would have totally added one of their "lolz James is teh gay!!!" joke lines here)

After the motto:

Jessie:  "Oh they love us! We're killing them!"
James:  "I knew I was destined for greatness! A Starmie is born!"

In the Japanese version Kojirou comments how much more thrilling it is to do what they do in front of a live audience like this. In other words, no pokemon-related pun's there in the original.

Also, Jessie said the forbidden k-word, so there's that.

Seel battles Team Rocket:

Lily:  "I never knew Seel was, like, that strong."
Violet:  "Duh."
Daisy:  "We never let it, like, be like itself!"

Like, in the Japanese version Sakura like, totally says that, like, they never let Pawou battle and, like, that's why they never knew how totally strong it was. Like like like like like.

Team Rocket blasts off:

Japanese Version
English Version
Musashi:  "A swan who gets electrocuted..."
Jessie:  "This is so shocking!"
Kojirou:  "Turns into a crow."
James:  "Totally revolting!"
Musashi and Kojirou:  "But it can't fly~!"
Jessie and James:  (both scream)

In the Japanese version the Rocket trio makes some dumb comments related to how they're dressed like characters from Swan Lake while in the English version the Rocket trio makes dumb electricity puns.

Paint Edit
A few more paint edits before the episode ends.

The final shot of the outside of the gym:


Next, the back of what I assume is the gate leading up to the Gym says Mata kite ne (またきてね) HANADA GYM, or "Come back again! Hanada Gym." It gets its text removed, leaving the two Nyoromo on the sign there all by themselves.


Finally, the "Metamon" in "Metamon Coffee & Tea" gets erased. 4Kids should have replaced "Metamon" with "Ditto" here, but nope!


Dialogue Edit
The final lines of the episode!

Japanese Version
English Version
Satoshi:  "But you know, the Hanada Gym wasn't really much of a Pokémon Gym, was it?"
Ash:  "You know, Misty, you were really pretty amazing back there!"
Kasumi:  "Don't think too much about it!"
Misty:  "Save the sweet talk, Ash. You still owe me a bike."
Pikachu:  "Pika Pikachu." Pikachu:  "Pika Pikachu."

Nothing that couldn't have been translated as-is, as usual.

Side Note / Cut - 1 minute
As of this episode, the Japanese version begins airing a new segment called Ookido-Hakase no Pokémon Kouza (オ―キド博士のポケモン講座), or "Dr. Orchid's Pokémon Lecture." These minute-long segments, which will air between the ending theme and the Next Episode Preview from now until mid-Advanced Generation, feature Dr. Orchid showing off a specific pokemon and their unique abilities. Most of the segments end with Dr. Orchid being attacked by said pokemon followed by the professor reciting a senryuu (川柳), a type of poem not unlike a haiku.

The professor's love of making these poems during these segments will come up in later episodes (that Jouto episode where Kojirou dresses up as Dr. Orchid, the fact that Hikari from Diamond & Pearl seems to know him primarily as "that senryuu guy," etc.).

But unfortunately, the English dub never brought these segments over. My first instinct is to say it's a time restraint issue but these segments are exactly as long as those Pikachu's Jukebox AMVs 4Kids tacks onto the end of every episode so that can't be it. I guess 4Kids promoting their new "2BA Master" CD is just more important to 4Kids?

We do know that 4Kids was given the footage for these segments along with the rest of the episodes, however, because it has popped up from time to time. The one most people know about is the VHS release of Mewtwo Strikes Back, which uses footage from the Houdin lecture at the end of
"When Yadon Becomes Yadoran," but Dr. Orchid's Pokémon Lecture footage has also been used in a VHS called Pokémon Insider as well as various other promotional materials for the English dub.

It's a shame these segments didn't get brought over regularly, though, because a lot of them are actually quite funny.

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This page was last updated on July 31st, 2017




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