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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Kanto Region

Japanese Episode 067
Episode Stats:

Japanese Episode 065: "A Rival Showdown! The Ookido Laboratory"
American Episode 212: "Showdown at the Po-ké Corrall"
Pokemon Dare Da? Betobeton (Japanese), Slowbro (English)
Dr. Ookido's Pokemon Lecture:  Marumine
Japanese Air Date: October 8th, 1998
American Air Date: September 30th, 1999
Important Places: Sekiei Plateau (Indigo Plateau)

Now that they've made it back to Masara Town, Satoshi and his friends head to Dr. Ookido's lab to find out more about the upcoming Pokemon League. Meanwhile, the Rocket trio are about to return to the Rocket-Dan headquarters when they see it being destroyed in a massive explosion that seems to have been caused by Mewtwo! Back at the lab, Dr. Ookido tells Satoshi and Shigeru, who's also back in town, that the Pokemon League will be held in a place called the Sekiei Plateau two months from now. He also evaluates both their Pokemon Bestiaries and finds that while Satoshi's seen a wider variety of pokemon Shigeru's managed to get more. This ignites an argument about the best way to train pokemon; get lots of pokemon and rotate them out based on the situation or stick with the same small team no matter what. Dr. Ookido states that both methods have their merits and encourages the two young Trainers to do what's best for them. Later, Satoshi and the others are taking a tour of the campus when the Rocket trio appears to steal all the pokemon at the laboratory. Before a battle can begin, however, Satoshi's Kentauros appear out of nowhere and stampede right into the Rocket trio! Now that the Rocket-Dan has been taken care of, Shigeru leaves the ranch to go train and tells Satoshi that the two of them will meet again at the Pokemon League. Only two months left until the big tournament!

"A Rival Showdown! The Ookido Laboratory" is not a non-stop thrill ride of an episode. There's some interesting information dumps in it thanks to Dr. Ookido, sure - when and where the Pokemon League is being held, what happened to the other two Trainers who left Masara Town the same day Satoshi and Shigeru did, what each Trainers' Pokemon Bestiaries look like - but for the most part this episode is really just a collection of random little skits with very little connecting them all together. Here's Dr. Ookido showing Satoshi and Shigeru around the ranch they've probably visited a hundred times before! And now here's the Rocket-Dan getting attacked by pokemon, one after the other! Oh wait, did we waste too much time dicking around to give this episode a proper conclusion? No worries, we'll just have Satoshi's 30 Kentauros stampede through the area and be done with it!

Still, I like the episode exactly because of how slow and deliberate it is. Satoshi actually takes the time to go home, visit his mom, get some advice from Dr. Ookido, and debate the merits of pokemon training with his rival, and these are things that he won't really be given the time to do in future regions. They just don't make episodes like this anymore, probably because they're seen as being too "slow" and "talky" for today's audiences and probably also because upcoming game deadlines are much more tight than they were back in 1998. If we could get an episode like this at the end of every region that'd be one thing but the fact that we don't makes this one stand out even more.

I guess this is also the TV show's idea of wrapping up the Rocket-Dan? I mean obviously in the games Red is the one to defeat Sakaki and cause the organization to disband but in the TV show they opted to have Mewtwo be the one to wipe out the organization instead. I don't know if the producers of the TV series would have necessarily known about the pokemon mafia returning to Gold & Silver at the time this episode was written (late 1997 / early 1998) so it's hard to say whether or not they decided to keep the Rocket-Dan around because of the role they'd presumably play in the next series. But thanks to their decision not to disband the Rocket-Dan here, the doors are now open for the Rocket trio to keep appearing for years to come, regardless of what happens to the their organization in the games. And for that I am forever grateful.

If people had been keeping up with the Japanese version back in 1998 they probably would have wondered how 4Kids was going to handle the massive plot hole caused by them skipping that "The Legend of Miniryu" where Ash caught all those Tauros that end up saving the day here. They can't just not explain it, can they? Well, it turns out they very much can, and so for dub viewers Ash just suddenly has all these Tauros from out of nowhere. In the late 90s, when information about the Japanese version of this show was close to non-existent, this gaping plot hole would have been a really big deal! Luckily, most fans these days seem to know where these pokemon came from so I guess it all worked out in the end. In other news, this is also the second episode in as many weeks where there's a typo on the episode's title screen ("Corral" should only have one "L"), so LOL.

Title Screen
Ash's Tauros keep their Japanese voices.

Dialogue Edit

There aren't any cuts or paint edits in this one but holy crap the script rewrites more than makes up for that. I don't know who was in charge of this one (the credits just have a long list of names under a generic "Adaptations by" credit) but they sure seemed to enjoy taking the original script and going "nah, I can do better."

Ash comes downstairs for breakfast:
Delia: "When Mr. Mime sees something dirty, he has to clean it. Right Mimey?"
Mr. Mime: "Mr. Mime."
Misty: "Maybe now you can go another week without taking a bath."
Originally Satoshi's mother defended Bari-chan differently, saying that it only wanted to make Satoshi nice and clean. Kasumi then tells Satoshi that having his face sucked on by a vacuum cleaner at least saves him the trouble of having to wash his face himself (よかったじゃない、顔を洗う手間が省けて).

Also, Delia refers to Mimey as a "he" even though the Japanese version doesn't.

The Rocket trio:
Japanese Version English Version
Musashi: "Ah~ we're coming back empty-handed after all, aren't we?"
Jessie: "Well, there's no use pretending anymore."
Kojirou: "What are we going to say to the Boss?"
James: "We haven't successfully stolen a single Pokémon for the Boss."
Nyarth: "No matter what we tell him there's no way the three of us are going to get to keep our jobs Nya."
Meowth: "We're just victims of C.F.S. - Chronic Failure Syndrome."
All three: "Ya na kanjii~"
James: "There's his fabulous headquarters."
Musashi: "But y'know...if we know we're  going to get fired anyway..."
Jessie: "Wait a minute. What's the worst he can do to us?"
Kojirou: "...and go back just to get yelled at..."
James: "He can yell and scream and fire us all."
Nyarth: "...then that'd be stupid of us, Nya?"
Meowth: "Not if we quit first."
All three: "Let's get out of here!"
All: "We quit! Let's go!"

So yeah! Lots of little differences here. 4Kids brings the yuks with their brilliant "C.F.S." thing (Does anyone actually enjoy hokey lines like this?) before having the Team Rocket trio quit the organization. Which of course is an incredibly out-of-character thing for them to do.

Giovanni's about to get on the helicopter:

Jessie: "But, sir, is there anything we can do for you?"
Giovanni: "Just do your job for a change!"
Jessie: "I'm sorry I asked."
Sakaki's order in the Japanese version is to "Just do what you've been doing up until now!" (今までどおり適当にやっていろ!).

After he leaves:
Jessie: "You just heard what the Boss said, didn't you?"
James: "He just wants us to do our job."
Meowth: "The head honcho just gave us a major vote of confidence."
Musashi's and Kojirou's lines in the Japanese version have them doing a variation of the opening lines of their motto: "If we're asked to do things just like we've been doing up until now."" (今までどーりと言われたら) / "It's thanks to the world that we're not getting the axe" (クビじゃないのが世の情け). Nyarth then responds "That means we can stay in the Rocket-Dan Nya?" (ニャーたちはまだロケット団やってっていいニャ?).

I suppose 4Kids "translation" of the Rocket-Dan's motto doesn't really lend itself to the rewrite that this scene calls for ("Prepare for...doing our job?") so I guess it's understandable that they didn't even try to recreate this cute little moment for the dub. Still a shame, though.

Music Edit
This one's so strange.

So after the above exchange, the Rocket trio stands with their heads held high, ready to start fresh. At this point the first ten seconds or so of Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni, the part before any of the vocals kick in, start to play in the background.

The dub decides to do away with that and play a shortened version of the Rocket-Dan's motto theme instead. Not the one that they created for the First Movie, mind you; the one created by Shinji
Miyazaki for the Japanese version of the TV series.

In other words, 4Kids swapped out one piece of Japanese instrumental music for another.

One of the most common theories as to why the dub even bothers to replace the background music in this show in the first place is so 4Kids / TPCI can charge royalties for the new stuff whenever it's used in any of the non-English dubs of the show. But replacing one piece of Japanese music (which 4Kids does not own) for another piece of Japanese music (which 4Kids also does not own) doesn't allow them to do that. From a financial point of view the change here is completely pointless.

Another theory is "well, we think our music is better" but, again, this isn't "our" music. It's Japan's music.

Maybe the rights to Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni were too expensive / weren't free since it's a vocal song and those tend to be handled differently (yes, that includes the instrumental versions)? But then how did they get away with using the song in the Purin episode, or in "Go West, Young Meowth" five episodes later?.

So that leaves...we think this one Team Rocket song is better than this other Team Rocket song? We like change for the sake of change?


Dialogue Edit

The scene inside Oak's lab is basically one big rewrite after the other.

First up:
Oak: "Alright, calm down you two. Why can't Pallet's two top Pokémon Trainers get along?"
Gary and Ash: "Top Trainer!? Not him!"
Oak: "That's right. You're both such fine Trainers that you'll be Pokémon Masters before long. You might even be able to learn from each other."
Gary and Ash: "Hmph!"
Dr. Ookido calls the two of them "our stars of hope" (希望の星) which is kind of the same as "top Trainer," I guess, but it still feels a little different. Oak's "You might even be able to learn from each other," however, is pure 4Kids; originally Dr. Ookido just says he's happy that the two of them have so much potential.
Oak: "Here's your Krabby, Ash."
Ash: "How ya doin', Krabby? Long time no see."
Gary: "That's his, huh? Ha!"
Dr. Ookido doesn't explicitly state that this Crab is Satoshi's in the original; Shigeru is left to figure that out on his own. Shigeru's line here is different, too; originally he parrots back Satoshi's "'Long time no see...?'" line with a hint of disbelief in his voice, as if to question whether or not Satoshi rotates his pokemon out regularly the way he does.

Let's find out what happened to the other Trainers:
Oak: "Ash, four Pokémon Trainers left Pallet Town on their Pokémon journeys, but you and Gary have earned the most badges and I'm very proud."
Ash: "Oh, what happened to the other two?"
Oak: "They both got off to an excellent start but they just didn't have the skill."
Ash: "Oh, that's too bad."
Gary: "They just wimped out."
Shigeru's final line here is "their training wasn't enough," implying that they quit because of a lack of skill, not because they were scared or anything like that.

After Oak praises Ash for getting eight badges:
Ash: "Well gee, thank you."
Misty: "Hey, the Pokémon deserve lots of credit too."
Pikachu: "Pika."
Ash: "Misty's right. Maybe they deserve more credit than me."
Originally Satoshi says that he put in a lot of work too (え…オレだってそれなりにがんばったんだけどな), which, as you can see, is actually the opposite of what Ash says.

Professor Oak tells the young Trainers that the Pok
émon League is in two months:
Gary: "I'm not saying you're a bad Trainer, Ash, it's just that you don't have what it takes to beat me."
Ash: "We'll just see about that."
Shigeru's line in the Japanese version is "Just because we're both the "stars of hope" that doesn't mean we're on the same level" (同じ希望の星ならせめてボクと同じレベルになってもらわないとね). Satoshi replies by angrily asking him what he's trying to say with that.

The Rocket trio visit mom's house:
Jessie: "Good morning. We're from PNN, the Pokémon News Network."
James: "Is that little son of yours at home? Because we'd love to feature an interview with him about his return to Pallet for our show Pokémon Masters of Tomorrow."
Here, Kojirou asks for an interview but accidentally refers to Satoshi as Jaari Boy ("twerp"). He catches his mistake and, after stammering for a bit, finally refers to him as "Satoshi-kun." The English dub, to make up for the mouth flaps not being used to deliver this perfectly translatable bit of dialogue, has James yammer on about some made-up show Pokémon Masters of Tomorrow instead.

Also, Musashi introduces themselves as reporters from right there in Masara Town, something Jessie doesn't bother to do.

Back at Oak's house:

Gary: "So Ash, I guess you're happy with how your Krabby's doing here?"
Ash: "My Krabby's fine."
In the original Shigeru questions the "long time no see" comment he heard Satoshi give earlier. Satoshi responds by saying "And what of it?"

The argument starts to heat up:
Gary: "Maybe I shouldn't have said anything but I thought you might like to know how...real Trainers work."
Brock: "You gotta stop this, Professor, or there's gonna be a fight."
Oak: "I'm sorry, Brock, but I'm a professor, not a referee."
The professor's reply to Takeshi's plea in the Japanese version is quite different. Originally he tells Takeshi that the two of them have been fighting like that ever since they were little (あの2人は昔からあんなふうじゃったからのう), offering a rare glimpse at the two's history before they set off on their pokemon journey. Shigeru's first line is completely different too: originally he says that battles can get ugly if you don't use your head.

A few lines later:
Japanese Version
English Version
Shigeru: "For example, in Gym Leader battles I look up the Gym Leader's signature Type beforehand and swap out my pokemon with ones who will have an advantage against theirs."
Gary: "And here's another little tip. Different Pokémon types do better against different Gym Leaders' attacks. If you study the Leaders' attacks before every match you can choose the best Pokémon to beat 'em."
Dr. Ookido: "That's my grandson. Always thinking things through."
Oak: "Excellent strategy. That's my grandson."
Shigeru: "Of course I can't forget to calculate my opponent's level and take that into account."
Gary: "That's why it's so important to know what kind of Pokémon can beat your opponent's attacks."

This whole speech in the Japanese version has Shigeru telling Satoshi what he does himself, without any real concern for Satoshi, while the dubbed version has him being a little more helpful and give Ash tips about what to do. In the last line he also talks about calculating levels, something the dub leaves out altogether.

The very next exchange:
Japanese Version
English Version 
Takeshi: "So what would you do against a Rock-Type pokemon?"
Brock: "What kind of Pokémon would you use against my Geodude?"
Shigeru: "I'd usually have a Water-Type, y'know, but I'd also want to prepare a Grass-Type for backup. And how about Satoshi-kun?"
Gary: "I'd use a Water Pokémon against a Rock-Type but I'd have a Grass Pokémon ready for back-up. What would you use, Ash?"
Kasumi: "He used Pikachu!"
Misty: "He'd use Pikachu."
Shigeru: "Is that so? Using an Electric-Type against a Rock-Type is something even a rookie wouldn't do! It's amazing you made it this far."
Gary: "Ha! Everybody knows you shouldn't use an Electric Pokémon against a Rock-Type. What a loser."
Satoshi: "I got the badge either way, didn't I?"
Ash: "I'm no loser! I earned eight badges!"

Lots of verb tense changes here. In the Japanese version they're talking about the battle that Satoshi had against Takeshi while in the English dub they're using more generic language to talk about a hypothetical battle against any Rock-Type Trainer. 

After having their PokéDexes evaluated:

Gary: "You use your PokéDex every time you see a Pokémon, but I know so much about 'em I capture 'em first and ask questions later."
Ash: "Is that the best way?"
Gary: "Of course it's the best way."
Shigeru's first line there has him scolding Satoshi, saying that if he has time to open his Pokemon Bestiary and listen to it describe each pokemon then he has time to actually catch them. Gary's "I know so much about 'em" line isn't anywhere in the Japanese original.

Right before the commercial break 4Kids unleashes this on us:
Oak: "Let's poké-round my laboratory."

(in the original Dr. Ookido just tells everyone to follow him)

The eyecatch Pokémon for this week is:


Dialogue Edit
Misty finds out that Gary has over 200
Misty: "If there's only around 150 kinds of Pokémon, you must have captured more than one of some kinds."
Gary: "You can never have too many Pokémon. That's my motto. The more Pokémon you have, the better position you're in to win battles."
Awwwww "only around 150"? Kanto was so adorable you guys.

Anyway, Shigeru doesn't have any such motto in the Japanese version. He does, however, say that he's not happy only having one of each pokemon and that if there's a chance the next one he finds is stronger than the one he caught before then there's no reason not to catch it.

Shigeru's basically Shinji lite here.

More fighting:
Japanese Version
English Version
Satoshi: "My pokemon and I are friends. Numbers aren't important."
Ash: "Having lots of Pokémon isn't important. It's what you teach and what you learn."
Shigeru: "That just sounds like nothing but sour grapes to me."
Gary: "I'd say that too if I had as few Pokémon as you."
Satoshi: "What did you say? If that's how you feel then how about we battle right now?"
Ash: "Oh yeah? The ones I have are ten times better than yours!"
Shigeru: "Look at that, getting all worked up so easily. You really are a kid, huh?"
Gary: "You're not as good a Trainer as I am. Why don't you just admit it?"
Satoshi: "Aren't you a kid as well!?"
Ash: "I'm a better Trainer than you'll ever be."

Shigeru's basically Iris lite here. 

Also, a lot of the above got rewritten, but you can look at the two there and see for yourself.

Oak gives his speech:

Oak: "Pokémon are special and they need our special care."
Pikachu: "Pika."
Oak: "Just like ever other living creature, they deserve our consideration and our respect. If we care for them the way we care for those we love, we'll be able to live in peace as we learn about them and ourselves. My research has taught me that we need to deal with Pokémon like we need to deal with people - as individuals - if we want to discover their mysteries."
So here's the Japanese version: "Pokemon are truly mysterious living creatures. Evolution, special powers...you can even say they surpass other living beings. We'll have to become friends with them if we want to understand their secrets. Humans and pokemon co-exist. My life's work begins with me understanding each pokemon, one by one."

A bit later, during Professor Oak's breakdown of a typical day at his ranch, he frames everything by how close they occur to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This isn't done in the Japanese version.

After that:
Oak: "And that's basically what I do everyday."
Ash: "You must get to learn a lot, living with so many Pokémon."
Originally Satoshi compares Dr. Ookido to a zookeeper, indicating that zoos exist in the Japanese version. Real-world animals had already more or less been retconned out of the series by this point so is this a pokemon zoo? In any case, the comparison isn't there in the English dub.

Gary meets his "new" Pok

Gary: "Hiya, Doduo. How's everything going today?"

Shigeru calls his Dodo "My Sweet" (マイ・スイート) but Gary doesn't give his pokemon a similar pet name in the dub.
Oak: "We believe there are lots of Pokémon that no one has ever captured or even seen."
Brock: "Yeah, some people used to say that there were only 150 Pokémon. Then we discovered Togepi."
What's this "we" business? You didn't discover jack squat, Brock.

Originally Takeshi merely cites Togepi as an example of a pokemon outside the original 150.

After Ash and Gary see eye to eye about something:
Brock: "They really love Pokémon."
Misty: "Then maybe they can like each other."
Here's the Japanese version of the equivalent dialogue:  Takeshi: "Those two are really fired up, aren't they?" Kasumi: "What do you expect from two rivals?"

In other words, the Japanese version is far less shippy.

The Rocket trio crawl out of their hole:

Jessie: "That smokes gets in your eyes."
James: "Show me the way to go home. I'm tired and I want to go to bed."
Meowth: "Volare."
And now Meowth is Italian, apparently.

Y'know, if it weren't for the closed captions I wouldn't have had any idea what Meowth was saying here. Is this something that kids get? Or adults, for that matter?

Originally Nyarth just says "nya nya."

After Misty finds out that they have to help repair the fence:
Misty: "Us too?"
Oak:  "Believe me, helping others, sharing their burdens...that's the way to become a better Trainer, a better friend, and a better person."
Dr. Ookido's original line is "Effort Willpower! Sense of duty! It's said that anything can become experience for a Trainer during his training." (努力!根性!義理人情!!トレーナーの修行は何事も経験値がモノを言うのじゃ)
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