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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Movies

Revelation Lugia

Movie Stats:

Japanese Movie #2: "Revelation Lugia"
English Movie #2:  "The Power of One"
Japanese Release Date:  July 17th, 1999
American Release Date:  July 21st, 2000
Important Characters:  Gelardan (Lawrence III), Fleura (Melody), captain (Maren), Yodel (Carol)
Important Places:  Earthia Island (Shamouti Island), Mandarin Island (not mentioned)

"Do not disturb the God of Fire, the God of Thunder, or the God of Ice lest the heavens and the earth become angry and the world will head toward destruction. The God of the Sea will appear to save the world from destruction it will not be able to stop it. A great trainer will appear and be the only one capable of quelling the gods' wrath." After hearing this legend a Collector named Gelardan sets out in his flying fortress to capture the three Gods – Fire, Thunder, and Freezer – in order to draw out the God of the Sea, Lugia, and add it to his collection. As the Collector goes around catching the legendary pokemon, Satoshi and his friends arrive at Earthia Island where they're told about a way to save the world from the coming destruction. After Satoshi and his friends free the two legendary bird pokemon that Gelardan was able to catch the legendary pokemon Lugia appears! The God of the Sea fights the other pokemon while Satoshi goes around and gathers the last of the three treasures needed to bring the fighting to a close. The treasures are gathered, a special song is played, and the legendary birds return to their domains and the world is saved from danger.

After the unexpected success of the first movie a second movie was quickly put into production. Part of the discussions, according to screenplay writer Takeshi Shudo, was about how Mewtwo Strikes Back was great and all but don't you think it was a little bit too dark and scary? The decision to make the next movie a more light-hearted, adventurous fare was quickly made and the result is Revelation Lugia.

Did they succeed? I'd say so. The movie still has some of that Takeshi Shudo pretentiousness, with characters abruptly going off into these heady existential tangents that are completely out-of-place in a movie like this, but on the whole I feel like it's a much more age-appropriate film than the first one. Part of the problem I had with Mewtwo Strikes Back is that it had all these pre-requisites needed in order to fully enjoy it; with Revelation Lugia there's no need to listen to an hour-long CD drama or look up background information on each character. Just watch it, enjoy the Toho monster movie-esque battle between legendary Pokémon, and leave the theater happy.

Oh, and don't forget to turn off your brain. There are some real head scratchers in this one, including but not limited to: If Gelardan had captured Freezer then wouldn't that have restored balance as well, just the other way? Why is the weather in this movie calm except for when the plot calls for it to be crazy? Did whoever was piloting the helicopter that Dr. Ookido and the others were riding in die? Why didn't Satoshi hand the GS Ball over to Dr. Ookido when he had the chance?

This movie introduces us to a bunch of new characters with Gelardan standing out the most. He's a kind of fanatical man-child who lives in his own world and doesn't care what happens to the world the rest of us live in as long as he gets what he wants. He's more of an antagonist more than a villain because he's not doing any of the awful things he does out of malice or any other wicked intent and that's a lot of what makes him so interesting. His voice actor, Takeshi Kaga, brings a classiness to the character that few can (though Neil Stewart's take on him isn't half bad either!) and I just love love love the way he says "collection" throughout the film.

The other new character is Fleura, aka the character who was seemingly created to make shippers across the globe the happiest they'll ever be short of Satoshi getting down on one knee and proposing. I can't think of any other production in this franchise where the relationship between Satoshi and Kasumi is ever addressed this bluntly and it's kind of great that the movie was actually allowed to go as far as it did. Otherwise Fleura's OK but she doesn't really do much of anything after she sets up the movie's plot until the very, very end of the movie. 

And the Rocket-Dan! This is the movie in which my favorite characters have the biggest roles and I absolutely love it. Everything about their role in this movie and the reasoning behind them helping Jaari Boy out is perfectly done and I just love that they're given as much screentime as they are. This movie is constantly brought up during retrospectives as "the movie where the Rocket-Dan play the biggest role" and whenever I see those I'm like "well, yeah...but you know there's nothing stopping you from giving them bigger roles in future movies, right?" Needless to say I wish more movies handled them like this but I'm happy with what I've got.

Looking at Revelation Lugia it's obvious that this was a film with a much, much higher animation budget. Stuff like Gelardan's flying airship were rendered (poorly) in 3D but there are a ton of other scenes that were hand drawn but were clearly mapped out by computers and then traced over later. There are a lot of shots where the camera spins around various objects and anyone who's studied animation will tell you that shots like those aren't easy to make without some kind of help. The water animation is pretty great here as well and the big battle between Lugia and the legendary birds - something that's kind of tame by today's standards but was absolutely unprecedented at the time - looks fantastic. The movie has a few animation hiccups (there's this one shot of Pikachu jumping off a boat where they forgot to do any in-between animation whatsoever) but for the most part this movie's a visual feast.

On the soundtrack side of things, Shinji Miyazaki manages to produce yet another masterpiece. There are so many great pieces of music in this movie and the fact that the majority of it wasn't included on the movie's soundtrack is an absolute crime. Luckily a lot of the music will be reused for the TV series so we'll get to hear it again and again.

The English dub of Mewtwo Strikes Back was awful and to be honest 4Kids’ version of The Power of One isn't much better. This time 4Kids adds this ridiculous “one person can make all the difference!” moral that’s not in the original version at all which I guess is at least consistent with what they did to the first movie. The dub-only theme in this movie is a bit more ridiculous, however, since the events of the movie itself actively contradict the lines 4Kids makes the characters deliver:
  • Fleura told Satoshi what he needed to do in order to fulfill the legend.
  • The captain drove him to Fire Island in her boat.
  • Pikachu communicated with Thunder to find out what was happening.
  • Nyarth translated.
  • Satoshi's Pokémon helped him free Fire.
  • Gelardan got Satoshi to Thunder Island, unintentional as that was.
  • Yadoking tells Satoshi where to put the orbs.
  • His Pokémon, again, for pulling his makeshift sled across the frozen ocean to Ice island.
  • Lugia, for fighting off the legendary birds as they attacked.
  • The Rocket-Dan for getting him the rest of the way to the island.
  • Lugia, again, for flying him back to Earthia Island.
  • Kasumi for pulling his drowning ass out of the water.
  • Fleura for playing the song that ended all the fighting.
Revelation Lugia is a movie about co-existence and how we're not all that strong by ourselves but if we work together and combine our strengths we can achieve a much greater power and then the dub comes along and is like “nah, fuck other people, I'm awesome.”

Fire, Thunder, and Freezer all keep their Japanese voices.

Region One Cropping
So the United States, the country where the English dub of this movie came out, had this problem in the late 90s / early 2000s where many movies released on home video would only get "fullscreen" releases. "Fullscreen," back in those days, meant cropping a 16:9 video to 4:3 (chopping off about 40% of the picture) in order to fill up people's shitty Reagan-era TV sets because people really hated the idea of black bars on the top and bottom of their images.

All of the 4Kids movies were released "fullscreen" only when they first came out. Some of their later movies would get re-releases many years later that are in their proper aspect ratio but unfortunately this movie isn't one of them. And, well, this is what happens:


This is seriously the quality that we Americans had to put up with for nearly two decades. It wasn't until 2016 - 2016, people! - that people could finally buy this movie in a format that's actually watchable.


Music Edit
The background music gets completely replaced for the second movie in a row.

The music replacement in the first movie was bad because 4Kids replaced a fantastic soundtrack with music that was just there but the replacement in the second movie manages to be even worse. A big part of this movie is the music - particularly, Fleura's / Lugia's song - so replacing that with similar (because it still has to match the animation) but different music hurts the movie even more. Gelardan's chillingly cool theme music is replaced with drek I couldn't recall if I even tried and the rest of the song's soundtrack - including the 22 pieces that were never released on CD in Japan - got the boot as well.

The only piece of music to survive the transition from the Japanese version to the English dub is the Rocket-Dan's motto theme. Everything else is scrapped entirely.

As to why the music gets replaced...well it's the same crap as before. "We think our music is better, Shinji Miyazaki's a hack, we love getting royalty money from overseas, bla bla bla." And it's just terrible, y'know? I love all of Miyazaki's soundtracks but I felt like he did a particularly good job on this movie and to see it replaced with...that is just heartbreaking.

To 4Kids' credit, they at least allow there to be some scenes where there's no background music playing at all, something they had been avoiding like the plague in their dub of the TV series. But even then they're not consistent - there are still plenty of times where 4Kids has music droning on in the background when there wasn't anything there originally, just because.

But at least there aren't any vocal insert songs in this movie making Brother, My Brother a one-off abomination. Whew.

Dialogue Edit
So the very first script edit I absolutely have to address is the legend:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Gelardan:  "Do not disturb the God of Fire, the God of Thunder, or the God of Ice lest the heavens and the earth become angry and the world will head toward destruction. The God of the Sea will appear to save the world from destruction it will not be able to stop it. A great trainer will appear and be the only one capable of quelling the gods' wrath."
Lawrence III:  "Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice, or lightning lest these titans wreak destruction upon the world in which they clash. Though the waters' great Guardian shall arise to quell the fighting, alone its song will fail, lest the earth turn to ash. O Chosen One. Into thine hands bring together all three, their treasures combined, tame the Beast of the Sea."

There are a lot of similarities here but there are a lot of differences as well. The biggest difference is the dub's addition of the word "ash" which, we'll find out later in the film, is their way of connecting the legend to our very own Ash Ketchum. That same connection doesn't exist in the Japanese version at all, however, since neither Satoshi's name nor anything that sounds close to to it appear in the original legend.

The English version adds all this extra stuff about Lugia's song, the three treasures, and how they'll all tame "the Beast of the Sea" that aren't in the Japanese version, either. Oh, and it also rhymes just because.

Finally, in what I assume is a case of censorship, the dub replaces the word "god" with "titans." The dub will use several terms in place of god throughout the movie - titan, guardian - while the Japanese version consistently uses kami ("god") throughout.

Dialogue Edit
Whenever Lawrence III's computer talks 4Kids decides to add this weird computer-y scratchy noise to the soundtrack that's not there originally. This happens every single time the computer talks.

The next chunk of the movie is largely dialogue free so there aren't too many chances for 4Kids' writers to change anything. Once we join our heroes on the boat, however:

Tracey:  "Hey Ash, think we have time to give the Pokémon a little fresh air?"
Maren:  "Sure Tracey. It'll take us about an hour to get to the next island. There's plenty of time."

The captain doesn't address Kenji by name in the Japanese version. She also doesn't specify the exact amount of time it'll take for them to get to the next island; she just gives a vague "we have time plenty of time."

Music Edit
The movie's opening theme is, predictably, changed from The Rivals!!, performed by Satoshi's voice actress Rica Matsumoto; to Pokémon World, performed by Youngstown featuring Nobody's Angel. And I know I totally used this line when talking about M2M and the first movie, but don't worry if you don't recognize any of those group names. Nobody knew who the hell "Youngstown" or "Nobody's Angel" were back then either.

Youngstown feat. Nobody's Angel

They did have some amazingly awful 90s fashion though.

Dialogue Edit
After the storm caused by Mewtwo (oh wait wrong comparison):

Maren:  "We're way off course. That's Shamouti. We're right in the middle of the Orange Islands."

Originally the captain says that Earthia Island is on the outskirts of the Orange Islands, not in the middle.

Side Note
This is as good a time as any to bring up a weird quirk in the Japanese version:

Professor Oak:  "Good morning, Delia! Well you certainly do have a green thumb!"

This might be the first time we've ever had Ash's mother referred to by name.

She has a name in the Japanese version - Hanako - but she's more often referred to by as Satoshi no Mama-san (サトシのママさん), or "Satoshi's Mom," than her actual given name.  Even the movie's end credits just refer to her as "Mama" !

There's this weird thing in Japan where husbands stop referring to their wives by their given name the moment their first child's born, with the line of thinking being that you're a mother now and so that's your role. Westerners will do the same thing but it's mostly only when their children are actually in the room; if it's just the two of them and they still call each other "mama" and "papa" then it's really fucking weird, right? In Japan that's normal.

A cosmetics company Pola did a promotional video a few years ago that illustrates this phenomenon pretty well.

While there are some questionable aspects to that (the sample size is embarrassingly small) it is, I think, a great look at this side of Japanese culture that few people outside the country know about.

So, back to Pocket Monsters! Hanako is referred to as "Satoshi's Mom" way, way more than her actual name and a lot of that has to do with how Japan, where this franchise is made, views motherhood. 

Dialogue Edit
The snow starts to fall:

Delia:  "Oh my! It looks like snow!"
Professor Oak:  "Huh?"
Delia:  " snow. But...this is summer. How can it snow?"

Originally Hanako's first impression is that the falling white stuff look like cherry blossoms but soon decides that it's snow instead. 

Our heroes land on Shamouti Island:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Yodel:  "Oh, if it isn't Mi-cchan! Long time no see!" Carol:  "Maren, how are you? It's been a while."
Captain:  "Well if it isn't Yo-cchan! How many years has it been?" Maren:  "Carol, I can't believe it. It's great to see you."
Yodel:  "It's been about five years since the Mandarin Island branch school, so..." Carol:  "What are you doing back on Shamouti Island?"
Captain:  "But what is up with that outfit?"" Maren:  "We got caught up in that storm and floated in. And it looks like we got here at the perfect time."
Yodel:  "It's for the festival! Today's the first day, you see." Carol:  "You're right. The annual Legend Festival starts today."
Captain:  "Just what I'd expect from the festival maiden. Are you going to be playing that song?"
Maren:  "This is my favorite island holiday. Are you going to be the star of the show again?"
Yodel:  "Oh, I'm retiring from that. I'm not a little kid anymore, y'know?  My little sister's going to be taking over as the festival girl."
Carol:  "No, I'm too old to be the festival maiden anymore. So this year my little sister's going to take over for me."

Background information on the characters in the movie? Pffft, who needs it?

Also I just wanted to say that Carol (or Maren...I can't tell their voices are so similar) has some of the worst voice acting I've heard in recent memory. 

Sound Effects Edit
The sounds of the villagers' instruments - drums and rainsticks and the like - are muted throughout most of the scenes in which they appear in the dub. Other times the sounds they make are different from the sounds they make in the Japanese version.

Dialogue Edit
Melody teases Misty:

Melody:  "Are you his little sister?"
Misty:  "I am not."
Melody:  "Well, then...I guess you must be...his girlfriend."
Misty:  "Ugh, gross."
Melody:  "Oh I don't think so.  I'll be glad to play for him tonight at the legend banquet. Starts around 8:00. Oh and Misty...try not to get jealous."

Everything lines up pretty well with the Japanese version until we get to Melody's last line. Originally she says "Don't get so worked up! But y'know, to follow him all the way out here...I'd have to say you have pretty good taste."

The dub will do this for the rest of the movie. Fleura teases Kasumi a few times but it's a friendly kind of teasing. Melody, meanwhile, is a complete asshole to Misty throughout the majority of the film.

Also, Melody's apparently part Psychic-Type or something because she has no reason to know Misty's name at this point. This same discrepancy, of course, does not exist in the Japanese version.

Time for the legend banquet:

Maren:  "And she says 'No, but I have Krabbies.'" (everyone laughs)
Old Man:  (weird mumbly noises) "Haha...Krabbies."

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...did they just make an STD joke? In Pokémon? Is there some other way we're supposed to interpret this?


Melody explains the plot of the movie to Ash:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Fleura:  "When the heavens and the earth become angry and the world is headed toward destruction, the God of the Sea will appear and, together with the great Trainer, will quell the gods' fury. Mr. Satoshi, if you really are the great trainer then prove it to us!"
Melody:  "Hear ye all! From the trio of islands ancient spheres shall you take, for between life and death all the difference you'll make. O Chosen One, you must climb to the shrine to right what is wrong, and the world will be healed by the guardian's song."
Satoshi:  "Prove it?"
Ash:  "What do I do?"
Fleura:  "It's me, Fleura."
Melody:  "I just told you Ash."
Satoshi:  "I got that, but, um..."
Ash:  "Yeah, I heard all that stuff. But...what do I have to do?"
Fleura:  "Don't misunderstand me. This is just a part of the ritual. We do this every year. But don't worry, it's not like you have to give it your all or anything."
Melody:  "Oh it won't be very hard, Ash. Not for you. And besides almost all the Chosen Ones've come back alive."
Yodel:  "Fleura!"
Carol:  "Melody!"
Fleura:  "'Proving it' isn't anything hard, either. Go out to sea and gather three treasures from three islands. Then bring them back to this island and put them on the altar. I play a song on the flute (plays flute) for the gods and that's the end."
Melody:  "All you have to do is get these glass balls from three islands - one from Fire Island, one from Ice Island, and one from Lightning Island. And you bring them to the shrine back here. And then I celebrate by playing this song (plays flute). Then it's over, O Chosen One."
Satoshi:  "Where are these treasures?"
Ash:  "Do I get to wear a cool costume?"
Fleura:  "They're on shrines on each of the islands. (takes a bite out of fruit) But don't worry, we have boats that take you to each island and there are steps leading up to the shrines."
Melody:  "Sorry but it's just come as you are. (takes a bite out of fruit) Besides, you look perfect to me. The handsomest Chosen One in years."
Satoshi:  "OK! Let's head out right away!"
Ash:  "OK! Get me a boat and I'm ready!"
Fleura:  "There's no rush. The festival lasts until tomorrow. You can just leave in the morning. Now just sit back and relax."
Melody:  "Oh there's no hurry. You have all day tomorrow. Tonight's just for the party. Stay, have some fun!"
Satoshi:  "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. You know, strike while the iron is hot and all that? That's, that's my style."
Ash:  "Well some things are more important than fun. I'm Ash, the Chosen One! This is serious. I gotta be responsible."

There's very little that's similar between the two, huh??

As you can see, Melody's a lot more flirtatious than Fleura while Ash is a lot more gullible than Satoshi.

Melody and the other side characters go out into the storm to rescue Ash:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Fleura:  "Oh?  Are you...?"
Melody:  "What are you coming for?"
Kasumi:  "I'm coming too. I'm not his younger sister or his girlfriend but I'm coming anyway."
Misty:  "To find Ash. And before you start saying it's because I secretly like him, don't. Cuz I don't!"
Fleura:  "But why? Oh, I get it. It's because you've already followed him this far, right?"
Melody:  "Hey, chill out! You sure are sensitive about somebody who's not your boyfriend."
Kasumi:  "I'm not following him! He just happens to be going to the same places I want to go."
Misty:  "He's not my boyfriend! He's a boy and he's a friend but he's not a boyfriend!"
Kenji:  "Same with me!"
Tracey:  "You talking about me?"

Satoshi x Kenji confirmed.

The world's weather is going crazy:

TV Reporter:  "The source of the disturbance appears to be centered in the north central region of the Orange Islands."

The TV reporter in the Japanese version doesn't specify a direction; he just says that it's "near the Orange Islands."

Side Note
The captain's potato bag chip with the word "potato" written on it in Japanese letters gets untouched for the dub!

Chaos broke out in the theaters immediately. Some of the kids in the audience started to foam at the mouth while others' eyes melted from their very skulls. The ones whose heads didn't immediately burst into flames started turning on each other and before long the screams that once echoed through the movie theaters went silent, leaving only the sound of flesh being eaten off those lucky enough to escape into the warm embrace of death.

I hope, for all of our sakes, that 4Kids is more responsible in the future.

Dialogue Edit
Melody's boat climbs the stairs:

Misty:  "Let's find Ash."
Melody:  "Yeah and if he needs any help...his girlfriend's here."
Misty:  "But I'm not..."
Melody:  "Well like you said you are a girl and you are his friend. Isn't that right?"

There isn't any of this girlfriend teasing stuff in the Japanese version. Instead Fleura talks about how the boat being able to climb up to the shrine is good because it means they'll be able to save Satoshi just like they wanted.

Everyone reunites:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Fleura:  "There you are! I don't know what to say about you coming all the way here out in that storm. You've got some nerve!"
Melody:  "Well I hope you're happy, Mr. Hero. If you'd just listen to me in the first place and stay at the party like I told you to we wouldn't be stranded out here on this island."
Kasumi:  "He's always like that. Now you see how hard it is for me to go around with him."
Misty:  "Welcome to my world. I have to deal with his stubborn attitude every single day."
Fleura:  "I see. You're talking about how you like him, is that it?"
Melody:  "Oh you'll get used to it. It's just something you're going to need to work on when the two of you get married."
Kasumi:  "Wha...N...No!"
Misty:  "Take that back!"

A little different, no?

Japanese Version
English Dub
Musashi:  "Hey now, you brats are about ten years too early to be worrying about things like romance or who you like and who you don't like."
Jessie:  "Listen to me, kid. When you get involved with the opposite sex you're only asking for trouble."
Kojirou:  "And we older folks about about five years too late."
James:  "Yes and that's the kind of trouble...I stay out of."
Nyarth:  "In any case the idea of a 'love life' is foreign to you two."
Meowth:  "You's two don't need the opposite sex cause you got each other."
Musashi:  "What did you say!?"
Jessie:  "What does that mean!?"
Kojirou:  "Say that again!"
James:  "Not funny!"

I don't know what the hell Meowth is trying to say, either. So Jessie and James are both the same sex? Or they're gender neutral?

Oh, and haha, James is gay! That's certainly a joke that 4Kids won't run into the ground over and over for the next six years or so.

But kudos to 4Kids for finding a way to insert the word "sex" into a G-rated movie.

The next script change doesn't happen until after our heroes have been captured. This movie's kind of nice like that; there are these long action sequences in which there's very little talking so 4Kids doesn't have too many opportunities to screw things up. 

Anyway, our heroes are being held captive in Lawrence III's castle:

Melody:  "Hey, what's this?"

The line's an accurate translation of what's said in the Japanese version but the delivery's totally different. In the English version Melody sounds like she had never seen that legend before (which seems really, really unlikely given how stone tablets with the legend written on them are on the very island she lives on) while in the Japanese version she sounds like she actually recognizes it.

Lawrence III enters:

Lawrence III:  "What do you think? Moltres, the Bird of Fire, and Zapdos, the Bird of Lightning. Of course without Articuno it's not a complete set but..."
Misty:  "That's disgusting! The way you talk it's like Pokémon are just things to collect like dolls or stamps. What kind of Trainer are you!?"

Originally Kasumi demands to know why he doesn't use Monster Balls to capture Pokémon the way a normal Trainer would. 

Also, "collecting stamps?" Wow, that's not a line written by an out-of-touch middle aged white man who has no idea what kids are into these days, not at all! 

Lawrence III:  "I'm afraid I'm not a Trainer, young lady. I am merely...a Collector. I began my collection with a Mew card I have all this."

Gelardan doesn't say anything about a Mew card in the original. Instead he tells everyone that that a collection's no good if it's not put out on display for people to see, implying that closing the legendary birds up in Monster Balls doesn't allow him to do so.

I'm sure 4Kids changed this to try to explain the Mew card thing at the end which is, admittedly, a bit out of nowhere. Screenplay writer Takeshi Shudo stated in his blog that the Mew card thing was a leftover from an earlier version of the movie and that not explaining it was one of the parts of the script where he messed up. 

Lawrence III:  "Legendary Pokémon have always been my passion. And soon my collection itself will be legendary."

Here, Gelardan tells the gang that he'll allow them to look at his collection but asks them not to touch anything. "That's just proper etiquette," he says. 

In the English dub, however, Lawrence III just kind of releases our heroes without any explanation whatsoever.

Dialogue Edit / Cut (17 seconds)
Next up is (sigh) Professor Oak's explanation of what's going on.  It's a total rewrite and includes some cut footage.

Japanese Version
English Dub
Dr. Ookido:  "There's a legend on Earthia Island that the God of Fire, God of Lightning, and God of Ice all live near the island. If we break them down scientifically, the God of Ice may have the power to freeze the water and the God of Fire may have the power to melt ice. This creates a water current that feeds into the ocean, you see."
Oak:  "Near Shamouti lie the islands of Fire, Ice, and Lightning home to the legendary birds Moltres, Articuno, and Zapdos. I fear that they are somehow involved. Ancient writings from many different cultures name this area, specifically the islands of Fire and Ice, as the cradle of the ocean - the source, if you will, of all the waters of the world. This has been disputed by scientists for centuries. But it does make some poetic sense when you consider what forms when combining Fire and Ice. 
TV Reporter:  "So...there's a water current at the bottom of the sea?"
TV Reporter:  "And...what about the island of Lightning, Professor?"
Dr. Ookido:  "And if you add electricity from the God of Lightning to this mixture then protein, the origin of life, is created. 
Oak:  "Well, imagine if an imbalance of power occurred between Lightning, Ice, and Fire. Here's potentially how the underwater current has formed. If the balance between the powers of Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres were somehow disrupted,
TV Reporter:  "And...what does that all mean?"
Cut (18 seconds)
Dr. Ookido:  "To put it another way, if there's any disturbance in the balance among the three gods then it could sway the deep sea current and cause the birth of something new. The land in the center of the deep sea current, the birthplace of all living things,
could also be called the hometown of all living things. The cause of the disturbance is related to the three powers and can be destroyed by them." it's conceivable that a powerful underwater current, this churning Beast of the Sea, could in fact emerge from this region and ultimately flood the entire planet."

Science? In a Pokémon movie? Get the hell out of there!"

The Japanese version makes more sense - by creating something new (protein), you're messing up the flow of the underwater current - but the English version doesn't really do the same thing.  The thing with Professor Oak's explanation is that it doesn't explain how their imbalance would cause the "Beast of the Sea" to come out and start flooding the world.

4Kids even went so far as to cut 17 seconds worth of footage so they wouldn't have to make up any more bullshit for Professor Oak to say.

By the way, the Japanese DVD for this movie has the English audio track on it, for some reason, and when they get to this scene in the English version they end up just muting it because no audio exists for that scene.

Side Note
Slowking's most famous line

Slowking:  "I could use pants"

Is really just "this is trouble" in the Japanese version.

Dialogue Edit
Hey, TPCI wasn't the only ones who could make Team Rocket assholes to each other:

Melody:  "What if the ancient legend is coming true?"
James:  "It if it is true all intelligent life will be destroyed."
Jessie:  "That's right."
James:  "And I'll be..."
Meowth:  "You will be fine."

Originally Kojirou says that if the world is destroyed, then there won't be any Pokémon left for them to steal. The Rocket trio then say, one line at a time, that the three of them will be out of a job.

Cut - 14 seconds
When Satoshi tries to rescue Fire from its barrier prison, he calls Lizardon, Pikachu, and Zenigame to help. In the English version the three Pokémon attack and, after a short while, an explosion occurs that manages to free the beast. What dub viewers miss out on is Kenji explaining why said explosion takes place.

"Water Gun and Thunderbolt. The water is broken down by the electricity into hydrogen and oxygen...

H2 and O...  And if you add Flamethrower to that... EVERYBODY GET DOWN!!"

I mean the whole thing is just so insulting. Either 4Kids thinks their audience is too dumb to handle basic science in their entertainment or they didn't actually understand Kenji's explanation themselves and so they just cut it. I don't know which one is sadder, to tell you the truth.

According to Bulbapedia, the ani-manga for this movie left the scene intact with the following dialogue: "The water and electricity blasts are creating two gases, hydrogen and oxygen. If those two gases come into contact with Charizard's fire, there's going to be an (explosion)." So there's that.

Just like with the previous scene, the Japanese DVD has the English audio cut out on this scene since 4Kids never bothered to dub this.

Dialogue Edit
After our heroes escape Lawrence III's airship and make it to the boat:

Jessie:  "I'd hate to get burned by their fire."
James:  "I'd hate to get zapped by their lightning."
Meowth:  "I'd hate to get hit by...their droppings!"

You know what? I can give credit where credit's due. The original Japanese dialogue here ("They're angry" "They're completely angry" "At a time like this...let's act like we don't know anything!") is actually pretty boring and so I will say that the dub dialogue (of this one particular exchange) is actually better. *spits out drink *rubs eyes *shakes head in disbelief

As Lugia's pillar of water carries our heroes to safety:

Melody:  "What's that sound?"

This is another case of the performance completely altering the meaning of the line. Originally Fleura says "That sound...?" but the way her voice actor delivers it makes it sound like she's heard it before. Melody, on the other hand, seems to have never heard this song before despite it being pretty much the same song she practiced to be able to play on her orcarina.

Ash meets Slowking:

Slowking:  "Take the treasure...and put it there."
Ash:  "You can talk!?"

This is like the second time in five minutes that I like a dub line better than the Japanese line WHAT'S GOING ON HERE GUYZ SOMEBODY CALL 911 HEEEEEELP!

Originally Satoshi just repeats the word "treasure" back at Yadoking. The reason I like the English line as much as I do is because you know what? It is weird that Yadoking can talk.
And not just telepathy talking, either; Yadoking can talk talk. And yet nobody in the Japanese version acknowledges this or questions this or anything.

Even if I look at the production side of things and think that Yadoking can talk because they wanted to give Masatoshi Hamada someone to voice that still doesn't explain why a Pokémon can speak human language. Mr. Hamada could have just as easily voiced a random villager or something but no! He had to voice a Yadoking that can speak human for some reason.

After Satoshi puts the two treasures he had collected so far onto the altar:

Slowking:  "So, you're Ash.  You're one treasure short."
Ash:  "Yeah I know'd you know my name?"

This script change, on the other hand...nah, I can't get behind it.

Originally Yadoking doesn't know Satoshi's name and just says "Two!? You're one short." Satoshi replies by saying "When you say two short...what do you mean, exactly?"

Now let's look at The Power of One:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Yadoking:  "We're in trouble...'Only the great trainer will appear and be able to quell the gods' fury.' "
Slowking:  "There's only one hope. Only the Chosen One can bring together the treasures to help the water's great guardian..."
Fleura:  "Great...trainer?"
Melody:  "But the legend says its song will fail."
Yadoking:  "The one who got two treasures."
Slowking:  "...And thus the earth shall turn to ash."
Fleura:  "The great trainer the world?"
Melody:  "But how are we ever going to find the Chosen One if we don't even know where to look?"
Kasumi:  "Wait a minute...oh no!  You don't mean Satoshi!?"
Misty:  "It's right in the legend. 'The earth shall turn to Ash.' "
Kenji:  "It sure does seem that way."
Tracey:  "Ash, it's talking about you!"
Satoshi:  "M-Me?  You mean me!?"
Ash:  "I'm the...Chosen One?"

The English dub decides to have Ash be the Chosen One because of a pun buried in an ancient legend. A pun that, by the way, must have been a real pain in the neck for the foreign language dubbers who use the English dub as their base. In the Japanese version it's made pretty clear that the great trainer could really be anybody who manages to collect the three treasures and that Satoshi just happens to be the one who showed up.

But wait, there's more!

Japanese Version
English Dub
Satoshi:  "Whoa wait a minute. I want to become a Pokémon Master but saving the world..."
Ash:  "W-wait a Pokémon's tough enough, but saving the world is way too hard!"
Kasumi:  "I know it's not what you set out to do..."
Misty:  "I know it doesn't sound easy, Ash..."
Kenji:  "But at this point you're the only one who matches the legend this closely."
Tracey:  "But you're the only one who matches the legend perfectly. What do you say?"
Satoshi:  " the festival you said this wasn't supposed to be anything difficult."
Ash:  "Well right now I wish my mom had named me Bob instead of Ash."
Fleura:  "It was supposed to be easy...I'm sorry I dragged you into this."
Melody:  "Ash this whole thing is my fault...I...I never should've dragged you into this."
Satoshi:  "What should I do?"
Ash:  "Well I guess I gotta go along with that."

Here's a life tip, Ash: If someone says "this is all my fault" the socially polite thing to do isn't to full-on agree with them without even a hint of empathy in your voice.

But yeah, the Japanese version includes a reference to a line said during the festival in the first half of the movie (a line that got rewritten in 4Kids' version) and a complete lack of any lame "Bob" comment so I'd say the Japanese version wins this round.

After Lugia's revived:

Lugia:  "When the treasures of Fire, Ice, and Lightning are aligned, my song shall harmonize with their powers and tame the beasts both above and below the sea. But this can come to pass only with the help of the Chosen One..."
Ash:  "But what can I do that somebody else can't?"

The English dub, which usually goes to great lengths to over-explain everything, really could have handled this whole underwater current thing better. They create this whole "Beast of the Sea" name to refer to the underwater current but they're uncharacteristically vague about it and so a lot of fans misinterpret "Beast of the Sea" as a reference to Lugia instead. And so you get a line like this where Lugia's talking about "tam(ing) the beast both above and below the sea" and it's not unreasonable to think that he's using the word "beasts" to refer to Pokémon and only Pok
émon. He's not.

Also, in the Japanese version Lugia states that it's a requirement that the great trainer be a human. Satoshi then asks if that means he's supposed to be the representative of humans.

Ash decides to be a hero:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Satoshi:  "I guess I really do get carried away, huh? Kasumi...Kenji...Fleura-san..."
Ash:  "I'll do whatever it takes to get that third treasure. But what if I mess up? What if I...?"
Kasumi:  "Satoshi..."
Misty:  "You can do it."
Fleura:  "Satoshi-kun..."
Melody:  "We know you can."
Satoshi:  "...Let's go save the world! Let's do it!"
Ash:  "Yeah you're right I CAN do it! I'm the Chosen One!"

Wow Ash's turnaround in the dub is really fast huh? Like, comically fast.

Next, Team Rocket to the rescue!

Jessie:  "If that kid thinks we're here for trouble..."
James:  "We're certainly going to burst his bubble!"
Jessie:  "Instead of causing tribulation..."
James:  "We've undergone a transformation!"
Jessie:  "Though it's way outside our usual range..."
James:  "We're going to do something nice for a change!"
Jessie:  "Jessie!"
James:  "James!"
Jessie:  "Up til now, Team Rocket's been quite unscrupulous!"
James:  "Being good guys for once would be super-dupulous!"
Meowth:  "That's ri-ight!"

Originally the Rocket-Dan just perform the regular version of their motto.

After getting the treasure Lugia flies away:

Jessie:  "We're slowing Lugia down, the three of us are too heavy!"
James:  "Let's try Weight Watchers!"
Jessie:  "It's too late for that!"
Meowth:  "I heard it's never too late if you really stick to the program!"

There's a play on words in the Japanese version. Originally Musashi and Kojirou ask if they're ashite-matoi (足手まとい) which literally translates to "we're binding their hands and legs" but is more often translated as "we're slowing them down." Musashi then says that they really are "binding their hands and legs" just like it's written and Nyarth responds by saying that that's obvious just by looking.

The Weight Watchers line 4Kids came up with instead? Meh. It's a reference that's managed to stand the test of time so I guess it has that going for it.

After Team Rocket plummets into the ocean (also, how amazing is it that 4Kids got away with Meowth actually using the d-word?):

Ash:  "Lugia!  Why're all those Pokémon down there?"
Lugia:  "Because they feel like they must be here in case they are needed."

Originally Satoshi says that Lugia's awesome and asks if it really is a Pokémon. Lugia responds by saying that it is and that it lives on this planet together with all the other living creatures who inhabit it.

Lugia:  "That just one Pokémon could help the world would be worth the journey for thousands of them any day. But this day the one that can make all the you."

God doesn't the English version of this movie sound like one of those sad fanfics where the author inserts him or herself in as the main character and all the rest of the characters can't stop talking about how great said main character is? Ash is so great and Ash is going to save the world and Ash is so handsome and smart and funny isn't Ash the greatest!?  Ugh.

In the Japanese version Lugia tells Satoshi that since all those Pokémon live in the same world together they can't allow it to be destroyed. When Satoshi asks what "it" is, Lugia says that it's talking about each other's worlds. "There's your version of the world, and then there's my version of the world. Everyone has a world unique to them." Satoshi nodding in agreement at such a philosophical statement is weird, I'll give you that, but I still like it better than English dub Lugia bringing up how great Ash is every five seconds.

Lawrence III makes one last attempt:

Lawrence III:  "Soon, Lugia, you will be mine and my destiny will be fulfilled at last."

In the Nihongo-ban Gelardan doesn't mention anything about any "destiny" but instead compliments Lugia on being so magnificent being the perfect addition to his collection.

Kasumi rushes out to save Satoshi from drowning:

Misty:  "And Ash is never really alone 'cause he's"

Originally Kasumi says "Satoshi's my burden...right?" It's similar to the English line but not quite as shippy.

Sound Effect Edit
4Kids adds a bunch of thunder sounds to the scene where he wakes up and takes the final treasure up to the shrine. And by "thunder sounds" I mean holy crap it sounds like they just AltaVista'd "thunder sounds" and went with the first item that popped up.

Dialogue Edit
That long, long sequence where Melody's flute fixes everything is great because, again, there's no dialogue for 4Kids to rewrite. So, let's cut to the end of the movie.

Lugia:  "The Beast of the Sea has been tamed. The fate of the world could not have been in better hands."

Originally Lugia asks that our heroes keep its existence a secret since the world will be better off that way. 

Next, Delia sees her child:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Hanako:  "Satoshi, I saw everything! What are you doing such dangerous stuff for!?"
Delia:  "All right, start talking! You are in big trouble Mister!"
Kasumi:  "But Satoshi saved the world!"
Misty:  "But...Mrs. Ketchum, Ash just helped save the whole world!"
Hanako:  "So what? You're still just a child so you can't be so reckless. 'Save the world?' 'Risk your life?'  If Satoshi left me then Satoshi's world would cease to exist. And my son would cease to exist as well. Your world exists because you exist. Satoshi, what did you want to do in your world?"
Delia:  "Oh he did, did he!? Well I could've lost my whole world! Every day I worry about you and wonder if you're all right. I know I can't stop you...from doing the things you need to do. I just can't help missing you all the time. You're a Pokémon Trainer, and that's just how it is. But next time could you try to save the world just a little closer to home?"
Satoshi:  "I want to become a Pokémon Master..."
Ash:  "I guess I...could give it a try."
Hanako:  "Well then you go do that...without being so reckless."
Delia:  "And remember, every're my hero."
Satoshi:  "I can do that."
Ash:  "Thanks mom."

I have to say that I'm slightly amazed that they didn't have Delia bring up Ash's underwear in this scene.

Lawrence III's final scene:

Lawrence III:  "How it all began...and how I'll begin again. 

Gelardan doesn't say anything in the Japanese version.

Finally, the dub's quest to avoid translating ii kanji at all costs continues:

Japanese Version
English Dub
Musashi:  "We certainly did manage something."
Jessie:  "Oh...then I guess the bad guys..."
Kojirou:  "This feels..."
James:  "Are finally..."
Nyarth:  "Very..."
Meowth:  "Good guys!"
Rocket Trio:  "greeeeeeat!"
Jessie:  "So then we're not bad!"
James:  "That's good!"
Meowth:  "What if the Boss finds out?"
James:  "That's bad!"
Jessie:  "We'll start our own Team."
James:  "That's good!"
Meowth:  "But we got no money."
James:  "That's bad!"
Jessie:  "Then we'll just steal some!"
James:  "That's good!  Or is that bad?"

"Simpsons did it!  Simpsons did it!"

Music Edit
The Japanese ending theme, toi et moi, is replaced by three songs in the English dub.

The first song is "The Power of One" by Donna Summer, easily the most high profile artist the dub had ever gotten - and will ever get - in its life. It's actually quite a beautiful song and I have to give the producers kudos for having the song share the same melody as Melody's ocarina song / Lugia's song. Nice touch.

It's also the song, you may remember, that was hilariously quoted by an actual U.S. presidential candidate back in 2012 (skip to the 3:30 mark).

But instead of having the song play throughout the entire ending - the full version of the song is about four minutes long - they decide to play a shortened version instead so they can cram in Weird Al Yankovic's atrocious "Polkamon" song and Westlife's less atrocious but still pretty forgettable "Flying Without Wings." It's not as bad as what they did with the first movie but it's still pretty terrible.

But that's kind of The Power of One in a nutshell, isn't it?

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This page was last updated on September 26th, 2020




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