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Film AG 03

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Movies

Movie Stats:

Japanese Movie AG 03:  "Myuu and the Wave-Guiding Hero, Lucario"
American Movie 8:  "Pokémon Lucario and the Mystery of Mew"

Japanese Air Date:  July 16th, 2005
American Air Date:  September 19th, 2006
Important Characters:  Arlon (Sir Aaron), Queen Aileen (Lady Ileen), Queen Leen (Lady Rin), Kid Summers (Kid Summers), Banks (Banks)
Important Places:  Oldoran Castle (Cameron Palace), The Tree of the Beginning of the World (Tree of Beginning)

A long long time ago, in the kingdom of Oldoran, a great war was raged between two opposing pokemon armies.  The legend states that the Wave-Guiding Hero, Arlon, sealed his trusted companion Lucario in a staff before somehow quelling the anger of the two warring parties.   In the present day, Satoshi and his friends come across the kingdom of Oldoran in their travels.  Satoshi enters a competition to determine who will be crowned this year's "Wave-Guiding Hero," and the young trainer ends up winning the title!  As Satoshi holds the staff that once belonged to Arlon, he hears the voice of Lucario calling out to him as it shakes violently in his hand.  Suddenly, the seal is broken, and Lucario is brought back to life!  As the confused pokemon assesses his situation, Masato reveals that a Myuu had appeared and taken Pikachu and Nyasu!  So, Satoshi-tachi, an adventurer named Kid Summers, and the newly awakened Lucario set off on a journey to Myuu's home, the Tree of the Beginning of the World.  After a long journey and several confrontations with Regirock, Registeel, and Regice, our heroes end up at the tree shaped rock formation.  As our heroes make their way through the giant living organism, they are attacked by the tree's leukocytes, but they are repelled after Myuu intervenes.  However, in doing so, the legendary pokemon becomes weak and loses its power!  Kid, with help from her assistant Banks, discovers that if Myuu dies, the Tree will too!  In order to save everyone, Lucario gives up its life to save Myuu and the Tree.  With Myuu and the Tree safe from harm, Lucario goes on to join his beloved master. 

The third Advanced Generation movie is the best Pocket Monsters film yet.

I know that a lot of people hate it when I state an opinion as a fact, but this time, I don't think a lot of people mind because most fans agree with me.  And why wouldn't they?  Everything about this movie is done very well, as if the directors are giving this to us as an apology after last year's disappointing entry.  The animation is absolutely gorgeous, the storyline is intriguing, the fantasy world this movie is set in immediately grabs the viewer, the music is superb, and the characters are really interesting this time around.  This isn't a movie about pokemon with a story just sort of tacked onto it; it's a movie where the story takes the center stage and are supported by the pokemon who appear in it.

Luckily, 4Kids realized how great this movie was and decided not to eff it up.  This is 4Kids' "last dub" (even though the dub of this movie was apparently completed before the last few episodes of Advanced Battle were), and it seems like they intended to go out with a bang.  The voices of the main characters from the TV series continue to be good (though Veronica Taylor does a horrible "crying Ash"), and the side characters fair just as well.  The only voices that really stuck out to me as being "off" were Banks, who sounded a lot like the FUNimation version of Master Roshi, and Lucario.  Lucario, who's apparently voiced by Sean Schemmel, does a good Lucario voice, but the acting is extremely frustrating.  While Sean is able to pull off an angry, gruff, Robby Benson-esque Lucario, he absolutely sucks at portraying a sad or hopeless Lucario.  I mean, even when he's crying at the end of the movie, he still sounds pissed off! 

Of course, the biggest fault I can find with the whole thing is the fact that the movie, like the seven movies before it, is presented in fullscreen.  This movie is absolutely gorgeous when presented in its original aspect ratio, but the cropped version looks like absolute sh*t.  The grandeur of a number of the movie's giant, swooping shots is lost because so much of the image is cropped out for the American DVD release.  The movie's picture also suffers from an annoyingly high amount of artefacting, and while the image isn't the worse we've seen (Pokémon Heroes gets that..."honor"), it's still distracting.  If you want to see the English version of this movie presented in its original aspect ratio, I suggest importing the Australian DVD.

Myuu and the Regis keep their Japanese voices.  Regirock's voice is slightly remixed in the first scene in appears in, but every other scene featuring Regirock and the other Regis after that is left alone. 

Side Note
The "World of Pokémon" thing we're used to seeing by now is narrated by an elderly man in the dub, while it's narrated by the regular TV show narrator in the Japanese version.

Paint Edit
The text "A long time ago, in a time before Monster Balls" is erased from the beginning of the movie.  To make up for this, 4Kids has the narrator deliver this message verbally.

Japanese English

Click on each image to view a larger version.

Dialogue Edit
When Ho-Oh lands and transforms into Mew, Pidgeot's voice comes out of it.  Kind of weird, huh?  In the Japanese version, though, the correct voice (Hou'ou's) comes out.

Paint Edit
More text is erased from the dub.  This time, the words "And now..." (to indicate that the rest of the movie takes place in the present) are removed.

Japanese English

Click on each image to view a larger version.

Music Edit
The movie's opening theme, to nobody's surprise, is replaced in the dub.  Battle Frontier, which is a pretty awesome song, is replaced by the Pokémon Advance Battle theme ("Unbeatable").   For some reason, everybody and their momma is popping a boner for this song, going on about how great it is, but I really don't think it's anything special.  *shrugs*

Dialogue Edit
The majority of the movie's edits are script changes.

This first one occurs during the scene where Lucario asks Ash if he's Pikachu's master:

Ash:  "If one of your friends was lost, you'd want to bring him back too, wouldn't you?"
Lucario:  "I don't have any friends.  And I don't want any."

Aside from the awkward delivery of Lucario's line, the reason I'm pointing this out is because Lucario's line is a rewrite.  Originally, Lucario tells Satoshi that the only reason he's going with him is because Queen Aileen asked him to.  While the English version sort of gives off the same vibe (that Lucario really wants nothing to do with Ash), it's a bit overdramatic and clichéd if you ask me. 

Later, during the explanation of what Aura is:

Ash:  "What is Aura anyway?"
Kid:  "Well, it's the living essence that's inside of every creature."
Max:  "Can you tell me what it looks like, then, huh?"
Brock:  "I think it's supposed to be invisible to most of us, Max."
May:  "Except that Lucario can see it, right?"

Everything in the dub is the same as the Japanese version until Max's line.  Originally, Masato asks if he has hadou (what the dub calls "Aura") as well.  Takeshi answers by saying that hadou can also be known as Aura.  At that point, Haruka guesses that Lucario is able to see through the thick fog because it's using its hadou to sort of "feel out" his surroundings.

I think the problem I have with the dub rewrite is how incredibly nonsensical Max's question is. 

Later, after seeing the vision of the army stampede, we get the biggest rewrite of the movie:

Brock:  "Sir Aaron was no hero.  He wasn't even around."
Kid:  "So that whole legend of the champion thing was wrong?"
May:  "But...I don't get it.  How does that vision prove anything?"
Max:  "I think I know.  There was a big battle and Sir Aaron must have abandoned Lucario."
May:  "Oh"
Lucario:  "He was my master.  And he betrayed me."

That's not what's said in the Japanese version at all.  In fact, it's almost the exact opposite.

Basically, Takeshi's equivalent line in the Japanese version is wondering whether or not what Lucario said about Arlon abandoning him is true.  Kid's and May's lines are pretty much the same in both versions, but it's when we get to Max's line that we get into the big changes.  That's because Masato originally hypothesized that Arlon had sealed Lucario in his staff to save him.  After that, the very next shot shows Lucario asking "Why...?"  The way the Japanese voice actor delivers the one word line is more of a confused "what does this all mean?" than it is an accusatory "why did you abandon me?"

While I know many people will consider this change to be insignificant, it really does alter the way the scene plays out.  In the English version, it seems like everyone's already judged Aaron as being guilty, while in the Japanese version, our heroes have a lot more cautious attitude about condemning Arlon.  This "he's guilty!" vs. "maybe he did it for Lucario's good" difference appears a few more times in the movie, and it's just something that bugged me as I watched the English version.

Toward the end of the movie, we get some good old-fashioned hypocritical editing:

Kid:  "No!  It's too dangerous!  You'll end up destroying yourself!"
Ash:  "If I don't do this, the Tree will die, and so will the pokémon who live here!"

I know what rule 4Kids is going by here; animals and plants can "die," but humans have to be "destroyed."  This pussyfooting around the concept of death is absolutely ridiculous, and these two lines (which really are said back-to-back) are the perfect examples of why that is.

Later, Arlon's final speech is reworked a bit in the dub.  I won't type up any more transcripts right now, but the difference between the two versions is that while the basic gist of the thing remains the same, a few small details are altered.  For example, 4Kids replaces Lucario's "Of course I would!" (in response to Arlon saying that Lucario would have followed him to the tree if he hadn't sealed him) with a line that pretty much says that Lucario's forgiven him. 

Another example is when Satoshi yells "Don't die!" to Lucario, which is responded by Lucario saying that he's not dying - he's just going to where his master is.  This is replaced by Ash asking Lucario not to "leave" since, as we saw above, the word "die" is taboo.

I also thought that these lines were funny:

Aaron:  "I only wish you could have know the real story
(Then, a couple of lines later)
Aaron:  "I regrets"

Well, 4Kids, which one is it?  Does he have any regrets or doesn't he?

Finally, the very last scene in the movie is WAY more talkative in the dub than it is in the Japanese version.  After May's "Oh Ash" line, both she and Brock continue to prattle on (off-camera, of course) about how Lucario is really gone before Ash talks about how the wave is inside him.  Originally, there isn't a word of dialogue between Haruka's reaction to Lucario's "death" and Satoshi's final line before the ending credits.

Music Edit
The movie's ending theme, Hajimari no Uta, is replaced in the dub by a cheesy 80's rock ballad-type song called We Will Meet Again.  I'm surprised 4Kids didn't get Puffy, who did the Japanese theme song, to record an English version of the song; after all, they do have their own cartoon in the U.S. and were even featured in last year's Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade (the only other Japanese-themed float guessed it...Pikachu).

Final Thoughts
This movie was the best Pocket Monsters movie in Japan, and thankfully, it's the best Pokémon movie in the US.  The biggest problem I have with the cropping to fullscreen, and I hope that any more movies that come out in the US will be shown uncropped. 

<>PUSA definitely has some big shoes to fill with their dub of the Manaphy movie, and I hope they're up to the task.

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