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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Movies

Movie Stats:

Japanese Movie AG 04:  "Pokemon Ranger and the Prince of the Sea, Manaphy"
American Movie 9:  "Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea"

Japanese Air Date:  July 15th, 2006
American Air Date:  March 23rd, 2007
Important Characters:  Jack "Jackie" Walker (Jack "Jackie" Walker), Phantom (Phantom), Hiromi (Elizabeth), Judy (Judy), Gajeau (Galen), Minami (Meredith), Kai (Kyle), Ship (Shep), Gav (???), Zav (???), Dav (???)
Important Places:  Akuusha (Samaya)

At the bottom of the sea, a unique pokemon egg is taken from its underwater home and is brought onto a pirate ship by its captain, Phantom. Just as he is about to put the egg in his hands, it's stolen by a Pokemon Ranger named Jackie  Meanwhile, Satoshi and his friends become lost in an arid wasteland.  Just as it looks like all hope is lost, they stumble across the Mariner Troupe.  The gang offers to give Satoshi-tachi a ride to the next town, so our heroes spend the next couple of days traveling.  During this time, Haruka notices an egg in the troupe's possession and discovers that it belongs to Manaphy, the Prince of the Sea!  The troupe also reveal that the pokemon's goal is to guide them to the sunken water temple, Akuusha.  Suddenly, Phantom appears and attempts to take the egg for himself, but the egg hatches before he can retrieve it!  After escaping Phantom's clutches, our heroes make their way to the open sea, hoping that Manaphy will be able to guide them to Akuusha.  Eventually it does, but it inadvertently leads Phantom to the temple as well. He wastes no time stealing the jewels lodged into a central base, but in doing so he triggers a trap that causes the temple to sink!  After everyone evacuates, Satoshi takes it upon himself to keep Akuusha from sinking.  The young trainer succeeds and is able to restore the temple to its former glory.  After battling with Phantom one last time, Satoshi and his friends watch as Manaphy returns to Akuusha to rule over it as the prince of the sea.  Now that his mission is complete, Jackie returns to Ranger HQ as Satoshi and his friends resume their journey.

This movie is just begging to be given the LittleKuriboh treatment.

The ridiculousness of Pokemon Ranger and the Prince of the Sea, Manaphy is too great to put into a simple "Thoughts" box.  I mean, the SSJ Goku "golden" Satoshi part at the end by itself is enough to warrant a few hardy chuckles, but that's not even half of it.  The movie features a completely random appearance by Kyogre, Satoshi stealing the spotlight from both Haruka and the titular character of the film for no good reason, plastic-looking CGI water, adults leaving a bunch of children in a sinking temple to die...the list just goes on and on.  I swear, if I had the equipment and the technical know-how, I'd do a Pokémon Ranger Abridged movie myself.

That's not to say the movie didn't have its good parts.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Rocket-Dan swapping hearts, and Jackie was, overall, a really cool character.  The music in this one is also really really nice.  And even though I complained about the fake-looking water before, some of the other CGI is actually pretty nice-looking.

The big thing about the English version of this movie is the fact that PUSA left it in widescreen.  Finally!  After eight long years, PUSA finally gives us what we fans have been asking 4Kids for...a presentation of the movie that's not horribly butchered.  I assume PUSA will be releasing the rest of the movies this way, so if they could just go back and re-release the first eight movies in widescreen, we'd be all set.

The voices of the new characters are pretty good except for Elizabeth, who sounds way too much like "filler boy-of-the-day."  A lot of people say that Jackie sounded like Zap Brannigan from Futurama, but I can only barely hear it.  I particularly liked Phantom's voice since it captured the character's personality perfectly.  While the character's insistence on calling himself ore-sama (if you had to translate it, it'd be something like how kings refer to themselves as "we") is scrapped, everything else about the character is left as-is.  Speaking of dialogue...I'm very happy that PUSA didn't give Phantom a single piece of pirate speak.  You know that if 4Kids was still running the show, they'd throw in an "arrrrr" and a "matey" in there about every five seconds.  Thank God they don't have any anime with pirates in it anymore. 

I also noticed that the dub can't seem to settle on a pronunciation for Manaphy's name.  "Man-uff-ee" is heard a lot, but so is "Mahn-ah-fee."  The latter is closer to the Japanese pronunciation than the former, but the dub kinda fluctuates between the two.  Weird.

I'm doing this comparison from the Cartoon Network airing of the movie because...well, I forgot to buy the American DVD before I left the States.  The image on the American version is a lot darker than the Japanese DVD, but that may be due to the fact that the copy I have is from a TV broadcast and is no fault of PUSA's.  I'll eventually get the DVD, though, so I can confirm that.  Since the copy I have doesn't have the ending theme, I can't comment on the English version at this time.  The Japanese version, though, is pretty nice.

As for the pokemon who keep their Japanese voices...they are (deep breath) Teppouo, Lovevcus, Tamanta, Mantain, Hitodeman, Crab, Kairos, Parasect, Upah, Buoysel, Onidrill, Spear, Manaphy (only when it's singing), Perrap (when it's not speaking human speech), Kyamome, and Kyogre. 

Cut--5 seconds
After the Toho logo shows up, the standard "Pikachu the Movie" logo (in English) is shown.  In previous movies, the Toho logo is removed while the Pikachu the Movie logo is kept.  But this time, the opposite is true! 

I'm actually surprised that PUSA kept the Japanese logo intact.  Could it be that PUSA isn't as "eliminate everything Japanese!!!11!!1!!" crazy as 4Kids is?

Dialogue Edit
The movie's script is, overall, very accurate.  There are a few lines here and there (which are mentioned below) that are mistranslated, and everything Team Rocket says is different from what was said in the Japanese version, but other than that it's a really solid script.

The opening "World of Pokemon" narration is way more talky in the dub than it is in the Japanese version.  For filler dialogue, the writing in the dub is actually pretty good, so at least it's not all bad.

We get this strange little bit of dialogue early in the movie:

Jackie:  I don't know the meaning of the word 'failure.'"
Judy:  "You don't?  Would you like to borrow my dictionary?"
Jackie:  "No thanks."

This part is actually a good translation of what was said in the Japanese version.  This next exchange, on the other hand...

Jackie:  "I don't know the meaning of the phrase 'give it up.'  Capische?"
Phantom:  "Really?  I'll lend you my dictionary!"
Jackie:  "Keep it."

Isn't it kind of weird that Phantom would make a reference to a private telephone conversation?  Do Phantom's hobbies include wiretapping and eavesdropping now?

Originally, Phantom's response is that he'll write the meaning of the word "failure" in Jackie's dictionary for him. 

We don't get any dialogue oddities until about twenty minutes later, during the chase scene that causes Manaphy to hatch. 

Jackie:  "Man, you're strong, Phantom.  You take vitamins?"
(Phantom blows smoke through his nose like a bull)

In the Japanese version, there's a word pun here that wouldn't really translate into English.  The sentence Jackie utters is Nanchuu wanriki...iya, kairiki (or something like that...I'm not quite sure about the first part), which is an attempt to say "What incredible strength!"  Y'see, the Japanese word for strength is kairiki, but it also happens to be the Japanese name for a pokemon we call Machamp.  Jackie must have gotten his wires crossed or something because when he goes to say nanchuu kairiki, he says wanriki instead.  Wanriki is the Japanese name for Machop.

This pun wouldn't work at all in English since Machamp sounds nothing like the word strength.  So, PUSA had to create some line about vitamins instead.

Now left's fast forward to later in the movie during the scene with Manaphy's first word.  In the English version, it's "happy," but in the Japanese version, it's kamoKamo is Haruka's catch phrase, so to speak, and its meaning kind of fluctuates depending on the situation.  It's most likely a shortened version of kamo shirenai, an expression you tack onto the end of sentences to show some amount of uncertainty in what you're saying.

Speaking of first words...Elizabeth's first word was "foo-foo" while Hiromi's first word was "mama."

Music Edit
This movie keeps every piece of background music intact except for one.

The piece of music that's replaced is an a capella version of the final opening to Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation, Spurt!.  It plays during Jackie's flashback explaining why he became a Pokemon Ranger and continues as we see Satoshi-tachi playing in the water with Manaphy.  The song also happens to be my favorite piece of music in the entire movie.

In the dub, this piece is replaced with some PUSA-created music.  The only reason I can think of for the edit is that PUSA didn't think it would make sense to have a wordless version of a Japanese theme song playing in the English version of the movie (nevermind the fact that they've used the Advanced Adventure instrumental plenty of times in the TV series).  I suppose there could have also been a rights issue...y'know, like maybe the group who performed the song was charging an ungodly amount for the use of their song in foreign dubs?  Who knows?

I think it would have been a decent compromise if PUSA had hired their own acapella group to perform the theme song to Battle Frontier, but that would have taken a lot more work that PUSA was probably willing to do. 

Dialogue Edit
I thought it's pretty obvious that the lines were dub-only, but just in case...both of Team Rocket's dialogues about "diamonds and pearls" weren't in the Japanese original.  A lot of fans seemed to have really liked these fourth wall breaking moments, but I'm not that fond of them.  Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Cut--2 seconds
This one's just weird.

After Satoshi saves the temple from sinking (because God forbid the temple actually go...further underwater), we see the side sort of hit the side of an underwater cliff.  After that, we see the first shots of the yellow energy-tentacle-things.

For some reason, this shot is shortened by two seconds in the dub.  I have absolutely no idea why this one shot would be shortened while everything else is left alone. 

It's not a big deal at all, but it's still bizarre.

Final Thoughts
After this movie, "The Mastermind of Mirage Pok
émon," and the "Pokémon Mystery Dungeon" special, Pokémon USA has proved that they're perfectly capable of creating accurate dubs that retain the Japanese music.  So what gives, PUSA?  Why isn't the TV dub as good as the movie and TV special dubs? 

I also want to reiterate the joy felt at the fact that the movie was kept in widescreen.  That's a major step in getting the kind of releases that fans like me want, and I sincerely hope PUSA keeps it up for future releases.

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