Plot: A former member of Team Magma, Butler, wants to use the legendary Pokemon, Jirachi’s, power to absorb energy from the Millennium Comet in order to power a machine to revive a Groudon from a fossil. Jirachi selects young Masato/Max as his partner to protect him in the seven days he has awake while the Millennium Comet is visible from earth. It’s up to Masato, Satoshi/Ash, Haruka/May and Takeshi/Brock to keep Jirachi away from Butler and return him back home.
Jeez, long-ass title there, Japan.
That is the best Japanese poster I have seen for the movies so far. It’s reverting back to a bit cluttered, and Jirachi kinda looks pudgy for whatever reason, but everything else looks fantastic. I like the nice touch of having Jirachi’s true eye cracking open.
I’m pretty excited but a little worried for this review. Dogasu said the script suffered from quite a few changes, though the comparison is pretty short. I really liked the dubbed movie, but will the subbed version make me rethink my opinion?
15 Minute Mark
Sadly, I’m working from the English visual track (widescreen somehow, guess they must’ve re-released it) with the Japanese audio, so I can’t compare the title screens.
Ah, I never noticed that the guy in the van at the end credits is part of the festival. He never has a big role in the movie outside of selling Haruka her wishing star but that’s a little interesting.
I find it weird that Kirlia got a voice change despite keeping the same name between versions and them both saying that same name.
Speaking of voice changes, Butler’s original voice is so much better. Suave and deep.
Butler commands Samayouru/Dusclops to do Will o’ The Wisp. In the dub, he says ‘Kappitata’ or something like that. It’s weird because this attack is the same thing in the English version. Maybe they wanted it to be triggered by a ‘magic word’ for whatever reason.
The whole thing about Jirachi needing a friend to emerge isn’t quite right. When Jirachi is about to emerge, he chooses a kind-hearted young boy as his partner to help protect him over the time that it is active. In a way, it’s a chosen duty or honor for this boy (no idea why it specifically has to be a boy…) not that simply Jirachi wants or needs a buddy or is designated as a ‘wish maker’.
The way it’s worded in the original also adds more weight because being Jirachi’s partner technically means that it’s Masato’s Pokemon, like how Satoshi considers Pikachu his partner, making Masato extra happy because that means he has a Pokemon of his own now. In the dub, their being labeled as friends changes the dynamic just enough to not hold as much weight.
Haruka says she’s not quite sure about the ‘kind-hearted’ part, and Masato gets defensive, saying that Jirachi just understands him better. May feels like Max is going crazy for hearing voices and talking to a rock. Max gets even more defensive and says May’s just jealous because Jirachi wants to be friends with him and not her.
This changes the later scene when May tries to touch the rock. It goes from Max teasing her about wanting to touch the rock when she said it was crazy to be friends with a rock to Masato teasing that he supposedly was too un-kind to let her touch it.
The wishing star that May bought was originally the ‘wish-maker.’ I wouldn’t have brought up, really, but the fact that the title of the dub is ‘wish-maker’ and this is the first I’ve heard of that phrase in the original (Jirachi didn’t say it to Masato when he was talking to him earlier) makes me wonder.
I refrained from mentioning this in the other review, but the guy with the van I mentioned, the one scene in which he has a speaking role is here (where he sells Haruka the wish-maker) and he sounds normal in the original but very ‘bad guy’-ish in the dub.
Masato isn’t being quite as creepy as Max was with the rock. He asks to hear Jirachi’s voice again and that’s why he ‘snuggles’ the rock. Max says they’ll be best friends and then hugs the rock.
The thing about transporting Haruka makes more sense in the original. She merely says to return everything to where it came from, which Jirachi takes as meaning he should put Haruka back in the pile of candy from which she emerged. I don’t know why 4Kids changed this bit to something that made no sense—Oh wait, 4Kids. Default setting – Make no sense.
Oddly enough, there’s actually a reference to the movie’s short. Nyasu’s/Meowth’s original dialogue says that they should use Jirachi to wish for a new base that won’t be broken or danced on. This is in reference to the fact that Team Rocket’s new base was destroyed due to the magic dance wand thing in Gotta Dance. This is the first time I believe the show/movie has ever mentioned anything from the shorts. Kinda neat, actually.
Takeshi says that if Jirachi and Absol are friends, then it makes sense to teleport Achamo/Torchic and Pikachu out to avoid the fighting. Brock says it’s unlikely that the two know each other since Jirachi’s been asleep for 1000 years.
45 Minute Mark
The land that Jirachi originates from is called Faunz not Forina.
Butler doesn’t say that he’s doing this for Diane, which of course we know he isn’t anyway, he’s doing it purely for revenge and his own pride. He just pleads with her to understand why he needs to do this.
Takeshi says Groudon’s power is the ability to create land, not just that he has ‘incredible power.’
Okay, now we’re at a point where the original makes no sense. Diane says that part of the necessary procedure for awakening Jirachi is to find the young boy that Jirachi wants to be his partner. Thus, Butler has been putting on a slue of magic shows in search of that boy.
But surely Jirachi wouldn’t contact his partner before the day of the comet’s arrival? Unless he would and some boy would have to be friends with a rock for days, weeks, months, years, possibly decades just to get to the comet’s arrival, and that’s if the kid is lucky enough to be born within a decent time frame of the comet’s arrival.
What would Butler have done if he found the right kid like last year? Stalked or kidnapped the kid for a year until he can awaken Jirachi?
This conversation is omitted from the dub in lieu of more explanation of the comet’s energy and Jirachi’s ability to absorb it.
And now we’re bridging a gap I had in the dub. I never understood why Butler, who seemed to have great aspirations of being a magician, became a scientist for Team Magma. In the original’s flashback to Diane and Butler as kids, she says he loved inventing things that surprised people, which culminated in magic tricks when they were kids and his attempt at making a Groudon revival machine as an adult.
I believe his desire to put on a show for people, impress them, resulted in a big ego for Butler, and his pride as a showman was greatly damaged when he was humiliated by Team Magma after his failure.
It’s mostly implications and theorizing, but it’s something to ponder.
Okay, I’m going to talk about Team Rocket because I just don’t have much to discuss at the moment. Team Rocket is after Jirachi too. They’ve been following the group this whole time supposedly waiting for the right time to snatch Jirachi. While I’m glad they never try because, in all honestly, one Team Rocket snatch job is more than enough for most episodes and seriously isn’t needed in the movies, the fact of the matter is…..just that – they never try.
The group is on this trip for four days and they are completely unguarded save for Satoshi and the gang. Butler snatched Jirachi right from Masato’s arms offscreen even, while Takeshi, Satoshi and Pikachu were all asleep within two feet of each other. Why aren’t they making any effort to take Jirachi?
They have at least three opportunities to do that at night while everyone’s sleeping and they just sit there doing nothing. They, both sub and dub, even say at a point that they have the perfect opportunity, yet still nothing. Their desire to catch Jirachi is only there to keep them on screen because they’re a crowd favorite in America and Japan.
Got nothing particularly note-worthy here.
Butler originally tells the boys that he’s sorry for what he’s done when he’s being absorbed. In the dub, he said at least he’d get to be with Diane. I prefer the original’s because I think we needed a moment where he actually said outright that he was sorry for what he’d done. Knowing that he loves Diane and wants to save her only goes so far, ya know?
Jirachi just says he loves Masato, he loves everyone and that they’re all friends. The group assures this. In the dub, this was the stuff with Max being the one to grant Jirachi’s wish of having a friend.
Oh God, Takeshi’s Japanese VA is just as bored-sounding when he’s singing this song!
Oh okay, so Diane and Butler actually had a reason for staying in Faunz beyond ‘as long as we’re together.’ Butler and Diane want to help restore the land that was damaged from the clone Groudon’s attacks. They also plan on studying the plant life.
The ending song is the same between versions except that it’s, obviously, 100% Japanese instead of half Japanese half English. I like both versions equally.
Bottomline: The script wasn’t changed too much for the dub. I really stretched for some of my notes here, but yes the script for the original is better than the dub’s. Some things that were nagging me were explained, such as Masato’s actual role here and why Butler and Diane were staying in Faunz. We still get no explanation as to why Groudon turned out that way, but I guess we can just chalk it up to an experiment gone wrong.
The dialogue’s better and really shows how much wording can help a script, the voices are better, and, oh yeah, there aren’t any jarring edits. At least they didn’t really change the story or lore, but the minor changes to the script can still have lasting impacts.
The only thing I would call major is the fact that the ‘wish-maker’ thing doesn’t exist. The only ‘wish-maker’ in the original is Haruka’s charm thing. The dub kinda leads you to believe that Max is chosen as a ‘wish-maker,’ kinda like Jirachi’s a genie and Max is his master. It doesn’t come up much, but it does pop up a few times and is the name of the movie.
The ending song, while still having a bored-sounding Takeshi, was also a bit less silly to listen to, making the ending more emotionally connecting.
4Kids missed the mark a bit here, but it is by far not their worst efforts. I still really wanna slap whoever thought it was okay to release the movie with incredibly obvious and annoying screen jumps.
Recommended Audience: E for everyone!