Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective | Episode 20 (19 for the Dub): Elekin’s Super Robot Showdown Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Genshi heads to the Edo period to find Elekin, an electricity-based Space-Time Monster, and Hiraga Gennai, a brilliant scientist who is currently experimenting with Elekin’s powers to make a giant mech. TP Lady aims to take the mech and Elekin for herself to get rid of Genshi once and for all.

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Title Change: Elekin’s Super Robot Showdown is changed to Elekin.

Putera is explaining Elekin’s powers in the original. In the dub, Old Timer is narrating about where they’re going and who they’re seeing. Oddly, despite this change, they remove a scene with Toki G watching the kids go through the time stream and cheering on Genshi. This is shifted this to after they emerge from the time stream.

They, for some reason, change the name of our historical figure of the day. They call him Ichiban Hiraga but he’s actually called Hiraga Gennai. I thought maybe they were referencing a nickname or his birth name or something, but no. He was born as Shiraishi Kunitomo, and he did go by various pen names, but as far as I could tell none of them were Ichiban Hiraga.

The only reason I can think of for why this change happened is because Saban dubbed another anime that had a character named after Hiraga Gennai. In Digimon, there’s a character named Gennai, and both series were dubbed at basically the same time. This might also be the reason why Sora is changed to Sarah here, but the character, Sora, in Digimon keeps her name in the dub. Don’t know why Digimon got dibs on the original names or why that would matter, but that’s the only reason I can think of.

Ichiban, by the way, actually means “number one” or “first” which may or may not be a poke at the seeming change they make to his character.

The dub claims he ‘stumbled upon’ electricity, which, uh. No. First, that frames it like he discovered electricity, which couldn’t be less true. He just created an elekiter, which was a device used to generate and store static electricity. Secondly, saying he stumbled upon it kinda gives off the vibe that he hadn’t been studying it or working with it or, ya know, knew what it was. Whether he really invented the elekiter is a bit up for debate. The elekiter was originally a Dutch creation he acquired that utilized a Leyden jar, but it didn’t work. He was able to make it work, however. He presented the working device in exhibitions.

Oddly, Saban actually gets the time period entirely wrong this time. They usually get it even more precise than the original, but here, they’re centuries off. In the original, they’re going to the Edo period in Japan, which started in 1603. However, I’m to assume we’re somewhere in the range of 1749-ish because Hiraga Gennai was born in 1729 and he’s an adult here, so let’s just say he’s around 20. The dub claims they’re going to 12th century Japan, which is 1100-1200…..

For some reason, after Pterry says they’re going to 12th century Japan, Old Timer butts in again to say “Oh, much to learn about electricity, yes.” Uhm…why did you say that?

When they finally get around to showing the scene with Toki G, they change the dialogue. Genshi originally says he’s excited about meeting Elekin, and Toki G cheers him on and reminds us that he has to collect all of the Space-Time Monsters. Then he randomly falls. Flint asks what an Elekin is, and, as normal, he asks if it’s something to eat. Did they go out without Flint being briefed? Old Timer explains that Elekin is a Time Shifter and he’s not something to eat. Then he rambles on about how Flint only thinks about his stomach before he randomly falls over.

Name Plate removed.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Sora and Tokio apologize for the crash and say it was their fault. In the dub, Sarah asks what’s going on, and Tony asks where the giant robot came from.

Also, they make Getalong say “New friends! Meet new friends!” which is kinda weird to say at a time like this, but is especially awkward considering Love-Love/Getalong has a concerned expression right now, so it doesn’t match.

Dub!Elekin talks in third person for some reason.

So, the next exchange is pretty much kept the same, but all of the bits and pieces are out of order. In the original, Gennai explains who he is before stating he knows the kids are from the future and asking them to help repair his robot. In the dub, he asks them to help repair his robot, then explains who he is then suggests they’re from the future. Also, they add in that he “invented” electricity, which, again, isn’t true. We really have to stop saying anyone invented electricity, because electricity is natural so no one invented it. Mentions of working with or manipulating electricity go as far back as 600 BC.

For the record, Hiraga Gennai was so much more than an inventor and builder. He was a writer, painter, pharmacologist, physician, ronin, herbalist, he worked in mining and pottery, and he was quite a notable gay figure at the time, writing a lot about homosexual life, guides on male prostitutes and several works highlighting gay sex.

Not downplaying his work as an inventor and scientist, but I’m just saying it’s worth mentioning……Well, okay, the sex stuff probably isn’t appropriate for this show, but everything else yeah.

Gennai asks what kind of response it is to say they’re too busy to help him repair his Gennai mech when they’re the ones who wrecked it in the first place. They have no response. In the dub, he asks how time travelers are too busy to help when, logically, they have all the time in the world. Then he asks if this is what has become of manners in the future.

In the original, Gennai specifically says he’s going to get them some treats where red beans pour out if you squeeze them. In the dub, he just offers them snacks. I feel like maybe he should be calling them manju because they were created way back in 1341, so they had to have been known as manju long before this point.

Tokio explains that the treats in question were actually steamed buns (manju) In the dub, Hiraga says his cook is off-duty so he made them something with fish eggs….

Genshi just enjoys the manju, and Sora says he was right since red beans do pour from them if you squeeze them. In the dub, Flint asks for ketchup. Sarah explains that it’s caviar, and you don’t put ketchup on caviar, but Flint says he does.

The original explains that Gennai is primarily a pharmacologist. The dub doesn’t mention this.

Putera knows exactly what the elekiter is (although she refers to it as just an electrostatic generator). Pterry says it’s “some rudimentary electronic device.”

Genshi starts cranking the elekiter because he’s curious. In the dub, since Pterry doesn’t know what it does, Flint wonders if it makes food, because of course he does, so he starts cranking the machine.

Sora and Tokio express actual concern for Genshi as he gets electrocuted. Sarah and Tony just yell “Stop clowning around!”

Going in the polar opposite direction 4Kids goes, the original makes a “shocking” pun while Flint just says “Ooh does it ever not make food.”

Sora asks Genshi if he’s okay, and Tokio tells him to be more careful. Sarah just tells Flint to behave himself when he’s a guest in someone’s home. Tony doesn’t have a line.

In the original, TP Lady says “If I fail again…” before trailing off into her fantasy. In the dub, she says “I’ll make him pay attention to me!”

The fantasy sequence is of the Masked Man leaving TP Lady because she keeps failing him. In the dub, it’s so weird, because it’s almost like they’re completely ignoring what’s happening on screen. The Masked Man has his back turned and is walking away from Petra while Petra is on the ground crying and reaching out. The Masked Man (Or I guess he’s supposed to be The Dark Lord?) says “Tell me, Petra Fina, what does the Dark Lord love above all else?” and she responds “Control, manipulation and power!” It just doesn’t match what we’re seeing.

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The sequence of TP Lady hitting Dyna in the head over and over is shortened. She originally told him to hurry and catch Elekin. Dyna responded asking why he’s the only one getting hit. They didn’t remove the hitting entirely, just shortened the scene of it. So hitting is fine but don’t do it too long?

This next change is 100% pointless and dumb. In the original, TP Lady dresses up in elegant Japanese clothing, and Dyna and Mite introduce her as the successor to the late general, Lord Tokugawa Ieharu. In the dub, Saban, for some reason, has Dino and Mite introduce her as a nameless princess of Saskatchewan…..Ya know….in Canada. What the hell is this, Saban? What are you doing? Why wouldn’t you just says she’s some vague Japanese princess, if you didn’t want to bring up Tokugawa Ieharu for some reason? Are you just trying to make these three seem even stupider than they actually are? I don’t get it.

TP Lady just asks Ammon and Elekin to kneel before her. In the dub, she requests for them to come closer. Also, they reverse and repeat the shot of her opening her eyes when her face is cloaked in shadow, so it can look like she then closed her eyes for some reason.

I don’t think Ammon knows this is TP Lady, Dyna and Mite in the original, but she definitely seems to know it in the dub.

Kyoichiro is entirely focused on Sora when the kids approach and babbles on about their unexpected meeting of fate when he’s all dreamy and sparkly. In the dub, he’s focused on Flint, acting as if he’s running to him to beg for help with the case.

The animation in this shot is awful. Since everyone’s just far enough away for all of the details to be off, Putera’s eyes bounce all over when he talks, and Kyoichiro loses his nose whenever his mouth moves.

The introduction to the newly changed mech is much less impacting in the dub. In the original, they have loud music cues and a pretty cool techno-ish track to go along with it. In the dub, they lazily put in the quietest of single drum beats with each new shot of the robot, and then the music that follows is simple boring bland background music, like the kind you’d hear in casual conversation, not seeing a massive missile-laden robot….

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TP Lady names her modified version of the Gennai, The Great Gennai, which is weird. I’d think she’d name it after herself, but whatever. In the dub, it doesn’t get a new name. Petra just says of course she’d be the one to take complete control with a giant robot.

I’m getting so confused with this. Elekin’s power doesn’t seem to actually be controlling or creating giant robots, like the preview implied. It’s literally just a walking elekiter. You need to crank him and everything. Why does TP Lady need him to power this robot? She has tons of robots and mechanical devices that run on electricity that comes from some unknown future-device source.

If his power really is just creating electricity, and this is a time period where Gennai already made the elekiter….why does Elekin have any impact on what he creates? Even if it is a matter of Elekin being able to generate more electricity than his elekiter, he shouldn’t have instantly made the jump from ‘box that generates static’ to ‘giant mech.’ This is especially weird in the case of the dub, because Ichiban specifically said he wanted this thing to help people…..How does this help people? It’s just a giant mech.

Gennai tells Elekin to stop. In the dub, he tells Petra that she can’t use the mech (or Elekin maybe?) for evil.

They repeat a shot of Elekin after showing the gears turning.

They add a shot of Ichiban talking to have him say “This is grotesque” after Elekin powers up the attack.

This actually seems so backwards. Like “Oh no, TP Lady, the person who usually has high-tech robots and all sorts of gadgets to help her with her plans is now using, GASP……a low-tech wooden mech that she needs to CRANK to power and uses ROPES to control……Dear god….help us all….”

I love how it takes Kyoichiro and Ammon an insanely long time to notice the giant mech attacking the town about 250 feet to their left.

The original doesn’t mention anything about TP Lady putting this moment in her book. I didn’t even know she was writing a book.

Also, I thought for sure Genshi was going to smack the mech with Ototan. Why did he try hopping into the cockpit?

They repeat and reverse the segment of TP Lady mocking and laughing at Genshi after we see the track coming towards Genshi.

Sora and Tokio just yell in concern for Genshi. Sarah and Tony point out how impressive Flint is being before we even see him getting back up to stop the mech.

TP Lady yells “Why is he so strong!?” In the dub, he tells Mite to keep cranking Elekin.

Sora and Tokio ask if the mech has any weak spots. Gennai says that any machine made by the great genius, Gennai, has no weak spots. In the dub, they ask if Ichiban can make anything to fight “the evil power” just once. Ichiban refuses, saying he doesn’t stoop to the hurly burly of politics. He builds machines to help the human race.

If you ask me, both versions are obnoxious. The first version is better, but it still has Gennai coming off like a total egotistical prick. Instead of actually trying to come up with a solution to this problem, he just gloats about how perfect his machine is. And, dude, it can’t be that perfect if it was so badly damaged just by falling over after trying to avoid Ridon. As far as I know, the more humorous side of this character definitely tracks with Gennai in real life, but I haven’t been able to find anything implying that he was a braggart who got blinded by his self-righteousness or ego.

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The dubbed version just seems flatout wrong on all accounts. You can’t state that your devices are tools of good for the betterment of humanity and then go on about how you don’t want to create a device that fights evil. That makes no sense. And what the hell does that have to do with politics? Being fair, Gennai was the type of guy who liked to distance himself from politics, but, as I just asked, what does making a device to beat an evil person’s robot have to do with politics?

And while we’re it, again, how does your giant mech help people!?

In the original, Putera asks why Gennai is gloating about that. In the dub, he says “If the universe is destroyed, who will see them?” which comes off like Ichiban only wants to help so his devices will get attention….

In the original, Gennai yells to Genshi that the one weak spot of the mech is Elekin. Since he’s powering the machine, removing him will stop it. In the dub, he just yells out to Petra that, as the mech’s creator, he protests against the use of the machine in such a way and demands they stop……I thought this guy was supposed to be smart.

Genshi tells Gennai that he understands. Flint tells Ichiban “Keep yellin’! I think it’s workin’!” Wha…what’s working? Him yelling at them? What are they doing different?

So Sora falls and just….doesn’t even try to kinda get up. She just accepts her missile-y fate…..What a protagonist.

Sora just says “Narukami” after he saves her. In the dub, Sarah says “Now I really feel silly.” Yeah, well….you should.

Kyoichiro asks if Sora’s alright. Merlock tells Sarah that she shouldn’t feel silly because it was a scary situation that scared him too…..Uh huh…

Kyoichiro says that, with her looking at him like that, he wouldn’t be cool if he refused her request. In the dub, he says that he can tell by the look in her eyes how much Flint means to her and that, in the spirit of friendship, he’ll help her.

Kyoichiro gives a speech to Genshi about how he’ll teach him the real way to fight. Genshi responds with “Kyoichiro, I’m counting on you!” In the dub, he gives a dramatic speech to…no one about how his enemies will tremble at his feet and blah blah. Flint then yells “STOP TALKIN’ AND DO SOMETHING, WILL YA!?” Way to make Flint obnoxious, Saban.

They again reverse and replay TP Lady talking after Flint’s line, for some reason.

Kyoichiro doesn’t have a line as he pole vaults over the missiles. He just goes “Aieeeeeeeeeeeeee!” Then he yells “Genshi, now!” In the dub, he says “A little grace under pressure….NOT WHILE MERLOCK’S AROUND!” Were you, uh, meant to be responding to someone in that second part of your line? Because, otherwise, it sounds like there will be no grace under pressure while you’re around….

Name Plate removed.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Name Change: Warukin is changed to Elekin-con.

So….Elekin’s bad transformation is mostly just a bigger version of himself with a different face on screen and plug hands? How boring.

Sora says “Hang in there, Ammon.” Sarah says “She’ll be okay. She’s in shock.” Get it?! Because she was electrocuted! HAHA!

As usual, Love-Love can’t talk, but Saban has Getalong say “All because of that robot!” No, it’s because of Elekin. The robot didn’t shock Bindi – Elekin did….

The original doesn’t mention anything about ballast….Why is Ichiban acting like this is a ship?

Kyoichiro tells Sora to take care of Ammon for him, and Sora agrees. In the dub, Merlock says Ichiban’s crazy because the robot can’t move on its own. Sarah then also chimes in asking if he doesn’t understand that the mech doesn’t have any energy. Yeah, apparently both versions are writing Gennai to be a dumbass now….

They somehow make him even more of a dumbass in the dub because they repeat shots of him pulling ropes and the robot not responding while he yells “Forward!….Backward!…..Any-ward!” before he realizes the mech doesn’t have power….In the original, he only pulls the rope once before realizing.

They remove the shot of the kids reacting to Gennai’s blunder and replace it with an earlier and much less funny non-reaction shot where they just blink in response, complete with a blink sound effect.

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They also add in the slightly earlier shot of Sora yelling out as a means to getting Sarah to yell up to Elekin to remember that they’re his friends.

They remove the shot of Gennai, Kyoichiro and Genshi getting electrocuted before we cut to the lab.

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The dub has Pterry mention that Flint’s in suspended animation, which….no? He’s not in suspended animation at all…What was that line? Were they trying to make some meta joke that didn’t land?

They remove the shot of Redman getting electrocuted.

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Sora tells Redman that the giant robot is on their side (after they attacked it and got electrocuted, thinking it was the enemy) Tokio then tells them to look closely and see that Genshi and Ototan are inside it. In the dub, Sarah tells them not to give up, and Tony tells Sarah that they probably don’t have any juice left after that.

The dub includes a split-second group shot of the Cardians right before they transform…for… some reason.

I can’t not mention this anymore – Ichiban here is voiced by Tom Fahn, who voiced Agumon in Digimon. I just had to mention this because he’s very obviously just doing his Agumon voice with no change whatsoever. It is very distracting.

Gennai tells Elekin that he’s really a good guy and asks him to change back. Ichiban tells Elekin that he believes his powers can be “applied and conducted” whatever the hell he means by the latter, for the good of everyone.

They add in a flashier shot of Petra flailing her whip around because I guess her torment of Elekin has to look better?

Also, TP Lady just asks what Warukin is doing. In the dub, Saban writes this insanely stupid line that I can’t believe made it to the final cut.

Petra: “The secret of electrical power comes with me!” The SECRET of ELECTRICAL POWER?! YOU’RE FROM THE GODDAMN FUTURE. You have a cat-themed spaceship that also turns into a mech. You have a mind-control stamp. YOU CAN TIME TRAVEL. What secrets of electrical power do you think this thing has? Go find a tesla coil or something. You’ll get the same experience. What is wrong with you?

Genshi tells Gennai that they need to run. Flint tells Ichiban to go get the box with the wires in it because Elekin’s gonna need it. Apparently he’s psychic now.

The reason he needed the elekiter was Elekin….fell down….and the elekiter’s power was used to…I dunno, revive him? Whatever.

Kyoichiro says he may have loaned Genshi his strength this time, but he shouldn’t rely on him being there all the time. Merlock says he liked teaming up with Flint and he’ll be sure to appreciate his friendship from now on.

Ya know, I’ll just say it…Kyoichiro didn’t do anything in this episode. He’s being praised for nothing. Yeah, sure, he saved Sora, but Sora was only in danger because she was an idiot. Then later he ‘helps’ Genshi by…..dodging missiles and telling him to attack the mech…?? Then he helps again by pull ropes to help power the mech, which, knowing how powerful and fast Genshi is, he surely could have done himself. It’s clear this episode was meant to be a sort of bonding time for them, or at least a means of showing that Kyoichiro was useful, but we know he’s useful, and they didn’t do a good enough job showing the teamwork side of that equation.

Ammon apologizes for knocking Kyoichiro off the tower. Bindi asks what he did that for, as if he fell off the tower on purpose….

Gennai asks if his words are remembered in the future. The kids assure him that they are and that he’s actually famous in the future. Gennai says Super Redman was pretty impressive. Then he asks Elekin and Redman if they’d like to combine and make a Super Great Gennai mech. This makes Elekin and the Red Redman excited before they excuse themselves to leave.

In the dub, Ichiban wishes there was some way he could visit them in the future. Tony says maybe he’ll invent something that will help him do that. Ichiban then says he might be barking up the wrong tree with the electricity stuff because then he’d have to invent an electric can opener which would mean he’d have to invent the tin can….*sigh*….*rubs temples* Somehow that makes Elekin and the Red Cardian start making random noises that sound like “bike bike bike”…I dunno.

Tokio bids farewell, and Genshi says he really liked the treats with the sweet red beans in them. In the dub, Tony says they make that noise when they want to say “Thanks” and Flint says he really liked the raw fish eggs.

The dub continues to piss me off. In the original, there’s no narration over the memory erasure scene. In the dub, Old Timer says there’s no benefit to Ichiban remembering this, and the electricity stuff should be left to Benjamin Franklin, Count Volta, whom I seriously doubt most kids learned about in school, and “The others.” But the elekiter exists. He’s already a note in the history of electric power. Why are you acting as if it would be a bad thing for him to continue working with electricity?

After Ichiban wonders what he’s doing they again reverse and repeat the shot to return his face back to a drowsy expression for some reason.

Genshi just says Gennai was an interesting person. Flint says he needed a bottle of ketchup.

Tokio says there are a lot of strange characters among scientists, then he asks Wing if he’s right, seemingly nudging at the Wright brothers? How were they weird? In the dub, Tony asks why Goodman would need or want to come along and meet other people like Ichiban when he has the Time Shifters as company. Yes, why would you want to meet an incredibly interesting historical figure when you can just sit around with a bunch of Time Shifters who generally don’t have much in the way of meaningful conversation and just want to play most of the time?

They remove the last two shots of Elekin electrocuting everyone.

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This episode is just terrible. They portrayed Gennai as an egotistical idiot. Elekin is a lazily designed Space-Time Monster whose sole power is to electrocute things – and it can only generate electricity in its base form if someone cranks it. Like I said, I really thought that it had the power to turn things into robots or giant mechs, but nope. It just generates electricity.

Its role in the story made no sense. I don’t understand how Elekin’s presence prompted Gennai to make a mech nor how such a thing was even made possible. I also don’t understand what gave him the idea or WHY he’d do such a thing. They never explain any of this. Getting access to more electricity is not a logical explanation for any of this by a long shot. By the way, did they somehow dispose of the mech when they left? Because I’m pretty sure that would raise all sorts of questions if it was left in the past.

The elekiter was basically just glossed over and used as a defibrillator to revive Elekin, who simply fell down. It wasn’t like he died.

Kyoichiro’s role in this episode was mostly pointless, as I discussed, and Ammon was mostly just an annoyance again.

TP Lady’s plan was underwhelming. When I thought Elekin had something to do with creating robots, I thought they might apply Elekin to their spaceship mech and make it a much more powerful robot, but nope. Just a wooden mech powered by a crank and operated by ropes. The fact that Genshi was actually nearly losing against this thing was pathetic. He’s taken on so many bigger and more powerful things. This should have been toothpicks in seconds. Warukin was a much bigger threat, but even that was pathetically felled by literally falling…..

They honestly couldn’t get me invested at all in a giant robot battle. Do you understand how easy it is for robots to amuse me? I adore robots. Tiny ones? Adorable. Human-sized ones? Cool. Giant ones? Awesome! Robot battles? Awesome-er! Giant robot battles!? You have my heart! You have to fail pretty hard at robots for me to not be interested in a giant robot battle.

About the only good thing about this episode was seeing Super Redman again. And they didn’t even beat Warukin. TP Lady defeated them all herself by wrapping her whip on a missile and accidentally exploding it, knocking down the mech, knocking down Warukin and sending them blasting off.

The dub was one the worst I’ve ever seen in this series. Not only did they change the historical figure to a nonexistent person for some reason beyond my scope of understanding (if it really is the Digimon thing, that couldn’t be dumber.) which means it’s drained of any educational value, but they also made him an even bigger idiot than he was before and even implied that he was so stupid that he shouldn’t be working with electricity anymore and should just leave that stuff up to other scientists. They even got the time period wrong.

They added in that bunk about him wanting to make the robot for the better of humanity without even explaining why it would help or what it even does besides be a giant robot. They also cut out pretty much any even slight moment between “Ichiban” and Elekin.

Not to mention that ridiculously stupid line about Petra wanting the secret to electric power.

They repeated and reversed more shots in this episode than any other, I believe, and I can’t find any reason for it.

Even the ending was made very abrupt and almost dark because it cuts immediately as they’re being electrocuted without the zoom out to make it even slightly humorous.

What a wasted opportunity of an episode.

Maybe we’ll have more fun next time. Let’s see what we got.

Next time, we meet the Space-Time Monster Musclun in ancient Greece. Musclun has the power to give people huge muscles…Hm….Takes place at the Olympics. Pretty interesting. Let’s check the Fandom page. *click* Mmmhm….Mmmhm……Mmmmmmm……Oh…goodie, we have to talk about blackface AND grossly inappropriate depictions of young girls….Fun…fun….

…..Previous Episode


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