Yugioh Episode 8 Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Mokuba has been kidnapped by Pegasus in order to take over Kaiba’s company. Desperate to save the company and his brother’s reputation, he escapes and steals a duelist’s deck and star chips to challenge Yugi so that Pegasus can’t duel him and win control over the company. Yugi and the others have a thirty minute time limit to help the theft victim or he will leave on the boat.

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The words “Funny Rabbit” were edited off of the comic Pegasus has. Because English is evil too. Oddly, though, they also add a picture of Funny Bunny to the cover.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Pegasus’s wine was dialogue changed to fruit juice. Because alcohol doesn’t exist…I can understand editing out smoking and alcohol if a good character is doing it (prevent kids from imitating their favorite characters) but doesn’t a villain doing those things insinuate that they’re bad?
Subbed version says it’s been nine hours since the tournament began. The dub says six.

 

Both versions clearly state that those without star chips must leave the island…Again, why is no one bothering to take away T’ea/Anzu, Honda/Tristan and Bakura?
I love how Pegasus obviously has cameras all over the island yet he can’t/won’t catch cheaters. Anyone could steal star chips this way as Bandit Keith and Mokuba show…Then again, Pegasus is a cheater too…
I also love how they arrange a luxury cruise liner to bring them to the island, but only have a rowboat to get them off.

 

They edit out Jounouchi telling the kid that if he finds his chips that he has to give him half. Makes the entire scene where it transitions from heroic to exasperated groans incredibly awkward.

 

Yugi needs Yami….to beat a kid half his age at a game he’s supposedly awesome at….I just….geez.
Jounouchi doesn’t insinuate anything about Yugi’s Millennium puzzle in the original. It’s like 4Kids is constantly dropping hints at the fact that there’s a different spirit in there. As if the transformation sequences every episode weren’t a freakin’ clue.

 

They impose a Millennium symbol on Yugi’s head right after Mokuba puts his chips down and T’ea follows it up by saying it’s like Yugi is looking into his soul….We get it, 4Kids, the damn necklace is magic. We’re picking up what you’re slamming down. In the subbed version, T’ea just says that Mokuba doesn’t have a duel glove, thus he must be the criminal.

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In the flashback, subbed version, Kaiba says he needs to learn of the heart of the cards in order to be as good as Yugi. Then he gives Mokuba a secret key card that allows access to numerous company files and secrets that he’s meant to protect while he’s away. (Yeah, leave a little kid in charge of a multi-billion dollar company. That’s smart. Hope he doesn’t get kidnap—oh wait.)

 

In the dub, they strangely omit this. Kaiba just says he’s not himself and needs time away to think. He gives Mokuba a card claiming it was his favorite and then leaves. I also don’t like how Kaiba’s constantly calling his brother “kid” here. They’re closer than that.
 

This is kind of a big deal because that card is the whole focal point behind Mokuba’s kidnapping. They kidnapped him to find out where the key card was. In the dub, he’s kidnapped because they want to control him because only a Kaiba can give orders in his company. The subbed version makes more sense, but I guess they didn’t want to associate cards with kidnapping…No wait, cards are associated with all sorts of bad crap in this show, so I guess it’s just pointless.
 

I find it hard to believe that a kid who was brought up in a company that focuses on Duel Monsters and is the brother of the world champion of Duel Monsters doesn’t know the main basics of Duel Monsters. If a monster’s attack points are lower than your opponent’s monster’s, you lose. You had to have picked up at least that much just by watching Kaiba duel once or twice.
 

Again, they impose a Millennium symbol on Yugi’s head to insinuate that he’s using his powers in the dub, when in the original, he’s not. Because Yugi’s so stupid he needed magic to figure out that was Mokuba. What with his clever disguise of wearing the exact same clothes he was wearing the last time Yugi saw him, pulling his scarf over his mouth and wearing a hat, he should be in the CIA.

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In the sub, the Big Five, as they’ll later be called, says they’ll talk with Kaiba about the arrangement with Pegasus. In the dub, they want Kaiba out of the picture, AKA killed.

 

Dub Mokuba: “If I can’t beat you *grabs two of Yugi’s star chips* I’ll have you disqualified!”

..Because Yugi losing two of his five star chips means he’ll be disqualified? What?

 

I dunno why but they edited in a scene of Mokuba looking down and sad just to say “Let’s do it” right before they transition back to the boat.
 

Kaiba’s scene at his hideaway is edited in to before when Yugi and the others arrive at the docks.
 

4Kids edited in the goons knocking at Kaiba’s door by basically cutting out the door and quickly animating a zoom-in and out a few times. Because it’s rude not to knock dammit! They do this twice, by the way. Once after Kaiba glances at the door and another before he places the duel disks in the briefcase.
 

The infamous guns changed to pointing fingers scene. And yes, it still looks ridiculous. They also edited out the scene where he fires the gun at Kaiba, and they edited out the shot of Kaiba falling. I do have to say Kaiba saying “You’ll never take me alive” still tickles my funny bone. I will admit, their cut of Kaiba blocking the bullet is impressively done. You’d never notice there’s a (literal) shot missing from that.
Subbed + Extras: YGOSDCEP8screen7YGOSDCEP8screen9YGOSDCEP8screen10YGOSDCEP8screen12YGOSDCEP8screen14YGOSDCEP8screen15YGOSDCEP8screen17YGOSDCEP8screen18YGOSDCEP8screen19YGOSDCEP8screen20

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Dubbed: YGOSDCEP8screen8YGOSDCEP8screen11YGOSDCEP8screen13YGOSDCEP8screen16YGOSDCEP8screen21

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They splice in a closeup shot of the ocean after the initial shot of the window.

I don’t think I have to tell you that fake-Kaiba doesn’t make puns in the subbed version. In the original, he just says “I have to have revenge” over and over.
This episode was okay. I think it was a little bit of an excuse to get rid of some of Yugi’s star chips to give him more duels to compete in. However, it does show how dedicated Mokuba is to his brother and introduces us to one of the weirder duels of the show.

 

Next episode, Yugi duels ‘ghost’ Kaiba or Kaiba’s evil shadow realm counterpart as he’s known in the dub.

Pokemon Episode 27 Analysis: Hypno’s Naptime

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CotD (s): None, really.

Captures (technically): Misty’s Psyduck – Not really a legit capture since Psyduck trapped himself in Misty’s Pokeball, Psyduck is one of Misty’s most notable Pokemon next to the yet-to-debut Togepi. He is one of the funnier comic relief Pokemon with his dopey behavior, but the fact that he starts the teeth-gnashingly annoying trend of Pokemon who let themselves out of their Pokeball just to appear, say their name and that’s somehow deemed funny is something I will never forgive him for.

Plot: Ash and his friends arrive in a large city called Hophophop Town, lost yet again. Suddenly, a woman runs up to Ash and hugs him tightly, proclaiming that he’s her lost son, Arnold. They clear up the mistake, and Arnold’s mother explains that Arnold suddenly disappeared three days ago with no communication in the meantime and no logical explanation for his sudden disappearance.

Arnold’s mother explains that her son is just one of many children who have disappeared in the town recently, so she has little hope of seeing her son again. Brock, always earnest to help Officer Jenny and Ash, reminded of his own mother through Arnold’s mother, along with Misty get involved in the missing child investigations.

Officer Jenny relays to the kids that all of the missing children disappeared exactly three days ago. Since Jenny has no other leads, she’s decided to ask the children hanging out at the Pokemon Center if they know anything or if they’ve seen the missing children. They don’t get many answers from the children, but Nurse Joy brings up a curious development.

Exactly three days ago, all of the Pokemon in the Pokemon Center and several local Pokemon suddenly lost all of their energy. Jenny surmises that the problems with the Pokemon and missing children might be connected. Suddenly, her sleep wave detector goes off, indicating a source of waves that induce sleep. Joy says no Pokemon at the Center should be emitting such waves, and Pikachu succumbs to the energy draining effects.

At this turn of events, they deduce that the sleep waves might have something to do with the odd changes in the health of the Pokemon. They follow the intensity of the sleep waves and find themselves at a mansion that that’s been built on top of a skyscraper. It turns out that the sleep waves were being emitted by a Drowzee and a Hypno. One of their Drowzee evolved into this Hypno three days ago, creating another link in the oddities around the city.

The club members explain that they’ve been using Hypno and Drowzee to help with their insomnia. Brock deduces that Hypno’s Hypnosis must be having an adverse affect on the Pokemon and certain sensitive children since the wavelength must’ve been changed to put humans asleep as opposed to Pokemon.

Misty tries it out, and after Hypno uses his Hypnosis on her, she suddenly starts acting like a Seel. She bursts from the mansion and runs towards a large park. As she enters a clearing, the group sees all of the missing children have gathered here. They’re all acting like Pokemon and vehemently refuse to snap out of it.

One of the club members suggests to use Drowzee’s dream waves to counter Hypno’s sleep waves, and they bring Misty back to the mansion to try it. It works, and Misty snaps out of her Seel state. Encouraged by the results in Misty, Ash and the others decide to bring Drowzee to the park to snap the other children out of their trances.

Suddenly, Team Rocket drops from the sky on gliders, intent on stealing Drowzee and Hypno. They trick Hypno into hypnotizing itself by putting him in front of a mirror, but Ash stops it before it completes by smashing the mirror with a potted plant.

As plan B, Jessie and James nab Drowzee and Hypno with whips, but Misty uses Staryu to slice through both of the whips and free them. Ash uses Pidgeotto’s best Gust attack to blast them off, and they head back off to save the children.

Drowzee works his dream magic on the children, and they’re all back to normal. Pikachu also snaps out of his drained state. As the children clear out of the park, Arnold’s mother appears and reunites with her son.

They head to the Pokemon Center and cure the Pokemon too. Everything’s back to normal, but Joy remains concerned over the Psyduck that keeps holding its head. In an attempt to impress Joy, Brock agrees to take Psyduck and try to help it. However, he’s completely clueless as to what to do with it. He tries to pawn it off on Misty, but Misty isn’t interested in a ‘boring’ Pokemon.

Ash attempts to research Psyduck again through Dexter and it’s revealed that there’s nothing wrong with Psyduck – it’s a part of its nature to always suffer from a perpetual headache. As Misty bursts in anger at this revelation, she topples over and one of her Pokeballs falls out of her bag. Psyduck bops the button on the ball and captures itself, leaving Misty with ownership over it.

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– Like the Rainbow Badge episode, this was another episode I had on VHS, which means I watched it fairly frequently.

And, even back then, this episode raised all sorts of questions with me that left me more confused and weirded out the more I watched it. I can’t really think of any episode like it. It’s such an odd duck. But don’t just take my plot synopsis’ word for it. Let me take you on a journey of confusion.

– Even in cities, these three cannot help themselves but get lost.

– Why is it never explained why this city is called Hophophop Town? Nothing about this name makes sense. There’s never anything hopping related going on ever (this episode might be better suited for a much later Hoppip themed episode or something) and it’s not a town – it’s a huge city rivaling Celadon in its sheer size and skyscrapers.

You might think this is just 4Kids having their stupid jollies, but it’s not really. In the Japanese version, this town is called Yoyoyo Town……which makes about as much if not less sense. Actually, it sounds like they got the names backwards. If either set of writers would stake a claim on Yoyoyo Town, it would be the masters of rap, 4Kids.

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– Misty: *after seeing the wall of posters* “My picture’s going to be on posters when I’m a big famous star!” Reacting to a wall of posters with pictures of missing children with ‘~~~*sigh* I’m going to be famous!~~~’ is about as vain, self-absorbed and terrifyingly uncaring as you can get, Misty. Please hit yourself repeatedly with a rock for 45 minutes and think about how awful your last line was.

Though, if I can delve into the Bulbagarden comparison for a moment, this actually isn’t nearly as bad as her original lines.

“Originally, Kasumi’s first line has her saying that she’d better watch out for kidnappers because she’s so cute. Satoshi and Takeshi kind of give her a look, prompting her to go “What!?” Satoshi then pats Pikachu’s head and tells Kasumi that, fine, she is cute and that she had better watch out.

I guess the dub changed this because they didn’t want parents walking into the room and hearing one of the main characters act so nonchalant about a subject like child abduction.”

Yeah, 4Kids didn’t do a great job changing this line, but the Japanese writers definitely eek out a WTF at this.

In all honesty, this would be one occasion where I’d be fine just cutting the whole exchange, animation and all, but Kasumi, my God, what the fuck is wrong with you? Your elated smile and pose lead me to believe you find child abduction to be flattering. Not to mention that kidnapping usually has little to nothing to do with how ‘cute’ you are. Hate to go dark here, but if a child abductor is really nabbing you on the grounds of your physical appearance, the outcome would likely not be in the least bit happy for you, Kasumi. Please seek help.

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– It was in this episode where Ash has the flashback to the lost episode, which spurred my multi-year-long annoyance as to where that scene came from.

You want to know what else? Even this little tidbit induces additional confusion!

Another dip into Bulbagarden’s comparison shows that this isn’t even the clip that was originally used for Ash’s flashback to his mom. In the Japanese version, they used a clip of her from the pilot.

Since I’d just be parroting their reaction, here’s another excerpt.

“Like…what was the logic behind that decision!? Maybe they thought it would be better for Ash to think about the most recent time he had seen his mother instead of the first time? But when that “most recent time” comes from an episode that, as far as dub viewers know, doesn’t exist, you run into problems. I wonder how many fans watched this episode and wondered “wait a minute…when did that happen!?” I’m sure there were more than a few.

Even today, this edit is weird because the majority of Pokémon fans in the U.S. have never seen “Beauty and The Beach” and would therefore have no reason to know where those clips came from.”

I believe 4Kids wanted a more sentimental memory of Delia for Ash to be thinking of at this moment since the original was a comedic scene where Delia’s handing him a bunch of stuff to take with him on his journey. Though, this is still a little sentimental because it shows how much Delia dotes on him and cares about his well-being.

While the shot from Beauty and the Beach appears more sentimental and is nice in context with the trophy, the actual scene when shown here and with no prior knowledge of the lost episode is just empty. He smiles at her, she smiles at him while holding a trophy (‘for some reason’, thinks the oblivious viewer) and he leaves.

I have enough to develop a headache about in this episode, so let’s just leave that there.

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– Ash is incredibly annoying saying ‘Brilliant deduction!’ every few minutes. Mostly because he doesn’t seem to know what that really means.

– Brock’s also being obnoxious by scaring the crap out of a couple of little kids just for the sake of impressing Jenny.

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– Ash: *in reference to a sick Magikarp* “Looks like it’s ready for the deli counter.” Why the hell would you say something that crass? You might as well tell Oddish it’s ready to be in a salad and Cubone that he’s about to be reunited with his mom. Not only is it crass, but it’s also stupid. Ash knows quite well that Magikarp are inedible. They’re nothing but scales and bones. He learned this on Pokemon Shipwreck.

– Nice to see Nurse Joy’s also joining in on the idiocy. She should know that Psyduck suffers from an endless headache, thus there’s nothing really wrong with it.

– Here’s one of the biggest questions of the episode – Why the hell does Jenny have a sleep wave detector? Nonono – why does she have a sleep wave detector on her? Nonoononononono – Are sleep wave detectors standard issue for cops in the Pokemon world? Nnononononononononononononononono – why are sleep wave detectors a thing? How could they possibly be useful outside of this insanely specific circumstance?

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Was there a rash of criminals taking naps in their crime scenes? Are you worried Freddy Krueger’s going to pop up somewhere? Are you a cop who usually patrols parks and you use it to detect sleeping homeless people so you can ask them to please sleep somewhere else, sir? Do you scan pieces of evidence to see if anyone’s napped on it recently? Did a hypnotist on a cheap cruise line traumatize you because he made you quack like a duck every time someone says ‘potato salad’? I am legitimately curious as to the history of this thing.

The whole concept of the sleep wave detector just seems silly and incredibly lazy. They could’ve made up something like the sleep waves were interfering with some of the equipment in the Pokemon Center or something of Jenny’s and the malfunctions got worse the closer they got to the source. Or they could’ve had a Pokemon be somehow attracted to the sleep waves and follow it to the source.

Nope – fucking sleep wave detector.

In the first draft, this thing was called ‘the convenient plot device generator’

– Alright, with all of that sleep wave detector nonsense behind us, we can move o—why the hell does Team Rocket have a sleep wave detector?! I mean….I guess if anyone had such a stupid device, it would be Team Rocket, but, seriously, where did they get a sleep wave detector and how did they know such a device would be useful here?

– Their plan this week is also pathetic and stupid. They plan on finding the source of the waves and knocking out Giovanni with it so they can take a vacation. Yeah, I’m so sure no one will notice he’s MIA and wake him up incredibly quickly. I’m sure he doesn’t have any subordinates who can take over his job temporarily if he’s indisposed. I’m sure he won’t realize what you did to him when he wakes up and he won’t put your collective asses in a sling.

Plus, they’re completely ignoring the obvious criminal use for a source of sleep waves – putting Pokemon to sleep. Their main objective is stealing Pokemon. Imagine if you could put any Pokemon to sleep. A whole Pokemon Center, forest, lake etc. of Pokemon out like a light. All you’d have to do is nab them and put them in a container then gift wrap them and send them to Giovanni. I’m sure he’d rather have loads of Pokemon delivered to him than be pseudo-roofied by you nimrods.

– Why is there a huge mansion/estate on top of a skyscraper? The characters also express surprise and confusion at this, but not a single person gives a reason as to why this is happening. It seems so inefficient, illogical, not cost-effective and just stupid. Surely if you have the money to get a mansion built on top of a skyscraper, you have the money to buy a huge plot of real estate in the city or just beyond it.

 

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By the way, skipping ahead a bit, maybe if you rich idiots want to help your insomnia, you might not want to live and socialize in a huge loud city by purposely building your house/meeting area on top of a skyscraper.

– Yes, Officer Jenny, just let these small children break into what could be a building filled with dangerous people.

– I have a bunch of questions about the Pokemon Lovers Club.

1 – So this mansion isn’t even a place where someone lives – it’s just a clubhouse? You went through all that trouble and spent so much money for a clubhouse on top of a skyscraper? Talk about disposable income.

2 – This is a Pokemon Lovers Club, so I assume there are frequently lots of Pokemon up in this clubhouse at any given time…..On top of this skyscraper…..with no protective barriers to stop them from falling off the roof. More like Pokemon Negligence Club.

3 – For a Pokemon Lovers Club, this place is sure devoid of….well, Pokemon. The only Pokemon in the area are Hypno and Drowzee, and those are the only Pokemon they talk about.

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This is a far cry from what is supposed to be the inspiration of this club, which is the game’s Pokemon Fan Club. (It’s never explicitly stated that it is, but given that the original Japanese name for the fan club is Pokemon Lovers Club, it’s hard to say it’s not)

You’d think they might make up for it with Pokemon décor or activities or something, but there’s nothing even Pokemon related in the entire vicinity besides the Hypno and Drowzee sitting on that table. Everyone’s just standing around drinking wine….err, I mean, what I assume is fruit juice. It’s like that pseudo-sitcom trope where the mom has a book club but it’s really an excuse for her and her friends to sit around and gossip while drinking wine.

4 – So if the point of this club isn’t celebrating all Pokemon, I guess I can assume it’s for a Hypno or Drowzee fandom….if that’s true, why is no one paying it any mind before Ash and the others talk about it?

5 – From what they say, it’s almost like the point of this club is an insomniacs club. All of these rich tycoons are so stressed out from living in the city (pbbbttttmove awaypbbbttttput your clubhouse in a place that isn’t the top of a skyscraperpbbbbtttyou’re hobnobbing and drinking in the middle of the day – you can’t be too stressedpbbbbttt) that all of them suffer from insomnia, a condition I’m surprised 4Kids didn’t try to explain to the audience. So they all get together and have Hypno and Drowzee use Hypnosis on them to help them get to sleep at night.

6 – To help them get to sleep AT NIGHT. Why are they making Hypno put them to sleep now?

– Why is the closeup shot of Hypno using Hypnosis a still-screen? It is insanely creepy because of that.

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– Okay, I can understand Hypno’s changed wavelength having an energy-draining effect on Pokemon. If it’s altered from the regular version, it’s just making the Pokemon in the area incredibly tired as opposed to being entirely asleep. That doesn’t really explain Charmander’s dying tail flame, but still.

I can even believe it’s affecting only certain children in the area who might be sensitive to such waves, putting them in a trance state.

What I DON’T understand is why the children all start believing they’re Pokemon. The only reason I can come up with is that, when people get hypnotized in shows in real life, they’re commonly given something goofy to do, and it usually involves acting like an animal – like acting like a dog at the sound of a bell or acting like a chicken at the sound of a clap……but that just doesn’t make much sense at all.

Apparently they originally based this off atavistic regression, which is a hypnosis technique in which the therapist helps psychologically regress a person to previous evolutionary states, eliminating internal stressors, activities and barriers that usually cloud a person’s mind and make them stressed and anxious. This therapeutic technique is used to help people sleep better, be more relaxed and be more open to hypnotic suggestion.

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Problem is, humans did not evolve from Pokemon in this world. (Did they? I’m not current on Pokemon lore. I know Arceus is treated as Pokemon God, and that’s about it in that regard.) Even if they did, atavistic regression doesn’t cause you to start acting like you’re devolved. It just attempts to switch off certain higher functions of the brain that have only been utilized in recent stages of evolution. You’ll have a clearer head, not communicate through grunts and attempt to spear down a city bus.

I also don’t understand how these waves can be so friggin’ powerful that it’s affecting children and Pokemon for miles around. By that logic, any other Hypnosis should zonk out any Pokemon in a five mile radius, like when Jigglypuff uses Sing only much worse.

– Ash, you stuffed a comatose Pikachu in your zipped backpack instead of leaving it at the Pokemon Center where it could be treated? What is wrong with you?

– Thank God Seel!Misty knows how to use an elevator or else there’d be a big stain on the sidewalk out front.

– If the aspect of the children all suddenly believing they’re Pokemon is hard to swallow, even given the backstory of the idea, it’s impossible to believe that they’d all be drawn to the exact same spot in the park. Misty was gunning for that place, she knew exactly where she was going – like it was innate. What’s so special about this section of the park?

– Let’s hope none of the kids believed they were Water Pokemon based on fish or else you might want to call a dive team.

– That one kid should not have been able to crawl down that tree on his belly like that.

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– These kids are surprisingly clean and well-groomed for living in the woods acting like Pokemon for three days.

Gentleman Guy – “I know! Why don’t we use Drowzee to cure the children?”

Ash: “Drowzee?”

Gentleman Guy – “Sleep emits dream wavelengths, which, in this case, might counteract Hypno’s wavelengths.”

I don’t….understand that sentence…..Sleep….emits dream wavelengths…yes. That might counteract Hypno’s wavelengths…..no….Hypno made those wavelengths….Why would Drowzee….he might have a different wavelength but….dream wavelengths… Dream Eater? How would that help?…..How is this…working?……Forget it. Let’s just say they’re reversing the polarity and move on with our lives.

Ah, according to the Wiki, this is just a dub error. Sleep is Drowzee’s original name and 4Kids accidentally used it here……Still doesn’t clear up what the hell is going on, but that clears up the sentence structure anyway.

– They’re having Drowzee emit his dream waves toward Misty?….How is that not Hypnosis?….Why does Hypno not have an ability of his pre-evo? Nope, I’m not going down that slippery slope again.

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– Drowzee’s Hypnosis shot isn’t nearly as creepy as Hypno’s because he’s actually animated here, but it’s obvious the animation is just keyframes. Is this a post-edit because of the Porygon episode? Even Misty, when she’s being subjected to the dream waves, is clearly animated in an extremely shaky way (IE, you can see the frames jutting up and down) Neither the Bulbagarden comparison nor the Wiki page even mentions this odd animation.

– I’ve always thought Eric Stuart’s delivery when he says ‘Just don’t hypnotize me. Okay, do it.’ was hilarious for some reason.

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– Hypno’s incredibly stupid for attempting to hypnotize a mirror. Who is its trainer/owner? Why did no one command it to stop?

– Oh now Hypno’s animated when doing Hypnosis. No clue what’s different now. Also, it has that same keyframe animation issue.

– Nice throwing that flower pot to destroy that mirror, Ash. Considering Hypno was standing a foot away from it and you threw it through the back, Hypno should be cut up like a Christmas ham right now, but good job.

– Hey, Pidgeotto nice to see you actually being used for a change. Though, this is still technically using it for blasting Team Rocket off.

– All, and I mean all of the voices of these children are horrible. Awful. Just….awful.

– Why did they all spontaneously blurt out what they wanted to be when grow up?

– Ash really doesn’t look much like Arnold at all. You only see him for a few frames, but he’s much shorter, has completely different clothes and his hair is blue not black. Guess his mom could’ve just been hysterical, but still.

– Misty is known for adoring even the ugliest of Water Pokemon, but she has absolutely no respect for Psyduck out of the gate and even calls it boring despite hearing that it has mysterious powers.

– Why does Misty have such a burst of anger over hearing Psyduck always has a headache? She doesn’t even own it at this point.

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– That last bit is just all sorts of giant convenient coincidence. She just happens to fall. She just happens to have a Pokeball fall out of her pocket/bag. It just happens to stop rolling right in front of Psyduck. Psyduck just happens to bop the button over and over to enlarge the ball and capture itself.

– Not to be cruel, but why doesn’t Misty just instantly release Psyduck if she’s so intent on hating it from the get-go? It didn’t even do anything wrong. She just hates it for no reason.

– Mystery of what the inside of a Pokeball looks like solved – it’s a blue abyss of nothingness.

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Like I said, this episode is just an endless stream of confusion and peculiarity for me. It only got even worse the more I analyzed it. Some questions were answered, but I just raised other questions I never even thought of before, and if this weren’t the episode where Misty gets Psyduck, I’d almost say it’d be better off if we all just believed it was a weird collective dream.

Now that I think about it, this is the perfect episode for Psyduck to debut in. What better Pokemon to have be caught in this massive web of weirdness and disarray than the Pokemon who, like all of us at this point, has a massive headache?

Next episode, one of my favorites, Brock meets his idol in breeding, Suzie, and gets Vupix.

Pokemon Episode 26 Analysis: Pokemon Scent-Sation

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Gym Leader: Erika – Erika is a very polite and kind individual (er, well, she’s meant to be) who values empathy with her Pokemon above all else. She specializes in Grass Pokemon and has a particular connection with her Gloom, a Pokemon most people cannot stand due to its terrible smell. Erika also owns a perfume shop and treasures the beautiful scents and feelings that perfume provides. While she is a very gentle and loving person, she cannot stand ignorant people who badmouth perfume.

Reappears? No.

Pokemon – She has numerous Grass Pokemon kicking around her Gym, but in this battle she uses a Weepinbell, a Tangela and a Gloom, who is her most prized Pokemon and is in fact the source of her secret ingredient for her perfumes.

Badge:

50px-Rainbow_Badge

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock arrive in the massive Celadon City. As they gaze in awe at the skyscrapers, Misty and Brock are suddenly captivated by the aroma of perfume. The scent leads Brock to a perfume shop where he gawks at the girls at the counter. Ash wants to get going to the Gym when he notices that Misty and Pikachu are actually in the store trying out various types of perfume.

She’s about to buy some when Ash bursts in and tells her not to buy it because ‘Perfume is a waste of money, and it stinks!’ The store manager comes in and states that she resents Ash’s remark. She asks if Ash is insinuating that she overcharges her customers for poor-quality perfume. Ash tries to save face by saying that all perfume is a waste of money, because ‘all it does is turn guys into zombies.’ like Brock.

She gets increasingly angry as Ash continues to speak badly of perfume and she kicks him out of the store. Ash doesn’t really care, though, since he’s off to the Gym.

When he arrives at the Gym, he’s shocked to find that the girls at the door won’t let him in since they don’t let anyone in who badmouths perfume given that they manufacture the perfume in that very Gym. Ash begs and pleads to challenge the Gym Leader, but they still refuse.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket breaks into the Gym to steal the secret perfume formula. While they’re searching for it, they stumble upon a sleeping Gloom. After James accidentally wakes it up, he attacks it with Koffing’s Poison Gas. Shockingly, not only is Gloom unaffected, it actually sucks up the gas with no problem.

In retaliation, Gloom sets off a cloud of its terrible stench, causing Team Rocket to nearlyfaint and giving the guards at the Gym the opportunity to knock them out and kick them out. They tie Team Rocket up in a tree, and Ash comes upon them.

They decide to coerce him into cutting them down from the tree by saying they can get him into the Gym. Desperate for another badge, Ash accepts. Their big plan? To dress Ash up as a girl, pretend to be named Ashley and pretend he likes perfume so he can get through the door and challenge Erika.

Posing as Ash(ley)’s parents, Team Rocket enrolls Ash in the Gym’s Pokemon training classes. As Ash gets ready to infiltrate the Gym to challenge Erika, Team Rocket excuses themselves so they can steal the formula. In retaliation for stamping a big X on her face, Jessie also has Meowth plant a bomb in the building.

The class starts, showing the Gym’s Pokemon getting exercised and cleaned up while Erika reads them all a sad story about an Omanyte. Ash(ley) is introduced to the group and he’s shocked when he notices that Erika is also the manager of the perfume store. Misty, Brock and Pikachu are also at the class, which makes him increasingly concerned that he’ll be found out.

Misty asks Erika why the seemingly always stinky Gloom smells perfectly fine while hanging out with them in the Gym. Erika explains that Gloom does indeed have a terrible smell, but only when it feels threatened or scared. If you show Gloom that its safe and that you want to be its friend, it will smell fine. Misty asks how she knows this and Erika explains how she and gloom met.

When Erika was a small child, she went off on her own and was suddenly cornered by a Grimer. Gloom was passing by, and she asked it for help. Gloom somehow sensed how scared Erika was and used its terrible smell to send the Grimer away and save Erika. Ever since that day, she and Gloom have been close friends. Her relationship with Gloom even inspired her to become a Grass Pokemon trainer and open her Gym.

Misty wishes that Ash was around to hear the story and Ash accidentally outs himself by saying he did hear it. He tries to save face, but Pikachu tries to cuddle him, realizing who he is. Ash tells him to back off, which prompts Pikachu to shock him, revealing his true identity. Ash admits what he did and challenges Erika to a Pokemon battle, which Erika accepts.

Ash chooses Bulbasaur at first while Erika uses a Tangela. Bulbasaur uses Vine Whip to wrap up Tangela, but Erika commands it to use Constrict to coil up Bulbasaur’s vines and reel him in. She then commands Tangela to use Stun Spore, which paralyzes Bulbasaur and leaves him unable to battle.

Ash considers using Primeape, but decides against it when he remembers how crazy and violent it was. Instead, Ash uses Charmander. In response, Erika sends out Weepinbell.

Weepinbell uses Razor Leaf, but Charmander burns all of the leaves with a Flamethrower and KOs Weepinbell with a Skull Bash.

Erika uses her trump card, Gloom, and it easily knocks out Charmander with its stench. Ash struggles to figure out what Pokemon to use next since he doesn’t believe any of his Pokemon can withstand that smell. However, Pikachu steps up to the plate and volunteers to go.

Their battle is interrupted by Team Rocket who now have the secret formula in their possession and have come to gloat. Their visit is cut short when they accidentally set the bomb too close to where they are and blast themselves off.

A massive fire breaks out in the Gym and everyone tries to gather the Pokemon and evacuate. Outside, everyone tries to put out the flames with hoses, Water Pokemon and Brock’s Geodude.

Erika runs by in a panic, worried that Gloom never made it out of the building. Ash goes into the Gym to retrieve Gloom, but is deterred by the frightened Pokemon’s horrible smell. Ash has no choice but to hold his breath and brave the stench to get Gloom out, but is surprised to find the air to be clear of the smell when he gasps for a breath. He suddenly remembers Erika’s words about the smell vanishing if Gloom feels safe and friendly towards you. With a smile, Ash grabs Gloom and runs out the door.

Later, when the fire is extinguished, Erika gives Ash a Rainbow Badge in gratitude of him saving her Gloom. Ash admires his new badge, but asks what Erika will do now that Team Rocket has her secret perfume formula. Erika laughs and said they didn’t steal the formula; they only stole an ingredient of her perfume – essence of Gloom.

As we cut to Team Rocket, they open the bottle to enjoy their new perfume only to be disgusted at the odor within the bottle.

With his new badge in hand, Ash and his friends set off to the next Gym.

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– Oh great, our first actual official pun title. Whoopee.

– Just a side-note/backstory thing before I get started: This episode is one my most remembered since it was one of a handful of episodes that I got on VHS when I was a kid. I also had the episode with Primeape, but I guess I didn’t much care for that episode as a kid either because I don’t remember watching that episode much.

Since there was a good chunk of time in my childhood when I was obsessed with Pokemon, but it was only on either incredibly early in the morning (before it started airing on Kids WB. And by early I mean around 5:00/30 AM. I had to pester my dad to wake me up when he woke up to go to work so I could watch it) or only on weekends (when it finally aired on Kids WB) I basically watched my VHS episodes over and over to sate my Pokemon cravings. As such, this episode became ingrained in my memory. I could probably recite the entirety of the script in my sleep.

However, looking back on it, I can definitely feel a rant storm a brewin’

– They’re still using the Pokemon logo when they include the word “Pokemon” in the title? Wow, that is going on way longer than I thought it did.

– I understand that Erika’s ‘spell out perfume with positive words’ rant is a dub-only thing, but uh, 4Kids, U for Urbane? You really think any kid knows what urbane means? Also, Erika, I can do the same thing in reverse to make your pathetic ‘point’ moot. P for Putrid, E for Ew, R for Repulsive, F for Foolish, U for Ugly, M for Mundane and E for Egregious. That spells…!

Misty: “Perfume!”

Brock: “Right!”

Pikachu: “Pika!”

Your move, Erika.

– I know Ash is, for lack of a better term, a typical ten-year-old boy (Thinks perfume is stupid, doesn’t get romance, fashion is dumb, makeovers are pointless etc.) but where exactly is this rabid anti-perfume stuff coming from? Disliking that Misty is buying perfume is a different level from yelling at her to not purchase it then going on a rant about why it’s awful.

And he hates it because it turns guys into zombies? Brock’s always a skirt-chasing zombie, and that’s his only example. Besides, I’ve never seen any guy gush over a woman’s perfume. Most guys I know don’t really care for perfume. They might say it smells nice on a woman they’re interested in, but never have I ever seen a guy, besides girl-crazy Brock, go zombified because he smells perfume or value a woman higher due to her perfume. It really seems like this hatred was written in for the sake of getting Ash thrown out, banned and then starting up the plot.

It also seems out of character for a woman as gentle, kind and polite as Erika to go berserk about someone disliking perfume to the point where she’ll not only refuse to battle him, but she’ll ban him from her store and her Gym. This is especially weird since she’s all about empathy. A person such as Erika would try to see Ash’s side or at least respect his opinion, despite disagreeing with it. But no – she immaturely gets in his face about it, even pointing her finger in his face while she lectures him on the value of perfume, then tells him to leave while her employees literally kick him out.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 1

– So, instead of calling the cops and having Team Rocket arrested, the girls at the Gym stamp X’s on their faces, tie them up and hang them from a tree in the middle of nowhere…..I know the cops in the Pokemon world aren’t known for their effectiveness, but you’re basically damning Team Rocket to a slow death here.

– Retroactively, Ash doesn’t really need to crossdress and act like a girl/completely different person to get into this Gym if there are supposedly at least two additional Gyms in Kanto besides the typical eight, as seen in Gary’s badge collection. I know these Gyms are never given names or Gym Leaders and probably aren’t canon, but if there are more Gyms than the typical eight, he can just get another badge there to get his required eight badges instead of jumping through hoops for an unreasonable perfume fanatic.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 2

– While we’re on the subject, why is Ash pretending he’s enrolling in Pokemon Training classes? Enrolling in those classes won’t get him a challenge, it will just….enroll him in training classes. Why not say (s)he’s a trainer who’d like to challenge Erika for a badge? It’s like they made this whole class thing up so Ash would get to listen to Erika’s story about her Gloom and appreciate her more.

– What the hell? It’s actually a prerequisite to like perfume before you’re accepted into the classes?

Girl: “Do you like perfume?”

Ash(ley): “Oh, yes!”

Girl: “Well, then, I’m sure you’ll be accepted!”

Being mad at Ash for being an anti-perfume asshole to the point of banning him from the store and Gym is bad enough, but only allowing confirmed pro-perfume people into your Gym/classes is downright obsessive. How does this conversation sometimes go?

Girl: “Do you like perfume?”

Trainer: “Uhm, not really, I guess.”

Girl: “Well, you can go fuck yourself then. Have a nice day!”

– Team Rocket, especially in the early days, definitely have their moments of insane evil. Jessie basically wants to commit a terrorist act (planting a huge bomb in the Gym; Which not only proves to be enough to destroy the place but also puts the lives of many people and Pokemon, Grass types no less, at risk) because they stamped an X on her face.

– Girl: *while wiping droll off of Gloom’s mouth* “Remember, a pretty Pokemon is a strong Pokemon!” Wow, you guys really are shallow ditzes aren’t you?

– I need to address several issues with this ‘Pokemon training class.’ First of all, what the hell are they even doing? One of the staff members is exercising a group of Grass Pokemon, which is technically training, but there aren’t ‘students’ watching or partaking in it.

Another employee is cleaning Gloom’s face which might be a lesson on keeping your Pokemon neat and tidy, but she also makes the stupid statement above, which is a fairly bad lesson to be teaching Pokemon trainers. (How did my Pokemon lose? It’s so pretty!) And, again, no ‘students’ are watching or helping.

Erika is telling a story to a group of her employees, Misty, Brock and Pikachu and that’s it. There are absolutely no other students besides Brock and Misty. I assume Misty and Brock have enrolled as students but there’s no reason given as to why they did such a thing. Brock may have done it because he gets to be surrounded by pretty girls for a few hours, but why Misty?

Pokemon ep 26 screen 3

 

Furthermore, why the hell are they having irrelevant storytime with this one ten-year-old, another teenager and a group of her own employees who are all either in their mid-teens or twenties? What does this have to do with Pokemon training? Did they accidentally sign up for Pokemon daycare?

– Erika and Gloom’s backstory is all fine and dandy, but the logistics don’t really add up. Little girl Erika went into what looks like a dark, broken down abandoned house all by herself? Why? It’s understandable that there’s a Grimer there since that’s a typical area where Grimer might hang out, but why is it attacking her?

It’s much less understandable as to why Gloom’s there. It might be part Poison type, but it’s mainly a Grass type. There’s no reason for it to just be wandering aimlessly in this building.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 4

– This line always pissed me off.

Erika: “I accept your challenge! It’s my duty under the league rules!” IT IS, IS IT?! Hoo boy, it sure is a good thing you haven’t been denying his attempts to challenge you this whole episode! And if it’s true that you have to like perfume before you’re allowed entry into the Gym, it sounds like you deny quite a few challenges, Erika.

– It bothers me how arrogant Erika is when she lets out a new Pokemon. Every time, she says ‘This ought to be easy!’ Even when Ash lets out Charmander, which is a big threat just on the type advantage alone.

– Yay! Tangela! Whoo! Call your agent and get more use in the series, please. You’re almost as ignored as the Paras line.

– Uh, Erika….what is Tangela doing? I don’t know if you know this, but Constrict isn’t a move that makes you spin in circles. That doesn’t even make sense.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 5

– Ah, Ash thinking about using a powerful Pokemon (Primeape) only to decide against it because he can’t control it and never trained it. This is annoying, but remember everyone, this is totally the last time it happens.

– While we’re on the subject, remember what I mentioned in the last analysis about not getting used to Primeape?

Wiki – “This episode marks the only appearance of Ash’s Primeape between its capture and departure episodes, although merely in a flashback.” You may repeatedly bash your head against your desk now.

– What exactly leads Erika to believe that Ash has no empathy with his Pokemon? Except maybe that one line where he refuses to take her offer of a Paralyze Heal for Bulbasaur just because he wants to do things for himself.

– Also, more ego.

Erika: “Without it, you’ll never be a great Pokemon trainer like me!” I honestly don’t remember Erika being this obnoxious, but holy hell she’s an ego-driven, pretentious crazy person.

– Erika: “Now I’m going to give you a lesson in empathy! Gloom, go!” Yes, here’s a lesson in empathy. A putrid stench. I’m starting to wonder if you know what empathy means, Erika.

– Now she’s laughing at Ash for losing. She is a lot different from her game counterpart, isn’t she?

– Actually, Ash, Pidgeotto would be a fantastic choice to combat Gloom. Not only is Grass weak to Flying, but who better to air out a stinky Gym than a Flying Pokemon who can stay above the smell and blow it away with Gust? But oh yeah, keep giving Pikachu all the shots and completely forget Pidgeotto, you little welp.

– Girl: *during the fire and trying to round up the Pokemon* “We’ve gotta catch ‘em all!” No! No, 4Kids, no! Bad 4Kids. Bad!

Pokemon ep 26 screen 6

– Alright, fine; the shot of Pikachu trying to put out the fire with a watering can is adorable.

– So the fire department never showed up? What assholes! You’re about as useless as the police in the Pokemon world.

– Now, in typical pity badge fashion, let’s go over the reasons why him getting one for the Rainbow Badge is stupid.

1) Ash only got the pity badge because he braved a burning building to save Gloom and he managed to show Gloom that he was friendly and could keep it safe. It was very brave and nice of Ash to do that, but that shouldn’t earn him the badge. Partly because of principle and mostly because of reason two….

2) Ash is right; it’s kinda his fault that ever happened to begin with. He was stupid enough to free Team Rocket and fall for their little scheme when, logically, Team Rocket wouldn’t bother keeping up their side of the bargain if he cut them down any other time. The only reason they’d help him is if they had ulterior motives, which Ash should’ve been able to figure it out because the only reason they were up in that tree was because the girls at the Gym found them trying to steal something and kicked them out. Even if they didn’t tell him the reason, it’s not hard to deduce considering who they are and the fact that they had those trademark red Xs on their faces.

You could say they would’ve sneaked in anyway, but there’s no denying that Ash facilitated it here. If Ash were more intelligent and more mature, he’d suck up his pride and apologize to Erika and the girls about what he said and he’d probably be let in.

Instead, he freed a group of criminals who try to steal his Pikachu every week and believed their stupid plan that didn’t even need to involve them. There’s no reason why Ash couldn’t have gone into the Gym alone in his disguise. He didn’t think it odd that his character needed parents to walk her into the building? Which is all they did. They didn’t even sign him/her up like they said they would. He signed himself up.

3) Ash definitely would’ve lost that match, I don’t care what Pikachu ‘said’ to him. He might’ve had a good chance with Pidgeotto, but Ash’s mantra is always ‘Fuck Pidgeotto! Go pop Team Rocket’s balloon!’ Ash himself said Pikachu is trying to battle even though he knows he’ll probably lose. Pikachu just says he’s sure he’ll win without us ever finding out why Pikachu is so confident of that.

4) Pikachu is an especially stupid choice against Gloom because not only are Electric Types not very effective against Grass types, but we’re well aware that Pikachu has a super sensitive nose. He’d be out of the match just breathing in the leftover fumes.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 7

– Notice how Ash has gotten progressively less resistant to these pity badges? When Brock gave him one, he was really reluctant to get it. When Misty’s sisters did it, he was more easily swayed. When Sabrina did it, he only mildly questioned it as he was walking away from the Gym and admiring the new badge. With Erika, he just asks what he’s getting the badge for, Erika says he earned it and Ash is all “Look at my new badge!” I can’t wait until Cinnabar Island, I tell ya what.

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I still hold a nostalgic love of this episode, but giving another look for this review really showcases what a hot mess it is both in the grand scheme and in the little details. In addition to everything I already covered, they also never revisit the perfume angle. They have the whole first half be about appreciating perfume and having Ash being a rabid anti-perfume advocate and then nearly everything perfume related is dropped in the second half. I don’t even care much for the perfume plot because, in my opinion, both sides were being ridiculously immature and stupid, especially over perfume of all things, but if you’re going to spend that much time on it, why not continue it in the second half?

This plot might make a little more sense if the episode started out with Ash mocking or disliking Gloom based on its disgusting smell (perhaps it could’ve been the mascot for the perfume shop), and her relationship to her Gloom made her so insulted that she banned him from the shop and the Gym. Sure, it’s a bit OOC, but no more than he’s being here. That way, the moral at the end, which they outright say is not judging a Pokemon by its smell, would be more fitting. He was never judging Gloom for its smell – he was just understandably put off by the stink as a whole. Looking back, that Aesop might actually be trying to apply itself to Ash’s dislike of perfume, but since the perfume is never addressed in the second half, I sincerely doubt it.

I used to find Erika to be just fine as a character and a trainer, but looking closer at her just shows her to be egotistical, perfume-crazy and just as immature as Ash. I’m convinced that Brock liking her perfume (and her) is the only reason she doesn’t post a ‘No boys allowed’ sign outside.

The battle is fine, but mostly unimpressive for a Gym match. Tangela’s win was half because of a move that isn’t performed properly for the sake of plot convenience. Charmander’s win was predictable and a little boring, and, like I mentioned, with Ash not using Pidgeotto, there’s no way he would’ve legit won against Gloom’s stank. If there is, they never bother to tell anyone, and I can’t think of any way it would’ve been possible without pulling something out of Messiahchu’s ass.

It’s yet another pity badge, which is already major points off, and the only really good point standing is Ash’s heroics during the fire. However, that scene would’ve meant more if he had more interaction with Gloom in the first half.

Next episode, Hypno’s Naptime! It’s time to get….confusing and weird….

One Piece (4Kids) Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison

OPEP1TITLE

Pre-comparison notes: Oh yes, people. We are going there. Unlike Sailor Moon and Tokyo Mew Mew, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode by episode comparison for One Piece, so yay. And if there is….well, I’ll do this for fun anyway. 😛

This is a complete and utter mess. If you like One Piece, you probably know this. I’ve been a moderate watcher through time, but I never got around to keeping up with it and even I am pissed off at some of the ridiculous edits they made to this series. Well, light your lollipops and load your hammer guns while we tackle 4Kids’ dub of One Piece.

Plot: Coby is young aspiring Marine being held against his will by the pirate captain Alvida. When they discover the odd boy named Luffy hiding in a barrel, he turns Coby’s and Alvida’s lives upside down with his determination and courage…..and his ability to stretch his body like a rubber band.

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Theme song: I don’t think I need to mention that the theme songs have been changed for this series. Especially considering how infamous this change is. But just for the sake of thoroughness, 4Kids replaced the traditional Japanese OP and graced us with a rap song. Which is a damn shame because the original song is awesome, and I love Vic Mignonga’s rendition of it in the Funimation version.

Shockingly, however, they kept the OP’s graphics almost completely intact. That might be the only time outside of Pokemon that they’ve ever done that.

Also, later on, when we get more characters, the theme song is changed to adjust to them instead of going through the trouble of making a new theme song. Which is weird. They had no qualms about making new theme songs for Pokemon every season – why just edit One Piece’s instead of changing it? Many fans are glad that 4Kids lost their license when they did because they were worried about how the song would sound with even more characters added seeing as how just adding Sanji and Chopper to the song made it incredibly sloppy.

Entire show edit: 4Kids being 4Kids, a lot of music is changed and added where there is silence.

They edit out where the guy who says “can’t a guy get some shut eye?” (He really says “You guys suck” in the sub) turns and looks above the mast. Why? I dunno. Also, for a guy who is pissed that people disturbed his nap, he sure does have a big grin on his face.

Titles: Most of the titles aren’t changed very much, but others are, so I’ll be noting them all. I’m Luffy! The Man Who’s Gonna be King of the Pirates! Is changed to I’m Gonna Be King of the Pirates!

This isn’t really important, but they edit out the freeze frame of the pirates running towards the camera before Coby’s about the swing across.

After Nami reveals her pirate clothes, Coby enters a room where the barrel we’ve been following is. After he mentions that he’s found a big barrel, that’s when Nami rides the zipline to Alvida’s ship. 4Kids changed this to having her do the zipline right after she shows her clothes and editing out the scene with Coby.

Visuals: OPEP1SCREEN1

OPEP1SCREEN2

They edit about a second of showing Nami’s foot when she kicked that pirate. But we all know where it was. Ouch.

Visuals: OPEP1SCREEN3

In the original, Coby believes he’s found a barrel of wine. The other pirates say they’ll help lighten his load by drinking it. Coby says Alvida will kill them if she finds out and one of the pirates tells him she won’t if he doesn’t blab and he agrees. In the dub, it essentially goes like this “I found some water, it’s really heavy” “We’ll help you out.” “Okay” Also, the wind up to break the barrel before Luffy shows up is more drawn out in the sub.

They do some freakin’ weird editing to Luffy’s mouth when he says he had a great nap. I guess this was because Luffy’s mouth wasn’t moving in that scene….????????? And instead of drawing out his yelling, they shorten the scene again. Notice the cheeks. Forgive the slightly iffy gif editing, I thought the end was cut off enough.

Visuals:

Luffy mouth fixed

They edit out a white flash before showing Coby quivering on the floor after Luffy breaks the pirates’ swords.

They edit out Luffy explaining that his ship was caught up in the whirlpool.

They edit out Alvida’s iron mace hitting the first pirate in the face and then falling on the remaining pirate’s heads after the other guy gets sent overboard.

Visuals:

 

The eyecatches for the commercial breaks are edited out, which is disappointing. This week we only get Luffy’s Wanted poster, but other characters will be added in future episodes.

Eyecatch: OPEP1SCREEN6

In the original, Coby explains why getting ‘One Piece’ is impossible. In the dub, he berates Luffy for wanting to be king of the pirates or even a pirate at all because they’re terrible.

They edit out Luffy’s punch and him holding his fist above Coby’s head afterwards. They change it to Coby freaking out because he thought Luffy was going to hit him, when he claims he wasn’t going to. This is a perfect example as to why 4Kids never should’ve gotten this show to begin with. If you’re even too afraid to show somebody getting a quick (comedic) smack to the head because they’re flipping out, you cannot dub this show properly. Period.

Subbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPSCREEN7OPEP1SCREEN7

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPSCREEN9

Instead of Luffy giving an inspirational speech about following your dreams, the original Luffy just said he does what he does because it’s what he wants to do. He wants to become a Pirate King and he’ll die for his dream.

Entire Series Edit: For reasons beyond my human understanding, they change any instance of “Marines” to “Navy.” It’s not just a simple dubbing error, either. The Marines have hats that clearly say “Marines” and 4Kids edits them to say “Navy” I can’t even say that maybe 4Kids is confusing Marines for Navy, because it’s obvious that they’re making a conscious effort to change it, even when it’s in English. I guess 4Kids hates the Marines…Or the Navy….I can’t figure out which this is offensive towards…

Name change: Zoro is now Zolo. I know this one is controversial, but I think we can give 4Kids a pass here. Many people believe Zoro’s name was changed due to copyright issues with the creators of Zorro. However, in Japan, L and R are interchangeable. Like how Rupan Sansei is known to us as Lupin the third. Or how Kirara from Inuyasha is spelled Kirara, but it’s okay to call her Kilala. But, for all I know, maybe they did do it because of Zorro. I’m just trying to cut 4Kids a break for a change.

In the original, Luffy calls Alvida a fat lady and they show the pirate crew and Alvida frozen in shock that he said that. In the dub, Luffy responds to Coby saying that she was the prettiest by asking when his last eye exam was and they edit out the frozen in shock scene to when the pirates start talking.

Visuals: OPEP1SCREEN8

Instead of actually showing the flashback, Coby just hears Luffy’s words from before repeat in his head as the shot switches back and forth between him and Luffy.

Attack Name Change: Gomu gomu no pistol is changed to Gum gum blast, because even mentioning guns is terrible…

Before the pistol hits Alvida, there’s a bunch of snapshots that show the pistol about to hit her, complete with shutter sound. In the dub, they jump straight to impact.

Visuals:

 

They edit out Luffy hitting Coby again, even though it’s completely offscreen.

This is a great introduction to Luffy and I pretty much like Coby. Alvida’s a bit too much of a joke for me to feel any sort of tension here, but the episode’s fun and a nice start to the series.

Next episode, Luffy and Coby team up to free the legendary pirate hunter, Zoro from the clutches of the spoiled twat Helmeppo and his father, a captain in the Navy, Captain Morgan.

Pokemon Episode 25 Analysis: Primeape Goes Bananas

Pokemon EP 25 title

CotD(s): None

Captures: Ash’s Primeape – A rowdy Pokemon that Ash first met as a Mankey. Primeape is too uncontrollable for Ash to handle most of the time, so on the few times he considers using him, he usually opts against it. Don’t get attached to him.

Plot: Ash contacts Professor Oak to show off his four badges, but is furious when Professor Oak is completely unimpressed by the news since Gary and the other Pallet trainers who started at the same time as Ash all have five badges and already went through Celadon City. Not only that but Oak also claims that Gary has caught 30 Pokemon so far, while Ash only has a grand total of six.

Oak lectures him on making more progress as a trainer before ending the call, subsequently taking Ash down from his new badge high and making him very depressed. He’s determined to go to Celadon City and get his fifth badge and to catch more Pokemon, despite Misty and Brock saying it’s not how many Pokemon you have, it’s how well you train the ones you’ve got.

Suddenly, a Mankey appears and wants one of Brock’s rice ba—donuts. He gives him one, and Ash tries to capture it without weakening it first. Mankey easily avoids capture by throwing the ‘donut’ at the Pokeball, capturing it instead.

Infuriated at the attempted capture, Mankey starts chasing the three – and once a Mankey starts to thrash, there is no stopping it. Brock attempts to calm it by throwing a donutty donut to it, but it just bashes it away and continues its pursuit.

It finally catches up to Ash and beats him up, taking his hat as a prize. Ash is enraged since that is his treasured hat. He won it at the official Pokemon League Expo. Ash climbs up the tree that the Mankey is on, but gets beaten down when he reaches the top.

Team Rocket takes advantage of Ash’s condition and distraction to walk up and demand Pikachu. But when they start assaulting Mankey, it seeks them out as its new target. Enraged even further, Mankey evolves into the fierce Primeape.

Team Rocket brushes off the appearance of Primeape and goes back to trying to get Pikachu, but Primeape won’t be ignored and punches Jessie so hard that it sends her flying face first into a boulder. Enraged at the attack on her beauty, Team Rocket launches a full-out attack on Primeape, but Primeape wins out easily.

Pikachu tries to retrieve Ash’s hat, which has fallen on the ground, but Primeape stops him. As Primeape happily puts the hat back on his head, Ash commands Pikachu to Thundershock him. It hits, but only proves to make Primeape even angrier.

Brock decides to take another approach. He believes that Primeape is not actually angry and that he’s just scared and lonely since Ash tried to capture it and James kicked it. He tries to calm him down and hug him, but is met with a brutal beating.

Primeape continues its relentless pursuit of Ash and the others. Ash and Misty split up and Primeape doesn’t even think twice before continuing to follow Ash since he was his main target from the start.

Team Rocket tries again to capture Pikachu by digging a hole in the middle of the road to catch Ash and Pikachu as they run from Primeape. It works, but Ash just commands Pikachu to Thundershock them to get them out of his hair. Now cornered by Primeape, Ash, determined to catch more Pokemon and achieve his dream of being a Pokemon master, decides that enough is enough.

He sends out Squirtle and douses it with a Water Gun, but the attack seems ultimately ineffective.

He recalls Squirtle and sends out Bulbasaur to attack with its Razor Leaf, which is also completely ineffective.

Charmander’s up next with a few Flamethrowers, but Primeape easily dodges them and punches Charmander square in the face. It starts brutally beating up Charmander when suddenly the flame on its tail starts growing exponentially. Charmander has learned Rage – a powerful ability that gets stronger with each attack. Like Primeape, a Pokemon using Rage won’t stop until its opponent is defeated.

Charmander continues to get beaten up, but is able to hold its own. With one powered up Flamethrower, Primeape is defeated, but not before Pikachu shows the forethought to grab Ash’s hat before it becomes a casualty of Charmander’s fire.

With Primeape sufficiently beaten, Ash manages to capture it.

Team Rocket re-emerges and Ash decides it’s a good time to introduce his new Pokemon to their faces. Primeape sends them blasting off, and while Ash thinks he’s got Primeape on his side now, he’s quick to punch him right in the face.

After running so far from Primeape, Ash and others find Celadon City is incredibly close. With a new Pokemon by his side, Ash goes off to get his fifth badge.

——————————–

– Instead of getting off of his lazy ass to pick up the phone, he waits until Ash’s Krabby picks it up and brings it to him. Bear in mind, I’m talking about the whole phone, not just the receiver. And also bear in mind that the phones in this era are basically the size of old Macintosh computers.

Pokemon EP 25 screen1

– The thing about Ash’s Pokemon capture update with Oak being stagnant is actually made a lot funnier when you realize that Ash not only hasn’t captured any new Pokemon since Mystery at the Lighthouse (Holy crap, it was really that long ago) but he actually has fewer Pokemon now than he did then. Remember, that episode was where he captured Krabby and talked to Oak about his capture rate, leaving him with a grand total of seven Pokemon at his last check-in. He recently released Butterfree so he went from seven Pokemon to six.

Being fair, though, Gary’s Pokemon number has also decreased. In Mystery at the Lighthouse, Oak said Gary’s captured 45 Pokemon, but here he says that Gary’s caught 30. He could mean he’s caught 30 more since the last update, but it’s not worded like that. Also, I can’t fault 4Kids for the flub here since this error is also in the original Japanese version.

– Oak: “Pokemon training is a lot like writing poetry. I can’t write a good poem without rhymes…” Actually, while he may just be talking about his own poetry skills, lots of good poems don’t rhyme nor is it a rule that poetry has to rhyme. I know. I struggled like hell when I had to write poetry in school, both rhyming and not.

“And you can’t be a good trainer without catching more Pokemon!” That’s also technically not true. Your skills as a trainer are reflected in how well you battle, how well your Pokemon obey your commands and how good of a relationship you have with your Pokemon. You can have all of the Pokemon in the world and still be a shitty trainer. Having numerous Pokemon just gives you more options. I guess it also does give you a wider range of experience with various types of Pokemon, but still.

Also, this is another taste of irony. Remember, many Gym Leaders and even Elite Four members in the games rarely have a full party of Pokemon. Many of them only have three or less.

– Obligatory (Courtesy of Dogasu at Bulbagarden): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x81zbl_they-re-really-donuts-we-promise_news

Eric Stuart really does sound like he’s having a ball selling those ‘donuts’ as hard as he can. I can bet on one of the takes he says something along the lines of “Nothing beats a jelly-filled riceball—err, onigiri—I mean Ricenut—DONUT.”

– Speaking of Dogasu, the narrator butts in as Ash looks at the path to Celadon City just to ask a cliffhanger-ish question of whether he’ll catch up to his rivals or be left in their dust. I always thought this was out of place and just awkward considering the Narrator typically stays quiet outside of the very beginning and end.

According to the comparison, this line of dialogue was originally said by Oak and was an audio flashback to what he was saying on the phone. Since his Japanese VA is the same as the Japanese Narrator, 4Kids got confused and gave his line to the English Narrator, even though you’d think just the translated line itself being identical to Okido’s previous lines and not sounding like something the Narrator would say would be a big hint.

– So, Brock and Misty agree that being a good trainer isn’t about how many Pokemon you have, it’s how well you train the ones you’ve got. If you focus on that, then the Pokemon you’ve trained well can easily help you increase your capture rate. Of course Ash doesn’t get any of this and focuses purely on capturing more Pokemon, but it’s weird that Misty and Brock have a better understanding of what it means to be a good Pokemon Trainer than Oak does.

I know Oak’s not a Pokemon Trainer (actually, technically, he kinda was when he was a kid) and they’re Gym Leaders, but being an authority on Pokemon and a man who sends new trainers off on their journeys every year or so, you’d think he’d know better.

– 25 episodes in. 25. Goddamn. Episodes. In. And Ash is still too stupid to realize that you can almost never capture a Pokemon by just throwing a Pokeball at it without weakening it. He’s facing an energetic Fighting Pokemon, of all things, and just throws a Pokeball at it. I’m cutting off my ‘give him a break, he’s a rookie’ leniency right now. He’s done this several times at this point. He’s just being an idiot.

– I love Mankey mocking Ash’s capture style.

– It’s also a bit funny seeing Ash so sensitive about his hat here considering that, in a few years, he’ll replace that hat, replace it several more times and never ever put that hat back on.

– Holy crap, they left in James kicking the Mankey away? Early 4Kids really did let more violence slide……except that dumb slap in episode 2. I’m sorry I can’t get over that when watching these more violent episodes.

– This is the second time James has caused a Pokemon’s evolution by kicking it away (Magikarp being the first). I wonder if he has some mystic unknown evolution stone wedged in his foot.

– I know Brock fancies himself as a breeder, but he was pretty stupid to believe that Primeape was just scared and lonely when Dexter gave several full explanations as to why it was attacking everyone.

– I always liked Charmander’s proud little poses at the end, even if it might be a glimpse into his later cocky side.

Pokemon EP 25 screen2

– Oh god. I don’t think I can get a screenshot that would do it justice, but Pikachu’s derpy face from faraway as they see Celadon City on the horizon. Yikes.

Pokemon EP 25 screen3

———————–

This episode was alright. It’s got some funny moments, with the almighty donuts being one of them, and I like Primeape, but it’s really just one long schtick of running from Primeape and getting beaten up by him. It’s nice to see Ash get a fairly powerful Pokemon, but he never trains it and, because of that, his appearances are damn near non-existent until its departure, which will come depressingly soon enough.

Watching this in hindsight is almost a joke. Yay, Ash, you captured Primeape and are making some semblance of progress to catch up to your faceless and nameless Pallet Town rivals and Gary, but you’ll never train it, you’ll never use it and you’ll be back down to your pathetic six Pokemon count in a handful of episodes. Not to mention, you’re still far behind them because, by the time you’re done getting your fifth badge, they’ll all probably have their sixth or seventh in their hands. Plus another bunch of Pokemon captures. Good job.

Team Rocket was also being completely uncreative by just waltzing up to Ash and demanding Pikachu then following that up with the tired pitfall trap.

Next episode, Ash has to deal with a bunch of girly girls and their perfume and rainbows at the Celadon Gym. But how can he get a badge there if he’s banned for hating on perfume?

Pokemon Shorties (2)! Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure

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Rating: 2.5/10

Plot: While napping in the woods one day, Togepi wanders off and falls down a tunnel. It’s up to Pikachu and the others to save Togepi while finding some new friends along the way.

Breakdown: Ah, Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure……..I remember like nothing about this short except the opening. I know there’s an Elekid and some other ‘new’ Pokemon and a storm…..and Togepi gets lost….That’s about it.

…….Well, let’s start, shall we?

————————————-

We start off with Ash, Misty and Not-Brock deciding to take a nap on a tree. They let out SOME of their Pokemon to nap too (Scyther, Staryu, Snorlax and Charizard are noticeably absent. It’s understandable that Lapras and Goldeen aren’t there since they’d need to be in water (even though there’s a suitable body of water mere feet away), but why not Staryu, Snorlax, Charizard and Scyther? Are they not ‘cute’ enough for the short? The short and movie do supposedly take place after Charizard starts behaving so there’s no real excuse for him.) Togepi wakes up and sees some Ledyba flying by and tries to follow them, but ends up tripping and rolling down a huge hill.

While falling, it knocks Meowth over who seems to be traveling by himself because Pokemon short law says he has to be alone and they both fall into a nearby hole that leads into an incredibly long and fairly clear tunnel that leads into a gigantic tree that is so huge it’s basically its own forest. Now that I’ve wrote that out it seems incredibly convoluted…

Pikachu and the others reach the hole and try to call for Togepi, but a crazed Psyduck crashes into them while trying to catch up and they all fall into the hole and through the tunnel.

Pokemon short 2 screen 5.png

It’s here where we get our short’s theme song “Comin’ to the Rescue” by O-town. Remember O-Town? Yeah, no one else does either. I actually really like this song and as with “I Need a Vacation” it’s an ear worm that sometimes gets stuck in my head randomly.

They tumble down the long tunnel and land on a passing swarm of Ledyba who bring them into their tree home. I think this is the first sighting of Ledyba in the series. The Pokemon then meet an Elekid, who was actually teased in one of the Orange League episodes through one of Not-Brock’s sketches. They fear that the Elekid wants to fight, but Pikachu makes nice with an Electric Pokemon ET finger touch.

Pokemon short 2 screen 1

After they become friends, the other Pokemon in the forest feel comfortable to come out and damn, if you really wanted to become a Pokemon Master, just go to this forest. It’s like there’s nearly every Pokemon in existence, Kanto-wise, in this forest.

We cut to Meowth who is stuck on a limb overhanging a waterfall…..which would indicate that Togepi died because that’s a nasty drop and Meowth and Togepi fell at the same time, but of course we know the little egg’s not scrambled.

Pikachu asks if Elekid knows where Togepi is and Elekid leads them someplace.

Dear God, the animation is horrible; and it’s in this scene with the Pokemon in the trees that you really start noticing. We just get like 15 seconds of seeing Pokemon in trees standing completely still while making Pokemon calls as we move through them…..and they’re all paper cutout ‘animations’. Not deliberately like how Kare Kano sometimes used crayon drawings and cutout animation to be funny; this is just really, really, really lazy animation. Most of what you see behind the trees is either pure black or more trees, which just adds to the laziness.

Elekid leads them across a vine bridge and we actually learn something about one of the Pokemon; Squirtle’s really afraid of heights. Not scared enough to not do it, but he’s holding onto the vine with his ‘hands’ and feet instead of just walking across like everyone else did.

Pokemon short 2 screen 6

Elekid leads them to the section of the giant tree world with nests of Exeggcute eggs, and we see that Togepi is perfectly fine in one of the nests……..how he got there….or what the unholy hell Exeggcute are doing in tree branches like bird eggs is beyond me, but there it is.

Exeggcute don’t ‘hatch’ or evolve into birds….why are they in nests on tree branches? Why are they in nests period? They’re not Pokemon eggs. They’re egg Pokemon. There’s a difference. We already know at this point that Pokemon come from eggs anyway. Hence the Togepi. So why not just make up some random Pokemon eggs and put them in the nests? It would make more sense and it’s not that hard.

Pikachu and the others try to retrieve Togepi, but the Exeggcute in the nest won’t let him go. They’re missing one of the their eggs so they’ve adopted Togepi as one of their own. Pikachu and the others then embark on a journey to find the missing Exeggcute egg to get Togepi back.

Pokemon short 2 screen 2

They arrive at some oasis and some debuting Bellosom along with every other Pokemon in the oasis start doing a random dance number out of nowhere. Because….padding? I mean….I have no problem with this little number….except we get ANOTHER Pokemon misidentification since 4Kids makes a Poliwhirl repeatedly say ‘PoliWRATH’ and it’s just pointless.

They run into a cave because Pikachu senses a disturbance in the force and finds a bunch of Clefairy hopping around like fleas. He freaks out because he knows they’re doing Metronome and if Togepi’s taught us anything, that move nearly always results in Explosion.

Pokemon short 2 screen 7

So the cave explodes and sends the group + Elekid flying off, and they land on a bunch of insanely convenient leaf-springs….I’m not kidding, they’re leaves with huge springs on the bottom that I guess just grow that way. Huh, I had no idea Tigger had a green thumb.

Pikachu and Elekid hop all over the springs and – goddamn this short is so boring. I am well aware that these shorts are aimed at an even younger audience than the TV show – as in the kinds of fans who just want to see the Pokemon being cute instead of being interested in battles or plot, but damn this is some boring short. Nothing’s happening. Just a bunch of random nothing. Random dance numbers, random leaf springs, random Meowth appearance, random explosions, random random.

At least the last short was interesting due to the rivalry between the main group and the bullies. It made for some funny and memorable moments. This is just harmless boredom in a can. You know what I thought was the most boring and vapid part of the first short? Taking care of Togepi. So now we’ve based our main plot on that boring side plot. It’s already resolved too. Sure, Exeggcute are keeping it hostage, but Pikachu and the others have already found Togepi and have more than enough muscle to just take it away. The only reason this short is continuing is because Pikachu and the others are too nice to take Togepi away from the Exeggcute.

Cut back to Meowth who is still stuck in the tree. However, Pikachu and Elekid fly out of the trees and crash into Meowth, knocking him off the branch and into the waters way way way way below…..but don’t worry. It’s water. And we all learned in every movie ever, including Pokemon movie 01, that landing in any body of water from any height means the fall is survivable.

They also somehow grab onto a Gyarados who tries to climb up the waterfall. Meowth tries to kick Pikachu away for whatever reason and this prompts Pikachu to use Thundershock. Since Gyarados sucks due to it’s 4x weakness to electricity, the shock causes them all to fall/fly off, which makes them land in a Snorlax’s belly (did they just rip off the first short?) and Snorlax slingshots them out of his fat and makes Meowth ‘blast off’.

I’m just now realizing, there’s a crapton of the Pokemon just being flung around random places in this short.

Immediately afterward, a bunch of insanely dark storm clouds charge into the sky when no indication of bad weather has appeared in the slightest until now. I swear, it comes on so suddenly that it’s almost like Mewtwo was back to his old tricks again…In fact….I’d say this storm actually comes on faster than Mewtwo’s, which is just baffling.

The resulting wind causes the Exeggcute nests to start flying around, and the Pokemon try to save them. Geez, the bad animation is really highlighted during the storm. That tree is just awful. Fade animation and hastily painted stills? That’s the best we can do, huh?

Pokemon short 2 screen 3

More Pokemon come to help, and I find it funny that one of the Pokemon that arrives in the nick of time to help is a Slowpoke. I have nothing against Slowpoke, it’s one of the more entertaining Pokemon (though Slowking can bite me…Eh, I’ll save that for the feature presentation) but I just find it weird that one of the Pokemon who rushed to the scene to help in a clinch was a SLOWpoke.

I also find it funny that a Wigglytuff is helping Pikachu. Yes, I’m so sure the BALLOON POKEMON would be a great asset in a wind storm.

Snorlax tries to block the wind with his body, but the lightning becomes a problem as it strikes the tree and causes a branch to nearly fall on the Pokemon.

In an effort to repel the lightning, Elekid and Pikachu match the lightning bolt for bolt, but they miss a particularly powerful one that causes the tree to catch fire. Fear not, though, Marill and Squirtle are here to save the day.

Once the fire’s out, the wind picks up some more and the nest with Exeggcute and Togepi starts flying away. All of the group’s Pokemon plus a few others from the forest, including Snorlax who keeps getting the focus set to him for some reason even though he has no character (Cubone syndrome I guess. It’s not even like this is Ash’s Snorlax, it’s a wild one). He tries to hold on, but gets distracted by apples flying by and lets go of the Pokemon. Pikachu tries to hang on, but can’t. However, Snorlax comes back to save the day. Yay, the reason we were about to die in the first place has saved us, yay!

Snorlax reels them all in and, I’m just now realizing that considering the fact that this short has made a point of saying that you can be flung thousands of feet through the air and always land without harm, it seems kinda stupid to have this ‘keep Togepi and Exeggcute from being flung thousands of feet through the air’ plotline.

The instant that Togepi and the others are safe, the sky clears up. Because there’s nothing else to do with this storm plot. Geez, look at how quickly those clouds went away. Were they late for an appointment?

Pokemon short 2 screen 8

Pretty rainbow and sudden Dragonair flying by indicate that all is well. Pikachu and the others reunite with Togepi who still won’t get left alone by Exeggcute. A Chansey comes by and reveals that the egg it had in its pouch was the missing Exeggcute egg….Well, where’s Chansey’s egg? Why was it in there to begin with? Did it sneak in there without Chansey’s knowledge? Did Chansey steal it? What just happened?

The Exeggcute reunite and hop happily on a leaf stone, turning them into Exeggcutor. I would say this was completely random, but earlier there was a shot where Psyduck gets hit in the head with a rock and you can see for a second that it’s a leaf stone. Still fairly random, but they did foreshadow it, I suppose.

Pikachu and the others bid farewell to the other Pokemon and head back to Ash, Misty and Not-Brock. Cut back to Meowth who did nothing whatsoever during this entire short. He’s floating down a stream and he tells us that he never wants to go to camp again. Oh that’s why he was alone I guess. Wait, what camp? There was a camp in there? Or did he mean ‘camping’? Ah, who cares?

Cut back to Ash, Misty and Not-Brock who are waking up from their nap….It’s nearing night time now….they slept all day? Also, how far away were Pikachu and the others? They couldn’t have been that far considering they went there, did all of that stuff and then came back before Ash and Co. woke up, yet they didn’t seem to weather that huge friggin’ storm or even hear it off in the distance? They must be deaf in addition to blind.

They see the Pokemon playing in the water and assume they must’ve been playing the entire time. Pikachu hops up in the air with the group and they freeze frame like we’re in a cheesy 80’s movie. The End.

Pokemon short 2 screen 4

Bottomline: That….was boring. Even the stuff with the storm wasn’t all that exciting. I laughed several times in Pikachu’s Summer Vacation yet it seems like they weren’t even trying to be entertaining in this short. What a waste of time. No wonder I don’t remember it. I guess if you have really little kids this would hold their attention through a couple of playthroughs just because the Pokemon are doing cute things, but for anyone else it’s incredibly boring.

Recommended Audience: E for everyone! Or Exeggcute. Whatever.

Ojamajo Doremi Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Doremi is a girl who loves magic. She can’t do any, but she tries. She studies witchcraft and tries to perform magic, but to no avail. Until, that is, she stumbles upon an rundown magic shop run by an old witch. When she outs the witch as a witch, she accidentally turns her into a frog and the only way to change her back to normal is to train Doremi to be a witch. Doremi couldn’t be happier at this, but finds that witchcraft is harder than it looks.

=======================

Show Name: Ojamajo Doremi is changed to Magical DoReMi.

They remove Doremi’s opening narration. It’s the same magical girl schtick of explaining that she’s an average girl but practicing magic, hijinks and whatnot.

Theme Song: Surprise! The opening theme is completely changed! A good chunk of the clips are kept, but many are changed and of course we have to include stupid effects and cut-outs and stuff. The original theme is okay. The dub is, like many of 4Kids dubbed themes, awful in terms of lyrics but a massive ear worm.

A shot of the flying flowers is removed.

The sign on the witch’s shop is actually painted over instead of erased. From what I can tell, it says “The Rusty Broom” The original says “Marika’s House of Magic” I’ll get a better screencap later on since only half of the sign is shown here.

In the original, Doremi is chanting ‘Puapu Arukuku’. What that means, I do not know. I looked it up and everything. In the dub, she’s chanting, not kidding, “Lovey duvey, duvey lovey.” This SDC is going to be more pain, isn’t it?

Name Change: Pop (Really, you named your daughter Pop?) is changed to Caitlyn. Or whatever one of the thousands of spelling variations of that name that exist for no reason.

Oh my god, Caitlyn’s voice….the pain….chipmunk…..oh lord….

After Pop mocks Doremi for her various crushes, she does that bii-daa thing where you pull down one eye lid and stick your tongue out. Then her dad shows up, getting yelled at by her mom who is berating him for wanting to go fishing instead of helping with the housework. Doremi then explains in inner monologue that her parents constantly fight and that her sister’s in kindergarten. All of this is removed for whatever reason. I figured they’d remove the tongue thing, but why the rest of the scene?

Visuals:

Name Change: Igarashi, the boy Doremi crushes on in this episode, is changed to Robby.

Holy crap! They replaced something instead of removing it again! What the hell!?

Subbed: OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN9

Dubbed: OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN10

I just wonder why….I mean, not like this board adds a damn thing to the scene. 4Kids: We keep you guessing AND angry!

Also, guess they have absolutely nothing scheduled, so why are they even there? :X

And they remove the kanji from Doremi’s book cover and pages. (As well as every other students)

Subbed: OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN11

Dubbed:  OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN12

The papers on the wall behind Hazuki are edited, but not blanked for some reason.

Subbed: OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN15

Dubbed: OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN16

Name change: Sugiyama is changed to….Bennigan……This…is a real name?

Doremi’s friend tells her they’re on the bottom of page five. In the dub it’s the top of page 15.

Name Change? Something was bugging me about Doremi’s name in the English version. They kept calling her “Dorie” but not saying her full name so I didn’t know if I could count it as a name change. It seems like all her name is in the dub is Dorie and it’s never mentioned if that’s short for Doremi. I could’ve sworn during an earlier tangent that she called herself ‘Doris’ but I couldn’t be sure.

In order to make the title ‘Doremi’ make sense, they changed the capitalization of the word to make DoReMi for Dorie, Reanne and Mirabelle. Being honest, I actually like this change because it includes all of the girls instead of focusing purely on the leader like magical girl shows annoyingly tend to do.

Doremi’s book cover is edited.

Subbed: OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN17

Dubbed: OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN18

Doremi is sent to the hall while Dorie is sent to the principal’s office (for reading a different book in class?)

The boy in Doremi’s class mocks her by calling her ‘clumsy Domiso’ and she says her name’s Doremi. He then says ‘Dojimi?” which means ‘Clumsy girl” and she yells her name in his ear. In the dub, he mocks her for making a mistake, but doesn’t say anything about her name. Also, instead of correcting him, she just threatens him by saying if he doesn’t stop she’ll turn him into a frog.

Hazuki says Doremi doesn’t want to go to the soccer game because she failed in her confession earlier. In the dub, she says people who get sent to the principal’s office don’t get to go to the soccer game.

Name change: Hazuki Fujiwara is changed to Reanne Griffith.

The bratty kid from before makes fun of Doremi again as she leaves while dropping all of her books from her upside down book bag by saying “Do-ji-mi-fa-so-la-mi-re” in the tone of the “Do re mi etc.” music scale. This apparently translates roughly as saying “Look at the clumsy girl!” In the dub, since this really can’t be mirrored, he just says ‘you dropped all your witch books, dummy.”

Upon seeing the witch’s gloves, Doremi flashes to her witch book that said witches always wear gloves. (This dialogue was changed to hats or something in the dub) In the dub, since that specific line was changed, they edit out the shot of the book and any mention of suspicion that she is a witch.

She also thinks back to the book saying that witches look at you with red eyes and we see the witch’s red eyes. In the dub, she just introduces herself.

Dorie finally thinks to herself that the lady looks like the witch on the cover of her book while Doremi recites the rest of the stuff about witches. They hate children and can smell them with their big noses as we see the lady at profile showing her big nose.

I typically don’t mention sound or music edits that much because it’s usually a given, but there’s a long pause after Doremi finds out that Majorika’s a witch. She’s about to say out loud that she’s a witch, but it’s obvious that Majorika doesn’t want her to. We pause for like five seconds while a drumroll goes on before she finally says it. In the dub, it’s just ‘suspenseful’ music, which takes away from the comedy of the scene.

In the original, Majorika introduces herself and Doremi does the same. Majorika then laughs at her name while Doremi says it’s still better than Majorika’s. Majorika then yells at Doremi. In the dub, the witch says the only way she can be changed back is by training Dorie to be a witch. Dorie says okay, but she has to be back home by seven. The witch then laughs at her for saying she needs to be home by seven and says she’s even dumber than she looks….yes, she’s dumb because she has a curfew…and is a child. Dorie then says at least she’s not a green blob thing and the witch yells at her.

Name Change: Majorika is changed to Patina.

In the original, Doremi’s just called a witch’s apprentice. In the dub, she’s called a witchling.

Name Change: The fairy, Lala, is changed to Laralie.

The magical girl transformer item for this series is called a Maho Tap. To its credit, it is rather unique amongst the magical girl transformers since it seems to be a small music box type thing with an activation button.

In the dub, they’re called ‘dream spinners’.

When Doremi transforms (in a rather lackluster transformation sequence for a magical girl anime, to be honest) she says “Pretty witch, Doremi-chi!” In the dub, she says….*sigh* “Faladeiladongding, now I am a witchling!”…….Yup….yup…I can see this tormenting me.

Doremi’s ‘wand’ is actually a musical instrument called a Peperuto Poron. In the dub, it’s called a ‘wandaler’

Oh god, they’re explaining another spell. I sense awfulness coming on.

Doremi’s original magic words are Pirikapiri Lala Poporila Peperuto. In the dub, I guess she just makes a lame rhyme out of whatever spell she wants to cast, which is basically the most cliché witch thing ever.

In the original, the little gumball things in Doremi’s wand are called ‘magical spheres’. In the dub, they’re called ‘spell drops.’ I actually prefer the dub’s name because at least it’s somewhat unique.

I guess in the dub, Patina has a thing about slang since she seems to make a joke or cringe whenever Dorie says slang in the dub where it’s not present in the original. I guess this is to make up for not mentioning that witches hate children in the dub.

Oh good, crappy pop music for no reason. I was indeed missing Mew Mew Power and Cardcaptors.

To be completely fair, there’s a vocal song in the original too, but it’s played at a very low volume. In the dub, their song is played at “BUY OUR SOUNDTRACK” levels.

In the original, Lala says if someone outed Doremi as a witch, she’d turn into a frog like Majorika. Doremi then imagines herself as a frog and starts pouting. In the dub, Laralie just says if anyone outed her as a witchling it’d be very difficult to complete her training. The scene with Doremi as a frog and her pouting are removed.

Visuals: OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN20OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN19OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN21

The girl who also has a crush on Igarashi says she doesn’t care what happens to her, just as long as his wound gets healed. In the dub, she says she was going to use her wish to make him love her and then continues on the same.

Also, the girl doesn’t know that the wound will be transferred to her if she wishes him to be healed in the original. In the dub, that’s specifically what she wishes for.

After she makes the wish, there’s a fairly large blood stain that appears on her pant leg since the wound transferred to her….I honestly don’t know why there’s so much blood. Igarashi’s wound was barely bleeding, but the point is that 4Kids left this in….4Kids, eraser of all things blood, left this in. Now that I’m thinking about it, I think Doremi was one of 4Kids’ earlier works, and this is especially reflected in the fact that they’re leaving a lot of text alone or painting over it instead of removing it and even leaving in all of the many many many anger veins. Yet…..what 4Kids became….

They cut out a shot of Igarashi visiting the girl, Maki, in the nurse’s office. I guess because he wasn’t saying anything, but the nurse and Hazuki were both talking during that scene. Eh, maybe time or something.

Visuals: OJAMAJDOREMISDCEP1SCREEN22

Name Change: Maki is changed to Jen.

Majorika laments over how troublesome Doremi is as a witch and names her ‘ojamajo’ or ‘troublesome witch’. She doesn’t say the same or even ‘troublesome witch’ in the dub.

In the original, Hazuki says it seems like Doremi’s giving up. Doremi agrees and says her premonitions were wrong again. She then restates her catchphrase that she truly is the unhappiest pretty girl in the world. In the dub, Reanne says she never even bothered to learn his name, Dorie says she’s right and that she’s a big coward. Despite the catchphrase being said several times by now in the original, this final line is the closest they ever get to saying it by making her say she’s the most misunderstood little girl in the world.

As expected, the next episode preview and ending theme are removed. Damn shame too because the ending theme is incredibly nice to listen to. So relaxing.

—————————–

First impressions? The dub could honestly be far worse, so far. They kept in mostly everything and the changes weren’t that awful, outside of some cheesy magical girl stuff. As for the original and the series as a whole, well it seems more casual than a lot of magical girl fare. I’m not even sure there’s a villain to fight. And the magical theme along with limited magic is a nice template, but I’m not that impressed by it. Hopefully I’ll get more into it as episodes go by.

Next episode, Hazuki wishes her life was more like Doremi’s and she gets her wish when the ojamajo decides to work her magic.

Pokemon Episode 24 Analysis: Haunter Versus Kadabra

Pokemon ep 24 title

Gym Leader – REMATCH: Sabrina

Reappear?: No

Pokemon: Still Kadabra, and befriends/maybe ‘captures’ Haunter.

Badge:

Marsh_Badge-3

Plot: Ash has finally returned to Saffron City with his new Ghost Pokemon friend, Haunter, ready and raring to help him beat Sabrina and get a Marsh Badge.

Ash faces Sabrina yet again, despite the bet that yet again he, Misty and Brock will have to ‘play’ with her if he loses. Sabrina sends out Kadabra and Ash calls for Haunter….

…..And finds Haunter has literally left the building. Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Pikachu refuse to battle out of fear of both Sabrina and Kadabra. Left with no Pokemon to use (Because Pidgeotto doesn’t exist), Ash is forced to forfeit.

He and the others try to run away only to find that the Gym is going on lockdown to keep them in. Since Ash technically lost again, he has to keep his end of the bargain and play with Sabrina. Little Sabrina turns Misty and Brock into dolls. Just as she’s about to do the same to Ash, the same mysterious man from before shows up and teleports them out of there.

The man explains that Sabrina wasn’t always such a frightening person. She used to be a nice little girl, but then she developed her psychic powers quickly at a very young age, and she became consumed with her training. She wouldn’t let anyone stand in the way of her practice and even ended up pushing her parents away and destroying their house with her psychic powers.

Presented with a picture of Sabrina as a child with her parents that is identical to one Sabrina had in her room, the audience is made aware that this man is Sabrina’s father, even thought Ash is too dense to connect the dots.

Sabrina’s Father explains that the only way to save Misty and Brock is by beating Sabrina in a Pokemon battle – Meaning he has no choice but to find Haunter and face her once more.

Haunter is having fun messing with Team Rocket as they attempt to take Pikachu again, and Ash finds it after it causes them to fall from their window washing platform.

Meanwhile, Brock and Misty, now dolls in Sabrina’s dollhouse, meet Sabrina’s mom, who has also been turned into a doll.

Ash returns to the Gym and challenges Sabrina to yet another rematch. This time, if he wins, he not only gets the Marsh Badge, but Sabrina also has to turn Misty and Brock back to normal. However, the bet if he loses remains – If he loses, he also has to be turned into a doll.

She accepts and sends out Kadabra yet again for a one-on-one match. Ash chooses Haunter again….

And Haunter has gone missing yet again. On the verge of forfeit and doll-dom, Ash collapses in defeat, but Pikachu enters the arena, ready to battle. Ash tries to convince him not to do it, but Pikachu is determined to try and save his friend.

The battle begins and Pikachu starts with a Thundershock, but Kadabra easily avoids it with Teleport. Kadabra counters with Psywave, confusing Pikachu. Pikachu is able to get back up and hit Kadabra with a good Thunderbolt, but Kadabra is able to restore its energy with Recover.

Just as they’re about to go at it again, Haunter returns and starts making goofy faces at Sabrina. After detonating a (mostly harmless) bomb, Sabrina smiles and starts laughing. Sabrina’s dad appears again and expresses his great joy at seeing Sabrina finally smile again.

Ash is not pleased, though, because he still believes this means he’ll be turned into a doll. However, Sabrina’s father points out that Kadabra is incapacitated since Sabrina is laughing uncontrollably, and due to their psychic bond, he is doing the same.

The doll Sabrina smiles and vanishes, and Misty and Brock are returned to normal. Since Kadabra is unable to battle, Sabrina’s dad calls the match in Ash’s favor, winning him the Marsh Badge.

Now it’s on to Celadon City for Ash’s next Gym match!

—————————

Narrator: *recap* “Ash had a high-flying adventure…” Yeah, the adventure of borderline death.

– I think this is the first time in history someone’s said ‘You paralyzed her!’ immediately followed by ‘it’s not that big of a deal.’ And yes, those are in the same scene and context.

– Any reason why Ash let out all of his Pokemon (Besides Pidgeotto of course 😐 ) before he even got in the Gym?

– Did Kadabra get a voice change since the last Gym match? He sounds higher pitched and ridiculous.

– Ah, so Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle were let out so we could easily see that they’re too scared to fight. Still doesn’t justify him completely ignoring Pidgeotto.

– Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the only time that Ash has lost against a Gym Leader twice?

– Whoa whoa, wait. Back up a minute….Sabrina turned Misty and Brock into dolls….She also turned her mother into a doll….It’s safe to assume that all of the dolls in her toybox were once people….so that means….the naked lady in the bathtub from the last Gym episode….was a legit naked lady?…..I don’t know what to feel right now.

– Aw, it’s so cute to see Charmander playing with Squirtle and Bulbasaur napping. The only thing that could make it cuter is if Ash wasn’t a Pidgeotto-forgetting asswad.

– Looking back, it’d be rather easy to claim that Sabrina has deep-seated mental problems. Becoming emotionless, uncaring of others and incredibly destructive at such a young age is indicative of sociopathic tendencies. Plus, the fact that she views other people as mere objects for her amusement. It’s interesting, yet at the same time makes the finale of this episode all the more annoying.

Also, Sabrina chose at an incredibly young age to do all of those things. I can’t see why her personality would split into two beings; one of which being a more innocent child who merely wants to make friends. I can’t even tell when that picture that her father has was even taken considering how young she was when she became obsessed.

It’s like they’re trying to make a claim that Sabrina was forced into being this emotionless shell while also saying she made the choice to be that way. This would’ve worked a bit better if someone taught her to be that way instead of just saying she is that way by choice but that’s not really the way she is.

Or, hell, maybe that is a psychological issue. She made the choice to do those things, but she wouldn’t have if she were more mentally sound. She’s essentially a prisoner of her own mind, which is a bit poetic for a psychic….

Why does this show continuously make me feel like writing psychological analyses?

– Gotta love Haunter trying to straight up murder Team Rocket.

– Even though it’s clearly a pop gun, I’m very surprised 4Kids left in Haunter’s gun.

– Meowth: “She’s gonna die laughin’” Wow, and a mention of death? Ah, young 4Kids.

– Why does Ash just assume Haunter saved Pikachu from getting captured by Team Rocket? The only thing he confirmed about their presence was that they just fell 100 stories into solid concrete and that Haunter was there.

– Isn’t it weird that Sabrina has dark green hair but her mom has brown hair and her dad’s is dark blue? It’s interesting to note, however, that the young girl Sabrina/the Sabrina doll has blue hair. I have no clue why this is. I guess it’s possible she dyed it, but considering Sabrina’s personality I don’t see why she’d bother.

– Also, why does Sabrina’s father not seem at all concerned about his dollified wife? I imagine she’s been like that for probably over a decade.

– It is still very much unfair that Brock and Misty are even a part of this, let alone the only ones who turn into dolls. Ash is the one who keeps making these bets and Ash is the one who keeps losing yet Misty and Brock keep having to suffer for it. Hell, he forced them into coming with him in the Gym this time.

– Oh so now Pikachu’s all brave and will try to battle Kadabra to save his friends. Where were you in the last rematch?

– Why did Sabrina allow Kadabra to get hit this time? Last time, Pikachu couldn’t land a thing because Sabrina was commanding Kadabra to psychically direct all attacks away from it. There was plenty of notice given to redirect that Thunderbolt away with its psychic abilities, yet she commanded nothing.

– Okay, I’ve been wanting to lay into this ending for a long time. So let’s dive into ‘A Bunch of Stupid Reasons Why The Ending of The Marsh Badge Match is Crap’

1 – They avoid the two on one rule breaking by saying Haunter is just playing around, not battling, so it’s not really a two on one. However, not only has Haunter been accepted as being technically Ash’s Pokemon, for this match anyway, since he was trying to use him in battle, but also Haunter is clearly doing something to benefit Ash. If this were something negatively affecting both sides, there wouldn’t be an issue. But when you declare a Pokemon’s on your side and then that Pokemon starts doing something inside of the match that directly benefits you, that’s pretty much having another Pokemon on your side.

2 – Even if this weren’t technically cheating, the match should still be delegitimized on the grounds of the results of the match being influenced by an outside source. No, Haunter is not technically Ash’s Pokemon. But Pikachu is already partaking in this no-switching one on one match. The interference of another Pokemon making the opponent distracted or otherwise incapacitated, causing the debilitation of the other trainer’s Pokemon no less, should not be considered a legitimate victory.

A legit Pokemon victory is called when one trainer’s Pokemon KO’s or otherwise debilitates the opponent’s Pokemon. If the other Pokemon is weakened, KO’d, injured or otherwise debilitated by outside means, that means, technically, you did not win the match with your Pokemon. You won because of uncontrollable outside sources.

Imagine if this wasn’t Haunter goofing around. Imagine if Pikachu decided to sneak over to a Gym Leader while he was battling Ash and tried to distract him or did something to him to make his skills in the battle much worse. This would be seen as cheating or at least unfair and the match would be called off for third-party BS, even if Ash didn’t command Pikachu to do such a thing.

Case and point; Ash’s match against Brock. He found it to be cheating if he used the sprinkler activating and weakening Onix because he wouldn’t have been able to beat him if that accident, a third-party event, didn’t happen. Even if powering up his Pikachu with a water wheel is already on questionable ethical grounds.

3 – Does Kadabra not have a will of his own? In these two episodes only, psychics are the only ones who can control Psychic type Pokemon, and they do share a psychic link. However, just because Sabrina’s laughing doesn’t mean Kadabra should be laughing uncontrollably too. As an Abra, it was sleeping when it was released but Sabrina wasn’t sleeping. When Kadabra takes damage, Sabrina doesn’t feel it. They shouldn’t be linked that strongly for this laughing crap to work.

4 – Yes, Sabrina laughing at physical comedy is what cures her of her decades long sociopathic personality and her psychic physically manifested dissociative identity disorder. That’s what finally makes her creepy doll version of herself go away and finally turn her ‘back’ into a kind-hearted individual. Maybe this is why you don’t see many psychiatrists on Pokemon. There’s no need when there’s laughter.

5 – You’re telling me that in over ten years, no one has been able to make Sabrina laugh? Even when stupid slapstick is her tipping point?

6 – Despite Ash’s reaction to all of this BS mirroring mine

Pokemon ep 24 1

he still accepts the win with no argument. He didn’t train Haunter. He didn’t command Haunter. He doesn’t even own Haunter. And he was definitely going to lose with Pikachu. Yet he has no qualms about winning because of Haunter. What? Is the justification “I lead Haunter here, so that has to be enough for me to earn this badge”?

7 – Being fair, Ash does ask his friends if he really earned the badge (while admiring it and walking away from the Gym, of course) and, oh wait, they totally do offer a justification. Misty says that making Haunter laugh her Kadabra into submission is a great strategy…..It wasn’t a strategy. Haunter came out of nowhere and started doing his schtick completely outside of Ash’s commands. Ash wouldn’t have been able to come up with such a strategy anyway. He was totally unaware that incapacitating Sabrina meant incapacitating Kadabra. He meant for Haunter to battle Kadabra legitimately.

Brock: “Keep it up and you’ll be known as the funniest Pokemon Master of all time!” Ash wasn’t even the one making the jokes! It’s like you’re taking the piss out of the fact that this resolution was BS.

– I get that it’s a joke, but those cement guys are seriously pouring cement down a hole made by Team Rocket (after their fall….because cartoons) and not only didn’t bother to check if anyone was down there, but repeatedly ignore cries for help and to stop pouring cement. Cries that even Ash heard? Negligent is a massive understatement.

———————————————

This whole Gym arc had a lot of potential. It’s one of the only Gym confrontations that technically spans three episodes. I believe it’s the only time Ash has needed two Gym rematches (though don’t quote me on that) It’s Ash’s first confrontation with a Psychic Pokemon. It’s with the most fleshed out, interesting and intimidating Gym Leader so far (She crushed her house with psychic abilities when she was like four. I don’t see how really any Gym Leader to date beats that). It has a good backstory for Sabrina, even if it’s a bit silly and doesn’t make full sense. It could’ve had a great climax yet we just end with a stupid fizzle instead of fireworks. They don’t even talk to Sabrina after it happens, at least on screen.

What’s worse, I can easily make the ending with Haunter work legitimately.

Ash calls out Haunter and he actually shows up. The battle between the two begins. Since Psychic moves don’t work on Ghosts in this Gen, the match is a joke. I mean, since Haunter’s strong against Psychic types, he’s easily countering Kadabra. Haunter’s not even taking the match seriously and is instead goofing off. He decides to start doing his schtick in the middle of battle, much to the annoyance of Ash. Getting fed up, Ash believes he’ll lose on technicality (Haunter basically refusing to battle) and end up as a doll, but he’s broken out of his worry when he hears Sabrina laughing. At the sound, Sabrina’s dad shows up and starts tearing up at the sights and sounds of her laughing, realizing his kind-hearted Sabrina is back.

Due to Sabrina losing focus or regaining her humanity or what have you, the doll version of herself disappears and Misty and Brock turn to normal. Ash inquires about the match and Sabrina’s dad points out that not only did Haunter get Sabrina laughing uncontrollably, but Kadabra also found his hijinks hilarious, rendering him unable to battle. Ash is completely baffled by the turn of events, but accepts the Marsh Badge anyway since Kadabra was technically incapacitated by a Pokemon Ash was using, there’s nothing in the rules about using comedy in battle and Ash likely would’ve won anyway with how easily Haunter was countering Kadabra (and the whole immune to Psychic damage stuff.)

Or as an alternative, Ash could’ve realized that Haunter was making Kadabra laugh a little with his schtick and since Haunter didn’t seem like he would battle seriously, he’d fight using laughter. Ash tells him to keep it up in order to distract Kadabra and make it so he’s not attempting to battle anymore. Then he comes to realization that the plan won’t work because Sabrina’s psychic link with Kadabra might pull him out of his laughter. Then Sabrina’s dad shows up and points out that that’s not a worry since Sabrina is also laughing uncontrollably, effectively incapacitating both of them.

And, really, what purpose did Pikachu have for battling anyway, storywise? Outside of giving it a modicum of redemption for the last time it faced Kadabra. There’s absolutely no reason why this couldn’t have worked out with Haunter actually legitimately fighting on Ash’s side. We just have to keep having Pikachu get some glory in practically every episode.

The whole thing seems like such a big waste. Two episodes of buildup for pbbtt.

Next episode, Ash catches a Primeape. Oh and there will donuts.

Pokemon Episode 23 Analysis – The Tower of Terror

Pokemon ep 23 title

CotD: None

Captures (Ehhhhh kinda maybe?): Ash’s (?) Haunter – Whether or not Ash truly ‘caught’ Haunter is up for debate. I’m on the side of him not catching Haunter because we never see the capture, Haunter is never in his Pokeball and it’s more heavily implied that Haunter is helping him with this one task and will then go back home.

Haunter is my favorite of the Gastly line, and the Haunter here is pretty funny. Sure his antics get a little tired, but he’s mostly funny.

Plot Synopsis: After making their way through a dense and scary fog, the group arrives in Lavender Town – Home of the Pokemon Tower that is famed for its Ghost Pokemon.

Team Rocket has arrived ahead of time, and they get a sneak peak at the ghosts around the tower as they try to lay a trap for Pikachu. A nearby Gastly has some fun with Team Rocket and sends them crashing through the floor.

Ash and the others make their way into the tower with only a candle to light their way. They are continuously freaked out by the sounds of the tower such as screaming (by Team Rocket) and strange laughter (Gastly, Haunter and Gengar watching TV). Suddenly, the lights turn on and reveal a nearby feast. They pull a string, which triggers an explosion of confetti and a welcome banner.

The food and furniture then float around and attack the group, forcing them out of the room and giving Gastly, Haunter and Gengar a good laugh.

Misty, Brock, Charmander and Pikachu want nothing more to do with the Pokemon Tower. Ash is only able to convince Charmander and Pikachu to go back with him. He believes he’s found a Ghost Pokemon in its vapor form and tries to capture it, but he unknowingly attacks Team Rocket instead.

They suddenly come face to face with Haunter and try to battle it, but to no avail. Charmander succumbs to a Lick attack by Haunter and Ash is forced to recall him.

Suddenly, Gengar shows up and the two try to make Ash laugh with some slapstick humor, but Ash is less than impressed. Depressed at their failure and Ash’s comments on their comedy act, they start to disappear under the floor. Ash tries to grab them before they leave, but just crashes into the floor.

The impact rattles an overhead chandelier, which crashes into Ash and Pikachu. As they lie unconscious, Haunter grabs their spirits from their bodies, wanting to fly around with them for a while. Ash has a bit of trouble believing he’s a ghost at first, but quickly decides to have some fun by flying around and picking up Misty.

After some more fun, the three ghosts lead Ash and Pikachu back to the tower where they show them their play room. Ash deducts that these ghosts are not really threats but simply want to play with the visitors of the tower since they’re bored and lonely being stuck in the tower all the time. Despite having a good time with them, he explains that he has to go back to his body and life his life, so the ghosts tearfully part with him.

Misty and Brock, having drug Ash and Pikachu’s bodies from out of the chandelier, try desperately to wake them up, fearing the worst. Ash and Pikachu quickly return to their bodies and reunite with their friends.

The next morning, Ash and the others leave Pokemon Tower empty-handed. Brock asks how Ash will beat Sabrina without a Ghost Pokemon when Haunter reappears and jokingly scares Brock and Misty away. It has decided to hang out with Ash for the time being and help him in his rematch with Sabrina.

———————————-

– Gotta love that trope where someone sees something scary, tells another character to look where they’re looking and by the time they look it’s gone. I’ll also say it’s a part of that trope to have the person who saw the scary thing shriek at the top of their lungs yet no one finds that odd.

– While I do like this episode just fine, I do find it to be a horrible waste in regards to what this town really is. As many fans of the games know, Lavender Town is a surprisingly depressing town and the Pokemon Tower is home to one of the saddest moments in any of the games. Lavender Town is filled with grieving people who share stories of their Pokemon who have passed away. The Pokemon Tower is essentially one giant Pokemon cemetery littered with Ghost Pokemon and the ghosts of Pokemon who cannot rest.

Within Lavender Town is Mr. Fuji’s House where he cares for abandoned or orphaned Pokemon. When the player arrives, he explains that he’s currently caring for a Cubone who recently lost its mother when it was killed by Team Rocket. Once the player obtains the Silph Scope and becomes able to identify the ghosts within the Pokemon Tower, he finds the ghost of Cubone’s mom and the player has to defeat her in order to allow her spirit to pass on. It’s also kinda implied that a good chunk of the Pokemon within Pokemon Tower were killed by Team Rocket.

In the anime, however, it’s just a tower where a bunch of Ghost Pokemon hang out and Lavender Town isn’t even explored. I get that Pokemon is far from a dark or deep show, but watering Lavender Town and Pokemon Tower down this much just seems really weak. At least they make up for it in Pokemon Origins.

– While I, again, like that Ash thought to use a Pokemon to solve a problem, yet again using Charmander as a lantern, there is seriously no excuse now for him to not be carrying a flashlight. At the very least Brock should have one. Ash really has a random skull mask in his backpack but not a flashlight?

– So wait, they never even tried to turn on the lights? Nullify my last half-compliment.

– I don’t know how Ash managed to coerce Pikachu and Charmander into going back into the tower by saying they can’t beat Sabrina without it. He asks them if they want to lose again, but Charmander never battled to begin with. Also, if you’re getting a Ghost Pokemon to beat Sabrina, it won’t help THEM beat her Pokemon, will it? That flashback Pikachu has about getting beat by Kadabra is also kinda sad. It acknowledges that it failed and feels very sad about it, but, again, getting a Ghost Pokemon won’t help it beat Kadabra.

– Ash clearly hears people talking down a hole in the floor so his first instinct is to shock it with Pikachu and set it on fire with Charmander? I know it was Team Rocket (so haha, they deserve it by default) and he thought they were Ghost Pokemon but he didn’t even try to see what was down there before attacking it. He could’ve been attacking an innocent person.

– Also, why is Dexter so mysterious about Ghost Pokemon’s forms now? Just a few episodes ago, we met a Ghost Pokemon – Gastly. And it was indeed in another form – The ghost of Maiden’s Peak. However, it had no difficulty finding the entry of the Pokemon when Ash was able to aim the Pokedex towards the main ghost form.

– They did the “Ah, something’s behind you!” *they look* “You’re seeing things” schtick again….

– Dexter: “Haunter – The Gaseous Pokemon. No further information found.” No furth—It’s Gastly’s evolved form. Ash even already has the Pokedex info for Gastly. You honestly don’t know that much? You’re being particularly useless today, Dexter.

Ash: “Ah?! Is that all?!” My sentiments exactly, Ash.

– Why did Charmander start making funny faces at Haunter when it was told to use Leer?

– Dexter: “Gengar – No information found.” Are you friggin’ kidding me? Gengar was the first ever Pokemon to be shown on this show. We know people own them, so there’s no excuse as to why there’s absolutely no information on them, not even a classification.

– Ash, king of terrible puns, is making fun of Gengar and Haunter’s slapstick. Pot, kettle, black.

– I guess if we accept that Ash and Pikachu died we also have to accept that Haunter was a big enough dick to laugh at someone dying.

– Alright; we can just say Ash and Pikachu got knocked out by the chandelier at this point. It does make a little bit of sense with the proceeding scenes. It’s widely accepted by many beliefs that we’re closer to the realm of spirits when we’re asleep, knocked out or nearly dead. It’s possible Ash and Pikachu are unconscious and, because they’re closer to the spirit world now, Haunter was able to pluck their spirits from their bodies and later return them.

Plus, if Ash really did die, you’d think his reaction would be more dramatic than ‘Oh no!….Oh well, let’s fly around and have fun! Wheeee!’

– Wow, Ash, you could’ve killed Misty by dropping her from that height. You don’t know if Brock would’ve been able to catch her. What an ass. It’s even worse considering that, before he grabbed her, she was talking about how worried she was of Ash and Ash even heard her say that. He doesn’t even feel bad that his friends are so worried.

– Okay, so if the Pokemon Tower in the anime is not a giant Pokemon cemetery, what exactly is it? I know it’s a place where Ghost Pokemon hang out, but it’s only these three and there are a bunch of things here that could not be around without people like toys and carnival rides and huge feasts. This stuff is fully functional and not covered in dust. Who built this place? Why is it abandoned? Who used to live here?

– Gastly, Haunter and Gengar only scare visitors to the tower because they’re trying to play with them. Okay.

They want to play with them because they’re incredibly bored being stuck in a tower all the time.

Why are they stuck there?

I know the lore of ghosts commonly has them being anchored to locations where they must haunt because it has a strong connection to their life or death. However, these are Pokemon – not people. And we’ve seen that they can come and go as they please. Hell, they just flew around town and the local woods with Ash just a few shots ago, and Haunter will make its way all the way to Saffron City in the next episode, even staying with Sabrina. Why are they staying at this tower if they’re so bored and lonely?

You can’t even say that they stay there for a majority of the day or something because, as was established in The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak, sun+ghosts=bad (except when it’s not), but Haunter goes into clear sunlight in the next scene and the next episode.

– Haunter needs to intervene to take their souls out of their bodies, but getting back in just requires laying down on the floor on top of them?

– Ash and Pikachu made it out of that without even a slight injury?

– Aw, Misty crying because she thought Ash was dead, aw.

– Brock: “Then how will you beat the Psychic Pokemon?”

Ash: “Hmm….Maybe I’ll just have to use my sense of humor!”

It’s kinda funny because that is exactly how he beats the Psychic Pokemon of Sabrina.

– The Ghosts are harmless, eh? They’ve tied up Team Rocket and are spinning them around endlessly on a merry-go-round. That’s not very harmless.

——————————

I thought this episode was better than it ended up being upon the rewatch. The first half is kinda boring, especially since we already have a slight grasp on Ghost Pokemon at this point, despite them changing the rules. It’s not even so much of a story as it is a crap ton of padding to get to Haunter randomly deciding to follow Ash (and subsequently abandon his friends at the tower) to help him beat Sabrina, which is particularly weird on the episode most people remember as ‘the one where Ash and Pikachu die.’ Even that’s not a big plot point.

It wasn’t even necessary, nor was it even truly a legitimate ‘death’. They could’ve flown them around and had fun with them without them being ghosts.

Team Rocket’s role was entirely pointless. While I don’t like their intrusions a bulk of the time, they literally just show up to be pushed out of the way and are relegated to slapstick comic relief for the rest of the episode.

I could forgive them completely gutting Lavender Town and Pokemon Tower if they replaced it with something of far more substance, but they didn’t deliver at all. There’s absolutely no story attached to this place or these Pokemon – They just exist. This also seemed like a lazy way of introducing two new Pokemon (Haunter and technically Gengar) at once.

It’s not an awful episode, but it’s incredibly poorly handled and could’ve been so much better.

Next episode, Ash has his rematch with Sabrina. Will Haunter be enough to help him take her down, or will his new ghostly friend let him down?

Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 01 (dub) – Mewtwo Strikes Back

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Rating: 3/10

Plot: DNA has been taken from the legendary Mew to make a clone called Mewtwo, supposedly the most powerful Pokemon in existence. Giovanni, leader of Team Rocket, orchestrated the creation of Mewtwo and wished to control him in order to take over the world. After being betrayed by Giovanni, Mewtwo decided he had more pressing matters to attend to besides the whims of a human. He wanted a purpose. He wanted to know why he existed. And more importantly he wanted to destroy the world too because humans suck, so do Pokemon and only clones shall rule!

Ash, Misty and Brock get caught up in Mewtwo’s scheme along with several other trainers who assumed Mewtwo was challenging them as the greatest Pokemon master. Can the power of cheesy speeches save the world from Mewtwo?

Breakdown: Ah….This is one of those things that is really a nostalgia bomb for me. This was the first movie I ever saw in theaters with a friend instead of my parents and this was right at the peak of Pokemon for me. The release for the movie was insane whereas now the movies can’t even seem to get theatrical releases anymore, at least around where I live. And I loved it so much that I’d watch it over and over.

…..Now that I’m an adult, who still likes to watch and play Pokemon but sees it with a more critical eye, I……don’t like this movie nearly as much as I used to. It’s very preachy and hypocritical. 4Kids, despite advertising this movie like it was a cure for cancer, made several mistakes in the script and changed it severely from its original version, which I will review after this. And it’s fairly cliché. At the very least it gave us a tiny bit of insight into Giovanni, but look where that lead us. Nowhere to the best of my knowledge. He does nothing, and he’s much more interesting and compelling in the manga than he ever was in the anime.

That’s not to say there’s nothing to enjoy here, but I have a lot more problems with it than I had as a kid and my love of the movie has definitely waned.

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Our movie starts out underwater where our narrator is getting all existential on us by wondering about the meaning of life and the mysteries surrounding our existence. We’re also following a Mew flying through the sky as the narration goes on. Throughout the narration, we hear Mewtwo whispering stuff like “Who am I? “What am I?” before the narrator segues into our story and a new scene.

Enter Mewtwo….’s eye, as we see him staring through a tube filled with citrus Crystal Light at several scientists. He thinks to himself that what he is seeing right now is not the same place he was in before and that he believes he might’ve been dreaming. Is Mewtwo insinuating that he remembers being a Mew or that he has the same memories as the Mew that he was cloned from?……I’m no scientist but I don’t think that’s possible.

Mewtwo breaks out of his tube and one of the scientists starts explaining the backstory of Mewtwo. He’s the clone of the legendary Mew, but he has also been genetically restructured to be even more powerful than Mew and to be the strongest Pokemon in existence. Mewtwo doesn’t much care for this and I can’t say I blame him. If I was created with giant balls on my fingers I’d be pretty pissed too.

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In his rage, he starts breaking everything in the lab with his psychic powers. I will never understand situations like this.

Scientist: “We’re going to create the most powerful being ever! Muahahaha!”

Scientist 2: “YES! How shall we contain it?”

Scientist: “A glass tube!”

Scientist 2: “….Uh….anything stronger?”

Scientist: “Weak metal robot arms!”

Scientist 2: “….Anything….else?”

Scientist: “Nope!”

Scientist 2: “Won’t it break out then?”

Scientist: “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over all the world I’ll be dominating!”

I’m actually somewhat surprised 4Kids didn’t try to skirt the very obvious fact that those scientists all died in there. They never say it, but they couldn’t have survived that and you never see them again. They could’ve pulled a DBZ and said they escaped in the nick of time with parachutes…..on the ground….*cough*

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Mewtwo gloats about how powerful he is. Lines like this really contradict the fact that the story’s supposed to make us empathize with Mewtwo to an extent. “I’m just a clone? A shadow of Mew?…….I AM THE MOST POWERFUL POKEMON IN THE WORLD!!!!………but why am I here? :(“

Giovanni shows up with an offer for Mewtwo. He tells him that his powers are out of control and he has a way to focus his powers to help him take over the world. I’d like to point out that this plot line comes out of nowhere. I mean, we know why Giovanni wants to take over the world…………..he’s…..evil? But why does Mewtwo want to do that all of a sudden? Because some scientists treated him like a science experiment and he wants to find his purpose? Seems a bit illogical is all.

Giovanni outfits him with some weird armor that is supposed to help Mewtwo focus his powers, and he puts it to the test in the Viridian Gym. Mewtwo slams an opponent’s Onix into a wall and Mewtwo says “Sooo, this is my power!”…..Yes, Mewtwo, that’s your grand focused power….putting an Onix through a wall. You’ve finally found your purpose.

You blew up an island earlier without breaking a sweat, why are you impressed with yourself here?

I guess Onix-Throwing isn’t a big sport as he moves on to Tauros wrangling next. We see a montage of other battles in the gym after that with Mewtwo battling an Alakazam and a Magneton. However, most fans will note that part of that montage is Mewtwo’s battle with Gary and his Arcanine and Nidoking that was seen in the regular series. I think that’s a rare occasion where the series poked at one of the movies.

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Despite having fun making other Pokemon float in the air, Mewtwo still feels unfulfilled in life as he desperately wants to know his purpose.

Giovanni, ever so smart, responds to Mewtwo’s queries about his purpose by saying Mewtwo’s purpose is to serve him, and that all Pokemon are meant to serve humans – not be their equals. In response to this betrayal and his arrogant words of stupid, Mewtwo breaks free of his bonds. Again, nothing in place to prevent this? Nothing at all? Just hope the all-powerful Pokemon with a temper will obey you without question even after you basically call him a slave?

Mewtwo blows up the place and leaves, showing us yet another shot that was included in the series.

Mewtwo flies back to the island where he was created because….Good memories there, right? He’s still moping about his purpose and then states that he’ll mow down humans and Pokemon if they decide to oppose him. Then he basically states straight out that he’s going to take over the world.

4Kids breaks out the CGI and we get our title screen…Ten minutes into the movie. Dang.

We cut to a meadow where we see everyone’s favorite main Pokemon protagonist, Ash,

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And Misty and Brock who are preparing for lunch….They also have a huge table and a parasol for some reason. How are they carrying that with them? I would say this is a set picnic spot, but it’s in the middle of nowhere.

Ash is lazing about because he’s hungry when another trainer with a skull and crossbones bandana walks up to them and asks if they know a trainer named Ash from Pallet Town since he wants a battle…..Who is this guy? How does he know who Ash is? How did he know he’d be in this meadow? Is he just wandering around random places wondering where Ash is? I wouldn’t be so curious if not for the fact that he pops out of nowhere and leaves just as suddenly with no explanation as to anything about him; not even his name.

Ash points out that he’s….er Ash, and they have a battle as the remixed theme plays. I like the remixed theme, but it’s not as good as the original in my opinion. Ash calls out Bulbasaur first while the opponent calls out a Donphan, but Bulbasaur blasts him away with a Solar Beam that took way too short of a time to charge by the way. Ash then praises Bulbasaur as we see that he’s being monitored by cameras.

Now, stopping here for a moment, this next part confused me as a kid and I never figured out what the cause of this was until I got older. Actually I still don’t understand what the cause of it is, but I understand what is actually occurring in this scene a little better. When Ash’s opponent calls out his next Pokemon, Machamp, the scene of Machamp emerging and flexing his muscles is shown twice….And not only that, but we see Ash call out Squirtle without throwing his Pokeball. What happened?

Well, according to Bulbagarden’s comparison, apparently the original footage is perfectly fine. The dub screwed with this for seemingly no reason. They repeated the footage of Machamp emerging and flexing to seemingly lengthen the battle, maybe to match the new theme, yet cut the shot of Ash throwing Squirtle’s Pokeball to shorten the scene. The edited version is the exact same length as the original. Basically they purposely made this scene look like it was edited with a chainsaw for no reason whatsoever. Sense: Not produced by 4Kids.

Back to the show, it’s Squirtle vs. Machamp now and Squirtle easily beats Machamp with one Bubble attack…..Wow….You fail, Machamp.

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You don’t even have a weakness to water. Go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done.

The opponent then decides to cheat (but Ash doesn’t call him out on it for some reason) by releasing three Pokemon in battle at once; a Venomoth, a Pinsir and a Golem. Not fazed by this at all, Ash lets Pikachu give one good Thundershock and it instantly KO’s all three because Pikachu can just do that okay? Also, if you’re going to have a scene where Pikachu one-hits three Pokemon at once, why make one of them a Golem?….The Pokemon that…ya know….shouldn’t even feel Electric attacks?

Misty: “Well that sure was a shocking ending.” Someone do me a favor and find out just how many times 4Kids has made a ‘shocking’ pun over the course of the entire series. The number has to be staggering.

Cut to Jessie, James and Meowth who are watching the group with binoculars and talking about how jealous they are of the others eating a big meal while they’re starving.

James: “There’s another credit on Pikachu’s charge account.” Scratch the previous request; just check for any electricity related puns.

I should also note that Ash is feeding Squirtle and Bulbasaur here, but he’s not feeding Pidgeotto or Charizard. All Pokemon must earn their meals through battle!

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We cut to the camera again which is now seen attached to a Fearow’s neck as it flies around. Back at Mewtwo’s redesigned island of doom, a Nurse Joy, under the control of Mewtwo, asks if she should send an invitation to them as well. I guess winning a battle like that without breaking a sweat when, logically, it should’ve been much more difficult, and managing to defy the laws of Pokemon type in that last match are pretty impressive feats.

Mewtwo sends out his messenger Dragonite to give a letter to Ash and…this never occurred to me before now, but why exactly aren’t Ash and the others amazed by this? The only exposure they’ve had to Dragonite before now has been in the episode with Bill where it was only seen in shadow as a giant and was touted as one of the rarest Pokemon ever seeing as how they had no real information on it at that time. They see one face to face playing messenger boy and they don’t bat an eyelash?

Anyway, Ash gets a card that reveals a hologram inviting him to Mewtwo’s New Island claiming that it’s a challenge from the world’s strongest Pokemon trainer (And he’s called the world’s greatest Pokemon ‘Master’ throughout the film.)

Ash can’t wait to accept the invitation and immediately sends off his response. Dragonite starts to fly back to New Island when Team Rocket stops him with a frying pan. Well surely they’re impressed by the Dragonite and want to capture—nope, they pay it no mind. Oh well!

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The acceptance card falls out of Dragonite’s bag and Team Rocket wonders what it’s saying ‘yes’ to. I suppose sometime afterward they also discovered the hologram card because there’s no real way they could’ve known what was going on the next time that we see them unless they did.

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