Adventure Episode 33: Out on the Town

In this episode, between the drama of Gatomon trying to kill an eight-year-old girl, network sensitivity has us believe that Myotismon doesn't actually kill two worthless minions.


Okay, I give up. You just can't defend the dub on this one.

I don't care that they cut out the naked asses in episode 8. I don't care that they made some douchebag into Sora's cousin in episode 30. I'm looking past all the name changes, corny jokes and hesitance to acknowledge that all this is happening in Japan. I recognize that there are changes, but I am not a dub hater.

But for God's sake, Myotismon doesn't “condemn Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon to his dungeon in Digiworld.” He kills them. He totally destroys their asses. He gets pissed off and feeds them to his goddamn bats. Hopefully their digieggs made it back. Gotsumon shows up again in Frontier and he's lucky he didn't die there too!

In a vacuum, this normally wouldn't be such a big deal. Dubs have been covering up deaths since that one pilot in Voltron. And it would make for a pretty shocking moment. The episode until that point had been pretty light-hearted, mostly thanks to the efforts of the free-spirited duo. Other than a manufactured TK/Patamon fight, it was a fun romp through Shibuya. Then Myotismon shows up and, with little TK watching, destroys these two not with some generic attack but with goddamn bats. It's definitely nothing to sneeze at. Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon hold a special place in fans' hearts for all these reasons.

The problem is that replacing “killed” with “condemned to a dungeon” just doesn't fit the context. Again- the goddamn bats. This isn't gate of destiny here. Then there's the way Matt absolutely flips out afterwards. It sustains the episode's sudden intensity and it's really startling to see pure anger out of him as opposed to the pent-up frustration we're used to. It just doesn't feel right when it's over a mere “condemning.” Furthermore, we just came off of an episode where Gatomon had a claw to Kari's neck and was just about to pull the trigger. It's even reiterated at the end of this episode that Gatomon wants another chance to “get her claws into” Kari. Oh, and how many crosses will Mimi end up planting for the good Digimon that sacrifice themselves between now and Piedmon?

Everything else in this episode is more symbolic than eventful. In many regards, it's a well-disguised filler episode. TK yells at Patamon for appreciating a moment of brotherly bonding. There's something interesting about TK being self-conscious about it, but Patamon gets upset and flies off, only to calm down and realize that flying off in downtown Shibuya was a pretty stupid thing to do.

It's also the first time Myotismon gets pulled into a fight since he arrived in the real world. WereGarurumon really brings it too. Given that the eighth child hasn't turned up and several of his troops are dead (hmm... no shying around those kills), his meticulous planning is starting to show some weaknesses.

The final big moment, of course, is Angemon returning after his death twenty episodes ago. It's worth noting that it comes out of a moment of grief for TK, not hope, as he laments the two slain innocents, WereGarurumon struggling and Patamon nowhere to be found. But whatever- Angemon's back!

It's also symbolic that Myotismon kills Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon. It symbolizes that he's a dick.

My Grade: C+

Loose Data:
  • Hey, it's not even season three and we have ourselves a Serial Experiments Lain reference! Almost every episode of Lain starts out with this sequence of a crosswalk, a stoplight and random city/crowd shots. Now watch how this episode starts.
  • There's some pretty good Japanese cultural stuff in this episode, such as the dubious pachinko parlor Pumpkinmon patronizes, the dolled up girls that seem to be native to Shibuya, and the statue of Hachiko that is well-known as a popular meeting spot... hence Patamon thinking he'll meet TK there.

7 comments:

  1. Man, the mentioning of how each episode of Lain opens definitely brought back memories of Otakon 2004 ("Arbor Day, Miller Time" or something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The links have been pulled from youtube for copyright infringement.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, I gotta fault the dub for this one too. I don't think they were fooling many people with it. When I saw this episode for the first time, even when I bought into it when he said it (hey, I was young and hadn't seen the original), I just assumed Myotismon didn't like the two fighting back and decided to kill them instead.

    The dub does the same thing when he kills a DarkTyrannomon later. It's weird because, if he really had the ability to send Digimon back to the Digital World, he could've just done it to the main seven Digimon and spared himself some bother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. His line for DarkTyrannomon could be refering to him killing him and sending his data back to the Digitial World, but that's still a censorship issue seeing as that doesn't happen when a Digimon is killed in the real world - there data has nowhere to go and reconfigure into a Digi-Egg.

      Delete
  4. Wow, it's a shame this episode's grade went down entirely due to the dub. And this is undeniably one of their weakest efforts. Not only are all references to the episode's location, Shibuya, which is brought up repeatedly in the original to the point of being in the episode title, removed completely, but that notorious dialogue edit was painful. I think just about EVERY kid in the US watching this episode would be able to tell that Myotismon killed Gotsumon and Pumpkinmon. Grisly Wing is not an attack that sends people to a dungeon in the Digital World - he was very visibly making those bats devour his two failure henchmen. Myotismon murdered those two in cold blood. That he would do this to his own underlings (and in the real world, where their data cannot reconfigure!) is the next huge step to showing just how sick and heinous Myotismon truly is, and the dub cheapens it with their dumbass nonsensical censorship. Matt's infuriated reaction and TK's horror after it happens are also very telling. Good guys in anime typically act that way when they see the bad guy kill their friends. Righteous rage over a condemnation to a dungeon comes off as a major overreaction. And since Angemon's death was kept in tact before and all future deaths of good guys remain, this is a ludicrous double standard of a dub edit. Did they really think kids wouldn't be able to handle seeing Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon, of all characters, get offed? The kicker? Gatomon's internal talk of "getting her claws into Kari" was not in the original version since the narrator was talking at that point. So the dub removed references to a murder of two endearing idiot flunkies that quite clearly occurred in the episode only to add a reference to killing a child. The HELL?

    Dub issues aside, the episode is actually a really good one. It perfectly evidences why Myotismon is this show's Knight Of Cerebus. The tone is so wacky and goofy until, totally out of nowhere, he shows up in person. Things immediately take a turn for the dark, deadly, and depressing. We've seen the kids face many villains, but Myotismon is just scarier and crueler than all of them, and everything he's been getting up to in the real world has added a personal touch to his malevolence. With Devimon and Etemon, we knew they had to be stopped and needed to see them stopped. With Myotismon, we WANT to see him stopped. It's not just obligation - it's personal. This is also the second time we get a direct fight with him, and it ends exactly the same as the last one - in a draw, though this time Myotismon does the retreating. Also, we continue the recurring trend of spectators witnessing the fights between Digimon, and these events getting talked about on the news some time later. This is totally building to something big, but it's so subtle that we aren't aware of just how big a deal this is and what it could potentially erupt into. The biggest shocker, though, was seeing Angemon again. It's been literally 20 episodes since we last saw him, but now he's back and back for good! Hell (or Heaven). Yeah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Much as the dark twist is the big draw, I think special mention must go to the goofier first half, and in particular to Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon themselves. Their fun-loving attitude is just so darn infectious, and it comes across really strongly in the dub given how little time the two have. Given the more sinister context, it also contrasts more strongly, making it seem more good-natured than it really is.

      After all, their idea of having fun is a mixture of devil-may-care anarchy (trying to reprogram a troublesome teenager, playing dress-up in a shop window) and outright criminality (causing traffic chaos, stealing ice cream). Even if they're still good guys, they sure ain't like the nobler or more innocent good guys encountered so far. And frankly, that's a huge part of what makes the dark twist so great; they're just two loveable scamps who got caught up in something bigger and more serious.

      Delete
  5. Honestly, the change feels more like a network censor note than a Saban/Dub/Nimoy issue. As is it is with most cases when it comes to something being cleaned up for a child audience. The actual dubbing company doesn't usually care about that sort of thing unless it's really, really audacious.

    So it's probably more fair to blame Fox Kids than anyone.

    This is still a really weak episode. The whole premise seems kind of faulty, and Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon just aren't that funny to me. The only thing that saves it is the Myotismon vs. Weregarurumon fight which is randomly one of the best fight scenes in the series. Weregarurumon usually, usually got the best ones just because they couldn't just have him sit there shooting stock footage at somebody, they had to actually do some dynamic movement/choreography for his fights to make sense.

    ReplyDelete