Digimon Adventure S02E04

24 min read

Digimon Kaiser: King of Darkness (JP)
Iron Vegiemon (EN)

Original Writer: Hiro Masaki
Dub Writer: Jeff Nimoy & Bob Buchholz

Original Airdates:
April 23, 2000 (JP)
August 26, 2000 (EN)

Summary

The kids rescue some Gotsumon from one of the Emperor’s prisons, bringing them to the real world. Meanwhile, Gabumon gets captured. He attempts an escape but is caught by RedVegiemon, who beats him up and throws him into a river.

Receiving an SOS from Gabumon, Matt accompanies the others into the Digital World to rescue him. They discover another prison and attempt to free the Gazimon. Unfortunately, RedVegiemon catches them and attacks brutally. Veemon takes hit after hit until a successful dodge causes him to crack the large black obelisk in the area, called a Control Spire. With the spire damaged, Gabumon is able to Digivolve to Garurumon, and working together with Flamedramon, they take out RedVegiemon. Digmon tears down the tower completely, freeing all the enslaved Digimon from the influence of their Dark Rings.

The DigiDestined now have a new mission: destroy as many Control Spires as possible to limit the spread of the Digimon Emperor’s power.

Side Note

I’m intentionally trading off on doing Data Squad and Zero-Two reviews because the ones for Data Squad take half as long to write. Zero-Two’s dub is a Digi-Disaster.


As you know, Philece Sampler, who voices Mimi, is the voice of Cody. I don’t understand why she mispronounces everything in his voice.

Digimon -> DIJ-uh-mon
Digivice -> DIJ-uh-vice
Tyrannomon -> tuh-RON-oh-mon
Nefertimon -> ne-FER-duh-mon

It’s pretty distracting while Cody is narrating the events of the last episode.

V-Mon: Everyone, run!
Veemon: C’mon, let’s rock!

Get it? Rock? Because they’re Gotsumon? GET IT?!

Ohhh, that joke never gets old.


Might just be the lip flap, but Davis is barely able to breathe while he’s running. They could have extended the line to match the longer mouth movements, but instead he just sounds really out of shape.


Agumon: Good job, everyone!
Agumon: You guys are officially fugitives!

YAY. At least now we know why Tai didn’t get the Crest of Hope.


Takeru: The security here was poor… and he wasn’t here either. Maybe he had other plans and went somewhere else.
TK: Well the FACT that it was so easy for us to BREAK out of that PRISON there WASN’T a single GUARD anywhere a-ROUND it’s like he WANTED us to DO it! I think he’s up to something…

BREATHE, TK. What you’re saying isn’t that groundbreaking.


silence
Davis: That’s my peanut butter and jellybean sandwich I’ve had in my pocket since last week!

And just like that, the mystery of why the Digimon Emperor stayed away is solved.


silence
Gatomon: What’s that tower?

Just in case the little kids couldn’t figure out that the massive black obelisk in the middle of the screen was somehow significant.

Side Note

Over 800 channels, and still nothing to watch.

Kaiser: Do you see that black tower? That’s a Dark Tower!
Emperor: This Control Spire is the most dominating object in the DigiWorld!

You can’t use your Flash Pass to ride it faster, and the line extends outside the park!

As you can see, the Dark Towers are called Control Spires in the dub.

Side Note

In the dub, the bell rings while Yolei is screaming, meaning they’re all skipping class. BAD DIGIDESTINED.

Izzy is way angrier about the Gotsumon being in the Real World than Koushiro is.

Their teacher, Fujiyama-sensei as they call him, is retained as Mr. Fujiyama in the dub.

Miyako: What if Fujiyama-Sensei finds them?
Iori: It’s okay, we practiced something just in case. Now, pose!
<Gotsumon pose>
Iori: See? Don’t they look like statues?
Miyako: O_o;
Yolei: But how are we going to explain it if Mr. Fujiyama happens to come in here?
Cody: Don’t worry, I’ll tell him I’m taking a sculpting class and these are some of my early masterpieces. Hit it, boys!
Yolei: Eugh. “Early rejects” might be a better phrase. O_o;

RUDE. Also, that plan will fall apart the moment Fujiyama remembers that their elementary school doesn’t have a sculpting class.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

A split second cut: when the Kaiser cracks his whip, the Vegiemon crap themselves.

Kaiser: Come on! To the next area! Hurry!
Emperor: Let’s move out! I’ve got an early tea time in the morning!

The dub’s attempts to cover Ken’s awful actions by making him affably evil really hurts this season badly. I honestly didn’t realize just how badly until I started these comparisons.

Gabumon being struck by RedVegiemon is covered with a flash impact screen in the dub.

Red Vagimon: The fearsome ripe vegetable, Red Vagimon!
RedVegiemon: I’m the DigiWorld’s biggest salad bar, RedVegiemon!

Fetch my croutons. It is time.

Narrator: Red Vagimon! A cunning Adult-level Digimon. His attack is an intense bad breath, Hazard Breath!
RedVegiemon: I am the biggest and the ripest of all the Vegiemon! My Stink Jet attack destroys my enemies with noxious fumes!

That is a seriously unfortunate Romanization of the name. Vegiemon underwent the same treatment back in WereGarurumon’s Diner, and I see they didn’t learn their lesson and fix it here.

Vegiemon’s voice actor is trying to imitate someone. It’s clear there’s an intent there, but I couldn’t identify who it was. I asked another friend who had no idea. Dario ran a search and a site said it was Jack Nicholson.

So if it is Jack Nicholson, it’s a very meh impersonation.

Technically this is also a cut, but I’m throwing it under “Censor” because a lot more than just cut footage is happening here.

First, the dub cuts a few seconds of Gabumon being beaten by Red Vagimon.

The dub also replaces dialogue. Every time there’s an impact, it’s said that Gabumon is being beaten by smell. Each hit, RedVegiemon tells him to “smell” the attack, and Gabumon eventually gives up because it’s disgusting and he can’t take anymore. Some of the lost time from the cuts is made up for with repeated scenes.

Originally, Gabumon “earned” 100 attacks, and Red Vagimon counts these one by one (though we skip to the sixties pretty quickly to avoid just wasting time on it).

And then oddly, the dub keeps the moment he’s knocked off the cliff.

Gabumon (while his head is underwater): My fur is dry clean only!


Gabumon: I can’t die… I-I have to warn them somehow… everyone… Yamato…
Gabumon: I’ve got to… tell the others…! They need to be warned! Augh, I have to find Matt… Man, I stink…

Sooooo close, dub. Sooooo close.


Yamato:
I can’t use it as a shield!
I’m alright on my own
I’ll even walk the edge of a knife! ♫

Matt:
♫ It may not always be that way ♫
♫ You can’t take nothing for granted, ♫
♫ You’ve got to live life today ♫
♫ I turn around, I can see what’s behind me ♫
♫ I turn back around, I can see what’s… ♫

Just to be clear, the dub song isn’t bad, but they chose a bad cut of it to show, because the chorus just sounds dumb without the remaining lines, “…I can see what’s ahead \ and if you don’t believe that I have been there all along, just turn around \ Just turn around!”

We’ll get more of the song later, but as it’s presented here, the chorus just sounds like a “duh!” moment. XD


Yamato: So, we have to find a place for the Gotsumon.
Takeru: Do you know of any good place?
Yamato: Not really…
Matt: Look TK, just because I have a rock band doesn’t mean I can hide a band of rocks that happen to be Digimon!
TK: Well, think about it! Maybe they could be your backup singers.
Matt: They sound too gravelly.

TK didn’t come to you because you have a rock band, Matt. It’s because you have rocks in your head.

Side Note

In the original, Yamato’s song carries into the next scene with Takeru. In the dub, it switches to the standard BGM.

Daisuke/Davis’ sister Jun Motomiya is retained.

Jun: Daisuke isn’t cute at all… I wish I had a brother like you two.
Jun: You may not know it, but I haven’t washed this shirt in two years!

This combined with her statement that she always gets cute boys to sign her shirt probably is why the line was changed in the dub. Comparing your own brother’s cuteness with guys you’re attracted to has some strange implications that come off less humorous in the US than they would in Japan.

Side Note

Something I didn’t know before Digimon Uncensored is that the Digivices in the original have a tell-tale alert tone that’s very specific. In the dub, it’s just generic beeping that isn’t particularly consistent. That’s a shame, because it kind of offers a unique consistency in the original that gives the Digivice its own uniqueness compared to later devices in the series.

The dub adds some bickering between Yolei and Davis because he’s crowding her while she’s trying to get the gate open.

But all you have to do to open the gate is say “DigiPort Open” and hold up your D-3. No idea what all that typing was for.

Also, she says, “Shall we go?” when she’s not even going, as Izzy borrowed her Digivice earlier in the episode.


Gabumon’s joy at being reunited with Matt in the original is replaced in the dub with a joke about steamed vegetables.


Poyomon: Meanwhile, I’ll act as communicator here!
Poyomon: Have no fear while Yolei’s gone, this place shall be guarded by Poromon!


Tailmon: This TV can be used to send an SOS signal to the other world. Agumon said he communicated with Taichi through a TV.
Hikari: Really?
Gatomon: Why do they call those things on top of the TV rabbit ears? Why don’t they call them cat ears? After all, when’s the last time you saw a rabbit sleeping on top of a TV?
Kari: This is what you think of?

I can’t tell whether or not the TV mystery is ever explored in the original, but even if it isn’t, the dialogue in the Japanese version is far more topical. The dub never once acknowledges the TVs considering they weren’t seen in the first season.


Tailmon: That towerthere was another one in the place with the Gotsumon!
Gatomon: Look, there’s one of those things that scared the Gotsumon!

…scared the Gotsumon? Pretty sure I don’t remember the Gotsumon ever even acknowledging the thing when the kids were around.


Yamato’s concern is that Daisuke may have forgotten that their goal is to rescue the hostages, a point Takeru builds on by saying the Kaiser may use them as huma–er, humon shields (I made that up, they don’t actually say that thankfully), negating the entire point of their mission. In the dub, Matt says that the entire thing could be a trap, so they need to act carefully. TK says the same thing about the humon shields, but it doesn’t springboard off Matt’s comments as well.


Patamon: Those guards are Vagimon, right? They throw poop at you!
Patamon: They’re being guarded by the Vegiemon! Watch out for the Digi-Sludge!

Annoying as that censor is, at least it’s consistent, I guess…?


Daisuke accuses Takeru of not having any “telepathy,” and the group laughs when Iori says he meant “delicacy.” He seems to mean “delicacy” as in “to be delicate and tactful,” not that he’s rare and delicious. I hope.

In the dub, it’s changed to Davis calling him T.A., and Cody laughing because “he forgot how to spell T.K.!”

I’m not even going to rip the dub for it, though. The scene was stupid in both languages.

Side Note

The Vegiemon must be really dumb. They fell for the fake Dark Rings on their arms even though their eyes weren’t red.

Despite the poop being censored earlier, they kept it in the scene where the Digimon are sneaking into the compound.

Side Note

I like Tailmon. She’s very reasonable, in-charge, and you get the sense you could really rely on her in a pinch.

I hate Gatomon. She’s annoying, makes bad jokes, and her voice grates on my brain so badly.

Holy crap this is the halfway point. I seriously could have reviewed 3 episodes of Data Squad in the time it’s taken me to get here. Eyecatches are usually Dario’s thing, but Gennai as my witness, I think I may have given myself eye cancer doing this episode.

I’m taking a break to Spackle my yard.

No dialogue.
Vegiemon guard: I’m not a string! I’m a frayed knot!

Pretty sure that was an old joke, even back then.


Daisuke: [Jun] bad-mouthed me, right?
Takeru: Not really.
Daisuke: Yeah, she did. She always has to talk bad about me to everyone. She doesn’t like me… well, I don’t like her either. So we’re even.
Davis: She probably had a lot of bad things to say about me, didn’t she?
TK: Well, actually–
Davis: I know. She said I bite my toenails and spit them on the floor, I used to suck my thumb until about a month ago, that I wet the bed every Thursday (it was laundry day, so it was alright)… well she talks too much, and when I see her again, I’m gonna teach her a lesson!

This whole scene was screwed up in the dub. Daisuke’s serious dislike and distrust of his sister is turned into a complete joke in the dub, not helped by the fact that the dub music was comical while the original had a more serious, somber tune. Yamato’s anger toward Daisuke stems from his saying he didn’t like his sister, implied that Yamato’s own family situation made him very protective of the very idea of family. The dub? Matt gets mad at Davis for oversharing and says that Jun never even mentioned him. The fact that in the dub she didn’t (whereas she did in the original) just takes even more legitimacy away from Davis, making him an even bigger idiot, jerk, and joke in the dub.

This is the source of my dislike of Davis as a kid. Any attempt to make him sympathetic or worthwhile is nuked in the English dub.

Oh crap, I said the word nuked. Now the dub’s going to censor m–

Side Note

I should probably switch headers if I’m going to keep talking about this anyway. Daisuke as a character is, so far, not that interesting or deep. But the same could be said about the original kids at the start. His crush on Hikari is kind of annoying, but at least there was some real angst there rather than just bad jokes. My opinion of the character in general has gone up after seeing him in the source footage, but he still has a long way to go to be redeemed in my eyes.

In both versions, Gabumon says he’s going to look for some rope so they can rappel down the cliff. In the original, the Gazimon stop him, saying they’ll go look for the rope in his place as a way of saying thanks. In the dub, they say they’ll all link up and form a rope themselves everyone can climb down.

…there’s five of them. And that cliff is hundreds of feet high.

And the poop was retained again! Right out in front, in the open, center of the scene… why did they censor it earlier?!

Wait… do they actually think kids believed it was Digi-Sludge? I always knew as a kid it was poop. The Digimon virtual pets did nothing to hide the fact that Numemon was a poop-slinger. Are they really trying to edit it to seem like it’s not poop?!

You know, I’m glad that over the years, creators of children’s shows are starting to learn that kids aren’t stupid. But that’s a rant for another day.

V-Mon: Alright, watch this, Daisuke! He’s red, but he’s just another Vagimon! He can’t be that strong. I’ll show you some cool moves and cheer you up, Daisuke!
Veemon: Alright Davis, it’s time for action! I’m gonna take down that overgrown tomato and turn him into vegetable soup!

Tomatoes are fruit.

Veemon: I’m gonna make vegetarians around the world proud! That oughta cheer you up!

Didn’t know Davis was a champion of vegetarianism.

Red Vagimon’s attack on V-Mon was censored with a flash impact screen in the dub.

Red Vagimon’s Red Hot Machine Gun becomes RedVegiemon’s Chili Pepper Pummel.

I’m not going to list them all because I’ll be here all night if I do, but a lot of the dialogue in the dub is food puns.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

A flash impact screen precedes a short shot of V-Mon being struck, which was cut from the dub. So censor + cut.

Then two more hits were cut outright. Then more cuts after that.

The idea is that Red Vagimon’s primary punishment is to strike offenders 100 times. During the scene, Daisuke and the others are tied up, having to watch and listen to V-Mon take these attacks with no help. In the dub, it’s all puns, no counting, and just general hits that don’t seem all that tragic.

Daisuke: Hey you! Why don’t you beat me up instead?!
Davis: Veemon, you can stop now! I’m happy! I’m happy I’m happy!

Watching your Digimon be beaten half to death made you happy?

Davis: I’m happy!
Veemon: You are? ACK!

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

Man, this show’s budget was low. A lot of the hits V-Mon takes are repeats that are just cut together differently. This shot was cut from the dub, but it’s just taken from other parts of the episode and spliced together.

Side Note

The fact that both seasons of the dub use the same music for Digivolution lessens the impact of Gabumon’s Digivolution. They use Brave Heart in the original, which isn’t the current theme for the new team, so it brings with it a sense of nostalgia and wonder.

When Flamedramon punches RedVegiemon, he shouts Flame Fist! There is no corresponding attack in the original, as Fladramon stayed silent.

Fladramon: Knuckle Fire!
Red Vagimon: *screams*
Flamedramon: Fire Rocket!
RedVegiemon: I’ve heard of grilled vegetables before, but this is ridiculous!

Side Note

The dub uses this fight to introduce a new song, Strange.


Insert general complaint about the music not persisting through the entire scene.

Digmon’s Big Crack becomes Rock Crackin’ in the dub.

Miyako: [The Dark Tower] spreads the Digimon Kaiser’s power across the area, like a radio transmission tower.
Yolei: The spire – it acted like an electricity rod. The Digimon Emperor set it up to send out power to the Dark Rings, making it possible for him to control all the Digimon throughout the area!

Yolei, lightning rods attract and disperse electricity. They don’t distribute power like a wireless charging port. COD you’re turning into Izzy right before our eyes. And if it was just a wireless charger, then why would it block Digivoluti– you know what? I’m not spending any more time on this.


Izzy: I’m quite impressed with your theory, Yolei!

You would be.


Daisuke: I know it’s my fault. I made you worry. Sorry, V-Mon.
Chibimon: Daisuke, you’ve matured a bit!
Yolei: I’m glad the Gotsumon aren’t staying with us anymore. Every time they touched my CDs they scratched them!
Cody: And they clawed the sink when they brushed their teeth!
Davis: They were kinda cool, though!

POOOOIIINTLEEEESSSSSS!!!


Devimon: What is the Digimon Emperor’s master plan?!

He literally just said he was going to make everyone in the Digital World his slaves including the DigiDestined…

…eh, I can’t blame the narrator for not paying attention. This was several hours of my life I’ll never get back. T_T

Total Impact Lost: All of it

This episode didn’t mean anything to me as a kid outside of Matt being in it. Watching the original version, this episode is dark and full of emotion and fear. The dub version is a complete mess that censored everything from dialogue to action until there was no actual plot or tension left in the episode.

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