Destroy the Dark Tower (JP)
Old Reliable (EN)
Original Writer: Reiko Yoshida
Dub Writers: Jeff Nimoy & Bob Buchholz
April 30, 2000 (JP)
September 2, 2000 (EN)
Gomamon attempts to stop the Digimon Emperor from attacking a group of Gizamon with his whip. In turn, the Emperor turns the Gizamon against him with a promise he doesn’t intend to keep. After Gomamon’s defeat, he put dark rings around the Gizamon, ordering them to continue work on his new prison.
Gomamon manages to get an SOS to Joe, who quickly arrives to help. Cody is almost reluctant at first, having a conflicting obligation, but ends up showing, albeit late. Knowing they need to destroy the Control Spire, the group heads for it, blocked by a small army of Frigimon. Cody falls into a freezing river and has to sit out the battle with Joe by his side, but the Emperor finds them and attacks. Digmon defeats his enslaved Shellmon, but Ebidramon drags him underwater. When the other kids finally knock down the Control Spire, Gomamon Digivolves to Ikkakumon and helps Digmon defeat Ebidramon.
The Emperor retreats, having lost his newly conquered zone.
We open with a cut, because these early episodes of Zero-Two are very violence heavy what with Ken and his whipping fetish. In this case, Ken is whipping some Gizamon before Gomamon comes to their rescue.
He gets three good hits in before the dub picks back up with Gomamon’s rescue attempt.
In the original, Gomamon protests that the Gizamon are tired, and since they’re aquatic Digimon, they can’t move around on land as well. In the dub, he says they’re tired, but follows up with “Maybe someone should use this whip on you, ya big bully!”
Digimon Kaiser: Why you…! I don’t need you telling me about Digimon!
Digimon Emperor: Number one: don’t ever talk to me without calling me “Sir.” Number two: don’t ever talk to me!
And then the moment Gomamon is hit gets cut.
This is a darker series than people give it credit for being. I blame the dub: they added in so many bad jokes and cut so much from it that it seems like it’s inferior to Adventure in a lot of ways. It isn’t until watching it now in the original that I’ve begun to realize just how dark the story actually is.
Digimon Kaizer: Hey! Whoever takes him down will get to rest!
Digimon Emperor: Whoever among you can defeat this creature will receive a special prize package. The rest will get some lovely parting gifts, so who is up for the challenge?
A perfect example.
I keep trying to refer to the Gizamon, but end up typing “Gizumon” or “Gazimon” by mistake, which are totally different Digimon. Make the names more distinct, Toei/Bandai/Saban/Disney/Hasbro/Whoever!
Narrator: Gizamon! A child like Digimon that has developed fins. Their sharp dorsals cut through the water like knives!
Emperor: I know all about Gizamon.
(Never mind that you didn’t know they were aquatic…) They’re amphibian Digimon with webbed feet. Their fins cut through the water like knives.
The seriousness of the Gizamon attacking Gomamon is lessened in the dub with comedic sound effects, Gomamon’s defiant attitude, and Wormmon’s voice.
Emperor: Move it, Wormmon! I want you to make me a hot chocolate.
And he says it in this whiny voice, too. Ugh, this entire scene is ruined.
silence, punctuated by the sound of howling wind and snow
Gomamon: <I just gotta climb up this little hill… okay, maybe it’s not such a little hill after all.>
Jou: I’m skipping class today! Later!
Joe: Uh, I just remembered I forgot to remember something. I gotta go.
I’ll give the dub credit where it’s due: I still use that line when I don’t want to explain something and have to leave quickly. Happens more often than you’d think.
Tailmon: Does that mean the Digimon Kaiser’s controlled area has been expanded?
Kari: Well this should add to our frequent flyer miles.
It’s implied that Cody’s lesson is at his house. In the original, it’s at the Police Station.
I don’t know why Cody’s grandfather has a vaguely Asian accent, when everyone in the series doesn’t, and everyone is Japanese. I guess they’re playing into the wise-old-Asian-grandparent stereotype, but it makes no sense.
In the original, Iori’s grandfather offers him some “Chu x2” or “Chu Chu.” I’ve tried googling it, but I’m not entirely sure of the results – I’m mostly getting back an alcoholic beverage called Chuhai. Not sure if that’s what he really meant or not.
In the dub, it’s called prune juice.
Miyako: He looks like the type to get really good grades!
Yolei: Would you mind taking a look at my tonsils for me?
Doug Erholtz voices TK this season and I think he took some notes from Gabumon’s voice actor. His intonation is all over the place and he emphasizes random syllables.
TK: THESE are the DIGIvices of the NEW digiDESTined! They’re the ONLY THINGS that can Open the GATE to the DIgital WORld!
Upamon: Iori, you’re late! I was gonna go to the Digital World myself!
Upamon: Cody! YoumadeitYoumadeitYoumadeitYoumadeitYoumadeit YoumadeitYoumadeitYoumadeitYoumadeitYoumadeitYoumadeitYoumadeitYoumadeit!
That was not an exaggeration, he literally squealed that thirteen times.
Jou: Where would Gomamon be?
Joe: I watch all those survival shows on TV.
They’re scripted, Joe. It’s not real.
[Miyako/Yolei fights with the hand warmer]
Miyako: I’m still cold!
Yolei: It won’t open!
That’s because you’re not supposed to open it, Yolei. It’s a hand warmer, not a pouch of prune juice.
Jou’s concern for Gomamon’s health is more convincing in the original. In the dub, Joe’s cry of “Gomamon!” sound kind of casual. Like, “Whoa, Gomamon! …where did you get those amazing glasses?!”
Jou: Hang in there!
Gomamon: You came…
Jou: Of course! Even though we’re apart, I’m worried about you…
Joe: What day of the week is it?
Gomamon: It’s Saturday?
Joe: Actually it’s Thursday, but you never did know the days, so you’re back to your old self.
The point of the Alert & Oriented (A&O) questions is to establish a patient’s level of awareness. If you ask them a question they can’t possibly know the answer to, it defeats the purpose of asking them, Joe. Man, you’ve got to stop skipping class.
Armadimon: Even if I sent an SOS, Iori wouldn’t come.
Armadillomon: I always get misty at happy reunions. I actually think I’m going to cry!
Armadimon is pouting throughout the episode because Iori originally went to Kendo instead of coming to the Digital World with him. It’s a running point in the episode that’s completely dropped in the dub.
Jou: What happened? You’re hurt badly…
Joe: You really look terrible, Gomamon. But I mean that in a nice way!
The dub is pulling out all the stops to take all the emotional resonance out of this episode.
The sound effect of trees falling begins several seconds earlier in the dub, long before the kids start trying to bring down the trees. Seems to imply the trees are just falling on their own. Shoddy workmanship.
Armadimon’s Scratch Beat becomes Armadillomon’s Claw Chop.
Hawkmon’s Feather Slash becomes Beak Buzzsaw in the dub.
Iori tells Armadimon he’s counting on him, but Armadimon turns away in protest. In the dub, it’s framed as his displeasure at having to pull the sled.
Patamon: Are those snowmen?
Patamon: Uh-oh, we’ve got visitors…
A rare instance of the dub doing better. Patamon, you live here. You know what Yukidarumon/Frigimon are. They live on File Island!
Narrator: Yukidarumon! An Adult-level Digimon that usually avoids battle and has a warm heart. His Absolute Zero Punch can freeze any opponent!
Emperor: Freeze them, Frigimon, with your Sub-Zero Ice Punch! It’s amazing how these docile creatures can be turned into such abominable snowmen.
When Jou reminds the Chosen Children that their mission is to destroy the tower, and that they should speed past the Frigimon and not fight them, Daisuke is accepting of the plan. Davis is more resistant.
After he falls in the icy river, Iori shivers by the fire. Jou offers him cold medicine (I would think treating his coldness would be more important than treating cold symptoms he doesn’t seem to have), while Joe offers him herbal tea that’s “10% herbal, and 90% tea.” Dumb dialogue aside, offering him hot tea makes more sense to help stave off hypothermia than cold medicine, which is designed to fight off the symptoms of a viral infection.
In the original, Iori insists on carrying on with the mission since he left Kendo practice early to do so. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the time he cut. In the dub, he repeats his grandfather’s earlier words of having to rely on himself so others could rely on him. I think the change was necessitated because Jou’s crest is Sincerity, while Joe’s is Reliability, but it doesn’t explain why they cut Armadimon’s being upset with him – it still ties into being reliable.
It bleeds into the next conversation. Jou says that even though they’re Chosen Children, they’re the ones choosing to do this mission, whether it means skipping out on Kendo practice or an exam at school. In the dub, Joe’s speech is that they’re all there for a reason, so staying behind must be for a reason as well. Jou’s statement kinda plays into something that happens in Digimon Adventure Tri., which if intentional, is kinda brilliant. Joe’s statement is basically advocating for predetermination which has nothing to do with Reliability or anything else for that matter.
I’m not sure the dub knew what it was trying to accomplish with this episode, because it just meanders randomly.
Narrator: Shellmon, a primitive Digimon shaped like a hermit crab. His Hydro Pressure can even break boulders!
Emperor, feeling himself up sensually: Meet my newest slave, Shellmon. His Aqua Blaster attack shoots water so hard, it can demolish solid rock.
He sounds almost like James from Pokemon at times, if James was more in love with himself.
Also, Aqua Blaster. At least it’s not Hydro Water.
Jou: I know you’re hurt, but I need you to prolong the battle as long as you can.
Joe: Keep him busy with some of that great Gomamon charm of yours.
Gomamon: Hey, Shellmon, over here! *dodges*
Gomamon: Why did one Shellmon take another Shellmon’s lunch? Because it was shellfish!
I don’t even need to make a snarky remark. Joe does it for me.
Joe: <That’s the great Gomamon charm?!>
Because of the lip flap, Davis shouts “Digi Armor Enerrrrrrrrrrgize!”
Jou: Keep it up, Gomamon!
Joe: Try the knock-knock jokes!
Jou: This is Armor Evolution?!
Joe: Armor, huh? Not bad!
Digmon’s voice sounds strained after being hit with Shellmon’s Hydro Pressure. In the dub, after being hit with Aqua Blaster he sounds like he’s having a casual conversation with no pain at all.
In the original, Digmon is struck several times by Shellmon, and the camera angle switches to show Iori’s reaction. In the dub, all hits after the first were cut, as was Cody’s reaction.
When Flamedramon uses Knuckle Fire, his dub counterpart shouts “Flamedramon, the Fire of Courage!” for some reason. Weird way to introduce yourself.
Takeru: Fire attacks work well against the Yukidarumon! Let’s leave this to Daisuke-kun!
Hikari: We’ll do our part from the air!
TK: FLAMEdramon can handle the FRIGimon by himSELF, so it’s up to US to destroy the SPIre!
Kari: Okay, but I think we’re gonna have to do it from the air.
…your Digimon are Halsemon, an armored eagle, Pegasusmon, an armored flying horse, and Nefertimon, and armored… flying… Egyptian… cat… thing. I’m just saying, I feel like an underground attack was never in your list of options in the first place.
A scene from right after Digmon was struck by Hydro Blaster was repeated here, as the original repeated the scene of Digmon being struck.
Narrator: Ebidramon. Small but aggressive, typical of Dramon types. His attack, Twin Neptune, involves his two attacking claws.
Emperor, feeding himself grapes and fanning himself: I’m never out of ideas or slaves. Ebidramon here uses his Twin Scissors attack to crush the enemy like a snail.
That’s an odd simile. Is crushing snails a common passtime?
Nefertimon’s Curse of the Queen goes untranslated/adapted in the dub.
They use Star Shower incorrectly again.
Wormmon: The others destroyed the tower…
Kaiser: Shut up!
Wormmon: He said, “They destroyed the control spire now you can Digivolve.”
Emperor: It’s just a figure of speech!
So much is lost here because of the music. Since the Zero-Two music is different, Gomamon’s evolution sequence using Brave Heart is really cool, a callback to the first series. In the dub, the only song they use is Digimon Are The Champions, which imparts nothing. Then they play Let’s Kick It Up! which just makes everything awful.
Iori’s insistence upon introducing himself to Jou is because he should always finish what he starts. (Which would be just fine for the Crest of Reliability.) In the dub, it’s because “Next to prune juice, manners are the most important thing a man can have,” which is a complete non sequitur.
Kari says Cody is “always honest and sticks to the rules.” Even though honesty is a trait more closely related with Sincerity… seriously, I don’t think the dub was paying attention at this point and was just letting some prototype of autocorrect finish dubbing the episode.
Kaiser: It’s time for a new strategy, Wormmon. What do you think our next move should be?
Wormmon: You told me not to speak…
Kaiser: Answer when you’re spoken to!
Emperor: Alright then, I’ll just have to go to plan B. Wormmon, what is Plan B?
Wormmon: We can all become friends?
Emperor: That’s not Plan B, you fool!
Wormmon: Don’t blame me, I can’t spell!
Total Footage Lost: 2 seconds
In the original, Wormmon attempts to serve as Ken conscience, telling him when he’s being cruel and trying to get him to live up to his promises (even if he makes them sarcastically). In the dub, he just comes off as a dimwitted lackey, which is a huge step down.