Digimon Adventure S02E09

18 min read

Overdrive of the Evil Ring’s Magic (JP)
The Emperor’s New Home (EN)

Original Writer: Genki Yoshimura
Dub Writers: Seth Walther and Jeff Nimoy & Bob Buchholz

Original Airdates:
May 28, 2000 (JP)
September 23, 2000 (EN)

Summary

Seeing no further value in the human world or its inhabitants, Ken leaves a confusing note on his computer and flees to the Digital World to live there permanently. The DigiDestined give chase and find themselves fighting several Meramon. Once defeated, The Digimon Emperor arrives with a Greymon under his control. Using his Dark Digivice, Ken attempts to evolve Greymon into MetalGreymon, but gets SkullGreymon instead.

SkullGreymon tears through all the Armor Digimon, then turns on the Emperor, destroying the Control Spire and taking out a small army of DarkTyrannomon. He runs out of energy and reverts to Agumon, at which point TK and Kari realize that it’s Tai’s Agumon, leading them to scream at the Emperor to return him. The Emperor leaves with the unconscious Agumon and promptly retakes all the areas he had been protecting.

Yolei’s narration of the previous episode is so frenetic it’s laughable. She talks about all the events, and then the final sentence just tacks on “We found out my dreamboat Ken was actually the Digimon Emperor!” with no leadup. Like, oh yeah, that happened too.

The original omits the Kaiser’s identity being revealed in the flashback, opting instead to replay the scene in full at the start of the episode. The dub picks up after the repeat, so it’s all new footage.

Side Note

The sound effects are back in the intro, but they’re super quiet. You can only barely hear them.


Davis is able to recognize Ken when he takes off his glasses, but… honestly, I think his hair is a more effective disguise. He went from “I want to speak to your manager” to “auditioning for the role of anime protagonist.”

[silence]
Wormmon: Ken-chan, are you alright? [Ken kicks him]
Wormmon: <Oh no, the Emperor’s not in a good mood today which is like every other day. Maybe I can cheer him up.> Hey, Ken, did you hear the one about the man who–oof! …I guess you heard that one already.

GOD I hate dub Wormmon.


[Ken is watching a report about himself on TV]
Ken: I really haven’t done anything special.
Reporter: That’s what you say, but you must be working really hard, aren’t you?
Ken: Not really.
Reporter: Prodigies are 1% talent and 99% effort, aren’t they?
Ken: I guess.
Ken: I’m just your average boy genius.
Reporter: You’re so modest. Do you spend a lot of time studying?
Ken: Some geniuses do, but I’d rather play soccer.
Reporter: Ohohoho, and funny too! They say genius is 1% brains and 99% hard work. Do you think that’s true?
Ken: Mine’s 2%.
Reporter: You are funny!

God, that dub reporter comes off like she’s trying so hard to flirt with Ken or something. And Ken’s getting the same dub treatment Davis is: his ego is inflating exponentially.


The interview ends in the original with Ken admitting that if Japan’s school system had a way to skip grades like America’s does, he would like to do so, implying he doesn’t feel challenged in school. In the dub, the interview ends with the reporter saying nothing could ever get in Ken’s way, so his frustrated look seems to come from thinking about Davis, et. al.


In the Japanese, the school headmaster asks Ken if he would tutor his daughter, resulting in an annoyed expression briefly, before politely explaining that he doesn’t have the experience to be a good tutor. In the dub, the headmaster asks him how to get past a certain level in Donkey Madness (the game Davis mentioned in the first episode). Ken offers to go to the headmaster’s house to teach him how to play (?!) if he felt he wasn’t too old for video games.

Headmaster: I always forget I’m an adult!

…that is a huge problem for a school administrator to have.


Headmaster: Is it already that late? I have to get home.
Headmaster: Look at the time! I have to get to my advanced joystick class.

This episode is making me uncomfortable.


Dub Ken is way more impatient and angry with the headmaster than the original, though the latter is completely clueless about it somehow.

The headmaster (or is he? I’m not sure who he is at this point, just that he’s affiliated with the school somehow) asks for Ken’s autograph.

So it was partially censored for some reason.

Headmaster: Ah, thank you! So this is the autograph of boy genius Ichijouji Ken! She’ll love this…
Headmaster: You’re the best! Better than a graphics accelerator card!

That’s… a compliment, right?


Ken’s mom in the original states that she should have been at Ken’s interview. In the dub, she says she made his favorite: lumpy squash and mashed potatoes.

What, no protein? No wonder he’s the size of a twig.


Wormmon: Ken-chan, now you’re thinking about lots of complicated things… that I can’t understand, right?
Wormmon: Don’t be depressed! I’ve got an idea: let’s grab some Dark Rings, we’ll capture a bunch of innocent Digimon, and make their lives absolutely miserable! That should make you happy!

Oh god, it looks even worse written down.

Like I said in a previous comparison, the original Wormmon is trying to be Ken’s conscience and friend, trying to guide him back to a better path. Dub Wormmon’s just some kind of weird flunky who can’t figure out what he wants beyond Ken’s approval.


Iori: Why would someone so talented and so capable do all that?
Hikari: I can’t believe it.
Cody: I just don’t understand why such a talented and smart person would want to use their gifts to hurt others.
Kari: He seemed so nice.

Kari, did you meet the same Ken we did? The one who makes snide remarks, brags about nothing, has shifty eyes, and constantly sounds like he’s trying to seduce the air around him? Because the dub has made no effort to make Ken seem like a competent actor. It’s surprising he isn’t already believed to be a megalomaniac by the local populace given how he treats them.

Side Note

At first, I thought Gatomon’s exclamation about Yolei bringing fish to be a dub invention, but in the original she brings “cheese fish cakes,” so what do I know?


Cody: Who would have thought such a normal-looking boy could be the Digimon Emperor?

R-really? Are we looking at the same magazine? Watching the same show? LOOK AT HIS FACE. He looks like a bad guy! He looks like a sociopath! He looks like he can’t find an unlabeled toilet!

Hikari: His smile is so gentle.
Kari: His smile makes him look so gentle.

Yeah, like he’s going to gently dismember you after dinner.

Takeru: I guess appearances can be deceiving.
TK: Uh yeah, but his haircut makes him look like you, Kari!

FINALLY someone said it.


Miyako: I wonder if he’s really a Chosen Child.
Yolei: Look at his IQ! He can program my computer any day!

Is that before or after the dismemberment part?


Koushirou: Th-that’s enough… anyway, let’s try contacting Ichijouji Ken!
Izzy: Okay okay, don’t get your knickers in a twist! Let’s just find him!
Davis: What are knickers?
Izzy: Never mind.

I think the last time the phrase “don’t get your knickers in a twist” was used, the US economy had just collapsed, crippling economic stability around the world.


Koushirou uses a program to determine the location of Ken’s home using an image from a magazine. In the dub, Izzy claims he’s the one who created the program.

No one believes you, Izzy.


In the original, it’s implied that days have passed since the soccer game, and Ken hasn’t come out of his room, worrying his parents. In the dub, they’re concerned because they can’t hear him typing… which they should normally not hear since he’s normally in the Digital World anyway.


Ken’s mom in the original wants to respect Ken’s privacy. In the dub, she’s afraid to go into his room because apparently he booby-traps it.

And no one suspected he might be a sociopath?!


Dad: Did you talk to his teachers at school?
Mom: They said we had to let Ken-chan handle his things.
Dad: What does that mean?
Mom: They said he’s so smart, they can’t tell what he’s thinking. They’ve given up.
Dad: How irresponsible.
Dad: When you met with his teacher, did he say anything at all to you?
Mom: No, all his teacher could talk about was something called “Donkey Madness.”
Dad: Donkey Madness?! [as if this was some kind of revelation for him]
Mom: I know, I mean it’s strange. We don’t even own a donkey!

Image result for donkey kick animal

Ken is the donkey. He kicks dogs.

Side Note

I love how in both versions, Ken’s dad rams the door with his shoulder without even stopping to find out if it was locked or not in the first place. In the original, it’s not referenced. The dub lampshades it with the dad saying “Well, I’ve got to break something!”

God, Dub Ken is such a drama llama donkey.

The note in the original seems to suggest the possibility of suicide, which fits with his parents’ extreme emotional reaction. Dub Ken’s note is just confusing, and really should just have resulted in raised eyebrows around the room. Instead, the dad explicitly states that Ken has run away from home.

Iori: According to this map Koushirou made, this must be the place.
Miyako: Looks like something happened!
Cody: Okay, I wrote down a battle plan.
Yolei: Does that battle plan include the police?

No, but I think Cody would be open to pinching them, too, if it came down to it.


Both versions say Ken is missing. Daisuke asks where he could have gone, but in a startling display of intelligence, Davis says he knows where Ken went.

Not that it was hard to figure out, mind you, but still.

The timeline is brought up again. In the original, Ken’s been missing for a few days [specifically that he vanished on Sunday, but it wasn’t discovered until Monday, and the conversation is happening on Tuesday], implying his parents were really used to giving him space and not messing with him for days at a time. Though one wonders why they didn’t get suspicious when all the food carts they left him went untouched. In the dub, Izzy just says they shouldn’t rush into battle without a plan.


In the original, it isn’t until the Control Spire map is pulled up that they all come to the conclusion that Ken is hiding in the Digital World. Which is kinda stupid since that’s the obvious conclusion to draw.


While Koushirou explains that Ken must be looking to expand his empire in the Digital World, Izzy warns Davis that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Honestly surprised no one brought up Angemon or Angewomon in response.


When the group decides to go, they look at the clock and say it’s getting late, but they’ll figure something out. Koushirou tells them to travel to the Digital World, scout for a bit, and then come back immediately.

In the dub, the group’s tired of waiting, no mention of it getting late or their family waiting, and Izzy says he’s convinced they should go in and kick butt. So much for caution.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

Original: Kids hold up Digivices, camera pans across them from left to right, and Miyako shouts.
Dub: Kids hold up Digivices, Yolei shouts, camera pans from right to left. Then, after the commercial break, the shot of Yolei shouting is duplicated.

Not gonna write it all out, but basically Wormmon’s character gets butchered further. In the original, he’s happy that he and Ken can spend all their time together. In the dub, he wants to fight in place of capturing a Digimon, but then can’t get back up when he’s knocked on his side.

Narrator: Meramon! They burn everything with their fierce flames and fiery tempers! Their special attack is Burning Fist!
Kari: Meramon are very dangerous! They can burn you with their Roaring Flame attack, or just by touching you!

At least they’re not crying this season.

Side Note

An instrumental version of Break Up! is played during the evolution sequence and subsequent fight scene.

I swear I’m hearing him clearly, but it sounds like Dub Ken says, “As much as I appreciate your offer, Greymon, I’d rather replay sphere throw!”

And then Greymon says, “But I hate sphere throw!”

What?

Side Note

I don’t know why the kids are taking turns evolving instead of going all at once.

Eagle Eye gets called Tempest Wing again.

In the original, Ken says that his current theory is if he evolves an Adult into a Perfect while under his control, he should be able to control said Perfect. In the dub, he says the same thing, but says Rookie instead of Champion. Even though Greymon is a Champion.


Unlike last season, the dub version of Greymon says, “Greymon Digivolve to… SkullGreymon!” In the original, there’s no such announcement.

Apparently, all of Nefertimon’s attacks are just Rosetta Stone. The one with the stone, the one with the lasers, the one with the jewels. Pretty sure she yells “Rosetta Stone” when she goes to the bank to withdraw cash.

Narrator: SkullGreymon! His flesh has deteriorated, but his fearsome lust for battle keeps him moving. His attack is Ground Zero.
TK: The only thing more terrifying than his looks are his fighting skills! Especially his Dark Shot attack!

TK, how can you possibly know what his attack is called? You saw him once, you were terrified of him, he never spoke, then turned back into Koromon.

Side Note

The Airdramon and SkullGreymon all have voices in the dub and they all sound ridiculous.

Takeru and Hikari’s dialogue indicate that they know who SkullGreymon is, know how powerful he is, and know that fighting him is pointless. They seem legitimately terrified of him, and Takeru’s response in particular seems almost like it comes from trauma.

In the dub, they’re just cracking scared jokes like “How about we run, and then after that we run some more?” which really detracts from what is otherwise a very powerful scene.


Because of the lip-flap, Yolei screams “Halsemon!” in place of Miyako’s “Hawkmon!” But she pronounces it weird.

The name is supposed to be pronounced “Hal-suh-mon.” She pronounces it “Hal-see-mon!”


Nefertimon: Everyone, run!
Hikari: But we have to stay together!
Pegasmon: We’ll take the rest of the Digimon with us. Wait for us somewhere safe.
Nefertimon: Everyone, run!
Kari: But we have to fight SkullGreymon!
Pegasusmon: Yes, great idea. Stay clustered together so you create an easy target. Get to safety!

No one asked for your sass, Pegasusmon!

For the record, the English name for SkullGreymon’s attack was Dark Shot even before 9/11, so it wasn’t a redub. Had they kept it Ground Zero like in the original, I imagine that would have merited an edit of some kind.

Surprisingly, the Control Spire’s destruction was kept.

[The Control Spire is exploding]

Daisuke: Wh-what’s wrong with that thing?!
Davis: I should probably’ve put on my goggles!

Not that they would help against bright light.

Side Note

Ken’s weird way of whistling with his knuckles while wearing gloves is odd enough, but at least in the original it sounds like a person whistling. In the dub, they used a gym whistle, a sound no human could conceivably make.

Image result for Big Mouth singer

…oh shut up.

Cody: They’re DarkTyrannomon!

How can you possibly know that?

Narrator: DarkTyranomon! A violent Digimon corrupted by a computer virus! His attack is Fire Blast!
Cody: A computer program turned Tyrannomon into the evil DarkTyrannomon! Watch out for his Fire Breath attack!

Charizard should sue them.

Side Note

The use of the song Strange combined with Davis and TK’s dumb jokes completely wreck the tension of the battle.

Koushirou: Huh… the areas protected by Taichi-san’s Agumon turned black…
Izzy: Whoa! That’s the strangest thing I’ve seen since my Ethernet configuration collapsed!

I consulted the more tech-savvy Dario about this, and he confirmed that if Izzy says something happened, it is absolutely impossible.

Knowing Izzy, it was just a house of cards anyway.

Uh, Izzy knew that. He literally just said that. And who the hell wrote an e-mail to Izzy about that but didn’t mention the DARK RING AROUND AGUMON’S NECK?!

GOD I hate this season’s dub.

Izzy even wonders out loud whether Agumon has been captured or destroyed. Gee, you’d think someone could tell him what happened.

Final Verdict

AUGH

God all these characters and dialogue and music and narrators and EVERYTHING SUCKS WHY DOES IT SUCK SO BAD

3 Comments

  • Ryusei Taylor says:

    Oh hey, it’s the episode whose dub had the line that made number 1 on Jacob Chapman’s Izzy-isms countdown way back in the day!

    I do applaud Saban for letting Davis have a legit intuitive moment. I wish he got more.

    Many a rerun of Pokemon’s ninth episode censor out Brock’s “She can violate *my* rights anytime!” line, yet no rerun of this episode ever did that to Yolei’s incredibly similar line.

    Speaking of Yolei, her “you gave me a paper cut!” line makes me laugh only because I tend to make comments like that when rewatching stuff (ie if someone yanks a magazine out of someone’s hands, I’d jokingly say that, too). Also, her “does it include the police?” line was a pretty creative way to call attention to the cops’ presence.

    Ken’s “Nothing but FOOLS!!” line can so easily be used on social media to complain about fandumbs. I admit I’ve done precisely that to complain about the BBNDers.

    I think this would be a good time to point out that although I prefer Saban’s script due to it having more personality to it than the JP script (which, while not the bland stick-in-the-mud some article I read decried it as being, just doesn’t have the same flair to it the Saban script does), the JP script does have the advantage of plot consistency and character likability. And even I’ve had some problems with some of Saban’s dialogue choices (the worst line in the Adventure dub was Matt saying “Not everyone has ice running through their veins like *YOU* have!”). So although I’m more forgiving of this dub than most people are, I see where its haters are coming from in regards to characterizations.

    • Gear says:

      The characterizations get worse and worse as the season goes on. I’ve got another 10 episodes of comparisons done and… WHOO. The characterizations get bad enough that some of the staff walked out on the show later on (allegedly).

  • Richardragon87 says:

    I oddly remember that removed Brock quote when I saw reruns on CITV and even Sky One, it went something along the lines of “She can violate my…” then Misty said “If she is making your life so miserable why do you have a picture of her”, also this isn’t the 1st time a dub removed a quote from the original run I faintly remember Wizardmon’s “I have no regrets line” to be removed for some reason even though the Saban dub made it look like he threw himself in the way using the same crest throw animation.

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