The Enemy is MetalGreymon (JP)
The Captive Digimon (EN)
Original Writer: Hiro Masaki
Dub Writers: Seth Walther and Jeff Nimoy & Bob Buchholz
June 4, 2000 (JP)
September 30, 2000 (EN)
Gear’s Notes: I haven’t watched Zero-Two in years, and this is my first time watching the original Japanese version. But I can make one solid prediction: because this episode’s plot is so heavy with regard to Agumon’s fate and Tai’s despair over it, I’m expecting a ton of changed dialogue, unnecessary jokes, attempts to lighten the mood at the expense of the depth of the plot, and other asinine attempts to make the dub more “kid-friendly” than the original.
The team manages to gather to deal with Agumon’s capture, though a depressed Yolei opts to stay in the real world for the time being. The rest of the new team plus Tai enter the Digital World while Izzy hangs back to play mission control. They meet up with Tentomon, who determines (somehow) that Agumon will be coming to Rail Town. Meanwhile, Ken is experimenting with the Dark Ring, and comes to the conclusion that it’s not powerful enough to control Ultimate-level Digimon. Wormmon, determined to convince Ken that he will be a useful Digimon partner, frees Agumon from the Dark Ring. Agumon escapes to Rail Town.
Agumon reunites with Tai and Ken gives pursuit. Ken and the DigiDestined exchange some heated words before he attacks with several DarkTyranomon and Airdramon. The kids get the upper hand until Ken reveals his new invention: the Dark Spiral. His new device has two major improvements: it can control Ultimate-level Digimon, and it doesn’t need to be in proximity to a Control Spire to function. He captures Agumon again and manages to Dark Digivolve him into a Virus-Attribute MetalGreymon. Tai’s efforts to talk MetalGreymon down fail, and a Giga Blaster attack defeats them. The Emperor leaves with MetalGreymon just before Matt and Yolei show up. Matt “convinces” Tai to stop feeling sorry for himself and the group resolves to free Agumon from Ken’s grasp, even if it means sacrificing Agumon.
The music for the Japanese version’s “Last Time on Digimon!” segment is so unfitting. It’s elevator music mixed with trumpet-based fanfare, and mildly reminds me of a 50s-era sitcom theme song. Recounting the events of the last episode, particularly Ken’s proclamation that humans are insects and his capture of Tai’s Agumon, just doesn’t fit.
Taichi: Stupid test… I have no time for this!
Tai: Integrate…. quadratic? It’s like this stuff makes no sense!
That’s because it doesn’t make sense, Tai. Stop letting Izzy tutor you in math.
Daisuke: It’s not Hikari-chan’s fault! Okada and the guys started playing hockey with the brooms so…
Takeru: Yeah, and the teacher yelled at us, too.
Taichi: Who’s this Okada?
Daisuke: Oh, he’s part of the same cleaning crew.
Hikari: It’s okay, Daisuke-kun. It’s my fault too for not stopping them.
Davis: Hey, don’t blame Kari, it’s my fault we’re late. I had an appointment for a haircut, and when I looked in the mirror, I realized my hair was perfect!
TK: The PROBlem is he was looking in the mirror for OH-ver an HOur!
Tai: But what about Agumon?!
Davis: Have him make his own appointment!
Kari: Davis, if you’re going to be a member of the DigiDestined, you’re gonna have to think less of your hair and more of the team!
So, just to clarify in case you’re not sure what just happened:
Daisuke, Takeru, and Hikari are late because they were on cleaning duty that day. But a couple of other people on the team started play fighting with the brooms, resulting in the teacher reprimanding their entire team, making them all late. Daisuke originally takes the blame, but then Hikari intercedes on his behalf when Taichi gets visibly upset saying she also could have tried to stop them from playing around and getting everyone in trouble.
Davis, TK, and Kari are late because Davis had a hair appointment he decided to cancel after staring at his hair in the mirror for over an hour, and when Agumon is brought up, he makes what is either a joke or a horribly insensitive comment in response, justifying a reprimand from Kari.
I want to know why this change happened, I really do. I’ve read an interview with Jeff Nimoy that said the execs wanted Season 2 to have more jokes in it, and would often force them to incorporate humor… but this isn’t humor. These kids are late to get to the Digital World to try and save Tai’s Digimon, and they make it into a vanity issue for Davis, making him even less likable than he’s already been portrayed as.
I’m going to try really hard not to write a massive rant every time the dub does this, but expect to see the above Gif of the hot guy throwing his laptop out each time I have to bite my tongue on the issue of bad characterization.
*whew* Okay. Back to the comparison.
Takeru: By the way, where is Miyako-san?
Poromon: Still not here…
Koushirou: Does she still have class?
Daisuke: Class ended a long time ago. She must be wasting time somewhere…
TK: But WHERE is yoLEI?
Poromon: Awah whee! [???]
Izzy: She’s cleaning her glasses.
Davis: As big as her glasses are, that could take hours! When are people gonna learn to wear goggles?
Tai’s response in both versions to Yolei’s issue is perfectly valid. Yolei on the other hand is a mess. Miyako doesn’t explicitly state what’s wrong, and Taichi tells her maybe she should go. In the dub, Yolei flatly (and I mean flatly, she sounds like Ben Stein coming down off a sugar rush) states she’s not going.
That is ridiculously selfish of Yolei given the circumstances and makes no sense at all.
Takeru: It’s fine, Miyako-san. We’re not forcing you to come.
Iori: That’s right. We go because we want to go.
Miyako: Izumi-senpai, I–
Koushirou: Let’s do that. Since everybody is agreeing, we’ll wait here in case there’s any trouble.
TK: And if it’ll make you feel any better, Yolei, you can stay and do my math homework to keep yourself busy!
Davis: Mine, too!
Cody: Now that I think about it, my Kendo sticks could use some polishing.
Yolei: It’s alright if I don’t go?
Izzy: Sure! You can make a day of it. Cleaning, math homework, and all those other fun things you love.
D-I-C-K-S! Even Izzy’s tone is mocking and condescending.
In the original, Takeru tells Hikari it’s up to her to provide the level of cheer and enthusiasm Miyako normally does. She then opens the gate and says Miyako’s “Chosen Children, let’s roll!” catch phrase. This is left out of the dub.
The flashback to the Control Spire falling at SkullGreymon’s hands is cut in this episode.
In the original, Ken laments the Evil Ring’s effectiveness, wondering aloud why it can’t control Perfect-level Digimon. In the dub, he still hasn’t figured this out. Some genius.
Hikari: It was here… here that SkullGreymon…
Taichi: I see.
Tenomon: He’s as destructive as ever.
Tentomon: It’s good to have the whole gang back again! Welcome to my treehouse! Actually, it’s not much of a treehouse anymore since SkullGreymon disintegrated it. Now it’s more of a twig house. That’s okay! I was planning on redecorating anyway!
Honestly, I love dub Tentomon. Jeff Nimoy is fantastic in that role.
Davis: We’re here to stop the Digital Emperor from hurting more Digimon!
He’s the Digital Emperor now?
Iori angrily lashes out about Ken, and Armadimon reminds him to keep his temper, for which he apologizes. Cody lashes out and Armadillomon agrees with him, resulting in Cody reprimanding Armadillomon for not controlling his temper. Ugh.
A running joke in this dubbed episode is that Tentomon is obsessively protective of his tree, and doesn’t want anyone touching or climbing it. I won’t list each time it comes up, but it’s all pretty dumb. The only thing that saves it is Jeff Nimoy’s acting.
Not that it wasn’t obvious, but Dark Evolve is localized to Dark Digivolve.
Greymon shouts “Greymon Dark Digivolve to… SkullGreymon!” in the dub. He is silent in the original.
Wormmon: Look, Master, he’s trying to escape! And we just had those walls re-stuccoed!
Those walls are metal, Wormmon, not stucco.
The music in the original when SkullGreymon is fighting to escape Ken’s lab is really great. The dub uses the normal stuff which is fine, but since we’ve heard it a million times before, it doesn’t add much.
Daisuke: Take down that tower, Fladramon!
Tai: Look, a Control Spire! This is one of the areas controlled by the Digimon Emperor!
Thank you, Tai, none of us knew that already.
Fire Rocket is for some bizarre reason localized as Flame Shield now.
Now that’s just embarrassing. Since they cut the shot of the tower being blasted, the scene snaps to the Spire falling on top of Woodmon, who catches it. But instead of remixing the sound, it just cuts too, so the music abruptly skips ahead several seconds.
The kids just left Woodmon there to… erm, rot. How rude.
In the original, Miyako holds up her Digivice in the mirror and says “Chosen Children, let’s roll,” without any enthusiasm, expositing that the seriousness of their mission has recently hit her (presumably due to Agumon’s situation), and that she can’t keep thinking of the Digital World as just a fun place to picnic.
In the dub, she tries to call Tai and ask how he’s doing using the Digivice, but doesn’t even wait long enough for him to answer before moaning and giving up. Also, he doesn’t answer because they’re not trans-dimensional walkie talkies. She also has cleaned her glasses three more times since we last saw her, and then decides to clean them a fourth time because she missed a spot.
So we have Miyako despairing over the fact that she’s having trouble coming to grips with the life-or-death nature of their mission. Meanwhile Yolei is lamenting her dirty glasses and complaining no one likes her.
Locomotown becomes Railtown.
Kaiser: The Evil Ring can easily control the Adult form, but it can’t process all the data needed to control the Perfect form.
Emperor: The Dark Ring can control an Adult-stage Digimon, but not a fully-evolved Digimon!
- It’s not called Adult in English. It’s called “Champion.”
- An Ultimate-level Digimon is not a “fully-evolved” Digimon. At that time, the highest official stage for a Digimon was called Mega in English.
- Stop flirting with the chair, Derek!
As seen in the above quote, the Kaiser says the Evil Ring can’t process enough data to control a Digimon at the Perfect level. This isn’t referenced at all in the dub. Ken just says it needs to be a different shape, like a cylinder or a – GASP!
And thus, the Dark Gasp was born.
Daisuke: It’s Locomotown, no doubt!
Hikari: It’s like a bit railway set…
Tai: We’ve made it! Rail Town!
Kari: Rail Town!
Cody: Rail Town!
Davis: Looks more like Grass-and-Hill Town to me!
I need a nap.
In the original, Wormmon doesn’t speak when he removes Agumon’s Evil Ring. He tosses it aside and just leaves. In the dub, he exposits that if he removes the Dark Ring, Ken will have to use him, instead, only confirming that Dub Wormmon doesn’t care if Ken does the right thing or not, he just wants to be useful to him.
That was a joke, by the way. I don’t want to bog the page down too much with the gifs.
God Dub Agumon’s voice is so out of place.
When the Kaiser switches the display to check on Agumon, he pauses a second before reacting. The Emperor reacts to Agumon’s absence the very second the screen changes, making you wonder how he reacted so quickly when he can’t even tell the difference between an Ultimate and a Mega Digimon.
Agumon rode a train into Rail Town, arriving the very moment the kids do. So how the hell did Tentomon know he’d be there?
Davis: Agumon’s close! I’m following his tracks!
Tai: Those are train tracks, Davis.
You know, I don’t think even Mimi had it this bad.
<train horn sounds in a place called Rail Town that is covered in railroad tracks>
Veemon: What’s that noise?
It’s the steam whistling out of Davis’ ears.
<Gatomon throws the track switch>
Gatomon: That oughta slow him down!
…no, that’s not how track switches work. You just sent him careening into a dead-end.
When Taichi hugs Agumon, causing him to wince, he asks if Agumon is okay. Agumon says he’ll be fine soon, implying that his injuries are present, but healing. In the dub, the exchange goes mostly the same until Agumon says he’s not actually hurt, but Tai was just hugging him too hard.
Ken: How did Agumon get away?!
Wormmon: An escape clause in his contract?
Ken: I’m in no mood for humor!
Kaiser: What kind of splendid Digimon would you evolve into? And you’re my partner? Heh, no chance. How could the Digimon Kaiser have a partner like you?
Emperor: And what kind of Digimon would you Digivolve into, huh? Perhaps you’d transform yourself into a giant butterfly with scary-looking wings?!
Hey, don’t knock Hudiemon.
Ken kicks Wormmon.
In the original, Ken immediately figures out that Wormmon is the one who set Agumon free. In the dub, he never makes the connection.
In the dub, Ken kinda just mocks the group aimlessly. In the original, Ken mocks Tai for being a middle schooler so easily manipulated by an elementary school student, leading to this exchange:
Iori: I may be younger than you, but I look down on you! You’re a disgrace to all humans!
Cody: You should be ashamed of yourself, Ken! You’re the kind of bully that gives bullies… a bad name!
Iori is a badass, and I hate how much I hated his character in the dub growing up.
Oh my Gennai, dub. The Digivolution sequences do not need that much Digivice screeching. It’s practically continuous.
Now the tackling attack Fire Rocket is called Flaming Fist because everyone stopped caring at this point.
And then Knuckle Fire gets called Fire Rocket.
Curse of the Queen gets called Rosetta Stone.
Narrator: MetalGreymon! A Perfect-Level Digimon with the Giga Destroyer attack! His blue color is due to the Virus attribute.
TK: MetalGreymon’s ARmor not only protects him from HARM, but it conCEALS his deSTRUCtive Giga Blaster atTACK!
I noticed the Analyzer text was different between versions, so I asked Speedwagon about it.
“That is Gardromon’s Analyzer screen in place of MetalGreymon’s. Nobody knows why, and it is one of the great mysteries of life that may never be solved.”Dario Speedwagon, c. 2020
The dub makes no mention of the fact that this version of MetalGreymon is a Virus-attribute, whereas the one we saw in Digimon Adventure was a Vaccine. I remember as a kid noticing that the blue version was the one that originally appeared in the first Digimon virtual pets, since I had one of those before I started watching the anime.
The anime, and to a greater extent the dub, has for the most part completely ignored the idea of Digimon attributes (data, virus, vaccine, free), at least from Adventure through Data Squad. It’s more prominently used in the games.
Fladramon: What should I do?
Flamedramon: He’s metal, he’ll be fine!
Yeah, every Digimon with Metal in its name is immune to pain. Just ask MetalSeadra– oh.
A smoke cloud from MetalGreymon’s attack clouds the screen for a moment, and the dub adds the Emperor coughing as he tries to laugh. It was actually pretty funny, I admit.
Yamato punching Taichi is censored with a flash-impact screen.
Total Footage Lost: 3 seconds (+1 second for post 9/11 only)
Both Yolei and Davis were seriously shafted in the character department by the dub writing.