Knight of the Skies, Aquilamon (JP)
Spirit Needle (EN)
Original Writer: Hiro Masaki
Dub Writers: Craig Doyle, Jeff Nimoy, Bob Buchholz
September 24, 2000 (JP)
December 9, 2000 (EN)
Davis is working hard to convince the rest of the team that Ken should join them in the ongoing fight to protect the Digital World. However, his pleas fall on deaf ears with the exception of T.K. – the one team member he doesn’t directly approach about this. Even Ken, who agrees to apologize for what he did, declines to actually join the team. Cody is particularly against it, and Yolei is full of doubt that she grapples with all night.
The next day, Mimi is in the Digital World roasting marshmallows with Palmon and a group of YukimiBotamon when Palmon discovers something strange – an adult human woman casting a spell on a Control Spire. She flees, but is attacked by Golemon, a powerful mineral Digimon that wounds her to the point of… deciding to take a nap. Right before her nap though, she reveals that Golemon wants to destroy a nearby dam and flood a major city.
Mimi calls out for help and the Zero-Two DigiDestined respond with their Armor Digimon who are unable to make even the slightest dent in Golemon. It manages to punch a hole in the dam, but the team quickly plugs it up and stops the water that escaped. But Golemon is undeterred and moves to break the rest of the structure. The Armor Digimon fight while the kids argue over whether or not they can kill Golemon to save the city. Tired of their nonsense, Mimi swipes one of their D-Terminals and summons Ken and Stingmon to the battle, who manage to hold Golemon off a little.
Palmon finally wakes up and reveals that Golemon isn’t a Digimon, but a Control Spire with a magical spell cast over it to make it look like a Digimon. T.K. theorizes that Thundermon was a similar construct, and that Ken must have known this, which is why he destroyed the Digimon last time. Yolei finally admits that she’s happy Ken came to help, and her sincerity (I guess) allows Hawkmon to reach its Champion form – Aquilamon. Together, Stingmon and Aquilamon destroy “Golemon” and save the city.
Ken apologizes for his actions as the Digimon Emperor and reveals that he’d known about the mysterious woman and her ability to not only reactivate old Control Spires, but also to turn them into Digimon. He and Wormmon didn’t say anything because they felt they needed to clean up the Digimon Emperor’s mess themselves, but Davis is consistent in inviting him to join them. Ken declines once more and leaves, though Yolei e-mails him with support for his joining them.
indistinct chatter of a crowded school hallway
Boy: I think Kari’s a total babe, dude!
Girl: What’s with Davis and his goggles?
Do these kids have no one else to talk about?
In the original, Daisuke and Hikari are talking about Ken’s merits, with Daisuke particularly pointing out that he saved them and has good qualities while Hikari remains hesitant. In the dub, they complain about lunchroom duty, with Davis in particular calling the cook’s outfits they’re wearing “humiliating.”
I guess it makes sense that they do this, since fewer (if any) schools in the U.S. have classroom chores to the degree they do in Japan.
The conversation does happen in the English version, it’s just shortened and is a lot more lighthearted, with Hikari’s hesitance turned into Kari’s seemingly flippant stance on Ken.
Miyako: But in the other day’s battle, even though it was an enemy, he still killed a Digimon.
Yolei: The way he mercilessly ordered Stingmon to go in for the kill…
Whoa, did the dub actually say KILL? How is this episode not banned in 43 states and for some reason Antarctica?
The overall flippant attitude towards Davis’ attempts to convince the others continues with the exception of the above conversation with Yolei. Probably because there wasn’t as much space in the conversation to throw in a bunch of jokes, so it stayed closer to the script, even if it still sounded a bit rushed in places.
Most of the quiet, contemplative moments are filled with mental monologues from any character on screen.
Ken: So… talk about what?
Ken: So what brings you all the way out here? Did you come to remind me that I’ve been a bad boy?
That line was questionable on its own, but with Ken’s chair-flirting voice, it just gets pushed over the edge into weird territory.
The conversation between Daisuke and Ken by the riverbank is bolstered by a jazzy instrumental version of the theme song in Japanese. English uses the same recycled stuff.
The dialogue is super rushed in the English version. While I’m used to the dub filling every moment it can with some kind of noise, this conversation has them talking instantly after each other’s sentences and firing off their statements in Speed Racer-esque fashion.
Daisuke: I think he just wants some time to get his feelings sorted out.
Davis: I think he just needs time… which we don’t have a whole lot of.
At this point, the audience is aware of the incoming threat, as is Ken on some level. But Davis and the others shouldn’t have any idea that there’s a looming problem hanging over their heads, so that line of dialogue makes no sense coming from him. At most, they’re curious why the Control Spires are working and disappearing, but they’ve been treating that as a minor mystery rather than the start of an all new problem.
I should probably point out that this is yet another example of the dub’s characterization of Davis actively fighting his original characterization. This sort of happy-go-lucky optimism combined with kind of a dopey empathy matches Daisuke just fine, and it reads as being at least minorly insightful of him to be thinking of how Ken feels and why he’s doing and saying what he’s doing and saying. But in the dub, this again feels like it’s coming completely from out of nowhere, as Davis has been nothing but shallow and vain, egocentric to the point of being completely obnoxious and uncaring.
When Miyako is on the phone, the original does not specify who she’s talking to, only that it’s not Daisuke. In the dub, she’s talking to Davis and rebuking him again.
There’s a small timeskip in which Miyako vaguely explains the Ken situation to her family and once that timeskip is over, they start to offer advice. The dub ignores the skip and just has Yolei’s mom make a psychically-inspired guess as to what her problem is. In both cases, she takes offense to the insinuation that Ken is her boyfriend.
Stingmon’s flurry of kicks, which is unnamed in the original, is called Spinning Spiking Strike for no logical reason at all in the dub.
Narrator: Stingmon! This Digimon is Wormmon’s Adult form. His special attack is Spiking Finish.
Ken: Stingmon – this insectoid Digimon bugs opponents with his Spiking Strike attack. Don’t try bug spray on him, though – it’ll only make him angry!
The tonal shift from mopey Ken to jokey Ken causes a lot of tonal whiplash.
Then Stingmon, in the same flurry of kicks move, calls out Spiking Strike as he finishes off the Snimon he’s fighting.
Stingmon: Ugh, can we not do that anymore today, Ken?
Ken: Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s the last of the monsters we’ll face. Look at all these Control Spires! I’m sorry I ever made them. Something’s going on and it doesn’t look good. (Maybe I should join the other DigiDestined. I don’t think we can do this alone.)
You’re rambling, Kenny.
Narrator: YukimiBotamon! A Baby Digimon with white fur covering its whole body. Their attack is Diamond Dust.
Mimi: YukimiBotamon are cute baby Digimon and you have such white fur! Your Bubble Blow attacks are almost as big as your appetites!
I swear that there was another broadcast that localized these little guys as SnowBotamon, which some other English media uses instead of YukimiBotamon. It’s also weird that they gave them Bubble Blow in English, which is the attack for standard Botamon.
In the original, Palmon finds an herb that she wants to make into tea for Mimi. In the dub, she finds a pretty flower to give to her instead.
The mysterious lady in red put a hair into the Dark Tower silently.
Mysterious Lady: Hair today, gone tomorrow. Spirit Needle!
Also, not sure how Palmon’s staying hidden here. In the original she’s pretty quiet, but in the dub she yells pretty loudly. Maybe the woman can’t hear anything over her own bad puns.
Narrator: Golemon! A mineral Digimon made from boulders. His special attack is Curse Crimson.
Palmon: Golemon, a monstrous Digimon made up of stone and minerals. His Crimson Curse attack overpowers his enemies.
Palmon gets struck in the stomach with rocks from Golemon’s attack. The actual impact is cut in the dub.
Dub Palmon also takes an extra line to say she’s fine and just needs to rest. In the original, she just implores Mimi to stop Golemon from destroying the dam. Her dialogue also sounds a lot less strained and hurt than her original counterpart’s, and she says “I need to sleep” before abruptly passing out, which almost seems comedic outside of context.
YukimiBotamon: All the Digimon will be up to their Digi-Ears in water!
What, not up to their Digi-Ears in Digi-Water? You’re losing your polish, dub.
Golemon turns his head, and somehow that slams Pegasmon and Nefertimon into the dam. This is cut out of the dub awkwardly and the scene seems incomplete. At first, you couldn’t be sure exactly what happened to them.
(Golemon uses his Curse Crimson/Crimson Curse attack)
Davis: That’s not fair!
Digmon: There are millions of gallons pouring out of that hole!
You know, it’s kind of amazing how the Digimon pulled this off. Without saying a single word of strategy to one another, Nefertimon blocks the hole in the dam, Shurimon and Raidramon cut down a bunch of trees, Nefertimon and Pegasusmon grab them and turn them into a makeshift dam, and Digmon drills a trench to catch the remaining water. Who coordinated all this?
Meanwhile, the kids still express shock that Golemon is going after the dam still, as if the concept of a Digimon just being evil is impossible. Takeru and Hikari, you were there. Hell, Mimi’s sitting right there and doesn’t call them out on being weirdly nonviolent about the whole thing.
Mimi tells Yolei to hand over her D-3 (Digivice) when what she wanted was her D-Terminal.
Throughout the episode so far, Golemon does not say a word or even make much sound in the Japanese version. In the dub, he calls out his attack name and grunts a lot more.
The fact that Palmon willingly took a nap earlier is even sillier now because once she wakes up, she explains that Golemon isn’t a real Digimon. That information would have been much more useful before you took a snooze!
Narrator: Aquilamon! A giant bird Digimon that can fly at mach speeds and has the vision to see enemies from afar. His special attack is Glide Horn.
Armadillomon: Aquilamon! This giant winged Digimon soars along at supersonic speeds and beats his opponents with his special Grand Horn attack.
His Blast Laser is localized as Blast Rings.
The dub has Ken read Yolei’s e-mail out loud right when he receives it. In the original, it’s read by Miyako.
For whatever reason, the dub overlays the e-mail over Ken walking away. In the original, it starts that way, then changes to an image of Miyako smiling in the reflection of the screen.
The e-mail is the same in both versions.
The plot is weird because of all the Zero-Two tumult in the original version. I think at this point, I’m just happy the dub isn’t actively making it worse.