Digimon Data Squad S01E03

12 min read

Genius Tohma Has Returned! Beat Meramon (JP)
The Return of Thomas! (EN)

Original Writer:  Yokote Michiko
Dub Writer: Jeff Nimoy

Original Airdates:
April 16, 2006 (JP)
October 8, 2007 (EN)


Technically the dub episode title is “THE RETURN OF THOMAS! OHOHOHOHOEEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEEEEEE!” given Megumi and Miki’s fangirl reading of the title card.

Summary

Marcus goes after a DemiMeramon setting various parts of the city on fire, but he is unsuccessful in capturing it. Meanwhile, Thomas Norstein, DATS’ top agent, returns from Austria to resume his position in Japan. While he manages to capture the DemiMeramon, the delay resulted in the Digimon managing to duplicate itself. Back at headquarters, Thomas’ exacting, tactical nature clashes immediately with Marcus’ headstrong, brash methods, and Thomas recommends that Marcus be expelled from DATS. When the multiplied DemiMeramon attack, Marcus gets benched and has to watch Thomas deal with the situation very quickly and professionally.

Beating himself up for his failure, Marcus gets a second change when DemiMeramon are spotted near some gas tanks while Thomas and Yoshino are too far away to help. Using some advice from the old man who gave him his Digivice, Marcus uses the DemiMeramon’s power against them, pushing them to Digivolve into Meramon. Now able to land a punch, Marcus is able to digivolve Agumon into GeoGreymon, securing the final three DemiMeramon.

Marcus and Thomas continue to bicker until Sampson has had enough. He orders the two to work as partners in their next mission.

Marcus’ mom’s comment about Marcus never waking up before noon on a Sunday came off as kind of dry and sarcastic. Her comment about Masaru in the original was a bit more gleeful, like she was just glad he was changing for the better.. Nothing wrong with either, just slightly different characterization (and not the “let’s make Davis an annoying asshole kind of characterization, either).


Masaru: What the hell, Mom? Serve me before [Agumon]!
Sayuri: I never said I wouldn’t let you have your share. Just wait a bit. After all, Agu-Chan is still a child.
Marcus: You served him first?! What did you do, adopt him when I wasn’t looking?!
Sarah: Keep it up, Tough Guy, and I’ll give your portion to him, too. Don’t be in such a hurry. After all, Agumon is a growing boy.

Sayuri is a very permissive mother, and in a way, that makes sense given how Masaru is pretty disrespectful. Sarah is a bit stricter, but she’s still pretty permissive. She’s more likely to use sarcasm and mild threats to keep Marcus in line. I like both interpretations fine, though Sarah does seem a tad more realistic, at least to a North American like me.


In the original, Masaru takes offense to Agumon calling his mother by her first name. In the dub, the reference is removed entirely.


Chika: What children.
Kristy: What a doof.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

The dub cut six seconds Tohma’s shower scene.

Don't open at work unless you want people to know you like anime boys.
Side Note

Huh, they even took the time to convert the temperature from 17°C to 63°F which is accurate (technically it’s 62.6°F for you more pedantic types out there). I expected some nonsense about sunny skies with occasional ice cream.


Bryan Beacock bounces off Melissa Fahn really well. The conversation where Agumon tries to squeeze into the front basket of Marcus’ bicycle was really funny.

Chika: What a child.
Kristy: Doof too.


Masaru: Why the hell do I have to give you a piggyback ride?!
Agumon: You’re the one who told me, “You’re a stuffed toy, so don’t move!”
Masaru: If you insist…
Marcus: Why can’t you travel in the Digivice like all the other Digimon?!
Agumon: Other Digimon only show up when they’re called, but you’re lucky: you have me all the time, Boss!
Marcus: Yeah, aren’t I lucky?


Masaru: What’s with that thing? It’s so light, my punches don’t connect!
Marcus: Both punches missed! My fists go right through that thing!

The timing of the dub statement is off, as we don’t see a punch go through DemiMeramon until the next shot. It just looks like Marcus missed.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

A split-second shot of Masaru getting hit by a fireball was cut. It still looks like he took the hit, so I’m not sure of the reason for it.

Yoshino: Well, I didn’t think it would go easily for you from the start.
Yoshi: Don’t worry Marcus, you didn’t let us down. No one here at DATS thought you could actually do it anyway!

What a shady…

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

Thomas’ appearance starts a commercial break in the dub. Upon return, it adds an establishing shot of DATS headquarters before returning to the scene.

Agumon: He just ignored me! What a jerk!
Agumon: No birthday present for that guy!


Masaru is angry with Tohma because he caught the DemiMeramon, depriving Masaru of his and Agumon’s “prey.” In the dub, he says, “When we talk, you listen!” since both Thomas and Gaomon had ignored them to this point.


The conversation between Tohma and Satsuma is slightly different. In the original, Satsuma asks if the EU had seen as many frequent Digimon attacks, to which Tohma said no, since it has a greater landmass (though that doesn’t affect frequency, but whatever…) In the dub, Sampson asks Thomas if he thinks the increased number of Digimon attacks could overwhelm the Data Squad (which is an odd question for the Commander to ask a soldier, but whatever…). Thomas responds by saying no, but it would rely on having a good team (which appears to be a jab at Marcus, though no one acknowledges it).

Side Note

The situation between Masaru and Tohma is framed as more serious in the original, while the dub takes a more comedic take to it. I think the reason is because that level of arrogance and need for authority is less of a thing in the US (at least in this way, where they use honorifics to ascribe respect, which isn’t a thing in the US), and as a result, Marcus comes off as just being kind of a dumbass. The dialogue is pretty accurate throughout, but since it comes off so weird in the dub, I think that’s why they added the comic relief music in the background.

I can’t say for sure if that scene could have been localized in a more serious manner, but given the way the dialogue is handled, it definitely seems to make more sense this way for US audiences who aren’t as fluent in Japanese culture.

Yoshino: When EU’s headquarters strongly requested his assistance, he went abroad temporarily.
Yoshi: We were having production problems, but Thomas discovered a flaw in the operating system within an hour!

Considering how close the dialogue is in this series, it makes the changes seem more deliberate. So why not include the reason Thomas was abroad for so long?


Satsuma: Be sure to get along with each other, as you are colleagues.
Sampson: Unlike some teams, they have got discipline.

Side Note

Quinton and Crispin create an amazing performance when Marcus and Thomas are arguing in the Command Center. Marcus’ hotheaded dialogue combined with Thomas’ uppity attitude makes for a great clash.


Why does DATS have a boxing ring? I would understand a gym, maybe even a pool. But a boxing ring? Does Sampson like to regularly beat up Yoshi as stress relief?


Also, it’s amazing how clearly the two can speak while wearing mouthguards.

Tohma: Why did you join DATS?
Marcus: So I could win, obviously!
Thomas: Tell me, why did you join DATS in the first place?
Marcus: Huh? It was so I could meet guys like you!

Huh. I guess all those Marcus/Thomas shippers were right all along.

I’d keep Safe Search turned on, if I were you.
Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

The dub adds an extra scene of Yoshino talking, pulling it from her earlier remarks about Marcus’ lack of headgear. It then adds an extra shot of Marcus speaking with the mouthguard in. The dialogue added is superfluous, but doesn’t disrupt the scene.

Side Note

I’m shocked, and more than a little confused that they didn’t add a flash impact screen when Marcus punches Thomas in the face. We didn’t see the moment of impact when Thomas punched Marcus, but that wasn’t included in the original anyway. But the dub kept this?

That’s how people usually look when I try to draw them.

Yoshino: You should be happy it was a draw! Tohma’s beaten Olympic champions in the past.
Yoshi: You should be happy the match was a draw! I’ve seen Thomas routinely beat Olympic champions in that very ring!

Why are Olympic boxing tournaments being held in a boxing ring inside a secret government agency that no one’s supposed to know exists? Then again, they can erase memories. Is the boxing ring there because Thomas likes to beat people up and erase their memory of it?

Seriously, why is no one investigating this organization?!

As with most Digimon media, PetitMeramon is localized as DemiMeramon.

Masaru: We’ll pull it off somehow using our spirits!
Marcus: And we’ll do it with style, too!

Double Backhand, Gaogamon, and Spiral Blow were all retained.

Tohma: Three minutes, forty-seven seconds. We shortened it by over a minute.
Thomas: Three minutes and ten seconds. We beat our old record by over a minute.

How exactly is he comparing these records? Is he adjusting for the number and level of the Digimon? Or did Satsuma say that Tohma was the best choice for the job because his specific specialty is beating exactly ten DemiMeramon?

Side Note

Megumi: There are two PetitMeramon in Area B-17!

[Tohma: Damn it, I’m powerless! Send Masaru in to have them multiply up to 10, then let me at them!]

FACEPLANT

Old fisherman guy: Just what it looks like – I’m making a fire.
Grandpa Digivice: Just what it looks like – barbecuing a fish for dinner.

Must be the early bird dinner special. It’s like 2PM.

Side Note

So Grandpa Digivice somehow hears about Marcus’ dilemma, goes out, catches a fish, drags a barbecue grill outside of DATS headquarters directly in the path of where Marcus stormed out, all to offer a thinly-veiled metaphor about wind that was perfect for Marcus’ situation.

Is this kind of thing mandatory to be an old wise mentor? Because I’m getting up there in years and my precognition isn’t to this level at all.

The metaphor Grandpa Digivice uses is slightly different. In the original, he says that even though the wind keeps putting the fire out, a large enough fire can’t be put out by any amount of wind. In the dub, he says that harnessing wind (i.e. fanning the flames) will build up the fire, which is better than fighting the wind.

Despite Sampson’s voice being filtered to sound like it was coming out of the earpiece, the same wasn’t done with Thomas’. Oops.

Agumon’s second attack, Baby Burner, becomes Spitfire Blast in the dub.

Given that Masaru’s plan is to blast the PetitMeramon with fire until they Digivolve so they’re corporeal enough to hit, Grandpa Digivice’s advice makes more sense than Old Fisherman Guy’s; use obstacles to your advantage.

Side Note

Wow, the dub brought back the same Meramon VA from Season 1.


GeoGreymon’s Mega Burst was retained.

Masaru: It’s just like I told you: the ones who don’t give up until the end win the fight.
Marcus: It’s like I told you: never surrender a fight.

No, Marcus. That was the theme song, not you. The line Masaru references was from when Marcus got back up during the boxing match. The dub replaced the line with something else, so the reference here doesn’t make sense.


Masaru: Wanna make something of it? I’ll knock you out with one hit to the face this time!
Marcus: Oh, just this: I’ll take my raw power over your tactics any day.


Yoshino: I haven’t heard that thunderous demon roar of his in a long time.
Yoshino: I haven’t seen him this mad in a long time.

Final Verdict

Almost identical.

There were no cuts or censors, despite the fact that I expected a few. Some dialogue was changed, but very little real differences between the two versions.

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