Digimon Data Squad S01E09

24 min read

Tohma’s Dishonorable Battle – The Secretly Maneuvering Togemon (JP)
Never Meet Your Heroes (EN)

Original Writer:  Yamatoya Akatsuki
Dub Writer: Jeff Nimoy

Original Airdates:
May 28, 2006 (JP)
November 19, 2007 (EN)


Gear’s Notes: Another Tohma focused episode so soon after the last one? Honestly, I’m okay with it. It’s unbalanced, but Tohma is the most interesting character in the anime, so it’s nice that he’s getting this attention early on before the story starts shifting to be all about Masaru.

Summary

Marcus is excited about having found a new potential case: an aging boxer whose opponents keep having mysterious accidents and illnesses that weaken them in matches, or cause them to miss them altogether. Thomas is agitated and skeptical initially until Commander Sampson informs them that the boxer, Hayase Harris, is under investigation for potentially having a Digimon weaken his opponents. The three are ordered to investigate covertly.

Thomas gets close to Harris, asking him about specific fights in the past and his injuries that should prevent him from doing as well as he is. Marcus starts watching Harris’ trainer Rocky, who claims he would do anything for Harris. Yoshino meets with Harris’ wife, but she rules her out as a suspect.

Thomas reveals that Harris was an idol of his while growing up, that his matches inspired and motivated Thomas to become the (14 year-old) man that he is today. He was skeptical that Harris was to blame for it, and after reviewing all the evidence he had, determines that Harris’ young daughter Minnie was to blame, as she’d formed a bond with a Togemon, whose spines were causing ailments for the boxers her father was fighting. Gaomon fights Togemon, defeats him, and returns him to an egg.

In the end… er, read the end of the comparison. It’s kinda confusing.

Just a translation, nothing to see here, folks.

The boxer who serves as the character of the day is named Hayase Tsubasa in the original and Hayase Harris in the dub. His first opponent is Akaboshi originally and Gomez in the dub.

Side Note

It would appear that Dave Mallow, best known as Angemon in Adventure, reprised his Piddomon role from Frontier to narrate this boxing match.

Annnouncer: Akaboshi doesn’t look like he’s doing too good. He’s moving sluggishly!
Announcer: Another blistering combination by Harris!

The dub missed out on some good foreshadowing here.

The really cheap flash-impact screen returns to take the title this season! How will Harris fight this?!

It’s a shame, too. That art looks particularly great.


Oh, and the impact screen comes back for round 2! Does Harris have the energy left to defeat this revitalized opponent?!

In the original, this was Tsubasa’s seventh consecutive win. In the dub, it was a come-from-behind victory against “the number one contender in the world!”

Then in the very next scene, Harris says his next opponent will be “The Champ.” So the champion is weaker than the #1 contender? Or did he mean he was going to fight a Champion-level Digimon, and it’s just more proof that DATS couldn’t even keep a password secret?


They do the standard “look-at-the-newspaper-no-not-that-article” gag. Masaru rushes up to Yoshino and holds up a newspaper, saying he found their next case. In the original, Yoshino stares at the newspaper and asks, “Horse racing?” In the dub, she flatly says, “All I see are coupons.”

Once again, the dub was funnier thanks to the actors.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

In the original, Agumon says it’s rare for Aniki to find a case. Masaru wallops him what good for it. The dub keeps the gist of the joke, but freezes the shot, cutting the animal cruelty.

Tohma: That man would never do anything unjust!
Thomas: You can’t accuse a boxer of cheating just because he’s winning fights.

Tohma directly defends Tsubasa, while Thomas speaks more generally, given that he’s a boxer himself. I like the dub’s interpretation better, since just last episode he accused Yoshino of being biased in her investigation. It’s still hypocritical, but Thomas seems aware enough of this not to be overly specific in his defense of Harris.

Side Note

Satsuma has the room bugged, apparently. The door walks in, he enters, and immediately continues the conversation as if he’d been there the whole time. How long was he out in the hallway listening before he decided to announce his presence?

In the dub, he walks in and coincidentally mentions he’s been investigating Harris, with no reference to the conversation they were just having. Which means Sampson has the room bugged too, but he’s smarter about keeping it a secret. Slightly, anyway.

Tsubasa: We had a bet, didn’t we?
Harris: You’re in good shape, kid.

Stop flirting with the 14 year-old. You’re 35.


The match Tohma asks about was against Koichi Uehara. In the dub, it was against Kensington.

Side Note

Oh god, the guy’s coach is just awful in the dub. He sound like he needs to cough up a bucket of phlegm before he gets in front of the mic.

Tsubasa states he would never cheat in a boxing match because it would sully the sport he loves. In the dub, Harris says that his coach taught him to box the right way, and that he’ll never violate those teachings.

Side Note

This seems random, but the theme song just played in the Japanese version, so I looked it up. The song is GOUing! Going! My Soul! performed by Dynamite SHU.

Honestly, I’m not a fan. It’s catchy in places, but it’s not comparable to Kouji Wada’s work.


I swear, Tohma is the goofiest looking anime kid I’ve ever seen.


Damn, both versions use the same VA for the announcer when Baby Tohma is watching the match. Guy must’ve been in the boxing narration business for a long time.

The dub freezes the TV screen to cover the boxing violence, but strangely they keep the punching sound effect.

It’s becoming apparent that the policy is violence is okay to show in the dub so long as it’s not in motion. Still frames of violent impacts are kept, but the exact moment of impact, if actually animated, is either censored or cut.

This appears to be a letter-versus-spirit of the law type of thing. I’m not complaining, honestly. They’re gonna censor it anyway, so I appreciate them skirting the rules to keep as much content as possible.

But this is Disney, so you can’t expect them to keep overt violence, firearms, disturbing imagery…

CW: Violence, Self-Harm

…uh, never mind. Forget I said anything.

Side Note

Baby Thomas’ response to seeing the uppercut that took out the boxer is something else. Guess we know how he got his start dragging suspects back to his law enforcement base and beating them until they lose their memories.

Actually, it reminds me of something another one of Crispin Freeman’s characters once said.

Image result for Red arrow ultra violence

I get the idea of using negative space in design, but there’s a limit.

Tsubasa’s coach is Shiraki. Harris’ coach is Rocky.

When Shiraki tells Masaru he can train in his gym, he says Masaru seems like a “decent guy.” Even though there’s a pile of unconscious rookie fighters on the floor he’s walking on in Masaru’s wake. In the dub, Rocky says Marcus seems like a “decent fighter,” which makes more sense, honestly.

Side Note

One thing I like about this episode is seeing all three field agents taking different approaches to the investigation, but more importantly they’re actually investigating and their efforts seem to be coordinated.

Yoshino approaches the boxer’s family, pretending to be a magazine reporter. Masaru/Marcus tries to get into the gym as a trainee fighter. Tohma/Thomas casually approaches Hayase on a jog and appeals to his pride to get him to answer some questions.

Times like these, it almost seems like they’re good at their jobs.

Tsubasa’s daughter Manami becomes Minnie in the dub.

Side Note

Is Minnie holding a YukimiBotamon?

Agumon says the coach has a suspicious face in the original (though granted the Polaroid they use of him makes him look that way). That’s left out in the dub.


When Tohma says he can’t pinpoint who he thinks the criminal is (the suspects are Hayase, his wife, and the trainer), Masaru gives him grief for not having a suspect yet (even though Yoshino didn’t, either).

In the dub, Marcus tells Thomas that the trainer’s guilt is obvious, and Thomas berates him for caring more about just being right than actually reaching the correct conclusion.

Side Note

Get ’em, Grandma!

Seriously, though, that’s not how you use negative space.

Side Note

The champion boxer Tanonmas Mwanchai goes unnamed in the dub.

Tsubasa: Three rounds of Triple Crown boxing, got it?
Harris: Are you sure you don’t want me to take it easy on you?

This is Thomas we’re talking about. You won’t remember any of this, even if you go all-out.


Masaru: That’s Tohma!
Marcus: Thomas?! What’s he doing in here?

Investigating. That thing you’re all supposed to be doing, remember?


Masaru: Yo, Tohma!
Thomas: …
Masaru: Huh? What’s with him?
Marcus: So, you think I can take him?
Thomas: …
Marcus: C’mon, it’s a simple question!

Clearly he doesn’t remember the mission.


Gaomon: Master. Why have you become so ill-tempered during this mission?
Tohma: I haven’t.
Gaomon: But you’re acting different from usual.
Tohma: I admired Hayase-senshu. I always wanted to become a clean, strong fighter like him (which is why I hold unauthorized boxing matches at DATS with suspects whose memories are then erased if their minds are still intact when I’m done with them).
Gaomon: Sir, permission to ask a question.
Thomas: What is it, Gaomon?
Gaomon: Sir, why’d you quit your boxing match with Mr. Harris after only one round?
Thomas: You don’t need to concern yourself.
Gaomon: But sir, in all the time I’ve known you, I’ve never seen you give up.
Thomas: When I was a child, Harris was a brilliant fighter. I wanted to be like him when I grew up (which is why I hold unauthorized boxing matches at DATS with suspects whose memories are then erased if their minds are still intact when I’m done with them). Strong. Powerful. A winner.

Note
-senshu is an honorific (sorta like a title, like Mr. or Ms., but it goes at the end of a person’s name) specifically for athletes.

The conversation is a little weird in the dub. I don’t see a reason to change Gaomon’s question, especially since Thomas ends up veering into the original topic with no transition anyway. It does all tie together at the end of their conversation, but it’s a bit more awkward in the dub.

Side Note
A true master of stealth. Just look at that prance.

And of course, alcohol becomes soda in the dub. Bonus points for censoring the Kanji on the label.

In the original, the trainer was sneaking around so he could enjoy some alcohol. Masaru says the entire incident was misleading. In the dub, he says he’s cheating on his diet, since he’s not allowed to have soda. Marcus notes that he could stand to lose a couple of pounds.

Shiraki: It’s Hayase…
Masaru: Shh
Rocky: HEY THAT’S HARRIS!
Marcus: Shh!

And somehow he wasn’t heard in the dub.

Side Note

Marcus carrying Agumon around town on his back is one thing, but does anyone at DATS make any effort at all to conceal the existence of Digimon?

Narrator: Togemon! A big cactus with boxing gloves, this Digimon is at the Adult-Level. Its special attack is Chiku-Chiku-Bang-Bang, which can spray a lot of thorns at once.
Thomas: Togemon. A Champion-level cactus Digimon that uses boxing gloves to clobber his enemies. His Needle Spray makes him a sharp fighter.

Is Thomas telling this to the boxer in the alley?

In the original, Tohma could tell from sparring with Tsubasa that his heart hadn’t changed, and therefore there was no way he was cheating. In the dub, Thomas said the sparring match was equally enlightening; Harris was giving everything he had in the fight, but his technique and power were lacking from years of injuries. But because he was so determined in the fight, Thomas could tell he wasn’t aware he was receiving illicit help.

The Japanese version had a more mystical, heart-of-the-cards kind of explanation, whereas the dub had Thomas be more logical with his conclusion. Same conclusion, and the methods were similar, but the thought processes were different.


Minami: I won’t forgive anyone who hurts my dad!
Minnie: And leave my daddy alone, too! You’re just a bully!

Lord, it’s Tommy all over again.


In the original, Togemon doesn’t shout the usual “Chiku-Chicku-Bang-Bang!” when he attacks, instead just shouting “Spray!” In the dub, he calls out Needle Spray. Later, he’ll use the attack again but doesn’t say anything at all in the original. The dub continues to use the English attack name.


Masaru: Once you’re in the ring, it’s strictly one-on-one. That shows what a man is about!
Marcus: Harris was Thomas’ hero growing up, and this battle is personal to him. He needs to fight it his way.

I get the reason for this change, since Masaru’s “what a man is” speeches for most Western audiences are confusing at best, and cringey at worst. What I don’t get is the plot hole it creates: when did Thomas open up to Marcus about Harris being his hero?

Eh, maybe he heard it from Sampson, who probably bugged Thomas’ Digivice.


Gaomon calls out Gao Rush when he starts attacking Togemon in the original. In the dub, he doesn’t call out the attack name (Speed Bag) at all.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

Wow, I almost didn’t catch it. Thomas yelling out to Gaomon to throw the combination is actually extended by another second in the dub by cycling the scene. I only noticed because the lip flap made a weird line read for Crispin Freeman.

It was probably done to help make up for the 2 second cut of Gaomon punching Togemon.

Gaomon’s attack is censored in the dub. In the original, he continues his monologue about Togemon ruining the spirit of boxing for Tohma. In the dub, he shouts Right Cross! which I’m not certain if that’s intended to be an actual attack for Gaomon, or just him shouting the boxing maneuver he’s using out of habit. Then the Right Cross is censored with a slash-impact screen.

Side Note

Huh. Looks like Digimon invented Dynamax first.

Side Note

Tsubasa: Minami went that far to assure I won…

Wait, did Tohma tell him everything? The Togemon and all? Isn’t that supposed to be a secret? And if he didn’t, then what does Tsubasa think his daughter did to sabotage his opponents? She’s like 6 years old!

Holy carp they changed the entire ending.

This mistranslation clearly wasn’t accidental, but it’s still a huge change from the original. Tohma urges Tsubasa to forfeit the match, but Tsbuasa says he has to fight it to show his daughter what it means to fight fairly, even if it costs him his life. Tohma points out that his memories will be erased, so none of it will matter [so why ask him to forfeit before you erase his memory, then?], but Tsubasa says memories aren’t so easily lost, not in your heart (foreshadowing).

In the dub, the opposite happens: Thomas encourages him to go forward with the fight, but Harris insists he’s going to forfeit because he didn’t win the previous matches fairly, his injuries would stop him from winning, and his life would be in danger, which is exactly what caused his daughter to go to such lengths in the first place.

The context of the final shot changes drastically as a result. In the dub, Harris is going out to publicly forfeit, leaving Thomas feeling like he lost a hero. In the Japanese, he going out for one final fight, and it’s left hanging whether he survives or not.

Final Verdict

Total Footage Lost: ~4 seconds

The huge change at the end is confusing and kinda weird, but the episode is largely intact, save for some cuts and censors.

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