Digimon Data Squad S01E13

20 min read

Masaru’s New Power – Evolve! RiseGreymon (JP)
The Rise of RizeGreymon! (EN)

Original Writer: Yamaguchi Ryouta
Dub Writer: Michael P. Greco

Original Airdates:
July 2, 2006 (JP)
December 17, 2007 (EN)


Gear’s Notes: I’ve seen it written as Mercuremon, Mercurymon, and Merukurimon, among other spellings. I’m going to go with Merukurimon going forward since it looks closest to how the name is pronounced aloud. But to my knowledge, there’s no official Romanization for the name, unless you count Merukimon (though that’s an adaptation, not a direct transliteration).

Ultimately, Digimon as a franchise in general does a bad job of handling names across languages. A lot of the names get multiple spellings and pronunciations across different media, with Merukimon in particular having different spellings across the anime, video games, and PC games. And don’t get me started on Koushiro/Koshirou/Koushirou.

Summary

With a wave of his hand, Merukimon sends Marcus flying. Fed up with the humans’ interference, he summons a bolt of lightning to destroy them all. But Biyomon, determined to protect Kristy, flies into the attack, reverting him back into a Digi-Egg. Since he got what he came for, Merukimon takes Falcomon and returns back to the Digital World.

The DATS team gets a surprise visit from Director Hashima, a vaguely affiliated politician with a position of power above Sampson. He berates the team for not doing a good enough job of hiding the existence of Digimon from the public, and threatens to shut them down if they don’t start doing better. Furious, Marcus storms out.

In the Digital World, Merukimon works to suppress Biyomon from hatching, but fails, and he returns not only as a Rookie, but also with his memories of the human world and his previous life partially intact. He’s shouting for Kristy, and Merukimon’s attempts to subdue him only result in his Digivolving to Aquilamon. He flees and returns to the human world and battles with Marcus and GeoGreymon, Digivolving again into Garudamon. He continues to fly around in search of Kristy, but when he finally finds her, his mind is too scrambled to remember why he was there or what she meant to him. He attacks, and GeoGreymon takes the brunt of it, getting hurt in the process.

Marcus finally begins to realize that raw power isn’t enough. His goals to become strong were too selfish, and that his real goal all along was to protect his mother and sister from having to experience pain, both emotional and physical. He summons a more powerful DNA Charge and with it, GeoGreymon Digivolves to RizeGreymon. The more powerful Ultimate-level Digimon attacks and Garudamon is reverted to a Digi-Egg.

Back at DATS, Miki and Megumi discover remnants of Merukimon’s influence over Biyomon’s Digi-Egg, leading the team to believe that this was an attack by Merukimon, and there will be more. Marcus, Thomas, and Yoshino all agree to travel to the Digital World to stop Merukimon once and for all, but Sampson stops them, saying he first needs to tell Marcus the truth about his father, who went missing ten years ago.

Merukurimon: I, Merukurimon, will cast down on you the hammer of judgment.
Merukimon: I am Merukimon, I will destroy you and these Digimon traitors!

That line from the dub doesn’t make a lot of sense, but explaining why would spoil later events in the season. I’ll try to remember to bring it up when we get to that part of the season.


Masaru: Don’t get full of yourself!
Marcus: Tell it to someone who cares!

Quinton Flynn’s delivery is what makes that line stand out.

Side Note

Merukimon is voiced by Richard Epcar, a big name in anime dub acting. His three biggest roles in Digimon thus far are Etemon (Adventure), Myotismon (Advenure, Zero-Two), and Merukimon here in Data Squad. I actually didn’t know he was Etemon, since his voice is so distinctive, but he hid it well.

Merukimon, as I mentioned, is a member of the Olympos XII, a group of godlike Digimon modeled after the Greek/Roman gods. He gets his inspiration from the Roman god Mercury, known as Hermes in the Greek version of the myths. This is where he derives his super speed and lighting-based attacks.

Suffice to say that this battle is a big deal. The DATS field team has never seen a Mega-level Digimon before, and Merukimon rightfully swats them away like flies at the Champion level. The best part, though? No comic relief. The dub doesn’t try to make this fight any less serious, like we’ve seen in previous seasons. The music is on point, the action is intact, and there’s no jokes added to lessen the impact of this otherwise hopeless situation our heroes are in.

This season had far less executive meddling than previous ones, allowing the writers to take it more seriously. That’s why this dub is so great. And that’s why, despite the complaints I make about them in Zero-Two and Frontier, I know these writers (Seth Walther, Jeff Nimoy, etc.) are truly capable adapters of anime. It’s just… when they’re given an edict to make it “funnier,” they tend to do anything but.

Of course, that could just be blamed on the executive meddling. And now I’m rambling, but my point is this dub is being handled brilliantly. And with that done, let’s get back to it.

Miki: I’m getting no response!
Miki: SIR, THERE’S NO SOUND!!!!!

He is 10 feet from you, Miki, you don’t have to shout like that!


Tohma: You in particular felt the difference in power firsthand, didn’t you?
Thomas: This isn’t about your wounded pride! Have you even thought about how Kristy feels?!

Lines like these leave me torn about the dub. On one hand, yes, that is inaccurate, as the original was focused on Masaru’s desire to beat Merukimon himself, and Tohma rightfully points out that this is an ULTIMATE-level Digimon (Mega in English) and this isn’t a fight he can win by simply punching his way to the top. The dub, on the other hand, changes it so the focus is on the rightfully played out tragedy that Kristy feels after her Digimon partner was killed trying to defend her, and Merukimon refused her demands to return the egg to her.

So it’s inaccurate… but in a lot of ways better. It helps bolster the more character-driven storylines of the season.


Kudamon: He is an Ultimate level.
Masaru: Ultimate level?
Satsuma: In other words, a Digimon whose power is closest to a god’s.
Kudamon: Merukimon is Mega-level.
Marcus: He’s Mega-level?
Sampson: Yes. He claims to be the fastest Digimon anywhere.

In an effort to remove a religious reference, the dub adds foreshadowing. How does Sampson know this information about Merukimon? It’s not just biological data, it’s about his personality and the things he says. There is a reason Sampson would know that, but it hasn’t been talked about yet.

Honestly, I don’t think it was intentional, since characters in this series tend to have information they shouldn’t a lot, but it does foreshadow later plot points. All because any religious connotations in children’s programming is heavily attacked by certain focus groups.


Kudamon: Long ago, he was a forest king who governed over the Great Zaganda Forest that spread out in the Eastern region of the Digital World.
Kudamon: He’s believed to live deep inside the Infinite Ice Ridge. He rules the east side of the Digital Forest.

That’s quite the reduction of influence in the dub there. He went from ruling a quarter of the Digital World to half a forest.

I would mark this as a Digimon Analyzer point, but I’m marginally certain that The Great Zaganda Forest ≠ The Infinite Ice Ridge. We’ll see.


Tohma suggests that Merukurimon is seeking to destroy the Human World. Thomas instead believes that Merukimon is seeking to rule both. I don’t know why they changed this, as you’ll see at the start of the next Dialogue Deviation box.

Side Note

Ugh, even when Dub Lalamon’s dialogue is important to the plot and accurate to the original, she’s still screeching it in this ridiculous pitch that I’m certain will break my headphones if I keep reviewing this series.

Masaru: Let’s go now to beat up Merukurimon before…
Marcus: Let’s get this guy before he destroys everything!

What’s the point of changing Thomas’ line if you’re going to add this in for Marcus?

Governor Hashiba of the Japanese government’s Ministry of Confidentiality becomes Director Hashima who is, as Miki says, “in charge of all this.”

His voice actor is great, capturing a squealing bureaucrat with no idea what’s going on, but throwing his authority around wherever he wants.

Side Note

Satsuma is very formal and polite to Governor Hashima. Sampson on the other hand tends to be more exasperated and prone to low-key sarcasm when dealing with the Director.


On one hand, Hashima is an antagonist because he serves as a bureaucratic foil to the agency, making their jobs harder by holding them accountable without knowing the true scope of what they’re facing. On the other hand, I’m just surprised to learn DATS even has any oversight, given all the crap they get away with.

Also, he’s like 4 feet tall.

Either that or he’s really normal height and Marcus, the mid-20s middle school student, is like 7 feet tall.

Masaru: I don’t care if you’re a Governor or whatever, don’t butt in when you don’t even know what’s going on!
Marcus: We haven’t been slacking in any duties! What do you know anyway?!

That dub line read was weird sounding. I can’t even explain it. But more to the point, Masaru’s line is more direct and relevant than Marcus’.


Satsuma: I’ll make sure to properly carry out DATS’ mission next time.
Sampson: Director! There has been a lot of increased activity and I assure you, we’re doing our best!

I kinda like that Sampson actually stands up for himself and his team. Satsuma is kinda rolling over for the guy.


The Governor says he is shutting down DATS. The Director says he will shut down DATS if the current issues continue.


In the original, Falcomon says he went to the Human World because he and someone named “Ikuto” found an egg and they promised to take care of it together. So when it was swept through a Digital Gate, he went after it, despite Merukurimon’s orders, to maintain that promise. Gotsumon then complains that Ikuto causes a lot of problems. Falcomon then retorts that Ikuto has done nothing wrong and doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.

The dub completely writes out Ikuto’s involvement in this conversation, with Falcomon saying that caring for the egg was his duty, and part of his duty was to retrieve it from the Human World as well. Gotsumon counters that his reasoning wasn’t a good enough justification for disobeying Merukimon, and Falcomon basically tells him, “Fine, but stop nagging.”

Side Note

Biyomon’s dub voice is even worse here, as when he hatches, Biyomon has essentially lost his mind. So in the original, he’s softly calling out for Chika. In the dub…

Biyomon: KrIstY! whERe ARe yOu?! i pRomISEd i wOUlD aLWayS PRoTEct y0u!!!!1!!one!!eleven!1!!

Narrator: Aquilamon. An Adult-Level that can fly at mach speed. His special attack is Blast Laser. He shoots ring-shaped lasers from his mouth!
Miki: Aquilamon, Champion-Level! A speedy Digimon with an attack called Blast Laser, which he uses with dangerous accuracy!

Miki pronounces the name “uh-KEE-la-mon,” though it’s normally pronounced “uh-QWEE-la-mon.” Also, she calls his attack Blast Laser even though it was previously localized as Blast Rings in Zero-Two.

Side Note

The news crew on the ship is composed of a lot of reused voice actors. I can clearly hear Miki, Thomas, and Falcomon’s VAs portraying those characters.

As Dario Speedwagon calls it, we have some EEKE (Evil Kanji Erased Everywhere) along with some removed Romanji, too.

In the original, the reporter on the helicopter works for the same company as the reporter on the ship. This reference is removed in the dub, though the same VA voices her as the other reporter, just sans the fake country accent.

Also, when Aquilamon attacks, the dub reporter shouts in a panic, “It’s going to cut our signal!” which is weirdly specific and an odd thing to worry about, given the circumstances. The implication in the original is that the helicopter was destroyed, and everyone on board was killed.


Agumon: Now that DATS is disbanded, we’re not allowed to do anything anymore…
Agumon: Don’t you think we should wait for everybody else to get here before we take them on?

Wait, if DATS is seriously disbanded, then why did Satsuma order Tohma and Yoshino into the field? Or why were Miki and Megumi even monitoring the situation in the first place?


In the original, the plan is for Sunflowmon to drive Aquilamon as close to the surface of the water as possible so Masaru and Gaogamon can get at him. In the dub, Yoshi says to go on without her, then proceeds to attack with no real stated plan.

Side Note

Aquilamon in the original is half-whispering “Chika…” In the dub it’s “KRiStY wHEre arE YOu?!”

Masaru tells Tohma to hurry, and Tohma asks what he plans to do. Masaru says he’ll attack Aquilamon, but Tohma points out that Masaru can’t reach him when he’s that high in the air… even though he makes physics-defying leaps all the time.

In the dub, Marcus demands he go faster, and Thomas says the speedboat is topped out. Marcus tells him to let him drive, and Thomas says he can’t even drive a car. But then again neither can Yoshi, so I fail to see how that’s a disqualifying factor for anything. Thomas reassures him that they’ll catch him, which is a nice character moment.


Masaru: It’s the Digivice man!
Agumon: That guy saved all of us!
Masaru: Where’s Aquilamon?!
Marcus: It’s the Digivice guy!
Agumon: Maybe we should ask him for some Digi-Advice?
Marcus: I can handle this myself!

Sure you can.

Side Note

The voice actor they used for Biyomon works better for Aquilamon, but there’s still absolutely no subtlety about it.

This dub conversation with Grandpa Digivice is weird. In the original, the old guy tells Masaru he couldn’t beat anyone in the emotional state he’s in, which goads Masaru into attacking him. In the dub, Grandpa Digivice insists that Marcus needs his advice and has always needed his advice, causing Marcus to attack because he won’t shut up. Even though Marcus could just walk away if he wanted to.

That said, his advice is more clear in the dub. Open your heart and control your emotions. That’s how he’ll get further in this fight.

There’s already a flash-impact screen when Masaru punches Aquilamon, but the dub lengthens it to cover up Masaru’s fist getting close to the camera. So scary.

Side Note

The original uses no music during the evolution sequence. It’s weird. I would guess that it was for mood purposes, but it really doesn’t come off that way to me, probably because the stakes don’t feel as high as I think the writers wanted them to.

Narrator: Garudamon. A Perfect-level Digimon with mighty hooked claws and wings that allow him to breeze through the lands. His special attack is Shadow Wing. He chops up his enemies with a hollow blade!
Miki: Garudamon! An Ultimate-level, incredibly powerful Digimon! His special attack mode is the dangerous Wing Blade!

He does what to who with what blade?

Side Note

So Sayuri’s been chasing Chika across town all the way to the industrial district, and she never caught her once?!


Man, talk about ramped-up production values. Digimon Adventure had a very small budget in the Japanese version, so a lot of the animation was subpar. Savers had either a larger budget, or at least access to better technology, because the attacks are much more dynamic.

Still don’t see that hollow blade, though…

Sayuri’s unconscious, though Sarah makes the effort to say, “I’m fine,” even though she’s lying motionless and looks anything but.

This is… a mistranslation because I didn’t (and won’t) make a banner called “They didn’t have enough money for digital paint.” Despite this being a Digivolution to the Ultimate level, and them calling it as such, the screen of the Digivice is unchanged in the dub.

“Digisoul… Full Charge!” becomes “DNA! Full… Charge!” in the dub. I broke it up with the ellipses like that because the timing is different. Masaru is silent as he raises his hand to the air, even though his mouth is open. Marcus shouts “FULL” during that part, and only says “CHARGE!”

Side Note

Another cool thing about the dub’s music is that it evolves (or I guess Digivolves) throughout the season. The Digivolution tune is the same, but it gets a small upgrade here. It’ll be upgraded again for Mega, and beyond.

video courtesy of SeannyBravo

This video contains both the Champion and Ultimate themes. Ultimate starts at the 1:48 mark.

Narrator: RiseGreymon. A Perfect-level Digimon who commands the skies. His special attacks are Trident Revolver, and a beam barrage, Rising Destroyer.
Miki: RizeGreymon! An Ultimate-level Digimon with lightning-fast speed! His special attack mode is the Trident Revolver!

Merukimon, Aquilamon, RizeGreymon… Miki apparently thinks every Digimon is super fast.

That said, I don’t think changing Rise to Rize even counts as a localization, but there you have it.

Side Note

In nearly every instance to now, the dub has used the original’s sound effects. But from this point forward, every use of Trident Revolver replaces the gun-blasting sound of the original with a laser sound effect in the dub.

pew pew pew!


And now we finally see Yoshino tending to Lalamon, who looks severely injured after Aquilamon lightly brushed past her earlier, sending her into the water, not to be heard from again until now.

USELESS.

[Upon seeing Piyomon/Biyomon’s egg]
Chika: At least he doesn’t have to suffer anymore. Thank goodness…
Kristy: So, I guess we’re back to where we started from, huh Biyomon? My friend…


It’s weird that the dub removed the reference to DATS being dissolved, but it’s never resolved in the original version, so it doesn’t exactly serve a purpose to begin with. I also enjoy the Director’s annoyance when Sampson tells him everything was covered up properly.

Director: Fine. Keep up the “good work,” Commander.

It’s so delightfully petty and political.


Tohma suggests that Piyomon was sent back as Aquilamon with the intent of destroying the Human World. Thomas just says that Merukimon wouldn’t let Biyomon return unless he was using him somehow.

Final Verdict

Total Footage Kept: 100%

Still a solid dub.

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