Memories of my Mother – Howl MachGaogamon! (JP)
The Gorge of Deception! (EN)
Original Writer: Yamatoya Akatsuki
Dub Writer: Michael Sorich
July 23, 2006 (JP)
January 14, 2008 (EN)
Gear’s Notes: As you may have guessed from my previous commentary, Thomas is my favorite character from this series. As such, any episodes that contribute to his character development are among my favorites. This episode is chief among them for its pathos. But this’ll be my first time watching the original version, so we’ll see how much was changed. The episode touches a lot on tragedy, which is something the franchise likes to soften where possible.
The Data Squad stumbles upon a massive gorge with buildings jutting out from the sides, stretching horizontally. Needing to cross it to get to the Infinite Ice Ridge, the group enters, looking for a way across. Meanwhile, Keenan, Falcomon, and Gotsumon watch from afar, with Gotsumon explaining that they found the Gorge of Deception, a place none have ever left alive.
The group is attacked by a swarm of Dokugumon, who tie up the squad and offer them up to their lord, MetalPhantomon. He puts Thomas, Marcus, and Yoshi into a deep sleep, forcing them to live through nightmares of their worst fears, or ancient memories they’ve tried hard to forget. Thomas in particular is forced to relive the tragic death of his mother. As their pain and suffering increases, MetalPhantomon drains their souls, intending to drain them until there’s nothing left.
Thomas witnesses the events leading up to his mother’s death on the day of a festival his younger self begged to attend. As much as he tries, Thomas cannot be seen, heard, or touched by the memory, and he has no power to change it. In a desperate last-ditch move, he throws himself in front of the truck speeding on the road, but it was to no avail. The truck passes through him and his mother is struck and killed as before.
MetalPhantomon was certain he’d claimed Thomas’ soul until a new DNA charge manifests itself. Thomas reaffirms to his mother’s memory that he remembers not just the tragedy, but the good times, too. The new charge releases Thomas and he uses it to Warp Digivolve Gaomon to MachGaogamon, his Ultimate level. MachGaogamon frees the others, and while they take care of the Dokugumon, he faces off against MetalPhantomon, defeating him and returning him to his Digi-Egg form.
The group set out to continue their mission, but before they can get underway, Yoshi collapses and falls unconscious.
Both recaps mention that Marcus et al. wouldn’t be getting backup from DATS after what happened… even though backup was never part of the plan.
They’re all sliding down a rope at high speed – with their bare hands. Ouch.
In the dub, Agumon says the rope is caught on something, at which point it snaps, and Gaomon and Agumon crash down on top of Marcus. Gaomon tells him that the next time he sees a rope caught on something to just leave it alone.
In the original, the rope just snaps and they crash. Then Gaomon tells Agumon he was supposed to cut the rope after they all get down. Which makes no sense.
Narrator: Kuramon! A Baby-level Digimon. It propagates like bacteria within computer networks.
Miki: Kuramon are In-Training level Digimon. Their uncanny ability to spread viruses through computer networks makes them real terabyte terrors!
- Miki, where the hell did you come from?
- Kuramon are Fresh, not In-Training.
- Are they really a terabyte?
- Miki, where the hell did you come from?
Gotsumon in the dub calls the place The Gorge of Deception. In the original, he just calls it “that place” and a “valley.”
Narrator: Dokugumon! An Adult-level Digimon with a computer virus running through its body. It waits for prey to fall asleep before it kills them with its deadly poisonous fangs.
Thomas: Dokugumon are Champion-level Digimon! They have a computer virus running through their bodies! They wait for their prey to sleep, then pounce on them with their highly poisonous fangs!
Venomous, not poisonous, but why split hairs?
Gaomon: We’re okay!
Gaomon: We’re status quo!
Might be my imagination, but it sounds like Masaru is snoring lightly when he’s put to sleep in the original. In the dub, I can’t hear Marcus making any sounds.
Narrator: MetalPhantomon! A Perfect-level Digimon with a scythe that can contain energy. He reaps others’ souls with his bizarre cry, Grave Scream.
Gaomon: MetalPhantomon is an Ultimate-level Digimon. He has an energy-stealing scythe that can steal the life force from the living, and his bizarre voice is known as the Grave’s Scream.
Sounds more like same-voice-actor-as-Cherubimon-Scream to me, but what do I know?
Original Gaomon says that if MetalPhantomon gets you, you “won’t even be considered alive anymore.” In the dub, he says “you become the walking undead.” Surprisingly close for such a deadly topic in Digimon.
Cut <1 second: Masaru’s fist gets too close to the camera.
A slash-impact screen covers the moment Masaru strikes the Numemon. This happens a total of three times, though all the shots are the same in the original, with one of them flipped horizontally.
The original uses comic relief music when Masaru is overcome by the dogpile of Numemon. The dub uses suspense/action music, making it more serious.
On one hand, the serious music doesn’t really fit the visuals as well, since it is pretty clearly drawn to be comedic. On the other hand, this is a Digimon sucking out Marcus’ soul by putting him in the darkest nightmare of his heart (trying to save Kristy but failing), so maybe it deserves some gravitas?
In the original, Masaru calls out “Chika!” in his sleep. In the dub, Marcus just gasps in pain.
Your mouth isn’t covered and there’s a gap in the net right in front of you. USE YOUR SEED BLAST YOU USELESS SHRILL BAMBOO SHOOT!
And of course, the Kanji has to go.
Thomas is more specific in his recollections than Tohma, mentioning how endless the stairs were for him as a kid, or how his mother would buy him ice cream if he went to the store with her without complaining.
Cut: 5 seconds. Very specific imagery is cut from the dub.
Young Thomas is voiced by Mona Marshall, best known for Izzy from Adventure, Zero-Two, and Tri, and Lucemon from Frontier.
When the truck hits Tohma’s mother, it also smashed into something else, probably a barrier pole or street sign. You can hear the truck crash in the original. The dub omits the crash, leaving the sound of the horn to echo into silence.
The side of the truck is needlessly censored. Yes, Kanto is a prefecture in Japan, but it’s not even written in Japanese.
Thomas’ cry of “DNA… Full Charge!” is closer to the original’s than Marcus’, as he waits until his hand makes contact with the Digivice before saying “Full.”
In this series, jumping from Rookie to Ultimate is considered a “Warp Digivolve.”
Narrator: MachGaogamon! A Perfect-level Digimon with enormous propulsive force, who carries rocket engines on his back. His special attacks are Winning Knuckle and Howling Cannon.
Thomas: MachGaogamon is an Ultimate-level Digimon. Two jet engines propel him at an incredible speeds. His special attack modes are Winning Knuckle and Howling Cannon.
For some bizarre reason, the dub freezes the moment Marcus punches Dokugumon, where in the original, it was a freeze-and-zoom shot with the Digisoul floating around him.
MetalPhantomon’s Soul Predator is retained.
When Yoshino collapses in the original, Agumon hears it and turns around. In the dub, he’s alarmed by Lalamon’s incredibly painful screeching.
Total Footage Lost: 5 seconds
This was one of the most faithful adaptations I’ve seen, which is great considering how wonderful of an episode it is. The death of Thomas’ mother contributes to his being the most developed member of the cast, and Crispin Freeman’s performance is absolutely fantastic.