Confrontation, Volcamon! Junpei’s Battle with his Past (JP)
Alone, but Never Alone (EN)
Dub Writers: Steve Blum
September 22, 2002 (JP)
February 10, 2003 (EN)
Gear’s Notes: I actually like that title. It sums up the plot pretty well. Steve Blum’s writing the story seems appropriate considering this episode’s subject matter. I like this episode a lot, despite what flaws it may have, because it is JP-centered. In case you couldn’t already deduce, JP is my favorite character. (I guess I can relate to him better than the others.) The dub has its flaws, but it does alright, if memory serves. To be perfectly honest, I was actually expecting them to put a million more references to JP’s weight in there, since the dub seems so obsessed with the fact that he’s the first (and thus far, only) overweight DigiDestined.
Following their last defeat at the hands of the group, Mercurymon hatches a plan to raise the stakes of the fight. Meanwhile, the kids continue to the Rose Morning Star. JP proclaims that he is going to take the lead, eliciting laughter and some teasing from the rest of the group. While their intention is to just joke around with him, JP takes the insults to heart and is discouraged.
Before they can reach their destination, however, the ground splits open, and the group, minus Bokomon and Neemon get sucked into a massive, unidentified creature, composed of several spheres connected by passageways. Inside, a hand appears from the wall and shoves JP into a portal which closes before the others can find him. When JP materializes, he finds himself in a large area filled with rock spires. He is soon attacked by Volcamon, who tells JP that one of the other kids pushed him through the portal, and that he didn’t truly have any friends. Beetlemon quickly dispatches Volcamon, but the damage is done, and JP begins to doubt that he is capable of having friends at all.
A voice calls out to JP, taunting him and telling him that he can’t truly have any friends. He is reminded of an incident when he was younger in school, when he tried to make friends using magic tricks. The class was fascinated, but when it started raining, they all forgot about JP and went home, no one paying attention to his requests to walk under someone’s umbrella. The voice soon revealed itself to be Beetlemon’s shadow, who quickly engaged the real Beetlemon in a fight. The Shadow created illusions of the rest of the group yelling out to JP, calling him names and being just generally nasty. Beetlemon reverts to JP after a tough fight, and he’s about to give up when the real DigiDestined manage to find him. Empowered by his friends’ support him, JP Spirit Evolves to MetalKabuterimon and blows his shadow to bits. Soon after, the hands reappear to separate the entire group from each other.
Ranamon: This really pisses me off! I can’t believe it! Those kids are just too much! What the hell happened?!
Ranamon: Mercuremon! Why did you make us run with our tails between our legs?!
Ranamon: Mercurymon, I am so angry I could just spit! But I won’t! After all, I’m a lady!
Mercurymon: Ohhhhh, really?
Ranamon: I have never been so embarrassed!
Ranamon: What do you mean by that, you pontificating pinhead?!
Mercuremon: Those brats have discovered the true power of a Digimon.
Mercurymon: Ranamon, Ranamon. Poor pathetic simpleton.
You forgot pontificating.
Ranamon: Hey, wait! I want an explanation!
Mercuremon: Haha! Leave it to me, okay?
Ranamon: What is it, what is it?!
Ranamon: Where are you going?! You didn’t answer my question!
Mercurymon: Thyne vanity stoppeth thyne own ears, I fear.
Ranamon: Can’t you just speak English?!
Duskmon is four times as chatty in the dub as he is in the original. And his creepy eyeball sounds in the original are absent in the dub.
Duskmon: I don’t understand. I am not a being of mercy and compassion. Why do I feel anything for this…human?
I don’t think it was mercy or compassion you displayed, Duskmon, when you failed to kill them. I think it was just psychosis. But that’s just in my non-professional medical opinion.
Junpei: Let’s go, everyone! Let’s go!
JP: I’m the leader! Follow me, everybody!
Junpei: One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four!
JP: One, two, three, four, follow me as we explore! And five, and six, and seven, and eight, I can not stand, I have to wait!
Kouji: He’s the eldest among us, though.
Koji: What if we don’t want to see what he’s showing?
Wow…mean and dirty-sounding.
Izumi: What are you doing, Junpei?!
Zoe: Do you mind?! Get off me!
She went super Valley Girl there.
Junpei: This way looks like a dead end.
JP: Eye-yi-yi! Dead end!
I think we all knew the eye puns were inevitable.
JP: This isn’t what the inside of an eye looked like in science class…
Narrator: Volcamon. A cyborg-type Digimon. One hit from his microphone performance will put you in critical condition, especially after listening to his Big Bang Voice.
Ophanimon: Volcamon, a cyborg Digimon. He uses his microphone to project his Magma Bass attack. You’ll get a really bad vibe from this guy.
Incidentally, Volcamon is a subspecies of AncientVolcamon, the Legendary Warrior that created Grumblemon, whom JP defeated a while back.
Volcamon: No one will come and save you.
Volcamon: You invaded my space. I don’t have any friends, just like you!
I love how incredibly subtle that transition was.
Volcamon: Since you’re alone…you can’t do anything without them, can you?
Volcamon: I enjoy being alone, but you actually think you’ve got friends!
The dub dropped a concept here. The original went a little bit into Junpei’s interdependence problems, whereas the dub focused completely on the fact that JP had trouble making/keeping friends.
There was a slight change in the show’s premise, but it wasn’t a negative one; the dialogue was as follows:
Volcamon: Everyone hates you, you know.
Junpei: Stop screwing around!
Volcamon: Among the five friends and everyone else in the world, you’re the weakest!
Volcamon: I know you better than you know yourself, JP!
JP: What do you mean?!
Volcamon: One of your so-called friends pushed you through the portal to this place! They wanted to get rid of you!
This caused a little more clarification later on in the episode. There’s an imagined scene Beetlemon has after he defeats Volcamon where he sees each of the other four kids reaching out towards him. While in both versions, I believe it has the same meaning, in the dub, this exchange helps clarify that he was imagining each of them shoving him into the portal. It’s less clear in the original, because the possibility of him being shoved in by another member for the purpose of getting rid of him is never explored.
The Beetlemon stock footage was lengthened in the dub.
Volcamon’s Big Bang Tackle is changed to Tacklin’ Time in the dub.
I think both versions just stopped caring about attack names at this point. Junpei calls out Mjolnir Thunder while JP says, Thunder Fist. But when Junpei calls out Thor Hammer, JP also says, Thunder Fist Technically, Mjolnir Thunder should be Lightning Blitz but the attack Junpei used looks more like Thunder Fist. Confused? Good. Moving on.
Blitzmon’s Lightning Topper (or possibly Lighting Bomber) is now Beetlemon’s Proton Slam.
Blitzmon: Spirit stained by evil…
Beetlemon: I’m gonna purify your evil attitude, Dude.
He sounded at first like he was mocking Volcamon in the dub, but Volcamon never said Dude at all.
The kid with glasses in JP’s flashback (whom the dub calls “Kenta,”) has the most out-of-place voice I’ve ever heard in this show. He sounds like he shoved a pair of Tsunomon up his nose before reading his lines.
Steve Blum does an excellent evil-Beetlemon voice. Then again, it’s Steve Blum, so what did you expect?
While both versions focus on Junpei/JP’s difficulty in making friends, the original focuses a little less on Junpei himself. The original focuses on the other kids, and how they won’t be friends with Junpei. The dub continuously talks about how JP doesn’t think he deserves friends, and how he tried to buy friendship with magic tricks and bars of chocolate.
It kinda comes off like the original is claiming Junpei couldn’t make friends because it was just impossible, while JP was being blamed for being bad at it.
ShadowBeetlemon: That won’t do you any good.
ShadowBeetlemon: C’mon, Chocolate Boy! Who are you really fighting?
Couldn’t let the chocolate thing go, could they?
The dub made Takuya into some kind of empath who could sense when JP was in trouble. In the original, he only said that something happened to JP because he had disappeared from the corridor.
Right after Izumi knocks Takuya on the head, there’s a scene cut out of the dub where one of the hands comes out of the wall and literally rubs Izumi’s butt.
The Spirit Evolution scenes were separated and elongated in the dub.
It took twenty-four episodes, but the dub finally got it right.
Agnimon’s Burning Salamander becomes Agunimon’s Pyro Punch.
Agnimon: Through that door.
Agunimon: The eyeball. My guess is it’s some kind of portal, and JP’s on the other side!
In a rare reversal, the dub line makes more sense. I don’t see how Agnimon could have possibly thought that the giant eyeball was a “door.” His mom’s gotta have some strange interior decoration ideas, I guess.
Junpei figured out the moral of the story earlier than JP did, apparently. JP spent the entire episode figuring it out, while Junpei began to get the idea before ShadowBeetlemon ever showed up.
Beetlemon: …living my life like some twisted, sugar-coated nightmare!
The insults and jeers the fake kids throw at Beetlemon are more audible in the Japanese than in the English. The dub makes them all overlap each other, so it takes a good bit of effort and some rewinding to catch everything they say.
The dub includes battlefield chatter, as usual, during the fight between the two Beetlemon.
Insert Matadormon joke here.
Beetlemon can be heard screaming in agony in the dub when ShadowBeetlemon uses Proton Slam. This isn’t heard in the original.
Here’s the scene: Izumi lands on top of Takuya as they come out of the portal. Takuya says something to her, then she jumps up and holds out the waistband on her skirt. Now, the dialogue there makes the scene make sense in the Japanese, whereas the dub does not.
Takuya: You’re heavy…
Takuya: Are you alright? Zoe: Of course I am!
So when she held out her skirt like that, she was demonstrating that she wasn’t fat, basically. I guess fat jokes are only okay when JP is the punchline.
Bolgmon: Giving up is unforgivable!
MetalKabuterimon: Bye-bye, Bad Seed!
Takuya: Are you okay?!
Junpei: Thank you, everyone!
Koji: Hey, Jeep, are you okay?!
Takuya: Speak to me!
JP: Did Koji just call me Jeep?
That’s better than Tacky.
Junpei: You really came!
Takuya: Isn’t that obvious?
Kouji: Everyone was worried, you know.
JP: You guys really are my friends!
Takuya: Of course, you Bonehead!
Koji: Yeah, but don’t tell anyone, okay?
JP, your friends are assholes.
Junpei: But at that time, I remembered believing in your friends is the most important thing. We are five!
Takuya: You say embarrassing things, you know.
Junpei: It’s okay. I have confidence in us all.
JP: You guys are like family to me. You’re the best friends I’ve ever had. Thanks for coming. I love you people!
Takuya: Okay, now I’m uncomfortable.
JP: Sorry, it’s been kind of an emotional day, you know? I’m just glad the gang’s back together again!
Overall not a bad episode. Very few changes, and a couple of them were slight improvements over the original script. Can’t ask for much more than that.