Digimon Frontier S01E25

11 min read

Tomoki’s Lonely Battle – Asuramon’s Trap!(JP)
The Dark Heart of Friendship (EN)

Dub Writer: Terri-Lei O’Malley

Original Airdates:
September 29, 2002 (JP)
February 12, 2003 (EN)


Gear’s Notes: Is it just me, or is this the most dramatic dub title ever? I give it credit, though: the episode has a “twist” that is spoiled by the Japanese title. Granted, anyone watching over the age of 12 figured it out in the first five minutes, but the little kids deserve a chance, right?

After the five kids were separated, Tommy is knocked out cold, dreaming of a time when his older brother was picking on him. When he awoke, he found himself in a flaming wasteland, and wasn’t feeling too well. Things only got worse when a strange Digimon appeared, chasing him down and throwing fireballs at him. It wasn’t long, however, before someone came to his rescue. A cloaked Digimon named Asuramon showed up, and helped Tommy to his feet after defeating the Digimon that attacked him. In the name of friendship, Asuramon promised to help Tommy find Takuya and the others so he could be reunited with his friends.

Asuramon guides Tommy through the wasteland, brings him water when he gets thirsty, and is overall very kind to him. Tommy’s thoughts drift back to his brother, who was telling him he was spoiled, and got whatever he wanted. Tommy’s brother had warned him that he was going to grow up to be a selfish person if he didn’t soon realize that the world didn’t actually work that way. Tommy wrote this off as his brother being mean and continued on his way.

Tommy soon realized that something was wrong. He asked Asuramon where they were going, to which he replied that they were heading to the top of a large mountain-like landform. Tommy explained that he’d never find his friends up there, and that the closer they got to the mountain, the hotter it became. Asuramon became upset, saying that he’d defeated the Digimon that attacked him, guided him, brought him water, and now Tommy couldn’t even do one favor for him; he owed him that much for all the help he’d given. Tommy told him that friends don’t care if they couldn’t always give back favors right away, and that friends don’t keep score. Asuramon became furious and burned away his cloak, revealing himself to be the Digimon that had attacked him before. A fierce battle between Asuramon and Kumamon almost ended in tragedy as Tommy was nearly defeated. However, he slide evolved into Korikakumon and took Asuramon down, scanning his data. Soon after, Tommy is expunged from the prison they’d been trapped in, and was reunited with Bokomon and Neemon outside.

Get ready for this one, it’s a tad confusing: 

Tomoki: Say, I want one! Can you buy it?
Mr. Himi: You still want more toys?
Mrs. Himi: That’s for sure.
Tomoki: Buy it please! Well? Well? Come on! 
Tommy: Whoa! That is so cool! Can I have one?
Mr. Himi: Sure, let’s buy three!
Mrs. Himi: For your second bedroom!
Tommy: Wow, you guys are the greatest, but I really only need one of them…

Each version characterizes Tommy’s past a little differently. In the original, he had a tendency to beg for what he wanted until he got it which is… pretty normal for little kids. In the dub, he barely even needed to ask before his parents spoiled him to death.

In the original, Tommy’s brother (Yutaka) seemed to put the phone on hold before hanging up. In the dub, he just hung up.

Yutaka is voiced by Joshua Seth, probably most notable for voicing Taichi “Tai” Kamiya in Season One.

Also, Yutaka in the original keeps talking to Tomoki and is a little nicer about what he’s saying. Dub Yutaka also criticizes his parents during his speech, and is somewhat more harsh on Tommy.


Tomoki: You say I’m selfish?! What about you?! 
Tommy: Aw, you’re being poo-ey! I have lots of friends!

Their insistence on “poo-ey” as an insult continues to baffle.


Izumi: They’re always making a girl do these sorts of things… 
Zoe: Whatever are those boys thinking, leaving a girl?

Last I checked, it wasn’t like they were given an option in the matter.


Junpei: Hey! Hey! Where are you guys?! *falls* Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow! 
JP: Tommy, Zoe, Tacky! Where are you? *falls* Aaah! Ow! Beans!


Silence 
Asuramon (uncloaked): Hot? That’s not hot. Now this is hot!

He was better when he was quiet. And when they weren’t giving away his voice actor’s identity, but whatever.


Neemon: It’s huge!
Bokomon: This is one of the ten legendary warriors, Sephirotmon! 
Neemon: Do you feel like we’re being watched? I dunno. I feel like we’re being watched!
Bokomon: I swear. Do you ever actually listen to yourself?

Guess Dub Bokomon isn’t quite as well-versed on beast spirits as his JP counterpart.

Sephirotmon, the Legendary Beast Warrior of Steel becomes Sakkakumon in the dub.

Bokomon: He can’t hear you, Neemon. Right now, everyone is in Sephirotmon. We have to hurry and find a way to get them out!
Neemon: How do we get them out?
(silence)
Bokomon: It’s no use! I don’t know! 
Bokomon: This is bad. This is very very bad. This is terrible, even.
Neemon: You always say that!
Bokomon: I do not! And even if I did, which I don’t, I’d be right…most of the time!

That is an Emmy-winning exchange, lemme tell ya.


Karatenmon: You don’t know who I am. However, I know who you are… 
Karatenmon: Who are you looking for, Little Boy? Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s not. But I am looking for you. I know who you are.

O_o

Koji to Lobomon evolution sequence was lengthened in the dub.

Karatenmon continually refers to Koji as a “puppy” in the dub.

Wolfmon’s attack, Strahl (which means ‘beam’ in German), is untranslated in the dub. Other American media, however, puts it as Lobo Laser. [Updated 3 February 2010 by garmmon.] 


Narrator: Karatenmon, a Digimon straight from mythology. He has the power of the sky, and is a master of wizardry. 
Ophanimon: Karatenmon, a wandering warrior. It is said he has many arcane abilities, gained through the guidance of many mysterious masters.

Karatenmon is voiced by Bob “Pappy” Papenbrook, who voiced Daemon in Adventure 02.

Karatenmon: What do I know? 
Karatenmon: Silly Puppy! Trix are for kids!


Silence 
Lobomon: Yeah, right.

It was a zoomed in shot of his face, and his mouth wasn’t moving. Lobomon, the legendary warrior of ventriloquism!

The dub added in an extra shot of the cloaked Asuramon talking to Tommy to feed in a space for a few extra lines.

Tomoki: That’s right! The two of us are friends! 
Tommy: If it’s alright with you, since we’re friends, I think I’ll keep feeling lucky!


Karatenmon: Well…the spirit. 
Karatenmon: Now, then. The spirit, if you please.
(silence)
Lobomon: And if I don’t please?

Awkward silence brought to you by Waiting for Koji’s Mouth to No Longer Be Visible Before Adding Superfluous Dialogue.

The characterization of the ‘friendly’ relationship between Asuramon and Tomoki (or rather the differences between the two versions) mirrors the differences between Tommy and Tomoki’s parents. Tomoki was more direct with asking Asuramon for some water, whereas Tommy was more reluctant and had to be convinced.


Lobo Zorro!

Karatenmon’s special ability, Enlightenment is unnamed and unused in the dub. It gives Karatenmon the ability to read the thoughts of an opponent.

Karatenmon: No matter what attack you use, I can see it all beforehand. 
Karatenmon: I know what you will do before you do it. Before you know you will do it!

He’s a mind reader, not a fortune teller.


Yukata: We just rested, didn’t we?
Mr. Himi: It’s okay. 
Yukata: Jeez Louise, we just rested!
Mr. Himi: You can never get enough rest!

I feel like Mr. Himi needs to see a doctor.

Tommy: Can I have some orange juice, or maybe some ice cream?

This matched up with the Japanese version mostly…which is why it was listed. Until now, Tommy more or less accepted people’s kindness without actually asking for it in a nagging, little-kid way, or taking advantage of those who are kind to him, whereas Tomoki did all these things. If they want to recharacterize the kids, that’s one thing, but this was breaking character.

The dub adds a few extra shots of Yukata talking, presumably to add more time to the episode.

There is a minor difference between the two conversations. The Japanese Yukata says that his parents will eventually get tired of adhering to his every whim. The Dub says that Tommy’s going to be disappointed when he finds out that in the real world, people don’t do whatever you ask of them.

Tomoki claimed that he couldn’t help the fact that everyone was nice to him. Tommy claimed that Yukata was jealous because Tommy was his parents’ favorite. In both versions, Yukata told Tomoki/Tommy that he just didn’t understand what he was trying to say, and walked home.

Take notice: watch carefully, and you can see Asuramon’s mask change colors based on what he’s saying (which face is speaking).

In the original, Tomoki says that Asuramon is being selfish, requiring Tomoki to do as he asks. This doesn’t make much sense, because Tomoki had been self-centered for the majority of the episode anyway, and just suddenly had an epiphany. In the dub, Tommy tells Asuramon that friendship means that you don’t keep score, and that a friend doesn’t require all kindnesses to be paid back in full right away.

Narrator: Asuramon. Anger, misery, (???)*. He can change his three faces in four minutes. A legendary Digimon! 
Ophanimon: Asuramon, a legendary Digimon with three faces and four arms. His Fire Fist of Shiva is a quadruple threat.

*Translation issues above. The subbed episode I’m watching marks the third trait as revenge, but the third face is supposed to mark happiness. Being that I don’t speak a word of Japanese, it’s either a mistake on the part of the subber, or a verbal error in the Japanese version.

[Updated 3 February 2010]
Macho Duck: Gear’s instinct was correct, as garmmon so helpfully points out! The third trait in Japanese is ‘shukufuku’, which means ‘blessings’. The subtitle was incorrect. Thanks, garmmon!

Changes were made to Kouji’s story as well; Karatenmon tells Kouji that when he has friends, he doesn’t know how to handle them, and therefore, that is his weakness. He tells Koji, however, that he never allows himself to enjoy having friends because he always expects them to leave him.

Tommy’s spirit evolution to Kumamon was lengthened in the dub.

Asuramon’s Asura God Fist becomes Fire Fist of Shiva in the dub.

Karatenmon’s Ballistic Feather becomes Feather Flare in the dub.

In the original, Chakkmon says that Yutaka was worried about him, and said what he did because Tomoki relied on the kindess of his parents so much, that it was natural he didn’t have any friends, because that would require give and take, not just take.

Kumamon, however, says that Yutaka was trying to tell him that friendship is giving and receiving, and that there are people out there who would take advantage of him for his reliance upon them. 


Asuramon: Hm. Praying to God to spare your life? 
Asuramon: HA! How’s that supposed to help you?

Gotta take out the religious reference, right?

Asuramon’s Asura Fire Blast is also called Fire Fist of Shiva in the dub. (They look like the same attack to me, actually…)

In the dub, Tommy simply says he wishes Yutaka was there so he could tell him he understood. In the original however, Tomoki wants to tell him that he loves him, taking back the hateful comment he made during the first flashback.

At the end of the episode, the dub adds a shot of Tommy (from the beginning of the next episode) so he could fit in a few extra lines, and a shot of Sakkakumon, zooming out for the “To be continued…” part.

Final Verdict

Total Episode Retained: 100%

The episode established Tomoki as being more self-centered and focused on what he wants. The dub recontextualizes this as Tommy being quick to accept gifts and assistance without worrying about the motives of the people involved. Neither one is a bad lesson per se, but the dub’s loses some of its context because the initial comparison was to Tommy’s parents. Parents (in most cases, of course) don’t have ulterior motives when raising their kids, and it’s not normal to assume they would. Still, the episode was relatively well handled in a season full of problems, so not bad.

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