Digimon Fusion S01E01

13 min read

Taiki, Go to Another World! (JP)
Mikey Goes to Another World! (EN)

Original Writer:  Riku Sanjō
Dub Writer: Mark Ryan

Original Airdates:
July 6, 2010 (JP)
September 7, 2013 (EN)


Gear’s Notes:  Welcome to the first side-by-side comparison of Digimon Xros Wars and Digimon Fusion!  As a note, I have not watched Xros Wars before, so this side-by-side comparison will be done without prior knowledge of the story.  So do me a favor and don’t post spoilers in the comments for my sake, please?

The theme song is…interesting.  I think they took some cues from the Gregory Brothers for the dub version because they autotuned the CRAP out of it.  The original was a nice song, but nothing I’d write home about. Both, however, are still better than the Adventure/02/Tamers dub theme song.  Also, dub’s the title card used looks pretty cheap.

When I originally wrote these comparisons, I could not make out the dub writer’s name at all due to the extreme credit crunch used when the show broadcast. Thankfully SeannyBravo [3.18.2020] has once again come to our rescue, indicating that all the dubbed episodes of this series were written by Mark Ryan. Thanks, SeannyBravo!

Summary

Mikey is an average kid with an above-average sense of empathy.  He hears the voice of a dying Digimon and seeks him out. Along with his best friend Angie and over-the-top self-proclaimed rival Jeremy, he is transported to the Digital World and discovers he can fuse Digimon together.  His new partner, Shoutmon, asks for his help in making him the King of all Digimon, but Mikey’s only scratched the surface of his adventure.

It’s never a good sign when a new series starts with a dark blue.  The episode opens with images of a huge army marching towards battle.  The protagonist steps forward and merges his own Digimon together, then wipes out the enemy army.  In the original version, this is a quiet scene with no dialogue outside of Taiki yelling “DigiXros!”  In the dub, in addition to Mikey yelling “DigiFuse!”, Mikey narrates the entire scene. This would be fine, except the whole scene turns out to be a premonition Mikey has in a dream, which makes the narration very odd.

As mentioned, DigiXros becomes DigiFuse.

The main character, Taiki Kudou, becomes Mikey Kudo.  Yes, they created a Western first name for him, but otherwise, the name’s pretty close.  At least it’s not Ikuto –> Keenan.

Side Note

During the dream, the Japanese music has a very heroic tone to it – lots of horns and long notes.  In the dub, it’s more of an electronic/rock-based sound very reminiscent of a lot of the background music used in Data Squad.

Mikey is voiced by one Nicolas Roye in the dub.  I do not believe he’s ever done a voice in Digimon before.  He sounds okay – he’s nowhere near as terrible-sounding as Davis, but not quite as good as Marcus.

Taiki: What a weird dream…maybe the fatigue has finally got to me.
Mikey: That same dream…maybe I’m going crazy.  Still, makes real life look pretty boring…

Obviously this changes some of the details.  Mikey has apparently had this (narrated) dream several times more than Taiki has.  Also, they’ve given him that same restless nature that Takuya had in Frontier.

Side Note

They use the same title card as the Japanese version, but just use English in the title.  Not too shabby-looking.

Akari Hinomoto is renamed Angie Hinomoto in the dub.  Wikipedia says she’s voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey, which you may remember as having voiced Sora in Adventure/02 and Yoshino in Data Squad.  I honestly wouldn’t have guessed it was her if I hadn’t looked it up, but now that I have, I can tell. She’s done a great job creating a new voice.

When Akari calls Taiki’s mother in the original, she’s surprised to hear that he already left.  She then makes a note that she already knows what he’s doing by playing basketball. In the dub, she thinks Mikey was lying about basketball.

Probably a good time to mention that Angie is a serious jerk in the dub compared to her original counterpart.  Like, enough of a jerk to give Kari a run for her money.


Akari: Damn you, Taiki!  That bad habit of yours has started up again, huh?!  That is so not good for Marine Day!
Angie: That little booger forgot all about our plans, and we only made them a couple of months ago!  He said he’d go to the movies with me, and I hate it when people get distracted!

This is a serious re-characterization.  In the original, Taiki will help anyone who asks for it because he is selfless to the point of self-harm – this is the ‘bad habit’ Akari mentions.  Mikey, on the other hand, seems to be characterized as a thrill seeker who doesn’t pay attention to his schedule. Also, the end of Angie’s line seems to be set up solely for the upcoming joke.


(Both Akari and Angie spot a blimp flying over the city)

Akari: Wow, how cool!
Angie: Hey, it’s a blimp!  I love blimps! It’s like a giant, floating, shiny sausage!  Whoa, this is so cool!

If you’re wondering how the dubbers fit all that in, it’s because her mouth wasn’t visible when she first discovers the blimp, and Akari remained silent.  That’s right, the dub is injecting bad jokes where silence originally was. What. A. Surprise.


Slight dialogue change where Mikey narrates his exploits in the game.  Taiki speaks a lot less.

In the original, Taiki attends Shinonome Higashi Junior High.  In the dub, he attends Central Junior High.

At least they didn’t try to put him in college, I guess.

In the original, Taiki had planned his decoy move all along with the input of the rest of the team.  In the dub, the group was surprised that Mikey let another teammate take the shot. Also, the original makes it clear that he’s never played basketball before, having learned his amazing moves in four days’ worth of practice.  In the dub, he just practices for 3-8 hours each day.


Akari: I told you to at least mention it to me if you’re gonna be helping out another club, didn’t I?!  You’re always running off to help someone when they’re in trouble. Everything else flies out of your head, you overexert yourself, and it ends up like this ALL THE TIME!  You haven’t changed since we were kids!
Taiki: But come on, it’s not like I could turn my back on the Basketball Club.  Most of their regulars got sick with food poisoning. Kengo is transferring to another school next month, so this is going to be his last competition.  It was the first time I ever saw him struggling not to cry like that. That’s why…
Akari: Taiki…
Taiki: I did it again!

Angie: You did it again!  You’re always taking on more than you can handle.  You’re always helping out other people, and look where it gets you!  You collapsed, you were so fried, you did a full faceplant! You could have been hanging out with me, but instead you’re hanging out with some smelly boys?!  Seriously Mikey, what’s up with that?
Mikey: Oh, chill out!  We weren’t just hanging, we had a game!  Plus lately, I feel like there’s something cool about being part of a team.
Angie: You wha-?
Mikey: I think some things are bigger than any of us – some forces we can’t control.  I get this weird feeling that something is coming. Something big.
Angie: Like what?
Mikey: Or maybe not!

This new characterization for Mikey seems…inconsistent.  The original kept it simple – Taiki helps people at the cost of his own health and safety – he simply has too much empathy to turn away from someone in need.  In the dub, it’s some weird combination of thrill seeking, helping others, pseudo-prophetic philosophical weirdness, and wanting to hang out with “smelly boys.”

The final member of Xros Wars’ power trio is Zenjirou Tsurugi.  In the dub, he’s renamed Jeremy Tsurgi.

I always thought you only called on Derek Stephen Prince when you wanted a voice actor that could flirt with the microphone, but we’ll see how he does here.  In case you forgot the name, he’s probably best known in Digimon for portraying Veemon and The Digimon Emperor/Ken.

Jeremy makes some random comment about being the master of the “Seven Circles of Pain.”  He’s apparently very protective of this title.


Taiki: I keep telling you this, but I know nothing about Kendo.  It was just a coincidence that I won in that match.
Mikey: You’re not asking for a rematch, are you?  I mean, no offense, but I don’t even know Kendo and I kinda clobbered you.

Check- Taiki will not be retaining his modest nature in the dub.


Akari: See, look at this.  It’s because you keep helping people out that you attract weirdos like him [Zenjirou].
Zenjirou: Who are you calling a weirdo?!
Angie: This guy is a major goofball.  You’d seriously rather hang out with him than me?
Jeremy: I am a guardian of the sword!

So, here’s our list of recharacterizations: Mikey is now a semi-prophetic thrill seeker, Angie is now a possessive, jealous not-girlfriend to Mikey, and Jeremy just needs to be locked up somewhere.


For the next scene with the car, the scripts begin to match almost identically.


Shoutmon: I’ve reached my limit…I can’t hold on anymore…
Shoutmon: As for me…I think my hard drive finally crashed.

Yay, a computer joke to mask the seriousness of death.  It continues, as Taiki mentions Shoutmon’s impending death, and Mikey just calling him hurt, lost, and alone.


Digivice (?): Boy.  Do you wish to save the melody of that life?
Digivice: Human, do you want to save your new friend?  Think well before you answer.

The Digivice voice is apparently Matthew Mercer, again if Wikipedia is to be believed.  This is his first Digimon role, but he’s been in a lot of other anime and video games.  I primarily know him as Chrom from Fire Emblem: Awakening, but your mileage may vary.


When the Digivice asks for Taiki’s name, he yells “Taiki Kudou!” and it echos a few times.  In the dub, he only says “Mikey!” without any echo. The silence from the echo is filled by the Digivice commenting that Mikey is an odd name, “but it will do.”

The X-Loader (Cross Loader) is renamed the Fusion Loader.

Akari: Taiki!  No no no no no!  I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to touch that [X-Loader], Taiki!
Zenjirou: She’s right!  Calm down and think about this first, Taiki Kudou!  Take deep breaths! After me! Breathe in, breathe out…!

Angie: Wait, Mikey wait!  Are you sure about this?! Do you just wanna get ice cream or something?
Jeremy: How do you know you can trust him?!  It could be like the wise old man on the dungeon level of [Parasite Game?]!  Oh, sure, he seems friendly, but next thing you know, you’re in the Pit of Screams!

The institution lets Jeremy have video games?


Shoutmon: Thanks to you putting my melody in here, I’m saved!
Shoutmon: When you downloaded my genetic files into the Fusion Loader, you saved me!

I didn’t list the first one, but that’s the third reference to Digimon and music that’s been removed from the dub.  Makes me wonder what the significance will be.


Clearly, the dubbers are trying to do to Jeremy what they did to Mimi and turn him into some kind of comic relief/dumb blonde.

MadLeomon is retained.  However, in the dub, he apparently can’t see, since he needs to sniff the kids to know they’re human.  (That was sarcasm, by the way, I’m sure he can see just fine.)


Ballistamon’s Horn Breaker becomes Grand Slammer in the dub.  Maybe the dubbers thought it was too close to MegaKabuterimon’s attack or something.

And Ballistamon‘s name is retained in the dub.


So is Shoutmon‘s.  Though his attack Soul Crusher becomes Bellow Blaster.  The attack names in the dub get a box that lists their names.


Jijimon is retained, though in the dub, he is recharacterized as a crazy old man.


Starmon and Pickmonz are retained.  Not sure why in both versions there’s a “Z” at the end of Pickmonz.  Starmon retains his annoying Etemon/Elvis vocal style from Frontier, though I think the VA is different.


Shoutmon’s Rowdy Rocker becomes Rock And Roller.


Ballistamon’s Heavy Speaker becomes Seismic Speaker.


Starmon’s Meteor Squall becomes Meteor Shower.


Shoutmon’s Rock Damashii becomes Fiery Fastball.


Armed MadLeomon is retained.

MadLeomon: Die, you little brats!  Only death awaits those who rebel from our army!
MadLeomon: I don’t know how you survived, but you won’t be coming back after I finish with you this time, Loser!

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

Cut (less than one second): A shot of Ballistamon in silhouette with cards stacking behind him.  I don’t know why they cut this considering they left in Shoutmon’s.

vlcsnap-2013-09-08-16h32m16s150

The Starmon and Pickmonz fusing together was called Star Blade in the original.  In English, it’s called Sun Sword.

MadLeomon: I’m melting, I’m melting!

Tactimon is retained.


The Green Zone becomes The Forest Zone. The Japanese name sounds like a Sonic the Hedgehog level.


Nene-sama seems to be retained as Miss Nene, though the spelling could have changed.  She is voiced by Melissa Fahn, who also voiced Rika Nonaka in Tamers and Kristy Damon in Data Squad.


Aonuma Kiriha is seen briefly, though his name isn’t spoken.  He is voiced by Vic Mignogna.


Monitamon is retained, and his post-show segment where he talks about Digimon remained in the dub, oddly.  However “Monitamon’s Enemy Search is Wonderful” was written on a banner in the Japanese version, while in the dub, it just says “Data Files.”


Monitormon: Shoutmon.  His attacks include a technique where he strikes the enemy with the scream of his soul, Soul Crusher.
Monitormon: Shoutmon!  His attacks include Fiery Fastball and Rock and Roller, where he shouts so loud, his enemies are obliterated!

Final Verdict

Total episode retained: 99%

They’re off to a pretty good start.  However, their re-characterizations could snowball drastically as the series progresses.

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