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Review S25 EP44: A Fated Face-Off!

RetroPokeFan

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This week's episode which sees the return of Misty and a very fishy face-off has aired on Cartoon Network in Canada.

Please keep all spoilers in spoiler tags.

Voice Characterization -

Sarah Natochenny
Michele Knotz
James Carter Cathcart
Cherami Leigh
Rodger Parsons

Additional Voices -

Edward Bosco
Roger Callagy (Rob Morrison)
Barrett Leddy
Lisa Ortiz
Bill Rogers
Erica Schroeder
Billy Bob Thompson
Mick Wingert
 
Interesting to see it being "better" than usual?
It's on par with your average Season 7 (Advanced Challenge) or 15 (Rival Destinies) English dub episode, basically.

I guess 6 is a "high" though for the modern Era...given how bad things have been though for a while in the music department, it's less bad than usual though?

I'll check in on the other aspects later, but I do hope this continues, anything's better than the 1-4/xx cycle SM & JN dubbed were usually stuck in (the first 0% kept was in the final episode of SM dubbed). MPM so far was 2/25 (8%) for JN137 and is 6/24 (25%, that's a standard average episode overall for 4Kids in AG or TPCi in BF & late BW musically).

I see TPCI has gone back to editing out the "To Be Continued" ending according to Bulbapedia, why? That was kept in the last JN dubbed episode, just...did the old Chronicles team get a hold of this? (Kidding)
 
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To clarify, under this section, it seems they've gone back to this again (they didn't do it for the final episode of JN pre-MPM JN, I guess so?):

Dub edits​

  • The "To Be Continued" text is removed from the end of the episode.
I don't get why this still occurs, honestly, so weird...
I think the reason they kept it for JN136 is to let viewers know the series is not over and that it's, well, To Be Continued, so it was a bit of an exception. They'll likely keep Next Time... A New Beginning! in the final episode for similar reasons. Though the reason as to why Journeys has removed TBC in most episodes is unknown, though it may be to do with Netflix and the whole streaming nature but this isn't confirmed.
 
I think the reason they kept it for JN136 is to let viewers know the series is not over and that it's, well, To Be Continued, so it was a bit of an exception. They'll likely keep Next Time... A New Beginning! in the final episode for similar reasons. Though the reason as to why Journeys has removed TBC in most episodes is unknown, though it may be to do with Netflix and the whole streaming nature but this isn't confirmed.
Interesting stuff, thanks for clarifying!
 
Have yet to read the corresponding PocketMonsters.net episode entry, but here are the speculative...
Sarah Natochenny - Ash
Michele Knotz - Misty, Jessie, Psyduck
James Carter Cathcart - ???, or Meowth:unsure: (few lines or just for credit)
Cherami Leigh - Azurill:unsure:
Rodger Parsons - Narrator

Edward Bosco - Meowth:unsure: (most lines)
Roger Callagy - James:unsure:, Rowlet, Politoed:unsure:
Barrett Leddy - Ash's Rotom Phone
Lisa Ortiz - Totodile, TRio's Rotom Phone
Bill Rogers - Corphish
Erica Schroeder - Wobbuffet, Leavanny
Billy Bob Thompson - Clauncher
Mick Wingert - ???
 
Have yet to read the corresponding PocketMonsters.net episode entry, but here are the speculative...
Sarah Natochenny - Ash
Michele Knotz - Misty, Jessie, Psyduck
James Carter Cathcart - ???, or Meowth:unsure: (few lines or just for credit)
Cherami Leigh - Azurill:unsure:
Rodger Parsons - Narrator

Edward Bosco - Meowth:unsure: (most lines)
Roger Callagy - James:unsure:, Rowlet, Politoed:unsure:
Barrett Leddy - Ash's Rotom Phone
Lisa Ortiz - Totodile, TRio's Rotom Phone
Bill Rogers - Corphish
Erica Schroeder - Wobbuffet, Leavanny
Billy Bob Thompson - Clauncher
Mick Wingert - ???
So Edward Bosco is likely Meowth’s 4th dub VA and Roger Callagy is James?

I must say, Roger has so far left a better first impression on me than JCC, who he was imitating (remember distinctly getting angry at his 2 episodes in, ironically he praised himself on the forums at the time as OGT but that didn’t end up the way he wanted). Gone is the older man sound and the sniffles, but he’s still got a bit of a goofy nasal tone that could still use some work. Not terrible, though, best dub James has sounded since BW to me.
 
-- DUB OPINIONS, AT A GLANCE --

The opening theme is just a copy/throwback to 4Kids' old one, but it beats "With You," mixed on it- not impressive with anything standing out about it at all, but I don't hate it unlike how I did with most of TPCI's dub OPs. It's just "there" for me, it doesn't leave a good or bad impression on me (really hate TPCI restricting the dub OP lengths to 30 seconds, 4Kids would at least have their own running from 45 seconds to 1 full minute when they dubbed the Series from 1998-2006).

Michele Knotz as Misty is still...quite frankly, really bad, after all these years, yikes. She sounds like she did in the SM dub, just a very nasally woman's voice and it's got nothing on Rachael Lillis' take after all this time, IMO. I much preferred the voice she did in late Gen 3 in the Mastermind Special, the Lillis' imitation seemed like a pretty good performance in comparison to the ones from SM onward to me. The clear worst voice-over performance in this episode, easily.

Sarah Natochenny's Ash has grown on me somewhat (especially compared to TPCI's selections for both Misty and soon to come Brock), but I have to say, whenever he has to emote or laugh she still loses the voice entirely-- and it turns into a gruff young woman's instead. She still can't laugh very well "eh-ha-ha-ha-ha," either, but I think she was okay/decent here overall performance-wise, surprisingly.

Oddly, Ash got hit hardest at the time of the initial change with the infamous "chain-smoker" voice for the first 2 years she had the role post-MoMP Redub, but now is the least bad out of the original trio...though Sarah Natochenny sadly still isn't quite as good as Veronica Taylor's Ash, despite doing so for far longer. I think this may have to do with Taylor receiving better vocal direction in the original English dub, than Natochenny did in the current English dub.

Bill Rogers' Corphish still sounds rather forced compared to Maddie Blaustein's (you can't top perfection there to be fair, RIP), in fact I think it's worse here than in BF, he sounded less strained back then I feel: still better than his Brock became from DP onward, but still a bit throaty and unnatural. He sounded better in the first half of the episode in the role, as Ash's Corphish started sounding really gruff and scratchy in the second half.

Clauncher sounds AWFUL, oh my god...no comment: just a deep, gruff, strained voice.

On the Team Rocket side of things, James' VA was actually worse in this one than the last episode, but Meowth's was better?

Edward Bosco has potential to be much better than JCC ever was as Meowth, his first episode was pretty rough but over here he seems to be channeling Blaustein's more than JCC's and his pitch has gone notably higher: I'm liking this direction, keep it up, not quite as good as either 4Kids' era dub Meowth but a lot more serviceable than JCC's Meowth was for most of his run to me in this episode despite trying to imitate him (prior episode, he was REALLY deep & bad at it).

Not sure what happened to Callagy's James, he sounded a bit TOO nasally and goofy at times, and I think his performance was better in the prior episode on the flip side so far: he's still leaving a better impression than JCC's did on me but "Which is why it's number one on our menu!" slips into the DP dub voice for him & that was the worst of English dub James overall...save XY-present for JCC so I hope he drops that tone altogether- he sounds way better when just throwing out JCC's interpretation of the window, and doing his own thing, IMO.

Michele Knotz as Jessie is a LOT better than her Misty, at least, but she has moments of getting way too shrill and high-pitched whenever the character gets angry or upset here. This was one of her better performances in a while, but Rachael Lillis, she still quite isn't here sadly.

Ed Goldfarb and Akhil Gopal did a much better job than usual with the music, the Pokémon English dub has been at its very worst over its 25-year long run musically objectively from XY onward into JN but keeping 6 pieces (while normally nothing to be excited over) in this JN episode is the best things have been in about 4 years in that department.

It's pretty sad that's a "ceiling" for the current dub these days, considering even 4Kids had a higher ceiling in their last season than TPCI does nowadays & Loeffler even did in Season 16 of BW before his successor took over, but still...take what you can get, considering the rather dismal state of the dub these days.

There are script changes/rewrites in this episode, supposedly, will have to compare them side by side but TPCI has always done them just like 4Kids did (I wish conventional wisdom wasn't so incredibly wrong about this, people's anti-4Kids bias prevented them from conceding this back in the day but they didn't want to so...?), and most pertain to Misty with the dubisms here (besides TRio, you know their dialogue is rewritten, TPCI is infamous for that):

  • Dub Misty does appear to specify that the red thread of fate means using her fishing rod to pull it out, for some reason?
  • Instead of simply saying Misty is noisy, Ash says Misty wrote the book on noise, prompting Misty to shout his full name.
  • When Ash asks why Misty is following him, to emphasize that Misty wasn't prepared, she asks "Uh? Me??"
  • When Ash asks about the red thread of fate, Misty says its because she caught it with the Misty lure.

Overall: The voice acting is a mixed bag with Misty, Ash's Corphish, & James probably being the worst in this one, with Ash & Jessie the best but both still aren't as good as their old 4Kids VAs after all this time as a caveat despite doing the roles for longer.

Meowth is somewhere in the middle, shockingly, last episode you could flip around James & Meowth though vs this one in what I'm hearing, getting better while James got a little worse here. The music situation is still bad, but not godawful like it usually is. The intro is still forgettable/bland, but not cheesy, there's that. Lastly, the script rewrites seemed to hit Misty most in this episode, for some reason, and Team Rocket was expected as a TPCI dubbed episode.

-- END REVIEW --
 
Can we talk about how nobody comes close to Michael Haigney’s Psyduck? I’m getting my own headache listening to the fake.
 
Can we talk about how nobody comes close to Michael Haigney’s Psyduck? I’m getting my own headache listening to the fake.
Michele Knotz's Psyduck still has nothing on Michael Haigney's Psyduck for sure, I agree there, it sounded way off here. Eric Stuart's Politoed was also better than this one to me, this one sounds a bit too gruff and low registrar.

I missed Maddie Blaustein's Corphish, too, Bill Rogers' impression was better in BF than the one he's doing here in JN tbh (back then, he got advice from her on the Serebii Forums, seems to have foregone it entirely here though).

You raise a good point on how the Pokemon's dub voices themselves seem to have gotten worse over the years, Misty's Clauncher doesn't even have a prior voice and arguably still sounds quite rough.
 
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Misty's performance sounded slightly better in this episode (in my opinion). I feel like SM has been her worst performance by far.

Rating Misty's performance since TPCi:
1. MoMP
2. M22
3. Journeys/MPM (as of this current episode, rating subject to change)
4. Sun & Moon and BW116 (tied).

Jessie: I do agree with the previous poster saying that Jessie's performance sounds better in this episode. Maybe it has to do with the VAs knowing that these are the final sessions voicing these characters, so they're "going all in".

James: This episode doesn't really do him any justice, since he's mostly speaking in a groaning tone due to starvation. But based on the last 2 episodes, I'm really warming up to his new VA. I feel like there's lots of potential, if he were to voice him for a couple of seasons.

Meowth: Not a big fan, but does a decent job in emulating JCC, which I'm sure that's what they're having him do.
 
One thing I have to point out, I'm not a big fan of Totodile's new voice. Totodile is one of my favorite Pokemon, and one of the reasons for that, was due to the way it sounded during Johto - DP. It was so cute!!!
 
Please note: The thread is from 8 months ago.
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