It’s not uncommon for anime to see some changes when it comes to voice acting and that’s true for Pokémon like it is for anything else. In fact, Pokémon notices more changes than usual when voiced, but one of the weirdest will always be the way 4Kids, the original voiceover company, handles the food in the series.
As a Japanese production, set in a fantasy region inspired by Japan, the characters in the Pokémon anime often eat Japanese food, the most common of which are rice balls or onigiri. The rice balls (especially in the show) are usually triangular in shape and covered with a square of dark seaweed to hold. Brock especially will prepare these a lot, and on the many occasions when Ash and the group of Pokémon stop for a break, one can see them eating these rice balls—or at least, that’s the case in Japanese version of the series.
Pokémon Trying to Say Rice Balls Are Jelly Donuts
4Kids Entertainment wanted to make sure that the Pokémon anime was as relevant to American children as possible, and since rice balls aren’t as popular in the US as they are in Japan, these little triangles pose a bit of a problem. The dub has handled this in a variety of ways, the simplest of which is to be straightforward about their nature. In an infamous episode (“Primeape Goes Bananas”), Brock calls the tray of rice balls he’s holding a “jelly donut,” even though the artwork hasn’t changed. This is definitely confusing for many kids, who have never seen a triangular donut before.
But just calling them by something else is not the extent of it. In other episodes, 4Kids will overwrite the original animation, replacing rice balls and other Japanese snacks with more popular American dishes, such as sandwiches. The sandwiches stand out because they look different in style and are often ridiculously sized compared to the characters, making them unpopular with fans who may realize something is being altered or controlled. Browser. Although it was quite common in those days to change the background signage in Japanese by repainting it to English, this kind of change was much larger than what other anime aimed at American children were doing. do. 4Kids will do the same with other anime they voiced, such as One Piece, the popular movie that turned Sanji’s cigarette into lollipops.
The 4Kids era of Pokémon anime is much more popular these days, largely due to nostalgia, but making big changes to the original like this, or just lying flat out about what’s on screen as with jelly donuts, is what brought them the fury of their fans in the first place. The major changes to the voice acting (at least artistically) more or less stopped after the anime dubbing was handed over to The Pokémon Company International in 2005, but these early episodes serve as a reminder. Reminds me of another anime dub era- -one place Pokémon enjoy the “jelly donut.”