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The Original POKÉMON Theme Song Was Very Different in The U.S., Japan, Korea

When we saw the first Pokémon anime theme song re-recorded by Jason Paige, the guy who originally sang on the track, this summer, it was both awesome and weird. Awesome because it was neat to see the person behind the song, and weird because, oh yeah, there’s an actual person behind this iconic, dramatic voice we’ve sang along with since the ’90s.

Then, we came across this new video today that also sort of weirded us out, because while the American version of the theme song is indelible in our minds and forever associated with the U.S. dub of the anime, it shows that what is iconic for us is completely alien to fans of the exact same show in a different language. We know and love the American version of the song, but the Japanese and Korean versions are wildly different than the song we’re familiar with, and to those fans, it’s just as memorable.

In the clip, American YouTuber Dave Levene sits down with his Japanese friend Erina and his Korean friend Jaein to listen to and discuss the Pokémon theme songs from their respective countries, and as Levene put it, “The Korean version was really Korean, the Japanese version was really Japanese, and the American version was very American.” The U.S. version is the big-sounding rock anthem we’ve always known, while the Japanese version is a rock-oriented, melodic J-pop track, and the Korean song is set to a thumping dance beat.

The three of them also talk about the differences between each country’s “Pokérap,” so check it out above!

Featured image: The Pokémon Company

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