Officer Jenny: Despite the seeming lack of police assistance in actual emergencies most of the time, there are cops in the world of Pokemon. Most of them, the prominent ones anyway, are Jennys. In practically every town ever, there is an Officer Jenny. They all look exactly the same and are somehow all related to each other. Officer Jenny is sometimes accompanied by a Growlithe.
Nurse Joy: Just like the Jennys, there are also identical Joys who are all related to each other in every Pokemon Center in every town. Nurse Joys are usually assisted by Chansey. I honestly don’t know why none of these Nurse Joys ever wanted to go the extra mile and become a Pokemon doctor, but whatever.
Team Rocket: While Team Rocket as a whole is a large organization, it usually merely refers to the trio of Jessie, James and Meowth. Jessie is a vain and greedy woman who rarely has a moment of kindness. She also seems to hold the most power in the group and kinda acts as the main leader since James and Meowth are regularly frightened by her. Jessie used to be a very poor and kind child, but the rest of her backstory is a big web of mess.
James is slightly nicer when the situation calls for it, but he is also pretty vain and greedy. Unlike Jessie, he was actually born into an incredibly rich family, but ran away from home because he didn’t want to be married to the obnoxious Jessibelle.
Meowth is one of the few Pokemon in the world who can talk, and this is made even more impressive since he’s also one of the few who can talk without the assistance of psychic powers. He taught himself how to speak human language and walk on two feet in order to impress a female Meowth named Meowsy, but his efforts ultimately made him even less appealing in her eyes and he eventually went on to join Team Rocket.
Plot: Ash takes an injured Pikachu into the local Pokemon Center for treatment, but the place is soon attacked by the malicious Pokemon thieves, Team Rocket. Ash as well as the girl he met in the previous episode, Misty, try to battle them, but to no avail.
Instead, the center’s backup electrical supply, a team of Pikachu, shock the trio and their electric power brings Pikachu back to peak health somehow. In order to take them out fully, Ash uses Misty’s broken bike to generate power through the headlight and power up Pikachu enough to deliver one final Thunderbolt, causing the entire Pokemon Center to explode by igniting the gas from one of Team Rocket’s Pokemon, Koffing.
Team Rocket take note of Pikachu’s incredible power and vow to capture it no matter what. Meanwhile, Ash continues on his journey by heading through Viridian Forest, which leads directly to Pewter City, the site of his first Gym match. Misty follows him, determined to get Ash to pay for her ruined bike, but as they travel through the Viridian Forest, Ash spots a Caterpie and readies a Pokeball for its capture.
– The title card is looking a bit more normal, but they still use the Pokemon logo to say ‘Pokemon’.
– Oh….so I guess, from what Dexter says anyway, that the function of the Pokedex in the anime is really more for the trainer’s benefit in providing information and advice and not keeping a log while trying to see and capture all of the Pokemon, IE Completing the Pokedex. Hmph.
– James in episodes 2 – 8 isn’t voiced by his most notable voice actor, Eric Stuart, here. He’s instead voiced by Ted Lewis who does quite a few roles otherwise such as Tracey, Giovanni, Bakura and Bandit Keith from YGO. He does have really good range, and he fits the role pretty well here, but I can see why they’d replace him with Eric Stuart if his role was going to become more comical later.
– Likewise, Meowth also has a different voice actor in the earlier episodes, episode 2 – 31, Nathan Price, who does the role more low-key than Maddie Blaustein will later on. I honestly can’t decide which voice I like better, but Maddie’s is also more fitting for the more comical parts while Nathan is better at being more sly. Plus, Maddie says ‘Meeeowth’ a little better.
– I really will just take a minute to enjoy the more serious Team Rocket for this episode. I do love them as comic relief sometimes, but it would be nice if they were an actual threat.
– Why did Jenny feel the need to jump her motorcycle into the Pokemon Center? Yeah, risk more injury to the already injured Pokemon. And it really took them until nightfall to get there? How big is this city?
– It’s weird to me that Pikachu is so injured after just taking a few Pecks by a couple Spearow, especially given that he’s strong against Flying types.
– Nurse Joy’s a bit of a bitch here. People must come there all the time with Pokemon at least in Pikachu’s condition, considering how many attacks there are in Pokemon and the fact that their lot in life is usually to fight, yet she chews Ash out for letting Pikachu get moderately hurt when she doesn’t even know how it happened. That’s like a doctor yelling a parent for letting their kid scrape their knee.
– Why is the Pidgey that comes out of the cuckoo clock green?
Must be all that awful hospital food.
– And here we get the only mention ever of Ash’s deadbeat not-caring-whatsoever-about-his-family dad. I would complain about this, but at this point does anyone really care who Ash’s dad is? Yes, it’s a mystery, but no answer will really be fulfilling now. Plus, he’ll just be a target for hatred considering he never seems to talk to or otherwise communicate with Ash or Delia. And I do not believe for a second that they always talk off-screen or never ever managed to bump into each other during their journeys.
– It took four days for Ash’s dad to get to Viridian City?…..Why? Jenny said all of the other Pallet trainers had already passed through. What was keeping him so long? Maybe I’m wrong about Ash’s dad. Maybe he’s like Flint and completely sucked at training and was too ashamed to show his face around his family again. There. That’s a suitable story for Ash’s dad. You’re welcome.
– Delia: “Spreading your wings and soaring like a Spearow!” Uhh, I’d change your wording, Delia, considering the main reason he’s feeling like crap right now is because of a flock of Spearow.
– Delia: “And are you changing your underwear everyday?” He hasn’t even been gone a full day yet. Are his underwear made of the same material as the notes in Inspector Gadget and they’ll blow up after a period of time?
– The legendary Pokemon on the board at the Pokemon center are interesting. Ash believes the blue bird is the one he saw earlier, but it’s an Articuno not a Ho-Oh. Ho-Oh won’t be introduced until Johto. I’m not even sure what this really indicates. Did Ash just think it was the same because the outline is kinda similar or the anime creators screwed up? I would think he’d believe Moltres looks more similar given the coloring. Also, for some reason, Arcanine is up there. I know that he’s given the moniker of ‘legendary’, but why? Is there a legend about Arcanine somewhere? Because he’s just the evolved version of a fairly easy to find Pokemon.
– Oh my God, there’s text everywhere. I feel so unreasonably happy.
– I still find it funny that Oak’s all ‘There’s no way you saw a legendary Pokemon’ here and yet not a year goes by now where Ash DOESN’T see/battle with/spend time with a legendary Pokemon. It’s so common now that he’s basically become totally used to it.
– Misty: “You’re what happened to my bike, you little loser! This is what happened to my bike after you stole it to save your Pokemon!” Yeah, he sure is a loser because he cared more about his Pokemon’s well-being than a hunk of replaceable metal. Can you get less annoying soon so I can start hating Ash, please?
– Misty: “I don’t want any of your lame excuses, Kid! Just gimme a new bike right noooooooooowwwwwwww!!” First of all, kid? He’s the same age as you. Second, nice tantrum.
– What ‘procedure’ was Joy performing anyway? She put on rubber gloves and went in and came out with Pikachu having a lightbulb on its head while connected to some black box and some electrical box but no bandages or anything else on its body. He got Pecked a few times, he didn’t have his electricity sucked out him.
– Ash: “Listen, I’m sorry about your bike. But I’m going to need some time to make things right.”
Misty: “NO WAY! I FELL FOR THAT LAST TIME!”
Fell for what? He said he’d bring it back someday and accidentally got it destroyed. He hasn’t even been gone a full day, so he could’ve been intending on giving her a replacement bike SOMEDAY. Though, considering how crazy expensive bikes are in the Pokemon world, I can kinda understand her anger.
– They have radar that detects aircrafts in Viridian City? Ones that can specifically identify the craft as belonging to Pokemon thieves? Where are these in future episodes?
– I am weirded out beyond belief by those Pikachu in the Pokemon Center. They not only chant, but they hold out their paws like robots and have mouths that are way too big.
– Why do they need to be on a treadmill anyway if they produce power on their own?
– The hell is up with the eyes on that Pidgey?
Can Pidgey not look normal today?
– It’s amazing that Team Rocket is so intimidating during the early episodes that all of the Pokemon actually refuse to fight because they’re so scared just by seeing Ekans.
– I still don’t understand why Misty let Goldeen out. Either this was poking at the fact that all Pokeballs look identical and thus it must be hard to determine who’s in what without customizing them or she’s just an idiot.
– Misty: “You know as well as I do that a Water Pokemon can’t battle on land. I was just warmin’ up!” There are so many things wrong with that. Let’s start with, no, only SOME Water Types can’t battle on land. How were you ‘warming up’ by letting out a Pokemon that you knew couldn’t battle on land? Did you need to warm up your Pokeball throwin’ arm? Even if it was a distraction or something, what good would that do considering they’re standing in front of the only exit?
– Oh, I guess it wasn’t the only exit……There were no other visible doors to that room besides the one Team Rocket burst through and were standing in front of the whole time, but whatever. Still didn’t do much because after Ash and Pikachu escape, they’re immediately followed by Team Rocket.
– Why did Pikachu even need hours of ‘treatment’ if just being dogpiled and shocked by a group of Pikachu seemed to make him good as new?
– How did any of them survive that explosion? Pikachu’s in the ICU for being pecked by a few birds for a second or two yet is perfectly fine when in a building that just exploded and created a fire so big it looks like it took out a city block.
– How did Team Rocket get away?
– Now that I’m really thinking about it, Pikachu’s attack really isn’t a decent reason for them to be so insanely obsessed with catching Pikachu. It was essentially given a buff to begin with in regards to the bike and the only real reason anything substantial happened was because of the reaction with Koffing’s gas.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to question this, but isn’t it impossible for Team Rocket’s balloon to be ‘popped’ and send them flying all over the place? Wouldn’t it just gently float down? It’s not a helium balloon.
– How is the computer perfectly fine? They’re literally sitting amongst the rubble that once was the Viridian City Pokemon Center with a desktop computer that’s not even dirty.
– Narrator: “Will Ash capture the Caterpie?” Seeing as how the next episode is titled ‘Ash Catches a Pokemon’ I’ll go ahead and say no.
This episode was….pretty okay. It was sillier than I remember it being, and I already remembered it to be a tad silly. Team Rocket pose a threat for a change, but they don’t even go the full episode without being downgraded to comic relief. Plus, I do have to say that the start of their obsessive mission was just not really worth it. I’m starting to think that after a certain point, catching Pikachu was no longer about catching it for its power or rarity but purely because of a personal vendetta.
Misty’s still annoying here, and Ash is still relatable and likable, even if he still has a lot to learn.
I also really like the linear set up of the first handful of episodes. I miss having an actual story instead of ‘Leave home on journey’ ‘Go to gym’ ‘filler’ ‘gym’ ‘filler’ ‘another gym’ ‘filler’ etc etc etc. The only times filler isn’t really filler in later episodes is usually just when Ash catches a Pokemon; those incredibly rare occasions. Plus, after he gets his party filled, he hardly ever gets more.
Certain aspects are still bugging me like mentions of Ash’s dad knowing they go nowhere, another mention of the other two Pallet trainers that also goes nowhere…..But it’s still pretty decent.
Next episode, Ash Catches a Pokemon. Caterpie joins the group (Oh sorry, spoilers!), one of the rare times Ash catches a Pokemon without needing to spend an entire episode bonding with it. We also get the rare treat of him catching TWO Pokemon in one episode, marking Pidgeotto’s debut. I really love Pidgeotto; hate the hell out of how he gets treated over the series. We also have a cute little episode just getting to know Caterpie and seeing it trying to bond with Bitchy—Err, Misty.