CotD (Technically): Bill – An eccentric and world-renowned Pokemon researcher, Bill is the inventor of the Pokemon storage system that most trainers use for storing, withdrawing and transferring their Pokemon.
Pokemon Captures: Ash’s Krabby – Krabby is a happy little Pokemon who is fairly attached to Professor Oak since he spends most of his time in his care. Krabby is seldom used by Ash, being relegated to his At Home B-Squad, which is a damn shame because Krabby packs a pretty big wallop.
Plot: A quick recap of Ash’s progress leads him to bragging about his accomplishments, but he’s quickly brought back down to earth when Misty and Brock point out that Ash has had several advantages such as being handed badges by Misty’s sisters and Brock, gaining their assistance in training and battles and having many of his Pokemon simply follow him instead of being properly caught. Additionally, Brock points out that Ash is actually behind in his training as most trainers would’ve caught at least 20 or 30 Pokemon by now, not the measly six he carries with him. Determined to prove his prowess as a trainer, Ash runs off to capture more Pokemon.
After running through the woods for a while, Ash comes upon a beach where he sees a little Krabby. Armed with a stick, Ash attacks the Krabby, but the stick is easily chopped apart by Krabby’s pincers. Nonetheless, Ash throws his Pokeball and captures the Krabby yet he’s startled and confused when the Pokeball vanishes.
Misty and Brock explain that trainers can only carry six Pokemon at a time. Anything more is transferred to wherever the trainer got their Pokedex. Ash deduces that this means Krabby is with Professor Oak. Worried that Krabby might not be okay (or that Oak might eat the poor thing) Ash wishes to call Professor Oak. They decide to travel to a nearby lighthouse in order to use their phone and hopefully spend the night.
A mysterious voice welcomes them into his home, and Ash calls Oak to check up on Krabby. He’s delighted to hear that he’s fine, but also devastated to see that Gary has caught a Krabby much bigger than his, and that Gary has caught a grand total of 45 Pokemon so far. When Oak requests for Bill, a great Pokemon researcher and owner of the lighthouse, to give the gang some of his wisdom, Bill accepts and reveals himself; as a Kabuto.
The group is stunned to see a talking extinct Pokemon, but Bill explains that he’s actually in a Kabuto costume trying to fully understand the Pokemon; but got stuck within it.
Bill explains that, since the dawn of existence, over 150 Pokemon have been discovered, but there could be an untold amount of Pokemon yet to be found. After an inspiring speech about everything and everyone having a purpose and meaning in living, Bill explains that trainers capturing Pokemon is important both for Pokemon trainers and research. Afterall, many new Pokemon are found by Pokemon trainers. However, at the moment, only one Pokemon is in Bill’s sights; a gigantic mysterious Pokemon that is the sole survivor of its species. It wanders the world looking for friends, though has yet to find any.
Recently, Bill recorded the mysterious Pokemon’s call, interpreting as ‘I want to meet you.’ Bill created a similar call which he believes translates to ‘Let’s be friends. I want to meet you.’ and transmits it out of the lighthouse in hopes of the Pokemon’s return. It eventually responded by saying ‘I want to meet you too. I want to be friends.’ Just as Bill explains this, the Pokemon shows up, calling out in a beautiful almost musical sound.
Team Rocket, having been trying to break into the lighthouse to steal Pokemon, is startled by the creature and tries to capture it for themselves. James shoots at it with a cannon, causing the Pokemon to lash out and start destroying the lighthouse. Bill begs for it to stay while the Pokemon remains under fire, but it refuses and swats Team Rocket away with its tail. Bill and the others watch on as the mysterious Pokemon returns to the ocean waters and disappears.
While he’s disappointed, Bill remains excited over the prospect of seeing the Pokemon again, and the others are reinvigorated with a deep love and respect for the wide world of Pokemon.
– We can see some other Pokemon league badges in the background during the opening that don’t follow the traditional eight that we know of. Many of them actually look like prototypes for the badges we know, and I don’t recognize any as being either of the extra two that Gary has near the end of Indigo.
– Misty: “Caught? Ash, all of your Pokemon followed you!” Again, like last episode, no. Pikachu was given to him. Pidgeotto was legitimately caught. Butterfree was legitimately caught. Bulbasaur was legitimately caught. The only two Pokemon he has who followed him without a battle are Squirtle and Charmander.
– Why exactly did Ash decide to attack Krabby with a stick? He does have Pokemon to battle with. I don’t get his logic, and I almost want to say that capturing a Pokemon like that (outside of the Safari Zone, ironically) would be against league rules or even illegal. Additionally, why was Krabby so easily caught if the stick was hacked up to bits in less than a second by Krabby? Ash didn’t land a blow so it seems like this attack was pointless.
– Also, this whole ‘proving I can catch a Pokemon on my own’ tiny side-plot is basically moot since, like I said, he has ‘caught’ several Pokemon. He should be trying to prove that he can catch as many as Gary and the Phantom Pallet trainers.
– The art seems a little weirder than usual. It’s like many angles are sharper than usual and some shots are just poorly drawn.
– There are some kinda logical explanations for this, but why doesn’t this six Pokemon carried at a time rule apply for all trainers? I mean, we just saw a trainer with a bag full of Pokemon that he carried around. His Pokemon didn’t disappear past six.
– The assortment of Pokemon on Bill’s door is weird. Some are legends, others are common and Mewtwo’s on there way before he was ever created……Hm. Is there something you’d like to share, Bill?
– Brock: “And I was wondering if I could use your kitchen to make some bacon double cheeseburgers for my friends here.” I should start a ‘ham/cheeseburger’ count for this series….
– I like how they reference the games in putting Bill in a Kabuto costume (whereas in the games he WAS a Kabuto and you had to change him back to a human). It’s a realistic way of portraying that scene anyway.
– This is one of those early moments that completely contradicts what we know later. Yes, Bill says there could be unlimited amounts of Pokemon in the world, but he specifically says that, on the planet, only 150 are known. We’re supposed to take the ones that appear later as having been discovered for at least quite a long time. The different regions do communicate with each other, so….yeah.
– It’s pretty obvious that, if you know Pokemon, that ‘mysterious Pokemon’ is obviously a Dragonite (albeit a giant version) I’m not sure why Bill doesn’t recognize the silhouette as such. Dragonite are rare, but not nearly as rare as Moltres or, uhm, MEWTWO.
– I always thought it was weird that Brock and Misty started dancing to Dragonite’s call. I mean, it is very pretty, in fact I’m almost positive they reuse those sounds for Lugia’s call in the second movie, but it’s not really anything you can dance to, even slowly.
– Jessie: “That’s one big Pokemon!”
James: “So size DOES matter.” Was….that a penis joke, 4Kids? Or am I just perverted?
This episode was…kinda….always….boring to me. Bill is a great person with a deep love of the Pokemon world, but this episode just seemed a little……filler-y? Which is probably stupid to say in this show. Much of the episode is taken up talking about Pokemon world specifics that really anyone who’s played the games would already know. Plus, it brings up stuff that won’t matter outside of this episode like the white button on the Pokedex allowing for Pokemon transfers.
Like I said, the tiny subplot of Ash trying to show up Misty and Brock by catching a Pokemon legitimately makes no sense either as most of his Pokemon are ones he legitimately caught, even taking Pikachu off the table. Plus, this determination to catch more Pokemon also, of course, dies out with this episode. At least until the next time he decides to be that way. Plus, the starting subplot itself is dead before the commercial break.
A great and mysterious Pokemon appearing is made boring by the fact that probably most viewers would already know what it is. Yes it’s giant, but making it giant doesn’t make it anymore fascinating. Maybe they could’ve made a less specific Pokemon silhouette or make up a Pokemon to highlight how there are Pokemon out there that have yet to be identified.
All in all, this entire episode just amounts to ‘golly gee, Pokemon sure are the bees knees.’ It’s such deep Pokemon praise that it’s actually a little annoying at points. Being incredibly interested in something so amazing is great, but knowing how much the Pokemon world is just so obsessed with Pokemon makes an episode like this feel either weird or self-congratulatory.
Next episode is the Vermillion City Gym match against Lt. Surge; the Electric Pokemon trainer.