Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) The Mighty B!

That tagline should give you an idea of some of the humor…

Plot: Bessie Higgenbottom is a passionate Honeybee scout who wants to earn over 4000 badges in order to become the superhero, the Mighty B!

Breakdown: My background with The Mighty B! Is rather cut and dry. Despite the fact that I was still an avid Nickelodeon watcher back when this first aired, I never watched it because, quite frankly, even in promos it looked really obnoxious. I’m happy to report that young me is smarter than older me because at least she had the sense to listen to herself because this is really obnoxious.

And no, no I don’t care that it was co-created and voiced by Amy Phoeler. Love ya, girl, but no.

How about we start at the very beginning – What the unholy hell is that theme song? That has to be the worst theme song I’ve ever heard. It’s like they took 20 different theme songs cut them into two second blurbs, smushed one longer song on top of it and called it a day. It has no rhythm, whatever melody it has makes me want to gnash my teeth and I was so baffled by the lack of….everything in this song that I forced myself to listen to it three times just to see if there was a real song in there and I’m still not convinced there is.

Hey, put this song on a loop and we can propose this as an alternative to waterboarding.

That’s the first time since Scaredy Squirrel where I’ve been so annoyed by a theme song that I was actually considering not even giving the show a chance because of it. But I’d listen to Scaredy Squirrel’s theme song every day for the rest of my life if it meant I never had to listen to The Mighty B’s ever again.

Let’s just give Episode 1A the rundown.

Bessie Higgenbottom is a passionate and hyper Honeybee Girl Scout, and not even 30 seconds into the episode you can tell this is definitely one of those loud irritating shows where the comedy mostly lies in the characters yelling and being hyper and never slowing down for five seconds. Bessie seems to be well-known and liked by everyone in town. She enters a Chinese restaurant, suddenly make believes everyone including the customers and owner are Chinese warriors trying to fight her, with her taking the form of a huge (and male….??) superhero called The Mighty B!

She gets praised by the owner, Mr. Wu for….swinging her hands around like an idiot at nothing throughout the restaurant while being kinda racist and then she leaves. She steals some kid named Rocky’s skateboard and skates down a hill, flying off on an incline, pretending she’s flying as The Mighty B again, then falling over and over.

She lands right in front of Annoying Rich Self-Absorbed Bitches Batch 345F, AKA Rich bitch whose parents run the show and her two sheep bitch friends.

They reveal the plot of the episode, which is that Honeybees are holding a dog show and Bitch A is entering with her dog for an animal appreciation badge.

We also get this line.

Bitch A: “Guess you didn’t get the B-mail” GET IT!? B-MAIL?! Because BEES! HONEYBEE TROUPE! If this turns into The Bee Movie, there better be tons of mildly humorous parody videos of it on the Internet.

Bessie then literally, and I do mean literally, annoys her mother into letting her get a dog by pestering her day in and day out with hundreds of reasons why she should get a dog.

The next day we learn that Bessie actually believes that she’ll become the real Mighty B if she gets 4000+ some odd scout badges….Kay.

Enter a stray dog, whom she promptly kidnaps and names Happy.

That night, she gives him a bath in her beehive fort on the roof of her building. I only mentioned that because I wanted to show you how crazy this girl is. I’m all for imagination, but this girl seriously has a bee hive fort on her roof….

Then she ‘trains’ Happy, who clearly is anything but happy about being held hostage by this crazy girl who talks to a Sharpie’d smiley face on her finger that she named Finger (not kidding) and hugs him so hard, she basically Elmyra’s him and he explodes.

The next day, what a shock, Bitch A’s mother is obviously paying off the judges and they’re even evil laughing together. Oh and Bitch A’s name? Guess. You have half a second. Go. You’re right. It’s Portia. Fun fact. While trying to figure out how this is properly spelled, I learned the name Portia derives from the word ‘Pig’. I always assumed they were going for an off-shoot of Porches, adhering to the trend of sports car names for bitches, but here we are.

Happy runs away before the dog show because Portia and bitches B and C mock him. Bessie tries to stop him, but he ‘explains’ to her that he hates dog shows and wants his old life back. She accepts his decision and he bolts.

She then has a damn near scary 15 seconds of going back and forth between being incredibly sad he’s leaving and being enraged before Finger talks her down. Sooooo….all I’m getting is that this is a show about a girl with severe undiagnosed mental illnesses being played for cheap slapstick and screaming comedy.

After Portia and her dog, Precious, woo the audience, Bessie sadly announces that Happy’s not going to be in the show. Unsurprisingly, Happy shows back up and does the dog show, impressing the audience with a random rushed cluster of ‘tricks’ like flexing, dancing and playing basketball, sloppily mushed together with another ‘song’.

The audience loves them because the plot said so, but Portia’s mother is pressuring the judge to stick to the plan and let Portia and Precious win. The judge tries to call a tie, but the audience boos at him until he makes a fair tie-breaker. He says he’ll decide based on breeding. Since Happy is a torn-eared mutt and Precious is an expensive purebred, he awards Portia the win.

Set to that stock sad music we’ve heard a million times, Bessie announces to the audience that she’s fine with losing because she loves Happy and he loves her. The audience gets upset again, and even though the judge has already declared Precious the winner, he decides to check its teeth, revealing that Precious is actually a rat.

Bessie’s little brother, Ben, then takes the badge and rightfully gives it to Bessie.

I have so many questions.

First of all, how the hell do you not notice that a dog is a rat? She had that dog for quite some time it seems, but despite the training and grooming and pampering and whatnot, neither her nor her friends or her parents noticed that it was a rat? How did it go through the show without anyone noticing? I know some small dogs look weird, but mistaking them for a real rat should never be a thing.

Second of all, where the hell did she get that ‘dog’? If this were backwards, as in Precious being found on the street, I might be able to start to justify why this happened, but she touts Precious as a prebred, which means it had to have come from a breeder, she had to have paid big money for it and she has to have papers for it that prove it’s a purebred. How do you jump through all those hoops to end up with a rat?

Third, they don’t even have anything like a covering or something like they sometimes do with ‘that’s really a…!’ reveals. He looks like any other tiny toy designer dog before then, but when they check its teeth it suddenly morphs into a disgusting rat. It’s a cheap reveal because it seems like they realized they wanted Bessie to win but couldn’t be arsed to think of any better way to have it happen so they magically turned the dog into a rat to disqualify it.

All in all, this is not only an annoying show with a complete lack of humor, clever or otherwise, but the story itself is incredibly predictable (though I will give them props for poking the ‘he showed up afterall’ trope by having Bessie hear a dog bark only to see it’s a different dog in the audience. I can’t give it a lot of props, though, because they do end up just doing the trope anyway.) and ends on a note that seems incredibly sloppily written for the sake of getting Bessie the badge.

Only thing I kinda liked about it was Ben because he hero worships Bessie instead of being the typical annoying little brother, but even he could be annoying.

Final Verdict:

750spsl

I am just not a fan of the ‘never stop talking, go a mile a minute and loud=funny’ genre. Despite winning several awards, The Mighty B! Only lasted two seasons, so I guess I’m not alone in this.

Pokemon Episode 42 Analysis – Showdown at Dark City

Pokemon ep 42 title

CotD(s): Yas – Leader of Dark City’s unofficial Yas Gym, Yas is locked in a fierce battle with the Kaz Gym for the right to shoot for official Gym status from the Pokemon League. Like Kaz, he recruits passing trainers for his gang to help him beat the Kaz gym. His intentions for opening a Gym are purely for the money.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Scyther.

Kaz – Leader of Dark City’s unofficial Kaz Gym, Kaz is also locked in battle with the Yas Gym’s gang. It’s unknown what his intentions are with the Gym, but it can be assumed that he has the same motivation of money.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Electabuzz.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock arrive at Dark City – a dilapidated ghost town where people seem to be afraid of Pokemon Trainers. Pikachu is suddenly pelted with rocks from a rooftop, and Ash commands him to stop the attackers with a Thundershock.

The three attackers fall from the roof, revealing themselves to be three children who are attacking them for being Pokemon Trainers. They hit them with sticks and tell them to leave their town, but they’re suddenly stopped by a local business owner. He invites them to his restaurant to make up for what the kids did and explain what’s going on.

He states that there are two unofficial Gyms in Dark City – the Yas Gym and the Kaz gym. They’re basically a couple of gangs who have been destroying the city on a regular basis through street fights involving their Pokemon – a Scyther for the Yas and an Electabuzz for the Kaz.

Both Gyms recruit passing Pokemon Trainers to be a part of their gangs to help them gain victory over the other and become an official Pokemon Gym. The destruction and pain has been going on for so long, some of the townsfolk are scared of Pokemon Trainers and others hate them – if they’re not destroying the town and risking the safety of the citizens, they’re being set up to be recruited for the gangs, only making the problem worse.

Just then, a fight breaks out in the streets between the Yas and Kaz Gyms, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and causing a panic in the townsfolk.

Team Rocket, siding with the Kaz Gym, shows up to the restaurant demanding food, but the restaurant owner denies them service since the Kaz Gym hasn’t paid their tab in over two years. Angered, Team Rocket sets their Pokemon on the man, but Brock stops them with Vulpix and sends them packing.

A woman from the Yas Gym shows up, very impressed with their ability to fight three of Kaz’s best bodyguards away, and invites them to join Yas. Misty and Ash try to refuse, but Brock, unable to resist a pretty face, accepts.

The woman brings them to the Yas Gym leader, Yas, and presents Ash as a great Pokemon Trainer with Misty and Brock as his disciples. Yas suddenly attacks him with his Scyther as a test of his ability, but Scyther slashes a ketchup bottle Pikachu is holding and becomes furious when his vision turns red.

Scyther attacks Yas and Yas recalls him. He’s impressed enough by this ‘display’ to request that Ash and the others join the Yas Gym and help him win his fight against Kaz. Ash asks why they want to be an official Gym so badly, and Yas answers that it’s a quick way of getting money. Hearing this unethical and coldhearted reasoning, Ash refuses to join.

Yas doesn’t accept his refusal quietly and sics his followers’ Pokemon on him to ensure he doesn’t decide to join the opposition. He gets beat up fairly badly before being carried out by Misty and Brock, who regroup at the restaurant.

Ash uses his Pokedex to learn that both Electabuzz and Scyther are enraged by the color red, which was demonstrated back at the Yas Gym when the ketchup got in Scyther’s eyes. They concoct a plan to use this weakness to their advantage and stop the fighting.

Later, Yas and Kaz’s gangs meet once again in the middle of town to finally have one big brawl before the Pokemon League inspector shows up. The brawl starts, and Ash, Misty, Brock, the kids and the restaurant owner implement their plan, which involves pouring gallons of ketchup on Yas and Kaz.

Enraged by the color red, Scyther and Electabuzz both start attacking their Trainers. When they believe they’ve had enough, Ash uses Bulbasaur to pour ketchup on Scyther and Electabuzz, which shifts their targets to each other. In a blind rage, the two slam into each other and knock each other out.

It seems Ash and the others have taught Yas and Kaz a lesson, but the tables are turned when they decide to join forces against Ash and co. Just as both gangs are about to attack the group, Ash sends Pikachu off to do a Thunder attack, which is sent through the lightning rods Ash and the others planted around town and into the ground where both gangs are standing, electrocuting them all.

Yas and Kaz still try to attack Ash and the others with sticks this time until they’re stopped by a mysterious woman in a trench coat, hat and mask. She reveals herself to be the Pokemon League inspector, Nurse Joy. She refuses to approve of any Gym that uses Pokemon as tools for street fighting.

When Yas and Kaz beg for a second chance, she agrees to give it to them if they learn how to be true Pokemon Trainers from Ash. He fumbles through his lessons, but demands that they repair all of the damage that they did to the town.

With that, the kids from before have gained a new appreciation for Pokemon and Pokemon Trainers. Ash and co. take their leave, knowing Dark City may not have gained a new Pokemon Gym, but it’s certainly creating a more hopeful future.

———————-

– “Hey, guys, we did a good job getting Pikachu’s rep back up after the Pokemon Shock incident, so I want you all to clear Pikachu scenes with me for a while so we can maintain momentum with it.”

“Sure thing. Hey, there’s this scene we want to animate where Pikachu electrocutes a group of small children and makes them fall off a roof, is that cool?”

“For some reason, I see nothing wrong with that.”

“Cool!”

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– Guys, you can introduce yourselves without explaining your goals in life.

– Misty: “And I’m going to be the world’s best everything!” Well, you’re certainly giving Ash a run for his money for best narcissist.

– And thus we begin this one episode long affair Pikachu has with ketchup. Is it cute? Sure. But it comes out of nowhere, is never brought up again (Alright, it’s brought up one more time 234 episodes from now…) and is borderline creepy.

– I still don’t understand how becoming an official Gym even works. If you’re only allowed one Gym per city, why don’t these guys just move their Gym to one of the many, many, many towns with no Gym? Maybe a less….crappy looking city?

What is the officiating process for a Pokemon Gym? What entails an inspection beyond ‘don’t be a skeevy jerk and/or a gang leader’? (Which just raises all sorts of questions on how Giovanni became a Gym Leader.)

Is there a limit to how many Gyms can inhabit a region? Because we know from Gary that, canonically, there are at least ten Gyms in Kanto that are official under the Pokemon League, meaning they must allow more than the standard minimum of eight per region.

This makes sense because traveling all that way is a pain in the ass. You’d think there’d be tons of the Gyms, in the anime anyway, since the Kanto region seems to be massive and covered in cities, towns and villages. Does it specifically have to be a city? Because so many areas where there are Gyms seem far more suited to be towns than cities. Dark City is a perfect example. What part of this run down old west-styled ghost town screams ‘city’?

Gyms get money?….Actually, I guess that makes sense. They probably get grant money or something from the Pokemon League for maintenance and Gym Leader salary. That would explain how Brock was able to care for his family as an unemployed 15 year old. Also, if they do get paid, they’re totally obligated to accept all challenges. Screw you again, Erika. (And….well, more confusion when we get to Blaine)

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– I do find the concept of a Gym v. Gym gang war to be intriguing, but, I’m sorry, I cannot take these idiots seriously in those outfits – especially the Yas Gym. I mean, at least the Kaz gym just looks like a bunch of Team Rocket ripoffs. The Yas Gym looks like a weird combination of Luigi and Fred from Scooby Doo.

 

– Oh and, does Dark City have no…..oh what’s the word?….Uh….COPS! Right, them. Not that the Pokemon world cops are effective at their jobs, but they’re non-existent here.

– *Team Rocket shows up*

Ash: “There’s something familiar about them.” Obvious aside for a second, they’re only covering their mouths with scarves. Obvious back, THERE’S A TALKING GODDAMN MEOWTH, YOU DINGUS.

– Wait, the Kaz Gym, and supposedly this war, has been around for over two years? How long does it take to get a Pokemon League inspector out there?

– Why did Team Rocket hear the word ‘trouble’ several times before their ears finally perked up at the mention of it?

– Team Rocket’s gang affiliation at this point is a bit of a cluster. They were part of the bridge bike gang, and maybe still are, then they joined Team Rocket and now they’re part of the Kaz Gym.

– Ash: “It’s Team Rocket. I knew it!” No you didn’t, you ninny.

– Why are Ash and Misty so surprised that Brock used Vulpix? It’s basically his signature Pokemon now. Are they just surprised he’d let his precious Vulpix out into battle?

– What the hell is up with this woman’s outfit?

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She looks like a reject extra from a Chattanooga Choo Choo music video.

– Woman: “Those were some of the strongest bodyguards from Kaz Gym.” Then neither of you deserve to be Gyms considering Team Rocket was seen as competent enough to be hired as bodyguards by the Kaz, and the Yas considers them to be some of the strongest Trainers on the Kaz side. Ten year olds beat them on a regular basis. In fact, they beat them and blasted them off with one Gust attack just the previous episode.

– I thought that the making up the names from foods thing was kinda cute as a kid, but now….seriously guys, you can’t just think of some BS names? You just jump to ‘Ketchup’ because it’s a thing in the room? Then you purposely theme the rest of your names on foods? That sounds more difficult than just making up a real name. Try it. Think of a fake first and last name then try to come up with another where both names translate to a food. It’s pretty hard.

– Just because Brock accepted the invite to Yas doesn’t mean Misty and Ash had to go. In fact, they didn’t even show Their trainer prowess considering Brock did the work to send Team Rocket away. I guess their reputations as trainers are important enough to create false identities but not to avoid joining a gang.

– Hey look, a Gym where people are actually working out. We didn’t even get that in the Fighting Spirit Gym.

– Woman: “Yas leader, let me introduce to a great Trainer. This is Pokemon Trainer, Tom Ato. He’s brought his two disciples to help us.” I do not understand this at all.

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1) Like I said, Ash did nothing in the ‘demonstration’ against Team Rocket. He was going to, but Brock took the lead for some reason.

2) She was focusing on Brock before, why is she ignoring him now?

3) Why does she just assume Misty and Brock are Ash’s disciples? Why can they not be at least treated as equals, especially when, again, Ash did nothing to earn this praise?

At least Brock brings up how unfair this is, but it doesn’t make it any better. Can I just chalk it up to this woman being even stupider than they are?

– Even as a kid, this ketchup thing seemed like bunk to me. It’s ketchup, not red wine. It’s not even translucent. If you got a bunch of ketchup in your eyes, two things would happen 1) you’d probably see next to nothing since, again, you can’t see through ketchup and 2) you’d go OH GOD! THERE’S KETCHUP IN MY EYES! IT BURNS! THE ACIDITY! I AM WAY TOO FOCUSED ON THE PAIN RIGHT NOW TO BE ENRAGED BY ANYTHING! ARGH!

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One of the best Pikachu screencaps, though.

– Getting infuriated literally causes steam to appear on Scyther. I know it’s a cartoon, but it’s not steam out the ears or cartoonish – it’s like they want you to believe there’s really steam on him.

– Yas: “That’s the first time my Scyther has been frightened so badly. You are a powerful Trainer.” Oh for the love of….where do I begin? First, was this guy even watching the ‘battle’? He attacked a ketchup bottle, got ketchup in his eyes and then went on a rampage. How does that, in any way, translate to an impressive Pokemon battle?

Second, Scyther was obviously enraged, not frightened.

Third, Ash didn’t command Pikachu to do a damn thing. How does his Pikachu shielding himself with a ketchup bottle make Ash a good Trainer?

Fourth, that splash of ketchup to the eyes does not physically make sense. I imagine, if you sliced open a ketchup bottle, you’d only have the ketchup spilling downwards, not backwards towards the attacker. At most, it would follow the direction of the slice.

Fifth, if he was paying attention at all, he should’ve called BS on Pikachu’s use of a ketchup bottle in battle to possibly blind his opponent.

Why are so many people in this episode so insanely stupid just to move the plot forward?…..Oh I guess I answered my own question.

– Yas: “You must work for me. I need your power.” No, you need their ketchup…..I am actually not kidding. That’s how they resolve this plotline for the most part…with ketchup.

– Ash: “Why is it so important that this should become an official Pokemon Gym?”

Yas: “That answer should be obvious. What faster way is there to make money in today’s world than becoming an official Pokemon Gym?”

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Oh geez, this is going to be one of those episodes where I need to make a list of reasons why characters make no sense every line or two, isn’t it?

*sigh*

First, no…no that answer is not obvious. At all. I could think of many reasons to open a Pokemon Gym without even thinking for a second about the money involved. In fact, I’m only now thinking about the financial aspects of a Pokemon Gym.

Second, ‘what faster way is there to make money than becoming an official Pokemon Gym?’….Uhh…getting a job. Selling your crap on eBay. Selling your body to science. A laundry list of other methods of getting money which are faster than starting a Pokemon Gym.

Actually, if this whole gang war has been going on for years and becoming a Gym is crazy difficult, then this seems like one of the absolute worst ways of getting money. Certainly not worth all the property damage, criminal mischief and reputation destruction.

Third, it’s not like these are real gangs fighting over drug dealing turf. How much money can there really be in being a Gym Leader? Not many Gym Leaders seem like they’re rolling in money. In fact, most seem to live a rather modest life.

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Brock’s house looked average.

Misty seems better off, but considering she got hand-me-down doll sets, I can’t imagine her parents were rich either. Plus, they seem to have the side-business of the Sensational Sisters underwater shows.

Lt. Surge’s Gym was like a hollowed out high school gym.

Erika seems rather well-dressed and elegant to a degree, plus her Gym is fairly impressive. However, she also owns her own perfume business, which might generate a lot of money.

Koga had an old mansion, but I’m more apt to believe he inherited it through family ties instead of buying it with Gym Leader money.

Sabrina had a nice-ish psychic training facility, but nothing lavish. Plus, she might generate money from training those psychics.

Outside of Giovanni who obviously gets income from Team Rocket, Blaine seems like he might be the richest with his super secret in-volcano Gym, but he also has supplemented income with a hotel. Plus, game canon-wise, he’s a scientist.

In fact, it seems like most Gym Leaders, even in Johto and beyond, have another form of income besides the Gym, and even then they don’t seem particularly rich. If they did offer a lot of cash, Misty and Brock should never ever ever have a problem with money. It’s already a stretch that Ash keeps running out of whatever money we assume his mother sends him, but traveling with two Gym Leaders, by this guy’s logic, should result in no money problems whatsoever.

It would’ve been much more believable if these Gym Leaders were just petty dickheads who were all ‘we’re just better than the other guy! So there!’ Or maybe they just wanted the power and prestige that seems to come from being a Gym Leader, which is also a stretch because it rarely gets Brock and Misty more than a passing glance (Just look at this episode – they’re tossed to the side in favor of Ash and called his disciples.)

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Fourth, if opening aGgym were easy, quick cash in copious amounts, way more people would be doing it. There’d be Gyms everywhere.

Finally, if money’s the reason, why is anyone following either of these idiots? No matter who wins, they won’t get any money from the Pokemon League – only the Gym Leaders would. Don’t tell me they intend on divvying the money up across the gang, because then you’d really be earning next to nothing.

I don’t understand how so many people are getting caught up in this. If money’s not the allure, then what? What do they intend on doing when whomever wins, wins? Are they going to stay at the Gym and….Enter activity here?

Another tangent over. We now return to me stopping at the very next line to complain.

– Ash: “Pokemon are not just tools for fighting or making money. And I know…because I’m going to be a Pokemon master!” A being who, by definition, uses Pokemon as tools for fighting.

– Pikachu is spending way too much time mourning that ketchup bottle. They’re back at the restaurant now – just give him another one.

– This whole ‘enraged by red’ thing is considered canon by the Wiki, but is entirely a fabrication of the anime. I will even go so far as to say the Wiki’s wrong in confirming it’s anime canon, because they never do this again, and Scyther and Electabuzz are fairly common Pokemon throughout the series.

And what a friggin’ coincidence that the main Pokemon of each of these gyms just happens to be two Pokemon who are infuriated by the color red? Though they didn’t seem bothered by the ketchup bottle itself, Kaz’s gloves, Kaz’s scarf, most of Ash’s hat, the red in the logo for the Yas gym, Misty’s suspenders, Misty’s backpack, Jessie’s hair – Hell, Pokeballs are half red!

– Weird how that woman completely disappears during the big gang battles. I’m to assume she’s stupid AND useless.

– Why was Team Rocket climbing on that building anyway?

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– It’s very interesting how nearly everyone in these gangs have a ‘bad guy’ Pokemon. Ya know, Pokemon who are usually used by villains, excluding poison types. We have a ton of fighting Pokemon, then we have Rhydon, Raticate, Kingler and Golem. Also, why did everyone just release one Pokemon? If this is really a ‘we don’t care about fair battling, we just wanna fight’ brawl, they’d release all of their Pokemon. Even Yas and Kaz only seem to have Scyther and Electabuzz. How do they expect to run a Gym with only one Pokemon?

Disclaimer: I am aware of the minuscule teams Gym Leaders commonly have in early game, but according to Pokemon Origins, it’s not that they don’t have more Pokemon, it’s that they choose to use fewer Pokemon based on the experience of the challenger.

– How do the owners of a Scyther and Electabuzz not know of the red thing? Especially considering that it’s the first thing the Pokedex focuses on when their entries are brought up.

– Why did their big plan involve pouring ketchup on Scyther and Electabuzz? Wouldn’t a better option to be using Squirtle or something to wash the red off of Yas and Kaz and stop the rampage?

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There’s no way they knew they’d be stupid enough to charge literally head first into each other and knock the other out.

Also, I’m aware that these barrels might be filled with red paint, not ketchup, but ketchup was the inspiration for this plan and I believe they’d have more readied access to big containers of ketchup given they’re being helped by the restaurant owner.

– While I do applaud Ash for having the foresight of setting up a plan B just in case the gangs turned on them, Thunder shouldn’t require lightning rods to strike multiple targets.

– I was always immensely confused as to why Nurse Joy was a Pokemon League inspector. Even her badge seems more fitting for a nurse than an inspector. I might be able to swallow this better if they made her look the part, but she’s a Nurse Joy to the bone. Her Chansey still has a nurse hat on, she still has a nurse uniform on, and when she reveals her identity she calls herself Nurse Joy.

I really feel like they got insanely lazy with the character designs for this episode and when they got to the inspector, they panicked because they were short on time and just borrowed Joy’s.

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– For that matter, why was she in disguise in the first place? I know she wanted to secretly monitor the gangs, but she’s a Nurse Joy. No one would suspect that she was the inspector.

– Why did Joy release Chansey? Besides to give a hint as to who she was literally three seconds before she revealed herself.

– Joy shouldn’t have given those two a second chance at becoming a legit Pokemon Gym. She doesn’t offer any resolution to their problem of ‘this town ain’t big enough for the two of us,’ both of them are guilty of numerous accounts of assault and they’ve spent the last two years or better continuously destroying the town. But Joy seems to only see the crime of them using Pokemon for street fighting.

– I love how Ash really doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about when he’s trying to teach Yas and Kaz about being an ethical Pokemon Trainer. He means well, but he can’t get around the logistic problems of the Pokemon World. Don’t use Pokemon to fight, except when you use them to fight.

– I also believe this was the first episode where one of those ‘jokes that don’t translate’ really became apparent to me. I never once understood why there’s a picture of some food that flashes on Ash’s face when Yas and Kaz call him ‘Tom Ato’

It wasn’t until I read the comparison that I learned that Satoshi’s fake name was the food seen on screen, Omurice. For all the digital painting 4Kids is known to do, why the hell couldn’t they have drawn a tomato?

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Also, it’s very awkward when they always say their full fake names. Who talks about themselves or other people in their full name?

– This is another infuriating instance of two assholes turning on their heads and completely changing their personalities when it doesn’t seem like enough happened to do so. They got beat up and their Pokemon knocked each other out, then they got chewed out by Nurse Joy.

Remember, their incentive to becoming legit Gyms was to make money. Why do they seem to act like it’s just something they really want to do now? Unless they’re faking it for the sake of getting another chance at the money, which is possible I guess, but Kaz definitely doesn’t seem smart enough for that….and we know Yas isn’t.

– Ash: “Oh well, Pikachu really is the star.” Don’t remind me….Seriously, it’s totally unnecessary. And as sad it is, he really is right. Even Ash is not as irreplaceable as Pikachu.

——————————-

I like some parts of this episode, but others just confuse me so much that I lose my enjoyment. The Pokemon League stuff I can mostly overlook – it’s the incredibly stupid red stuff and the Nurse Joy thing that miff me.

I do like the gang v. gang concept, though I think it could’ve been executed much better. I also like Ash’s plan for stopping the fighting, even if the second splash of ketchup didn’t make much sense to me. It seemed unnecessary to knock them out if their Trainers agreed to stop fighting.

Ash was pretty well done in this episode. He stood by his principles in the faces of gang leaders, and even when he was beaten up he still wanted to help the town and stop the fighting. I also like how Ash was portrayed at the end. He may have a good heart, but he’s still a bit of an idiot even when he’s being noble. Him having his ego put in check several times throughout the episode through his clumsiness and by the kids being more interested in Pikachu is also more than welcome, even if it is more Pika-pandering.

Team Rocket is probably the most absent they’ve been in a very long time. Outside of that one battle in the restaurant, which was hardly a battle at all, they were completely superfluous to the plot and barely appeared.

Finally, I want to reiterate how awful the character designs are in this episode. Just awful. Outside of the clothes being eyesores, the actual designs of the faces are forgettable as hell. And just screw off with the Nurse Joy thing. I see through your laziness.

Next episode, one I actively hate and the debut of Exeggcute and Exeggcutor.

Previous Episode….

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And for those not in the US, damn you lucky bastards for not having to spend half the day cooking! I mean, I’m thankful for all of you. Ironically, this place and you guys all help keep me sane. ❤

So, remember, be thankful, be kind and eat in moderation to avoid a stomach ache. I’m prepared an example gif of proper Thanksgiving eating habits below.

Notice how Kirby is being mindful to keep his elbows off the table, and he is refraining from talking with his mouth full. His area is also clean and tidy, and he’s not chewing so he can eat faster and get back to having meaningful conversations with his family. Now that’s a true Thanksgivinger!

From all of….me at the Anime Madhouse, have a great Thanksgiving! 🙂

Pokemon Episode 41 Analysis – Wake Up Snorlax!

Pokemon Ep 41 Title

CotD(s): Hippie – No real name given, Hippie is usually seen hanging out beside the road, playing his PokeFlute. Like his ‘name’ suggests, he’s very much a stereotypical hippie, talking in ’60s slang and being very laid back. He owns a slue of Snorlax which he wakes up with his PokeFlute on a schedule.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Many Snorlax.

Plot: As Ash, Misty and Brock continue on their journey, they come across a hippie in the path who plays his flute for them. He asks for some food as payment for the song, but they reveal they’re completely broke.

Hungrily, they continue down the path, and they’re pleasantly surprised to finally find a town where they can get some food. However, like them, entire town is out of food.

The local mayor invites them over to his house for a meal and explains that the stream, where the village gets all of its water, suddenly dried up out of nowhere two weeks ago. Without that water, they can’t water their plants and they can’t make food. The town will starve soon if they don’t get the water flow back.

Ash and others offer to go upstream to figure out what’s causing the stoppage. After wading through a sea of thorns, they discover that the spring that feeds the stream is dry and that a Snorlax is sleeping on what seems like the source of the water.

Ash, Misty and Brock do everything they can think of to wake it up, but to no avail. Team Rocket shows up with intent of taking the Snorlax, and Ash and co. believe helping them steal it will solve the problem. Despite not wanting to help their enemies take a Pokemon, they do so. However, the cables they were using to lift the Snorlax with the balloon snap, leaving them back at square one.

They try many other methods of waking up Snorlax until it suddenly shifts, revealing a note which instructs passersby to use a PokeFlute to wake the Snorlax in the event of an emergency.

They come to the realization that the hippie from before was playing a PokeFlute and rush to ask him for help. Team Rocket and Ash and co. clash over who gets to bring him to the Snorlax. Jessie sends out Arbok to attack and Ash sends out Pidgeotto.

Pidgeotto quickly sends them blasting off with a Gust.

Ash, Misty and Brock lead the Hippie to the Snorlax and explain the situation. He states that this Snorlax is actually his and he usually wakes it up once a month, but he’s been running late. He plays the PokeFlute and successfully wakes it up, but the spring is still not flowing.

Shockingly, they see that the stream continues behind where Snorlax was sitting and that the actual cause of the stoppage is a massive pile of thorns. Ash and the others gawk at the horribly large job ahead of them, but notice the thorns starting to pull away. Snorlax has started to eat them. Turns out, thorns are Snorlax’s favorite food, and it quickly clears up the web of thorns, restoring the water flow.

The Mayor praises their efforts with a banquet, and Ash, Misty and Brock collect the fruits of their labor before continuing on their journey to Cinnabar Island.

———————–

– I like how they show Pikachu waking up to the sound of the PokeFlute. It’s a subtle hint to its function considering you could just say Pikachu’s waking up to the sound of music.

– Why doesn’t the hippie ask for food as payment and then play the song? I know it’d be more difficult to get people to pay up, but if he’s so sick of giving away free concerts, he doesn’t have much of a choice.

– Why are all of these food based businesses open if they haven’t had food stock for days at least?

– And for the ones who are closed, why are the employees still there?

– You know, for the longest time while watching this episode for the first time, I would swear the Mayor was actually James in disguise. It just really seems like a person in disguise, and the design reminds me of some of James’ better masquerades.

Pokemon Ep 41 screen1

– I love how Ash and co. suddenly pause while eating and silently feel guilty for eating so much when the town is struggling to get food.

– Mayor: “Oh please, don’t worry. My family and I can live off of our food stores for quite a while yet.” Lives in a mansion, mayor of the town, have plenty of food to go around – but the townspeople can starve.

– Soooo…no one in this town has something like a well or a water tank or anything? They’re entirely reliant on that stream?

– Here is reason one why this episode is complete bullshit. This town has been without water for at least two weeks. The problem is so bad, they’re literally starving (and….dehydrating? They should be dead by now) and their businesses are losing money every day. However, the first people to go “maybe you should follow the stream and see why it’s drying up” are three children who got there an hour ago.

‘Maybe there’s a reason they can’t do that,’ you ask? Well, the Mayor says “I should tell you, no one dares go upstream anymore. There’s no telling what you might find.” And that’s it. He’s entirely vague on what’s so scary up there just so we won’t ask why they don’t go investigate. And, spoilers, there is nothing big and scary up there.

Pokemon Ep 41 screen2

Besides, if the problem is so threatening to the businesses and lives of the town, surely some people would’ve braved the journey to see if they can fix the problem. THREE CHILDREN who don’t even live there are risking their lives for this and they barely owe anything to this town.

And, what, is there not a single Pokemon Trainer in the entire town who feels up to the task? I doubt that immensely. Even if there weren’t any in town, this seems like a fairly major road. Why not contract out passing Pokemon Trainers to help, like they did in the Diglett episode? They might not have much to offer in return, but some people have to be willing.

If not Pokemon, why not grab a few guns and a strong, sturdy vehicle and follow it? Don’t show the guns on screen, though.

Why not go to a neighboring town or city and ask for help? I can’t imagine they’re too far out in the sticks. It’s a small town, not an Alaskan homestead. At least ask for some water trucks to come through until the problem gets resolved.

There is the roadblock of the thick thornbushes, but, again, THREE CHILDREN are going through these bushes with not much issue. Misty got scratched, oh no, but they did it relatively easily. Surely a few adults with machetes or a Pokemon or two could get through that no problem.

There are just so. many. options. to help address this issue, but they think the best one is ‘sit on our asses until a bunch of children pass by and offer to help……or die. Whatever.’

– *Misty gets scratched by a thorn bush* Brock: “Be careful. Those things are sharp.” NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wha-NO WAY! GUYS! THORNS ARE SHARP! Don’t alert the media just yet, because I’m investigating something that might just lead to proof…..that fire….is hot!

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– Brock: “Hey Ash, let’s get our Pokemon to help us out here.” Now that Misty has shed blood, we can finally choose to do something we should’ve done before crawling around in a bunch of thorns. Keep in mind, these are the same kids who will let out their Pokemon for completely minor tasks sometimes like handing out fliers. But clearing the path through miles of thorns? Pbbbt, we can handle this.

– If it’s so insanely tight in those bushes, how are they doing their regular Pokeball throwing animations? Where did Bulbasaur even fit without getting itself hurt?

– Snorlax is yet another Pokemon Ash should know considering he has a Snorlax doll in his room.

– Why is Misty so excited to see a Snorlax? It’s not a Water Pokemon nor is it particularly cute. I find Snorlax kinda cute, but she later expresses disgust towards Snorlax seemingly on its appearance.

– Even without checking the Pokedex for its weight, Ash should be smart enough to figure that, if it’s hard to move, it’s probably heavy. Is it a secret Snorlax is big and fat? Cuz I don’t think it is.

Pokemon Ep 41 screen4

– Onix may not have the weight on Snorlax, but surely it has the mass and power to move it a little.

– James: “Ah it’s sleeping. Still sleeping. Watch closely, everyone. This is how Snorlax looks when it’s sleeping.” His delivery of these lines is hilarious to me for some reason.

– Ash: “I hate to let them steal Snorlax….” From most of the evidence we’ve been given so far, this is a wild Snorlax. Taking it away with cables is no more stealing it than capturing it in a Pokeball.

– Heh, Pikachu directing the balloon with landing lights is adorable.

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– I also love Team Rocket and Ash and co. working together to ‘steal’ a Pokemon for some reason. Getting increasingly interested in an AU where Ash and co are villains.

– I think it would be more realistic if the balloon just failed to lift Snorlax instead of having the cables snap. I think the most hot air balloons can usually carry is only around 500 pounds and Snorlax is twice that. But I guess having the cables snap makes for more comedy.

– It’s a bit mean, but I’m surprised none of them have thought to use a Pokemon to attack Snorlax. At the very least, Pikachu should’ve been called upon it to shock it awake.

– I know they’re all desperate, but they’re incredibly stupid to muse, even for a minute, that kissing Snorlax will wake him up.

– Why is she having such trouble finding Horsea’s Pokeball? Even though it’s a pure mystery how any Trainer instantly finds and identifies their own Pokemon’s Pokeballs…they always do it. Immediately.

– Either Psyduck somehow heard what was going on from its Pokeball and really wanted to volunteer to kiss Snorlax…or it had no idea what was going on and just burst out of its Pokeball and kissed Snorlax for no reason. ….And gauging by its reaction, it really liked it.

Hey, I’m not here to judge.

– Psyduck’s expressions after the fact are gold, though.

Pokemon Ep 41 screen6Pokemon Ep 41 screen7Pokemon Ep 41 screen8

– Believe it or not, I actually do think Meowth is the most suitable ‘noble’ Pokemon. Cats have been closely associated with royalty throughout time, so it kinda makes sense.

– I do love how it’s obvious Team Rocket’s just taking the piss out of the situation to prank Meowth.

– Brock: “How would you feel if you were kissed by Meowth?”

Ash: “I’d look for a new mouth.” Hahah! I thought that joke was funny.

– Ash: *reading the note* “In case of emergency, use a PokeFlute to wake.”

Brock: “That’s right! Now I remember! I heard once that you play a PokeFlute to wake up a Snorlax!” Oh wha—FUCK YOU, BROCK! You’ve been trying to wake Snorlax for hours, and only just now remember a precise method of specifically waking up a Snorlax?! After you read it on a note!? That is beyond even Ash levels of stupid. Go in the thorn bushes and think about what you’ve done.

– And now for even more levels of stupid – why did they never once think about consulting the Pokedex for any Snorlax waking methods? Why did they wait until a note told them about one for them to open Dexter and find out what it was?

Please, guys, stop already. We’re way over our moron quota for the episode.

– Why are Team Rocket and Ash and co. fighting over who gets the hippie? (Why am I watching an episode of Pokemon where the characters fight over who gets a hippie?) I thought they both had the same goal – to wake up Snorlax. Who cares who does it? Will Ash and the others really stop Team Rocket from taking it once they wake it up?

Pokemon Ep 41 screen9

– Ash: “Great, now’s our chance!” I have nothing to say about this line, but the animation on his mouth during it is absolutely horrid.

– Why is the Hippie running late to wake up his Snorlax? He spends his time sitting on the side of the road waiting to play a flute to passersby in exchange for food. I doubt his schedule is packed.

– Also, I was going to complain about how Ash’s Pokeball doesn’t even open when it hits Snorlax when it’s been known to catch riceballs, but if it belongs to someone else I guess that’s the reason why. I am still greatly confused as to the mechanics of Pokeballs.

– Reason number two why this episode is complete bullshit. Snorlax is not the reason why the stream stopped flowing. There was a blockage of thorns behind him. They just automatically assumed that Snorlax was the cause of the clog without thinking for a second to look behind him and make sure there was water. If that was the case, they could’ve easily redirected the water by digging a trench around Snorlax or something until they figured out how to move him.

This ‘plot twist’ is also cheap and nonsensical because there’s a far away shot of Snorlax a little while ago with a clear shot of what’s behind him and there’s no divot for a stream anywhere.

Pokemon Ep 41 screen10Pokemon Ep 41 screen11

It’s even more nonsensical because, what, is it just a giant coincidence that Snorlax is sitting at that exact spot right as the stream dries up?

– Ash: “That means…we’ll have to clear out all of these thorns before the river can flow into town again.”

Brock: “What a job!”

Yeah, if only you had a Pokemon who knew Razor Leaf and could slice through the thorns with no problem. If only you had a Fire Pokemon who could do a controlled burn to clear them out. If only we had adults with brains and equipment for stuff like this back at some town.

– How did these thorns grow this much this quickly? If they’ve always been there, this can’t be the first time the stream has dried up because of it. This is why towns usually carefully monitor and maintain streams and rivers when they’re vital parts of their infrastructure.

– Hippie: “Chow down, Snorlax. Looks like you’ve got a case of the munchies!” …..Did 4Kids just make a pot reference? I don’t know how to feel right now.

– Mayor: “This calls for a celebration! We’ll have a special banquet!” Uhh, the water’s been back for all of ten minutes. Maybe hold off on the huge banquet until the townsfolk can get some water on their crops and actually replenish their food supplies. Unless you have enough food to hold it yourself….in which case, you’re still a dick.

————————–

Despite the insane stupidity that is going on in this episode, I can’t deny that the part where they’re trying to wake Snorlax up has many funny and interesting moments. Plus, this is one of those rare episodes where they’re actually trying to mirror something that happens in the games.

In Pokemon Red and Blue, you can’t go to certain areas early on because two Snorlax are blocking two paths. You can’t wake them to battle them until you get the PokeFlute. This was an interesting way of….’realistically’ approaching that because, honestly, having a Snorlax block a path always felt really cheap to me. Can I not just go around? I can climb a rock or a bush or a tree. Surely there are spaces between the trees, I can just wiggle through. I can even get over this fence and these weird…pillars? Please? No? Fine.

Next episode, Electabuzz vs. Scyther!

Previous Episode…

Pokemon Episode 40 Analysis – The Battling Eevee Brothers

Pokemon ep 40 title

CotD(s): Mikey – The youngest of the Eevee brothers, Mikey is constantly being pressured by his brothers to evolve his Eevee. He wants his Eevee to stay as it is, but doesn’t have the courage to tell his brothers since they’re so adamant about it being necessary for Pokemon to evolve.

Reappears?: No. 😦

Pokemon: Eevee

Sparky – One of the three more outspoken Eevee brothers, (and possibly oldest?) Sparky, like his brothers, believes Pokemon should evolve as soon as possible and that the main point of Pokemon is to evolve them. He and his brothers seem to mine evolution stones from Evolution Mountain and earn a great living selling them. He is constantly pressuring Mikey to evolve his Eevee, though would prefer him to evolve it into his Eeveelution of choice, Jolteon.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Jolteon.

Rainer – Essentially identical in personality to Sparky and Pyro, though maybe less angry and loud, Rainer’s only real point of variation is that he’d like Mikey to evolve Eevee into his Eeveelution of choice, Vaporeon.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Vaporeon.

Pyro – Again, same, but he wants Mikey to evolve Eevee into Flareon.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Flareon.

Plot: As Ash, Misty and Brock continue their journey through the woods, they spot what seems like an abandoned Eevee tied to a tree. They spot a tag on its collar that says ‘Stone Town 3-14’ and decide to return it. Stone Town is known for its vast collection of evolution stones since it lies right at the base of Evolution Mountain, where they are regularly mined.

The house number is that of a gigantic mansion at the edge of town where an evolution party is being held. People are bringing Pokemon that only evolve through stone or have evolved through stones to evolve their Pokemon, talk about them and compare them. The hosts of the party are three brothers known as the Eevee brothers – Rainer, who trains a Vaporeon, Pyro, who trains a Flareon, and Sparky, who trains a Jolteon.

The group gives Eevee back, and they reveal that the Eevee belongs to their young fourth brother, Mikey, who actually seems upset that it was returned.

Turns out that the party is really being held in celebration of Mikey choosing which Pokemon he’ll evolve his Eevee into. His brothers all pressure him immensely to evolve it, stating that leaving a Pokemon unevolved makes it weak and useless in battle. They all want Mikey to choose their preferred Eeveelutions, but Mikey seems very uncertain about making any decision.

Ash and Brock try to defend Mikey, claiming he’s too young to be worrying about Trainer stuff and doesn’t need to evolve Eevee if he doesn’t want to. The brothers turn the conversation to Ash and Brock’s preferences on stone evolution, asking when Ash intends on evolving Pikachu into a Raichu and when Brock will evolve Vulpix into a Ninetales. They state that they don’t want to force their Pokemon to evolve, and the Eevee brothers yell at them for having stupid views on evolution.

Meanwhile, Misty tries to talk to Mikey about what he really wants for Eevee. Mikey says he doesn’t really care about battling, and he’d like Eevee to stay how it is. As long as they’re together, that’s all that matters.

His brothers ask him again if he’s finally decided. Just when he’s about to tell his brothers how he really feels, Team Rocket shows up. They Smokescreen the whole party and take everything from the food to the stones and the Pokemon. Using a clever balloon decoy, Team Rocket actually manages to get away for a change.

Team Rocket revels in their victory and quickly direct their attentions to Eevee and what they should evolve it into. Meowth wants it to be a Jolteon, Jessie wants it to be Flareon and James wants it to be a Vaporeon. They decide to meet halfway and use all of the stones on it at once to turn it into some super hybrid evolution. Before they’re able, they’re stopped by Ash and co. who followed an ink trail made by Misty’s Horsea.

They manage to get by the other Pokemon, but Eevee remains in their clutches and they’re not giving it up easily. Ash and Co. prepare to battle Team Rocket, but the Eevee brothers are determined to step up and fight for their brother’s Eevee themselves.

They use the Eeveelutions’ specials abilities to battle Team Rocket and stop them from leaving, but they quickly lose the upperhand. Pikachu steps in and Thundershocks them all, but they still want to fight. Determined to avenge his brothers’ Pokemon, Mikey and Eevee step up to battle. With one swift Take Down, Eevee sends them blasting off.

Sparky, Rainer and Pyro are proud of their little brother’s first battle victory and acknowledge that the unevolved Eevee battled very well. Mikey gathers the courage to tell his brothers that he wants Eevee to stay how it is and they accept his decision, welcoming him as the official fourth member of the Eevee brothers. They change the party theme to be a victory party for Mikey, and Ash, Misty and Brock enjoy the festivities before continuing on their journey once more.

———————-

– Brock: “It’s been abandoned.”

Ash: “What?”

Misty: “That’s so cruel!”

Yes, it’s clearly been abandoned what with the full food bowl….the water dish, the collar, the leash and, oh yeah, the tag which clearly displays where it lives so, should it ever run off, whomever finds it would be able to easily return it.

– And just to get this out of my system EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE EEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! SO CUTE!! AW!

Pokemon ep 40 screen1

– Evolution Mountain is one of the dumbest names I’ve ever hear—Stone town…..creative lot these guys are.

– Give the animators props for paying attention – there are no Pokemon who evolve through Moon Stones at this stone evolution party since Moon Stones are only obtained from Mt. Moon.

– Let’s get the elephant out of the room – obviously this episode is more than dated. Today, there are a grand total of eight Eeveelutions with; Umbreon, the Dark type, Espeon, the Psychic type, Leafeon the Grass type, Glaceon, the Ice type and Sylveon, the Fairy type. You can shoo this away by saying these Pokemon simply weren’t released or ‘discovered’ yet but considering we’ve always had the base evo, I can’t logically imagine these Eevee Brothers (or the Pokedex) don’t at least know of these options. If they really want to be a full set of Eevee brothers, their parents are going to have to get to work in the bedroom.

– Also, if your family (I presume) specializes in Eevee and you name your kids Rainer, Sparky and Pyro, they’re damned from birth to be pigeon-holed with the Eeveelutions that match their names. Must’ve been awkward when Mikey was born.

Dad: “There are no more Eeveelutions!”

Mom: “We’ll have to give him a normal name then, like Mikey.”

Rainer: “Mom, why does Mikey get a normal person name?”

Mom: “Because we haven’t even reached Gen II, dear. In the future, you’ll have more brothers named Shade, Espa, Meadow, Icicle and Tinkerbell!”

Pyro: “Mommy, Daddy, do you hate us?”

Dad: “Of course not, son.”

Pyro: “Really?!”

Dad: “Yes, really. Now shape your hair into the appropriate elemental for what we’ve assigned you and dye it the proper color.”

Sparky: “Do we have to?”

Mom: “Yes, dear. And don’t forgot to wear those color coded leotards we bought you!”

Pyro: “But….why? What does that have to do with the Eeveelutions or our assigned elements?”

Dad: “Don’t backtalk your mother, Sport.”

Sparky: “Will Mikey have to wear a color coded leotard?”

Dad: “Oh, gosh, no, son. He has a normal person name, so he can wear normal person clothes.”

Rainer: “Awwwwwwwww!”

Mom: “Don’t worry, kids. His hair will be styled into an Eevee collar poof design.”

Pyro: “Will he have to dye his hair?”

Dad: “Golly, no, Champ. He has normal person brown hair. Now go along and develop a completely understandable complex about evolution and prepare to put undue pressure on your brother for his whole childhood.”

– Also, being fair to 4Kids, Sparky, Pyro and Rainer’s names are puns in the original version too.

– RAICHU! 😀

Pokemon ep 40 screen2
You’re too good for this world, Raichu.

– Is it ever explained how the Eevee brothers are so rich? I imagine evolution stones fetch a nice price, and they state that they mine the stones from Evolution Mountain, but they certainly don’t look like miners (I will not let the leotard thing go) and considering they’re just giving away tons of evolution stones at this party, I can’t imagine they’re in the business of selling them (unless they’re just that rich that they don’t care about handing out a batch or two for free). Like most kids in the Pokemon world, they don’t seem to have parents, sooooo.

– Sparky: “Where did you go to? We were worried about you, Eevee!” Not worried enough to…ya know…look for you…or stop this party….but we were worried sick!

– The voice acting for these three brothers is horrid. They all sound like they’re always yelling, and their delivery is so stiff I thought they’d be able to introduce a new Rock-based Eeveelution.

– Pyro: “How could you lose him!? You’ve got to be more careful!”

Rainer: “You’ll lose your trainer qualification.”

Pokemon ep 40 screen3

Whoa wait, back up. First of all, he’s like six or seven, there’s no way he’s old enough to be a legit Trainer with qualification yet.

Second, he can lose his Trainer qualification if he loses his Pokemon?….Just….what? If that’s true, Ash and co. should’ve lost their qualification eons ago and a hundred times over at this point in the series. (I mean that both at this episode and where we currently are in airing) And if losing a Pokemon is something worth having your qualification revoked over, why is there no penalty for abandoning or releasing a Pokemon? That seems like a much worse offense.

– Sparky: “Listen up, Mikey! One day you’ll be a Pokemon Trainer just like us!” But you just said he was. How do you have Trainer qualification to lose without being a Trainer to begin with?

– Rainer: “Do you really think you can win your first battle with an unevolved Eevee?” I dunno. Let’s ask the first-time Trainers who win their first matches with Pokemon like Caterpie, Weedle, Rattata, Pidgey, Spearow and other very weak base evo Pokemon that most people have when they start out because they’re STARTING OUT.

In fact, Eevee actually has slightly better total stats than all of the Kanto starters.

– Pyro: “We won our first battles because we evolved our Eevees. There’s no other way to win!”

Yeah, it’s not like you can train a Pokemon to be strong or anything.

Pokemon ep 40 screen4

– Mikey: “But…I don’t care about battles…”

Eevee Brothers: “DON’T CARE?!”

Mikey, you know that as a small child in the Pokemon universe, you must desire to one day be a Pokemon Trainer. It’s just the way it is. Now take this mostly empty backpack and go camping in the mountain wilderness for a week to prepare for a childhood wrought with travel, lack of survival supplies and useless maps.

– Here we go with the ridiculous repetition of the Eeveelutions names. I almost wish we had separate episodes for each one.

– I don’t even know why they’re explaining all of this to Mikey. Surely growing up in a town filled with stone evolved Pokemon with the Eevee brothers as his brothers, in a house with the Eeveelutions, he already knows what stones yield what evolution and what the Eeveelutions are. You could say it’s for the audience’s sake, but we just had a scene a moment ago where Ash learns of the Eeveelutions through the Pokedex. Outside of some more specific information on their abilities, which Dexter could’ve given, this is completely pointless.

– This explanation also makes Flareon look boring.

“Look! Jolteon can turn its fur into needles and shoot them at its opponents!”

“That’s nothing! Vaporeon can literally melt into bodies of water and disappear!”

“Oh yeah, well, Flareon can shoot fire from its mouth!”

“…Like…literally any other Fire Pokemon?”

“…..Er….yes!”

Pokemon ep 40 screen5

Even its Japanese name slams the brakes on when put in a list.

Thunders! Showers! …..Booster!

confused-nostalgia-critic-o

– Anyone who wants my opinion on the Eeveelutions, by the way, I have always been very partial to Vaporeon. Even today, I’d still say it’s my favorite. Though, when I first played Pokemon Red, I do believe I made my Eevee a Jolteon just because I didn’t have a decent Electric Pokemon on hand. My favorite type is Fire, but I had Charizard on my first go, so I didn’t see the point in getting Flareon.

I’ve always really liked Umbreon and Espeon, but I never became interested in Glaceon, Leafeon and Sylveon.

– I doubt this was planned, but it is interesting that Ash, Misty and Brock all have at least one Pokemon who can evolve through stones, and they all have one that match the specific types that Eevee evolves into (Ash with Pikachu (Thunder Stone) Raichu, Brock with Vulpix (Fire Stone) Ninetales and Misty with Staryu (Water Stone) Starmie)

Pokemon ep 40 screen6

It’s also interesting that each is in a different situation with stone evolution. Ash has already gone over this exact same thing. He respects Pikachu too much to force it to evolve without its consent. If Pikachu wants to stay the way it is, he’s happy to oblige.

Brock can’t really evolve Vulpix because it’s not his. Vulpix is on loan from Suzie. Evolving it without her permission would be very douchey. Shame no Rock Pokemon evolve through stones. You’d think they would, but I guess it’d have to be called the Stone Stone or something.

Misty’s situation is actually the most interesting, but they don’t address it. Misty does have Staryu, but she also has Starmie, meaning she has no reason to evolve Staryu and she is the only one of the group to evolve her Pokemon through stones (Unless she caught it wild, which is possible) It’s also interesting that the Eevee brothers don’t offer Misty a Water Stone to evolve her Staryu.

……..I just now understood the pun of Starmie and Staryu’s names….Star-me….Star-you…..Ugh, I can’t even blame 4Kids for this.

– Misty: “Wow, Water Stones! And Thunder! And Fire!”…..Aaannnnddd…….

Leaf.

Why is the Leaf Stone being so ignored? Just because it doesn’t do anything for Eevee?…..Why doesn’t it do anything with Eevee? Especially now considering that there is a Grass Eeveelution. You’d think if you were making some super multi-evo Pokemon that you’d have something prepared with all of the stones.

Pokemon ep 40 screen7

– Pyro: “But you can’t mine them all the time!” *cut off by Team Rocket*

Wha…why? Why bring that up just to not explain the reason? I imagine it’s bad for the environment or the mountain maybe…..Do evolution stones replenish themselves in nature? Do they ever regain their power once used?

– The Pokemon Friend….the worst book title ever. What is with the god awful naming today?

– Why, if they mine evolution stones for a living and live, eat, breathe evolution, did the Eevee brothers need a special book on the subject to plan a party? It’s even weirder considering they never explain the contents of the book and they never bring it up again outside of this two-line exchange. Damn you fake product placement!

– Brock: “I’ve got a Vulpix that will evolve into a Ninetales.” *can evolve into a Ninetales. “Will” implies that you intend on doing it or that it will naturally evolve.

….Wait, why is Vulpix already out of its Pokeball? When did you do that?

– Brock: “I just can’t force Vulpix to evolve. Vulpix is very important to me.”

Eevee Brothers: “DON’T BE DUMB!”

I’ll just keep this scene in my pocket for now.

Pokemon ep 40 screen8
Is Pikachu doing the Thriller Dance?

– Misty: *watching Horsea swim around in the fountain* “It sure has been a while, hasn’t it?” Yeah, it sure has been a while since we remembered you had a Horsea…..Also, you have other Pokemon who maybe would like a swim, Misty. Like your seldom-used Goldeen, who might as well be named Goldeotto.

– Watching Misty punch her Psyduck in the head cheers Mikey up…..Wow.

– If Mikey intended on going back for Eevee tomorrow or later that night, what would that have solved? It’s not like the party is his only shot at evolution. He can evolve Eevee at any time, and they’ll never let up on pressuring him into evolving it.

Pokemon ep 40 screen9

– Mikey is….happy to hear that if he hadn’t reclaimed Eevee, Misty would’ve just made off with it? You react oddly to things, Mikey.

– I’ve always really loved the interactions with Mikey and Misty. She makes it clear that she’s more interested in what he wants than what his brothers want, which is probably something Mikey has yet to hear. She also connects back his situation to not one but two callbacks to previous episodes and backstories.

First, she brings up Pikachu’s choice to not evolve in The Electric Shock Showdown. Which is very applicable here because Misty accurately surmises that Mikey doesn’t seem interested in evolving Eevee at all.

Second, she connects with Mikey as a younger sibling, which loops back to her backstory as being the youngest of four sisters who are also less than kind to her (Oddly, the three older siblings hair color even matches. Daisy has blond hair, like Sparky. Violet has blue hair like Rainer. And Lily has pink hair, which is technically a light red, like Pyro. Her hair color, like Mikey’s, is also different from her sisters, and their name themes also don’t continue. Misty’s sisters’ names have a flower theme, but her name reflects her love of Water Pokemon. Mikey’s brothers’ names are element themed, but his name is normal, which reflects the Normal type of Eevee.)

Pokemon ep 40 screen10

– Brock: “They took the stones AND they took the food too!”….Aaaaaannndddd……

The Pokemon.

I can overlook ignoring the Leaf Stone but Brock’s supposed to be the bleeding heart Breeder. Why would he only point out that the food and stones got stolen?

– It is funny that Misty’s disappointed that they didn’t take Psyduck, though. It’s even good continuity because they’ve rejected stealing him in the past.

– Pidgeotto: Balloon Popper extraordinaire.

– Credit to Team Rocket for the balloon ruse. That was pretty clever.

– Oh I see now. Misty let out Horsea to be a plot device. Got it.

Pokemon ep 40 screen11

– James: “We’ve been beaten so many times, I’ve forgotten what victory tasted like.”

*punch*

Jessie: “I don’t ever want to hear you call us losers again!”

…..Ctrl+f “losers”……Nope.

– Why are they set on making Eevee evolve? They already have all of the Eeveelutions and surely there’d be a bigger market for an unevolved Eevee. Sell the lot as a packaged set.

– I know it would likely just evolve from whatever stone hit it like a millisecond first, but I do have to wonder what would happen if you applied all of the evolution stones to Eevee.

– I can’t believe I never remembered Psyduck knows Water Gun….then again, considering it does next to nothing, I suppose I’m not surprised.

– Aw, Psyduck’s adorable and hilarious following up his dinky Water Gun with a V for victory sign and a big goofy smile.

Pokemon ep 40 screen12

– Sparky: “Watch the power of an evolved Pokemon! Jolteon, attack!” Is that directed at Team Rocket? Because….uh….Weezing and Arbok are evolved Pokemon, so this declaration doesn’t make sense.

– What the hell is up with the animation when Team Rocket starts to run away? It’s like they only had keyframes and animated them with fade transitions.

– Pyro: “Flareon! Fire Spin!” Remember, kids, only you can cause forest fires.

– Bullshit all of the Eeveelutions are being taken out by Arbok and Weezing, especially when they’ve been easily beating them this whole time.

– Mikey: “Eevee, Take Down attack!” *two seconds later* “Rage tackle!” Keeping in mind that Mikey’s young and inexperienced, I’ll just jot these down as notes. First off, let the Take Down hit before you call for another attack.

Second, Rage Tackle is not an attack.

Third, holy crap, how does this newbie have an Eevee who is high enough level to know Take Down!? That’s Eevee’s strongest Gen I attack, and it learns it at level 42. And these dumbasses still think Eevee is too weak to win his first battle as a new trainer? Geez.

Pokemon ep 40 screen13

– I can believe that Eevee beat an already weakened Team Rocket, but not that it blasted them off by sheer force.

– Sparky: “Mikey! Winning your first battle by yourself! That’s incredible!” By himself? What? You guys had weakened them first, then Pikachu Thundershocked them all then Mikey came in. That is probably the biggest group of named characters I’ve seen against Team Rocket yet. He did well, sure, but beat them single-handed? Yeah right.

– Rainer: “And you won without making Eevee evolve. I was wrong.” For the love of—Eevee could’ve snuggled them and won at that point!

– Mikey: “Guys, I’ve decided that I want to be an Eevee Trainer.”

Sparky: “An Eevee Trainer?” Here it comes….

“Well, Mikey, if that’s what you want to do, then do it.”

……Eh?

Rainer: “If you felt that way about it, you should’ve told us sooner.”

BULL.

head-desk-gif-12

FUCKETY.

head desk

SHIT…

head desk MLP

I hate character revelations where jerks suddenly turn on their heads and decide they were wrong and act like they would’ve understood something earlier when all implications given earlier are the complete opposite.

Remember that scene I kept in my pocket? Where Ash and Brock said they respected their Pokemon’s wishes and didn’t want to force them to evolve? And the Eevee brothers responded with an aggressive “DON’T BE DUMB!”?

If Mikey had expressed this sooner, which I can’t imagine he never even implied through conversations or behavior, his brothers would give him that same stupid speech about how evolved Pokemon are the only way to win battles and how Pokemon are only really useful when evolved and blah blah blah. Just like how they blew up when he said he didn’t care about battling.

Pokemon ep 40 screen14

Other than ‘the plot said so because it’s 22 minutes, wrap it up’ there’s no reason why the brothers are being so unbelievably understanding right now. I really wanted Mikey to rant on the spot at Rainer’s line, saying how massive douchecanoes they all are in the amount of pressure they’ve been giving him to evolve Eevee – even putting him on the spot to make a decision at some big evolution party in his honor to celebrate his evolution decision.

– Uhh, there is no way an Eevee is holding a glass with its paw…..Why are the Pokemon drinking out of glasses anyway? Someone put down a bowl.

– Misty: “Friends forever?”

Mikey: “Friends forever!” ….Ctrl+F “Reappears?:”…..Welp.

– Misty: “It must be nice to have big brothers.”

Ash: “You could pass for my brother!”

Ash, you really couldn’t resist being an idiot during a legit nice moment, huh? Also, Ash sure has been a background character today.

– What the hell is up with Raichu in this picture?

Pokemon ep 40 screen15

– Where the hell did Cloyster and Vileplume go?

– Why is Arcanine the one stone evo Pokemon they opted not show in this episode?

– Who let Psyduck run the camera?

– Where the hell were you extra Trainers when they were trying to retrieve your Pokemon? It’s the Butterfree Trainers all over again.

—————————

All in all, I do really like this episode mostly for the relationship between Mikey and Misty and the focus on Eevee and its Eeveelutions. It has a lot of good writing with how they approach this topic, though they missed some opportunities for discussion, and Team Rocket actually was pretty clever today. Plus, they did succeed fully for once – they stole and ate all of the food.

However, the Eevee brothers damn near ruin it for me. They are just so ridiculously obnoxious. It truly is like three mini-Lt. Surges.

And it’s a bit tired to constantly see stone evolution in a bad light. They always treat it like the Pokemon is being forced into it against their will, but stone evolution is a perfectly legitimate and fine method of evolving.

If regular evolution, like the series has shown us time and again, is a choice for many Pokemon, especially when it comes to staying put as they are, there’s nothing wrong with using a stone on them to do the same thing. I’m quite certain most stone evolved Pokemon are asked for consent and seem fine with doing it. For example, the Poliwhirl seen at the start of the episode seemed very happy to become a Poliwrath.

In hindsight, this is also a bit odd because we will see Ash and Co. stone evolve Pokemon through the years and they seem to have no moral qualms doing it.

Next episode, Snorlax is blocking stuff because that’s what Snorlax always do.

Previous Episode…..

Pokemon Episode 39 Analysis – Pikachu’s Goodbye

Pokemon Ep 39 title

CotD(s): None.

Pre-analysis Notes: Yup. There’s more behind-the-scenes stuff to go through. And this episode isn’t even a little banned. Last time for a while, I promise.

Like I mentioned in the previous episode, the airing of Pokemon was put on hold for four months after the Pokemon Shock incident. Since the show started re-broadcasting in April, they opted to skip the winter-themed episodes, Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out, for the time being. Because of this, they had to move on to the episodes that followed.

The Battling Eevee Brothers is about—No wait, that’s not right. Wake Up, Snor—nope. That’s not it either. Showdown at D—…Still no. Where the hell did this episode come from?

Turns out, there was still damage control to do after the Pokemon Shock incident. We all know that the Electric Soldier Porygon episode got super-banned and Porygon and its evos were shoved into a closet marked “Don’t Porygon. Open inside.” But there is still one obvious loose end that needed to be tied up. A yellow rat shaped loose end.

Despite the fact that the public at large associated the Pokemon Shock incident with Porygon, many people were still very aware that Pikachu was the cause of it. And even though I said that the showrunners would never sacrifice their precious Pikachu shaped ATM, they realized what had to happen in order to properly respect the children who were affected.

They had to take the proper steps, story-wise, to say goodbye to Ash’s best pal. So they dedicated an entire episode to Pikachu finding other wild Pikachu and forming a familial bond with them. Ash, realizing that his Pikachu was happy there, tearfully bid him farewell and continued on his journey.

While he felt the weight of the missing Pikachu on his shoulders every day, he knew it was for the best. Hopefully, he’d come back and visit his old friend someday, having grown, learned, matured and—PBBBBBBBBBBTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *snort*Ahahahaha, I knew I couldn’t make it through that! Ahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa! *sigh* No.

What really happened, in speculation because they’d never admit to this of course, is that they realized that Pikachu had been slightly vilified by the events of the previous episode, so they knew they had to do something major to put Seizurechu back in the good graces of their audience.

During the four month hiatus, they seemingly brewed up this episode on the fly since it had not appeared in any broadcast or production schedule before the incident occurred. And if there was ever an episode cherry-picked to make you love Pikachu, it’s this one.

Step right up! Hurry hurry! We’ve got so many Pikachu, you’ll think you just fell into a bargain bin of clearance Pikachu plushies at that outlet mall that never doesn’t smell like mildew! Check it out! We’ve got Pikachu with slightly ruffled tails, Pikachu with slightly bent ears, Pikachu with slightly bent and ruffled ears! Not enough?! What are you? A black-hearted Porygon?! What do we have to show you? A baby Pikachu?! Well, that’s physically imposs—OH BOOYA! BABY FREAKIN’ PIKACHU!

Look, they’re doing cute things like throwing Satoshi’s Pikachu into the air with their tails, doing a handshake with tails, rubbing their faces together and making sparks, and chanting to the moon like a Clefairy cult!

But wait, we offer more than just diabetes-inducing cuteness! We also have heartwrenching sadness! Get a bittersweet smile as Satoshi’s Pikachu has a bunch of fun with the other Pikachu. Tear up as Satoshi comes to the realization that Pikachu’s better off in the wild. Cry your eyeballs out of their sockets when that damn clipshow with that godforsaken song comes up. Then forget all about any connections Pikachu had with the—Hhmm? What’s that? Already forgotten because Pikachu’s slow-mo jumping into Satoshi’s arms? Nevermind then!

That is basically the entire gist of this episode.

As I read the episode’s Wiki page before starting the rewatch, I came across an interesting section. When this episode aired in Japan, they had a woman named Miyuki Yadama introduce the show. She explained the reasons behind the hiatus, the whole Pokemon Shock incident and even the specific reason behind the seizures.

The interesting part is what’s in the frame with Ms. Yadama as she’s giving this intro. She’s surrounded by Pokemon dolls. There are several species in the frame, but one Pokemon is noticeably much more prevalent.

Guess who?

EP038_incident_explanation

There are, at least, 12 Pikachu in this shot. Maybe 13, but I can’t tell if the first one to the right is an Electabuzz. If you had any question about the validity of my suspicions, just look at this picture. This intro preceding this episode makes me wonder if there’s such a thing as overdosing on Pikachu.

They so very desperately want you to fall back in love with Pikachu again, it’s almost creepy.

Without any further adieu, Pikachu’s Goodbye.

Plot: Taking a rest in the forest, Pikachu spots a Baby Pikachu in the bushes and runs to greet it. The Baby Pikachu runs off to its group and Pikachu tries to make friends with them. The group is leery, but welcome Pikachu into the group when the Baby Pikachu properly greets him with a tail shake.

Ash decides that he wants to make friends with them too so he bursts from his hiding spot and yells out that he wants to play with them. However, they’re quickly scared off by him, leaving Pikachu disappointed.

Later, Brock explains that the Pikachu are likely scared of humans due to a lack of contact with them. They’re currently so far into the woods that people likely don’t wander around there very often. This area is like a paradise to them, and they agree that they should do everything in their power to avoid disturbing them.

Suddenly, the Baby Pikachu from earlier falls into the nearby river. It’s not strong enough to fight the current, so Pikachu jumps in to save it. The other Pikachu form a Pikachain to grab onto the two of them and pull them to safety. Pikachu’s now even more welcomed into their group, and Ash comes to the realization that Pikachu may be better off living with the wild Pikachu than traveling with him.

He struggles with the thought through the night when the Pikachu cry out in panic. Team Rocket has wrangled up all of the Pikachu in an insulated net and plans to take them all. They start to fly away, but Pikachu bites through the net and climbs up onto the balloon’s basket to distract Team Rocket while Ash and the others catch the Pikachu in a net as they jump from the balloon.

Pikachu bites the balloon and sends Team Rocket blasting off. As the Pikachu cheer, Ash becomes adamant that Pikachu really would be better off in the wild with the other Pikachu and tries to silently leave. However, Pikachu follows him. Ash tries to get Pikachu to understand that the other Pikachu need him there and that he shouldn’t follow him anymore.

Trying his best not to shed tears in front of Pikachu, he quickly bids him goodbye and runs off. Misty and Brock catch up to him and struggle to understand why he feels the need to do this. They’re unable to argue when Ash explains the situation.

Suddenly, Pikachu shows up again, much to Ash’s surprise. The Pikachu cheer on the both of them. Ash realizes that Pikachu has chosen to stay by his best friend. They tearfully reunite with a hug, knowing they’ll always continue their journeys together.

————————

– Narrator: “Our hero, Ash, along with his friends, Misty and Brock….” Oh, we’ve gone from ‘our heroes’ to ‘Ash, the hero and friends.’ Nice.

– Ash: *swinging from vine* “KANGA-KANGASKHAN!” It’s less than 30 seconds into the episode and so far it’s given me two prompts to punch Ash in the face. Good job.

– Eeeeeee! Baby Pika…….I mean *cough* in hindsight, baby Pikachu is impossible because it’s an evolved form from the yet to be revealed Pichu. Hahaha, what adorable continuity—HORRIBLE! What HORRIBLE continuity.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen1

– Awwww the Pikachu rubbing their faces together to get sparks. That’s so cu—Uh….Shouldn’t they be stuck together like Pikachu and Raichu did in Pikachu’s Vacation? Pbbtt, you guys sure are messy with the yet-to-happen continuity today. Hahaha…..ha.

– AW THEY’RE NIBBLING APPLES AND WRESTL—Ahem….errr…..where the hell are they going? Pikachu are only indigenous to the Viridian Forest, The Power Plant and the Rocket Game Corner (in Green) in Kanto.

So, given the last few episodes and considering they’re in a forest, they went from the Safari Zone to Cycling Road (it’s definitively called that in the original version) to two anime-exclusive towns along the way to Viridian Forest.…..when their next destination is Cinnabar Island, which takes them nine episodes. Because, apparently, between Viridian Forest and Cinnabar Island there are at least seven different towns and cities when it would’ve taken an episode or two from where they started, especially considering the Seafoam Islands don’t seem to be the same hurdle that needs jumping to get there from there and they just take a boat anyway.

Basically, they did this

Map confusion

When they just needed to do this. map6

 

I really need to stop applying game logic to this show or else I’ll have to buy one of those blood pressure cuffs.

– Aw, the Baby Pikachu is ‘shaking tails’ with Ash’s Pikachu. Awww—fully easy to earn your trust, eh Baby Pikachu? Yeah….*sniff*

Pokemon Ep 39 screen2

– Ash, after seeing how wary they were of his Pikachu, thinks nothing of bursting from a nearby bush, running towards the group of Pikachu, waving his arms and yelling to them. *sigh*

– Not for nothing, but couldn’t any of Ash and Misty’s Water Pokemon help save the Baby Pikachu?

– I get that it’s hard to grab anywhere else in a Pikachain, but pulling on their tails has to be really painful.

– Uh, why is the Baby Pikachu, the one who was originally drowning, fine, but Ash’s Pikachu is unconscious?

– Cheek to cheek resuscitation would be a cuter term for this if not for the giggles it would receive….heheh, butts.

– Awwwwww, they’re lifting him up and throwing him through the air with their tails to cheer for Pikac—No!….No…*cough*

– Is that one Pikachu rubbing the other’s ass?

Pokemon Ep 39 screen3

– Awww, they’re sing/chanting at the moon that’s….cute and creepy? Are we back to the theory that Pokemon are aliens? What is this exactly?

– It’s cool that their chanting matches the BG music.

– The Who’s That Pokemon shot of Pikachu just reminds me of how much weight little chubby Pikachu has lost since he met Ash.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen4

– I do like how they create this dilemma with Ash. Pikachu is Ash’s best friend and first Pokemon. He obviously loves all of his Pokemon, but Pikachu is still very special to him (blatant favoritism aside.) Hearing that Pikachu might be happier without him while seeing the evidence in front of his face has to be incredibly difficult.

I’d compare it to Bye Bye Butterfree to a major extent. Butterfree was the second Pokemon Ash ever had and he realized that its future and happiness was not with him but with his new mate and children out in the wild. Even though Butterfree meant a lot to him, he knew he had to let him go. One of the purest forms of showing true love is pushing your happiness and feelings aside in order to make the other happy.

He’s doing the same thing here, which could nudge this episode slightly into rip-off territory (even the title is similar: Bye Bye Butterfree → Pikachu’s Goodbye) but I think does enough to skew it away from that.

The thing that kinda snags this is that Ash isn’t really taking into consideration what Pikachu wants. I know that seems counter to what I’ve been saying, but he never really asks Pikachu if he wants to stay there. He’s just doing what he believes is right for Pikachu, when, in reality, wouldn’t every Pokemon who is captured be better off with their own kind back in the wild?

Ash knew Butterfree had made his decision to stay with the other Butterfree and his mate to start a new life in the wild again. He knew that was what he wanted. Here, Ash just sees Pikachu enjoying himself and making new friends then assumes he’d be happier there without him.

It also messes up the departure scene. Whereas in Bye Bye Butterfree where the entire departure is sad and heartbreaking, though bittersweet because you know it’s for the best, here you get like an Old Yeller impression, like Pikachu’s confused as to what Ash is doing and seems like he’s being abandoned, to a degree. Before Pikachu goes to see where he went, Ash seems like he’s going to leave Pikachu without even saying goodbye. The sadness is mostly triggered by the clipshow and accompanying song.

– I think I understand now why Brock’s eyes are the way they are. He sleeps facing fires.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen5
Thank God, a Pika-free screencap…..are they sleeping on top of their sleeping bags?

– Ash: *facing a net filled with the Pikachu* “Pikachu! PIKACHU!”

This is one of those times where calling a Pokemon by its species name seems stupid. This would be like me naming my dog Dog, losing him in a pack of dogs and yelling ‘Dog! DOG!’

– Hey, you know what’s a good idea to include in your first post-seizure episode? A shot where the characters are blinded by bright lights!

– Misty: “You’re not swiping anything!” Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping!

Misty: “Pikachu! Break through the ropes with an electric attack!” Why did Misty get these lines? Pikachu is not her Pokemon.

– Hey, you know what’s a good idea to include in the dubbing of the post-seizure episode? This line-

James: “They’re no match for our Pikachu insulated SEIZURE net!” Good job, 4Kids.

– *sigh* Yet another time where Ash and the others forget they have non-Pika Pokemon.

Misty’s Staryu and Starmie have been known to cut through things. Brock’s Vulpix could burn the ropes. Geodude could just rip them up. Ash’s Bulbasaur could Razor Leaf them out. Charmander could burn the ropes. Pidgeotto might be able to cut through them.

Even after they get captured in the net, they could still easily use a Pokeball.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen6

– Pikachu, the mouse Pokemon, just now decided to start chewing the ropes.

– The animation for the chewing, when seen from afar, seems so erratic.

– Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s a hell of a lot more Pikachu than we’ve ever seen on screen before this point. We’ve been seeing like 20-30, but there have to be hundreds in there.

– Ash: “Alright! We’re free!” We won’t explain how, but we’re free!

– Ya know, I know this episode wasn’t even a thought back then, but I feel like this episode should’ve preceded Sparks Fly for Magnemite. At least this would explain why Pikachu has a fear of being abandoned by Ash, to a slight degree.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen7

– It’s actually a little funny. The episode’s called Pikachu’s Goodbye, but Ash is the only one who says it.

– Ash: “All of these Pikachu in the forest need you.” That’s highly debatable. He could help them out, sure, but need? That’s going a bit far. Honestly, Pikachu wouldn’t have even been successful in saving the other Pikachu from Team Rocket if Ash and the others didn’t catch them with the net.

This is another reason why the departure is a bit screwed. He should’ve just sat down with Pikachu and explained that he believed he’d be happier there with the wild Pikachu.

– “I close my eyes….and I can see….the day we m–” NOPE!

You’re not getting me this time! You can’t make me feel feelings!

feelz

NO! LEAVE ME ALONE!

drowning

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

feelings

– Must….include….cynicism….Urgh….Oh I know. Way to save two minutes of animation by having a somewhat sloppy clipshow. Our second one this episode, I might add, but the first was much shorter.

– Oh look, honored Messiahchu literally summoned the sun. That’s the only way to explain away going from dead of night to sunrise in three seconds.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen8
Pikachu: “You’re my bitch now, Ra!”

– Aw, the Baby Pikachu saying goodbye to Pikachu—I mean, it’s really stupid how—Awwww, Pikachu jumping into Ash’s arms. Rrrghh…resist…. Aw, the look on Ash’s face before he does it…..I’m slipping….Aw, he’s crying! Not gonna make it….not…gonna…Aww the other Pikachu are cheering for them–

Feels-Explosion

————————–

Fine! I like this episode, okay? It’s not a masterpiece, but I like it. I don’t care if it has minimal story, I don’t care if they’re obviously cutting corners with the animation to get it out within four months, I don’t care if the art sometimes looks really weird like making them seem too tall or too old (Ash looks about five years older when he’s watching the fire.) I don’t care if this plot is a little recycled from Bye Bye Butterfree. I don’t care if the departure’s botched a little. I don’t care if my feelings are being manipulated for the sake of ‘love Pikachu again, we promise he won’t make you foam at the mouth anymore.’ They succeeded in their mission.

Hell, I’ll even forgive a minor issue with this episode – the Baby Pikachu might just be a chibi Pikachu. *shrug*

As we’ve all learned by now, sometimes we just like things without needing a good reason. It’s cute and sad. That’s my justification. As much as I hate the favoritism sometimes, Ash and Pikachu can be legitimately heartwarming as a friendship. I grew up with these two. I can’t untug the heartstrings.

Next episode, Eevee! The Eeveelutions! More continuity problems with later generations! Annoying as hell CotDs! And hair.

Previous Episode….

Pokemon (Banned) Episode 38 Analysis – Electric Soldier Porygon

Pokemon ep 38 screen8
I’m certain most of Japan agrees with you, Kasumi.

CotD(s): Akihabara-Hakase – Creator of the Monster Ball transfer system, Akihabara is very intelligent but also eccentric and somewhat dangerous.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Akihabara has two Porygon, and the species as a whole is also his creation.

Pre-Analysis Notes: Look, you know what this is. I know what this is. Nearly everyone who knows even a little about classic Pokemon or anime knows what this is. But, just in case, let’s be frank about it anyway.

It’s the seizure episode.

It’s arguably the most well-known singular episode of Pokemon and, arguably, the most well-known banned episode of any animated series outside of that one episode of Tiny Toons where they drink beer.

The cause of the famous Pokemon Shock incident, Electric Soldier Porygon is the episode that caused seizures in 600+ kids in Japan when it first aired. The effects of this episode airing are still being felt to this day. In fact, this episode caused the creators of Pokemon to go back and edit some of their episodes to help prevent possible seizure-inducing shots.

For instance, you may have noticed by now in certain episodes where Pikachu is doing electric attacks (most notably in these instances, I might add, but let’s address this later) that the animation starts jutting or slowing down and the brightness gets significantly lower. I also mentioned that I believe this incident is the reason for the nightmare fuel animation Hypno and Drowzee shots in Hypno’s Naptime.

It’s not just contained to Pokemon either. Other anime and western animated shows also tone down the brightness and tweak the animation in flashy action shots, such as in shounen fighting anime, to prevent this same thing from happening.

That’s not all. Many anime also started putting those all too familiar ‘don’t sit too close to the TV and turn up the lights in the room’ warnings at the start of certain shows to also help prevent this.

And that’s still not all. Because of this incident, the creators of Pokemon felt they had to do damage control in the future and prevent people from remembering this event. Thus, Porygon had to be sacrificed.

In addition to it never getting an anime release outside of Japan, Porygon and all of its evos have been silently banned from ever getting their own episodes or being used by Trainers in the entirety of the anime. They don’t even get mentioned. The best they get are incredibly minor cameos in the background, almost always just being an obligated feature in a huge collab screen during those The World of Pokemon openers for the movies.

And it was wrongfully damned because…..*huff* Nope. Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.

This is our second completely banned episode in regards to it obviously being taken out of rotation (In Japan too, which makes it ultra-banned) and never being dubbed by 4Kids. In fact, unlike The Legend of Miniryu, it’s highly unlikely 4Kids ever got a copy of this episode to dub considering that they wanted to basically remove this episode from existence.

You can find more information on the event, the banning and why it likely wasn’t ever dubbed and will probably never be released, even edited, here http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/kanto/ep038.html And I know Dogasu links to this page in the article, but just because I believe it deserves a look for the sake of learning more about the event itself https://www.csicop.org/si/show/pokemon_panic_of_1997

Without any further adieu. The seizure ep—Er, The Electric Soldier Porygon.

Japanese Key: Satoshi/Ash, Takeshi/Brock, Kasumi/Misty, Hakase/Professor, Monster Balls/Pokeballs, Fushigidane/Bulbasaur, Arbo/Arbok, Metadogas/Weezing, Masaki/Bill

Plot: Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi have arrived in Matcha City. Pikachu seems really tired, so they visit the local Pokemon Center to get him some rest. When they arrive, they find the Pokemon Center in chaos as they try to field phone call after phone call with complaints about the Monster Ball Transfer System not functioning.

Whenever a rare Pokemon is being transferred, the Pokemon is switched with a much more common Pokemon and the original Pokemon never arrives. Joy and the tech specialist who created the system, Akihabara-hakase, are working to fix it, but so far have been unable to find the bug.

Takeshi suggests that it’s a virus, but Akihabara vehemently refuses the suggestions. He runs out of the building stating that the system is far too advanced to get a virus.

Satoshi and the others go to Akihabara’s laboratory to see what’s wrong when they’re stopped by a strange polygonal Akihabara head that turns out to be a hologram. Akihabara lures the group into a giant Monster ball transfer machine where he tells them that the source of the problems for the system is Team Rocket.

They somehow managed to sneak in, steal a prototype CG Pokemon, Porygon Zero, and transfer themselves into the network. Whenever a rare Pokemon is sent through, Team Rocket snatches it and replaces it with a common Pokemon.

He knows he could fix the problems with a vaccine program. The problem is, if he activates the program now, Team Rocket will be killed. In order to avoid this, he sends Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi into the digital world to take down and retrieve Team Rocket so he can execute the program and fix the system.

Riding on an enlarged Porygon, the group assesses their situation and follows the network highway to Team Rocket, who are stopping all transfers in the middle of the highway with a literal road block and taking all of the rare Pokemon for themselves.

Satoshi and the others arrive, demanding they release the Pokemon. Team Rocket refuses and sends out Arbo and Metadogas. Metadogas uses Smokescreen, but Porygon uses its Conversion technique to match Metadogas’ physical traits and knock it away. (Actually it adopts the Pokemon’s type, but this is fun too)

Team Rocket uses Porygon Zero to fight the other Porygon, but it’s mostly a stalemate of Porygon transforming into a shield and Porygon Zero transforming into various weapons. Akihabara tells the group to take this opportunity to take down the barriers on the network highway and restore the Monster Ball transfers.

Team Rocket tries to stop them, but they get electrocuted by Pikachu and blasted off with Porygon Zero.

Akihabara and the others believe the problem is about to be solved, but the Pokemon Center suddenly accesses the system. Akihabara learns that the main Center sent down a computer specialist who is using a strong vaccine to take care of the problem. Akihabara panics since Satoshi and the others are still in the system. If the vaccine hits them, they’ll be unable to escape back to the real world.

Akihabara warns Satoshi and the others to get out of there. They call Porygon and start to make their escape. Team Rocket also starts to escape via their Porygon Zero as the vaccine starts its assault.

They race to the exit, dodging blast after blast of bright assaults from the vaccine. Team Rocket gets wrapped up in one of the attacks, which causes a hole in the system’s coding. Team Rocket, now with a knocked out Porygon Zero, is trapped within the hole, and the computer specialist in the Pokemon Center starts to close it. Satoshi and the others near the transfer point, but Satoshi wants to go save Team Rocket.

Just when it seems like Team Rocket is done for, Satoshi, Fushigidane and Porygon swoop in to save them. But they’re not out of the woods yet. The vaccine is still pursuing them, and now Porygon is faltering due to exhaustion and too much weight. The vaccine launches four missiles. Pikachu manages to blow two of them away with an electric attack, but the other two smash into the transfer point, causing the entire laboratory to explode.

Luckily, they all managed to get out just in time. The Pokemon transfer system is now working perfectly, but Akihabara’s human transfer system is destroyed. With the group keeping their digital heroics a secret, they continue on their journey.

————————–

– Akihabara-Hakase made the transfer system?…..Considering Masaki made the storage system, I always thought he made the transfer system too. Hm. Anyone want to throw in their two cents about whether this is BS to game canon?

– For some reason, I think it’s adorable that Satoshi thinks computer viruses are little demons who poke at computers in hospital beds.

It also just dates the hell out of this show. Ten year old kid is clueless about everything computers. You just wait a decade or two, Satoshi. You’ll be catching Pokemon with your smartphone and annoying the shit out of everyone around you soon enough.

– What the hell is up with this map? Why is it taking a ridiculous route around the backside of the Pokemon Center when you could just hang a left at the entrance and then head north? Is there an annoying ‘you can jump down but not up because I said so’ ledge over to the left?

Pokemon ep 38 screen1

– They follow that map with no problems whatsoever, but get lost every damn episode even with a professionally made–…

POKEMON EP31 screen1

Er….nevermind. Pokemon really needs a better educational system because they are in desperate need of competent cartographers.

– I love how Kasumi is concerned about walking around some other person’s house. I think you’ve long since passed that worry, Kasumi. You were breaking and entering without issue just last episode.

– Some strange man in the dark is telling us to follow him into a strange dark room? Well, we really shouldn’t, but we have no sense of self-preservation so why not?

– He trapped them in a giant Monster Ball transfer machine? That is straight up kidnap—……that is a really cool concept that might answer numerous questions I’ve had about that thing…..But he is kidnapping them……..Hm…..Promise me they’ll be un-kidnapped and I’ll turn a blind eye.

– Unless Akihabara works for Silph Co., which I doubt because it doesn’t seem to exist in the anime, he did not canonically create Porygon.

– Bullshit Team Rocket was smart enough to not only steal a CG Pokemon but also somehow have been stealing Pokemon in cyberspace on purpose. They can barely steal a scene.

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– So instead of recruiting people qualified to enter a digital world and fight monsters to take down evil forces, Akihabara decides to just kidnap whatever children just happen to be nearby and make them do it–……Holy crap, this is Digimon Adventure 01!

– Porygon may be far from my favorite Pokemon, but it’s still pretty cute in this episode.

– Well, we finally know what the inside of the digital world looks like…..a bunch of non-detailed tubes…….I like Digimon’s interpretation better. Also, this is a missed opportunity for some nightmare inducing polygonal CGI scenes.

– I don’t really understand Team Rocket’s plan. Sure, they’re stealing the most amount of rare Pokemon they’ve ever managed to get their hands on…..but how do they expect to leave? They can’t even contact Giovanni or anyone from within the system. They could steal every rare Pokemon in the world in there and it wouldn’t matter. Unless they plan to accumulate a ton of digital monsters and create a new world order within the system—Oh my God, it’s a prequel to Digimon Adventure 01!

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– Porygon’s an interesting Digim—Pokemon purely for Conversion and the way it transforms in the digital world. In a lot of ways, it’s like Ditto, which is weird to follow up with immediately after the Ditto episode.

– Takeshi: “Just what you’d expect from a pair of Porygon.” Dude, you just learned what a Porygon was five minutes ago, and you still weren’t properly given a rundown on what it was outside of being a CG Pokemon. Stop being a not-knowing know it all.

– Where did Team Rocket get the road blocks in the mostly vacant digital world? Why are these pitifully undersized roadblocks stopping this massive pile of Monster Balls from transferring?

– I know Akihabara’s a crazy weirdo, but they seriously sent down someone else to fix a problem in the system he created without even telling him? What asses at the….main Center…..what main Center? Where is this?

– He could’ve avoided this whole mess if he told Joy the problem in the first place instead of just being incredibly vague and running out of the Pokemon Center without a word.

– I don’t know why, but I find it really cute that the vaccine program is a little ambulance.

Pokemon ep 38 screen4

– Rocket-propelled needles….not so much.

– Alright, so we’re at the seizure moment basically. The action escape scene involves a lot, and I mean a lot, of bright blue and red beams and flashes of red and blue light. And it’s not anime-ish drawn light, it’s full-on neon colors legit light-light.

Most of the scene is not too much of a problem because the characters are usually taking up much of the shot, the light is simply beams or the light is contained to maybe 50% of the screen. I imagine kids might have been getting flicker vertigo at this point.

The part of the episode that was the tipping point into massive seizures, however, was the finale where the entire group are about to be hit with a barrage of vaccine missiles before they leave the system. In order to help save them, Pikachu shocks two of the missiles into blowing up before they reach them, which briefly causes the entire screen to flicker blue and red for about two seconds, followed by a shot of the flashing taking about 70% of the screen for another couple of seconds. And that’s all it takes, really.

That’s also why this incident is coined the Pokemon Shock incident. All of the other scenes were mostly okay, but the finale with Pikachu’s shock was the crux.

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Whoo yeah, you did it Pikachu! Now let’s wait for the audience to get back from the hospital to talk about how proud we are of you.

What’s that, you ask? What did Porygon do to contribute to this event? You say it must’ve done something horrible because it’s anime-banned? Oh it just bravely fought through exhaustion and encumbering weight to help everyone, including Seizurechu, escape. Porygon was not, in any way shape or form, responsible for the flashes. The only two things that caused the seizures were the vaccine program and Pikachu.

Surely, this must mean Pikachu is the one who deserves to be banned then, right? What say ye, Nintendo?

Nintendo: “Pikachu’s face is already plastered on a fuckin’ jet, and we are not going to risk our newest, cutest money whore. Ban the polygoned duck thing and shut up.”

……

sad okay

You know….I really have to tamp down my anger both at the injustice towards Porygon and the secret-service-esque maneuvers to save honored Messiahchu……because I get it. I really do. Logically, it makes sense.

As much as we, the viewers and fans of the show, know how much of a raw deal Porygon’s getting here, let’s be honest, other people, those who don’t watch the show regularly and the parents of these kids, are never going to associate this event with Pikachu because the scene was literally seconds long.

When people have talked and currently do talk about this episode, they usually refer to it as the Porygon episode or, at most, Electric Soldier Porygon. What matters most to fans is not what’s put in play here. It’s what matters to the public at large. Porygon is the face of this episode and, sadly, that means he’s damned to being the face of this incident.

Banning Pikachu would seem logical to us, but I can bet damn near anything that parents would petition to have Porygon removed from the franchise for the sake of avoiding trauma anyway, and the franchise as a whole would suffer do to lack of ‘chu.

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Yeah, you got banned for Pikachu’s sins! Thanks, Porygon!

It’s just more painful when you actually watch the episode. Porygon is still far from my favorite Pokemon, but this episode gives you a new appreciation for it. It has cool abilities, at least within the system, it’s very nice, brave and even kinda cute.

This whole incident is really just a shame all around. Truthfully, if it wasn’t Porygon and this episode, I can bet anything it would’ve been some other episode or even another show triggering the necessary changes for preventing seizures. Best case scenario is finding out about these risks beforehand and changing things before incidents such as Pokemon Shock occur, but we can’t always be so lucky.

I should mention that, while I am not epileptic or prone to seizures, I still very easily get motion sickness. I am extremely prone to carsickness, seasickness, lightheadedness, dizziness and I am prone to being digitally motion sick (getting motion sick while playing video games). It’s only with certain games and lighting, but it does happen.

For instance, I can’t play many classic Star Wars games, such as Dark Forces and Mysteries of the Sith (classic FPS’s in general mostly due to the art and way you move) and Dead Island (really bright first person environments) for longer than about five minutes without getting a splitting headache and feeling like I’m going to barf.

While I was watching ‘the scene’ I did feel slightly ill and off-kilter, but only a little. That was my experience anyway. I can certainly see how that scene would trigger seizures. I do have to wonder how many people who have watched the bootlegs of the episode have gotten seizures or illness.

– Bullshit they all survived the laboratory blowing up. Then again, this is, worryingly, not the first or last time Satoshi and co. will survive being inside of a building as it’s blown to smithereens (See: Pokemon Emergency!)

– I do like Team Rocket being appreciative of the group saving their lives, though.

Pokemon ep 38 screen7

– So Akihabara made the human transfer system for the sake of making people’s lives easier? But you still need to actually travel within it. Without a Porygon, it would’ve been ridiculous. And the slightest errors or viruses could kill you or make you unable to return to the real world.

– Why is this whole thing being kept a secret anyway? If Akihabara had just told Joy about what was going on, none of this vaccine stuff would’ve happened. Actually, none of this episode would’ve happened. Oh, right, nevermind.

– Despite the fact that Fushigidane also did work today, why is Satoshi only telling Joy to care for Pikachu? Well, I guess sending 600+ kids to the hospital IS tiring.

archer-burn

————————–

I did enjoy this episode. We really needed a change of pace from forest, city, forest, city, forest, forest, city, forest. The digital world in Pokemon is…..a little boring, but has some cute and interesting aspects. Team Rocket’s plan made absolutely no sense, but at least they netted a crapton of Pokemon for a change. Honestly, I could spend pages just asking questions about the transfer system and the digital world, but I think we had enough to go over today.

Akihabara had more personality than the average CotD, but he was also a bit of an ass for kidnapping Satoshi, Takeshi and Kasumi and risking their lives when it was totally avoidable. At least he got a bittersweet ending.

I’ve said my piece about Porygon. Fare thee well, little angled duck. We’ll always have Paris the games.

Next episode, Jynx’s deb—Oh right, crap. Okay, there’s also one more consequence of this episode. Due to the Pokemon Shock incident, Pokemon was put on hiatus for four months, throwing its whole schedule out of whack. The next episode preview is for what we in the west know as Holiday Hi-Jynx (Rougela’s Christmas)……which is, oddly enough, ANOTHER banned episode (to a degree).

It was also meant to be followed by Snow Way Out (Iwark the Bivouac). As you can guess, these episodes were meant to be aired in winter, with Holiday Hi-Jynx being planned for the day before Christmas Eve. However, due to the hiatus, both episodes were ripped from their respective spots and saved until the following October, where they were aired as special episodes, kinda.

There’s a lot more to go over here, but I think that’s enough for now. Let’s talk about this whole mess when we get to the actual episodes. Since I’m following the wiki’s episode list and Dogasu’s listings, I’ll be moving on to Pikachu’s Goodbye next…..which is also a source of some anger for me, to be honest, as it comes hot on the heels of this episode, but again, let’s save that for later.

Next episode, Pikachu’s Goodbye.

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 37 Analysis – Ditto’s Mysterious Mansion

Pokemon Ep 37 title

CotD(s): Duplica – A Ditto trainer, Duplica loves to put on shows for people. She wants to make a name for herself as a great impersonator and Ditto Master. Duplica is very intelligent in regards to Pokemon since Ditto can transform into any Pokemon.

Reappears?: Yes. She appears later on in Johto.

Pokemon: She has one Ditto now, but later she’ll get another one.

Plot: In an effort to get out of a sudden storm, Ash, Misty and Brock wander into a nearby mansion. They see Pikachu playing with another Pikachu and are surprised to find the other Pikachu has a weird face. Ash decides to capture it, but is blocked in his capture attempt by a guy who looks suspiciously like Ash.

He reveals himself to be a she – Duplica of the Imite House. Likewise, the weird Pikachu turns out to not be a Pikachu at all. It’s actually a transformed Ditto.

The group initially marvels at the unique transforming capabilities of Ditto, but quickly get less impressed when they realize that it can’t transform its face and that transforming is all it can do. Ash is especially unimpressed since he believes being unable to teach a Pokemon new moves is boring. In order to prove Ash wrong, Duplica challenges him to a match.

Ash chooses Bulbasaur and Duplica chooses Ditto, who transforms into Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur uses Razor Leaf, but the leaves are all smacked away by a Vine Whip from Dittosaur. Everyone’s baffled that Ditto can also mimic the attacks of whatever it transforms into. Dittosaur wraps up Bulbasaur in Vine Whip and Ash surrenders.

Duplica shows off her impersonations in the costume room where she mimics Nurse Joy, Officer Jenny and Misty. However, Ash is still sulking after his loss because he believes the real versions shouldn’t lose to copycats.

Misty says Ditto technically was a real Bulbasaur, and Brock adds that Duplica has to be very knowledgeable to use her Ditto so well. Since she’s only used a Ditto but it can copy any Pokemon and its attacks, Duplica must know every Pokemon and all of their attacks.

Duplica states that she wants to be the greatest Ditto Master and a star of the stage, but her Ditto can’t break through its problem of leaving its face the same way. Her audiences get annoyed by her Ditto’s lack of face transformation and leave her shows, making Duplica pessimistic about her chances of stardom.

Suddenly, Team Rocket breaks in and snatches Ditto. They manage to get away and try to get it to Transform into a Dratini for Giovanni, but it keeps messing up the transformation. After some threats and intimidation, Ditto is finally able to perfect a facial transformation.

Ash, Misty, Brock and Duplica figure out Team Rocket’s location with Pidgeotto and Zubat, so they head out. When they arrive, they mimic Team Rocket’s motto and demand to have Ditto back. They realize that its taken the form of Meowth perfectly and they cant tell the difference.

Duplica tearfully thanks Team Rocket for helping Ditto fix its Transformation problem. At Duplica’s gratitude, Team Rocket decides to give Ditto back and leave.

However, Duplica instantly realizes that this is a trick – they gave her the real Meowth and took Ditto. She throws Meowth to the balloon and Ditto bites Jessie, jumping back down into Duplica’s arms.

Jessie unveils a cannon under the balloon and prepares to fire. Duplica tells Ditto to Transform into the cannon, and Ash uses Pikachu as a makeshift cannonball. Jessie and Ditto shoot at the same time. A net is launched from Team Rocket’s cannon while Pikachu jets off from the Ditto-cannon. Pikachu Thundershock’s the net, which shocks the balloon and Meowth, causing his claws to puncture the balloon and send them blasting off.

Duplica fixes up the Imite House and prepares for many shows with her newly perfected Ditto, and Ash, Misty and Brock head off to their next adventure.

————————–

– Narrator: “As our heroes continue their journey, the future looks sunny and bright. *storm clouds come in* Uh ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh!” He says that with such snark, I almost want to believe the narrator is omnipotent and made the storm to mess with them.

– Things Ash and co. don’t seem to ever carry with them.

  • Flashlights.
  • Umbrellas.
  • Coats.
  • Basic survival gear despite being children on a global backpacking journey.

– Getting this out of the way right now – there’s nothing mysterious about this mansion. It’s not even Ditto’s. In fact, it’s questionable whether this place even belongs to Duplica.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen1
How is the sign falling down but the ribbons and flag look like new?

– Ash: “Hello! Sorry for barging in!” You better apologize. You didn’t even knock or open the door like a normal person. You literally barged in.

– Ash: “Hey, since nobody’s here, we might as well stay here until the rain stops.” Ash seems to work on video game protagonist logic sometimes. You watch. Eventually we’ll hear him say stuff like ‘I wonder if there are potions in this vase. I should break it and find out. Afterall, no one’s around.’ and ‘No one’s home. Wonder if they’ll care if I pick this locked chest in their basement and take everything in it?’

– Wow, Misty. You see a Pikachu with a slightly goofy face and your first instinct is to drop it and then yell out at the top of your lungs “WHAT IS THIS?! WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT!?”? Way to be an ass, Misty. Ditto’s face is cute, too, so you’re an ultra ass.

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– I love how Ash is all gung-ho about catching this ‘weird Pikachu’ Does he intend on it replacing his Pikachu or does he just want it for a trophy? Either way, it’s messed up.

– Also, one of the few times he’s gung-ho about catching a Pokemon and it’s one he already has. *huff*

– Okay, Ash, good. You’ve learned that you need to battle with Pokemon to weaken them before using a Pokeball on them. You’re learning….but….first off, you used Pikachu on it, which, considering you think it’s a Pikachu…..duh.

Second, Pikachu have been known to absorb electricity (though this seems to turn off and on), so your attack would barely do anything even if the Electric vs. Electric wasn’t already weak. (I will give him some leeway because, technically, he has no Pokemon strong against Electric types. His best bet would be Bulbasaur, and he just doesn’t take as much damage from electricity – his attacks aren’t 2x effective against them.)

And finally, Dittochu used some form of Electric attack to counterbalance the Thundershock, so the attack wasn’t even damaging him anyway.

All in all, I give this capture attempt a C+. Needs improvement.

– Duplica had Ash’s exact outfit, down to his supposedly unique Pokemon League hat, on hand to trick the group despite never meeting them before just now, but she didn’t have a wig to mimic Ash’s hair?

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– Misty: “Ash, that guy is dressed just like you.” See? They didn’t say anything like ‘There are two Ashes!’ or ‘That guy looks just like Ash!’ they said that guy is dressed like Ash. B- Try harder.

Brock: “Except it’s a girl.”

Misty: “How can you tell?”

Brock: “Men’s intuition.” I feel weird for analyzing this, but is he saying….he’s turned on and thus this has to be a girl? Because Duplica’s around Misty’s age…in which case, ew.

Or is he just saying that men have the innate ability to tell who’s a girl and who’s a guy from a distance? Do penises double as divining rods? I don’t get it.

– Is Megan Hollingstead actually doing an Ash impression, or is Veronica Taylor dubbing her over here? Because she’s actually very good at it if she is doing an impersonation.

– Why do they have no problem saying the term ‘Imite’ but they changed her named to Duplica? I usually don’t complain about name changes much, but Imite is such a cool name. So is Duplica, but I much prefer Imite.

– Misty: “You were right, Brock. She is a girl.”

Brock: “But she may be a little young for me.” Brock, stop, please.

– I like that Duplica also mimics Ash’s mannerisms in battle.

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– Just because Ditto is shown to be able to mimic attacks too….that’s what impresses Ash enough to say it’s not boring? But…the reason he said they were boring was because you don’t get to have the fun of teaching it new attacks. She’s still not doing that – She’s just mimicking the moveset of the Pokemon in question.

– That Razor Leaf being smacked away by a Vine Whip scene gives me deja vu for the Venusaur vs. Cloneasaur battle in the first movie.

– Ash: “But…how could the real thing lose?” Because you surrendered just because Bulbasaur was caught up in vines, moron. Bulbasaur could still use Razor Leaf (which would actually hit this time because its vines are being used to wrap up Bulbasaur) and its own Vine Whip, but you just gave up instead.

– Oh but she has a Misty wig.

– Brock: “That Ditto’s moves are unbeatable.”

Misty: “Better than the real Pokemon.”

Pbbbtttttttttttttt nooooooooooooo. Okay. Ditto is a not a crappy Pokemon. It can be very useful and fun….but also kinda bad. Ditto has horrible base stats out the door, which isn’t a bad thing in itself because it transforms and copies the stats of whatever it’s transforming into, but a Pokemon can easily get the first attack before Ditto can transform and just knock it out, which is easy anyway because its speed is terrible (coincidentally or on purpose, all of its base stats are the same.)

Ditto also cannot copy the HP of its opponent, meaning if you have crappy HP on your Ditto, which is likely no matter the level, it doesn’t matter if you’ve copied a powerhouse or a weak Pokemon, because it can still be knocked out with not too much issue.

Plus, you rarely have the type advantage with Ditto since it can’t do Transform twice in one battle. If you start with a Goldeen, it Transforms, and then you switch to a Jolteon, you’re golden. If the Ditto is not wild, you can switch it out and back in to initiate Transform again, but there is still no type advantage and you leave yourself vulnerable for two turns.

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Dittosaur: “What the hell just happened?”

It’s been my experience that most people just tend to use Ditto for breeding purposes since it’s a Poke-whore that can make babies with nearly anything breedable. Hardly anyone uses Ditto for competitive purposes because there are so many workarounds to beat it.

The thing of it is, the anime’s Ditto bypasses all of these problems through suspension of disbelief. Ditto seems to get first move no matter what, meaning it can Transform right away and not leave it susceptible to attack. Ditto can still use Transform even if the opponent has switched Pokemon (I’m getting this from the fact that it Transforms from a Machoke form into a Voltorb when a new Pokemon gets on stage in the flashback) Anime!Ditto can also turn into anything as well.

Game!Ditto is a good Pokemon with several flaws, but these flaws are understandable for the sake of balance. Plus, having an OP copycat Pokemon just seems lazy and annoying. Anime!Ditto, as long as you have the patience to study Pokemon attacks, seems OP no matter how you look at it.

– Brock: “Duplica must know all of Bulbasaur’s potential attacks. She can order Ditto to use the strongest attack possible, according to whatever form it takes.”

Misty: “That’s right. I guess Duplica must know every attack of every Pokemon there is.”

Pokemon Ep 37 screen6

There’s a bunch of things wrong with that. First of all, Ditto copies the moveset of the Pokemon it’s copying too. Bulbasaur’s strongest move, at the moment, is Razor Leaf.

Second, if she wanted to use Bulbasaur’s strongest move, she’d tell it to use Solar Beam. She doesn’t know Ash’s Bulbasaur doesn’t know it and since she has no game-esque HUD, she’d have to guess. But since that would make her look a little dumb, they didn’t.

Third, I can buy that she knows Bulbasaur’s moves, but the moves of every Pokemon in existence? Even taking into consideration TM’s and HM’s, should they exist here? No. I doubt even Gary can do that. Hell, I doubt even Professor Oak can do that. Why would she study that much anyway when she wants to be a great impersonator/comedian and not a Trainer? I guess maybe to better impress audiences?

– Duplica should really stick to human character impersonations because her Pokemon imitations kinda suck.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen7
Nothing more entertaining than someone imitating a Pokemon that is known for not moving.

– Duplica: “This place is so flat and boring, but people pass by here all the time. I figured when people stop by to rest, I could entertain them.” You mean people break into your house all the time? Buy a lock, woman.

– Duplica has Ash and Charmeleon/izard syndrome. She knows Ditto has a problem but instead of trying to fix it, she just keeps expecting it to stop this ‘habit’. She even says flatout that Ditto has yet to fix his problem.

– Audience member: “It can’t transform at all!” Uh…obviously it can transform a little or else it would still be a pink blob.

– I really love how blasé Ash has gotten about Team Rocket’s appearances. I’d gladly take one of his goofy expressions and an exasperated brush off over him saying ‘It’s Team Rocket again!” for the billionth time.

– Duplica: “Ditto’s gone!”

Ash: “Team Rocket….What are they up to this time?” Don’t quote me on this, but I think, I THINK…They might be trying to capture Ditto. Just maybe. I’ll have to post this on r/FanTheories and see what other people think.

– James: “Transform into Dratini, the Pokemon we’ve never been able to capture.” When did you try to catch a Dratini, James? My poor little American brain doesn’t understand when this may have happened.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen8

Joking aside, why are they asking it to Transform into Dratini when they know of and have ‘seen’ a Dragonair, which is more impressive?

– Why not just give Giovanni the Ditto? It’s a rare-ish Pokemon with a unique and fairly powerful ability. Having it Transform into Dratini won’t work for long. Eventually, it would just change back and then Giovanni would get pissed at them for tricking him.

– Actually, it wouldn’t Transform into a Dratini at all considering they don’t have the real thing there.

– Does Jessie not understand how Ditto works? You can’t show it a picture of someone, ask it to predict how the depicted person will look like older and then expect it to Transform into anything but the exact same picture. Ditto’s a copying Pokemon not age progression software.

– I really don’t understand how the Transform ability works when it comes to transforming into things. When it Transforms for Jessie, Ditto actually agrees to show her a picture of the boy as an adult, but since we don’t see the source picture, we don’t know if he succeeded.

Meowth calls him a ‘little boy’ and Jessie describes him as her first love, which commonly occurs in childhood (loosely using the term ‘love’ since that can stretch to ‘crush’) He doesn’t describe Ash and Misty as little boys or little girls (Jessie and James do mockingly on occasion) so I’m to assume he has to be younger than Ash and co.

However, the depicted boy looks to be about Brock’s age at least. Did Ditto actually succeed in age progressing this kid? If so, screw Pokemon training. Ditto could be invaluable in searching for missing children.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen9

– It’s also a major shame that we never learn anything about this kid besides this one photo, and we don’t even see his face due to it being Ditto-fied. It’s obvious he’s still very important to Jessie, considering she still carries a framed photo of him around, but we don’t even get his name. Was he a fellow orphan? Did they go to Pokemon Tech together? I’d assume not because James would know of him. Did he like her too? What circumstances separated them?

Why the hell would you make up such an interesting plot thread and then do absolutely nothing to explore it later?

– The scene with it transforming into the book would be more humorous if it copied the book exactly, but the Dratini’s face was Ditto-fied. Showing a blank book with a Ditto face makes the joke fall flat.

– Brock: “We’ve already sent Pidgeotto and Zubat out for surveillance.” Pidgeotto’s allowed to be useful! Praise the pigeon gods!

Pokemon Ep 37 screen10
Pikachu: “Whoa whoa whoa! Who let this peasant share a frame with me, Messiahchu!? Just for that, I’m taking your balloon popping scene later in the episode. BEGONE!”

– Props for Zubat being able to do something once every 15 episodes too.

– Ash: “It’s not the Pokemon but the Trainer who decides what attacks to use in battle, right? So that means, if you raise a Ditto, its progress and power are connected directly to your own.”

Brock: “Yeah, I think you’re definitely right about that, Ash.”

Misty: “Sounds like you’ve been studying, Ash.” Studying what? I’ll give him credit for actually using that sloshy pile of goo in his head for a change and it is nice to see Ash thinking, but all he’s saying is something that is incredibly obvious and really not unique to Ditto Trainers.

All Pokemon grow and increase in true power based on how their Trainers grow and change. Having a powerful Pokemon does not, by default, make you win. Just as a crappy Pokemon can become great in the right hands, a good Pokemon can be useless if in unskilled hands.

For instance, Bulbasaur is a very intelligent and fairly powerful Pokemon. But it just lost a match against itself in one move because its Trainer was a doofus.

– Why is it that Ash can seemingly understand what Pikachu’s ‘saying’ but not Pidgeotto? Result of not spending enough time with it?

– Well, of course they found Team Rocket’s hideout when they’re in a house with a huge Meowth head on the roof.

– It’s always bugged me a bit that Ditto needed to be threatened and intimidated to finally Transform correctly.

But, hey, at least Team Rocket was useful for a change.

– Again, I absolutely love Ash and co. doing Team Rocket’s motto, and the fact that they’re in Team Rocket costumes this time makes it all the better….but Duplica ruins it. Not only are there way too many people doing the motto, but Duplica says the ‘That’s right!’ line way too early.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen11
We need an AU where Ash and Co are Team Rocket and Jessie and James are aspiring Pokemon trainers.

– Where did Duplica get four properly sized Team Rocket uniforms anyway? Let’s say, at best, she knows of Team Rocket as an organization. She’d have the black uniforms, not the white ones. The black ones are the standard issue designs – Jessie and James altered them because they thought they looked better that way.

– Can I get a consensus? Would the mock-motto be funnier if they were also wearing James and Jessie wigs? Or would that be teetering into creepy?

– Why is Ditto going along with Team Rocket’s plan? I might say it’s to show that it can Transform faces now to Duplica, but it can do that without seemingly siding with Team Rocket.

– I can buy that Ditto is mimicking Meowth’s voice, but I don’t think I’d suspend my disbelief enough to say he’s learned human language, too.

– I’ll give major credit to Team Rocket for coming up with a great on-the-fly ruse….but…did they really think they could get away in a hot air balloon quickly enough without Duplica noticing that Meowth wasn’t her Ditto?

– Likewise, it took until Ditto was being carried away in the balloon and Duplica noticing that Meowth wasn’t Ditto for Ditto to finally go ‘Oh wait, you’re kidnapping me. Fuck off’ and bite Team Rocket before going back to Duplica? Your motivations confuse me, little Ditto.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen12
Take that, three-minute Stockholm Syndrome!

– Again, Ditto’s object transformation doesn’t make sense. It transformed into a cannon, yes, and Team Rocket has a cannon, yes, but the cannon they’re using is attached to the balloon. It doesn’t sit on the ground with big wheels.

– Ash, you just shot your Pokemon out of a damn cannon. What is wrong with you?

– Minor thing, but Duplica is nowhere near hitting any nails when she’s hammering on the sign. It bugged me is all.

——————————-

All in all, I like this episode, but the only thing mysterious here is what the hell is up with Ditto’s ability to Transform into objects?

Duplica’s okay, but I never thought she was interesting enough to warrant her getting a revisit. The writers seem to suck at choosing good characters for that.

Ditto is an interesting Pokemon to highlight, and I believe they hit all the high notes, but added a few too many because anime!Ditto seems slightly OP.

Team Rocket was useful for a change, we got some extremely minor backstory on Jessie that becomes irritating when you realize it’s another interesting factoid they’ll never speak of again, and their plan this time around nearly succeeded.

They really have to work on running very far away when they succeed….and hiding in places that doesn’t make it glaringly apparently that they’re hiding in there. Even their plan B was fairly good barring the slow as hell balloon making the getaway impossible. If they can get Giovanni to invest in flying stadiums and giant robots, they can surely get him to pay for a car or a plane or something.

Even if it’s never in my game roster, I still think Ditto’s an adorable Pokemon and Rachel Lillis does a great job voicing it.

Next episode, Porygon and the Seizures that Shook the Anime World. Alternative title – Porygon Was Wrongfully Martyred for Messiahchu.  #JusticeforPorygon

Previous Episode….

Dissecting the Disquels: Stitch! The Movie

* “Meet two other experiments, see previews of about ten others and watch the TV series and other sequels to get at least glimpses of the rest. Also, 625 is not their friend, I don’t know why he’s in the dune buggy or hanging out with Lilo and Stitch.”…What? Not a catchy tagline?

Rating: 7/10

Plot: Dr. Hamsterviel, former evil assistant of Jumba, is after the other 625 experiments that came before Stitch. In an effort to retrieve them, he enlists the help of Gantu, who kidnaps Jumba and obtains the pod for experiment 625. Lilo and Stitch have to protect Stitch’s cousins and rescue Jumba or else the universe will be threatened by the powers of the failed experiments.

Breakdown: We’re kinda nudging what might be considered a real Disquel here, but it fits the criteria well enough. It’s a sequel of what many would call a recent Disney classic. It was a direct-to-DVD movie. And, best of all, it’s obviously masquerading as a sequel when it’s really the pilot to a TV series.

However, unlike many other Disquels, I think this works quite well as both a sequel and a TV pilot.

Exploring what the other 625 experiments are like is a valid question left behind from the original movie. One can assume that a good chunk of them are just duds, but many of them have to have amazing powers and abilities as well as interesting character designs.

Finding and reforming each experiment by finding where they truly belong is actually a great idea for a long-running series, even if we don’t ever get to formerly meet all 625 experiments (Damn the Disney 65 episode rule), and this movie sets up this plot in such a way that doesn’t seem incredibly forced or like it’s a bunch of episodes stitched (puns!) together. It’s also interesting to note, though it’s not mentioned in the movie, that each experiment had a different purpose in addition to power set. While Stitch was designed purely for chaos and destruction, other experiments were designed with different purposes such as psychological warfare and elemental manipulation.

Even the art and animation don’t take a huge hit. It’s obviously nowhere near the original movie’s, but it’s still some of the best animation we’ve gotten for a Disquel. It’s somewhere between the original movie’s and the TV show’s quality. Some of the CGI is noticeable, but it’s alright.

The writing is still pretty good, though what the hell is up with David? Was he always such an apathetic asswad? ‘Gee, a little girl and her alien pet as well as her two alien babysitters are missing, the spaceship is missing, the door is broken down and there’s a big hole in the roof?….Eh I’m sure she’s fine. I’ll fall asleep watching TV while her older sister, my sorta girlfriend, searches over the island for her in a panic.’

There are still many jokes and funny scenes that work well and I was never rolling my eyes at anything. However, unlike in the original movie, there is a distinct lack of heartwarming scenes. Lilo and Stitch share one while imprisoned, but that’s about it.

The fact that Stitch can’t fit in with people also doesn’t mesh very well with the end of the first movie. I thought he was going out in public and being around people just fine, but here he is making almost as much of a mess as he was when he was evil. They didn’t need to make Stitch feel like an outsider to make the connections to his ‘cousins’ worthwhile. How about him wanting to give his cousins what he’s found? A true home, family and happiness.

At the end of the day, this is still one of the better Disquels and it actually spawned a TV series that was pretty good. I followed it somewhat closely when I was younger, and I enjoyed it a lot. It was interesting to see the various experiments and their varying powers and personalities. I may even do a Cartoon Step-by-Step for it.

It’s certainly not as grand as the first movie, and the tension is basically non-existent due to everything about Hamsterviel being a joke (and the whole ‘I’m a hamster not a gerbil/rat/whathaveyou’ schtick is already really old) and the fact that the only experiment he has in his possession is also an annoying joke.

Experiment 625, later named Reuben, is obviously the last experiment to be made before Stitch. He has all of the powers and abilities of Stitch, but the catch is that he’s incredibly lazy and never follows orders. His one schtick, that never was or is funny, is that he does nothing but make and eat tons of sandwiches, hence his name. That’s it. How funny. Bust a gut.

Still, it’s a fun movie that doesn’t lose the style or appeal of the original movie. It’s probably the shortest of the Disquels, clocking it at a flat hour including credits, but it has more quality than several Disquels combined.

As a final note, there’s no real memorable soundtrack this time around. The original Lilo and Stitch had several Elvis songs as well as numerous Hawaiian songs made specifically for the movie. However, here, all we have is one Elvis song and one custom Hawaiian song that isn’t even really all that Hawaiian. Plus, I think that song was made specifically for the TV series not necessarily the movie because that song, Aloha e Komo Mai, will later be the Lilo and Stitch The Series theme song.

Oh well, at least there’s no song about friendship or makeovers.

Recommended Audience: E for everyone!

Final Notes: I have a Stitch Doll from the Disney Store. It’s one of my favorite things that my dad ever got me.

Also, I’m aware of the Stitch anime and the Chinese cartoon. I haven’t seen either and I’m not entirely sure I will.

Pokemon Episode 36 Analysis – The Bridge Bike Gang

Pokemon Episode 36 Title

CotD(s): The Bridge Bike Gang – A group of thugs on bicycles that frequent the new bridge to Sunny Town. The most notable members of the Bridge Bike Gang are the leader, Chopper, a man with spikey red and yellow hair that rides a Zapdos themed bike, and a girl with green hair, Tyra. Jessie and James used to be very notable members of their gang, and the entire gang idolizes them.

Reappear?: No. 😦

Pokemon: Chopper has a Golem while Tyra has a Cloyster.

Plot: After spending eons in the woods looking for the Safari Zone, the group gives up on finding it, miraculously finds 30 Tauros off-screen, and head to the nearest city (that’s my take on it in the dub, anyway). They spot a huge ten mile bridge that has almost fully completed construction. If they can cross the bridge, they’ll have a straight path to their next destination. Only bikes can cross the bridge at the moment, and since they have no financial means of getting a bike, the group is unable to cross.

Later, at the Pokemon Center, Joy recruits the group for an important mission. The Pokemon in the Sunny Town Pokemon Center, just across the bridge, are very sick and are in dire need of a delivery of medicine. She’d usually do it, but she’s too busy at the Center to make the journey, so she asks Ash, Misty and Brock if they’ll do her this favor. With the promise of lending them the Pokemon Center’s bikes, they agree to do it, killing two birds with one stone.

They head down the bike path, making great time, until they’re cornered by a bicycle gang and forced into a Pokemon battle.

The leader, Chopper, sends out his Golem while Ash sends out his Bulbasaur. He tries Vine Whip first, but it doesn’t make a dent. Golem uses Tackle and instantly KO’s Bulbasaur.

Ash sends out Charmander next. He starts with an Ember, but it’s not very effective. Golem tries to Tackle, but he misses. Charmander uses Flamethrower, which seems to do a little more, and then follows up with Fire Spin, which sets Golem on fire and makes him red hot. Golem tries to Tackle again, but Charmander dodges and Golem rolls out of control towards the other gang members, setting them on fire.

With Chopper defeated, the lone girl of the group, Tyra, steps up next. She sends out Cloyster while Misty tries to send out Starmie, only to get Psyduck instead. The gang all laugh at the goofy duck, especially when it hurts itself trying to Tail Whip and Scratch Cloyster’s spiky shell.

Misty realizes that Psyduck can’t use its Psychic powers without a severe headache so she tries to get them to trigger it by attacking its head, but they don’t fall for it. She’s about to beat the headache into Psyduck herself when Team Rocket arrives, saying their motto on unicycles.

Jessie and James reveal that they were actually extremely respected and beloved members of the bike gang once upon a time, and they recruit the help of the gang to get revenge on Ash and co. for continuously ruining their plans. Chopper, Tyra and the others are about to gladly help out their old pals, but a slue of cops rush to the scene, scaring them all away.

Ash and the others continue down the path when a storm suddenly surges. The bike gang and Team Rocket watch from a building on the other side of the bridge, and Chopper and Tyra convince them to ride through the storm too to show the other gang members how to really ride.

Team Rocket reluctantly agrees and both sides are faced with a huge challenge – the draw bridge is opening. Ash and the others believe they can’t wait for it to come back down because they need to get to the sick Pokemon as soon as possible. Team Rocket is pressured into making the jump for the gang.

As they reach the gap, neither side seems like it will make it, but Ash and the others bounce off of Team Rocket’s heads, allowing them to make it to the other side. Seeing their dedication to pull off such a stunt for a sick Pokemon, the gang decides to escort Ash, Misty and Brock across the rest of the bridge.

They’re able to deliver the medicine in time, saving a sick Shellder in the process. The gang celebrates Ash, Misty and Brock as heroes. As Team Rocket sadly unicycles their way back onto land, Ash and the others continue on their Pokemon journey.

—————————-

– Narrator: “With fond memories of the Safari Zone fresh in their minds….” Actually, if we really never made it to the Safari Zone in the dub, they have fond memories of a land they never visited. Unless you mean the area where the Kangaskhan were in. In which case, bite me. There were no fond memories in that episode.

– Norman: “Even if it were finished, this bridge is only for cars anyway.”

-Literally two lines later-

“Of course, you could always cross if you had bicycles.”

Why wait to divulge that information to these kids? Why not just say “This bridge is only open for cars and people on bicycles.”?

– Norman: “The road isn’t finished but the bicycle path is.” That’s so dumb. Why would you finish the bike path first when the vehicle road would obviously be the most important thing? And if the road isn’t finished but the bike path is, that makes even less sense for you to wait to tell them that they can cross with bikes.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen1
Hi, My name’s Norman. Can I interest you in some double-talk and pointless run-arounds?

– Misty: “Well…If a certain someone here hadn’t completely destroyed my bike, we could just be zipping right across this bridge right now, couldn’t we?”

No. One of you could. Last I checked, your bike wasn’t a three-person tandem bicycle.

– Even though I know bikes in general are expensive and Ash and the others have never been known to have money, I like to think that their complete resignation on getting one, to the point where they won’t even enter the store, is a throwback to the games where bikes are ridonkuously expensive.

– Call me crazy, but certainly there are faster ways of getting that medicine to those Pokemon in Sunny Town than three kids on bicycles. A boat? A flying Pokemon? Hey, a car would be really helpful. Boy howdy, if only that ROAD was given priority over that bike path.

– On paper, Misty and Ash’s plan makes sense, but there’s a fatal flaw in it. They plan on using the bikes the Pokemon Center is loaning them to cross the bridge and get to Sunny Town….but that’s the problem. They’re borrowing them. They have to return them. And when they ride back to return the bikes, they’ll be back to square one. I guess they could just leave them at the other Pokemon Center and they can send them back somehow, but how would they do that without a car?

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen2

– I adore that they’re using the game’s bike music, though.

– Ash: *biking* “See, we got to cross the bike path afterall!”

Misty: “Right, Ash! We sure are lucky!” Those sure are things we’ve already established both in dialogue and something being shown to us on screen right now!

See? I got to type out that complaint afterall! I sure am lucky!

– Okay, so let’s leave the tangled web of Jessie and James’ backstory alone for the moment, especially since the bike gang is my favorite backstory for them. However….how are they treating this bridge like it’s their old home when it’s only recently even gotten a little completed?

I guess it’s possible that they still hung out on the incomplete bridge, but…what? Did they just bike to the cutoff then turn around? Or did they hang out in one area and….do nothing because no one would be trying to pass on bicycles since the path wasn’t done? Actually, they probably wouldn’t be let on at all if it wasn’t done. I don’t get it.

– I like how they make sure to show them throwing away their cans and bottles into the garbage to prove they’re not littering out there.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen3
Give a hoot. Don’t throw your trash on the ground like an asshole….oot.

– I love how Misty nearly breaks out laughing when she hears they’re a bicycle gang. She has a point, though. At that age, they should be a full-on motorcycle gang.

– You’d think a Zapdos bike would be awesome, but I just find it really dorky for some reason.

– Also, as an adult, this whole ‘circle them with bikes and act like badasses’ thing is hilarious. Don’t piss them off, Ash, or you might make them ring their little bells.

– The ‘proper introduction’ scene is priceless. The timing, the voice work, it’s all great.

– Pbbbbtttttttttttt They’re even wearing knee pads. Hahahahah!

– Ash’s face a millisecond before Brock asks Tyra out.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen4

– Tyra: “Give me a break, loser. I only care about my bike and my gang.” Soooo…do your Pokemon count as a part of your gang or do you not care about them?

– Ash: “Alright, let’s get started. Then we’ll see who’s the master!” Master? Wha? Who said anything about a master of anything?

– Jesus, the choking sounds Bulbasaur makes after getting hit by that Tackle. God.

– *Bulbasaur get’s KO’d by Golem* Well, if a Grass type couldn’t hack it, time to see what Squirtle can d–

Ash: “Charmander, I choose you!”

Ash, goddammit.

– Ash: “Use Ember!”

Not only are you going to use a base-evo Fire type against a fully evolved Rock/Ground type, but you’re going to use the weakest Fire Type move in Gen 1 on it (Not counting Fire Spin because it’s DOT and for some reason the anime keeps portraying it as like the second strongest Fire move.) Strategist of the year.

– Ash: “Charmander, use Flamethrower!” That’s better, but still won’t work…..why is Golem glowing?

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen5

Ash: “Fire Spin, now!” Seriously, Ash? What did I just say? In summary, Ash did noth–

*several confusing moments later*

What the hell did I just watch? There are so many scientific and fictional logistic reasons why everything that just happened there was bullshit.

Golem, this giant rock, caught fire? What?

The only way the fire would ever even affect him in such a way would be if the Flamethrower was so hot it made the rock in its body red hot, like a coal. But even that’s stretching it a mile because it would probably die if it ever got that hot.

Plus, we’d have to believe Charmander has flames powerful enough to pull that off, which is more bullshit. Even if it did, it would need to Flamethrower Golem for hours probably to get it that hot.

Even rolling around for a few seconds should be enough to put out those flames and cool off Golem a bit. If its Trainer would tell it to follow his voice or something or stop and un-withdraw, this match wouldn’t have ended so soon.

None of what just happened should’ve happened. That is a legit Messiahmander moment. You’ve got me making that a word, Ash! That’s shouldn’t be a thing!

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen6

– While we’re on the topic of this scene, yes, just recall the Pokemon that is currently ON FIRE. Don’t put it out or anything. Let it burn to death.

– Ash and Charmander are laughing at people being set on fire. Good job.

– Why would his Pokeball heat up from that? There are Pokemon who are literally living fire and lava and they don’t heat up their Pokeballs. Given this and the thing with Muk, they really pick and choose the rules of Pokemon based on how they’re feeling that day, it seems.

– Did that Golem only know Tackle?

– Misty: “It’s a Water Pokemon. Leave it to me!” Yes, I do love matches where I have a .5x effectiveness rate, too.

Ash wouldn’t be able to help anyway. Not like he has any Electric Pokemon.

– Misty: “Which one would be best against Cloyster’s hard shell? I know! Starmie, go!” What logic went into that decision? What better Pokemon to throw against a Pokemon with a shell so hard that it can withstand a bomb than a starfish!?!

– Poor little Psyduck. Being laughed at and hurt. 😦

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen7

– Misty: *sigh* “You were supposed to be attacking….” Well then, Misty, maybe command it to do an attack instead of the de-buff, Tail Whip.

Misty: “Psyduck, use your Disable attack!” Disable – another not-attack.

– The reason I like Jessie and James when they’re part of this gang is because, despite the fact that they’re still basically thugs, they’re much more harmless in this group than they are with Team Rocket…..and I use that term loosely.

It’s nice to see them be happy in their organization instead of being miserable all the time in Team Rocket. They’re extremely proud to be Team Rocket members, but it brings them nothing but problems. We never really know anything that they did to earn the respect they get in this gang, but they have fun. They get respect. They seem generally happy.

I know Team Rocket can be extremely annoying, but I want them to be happy….in a legal non-harmful way. That’s one of the reasons why I like it so much when they open shops and stuff. They have a passion for those things and seem happy making an honest buck.

– I get why Jessie may have been a badass with her chain and everything, but how did James get any sort of badass rep with a name like ‘Little Jim’ and ‘Trainer James,’ a name he got because he was the only gang member who still used training wheels?

– Tyra: “I guess your cycle gang must save a ton of money on handlebars.” Are handlebars a huge frequent expense for bicyclists?

– Who alerted the cops?….Why are the cops here? It was just a Pokemon battle. No one else tried to get through here, so it’s not like they were bothering anyone. Wait, I thought the road wasn’t done yet. How and why are Jenny and her backup driving through here?…..This Jenny has backup!? In circumstances where backup of any kind would be necessary, there’s none to be found. Legal Pokemon battle on a bridge that’s no bother to anyone? CALLING ALL CARS! SOME MINOR EVENT HAPPENING! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

I wasn’t kidding on the ‘calling all cars’ thing, either. There’s a grand total of five police cars shown, not counting Jenny’s motorcycle. What….the hell.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen8

– Jenny: “You need to get there, so I’ll give you an escort. *radio crackles* This is 303. Roger. Over and out. There’s been an accident – I’ll have to go.” Oh, no worries, Jenny. They’ll just hitch a ride with one of the other officers in one of the five—where the unholy shit did they all go!? Either you Pokemon world cops are overreacting and being useless or you’re not there and being useless! Bloody hell.

– Wait, she was offering them an escort….that means the bridge must be fully done for cars. At least before I could maybe justify that they were only driving on one side of the bridge, but now they go and create a conundrum.

– Misty: “We should go, Ash. A sick Pokemon needs us.” Where was that when you were stopping for a nice soda? Or when you were battling? I know they challenged you and everything, but they didn’t really threaten you and you were eager to accept the challenge. You never even tried to say ‘Sorry, but we have to get this medicine to a sick Pokemon. Can’t you please let us pass?’

– The question here is, did Jessie and James agree to go out in the storm because they wanted to prove themselves or because they didn’t want to let their old friends down? Hm.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen9

– I love how they’re coaxing Meowth into doing it too even though they know nothing about him. Plus, he has tiny legs.

– Ash: “We can’t wait. They need that medicine!” Again, where was that earlier? And you can stop for soda and Pokemon battles but not for a draw bridge opening? You’re on bicycles….in the rain….you’re small children. That bridge looks like it opens and closes fairly fast. Just wait a minute or two. If the Pokemon can’t wait that long, Joy should’ve sent a more fitting emergency crew out for this mission…..Like….a cop.

– I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Jessie and James actually have more justification for doing this than Ash and co.

– Why are Misty and Brock trying to make the jump? I assume Ash is carrying the medicine, so why can’t they wait for the bridge to close? Let me remind you, they’re on a tandem bike. If this is a bullshit jump for Ash, it’s a double-scoop of bullshit with sprinkles for Misty and Brock.

– Just all of the no to bouncing off of Team Rocket’s heads in mid-air.

– Also, Ash and the others condemned Team Rocket to death just there. Brock yelled out ‘we’ll drown!’ before they bounced. So either Team Rocket will drown or–

*boat comes by immediately after*

–they’ll be crushed by a boat. Good job.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen10
Whoo! Manslaughter!

– ObliviAsh and the others smiling as they land after that might be understandable, but why are Tyra and Chopper? Their idols were just murdered.

– Chopper: “Alright, now you’ll have to battle us.”

Ash: “I’m delivering medicine for a sick Pokemon. Outta my way!”

Tyra: “You mean that’s why you’re out in this storm?”

Misty: “That’s right!”

Chopper: “Unbelievable. That’s a real biker for ya. Listen up guys, we’re gonna take ‘em there in style!”

See? Everyone in the Pokemon world loves Pokemon. If you had just said that at the beginning, none of this would’ve happened. Is this one of those ‘if we did that, we wouldn’t have an episode’ things?

– Chopper: “Don’t worry, Ash, we’ll clear the way for ya!” Clear the way of what?

– Mmm….thinking about it, I guess I can just assume that, given their new hero status with the gang, they might have offered to bring the bikes back to the other town. Yeah, I’ll take that.

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This episode is still a ton of fun, even if there are many, many, many logic flaws. I like this part of Team Rocket’s backstory, even if they seemingly get thrown away by the gang in the worst way in the end. (They just got brutally murdered? Eh. Sick Pokemon!? LET’S GO!) The bike gang, whom I wish got a name, were also very entertaining. The fact that they ride bikes and try to act badass is just hilarious, and something about Chopper just entertains me a lot.

This episode was also a nice sendup to the game’s Cycling Road, even if they never call it that.

Next episode….*sigh* Duplica’s debut…..Mmm.

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