Pokemon Episode 49 Analysis: So Near, Yet So Farfetch’d

Pokemon Ep 49 Title

CotD(s): Keith – An idiot and a thief, Keith utilizes his Farfetch’d to trick Pokemon trainers so he can steal their stuff.

Pokemon: Farfetch’d.

Reappear?: No.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock stop in the middle of a forest to rest. Ash looks up Farfetch’d on his Pokedex since Brock mentioned a rumor about one being spotted around the area. They’re extremely rare, so Ash is itching to catch one.

As Ash and Brock head off to get some water, Misty rests with her Psyduck. She spots a Farfetch’d that is clearly trying to impress her, so she decides to try and capture it. However, it runs away from her. She bumps into a boy in the forest and after they exchange apologies, he grabs her bag off the ground and hands it back to her. He leaves, but now Farfetch’d is long gone.

When Misty returns, she meets up with Ash and Brock and tries to relay her story to them when she realizes her bag is filled with rocks. The boy she bumped into, Keith, must’ve taken her bag on accident. Misty freaks out since all of her Pokemon were in that bag, so they rush off to tell Officer Jenny.

Meanwhile, Keith is revealed to be a big con man. He switched her bag on purpose to steal her Pokemon and the Farfetch’d who ran off was actually his.

As he enjoys the fruits of his mischievous labor, Team Rocket walks by. He decides to pull off another con. He tells them that he’s looking for someone to take his Farfetch’d, Staryu and Starmie off his hands because he’s tired of being a Pokemon trainer. They happily agree, and he suddenly has to take off for a few minutes, so he asks them to watch his Farfetch’d and his bags. Again, they agree, but decide to just swipe his stuff and make a quick getaway on a nearby boat.

They laugh about their haul until they realize the boat has been sabotaged by Keith. It starts to sink, and Jessie and James’ Pokeballs float off in the water. Farfetch’d scoops them up in a basket to deliver them to Keith. Jessie and James try to use the Starmie and Staryu they believe they stole until they discover that the bag is yet another one filled with nothing but rocks. Team Rocket, sufficiently conned, get swept away by a waterfall.

Misty, Brock and Ash arrive at the police station, and Jenny reveals the swap was no accident. That same Farfetch’d con was pulled on at least five other trainers that week alone. She’s been trying to catch the culprit for a while, but he never stays in one spot for too long.

Meanwhile, Psyduck lets itself out of its Pokeball and takes notice of its situation. It runs off into the forest to tell Misty. She brings Jenny out to the spot in the forest where Keith bumped into her and Psyduck suddenly pops up. They decide to follow Psyduck’s direction to find Keith.

Team Rocket find and confront Keith. He gets them to go away again by giving them a whole bag filled with Pokeballs as an ‘apology.’ He’s about to move camp when Misty and the others find him. They scold him for stealing Pokemon, citing how much love and hard work goes into training them to help them win battles. Jenny believes he’d learn a good lesson if he had to battle with his Farfetch’d. Keith doesn’t want to battle, however, since he believes Farfetch’d is too weak.

Farfetch’d decides to go in on his own, against Keith’s wishes. Ash sends out his Bulbasaur and the match begins. For a while, it seems Keith was right. Farfetch’d is getting beaten down badly by Bulbasaur. Keith tries over and over to get Farfetch’d to give up, but it won’t listen. It suddenly turns the match around with Agility to confuse Bulbasaur. Then it finishes the battle with a Fury Attack.

Keith is baffled since he never knew Farfetch’d had such power. He admits that, had he known, he never would’ve used it for stealing.

That’s not quite good enough, and Ash tries to continue the battle, but Misty intervenes to battle him herself. She tries to send out her Pokemon only to remember that she never got her Pokeballs back. Psyduck steps up and it’s a duck on duck smackdown….literally.

Farfetch’d starts smacking Psyduck in the head with its leek, laughing at how pathetic Psyduck seems. Misty, realizing that Psyduck will get a terrible headache this way, encourages Farfetch’d to keep attacking. The headache triggers Psyduck’s psychic powers and it uses Disable to throw Farfetch’d into Keith and then throws them both into a tree.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket is in their balloon, and they want to see what Pokemon Keith gave them. They open the Pokeballs and reveal that they’re all filled with Voltorb. They chuck them all out of the basket before they can explode, and the Voltorb rain over Ash and the others. As the explosions go off around them, Keith yells out that he’s sorry for stealing and that he’ll never do it again.

Later, at the police station, Keith is relieved to hear that none of his victims will be pressing charges since the Pokemon are all being returned to their rightful owners. He decides to start a proper Pokemon journey and work hard to train his Farfetch’d to be the best it can be.

Team Rocket keep up the search for Keith, prepared to report their encounter to Giovanni, but Meowth convinces them not to since he’d probably want to hire him and fire them as a result. A leftover Voltorb explodes in the basket and Team Rocket blasts off.

—————————

– I always thought it odd that, out of all the Pokemon you could claim are hunted for their delicious meat so fiercely that they’re nearly extinct, you’d choose…Farfetch’d….the Pokemon based on the very common non-nearly-extinct duck.

– I also find it odd that no one says anything in disgust or outrage that Farfetch’d are nearly extinct because they’re too yummy. Ash just says he wants to capture one because they’re so rare.

– Let’s just get this out of the way – I don’t care for Farfetch’d.

I adore ducks. Ducks are insanely awesome. I am always checking local ponds, lakes and rivers for ducks when I drive by them. My favorite hockey team is the Ducks purely because their mascot is a duck. Yes, I am that petty. I have a duck Beanie Baby. Ducks are amazing.

This duck, however, is boringly designed and ugly. It’s a blah shade of brown, it looks like it has a unibrow, and it’s a little dumb to have a duck Pokemon that’s not at least partially Water Type. What were they thinking? Make an ugly duck and give it a leek. Then make it Normal-Flying. Another Pokemon successfully designed.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen1

It’s also redundant because, as we plainly see, we already have two duck Pokemon in this gen with Psyduck and Golduck. Sure, neither really looks like a traditional duck, but since when does that matter?

Even its voice is annoying. Ducks aren’t exactly songbirds, but Farfetch’d sounds like a kazoo being tortured.

People only even remember this thing because it has a silly name. And that’s English-exclusive, so it doesn’t even really have that. Why is it called that anyway?

Wiki – “Farfetch’d is derived from far-fetched, meaning unbelievable, perhaps relating to Farfetch’d’s rarity or the “far-fetched” theme of its Japanese name.

Kamonegi is a combination of kamo (wild duck) and negi (spring onion). Additionally, 鴨葱 kamonegi is an abbreviation of the proverb 「鴨が葱をしょって来る」 (“a duck comes bearing green onions“), which means “something surprising but convenient”.”

……Alright, first of all, Farfetch’d would’ve had to have been nearly extinct since it was first discovered to warrant the name ‘Farfetch’d’ because of that, which is impossible.

Second, Farfetch’d is uncommon at best. It’s nowhere near rare enough to call it ‘far-fetched’ to ever see it. It also has a fairly high capture rate.

Third, alright, let’s say that they were clever enough to poke fun at the origins of Kamonegi’s name. Why poke fun at that name specifically? There are a hell of a lot more Pokemon with weird name origins to warrant being called ‘Farfetch’d’ A duck holding a leek based on an old proverb? Weird, sure, but considering the other weird Pokemon in existence, it doesn’t deserve that moniker.

– “So Near, Yet So Farfetch’d” And I hate your title! It’s a pun for the sake of nothing, and it barely makes sense!

….Sorry, residual anger.

– I’m confused. Since when do they need to ask the others’ permission before they go off to try and capture a Pokemon? I know Farfetch’d is ‘rare,’ but what did they expect her to do? Run off and tell them about it, bring them back and hope this ‘super-rare’ Pokemon sits still long enough for them to return and discuss who gets to capture it?

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– So this kid’s scam, one of them anyway, is to lure trainers into running into the forest after Farfetch’d, bump into them and….somehow have a bag that looks identical to theirs prepared to swap out with the victim’s…..How?

Not only that, but he seems to be under the assumption that all of the trainers he tries this with will be holding their bags so loosely that they’ll pop off when he bumps into them. Even with Misty having her bag on her shoulder and not grasping it with her hand, chances are the bag would slip down her arm and not just fly off after being hit.

Even so, he is a master of slight-of-hand if he can grab the bag as it’s slipping off, throw it to where it won’t be seen, and make the switch for the identical bag filled with rocks without the target seeing him do it.

A better plan would be to lure Misty away from the spot so he could steal Ash and Brock’s bags, since she just left them sitting there to chase after Farfetch’d…..Actually, he had no way to know she’d take her bag in the first place so this whole trick could’ve been for nothing. A lot of ridiculous dominoes had to fall in place perfectly for this to work.

– What is in Misty’s bag that she doesn’t find it suspicious when her bag is switched with one filled with rocks?

– Keith: “Let’s see what’s inside. Five Pokeballs! This must be all of her Pokemon!” Why would you assume that when most trainers have full parties of six?

– Give him credit, though, he’s way more successful at this than Team Rocket ever was.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen3

– I’m a little confused as to why Misty and the others believe Keith switched the bags on accident. Do they really believe this kid was carrying a bag of rocks wrapped with newspaper on a random walk through the forest?

Not only that, but Keith obviously didn’t leave the scene with a bag.

– For some reason, Keith’s character design is modeled after Farfetch’d. I have no clue why they randomly decide to do this with some CotD and their Pokemon, but it’s obvious and goofy.

I’m aware that Ash has those lines on his face because they’re meant to look like lightning bolts and he has a Pikachu, but it’s not like he looks like a Pikachu.

– Jessie: “I hear that people are spotting Farfetch’d in this forest all the time.” Well, then, they’re not that rare then, are they?

Oh excuse me, I meant to say ‘That’s far-fetched!’

– Why are Team Rocket so disheartened to learn Farfetch’d has a trainer? They do remember what they are, right?

– Meowth: “Hehehe, that sucker just lost one Farfetch’d!” But he was planning on giving it away anyway. I don’t get why this plan had any further steps since he should’ve screwed himself over after saying ‘I’m looking for someone to take all these Pokemon off my hands.’ Team Rocket would be all ‘We can do that!’ and his response would’ve been…what? They just cut from him saying he’s looking for someone to take his Pokemon to him walking in the forest with Team Rocket.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen4

“Look, he even left a boat for our getaway!” How and why does he have that there? Also, either he knows what Team Rocket is, and hardly anyone, even those in law enforcement, know what Team Rocket is, or he’s just under the assumption that any random trainer will steal Pokemon when given the chance.

– How did he know they’d take the boat instead of just running away?

– Meowth: “Too bad he didn’t leave his recipe for Farfetch’d flambe!” I know he’s joking, but this is the third time they’ve mentioned eating this thing. They finally manage to snag a really rare Pokemon and they seem to be seriously considering eating it.

– How did he know merely putting them out in the water would be enough to knock their Pokeballs off? I thought Pokeballs sank. Or is this one of those factoids they screw with whenever they feel it like because the plot says so?

How did he know they wouldn’t be able to stop the boat from sinking? How did he know they didn’t have a Water Pokemon capable of saving them? How did he know they wouldn’t be able to grab their lost Pokeballs before they floated away? This guy is either the luckiest kid in the world, or this is some of the most convoluted writing in the world.

– How did Jessie and James even know those Pokeballs contained Arbok, Weezing and Lickitung (Lickitung’s here because of episode arrangement problems due to the incident.)? They didn’t check their belts to see if their Pokemon had gone missing. They could’ve just been garbage Pokeballs floating in the lake.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen5

– Congratulations, Keith! You’ve been upgraded from a petty thief to an attempted murderer!

Even if you take the boat sinking and capsizing on purpose as a harmless prank, and he had no reason to believe they could swim, there’s a massive waterfall they get dragged into as a result, which would almost certainly kill them whether or not they can swim.

– Jenny can’t catch a backpack thief who is staying in a large tent no more than 100 feet from the nearest trail, considering he can easily see Team Rocket passing by. She’s been on this case for at least a week, but says she’s been trailing him ‘for a while.’ He targeted both sets of main characters within an hour and he’s really cocky. Bait him out. It’d be easy.

– Keith: “We’ve been together for a long time, Farfetch’d. Right after I found you injured on the road and nursed you back to health, we started stealing. I wish there was some other way for us to get by, but…how else are we going to survive?”

That was so exposition-y I’m going to have a bruise from the exposition hammer you just slammed into my face.

Who just randomly spouts out their backstory to the only other being who knows it?

Also, that second sentence is so weird. It sounds like the reason they started stealing was because he nursed a wounded Farfetch’d back to health.

“I wish there was some other way for us to get by”? Do you not have parents, kid? I assume most Pokemon trainers have allowances sent to them by their parents so they can travel the world without needing to get odd jobs or resorting to….well…thievery. Either his parents are terrible or he’s an orphan. In the case of the latter, why isn’t he in a group home or with relatives or something?

Keep in mind that he’s very clearly stealing money and other items from these trainers in addition to their Pokemon, but all Jenny and anyone else seems to be concerned with is the Pokemon. If he wasn’t stealing items or money, which he must be considering he’s stealing whole backpacks, where did he get the money for that massive tent or all that camping gear or that boat that he just flippantly sank on purpose?

Either way, don’t try to BS me into feeling bad for this guy. It would be one thing if he was obviously reluctant to steal or at least outwardly expressed remorse to himself after he stole something, but he doesn’t. Like I said, he’s cocky about it. He finds it entertaining. Not to mention that you don’t need to steal POKEMON to ‘get by’ unless he’s selling them or something, and that’s even worse.

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Oh but please, continue, Keith.

“We’re just too weak to battle.”

1) Is this confirming that trainers give out money to their opponents when they lose, like in the games? That sounds like it’d be a huge pain in the butt. How do you even decide upon the amount?

2) If the parent thing was the real reason he doesn’t have money, he’d have said that. Since he blames their lack of money or whatever on weakness in battle, which we’ll address soon enough, I’m left to assume he’s not an orphan. What’s the deal there, then?

3) If that’s the issue, why did he not just steal some Pokemon and start using them to win battles, legitimately catch more Pokemon and get money? Why is he collecting a mass amount of Pokemon just to seemingly use them as tools in his tricks? He’s been at this ‘for a while’ (At least enough time for a significant injury to heal) and has at least ten backpacks, not counting what I believe is his own bag. Unless he’s been selling the Pokemon, there’s no reason why he hasn’t been doing this unless he’s just making dumb excuses for himself to make it seem like he’s a victim somehow.

– I commend Psyduck for going off to find Misty….but I think it’s more than strong enough to have brought her bag to her as well.

– Misty gives zero shits that her Psyduck was stolen. Being annoyed by it is one thing, not caring that it could now be in the hands of someone who might be doing harm to it is just low.

– Then she turns around and is all happy to see Psyduck. I hate how she acts around Psyduck sometimes. Does she think her friends will think less of her if she shows affection for a Pokemon she has had an unreasonable amount of anger for since the day she met it? I’d think they’d think less of her for treating it like crap for no reason.

– Why is Misty asking Psyduck all these questions like it possesses the ability to answer back with anything but ‘Psyduck’?

– Granted, it’s a kinda funny scene…..until Misty blows up at Psyduck.

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– How did he manage to pack up ten backpacks, a tent, cooking equipment and all those Pokeballs in three bags?

– Why is he not packing the Pokeballs in their shrunken forms? Surely that would make them easier to pack and carry.

– Keith: “Well, if we meet someone on the road, we’ll just have to take their Pokemon too!” See, even he states he’s doing this purely for the Pokemon, which let’s assume he’s keeping. And he’s outright proclaiming that even bumping into a random person on the trail is grounds for stealing their Pokemon. He’s not doing this because he has no choice. He’s not doing this to ‘get by.’ He’s doing it because he’s a jerk.

– Keith: “Hey, can’t you guys take a joke?” A joke where you steal their Pokemon and try to murder them? Haha.

– Why and how did he have an entire bag filled with Pokeballs that only contained Voltorb? That either means:

1) He legitimately caught all of those for the sake of using them as a means to deal with threats or anyone who manages to find him. In which case, that means he has a bunch of Pokemon who are, objectively, fairly strong. Why does he not just use them in battle?

I doubt this one because that would most likely mean he’s used Farfetch’d in battle, and he hasn’t.

2) He ran into several trainers who had numerous Voltorb on them for whatever reason. How does that happen?

3) Either way, he just gave up like 25 Pokemon. He could’ve easily just used one, had it explode and run away in the smoke.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen8

– Jenny: “You’re under arrest for grand theft Pokemon!” That’s a thing? Also, many counts of regular theft and several counts of attempted murder.

“Maybe we should start off by showing this kid just how difficult a Pokemon battle is!” Jenny, for the love of god, just cuff him! You’re not his mom. It’s not your job to teach him a lesson about how difficult it is to battle Pokemon, which is an asinine lesson at this juncture anyway.

You want to teach a real lesson? Take his Farfetch’d away. The real moral Ash was going for was you can’t take someone’s Pokemon away because they put a lot of love and care into raising them. The battling thing is only a small part of that.

He’d lose his Farfetch’d anyway since I doubt they allow Pokemon in juvie.

– Who really has the final say in consent when it comes to Pokemon battles? Keith is very clearly against this, but Farfetch’d wants to battle.

– Misty: “At least now you can see the right way to capture a Pokemon in the wild!” This line is bafflingly horrible to me because she’s saying this while Bulbasaur is beating the living hell out of Farfetch’d. It’s hard to see who has the moral high ground here. No, it’s not right to steal other people’s Pokemon, but it’s also very difficult to say it’s better to beat Pokemon into submission, jam them into a small ball and enslave them for life.

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– Ash: “What’s that?”

Brock: “It’s Farfetch’d’s Agility!”

Keith: “I didn’t know Farfetch’d could do that.”

Let’s play pretend and believe levels properly exist in the Pokemon world again. If this is right, Farfetch’d is at least level 31. How did it get to this point without Keith battling with it? If it was that level when they met, why did he ever believe Farfetch’d was a weakling?

The only thing I can come up with is that, since they met when Farfetch’d was very injured, Keith subconsciously believed Farfetch’d never recovered to a point where it was strong enough to battle again. However, nothing in the episode implies this. Keith never states such a thing. It’s a very weak correlation that is basically fantheory territory.

The best explanation I can make out of this for real is that Keith never bothered trying to train it or battle it. I would say maybe he’s so worthless as a trainer that he couldn’t do much with Farfetch’d but he is literally doing nothing but telling Farfetch’d to stop and it’s winning.

He just assumed Farfetch’d was too weak to ever battle for absolutely no reason and never bothered putting him in a battle because of that fact. I don’t even know how he managed that because Farfetch’d is very confident in battle and is going in against its master’s commands.

In essence, his reasoning behind why he ‘has’ to steal Pokemon and backpacks, which is ludicrous enough, is based on a ridiculous assumption he never bothered to check.

– Keith: “Wow, I never knew Farfetch’d had attacks like that.”

Misty: “You really didn’t know about its powers?”

Keith: “No. If I had known it was this strong, I wouldn’t have used it to steal.”

If they hadn’t wedged in that exposition earlier, purely on the basis that he said that to no one but himself and Farfetch’d, I would swear this is another con. Even Misty facepalms at how clueless this kid seems.

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Brock: “You can’t judge a Pokemon by the way it looks.”

Oh….so his assumption was based on….the fact that Farfetch’d’s design looks weak….That’s even worse. There are a multitude of Pokemon who look much weaker than Farfetch’d and they win matches just fine.

– Wait, now he’s sending Pikachu out? For what purpose? Keith only has Farfetch’d, legitimately. If Farfetch’d falls, he’d have nothing to even the match with. Why is this not merely one on one? Is this match designed specifically to have Keith lose? That’s unethical to say the least. Two wrongs don’t make a right, guys.

Let me also point out that Farfetch’d is very visibly injured right now. They rarely ever show wounds on anything in this show, but Farfetch’d looks like it’s been thrown off a cliff. Not to mention that Ash is sending Pikachu after a Flying type. This is needlessly cruel, even if Farfetch’d won. He gets the point.

– Misty: “Hold it! He robbed me, so it’s my job to battle him!” What? He’s already in the middle of a battle. Where was this five minutes ago?

“I choose you, Staryu!….Oh wait. I forgot. I didn’t get my Pokeballs back yet.” This is kinda funny, but it’s also a little stupid considering Misty also didn’t notice that she didn’t grab nor throw a Pokeball. Did she think Staryu was already out for some reason?

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– Psyduck fighting for Misty’s…honor I guess, is kinda cool, but I really wish the poor thing could use its psychic abilities without needing to be put in terrible pain.

– Yeah, you threw a ten-year-old into a tree and cheered. Be the bigger person, Misty.

– Why would Team Rocket think it smart to open all those Pokeballs in the hot air balloon? Any one of those could hold something like a Snorlax, which would cause them to crash, or a Magmar, which would probably kill them just by being in such close proximity. Even if they were all small Pokemon, opening them all at once is incredibly risky in such a small space in a hot air balloon.

Do I even need to mention that, since they didn’t think to check the Pokeballs before leaving the area, Keith could’ve just given them empty Pokeballs?

They are being ridiculously dumb today, even for them.

– Also, giving people a bunch of Pokemon that are essentially bombs. More counts of attempted murder.

– Also, also….does this mean Team Rocket never got their Pokemon back?

– Team Rocket has been gone for a while now. What are the odds they would be flying right overhead as they decided to open those Pokeballs?

– Good thing Voltorb can easily survive 300 foot falls.

– From what we’ve seen, Voltorb explosions are typically much more violent than this. Either these are some very low-level Voltorb or this is more inconsistency.

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– Keith: “Forgive me. I’ll give back all the Pokemon I stole.” You don’t really have a choice.

Jenny: “None of the victims are going to press charges since they all got their Pokemon back.”…..What!? This is seriously a three numbered list rant episode? Fine.

1) None of them are going to press charges? Not a single one?

2) All of them are still in the area? Or do more people have cell phones in this world than we’ve been lead to believe?

3) You managed to contact all of these people and ask them if they’ll press charges in such a short amount of time?

4) Keith only now agreed to give back the Pokemon, meaning the victims haven’t yet gotten their Pokemon back. *Some might be missing. If none are missing, that confirms that he hasn’t been selling them, but if he hasn’t been selling them or using them in battles, what is the point in stealing them at all?

Also, same issue with Team Rocket, what if this is another con? What if all of those Pokeballs are empty or have more Voltorb in them? You’d never know until after he left.

5) Again, you’re only focusing on the fact that he stole Pokemon. He also stole property and money. I assume they’re getting at least most of their property back (though, if he also stole the boat…) but what about the cash? Considering he’s been ‘getting by’ on stealing, he must’ve used up a good chunk of the money and can’t replace it if he doesn’t get money of his own.

6) Let’s be really, really, insanely generous right now and say this kid would get off without charges or juvie time. Jenny should still technically be taking him in since he seemingly has no parents and no financial assistance.

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Alright thief kid with no money, no place to stay, no parents and a penchant for attempted murder. Be on your way.

– I was under the assumption that the big blue bag was legitimately his, but he left it behind. Now he’s traveling without any supplies whatsoever?

If you really don’t get money through trainer battles, he’ll be back to stealing within a day or two.

– *There was a Voltorb left the in the basket, meaning one of those victims must be missing a Voltorb if none of those were legitimately caught by Keith, which, if he’s never battled with Farfetch’d, must be true. Charges filed then?

– Where was that Voltorb hiding in the balloon?

———————————-

This episode is dumb.

It is.

This is another episode I have on VHS, and even back when I was a kid I didn’t care for it.

Keith’s character is all over the place. I don’t like Farfetch’d (and it’s yet another Pokemon that never seems to be characterized as anything but a cocky jerk) Misty was being a bitch, Team Rocket was being stupid even for them and Keith’s cons weren’t so much clever as they were simultaneously insanely lucky and completely contrived.

Not to mention that this is another criminal character who is getting away with various crimes without a drop of legal ramifications just because they ‘learned their lesson’ some other way. I don’t think this one’s quite as infuriating as the criminal situation with Melvin, but it’s on the same level. At least Keith’s not nearly as obnoxious or creepy as Melvin.

Next episode, prepare yourselves.

The egg is hatching……and the Togepi is upon us….

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Pokemon Episode 48 Analysis: Holy Matrimony!

Pokemon Episode 48 TITLE

CotD(s)Jessebelle: A seemingly lady-like southern belle, Jessebelle has been an extreme nag to James his entire life. She is incredibly demanding and controlling to the point where he ran away from home because his parents tried to betroth him to her. Jessebelle bears a striking resemblance to Jessie, which has massively confusing implications.

Reappear?: To my shock and horror, yes. She reappears way down the line in Diamond and Pearl to face off with James yet again.

Pokemon: Vileplume

James’ Parents: Never given actual names, James’ parents are terribly disconnected when it comes to what their son really wants or needs. They believe marrying Jessebelle will make him happy and, like Jessebelle, go to extremes to force him into doing what they want.

Pokemon: Technically, they own Growlie, James’ Growlithe.

Reappear?: Kinda. They appear as a flashback to James’ childhood in the same DP episode Jessebelle makes an actual appearance in.

Growlie (I’m counting him): James’ beloved Growlithe. He is fiercely loyal to his master and will do anything to protect him and make him happy. Likewise, James is incredibly attached to Growlie, which just makes his decision in not bringing Growlie with him to be insanely confusing.

Pokemon: James.

Reappear?: Yes! Growlie makes one more appearance in the aforementioned DP episode where he basically does the same thing he did in this episode.

Plot: Ash notices a Missing poster as they’re traveling and realizes that it’s an old childhood photo of James. As they discuss it, a limo pulls up and a man dressed as a butler emerges asking what they know about the boy in the photo. They admit that they believe it’s James from Team Rocket and, in a fit of excitement, the butler whisks them away in the limo to share the details.

Team Rocket also looks at the poster and decide to follow them, though James is very reluctant to do so.

Ash and the others arrive at a massive mansion, and the butler explains that James’ parents have died that morning. He must find James quickly because he’s their only heir and, per their will, he is entitled to their estate. The catch is, he has to marry a girl named Jessebelle within 24 hours of their passing or the estate will go to charity.

The group mulls over whether they should find James and tell him about his parents. Just as they’re deciding to find him and tell him, Team Rocket literally fall from the sky in front of them. James acts as if he has amnesia and doesn’t remember anything about this family.

Jessie and Meowth, more concerned with money above all else, decide to force James into making an appearance so they can take the money and scram. They don ‘invisible costumes’ and gag James so they can puppeteer him into going along with their plan.

It, shockingly, seems to work, and the butler leads James to his parents’ coffins. Suddenly, his parents emerge from the coffins and explain that they faked their death to lure James out of hiding and force him to marry Jessebelle.

They lead him down to a room where everyone finally gets a look at Jessebelle. To everyone’s shock and horror, Jessebelle looks and sounds exactly like Jessie. She leads them down to the basement where James’ inheritance supposedly is, but it’s revealed to be some weird torture dungeon. Jessebelle and James’ parents reveal that they knew Jessie and Meowth were there the whole time and they were using their lust for Jame’s inheritance to force him into the dungeon.

Jessebelle subdues James by using her Vileplume’s Stun Spore, which also takes down Ash, Misty, Brock, Jessie and Meowth. The butler kicks them out of the mansion while Jessebelle ‘tames’ James.

They hear a ruckus in the doghouse and Meowth translates that the dog wants to be let out. They all break the dog, James’ beloved Growlithe, Growlie, out of its dog house and it rushes to its master’s aid. It manages to save James from Jessebelle and Vileplume and they all lock themselves in the doghouse.

James explains that being betrothed to Jessebelle is what drove him to run away in the first place. She was always incredibly demanding and wanted to change everything about him in order to conform to how the upperclass does things. Her views were an extreme version of what he was already getting with his parents – suffocating rules and a complete lack of freedom. When he ran away and lived his own life, he was able to experience true freedom for the first time.

Jessebelle bursts through the wall and blasts Meowth and Jessie off. James and Growlie face off against Jessebelle and Vileplume. With an unnecessary bit of help from Ash and Pikachu, Jessebelle is beaten and runs off.

James tells Growlie that he has to stay at the estate and take care of his parents, but he can’t stick around because he has to live a life with freedom. He bids his old friend a fond farewell and reunites with his friends.

——————————

– “Ash continues his journey with Misty, Brock and their EGGS-elent new companion.” First line of the episode.

First line.

Damn pun.

Damn EGG pun. Please don’t screw around with the egg puns on me. I have bad flashbacks to Egghead from the 1960’s Batman series….People thought Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin was bad….

– I love how Ash, Misty and Brock give zero shits about being essentially kidnapped. Seriously, they’re drinking tea and everything. Don’t take rides from strangers, kids…..even if they forcibly throw you into the vehicle.

– I have a hard time getting a read on James’ parents in relation to Growlie. They keep him locked up just because Jessebelle doesn’t like him, but they give him a massive legit mansion as a doghouse. They also don’t get rid of him even though Jessebelle hates him and James has been gone for years.

– I get that it’s the joke, but how the hell did Ash and the others not notice the ginormous mansion mere feet next to the ‘doghouse’?

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen1

– Time to rip into James’ parents horrible ‘plan.’

First off, the butler says his parents died this morning….This morning. They’re already in coffins when they died this morning. There’s nothing to indicate this is taking place any later than noon, by the way.

Second, do they always have these coffins out just in case they get a bite on their bait? Did their butler call ahead to inform them that they need to get into the coffins and prep the flower arrangement before they arrive?

Third, they’re already making estate disbursements? When they died this morning? Let the bodies cool for god’s sake.

Fourth, this plan was setup horribly. They faked their deaths so they could lure James out, either because of grief or because it would make him believe he had just inherited a ton of money. Makes sense so far. However, the way we got to this point was through a ‘missing’ poster that didn’t even have any information on it. All it had was James’ picture.

They were banking on someone seeing the picture, recognizing him enough to realize this kid was James, being there when someone recognizes the poster, ambush them, bring them back to the estate with James in tow for some reason or at least being able to find him quickly, explain the situation, bring James back, and convince him to marry Jessebelle by claiming he has 24 hours to do so or else the estate won’t go to him while simultaneously not getting an annulment or divorce the instant he realizes that they’re alive.

They could’ve just put an announcement out that claimed they had passed away, hoping the message would find James and that would trick him into the marriage.

Would that not be more effective than a single ‘missing’ poster on a walking trail in the middle of nowhere?

Fifth, the butler explains that they both died simultaneously shortly after James left because they couldn’t handle the heartbreak? Come on. James may be an idiot, but he seems to be really knowledgeable about his parents. He should never believe that for a second.

Sixth, how long has James been gone? From the flashback, he seems to have run away as a young child, and that would explain why his parents don’t use an updated photo of him, opting instead to use one of him as a young boy. Yet the butler acts like he ran away very recently and the impact of the event was too much for them.

Seventh, there was something else really wrong with this whole plan….What was it?….Oh oh yeah, it’s insanely horrible to fake your death for the sake of luring your son out and forcing him to marry someone he obviously hates. It’s horrible to fake your death period, but that’s a stupid reason above all else.

It’s also slightly disconcerting that James doesn’t seem to care all that much that his parents died. I know they are controlling and abrasive, but still.

As a final note to this, while this won’t be the last weird moment of the episode, it is incredibly odd that 4Kids kept this entire plotline intact. They say ‘passed away’ instead of ‘died’ but that’s not censoring death at all. They show the coffins full out, even the crosses, and they talk about funerals. It’s really weird.

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– James mentions Pokemon Tech, which is something else questionable about his past. Pokemon Tech is supposed to be really expensive, and I think he was there at an age where he’d already be away from his parents, so how did he pay for it?

– Pokemon parodying The Dog of Flanders….I never got the reference when I was younger, but now that I’ve seen the movie, this hits a little hard. Also, more death references, what the hell? Not to mention them being cool with referencing a really sad tragedy story, not that most kids in the west would get the reference.

– I love how everyone (Barring Misty and maybe Pikachu) buys the story, though. It’s one of the funnier moments of the series.

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– I also like how Ash and the others are so nice to James here. Jessie and Meowth are treating him like a human ATM, but Ash, Misty and Brock want him to be free to choose who he marries and give him the opportunity to say goodbye to his parents.

– Not even Team Rocket should be stupid enough to think those ‘invisible costumes’ should work. If you were always perplexed by the weird black outfits somehow being seen as ‘invisible costumes,’ fear not. You are not alone. This is just one of those things that doesn’t transfer over to American audiences at all. To reference Dogasu’s comparison,

“The outfits they’re wearing are the same outfits that kuroko (黒子) wear. Kuroko are stagehands in traditional Japanese theater – kabuki, Noh, etc. – and wear black from head to toe in order to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Like stagehands in the West, kuroko are meant to be ignored.”

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Even with this explanation, they still shouldn’t believe this would work. Ignoring the obvious, Jessie’s bright red hair isn’t even covered. I get that numerous people are surprised that it seems to work, but even little kids should be able to catch on that the people are either incredibly stupid or faking it (it’s the latter).

Let’s be overtly generous and say they would work to trick someone – how do you get around the fact that James is clearly gagged right now?

Not to mention that both Jessie and Meowth are talking very loudly to James numerous times. Surely they have to realize that the invisible costumes don’t make it so people nearby only hear them when they’re pretending to be James. Dear god, everything about this ‘joke’ makes no sense. My brain is throbbing with stupid.

– I am really getting annoyed at this butler constantly speaking through a bullhorn for no reason.

– Why the hell do James’ parents know (and partially recite) the Team Rocket motto?

– People always bring up that Jessebelle looks ridiculously like Jessie, but can we also discuss how James’ mother looks quite a bit like Jessie too? It’s not nearly as obvious, but the design similarities are there.

– Team Rocket still believes that they can’t be seen even though the butler is carrying both James and Jessie – one under each arm.

– It’s very obvious, even before she puts the fan down from her face, that Jessebelle looks and sounds like Jessie.

– There’s never any reason given for why Jessebelle spends so much time at the mansion, even when James hasn’t been around in years. Jessebelle calls James’ mom ‘Mother’ Also, her parents are never seen nor do we know her lineage. Also, I already mentioned how James’ mom looks like Jessie, thus she also looks like Jessebelle.

Incest isn’t terribly uncommon among the massively rich folk and royalty is all I’m saying.

– I’ll be honest, I never got what we were supposed to take away from Jessebelle looking and sounding exactly like Jessie – and her having a very similar name on top of that. The Rocketshipper in me wants to believe it’s meant to be because James is attracted to Jessie, but he’s definitely not attracted to Jessebelle so this makes no sense.

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Maybe it’s meant to be something along the lines of you can have two people look the same, but their personalities can differ quite a lot, and James is attracted to Jessie’s personality, but I can’t even see how that works.

In a lot of ways, Jessebelle acts exactly like Jessie too. She is extremely loud, violent and selfish. While Jessebelle’s focus is entirely on controlling James, Jessie’s is moreso on stealing Pokemon and getting rich.

Think about it. The only reason James is even in this room right now is because Jessie lassoed him and literally puppeteered him into it all for the sake of mooching off of his inheritance, no matter what he has to say about it.

This episode, given the very ending, has a somewhat heavy hint of Rocketshipping, but if James hates Jessebelle because she’s a loud, bitchy, controlling shrew who doesn’t care what he wants, why are we meant to believe he’d want to be with Jessie when she’s a loud, bitchy, controlling shrew who doesn’t care what he wants and is a physical clone of Jessebelle?

– Another problem with this episode is that Ash, Misty and Brock have no reason to be here. They’re now just commentating on everything they’re watching. Outside of being a moral voice that Jessie and Meowth don’t listen to anyway, they could be completely removed from this episode and nothing would change. Just have Jessie and Meowth find the poster and be kidnapped by the butler.

– That’s another thing – how is this inheritance plan even a thing anymore? James’ parents are alive – he won’t get his inheritance until they die, no matter if he marries Jessebelle or not. Unless Jessie and Meowth are just planning to straight up rob them, this plan lost its footing the instant James’ parents revealed themselves.

– Okay, let me prepare myself….

*inhale*…..*exhale*

WHAT THE UNHOLY HELL IS THIS ROOM!?

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I was confused by it when I first watched it and I’m even more confused now. I can’t even bring myself to breakdown and analyze everything in this room. Just…what?!

They act like it’s just a strange gym, and it does have some normal gym equipment, but look at everything else! The spikes, the pendulum of death, the giant spiky mace!

And as if this weird dungeon weren’t suggestive enough, Jessebelle dons a whip and when we pan back to Ash, Misty and Brock, Brock and Misty are visibly uncomfortable and are blushing. What is even happening right now?!

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– While the ‘invisible costumes’ were massively stupid, I will give props to James’ parents, the butler and Jessebelle for instantly opting to play along with it because they knew they would force James into the dungeon.

– Ash: *Seeing James being chased by Jessebelle* “Shouldn’t we help him?”

Brock: “Eh, I don’t like to get involved in these family squabbles.” Now you’re actively being inactive. Wow.

– Dexter: “Using the largest flower petals in the world….” Uh, no? Venusaur’s flower petals are way bigger.

– Also, the image of Vileplume in the PokeDex looks absolutely terrible.

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– Jessebelle: “Hahahaha, sleepin’ like a baby.” Stun Spore paralyzes you – it doesn’t knock you out. His eyes are clearly open, too.

– I’m not exactly sure why they let Ash and the others watch this whole time. Unlike Team Rocket, their presence was unnecessary, and they were ‘hiding’ the whole time. Besides letting our main characters be a part of what’s going on, they should’ve thrown them out ages ago.

– Even though Ash doesn’t Dex it, he still questions what a Growlithe is when he’s seen one already.

– I love James and Growlie together. It’s nice to see something actually give legit love and affection towards him, and it’s equally nice to see something make James happy and content. It pains me quite a bit that they don’t have it be a mainstay Pokemon of his, but we’ll get to that later.

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– I don’t understand. If Growlie ran away with James back then, when and why did they get split up, and why is Growlie still with James’ parents?

– James’ parents are a lot worse the more I think about them. James ran away when he was…eight or so? He’s been missing for nearly ten years, and has been on his own since he was a young child. For all they knew, James was murdered on the street or kidnapped. Yet they don’t seem like ever cared about him the entire time he was gone, and their only intention upon finding him is forcing him into marriage before he’s even turned 18. What selfish, uncaring scumbags.

You’d think, even if they always knew he was alive and well, that ten years of contemplation would make them think ‘Hm, maybe we’re being too strict with James.’ Nope, they just get even worse in their controlling behavior.

– Jessebelle breaks down one of the walls of the doghouse….and that somehow…blasts Meowth and Jessie out of the roof…..???

– Jessebelle: “Vileplume! Stun them to sleep, just like before!” Stun Spore does not induce sleep! For someone who’s had that Vileplume since it was an Oddish ten-some-odd years ago, you suck at knowing what it does. Hint – it can do more than Stun Spore.

– Why does Ash only now feel the need to intervene? Growlie is more than enough of an opponent for a Vileplume, and it ruins Growlie’s heroic moment of defeating Vileplume and Jessebelle. Just had to give Pikachu his spotlight, didn’t you?

– And now the biggest mar on this episode.

Why the hell does Growlie not go with James at the end? They explain it away by having James claim he has to stay there to ‘take care’ of his parents, but that is both cheap and a terrible idea.

Why do his parents ‘need’ him? Certainly they have a bunch of security there, and it’s not like companionship is an issue. They have each other. They’re never even seen interacting with Growlie once. They don’t seem to give much of a crap about him, at least not enough to warrant this. They don’t really deserve him, either. It’s nice to see that James still cares about his ‘lousy’ parents, no matter what they try to do to him (or what his lack of a response to their passing would indicate) but they’re terrible people.

While I would be hard-pressed to say they likely abuse Growlie, it can be assumed that he’s regularly locked up because of Jessebelle. Speaking of her, Jessebelle will probably do everything in her power to get rid of it. Growlie is one of the only things standing in her way of forcing James into marriage.

He probably wouldn’t have an easy time on the road considering Team Rocket regularly starves and never has a real place to live, but I think he’d sacrifice all that to be with his best friend.

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I really like James’ expression here.

Not that I’d particularly like to see Growlie as a bad guy. If anything, Growlie is a symbol of James’ good side. Making him a member of Team Rocket, despite the significant and interesting power shift, would tarnish Growlie’s image.

Still, I at least would’ve liked a better reason as to why he couldn’t go with James. The one they came up with just seems to lazy and nonsensical.

I feel like the writers had this nice backstory laid out for James, knew they wanted him to have a great Pokemon at home to connect with, but couldn’t figure out how to fit that Pokemon into the regular storyline so they agreed to have it be a one-off character. He is reprised later, but, truth be told, while I haven’t seen it, that Diamond and Pearl episode sounds like a massive rehash of this episode.

Hearing Growlie howl as James walks away is heartbreaking. I wish they would’ve done more with this story.

– Why do Jessie and Meowth assume James suddenly changed his mind and married Jessebelle willingly and decided to stay at the estate? He was talking about how miserable Jessebelle and his parents made him as a kid, then they blast off and the next scene they’re in they’re lamenting over James leaving Team Rocket.

– As much as I like the Rocketshipping moment at the end, in hindsight, it seems really disjointed. Jessie goes from being dead set on forcing James into marrying Jessebelle for the sake of leeching off his inheritance to being sad he’s ‘leaving’ for no reason to happy that he’s staying.

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Every moment that they wasted on Ash and Co.’s discount pointless recaps and reactions should’ve been spent on making these Team Rocket moments a little better. Have Jessie be at least reluctant to marry James off once they see Jessebelle or have her battle Jessebelle or something. Like I mentioned earlier, Jessie is being as much of a shrill harpy as Jessebelle is this entire episode yet they make the ending sweet Rocketshipping.

—————————

I still really like this episode, and my main fault is really just with the Growlie issue. Everything else is basically a testament to James’ poor upbringing or just bad writing. Jessebelle is a good concept, but they have to make her more different from Jessie in order to have her truly work as a character.

The invisible costume shtick is kinda funny, but you have to be willing to accept that Jessie and Meowth are about ten times stupider than they normally are in order for it to work.

The episode still has a lot of fun moments and jokes, and the animation is higher quality than it normally is. Plus, it’s always nice to get some backstory and insight into our main cast.

One of the reasons the Growlie thing hurts so bad, aside from what I’ve mentioned, is Growlithe is one of my favorite Pokemon. It’s an adorable fiery powerhouse. The fact that we missed out on having one on the main team (and potentially an Arcanine later!) is disappointing to say the least. He could’ve rounded out the animal sidekicks! (Dog→Cat→Mouse) Plus, Growlie got very little screentime as a whole. He appears two-thirds of the way into the episode and is dumped at the end.

Next episode, our introDUCKtion (I’m so sorry) to Farfetch’d – the Pokemon who’s never not a douche.

Previous Episode…

Pokemon Episode 47 Analysis: A Chansey Operation

Pokemon Ep47 title

CotD(s): Dr. Proctor – A creepy pedophile, Proctor is a human doctor who is forced to take the role of a Pokemon doctor during an emergency. In addition to being a creeper, Proctor is also very lazy and sometimes uncaring as he blows off the well-being of Pokemon when he can help them all because he wants to laze about. Despite this, he does have many skills in both medicine and…medical combat? Is that a thing? Make that a thing.

Reappear?: No (Thank God)

Pokemon: None.

Plot: As Ash and the others take a break in the woods, Pikachu suddenly falls ill. It has an apple lodged in its throat, but there’s no Pokemon Center nearby so they opt to go to a human hospital. There, they meet the lazy and pervy Dr. Proctor, who seems to be the only person working there. He initially refuses to treat Pikachu since he’s not a Pokemon doctor, but agrees once he pervs on Misty for a bit.

He saves Pikachu, but as Ash and co. are about to leave, the hospital gets a distress call. Team Rocket has overturned a truck filled with Pokemon they were trying to steal. The Pokemon Center is full, so Joy asks Proctor to help out. He doesn’t want to, but agrees anyway.

He recruits Ash, Misty and Brock to be medical assistants and they get to work. As they treat the Pokemon, Ash is shocked to find one of the victims is Team Rocket’s Arbok. He doesn’t want to treat Arbok since it belongs to Team Rocket, but Proctor treats it without hesitation, stating that doctors don’t judge their patients – they just heal.

Team Rocket is soon recruited to help out. Everything goes alright until Proctor is knocked out with his own anesthetic on accident. Ash and the others decide to carry on by themselves since the Pokemon still need help. Meanwhile, Team Rocket gets up to no good.

They ambush Ash and co. with robotic ‘stretcher catchers’ and are about to steal all of the Pokemon in the building, but a Chansey stops them. Team Rocket tries to attack with Arbok and Weezing, but they refuse to fight Chansey since it helped treat them.

Proctor wakes up and scares Team Rocket away with his medical tools. Ash and the others finish up the treatments and head off on their adventure yet again.

———————————-

– Narrator: “What our heroes don’t know is there’s no Pokemon Center around for miles. So they’ll have to try the next best thing.” Wow, thanks, Narrator, for telling us the information that we’ll learn in literally seconds.

– That’s a hospital, not a regular doctor’s office. Why and how is it closed? Especially when there’s a doctor there.

– Wait, where the hell is everyone? Why is this hospital only being tended to by one doctor? Are there no patients around if he was off taking a nap despite being the only doctor in the hospital that’s on call? The receptionists aren’t even there. Is the health care system in Pokemon really THAT bad that they can’t properly staff a hospital?

– Dr. Proctor’s a pedophile. Let’s just get that out of the way. He has a very clear hard-on for Misty. He hits on all women it seems, but that doesn’t change the fact that he clearly wants to play doctor with a ten-year-old girl.

– He completely ignores the other two kids at the door and drags Misty over to examine her when there’s been no indication that she’s the patient.

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– Behold, one of the only times where it’s easier to find a human doctor than it is to find a Pokemon Center.

– Dr. Proctor: “I’ve just never been able to refuse requests from young girls.” I’ll bet you haven’t. That ambulance our front isn’t even an ambulance, is it? You just painted a red cross on a windowless van.

– Dr. Proctor: (After listening to Pikachu’s heart) “There’s something stuck in its throat.” You could tell that from listening to his heart and not, oh, I dunno, looking in his mouth? Also, if something’s really stuck in Pikachu’s throat that badly, would he not be dead by now?

Misty: “Oh no!” Oh no—wait, we knew that already. Brock figured that out before we even started running here. It’s a good thing that Brock eventually goes off to become a doctor because you’re terrible.

– Dr. Proctor: (After testing Pikachu’s body for electricity levels) “The electric pressure in its body is rather low. We’ll have to give it an electric charge!”….After you give him the Heimlich, right?….Because the main issue….is the choking….How is his electricity even being affected by this? His heart rate sounds fine, but his electric pressure is tanking? Try listening to his lungs. I doubt he’s breathing properly because of the OBSTRUCTION IN HIS THROAT!

– Dr. Proctor: “Pikachu would need about 10,000 volts.” How would know that when you explicitly stated that you’re not a Pokemon doctor? Is that common knowledge?

Dr. Proctor: “Alright, CLEAR!” *Everyone runs away* It’s a defibrillator, guys, not a damn grenade. Clear just means clear the patient of every part of you that’s touching them.

– I’m no doctor, but certainly jamming your hand down the patient’s throat, especially when it’s a small mouse, is one of the worse ways to dislodge an obstruction in the airway.

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His hand has to be touching intestines.

– Also, Pikachu had a softball-sized apple lodged in its throat. Pikachu should be long since dead by now.

For that matter, Pikachu’s a complete dumbass (with poor table manners) for trying to eat an apple whole.

– Dr. Proctor: “If you had waited any longer, serious respiratory complications would have arisen.” Like….choking to death? And go to hell with your ‘waiting’ because you dicked around juicing Pikachu up when you could’ve been making him not die.

By the way, I’m quite certain having a huge apple lodged in your throat for twenty minutes (or at all) probably did cause respiratory problems. Pikachu likely has severe damage to his throat now, no thanks to your man-handling the apple.

Dr. Proctor: “Though, I have to say, it was very irresponsible of you as a trainer to let your Pikachu eat this thing whole.”

Ash: “I didn’t LET it!” Eeehhhhh, you kinda did. You napped on a bench while your Pikachu roamed around in the forest unsupervised. Misty and Brock were watching him better than you were.

That being said, Pikachu is still a grade-A dumbass.

– Brock: “Well, he may have had a soft-spot for Misty…” Don’t you mean a har—I’m gonna stop myself right there.

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Brock: “But he sure seemed pretty hard on you, Ash.” No, he’s not into that.

Misty: “He’s not the only one with a soft spot for pretty girls, is he? (referring to Brock)” This line seems so awkward. Why bring this up when Brock hasn’t perved on a girl today? Are you trying to justify Proctor’s pervness by saying Brock does the same thing?

Brock is 15 years old. Proctor is about 35 at the very least. Just to make this age difference even clearer, Proctor’s design and character is based off of George Clooney’s character in ER. Imagine Dr. Ross flirting with a ten year old girl on ER and tell me if that seems the same level of creepy as Brock busting out the heart eyes over every nearly same-age girl he meets.

He does get creepy, and his lust for women who are clearly much older than him is questionable, but he’s the younger party here. He’s just letting his teen hormones take him for a ride. Proctor’s an inch away from offering Misty a lollipop in his basement.

– Misty: “Your phone’s ringing.”

Dr. Proctor: “Eh, I’m not gonna answer it. I’m off-duty.” If you’re off-duty, what are you doing at the hospital? Who IS on duty? I’m starting to think this hospital isn’t real either. Did he spruce up an abandoned hospital to trick passersby into stopping there, hoping he’d get some girls?

– Ash: “But what if it’s an emergency?” Silly Ash. No one calls hospitals when there’s an emergency.

“Like with Pikachu!”….Or with…people…

Also, thanks for clarifying what constitutes as an emergency.

– Officer Jenny: “The Pokemon Center is full! We have to get these Pokemon to the hospital!” Okay, I’ll go further with this in a second, but uh…why not put them into Pokeballs and transport them to another Pokemon Center? Isn’t that one of the reasons the transfer system even exists?

……Wait….now that I think about it, in The Bridge Bike Gang why didn’t they just transfer the sick Pokemon over to the Pokemon Center that had the medicine instead of waiting hours for three children to deliver it? Great, now I’m going to drive myself crazy thinking of various plots that didn’t need to exist if they just used the transfer system.

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– Team Rocket nearly succeed in a mass Pokemon score, because, wait for it, Ash and co. weren’t around! Team Rocket might actual be worth a damn if they stopped following them.

Also, I love how they brought them into the story this episode. It actually contributes to the plot and is a welcome change of pace from their typical shtick.

– If you responded to my earlier note about the transfer system by pointing out that the Pokemon might be in such critical condition that they wouldn’t survive the trip or something along those lines, the scene where they’re treating the Pokemon illustrates why that’s not an issue.

The only one really in any immediate danger is Arbok, who is being poisoned by its own venom. Two other possible candidates are Weepinbell and Dodrio – both of whom might suffocate, but neither of which seem like they actually are suffocating. Every other Pokemon has minor non-life-threatening issues like the Pinsir with the broken horn, the Hitmonlee with the hurt leg etc.

– Dr. Proctor: “By the way, Nurse Joy, would you be interested in going for pizza Saturday night?” The best time to ask out a Pokemon Nurse is after you flippantly responded to a horrific car accident involving numerous Pokemon.

– Brock: “I don’t like this guy. He sounds like me.” PBBBTTAHAHAHAHAHA! Best line ever.

Give Brock a round of applause for being self-aware, though.

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– Dr. Proctor: “We don’t have enough doctors and nurses…” You would have enough doctors and nurses if this were a real hospital and not a creepy bait station.

Why can’t you just page the other doctors and nurses? Hmm?

Call them in from home? HMMM?

Isn’t that what a real hospital would do? HMMM!?

– He’s recruiting children to be his medical assistants…..Either you give zero shits about keeping your medical license (and not going to prison) or you really aren’t a doctor.

– Dr. Proctor: “They didn’t tell us about this in med school.” How would you know?! Hmmmmmmmmm!?

– Are there human paramedics or do the Chansey know how to drive, write and fill out patient forms?

If there are human paramedics, why are they not entering the hospital to lend a hand?

– Dr. Proctor: “Prepare a Cubone scan!” What? That’s like calling an x-ray a people scan.

– I know I’ve been having too much fun with the Proctor conspiracy theories, but he straight up put Misty in a nurse outfit.

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I could make a bone related joke here, but I’m above that.

It’s even more disturbing considering we know he also has a thing for Nurse Joy…..Wait until we get to the scene where Misty finds pink hair dye and a stuffed Chansey in the supply closet.

It’s just so obvious what he’s doing because Ash and Brock only get white lab coats over their regular clothes. He doesn’t even lend them some scrubs.

Unless he doesn’t have scrubs, but he has the fetish outfit because, like I said, this is a deranged den of perversion.

– I get that Ash is a kid with a one-track Pokemon mind, but when faced with an injured Pokemon and asked to help calm the patient down, his first instinct is to call out Bulbasaur and Vine Whip it to the table? I gave him a pass earlier for shaking Pikachu upside down to get the apple out of its throat, but this is just stupid and possibly harmful.

– If you can’t x-ray through the Cubone mask-skull, how do you know its actual skull is okay?

– Dr. Proctor: “Repair the fractures with superglue and apply a bandage.”

………*sigh*

Repair the fractures….with superglue…..That would work, considering it’s the outer skull, sure, but 1) that’s hardly a viable medical procedure. 2) The super glue would wear off eventually, would it not? 3) Do you want to be known as the Cubone with superglue on its skull? 4) Wouldn’t the bandage stick to the superglue and make Cubone forever some weird mummy!Cubone?

– Ash: (In regards to Cubone) “Watch out! They can be pretty nasty!” Right, right, because they ‘care only for themselves’ right, Dexter!? ….Oops, sorry. Leftover bitterness from Pikachu’s Vacation.

– James: “Arbok, beat it! Amscray” You mean ‘Raticate.’….Unless you’re just being rude to Arbok.

– The Raticate with the broken teeth is one injury sustained in this accident that resonated with me after I first watched this episode as a kid. Broken teeth, especially as they’re depicted here, just squick me out.

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– Dr. Proctor: “Just glue its teeth back in with superglue.” NO. A few cracks on a superfluous bone that acts as a mask, fine, superglue it. Raticate’s goddamn teeth!? Needed to withstand enough force to eat and use attacks like Hyper Fang? NO! And that’s assuming you have collected all of the pieces of its teeth, which are basically pulverized.

Also, what the hell? Are you playing dentist now too? How many imaginary degrees do you have?

– I absolutely adore that the hearts behind Jessie are shaped liked Arbok.

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– I should mention, however, that Jessie, at this point, is 17 years old. She could be technically legal, but this is still uncomfortable.

– He can tell Arbok is being poisoned by its own venom by merely looking at it? You’re seriously just bullshitting aren’t you?

Also….I don’t think that can happen. First of all, Proctor refers to it as ‘poison’ which is very different from ‘venom.’ Snakes, such as Arbok’s namesake, the cobra, are venomous – not poisonous. Poisons act through either being ingested, absorption through the skin or being inhaled. Venom needs to be injected straight into the body through an open wound, like, for example, a bite. The venom of snakes can be ingested safely because the acids in the stomach can break down the amino acids that make up the harmful aspects of the venom and render it harmless.

TheNakedScientists – “The reason is that the venom snakes use is a mixture of proteins. Proteins are made up of building blocks of what’s called amino acids. They’re the same stuff, effectively, as makes up the meat in your Sunday roast. That means that if you were to eat them – say I ate a snake and ate the poison sacks – it would go into my digestive system where my stomach acid and the enzymes in my stomach would just break down the protein, so it would fall apart and it would be harmless.”

Now, it’s not quite clear whether snakes are immune to their own venom via bite. There have been rare cases in which a snake has bitten itself and died from its own venom. However, immunity seems to depend on the species. There was an example of a cobra who bit itself and suffered from an abscess on the wound that needed to be treated surgically, but it, notably, did not suffer from the same ill effects that the venom typically presented in other creatures.

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Here are some passages from a MentalFloss article on the subject.

““The conventional wisdom is that they have circulating antibodies in their blood,” says Stephen Mackessy, Ph.D., a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado and an expert in venomous snakes. “This would protect them from their own venom, as well of venom from another snake in their own species.””

““The more distantly related the species, the more probability it would be toxic,” Mackessy says. “If a rattlesnake and cobra bit one another, without prior exposure to their venoms to build immunity, they would probably kill each other.”

Because organized snake fights to the death are frowned upon in scientific circles, there isn’t likely to be a definitive answer on just how much immunity they have—just that there’s likely enough to ward off attacks from close relatives or self-contamination. “It makes sense,” Mackessy says. “If you have something dangerous you’re injecting, you want to be protected from injecting yourself.””

King cobras, which eat other cobras, have been proven to be immune to the venom of other cobras and rattlesnakes because they’re their usual food source.

Here’s where I tell you I more or less wasted your time in these past few paragraphs by saying –

Second, Arbok didn’t bite himself. He didn’t even ingest his own venom. He just has a knot in his body.

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That’s not to imply that the second scenario isn’t dangerous, though. While snakes rarely ever get themselves into knots, and even more rarely get themselves into knots that they cannot untangle themselves, if, through an accident, illness or abuse, a snake were to be knotted into a knot it could not untangle and kept tightening, they could damage internal organs, their spine and they might be unable to digest their food, causing starvation.

Third, which is basically building upon second, how is Arbok getting a buildup of its own venom by being in a knot? The venom sacs on a snake are located in tiny glands behind and below the eye. Their placement allows them to have a direct shot of venom when they bite as they can quickly dispense the venom through their fangs given the close proximity.

Unless Arbok’s venom is located in its tail, like a scorpion, and even that doesn’t make much sense, I don’t see how being knotted up is making Arbok suffer the effects of its own venom,

I just realized that I’m not even slightly mad or irritated by this ‘goof up’ because that was really fascinating to research. Snakes are fascinating. I am forever perplexed at how often I’ll go off on research sprees because of stupid moments like this. One day I’m going to write a book called ‘Things I Learned Because Pokemon was Being Dumb.’ Mark my words.

So, class, any questions?

“Yeah, you do know that none of that may apply because Arbok is a fictional animal, a Poison Type Pokemon, no less, and all of these real-world animal facts might not be reflected in its own biology?”

……………………………Get the hell out of my imaginary classroom!

– Wait, I was so distracted by the venom thing I didn’t even notice that Team Rocket didn’t get arrested back at the accident scene. They were very clearly stealing Pokemon. Jenny was right there. Worst. Cops. Ever.

– Ash is vehement against helping Team Rocket even though an innocent Pokemon (Remember, as Ekans said, Pokemon aren’t bad. Their masters are.) is going to die of poisoning if they don’t. If the second thing was him being a dumbass, this is him being a jackass. Ash should know by this point when to set aside personal squabbles for the sake of helping a Pokemon in need.

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This was probably written in a way to make Proctor look better since all he’s been the entire episode is a lazy, creepy pedo who owns a lab coat, but still. Even the youngest kid would call Ash out on this.

– Jessie: “I wanted you to cure it, not kill it!” *gasp* The K word. :0

– Wait, now they have anesthetic? Would’ve been useful for the flailing Cubone.

– Okay, Ash, so you won’t shut up about not saving Arbok because it belongs to bad guys, but when said bad guys are tasked with being medical assistants, which is about 100000x more hazardous, you don’t say a thing.

– Meowth and Chansey have a back and forth with Chansey mishearing what Meowth’s asking for (or it’s trolling the hell out of him) Enter bunch of visual gags that don’t work due to being lost in translation. The ice to rice one works, but the go board makes no sense, neither does Venonat, and police doesn’t work because the end of that word is pronounced ‘eese’ not ‘ice.’ I don’t fault 4Kids for this because this scene is just a nightmare to localize, if it’s even possible. I did still laugh at Chansey somehow having the strength to easily remove a police station from its foundation, carry it into the hospital and present it to Meowth like it’s any other object.

Here’s the main comparison for those curious about the actual joke.

http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/kanto/ep047.html

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– I also laughed at Chansey getting pissed and slapping the hell out of Meowth. Then again, it doesn’t know that Meowth’s a bad guy, so this whole scene might just be because of a really abusive Chansey.

– Now they’re supergluing a Pinsir’s horn back on. You know, Pinsir’s horns, which are strong enough to pick up and throw objects twice its body weight, ‘shatter logs’ and tear its prey in half…..

– I do love seeing Team Rocket and Ash and co. working together, though.

– This is another episode that’s a bit screwed up in hindsight. Much later on, we’ll learn that Jessie was trained as a Pokemon Nurse (well….a Chansey level nurse. It still counts.) She was actually pretty good at it, though she was never able to graduate. Now she seems to have no clue what she’s doing.

– Also, now he’s put Jessie in the fetish outfit….He has at least two nurse uniforms, of varying sizes (One a child size (!)), and not a single set of scrubs.

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By the way, I’m not missing the implied sexism that the girls are nurses and the guys are doctors.

– Alright, there’s a difference between letting these people/kids help you with procedures and straight up letting them perform procedures on their own. Especially when one of the procedures involves essentially removing a BOMB from a Weepinbell’s mouth.

– Jessie: “This thing can self-destruct?!” Yeah…..it’s a Voltorb. I thought you had been well-acquainted with Voltorb during The Ninja Poke-Showdown.

– The issue with Weepinbell having a Voltorb stuck in its mouth is pretty clever…..but would it not also have died by now?

– IVYSAUR!

– While knotting up Dodrio is also a little clever, though not as clever now considering Arbok had that same problem….how did it get that way without breaking any of its necks? Also, good luck getting them apart without killing them.

– Dr. Proctor: “That’s a knotty problem.” Please….please don’t say the word ‘knotty.’ I know what you’re implying. Also, what, did you think of that joke with Arbok but were too late to use it so you jumped on it with Dodrio?

– I guess I avoided a ‘Why Use the Pokedex?’ segment since Proctor simply had a paper with its Dex info on it, but that begs the question of why he randomly had a paper with Dodrio’s Dex information on it. If he was sent medically useful information via fax from Joy about Dodrio, that’d be fine, but all it says are that its three heads represent joy, sorrow and anger. That is in no way helpful.

– Don’t you have to push the plunger down to get any sort of liquid out of a needle? Merely having it fall into your arm doesn’t seem good enough. People usually sit on hypodermic needles when they do this trope so you’ll assume the plunger went down.

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Adorable Chansey reaction, though.

– Dr. Proctor: “You guys take over. Good night.” A better way to write this would just be to have Proctor suddenly pass out. Having him coherent for a bit, enough to tell the kids to takeover, just leaves us wondering why he doesn’t try to call for another qualified individual. You said they’d be fine as long as they followed your command, but now they have no command. It’s Doogie Howser MD without the MD and times five.

– Brock: “So what now?”

Ash: “Beats me.”

CALL. FOR. HELP!

– Ash: “I’m going to be the world’s best Pokemon master someday. I can’t let something like this scare me.” It should scare you because you’re a ten year old trying to practice medicine! Pokemon training has nothing to do with it! Nor does being scared for that matter.

You could be putting the lives of these Pokemon at risk. Assuming this is a real hospital and not a sick sex den, surely there are numbers strewn about the reception area for doctors, nurses, other hospitals etc. Do the best you can until backup arrives, but don’t just take the reigns on diagnosing and treating all of these Pokemon.

– Ash: “Go Squirtle!” ….Wait…what do you need Squirtle for?

“Weaken it with Water Gun!”

…..Ash, you ridiculously stupid, irresponsible dumbass. You were just told earlier to be gentle with the patients and now you’re Water Gunning them?

– Ash: “Dodrio should be weak against Electric attacks! Pikachu, Thunderbolt now!”

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Yay! Indicative of the X’s in their eyes, they’re dead! Whoo!

YOU BRAINDEAD FUCKBUCKET! Now this isn’t just being abusive to a patient, this is just downright cruel. Dodrio was already clearly down for the count, as evidenced by the swirly eyes, it’s soaking wet AND a Flying type so you just Thundershock the hell out of it? What is wrong with you today!? And you have the nerve to be bitchy about Team Rocket just being there. You’re being more of a villain in this episode than they are, even considering they’re the cause of this whole mess and that they try to steal the Pokemon at the hospital later.

– I’m also slighting Pikachu for that. He should’ve known better and refused orders – preferably while bitchslapping Ash upside the head.

– And after all is said and done, he completely forgets what he was doing and tries to capture it. Well done, Ash. You continue to amaze me with how incredibly moronic you are.

– You’re not getting away either, Brock. You stay quiet as Ash assaults a poor scared Dodrio, but attempting to capture it, OH NO! That’s crossing a line! Maybe you shouldn’t go into medicine.

– Ash: “Just take it easy. We’ll have you better in no time.” I’m sure it trusts the guy who just viciously attacked it enough to relax and let the aforementioned assailant continue to treat it.

– Wait, now that Proctor’s out they start treating patients with bandages and actual Super Potions? The children are more qualified to practice medicine than he–….Nope, that still doesn’t change the fact that Ash damn near killed one of the patients and tried to capture it.

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– When and where did Team Rocket get robotic grabbing stretchers?

– James: “We concocted these while you were tending to those poor weak little Pokemon.” You built three ‘stretcher catcher’ robots in less than six hours? Bullshit.

– Where did James get a gigantic hypodermic needle?….What’s in it?….Is he about to straight-up murder Ash in a nightmare-inducing way?

– Arbok and Weezing refuse to attack Chansey because it helped treat them. Wow, it certainly sounds like they have minds and morals of their own and don’t deserve to be treated like garbage and left to die all because they’re trained by terrible people. Huh. How quaint. Right, Ash?

Also, Arbok and Weezing have more forethought and dignity than Pikachu today. Give them their props.

– While I find the ‘medical tool-fu’ to be kinda cool, I don’t believe for a second that he was able to cut through that huge glass container with a scalpel in one swing. I watch Forged in Fire, so I know these things.

– Uhhh….he has twelve scalpels, six clamps and six hypodermic needles just hanging out in his pockets? Most I’ve seen a doctor carry around with them is a small pen light, a stethoscope and maybe one of those reflex hammers. It is insanely dangerous and unsanitary to have those items carried around with you in your coat like that. Can we add ‘serial killer’ to his rap sheet now?

Pokemon Ep47 Screen17
Someone seems awful comfortable taking a ‘flasher’ pose.

– I love how Proctor doesn’t care about the giant gaping hole in his hospital wall…….easier for his potential victims to get in, I suppose.

– James also forgot about Voltorb? But he was the one who knew what it was before anyone else in The Ninja Poke-Showdown. Continuity, guys. It’s not hard.

– Dr. Proctor: “All of you could be outstanding doctors. Why don’t you stay and train my hospital with me?” You own the whole hospital? Also, of course you want them to stay. You didn’t get a proper chance to show them your chain collection.

Any real doctor would just say they’d make great doctors when they grew up (better than Mr. Superglue anyway) and send them off. Who offers to house and train two ten year olds and a fifteen year old in medicine?…..Wait, did Brock get an age bump in Best Wishes? Otherwise, that’d mean he’s in med school at 15. This show makes no sense in the age department at all.

– Dr. Proctor: “I’m sure you’ll be whatever you want.” Like….trophies on my mantel……….

——————————————

I really like the concept of this episode, and the structure is a welcome change of pace from the norm. Pokemon medicine is an area we just don’t cover well throughout the series, even though Nurse Joy and Pokemon Centers are in nearly every episode.

That being said, this episode is a piss-poor example of Pokemon medicine. Proctor’s a human doctor, so he can’t lend much knowledge, skill or experience in this realm. He just superglues shit together and sometimes unties knots. Everything else is either solved with a bandage or one rare Super Potion.

Some of the injuries the Pokemon had were creative, but, overall, there never seemed to be any real urgency, and it never seemed like it was entirely necessary for these Pokemon to be sent to this hospital outside of wanting to do a plot where the characters are acting as Pokemon medical assistants for the day. Why couldn’t this exact same situation happen in a Pokemon Center?

I know this is still a kid’s show, so it’s not like we’re meant to expect horrific injuries, blood or the like here, but it still never seemed that serious.

Why is it never even touched upon that this hospital only has one doctor, nay one employee, working in the middle of the day? Or period? I know I gave (somewhat) joking theories on why this is, but they don’t even bring it up. Even small children would know something’s weird about that. Imagine if that car accident was a ten car pile up with a bunch of serious human injuries. Proctor would be screwed.

I didn’t catch this before, but considering the Pokemon Center was full, that means there had to be a Pokemon Center in the same general vicinity as the crash. The victims came through the door mere seconds after Joy hung up. The Narrator made it seem like there was no Pokemon Center around within any sort of reasonable distance. This whole thing is just screwy.

Proctor has way more character than your average CotD, but he’s also a terrible ‘doctor’ and a pedo serial killer. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

The more I think about this episode, the less I like it, which, as I mentioned, is a shame because the idea has a lot of promise behind it. A better episode maybe would’ve been Ash and the others being very minor assistants to a Nurse Joy during a busy day, then as they continue their travels they come across a Pokemon in medical distress and use what they learned with Joy to help keep it stable or something until they could get it to a Pokemon Center. That would at least be a better message to kids.

As it stands, I’m concerned about how many unreported instances of kids gluing stuff to their pets have happened because of this episode.

Lest we forget Ash’s great contributions to that. He was an insufferable twat this episode. Whoever wrote in that scene where Ash assaults a suffocating Dodrio and tries to capture it can bite me. I may make fun of Ash a lot, but even he should know better than that.

Next episode, a classic (with one major flaw), Holy Matrimony!

Previous Episode…

Pokemon Episode 46 Analysis: Attack of the Prehistoric Pokemon

Pokemon Ep 46 Title

CoTD(s): None

Evolutions: Ash’s Charmeleon → Charizard

Plot: Our heroes are wandering through Grampa Canyon (No map gif can help me now) when they run into a bunch of people with picks and shovels. Gary appears and explains that it’s the great fossil rush. Everyone’s gathering to dig up Pokemon fossils, including himself.

As everyone digs, Team Rocket sets up their latest plan – blowing the canyon up with dynamite and taking all of the fossils for themselves. Ash and the others hear their plans, and while Ash tries to stop the fuse, Misty and Brock go off to warn everyone.

It’s a huge race between Ash, Squirtle and Pikachu against Team Rocket as they try to extinguish the fuse and Team Rocket tries desperately to keep it lit. They fall down the cliffside, and in an effort to stop the fuse, Pikachu shocks the stockpile of dynamite, accidentally igniting it and blowing the place to ruins.

The ground opens up and swallows up everyone except Squirtle. The opening of the crevice quickly becomes sealed with nearby falling rocks. Squirtle manages to stay above ground and reunite with Brock and Misty, who immediately try to dig Ash and the others out.

Meanwhile, Ash and Team Rocket awake in a huge cave deep underground, and they soon realize that they’re not alone. The fossil Pokemon, believed to be extinct, Kabuto, Kabutops, Omanyte and Omastar angrily confront the group.

Ash calls on his Charmeleon to keep them at bay, but he refuses to listen to Ash and instead takes a nap.

They all get attacked by the fossil Pokemon, but they suddenly flee when they hear the call of the fearsome Aerodactyl. Charmeleon gets smacked by Aerodactyl, triggering its rage and desire to battle.

It nabs up Ash in its claws and flies out of the cave with Pikachu and Charmeleon hanging on its tail.

Aerodactyl continues to smack Charmeleon around, and they start taunting each other. Angered by Aerodactyl’s taunts, Charmeleon evolves into Charizard and they start a confrontation in the sky. Ash is ecstatic, believing Charmeleon evolved to save him, but when Charizard starts recklessly shooting off Flamethrowers in his direction, he realizes he evolved to fight Aerodactyl.

Jigglypuff arrives and Misty tells it to sing its song for everyone. It gladly agrees, and the lullaby soon makes everyone sleepy. Charizard is able to fight the effects by plugging his ears. Aerodactyl falls asleep, dropping Ash in the process. Charizard catches him and sets him down on the ground safely before also falling asleep.

Meanwhile, Aerodactyl falls back into the cave, which seals itself back up again with the aftershock of Aerodactyl’s landing.

After everyone awakens, Jenny assures everyone that there was no prehistoric Pokemon, and any sightings of them was just a dream caused by Jigglypuff. Furthermore, with the instability caused by Team Rocket’s bombs, digging will no longer be permitted in Grampa Canyon.

Ash and the others are happy that Aerodactyl and the other ancient Pokemon will be able to rest now, but they didn’t leave the great fossil rush empty handed. Ash reveals that he stumbled upon a Pokemon egg after he woke up and decided to take it. The three then argue over who gets to care for the egg.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket are trembling in fear, still trapped in the cave with the now sleeping fossil Pokemon.

————————-

– Yeah, I’m so sure you direct archaeologists to their dig sites with signs that have pictures of shovels and picks with an arrow.

– Hi Gary!

– Gary: *In reference to Ash* “Even a nerd like you shoulda heard about the great fossil rush.” ‘Nerd’ implies a great deal of intelligence, so this line makes no sense. Come on 4Kids, this isn’t difficult.

– Ash: “Loser?! That know-it-all!” That line implies that Gary knows Ash is, in fact, a loser.

– Brock: “I don’t feel right about digging up old Pokemon fossils, especially after they’ve been resting in the earth for such a long time.” As opposed to those Pokemon fossils that have been resting in the earth for a few minutes? Also, I get where Brock is coming from, respect for the dead and all, but is he making an anti-archaeology/paleontology argument?

Misty: “If they’ve been lying underground for thousands of years, maybe they’d like a little fresh air.”

Ash: “I think it’s your brain that needs some fresh air.” Wow, Ash. Uncalled for.

– STILL using the Pokemon logo in the title screen when saying ‘Pokemon’? Wow, I was off by light years.

– I tend to give some shows leeway when it comes to topics like this, and for all I know the laws in the Pokemon world are somehow different, but actively digging up and collecting fossils is a heavily regulated practice, not to mention that extracting a fossil, intact and without damage, is very difficult even for trained experts. This massive group of ten to twenty year olds should not be able to just crowd a single area like this and smack away at it.

– I’m no archaeologist, but I don’t think this looks right in any way. The fossil is perfectly cut out of the ground by Gary merely picking at it, there’s no rubble on top of it despite Gary seeing this exact image immediately after hitting the area with a pick, and the rock with the fossil is a drastically different color than the rock surrounding it. If the footage didn’t suggest otherwise, and I didn’t know Gary was too good for cheating, I’d say someone dug a small hole and plopped a fossil in it.

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– I know Gary’s disappointed that he found a poop fossil, but isn’t that still valuable? Don’t scientists learn a lot about diets and prehistoric vegetation and whatnot from poop fossils?

– Brock: “All these people digging and no one’s found any fossils yet.” Uh, Gary just found one. It’s poop, but it’s fossilized poop – it counts. Also, you’re greatly underestimating how long this process typically takes.

– James: “Once we blast Grampa Canyon to smithereens, we’ll be able to scoop up all those Pokemon fossils.” Yeah, because they’re impervious to dynamite.

– Misty: “Did you hear that? They’re going to blow up this whole canyon!” Yeah, we all heard, Misty. Team Rocket was literally yelling out their plans for no other reason than to alert nearby main characters about their plans.

– Oh hey a Team Rocket plot that involves explosives and mass murder. Every now and then, I feel like calling them Terrorist Rocket.

– James: “Oh it’s that pest again!”

Jessie: “Always messing up our plans!” Technically, you screwed yourself here with your yelling, Jessie. If you just kept your trap shut, Ash and the others would be dead along with the 50+ people you’re about to try and murder by now.

– I’d also like to point out that Meowth is perfectly allowed to use a zippo lighter here, but in Snow Way Out that same lighter will be painted into a candle for no reason.

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– Again, if they just didn’t alert Ash to the fact that the fuse was already lit, their plans would’ve gone through. Team Rocket, I implore you to get more intelligent, because there’s only so much you can wring out of idiot vs. idiot(s) storylines.

– Squirtle should be a good enough shot to have gotten that fuse before it even left the cliff, but I guess this might show contrast and development in how awesome Squirtle’s accuracy gets later on, especially in the Orange League.

– I know Team Rocket is trying to stop Ash from extinguishing the fuse, but….*sigh* do I even need to ask if they realize that they’re running towards a massive bomb, and, should they succeed, they’ll have front row seats to a massive murder explosion of death?

– Pikachu, there is no reason whatsoever, even in a panic, that you should’ve believed electrocuting dynamite was a good idea in any capacity.

– The reactions are priceless, though.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen3Pokemon Ep 46 Screen4

– I call bullshit on them living through that. I get the cartoon logic, but, come on. That thing looked like a nuke when it went off and cracked the ground in two. No way did they get off without a scratch.

– How did Squirtle get separated from the others? He was in the same cluster that Ash, Team Rocket, Arbok and Weezing were in when the bomb went off. If anyone should be separated, it should be Pikachu because he escaped from the cluster beforehand to go off and be an idiot.

Even if he did somehow separate, how did he not fall into the crevice? It was massive. If it took Pikachu, surely it would take Squirtle.

– How is Weezing falling if it can float?

– Our friends fell into a massive hole that is being covered by rocks! Quick! Walk on top of it and chuck the rocks away!

Best case scenario, they don’t know how deep this chasm is and believe Ash and the others are just covered by rocks, which, hate to break it to you, but corpses.

Even if they lived through that and this hole wasn’t deep, they have no clue where they would be. They could be chucking stones ONTO to Ash or Pikachu.

Worst case scenario, they shift the rocks so much they collapse the stones that are plugging it up, causing them to fall into the hole and inevitably crush the people below before they also die. Not exactly sure about the best way to approach this, but certainly it isn’t that.

– Jigglypuff thinks a mound of rocks is a stage with lights and everything….So…what has Jiggly really been puffin’?

– It seems like one of the most pointless scenes of fanservice/filler or whatever to have Jigglypuff all entranced by a rock stage, see the pile of rocks fall down, then get pissed that they fell.

– I think I’ll give a generous pass to (almost) every time characters survive huge falls because otherwise I’d have to call out whenever Team Rocket survives getting blasted off.

– Jessie: “Looks like we got blown all the way to the moon.” Jessie…*sigh* I’ll be nice and chalk this one up to head trauma.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen5

– Ash is not the slightest bit concerned about where his Squirtle is. For all he knows, it’s dead.

– That rock formation doesn’t look like it follows the laws of physics…or gravity….or anything.

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– Realistically, the only fossil Pokemon I can believe has glow-in-the-dark red eyes is Kabuto. Everyone else just had it done for dramatic effect.

– I am so baffled by how ungodly pissed Omastar looks here.

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The best part of waking up is–MURDERING YOU!

– Uhm, gonna call bullshit on them sleeping for thousands of years. 1) Why would they do that? 2) How could they do that? 3) How did they survive all that time? 4) You’re telling me that in thousands of years, they’ve never been woken up or decided to go outside?

– Jessie: “Argh, nevermind! Let’s just capture them! Pokeball, go!” They’re being far too stupid in this episode for me to take them forgetting that Pokemon need to be weakened before capture as being note-worthy….except for the fact that I noted that I wouldn’t note it…..urr…Uhm….

– Those Pokeballs hit Meowth and didn’t even open. This just brings up the question of whether Meowth truly does have an owner.

– Ash: “We have to battle! Charmeleon! I choose you!”

Here we go.

Ash Being a Charmoron Count:

2 (I’m giving him a pass for the first time in The Problem with Paras, but not for the second time.)

In case this isn’t clear, this is a count for every time Ash calls out Charmeleon/izard and just expects it to obey him + bonus points if he uses him in incredibly stupid situations or if Charmeleon/izard creates a hazard by being out.

I will, however, give a pass for the incredibly obvious x4 disadvantage he’s not seeing. While he could’ve just looked up the typing quickly before selecting a Pokemon, he did have his Pokedex out a few seconds ago afterall, it’s incredibly hard to tell what types the fossil Pokemon are, even if blue snails are a little obvious.

– Geodude gets to do stuff! Whoo!

….It’s just moving rocks…..but whoo!

– Blah blah, the anime forgets that Rock Pokemon are not immune to Electricity, blah blah. Actually, scratch that, not only do they mistake Rock for Ground yet again, but Kabutops are part Water, so that should be very effective.

– I’m going to give Ash another pass for calling on Charmeleon again, considering he’s in a tense situation and Charmeleon is already out, but I will mark him off for not trying any of his other Pokemon. Squirtle may be out of the picture, but he still has Bulbasaur (who would be awesome right now) and Pidgeotto.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen8
Pictured above: Everyone’s expression when Ash let’s out Charmeleon/Izard.

– I kinda wish Charmeleon/izard had kept that cool ‘scar’ on its forehead. Would’ve been some neat although minor characterization.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen9
And he could be a stand-in for Harry Potter.

– I love how they yell to Ash to ‘watch out!’ when Aerodactyl has his entire body clutched in its talons/feet. Yeah, he can totally avoid that.

– Here we are. The point of ranting about Charmeleon’s cheap as hell evolution. You can definitely make the case that Charmander was at the right time to evolve into Charmeleon. You can also make the argument that it deserved to become a Charizard at least before Cinnabar Island or the Indigo League conference. But I cannot accept this evolution as being anything other than bullshit. It’s been all of, what, three episodes since it evolved? And it hasn’t even won any battles since then (except kinda against Paras) because it wouldn’t listen to Ash, and it wasn’t even in Jigglypuff’s debut episode.

The only way I can really justify it a little is that Charmander was overleveled when it evolved into Charmeleon, so it only need a small nudge to make its way into Charizard. However, if he was stopping himself from evolving, like Squirtle and Bulbasaur seem to do, why? Why would he choose, of all times, The Exeggutor Squad episode to jump into Charmeleon?

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen10
He looks like an eight year old who just got told he couldn’t get ice cream for lunch.

I saw someone mention the hordes of Exeggutor that it beat as being the source of an ungodly amount of experience, but 1) we’re meant to believe Melvin beat like half of those and 2) I don’t believe even beating all of those Exeggutor (who were god knows what level) would be enough to jack his level that high.

Even if he was overleveled, you need to level again before you can evolve, and bullshit he got experience from being smacked by Aerodactyl a couple of times to evolve when he’s around level 36.

Even that explanation seems illogical because he didn’t get experience here.

He was just pissed.

Here’s Charmeleon’s evolution scene entirely.

Charmeleon mocks Aerodactyl by…swiping his fingers against his forehead?

Aerodactyl responds with a ‘bii-daa’, which, I don’t even understand how it knows that considering it’s supposed to have been underground for thousands of years, thus would have no way of knowing Japanese schoolyard taunts.

Charmeleon stamps its feet and has a tantrum.

Evolve.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen11

That’s it. That’s everything. Some people justify this by saying he evolved in order to beat Aerodactyl, but I just keep feeling like that’s more bullshit. Whether numeric levels and quantitative experience exist or not, there’s no denying that you need these things in order to evolve. Otherwise, most Pokemon would do it a lot more often. It’s a permanent change that requires thought, sure, and their paws may always be on their internal B button, but imagine if it really is supposed to work that way.

You could catch yourself a bunch of base evos, beg your Pokemon to evolve so you don’t have to grind exp, because that’s boring, and rare candies are like….rare, and poof, let’s mow down the gyms before the weekend.

If we revisit The Problem with Paras for a bit, it’s suggested that experience and evolution is based on perception, so cocky twats like Charmeleon evolve with no problem (Charmander was looking a bit proud in the Exeggutor episode) However, I’m having a harder and harder time believing that too, because that would mean pretty much all arrogant Pokemon would evolve in a snap and no self-depreciating Pokemon would ever evolve.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen12
Chalk up yet another instance of Ash crying that I can remind myself about when he’s stone-faced during actual emotional moments.

Can we just be honest here and admit that the writers desperately wanted Charizard to come on the scene because everyone loves that overrated orange dragon? I like Charizard (as a Pokemon) too, it was my first ever fully-evolved starter in Pokemon Red, but could we have at least a little bit of time with Charmeleon before you chuck it aside for Charizard? Mid-evos, particularly starter mid-evos, get shafted enough as it is.

From a less skeevy viewpoint, maybe they realized that Ash was already nearing the end of his Kanto journey and had zero fully evolved powerhouse Pokemon? Outside of Muk, but, remember everyone, he can’t have Muk around because it stinks even in its Pokeball. So he never, ever uses it, ever. Despite having the omnipotent Messiahchu, he needed a Pokemon that also looked like a powerhouse. Gary was going to get Blastoise so his Squirtle wasn’t much of an option, and Bulbasaur……Pbt. Dragons>leavy frog dinosaur.

And don’t even mention Pidgeotto.

– Uhm, Misty, I understand this is a crucial moment and everything, time is of the essence and whatnot, but uh….don’t you think it might be a bad idea to play Jigglypuff’s song right now? Doesn’t that seem just a smidge dangerous? Charizard will fall asleep in midair, crash, and die. Aerodactyl, the Pokemon carrying your friend through the air, will fall asleep, crash, and Ash will die….And so will Aerodactyl.

– Props to Charizard for being smart enough to plug his ears.

– I’ll also give him props for showing that, despite everything, including nearly frying Ash to death several times while trying to beat Aerodactyl, Charizard caught Ash and safely put him on land.

– Rrrgh…..

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen13

Frickin’

Egg.

– Where did hell did that egg come from anyway? Where are Togepi’s parents?

– See? Jigglypuff inexplicably has a microphone marker out of nowhere.

– Jenny: “Some of you are claiming that you saw a prehistoric Pokemon here in the canyon. That is ridiculous. Let me assure you it was only a dream caused by Jigglypuff’s song.”

Wha–…What? The song that they didn’t even hear until they had already been watching an Aerodactyl nearly eat Ash for over two minutes? Also, what are you saying? That 50+ people all had the exact same dream? That’s even weirder than seeing a previously-thought-to-be-extinct Pokemon.

This is very much cover-up-ish, but if so, why? It might be to protect the fossil Pokemon, but there’s nothing to protect them from, besides Team Rocket and they died in the second cave-in. I get the good intentions behind these ‘we have to keep pretending they’re not here so they won’t be bothered’ motivations, but I doubt the government, of all things, would see previously-thought-to-be-extinct Pokemon and just ignore them for the sake of maintaining their peace and quiet.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen14
Now just wait a moment and my associate, Will Smith, will make you all look into at a pen for a second.

We have no clue how many of these Pokemon are even living underground. They could be a thriving species and studying them might do no more harm than studying anything else.

Prohibiting mass excavation of the land I can definitely buy in this situation both for the safety of the people and the Pokemon, but I still don’t see why such a big coverup is needed. Especially seeing as how, later, we’ll see a certain someone caught Aerodactyl on film.

– Gary, you believing this dream stuff is just out of character for you, even if you are quietly questioning it to yourself.

– Brock: “But I think Aerodactyl and the others would be happy just going back to sleep.” They’ve been asleep for thousands of years. Why do you believe they’d find happiness in perpetually being asleep? Not much of a life, if you ask me.

– First Brock is asking if Ash should even take the egg from the area, then he and Misty are all gung-ho about straight-up stealing it from him. What a confused ending. Suck it, Togepi’s parents!

—————————

Outside of the evolution and the weird coverup, I’m pretty alright with this episode. There’s not too much wrong with it outside of the evolution, but there’s not a lot going for it in regards to fun or interesting things, in my opinion. I think they could’ve done a lot more with the fossil Pokemon, and jam-packing all of them in one episode is a bit too much, but I guess I can see why they went down that road. Also, for an episode about the fossil Pokemon and starting with a ‘great fossil rush’ we see all of one fossil and it’s of crap. What prompted the great fossil rush anyway?

The evolution really is the biggest mar on this otherwise alright episode. I never got over how insanely cheap it was. They want to make a big to-do about Charizard finally appearing, but they chose such a random moment to debut him in. I always constantly forgot what episode Charmeleon evolved in, and he’s a Charmeleon for such a short amount of time that you barely remember him.

Looking back on it, it would’ve been so much better to have him evolve into Charizard in the Volcano Badge episodes. It’s a two-parter, which means it’s already a big deal to begin with, it’s centered on Fire Pokemon, it contains a notable rival to Charizard (Magmar), Charmeleon could eek out more experience between now and then, and there’s a much better motivation lying there.

Instead of Pikachu getting his ass handed to him by Magmar, have Charmeleon, cocky and hot-headed, get whupped. Have him contemplate his standing as a fighter, because Charmeleon just do that, then evolve right before the rematch or during the volcano disaster or something. Have him evolve not in a fit of immature rage triggered by insults but in a pure desire to defeat a worthy opponent.

Next episode, we play doctor…~~ Actually, considering the next CotD, that joke is incredibly creepy.

Previous Episode…..

Pokemon Episode 45 Analysis: The Song of Jigglypuff

Pokemon Ep 45 title

CoTD(s): None

Character Debuts: Jigglypuff – Wanting nothing more than to be an adored singer, Jigglypuff is constantly annoyed when its attempts at singing result in everyone falling asleep. Its singing translates into the Pokemon move, Sing, which lulls humans and Pokemon alike into a slumber. When its audience falls asleep, Jigglypuff scribbles on their faces in anger.

Jigglypuff, for some reason, follows around Ash and co. throughout their journey doing this same schtick over and over. It’s rarely ever funny, almost always annoying. It was a fairly regular character in Indigo, but faded in and out throughout the seasons until Advanced Generation where it appeared a few times before disappearing entirely. I only just learned that, for no other reason I can think of besides nostalgia, Jigglypuff was brought back in the newest anime series, Sun and Moon.

Plot: After getting lost in the desert, Ash, Misty and Brock make it to Las Veg—Neon Town. The city that never sleeps….literally. Everyone in town is incredibly rude and short tempered because no one ever gets any sleep.

They leave the city the next morning and find a Jigglypuff. Misty tries to capture it, but is surprised to find it starting to cry after attacking it. After learning one of it’s main talents is singing, Misty asks it to sing a song, but it refuses. They believe it can’t sing, so they start trying to teach it to sing. Brock gets the idea to feed it a fruit which is said to soothe sore throats and revitalize tired vocal chords. The fruit works, and Jigglypuff sings, but they all soon find out that Sing puts people to sleep.

Jigglypuff is extremely angry when they fall asleep at its song and draws on their faces in revenge. They try everything to see if someone can listen to the song all the way through, but to no avail.

They get the idea to bring Jigglypuff to Neon Town. Since the people in Neon Town seemingly never have to sleep, they should be able to hear the whole song. They bring Jigglypuff to Neon Town and Team Rocket, in disguise, offers them a fancy outdoor stage for Jigglypuff to perform on. They want Jigglypuff to put everyone in town to sleep so they can swipe all of the Pokemon and money.

Jigglypuff sings, and the entire town falls asleep, including Ash and co. and Team Rocket. Angry again, Jigglypuff draws on everyone’s faces before running off.

Ash and Co. wake up to find everyone has fallen asleep. Not only that, but they’re suddenly much nicer, and everyone’s apologizing for their past rudeness left and right.

Misty laments over Jigglypuff running away, but she has nothing to worry about. Jigglypuff is never too far behind.

————————–

– We’re literally not even a second into the episode and I have to stop. Why…and how….are Ash and Co. lost….in a damn desert? Where the hell is there even a desert in Kanto? Hang on, let me check that map gif from Pikachu’s Goodbye.

labeled_map_of_kanto_by_rythos-d3c4hsg

 

Hm. Can’t argue with that. I hope they rescue that castle that’s yelling for help, though.

I know that their schtick is getting lost, but there’s a difference between ‘Well, damn, there’s a lot of forests and they all look the same’ and ‘Hey, there’s a desert. There’s no desert on the map, but there is on this globe, so I guess we’re going the right way. Remember, just follow the sun at all times, except when the sun sets, then we follow the moon. If the moon isn’t out, we follow our nose. We’ll find Fruit Loops eventually.’

– Ah I get it. They’re trying to emulate Las Vegas….with the desert surrounding it…..Ya know, you can have an episode with a Las Vegas-esque town and not require that it be surrounded by a bunch of desert that doesn’t make any sense.

…Hey, wait. Does the real Las Vegas not exist in this world or is Neon Town trying to pretend it’s Las Vegas? If it does exist for real, as hinted at in March of the Exeggcutor Squad, then the fact that they put in a desert to give a nod to the real Las Vegas makes no sense. I would ask why they don’t just say this is Las Vegas since they established that it’s a real place, canonically, especially since 4Kids usually has no qualms about pretending this show is set in America, but…..No, I’m actually going to ask that question. Why?

– Might I also bring up that it seems odd to set an episode of Pokemon in a place that is very clearly Las Vegas anyway? Let’s see, a city known for prostitution, gambling, drinking and mafia ties, with the nickname Sin City. Perfect place to set a kids show in.

Let me remind everyone that Pokemon got flak for years for having the Game Corner because it promoted gambling. Let me also point out that, while children don’t seem to be doing it, they clearly show slot machines and gambling in this episode.

– How did Jenny hear these two having an argument when she was probably a hundred yards away and in the middle of an insanely loud city?

For that matter, why does she feel the need to rush over on her motorcycle and stop this argument? It’s an argument, and it’s not loud enough or going on long enough to warrant police action.

Pokemon Ep 45 screen1

– Now for the major gripe about Neon Town….They’re making a play off of the moniker ‘the city that never sleeps’ by having the citizens….literally never sleep. They stay out all night and never go to sleep, so everyone’s bitchy all the time.

That is so stupid…Yes, most people in Las Vegas are night owls, because Las Vegas is basically known for its night life, but that doesn’t mean the people there never sleep. The place is loaded with hotels, and a lot of people probably sleep in the daytime over there.

I’ve never been, but shouldn’t people in Las Vegas be very laid back? There are a ton of fun things to do there, and the place is a den of getting laid, getting drunk, watching shows, partying and gambling. Most people who take trips to Las Vegas do so to relax and have fun.

Even so, I understand that lack of sleep makes people snippy, but it also makes them….ya know….tired. No one in this town is acting tired in the least. They’re all just acting like assholes. If no one here really did get an ounce of sleep, people would be more apt to toppling over in the sidewalk than they would be to blow up at someone over bumping into them.

– Sooooo…Jenny hears a little argument and rushes over to yell at them to break it up, but that same guy is punching James in the head and….a large woman is spanking Jessie, and Jenny is nowhere to be found. Pokemon Police: We All Suck.

Pokemon Ep 45 screen2
Ah, fond memories of my childhood.

– Wait, first the city was surrounded by desert, and now it’s directly parallel to a forest? Where the hell is this place?!

– This is another instance of Pokemon capture just seeming mean. ‘Hey look! A super cute Jigglypuff smiling and minding its own business! I’m going to attack it without provocation and slam it into a tree!’

– *Misty attacks Jigglypuff out of nowhere with Staryu*

*Jigglypuff starts crying*

Misty: “What’s wrong?”

Ash: “It looks like it’s crying.”

Brock: “There’s something strange about it.”

Ash: “I wonder what its problem is.”

What the hell is wrong with you people

Durrr, why’s this pink little puffball Pokemon crying? I only slammed a giant starfish into its face and smashed it into a tree. Durrrrr how weird.

– Seems really rude to request a song from Jigglypuff after you just viciously attacked it like that.

– Ash: “I see. A Jigglypuff that can’t Sing. So that’s why it didn’t attack.” Yeah, because Sing is its only attack…..Also, I thought you were questioning why Jigglypuff was crying after being attacked, not why it wasn’t fighting back. Given how Pokemon are portrayed as do-no-wrong angels, I’m certain some are just pacifists.

– Misty: “I still think it’s cute, but who wants a Jigglypuff that can’t Sing?” I dunno, Misty. That sounds like it would almost be as useless as a main character who is ultimately given nothing to do and is relegated to being a part of background 80% of the time.

ohsnap

– Team Rocket actually has a fairly solid plan this week. Put Neon Town to sleep with Jigglypuff’s song and steal all of their stuff.

– I’ve always loved Team Rocket’s motto-song. I wish they did more song versions of it.

– Considering that Rachel Lillis voices Jigglypuff and Misty, it’s surreal to see Misty teaching Jigglypuff how to sing.

– Awww, Pikachu trying to Sing.

– Jigglypuff kicking Pikachu behind its back is incredibly dickish. See, one of the main reasons I don’t like Jigglypuff much isn’t because they milk the Sing→face scribble joke so hard, though that is a big part of it – it’s because Jigglypuff’s also an annoying petty little puffball. It’s nice sometimes, but it’s almost on the same level as Chikorita in terms of vindictiveness.

– I appreciate what they’re trying to do…..but uh…do you guys see anything weird about them trying to teach Jigglypuff to improve its lung capacity by blowing up a balloon?…Jigglypuff?….the BALLOON Pokemon?

Pokemon Ep 45 screen3

– Why would you just shove a full balloon into its mouth like that? If that were me, I’d punch her in the throat.

– Okay, kicking Pikachu before was a dick move, but slightly understandable from a motivational standpoint because Ash was praising his singing while Jigglypuff couldn’t sing, making it jealous. But Pikachu cheers that Jigglypuff can sing now and it friggin’ does it again. And laughs! Go to hell, Jigglypuff.

– That same dumb cliché of the other characters not noticing when something is happening. How can no one be seeing Jigglypuff kicking Pikachu? Especially considering that, given the editing, it looks like Misty is basically watching this happen.

I think it’s even dumber that Pikachu isn’t realizing that Jigglypuff’s kicking it, particularly after that last time. Gee, something kicked me from directly behind me and Jigglypuff jumped into Misty’s arms from directly behind me….I wonder who kicked me.

– It’s smart of Team Rocket to use a recording of Jigglypuff’s song instead of going to the trouble of catching it, but 1) I’m not sure that would work on a technical level and 2) They didn’t think that recording the song would put themselves to sleep.

– Aw Ash and Misty sleeping next to each other. And since Misty has returned kinda in the new series, I can watch these scenes without feeling too bad! Yay!

Pokemon Ep 45 screen4

– How does Jigglypuff not know that Sing puts people to sleep?

For that matter, if this is one of Jigglypuff’s main abilities, why did Dexter not share this information?

For another matter, why did Misty care whether or not the Jigglypuff could sing if she didn’t know Sing was a move that put others to sleep?

– Brock: “I got it! Maybe there are some Pokemon who wouldn’t fall asleep!” The Pokemon move meant to put Pokemon to sleep….better see if it works on our Pokemon.

– Awwww, the sleeping Pokemon. Though, I still have to nitpick.

Where are Vulpix, Starmie, Zubat or Geodude? I understand why Horsea and Goldeen aren’t out, because they’re not near water, and, wow, good on ya Ash, for not letting Charmeleon out, but why not the others?

Also, where are Onix’s ears? Or Staryu’s?

– Why didn’t Jigglypuff draw on the faces of the Pokemon?

– I guess there’s some reasonable yet insulting logic behind trying Psyduck, but why was he excluded in the first place?

– Psyduck falling over in a daze is hilarious.

Pokemon Ep 45 screen5
I caught this frame by accident. What the unholy hell?

– The amount of time Jigglypuff’s ‘victims’ for lack of a better term, stay asleep seems really inconsistent. Before, Ash and co. were asleep for…eh, ten minutes or so? Then they were only asleep until Jigglypuff finished its song. But Team Rocket is only just now getting up. Later, it takes hours for the town to wake up.

– Why didn’t they get Jigglypuff’s song on tape? They used a boom mic and recorded right at the tail end of the song. Even if they did record a good deal of snoring, surely the very start of the tape has some of the song. Not sure if that’s enough, but still. This would be more understandable if they caught the snoring of Ash and co, considering the boom mic was very close to them. Maybe make them snore so loud it drowned out the song. However, Team Rocket’s snoring is all they recorded, despite the mic not being anywhere near them.

– The animation on Brock when he says ‘They’ll be able to listen to Jigglypuff sing!’ is extremely shaky.

– This plan is stupid. It’s not a literal city that never sleeps. These people don’t have a super power of Mega Insomnia. Given that they’re not toppling over each other in exhaustion, they have to sleep sometimes.

How the hell are Team Rocket the smart ones in this episode? They don’t believe for a second that the people of Neon Town will stay awake through this.

– I feel weird saying this, but James looks really good in his punk rocker disguise.

Pokemon Ep 45 screen6

– I am not in the least bit surprised that Team Rocket has quick access to a portable outdoor stage.

– I can understand the song reaching the town square and maybe even a little beyond that, but Neon Town is incredibly loud. I doubt it would cover the whole city, even with loud speakers and amps. I especially don’t believe it would be audible in the buildings, particularly the casinos and bars…..Oh yeah, by the way, there’s a place here called 7 Diamond Bar in this town and 4Kids didn’t censor or paint it. I guess because it just looks like a slot machine, but it’s very obviously the sign for the casino/bar.

Pokemon Ep 45 screen7

– Bullshit those people are not only sleeping standing up, but also holding things and not dropping them. This town is filled with people that don’t make sense.

– While Team Rocket somehow failed in their attempt to not hear the song, why didn’t Ash and Co. think to do anything?

– I realize now that Jigglypuff’s schtick would be funnier if it actually drew things half the time instead of just making mindless scribbles. He makes some actual drawings, like drawing open eyes on Pikachu and a twirly mustache on Brock, but it’s mostly just scribbles.

– Jigglypuff has to have massive petty vengeance to go all around the city and draw on every single person….except Ash and co. for some reason.

– Ash: “Uh oh, everybody in town fell asleep.” Yeah, because they’re human.

– Getting a few hours of sleep does not reverse rampant dickishness.

– Brock: “Jigglypuff’s song not only puts people to sleep, but maybe it has the power to make people nicer, too.” Oh pft. Fuck off.

Gonna keep that line in my back pocket because I am almost positive it will be needed in the future.

– Also, this solves nothing for Neon Town. I don’t believe Brock’s theory for a second, so I’m left to believe these people just lost their grumpiness because they got some sleep, even if that’s incredibly stupid too. Be that as it may, won’t they all be back to being jerks in another couple of days or so without Jigglypuff to forcibly thrust them into slumberland?

Pokemon Ep 45 screen8

I really think the original ending of this episode was Jigglypuff staying in Neon Town to help visitors and citizens sleep when they had to either combat insomnia or to get sleep when the lights and sounds of the city were too much to sleep through, but then the writers thought Jigglypuff’s schtick was so gosh darn hilarious that they kept it as a recurring character.

– They really try to hammer Brock’s theory in by having Team Rocket ridiculously giddy as they leave the city, but 1) Nope, still bullshit. 2) If it really does make you nicer, and Ash and Co, have fallen asleep from it three times at this point, shouldn’t they be joining a convent by now? 3) Team Rocket was not any nicer after they fell victim to the song the first time. 4) If they’re nicer now, shouldn’t they stop being criminals, or is the nice thing just temporary? Because that makes this ending even more pointless. And 5) This little extra power stuff is never seen or mentioned after this episode, so bullshit.

– And just to get this out of the way, we know Jigglypuff got the marker from Ash’s backpack, but where did it later get a microphone that also doubles as a marker?

————————————-

I’m alright with this episode. Jigglypuff can be pretty entertaining in small doses, and it is cute, but knowing what I know will become of it now, and taking into consideration how jealous, petty and mean it can be sometimes, I have mixed feelings.

There is definitely a good deal of humor in this episode that works, but the plot with Neon Town is so terrible and poorly written it’s insane.

The animation in this episode was also weird. Half the time, the animation seemed better than normal and the other half it seemed worse.

Next episode, we meet the fossil Pokemon, and Charmeleon suddenl–…..*sigh* This is going to be a ranty episode, isn’t it?

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 44 Analysis: The Problem with Paras

Pokemon Ep 44 Title

CotD(s): Cassandra – An herbalist like her grandmother, Cassandra’s greatest dream is to evolve her Paras and use Parasect’s mushroom spores to make a miracle potion to help all Pokemon across the world.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Paras and later Parasect, along with a Persian.

Evolutions: Ash’s Charmander -> Charmeleon

Plot: The group comes across a small village and decide to stop there to load up on potions and antidotes. When they approach an herbalist’s shop, they’re challenged by the owner’s granddaughter, Cassandra, to a Pokemon battle.

She sends out her Pokemon, Paras, to battle Ash, but he’s perplexed to find that Paras seemed extremely scared and unwilling to battle. Cassandra says she wants her Paras to evolve into a Parasect as soon as possible so she can harvest the spores from its mushroom to use in a miracle potion that will restore defensive power, attack power, concentration, determination and even make it smarter.

Ash realizes that Paras cannot withstand the full force of his team, so he tells Pikachu and Squirtle to go easy on it, essentially letting it win, in order to gain easy experience and evolve.

Despite a dinky spark from Pikachu and a little squirt of water from Squirtle, Paras is still easily toppled each time. Ash decides to try Charmeleon, but is shocked to find that it refuses to obey his orders, blasting Paras with a powerful Flamethrower and Tail Whip before burning Ash.

He’s able to get Charmeleon under control with the help of Pikachu, but Paras has run off in a panic.

Meanwhile, Meowth is obsessed with helping Cassandra achieve her dream since she cared for him earlier. He was suffering from a fever, and she was kind enough to stop and make him some medicine. After the fever was relieved, he found himself smitten and swore to help Cassandra.

As Paras runs away, Meowth takes the opportunity to nab up Paras and help him evolve by ‘training’ him with Arbok and Weezing. He knocks them both out himself and pretends Paras did it, then pretends to be knocked out by one measly attack, which instantly boosts Paras’ confidence.

They’re successful in their plans, but leave Ash to finish the job when they reunite Cassandra with Paras. Pikachu willingly falls to Paras, but Ash tries Charmeleon again afterwards.

It doesn’t go well.

Cassandra’s grandmother reveals that Ash is too inexperienced, making Charmeleon no longer respect him. Charmeleon won’t obey Ash at all now and starts rampaging. Paras tries to run, but Team Rocket arrives and cheers him on, revealing to Cassandra that they’ve been secretly training Paras. Suddenly, Paras manages to instantly knock Charmeleon out with a poke to the stomach. This last bit of experience allows Paras to evolve into Parasect.

Charmeleon gets up, blasts off Team Rocket and attacks again, but is put to sleep by Parasect’s Spore attack, allowing Ash to finally recall him.

Cassandra bids farewell to Ash and the others. Soon after, Team Rocket lands in front of her shop so she decides to patch them up. Meowth happily believes she’ll make him the company mascot now, but she refuses, stating she can’t take him away from their job as ‘superheroes’, the cover story they gave her before. Her grandma finds a Persian outside that she claims she’ll use as a surrogate for him before sending him on his way.

————————–

– It’s the return of the completely useless maps.

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 1
Are they in a golf course?

– Narrator: “It’s a quaint, cute place. But it’s so small, it doesn’t even have its own Pokemon Gym.”

They very rarely ever visit a place that does have its own Pokemon Gym. Just ask literally every region they’ll visit in the future. About 95% of the places they visit are Gym free. Size doesn’t have anything to do with it, either. They’ve been to massive cities that don’t have Gyms, and some Gyms are in small rural towns.

Ash: “There’s no use stoppin’ here if they don’t have a Gym.” Again, you guys stop at many places that don’t have Gyms. If you didn’t, this series would be much shorter.

– Ash: “I’m dyin’ for a cheeseburger.” 4Kids and their hard-on for cheeseburgers again.

Misty: “No way! I want to go to a nice restaurant!” This place is described as being a very dinky little backwoods village. What makes her think they have a nice restaurant?

– I am finding the sudden shifts in quality for Team Rocket’s disguises to be off-putting. One episode, they’ll have great outfits and tons of props, the next they’ll be crawling on the ground in plain view while holding up small branches pretending to be bushes.

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 2

– If Meowth’s head is so hot that it burns Jessie’s hand, through a glove no less, he should be dead.

– James: “Wait a second, Jessie. If we leave Meowth here, he could collapse from that fever.”

Jessie: “Don’t worry. He’s still got eight more lives left.” I know you guys are meant to be villains, but holy shit, you’re legit saying you don’t care if Meowth dies.

– And thus begins Meowth’s very uncomfortable crush on the human girl, Cassandra.

I get that Meowth is just not used to people being nice to him, but why does his appreciation need to be in the form of a crush? At least Cassandra doesn’t return his feelings or anything, but it’s still awkward. Between this and the crush Chikorita will have on Ash, it’s getting really weird in Pokemon. Oh well, at least I don’t believe there’s anything else like this in the further future—Oh hey, I didn’t read up on the Bulbagarden comparison for this episode.

Let’s see…Hmmmhmhmhm.

“This was years and years before the Diamond & Pearl games dropped that bombshell about humans marrying pokemon, by the way!” The….what?

Original Japanese Text in Diamond and Pearl: ““Sinnoh Folk Story 3” There once were Pokémon that married people. There once were people who married Pokémon. This was a normal thing because long ago people and Pokémon were the same.”

…..My God….so many people on DeviantArt must have had a field day with this.

– It was nice that Cassandra helped Meowth, but she is leaving him, happily, in the hands of people who denied being his trainers and nearly left for him dead, verbally expressing that they didn’t care if he died.

– I’m just going to condense some of the biggest problems with this episode so I don’t clutter up the post with pages of material.

Major problem A – who gives a crap about the Paras line?

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 3
Oh my god, a handshake! Don’t kill me!

Personally, I don’t find it ugly or anything (Well, Parasect is a little) but you’d be hardpressed to find anyone who would either put them on their favorites list or use one on their team in the games at any point in time.

They’re not the worst Pokemon in the world, but they are a major liability being both Grass and Bug (Not one but two x4 weaknesses? Oh boy!) their stats are far from impressive and they’re really only even a little useful if you focus on status effects.

Major problem B – Pokemon specific episodes are meant to celebrate the focused Pokemon.

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 4
Yay Paras!

Like the Paras line or not – this episode makes a Pokemon with a terrible rep look even worse. An incredibly weak Paras, even moreso than you’d think, is such a pathetic sack of crap that even minor non-attacks knock it flat on its ass.

Put it this way – if you encountered this thing in the wild in the games and wanted to capture it for some reason, all you had were off-brand Pokeballs and you knew every attack of any Pokemon you owned was too powerful for it and the game included a ‘breathe gently on it’ option – if you used that option, it would probably die.

When Paras is finally fake winning battles, the thing gets an ego the size of Kanto and starts picking fights with other Pokemon. So either Paras is a drama queen little wimp or an ego-centric asshole. Why would I want to root for this fungus covered dick?

Not only that, but Cassandra purely wants Parasect to use as an ingredient in potions. She doesn’t even have anything interesting to say about Paras. She’s laser focused on Parasect.

This has nothing to do with what Paras wants or highlights anything special about Paras or even Parasect, and it’s all about what the spores from Parasect’s mushroom MIGHT be able to do. Not what it’s been proven to do. What it could possibly maybe do – which is highly unlikely anyway because, bloody hell, she basically wants this ‘miracle potion’ to do everything short of solving the debt crisis and curing death. And, as we can see in the series, that potion never happened so, in hindsight, this whole episode is a waste of time and a complete waste of an attempt at cleaning up the Paras line’s horrible rep.

Major problem C – The clusterfuck that is experience, levels and how they’re applied in regards to battles in the anime. Notably the biggest and most discussed problem of this episode is how experience is being portrayed here.

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 5

The plot goes that Cassandra is trying to get her Paras to evolve, but can’t since it doesn’t have much experience and its level is low. She tries to get it to win battles, but it’s so embarrassingly weak that she can’t win.

Ash decides to let Cassandra win by making her Pokemon do such lame attacks that, logically, no Pokemon should be able to be knocked out by. Ash is unsuccessful at this, but Team Rocket has better luck by knocking out their Pokemon behind Paras’ back and pretending it did it. It can be argued that the one battle it legit won was against Charmeleon, but let’s save that little nugget for later.

The point is, experience was fabricated and ‘levels’ were gained through fake battles, which ultimately let Paras evolve into Parasect. After The School of Hard Knocks, it seemed like they were dropping the idea of an experience system that was close to what the games had, especially since Ash’s Pokemon should be well into evolution by now if we estimate their levels.

However, now it seems like it’s back, at least in a sense. They’re not talking about levels, but they are clearly talking about experience as if it’s a quantifiable concept that can be measured and gained explicitly through battle.

That’s all well and dandy, but the idea of faking battles for the sake of evolution is just unreal. Experience, in a more subjective view, is much like how you’d gain experience in anything in real life. You learn, you build muscle, you get a little faster, you get a little stronger, you get better at developing strategies etc. Somehow, that translates to a Pokemon’s body or spirit or whatnot affirming that they’ve reached whatever point is deemed necessary for it to evolve, and it does so, if the Pokemon wishes (They use their internal B button if they don’t)

If it is as such, experience should not be able to be gained in such deceptive manners, unless, somehow, the concept of experience is all in the Pokemon’s head, which just creates more confusion. No timid Pokemon in existence would ever evolve, and egotistical Pokemon could evolve without barely a battle under their belt.

In a less realistic but, given the games, understandable viewpoint, experience is something quantitative that we can measure in numeric units. Which means this plan still shouldn’t work. Experience points, whatever they are, should only be able to be gained when legit battles are won. I’m not sure how the body or whatever is distributing these points would be able to tell the difference, but, logically, that’s the way it would go.

The only game canon thing I can think of that skirts around this rule is the item Exp. Share, which grants a Pokemon experience whenever another Pokemon on your team wins a battle. I have never been able to come up with a logical explanation behind how that device works and it’s not anime canon as far as I can see so it’s hard to work that into this discussion.

It just doesn’t seem right in any way that Paras is able to fabricate experience by faking battles – Which leads us into the next issue.

Major problem D – The ethical ramifications of faking experience.

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 6

I’m certain that Ash and the others don’t see much harm in throwing these battles because it’s not like Cassandra is trying to win a contest or do anything official – she just wants a Parasect to make medicine. However, ethically, this practice would be ludicrous.

If it were that easy to gain experience, surely becoming a Pokemon trainer would be a gigantic pain in the ass. If you wanted to be legit, you’d have to face trainer after trainer of cheaters who have massive teams of level 100s that they got by playing ‘Pokemon Battle Theater’ for a few days.

And just forget about getting into the Pokemon League. Afterall, I doubt they’d have any method of determining if a Pokemon got their experience through legitimate battles or fake ones. Imagine how easy it would be if you wanted to be a professional baseball player and you reached pro level in skill by playing against two year olds in strollers while you play teeball with a bat the size of a pizza peel.

Let’s not leave out Team Rocket, who would’ve easily taken over the world by now with an army of level 100 powerhouses that they obtained in a few weeks.

(Admittedly Less) Major Problem E – Why can’t Cassandra just find a wild Parasect?

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 7

They’re not exactly the rarest Pokemon ever. Or maybe find a Paras that is not a complete spineless wuss and train that to evolve. Paras definitely aren’t too rare, and I assume she lives in an area where they are indigenous because she has one.

For that matter, if Parasect’s spores are so well-known for their medicinal properties, surely it’s sold commercially. Given the commonality of the Paras line, I can’t imagine it’s that expensive either.

(Admittedly Less) Major Problem F – The unsettling connotations of this evolution.

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 8

The unsettling aspect of this situation comes in Paras’ evolution. It’s not being forced to evolve or anything, but there is a question of whether Paras might be afraid to evolve, which is why it seems like such a wimpy drama queen in battle.

Why might this be? Have you ever read the games’ Pokedex entries for Parasect? Most of them explain that, after evolution, the mushroom on its back grows so large that the bug ‘host’ is drained of energy, loses consciousness and its control over its thoughts and body while the mushroom controls the ‘host’ for the rest of its life.

Yup. The mushroom is basically a parasite (name makes more sense now) and once Paras evolves, it becomes a mushroom zombie. That is one of the most horrifying ramifications of evolution I’ve ever heard.

– Cassandra: “Good luck, Paras! All the Pokemon on earth are counting on you!” All the Pokemon on earth? You’re being about as dramatic as Paras is about to be.

Also, this thing is so skiddish that it ran away from Pikachu for saying ‘hello’. You really want to pile on the pressure by saying that all of the Pokemon on earth are counting on him?

– Paras is certainly a good Pokemon to have. Look at it roll over and faint after receiving an electric shock so weak that I probably get more amperage flowing through my body when I rub my stocking feet on the carpet. It’s understandable, given that Electric types are ½ as effective on Paras.

– I would applaud Ash for actually researching Paras and deciding to go down the route of a weak type matchup to make it easier to let Paras win…..but…..let’s not waste it. In about two minutes, it will not matter.

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 9

– If you ever had any doubt that Paras was faking – just look at his match with Squirtle. Not only are Water moves not very effective against Grass types, but it was a piddly Water Gun. Give the Electric type some credit – even static shocks hurt a little bit. In the case of Squirtle, his attack was so weak, there’s more pressure and water coming out of the water fountain in a middle school hallway. Either Paras is more fragile than an egg made out of a teenager’s feelings or he’s faking it.

– Ash: “I choose you, Charmeleon!” You….dumb….ass…mother…fucker.

This is why I chose not to praise him for looking up type disadvantages with Paras, ‘Hurr durr, if I can’t lose with a Pokemon who’s got type disadvantage, let’s go for my newly evolved soon-to-be dragon who has a quadruple type advantage! HURADURRDURR!’ Granted, Pidgeotto wouldn’t be any better (well, maybe, considering he at least listens to Ash) but why not give Bulbasaur a go before trying this stupidity? Or maybe letting Misty and Brock try? Outside of Vulpix and Zubat, all of their Pokemon have type disadvantages with Paras.

– Some people apparently believe that Charmeleon’s personality shift happens here due to Ash telling Charmeleon to go easy on Paras, making Charmeleon lose respect for Ash, but I call bunk.

First of all, he was misbehaving the instant he evolved. This is the first we see of Charmeleon straight out disobeying Ash, but blowing fire in his face isn’t something a well-behaved and trained Pokemon would do.

Second, this one incident is definitely not enough to warrant a year or so of misbehaving and assholery.

Third, the old lady later says that Ash simply doesn’t have the experience to handle Charmeleon, but that’s another thing I’m calling out. If we’re still bringing experience and levels into the equation, Ash has more than enough experience as a trainer to handle a Pokemon who is either level 16 or nudging level 36. Game-wise, even getting the Cascade badge (Up to level 30) should be enough to handle Charmeleon, and, if not, the Rainbow Badge (up to level 50) would definitely allow it. Just to make this scenario more realistic, let’s assume it’s the experience level of the trainer to get the badge and not the badge itself that allows for this.

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 10

Charmeleon is acting as if evolving gave him amnesia. He either doesn’t remember or doesn’t care about his past with Ash anymore and that pisses me off to no end. Evolution should not be an excuse to change Charmander’s personality this much.

If winning over the misbehaving Charizard was end-game, they should’ve had Charmander be a difficult brat from the start, which would’ve been believable given his past with Damien. Maybe have him have a bad attitude, but still obey Ash, then when he evolved he started disobeying? They could have had a perfect foundation for this plot, but it’s like they were making it up as they went. This whole extended plotline just seems like it was built on poor writing and planning. The fact that we’ll have to deal with this misbehaving crap until late Orange League is ridiculous.

– Paras is still in the match after getting a full-blast Flamethrower to the face. He was faking before.

– Ash: “I was so happy when Charmander evolved, but now I’m not so sure I was ready for it.”

I give him props for owning up to his shortcomings and inexperience, but I immediately take them away in hindsight because Ash will never learn from this. He will just continue to use Charmeleon and Charizard and expect that each time he does so he will behave and listen even when he does jack to train him.

– There are many reasons to call foul on Paras evolving, but there’s another reason I just realized. Charmander evolves into Charmeleon at level 16. Paras evolves into Parasect at level 24. No way do I believe Paras’ level at the start was even in the double digits, so I’m left to believe all these fake battles gave it ridiculous amounts of experience, surpassing nearly 40 episodes of legitimate experience with Charmander. That’s a load of crap.

– Meowth: “I can’t do that unless you lend me Arbok and Weezing.”

James: “What do you need those two for?”

Meowth: “Because losing battles is their specialty.”

Jessie: “He’s got a point.”

James: “They’re bigger losers than the guy who invented homework. How did we get stuck with such rejects?”

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 16

First of all, nice line about homework, 4Kids. You’re really connecting with the youth.

Second, damn, you two are being really mean today. Arbok and Weezing are two Pokemon that I would actually understand not obeying orders. They live in poverty, probably starve all the time considering the main three can barely keep themselves fed, (Come to think of it, outside of Island of the Giant Pokemon, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Arbok or Weezing eat.) and have to listen to their trainers constantly call them worthless.

– Paras is not only a drama queen wimp and soon to be egotistical jackhole, but it’s also an idiot. How can it really be falling for these fake battles when it’s literally just standing there covering its eyes?

Meowth’s not being subtle in the fact that he’s the one knocking Arbok and Weezing out. The only reason he’s getting away with it, even a little, is because Paras keeps covering its eyes. But even that shouldn’t work entirely because Meowth practically shouts what he’s doing as he does it.

– Meowth pretends to be knocked out by Paras. Why couldn’t they have commanded Arbok and Weezing to fake it too? They just hurt their Pokemon for no reason.

– Ash: “It’s Paras!”

Misty: “How’d it get up in that tree?”

Gee, I dunno, Misty. I’ll have to contact an etymologist about this, but I have certainly never heard of a bug climbing a tree.

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 12

– Ash: “Remember, Pikachu, go easy on it!”

Better yell that right as the battle begins with Paras five feet away so Paras will never hear you say that and catch onto what you’re doing.

– Paras is a douche for stabbing Pikachu’s tail when it had its back turned. Not cool.

– Ash: “Charmeleon! One more time!”

You.

Dumb.

Ass.

Mother.

Fucker.

Take this in, ladies and gentlemen, because this is but the first of many, many, many times this complete braindead imbecile will just up and expect Charmeleon/izard to obey him when fuck all has changed between now and the last time he tried.

Can we get a flashback, by the way?

Ash: “I was so happy when Charmander evolved, but now I’m not so sure I was ready for it.”

Boy howdy, I sure am ready after, hm let’s clock it….five minutes and ten seconds of doing absolutely nothing.

This occasion is ten times as stupid as it is normally because Charmeleon was the one who made Paras run off in the first place, AND there’s still that glaring x4 weakness thing he’s not paying attention to.

What was so wrong with re-selecting Squirtle or letting Bulbasaur have a try or giving Misty and Brock a try? Logic in this episode does not exist.

– Ash: “Hey, what’s the matter? Charmander was always totally obedient.”

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 14

…..Do…you have amnesia? Is amnesia contagious? If telling Charmeleon to let Paras win before did have anything to do with it misbehaving at all, doing it again is just going to make it worse. Even if it didn’t, he still has amnesia for obvious reasons.

– Misty: “Charmeleon won’t obey Ash.”

You sure are a quick study, Misty.

– *Paras one-hit KO’s Charmeleon by poking it in the stomach*

Hmmmm *dials phone*….Yeah, hi, is this every manure company in the world?….Ah, yes, I’d like to order all the bullshit…..What’s that? This episode gained sentience and already ordered it all? Okay.

– Charmeleon immediately gets up and smacks Team Rocket away with its tail. Either it was faking, which is unlikely, or this episode is forgetting that being knocked out takes a lot out of you.

– Why are Ash and Brock so impressed by the Spore attack? How many times have they seen a Pokemon be instantly paralyzed or fall asleep due to one spray of a powder or spore attack? In fact, you almost never see them needing more than one spray. Either the move is avoided, blown away or it hits, and if it does the effect is immediate and strong. I have yet to see a ‘weak’ powder or spore attack. I’ve seen one instance of a ‘more powerful’ Sleep Powder in the Soul Badge episode, but that was in regards to its…force? And ability to blast through a Gust attack.

– Misty: “Looks like you need to evolve into a better trainer, Ash.”

Ash: “Next time, I’ll be fine.”

Pokemon Ep 44 Screen 15
Wipe that smirk off your face and go train your Pokemon, you ninny.

I have no qualms about not giving him those props for owning up to his shortcomings because he doesn’t even go the rest of the episode before basically saying ‘Yeah, I don’t need to train anything. He’ll obey me next time.’

Also, minor note, but Misty’s entire role this whole episode has been to either fight with Ash or insult him. Seriously, nearly every line directed at him has been super bitchy. I didn’t bring it up because, being honest, I feel he deserves it today, but wow.

– Ash: “Well, losing on purpose is the toughest thing we’ve ever done.” He says, again, five feet away from Parasect. Though, being a mushroom zombie, he probably doesn’t care.

– I should really keep a tally of instances where people who should be questioning a talking Meowth aren’t.

– Meowth: “I guess it’s only natural to make me your company mascot–”

Cassandra: “NEVER! I’D NEVER TEAR YOU AWAY FROM TEAM ROCKET!” Why does she seem so pissed at this comment? She is practically screaming this line.

– If Cassandra’s shop needs a company mascot, why would it not be the obvious choice of Parasect? And why is she so willing to adopt this Persian as the mascot? Paras just…’went through all that trouble’ to evolve for Cassandra and she’s going to be using its spores for her miracle potion. Persian have nothing to do with medicine yet she’s instantly into this Persian.

——————————-

The Problem with Paras? More like The Problem with Everything in this Episode!

Pbbtbbtttthahahahaha….ha….that was funnier when I thought of it before writing this.

While March of the Exeggcutor Squad may be infuriating and filled to the brim with terrible, at least it has a few good or funny moments. This is the first episode I remember watching where I can barely think of even one slightly positive thing to say about it.

The faces that Jessie and James make, as well as their tones of voice, at the start of the scene where Meowth is trying to convince them to help him are a little humorous. It’s a teensy bit funny when Squirtle and Pikachu do their pathetic attacks.

The end.

Everything else is just awful.

Ash is being a major league hall of fame idiot. Misty’s being a bitch. Misty and Brock were basically talking backgrounds. Charmeleon officially starts his assholery here. Paras is boring. This Paras is terrible in regards to every facet of its personality. Parasect is creepy and tragic. Cassandra’s nice, I guess, but has a hair trigger temper. The grandma, despite rightfully blasting Ash a couple times, seems out of place and unnecessary in this episode. The plot and story are nonsensical garbage. The experience and levels and everything related to it are nonsensical here and continue to muddle the concept in the anime universe. Meowth’s crush is creepy. Team Rocket’s being assholes. Even the animation was notably much worse than it normally is.

Paras and Parasect may be far from impressive Pokemon, but I think they deserved more than an episode that makes them look like ultra weak chickens who are only useful for the mushroom that inevitably takes over their brains and turns them into zombies.

Next episode…..Jigglypuff’s debut. I don’t have much against the episode, that I recall, but this begins the start of an annoying unfunny running gag that, not lying, is STILL going on to this day. Yup, they brought him back for several episodes of Sun and Moon. Just…wow.

Previous Episode…..

Pokemon Episode 43 Analysis: The March of the Exeggutor Squad

Pokemon ep 43 title

CotD(s): Melvin – A creepy jackass who sucks at magic.

Reappear?: No, thank god.

Pokemon: He initially only has one Exeggcute, but he eventually gets many Exeggutor though less than legit means. His original Exeggcute also evolves into Exeggutor.

Evolutions: Ash’s Charmander -> Charmeleon

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock arrive at a town where there’s a carnival currently going on. They enjoy the festivities until Misty stumbles upon a down-on-his-luck magician named Melvin, who just had his assistant quit on him. He begs Misty to take her place and she reluctantly agrees.

At the magic show, Melvin is shown to be an incredibly inept magician and showman, and even gets himself fired when he goes overboard with his fire-shooting cane.

Ash, Misty and Brock won’t let him give up his dream, so they help him learn some new tricks to spice up his act. However, even that goes terribly.

Ash tries to show him what real magic is all about by putting on a magic show of his own. He presents Melvin, Misty and Brock with a box that has three holes in it and claims he can summon fire, water or whatever from it. He does as he promises, though it’s revealed that Ash’s Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander are really the ones making the water and fire. They fight inside the box and ruin the show.

They try a different approach by analyzing Melvin’s only Pokemon, Exeggcute. They use Hypnosis on Ash, which causes him to be open to suggestion. Melvin realizes this power and enslaves Ash to do his bidding.

He uses Ash to cart him through the forest and commands him to weaken the numerous Exeggutor in the area so he can capture them all. Melvin captures hundreds with the intention of hypnotizing everyone at the carnival into going to his show, which should quickly skyrocket him to Las Vegas. Team Rocket interrupts and tries to steal the Exeggutor, but are stopped by his Exeggcute, which evolves into Exeggutor. The newly evolved Pokemon tries to hypnotize Team Rocket, but the herd of Exeggutor hypnotize each other along with them and get confused, sending them on a rampage.

They destroy the carnival, and the owner decides to stop them all with a time bomb, evacuating everyone from the area before it goes off. Realizing the danger this poses to the Exeggutor, Ash tries to stop them with his Pokemon but realizes only Charmander’s fire is effective in stopping even a few of them at a time. Charmander quickly gets too exhausted, however, but Misty has a plan.

She tells Melvin to use his fire trick with Charmander to stop all of the Exeggutor at once. Melvin is very uncertain and initially refuses to do it since he believes he can’t do anything without messing up, but Ash and the others encourage him. He finally agrees when he sees how hard Charmander is trying to help, and together they send a fire wave strong enough to stop the Exeggutor.

Suddenly, Charmander evolves into Charmeleon and while Ash is ecstatic at his friend’s new evolution, Charmeleon sends him a quick Flamethrower near his face.

Ash, Misty and Brock depart from the area and bid Melvin goodbye.

———————–

– Ash: “Alright, let’s show these people how to really party!”

Brock: “Yeah!”

Pokemon ep 43 screen1

And then the episode was banned.

– I can kinda understand Brock partying in a weird pink samba outfit, but why does Ash instantly dress up in a weird orange suit with a ruffled undershirt and an orange bowler hat when he thinks ‘party’?

– Why did they have those outfits on hand? Actually, scratch that, the editing suggests they had those outfits on under the clothes they were wearing (unless they ran real quick to a changing room after getting naked in the street), so where’s the logic in that?

– Ash: “Let’s boogie!” Boogie? My God, Ash. Please at least try to act like you’re a ten year old in the late 90’s and not a 20 year old in the 60’s.

– Ash: “What’s the matter, Misty? Don’t you want to party with us?” I don’t have a clue why, but I am endlessly entertained by him saying those lines.

– Is there any particular reason the text on the title card this week got a boost in font size and bold face?

Pokemon ep 43 screen2

I have never felt more yelled at by one of these titles.

– Cards on the table right now, this is the first episode of Pokemon that I remember actively disliking. As a kid, I loved all things Pokemon, even if they made no sense and even if they infuriated me. I usually had fun, even with the infuriating parts (just look at me now!) so it wasn’t hard to love even when we had stuff like The Kangaskhan Kid and even infuriating video game aspects like non-stop Zubat or Whitney and her friggin’ Rollouting cow and crying fit. Even if I now have differing views, past me was cool about most anything Pokemon. This, however, was the first episode I remember going….’Well….that was terrible. I didn’t like that….that was awful.’

It has nothing to do with Exeggcute or Exeggutor. It’s anything and everything involving Melvin. He is one of, if not the worst CotD I’ve seen in a while. Let me clarify, I mean this as a non-antagonist way, because he’s made off like a protagonist. He’s not worse than Damien or anything, but he’s still a terrible person. His face, his haircut, his voice, his possibly intentional egg-shaped head, his creepy eyes, his creepy laugh and just the fact that he’s not only terrible as a human being, but he also…just sucks. I don’t mean that to be a lazy descriptor – I mean that as in he sucks at everything.

But let’s get more into that as the episode goes on.

– I know it’s probably meant to be him nuzzling her thigh, but given the height, I’d say he’s nuzzling her….Nono zone…..actually, even if he was nuzzling her thigh, in that outfit no less, that’s damn near sexual assault.

Pokemon ep 43 screen3

– Melvin: “You’re a kind person, aren’t you?”

Misty: “Well, no, not especially.” Misty has her dick-ish moments, but she is a nice person. The joke would work better if someone actually mean, like Jessie, said it. Also, considering her ego, why would she say she’s not kind?

Melvin: “Such a beautiful girl. You’d help me out, wouldn’t you? I need your help so badly, and you’d be so perfect!” Creepy man calling a 10 year old girl ‘beautiful’. This whole exchange is just wrong.

Melvin: “You’re the only one who can help me now.” Why? I saw the first scene of the episode – there were tons of scantily clad women you could ask to do this. Why, specifically, do you believe Misty is your only hope outside of you either don’t want to be arsed to find someone else, or you really want to see a ten year old girl in a skimpy outfit take orders from you?…..In which case, I’ll be dialing 911.

Melvin: *creepy music* “Just listen….”

Misty: “Uh huh…”

Melvin: “Keep an open mind….”

They are intentionally making this creepy. From the shadow on his face, to the creepy closeups to the ominous music to how clearly uncomfortable Misty is right now. How did this fly under 4Kids’ radar?

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– Kids, seriously, if you see a creepy guy in a backalley begging you to wear a skimpy outfit and do his bidding, even if he gives you a flower, don’t follow him. Especially not into a dark tent. There’s only one magic trick he’ll show you, and it results in him getting 25 years in prison.

– Pikachu in a tuxedo is adorable, though.

– Ash: “That’s a real cute outfit, Misty.” And thousands of AAML fans are mildly sated for another 20 episodes.

– They didn’t remove that guy’s cigarette?

Pokemon ep 43 screen5

– As much as I hardly use Exeggcute, I will admit they’re adorable……what’s up with that one with the exposed brain matter, though? All I’ve found is Pokedex entries which state that finding cracks means they’re close to evolution, but that doesn’t answer my question nor does that make sense. They evolve from Leaf Stones – why does it matter if they have cracks or not?

– Melvin: *creepy shadowed closeup’d grinning face as he shoots fire randomly into the audience* “I can’t believe it! It never worked befo-hoho-re!” Creepy AND dangerous. Are we sure he’s not an antagonist?

– Melvin: “Wait! The best part’s coming up!” *gets hit in the head with a bottle* You’re right – that was the best part.

– Guys, seriously, I get the message is to not give up, but he’s dangerous and completely inept at his job. This is one of those times where you should maybe be helping him find something less…..fiery…something that involves fewer….sex offender registries.

– Who the hell would do anything, let alone sunbathe, on top of a hot air balloon? How is this even a thing that is happening? How are those chairs up there? How are they keeping balance? How did Jessie and James get on the chairs? How are they staying on the chairs? How is that ladder secured to the balloon? How did they get that ladder attached to the balloon?

Pokemon ep 43 screen6

– The only reason I’d feel even a little bad for Melvin is because him being sad makes his Exeggcute sad.

– Melvin’s been working his whole life to be a magician and he still can’t pull off a simple cane to flowers trick without screwing it up. Either he hasn’t been working hard at all for, eh, 20+ years, which I’d believe in a heartbeat since Ash’s suggestion of learning new tricks seemed to be foreign to him, or he just sucks THAT bad at this.

– I do like Ash’s swami outfit. He looks kinda like Aladdin.

– Ash, who is doing magic for the first time in his life, is doing way better at it than Melvin, who has supposedly been doing it his whole life. Seriously, dude, go find a new career path. He doesn’t even explain why being a magician is his dream outside of him wanting tons of adoring fans at Las Vegas. He never says anything like it’s connected to some sweet story of his childhood or he’s always been amazed by prestidigitation – it’s all admiration and money. That’s it.

– Yay! Melvin was burned!

– Yay! Melvin might drown in a Water Gun because he’s too stupid to move out of the way!

Pokemon ep 43 screen7

– Misty: *sarcastically* “How DOES he do it?…” I love that line delivery.

– I love the scene in the box with Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur. I just enjoy when Ash’s Pokemon have some time to interact with each other and show off their varying personalities.

Also, take note of Charmander’s very kind and apologetic attitude in the box. Enjoy it, because Charmander’s going away very soon.

– He’s only now just realizing that his Exeggcute knows Hypnosis? Jot down ‘sucks at Pokemon training’ on his resume too.

– Also, to point out the obvious, Hypnosis is not actual hypnotism. It just puts people and Pokemon to sleep. Hypno’s Naptime doesn’t count because that was…..*sigh* Pokemonitis.

– Just to recap what’s going on, Melvin has hypnotically enslaved Ash, kidnapped him, is making him cart him through the forest and is making him call him ‘Master’.

Bonus!: Melvin – “I hate doing this to you, but I hate exercise.” He says with a stupid grin.

Pokemon ep 43 screen8
I hate his face more with each passing second.

– Brock: “Someone saw them head into the Leaf Forest”

Okay, let’s backup even more. Where the hell have you two been? How did you guys let Melvin enslave your friend and kidnap him? You were both there when he did it, yet now, over the span of a commercial break, you’ve lost him.

……What kind of name is ‘Leaf Forest’? You sure you didn’t see him near Water Lake? Ooh, maybe he’s heading to Rock Mountain!

– We now return to ‘Brock Says Stupid Shit’

Brock: “But why would Ash follow Melvin?” BECAUSE HE’S HYPNOTIZED, YOU GOOBER!

Did you not get a hint from him spinning in circles and acting like a Bulbasaur at Melvin’s suggestion?

– This creepy shit.

Pokemon ep 43 screen9

– Even while hypnotized, Ash is biased towards his starters, sends them all out and completely forgets his Pidgeotto. Because why use a damn Flying Pokemon against these Grass Types when you can chuck out Squirtle?

– Melvin is catching the Pokemon Ash is weakening. In addition to this being another dick move, how exactly is this happening? Are you telling me there’s no way to stop someone from snaking a Pokemon you’re trying to capture? Imagine if you were playing the games and battling a legendary, doing your damnedest to get it to low HP without knocking it out. Then you get it to that sweet spot and you’re about to throw an Ultra Ball when a pop up comes up saying ‘SOME DOUCHE FROM THE BUSHES used ULTRA BALL!’ *wigglewigglewiggle* ‘SOME DOUCHE FROM THE BUSHES caught THAT LEGENDARY YOU WORKED YOUR ASS OFF TO WEAKEN’

– Not to mention, Melvin, in all his skeevy glory, looks and sounds so ridiculously content as he’s catching the Exeggutor.

– Squirtle is Water Gunning Exeggutor’s crotch.

Pokemon ep 43 screen10
I didn’t meant to pause it right here, but appropriate expression is appropriate.

– How is he catching this many Pokemon without the excess Pokeballs being transported somewhere? If only people with Pokedexes have this ‘only six in a party’ rule, that seems really unfair.

While we’re on the subject, this should be called ‘Exeggutor Forest’ because, holy crap, that is a massive load of Exeggutor.

– Allow me to introduce our CotD who’s totally not an antagonist.

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– Melvin: “Look at all the Exeggutor I’ve caught.” Fuck you.

– I kinda have to wonder why Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander never thought that Ash was maybe acting weird or asking why they were assaulting a massive hoard of Exeggutor.

– Melvin: “Now that I’ve captured all of these Exeggutor, I can put everyone at the carnival under hypnosis and command all of them to come see my magic show.”

Oh boy, where do I begin? First of all, if he had no idea what an Exeggutor was, as shown by Melvin commanding Ash to use his Pokedex on them, why did he bring Ash out to that forest in the first place?

Second, is it really necessary to capture hundreds of Exeggutor for the sake of hypnotizing everyone at a carnival? Does he need one per person? Technically, he could’ve just used his Exeggcute. Would’ve taken a while, but who knows how many people Exeggcute can hypnotize at once.

Third, mass mind control! How is he not an antagonist?!

Pokemon ep 43 screen12
I am getting mad while getting screencaps, I hate his face that much.

Fourth, let’s just get this mini-moral out of the way – Melvin, if you’re hypnotizing people into going to your shows, you’re not really getting any legitimate adoration. You might as well be putting a gun to people’s heads and yelling ‘BE AMAZED AT MY MAGIC!’

Fifth, he states that he’ll get to Las Vegas in no time with this plan, which must mean he intends on having all of these hypnotized people pay for his shows. Mind controlling people into giving you money = theft. How is he not an antagonist!?

Finally, does this plan have no non-hypnotizing end game? Because, even if he made it to Las Vegas on his hypnotic theft money, what then? He’s still a totally horrible magician. Is he going to hypnotize the showrunners into letting him have a spot in their lineup? Is he going to hypnotize the people of Las Vegas to go to his shows? Is he going to hypnotize people through the TV to get them to watch his specials? Holy hell, is he going to just hypnotize anyone he comes across to give him adoration and money? HOW IS HE NOT AN ANTAGONIST?

– Melvin: *in regards to Team Rocket* “They look more like magicians than I do.” They do. And they’re much better at showmanship and magic tricks than you are. Team Rocket, as pointless as it is, actually puts a lot of effort into all these theatrics. That’s why they’re so good. You’re just a creepy imbecile.

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Just a suggestion, but Jessie, sweetie, you might want to have your spine looked at.

– Bullshit on Exeggcute evolving right then. They need a Leaf Stone to evolve. I saw the warning sign, but I still find this ridiculous. Unless the ground is loaded with Leaf Stones and they somehow haven’t all been used up by the many Exeggcute that seem to live here, that’s bull. Even if there were Leaf Stones deep underground, Pokemon need direct contact with evolution items in order to evolve. Just a thin coating of dirt would be enough to protect them. And why was that sign only warning people of the possibility of their Exeggcute evolving? It’s only Gen I but you also have Gloom and Weepinbell.

– Does owning all of these Exeggutor make Melvin exempt from their hypnosis? Because he’s looking right at them.

– Hahaha, they ran over Melvin! Good job, Exeggutor!

– Also, if they hypnotized each other, they wouldn’t spontaneously rampage. They’d either all fall asleep or they’d be open to hypnotic suggestion from their owner.

– Melvin: “I don’t get the respect I think I deserve.” No, but you do get the respect you legitimately deserve……until the end anyway.

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– I thought Team Rocket fell asleep. Why are they rampaging with the Exeggutor? And why do they seem to be saying ‘Exeggutor’?

– Melvin: “Now they’re beyond my control.” You could use your Pokebal….Actually, you know what, I am really more annoyed at his voice right now. Does he ever even slightly emote? He sounds the same no matter if he’s happy, sad or concerned. His face almost mirrors this weird quirk. Is he a sociopath? What the hell is wrong with him? How can anyone even begin to connect or sympathize with this guy when his actions, mannerisms, expressions and voice all scream either ‘bad guy’ or ‘I couldn’t care less’?

– Carnival Runner: “I’ve planted a time bomb in this clearing. It’ll blow up right as they pass over this field.”…….Okay, fine. The Unabomber over here is making a play for true episode antagonist.

I get that the place was destroyed and all, but mass murdering a bunch of Pokemon with a BOMB is hardly the answer. Especially when you have the owner of said Pokemon right there. Also, you’d be arrested for illegally obtaining, using and planting a bomb, let alone using it to kill Pokemon, which would likely put you away for decades.

– Ash: “Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Charmander…” *breathes deeply through nose*…..AND?…….PIDGE–”Attack!”

go fuck yourself

– How is it these Exeggutor were all getting weakened enough by these three before to be captured instantly with one shot of Pokeball, but now they’re damn near unaffected?

– Of all three Pokemon he currently let into battle, he used Squirtle first, then Bulbasaur, THEN Charmander. It’s 43 episodes in, kid. You’re either going to have to learn how types work or join Melvin in the ‘doing things we shouldn’t because we suck at it’ camp.

– Recalls Squirtle and Bulbasaur. Does not take this opportunity to let Pidgeotto out. And don’t think I’ll let up on this. Sit back and relax, because I’m prepared to ream him on this until the episode where Pidgeotto leaves.

– Ash: “Stop, Exeggutor!” *the weakened one stops* Uh….that Exeggutor doesn’t belong to Ash. Why did it obey?

– Misty: “Exeggutor are weak against fire!”

genius

– Misty: “Melvin! You can wake up all of the Exeggutor at once with your fire magic trick!” Oh boy! I can make another list of complaints and reasons this makes no sense!

First, I let this slide during the magic show because the whole ‘going crazy with fire’ thing was just a testament to how crazy, psychotic and stupid Melvin was. In a ‘real’ setting, I wouldn’t believe that cane would be more powerful than a Bic lighter and a hair spray can, let alone matching Charmander in power and distance.

Second, there’s the issue of fuel. How much gasoline or kerosene or whatever could possibly be stored in that cane? About 32 ounces, if that? Is that really enough to do much of anything?

Third, I was saving this, but uh, Misty, Brock, you both have Pokemon. I know, I know, Misty’s Pokemon wouldn’t do much to the Exeggutor and most of Brock’s Pokemon are weak against Grass, BUT he does have Onix who might make a wall that could block the Exeggutor, a Zubat which might know Wing Attack and….wait, there was another…..Let me do some research.

researchresearch 3research 2research 4research 5

Eureka.gif

 

After much study and experimentation, I have come to the striking conclus—BROCK HAS A GODDAMN VULPIX YOU STUPID BRAINDEAD SONS OF BITCHES!

You’re telling me that a Pokemon with a Fire Spin so massive and powerful that it creates a fire tornado several stories high is something you overlook when thinking of sources of fire? The only reason I can think of for forgetting Vulpix besides being unreasonably stupid is purposely forgetting so they can boost Melvin’s ego. In which case, please go to hell. His self-esteem is not worth risking your lives and the lives of the Exeggutor.

– And now he’s clinging onto this young girl again.

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– Melvin: “I did it…I did it! I REALLY DID IT!” Your part in those heroics were about 10% if we’re realistic, and I’m being very generous…..Oh wait, this whole thing is your fault anyway, so gimme that 10% and deduct another 100%.

– Ash: “Great job, Melvin!” Yeah, great job! You properly operated a trick cane that probably only required the pressing of one or two buttons max. You’re so talented.

– As much as I’ll grow to rage about this whole situation, Charmander evolving was actually pretty satisfying…..Until it Flamethrowers in Ash’s ear, giving us a slight hint at Charmander’s new personality that raises a bunch of questions as to why this happened. One second he’s obeying Ash fine and being kind, apologetic and self-sacrificing, the next he’s got a bitchy little ‘tude and Flamethrowering people whenever he can. I get that the topic of Pokemon changing personalities has been brought up over the series, but what warrants it? Most Pokemon don’t change personalities in the slightest when they evolve, but Charmander/eleon/izard seems like a big exception for no reason.

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Smug little bastard. He was giving you a hug, for god’s sake!

Also, slight nitpick, but why do we never get any implications at Squirtle possibly evolving? Chamander did evolve and Bulbasaur nearly evolves soon, but Squirtle never has a moment where it’s about to evolve.

————————————

I hate this episode even more, somehow.

Melvin is such a shitty character who really just needed to be taken care of like any other antagonist. But no. He’s given his undeserved ‘redemption’, despite being the cause of all of the problems, causing thousands of dollars in property damage, hypnotically enslaving and kidnapping a young boy, unethically capturing hundreds of Exeggutor and nearly getting hundreds of Pokemon killed, gains an Exeggutor and is encouraged to never give up on his dreams.

What did this episode even accomplish for him besides giving this creepy bastard hypnotic powers? He still sucks at magic in the end, even if he works his little fire stick. How is that even an improvement? He used it just fine earlier. It’s just that he went overboard with it. And I really have to be Little Miss Cynic again, but if you’ve been doing something for 20+ years and still massively suck at it, no, practice does not make perfect, Ash. Maybe some dreams should be given up on, Misty. And no, you’ll never see him in Las Vegas, Brock. Unless you see him on the news after molesting some showgirl.

I can see what will happen in mere days. He’ll practice his other tricks, still suck, decide to use Exeggutor’s hypnosis and enslave tons of people to a life damned watching his awful magic show.

He’s still out of a job, too, so what else can he do?

Even if you take all of the crappy things he did and his creepy behaviors out of the equation, there’s still nothing to root for or sympathize with. Who cares if he never becomes a great magician? He only wants to do it for unwarranted and undeserved praise, adoration and money.

Ash, Misty and Brock mean well, and Melvin does get some comeuppance, but not nearly enough. He didn’t deserve a happy ending after all the stuff he pulled. He deserved to have reality bitch slap him in the face until it squeezed some emotion out of it.

Not to mention that Melvin is such a massive focal point of the episode that there’s barely any side moments to make up for it. Ash’s dance at the start and his magic show were entertaining and Misty’s day at the carnival with Pikachu was nice, but that’s about it.

Next episode, hey, let’s follow up the first episode I remember actively disliking with the SECOND episode I remember actively disliking. How convenient! The Problem with Paras is coming up….

Previous Episode….

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.

Reappear?: 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.

Reappear?: 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 who 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 training ability to send 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!”

Pokemon ep 42 screen1

– 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)

Pokemon ep 42 screen2

– 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?

Pokemon ep 42 screen5

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.

Pokemon ep 42 screen6

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!

Pokemon ep 42 screen7
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?”

Pokemon ep 42 screen8

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 musing 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.

Pokemon ep 42 screen9

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 a gym 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?

Pokemon ep 42 screen14

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….

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.

Reappear?: 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 out.

Hungrily, they continue down the path, and they’re pleasantly surprised to finally find a town where they can get some food. They’re devastated to find that the entire town is out of food. The local mayor invites them over to his house for a meal and explains that the stream where they get all of their 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 the stream is coming out of 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 do 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 stream 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 riverbed, 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.

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– 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.” Live 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 river?

– Here is reason 1 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 river 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.

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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 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.

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– 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 for even musing 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.

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– You know, 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?

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– 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 2 why this episode is complete bullshit. Snorlax is not the reason why the river 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.

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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.

Reappear?: 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. He is constantly pressuring Mikey to evolve his Eevee, though would prefer him to evolve it into his Eeveelution of choice, Jolteon.

Reappear?: 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.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Vaporeon.

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

Reappear?: 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 easily 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 and 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 to 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 manage to 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!

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– 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! 😀

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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.”

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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 without being a trainer?

– 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.

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– 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!”

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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)

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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 they’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 understand 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.

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– 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 mean, 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.

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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.

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– 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’ name 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.)

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– 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 damn clever.

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

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– 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. Hell, 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.

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– 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.

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– 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.

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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 “Reappear?:”…..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?

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– 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 Snorlaxes always do.

Previous Episode…..