Pokemon Episode 53 Analysis – The Purr-Fect Hero

Pokemon ep 53 Screen1

CotD(s): Timmy – A preschooler who was saved from a Beedrill by a wild Meowth, Timmy wants nothing more than to meet his hero, Meowth, and be with him forever.

Reappear? No.

Pokemon: Meowth…I guess? I think. This wild Meowth who is insanely strong and brave keeps saving Timmy. At the end of the episode, it’s implied that Timmy adopted/caught the Meowth.

Plot: It’s Kids’ Day, and wouldn’t ya know it, the group just happens upon a preschool today. The teacher at the school is upset because she hired some Pokemon Trainers to come to the school to allow the kids to play with their Pokemon for Kids’ Day, but they canceled at the last minute. Ash, Misty and Brock offer to have the kids play with their Pokemon for the day, and the teacher happily accepts.

The kids all have a great time tormentin—playing with the Pokemon, but Ash and the others notice a little boy named Timmy standing all alone. When they ask him what’s wrong Timmy replies that the only Pokemon he wants to play with is a Meowth.

A little while back, Timmy was playing in the woods when a Beedrill suddenly started chasing him. He looked like he was bound to be stung, but a Meowth suddenly leaped from the trees, attacked the Beedrill and sent it packing. Timmy tried to thank the Meowth, but it ran away before he could do anything.

To err on the side of caution, they make sure this Meowth isn’t the one from Team Rocket.

Suddenly, a strange traveling magic show appears offering a free show for Kids’ day. They ask for Pikachu to help with a disappearing trick. Presto! Pikachu is gone and is replaced with a Meowth.

Plot twist to end all plot twists, it was Team Rocket and they’re stealing Pikachu. They Smokescreen the place up and book it.

When the smoke clears, they find that Pikachu escaped the box, but Timmy was taken by mistake.

Later, Team Rocket discovers Timmy in the magic box. When he emerges, he explains that he thinks their Meowth is the Meowth that saved him. Taking this as an opportunity to get Pikachu, they convince Meowth to pretend to be this wild hero Meowth, further instilling the belief by pretending to attack Timmy and having Meowth save him.

Meowth follows Timmy back to the preschool, but slips up and talks in front of the kids, instantly causing Misty and everyone else to get suspicious.

Meowth runs away in a panic and Timmy follows. Ash, Misty, Brock and the whole class follow as well. They’re lead into a canyon where Team Rocket is waiting. When they hear Meowth blew his cover, they’re relieved and spring their trap on Ash and the others. They attack the group, but they successfully fight back. However, the shockwaves of their battle loosen a nearby boulder, causing it to careen down the canyon.

It’s about to hit Timmy and Ash, but they’re suddenly saved by the wild Meowth who kicks the boulder in half.

Team Rocket skitter away in fear of the boulder.

Later, Timmy has seemingly adopted the wild Meowth and proclaims that he wants to be a Pokemon Trainer when the grows up.

Ash and the others bid farewell to the kids as they head off once again to Cinnabar Island and Ash’s next Gym challenge.

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– Oh boy, an episode centered around small children. I…I can’t wait. My patience needs a good workout.

– Is there any particular reason why Ash is staring at Brock with his mouth wide open like this?

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By the way, this is one of those ‘Togepi’s a noiseless doll in Misty’s arms’ episodes. Oh well, at least it’s here this time, as opposed to Princess vs. Princess where I guess it was taking a vacation day.

– It’s funny that Ash and Brock want Kids’ Day to be Boys’ Day since Misty and all femaledom just had Princess Day when, in actuality, Children’s Day DID used to be Boys’ day, but they changed it to Children’s Day in 1948 to celebrate family unity. However, unofficially, the day is still treated as Boys’ Day to parallel Girls’ Day.

While we’re on the topic of the history of the holiday, the banners/wind socks also have significance that isn’t explored in this episode. Here, they just seem to take banners as being a sign that it’s Kids’ Day.

Boys’ Day is also called the Feast of Banners. The Water Pokemon banners are meant to reflect koinobori (carp streamers) which are flown across Japan to represent families. The black carp represents the father, the red or pink one represents the mother, and blue, orange or green carp represent each child.

When it was called Boys’ Day, the arrangement was different. The red carp would represent the eldest son, and the blue and miscellaneous colors would represent the other younger sons.

– I can understand Jessie not getting a bunch of special stuff for Children’s Day when she was younger, but I’d think all the schools would offer the day off, not just James’ school.

– Oh boy, here come the cute little kids. I sure hope the very first thing they do isn’t irritating.

– Oh look, they’re grabbing and tugging at Pikachu like he’s the last pretty dress in the sale bin on Princess Day. Wonderful.

– Seriously, though, they’re tugging on his ears, pinching his chest and yanking on his face. Why weren’t these kids taught how to safely approach and handle Pokemon before they were allowed to do this?

Afterall, Pikachu’s an Electric Pokemon who can freak out and shock people when he gets upset.

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Like that.

– Ah, and the first outburst from their two-faced bitch of a teacher. Because no one can just be pleasant.

– Can I also note that it’s a really weird message you’re giving off to your audience when the kids only respond and obey the teacher when she yells at them and calls them brats? You’re kinda normalizing abusive behavior.

– Kid #1: “Hey we wanna see more Pokemon!”

Kid #2: “SHOW US MORE!!”

So this holiday is to celebrate kids, huh?

– Oh look, poor Psyduck’s being physically abused now. Can’t you writers lay off that little guy?

– Misty: “Yeah, and even the Pokemon seem to be having a great time.” You might want to check on your Psyduck because he has one kid on his shoulders and another pulling his tail.

– Brock: “It seems like playing with children helps the Pokemon relax.” He says literally as Psyduck runs by in terror as the kids chase after him.

– Ash: “Meowth!?”

Brock: “Why a Meowth!?”

Misty: “Timmy, why is the only Pokemon you want to meet a Meowth?” Maybe if you all stop asking the same question for five seconds he’ll tell you.

– Oh good, let’s have the little kids fight amongst themselves now. That’s not annoying.

– Is there any particular reason why everyone is intently focused on Pikachu before they even hint at suggesting Pikachu for the trick?

– Okay, I can understand them harassing the Pokemon, but why are they climbing all over Jessie and James? And why, pray tell, is that one kid hugging James’ face?

– Yet they leave Meowth entirely alone and play with Weezing? When they were just chanting Meowth’s name a second ago? I don’t get these kids.

– Annoying outburst by teacher #2….

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– Timmy just tackles Meowth…..

– Why did he stare at Meowth for 3+ minutes before deciding to go to him?

– I don’t get it. If Timmy already believes Meowth is the wild Meowth who saved him, why is there a need to pretend to attack him so Meowth can save him?

– James: “Team Rocket may be rotten cheaters, but we’re not in the business of destroying children’s dreams! At least not yet.”

Uhhh, you guys steal Pokemon every single week, or at least attempt to do so. Nearly everyone you steal from is a ten-year-old or at least younger than 18, and stealing their Pokemon might as well be destroying their dreams.

– Holy shit, those scratches look brutal. Dear god, Meowth got Jessie on the boob! Sympathy pain….Oh the sympathy pain.

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– Annoying outburst by teacher #3…..

– Brock: “This wild Meowth looks just like the Meowth from Team Rocket.”

Not to be…Pokemon-ist?….but how would you tell them apart? Team Rocket’s Meowth looks no different than any normal Meowth – He just talks and walks on his hind legs. Brock SHOULD have said, “Huh, this Meowth walks on its hind legs just like Team Rocket’s Meowth.”

– Timmy bringing back some random wild Meowth proves he wasn’t lying about a Meowth saving him from a Beedrill? Okay.

– How did no one else but Misty hear Meowth say ‘That’s right!’?

– I really don’t understand Team Rocket’s plan. Tell Timmy their Meowth is the hero Meowth…..?????….Profit?

It’s like they were planning on luring Ash and the others into this canyon, but they didn’t count on Meowth slipping up and running away and they didn’t know Ash and the others would follow Timmy. They didn’t even know Timmy would follow Meowth, because if the teacher was actually doing her JOB she’d stop him from leaving school grounds again.

– They know Meowth slipped up and talked in front of the kids and they said they were happy the hero jig was up, so why did they slap Meowth right as he was about to do his part of the motto?

– Jessie: “Hehehe, go back from where you came from little brats.” Again, this is a Children’s Day episode, right?

– Oh my god, Arbok’s mouth in this shot. What the hell?

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– Ya know, Ash, maybe you could’ve saved Timmy on your own if you actually, ya know, moved out of the way or ran or done something outside of standing there like an idiot for 10 seconds waiting for the boulder to crush you.

– Uhmmmm….

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Bull…..

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Shit.

They seriously weren’t even trying with this episode, were they?

– So Timmy just owns this Meowth now?

– Ash: “The Pokemon League, huh?”

Misty: “That means, some day, you’ll be competing against Ash.”

Uhh, he’s like, what, four or five? I know I rag on this show for taking forever to make progress sometimes, but it’s not going to take Ash another five+ years to get to the Indigo Plateau.

– Narrator: “And as they head towards their next Pokemon adventure, our heroes know this is a Kids’ Day they and their new friends will never forget.” Why? I constantly forget this episode exists. Nothing happens. Some little kid wants to meet a hero Meowth, Team Rocket tries to trick him with their Meowth, the hero Meowth shows up. End.

Well, I guess a 10 pound cat KICKING A 50 TON BOULDER CLEAN IN HALF is pretty memorable.

– Did someone forget to draw Brock’s arm waving? Because he kinda looks like an idiot walking backwards and smiling like that.

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– Jessie: “Too bad, Meowth. If you had kept your mouth shut, you could’ve made everyone think you were the hero.” Make up your damned mind. Are you happy he dropped the act or not?! Also, he didn’t say an (audible to the others) word after the incident at the school, so what are you even on about?

– Nice obvious walk cycle, by the way.

– Meowth: “Nah, that helpless little sticky bunch of brats would’ve driven me nuts.” Again with the brats.

Meowth: “Besides, you two need me more than they do.”

James: “Dream on Meowth—By the way, what do we do now?”

Jessie: “Meowth, we’ve got to get that Pikachu!”

James: “Don’t worry, Jessie. Meowth always has a plan. Don’t you, Meowth?” This dialogue and line delivery is so awkward, fast and stilted. Not even the voice actors are trying today.

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Sloppy. Lazy. Boring.

That’s this episode in a nutshell.

What a disappointing follow-up to the Girls’ Day/Hinamatsuri/Princess Day episode. Sorry, boys. We’re more than glad to dedicate an entire episode to the ins and outs of Princess Day, but we’ll just sneeze out something for you guys.

Not only that, but with how irritating the kids are, and the several instances of the word ‘brat’ this isn’t a very nice episode for little kids to watch on Children’s Day either.

Granted, I thought it would be much more irritating than this because, well, shows and movies just have a habit of making little kids out to be as annoying as possible. However, even though they were grating my nerves sometimes, I really just tuned out these kids most often than not. Don’t worry, though. Their shrieking harpy of a teacher made up for that.

This entire plot is just lazy and makes zero sense. Ash and the others visit a preschool on Kids’ Day and let the kids play with their Pokemon….I think that’s as far as the idea train went before they just starting throwing in the regular conflict of ‘Team Rocket tries to capture Pikachu’ The details were an afterthought, and they were probably written during a writer’s lunch break.

I still can’t make heads or tails of Team Rocket’s plan. They could’ve brainwashed Timmy into thinking Ash and the others were evil Pokemon trainers that Hero!Meowth has been trying to thwart in an effort to save the captive Pikachu or something. But no, it’s ‘Convince Timmy our Meowth is a hero….lure them into a canyon…I guess?…Take Pikachu—Whatever. Just get the episode animated! We’re on a time crunch!’

I can imagine that scene with Meowth and the boulder was originally it kicking away a rock the size of a basketball or something, but then they were like ‘Eh, make it the size of a house. Who cares if it makes sense? These are little kids. They’re stupid. Happy Children’s Day, by the way. Tell your little brats I said ‘Hi!’’ Even when I was a kid, that boulder thing was too much for me to swallow.

Not to mention that the art and animation for this episode are some of the worst I’ve seen in Pokemon.

Proportions are all over the place. For example, Arbok’s about ten sizes too big when he’s thrown by Onix, Brock seems like he’s shorter than Ash with Misty being the tallest half the time, and all of them are about as tall as this adult teacher.

The mouth movements are so oversized and awkward that their mouths are going into their noses half the time, Togepi looks like a bootleg Togepi plushy, and there are several instances of characters sliding along when they walk.

There was zero effort put into this episode, which is a damn shame for their Children’s Day special. A day dedicated to kids, their target demographic, and they just don’t care enough to make anything worth a damn. Like I said, I usually forget this episode even exists.

And, like the Hinamatsuri special, this episode was meant to air on Children’s Day in early May, but it got bumped back to early July due to the Pokemon Shock incident screwing up the lineup.

So, kids got no Pokemon on actual Children’s Day, and when they finally got their Children’s Day special, it was this….thing. Good job.

Next episode, Jenny and Growlithe fight crime! Kinda.

..Previous Episode

Pokemon Episode 52 Analysis – Princess vs. Princess

Pokemon Episode 52 screen1

CotD(s): None

Captures: Jessie’s Lickitung – Lickitung’s random capture is matched only by its equally random sudden accidental trade away much later down the line in Johto. Despite clearly being much more powerful than Arbok, Jessie rarely ever uses Lickitung in battle because I guess she has Ash syndrome when it comes to it. Lickitung has a massive appetite, but doesn’t have much of a personality besides that.

Plot: It’s Princess Day! – A holiday dedicated to celebrating women. During this day, girls get all sorts of special perks like massive sales at stores, free food and even having the men in their lives do anything they want.

As Misty and Jessie enjoy the spoils of Princess Day, a Lickitung comes along and spoils Jessie’s day by eating the gifts she got for Giovanni and ruining the clothes she bought for herself. She tries to battle it with Arbok, but it’s easily beaten in one lick. Jessie decides instead to capture it and she’s actually successful.

Later, at a big clothing store’s Princess Day sale, Misty and Jessie are caught in a massive fight over some of the clothes while the boys sit and sigh in the corner, waiting for them to be done. Misty and Jessie start a fight over a particularly nice article of clothing, which leads to them about to start a Pokemon battle when suddenly the clothing is taken by another woman.

Over the loudspeaker, Jessie and Misty hear the announcement for the main event of the Princess Festival – the Queen of the Princess Festival Beauty Contest. The winner gets a unique princess doll collection and their photo taken with the movie star, Fiorella Cappuccino.

Jessie and Misty decide to settle their differences over the beauty contest, eyeing the doll set as their true victory.

They get dressed up into traditional Japanese kimonos, dazzling the boys with their beauty, when it’s revealed that the actual competition is not a beauty contest afterall – it’s a Pokemon battle tournament.

Misty asks to borrow some of Ash and Brock’s Pokemon to get a more balanced team since her team is all Water Pokemon. They agree, but wonder why winning is so important to her. She reveals that she never had her own princess doll set when she was younger. She was given her sisters’ hand-me-downs. Everyone always told her how lucky she was to have three sets of dolls, but she always wanted her own set.

Jessie and Misty both do amazingly in the Pokemon Tournament, and the finale match pairs them off against each other. Before the match begins, Jessie explains that she always hated the Princess Day Festival because she never had a single Princess doll. Her family could never afford to get her any, and she was the only girl in town to go without any dolls on Princess Day.

The match begins – Misty sends out Pikachu while Jessie uses Arbok. Pikachu is able to easy toss aside Arbok, followed quickly by Weezing and Meowth.

Jessie starts thinking the match is already over when Meowth reminds her of her newest Pokemon, Lickitung.

She sends out Lickitung, and it’s surprisingly able to defeat Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Vulpix with a single Lick each. Misty looks like she’s in trouble, but as she’s about to call on Staryu, Psyduck lets itself out.

Jessie prepares for victory with one final Lick, but Psyduck is, oddly, unaffected. It’s a stalemate as Psyduck is too daffy to follow Misty’s commands for attack while Lickitung is unable to follow the battle commands of Jessie since she’s telling it to do moves it doesn’t know. They try to continue the Lick, resulting in giving Psyduck a headache.

The headache allows Psyduck to use its Psychic powers and it uses Confusion to fend off Lickitung and blast Team Rocket off.

Misty gazes upon her new doll set, proud that she finally has one to call her own. She sends them back home and relishes in the idea of her sisters being incredibly jealous of her unique and expensive doll collection.

Meanwhile, Jessie sits in silence and cries over losing the doll set. In an effort to cheer her up, James and Meowth arrive in traditional Japanese garb. The final shot pans out on all of the Team Rocket gang dressed as the dolls, having turned themselves into a doll set just for Jessie so she’d never be without one again.

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– We have a lot to cover when it comes to Princess Day. Some stuff I’ll save for later for the sake of avoiding a text wall.

First and foremost, this fictional holiday is based on a real Japanese holiday called Hinamatsuri, also known as Girls’ Day or Dolls’ day. It is part of five different seasonal festivals that occur during the year.

In the weeks leading up to the holiday, parents of young women will set up a display of dolls meant to resemble the emperor, empress and their court dressed in Heian period clothing. This tradition is meant to bring these girls health, success and happy marriages in their futures.

As the name suggests, a good chunk of the day centers on the dolls. These can range from being fairly simple displays sometimes adorned with paper dolls or pictures to extremely complex and expensive displays with intricately sculpted dolls, some costing upwards of $2,500. Dolls are typically bought or handed down before a girl’s first Hinamatsuri and the display can be improved upon as they grow.

Outside of that, Hinamatsuri doesn’t have many other ‘perks’ so-to-speak – at least not that I found through my research (Feel free to inform me). You cook a variety of tasty foods and beverages for the occasion, including a sweet non-alcoholic sake drink, and some girls hold parties, but that’s about it.

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In Pokemon, Princess Day is quite a bit different. The dolls seem divorced from the actual holiday – more like they’re just a special thing all girls wanted and the prize happens to be a set of those dolls.

The festivities for the holiday are also quite different. Any female is treated, well, like a princess. The perks they get are pretty insane. Gashed prices in stores, free food and the ability to force anything with a Y chromosome to do your bidding all day.

All of this culminates in a beauty contest and Pokemon tournament to win a set of princess dolls.

For those of you wondering, there was a Boys’ Day festival, but now it’s encompassed as Children’s Day, which we’ll be focusing on next time.

Also, this holiday is purely Hinamatsuri in the original version. However, it’s obviously being tweaked for this series. I haven’t been able to find anything that says part of traditional Hinamatsuri celebrations is intense shopping, ridiculous sales, getting free food and making guys do whatever you want.

Second of all, am I the only one who feels like this whole Princess Day deal is…..just a tiny bit…..sexist? Not actual Hinamatsuri – the fictional Princess Day. I mean, I’m more than down for celebrating women – I am one – but…..I dunno, maybe the name kinda pisses me off, which would be 4Kids’ fault, maybe the aspect of there being a lot of sales on clothes, cute toys and other girly things irks me, maybe part of the festival being a beauty contest grinds my gears, maybe the concept of enslaving the penised ones seems a bit uncouth, I dunno.

Actual Hinamatsuri seems pretty cool, but this seems like a bit much.

Dogasu noted this in their comparison: “(The Narrator) then goes on to say that women are basically allowed to do whatever they want thanks to all the money they bring in during the holiday.” Something’s off about that too. With such drastic sales, between 70 and 90% off AND giving lots of freebies like free food, certainly the profits can’t be enough to let women ‘do whatever they want’

I don’t have much of a mind for economics, so maybe it is. *shrug*

…..And, yes, it is entirely possible that I’m a smidgen jealous that actual Princess Day doesn’t exist. We don’t even get Hinamatsuri in the US. We do have International Women’s Day, which is awesome, but there aren’t any celebratory traditions for it that I know of….So I’m petty. Leave me alone.

– Being a hypocrite, though, I find the Narrator’s opening statements to be quite funny based purely on how he delivers the lines. When he says ‘and if you’re a male, well, you get to carry packages’ I laughed out loud.

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– Fun Fact: This episode was originally meant to air on Girls’ Day, March 3rd 1998, but the Pokemon Shock incident pushed the air date all the way back to July. Is there no limit to what the Pokemon Shock incident affected?

– So, we, for no other reason besides we need a hot guy to make all the girls hot and bothered on Princess Day, they bring in a celebrity…..from Italy…..named Fiorella….Cappuccino….*deep sigh*

Also, I thought this ugly-ass picture on the billboard was part of 4Kids’ digital paint job, but nope. That’s the original design….ick.

– While we’re on the topic of this billboard, we have a sexy heartthrob advertising something called ‘Gigantic’ Oh the innuendos I could make.

– I always, always, forgot that this episode is where Jessie caught Lickitung. I nearly always forget she has a Lickitung to begin with. What is with these sudden instances of characters catching Pokemon, sometimes very useful powerhouses like Primeape, Snorlax and Lickitung, only to have the characters seldom use them until their cheap departure episodes?

– I will give Jessie a bit of props for attempting to battle Lickitung before capturing it, but Arbok never did a thing to it, so there’s no reason Jessie should have been able to capture it without issue, especially considering Lickitung are pretty difficult to capture by default.

– Why didn’t she even consider giving Lickitung to Giovanni? It would be a decent replacement for those eaten gifts and he does want Pokemon above all else.

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– Part of this plot is Jessie and Misty as well as a slue of other women fighting over clothes while the boys sit in melancholy lamenting over the misery that is being a man out with a woman while shopping. The copious amounts of stereotypes are staggering.

– It’s kinda cute that Pikachu’s also excited about all the beautiful women who will be partaking in the beauty contest….but it’s also kinda….confusing. Is he just admiring the beauty of the human female form or is he…..attracted to humans?

– Of course the prize for the beauty contest is a bunch of dolls and a picture with a hot guy. And of course all the women in the store stampede when they hear of the photo part. Sorry, the stereotypes are getting to me.

– This announcer’s an idiot or purposely misdirecting people. The winner of the beauty contest gets nothing. It’s the winner of the following Pokemon battle tournament that gets both prizes. This is irritating enough, but what if you enter the beauty contest and don’t happen to be a Pokemon trainer too? It’s a massive waste of time.

– Misty: “And the winner gets to keep the doll collection?” Uh…..yeah? That’s how prizes work. It’s not like either of you is currently in possession of the doll collection and will battle to determine the owner. The dolls don’t belong to either of you and will be given to the winner. There had to have been a better way to phrase this.

– I hate Fiorella Cappuccino. Just thought I’d sum up every scene with him to save space. The way he talks, the way he acts, his dumbass name. I hate him.

– Misty: “Being so smart and beautiful and talented, I shouldn’t have a problem winning!” No, I didn’t mislabel that as Misty’s dialogue instead of Jessie’s – Misty legit says this.

– Announcer: “Batteries sold separately.” Uh, what would batteries do in this doll set, exactly?

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Note that the dolls are set up as a hierarchy, and Pikachu is, of course, in the place of the Emperor.

– Okay, so the Pokemon battle is part of the competition, but they don’t advertise that at all. Also, what exactly is the point of having the girls dress up like this? The beauty contest never actually happens and they go back to their regular clothing when they battle. Did they just want an excuse to make Jessie and Misty all (forgive the pun) dolled up?

– Ya know, I definitely feel more for Jessie in this situation. Misty never had her own doll set, boo hoo, but she still got three doll sets. Jessie got a grand total of none. Misty seems like she was pretty well-off growing up while Jessie was poor and got shitty toys when she was a kid. I love the ending to this episode, but the fact that Misty wins always rubbed me the wrong way.

– How is it not cheating to use other people’s Pokemon?

– I don’t believe for a second that Jessie is blasting her way through the tournament like this. All she uses are Arbok, Weezing and Meowth, and she regularly gets beaten by a ten year old idiot. Either she has the best luck ever or she’s getting incredibly crappy opponents.

– I think this is probably one of the last times we see guns in Pokemon, but don’t quote me on that.

– Why does the announcer note that Misty is undefeated? Given the structure of the tournament, of course she is, otherwise she would be out of the tournament altogether. And why does he not state the same of Jessie? She’s undefeated too.

– Announcer: “This could be one of the greatest comebacks in Pokemon history!” Okay, calm down, guy. This is a Princess Day Pokemon match between a ten year old girl and a Team Rocket member, not an Indigo Plateau climb.

– Announcer: “Now Misty has only one Pokemon left…” Wait, what? Lickitung took out Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Vulpix. Is this a four on four match? Because Misty has many other Pokemon. Why would this be four v. four? How random.

– Announcer: “This is incredible! Lickitung’s Lick attack isn’t working against Psyduck!”….Uh….care to wager a guess as to why? Are they trying to make off like Psyduck’s too dumb to be Paralyzed?

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If I wanted to be overtly generous and stretch things a lot, I’d say they thought Psyduck was part Psychic type, and considering that Lick is a Ghost type move, the writers believed it was entirely ineffective against it.

However, I can’t be certain if they realized their mistake in this at this point because Ghost types were originally meant to be strong against Psychic types in the games, and they took the glitch in the games that made Ghost strong against Psychic to heart, resulting in such events like the Marsh Badge episode.

In all honestly, I’m probably reading way too much into this and it’s likely the ‘Psyduck is too dumb to be affected’ theory, but it’s interesting to consider either way.

– I always remember the ending of this match being so dumb. Lickitung and Psyduck just derping and either not following orders or being unable to follow commands because their trainers are telling them to do things they can’t do, making for a painful stalemate until the obvious of Psyduck’s headache comes around.

– Let’s pause for something funny, though. In Gen I, Lickitung could not learn Lick.

– This is less funny, but, Jessie, Lickitung also can’t learn Tackle.

– It’s really sad that this random Lickitung’s debut episode showed it off much more than Arbok and Weezing did when they debuted.

– You wanna know what pisses me off even more about Misty winning the dolls? When she sends them back home, she’s clearly more intent on making her sisters jealous than she is happy that she finally got a doll set all for herself. I’m so glad this petty little brat who got three doll sets as a kid now has her own unique expensive doll set to rub in her sisters faces while Jessie, the dirt poor girl who grew up with no dolls, loses even though she was fighting the whole tournament completely on the up and up.

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– Ash: “They’ll be pretty jealous!”

Brock: “I’ll bet that’s the best prize of all!” They’re obviously speaking in a weird tone here, in response to Misty literally saying “I’d like to see the looks on my sisters’ faces!” with a big evil grin on her face, but even Ash and Brock point out that this was always more about showing up her sisters than it was filling some stupid youngest child void she always had.

– Despite all that crap, the ending where the Team Rocket gang dresses up like the dolls for Jessie is one of the most touching endings I’ve ever seen in Pokemon. Those are true friends right there.

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I used to enjoy this episode much more than I do now. Not only am I more jaded on the sexist-ish aspects of the story, but looking at it over again I’m actually pissed that Misty won. Poor Jessie. She doesn’t even go on her typical rage rampage when she’s defeated and blasts off. She starts crying and sits huddled next to Lickitung until her friends come to cheer her up. Meanwhile, Misty’s super smug as she sends off her new dolls to the Cerulean Gym as she imagines her sisters turning green with envy….

Not much really happens in the first half, either, besides catching Lickitung completely at random. There’s shopping and the boys being exasperated with the girls and the girls living up to damn near every stereotype imaginable, blah blah.

I will admit that the episode is well-written in terms of dialogue. There are several funny lines, some sweet moments and the ending is very beautiful. I won’t really say I disliked the episode, but I don’t like it nearly as much as I did back in the day.

Next ep–…………………………..Wait…..a…..second…..Where the hell was Togepi this entire episode?! This has nothing to do with the episodes being messed up by the Pokemon Shock incident – they literally just straight up forgot to put Togepi in this episode. Wow.

Next episode, Children’s Day!….Kinda….a little.

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 51 Analysis – Bulbasaur’s Mysterious Garden

Pokemon ep 51 Screen6

CotD(s): None.

Plot: Ash is in the middle of a battle with a man and his Rhyhorn with Bulbasaur at the helm. Bulbasaur takes a Take Down attack full on, and Ash tries to recall him, but Bulbasaur refuses. He wants to prove he can defeat his opponent. He manages to hit a Razor Leaf and Vine Whip and Bulbasaur wins the match. However, it appears to be in great pain and its bulb is glowing.

Ash rushes Bulbasaur to the Pokemon Center and begs Joy to save him. Once treatment has been completed, Joy reveals that Bulbasaur’s not badly wounded, he’s just preparing to evolve.

Every year, Bulbasaur from all over the world gather in a mysterious garden to evolve into Ivysaur. The garden is nearby, and they’re just in time for the festivities. Bulbasaur, however, is less than pleased with this turn of events.

That night, he has a heart to heart with Pikachu about his views on his evolution when he’s suddenly dragged away by a slue of Bulbasaur who forcibly take him to the garden to partake in the festival.

Pikachu wakes up Ash and the others and they run into the forest to find Bulbasaur. The forest is going crazy and they make it just in time before the entire area is blocked off with a wall of vines.

They arrive at the meeting area to find a massive group of Bulbasaur gathering around a large dead tree. They chant and the sparkling pollen in the air revives the tree. Out from the tree emerges a massive Venusaur, who starts the festival off.

They all chant together and the Bulbasaur start glowing. Soon, they all evolve into Ivysaur. They cheer in celebration until they realize one Bulbsaur has yet to evolve – Ash’s. In fact, he’s doing everything in his power to not evolve.

Venusaur and the Ivysaur all call him out for denying his evolution, and Bulbasaur fiercely argues back. Venusaur attacks Bulbasaur with a Vine Whip, but Ash jumps in the way and takes the hit. He protects his Bulbasaur stating they have no right to force Bulbasaur to evolve. It’s up to him to make that decision.

Suddenly, Team Rocket flies overhead in their balloon and start sucking up all of the Ivysaur with a giant vacuum. Venusaur makes a valiant effort to save them, but an increase in power to the vacuum makes it start to lose its footing.

Team Rocket seems like they might get away this time as only Bulbasaur is left standing. They mock Bulbasaur and refuse to steal him, seeing him as a runt and a wimp. Bulbasaur gets incredibly angry and gives a deafening yell.

The sun rises and Bulbasaur’s bulb starts collecting energy from the sun, revealing him to have learned Solar Beam. He launches the beam at the balloon, destroys the vacuum and frees the Ivysaur. Team Rocket crashes down and looks in horror as all of the Ivysaur as well as the Venusaur and Bulbasaur glare at them angrily. Venusaur sends them blasting off with a swift hit from its Vine Whip.

Venusaur walks up to Bulbasaur and extends a vine to him. They shake vines, showing that Venusaur respects Bulbasaur and his decision to stay as it is.

Later, the festival ends and the vine walls fall. They bid farewell to the Venusaur and Ivysaur as the mysterious garden disappears as quickly as it appeared.

Bulbasaur looks on with a smile, knowing he’s great just the way he is. No matter if or when Bulbasaur evolves, that will never change.

——————————–

– I want to preface this episode by saying Ivysaur is my favorite Pokemon, so seeing a bunch of them gathered like this is really cool.

However, we never really explore what makes Ivysaur cool and interesting (and, really, most starter mid-evos have this problem) and we are robbed of Ash getting an Ivysaur on his team, which disappointed me immensely.

– Misty: “That Rhyhorn must be at a high level!”….Tsk……We’ll come back to this.

– Heheh, now Bulbasaur won’t obey him. Get your shit together, Ash.

Being fair, out of all of Ash’s Pokemon, Bulbasaur is the one you’d think would’ve had behavior problems from the get-go. Squirtle being a close second. Not. Charmander…..

– Also, Rhyhorn’s Take Down is like getting hit by a tank, according to Brock. Bulbasaur gets hits head-on, literally, and only has a bump on his head.

– Opponent: “You must be a lousy trainer, kid. It won’t even listen to you.” I know, right?

– Bulbasaur did Vine Whip without being commanded to do so too.

– Lumberjack-Themed Opponent: “You sure chopped me down to size, kid.” Hehehe, I’m a lumberjack. I chop wood. Get it?

– Even though we’ll never see it again in the series, I love the added touch of flowers blooming around soon-to-evolve Bulbasaur and later with Venusaur just willing it to happen.

Pokemon Ep 51 Screen1

– I have a bunch of questions about this festival.

1) It seems to completely ignore the concept of levels entirely, which is weird given that Misty just brought up levels again out of the blue literally a minute ago. Maybe they are taking levels into consideration and only those who have reached a certain level can participate in the festival, but it’s still odd. Why do they need a special festival to evolve if they’re already at the proper level to do so? No other Pokemon does that, to my knowledge.

How annoying would it be if you trained really hard to have your Bulbasaur evolve but you couldn’t just because, ahp, ya missed the festival. Try again next year.

It’s not like you get a formal invitation or anything, either. Ash and the others just happened to be in the exact area of the mysterious garden on the night of the festival.

Plus:

Joy: “No one knows why they choose that time. It’s different every year.” Great.

“But it seems to have something to do with the alignment of the planets and the phases of the moon.”

Just say ‘They gather in spring because it’s the blossoming of plant life’ or whatnot. No need to all this astronomy in there.

2) If there’s a festival for Bulbasaur to evolve into Ivysaur, is there another festival for Ivysaur to evolve into Venusaur?

3) Why exactly is it so vital to the other Bulbasaur to literally drag Ash’s Bulbasaur to the festival? I imagine some of it is tradition or something, but does that mean they can’t leave any Bulbasaur as a Bulbasaur?

4) I would ask a lot of questions about this specific location and why merely being there and yelling ‘SAUR!’ triggers the evolution, but the title of the episode says it’s mysterious so I guess it’s not meant to be questioned.

5) I do have to ask how it is no human being has ever set foot in it. That seems ridiculously unlikely. If this event calls Bulbasaur from all over the world, trained or not, surely some of their trainers or some researchers have followed them. The walls do pose a problem, but Ash and the others will later make it through without much issue, and you can fly right over it like Team Rocket does.

I do like the area, though. A beautiful garden just for the ‘saur line, locked by a wall of vines and meant purely for this event. Pretty cool.

5) Bulbasaur gather from all over the world to partake in this event. Is this mostly wild Bulbasaur or do trainers have to take a considerable amount of time out of their lives to travel the world to get to this event?

I assume this can’t be the only mysterious garden or evolution festival in the entire world….right?

– I am a little peeved that Bulbasaur has such a sullen expression when Ash mentions Ivysaur. I get that he just…for some reason, doesn’t want to evolve, but Ivysaur’s great. You shut up.

Pokemon Ep 51 Screen2

– As much as I like the subtitle-free conversation with Bulbasaur and Pikachu about his troubles, much in the same realm as Pikachu’s conversation with Caterpie many moons ago…..Uh…this is actually one conversation I’d like to hear considering we never get a good reason why Bulbasaur has such an issue with evolving.

This episode is pretty similar to the one where Pikachu is given the option to evolve. In a way, Pikachu was also kinda being cornered into evolving. While Ash was very respectful of whatever option Pikachu chose, he felt like he kinda had to because, otherwise, Ash might not get his badge.

However, evolving for Pikachu was both a point of not wanting to change his appearance (and possibly personality?) and a point of pride as a Pikachu, if you will. He didn’t want to evolve into a Raichu to beat Surge’s Raichu because it would proving Surge right – Pokemon need to evolve in order to be at their best. He didn’t want to bow to his views and say ‘yeah, you’re right. Raichu’s just better because it’s a Raichu and I’m a lowly Pikachu.’

Pikachu gave a speech to Ash about this, which Ash seemingly understood, but was mostly translated to the audience through Meowth. It allowed us to fully understand why Pikachu was refusing, even though the viewer could get most of the message through the story.

….Not that any of that really matters because, as we’ll later see, Pikachu IS an evolved Pokemon.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen3

Here, there is no real ‘story’ so far. Bulbasaur’s just being faced with possible forced evolution and he straight up doesn’t want to. He’s telling Pikachu why he’s so conflicted, but the ‘story’ so far and body language aren’t nearly enough for us to understand why he’s so troubled beyond ‘eh, I dun wanna.’

In the aforementioned Caterpie moment, while that also didn’t have subtitles, the very end showed us Caterpie’s daydream of being a Butterfree, and that was more than enough for us to understand. I don’t know what they would’ve shown here, but something is better than nothing.

– Also, the music in this scene is very unfitting. It’s goofy lazy BGM that doesn’t belong in a scene where Bulbasaur’s having a heartfelt conversation with Pikachu about an important issue.

– The next scene with Bulbasaur yelling to Pikachu is a bit better because we can kinda infer what he’s saying due to the tone, desperation in Bulbasaur’s voice and Pikachu’s clear understanding….but it’s still difficult to get down pat. Pikachu stopped because of what he said, and I think he’s begging Pikachu to get Ash, but it also sounds like he might be begging Pikachu himself to help.

– Haha, Pikachu’s Bulbasaur impression is adorable.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen4

– Team Rocket showed up and got blasted off within thirty seconds. It was entirely unnecessary to have them there to begin with.

– They got blasted off, but they landed closeby enough to land immediately behind Ash and the others as they trailed Bulbasaur. That scene is even more unnecessary now.

– Misty: “There’s only one way to go now – into the garden.” You’re technically already in it.

Also, is Venusaur’s consciousness manipulating the vines or is this an actual magical forest?

– Out of curiosity, why is it so important to keep everyone out of the garden when the festival is happening? Is their evolution such a secret? I think when Bulbasaur go in and Ivysaur come out, they’ll make the connection.

– The Bulbasaur all singing is adorable.

– The whole sequence before Venusaur arrives is wonderfully done. It’s beautiful in color, tone and even audio.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen5

– I don’t think that tree is big enough to have Venusaur walk that far within it without exiting it.

– Fantastic entrance for Venusaur. He even got a commercial break cliffhanger reveal.

Why Use the Pokedex? He knows what a Venusaur is,

– I feel like there was a miscommunication with the animators and writers. Misty reminds Ash that Bulbasaur has a bandage on his head, allowing them to know which Bulbasaur is his. The bandage in question is a little band-aid. Pikachu points out Ash’s Bulbasaur, but they’re seeing him from behind, meaning we can’t see the band-aid. I think Bulbasaur was probably meant to have a bandage wrap on his head rather than a band-aid so we could actually tell from the back who it was, but the animators didn’t get the memo.

Either that or they originally set Bulbasaur to have the wrap but the higher ups thought it made it look like Bulbasaur was too injured and kids might get concerned? I dunno.

– Brock: “Hey! Don’t forget, human beings aren’t supposed to be here!” I get why the other Bulbasaur might not see them standing in plain view because their backs are facing them, but Venusaur is facing the Bulbasaur, meaning it should be able to see Ash and co.

– The chanting to start the evolution process is pretty cool. And I really like the way the Bulbasaur all glow blue before their evolution starts.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen10

 

– And the entire flow of the scene is ruined by Team Rocket. Hooray.

– I like how they show the leaves on Bulbasaur’s bulb opening when it evolves.

– IVYSAUR! YAY!

Why Use the Pokedex? He explained earlier that he knew what an Ivysaur was.

– I like that they also have a celebratory chant after the evolution is over.

– Ash: “This must be their evolution festival.”….Ash….sweetie….go back to the Pokemon Center and get a CAT scan. For me. I am deeply concerned about you.

– I’ll ignore how Brock seems to be able to tell that Bulbasaur is actively trying not to evolve, but what is forcing its evolution? We can surmise that Squirtle and Pidgeotto are also long since overdue for evolution, yet you don’t see them slamming their internal B buttons regularly when they ‘level up.’

My best guess is this magical glittery pollen is somehow triggering the evolution, but that just raises a multitude of questions.

Kinda have to wonder how one resists evolution in the first place. I imagine it’s like trying desperately not to have a muscle spasm. It’s something your body is just kinda doing, you can’t really stop it.

– The scene with Bulbasaur arguing with the Ivysaur and Venusaur doesn’t really need subtitles. We can infer most of what’s going on through the story at this point and body language. Bulbasaur doesn’t want to evolve, this makes the others salty (Venusaur looks incredibly offended, to be honest), they try to force him, Venusaur even tries to convince him that evolving is great by making the dead tree bloom with thousands of beautiful flowers, but he won’t budge. Problem is, like before, we don’t know why Bulbasaur doesn’t want to evolve, so the emotional impact is significantly lower than what it could be.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen7

If you wanted to be really cynical, Bulbasaur could come off as a petulant child who doesn’t want to ‘grow up’ per se. Afterall, the one consistent theme throughout this episode is ‘wow, Bulbasaur is stubborn.’

– I really like how Ash jumped in the way of the Venusaur’s Vine Whip. That was pretty cool. I like when we get scenes that show how much Ash cares for his Non-Pika Pokemon.

– In the end, no matter Bulbasaur’s reasons, Ash is right – no one has the right to force a Pokemon to evolve. They evolve or ‘grow up’ when they’re ready. Shame that we’ve already gone over this moral several times in the series.

– I love how even Ash and the others are annoyed by Team Rocket’s intrusion. This would be a really great episode if these buffoons didn’t keep barging in.

– Misty: *As all of the Ivysaur are being sucked into Team Rocket’s vacuum* “It’s a vacuum!”

Ash: “No kidding!”

Hahahaha! They really should just let Ash be snarky more often. It suits him, when it’s not in a dickish way.

– I love how Venusaur’s all badass and grabs them all at once. However, it let numerous Ivysaur get sucked up beforehand…

Still, it shows how awesome Venusaur is while simultaneously showing how much Venusaur cares about its brethren.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen8

– How are Bulbasaur and Pikachu not flying away? They’re significantly lighter than the Ivysaur and even Venusaur is being lifted up a bit now. Even Ash and the others should be grabbing onto trees or something, yet they’re not even really have trouble standing. Hell, even Ash’s hat is still glued to his head.

– I get that Team Rocket’s just laughing at the idea of taking a Bulbasaur when they now have a bag full of Ivysaur, but it’s still a starter Pokemon. They’re very rare and valuable.

– I don’t like how Meowth’s mouth moves up and down but his chin stays still when he says ‘What a wimp!’

– Also, Bulbasaur’s a wimp? How?

– Bulbasaur yelling out loud to Team Rocket has always been a really impacting moment in the series to me. Not only does it lead to his learning Solar Beam (which means Bulbsaur’s at least level 48, meaning he should long since be a Venusaur by now. Hey, they brought up levels this episode, so I can bring this up.) but, man, his voice actor is just having at it. It’s great.

– This is also a perfect time for Bulbasaur to learn Solar Beam. Ash is getting closer to the Indigo League and he needs some more power to back him up.

– Ash: “Smokin’” If that was a reference to The Mask, I will hurt you.

– Apparently, all Ivysaur are cats and always land on their feet.

– N’aw Venusaur and Bulbasaur shaking vines.

– Narrator: “No one knows if or when Bulbasaur will finally decide to evolve – no one, that is, except Bulbasaur.” Aw that’s sweet. Also, in hindsight, that line’s very fitting just because it decided to include ‘if’ in there. Bulbasaur, to this day, has never evolved and probably never will.

——————————-

Overall, I really love this episode. Not sure I’d place it as a favorite, but it’s still really good. We get Ivysaur, a cool look into the ‘saur line’s (weird, in regards to Pokemon as a whole and possibly non-canon in the future) evolutionary behaviors and Bulbasaur learns Solar Beam.

It has a good, but already overused at this point, message about not forcing people to be something they’re not, especially if they’re not ready for whatever change you’re imposing on them, and has a lot of awesome moments.

The only two things that really damage it are Bulbasaur’s unclear motives behind resisting evolution (All I want is an Ivysaur to be a regular character, dammit!) and Team Rocket’s annoying intrusions.

This is definitely one of the most memorable episodes simply because of how unique it is and how beautiful the visuals are, but I can’t help thinking it could’ve been a little better.

Next episode, it’s Princess Day! Misty vs. Jessie!

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 50 Analysis – Who Gets to Keep Togepi?

CotD(s): None

Captures (Does Togepi have a Pokeball?): Togepi – A baby who is meant to be cute and cause Pokemon Short levels of cuteness episodes, Togepi is a largely useless character mostly used for Deus Ex Machina Metronome usage in future episodes. Despite being around for years, Misty never doesn’t treat it like a baby because Togepi is perpetually infantile until hundreds of episodes down the line where it suddenly garners usefulness, evolves into Togetic and leaves Misty forever.

Togepi is mostly easy to ignore because it might as well be a doll Misty always carries around with a string that, when pulled, makes it go ‘Toge-prrri!’ but it is the source of much frustration in the future. For now, though, it’s just the cute baby.

I will admit that Togepi’s relationship with Misty is kinda nice, even if a lot of it just amounts to Misty yelling out for Togepi and hugging it when she finally finds it, much in the same realm as a parent on Rugrats.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock arrive at a small-town Pokemon Center. Nurse Joy relays a message to Ash from Professor Oak that requests Ash to call him. He gives Oak a call, and Oak informs him that he has a new Pokedex upgrade for him that has information on all the latest Pokemon and even has a new voice. Ash upgrades his Pokedex and bids Oak farewell.

They discuss the egg they’ve been carrying around for a while now as they map out a plan to head to Cinnabar Island. Team Rocket overhears them, and they target the egg since it might hatch into a rare Pokemon to give to the boss.

As they exit the restaurant, Ash and co. are ambushed by two odd egg sellers. They’re selling eggs that all have similar designs to their egg. Suddenly, the two throw the eggs at them and, in the confusion, steal their egg.

They run off with it and seemingly make a successful capture. Meowth vows to care for it and warm it like a mother, and he quickly takes to his role with passion, even sleeping and bathing with the egg.

Ash and the others manage to find them the next morning by following a trail of fake eggs that they left behind. They turn the tables and ambush them in their cabin with Geodude, Pidgeotto and Staryu. There’s a back and forth scuffle for the egg in the middle of a thick Smokescreen courtesy of Weezing. When the smoke clears by Pidgeotto’s Gust, it causes Meowth to slip and throw the egg into the air.

Pikachu manages to catch the egg and hands it to Ash. He notices that there’s something moving in the egg and it starts to glow. Misty pushes Ash out of the way so she can see it hatch. After a few moments, the egg hatches into an adorable baby Togepi.

Nearly everyone thinks they’re entitled to Togepi. Ash found it, Brock cared for it for several weeks, Togepi likes Misty the most and Meowth cared for it for a night. In order to decide who gets to keep Togepi (title drop!) they hold a tournament. Whoever wins gets Togepi.

Brock and Meowth face off first. Brock uses Onix while Meowth calls upon his trusty Meowth. Onix obviously has the upperhand, and Meowth nearly gets taken out, but he uses two buckets of water to weaken Onix and Fury Swipes to finish him off.

Brock calls out the foul, but Meowth justifies it by saying he’s merely a parent caring for its child. Since this excuse is somehow accepted, the next match starts – Misty vs. Ash.

Ash chooses Bulbasaur while Misty is forced to use Psyduck since it let itself out. Misty tries to prompt Bulbasaur to worsen Psyduck’s headache by aiming for its head, but Ash isn’t falling for it. Instead he tells Bulbasaur to lick and tickle Psyduck. Unable to take anymore, Psyduck recalls itself and the match goes to Ash.

Now it’s the finals – Ash vs. Meowth. Meowth is more determined than ever to win Togepi, but Pikachu bops Meowth’s face with his tail and Thundershocks him into an instant KO.

Meowth gets tearfully dragged away by Team Rocket, and Ash goes to claim Togepi only to find that it doesn’t want to go to him. Misty shows once again that it likes her the most. Confused, Ash uses Dexter who reveals that Togepi imprint on the first being they see, taking that as its mother. Since the first thing Togepi saw was Misty, he believes Misty is his mother.

Resigned, Ash leaves Togepi in the care of Misty who vows to love and protect him like a mother.

———————-

– I know that Pokedexes act as identification, but why is Ash holding up his Pokedex to Nurse Joy at the start of the episode? It’s also closed….

If he was showing it as an ID, why was Joy asking if his name was Ash?

– Do we really have no better way of getting messages out to Pokemon Trainers than just giving notes to Nurse Joys and hoping the recipient stops there?

– Is it necessary for this note that just says ‘Call me’ to be animated? Also, it looks like regular paper. What technology is this?

– Pbbbbt hahahahahah! The goofy expression Oak has in the first shot where he picks up the phone! It’s literally 8D

– Misty: *barges into frame* “I’m fine too!” Why are you suddenly thirsty for Oak’s attention?

– So, Ash rarely checks in with Oak at the present moment, from what Oak says. He really does give zero shits about his B-Squad….

– Wow. It is the biggest coincidence in the world that Ash’s Pokedex gets an upgrade, complete with info on previously unknown Pokemon, right before Togepi, a Pokemon not present in Gen I’s Pokedex, hatches. What are the odds?

– Why is there a Pokedex slot on this video phone if barely anyone has a Pokedex?

– Fun fact: The only differences between the US and Japanese titles are the fact that 4Kids didn’t capitalize theirs properly. You had one job.

– Ash: *looking at incredibly dirty map of the real world for some reason* “Where to next?”

Misty: “We could head to Cinnabar Island and the Cinnabar Gym.”

Ash: “The Cinnabar Gym….”

……I’m sorry…what now?

Misty: “We could head to Cinnabar Island and the Cinnabar Gym.”

………….I….wha….

Ash: “The Cinnabar Gym…..”

Where…the fuck….have you guys been headed this whole time!?

If your destination hasn’t been Cinnabar Island and the Cinnabar Gym this whole time, where have you guys been going!? Have you just been wandering around aimlessly for 20 episodes? I could’ve sworn that after the last Gym match you learned of Cinnabar Island and decided to head there. I am 100% certain I’ve heard it said at least once since then.

What are you people doing!? Make. SENSE.

– By the way, for those keeping track, it’ll still be another eight episodes before we’re in Cinnabar. Spoilers – Gary is there, meaning I guess Ash lost no time wandering around with his thumb up his ass for nearly thirty episodes. Amazing. Just amazing.

– Ash: “So, Brock, what kind of Pokemon’s going to hatch out of that thing anyway?”

I’m amazed you’ve had the egg this long and have never asked that question.

I feel ya, Misty.

Brock: “To tell you the truth, Ash, I don’t know.”

Misty: “You mean, it might even turn out to be a Tentacruel!?”

Uh, no, Misty. You can’t hatch evolved Pokemon from an egg, and you should know that, Ms. Gym Leader.

Brock: “It could be, Misty.”

Uh, NO, Brock. You should definitely know that, Mr. Gym Leader/Pokemon Breeder. Take note of the BREEDER part of that. If you don’t know the basics of literal Pokemon breeding, you should rethink your career path.

This isn’t even 4Kids having another misidentification moment. The original script said that and they even show her with a Tentacruel.

Ash: “But it could even be an Aerodactyl?”

See, this suggestion makes perfect sense because Ash found it right by where the Aerodactyl came out of the ground, and it’s a base evo Pokemon. Good boy, Ash.

Brock: “I’d like it to be a Golem.”

You’re telling me, out of all of the theories of what might hatch from this egg….Ash….ASH…has the most logical one and the only one that is even possible?….I am so disappointed in the world right now.

Also, why hope for a Golem? You have a Geodude already. Just evolve it, you lazy bum.

– Meowth: “Hey, did ya hear that? They’re hatching a new Pokemon!”

They’ve had that egg for quite some time now. How are you only now noticing it?

James: “I think he said Dragonair.”

I have to give Team Rocket some leeway on the stupidity because they’re Team Rocket, but this is getting ridiculous. It’s akin to believing a dog will give birth to a fully grown dog instead of a puppy – and numerous people believing this to be what happens instead of one person being overtly stupid.

– Ash: “So, how far to Cinnabar Island?”

Brock: “Hm, it looks pretty far.”

It’s pretty far because apparently you forgot some key things.

— Ash is a Pokemon Trainer on a Pokemon Journey.

— He is going to enter the Indigo League – an annual event wherein you need eight badges to compete.

— Badges are earned in Pokemon Gyms.

— Gyms are in set locations.

— Places are in areas.

— Time is linear.

– While we’re on the subject, buy a real map or a GPS or a bus schedule or something.

– Aw look, Togepi’s getting lost and put in peril before he’s even born. What a sign of things to come.

– Domestic Mommy Meowth is quite cute. Not sure why he suddenly shifted from wanting it for the sake of having a Pokemon to give to Giovanni and wanting it because it’s his baby now, but whatever.

– Aw, he made a little night cap for the egg.

– Ash: “They’re pretty dumb, leaving us a trail of broken eggs.”

I don’t see how exactly they did such a thing. They’d need a hell of a lot of eggs to make this trail. They weren’t carrying any eggs when they ran away, and they threw the whole batch at the group. Lazy writing to keep the plot going? Yeah, let’s go with that.

– Wait, what? So you’re not only telling me Team Rocket had a massive stash of these toy eggs hidden somewhere on their person for absolutely no reason when they ran off, and neglecting all logic in how such a thing would even be possible, AND that they somehow didn’t notice that they were leaving a clear trail of fallen eggs BUT that they ALSO walked to the edge of a cliff and….jumped down to their hidden cabin instead of going down the clearly marked trail they have for it? Not to mention that they were carrying a real Pokemon egg with them when they seemingly did this.

You couldn’t have just had them see the cabin from afar on the trail? You needed to have the trail stop right at the edge of this cliff?

– Pidgeotto’s being used for non-balloon popping purposes! YAY!

– Brock’s using a Pokemon! Yay!

– Misty’s using a Pok—nevermind. It’s Psyduck again.

Take 2: Misty’s using a Pokemon! Yay!

– I love Ash’s expression when he taunts Meowth.

– I don’t really understand how and why it seems that Team Rocket and their Pokemon can seemingly see in the smokescreens they create. And now it seems like Ash and co. can too, for this one occasion, even though, later, Ash will say he can’t see anything. They can’t be playing catch with this egg and not be able to see it.

– Brock: “Geodude, Tackle attack!”

Yeah, tackle Meowth, who is holding the very fragile egg. That’s smart.

Misty: “Staryu, Tackle now!”

Yeah, tackle Jessie, who is holding the very fragile egg. That’s smart.

– *Everyone keeps getting Tackled when they get the egg* There are non-violent ways of getting this egg, you idiots.

– Ash: “Can’t see. Pidgeotto, Gust attack! Blow this gas away!” That didn’t occur to you milliseconds after the Smokescreen went up? Did it really take you well over a minute to come to the realization that you can’t see? Also, you all should have severe lung damage right now. That’s the longest I’ve ever seen you trapped in that smoke.

– What’s this? A commercial break cliffhanger that is actually cliffhanger worthy? This episode keeps flopping back and forth between really good and really dumb.

– Let it be known that Misty only got Togepi because she was pushy and literally knocked Ash and Brock away when Togepi was hatching. If she hadn’t, it would’ve imprinted on Ash and Brock. Then the parental groups would get their underwear in a tizzy yelling ‘Ahh gay parents! Pokemon is ruining the children again!’

– I will admit, Togepi is pretty cute. I will savor it while it is still cute.

– Building on that, I used to have an electronic Togepi that would rock back and forth and go ‘Togeprrri!’ I loved it, and I have no clue if I still have it now. I doubt it works, if I do.

– Ash: “Hey! Now that Dexter’s been upgraded, he should have the answer!”

Dexter: “Togepi: The Egg Pokemon. Specific information about this Pokemon is still unavailable.”

Best. Upgrade. Ever.

– While you should leave the question of ownership up to Togepi, Misty’s a bit of a bitch thinking she’s entitled to Togepi just because it likes her. And this exchange is interesting.

Misty: “Well, maybe you should’ve taken better care of it.”

Ash: “But you never took care of it!”

Misty is arguing that Togepi doesn’t like Ash as much as it likes her because he didn’t take care of it well enough when she never took care of it. Give the points to Ash for pointing this out, because she’s being a complete unfair hypocrite.

– Meowth: “Oh yeah? I took care of it more than all of ya put together.” Uh….bullshit.

You cared for it for one night. Ash has probably taken care of it for at least a few days, and Brock has seemingly cared for it for at least weeks.

– Meowth is disqualifying Jessie and James from the tournament because they never helped care for Togepi. If Ash and the others agreed to that, shouldn’t Misty be disqualified too?

– I know it’s perfectly legal, but Brock is really choosing Onix, of all Pokemon, to fight Meowth? That’s a little dick-ish. Granted, Meowth doesn’t have a (fair) chance against any of Brock’s Pokemon, really. The other choices are a smaller rock and a fire breathing fox. His best bet would be against Zubat, and even there he’s at a technical disadvantage because Zubat can fly.

– I will never not be entertained by Meowth battling while pretending to be his own trainer.

– I also find it adorable that Pikachu is playing with Togepi with his tail while all this is going on.

– Brock really has a thing about nearly killing small squishy Pokemon. First he tries to crush Pikachu with Onix in the Boulder Badge episode, now he’s trying to squash Meowth with Onix.

– As a kid, I always wondered why there were two random buckets of water in the stadium. Thanks to Dogasu’s comparison, I now know it’s because there was originally a sign above the buckets that said to use them in case of a fire…..….These two buckets of water….and not a fire extinguisher….were meant for that….just in case…this stone/concrete structure…caught fire.

My god, my most recent scans show dangerous levels of plot convenience! If this goes on, Togepi might learn Metronome!

– First, Meowth using the water is totally cheating. Disqualify his ass. The fact that Ash and Misty seemingly accept his ‘I’m merely a parent fighting for its child’ defense is insulting.

Second, merely splashing some water onto Onix should not have made him susceptible to a Fury Swipes attack.

Third, all of this should not have been enough to knock Onix out. That’s just ridiculous.

– I love the annoyed tone in Brock’s voice when he’s announcing the next match. I’d be pissed too if I cared for the egg all this time and then got cheated out of my one chance to claim the Pokemon that hatched from it.

– Misty: “Ah, yes, just as I suspected. You chose Bulbasaur.” Really? You suspected he’d use Bulbasaur? Why? Wouldn’t it be more logical to assume he’d use Pikachu, or is Pikachu still in the ‘I won’t battle friends’ camp?

Also, what Pokemon were you prepared to use against Bulbasaur? All of your Pokemon are at a type disadvantage against it.

– Oh my god, guys. Ash is actually learning from previous events and making clever strategies as a result!

 

– The whole Bulbasaur vs. Pysduck match is just hilarious. It’s also really cute when Bulbasaur starts licking Psyduck’s head.

– I’m pretty sure this is the only time we ever see Psuduck recall itself into its Pokeball.

– I love how there’s so much tension and dramatic buildup for Pikachu and Meowth’s match, and then it’s just insta-ended by Pikachu’s Thundershock. That look on Meowth’s face when he realizes what’s about to happen is gold.

– It’s also pretty weird how Meowth never has these feelings of motherly affection towards Togepi ever again.

– Even though this basically means the entire tournament was a waste of time, I like that they resigned and let Togepi pick its Trainer/mother. Not only is it what’s best for Togepi, but it also shows that Togepi’s not a prize to be won.

– Dexter: “Togepi is imprinted with the first image it sees after it hatches, thinking this is its mother.” Hm, that’s a very interesting fac—Hey wait a minute! You said information on Togepi was unavailable, you lying piece of junk!

– I never understood how Togepi’s feet have such a wide range of motion considering they have no slots in the shell to move properly.

– The final shot of Ash and Brock is funny, but you also have to feel for them. Out of everyone, one of the two were the most deserving of getting Togepi. Ash found it and Brock incubated it. I kinda have to wonder if Misty only got Togepi, from a writing standpoint, because she’s the girl of the group….

—————————-

Overall, I really love this episode, even though I ended up with many more notes than I thought I would about the more technical aspects of it.

Meowth caring for the egg like a mother and the tournament were hilarious and well-written. I haven’t been so thoroughly entertained by an episode from start to finish in a long time. Team Rocket fit into the episode well, even though I’m still not sure why they didn’t take the egg from the start, and no one was being annoying, not even Ash, who actually played each round incredibly smart. Even the facial expressions were spot on and hilarious.

Taking Togepi’s future tropes out of the equation, it is very adorable in this episode. Misty really didn’t seem like she deserved Togepi considering 1) she never cared for it as an egg, and 2) she only imprinted on Togepi because she was pushy. She became a…pretty good Trainer/mother for Togepi, but in my opinion, she’s not all that great in that department.

She obviously cares a great deal for Togepi and sees it as a baby, but she also seemingly stunts its development because it stays as a stagnant baby for a very, very long time – longer than any other baby Pokemon we’ll ever see. She doesn’t train it at all nor does she teach it anything. She just carries it everywhere and lets it be cute.

Seeing as how Togepi has to have solo adventures, he’s also prone to getting taken or lost. Pikachu then takes over the stressful role of saving his ass.

I have to wonder how the series would be had Ash finders keepers’d their asses. Perhaps caring for a baby Pokemon for a prolonged period of time would help mature him, like it sorta did for Misty. Maybe he’d become more responsible and make better choices. Maybe he’d be like a lot of kids doing that ‘this egg is a child’ assignment for school and accidentally drop him and have to replace him with another Togepi. I dunno. It’s interesting to consider.

Next episode, IVYSAUR! YAY!

Previous Episode…..

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.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Farfetch’d.

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 prepares to capture it. However, it runs away from her. She bumps into a boy in the woods 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 her bag, so they rush off to tell Officer Jenny.

Meanwhile, Keith is revealed to be a 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 claims that he 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?

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen2

– 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.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen6

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.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen7

– 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.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen9

– 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.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen10

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?

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen11

– 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.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen12

– 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.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen13
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….

Previous Episode…..

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.

Reappears?: 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.

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

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

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.

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

Pokemon: James.

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 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 doghouse 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 upper class 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.

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen2

– 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.

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen3

– 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.”

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen4

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.

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen5

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!?

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen6

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?!

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen7

– 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.

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen8

– 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.

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen9

– 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.

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen10
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.

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen11

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.

Reappears?: 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 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.

Pokemon Ep47 Screen1

– 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 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 actually 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.”

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?

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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 evolves into Charizard. It does get much more powerful, but it remains being a dangerous little brat.

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, including himself, are gathering to dig up Pokemon fossils.

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.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen1

– 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.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen2

– 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.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen7
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.

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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 shtick 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 shtick 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.

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– 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.

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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. 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?

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– 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 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!

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– 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 loudly 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 shtick 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 shtick 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.

Reappears?: No.

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

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 Pokemon 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 two 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 Damian. 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.

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