Pokemon Episode 39 Analysis: Pikachu’s Goodbye

Pokemon Ep 39 title

CotD(s): None.

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

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

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

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

Despite the fact that the public at large associated the Pokemon Shock incident with Porygon, many people were still very aware that Pikachu was the cause of it. And even though I said that the showrunners would never sacrifice their precious Pikachu shaped ATM, they realized what had to happen in order to properly respect the children who were affected. They had to take the proper steps, story-wise, to say goodbye to Ash’s best pal. So they dedicated an entire episode to Pikachu finding other wild Pikachu and forming a familial bond with them. Ash, realizing that his Pikachu was happy there, tearfully bid him farewell and continued on his journey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is basically the entire gist of this episode.

As I read the episode’s Wiki page before starting the rewatch, I came across an interesting section. When this episode aired in Japan, they had a woman named Miyuki Yadama introduce the show. She explained the reasons behind the hiatus, the whole Pokemon Shock incident and even the specific reason behind the seizures. The interesting part is what’s in the frame with Ms. Yadama as she’s giving this intro. She’s surrounded by Pokemon dolls. There are several species in the frame, but one Pokemon is noticeably much more prevalent.

Guess who?

EP038_incident_explanation

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

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

Without any further adieu, Pikachu’s Goodbye.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 39 screen1

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

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

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

Basically, they did this

Map confusion

When they just needed to do this. map6

 

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

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

Pokemon Ep 39 screen2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 39 screen3

– I love that it seems like Team Rocket feels justified to put much more value on an otherwise very common and easy to capture Pokemon just because they believe one Pikachu is more powerful than it should be when they have no proof of that. I really just think, at this point, it’s been burned into their minds.

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

– I will fully admit that it’s cool that their chanting matches the BG music.

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

Pokemon Ep 39 screen4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 39 screen6

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 39 screen7

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

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

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

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

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

feelz

NO! LEAVE ME ALONE!

drowning

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

feelings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pokemon Episode 37 Analysis: Ditto’s Mysterious Mansion

Pokemon Ep 37 title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, Duplica quickly realizes that this is a trick – they gave her the real Meowth and took Ditto. She throws Meowth to the balloon and Ditto bites Jessie, jumping back down into Duplica’s arms. Jessie unveils a cannon under the balloon and prepares to fire. Duplica tells Ditto to transform into the cannon, and Ash uses Pikachu as a makeshift cannonball. Jessie and Ditto shoot at the same time. A net is launched from Team Rocket’s cannon while Pikachu jets off from Ditto-cannon. Pikachu Thundershock’s the net, which shocks the balloon and Meowth, causing his claws to puncture the balloon and send them blasting off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 37 screen2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 37 screen3

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

Brock: “Except it’s a girl.”

Misty: “How can you tell?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 37 screen4

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

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

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

– Oh but she has a Misty wig.

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

Misty: “Better than the real Pokemon.”

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 37 screen5
Dittosaur: “What the hell just happened?”

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 37 screen6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Duplica: “Ditto’s gone!”

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

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

Pokemon Ep 37 screen8

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

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

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

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

– I really don’t understand how the Transform ability works when it comes to transforming into things. When it Transforms for Jessie, Ditto actually agrees to show her a picture of the boy as an adult, but since we don’t see the source picture, we don’t know if he succeeded. Meowth calls him a ‘little boy’ and Jessie describes him as her first love, which commonly occurs in childhood (loosely using the term ‘love’ since that can stretch to ‘crush’) He doesn’t describe Ash and Misty as little boys or little girls (Jessie and James do mockingly on occasion) so I’m to assume he has to be younger than Ash and co.

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

Pokemon Ep 37 screen9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————————-

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

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

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

Team Rocket was useful for a change, we got some extremely minor backstory on Jessie that becomes irritating when you realize it’s another interesting factoid they’ll never speak of again, and their plan this time around nearly succeeded. They really have to work on running very far away when they succeed….and hiding in places that doesn’t make it glaringly apparently that they’re hiding in there. Even their plan B was fairly good barring the slow as hell balloon making the getaway impossible. If they can get Giovanni to invest in flying stadiums and giant robots, they can surely get him to pay for a car or a plane or something.

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Analysis: The Bridge Bike Gang

Pokemon Episode 36 Title

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

Reappear?: No. 😦

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Chopper defeated, the lone girl of the group, Tyra steps up next. She sends out Cloyster while Misty tries to send out Starmie, only to get Psyduck instead. The gang all laugh at the goofy duck, especially when it hurts itself trying to Tail Whip and Scratch Cloyster’s spiky shell. Misty realizes that Psyduck can’t use its Psychic powers without a severe headache so she tries to get them to trigger it by attacking its head, but they don’t fall for it. She’s about to beat the headache into Psyduck herself when Team Rocket arrives, saying their motto on unicycles.

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

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

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

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

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

—————————-

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

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

-Literally two lines later.-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen2

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

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

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

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

– Okay, so let’s leave the tangled web of Jessie and James’ backstory alone for the moment, especially since the bike gang is my favorite backstory for them. However….how are they treating this bridge like it’s their old home when it’s only recently even gotten a little completed? I guess it’s possible that they still hung out on the incomplete bridge, but…what? Did they just bike to the cutoff then turn around? Or did they hang out in one area and….do nothing because no one would be trying to pass on bicycles since the path wasn’t done? Actually, they probably wouldn’t be let on at all if it wasn’t done. I don’t get it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen4

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

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

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

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

Ash: “Charmander, I choose you!”

Ash, goddammit.

– Ash: “Use Ember!”

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen5

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

*several confusing moments later*

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

Golem, this giant rock, caught fire? What?

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen6

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

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

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

– Did that Golem only know Tackle?

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen7

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

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

– The reason I like Jessie and James when they’re part of this gang is because, despite the fact that they’re still basically thugs, they’re much more harmless in this group than they are with Team Rocket…..and I use that term loosely. It’s nice to see them be happy in their organization instead of being miserable all the time in Team Rocket. They’re extremely proud to be Team Rocket members, but it brings them nothing but problems. We never really know anything that they did to earn the respect they get in this gang, but they have fun. They get respect. They seem generally happy.

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen8

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen9

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

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

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

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

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

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

*boat comes by immediately after*

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen10
Whoo! Manslaughter!

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

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

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

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

Misty: “That’s right!”

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

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

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

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

——————————

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 34 Analysis: The Kangaskhan Kid

Pokemon episode 34 title

CotD(s): Tommy – A young kid who was accidentally dropped into the Safari Zone by his father and left to be raised by Kangaskhan, Tommy is a very excitable and wild child, though he’s also very brave and sweet.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: None, though it could be argued that since he can command the Kangaskhan that they’re kinda-ish sorta his. At least on his side.

Mama – A doting mother, she, like Papa, can be a bit on the weird, spoiled and eccentric side, but not nearly as bad as Papa. Mama was furious when Papa lost Tommy and is willing to do anything to be reunited with him.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: None.

Papa – An irresponsible, weird, creepy asshole, he, like an asshole, is an asshole.

Reappear?: No. Thank God.

Pokemon: None. Thank God.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock have supposedly now made it to the Safari Zone. In awe of the number of Pokemon nearby, Ash gears up to catch some of them. He spots a Chansey in a bush and tries to capture it, only to find that it’s a Jenny, a Safari Ranger, in disguise trying to catch Pokemon poachers.

She arrest them and brings them to her basecamp where she explains that this area is not the Safari Zone, but a National Pokemon Preservation Area where catching Pokemon is strictly forbidden. She lets off Ash with a warning since she believes he really didn’t know where he was, and they’re interrupted by a poaching alert that Jenny must respond to.

When they arrive, they spot a herd of Kangaskhan and Team Rocket, who are trying to capture them. As they spook them with rockets, Jenny and the others try to outrun the resulting stampede in her Jeep.

The Kangaskhan run into a net trap set by Team Rocket, and they prepare to capture them in Pokeballs. Ash, Jenny and the others are left to watch helplessly since Jenny’s Jeep has overheated.

Suddenly, a wild child emerges from the brush, throwing a boomerang at Jessie’s Pokeball and knocking it in her face. He runs towards the net, cuts through the ropes with his boomerang and lets the Kangaskhan out.

The boy sics the Kangaskhan on Team Rocket, who smack them around a bit before blasting them off. The boy hops in one of the Kangaskhan’s pouches and walks away. As Ash and the others try to process what they saw, a helicopter suddenly lands in front of them. Two people walk out, introducing themselves only as Tommy’s parents.

A three year old boy named Tommy accidentally got lost in the Safari Zone after a terrible accident, and they’ve been looking for him for five years. A recent photo lead them to this spot where they believe he’s living with the Kangaskhan. Jenny recognizes him as Tomo and has a full file of information on him, including his address. They ask for all of the group’s help in finding him and they agree.

As Ash, Misty and Brock carry Mama and Papa through the forest, they come across a wounded baby Kangaskhan. Brock tries to treat it with a super potion, but the baby cries in pain due to the sting of the spray. Tommy quickly emerges from the bushes, ready to defend the baby Kangaskhan from the people seemingly hurting it. Ash, Misty and Brock explain the situation, and it soon becomes clear that Tommy’s very confused after spending five years in the Safari Zone.

He doesn’t appear to be able to differentiate much between people or Pokemon and he doesn’t remember his parents. When Misty coaxes him to try and remember, all he remembers is being cared for and raised by his Mama Kangaskhan. Papa smacks him in the head with a log, knocking him unconscious. He dreams about his time as a baby being cared for by Mama and awakens with his memories intact. However, he’s terribly confused over which family he belongs with.

Ranger Jenny shows up with reports of Pokemon poaching and asks for Ash and co.’s help. Back at the Kangaskhan herd, Team Rocket has built a giant Kangaskhan robot and lure the Kangaskhan to it with fake cries. When they approach, they’re shot with tranquilizers.

Tommy tries to save them, but his little boomerang is no match for the robot. Team Rocket retaliates by launching their robot’s fists at Tommy, but he dodges. Ash and the others arrive and try to battle the robot, but to no avail. Tommy manages to knock off the cover to the gas tank and Ash’s Charmander ignites the fuel. However, the robot keeps charging towards them.

Suddenly, Mama and Papa arrive in their helicopter and crash it into the robot to blast off Team Rocket and save Tommy.

Tommy mourns the loss of his human parents, but they emerge from the rubble unharmed, explaining that they realize forcing Tommy to depart with his Kangaskhan family isn’t fair, so they’ve decided to live with Tommy and the Kangaskhan. Tommy happily reunites with his family, human and Kangaskhan alike, as they bid Ash and the others farewell.

——————————

– Someone should really tell Ash and the others that you can’t just wander into the Safari Zone so they and the Narrator will stop thinking they’re in the Safari Zone.

– Also, for crying out loud, how far away is the Safari Zone in the anime? They’ve already been to the Fuchsia City Gym and have stumbled upon a Pokemon reserve as well as a Pokemon Ranch and now a Pokemon Preservation Area (which is basically what a reserve is) and yet they still won’t reach the Safari Zone until the following episode. Let me remind you that the entrance to the Safari Zone is merely the northern most point of Fuchsia City in the games. Then again, Fuchsia City has a really frustrating layout to the point where I almost want to let this slide.

– Hey look, more guns! Funny how an episode with guns is preceding an episode that was banned for rampant gun use.

Pokemon episode 34 screen1

– The Jenny here is a Safari Ranger….then why is her uniform no different from a traditional Officer Jenny? Also, Jenny really thinks these ten-year-old children are poachers? Also also, she calls herself a Safari Ranger but, as stated, they’re not in the Safari Zone. I’m almost certain they’re no longer in Safari Land either. It’s hard as balls to get your bearings in this show sometimes.

– How do these three keep accidentally wandering into Pokemon reserves? If you’re not going to border the place with fences or walls, at least plaster signs everywhere so innocent people will stay out.

– Since I didn’t hear Ash about to call out any Pokemon (he only said ‘I’m gonna catch it!’ with a Pokeball in his hand, ready to throw) and it didn’t seem like he grabbed the ball from his belt, I’m left to assume two things about the scene before Jenny reveals herself.

1) Ash, 34 goddamn episodes in, was about to try and catch a Pokemon without battling it first.

2) Ash was trying to catch a CHANSEY, of all things, without battling it first.

(I realize you don’t battle Pokemon in the Safari Zone, but if he’s unaware of the Safari Ball restriction, I assume he’s unaware of the no battling restriction.)

– I now understand why Ash hardly ever catches Pokemon. This is the second time in a row that his capture attempts have been turned into a crime – and this time he actually got arrested for it.

– Why is the Safari Zone, of all things, basically surrounded by Pokemon Reserves? I know I brought this up last episode, but there are now two of these places on their outskirts – three if the Big P Pokemon Ranch counts as a separate Pokemon reserve.

– How does that map Jenny has know where Pokemon poaching is taking place? Is it really just detecting humans and Jenny instantly assumes they’re poachers?

Pokemon episode 34 screen2

– Ash: “Let us help, Jenny. We want to make up for what happened before.”

Jenny: “Thanks! Get in!”

Yes, ten year old children. Hop in the Jeep as I confront potentially dangerous Pokemon poachers. Remember, we’re in an episode with guns, so try not to get shot.

– Dexter: “Kangaskhan – a Parent Pokemon. Once approaching extinction, they are now protected by law and inhabit the Safari Zone.” We’ve already established that they’re not in the Safari Zone. Also, how are they really being protected if they inhabit an area where trainers are encouraged to throw rocks at them and try to capture them?

– Ash: “Team Rocket! *to Jenny* We have to stop them!” Stop the poachers from poaching? That thing we came here to do? Naaaaah.

Pokemon episode 34 screen3
I stumbled into this frame by accident. Ash’s face is priceless.

– How did Team Rocket know that the Kangaskhan would run right in the direction of their net trap? It was a very wide open area – they could’ve gone anywhere. And it’s not like they directed them that way with the blast because it was straight above their heads.

– Ash: “We have to do something to stop them!”

Jenny: “It’s no use. I overheated the engine on the last stunt.”

Since when do you need your Jeep to stop poachers? You didn’t even have it when you caught Ash and the others. If you’re close enough to see how scared the baby Kangaskhan are, you’re well within walking distance. Take out your gun, walk over and stop them. You’re just as useless as the other Jennys.

Pokemon episode 34 screen4
Does this seem Looney Tunes-ish to anyone else?

– Jessie was trying to capture a Pokemon without batting it first. I don’t give a damn if they’re in a net – that wouldn’t work.

– Jessie was trying to capture a Kangaskhan without batting it first. That’s almost as laughable as Chansey.

– A small boy with a dull wooden boomerang was enough to cut through the net, but oh god there’s nothing this forest ranger and three Pokemon trainers could do to help.

– I block out this episode for two reasons. 1) Tommy’s stupid ass parents (mostly Papa) and 2) Tommy’s horrific voice spouting ‘Kanga-kangaskhaaaaaannn!!’ every five friggin’ seconds. Thanks for that, Jimmy Zoppi.

– Tommy’s Wiki page says he’s a boy who lives in the Safari Zone, leaving me confused yet again. If this really is the Safari Zone then why does Jenny have jurisdiction here? Why is trying to capture the Kangaskhan poaching when capture is legal in the Safari Zone? I guess they’re not capturing them ‘correctly’ but that’s not what she’s citing them for. If the Safari Zone is like a couple of miles away from a Pokemon Preservation Area and there’s no signs or fences separating the two, it’s a wonder lost Pokemon trainers trying to capture Pokemon isn’t a more common occurrence for Jenny.

– Judging from how close the Kangaskhan are to the Jeep as they walk away after blasting off Team Rocket, holy friggin’ hell in August, you morons were plenty close enough to stop Team Rocket. You didn’t even need to leave the Jeep – you just needed to throw a Pokeball from where you were sitting. They only reason they were dense enough to sit there is so they could be introduced to Tommy and watch him demonstrate his relationship to the Kangaskhan.

Pokemon episode 34 screen5
We would get out and help, but Jenny just got these new heated car seats and they’re just heavenly.

– No matter if this is a Pokemon reserve or the Safari Zone, they shouldn’t be allowed to land their helicopter on the grounds.

– Papa and Mama have arrived……I would tune them out, but I kinda have to pay attention just so I can lay rest to why these idiots make my blood boil.

– Papa’s character design pisses me off for no good reason. He doesn’t look like a real character. He looks like a living creepy-ass muppet. Papa’s jacket pisses me off. It’s like someone blew their nose on a Rorschach test. Papa’s voice pisses me off. It sounds like some parent going overboard while trying to sound like a cross between a butler and a court jester.

He has no name. He literally introduces himself as Tommy’s father even though they have no clue who Tommy is at this point.

Mama looks like any other character for no reason. Is this a joke I’m just not getting?

Papa is way too happy for a person searching for his lost son in a dangerous area.

Pokemon episode 34 screen6
Look at him and feel the hatred enter your soul.

– Tommy’s eight years old? He doesn’t seem like it. Ages always worked oddly in this show. Why does eight look so drastically different from ten? He only barely looks a little bigger than his three year old version.

– Alright, let’s get to the meat here. I’m going to be swearing a bit more than usual so bear with me. Five years ago, a three year old Tommy and his parents were sight seeing in their helicopter over the Safari Zone. In order to get a better look at the Pokemon, Papa held Tommy out the window and FUCKING DROPPED HIM.

And immediately after this happens, Mama screams in horror, which is perfectly understandable,….and Papa looks on with his same doofy-ass smile like he almost meant to do that.

Pokemon episode 34 screen7
“Hahaha, anything that has spawned from me is an abomination upon God anyway. Let’s go have some tea!”

Not only that, he then says this, still with the same stupid smile.

Papa: “Don’t worry, Mama, he just wants to get a closer look. Smart boy our Tommy is.”

FUCK. YOU. MENTALLY. BARREN. OOMPA LOOMPA.

Luckily, he was wearing a parachute and somehow knew to pull the rip cord at the proper time. Indeed smart boy Tommy is.

But, despite the fact that they knew he was wearing a parachute (for what purpose, I don’t know) neither of them could’ve known he would know how to activate the damn thing. He is only three afterall. So, for all Papa knew, mere moments after he was smiling about Tommy going to get a closer look at the Pokemon, he’d be shopping for a child-size casket for whatever they could scrape off the ground…..and he’d still probably be smiling while doing that.

They go down to the ground and look for him, only to find an empty parachute caught in the trees. Again, for all they know, he’s been grabbed by a Pokemon and eaten.

Does Papa express concern? Does he mourn over his lost son?

Nope. He just says with a smile –

Papa: “Maybe if you had been holding him this wouldn’t have happened.”

renaldo-rageragerage hades

 

The unholy nerve of this little goofy hobbit. He has the balls to not only drop his near infant son out of a helicopter with a smile, not find him later on and seemingly not give a shit, but then pass on the blame to his wife who was in no way at fault and was the only one showing a modicum of concern here. I want Papa to die with a shovel in his hands so that when he reaches the lowest depths of hell, he can dig even further to make his own custom level.

Wanna know something even worse? His original Japanese dialogue (courtesy of Dogasu’s Backpack) is this –

“Originally, Papa figures that Tarou has turned into a star in the sky, which is obviously a euphemism for death. Mama replies by yelling that that’s not what happened.”

He originally thought his son was dead, and responded to it calmlywith a fucking smile on his face…and completely ignored the fact that he possibly murdered their son. 

I have no words.

– I do love Mama’s reaction to his accusations, though. Her voice actress even gasps before she says her line like she’s that enraged.

Pokemon episode 34 screen8

– No one listening to this story is the slightest bit angry at Papa for what he did, said or how he reacted to what he did. They all just start crying. I know it might be crass at this point, but Jenny should also be arresting him for child endangerment, negligence and damn near manslaughter.

– Someone took a picture of a wild boy living with Kangaskhan and didn’t think to report it to the authorities?

– Tommy’s been missing in the Safari Zone for over five years and he’s supposedly been, at most, only a few miles away from the Ranger Station. Jenny also seemed quite familiar with the Kangaskhan herd. How has Jenny never heard of or seen him before now? Did she never get a missing child report?….Did…..they never file one? I honestly wouldn’t put it passed them.

-…..The hell? Jenny not only knows there’s a kid living with the Kangaskhan, but she knows his name and even has an address for him and a full file with his information. Even if Jenny didn’t have a missing child report on Tommy, there is absolutely no reason why she should’ve left him there. You fling up a rifle at a ten year old for attempting to capture a Pokemon, but you do nothing but write a file on a three year old spending five years living in the wild, being raised by Pokemon who are so dangerous even Dexter warned them of how vicious they were?

No wonder she’s not arresting Papa for child endangerment – she’s basically committing the same thing. Maybe he is better off living with Pokemon – God knows humans don’t give a flying crap about his safety.

Pokemon episode 34 screen9
So what’s the qualifications for being a police officer in the Pokemon world? Be named Jenny and have a blatant disregard for the safety of children?

– After asking Jenny, Ash, Misty and Brock to help them find their son, they then ask them to carry them through the woods on a litter (It’s a very rough one with no cab, but calling it a gurney seems wrong and I can’t find any better word for it.) as they search. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Their justification for it? Papa doesn’t get outdoors much and isn’t in the best of shape.

Few things.

1) Who cares? Man up and walk, you lazy ass.

I want to put something into perspective. A long way down the line in Johto we get a character named Madame Muchmoney who is pretty overweight and hardly seems like she knows any other exercise beyond maybe fanning her face in summer. When her beloved Pokemon, Snubbull, goes missing, she walks, hikes, runs, climbs, swims and more all through the wilds of Johto for months, seemingly never using any vehicles.

This lazy bastard nearly kills his son, loses him for five years in the Safari Zone and just because he’s ‘out of shape’ (I see nothing indicating he’s anymore out of shape than the average person. He has a cane but he’s obviously not supporting himself on it) he refuses to walk even a little and asks to be carried like royalty.

Madame Muchmoney cared far more about her Pokemon, her dog, than this guy cares about his son.

2) Even if he can’t walk very much for whatever reason, that’s no reason to need to be carried on a litter. He’s so small, he could easily be carried on the back of one of the characters.

3) Why are they not using the Jeep if Papa can’t travel on foot?

4) Why is Mama riding on the litter? There’s no excuse given as to why she can’t walk.

5) He’s Mama’s horrible husband. If he needs to be carried, Mama should be doing it.

6) It’s cute that Pikachu’s holding part of the litter, but he’s way too small and physically weak to be supporting that. He’s also too short to be doing that at all. Why is Brock holding both back poles? I know he’s older and bigger, but that seems a little unfair and unnecessary considering a strong Pokemon like Geodude could help him out. Actually, why not just let Onix out and have them ride on it? Onix probably wouldn’t even notice.

Pokemon episode 34 screen10

7) Come to think of it, Jenny could be holding one of the other back—where the hell is Jenny? Did she agree to help them search then just decide not to go with them? As a Safari Ranger, she shouldn’t be letting this search with three children and two civilians go on without someone official escorting them. Is she the only Ranger in the area? Is she the only Ranger period? What is wrong with the authority figures and organizations in this show?

8) Wait – he doesn’t get outdoors often? How the hell is that possible if he’s been searching high and low for his son for five years?

– Props to Ash and co. for dropping them, though.

– Ash: *in regards to an injured baby Kangaskhan* “Can you treat it, Brock?”

Brock: “Don’t forget, Ash, I’m training to be the world’s best breeder.” *whips out a Super Potion*

Yes, Ash, as a super skilled Pokemon Breeder, I, of course, know the way to treat injured Pokemon. With this incredibly common literally-treats-damn-near-everything-besides-status-effects item that even the newbiest of trainers know to use.

Also, minor nitpick, but this is a baby Kangaskhan – is it really necessary to use a super potion? Surely a regular potion would suffice.

Pokemon episode 34 screen11

– Who beat up this baby Kangaskhan and where is its mother?

– The sound that baby Kangaskhan makes when it gets the super potion is horrifying. I haven’t heard anything on Pokemon nearing that bad since the Charmander/Squirtle fight in Origins.

– Also, Brock, when most people treat wounds with sprays, they typically don’t just give a wide shot right to the patient’s face. You go up close and quickly spray each spot. No wonder Kangaskhan responded like it did.

– Is Tommy a Kangaskhan whisperer or something? How is he constantly not only able to immediately detect when a Kangaskhan is in peril or pain, but he is also always close enough to immediately react.

– For the love of all things holy…So, Papa finds his son after he’s been lost in the woods for five years being cared for by Kangaskhan, all of which is purely his fault after dropping him from a goddamn helicopter. When Tommy has difficulty remembering him and Mama, what does he do? Cry? Get depressed? Feel resigned and leave?

……He knocks him unconscious by smacking him in the head with a log and then basically says they’ll forcibly take him back home and reboot him.

Ya know, sometimes people that would be offerings in a human sacrifice were also carried in a litter. Dunno why I thought of that.

Pokemon episode 34 screen12

– Tommy’s eight. He shouldn’t have memories of being a baby.

– Let me rephrase that – I mean, holy crap, giving him a concussion should not return his memories of his parents.

– I know the Japanese reason behind him doing this, but out of all the superfluous things cut from Pokemon how did Papa going *opens shirt* “Does this help you remember me, Tommy?” escape from the edit room of doom?

– Bless Misty for konking him on the head, though.

– Oh thank God, Offi—Ranger Jenny. I’d like to report more rampant child abuse and I’d also like to report you to your superiors for not arresting this man in the first place.

– Still, though, where the hell has she been? Who takes the only motor vehicle and no one else in the search party? At least take one of the parents. Preferably Papa.

– Jenny rushes to the children and useless Pokemon-less adults for help with Pokemon poachers. Is she seriously sans backup?

Pokemon episode 34 screen13
Good job, Misty! Now bury his body in the woods and the people of the world will be safe once more.

– Mama gives up surprisingly easily on retrieving her son. He didn’t rush to the Kangaskhan for fun – he did it because Jenny said they were in trouble. No matter which family he’d want to go with, he’d still want to protect both no matter what.

– James: “It’s jungle boy.”

Jessie: “Hr ruined our plans last time. This time we’ll show him who’s boss.” *rocket launches the giant robot Kangaskhan’s fists at Tommy*

Yes, we’ll teach this small boy with mental and social development issues who’s boss by trying to kill him with a giant robot. Rational responses all around.

– How long are Bulbasaur’s vines that it can wrap this massive robot several times over?

– Ash telling Squirtle to Skull Bash….a giant robot. I know Ash’s team isn’t very equip for a giant robot fight but anything would be better than that.

– Squirtle doing that instead of looking at Ash like he’s a lunatic. I respect that level of commitment to his trainer, but dude….

– Well, Squirtle’s dead. He died doing what he loved. Following a complete idiot into battle.

– If Tommy has little understanding of anything modern, how did he know what a gas tank was? How did he know to look for one? Unless he didn’t and just blindly threw his boomerang and got lucky, in which case, bullshit it did.

Pokemon episode 34 screen14
I was planning on writing a joke here, but got distracted by Bulbasaur’s face. Did he do the fusion dance with a Bratz doll?

– No gas tank I’ve ever seen has a cap that can be knocked off like that. They almost always have self-locking designs and twist caps. Unless it wasn’t secured at all in the first place, that shouldn’t have happened.

Also, it wouldn’t drain like that. Gas tanks are specifically designed to not have gas gush out of the filling hole. That’s why gas siphoning is a thing. You can really only get it out through suction. Imagine if you went to fill the tank, popped off the cap and suddenly gas gushed all over you.

– It either lost all or most of its gas by opening the tank like that or all of it burst into flames. Either way, the Jeep and the robot should not be working right now.

– Despite my bitching about them, I will give Mama and Papa the props they deserve for sacrificing their lives for the sake of saving Tommy. And that was a pretty good climax.

– Well, I WOULD give them those props…. If they died.

Few things (yes, again.)

1) The cockpit of the helicopter very obviously blew up. They showed the shine of the initial blast right in that spot.

Pokemon episode 34 screen15

2) The helicopter is so destroyed there’s hardly a trace of it in the rubble.

3) I’d say a few hours went by between the crash and the reflection seeing as how it’s sunset at that point. That means the wreckage had to have had enough time to burnt itself out. Are you telling me Papa and Mama sat in a smoldering helicopter/giant robot crash covered in gasoline and didn’t suffer any injuries? Blow me.

4) The odds of surviving that crash and fire were so low, Jenny didn’t lift a finger to search for them in it. She didn’t rush in or call for backup – nothing. Then again, this is Useless Jenny we’re talking about here.

5) If they were perfectly fine, not even any boo boos, why did it take them so long to emerge from the rubble? What were they doing down there?

6) Where the hell did they get those ‘Tarzan’ outfits?

7) When did they have the time to put them on? They were wearing their regular clothes in the helicopter before it crashed. Are you seriously telling me they were sitting in the wreckage and CHANGING THEIR CLOTHES?

– With any luck, Papa will die of exposure or a random Pokemon attack whilst living among the Kangaskhan.

– Jenny should still not be letting any of them live in the Safari Zone, however.

———————————–

I think after all that rambling, I’ve said my piece on this episode. I don’t like it…..At all. Everyone’s being incredibly stupid, Papa can suck a stripped power line and the only redeeming aspects are whenever Papa gets smacked. The voice acting’s annoying, the animation’s poor, the story is so ridiculous and filled with completely stupid decisions and consequences that it’s insane and the Kangaskhan were more set dressing than they were focused on. I would’ve loved to have seen more of a relationship between Tommy and his Mama Kangaskhan, but you just barely realize there’s one specific Kangaskhan that he’s taken to over three-quarters of the way into the episode.

How Dogasu called this a great episode is beyond me. Even as a kid I was, at best, ambivalent about this episode. To each his own I suppose.

……Hey wait. Mama has light brown hair and Papa has dark brown hair….But Tommy has turquoise hair….*gasp* Papa’s not his real father! Papa probably killed his real father and tattooed those swirls on his face to make him think he was his! I gotta call the cops!

*dials phone*….Hello? This is FiddleTwix. I’d like to report a suspected murder, child abuse, neglect, attempted murder, child endangerment – just a whole bunch of stuff!….Wha….what do you mean you can’t do anything about it?….Overheated Jeep?……Just get out of it, then!…..Stop laughing!…Hello? Hello?…*sigh*

Next time, our first ever for really realz completely never been dubbed ever banned episode. Oh yeah and we FINALLY LEGITIMATELY FOR REALREALREELZREALLYNOTKIDDING get to the Safari Zone at last.

Pokemon Episode 33 Analysis: The Flame Pokemon-athon

Pokemon Episode 33 Title

CotD(s): Lara Laramie – Part of the prestigious Laramie family, owners of a massive Pokemon reserve called the Big P Ranch, Lara is a kindhearted girl with a love of Pokemon and racing. She is one of few people that her Ponyta trusts to touch its flames without burning them.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Being a part of the Big P Ranch, it could be said that Lara technically has hundreds of Pokemon, but her main and only confirmed Pokemon are Ponyta (later Rapidash) and Growlithe.

Dario – A Dodrio trainer, Dario is a jerk who mocks Lara and claims he’ll be the one to win the Big P race. He’s also a cheater and will do whatever he has to to win.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Dodrio.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock make it to what they believe is the Safari Zone where they spot a herd of Tauros stampeding through the valley. Ash tries to send out Pikachu to battle one for capture, but Pikachu is too scared and pretends to sleep to avoid battle. Instead, Ash sends out Charmander, but before he can do anything, a Growlithe comes out of nowhere and pounces on Charmander’s back. Ash commands Charmander to use Flamethrower and Growlithe counters with the same. Realizing it’s a Fire type, Ash recalls Charmander. He prepares to let Squirtle out, but he’s stopped by the sudden appearance of a Ponyta and its rider, Lara Laramie.

Lara explains that capturing Pokemon is strictly forbidden in this area as it’s a recognized Pokemon reserve. She states that she’s part of the well-known Laramie family, who owns the Big P Pokemon Ranch that covers the region.

Ash and the others are impressed by Lara’s ability to ride a Ponyta without getting burned by its flames, but she explains that Ponyta never burns anyone that it truly trusts. Ash tries to pet Ponyta and subsequently gets burned since Ponyta doesn’t trust Ash.

Brock explains that the Laramie family and the Big P Ranch have a great reputation with breeders. They take very good care of the Pokemon there and train them well. Since they’re raised in the wild, they are supposedly even stronger than most trainers’ Pokemon. To help the group learn more about their ranch, Lara invites them to a party they’re holding later that day and the Pokemon race they’re holding the following day where the winner will get bragging rights and an honorary place among the Laramie clan.

Another stampede seems to be coming their way, but this time it’s a speedy flock of Dodrio being lead by a boy named Dario. He stops by Lara and the others to mock her, stating that he’ll be the winner of the Big P race.

Later, Lara, Ash, Misty and Brock hang out at the party when Dario suddenly rushes in to tell Lara that her Tauros herd is going nuts. She calls out Ponyta and races over to the ranch to find her Tauros are running around in a panic. Growlithe manages to calm them down, but a shadowy creature jumps out, startling Ponyta and sending Lara careening down to the ground, injuring her arm.

Ash manages to calm Ponyta while Misty and Brock tend to Lara. Turns out, Team Rocket, most specifically Meowth, were the ones riling up the Tauros. They were hired by Dario to do so in order to hurt Lara and keep her out of the Big P race. If they help Dario win, they’ll have an in with the Laramie family and supposedly get rich.

Lara is unable to race due to her injury, so she suggests Ash takes over as rider. He initially doesn’t want to participate due to fear of being burned by Ponyta, but accepts when everyone supports him and encourages him to try.

Ponyta initially burns him again, but after a pep talk from Lara, Ponyta allows him to ride without issue. Ash is so excited that he accidentally bumps Ponyta, sending it running out of control.

After some more practice through the night, they head to the Big P race. Ash sidles up to the starting line with Ponyta, Misty rides up on Starmie, Brock comes up with Onix and Pikachu steps up with Squirtle.

The race begins, and Dario and Dodrio take an early lead. Several of the Pokemon are taken out almost right out of the gate when a ball bearing is shot from the tall grass into a Tauros’ face, causing a huge battle between some of the Pokemon.

A boy and his Electrode take the lead on a downhill slope, but a hole in the path stops them in their tracks. As the other riders make their way around the hole, Electrode suddenly uses Explosion, knocking several riders, including Ash and Ponyta, off the track. With a quick shock from Pikachu, however, they’re back up and racing.

The next neck of the race involves crossing a lake by jumping on a path of stones. Afraid of the water, Onix shies away from the obstacle and exits the race with Brock’s understanding. Squirtle and Starmie are making off easy on this hazard, however, and even Ponyta is flying through the jumps with ease.

The next hazard involves the Pokemon eating a whole bowl of food before continuing the race. Dario starts to have trouble when the three Dodrio heads start arguing over who gets to eat first. As everyone else prepares to eat, Dario calls out to Team Rocket, who have been sabotaging the race this whole time.

Ash sends Squirtle and Pikachu out, but are promptly halted by Arbok’s Glare. Misty sends out Starmie, but it’s disabled by Weezing’s Sludge. Ponyta starts to freak out again, so Dario takes this as his opportunity to head back off into the race.

Misty tries to convince Ash to continue the race while she and the other Pokemon take care of Team Rocket since Ash is racing for Lara, but as Ash tries to make his decision whether or not to leave, Arbok tries to attack Ponyta with Poison Sting. It protects itself with an aura of flame. Weezing tries to use its Poison Gas on Ponyta as the flames continue to burn. The mistake is realized too late as the gas ignites, sending Team Rocket blasting off.

The race continues and Ash and Ponyta are blazing (hehe, puns. Also, literally blazing) towards the lead. They’re neck and neck so Dario commands Dodrio to Peck at Ponyta, causing it to fall behind. Ponyta, fired up (heheh, more puns) to win, suddenly evolves into Rapidash and closes the gap between them and Dario. They reach the finish line and Rapidash wins by a literal nose. Dario won’t take that lying down and tries to attack Ash and Rapidash, but Rapidash easily kicks them away.

Ash, Lara and Rapidash celebrate their victory and later bid their goodbyes as Ash continues on his journey to the Safari Zone.

—————————–

– I think this is the first time the word ‘Pokemon’ has been used in the title without them using the logo. Not sure if the fact that it’s being used in a hyphenated word has anything to do with it, though. Stay tuned for updates on this ongoing expose.

– You may have noticed several things odd about the Safari Zone in this episode. First, Ash and the others are able to enter without even realizing where they are. In the games, you can’t access the Safari Zone without going through a guarded gate where they charge you for your ‘time’ (steps taken), give you some Safari Balls and Pokemon bait. Once your time is up, you are forcibly booted from the place. Other than that, the area is entirely inaccessible (you can’t even ‘see’ the area on a wide shot of Fuchsia City.) In the games, the entire area is blocked by impassable trees, hedges and rocks, though one should assume that in ‘real life’ this area would be securely surrounded by fencing.

Second, and most confusingly, Lara specifically says that it’s a Pokemon reserve and capturing Pokemon is against the law there. Anyone who knows even a little about the game’s Safari Zone knows that statement is entirely backwards. In fact, they promote capturing Pokemon in the Safari Zone.

Like I mentioned, when you pass through the gate, you have to pay 500 Pokedollars. When you do, you’re given 30 Safari Balls and supposedly some bait and rocks (Unless you just find the rocks on the ground and use your own bait.) You have 500 steps to try and catch any Pokemon that comes your way using just the bait, rocks and the Safari Balls. Bait is meant to distract, rocks piss them off and the Safari Balls are so you don’t waste all of your regular Pokeballs in the park trying to capture Pokemon.

The only thing against the law/rules in the Safari Zone is battling Pokemon (because throwing rocks at them is so much better).

The reason for these screwups is because Ash and the others actually aren’t in the Safari Zone in the original episode. They’re really in Safari Land, which is an area outlying the Safari Zone that is an anime-exclusive region. It’s understandable that 4Kids would make this goof because the Safari Land is not in the games and the name is so similar, but the dubbing implies later on that they’re aware of the fact that they’re not yet in the Safari Zone. So either 4Kids just had a derp moment while translating this part and didn’t go back to correct their mistake or they believe there are two Safari Zones each with incredibly different functions yet named the same thing, which, holy crap, that would be unnerving. ‘I’d like to try and catch this Pokemon, but which Safari Zone am I in? I really don’t want to get arrested, but it’s a Chansey!’

I joke, but that last line is seriously foreshadowing.

Pokemon Episode 33 screen1
I endlessly love this screencap for some reason.

– Someone named their child Lara when their last name is Laramie.

– I know Brock is trying to…..impress (?) Lara by putting on a southern accent, but he just comes off as mocking of her own accent. Who does that anyway?

– Adding even more confusion as to where the hell Ash and the others are, Lara states that they’re at the Big P Pokemon Ranch (Pbbbbttt….the Big P…..heeeeheheeheheh), which her family owns. And, again, if this is a ranch and Pokemon reserve, why isn’t it protected by fencing?

– Also, YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE PONYTAAAAA YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!…..Excuse me, Ponyta’s one of my favorite Pokemon.

– Ash hears that Ponyta will never burn anyone it truly trusts, so of course, the guy who just nearly tried to battle and capture Pokemon in this Pokemon reserve tries to pet it and, of course, gets instantly burned.

– Dexter: “Dodrio – a three-headed bird Pokemon that can run faster than it can fly.” I want to make a joke about this, but just checking the facts to make sure I don’t look like a moron has lead me to a rather lengthy debate on whether or not Doduo and Dodrio can actually fly. Both are based on flightless birds – most obviously the extinct dodo bird, but also the emu and ostrich. Given this and the fact that they don’t appear to have wings, it’s easy to assume that they simply can’t fly.

Pokemon Episode 33 screen2

The general consensus seems to be that Doduo and Dodrio can merely jump extremely high and very far, like it can fly, since it still is part Flying Type and can learn the move ‘Fly’. However, neither bird is ever shown to really ‘fly’ in the anime. The closest we get is Falkner, much further along the line in Johto. Ash says this, which kinda debunks everything right out the gate – “I’m not scared. Everyone knows Dodrio can’t fly.” but Falkner claims his can. However, like everyone has been speculating, all it does is jump really high – it doesn’t fly.

The only other ‘proof’ is this ridiculousness which is Doduo performing ‘Fly’ in Pokemon Stadium.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttlPgh6Oirg

As you can see, it’s just floating in the air with a walk cycle animation going. Unless we’re meant to assume Doduo and Dodrio are filled with helium, this Pokemon cannot logically fly.

In conclusion to this unnecessarily lengthy and geeky analysis, I return to my initial joke which isn’t even that funny in hindsight….ahem.

“Considering it can’t fly at all, that’s about as impressive as saying my toaster can make toast faster than it can perform calculus.”

– If Dario’s voice sounds familiar, this is Maddie Blaustein doing her AJ voice. Absolutely no difference.

Pokemon Episode 33 screen3

– Why is Lara so impressed with Ash calming Ponyta down? All he did was yank on Ponyta’s reigns and yell out ‘CALM DOWN, PONYTA!’ He’s far from the Ponyta whisperer.

– It could be argued that Dario is one of the worse one-off antagonists in Pokemon because this plan was specifically set up to get Lara physically injured.

– Why is it so important for Ponyta to be in the race? Just to represent the Laramie clan? Because the main prize is being an honorary part of the Laramie clan, so it seems a little pointless.

– Okay, so we get some reasons why Ponyta should race….but they’re…..egocentric? Lara says Ponyta has to race to show everyone how great it is and to show everyone that its the best. And ‘that will be the best praise for me (Lara)’…..All I’m getting here is ‘You have to race because, if you win, everyone will know you’re the best and then I’ll be the best by proxy because you’re my Pokemon.’ If not taken that way, then it’s just putting a lot of pressure on Ponyta for no reason.

– I’m a little confused as to how Ponyta’s flames work here. They’re obviously actual flames yet Ash can grab onto Ponyta’s tail like it was made of hair.

Pokemon Episode 33 screen4
That has to hurt like hell.

– At this point, I’m kinda wondering why this episode is called The Flame Pokemon-athon. Ponyta’s a Fire Type, sure, but other than Growlithe, it’s the only other Fire Type here and it’s the only Fire Type in the race. Ponyta and Rapidash aren’t called The Flame Pokemon, and it’s not like Lara or the Laramie clan specializes in Fire Types or anything. They’ve already been getting into the puns, so why not call it My Little Ponyta or The Ponyta Express or Fire Horsing Around?

– Mad props to the guy partaking in the race while balancing on an Electrode, though.

Pokemon Episode 33 screen5

– How is Pikachu a contestant? That has to be against the rules. And if you’re going to have Pikachu ride any Pokemon, why, of all things, Squirtle? Not only is it far from the most coordinated of Ash’s Pokemon, it’s also a damn turtle. Tortoise and the Hare be damned, that would never work.

Let’s see, which of Ash’s Pokemon is the best in terms of speed? Squirtle’s base speed is 43, Bulbasaur’s is 45, so Squirtle’s already lost. Charmander’s is 65. Pidgeotto’s is 71. And Pikachu’s is

*drumroll*

90. His base speed is 90.

So, in short, the slowest of Ash’s Pokemon is being ridden by the fastest of Ash’s Pokemon in a race….Logic…is….fun.

– How is Misty standing on Starmie? Starmie aren’t known for their speed either. I mean, it has to be slower than Squirt—115?!….Starmie’s faster than Pikachu? ….The hell? It’s faster than Ponyta too. (90) and Rapidash (105) Okay fine, floating is power. I stand corrected. Have at it, Starmie. Sure am glad I’m being ultra snoopy today.

– If the main thing about this race is to help Lara and Ponyta win, why are Brock, Misty and Pikachu risking its chances by partaking in the race too?

Why am I complaining? Misty and Brock actually get to to do stuff today. GO MISTY AND BROCK!

– Announcer: “Rock Pokemon can’t deal with water so Onix is out of here!” Seems a little unfair to have such an obstacle when you know certain Pokemon can’t cross.

Pokemon Episode 33 screen6
Forever this screenshot.

Come to think of it, it’s also unfair if some people *coughMisty and Pikachucough* are riding Water Pokemon.

– Lara: “That’s right. You can do it, Ash!” You can do it, Ponyta* Does she have a crush on Ash or something? I thought she was amped up for Ponyta to race, but all she’s focusing on is Ash. And, truth be told, all Ash is doing is going ‘FASTER FASTER FASTER FASTER FASTER!’ She must be very easily impressed.

– I was actually hoping that food hazard would show us how Starmie eats.

– This whole obstacle is dumb anyway. Do you want to give these Pokemon a bunch of cramps in the second part of the race?

– Yes, Dario, yell out to Team Rocket to help you. Not like the people around you or the cameras following the race can’t hear that.

– Heh, I love that Pikachu and Squirtle are happily eating away while Team Rocket does their motto.

Pokemon Episode 33 screen7
Despite the horrid art and animation issues this episode, there are some great screencaps here.

– Yes, Team Rocket, point out that you’re in cahoots with Dario. Again, not like there aren’t tons of witnesses around you and a camera pointed right at you while a huge audience watches the race.

– Okay, so the camera’s feed was off during that whole thing…..but it wasn’t. They lost the picture due to Team Rocket’s smoke screen. The feed never cut out or anything, the picture was just obstructed. When Team Rocket blasts off, the camera suddenly cuts back on, implying that the feed had been cut when it wasn’t.

Even so, there would be at least two witnesses (several if, for some reason, you count the Pokemon) who could claim Dario was cheating and sabotaging the race with Team Rocket.

– Is this announcer and the whole audience blind? How did no one see Dodrio Peck Ponyta?

– Just to be nerdily thorough, Dodrio has a base speed of 100, five less than Rapidash. However, in its Dex entries, Rapidash can run around 150 mph (listed as 100 in this episode) while Dodrio tops out at about 40.

I realize that the anime doesn’t mirror the games well enough for this to truly matter…..but research is fun for me. 😀

Pokemon Episode 33 screen8

– Even taking the complete hypocrisy of Dario’s claims out of the equation, how could Dario ever back up the statement that Ash ‘interfered’ with him? He did absolutely nothing, unless there’s a rule about evolving during the race.

– Also, they should both be disqualified for not eating the food at that last obstacle.

—————————-

This episode was fun, and I like the racing aspect, but it does have its problems. First of all, the art and animation are notably much worse than normal. I don’t know if the race caused budget cuts for the rest of the episode, but nearly every other part looks like garbage. There are unfinished lines, shine and highlights missing, shaky frames when minor movement such as talking is occurring, numerous missing frames and jutting movements.

I liked that Dario was a different antagonist for a change but his motivations seemed odd. He was already almost winning the whole time, even without Team Rocket’s help. Is he such an asshole that he feels the need to cheat just to cheat? Also, his motivations are never really clear. Team Rocket wants Dario to win so they’ll have an in with the Laramie family and somehow get rich off them, but Dario never explains why he wants to win outside of maybe bragging rights.

I don’t really like that Ash was the racer here. I don’t mind it too much, but it seems a bit unfair that Ash is the one riding and racing Ponyta when it evolves when Lara is the one who raised and trained it its whole life.

I don’t have much to say against this episode, but it still never reached the prestige of being a personal favorite, which is weird because Ponyta is one of my favorite Pokemon and Fire Types are my favorite type. There’s just nothing too special about it.

Maybe it’s because there’s nothing important on the line and no character development, not even for the CotD or the Pokemon? Lara’s already a part of the Laramie clan, it’s not like Ponyta or Lara has something to prove to the village because they all adore her, Ash is just in it for the fun and to help Lara and Ponyta. Really the only thing on the line is stopping a cheater from winning the race, which is fine and all, but not that interesting and something you can see a million times over on literally any other show.

Who cares if he wins anyway? What does being an honorary member of the Laramie clan do to benefit him? This isn’t even as interesting as those episodes where Team Rocket tries to cheat their way through competitions because at least they usually have malicious goals and Pokemon they want to steal.

Unrelated, but I would like to draw attention to the depiction of Dario in The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga.

Dario_EToP

Someone designing for the manga really liked Dario and fanarted him up because he is so bishie there.

Next episode, The Kangaskhan Kid! Sure to be very…interesting to say the least.

November Marathon Poll Results

Hey guys! It’s time to go over last month’s poll results!

November is going to have marathoned blog posts, meaning every two days or so, a new entry will be added to one specific series of mine instead of once every week and half-ish like I have been going. Other series will be updated along the way, but the main focus will be on one specific series.

At the beginning of October, I started a poll asking you guys which series you’d most like to see me focus on, and the results are in.

Poll results

And the winner is Pokemon Episode Analyses!

Thanks for voting, everyone! Here’s to Poke-vember!

 

 

Pokemon Episode 32 Analysis: The Ninja Poke-Showdown

POKEMON EP 32 TITLE

Gym Leader: Koga – An extremely skilled and serious ninja and Pokemon trainer, Koga specializes in Poison types. Though this doesn’t seem to happen in the anime due to lack of basically anything related to the Elite Four, Koga does eventually become an Elite Four member.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Koga keeps tons of Voltorb as a trap in his dojo, but the Pokemon he uses in battle are a Venomoth and a Golbat.

Badge:

50px-Soul_Badge

CotD(s): Aya – Younger sister of Koga, Aya is Koga’s ninja student. Aya has a lot of determination and skill as a ninja, but is ultimately felled by inexperience and overconfidence. Her dream is to be a great Pokemon Ninja.

Reappear?: Yes, actually. She reappears way down the line in Johto once in another Pokemon Dojo where she is learning Pokemon Jujitsu. It’s never explained why she is no longer learning under Koga, however.

Pokemon: Aya’s main Pokemon is a Venonat. She keeps it through the Johto episode as well.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock are lost yet again (They were right – Apple Maps sucks) as they search for the Fuchsia City Gym. They take a break near a stream and Misty takes this time to let out Psyduck for a drink while Brock lets out Vulpix for a brushing. After Misty expresses her displeasure over her ownership of Psyduck for the umpteenth time, they depart to search for the Gym some more.

They stumble upon an old mansion and decide to stop there for directions, but it seems like no one’s home. As they try to investigate, they discover that the house is full of traps such as trick doors, electric shocks from hidden Voltorb and invisible glass walls. They spot a Venonat who appears to be leading them somewhere, but they continuously run into trap after trap.

They get caught between two invisible walls. With seemingly no way out, Ash jumps on the nearest wall to take a look out the window. The wall suddenly collapses, sending Ash with it. Misty, Brock and Pikachu rush to his aid, but see nothing but a steep cliff down to the rocky riverside below. Fearing the worst, Misty and Brock start to mourn for their friend only to hear him screaming for help as he hangs on the fallen door.

After they pick him back up, Ash pursues the reappearing Venonat again only to find himself being stuck to a wall with ninja stars. Misty and Brock run into the room when a strange girl appears introducing herself as Aya, a ninja warrior.

Aya reveals that this place is a training dojo and challenges Ash to a battle. Aya uses her Venonat while Ash chooses Bulbasaur. He starts off with a Tackle, but Venonat dodges. Venonat responds with Stun Spore, but Bulbasaur blows it away with Whirlwind. He tries for Vine Whips next, but Venonat is able to avoid them. Venonat attacks with a Psybeam, which hits, but Bulbasaur remains standing. Bulbasaur uses a Leech Seed on Venonat, which disables it and sucks away its energy. Unable to battle, Aya recalls Venonat and the victory goes to Ash.

Suddenly, they’re interrupted by a stray Voltorb that Self-Destructs in the middle of the room. As the smoke clears, Aya’s brother and teacher, Koga, appears to berate her on her failure. Koga tells the group that they can’t leave unless they defeat him in a Pokemon battle, which works out for Ash because Koga also happens to be the Fuchsia City Gym Leader.

The Gym match starts, and Ash sends out Pidgeotto while Koga starts off with Venonat. Ash instantly believes this Venonat will be just as easy as Aya’s, but Koga points out the major experience difference between the two, which is mirrored when Venonat suddenly evolves into Venomoth. The newly evolved Venomoth uses Stun Spore, and Ash commands Pidgeotto to blow it away with Whirlwind. However, the force of the Stun Spore makes its way through the wind and paralyzes Pidgeotto. To finish it off, Venomoth uses Sleep Powder. Pidgeotto succumbs to the powder and falls asleep, making it unable to battle.

Ash chooses Charmander next, and Venomoth reprises its Stun Spore. However, Charmander blows through it with its Flamethrower.

The match is suddenly interrupted by a kabuki production put on by Team Rocket. They’re aiming to steal the Poison Pokemon of the Gym, but Koga, Aya and Ash quickly set up to battle them. Venomoth, Venonat and Charmander are caught in some sort of weird spiderweb that Team Rocket throws out, so Ash sends out Pikachu. However, he’s also caught in the same webbing.

Misty tries to call out Starmie, but Psyduck lets itself out instead. Consistently interrupted by him, Misty begrudgingly agrees to let him battle, but Psyduck just hugs Misty instead. Misty wonders what Psyduck can even do in battle and Ash helps out by lending her his Pokedex. Dexter explains that Psyduck’s first move is Tail Whip, but he gives a feeble butt wag in response.

His next attack is Scratch, which he actually tries seriously to do, but it ends up failing and Arbok merely pinches Psyduck’s head in a Bite. All Psyduck succeeds in doing is giving him (and Misty) an even bigger headache.

Koga triggers a trap in the room, dropping dozens of Voltorb from the ceiling. They Self-Destruct, creating a smokescreen and allowing everyone to escape into a slanted room. They try to use this time to remove the webbing from their Pokemon, but no matter what they do, even Pokemon attacks, the gunk won’t come off.

Team Rocket returns with the Voltorb collected in a sack. They continue their attack on the group, but keep getting interrupted by Psyduck, who is running around in a panic due to its intense headache. Meowth knocks it around, rejecting it from even being a possible score on their thieving spree. As Misty tries to get him back to safety, Psyduck immediately calms and suddenly triggers its Psychic abilities.

It freezes Team Rocket with Disable and blasts them off with Confusion. Psyduck’s Psychic abilities also allow it to melt the web gunk off of the other Pokemon. Koga and Aya, impressed with Psyduck’s abilities, offer to trade for Psyduck, but Misty has had a change of heart about him and refuses to ever trade him for anything.

Koga and Ash restart their Gym match by agreeing to a one-on-one fight. Ash chooses Charmander while Koga chooses Golbat. Golbat heads in with a Wing Attack while Charmander retaliates with Ember.

Golbat uses its Screech ability, which debilitates Charmander, but Charmander fights back with several blasts of a mostly blind Flamethrower assault. It manages to hit Golbat and Charmander finishes it off with a Fire Spin.

The battle and Soul Badge go to Ash. With his sixth badge proudly pinned to his jacket, Ash departs the Fuchsia City Gym and heads for the next Gym destination.

———————-

– Misty, Brock wouldn’t be able to trade you Vulpix anyway seeing as how it’s not technically his.

– Also, why are you guys not letting out any of your other Pokemon for some water or grooming? Minor favoritism irk.

– Brock: “I hope they’re not trapping us so they can steal our Pokemon.” That would be sad to have all of your Pokemon sto–

Brock: “Because I don’t want them to steal my Vulpix!”

……*sigh* Major favoritism irk. Have fun on the black market, Geodude, Onix and Zubat.

– I’m going to lay out my cards on the table right now – If there’s one Gym I always upon always forget about it’s Koga and the Fuchsia City Gym. He’s not a very interesting character (I believe Dogasu put it best when they said something along the lines of ‘His house has more personality than he does’) his Pokemon aren’t that interesting either, Aya seems to be more interesting than he is, even her Venonat has more personality than Koga’s Pokemon, and Poison types are far from my favorite types of Pokemon.

Truth be told, I almost always confuse the badge design too. For some reason, I always think the Marsh Badge design is the Soul Badge’s design. I just never correlate Poison Pokemon or ninjas with little pink hearts. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to have a skull and crossbones or a ninja star or something?

POKEMON EP 32 Screen1

The reason I choose to bring this up so early is because this episode is also one I completely forget about. The only thing I remember about it off-hand is the fake-out death of Ash when he leans on that wall and supposedly falls hundreds of feet to the river below. And when I do start remembering more, I only tend to remember Aya and her bright pink ninja outfit and the trick house, plus the tons of Voltorb. I even remember the upcoming scene with Team Rocket in their kabuki outfits more than Koga.

– Venonat is eternally adorable, though.

– Misty: “But isn’t that color a bit bright for a ninja?”

Aya: “I don’t need your fashion report!” Girl, trust me. You do. Even Naruto is shaking his head right now.

– I don’t think I need to tell you this, but Bulbasaur cannot learn Whirlwind. This is a translation error, Satoshi was really just telling Fushigidane to blow the spores away……but even that’s stupid. Like he has the lung capacity for that. That move would be totally pointless to keep if everyone Pokemon could just blow it away like they were blowing out the candles on their birthday cakes. It would’ve been more believable if Bulbasaur used his Vine Whips and spun them like a fan or something….or, hey, how about using the Pokemon that’s strong against Bug types and CAN use Whirlwind?….Begins with a P….rhymes with—oh I’ve done this joke before. Use Pidgeotto, DumbAsh.

– I never realized this until I read about the episode, but despite this being the Fuchsia City Gym, Fuchsia City is never seen or visited in the series until 400 episodes later. I guess I never cared or noticed because…..well….Fuchsia City’s boring in the game’s too. Really, they might as well call it ‘Another Gym and we chucked the Safari Zone here.’

The only other notable aspects of Fuchsia in the games are the move deleter, which I have never once used because I never saw a point in it. (I usually think my HM decisions through quite thoroughly and hardly ever regret it.) and the Pokemon Zoo, which is simultaneously boring and pointless depending on how much you’ve done at this point.

– Everyone say ‘Hi!’ to Maddie Blaustein’s debut as Meowth. And you can tell she hasn’t found her footing in the role yet (she’s putting a lot of emphasis on the drawling for lack of a better term) but she will come to be one of the most beloved roles in the dub. I miss Maddie’s Meowth so much nowadays.

– He’s using Pidgeotto in a battle! WHOO!

POKEMON EP 32 Screen2
Ash: “What’s your name again? Err…Go Bird! Use Bird Attack!”

– This isn’t the first time a Pokemon’s evolved during a battle, but why and how did Koga’s Venonat evolve right out of its Pokeball?

Story-wise, is there a point? We see his Venonat for all of 10 seconds before it evolves. Why not just have him use a Venomoth from the getgo?

Logic-wise, how? It’s more than possible that it has enough exp to evolve, but why choose this very moment to evolve?

– Brock: “A metamorphosis attack!?”

Misty: “No, it just evolved!”

Brock, you should be smart enough to know what that was. Plus, when is transformation an ‘attack’? I swear, you get dumber with each episode.

– So, Pidgeotto finally gets to battle for a change and what happens? Its Whirlwind is apparently not strong enough to deter Venomoth’s Stun Spore or Sleep Powder when Bulbasaur literally blowing air out of its mouth was enough to do it to Aya’s Venonat. Level differences be damned, it’s still powder and Pidgeotto is far better at creating winds than Bulbasaur. He’s even created wind so powerful it’s caused Team Rocket to blast off.

And that’s it. It falls asleep, making it unable to battle. I would start a ‘Pidgeotto gets shafted’ tally right now, but at this point I’ve already lost track.

POKEMON EP 32 Screen3
Writers used UNREALISTIC CIRCUMSTANCES TO SCREW OVER PIDGEOTTO. It’s SUPER EFFECTIVE.

– Okay, back up. You’re telling me that a powerful Whirlwind from a bird Pokemon isn’t powerful enough to blow away the Stun Spore from Venomoth, but what looks like one of the weakest Flamethrowers Charmander’s ever done (it barely opens its mouth. It looks like it’s whistling) can knock through it easily? Blow me.

– I do love Psyduck’s pose when he comes out, though. Like, ‘Here I am to save the day!’

POKEMON EP 32 Screen4

– And Psyduck’s ‘Tail Wag’ is hilarious and adorable.

– It’s a little weird that James can identify a Pokemon faster than Meowth for seemingly no reason. Meowth, being a Pokemon I guess, usually can identify Pokemon much faster than Jessie or James. Sometimes, he identifies them faster than Ash and Co. with Dexter.

– Why did Voltorb Self-Destruct when it was at the feet of Koga and everyone else? Being a part of the mansion, Voltorb’s trainer should be either Koga or Aya. It should know better than that.

– Poor Psyduck. Hated by its owner for no reason and rejected by Team Rocket.

– Psyduck’s great and all, but the thing that irks me about Misty’s sudden change of heart is that she only did it because she realized Psyduck has value as a Pokemon – not because she found it within her heart to actually, I dunno, care for an innocent Pokemon who has done nothing to her. She was about ready to chuck that duck out the window before she realized ‘cool, it can use Psychic powers!’

POKEMON EP 32 Screen5
Misty: “Oh, PSYduck! I get it now!”

I can relate to be annoyed to hell by an animal you own. I have a very crazy, misbehaved elderly border collie who drives me up a wall. But no matter how much she annoys me or makes messes in the house, I still cuddle her and love her to death. And, truth be told, I would be scared shitless if this dog suddenly got psychic powers. Seriously, with all the badmouthing Misty gives to Psyduck, you should be worried we’d have a duck!Carrie on our hands.

– And I am still aware that trading is a real thing in the anime, I’ve already expressed my unease about this concept outside of the games, but uh, Koga, Aya, Venomoth and Venonat are right there… four feet away from you. I’m sure they don’t much appreciate you discussing trading them away for a goofy psychic duck. Especially you, Aya, who actually says ‘I’d gladly trade my Venonat!’

– Wow, Ash has had three battles today (counting the Gym match as two since one got interrupted and not counting the Team Rocket run-in since they couldn’t do anything there) and never called on Pikachu once.

– Brock getting hit by Charmander’s Flamethrower and responding with a mere ‘ouch’ is hilarious.

– When the hell did Charmander learn Fire Spin?

And, if we’re assuming he learned this by level, that means Charmander should be at least level 46 right now. Meaning, he should be well into his Charizard stage at this point.

– I don’t know why Koga added on that Psyduck helped save Koga’s Voltorb from being stolen as a reason why Ash deserves this badge (in addition to beating him – no pity badge today) Psyduck is Misty’s Pokemon – why does that matter?

– Misty, did someone punch you in the mouth?

POKEMON EP 32 Screen6

—————————

As you can tell by my synopsis, holy crap there’s a lot to go over here. Like I’ve already mentioned, the Gym is one I’ve always found to be mostly forgettable. In the games, Koga’s not that memorable, the battle’s nothing to write home about (I’ve never seen anyone have trouble with him) and the anime reflects this in spades.

Aya really has no point here. She is a complete time waster. I almost feel like this dynamic of student and teacher as well as brother and sister was originally written to be something much more, but so many other things got crammed in here that it took the focus away entirely. It’s even more baffling to me now that she’s one of those rare characters who actually comes back further down the line.

Half of the episode goes by with the story focusing on the trick house and Ash’s battle with Aya, which, like I said, is entirely unnecessary. If Aya wasn’t in this episode, would anyone miss her? What did she contribute? Koga could’ve easily been the one who ambushed Ash and the others, starting their match in an interesting way.

Team Rocket took up more time than they usually do, and this is compounded by the intrusion of Psyduck. I love Psyduck (usually), and I’m glad it finally got to prove to Misty that it’s not a useless sack of feathers, but why couldn’t they have used a different episode to do this in? This isn’t supposed to be Psyduck’s episode – it’s supposed to be a Gym match. It’s meant to focus on the Gym Leader for this area and their Pokemon. This show is infamous for its filler, we even have our biggest amount of filler, 26 episodes worth, coming up after this, why couldn’t this happen in one of those?

There’s also the minor ‘issue’ of having so many Pokemon debut in this episode. Venonat, Venomoth, Voltorb and Golbat all make their debuts here.

Every Gym match so far has given focus entirely to the Gym match and Gym Leader, but here there’s so much stuff being crammed into the episode that you almost have to struggle to pay attention to the fact that this is a badge episode. Given that we’re already dealing with the most forgettable and boring Gym in Kanto, that’s a huge problem.

This is a very entertaining episode both with the trick house and with some of the shenanigans that go on, but I shouldn’t be much more impressed by nearly everything outside of the Gym match.

Next episode, Ponyta’s debut and Pokemon racing.

Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 04: Pokemon 4Ever – Celebi Voice of the Forest (Dub) Review

Rating: 6.5/10

Plot: A boy named Sam (who is totally not Professor Oak) is transported 40 years to the future (Ash and the gang’s present) by the legendary Celebi after outrunning a Pokemon hunter. While trying to find a way back to his time, Sam, Ash and the others have to deal with a new threat who wants to use Celebi for malicious means.

Breakdown: Okay, I’m going to address something that might be confusing to some people reading this—why I don’t bother talking about the American posters for the Pokemon movies. I’ve been making it a habit to analyze the Japanese ones simply because they, for some reason, tend to be bad with the first being downright deplorable. However, the American ones have always been fantastic, in my opinion. The first was simple, yet effective with Mew and Mewtwo facing off and the, at the time, entire roster of Pokemon behind them.

In movie 02, they actually made what is my favorite Pokemon poster with the Pokeball like a planet, Ash’s (? Is that even Ash? He actually looks more like Red…) silhouette with his Pokeball to the sky and surrounded by tons of Pokemon under the legends. That was just fantastic.

The third movie’s was somewhat ripping off the Japanese poster with Entei’s picture, but it was changed up plenty to actually mirror one of the best scenes from the movie.

All of the American posters have gotten rid of the clipart clutter and the pointless additions and have made great posters that I never felt the need to bring up….

Until now.

What is this? Celebi’s fine. The ripple effect is fine. The lake shot is fine. What is Ash standing on? He’s floating in mid-air or he’s simultaneously standing on an also-floating Suicune and Celebi.

Why is he making that pose? With his hat backwards, that means that’s his capture pose.

Why is IMM almost microscopic, and why is he standing on his spider robot like that?

Why are they showing the God-awful grass monster thing?

Let’s address that title, eh? Pokemon 4Ever? Gee, 4Kids, you must think you’re clever as all hell for not only replacing a part of a word with a number, but also recycling the same for=4 joke thing from your own goddamn name. Ending any title with ‘Forever’ just seems lame anyway.

Though I did praise the poster designers for getting rid of clutter, there’s one character who kinda needed to be in this poster…..Ya know, Sam. The guy who’s supposed to be the other main character? I mean, his spot on the Japanese poster is depressingly small, but at least he was there. He gets nada in America.

Here’s where we kinda start falling off of the nostalgia wagon a bit. I never watched Pokemon movie 04 in theaters simply because it never showed in any theaters close enough to me. And, according to Bulbagarden, that’s not surprising.

Miramax released the movie theatrically in an extremely limited manner, and those theaters that did have the movie never kept it for more than a couple weeks, if that. In addition, this was hindered even further by the fact that they did no advertising for it. In fact, the first time I even found out there was a fourth movie was because I saw a commercial for the DVD release.

Also, while looking at the wiki I found that this movie was a box office bomb (though I knew that much from Dogasu who justified it because of the extremely poor marketing and theatrical release strategy.) but was also critically hated and panned by fans as well. Ouch.

I soon went out and bought the DVD and I never got much into the movie. I like Celebi and Suicune and everything, but after loving movie 03 so much, it just seemed to be not very impressive. Especially with the blech-y CGI. Apparently, this is Dogasu’s favorite of the movies thusfar alongside movie 05 so maybe I’ll see it in a better light once I’m done rewatching it for this review.

By the way, am I the only one kinda pissed at how Raikou was sufficiently snubbed in these movies? Entei gets a whole movie to himself, Suicune gets a significant part here and what does Raikou get? A special three-part episode in Pokemon Chronicles – that series people watched just to see the usually forgotten side characters left behind (IE the BetterThanAsh squad) actually do stuff on their own without Ash. The main characters of the arc he was in, The Legend of Thunder, didn’t even include any known characters – it was three completely new characters made up for those specific episodes. Poor Raikou.

There’s a very significant change between the two versions that I was debating on bringing up here or in the sub review. I would usually bring it up in the sub review, but let’s just address this incredible moment of utmost stupidity that shows that 4Kids thinks so little of their audience that they are actually willing to lose their precious money, quite a lot of it in fact, to shove a plot point into the faces of the audience. But more on that later.

For more information sub dub comparison wise, see the link to Dogasu’s comparison here. http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/movies/mov04.html

And now let’s get on with the show!

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We start with narration from Brock for some reason (Brock killed the other narrator! CALL THE POLICE!) giving us the regular ‘World of Pokemon’ schtick as we see a bunch of Pokemon. I recall this part of the movie specifically because it is one of the extremely rare times you ever see Porygon. Yes, the Pokemon so banned that even its evo stages are sufficiently banned from being shown in the series. They might appear for a second or two, like Porygon does here, but they will never be given spotlight in the show ever again………Even though the whole episode 38 incident was Pikachu’s fault and thus HE should be banned. Ya know, I joke about Messiahchu because he’s so glorified, but if anything Porygon and its evos sacrificed itself for the sake of the show’s mascot. Everyone salute!

The Wiki makes a weird note about this shot – Porygon’s the only Pokemon to be shown behind a chain link fence. What’s that note supposed to imply? That they purposely put Porygon behind the fence to make a statement about the character? “Oh yeah, we let Porygon in this shot, but it’s behind a fence, guys! Don’t worry! You can’t get seizures through a fence! DON’T SUE US!”

After going through the motions of the World of Pokemon opener, we get Ash’s backstory…..Why? I’m all for sprucing up the old footage, but if you’re watching the fourth Pokemon movie, chances are you know Ash’s backstory by heart.

And let me get my nitpicky gloves on. Ahem, Ash wasn’t wearing his regular attire when he got Pikachu. He was wearing his pajamas because he woke up late. In fact, that’s actually somewhat important because he only got Pikachu instead of the Squirtle he wanted because he slept late and was only able to get a leftover Pokemon instead of the three main starters. Yet they actually remember that Pikachu’s Pokeball has a little lightning bolt on it.

I love how they completely omit the fact that Pikachu was a little turdmuffin when he first met Ash. Can’t tarnish Messiahchu’s rep.

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Our actual start is in the (Obviously CGI) forest (Because trees need to be CGI) with Celebi being chased by a Houndoom 40 years in the past. Celebi is then pursued by a Scyther and actually gets hit.

We cut to a boy traveling through the forest as he comes across a mysterious tunnel in the path. He is halted by a woman with green hair who tells him the story of the voice of the forest – a spirit who travels through time. She says that the time travel of the voice of the forest is noted by a peculiar sound and if you hear the sound you should stop in your tracks because if it sees you it could whisk you away through time. The boy, Sam, thanks her for her advice and says he’ll be careful. They part ways but not before she gives him a loaf of berry bread as a snack.

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Mmm, bread covered in gravel on top of leaves. Just like grandma used to make.

Cut back to Celebi’s chase scene where it’s being overpowered by the Houndoom and Scyther who are under the control of a Pokemon hunter. Celebi escapes once more and cries out loudly.

Back with Sam, who has stopped to sketch some things, he hears Celebi’s cries and sees the Pokemon of the forest running away in fright. The pursuit rushes in front of him. He runs towards the three just in time to see Scyther and Houndoom pinning Celebi down. He tries to yell at the Pokemon to leave Celebi alone, but Houndoom shoots a Flamethrower at him to make him leave. Angered by this, Celebi wraps the two up in vines and weakly floats to Sam’s arms.

The Pokemon hunter shows up and demands that he hand Celebi over explaining in unneeded detail what he is and what a Pokemon hunter does. Because of course he’d hand over Celebi after learning he basically enslaves Pokemon and auctions them off to the highest bidder. Sam runs off, but suddenly stumbles. Celebi activates its time travel abilities and whisks them away to the future!

We zoom out of the scene and it turns into a framed picture of the forest. We’re introduced to an older version of the Pokemon Hunter being harassed by some guy in a helmet who is actually the villain of our story…..the *sigh* Iron-Masked Marauder. I don’t really have that many qualms against this guy – he’s more memorable, interesting and threatening than Lawrence ever was, but why, 4Kids? Why the Iron-Masked Marauder? Were you going for a ‘pro-wrestler’ vibe? Because that’s what I’m getting.

He’s trying to get information on Celebi from the Pokemon hunter, but he won’t give it up. Hulk Hogan decides to persuade him by releasing one of the Pokemon the hunter captured, a Tyranitar, from its cage and using a dark ball on him.

A dark ball is a creation of Macho Man Randy Savage where not only does it automatically put any Pokemon you catch under your control (and maybe have a catching ability rivaling that of Master balls – also maybe ignoring that a Pokemon is already captured by someone else) but it also increases their strength to max level. Wow, that’s really OP. Glad they’re never seen or mentioned outside of this movie.

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He works for Team Rocket, and they have something like this? Why have they not utilized and mass produced them? They would take over the world in a fortnight. Oh right, Team Rocket actually do something in the anime. Hah.

The now evil Tyranitar is commanded to Hyper Beam the place to ruins, even possibly killing the other captive Pokemon, and in the midst of the destruction the hunter gives up the location of where he found Celebi 40 years ago. Boy, I sure do hope Celebi didn’t travel to this exact time because that would be a heap of trouble.

We get our title screen and I gotta say this is probably 4Kids weakest title screen attempt so far. The animations on the vines look cheap, like something you’d see on an e-card, and the actual title itself is presented like a title of a TV show episode not a movie. Also the 4EVER crap looks twice as dumb in huge bold 3D lettering.…

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Hey, Subtitle! Get out of Lugia’s turf!

Wait, title screen!? That means! YAY DUMBASH AND FRIENDS!

This time, Brock and Misty are separated from Ash as they wait at a ferry that will be taking them to their next destination; Don’ttellthemwherethey’regoingbecausethatwouldestablishwhenthismovietakesplace town.

The ferry is about to leave and Ash is going to miss it, so Brock sends out his Crobat to find him. Cut over to Ash who is about to have a Pokemon battle with an Australian trainer….named Dundee. Really bringing your A game in the name department today, huh 4Kids? His Wiki page seems to justify this because he has a Croconaw but no, screw that. Drastically changing a character for no reason on the flimsy basis that he has a crocodile Pokemon? Ya know what? Ash has a mouse Pokemon. Better name him Walt Disney!

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I really hate when they set up scenes that very obviously show them in battle stances yet their first dialogue is like they’re meeting that very second, never introduced themselves and didn’t even realize they were going to have a battle.

Dundee chooses his Croconaw and Ash chooses, who else, Pikachu, and we get our altered theme song for the movie, ‘Born to be a Winner’. I always liked Born to be a Winner, and this movie version is pretty good….though I honestly could’ve done without the out of place record scratches.

The battle is rather boring for a movie battle. However, Ash does take this opportunity to prove his dumbness again because, after throwing Croconaw through the air and having him crash into Dundee, leaving both of them on the ground, Ash decides to Thundershock as a final blow. Hitting when the Pokemon is down is low enough, but he actually ends up shocking Dundee too because the two were still getting up from the fall. Nice going, idiot.

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As Ash goes to check on Dundee, Crobat calls him over to catch the ferry. And that’s it for your movie opener battle, hope you enjoyed it. The rest is just Ash running to catch the ferry.

sarcastic yay

As Misty and Brock see Ash running to the ferry, they wave to him and hop on the boat, but Ash is held up by a transport vehicle pulling an insanely long line of trailers with boxes. When it leaves, the ferry has departed and Ash jumps from the second dock to get on the boat. I love this shot because he’s jumping in slow-mo and trying to reach Brock, but as he misses his hand and nearly falls into the water, the song goes ‘Born to be a winner, born to be the very best’. Yes, born to be a winner and the very best that one is.

After the song ends, they speak with the same deckhand who has the voice of Duke Devlin. As he learns that the group is really interested in Pokemon, he tells them that a lot of really unusual ones are near where he lives and he can take them there if they want. They agree and Pikachu spots a Suicune far off in the forest. He alerts Ash and the other to it and they’re able to spot it for a second before it runs off.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Cartoons Step-By-Step: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) Episode 2 Review

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Plot: As the turtles finish fixing up their new home after their old one got destroyed by the mouser robots, a news report showcases the newest invention of the world renowned scientist, Baxter Stockman. Shockingly, the unveiled creations are the mouser robots, marketed as a solution to New York’s rampant rat problem, though they’re really attack robots built for the evil Shredder.

Donatello manages to get one of the mousers working again and they follow it as it makes it way back to the enemy’s hideout. They’re knocked off the trail, however, when the mouser bites through the supports for one of the main water lines.

Meanwhile, Stockman’s assistant, April O’Neal, notices some oddities in the mouser’s functioning and Stockman’s behavior, so she decides to investigate. She opens a secret passageway that leads into a mass mouser robot factory, but before she’s able to learn more, Stockman finds her and sics the mouser robots on her.

She runs into the sewers to get away, and the turtles quickly pick the trail of the mousers back up. They destroy all of the robots and save April, who promptly passes out when she sees that her saviors are really humanoid turtles.

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This episode wasn’t horribly interesting or action-packed, but it was a good continuation of the plotline from the previous episode, and it introduced us to April and Baxter Stockman. I’m actually very happy at her change into being Baxter’s assistant instead of being a reporter. It gives her more to offer the team (though how much is used is yet to be seen) and it gives her more of a connection to the overall plot. Plus, I’d take that white lab coat over that yellow jumpsuit any day. Nostalgia be damned, that was ugly.

I don’t have much else to say about it. There’s nothing much of note here besides it being a continuation. It was kinda fun, and I can’t find much really wrong with it. I don’t understand why the turtles want to follow the mousers so badly if they know Stockman is the one making them. And I know New York does have a bad rat problem, but no one’s really questioning the….risks or…logic involved in the mouser robots? PETA’s not complaining about the fact that they just aired a news segment where a foot-tall robot with razor-sharp teeth just ate a bunch of rats? Also, poor Donny thinking he disabled the mouser’s jaws and it didn’t take.

I love Donny, okay?

Also, despite not making an appearance yet, I learned Casey Jones will be voiced by Marc Thompson. So that’s nice.

Rating: 7/10

Yugioh Episode 9 Sub/Dub Comparison

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I felt like getting a facial tattoo after I died…..Doesn’t everyone?

Plot: Kaiba has seemingly died and come back from the grave after running away from Pegasus’ goons. His ‘ghost’ is all that’s left and it has a desire to exact revenge against Yugi for beating him. Meanwhile, the real Kaiba has snuck into his hidden computer room to help Yugi out. Can Yugi beat this fake even if he has Kaiba’s deck? Will 4Kids ever stop the ghost puns?

 

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I’ll get this out of the way quickly. The ‘ghost’ is not a ghost. He’s also not the ‘evil’ part of Kaiba that was sent to the shadow realm. He’s a hacker working for Pegasus that is dressed up like Kaiba. The biggest mystery surrounding him is how the hell did he cram his fat ass into that suit and how did it make him a foot taller?

 
In the original, after Yugi nods to his friends before the duel, Kimo explains who the fake is and explains that he’s facing a ghost Kaiba that blames him for his death, will break Yugi’s spirit and force him to lose the match, giving Kaiba corp to Pegasus. In the dub, 4Kids decides to make this even more mystic by having fake-Kaiba communicate with Yugi telepathically basically saying nothing he couldn’t have said out loud. Then he tells Kimo that Pegasus can have Kaiba corp after he exacts his revenge.

 
I don’t see why it’s so shocking that fake Kaiba had a Cyclops/Hitatsume Giant card. It’s a pretty common card and of course a fake Kaiba would have his common cards.

 
4Kids obviously added that vocal song during Kaiba’s secret agent-ness scene. Not much to complain about, though. It’s a cool song that matches well with the scene. Oh and they removed the words “Retina scan” from the door scanner. Excuse me, I mean ‘Retna scan.’ As well as ‘Please show me’ and ‘Security lock’.

 
Subbed: YGOEP9SDCScreen1

Dubbed: YGOEP9SDCScreen2

 

Kaiba’s computer is much less talkative and has less of a personality in the subbed version. However, again, the change is alright by me.
Okay, 4Kids, what gives with that Funny Bunny with a strike through it as the “Access Denied” screen? The original just said “Access Denied” …In English. If I’ll give 4Kids anything for that it’s that they actually remembered a reference from their show. Also, the text on the screen is replaced with a loading bar.

 

Subbed: YGOEP9SDCScreen3YGOEP9SDCScreen5
Dubbed: YGOEP9SDCScreen4YGOEP9SDCScreen6

 

If I’m getting this right, Kaiba simply used the satellite to hack into Industrial Illusions main computer. The dub makes it sound like he took the satellite out of the sky and crashed it into the computer mainframe! There’s a big difference there, 4Kids! Just because they used zoomy animation doesn’t mean they were actually sending the satellite there! You could’ve killed people 4Kids! Call me crazy. Seriously, watch this episode and tell me I’m wrong. He makes jokes about the word “crash”, his computer says “impact” – it seriously sounds like he just made the satellite fall out of the sky.

 

Also, I shouldn’t even have to tell you this, but hacking generally doesn’t involve cutesy animated doors and hallways. Hacking also doesn’t mean using virtual bombs to force open virtual doors with virtual explosions. Gah, this episode has about as much understanding of computers as NCIS….And it’s another depiction of how I wish hacking actually was.

 
The password between the two versions is drastically different and, quite frankly, the dub makes Pegasus look like a dumbass. In the sub, Yugi’s data is kept in an impenetrable fortress. Kaiba gets the joke and says the password is Alcatraz. In the dub, Kaiba just calls Pegasus an egomaniac and says the password is Pegasus.

 

First off, a computer genius using his name as a password? Why didn’t he just make it ‘password’ it’s about as useful and stupid. Second, why change this? This can easily be translated, and Alcatraz isn’t a foreign marking to the US. Were there legal issues or is there something offensive about saying the name of a prison?

 

This episode was alright. It’s cool to see enemies team up every now and then. It was a really weird duel though. The impostor is just unsettling, but I guess that’s the point….

 
Next time, the duel between Yugi and the fake Kaiba concludes. Will he be able to defeat the impostor and save Mokuba?