Pokemon Episode 43 Analysis: The March of the Exeggutor Squad

Pokemon ep 43 title

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

Reappear?: No, thank god.

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

Evolutions: Ash’s Charmander -> Charmeleon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Brock: “Yeah!”

Pokemon ep 43 screen1

And then the episode was banned.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misty: “Uh huh…”

Melvin: “Keep an open mind….”

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

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

– Pikachu in a tuxedo is adorable, though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Yay! Melvin was burned!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I hate his face more with each passing second.

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

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

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

– We now return to ‘Brock Says Stupid Shit’

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

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

– This creepy shit.

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

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

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

– Squirtle is Water Gunning Exeggutor’s crotch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I am getting mad while getting screencaps, I hate his face that much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

go fuck yourself

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

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

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

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

– Misty: “Exeggutor are weak against fire!”


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

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

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

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

researchresearch 3research 2research 4research 5



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I hate this episode even more, somehow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pokemon Episode 42 Analysis: Showdown at Dark City

Pokemon ep 42 title

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

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Scyther.

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

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Electabuzz.

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

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

He states that there are two unofficial gyms in Dark City – the Yas Gym and the Kaz gym. They’re basically a couple of gangs who have been destroying the city on a regular basis through street fights involving their Pokemon – a Scyther for the Yas and an Electabuzz for the Kaz. Both gyms recruit passing Pokemon trainers to be a part of their gangs to help them gain victory over the other and become an official Pokemon gym. The destruction and pain has been going on for so long, some of the townsfolk are scared of Pokemon trainers and others hate them – if they’re not destroying the town and risking the safety of the citizens, they’re being set up to be recruited for the gangs, only making the problem worse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Is there a limit to how many gyms can inhabit a region? Because we know from Gary that, canonically, there are at least ten gyms in Kanto that are official under the Pokemon League, meaning they must allow more than the standard minimum of eight per region. This makes sense because traveling all that way is a pain in the ass. You’d think there’d be tons of the gyms, in the anime anyway, since the Kanto region seems to be massive and covered in cities, towns and villages. Does it specifically have to be a city? Because so many areas where there are gyms seem far more suited to be towns than cities. Dark City is a perfect example. What part of this run down old west-styled ghost town screams ‘city’?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1) Like I said, Ash did nothing in the ‘demonstration’ against Team Rocket. He was going to, but Brock took the lead for some reason. 2) She was focusing on Brock before, why is she ignoring him now? 3) Why does she just assume Misty and Brock are Ash’s disciples? Why can they not be at least treated as equals, especially when, again, Ash did nothing to earn this praise?

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

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

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One of the best Pikachu screencaps, though.

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

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

Second, Scyther was obviously enraged, not frightened.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Second, ‘what faster way is there to make money than becoming an official Pokemon gym?’….Uhh…getting a job. Selling your crap on eBay. Selling your body to science. A laundry list of other methods of getting money which are faster than starting a Pokemon gym. Actually, if this whole gang war has been going on for years and becoming a gym is crazy difficult, then this seems like one of the absolute worst ways of getting money. Certainly not worth all the property damage, criminal mischief and reputation destruction.

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

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Brock’s house looked average.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Why was Team Rocket climbing on that building anyway?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– I was always immensely confused as to why Nurse Joy was a Pokemon League inspector. Even her badge seems more fitting for a nurse than an inspector. I might be able to swallow this better if they made her look the part, but she’s a Nurse Joy to the bone. Her Chansey still has a nurse hat on, she still has a nurse uniform on, and when she reveals her identity she calls herself Nurse Joy. I really feel like they got insanely lazy with the character designs for this episode and when they got to the inspector, they panicked because they were short on time and just borrowed Joy’s.

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

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

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

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

– I also believe this was the first episode where one of those ‘jokes that don’t translate’ really became apparent to me. I never once understood why there’s a picture of some food that flashes on Ash’s face when Yas and Kaz call him ‘Tom Ato’ It wasn’t until I read the comparison that I learned that Satoshi’s fake name was the food seen on screen, Omurice. For all the digital painting 4Kids is known to do, why the hell couldn’t they have drawn a tomato?

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

– This is another infuriating instance of two assholes turning on their heads and completely changing their personalities when it doesn’t seem like enough happened to do so. They got beat up and their Pokemon knocked each other out, then they got chewed out by Nurse Joy. Remember, their incentive to becoming legit gyms was to make money. Why do they seem to act like it’s just something they really want to do now? Unless they’re faking it for the sake of getting another chance at the money, which is possible I guess, but Kaz definitely doesn’t seem smart enough for that….and we know Yas isn’t.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 41 Analysis: Wake Up Snorlax!

Pokemon Ep 41 Title

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

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Many Snorlax.

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

Hungrily, they continue down the path, and they’re pleasantly surprised to finally find a town where they can get some food. They’re devastated to find that the entire town is out of food. The local mayor invites them over to his house for a meal and explains that the stream where they get all of their water suddenly dried up out of nowhere two weeks ago. Without that water, they can’t water their plants and they can’t make food. The town will starve soon if they don’t get the water flow back.

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

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

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

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

Pidgeotto quickly sends them blasting off with a Gust.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Here is reason 1 why this episode is complete bullshit. This town has been without water for at least two weeks. The problem is so bad, they’re literally starving (and….dehydrating? They should be dead by now) and their businesses are losing money every day. However, the first people to go “maybe you should follow the river and see why it’s drying up” are three children who got there an hour ago.

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

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Besides, if the problem is so threatening to the businesses and lives of the town, surely some people would’ve braved the journey to see if they can fix the problem. THREE CHILDREN are risking their lives for this and they barely owe anything to this town.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey, I’m not here to judge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Reason number 2 why this episode is complete bullshit. Snorlax is not the reason why the river stopped flowing. There was a blockage of thorns behind him. They just automatically assumed that Snorlax was the cause of the clog without thinking for a second to look behind him and make sure there was water. If that was the case, they could’ve easily redirected the water by digging a trench around Snorlax or something until they figured out how to move him.

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

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

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

Brock: “What a job!”

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

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

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

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


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

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

Next episode, Electabuzz vs. Scyther!

Pokemon Episode 40 Analysis: The Battling Eevee Brothers

Pokemon ep 40 title

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

Reappear?: No. 😦

Pokemon: Eevee

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

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Jolteon.

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

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Vaporeon.

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

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Flareon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


– Brock: “It’s been abandoned.”

Ash: “What?”

Misty: “That’s so cruel!”

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


Pokemon ep 40 screen1

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

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

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

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

Dad: “There are no more Eeveelutions!”

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

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

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

Pyro: “Mommy, Daddy, do you hate us?”

Dad: “Of course not, son.”

Pyro: “Really?!”

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

Sparky: “Do we have to?”

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

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

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

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

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

Rainer: “Awwwwwwwww!”

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

Pyro: “Will he have to dye his hair?”

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen3

Whoa wait, back up. First of all, he’s like six or seven, there’s no way he’s old enough to be a legit trainer with qualification yet. Second, he can lose his trainer qualification if he loses his Pokemon?….Just….what? If that’s true, Ash and co. should’ve lost their qualification eons ago and a hundred times over at this point in the series. (I mean that both at this episode and where we currently are in airing) And if losing a Pokemon is something worth having your qualification revoked over, why is there no penalty for abandoning or releasing a Pokemon? That seems like a much worse offense.

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen4

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

Eevee Brothers: “DON’T CARE?!”

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

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

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

– This explanation also makes Flareon look boring.

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

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

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

“…Like…literally any other Fire Pokemon?”


Pokemon ep 40 screen5

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

Thunders! Showers! …..Booster!


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

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

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen6

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

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

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

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

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


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

Pokemon ep 40 screen7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eevee Brothers: “DON’T BE DUMB!”

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen8
Is Pikachu doing the Thriller Dance?

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

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

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen9

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

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

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

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen10

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

The Pokemon.

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

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

– Pidgeotto: Balloon Popper extraordinaire.

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

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen11

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


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

…..Ctrl+f “losers”……Nope.

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

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

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

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen12

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

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

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

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

– Mikey: “Eevee Take Down attack!” *two seconds later* “Rage tackle!” Keeping in mind that Mikey’s young and inexperienced, I’ll just jot these down as notes. First off, let the Take Down hit before you call for another attack. Second, Rage Tackle is not an attack. Third, holy crap, how does this newbie have an Eevee who is high enough level to know Take Down!? That’s Eevee’s strongest Gen I attack, and it learns it at level 42. And these dumbasses still think Eevee is too weak to win his first battle as a new trainer? Geez.

Pokemon ep 40 screen13

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




head desk


head desk MLP

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

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

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen14

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

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

– Misty: “Friends forever?”

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

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

Ash: “You could pass for my brother!”

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

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

Pokemon ep 40 screen15

– Where the hell did Cloyster and Vileplume go?

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

– Who let Psyduck run the camera?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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?


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.


– 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!






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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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.


– 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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”


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?


– 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.


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


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.

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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.

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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.


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!