Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 06: Jirachi – Wish Maker (Dub) Review

Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: Every 1000 years, the Millennium Comet is visible from earth for seven days. Ash, May, Brock and Max take a break from their Pokemon journey to visit a festival meant to celebrate the Millennium Comet. While enjoying a magic show, they meet the Great Butler and his assistant, Diane, who give Max a crystal that contains the wish-granting legendary Pokemon, Jirachi, as he’s the one Jirachi has chosen to befriend in order to emerge from his slumber.

They become fast friends, but it soon becomes apparent that Butler had malicious motives for giving Jirachi to Max. He wants to use Jirachi’s power and the comet to power a machine that will clone a Groudon as revenge against Team Magma.

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I don’t really know if there’s anything I can say here. Like I said in my Gotta Dance review, I only caught this movie on TV once or twice. I really wasn’t keen on getting into it for a few reasons:

1) I was still salty about Misty leaving.

2) This movie’s main character is Max. I am not a fan of Max.

3) Despite liking him, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jirachi.

I still watched it when it aired on Cartoon Network and I didn’t remember entirely all that happens. I was either watching something else while watching that movie the first time or I just wasn’t paying proper attention. I don’t have much else to say about my previous experience with this movie beyond that.

The poster is really good yet again. I have to wonder why only the starters and Pikachu are on it, but it’s nothing major. Looks fantastic otherwise.

Dogasu’s comparison of the movie can be found here.

Let’s get on with the show then, shall we?

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Since Misty is now gone, we need to make a new ‘World of Pokemon’ opener, but this one’s a bit different….and awesome.

This ‘World of Pokemon’ opener moreso focuses on the legendaries and the Pokemon lore as a whole. The thing that’s really cool about it, though, is the fact that they showcase each of the legendaries that have been spotlighted in all of the previous movies and in the TV show. They even show Ho-Oh first because technically that was the first ever legendary to appear in the show.

Mewtwo follows, and he’s wearing a huge scarf for some reason, then we get Lugia, Entei, Celebi, Latias and Latios (though it must be a different Latios) and Kyogre….who must’ve appeared in the show before this I guess. Each of their shots are extremelycool, too. Entei’s and Lugia’s in particular look amazing.

Cut to a Pokemon battle in a stadium and – oh my god, those are different Pokeballs!

Man, it’s so rare to see different Pokeballs in this show. What’s that black one? It’s awesome!…..Wow, I think this is the most excited I’ve gotten during any of these movie reviews and I’m only at the World of Pokemon opener. Hopefully this is a good omen.

Anyway, we – oh my god, the person throwing them is Ruby!

I’m so unreasonably happy right now!

The narrator continues on saying that Pokemon are sometimes used in battles alongside Pokemon trainers, and Pokemon and humans live together in peace and harmony. However, there are some evil people who want to use the strongest Pokemon for their own malicious means, such as Team Magma’s pursuit of Groudon.

Cut to a cave where two people find a big crystal that supposedly holds the key to granting their strongest desire.

Now we’re with Ash and friends, further explaining their stories. Well, Ash’s dream of being a Pokemon master anyway. The narrator doesn’t even bless the others with names just ‘friends with hopes and dreams of their own.’

Also, you think I’m joking when I call him Messiahchu?

Since when is Pikachu so fast that he doesn’t break surface tension? I don’t even think he’s using Agility!

The narration keeps going with basically saying dreams are great, but be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. Obvious moral is obvious.

We get our title screen and…..really good CGI?…..What the hell were the good CGI guys doing when Gotta Dance was being made?

Ash and the others are walking around in the middle of the night looking for some festival that is meant to celebrate the Millennium Comet, a huge event since the comet only appears for seven nights once every 1000 years.

They reach the location where the festival is supposed to be, but find it to be a completely empty field. They take a break to eat and soon after fall asleep when they’re awoken by the festival workers setting up.

The credits are playing over this…..

But….but…..but what about the theme song? They started not including the theme songs in the movies? That’s a sin or something isn’t it? Outside of the awesome World of Pokemon opener, it makes the opening really lackluster.

Wow, even the CGI trucks look really good….Seriously where the hell were you animators in the short?

We see our main CotM and antagonists, basically, Butler the magician and his assistant, Diane, using cute tricks with balloons to make crates and tents suddenly appear and assemble. The place ends up looking good, but I don’t think that assembly montage was ‘opener-worthy.’

Cut to the daytime where Ash, May, Max and Brock are having fun at the festival and we see Team Rocket throwing fliers for the Great Butler’s magic show. Way to litter, guys. I really never understood why people thought that was a good way to advertise. Yes, it’s exposure but it’s also really annoying.

Ash and the others find one on the ground and decide to go to his show.

Dogasu’s comparison does make a note about this poster. There’s Japanese text at the bottom of the title that is basically the exact Japanese translation of the English words, The Great Butler’s Magic Show. In the dub, they erase this text, which isn’t anything new by far. This is 4Kids. However, it is a new thing for the movies, because, outside of titles and credits, the text has been left alone in the movies.

They explain how this paint edit in particular is dumb because they left half the Japanese theme song to this movie completely untranslated, which is very much a rarity for them. They also have the full Japanese song and the Japanese title card available on the DVD, so it’s yet another ‘missing the forest for the trees’ moment for 4Kids. Maybe they’re just so used to removing this stuff that they did it on instinct.

What I’m more focused on is the sloppiness of this edit. If there’s one thing I can always (backhandedly) compliment 4Kids for is that, when it comes to the editing involved in their changes, they’re pretty good about whitewashing nearly every trace of the fact that they changed it. While their text replacements leave much to be desired most of the time, they’re pretty good when it comes to removals. They’re so good that there have been numerous times when I’ve tried to catch a screencap of the painted shot and it just goes by so quickly that it’s either incredibly difficult or close to impossible to get the shot.

What they do may be stupid, but they did get pretty damn good at it – Usually, anyway.

Nelvana and DiC also do similar edits sometimes and they suck at it for the most part. I remember those edits that Cartoon Network would make on Yu Yu Hakusho to censor blood and middle fingers and they were horrible at it. Colors never matched, the paint would shake in a very distracting manner, and it just looked awful.

I can think of several instances where their paint and editing is off, but 4Kids was basically the best in the business at what they did. I’ve probably missed minute details that they’ve edited away in my SDCs simply because I don’t have hawk eyes or the patience to go through episodes frame by frame.

The shots of Team Rocket throwing the fliers is perfect. You can’t tell a damn thing was changed. Then when they show a close up shot of one of the fliers on the ground, there’s one frame that they neglected to change.

What’s worse is that, in addition to erasing the text, they seem to have moved the shot a bit, making the screen jump when it cuts to that shot.

This is the frame they neglected to paint:

This is the frame post-paint:

Granted, their ‘after’ shot is a little better because they made the G visible, but that’s still no excuse. This is such sloppy editing from 4Kids that I’d actually say I’m disappointed in them. They rarely ever miss frames, and editing mistakes that make the screen jump are a once-in-a-blue-moon deal with them.

The reason I brought up Team Rocket throwing the painted fliers is the fact that those are numerous, much smaller posters being thrown through the air. Meaning you have way more things to paint that are constantly moving and changing angles. That’s a very hard and time consuming paint edit that they did perfectly.

This is a mostly static shot, up close. There’s no reason for this. For shame 4Kids’ editing staff. For shame.

….Last thing about this poster, I promise…..Shouldn’t it be ‘Welcome to THE Great Butler’s Magic Show?’

Cut to the magic show where magic happens. Butler is wowing the audience with his magic and he makes Diane and the stone they found earlier in the cave appear in a puff of fire and smoke. The stone is CGI, and, on its own, it looks fantastic. Diane is traditionally animated…So yeah, it looks wonky when they try to meld the two in one shot and make the CGI move with the regular animation. It just doesn’t look right.

Max starts hearing a voice emanating from the stone talking about wishes and the comet, so he rushes the stage like a crazy person. Ash soon joins him to bring him back to his seat, but Butler and Diane decide to use them as volunteers in their act.

I’m gonna stop right there and explain why I don’t like the fact that Max is technically the protagonist of this movie.

I don’t much care for Max as a character. I find him to be a little annoying know-it-all. He does love Pokemon, yes, and he definitely has a passion for training. But the fact of the matter is that he’s annoying to me because of his attitude and the vibe he gives off. Even his voice irks me.

There’s also little point in him being there. On the episodes that do follow him, they mostly just focus on the bare basics in terms of the spirit and technical aspects of Pokemon training, which makes sense considering Max is too young to be a trainer, but it’s boring to watch unless you’re just that new to the franchise.

If it is to help welcome newbies who may be getting in on the new generation….We have May for that don’t we? Isn’t she supposed to fill the newbie role? I know she becomes a coordinator later, but my point still stands. Plus, he seems to be pretty booksmart in regards to Pokemon, so it’s a little contradictory.

Other than that, his episodes mostly center around his childishness, which also makes sense because child, but that doesn’t make it any better to watch.

Speaking of not being a trainer….Max isn’t a trainer. Thus what he does is essentially nothing in episodes that don’t center around him. He basically takes a seat as yet another Ash companion who is there to be there and not much else.

I guess I understand why Max is the main character in this movie, because it’s cuter to have a younger kid being best friends with a cute Pokemon over the older kids. Plus, the other kids have Pokemon they treasure and Max doesn’t get to actually ‘have’ a Pokemon often.

Still, couldn’t they have just as easily used a new CotM? They did it in movie 04. Max will be gone from the franchise entirely in….what, two or three years? And I will say it makes me stew a bit that who I consider to be the second most useless Ash companion (three guesses who the first is) gets a movie to himself but Brock and Misty never did and this really never happens again as Ash or a CotM takes over in practically every other movie.

I won’t say Max doesn’t grow over time. He does mature and gets slightly less annoying to my recollection. However, we will never see the fruits of this labor. The last we see of Max is him back at his dad’s gym still working on becoming a trainer some day, and I will bet everything I own that we will never see that day.

He’s barely made a cameo since his departure and in order to actually see him as a legit trainer, we’d need to hop ahead three years to make him ten, and Pokemon just doesn’t age people. They may change their character designs a bit, but no aging. Worse yet is the horrible idea of making Ash 13! *gasp*

If anything, Ash has been de-aged recently with the new character designs.

I don’t remember him being quite a big annoyance in this movie, but I’m still not looking forward to an hour and a half of Max spotlight.

And now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Ash and Max are set to perform the trick of ‘the burning box’ which requires them to escape from a box before it bursts into flames. May bitches about not being in the show and Brock does the same because he wants some of Diane’s booty.

They start the trick and decide to make it more interesting by, instead of using flames, using a Dusclops’ Hyper Beam to destroy the box.

Meowth: “They’re stuck in a dark place with impending doom and no way out. That sounds like my life.”

Wow, that’s…kind of dark, 4Kids.

The Hyper Beam goes off and the bottom of the box falls out at the last second, sending Max and Ash under the stage. The Hyper Beam looks weird in this movie. It charges blue and then looks like fire when shot instead of the yellow beam we know and love.

They continue to ride under the auditorium and pop up back in the audience.

As they take the applause, Team Rocket ditch their clown outfits and nab Pikachu as well as Butler and Diane’s Mightyena and Kirlia.

Butler defeats them with Dusclops, Pikachu lends a hand and Dusclops sends them blasting off.

Once the show concludes, Butler tells them that the rock is supposedly housing the sleeping wish-granting legendary Pokemon, Jirachi. He only awakens once every 1000 years and in order to awaken he needs two things – 1) The Millennium Comet needs to be visible and 2) He needs to find a friend.

We’ll be right back with Care Bears: Wish Maker in a moment, but wow that is some crazy coinky-dink. Jirachi can only be awoken when the Millennium comet comes around, which it only does once per 1000 years. How convenient that they happened to find it right as the comet’s set to come in that very night.

They realize that Max is the one Jirachi has chosen to be its friend, and additionally his ‘wish-maker’ if what Jirachi said earlier is any indication….No criteria needed, it probably could’ve talked to anyone or everyone in the audience, but there ya go. Butler hands the rock over to Max since he has the best chance of awakening Jirachi.

Later that night, Ash and the others enjoy the festival some more. May decides to buy a wishing star, which looks kinda like a dreamcatcher. The cashier says that the wishing star is a neat little contraption with which you use in conjunction with the seven days of the comet. On each day of the comet, you fold down one of the points and make a wish. When the final day is done, your wish will come true.

They watch the fireworks and, of course, there’s a Pikachu one and, of course, it’s the biggest one.

They also show a Psyduck, Treecko, Lotad, Torchic, Beautifly and Mudkip…..wow, that was just a big collection of random Pokemon Ash and his friends have owned. Huh.

Can I take the time out to step back and show how crazy Max seems right now?

He’s hearing voices only he can hear and he’s carrying around a rock, cuddling it and treating it like it’s alive. I, you and the Ash gang know or believe there’s a Pokemon in there….but no one else does! I’m surprised more people aren’t staring at the kid giving hugs to the giant purple rock. I can’t be the only one who thinks it’d be funny if it ended up to be just Butler yanking the kid’s chain or Ash and the others humoring him until the guys in white show up to take Max away.

How is Max dealing with lugging that rock around this whole time, anyway? It’s really quite big to be carrying around like a teddy bear.

They see the Millennium Comet, May makes her wish and Max falls asleep. May pats his head and Max mutters for his mommy. Aw. That is kinda cute.

May starts… I suppose I’ll call it humming even though she’s moreso going ‘doodododdodododo’ and another note Dogasu made here was that they left in May/Haruka’s original Japanese voice for this song……which I find baffling. Is Veronica Taylor really that bad at singing that she can’t pull off a ‘doodododododdooododo’ song in her female voice? I’m not really complaining, I’m just curious.

May explains that the song is a lullaby their mother would ‘sing’ to them, and as she ‘sings’, the rock glows and we cut to the woods where a green light is flowing through everything. It looks exactly like Celebi’s time travel effects. An Absol views this and runs towards the rock.

Jirachi emerges, and I will say that Jirachi is very cute…..Not as cute as Mew, maybe on par with Celebi. They also selected an equally cute voice for the little guy.

Diane arrives somehow knowing what happened and tells the kids they can sleep in their bus for the night. Remember kids, if a carny you barely know says you can sleep in their bus, it’s A-Okay!

Diane then runs off to tell Butler who happily receives the news, revealing that he has big plans for the little star—Evil plans! Muahahahaha!! He doesn’t have the voice to pull this off but MUAHAHAHAHAH!

Back with the kids, Max wants to test out Jirachi’s wish-granting powers. So, being a kid, he wishes for a bunch of candy.

Jirachi’s tags glow and he floats up in the air, but nothing happens.

Max: “There’s no such thing as someone being able to grant wishes! I knew it!”

See, this is the kind of crap that makes me dislike this kid. Also, when the hell did you ever say that? You’ve been believing each and every thing about this situation since the instant you heard Jirachi’s voice. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have snuggled with a rock for the past six hours. Little brat.

Jirachi’s wish-granting abilities start working and candy starts popping up all over the bus. I don’t know when crackers and cheese became candy…..but I like cheese, so I’ll allow this.

However, it seems that Jirachi works on the laws of equivalent exchange because we then cut to the vendors at the festival having their candy and foodstuffs disappearing.

Once Max’s wish has been granted, the others fight over who gets the next wish, even going so far as to play tug-of-war with poor Jirachi until they burst out the back door of the bus.

Diane and Butler arrive and explain that Jirachi grants wishes, but the hitch is, like I said, he really just teleports things that you wish for. He doesn’t make them from thin air…..So….Jirachi’s a kidnapping and theft machine. Kinda takes away from the mysticism of this legendary doesn’t it? That also means there’s a crapton of wishes you simply can’t make because of this fine print. This is the least impressive legendary ever.

At least they’re giving rules and restrictions to how this magic works, which is more than I can say for a lot of magic things in kid shows….but when something is a wish-granting machine, you kinda just accept that it grants wishes. The fact that it just steals things makes him a really….lame legendary…that you’d probably get arrested for using.

May flips her lid after discovering what Jirachi did and demands him to ‘get rid of the problem’ which prompts Jirachi to transport May into the pile of candy. I uh….don’t get it? May’s the problem? Because she’s yelling? Or did Max find her to be the problem at the moment and Jirachi was only obeying him? I dunno. Also, how does putting her mere feet away into the candy pile ‘solve the problem’?

Jirachi, exhausted from ‘granting wishes’ goes to sleep, but Butler assures Max that he won’t return to hibernation until the comet leaves at the end of the week. Meanwhile, the kids are doomed to bringing back the candy themselves.

The next morning, Max and Jirachi go off to play while Ash and the others prepare for the show. Apparently, Ash and Brock are clowns now while May’s a stagehand.

Jirachi starts causing trouble as it steals Max’s glasses and coaxes him to chase him while Max tries to help May keep a big lighting tower from falling over. The tower falls on May, causing a mess and she blames Jirachi, even if that was equal parts Jirachi and Max’s fault. Max could’ve stayed and still helped. He doesn’t need his glasses to push a tower up.

Max gets his glasses back and, surprisingly, isn’t mad at Jirachi for nearly causing severe harm to his sister. The Absol from earlier appears and starts attacking Max. Butler notes that Absol only appears in front of humans when a great tragedy is about to occur.

May tries to stave off Absol with Torchic, but has no effect. Ash tries Pikachu and does a little more, but still doesn’t faze Absol much. Jirachi says Absol is there for him and he uses his teleportation powers to teleport Pikachu and Torchic to the roof of the tent.

Absol suddenly directs his attention to Ash and the others and charges toward them. However, Butler triggers a trap door in the stage that sends Absol to a cage and puts him to sleep using Kirlia’s Hypnosis.

Jirachi then falls asleep again for some reason. He sleeps for 1000 years at a time. Does he really need to nod off after doing the littlest thing?

The second night is over, we can hear Jirachi snoring in his sleep through telepathy somehow, and May heads out to use her wishing star again. When she’s done, she spots Butler walking away from the bus where the kids are sleeping. He’s kidnapped Jirachi and put him in a weird device thing he has in his stage. Diane tells Butler that Absol is trying to bring Jirachi back to Forina, the land in which he originated, and that they should let him go back to where he belongs, but Butler ignores her.

He activates the machine, which causes Jirachi pain, and claims that when Jirachi sees the comet with his ‘true eye’ his ultimate wish will come true.

He holds up a glass container with a fossil inside of it and we get a flashback. Butler used to work for Team Magma as a scientist. He was presenting the council of Team Magma with the fossil, which was from a Groudon, claiming that he would create an actual Groudon from the fossil before their eyes.

He fails, claiming he needs a better power source, and is fired from Team Magma as a result. He reclaimed his fossil and vowed that he would make a real Groudon no matter what.

The flashback ends and Butler prepares the machine. He forces Jirachi into opening his true eye with Dusclops’ Psychic, and a beam of light bursts from the eye towards the comet only to return and crash into the stage.

Max and the others arrive and try to protect the wounded Jirachi. Diane pleads with Butler to stop, he claims he’s doing it for her. She says she doesn’t want this, and Butler shoves Diane out of the way to get Jirachi before Max escapes with him.

The gang escapes, and before Butler can pursue them Absol escapes from his cage, attacks them and runs off.

They continue to escape in Butler’s bus, and Mightyena somehow catches up and places a tracker on it.

Diane explains Butler’s backstory again and we actually hear Butler’s legit evil laugh which itself is laughable.

May: “Groudon?”

Brock: “Isn’t that the legendary Pokemon rumored to incredible powers?”

No no, it’s the one legendary Pokemon on planet earth that does not have incredible powers. Oh wait, no, that’s Jirachi!

The only thing we really get from this that we may not have already known is that it’s not Jirachi’s power that Butler is using. He’s merely used as a channel to take power from the comet and use its power instead. So yeah, Jirachi’s one major talent is to take things that don’t belong to him…..Team Rocket should steal this legendary.

So far we’ve had;

Mewtwo, who could do a gigantic list of things with his psychic powers from building a laboratory from scratch, perfecting the cloning process or making an apocalyptic storm.

Moltres, Articuno and Zapdos who basically control the entire ecosystem of the world – plus Lugia who keeps them in line.

Unown who create their own legit realities from scratch.

Celebi who can heal wounds and travel through time as well as psychically make gigantic grass monsters.

Latias and Latios who have sight sharing abilities and the ability to transform or become invisible.

Then we have Jirachi….the thief. He’s supposed to be a wish-granting Pokemon – that’s not outside of the realm of belief for this show. Why is he so seemingly blasé compared to the other legends?

The group decides to head to Forina to bring Jirachi back home…..which is…understandable but a dumb plan. Even if Butler didn’t put the tracker on them, do they really think Forina is the place to go? That’s where Butler found him, Absol’s been trying to bring him back and Diane suggested that they should bring him back earlier. Do they really think he’s pounding his head going ‘where could they possibly have gone!?’

It’s night three, May makes her wish, Jirachi telepathically snores and May and Diane have a chit-chat. She explains that she’s known Butler since they were kids, and she always knew they’d be together. We get a pretty nicely done flashback with everything in warm colors and the kid versions of Diane and Butler in silhouette, which I find to be pretty cool. Butler’s practicing magic on her and after calling him great, he dons the name ‘The Great Butler’, which is good for his magician career and if he ever decides to become a butler.

The flashback ends, and Diane laments how much Butler has changed since the good ol’ days. She can only hope that he’ll return to normal once the comet leaves.

The next day, their journey continues. I want to point out that there’s a shot during the ‘next day’ montage where they get stuck in the mud and even Jirachi is helping push the bus out but Pikachu’s just chillin’ behind them. Messiahchu is above this menial labor!

Night four and day five go by with May and Max seeming increasingly worried and sad.

As we reach night five, May makes her wish and points out that there’s only two more nights left, which upsets Max and makes him run off.

Ash joins him and explains that, while Jirachi may go away, they’ll be friends forever, because true friendship lasts no matter if you see them or not. He gives an example by saying he had to say goodbye to a friend and he misses her everyday. He makes some strained facial expressions as he speaks, but he says they remain friends and will always be such. Ladies and gentlemen, the last known AAML poke. I believe anyway.

Too bad this is a dub-exclusive line. Funny how, even after she’s gone, 4Kids still wants to keep the spirit alive. I miss her too, man. I miss her too.

Does anyone else really wish we got more of ‘older brother’ Ash?

Day six and the gang arrive at Forina. Ah, it’s beautiful. The landscape is crisp. The Altaria are singing. The Tropius are eating the slightly better modeled CGI fruit from the slightly better animated CGI branches. Truly a paradise.

Night six, May makes her wish, Max goes to bed and May hums her lullaby again.

Day seven – judgment day—Er I mean, the last day with Jirachi. The gang is lead by Absol into the cave where Jirachi usually sleeps. Once night falls, he is beckoned towards the comet, but Max pleads for him to grant his wish of staying by his side. However, Jirachi can’t escape the comet’s call and floats up to open his true eye in preparation for the absorption of the comet’s energy and his 1000 year hibernation.

Diane explains that Jirachi collects this energy not only for itself but also for the sake of the land around it. While he sleeps, the land of Forina feeds off the energy to grow and thrive.

As Jirachi is about to collect the energy, mechanisms appear from the cave walls and trap Jirachi in a ball of light. It’s Butler, if that wasn’t obvious, and after one of the most overused jokes in villain history and trapping the gang in a purple lightning cage, he starts his preparations to gather the energy himself.

The process starts, and Pikachu tries to break through the cage to no avail. Hey Ash, aren’t you gonna run into it head first, thinking you’re the Hulk or something?

*doesn’t*

….Wha….eh….Why are you being smart and mature in this movie!? I demand you cease this nonsense at once and go fling yourself towards danger!

Absol and a Flygon from Forina come to destroy the mechanisms creating the cage, and Flygon gives Ash and Max a ride to Butler’s giant platform thinger.

Butler’s revival of Groudon is going smoothly, but Ash and Max arrive to save the day. Butler reveals that he has a friggin’ Salamence and commences aerial battle with them……Awesome! I haven’t seen an aerial battle since Movie 03.

Ash sends Max and Pikachu off to stop the machine and save Jirachi while he distracts Butler in the air. Now you’re being logical? Who are you!?

They do so, the process stops and the gang manages to escape Butler’s evil clutches and Jirachi’s perfectly fine now. May and Max even have a little moment. Awww.

Despite the process being interrupted, a Groudon is emerging from where the energy was being displaced. And it looks AMAZING.

I love Groudon’s design anyway, but this ‘shadow’ Groudon or ‘clone’ Groudon looks fantastic. It looks like it’s actually made of lava with green (and later blue) neon shining through it. It’s especially great right before it’s fully formed. I kinda wish they have kept it more black to be honest, but this is great too.

Butler’s initially ecstatic for the creation of the Groudon, but when he realizes that he used his crest of courage for selfish means and caused a dark digivolution of him, he is shocked and appalled.

They realize that, in a polar opposite manner of Jirachi who feeds the land with energy from the comet, the clone Groudon is actually sucking up energy from the land, causing the plants to die.

Absol tries to attack the Groudon in vain, and Groudon fires back, and holy crap it looks even better when it’s attacking! I love this thing!

Groudon’s not only attacking Absol, he absorbs him into his body. The spikes on his back start to grow and change into cool little blue gooey tendrils to absorb all the other Pokemon of Forina.

Butler lands near the group and Diane asks if there’s anything he can do to stop Groudon, but he is without ideas.

Team Rocket gets absorbed next…Oh yeah, Team Rocket. I forgot to mention them. Yeah, they’ve been popping up now and then for the past half hour to just make a quick comment and then go away. Gotta remember that they exist.

Butler stares in horror at his creation and is about to be absorbed when Diane jumps in to save him and gets absorbed instead.

Is there such a thing as an emotion budget? Because he just used up a lot of it.

May and Brock get absorbed next, and just as Max and Ash are about to get absorbed, Jirachi teleports them away.

Butler, changed in his ways in the wake of Groudon’s destruction, helps out the boys and warns them that the Groudon is after Jirachi’s energy. Butler and his Salamence do everything in their power to keep the tendrils away from the boys, but one gets through the defenses and tries to grab the boys only to be stopped by Flygon.

They hop on Flygon and try to get away underground, but the tendrils continue to follow. As they inch closer and closer, Jirachi teleports them yet again. They meet back up with Butler in the air and he tells the boys that he has an idea. They can drain the energy from Groudon if they can get Jirachi back on his machine and reverse the polarity. Ah yet another problem solved by reversing the polarity. Job well done, science!

Ash initially doesn’t trust Butler, but after seeing his grief at losing Diane, he starts changing his tune. Butler’s Salamence is grabbed by Groudon and Butler falls, but is saved by Jirachi by teleporting Salamence below him.

That just leads to me question….Jirachi’s one major power is teleporting anything he wants right? Then why doesn’t he teleport everyone who is inside Groudon back to where they belong?

Also, why isn’t Jirachi getting exhausted? A couple days ago he was going comatose from teleporting one or two things. It’s been teleporting things all over the place tonight and he still seems fine, even in spite of being drained by Butler’s machine.

Jirachi says that Butler can’t be all bad because he loves Diane and that further encourages Ash and Max to go through with the plan. I feel like this past page has been kinda redundant.

Butler wants the boys to distract Groudon since he’s intent on catching Jirachi. Meanwhile, he’ll tryto get the machine running.

The plan commences, but Butler accidentally drops the Groudon fossil from the platform only to be caught in a pretty cool shot by Ash as they fly on Flygon.

Apparently, flipping the fossil’s container around reverses the polarity…Uh…kay, and they place Jirachi back on the machine. The only thing left to do is to flip the final switch, but as Butler’s about to do so, the platform starts to fall some more, causing him to slip off.

As Butler hangs on by a thread and Flygon and Salamence are absorbed, Ash channels his inner movie protagonist and pulls the switch. Jirachi starts draining the power from Groudon and putting it back into the land, but Groudon attempts to stop his efforts by trying to absorb Jirachi with his tendrils. Butler stands in his way and gets absorbed.

Jirachi’s efforts are successful and we get another really cool shot of Jirachi making another pseudo-comet, the light explodes in midair and creates a star shower as the Pokemon and everyone else reappear safe and sound.

Jirachi floats back down to Max’s arms and thanks Max for making his wish come true – giving him a friend. Awwwwwwwwwwww.

Jirachi asks for one more wish to be granted by Max – he wants Max to sing him the lullaby before he goes off to sleep once more.

Max and everyone else agrees to grant Jirachi his wish. They start sing—Hahahahahaha….ahahaha….hahahahaha….oooohhh….Oh Brock my boy….Please stop. You’re killin’ me. Oh God.

Brock sounds awful when he’s doing this song. He sounds unbelievably bored, like he just got done filing his taxes.

I know for a fact that Eric Stuart can sing. He’s got a couple of songs on 4Kids’ soundtracks that are actually good….and he’s the lead singer of his own band! Maybe slow soft songs just aren’t his thing.

For the record, Veronica Taylor is doing the ‘singing’ voice of Ash. I guess her voice isn’t good enough to sing as a girl but okay to sing as a guy.

I know this scene is supposed to be really sad and sweet, and, for the most part, it is, but the fact that this song is literally just ‘Dododooododododdodoooododdodooo’ makes it seem a little bit on the silly side. Was it really too difficult to give this song lyrics?

Jirachi thanks them all and goes back into hibernation. He reverts to his crystal form and merges back into the earth, causing it to glow.

Max bids farewell to Jirachi and says he’ll always be in his heart.

After a weird scene with Team Rocket, we cut to the next day where we learn that Butler and Diane are going to stay in Forina because as long as they’re together nothing else matters. Uh, you guys don’t want to be magicians anymore? That thing you’ve been your whole lives? What do you intend on doing in Forina?

May congratulates Diane in getting her wish and then freaks out because she forgot to make her final wish on her wishing star. She says it doesn’t matter because everyone has to make their own dreams come true (Shh, don’t tell Disney.) They’re about to get a ride back to town with Butler and Diane when Max hears Jirachi’s voice yet again telling him they’ll be friends forever.

Jirachi! It is way past your bedtime, mister! You go to sleep right now or I won’t make you pancakes for breakfast in 3015!

Max smiles and returns to the bus as our movie ends.

The end credits start and the song is pretty nice…..hey….wait, this sounds familiar….Do…dodoooodododo—It’s the lullaby! It has lyrics!? Then why not sing the song in the movie!? Aw, forget it.

Now….I’m unsure about posting this since it might just be my copy, but since I distinctly remember this also happening when I watched it on TV, I’m going to say I’m not the only one who has experienced this.

During the end credits, May gets hungry, collapses to the ground and complains. A truck drives up and as we see the surprised faces of the group, the shot jars REALLY drastically to the left after about one or two frames. The exact same thing happens in the next shot of the truck driving down the road. The shots are perfectly fine in the original version.

First frame (Group shot):

Rest of Shot (Group shot):

First frame (Truck shot):

Rest of shot (Truck Shot):

I have only one theory as to why this might be. There’s one thing that Dogasu commonly brings up in the movie comparisons – the fact that all of the movies never get widescreen releases despite the source being released in widescreen.

This has caused several issues across the movies, most notably in movie 01 and 02 where people would be cropped out of shots or shots would jarringly shift to get another character who starts talking into frame.

This is the shot in the original Japanese version:

See how everyone’s in the shot and how, at best, only May, Max and Ash make it fully into the shot in the dub? I think this was an insanely sloppy effort to get everyone’s reactions into frame. When the shot returns to the truck, the focus must’ve still been kept to the left for a frame or two and then they corrected it to be centered, making it jar there.

I don’t really get why this needed to be attempted anyway. So Brock’s not in the shot. Who cares? I’d rather have Brock cropped out of a completely pointless end credits scene than have the footage jar all over the place like it was edited by Edward Scissorhands on crystal meth.

This isn’t like in the first movie where they basically had to move the shot suddenly to get Brock into frame because he had a line and needed to be on-screen after someone on the other side of the screen said their line. There is no point here.

Now that I think about it, the earlier cut that jarred the screen also fixed the positioning, so I’m guessing the standard format cut off parts of the poster (IE, the ‘G’ I mentioned), forcing them to move the shot when it got to the close up. So it likely wasn’t because of particularly sloppy editing due to painting off the Japanese text and moreso really sloppy editing due to cropping that occurred between versions.

If this cropping is, for some reason, absolutely necessary, why not just make it so the shot moves slowly from one side to the other? A pan shot is miles above a sudden jump cut to the same scene.

The rest of the scenes are the group stargazing and pointing out Pokemon-based constellations and yup, the rest of this song is indeed in Japanese. I have to say, Bra-freakin-vo on whoever chose the woman to sing the English version of the ending song because she sounds almost exactly like the original singer.

We also get some shots of the group walking, a nice cameo by a good chunk of the group’s Pokemon at the beach, them enjoying some of the same fireworks from earlier (the exact same ones) and finally them staring off into the sunset at the movie ends.

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Bottomline: You probably already got this, but….I kinda loved this movie. Surprisingly, to be honest, because I just didn’t remember giving this movie much credit back when I first watched it, but now that I’ve sat down and watched it again, this is probably the second best Pokemon movie so far.

Practically everything about it works very well. The relationship between Max and Jirachi is genuine, and their departure was saddening and well handled. The May and Max moments were pretty heartwarming. Ash was actually pretty cool to watch for a change. Butler was a legit villain with a backstory, a non-stupid, but admittedly cliché, motivation and something to humanize him. Granted, his voice does not work, but what can you do? Max wasn’t that annoying here. He was actually pretty sweet most of the time. He has his moments of annoyance here and there, but they can be overlooked.

Team Rocket’s part was basically pointless from start to finish, but since they didn’t affect anything and barely had any screentime I can’t complain too much. Speaking of which, outside of hitting on girls, Brock was also totally non-existent here again.

The clone Groudon was AWESOME……But he is one of the bigger problems in the movie mostly because they never explain in the least how this thing was made. Why was the cloning process corrupted into making this shadow Groudon? Was it just because not enough energy was fed into it or are we really going with my dark digivolution theory of using power for selfish means creates evil?

I may rag on Jirachi being a pretty lame legendary (mostly because practically every Psychic type can teleport things and him being a non-wish-granting wish-granting Pokemon is just really disappointing. The fact that he can channel energy from the Millennium Comet is really the only thing he has going for him.) but I will admit, he can be pretty damn cool when the situation calls for it. That finale was simply fantastic.

Story-wise, you can easily compare this with movie 04. That movie tried to combine action with soft and genuine moments of friendship, growth and reflection but the fourth movie pretty much failed. The conflict with Sam being ‘stuck’ in the present was a non-plot point as Celebi could’ve sent him back whenever he wanted. The conflict of Jirachi’s impending 1000 year hibernation was very real and completely unavoidable.

The Sam and Ash friendship was pretty nice and genuine, but I think it was a bit too hammy. I think they overplayed the connection between the two. They got way too close too fast all because they wanted to make the ‘ooh it’s Oak’ connection. In terms of him crying over him leaving as well as everyone else doing so was also over the top for someone who A) Isn’t dying and B) could easily be seen again in their time if they thought to research who it was in the present.

The connection between Sam and Celebi is okay, but they didn’t focus on it enough. Like I said, it felt like Ash kept taking the spotlight away from what seemed to be their story and slowly it started to be more like Ash was meant to have the connection with Celebi and not Sam.

The relationship between Max and Jirachi is a bit forced at first, downright weird when Jirachi is a rock, but the way I see it is that Max views Jirachi as kinda his first Pokemon. As a non-trainer, but an aspiring one, he has no Pokemon of his own to care for, yet he really loves Pokemon. So it’s not that far out there that he’d be really excited to have Jirachi choose him as his friend.

Additionally, the small bits with May and Max were well done as they have a very realistic relationship here. They fight, they make pokes at each other, but in the end they still love each other and aren’t afraid to show it when the situation calls for it.

I didn’t quite understand why May kept getting so angry with Jirachi, though.

Ash’s role in this movie was near perfect. He was the smartest and most mature I’ve ever seen him, even better than movie 03, and he never seemed to take the spotlight away from Max and Jirachi’s story. He obviously got focus, and, in the end, had his little hero moment, but they had just the right amount of focus on him and Pikachu.

Ash’s role in movie 04 overstepped his bounds. There were so many times where I felt Ash was stepping on Sam and Celebi’s toes and taking the story from them. Plus, he was pretty annoying and dumb in that movie.

Butler is the first villain that I would actually say is good outside of Mewtwo. He’s fleshed out, has a story, has a human connection and has a believable reason for turning to the side of good at the end. He wants Jirachi for a legit reason, he wants to create Groudon for a legit reason, and everything he does has a purpose. He was a scientist bent on revenge who created a monster in place of his dream. He realized his mistake, he paid for it, and he helped fix it. Even Diane was well-used as a character, though she’s a bit too passive for my tastes.

The Iron Masked Marauder may have been the first villain in these movies who was a legit villain, again outside of Mewtwo, but he was really cliché. He has no backstory, he wasn’t fleshed out outside of ‘he works for Team Rocket and wants Celebi’s powers to take over Team Rocket and rule the world.’ We never learn why he’s specifically targeting Celebi nor why he’s destroying the forest. He never changes, he never grows and even the reveal of who/what was behind the mask was lame because it was nothing.

Lawrence the Third was complete nothing outside of a collector, and Annie and Oakley were just thieves who, like IMM, wanted Latios and Latias merely for power and to take over the world. Their growth and change was really just giving up on resisting their punishment in the end.

Movie 04’s seemingly pointless and cliché, sometimes cheesy and laughably animated, action gets in the way of what could be a heartwarming story of a boy (Seriously) trapped in another time. That’s a pretty interesting story. You could also greatly build on his connection with Celebi through a lot of quiet and soft moments, but those were too few and far between amongst the insanity.

This movie had what I think is a pretty nice balance of quiet, genuine moments and action. Plus, the action had a point, didn’t seem to be in the way and was completely awesome from start to finish.

This movie is everything 04 could’ve been but wasn’t.

Art: The art, animation and CGI are the best I’ve seen them. The CGI is actually the best of the movies so far, I believe edging out movie 03 merely because of the icky Unown. The CGI here does have its spots of poor quality, but they’re quick and not very noticeable. I think a lot of this is helped by the fact that much of the CGI is done at night, making imperfections more masked.

Shame on the editors for this movie though. One screen-jarring edit is bad enough, but three?

And yes, I also don’t understand why the hell they went through so many years of releasing the movies in standard format instead of widescreen when the source is widescreen. All it does is make more problems for them.

That in itself dropped this movie down a couple of decimal points for me. It was probably fixed in future releases, if there were future releases, but the fact that this was greenlit for release on VHS and/or DVD and TV release once upon a time with these issues intact is enraging to me. Pure laziness.

Music: The music was great, though I do miss the OP. The lack of music at numerous moments was also a welcome change of pace. The ED is really nice, though the in-movie version will never sound not-silly to me. When May does it alone, it’s not too bad, but when they all did it it was hard to keep focus on the sad Jirachi departure because ech.

All in all, a pretty great movie. Not perfect, but definitely the most I’ve enjoyed a Pokemon movie since 03, and that’s really saying something.

Recommended Audience: Nothing that I remember. E for everyone!

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Yugioh GX Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison

YGOGXSDCEP1TITLE

Plot: Judai Yuki is an aspiring duelist preparing to take his entrance exam into the Duel Academia. When one of the teachers at the school, a high ranked professor named Crowler, learns that a tardy upstart who scored low on his written exams wants to take his final exam, Crowler decides to teach him a lesson and uses his own deck to duel him himself. However, Crowler learns a lesson as well; never underestimate your opponent.

—————————————-

Entire Series Edit: The opening theme song is changed. Instead, we get a fairly catchy theme called Get Your Game On. Yes, it’s lame, but at the very least it’s an ear worm. I’m kinda disappointed because Yugioh actually had a really great theme song (“it’s time to DUDUDUD—DUDUDUDUDUDUEL!”) and instead we get this generic song. 4Kids did seem to get worse and worse with theme songs as time went by. We went from making one of the best and most memorable English themes to date with the first Pokemon theme to this and later to One Piece and Mew Mew Power…

To be honest, I’m not crazy about the opener in the original either, I think it’s one of those songs that needs to grow on me. It’s okay. But it seems kinda….clusterfuckish?

Music: You know the drill with 4Kids dubs. Always background music, most of it being 4Kids’ score, hardly ever any silence and whatnot.

Entire Show Edit: As with the series preceding it, the cards are painted to only show their type color, attack and defense powers and the picture for the card to avoid getting in trouble with whomever controls that stuff.

Judai originally tells us that his train was late, which is making him late for his exam. However, he takes this in stride and says it’s just another test being thrown at him. In the dub, Jaden, with a serious look at first, says he’s completely prepared for the exam barring him being late, but he doesn’t care because it’s not like he can get detention if he’s not even accepted yet.

This is kinda subtle, but it shows us differences in the character throughout the versions. Judai seems to take everything like a challenge that he’s more than willing to face. Jaden seems like a prepared yet lazy idiot. I’m not going to like Jaden as much as I like Judai as time goes on, am I?….I’m not going to like Jaden much period, am I?

Name Change: Judai Yuki is changed to Jaden Yuki. I will never fully understand why 4Kids chooses to change a Japanese first name but not a last name or vice versa. I know it’s less Japanese, but it’s still Japanese.

This is our first glimpse at Yugi’s older self in the series. Though they never show his face above the nose, he obviously looks and sounds exactly like Yami did. Fans speculate that this solidifies that Yugi is Yami’s reincarnation, and that very well might be true. Then again, that would mean that Bakura’s Yami Bakura’s reincarnation? Though the looks are pretty much the same, Bakura’s nothing like Yami Bakura. Also, I’d hate to imagine timid little Bakura growing up to look exactly like Yami Bakura.

The title card is missing, and in it’s place, they misplaced the opening theme. In the original, the opener was played at the very beginning of the episode. In the dub, it’s after Jaden meets Yugi. I have a feeling this will be this way through the entire series.

Also, the title’s kinda….well, fans might be kinda miffed by it. It’s “Yugi’s Successor.” While Judai is our new hero for the show, ‘successor’ kinda implies that he surpasses Yugi. To the best of my knowledge, while we have had several new heroes, the general consensus is that none of them can surpass Yugi.

Title card:

If the title card is different each episode, I may update it like I do with Digimon, but it’s pretty generic so it might not change. Yugioh’s never changed.

Clips for the opener are kept relatively the same, but 4Kids changes several of them and switches places with a lot of them.

Opening narration tells us that the school is a part of Kaiba Land. In the dub, we get PA announcements about the exam and Crowler, in regards to talking about the duelists who fail the exam, says “good luck at Duel Monsters Community College.”……..Guys, tell me that’s not a thing. I know later we learn there is an actual Dueling college, but also community college? Tell me this isn’t a thing!

More narration tells us that the Duel Academia’s exam consists of two parts – written and practical exams. Those who get high enough grades on the written exam move on to the practical exam. Those who pass the practical exam are enrolled in the school and placed in a dorm based on their scores. In the dub, Syrus has inner monologue running instead, saying how it’s hard to concentrate with all of the academy kids staring at him and how he wishes he were already enrolled.

They cut out another overhead shot of the separate duel arenas as the exams are being conducted.

The Life Point counter has been drastically altered in the new series.

Subbed: 

Dubbed:

While the new one for the original is pretty generic and similar to the previous series in the original, barring it’s color changing instead of blue, the new one of the dub is drastically changed. It’s gold with several decorations on it, and in addition to a number life point counter there’s also a life point gauge to the right.

Also, the LP count on Misawa is wrong. Originally he had 3000 and in the dub he has 3200.

The original exam proctor for Misawa’s duel was telling him that there’s no way he can reduce his life points since he has a super defense deck. In the dub, he mocks him by giving him a fake multiple choice question. “You have two monsters staring you down. Do you A: Throw in the towel, B: Beg for mercy or C: Cry home to mama?” Misawa originally just follows this by giving an explanation of his next move. In the dub, he responds to the conductor’s taunts by saying “D: None of the above.”

Originally the Ring of Destruction card was a collar with grenades on it (Someone call Jigsaw) In the dub it’s just a collar with fireballs on it…..On the card anyway. I guess 4Kids thought animating fire was too much so they just made them into little red egg things.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Yes, I also think it looks like he’s wearing Christmas lights on his neck.

Name Change: Daichi Misawa is changed to Bastion Misawa.

One of Chazz’s friends has a southern accent for no reason whatsoever. His other friend sounds like a stereotypical idiot.

Chazz: “We went to Duel Prep school for three years…” TELL ME THIS ISN’T A THING!

Name Change: Jun Manjoume is changed to Chazz Princeton. Yes, with two Z’s…and yes, 4Kids basically did everything in their power to make a ‘jackass rich guy’ name.

Jun originally says there’s no room for two kings of Duel Academia. In the dub, he says he’s going to teach these punk duelists the hard way – the Chazz Princeton way. Because if there’s one way to solidify your status as a douche, it’s speaking in third person.

Shou explains that your exam number is your test rank on the written exam. Misawa was the top of the class which means he’s number 1. Shou was 119 and Judai was 110. Shou tells him that the lower ranked duel exams were over already, which meant Judai had a very short window to duel. In the dub, they don’t keep the ranks. They just say Bastion was the number one student in the written phase and that they just barely passed. To make Jaden freak out about his exam, Syrus’ dialogue is changed to telling Jaden that Bastion’s duel exam was meant to be the last one of the day.

Crowler: “Did you just call me ‘sir?”

Registration guy: “Well, yes. I’m fairly new here and–”

Crowler: “I’ll have you know I have a PhD in dueling. I think I’ve earned the title ‘doctor’!”

…….A….p….A PhD….in dueling….did you hear that guys?….A PhD….in dueling…..a dueling….doctor…..hahahahahahahahahahah….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!…..Oh, doctor, please tell me what trap card would be best in this situation! AHAHHHHAHAHAHA THAT’S A NICE USE OF LIKE 200,000 DOLLARS! Ahhh…The only thing that’s getting me through these ridiculous claims is that these supposed titles and institutions only exist in the dub…..so far.

Cronos originally said that someone so low rank doesn’t deserve his exam if he’s tardy.

Cronos also sneaks Italian into his speech for whatever reason in the original. In the dub, this isn’t present.

Name Change: Principal Samejima is changed to Chancellor Sheppard.

Name Change: Cronos De Minici is changed to Vellian Crowler.

Samejima originally tells Cronos that he heard a new applicant might be refused because he was late due to a train incident. He tells Cronos to accept the exam applicant since their job is to train a diverse group of duelists and give everyone a fair shot. In the dub, Sheppard calls up to check to see if everything’s okay since he doesn’t want a repeat of last year where apparently Crowler dismissed a third of the potential applicants due to calling him ‘mister’. You’d think that’d be a firable offense, but I guess there’s only so many duel doctors in the world.

Cronos originally doesn’t want to test Judai because the school’s only for the dueling elite, not some low ranked slackers and wonders why Samejima’s defending him. In the dub, he explains that there’s enough talentless students at the academy already.

Shou asks how he’s so confident since he only ranked nine levels higher than him in the written exam. In the dub, Syrus just comments on how confident Jaden is and wonders if he’s really that good. Basically the same, but they’re still omitting the ranks.

Name Change: Shou Marufuji is changed to Syrus Truesdale.

Cronos’ original title was Chief General Director of Practical Application. In the dub he’s Department Chair of Techniques.

Judai doesn’t insult Cronos by saying he thought he was the academy mascot like a majorette or a cheerleader (and nice way to insult your exam proctor. I’m sure that’s great for your end grade.) He just says that due to Cronos’ great title he must be expecting a lot from him.

Jun’s friends initially speak about how surprised they are that Cronos himself is doing the exam, which makes what I now completely believe to be a Draco Malfoy clone, Jun, very angry. In the dub, Chazz’s friends say that Jaden’s got quite the attitude, which makes Draco mad for some reason. What, is he super defensive when Crowler’s involved?

Nitpick, but the Duel Vest is originally called a Duel Coat….And that thing looks ridiculous and seems really impractical to wear.

Visuals:

The Attack and Defense indicator is also changed for the new series. There’s less decoration in the dub, but still.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Not even going to bother talking about the catchphrase for this series, Get Your Game On. I find it really annoying, yet less so than Believe it! But moreso than It’s Time to Duel! And I find it just dates this show badly like other slang 4Kids has put in here like “tight”.

Cronos’ original inner monologue was analyzing Judai’s first turn. Taking from the fact that he used an Elemental Hero on his first turn, Cronos believes Judai must be some sort of small town hero. In the dub, he just thinks about how he’s going to fail Jaden. While both versions want him to fail, the dub makes it seem like Crowler has some sort of personal vendetta against Jaden.

Cronos calls Judai’s deck a dropout deck (I guess dropout is a common sleight to Judai in the original) In the dub, Crowler says he remembers uses cards like those when he was a naïve rookie.

Judai then thinks to himself that Cronos’ is insulting the deck he put his life into, In the dub, Jaden doesn’t have any inner monologue, Crowler’s still speaking.

Cronos originally says “That’s what they call being a frog in a well. Ribbit ribbit.” In the dub, he tells Jaden he shouldn’t speak out of turn. His original dialogue points to an old Chinese fable about a frog in a well who would brag about how great his life was. However, his viewpoint was narrow because he only knew of life in the well. One of the animals that he bragged to decided to take him out of the well and show him the world above, which made him change his viewpoint and realize there’s a much bigger world beyond the well. This is basically Cronos saying Judai’s naïve since he’s only seeing what’s in front of him and not beyond….However, him going ‘ribbit ribbit’ makes it seem like he’s calling himself the frog so something might’ve gone wrong here.

They don’t refer to Cronos’ deck by name in the dub. It’s his Dark Ages deck.

As expected, the commercial break eyecatches are edited out….Wait, I’m only at the first commercial? Oy. If these change in the future, I’ll update them.

Shou marvels at how Cronos summoned an eight star monster suddenly on his first turn. In the dub, Syrus says Jaden’s nuts for taking on that legendary monster. Gotta say, for legendary, that thing looks like ass. That thing could easily be a three-star monster and I’d see no difference.

Name Change: Ryo Marufuji is changed to Zane Truesdale. And oh wonderful, he’s voiced by the same guy who voices Mark in Mew Mew Power. What a treat….At least it fits Zane more than Mark seeing as how Zane’s older. Still not quite old enough for the voice, but better.

Name Change: Asuka Tanjouin is changed to Alexis Rhodes.

Ryo initially tells us that Cronos has yet to lose after summoning that monster and that he must be taking this duel very seriously to bring it out. In the dub, Zane comments on how gutsy Jaden is for not even flinching at such a monster.

The Golem’s Ultimate Pound attack is changed to Mechanized Melee.

Shou says that the Golem’s ability, to reduce the opponents life points by the difference between its attack and his monster’s defense points, defies the rules…No it doesn’t. While I do like to take any opportunity to call out cheating in these shows, that effect is perfectly legal and other monsters and cards have similar abilities. If it was against the rules, it wouldn’t be written on the card.

Judai says he’s honored to have such a prestigious professor at the academy dueling at his peak against him. In the dub, Jaden just says he wants to go to the school even more now because he’s enjoying the duel so much.

Judai doesn’t gloat in his head in the original.

Judai/Jaden isn’t in the least bit freaked out that his card just winked at him?

They changed the transition to the flashback with Yugi. Instead of a slightly wavy fade in and out, 4Kids uses this jarring bubble/fish eye lens transition.

Not sure why Cronos isn’t taking Winged Kuriboh more seriously. Granted, it is Kuriboh, but is he forgetting that the Kuriboh collection was one of Yugi’s, the King of Games, signature creatures? That doesn’t mean Judai knows how to play him well, but he should know better than to discredit it like that.

Wh…what? Asuka and Ryo talk about how it’s weird, yet also fascinating, that Cronos didn’t know of Winged Kuriboh’s effects and Ryo says the dueling world is boundless and even the best don’t know everything. This is kept the same in both versions but……..Well, okay…but he has a PhD….in DUELING PBBBBTTHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH–…Oh sorry. Anyway, he’s a duel doctor – You’d think that’d mean he’d extensively know all of the cards of the King of Games, at the very least.

Burstinatrix’s outfit is censored.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

We don’t see or hear Cronos talking before we see the splitscreen of Ryo, Asuka and Jun on screen. I guess 4Kids really didn’t think kids had the memory span or math skills to know that Elemental Hero Flame Wingman had less attack points than the Golem so they added the scene to shove it down their throats.

Misawa also says that Elemental Hero Flame Wingman is only summonable through fusion instead of repeating and explaining again than it has less attack points than the Golem.

The dub seems to have a fetish for what I call ‘frame-switching’ transitions. Basically where one scene ‘shoves’ another out of the way. I have no idea why, but for some reason it makes the show completely RADICAL and TIGHT!

Wow….Skyscraper’s such an OP card. In the original, Judai explains that Skyscraper’s ability is to increase an attacking Hero card’s attack by 1000 points if it’s attacking a creature with higher attack points. In the dub, it’s just that Skyscraper by default raises the Hero’s attack by 1000 points. Either way, that’s almost unfair it’s so powerful. And it’s not like there’s any criteria for using it either, it’s just a field magic card. Wow.

EMFW’s Skyscraper Shot is changed to Skydive Scorcher. Which does sound better, in my opinion.

Jaden: “And because of my Wingman’s super power…” It’s a special ability not a super power…

Judai’s final catchphrase is changed. At the end of a duel, he says “Gotcha!” while sometimes adding “That was a fun duel!” In the dub, he says “That’s game!” Judai also doesn’t say “Throw down a face-down.”

Not surprisingly, the dub completely omits the ending theme and the next episode previews. The ending song is okay, but the background animation is lazy. It’s just recycled moving still shots going over and over on a card background.

Next episode will have Judai dueling with Jun and the new students of Duel Academia get assigned to their dorms.

Pokemon Episode 48 Analysis: Holy Matrimony!

Pokemon Episode 48 TITLE

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

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

Pokemon: Vileplume

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

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

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

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

Pokemon: James.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First line.

Damn pun.

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 48 Screen1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Okay, let me prepare myself….

*inhale*…..*exhale*

WHAT THE UNHOLY HELL IS THIS ROOM!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– And now the biggest mar on this episode.

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

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

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

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

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I really like James’ expression here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 47 Analysis: A Chansey Operation

Pokemon Ep47 title

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

Reappear?: No (Thank God)

Pokemon: None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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His hand has to be touching intestines.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Misty: “Your phone’s ringing.”

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

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

“Like with Pikachu!”….Or with…people…

Also, thanks for clarifying what constitutes as an emergency.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call them in from home? HMMM?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………*sigh*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, class, any questions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– IVYSAUR!

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

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

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

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

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Adorable Chansey reaction, though.

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

– Brock: “So what now?”

Ash: “Beats me.”

CALL. FOR. HELP!

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

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

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

“Weaken it with Water Gun!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Someone seems awful comfortable taking a ‘flasher’ pose.

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 46 Analysis: Attack of the Prehistoric Pokemon

Pokemon Ep 46 Title

CoTD(s): None

Evolutions: Ash’s Charmeleon → Charizard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————-

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

– Hi Gary!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– James: “Oh it’s that pest again!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The reactions are priceless, though.

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

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

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

– How is Weezing falling if it can float?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen5

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

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

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen6

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

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

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen7
The best part of waking up is–MURDERING YOU!

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

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

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

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

Here we go.

Ash Being a Charmoron Count:

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

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

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

– Geodude gets to do stuff! Whoo!

….It’s just moving rocks…..but whoo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was just pissed.

Here’s Charmeleon’s evolution scene entirely.

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

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

Charmeleon stamps its feet and has a tantrum.

Evolve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And don’t even mention Pidgeotto.

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

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

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

– Rrrgh…..

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen13

Frickin’

Egg.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—————————

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 05: Pokemon Heroes (Dub) Review

Rating: 4.5/10

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock are in the beautiful town of Alto Mare partaking in the local traditions, competitions and culture. One of their most beloved legends is that of Latios (with special guest Latias, who wasn’t even in the legend) who is known to be the guardian of the town after saving it centuries ago…..or less than 50 years ago depending on if Lorenzo’s a vampire or not. Ash is lucky enough to meet a pair of Latias and Latios, but soon discovers that they’re in danger from the thieving Team Rocket pair of Annie and Oakley.

Breakdown: I watched this movie quite a few times On Demand back when it was released, and I remember enjoying it perfectly fine. Annie and Oakley were fairly interesting, and I like Latias and Latios….

I guess this movie, like 04, just never felt that big to me. Latias and Latios, while I do really like them, don’t seem like actual legendaries to me for some reason. I was expecting some movie about Kyogre and Groudon and maybe Rayquaza and yet we got these two. Instead, two of them are made into a special arc in the TV series and the other gets a role in the Destiny Deoxys movie.

I was pretty okay with doing the review until I remembered this excerpt from the Bulbagarden comparison.

“The problem with the Pokémon Heroes dub is that the script is really off. For whatever reason, 4Kids decided to completely throw out the movie’s backstory and create their own, which is strange considering how they haven’t had any script changes this major since Mewtwo Strikes Back.”

….I’m in for first movie level changes? Ouch.

Enough jabber. Let’s get into Pokemon movie 05: Enter Super Generic Title Here—I mean, Pokemon Heroes.

==========================

Brock murders the narrator again and gives us ‘The World of Pokemon’ intro that I still don’t understand why they do in these movies. I guess it makes for a good intro, but every single movie? Also, it should be noted that this entire sequence is the exact same scene as it was in movie 04. They don’t even fix the pajama mistake I mentioned last time. Lazy little movie makers.

I find it funny that, in this intro, Brock calls Ash ‘the pride of Pallet Town’. Gary’s a better trainer, capturer and battler and I will believe until my dying day that Ash ever winning against Gary is a complete fluke.

Technically Ash is an awful ‘pride of Pallet Town’ seeing as how Red, the character Ash is based off of, is so much better as well. He won the Indigo League while two other Pallet Alum, Blue (Gary’s inspiration) and Green (who never gets an anime counterpart, which sucks…) were second and third place respectively.

Why do Misty and Brock get no explanation whatsoever? It’s just ‘and joining them is Misty and yours truly, Brock.’ Sadly, this is the last time they can use this opener. This is the last movie that Misty ever appears in. 😦

Getting to the actual movie, we see a few pages from an old book and two thieves, Annie and Oakley, talking about it. They discuss how the book explores Latias and Latios as well as a jewel but that the book doesn’t get into the really good stuff until the end. I don’t know why they’re spending time talking about it while they’re still in the process of stealing it. Seems like a needless waste of time when you’re pressed for it.

A security guard at the library they’re in nearly spots them, but they get away on cables. The guard finds a single rose in the spot where the book was as well a picture with two lip icons on it, one red and one blue.

They zipline their way back to their car with spy-like music playing and Annie asks what the ending is about. Oakley says it explains how to control a machine called the Defense Mechanism of Alto Mare. It’s pronounced ‘Mar’ here, but it’s spelled ‘M-air’ so I dunno.

They drive off a cliff, perhaps a nod to Thelma and Louise, but then we see the car instantly transform into a jet and fly away. You guys are really taking the spy thing all the way, huh?

As they fly, Oakley explains that the Defense Mechanism of Alto Mare, really original name by the way, is supposedly the most powerful weapon in the world. Annie says she doesn’t care about the weapon and all she wants is the jewel from the story – the soul dew.

However, Oakley states that the jewel is needed to operate the machine and then goes on to explain the origins of the name ‘soul dew’ – it contains the soul of a Latios and looks like a dew drop.

Annie says that they have to remember to capture Pokemon for Giovanni and then they head to Alto Mare. Ooh, Team Rocket’s actually doing stuff for a change? I’m surprised 4Kids even believes viewers will remember Giovanni’s name at this point. He’s such a non-existent character. When he is brought up he’s usually just called ‘the boss’.

We get our title screen with the Pokemon logo over water, and they go to the trouble of putting the logo’s reflection in the water. Fancy~

Then we get the word ‘Heroes’ in 2 ½D. It looks like it’s unfinished. It’s flat, obviously, but it’s designed in such a way that makes it seem like it was meant to be entirely in 3D CGI.

That being said, the animation and colors for the title are pretty good, so I can’t fault them too much.

In Alto Mare, Ash and Misty are partaking in a water race where trainers stand on small boat things while their Water Pokemon pull them. Ash is using Totodile while Misty is usin – Corsola? Really? Out of all of her Water Pokemon, she chose the one based on an organism that is basically immobile and the Pokemon itself is known for being so sedentary that people build houses on them? Politoed, Staryu, hell this would’ve been great for Goldeen, but no – she chose Corsola. Okaaaay.

The race starts and we get our theme song, Master Quest. Unlike the other movie songs, this is just the TV version only extended with more instrumental parts and repeating the chorus a couple times. Booooooooo! You guys have been doing so well with the movie themes, yet you don’t even try on this one? Shame!

Pikachu ends up getting knocked off the bridge he’s on and lands conveniently on Ash’s shoulder. Oh yeah, sorry Pikachu. We didn’t realize you weren’t getting attention for more than five seconds.

The race is neck and neck….and neck with Ash, Misty and some dude named Ross with a Wailmer. Nothing much else is going on for a good chunk of this segment. Brock chats up a girl, there’s a joke about Team Rocket getting splashed by water from the racers and we see translucent Latias and Latios flying around. Several of them, it seems.

Ash ends up wiping out on a corner but is saved by one of the translucent Latias or Latios. If the rest of the movie is any indication, it’s probably the Latias we see later. He gets back on his float thing, gets back into the race and is propelled by Latias who suddenly grabs the rope and drags him.

Surprisingly, the race doesn’t end when the song does, and it’s a race to the finish with Misty and Ross.

Latias is allowing Ash to catch up to Misty and Ross, making me worry that he’s going to end up unwittingly cheating to get the win, but Latios grabs the tether as well and sends Ash down the wrong path, eventually throwing them back onto land and then they fall into the water.

Back with Misty and Ross, they’re still neck and neck and they cross the finish line at the same time. However, video evidence shows that Misty won by the horns on Corsola. Wow, Misty actually won? Holy crap. I would say this is a nice movie sendoff for her, but she is basically non-existent for the rest of the movie.

Ross congratulates her on her win and offers to show her around Alto Mare. Damn, you’re a really good sport…..or he’s hitting on her and didn’t expect that she’d take her guy friends with her. Either way.

And that medallion looks freakin’ awesome.

If there was ever one piece of Pokemon merchandise that I needed in my life, it’s this. Someone make my dreams come true and tell me this is a thing.

Ross explains that the symbols on the medallion tell the story of Alto Mare. Misty points out the that symbols look like Pokemon, but he doesn’t bother actually telling the story yet. They see statues of Latias and Latios, and Ross explains that they’re Pokemon that protect the town. No one sees them, but most people believe they’re real.

Cut to a flock of Pidgey followed by a little flying gadget that flies by a drill on its head recording everything on the island, including the painfully CGI people down below.

When we get a closer shot, it’s even more obvious how ech it is. It’s that weird cel-shaded CGI we’ve seen before. These same people were traditionally animated and drawn a minute ago, so I dunno what they’re doing.

We cut to Annie and Oakley watching the video feed with a thermal imager. Annie asks why they haven’t seen either Latias or Latios yet if they’re the guardians of the town. Oakley claims it’s difficult because they can take on different shapes, even disguising themselves as humans. The reason they’re using the thermal imaging software is because either Pokemon in general or Latias and Latios specifically have lower body temperatures than humans. They find one of them and leave on their boat.

Team Rocket are about to eat ice cream by the waterway. You’d think they’d eat indoors or further away from the water after last time, but then we wouldn’t have this running gag.

After Annie and Oakley splash them with water as they drive by in their boat, Jessie points out that it was Team Rocket. James worries that they saw them and Meowth states that they’re spies for Giovanni. They decide to follow them to somehow make a big break for themselves.

Back with Ash and friends, they bid farewell to Ross and he tells them where to get great food and ice cream. They head off for the ice cream place first, but despite the fact that they’re going to get cold desserts and drinks, Pikachu decides to make a pit stop at a rusty fountain to get a drink instead. Pikachu can’t turn the tap on, but a mysterious silent girl turns it on for him.

Ash arrives to come get Pikachu for ice cream, and the girl gets all up in his grill and stares at him while circling him. He just stares in response before she walks away.

She wanders by the river and Annie and Oakley catch up. They confirm that she’s Latias and attack her with their Espeon and Ariados. They have custom designed Pokeballs, black with a red lipstick mark for Annie and blue lips for Oakley. Fun how custom Pokeballs mostly just pop up in movies.

Latias runs, and Pikachu, still bathing in the fountain, hears the commotion and runs off. Ash follows after him, and I love how he takes the time out to turn off the tap before running after Pikachu. Ash is such an advocate for water conservation.

Latias is cornered and captured in String Shot before Ash catches up and saves her, but Annie and Oakley aren’t going to stand for that.

Oakley: “Whatever would we do if he attacked us, Annie?”

Annie: “Espeon, show Oakley what we’d do.”

Ash: “That was a dirty trick!” What trick? That was the most obvious sarcastic set up to an attack I’ve ever seen. Even if there was no sarcasm, she clearly pointed out that Espeon was going to do something bad. You’re just dumb.

Ash decides to fight back and has Pikachu Thunderbolt them. I’m now realizing that Espeon has an awful English voice. Ick.

Ash and Latias run away, and Espeon and Ariados chase after them. During the chase we cut to their view, I suppose, but the shot is too smooth so it’s like they’re flying through the CGI town. This is made even worse by the fact that, though you can hear Ash panting as he’s running, you can’t hear his footsteps.

Latias takes the lead when Ash realizes he’s lost and she leads him right back to his friends before vanishing.

As Ash reunites with his friends, Annie and Oakley watch over them with their little drill camera gadget thing from earlier. They note that Latias isn’t with Ash anymore and will be ensuring that it stays that way……Really? You’re that intimidated by a ten year old boy with a yellow rat? You really are from Team Rocket.

The gang heads to a museum and Ash gives us this line:

Ash: “Is this a fossil of a Pokemon?”

Ash, sweetie, remember that thing you were captured by a long time ago? That thing that spurred your old Charmeleon’s evolution? Looked like a pterodactyl? Similar to that fossil? Come on. You can do it. I believe in younotreally.

Some old guy named Lorenzo who I think is a curator explains that the fossils are more than just fossils – they’re the remnants of Pokemon who used to terrorize Alto Mare.

Lorenzo: “One was an Aerodactyl, the other was…”

Misty: “Kabutops?”

Lorenzo: “That’s right!”

Wait, Misty remembers Kabutops, but Ash doesn’t remember Aerodactyl?

Lorenzo introduces the kids to the DMA, the Defense Mechanism of Alto….Mare….It’s two words, so doesn’t that mean it should be DMAM?—oh whatever.

Brock sees light coming through the stained glass windows and proclaims it’s a sign that he’ll meet a girl in Alto Mare…….kinda random there.

Lorenzo tells a story about how the people of Alto Mare were terrorized by an Aerodactyl and a Kabutops and their evil master. When this happened, Latios arrived and flooded the town, drowning the evil Pokemon and turning the streets into canals…..

That’s real neat and all….but…uh, if Latios flooded the town….wouldn’t that kill all the innocent people and Pokemon there too? And how did flooding a town kill an Aerodactyl? They can fly….For that matter, how’d it kill a Kabutops? They’re part Water type. They just chose two Pokemon who have no real reason to ever drown to be the victims of a drowning. I’m surprised 4Kids even opted to say that they drowned. That’s a bit dark.

I thought there was some preachiness at some point in time that said no Pokemon is evil, they just have evil trainers. I didn’t hear him say the evil trainer was killed by Latios.

He explains that the story and the canals are the reason the town’s called Alto Mare as it means ‘high seas’. It’s also how the DMA(M) got built.

As he’s telling us more about the weapon, Ash notices a girl who looks suspiciously like the girl he met earlier, only with a hat, drawing up in the balcony.

Ash pursues the girl all over town, but when he finally catches up with her and asks why she disappeared, she says she doesn’t know him. Also her voice sounds way too old for her body. She’s ten like Ash, right? She sounds like she’s 30.

The girl leaves, but Ash still decides to follow her through town. We see some Murkrow, who also have have awful voices, and Ash gives up on his chase right as he sees her again. It’s clear this time that it’s Latias since she’s now sans hat and art supplies and isn’t speaking. She runs off prompting Ash to follow her. We get more ‘flying’ through the CGI town some more and it’s even more distracting because now because I can’t hear Ash panting to imply that he’s running.

He’s brought to a cool little part of town with a garden lattice and a fountain for the bird Pokemon. Latias suddenly disappears through a portal in a wall, so Ash and Pikachu follow.

They’re lead into a beautiful park and continue to follow Latias. When they catch up, Latios springs from a nearby pool and starts attacking Ash while invisible, but Latias steps in to protect him.

The girl from before who looks just like Latias walks up and starts bitching out Ash for attacking Latios. They try to explain, but the girl, Bianca, will have none of it and orders Latios to attack. They’re stopped, however, by Lorenzo. He explains that the other girl is Latias and she just wants to play with her new friends. As we learned earlier, they have the power to change their form, but the reason she chooses to look like Bianca much of the time is because they’re best friends.

Ash starts swinging on the swing with Latias who spooks him by turning into her actual form. Latios also apologizes to Pikachu for attacking it by licking its cheek. Pikachu plays with Latias and Latios while they fly around.

Latias plays around with Ash by stealing his hat and playing keepaway. After he retrieves it, Latios uses the ability of Sight Sharing while he dives underwater. It allows Latias to not only see what Latios sees but also allows her to project the images to other people. We get a neat rail-shooter-esque ride through Latios’ sight. Even though it’d be more effective for the audience if they kept Ash and the others out of the shot, it’s still neat either way.

After that, we hear the story of how Lorenzo and Bianca came to know and care for Latias and Latios. Lorenzo has not only known them since they were babies, but also knew their father, Latios, who was the one from the legend who brought water to the town, stopped the ancient Pokemon and created Alto Mare.

Wait, wait, wait, back up the truck. He was there when Alto Mare was formed? The whole event with the….evil….ancient Pokemon? I guess it’s not impossible for ancient Pokemon to live back then because, well, Ash and the others have awakened ancient Pokemon before, but that theory gets squashed when you remember that the Aerodactyl and Kabutops fossils they saw at the museum earlier were the actual fossils. There’s no way in hell those Pokemon fossilized in 50 or so years. Maybe if they were killed by lava, but they were drowned.

All of this, the museum, the ancient machine, the legend book, all of it points to stuff that happened an incredibly long time ago. This is made even more apparent by the fact that the story is laid out for us in what seem like ancient tomes carved into stone. Unless Lorenzo is immortal, I think this whole story is complete BS.

Their father died back then (and despite the fact that they say it ‘vanished’ Ash does actually say ‘die’. Guess the movies have different rules now or something) because he expended all of his power to bring the water to Alto Mare……Really? It’s a legendary Pokemon and it didn’t have the strength to take out two Pokemon without making a martyr of itself? Just because they’re ancient Pokemon doesn’t mean they’re anymore powerful.

In Latios’ place, a gem was left behind said to contain its spirit and was named the soul dew. The gem was then used to power the DMA(M). While the soul dew contains the soul of Alto Mare’s guardian, it also contains the power to destroy their town if it gets into the wrong hands, thus its location must be kept secret.

Ash agrees to keep the secret when Latias comes up from behind him and tries to give him a ride, but he’s too heavy for Latias and she drops him. However, he’s saved by Latios. Bianca points out that Latias is trying to play with him some more, but he says he can’t because he needs to find his friends.

He bids them farewell and Bianca decides to take him back. As we cut out of the park, we see Annie and Oakley’s drill camera thinger. Dun Dun Dunnnn.

Later that night, in front of a glowing sapphire moon (this movie is so friggin’ blue) Annie and Oakley head off over the rooftops to Latias and Latios’ location while Team Rocket tries to follow. We see Lorenzo working in his workshop making a gondola when Espeon enters and knocks him out with its psychic powers.

They enter the park through the secret entrance in Lorenzo’s workshop. As Latios and Latias sleep, Latios senses them and goes in to attack. Annie and Oakley start a counteroffensive, but Latios and Latias choose to go invisible. That won’t work, however, as ♫ they wear their sunglasses at night, so they can, so they can, see Latios and Latiiiiiaaaaaassssss .

They attack Latios and Latias, and in an effort to save Latias, Latios takes the hit and they capture him in some sort of awful CGI electro-slime net.

Despite Latios’ efforts, Latias is shot down soon after. As they’re about to capture her, Latios steps in to save her and tells her to run. She manages to get away, but now Annie and Oakley have Latios as well as the soul dew.

So wait, the soul dew and the DMA(M) are the two things needed to easily destroy the town? Yet, one’s in an easily accessible museum and the other’s in a park with the access to this place being either an unguarded portal in an easily accessible wall or a door in an old man’s workshop. And the tablet which explains, step by freakin’ step, how to use the soul dew with the machine is embedded in the floor mere feet away from the dew. You guys suck at security. It’s almost like you want your town to be destroyed.

The tablet not only explains how to use the soul dew and the machine but also explains that operating the machine must be kept as merely a last resort as using it will destroy the soul dew and cause the waters in the city to recede. Annie doesn’t want to sacrifice her gem, but Oakley says it’s probably a bunch of bull.

Annie and Oakley head to the museum and follow the instructions from the tablet. They lay Latios on a platform—wait, I thought all you needed to make the machine work was a soul dew and the machine. Now you need a live Latios too?

Lorenzo and Bianca, having discovered that the soul dew was missing, arrive at the museum to stop Annie and Oakley but get knocked out by Espeon again. You guys could’ve called the cops ya know…..oh right….cops…in Pokemon. Yeah, you’re better off on your own.

Oakley uses the soul dew and they marvel in the machine powering up.

Back with Latias, she finds Ash and the others sleeping at the local Pokemon Center. She transforms to her Bianca form, wakes Ash and hugs him in fright.

Ash explains the situation to Misty and Brock and says that the girl before them is actually Latias. They strangely believe him without question, but get instant proof when Latias returns to her Pokemon form. You could’ve saved several precious minutes by just doing that in the first place…or never transforming to the begin with.

Latios awakens and uses sight sharing with Latias to show Ash and the others what’s going on. Oakley enters the machine, and I’m just now realizing that they never say exactly what the machine is supposed to do. It’s a weapon of course, but what powers does it have?

Power 1 – The power to bring fossils back to life as pseudo-zombie Pokemon.

I don’t see how that helps defend the town….

Oakley uses the machine to bring Aerodactyl and Kabutops back to life through their fossils to make them fight on their side. It still bothers me that we never learn who this evil trainer was that owned these two. You’d think the legend of the evil person who trained these Pokemon to attack the town would be more prominent than the Pokemon themselves.

Oakley commands the two to capture Latias, and Latios ends the sight sharing.

Power 2 – Close off all of the streets, pathways and all exits in town with giant grates.

Uh….Okay, I guess that’s a defensive power. But if the danger is in the town, it’s just locking the enemy in with the townspeople and making it impossible for them to escape from the threat.

Oakley causes a city-wide lockdown, performing the same function I just mentioned, to trap the citizens within the city as she takes it over.

Ash manages to escape and heads to the museum while Misty and Brock are trapped in the Pokemon Center for the time being.

Ash rides in a gondola to the museum, but Aerodactyl attacks Latias. He manages to save Latias for a moment, but she flies off and turns invisible. Aerodactyl comes back with a Hyper Beam to destroy Ash’s gondola and nearly drowns him, but Latias saves him.

Latias pulls him through the water slowly since she’s shown not to have the strength to let him ride on her back, and Ash stops her as they pass some of those little boat things from the race so he can use that instead. Yay reincorporation!

Misty and Brock somehow managed to find a way out of the Pokemon center, but are still trapped by the grates all over town. They’re trying to deliver Ash’s other Pokemon to him in case he gets into trouble. Since they can’t pass the gate, they open their Pokeballs outside of the gate to let Crobat, Politoed and Corsola deliver them instead.

Oh wait, scratch that, that would’ve been intelligent. Instead they keep Ash’s Pokeballs and just let their Pokemon go off as support for Ash while they try to find a way out. Brock starts climbing the grate which really does highlight a big problem with that power.

Some of the grates are inescapable because of what they’re covering such as doors and windows, but the ones blocking the streets and alleyways have no tops and are designed in such a way that is easily climbable. So…this power’s a little dumb. Don’t even get me started on the fact that in this town where most people travel by the city’s waterways the power doesn’t block off the waterways at all….

Back with Ash and Latias, they’re still being pursued by Aerodactyl but now are also being attacked by Kabutops. They crash the little boat thing and nearly get attacked by Kabutops, but Brock and Misty’s Pokemon save them. Behold, the only thing Misty and Brock do all movie! No, I’m not kidding. Also, the only thing they do all movie is something they’re not even present for. Hooray!

By the way, Latios the legendary Pokemon, had to flood the city and sacrifice its life to beat these Pokemon before. Three fairly unimpressive (power-wise) Pokemon from trainers who hardly ever get chances to battle beat them easily. Yay for making sense!

Power 3 – Can see all over town like it’s covered in hidden cameras.

That’s a better defensive power. Leaves few places for the enemy to hide.

Oakley sees Latias coming towards the museum as well as Ash. Bianca and Lorenzo try to change her mind about using the machine, but Oakley’s gone a little mad with power.

She uses the machine’s next power–

Power 4 – ….Basically Water Bending.

I’m becoming increasingly baffled by this machine. Latios can’t do any of these things, yet the machine uses its power and the power of the soul dew, which is just a Latios as well, to achieve these things. What magic is going into this thing? Who actually built it? Just the citizens of Alto Mare? Are they graduates from Hogwarts? Every other weird machine or monster that has appeared in these movies has had a reason behind their powers yet this is completely unexplained.

Oakley attacks Ash and Latias with a bunch of tidal waves and traps them in a floating whirlpool in an effort to actually kill them. Holy crap, someone actually tried to murder another person on this show. Though I have noticed that whenever that happens, it’s usually through drowning. Actually….it’s that way in several other shows too, like Avatar the Last Airbender…..Drowning gets a murder pass in kids shows? Weird.

Latias saves the day by blasting the water away with its psychic powers. Because of the broken attack, the DMA(M) starts going haywire.

Ash arrives and saves Bianca and Lorenzo while Latias tries to free Latios from its prison that looks oddly like the prisons from movie 02. Also, this machine was supposedly made with the intentions of trapping a Latios in it and torturing it to uses its powers. Nice, citizens of Alto Mare. Real nice.

Pikachu Thunderbolts the cage, but the lightning gets redirected back at them. Strangely, this does cause the cage to be lowered to ground level though….Wait….it’s in Ash’s range now…..Could it be?!

YAY! THE EXTREMELY WEIRD MOVIE TROPE OF ASH RAMMING HEADFIRST INTO SOMETHING THAT OBVIOUSLY WON’T BE AFFECTED BY HIS PUNY HUMAN BODY AND THEN BEING THROWN FROM IT AND HURT IS BACK! Whoopee!

I think I’m actually enjoying this trope since I am increasingly amused by Ash getting hurt when he’s being dumb. It’s even better because he does it twice in this scene.

Latias manages to break the barrier with its own psychic powers and Ash and the others pull Latios out of the cage, which causes the machine to breakdown. Misty and Brock arrive just in time to be useless and Annie reunites with Oakley. They’re about to leave, and Annie tries to recover the soul dew, but she finds that it’s black. As she touches the soul dew, she is thrown back by an expulsion of energy from the jewel.

The machine starts back up again and traps Annie and Oakley within it. Lorenzo explains that the soul dew’s been out of the pool of water for too long and now all the water in the town will dry up. Well, thanks for telling us that could happen. The only thing I heard of like that was the machine using too much of the soul dew’s power, which is what I thought was going on.

The water in the town does indeed start receding, but we learn that the real issue isn’t the water going away – it’s the fact that, once it does, the water returns in a giant city-destroying tidal wave—okay, now you’re just making shit up! This is truly the dumbest defense machine and mystical gem I’ve ever seen. Protect the town by using a machine that is powered by a gem that can’t be out of water for more than ten minutes and its use results in the city being destroyed.

The tidal wave comes, does some awful CGI damage to the ruins and Latias and Latios go to combat it. They combine their psychic powers to split the wave and allow the water to gently return to the city.

Because he expelled so much power while being so weak, Latios dies. Wow….he does….he dies! And he doesn’t get brought back to life…..Hm, I think that’s the first ever legit death Pokemon has ever had on screen.

The water returns to the city, Aerodactyl and Kabutops return to their fossils, the citizens are none the wiser, and Annie and Oakley remain trapped in the machine until cops one day decide to get off their asses and find them.

Back with Ash and the gang, they grab a boat and start looking for Latias and Latios. They manage to find Latias who is saved by some passing Water Pokemon. They mourn when she tells them that Latios died to protect the city. Latias’ sight sharing activates and they see what Latios is seeing, which is a view of the clouds and the earth from space. It’s actually a very sad and well-handled scene.

Latios turns into a new soul dew and lands in Bianca’s hands. They bring the new soul dew to the pool in the park and welcome a new guardian to Alto Mare.

Ash and the others bid goodbye to Lorenzo. He tries to call Bianca down to say goodbye as well, but state that she must’ve left for the market. In her room, we see her hat on the easel and someone grabbing a drawing she had made.

As Ash and the others drive away on a boat, they see ‘Bianca’ waving them down. They stop at a dock, and Ash gets out to see what’s up. She hands the picture to Ash and we get the big to-do about this movie, Ash’s kiss.

The big mystery is if the girl was Latias or Bianca. Given that Bianca left her hat at home, it’s completely possible that it’s Bianca and most fans would probably want it that way, because ew. But Bianca’s a big mouth. She’s always talking when she’s on screen. Yet she’s not making a peep here and suddenly runs off like Latias would do, so I’m inclined to believe it’s Latias.

I’m not even sure why this was thrown in there anyway. If it was Latias, then, well, it’s kinda cute but definitely weird. If it’s Bianca, then why should we care?

She was bitchy for half of her scenes, and it’s not like we ever saw any sort of connection, romantic or otherwise, between her and Ash. The picture is of Ash and Pikachu so I suppose Bianca could’ve had a thing for Ash, but we don’t see any chemistry or decent scenes with them on screen. She wasn’t memorable in the least, so this just seems forced. If you want to go the extra mile, the argument can be made that her character was entirely pointless besides to purposely make this confusion.

Ash has had two kisses in the course of the show to this point, both of which he got in movies and both of which were on the cheek, which is why I didn’t say this was Ash’s first kiss like a lot of people seem to call it.

She clearly kissed him on the cheek. With the bright background and closeup on the kiss, they’re making off like this is his legit first kiss, in spite of the fact that he got a kiss on the cheek by Melody in movie 02. The only reason I can think of for this seeming like his first kiss is that it kinda looks like Ash is kissing her on the cheek a little, but he’s really just surprised at the kiss.

As of now, Ash has actually gotten his first legit kiss, even if it was off-screen, by Serena in Pokemon XY.

In summary, ooOOOoooohhhh kissy! Mwah mwa mwah!

They drive away from Alto Mare and we start getting our ending songs, which are just two snippets of songs found on Totally Pokemon, a CD I actually have. Yay me! And two from 2BA Master, a CD I don’t have and never will own on principle because of that insanely stupid title. Just write it out, guys. Stop trying to be ‘hip’.

The first is a slower remake of the song ‘You and Me and Pokemon’, which I enjoy better than the original. Next is ‘Pikachu (I Choose You!)’ which is more catchy than anything. It’s also not remixed for the movie. Next, we get ‘The Time Has Come (Pikachu’s Goodbye)’ a song they’re going to keep milking apparently. Finally, we get ‘My Best Friends’ even though it would’ve been better to end on ‘The Time Has Come (Pikachu’s Goodbye)’ considering the death and all, but ending on a lighter note’s fine.

In terms of the scenes behind the credits, we have Ash and the others leaving on the boat (They never mention why they were even there, It looks really far out of their way to be a stop on his Johto journey) and seeing a few Latias and Latios flying through the air, confirming what I thought earlier in seeing numerous Latias and Latios flying around during the race instead of just two, which just begs the question of where the hell were you lazy sumbitches when Latios was dying and the town was nearly destroyed? Some guardians you are.

Annie and Oakley get captured by the cops in a picture that looks like brown comic book inking and then we see Annie and Oakley in prison reading a book about ancient treasures. However, on the right page we see Lawrence the Third and his ship thing. What a weird cameo. A villain who was only there to get a plot going and was ignored most of the time gets a random spot in a book they’re reading. What’s he even in there for? Why isn’t IMM in there? He was a better criminal.

Other than that, we see the usual shots of Ash and the others camping and traveling, Team Rocket following them, Bianca drawing and that’s pretty much it. The End.

——————————————-

How did this movie fare for me?….It was a lot worse than I remember it being. Annie and Oakley aren’t as good villains as I remember them being. Annie’s a non-villain as she more preoccupied with pretty stuff than power, and Oakley’s your average ‘gets drunk on power and nearly gets destroyed by it’ bad guy. While it was one of her more tolerable performances, Oakley being voiced by Lisa Ortiz didn’t help. And I find it a bit weird that they basically murdered a Pokemon and are treated like comic relief villains.

The story is stupid and makes no sense most of the time. The big machine is given no adequate explanation beyond it’s a big mysterious machine with magic powers that regular people made. Don’t even get me started on the tidal wave thing.

I really like Latias and Latios. They’re pretty weak for legendaries, especially if they couldn’t beat two measly Pokemon without self-sacrifice, but I always liked their designs and their personalities were likable.

One of my biggest disappointments was the lack of Misty, Brock and even Team Rocket. The only thing Misty did the entire movie was win a race that didn’t even matter. I thought they’d do something with her awesome medallion, but nope. It was in one shot then forgotten. Brock did absolutely nothing during the whole movie except get a couple jokes. Sure, they let their Pokemon out to help Ash with Aerodactyl and Kabutops, but they do one attack and are gone from the rest of the movie.

Brock and Misty’s little mission to get Ash his Pokeballs wasn’t even needed. He never used any other Pokemon besides Pikachu and Totodile this entire movie, and I don’t even think they showed them returning the Pokeballs to Ash.

Team Rocket was even worse. They did 100% pure nothing. They didn’t even talk to Ash and co. or Annie and Oakley. They got splashed with water, failed at following Annie and Oakley on the rooftops and that was it. They basically vanished from the movie after that only appearing in reaction shots to what the machine was doing with little dialogue, and we don’t see them again until the end credits where we see them following Ash and the others like normal.

The visuals of Alto Mare were the best things to say about this movie because the city is incredibly designed and well-detailed. The whole city is a big rip off of Venice, and they even throw in some Italian words to push this further, but it’s still really amazing. The overall art and animation was back and forth. Some of the CGI was a huge step up from what they’ve been doing, especially in regards to the CGI shots of the city, but some shots almost seemed unfinished they were so bad.

Not to mention that the colors are just wrong during most of the movie. It feels way too dark a lot of the time, and like the comparison said, it’s almost like some scenes have a blue filter over them. It really tarnishes a good visual experience.

The animation and art of the characters is bumped up as it usually is, though.

Music-wise, they kept the original soundtrack besides the ending and beginning theme, and the original soundtrack is quite nice and builds a good atmosphere for the town. It was really disappointing that the beginning theme wasn’t remixed in any way since I’ve truly been enjoying most of the remixes. I find it especially weird that this wasn’t remixed when ‘You and Me and Pokemon’ was remixed for the ending.

Extending the TV version like they did just seems lazy. The ending songs, while I enjoy them, just seem like a big plug for their other CDs instead of trying to make legit ending songs for an actual movie soundtrack. Like why is ‘Pikachu (I Choose You)’ mixed in there? It’s a jarring contrast on ‘Polkamon’ levels. They were also a little bit too short for my taste. It’s like they wanted to compact as many songs as humanly possible in there, though admittedly the first movie had a fairly similar problem.

Bottomline: I really don’t understand how Dogasu can say this is their favorite movie of the five so far. Everyone has their own views, which I respect, and they may have been talking about the supposedly drastically different subbed version. It’s an okay movie at its core for me.

The stakes, like I mentioned, aren’t that high, even though a Poke-death does take place. I’m not denying that the death scene wasn’t sad or impacting. It was. However, it just didn’t hook me in very well.

There are too many characters doing nothing, side characters getting more impact than they deserve, story issues etc. This also works on that whole trope of repeating a legend over and over and then have the legend either come true or be repeated. Nothing’s that surprising or interesting when everything is laid out for you that much. I can’t even remember why I watched it so often when I was younger. Maybe I enjoyed Latias too much back then. My rating is mostly for Latios and Latias, the art of the town and the death scene.

Recommended Audience: Several mentions of death and one on-screen death, though not graphic. 5+

 

 

One Piece (4Kids) Episode 2 Sub/Dub Comparison

OPEP2TITLE

Plot: Luffy and Coby are on their way to see the deadly pirate hunter, Zoro, so that Luffy can recruit him for his crew and bring Coby to the marines’ base at the same time. However, Zoro is currently being held prisoner by Captain Morgan and is set for death. Can Luffy and Coby save Zoro before it’s too late?

—————————————

Pretty minor, but 4Kids cuts out a quick shot of a silhouette falling down after Zoro slashes as Cobys making his explanation before the title card.

Title Change: OPEP2TITLE2

Since the marines are changed to the navy in the dub, the big sign on the side of the marine base that says Marines is changed to Navy.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN2

The same Marines logo on the gate is changed to Navy. For the sake of simplicity, just assume that any and all instances of visible and audible mentions of the Marines are changed to the Navy.

After Luffy climbs on the wall to see Zoro, he spots him and then jumps off of the wall to a different spot to get a better look. Then we see a closeup of Zoro. 4Kids edited this out and jumped straight from him climbing on the wall to begin with to Coby joining him. I guess….jumping off walls is bad?

Here’s something interesting, yet expected. Zoro was originally tied to a cross. Not a religious cross, mind you, just two poles connected together. In the dub, the top is hacked off so it loses its cross shape.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN4

4Kids adds a closeup shot of Zoro’s upper body when Coby says he recognizes his black bandana. Because we just wouldn’t have known what they were talking about by seeing it from slightly further away.

In the original, there’s this kickass guitar lick when Zoro finally speaks. Sounds a little like the commercial break sound bite from Trigun. This is missing from the dub. 😦

In the original, the little girl brings Zoro some onigiri (riceballs) that she made for him. In the dub, this is changed to cookies both dialogue-wise and visually. The digital paint here, like many of their paint edits, is awful. The cookies jump when they’re first uncovered and they obviously don’t belong in this scene. It’s not nearly as bad as that Pokemon episode where the sub sandwich bounced down the hill, but still.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN6

In the original, the problem with the onigiri was that the little girl used sugar instead of salt when making them. In the dub, no explanation as to why the cookies tasted bad, if they truly did, is given. He asks her if he put rotten fish heads in the cookies and she says she added some sugar and trails off. This could’ve actually worked by simply reversing the original dialogue. Say she put a lot of salt in the cookies instead of sugar. Problem solved.

Also, 4Kids got pretty lazy. They simply colored the mushed up riceball into a brown color instead of putting in some broken cookie pieces. Makes the cookies look like they were made of mush.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN8

Helmeppo (Captain Morgan’s Son) (Dub): “(At the mushy brown mess) There! Now it looks like it tastes!” 4Kids….did….you just make a poop joke?….Seriously?…..Go to the corner. Now.

They edit out a shot of the proclamation that anyone who helps Zoro gets executed because I guess they were too lazy to erase all of the (EVIL) Japanese text and leave a blank page like they I know they would because they make no sense. Also, in the original, helping Zoro gets you executed. In the dub, they just say that it’s a criminal offense.

Visuals:

Dub Mari—Navy….Sailor dude: (As he’s about to throw the girl over the fence) “I’m real sorry about this. Cover your head with your arms.” Right, that’ll save her neck from getting broken as she’s flung over 30 feet through the air. Moron.

In the original, the first conversation between Luffy and Zoro is relatively kept the same, but they omit Luffy saying that he’s not sure Zoro is strong because he’d have escaped in less than three days. They also omit Zoro saying that he’s staying there to basically prove to them that he can survive.

4KIDS IS MAGIC! They changed the smushed pile of slop into a cookie again. Amazing!…..Really, was it easier to draw the cookie and animate it than just color the damn slop like you did before?

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN11.png

Slight nitpick, but Zoro sounds….like a psychopath….in this episode anyway. In the original, he seems intimidating and imposing, in a sane way. In the dub he’s all “IMMA EAT IT! WANNA KNOW WHY!? CUZ IMMA SURVIVOR!! OMNOMNOMNOM!!”

They edit out a shot of Zoro punching Helmeppo.

Visuals:

In the original, Zoro’s sword is a lot closer to Helmeppo’s face than it is in the dub. I guess they sprinkled some digital paint on it to make it….less threatening? …..What? How is that less threatening? Oh forget it…

Subbed:

Dubbed:

SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN14
They cleaned up his face, too. How nice.

The last part of the flashback is sped up or something. In the original, his decision to go to prison in place of the little girl and her mother is much slower than it is in the dub. In the dub, Helmetto (he hasn’t been named in the dub yet for some reason) basically says “I won’t make them go to prison if you go there for a month!” and Zolo’s “Onemonth?Pieceofcake! *drops sword*” He’s a pro wrestler. What is wrong with him?

In the original, Helmeppo asks for alcohol. In the dub, this is changed dialogue-wise and visually to juice…because villains are bad-ass muthas who drink JUICE! FULL OF VITAMIN A FOR AWESOME, B FOR BITCHIN’ AND C FOR CUT THE CRAP AND BRING ME MORE JUICE!

That edited juice looks almost radioactive it’s so friggin’ bright. The glass is also changed slightly to be wider….

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN16

The impact shot of Luffy punching Helmeppo is edited….I can’t make heads or tails of it. You have a look.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN18

Hmm….I guess this is ‘important’. A little while ago, the Marines logo on the back of the sailors’ shirts was simply erased instead of changed to Navy like it has been. However, now it’s actually changed instead.

In the original, Captain Morgan is always smoking a cigar. Das a no-no. Edited out.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN20

I should also mention that in frontal shots in the dub he looks like he’s always got his mouth open slightly because that’s where the cigar is supposed to be. Makes him look like he has lockjaw…

As Zoro has a flashback, 4Kids edits out a scanning shot of Zoro’s childhood friend and the flower petals flowing past her.

They edit out a shot of Luffy’s shadow before Zoro notices him.

They edit out a shot of Helmeppo yelling that he’ll tell Luffy what he wants to know as long as he stops dragging him on the floor. Even dragging a guy on the floor is too violent to show.…

Visuals:

The guns in this shot, even though it’s a little hard to tell, are edited into what look like maroon super soakers. What’s odd is that they still say “Stop or we’ll shoot ya!” 1) Shooting’s a no-no 4Kids. Couldn’t have changed that to “hurt ya!”? 2) Shoot him with what? Water? Cranberry juice? A gentle red wine? Oh wait, alcohol’s no good. Guess it’s juice.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN22

They edit out the zoom in on Zoro’s swords…However, they don’t edit out the “My Room” text on the flower wreath on Helmeppo’s door.

I really don’t get this. They can say ‘execute’ ‘shoot you’ and ‘firing squad’ but they can’t just show the damn guns?

In the original, Morgan accuses Zoro of siding with the pirates and starting a revolution. Zoro denies this and says he works alone but Morgan is a coward who always hides behind his sailors. In the dub, Morgan says that they’ve always fought on the same side to rid the world of pirate scum and thus he’ll grant Zoro one wish. Zoro says he’s never fought on his side, but if he gets one wish, he wishes that he’d use that oversized ass on the end of his arm to—what?…..He said ass. I heard it…..Axe? I guess that makes more sense, but I know I heard ‘ass’….oh whatever. Oversized axe to cut off that giant barnacle growing out of his neck. (His head. Haha)

I’m still not getting it. We can hear gunshots, see the bullets, see the firing, see the smoke coming from the barrels, see Luffy getting hit by bullets, but NO THEY’RE NOT GUNS! HONEST!

This episode was pretty damn good. It was an awesome intro to Zoro, and Helmeppo and Captain Morgan are way better enemies than Alvida. Dub-wise, it’s a bit laughable given the changes, but I guess it could be a lot worse…..yeah, it can definitely be worse, right, episode three?

Next episode, it’s a race to stop Zoro from getting executed. Can Luffy get his swords back and get to Zoro in time?

Pokemon Episode 45 Analysis: The Song of Jigglypuff

Pokemon Ep 45 title

CoTD(s): None

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————–

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

labeled_map_of_kanto_by_rythos-d3c4hsg

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– *Misty attacks Jigglypuff out of nowhere with Staryu*

*Jigglypuff starts crying*

Misty: “What’s wrong?”

Ash: “It looks like it’s crying.”

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

Ash: “I wonder what its problem is.”

What the hell is wrong with you people

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

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

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

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

ohsnap

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

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

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

– Awww, Pikachu trying to Sing.

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Psyduck falling over in a daze is hilarious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen6

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen8

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

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

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

————————————-

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

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

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

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

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Shorties! (5) Camp Pikachu

Rating: 3/10

Plot: It’s the return of the Pichu Bros, and they need help from Pikachu and the gang. They got knocked off of a train that was supposed to be taking them back to their home town, and they have to find their way back.

Breakdown: Well, now we’re treading into completely unfamiliar territory. Despite the fact that I’ve seen Pokemon Heroes a few times, I’ve never seen the accompanying short, Camp Pikachu.

I’ve only ever seen Pokemon Heroes On Demand, and for some reason the short that went with the movie was never included or offered separately. I never bought the movie on DVD, so Camp Pikachu became an unknown feature to me.

Should be interesting to tackle something I have no knowledge about thusfar so let’s dive right in!

We start off with the Pichu Bros., apparently they’re becoming a recurring thing in the shorts now, riding on top of a train. The narrator tells us that they’re taking the train back to their hometown, but they hit some…hanging bag or something and end up flying back into the forest. This is why you should’ve purchased a ticket. Damn rail-riding hobos.

They fly into a tree branch that has a Wynaut on it and they all get flung into another direction—again with the flinging Pokemon. Why is this a weird running gag in Pokemon shorts?

We cut to Pikachu, Togepi, Psyduck, Corsola, Cyndaquil, Totodile and Phanpy playing by themselves in the forest. No idea where Ash, Misty and Brock are. Again. I also have no clue where all of the other Pokemon are, nor why none of Brock’s Pokemon are present here. Again. They just seem to pick and choose who gets to be in the shorts sometimes.

The Pichu Bros and Wynaut land on Psyduck’s head, have a quick reunion with their old pal Pikachu and explain what happened. They need to get to the train station to find another train back to their hometown and we get our disgusting CGI wood title screen.

Be glad you didn’t get an animated gif version.

The gang starts their journey and if you ever wanted Pokemon to have a hoedown song, your dream’s about to come true!

I seriously can’t make heads to tails of this choice….Why a hoedown song? Did they immediately think ‘redneck’ when they thought of camping? I haven’t even seen any camping so far – they’re just walking through the woods. I would almost say this song sequence is trippy. It’s just…it doesn’t seem like something Pokemon would have….ever…The singer saying the word ‘Pikachu’ in itself is so odd to me. Plus the banjo….I just…I feel weird.

Cut to Meowth and Wobbuffet who seem to be legit camping and are currently on a nature walk. I find it funny that the times when Team Rocket chooses to go on vacation or just not be around are during times when it would be insanely easy to catch Pikachu. They roll down a steep hill together, end scene.

Back with the Pokemon, they play around in a river for a bit with Totodile’s Water Gun, we cut to sunset when the Pokemon play with their shadows and then we cut to night time when they have a nice campfire courtesy of Cyndaquil.

One of the Pichu Bros. spots something behind them and goes to investigate with Wynaut to find that it’s a Duskull. It scares Pichu for a minute until Wynaut reveals that it’s friends with Duskull.

Back at camp, a stick pokes the scruffy-haired Pichu Bro and he goes off to investigate only to be spooked and chased by Duskull. He chases Pichu into the camp and the other Pichu and Wynaut pop up laughing to reveal it was all a joke. Those silly little rapscallions. Everyone else laughs along with them and we cut to later that night.

It starts downpouring and they’re soon approached by a Volbeat who tells them how to stay out of the rain – by using big leaves as umbrellas.

Volbeat leads them to a water mill for a dry place to spend the night.

Meowth and Wobbuffet are also stuck in the rain, and they’re soon spooked by Duskull as well, causing them to tumble down a hill and into the water wheel. They take shelter in the water mill, which they believe is empty, but the other Pokemon are sleeping upstairs.

Meowth and Wobbuffet accidentally activate the water mill causing all sorts of hijinks and slapstick. During the chaos, Meowth and Wobbuffet get flung out of the water mill, into the water and flung off into the woods.

After more hijinks, Pikachu and Volbeat find the lever and shut off the mill.

The next morning, everyone wakes up and bids farewell to Volbeat and heads off for the train station.

Back with Meowth and Wobbuffet, they take out one cookie as their final food for the trip (Team Rocket is just friggin’ awful at managing their damn food supply.) and a Skarmory that appeared earlier grabs the cookie from them. However, Wobbuffet and Meowth grab onto it to get the cookie back and end up flying away on it.

The group finds their way to the train station, but the train is already heading out. They toboggan down the hill on giant leaves and grab a handcar. Wynaut calls a bunch of its Wynaut friends out of nowhere to help them push the car.

Scruffy-haired Pichu makes it onto the train, but the handcar starts losing speed and the other Pichu can’t make it on. They try to go faster and Cyndaquil decides to use his Flamethrower off the back of the hand car to make them go faster. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t work that way. If it did, Cyndaquil would fly off whenever it would use that attack.

They start catching up but Psyduck gets flung off the car and into the track switcher, which causes the handcar to go up a mountainside that still seems to roughly follow the train’s original tracks. While they’re on a bridge overlooking the train, Phanpy throws Pichu off towards the train, but all of the Pokemon end up flying off it as well. Totodile realizes that Pichu won’t quite make it so he Water Guns him further towards the train.

Pichu reaches the train and reunites with his brother, the other Pokemon fall into a conveniently placed pile of hay, Meowth and Wobbuffet also land on the train, which I guess they needed to do and the Pichi Bros wave goodbye to the gang.

Bottomline: Well, that….certainly was….boring. It’s not awful or even particularly stupid….it’s just boring. I kinda regret writing out the whole synopsis because I barely had a note to say about it the entire time. The Pichu Bros need to get on a train, so they go to the train and get on….that’s about it. It seems like these shorts are just increasingly becoming more and more of ‘watch cute Pokemon be cute, but do nothing.’

Is anyone else a little pissed that this short is called ‘Camp Pikachu’ and yet all of a minute and a half involve anything camping related? They had a campfire that they didn’t even really do anything at because the Pichu Bros were too busy with Duskull. And….that’s it.

Even Pikachu didn’t do much in the short, which baffled me. He turned off the water mill with Volbeat, and that’s about it. Wynaut knew the way to the train station, Cyndaquil made them a fire, Volbeat gave them Leaf-brellas and shelter, Wynaut got its friends to help move the handcar, Cyndaquil made it go faster, Totodile launched Pichu at the end and Pikachu amounted to nothing for a change. Don’t get me wrong, that’s actually a breath of fresh air, but it’s weird. Camp Pikachu has a severe lack of CAMP and PIKACHU.

We still never found out where Ash and the others are. Pikachu and the others have to be fairly far away from where they were left at this point since it took them over a day to get to the station, and they stayed overnight during the journey. Ash and the others are probably basket cases by now.

There wasn’t even a big conflict in this one. The first one had Charizard stuck in a pipe, the second one had the storm, the third had the tire fort thing, the fourth had the psychopathic lawnmower from hell and this one has….nothing. There are mini-conflicts but ultimately nothing.

There wasn’t even any funny parts except maybe Wynaut and Wobbuffet going back and forth like Psyduck and Slowpoke did back in the day.

The art and animation, at least for the Pokemon, was a step up, as it usually is, but the backgrounds and CGI suffer for it. The backgrounds look scratchy as hell, like a kid made them most of the time, and the CGI is just ick. Either it looks fake as hell or it looks overly realistic.

The music was weird, too. The concept of a Pokemon Hoedown still baffles me and the execution is awkward. The BG music and end credit music are forgettable.

Overall, like other shorts, this is probably good for a little kid to watch just to enjoy the cute Pokemon flying everywhere and doing cute things, but everyone else can pass.

Recommended Audience: If you’re not conceived yet, you can probably still watch this.

Episode One-Derland (Cartoons): Winx Club

Plot: A teenage girl named Bloom finds a fairy named Stella being attacked by an ogre out in the woods. In an effort to save her, Bloom discovers that she has fairy magic too. This is just the start of something much bigger for Bloom.

Breakdown: Alright, I need to prepare myself for this one. Just gonna jump into my subconscious for a tad.

*poof*

Girly part of me! Where are you?! I need you for 20 minutes and 14 seconds! I know you’re in here! I felt your presence when I was looking at puppy pictures earlier! Ah there you are. I don’t know why I don’t always look in the nook with my Beanie Baby collection first.

Away!

*poof*

So, yeah, as you can probably guess, despite having the girl parts, I’ve never been that girly. I’ve always been more into things that were more traditionally boy-like. I had some regular girly stuff like Barbies and bead sets and a fake plastic kitchen (I make the best plastic omelets), I’ve even had the tea parties and dressed like a fairy princess once. But if you ever asked me to choose between something like Power Rangers and My Little Pony, I’d be imagining piloting the Megazord before you’d finish your sentence. I never really disliked girly things, I was just more interested in boy-ish stuff…..It was cooler….No My Little Pony dolls shoot lasers or explode, okay?

With that in mind, it goes without saying that I never really watched Winx Club. I caught a few minutes of it here and there but—OOH BEYBLADE’S ON!

*cough* Something else would usually come on.

But I’m not without my girliness. My femininity. My female…itude…..I have a purse.

Let’s see if I can get into Winx Club.

*one episode later*

Mmmmmmmm…..Nrrghhh……Unf.

Alright, let me level with you. This show is not terrible on the basis of rampant girliness. The girliness levels are high, damn near ridiculous (The main character’s animal sidekick is a damn bunny for crying out loud), but I was able to get through that relatively fine…

This episode is just poorly written.

Right off the bat, the pacing for the first half is breakneck. In the first three minutes, we’re briefly introduced to our main character, Bloom, who is a normal average teenage girl, she sees a fairy girl with a valley girl accent fighting an ogre, she starts to be defeated, Bloom goes to help her, reveals she suddenly has powers, knocks the ogre away, the fairy girl, named Stella, gets back up, defeats the ogre with ease and then faints.

The pacing slows down a bit then ramps right back up after the ten minute mark. For example, in the time span of a minute, Stella brings Bloom to Alfea, an all-girls boarding college for fairies, pixies and something called…gowylians? Gowillians?….Uh those – Most of whom are princesses because of course they are. They learn to be magic users, protectors of their realms and queens.

This place is right down the road from the boy’s school – The Red Fountain School for Heroics and Bravery (A place ‘full of hunks’ according to Stella), where young men learn to become military heroes utilizing such things as hand to hand combat, weapon use, basic survival, magic swords and DRAGONS. Look! Look! The boys get magic swords and dragons! They get the cool stuff!

They’re also closeby to the Clow Tower School for Witches, which could not be more designed to be a villain factory if you tried.

Then, in the same minute mind you, she informs Bloom that she already invited some of the boys from the Red Fountain school to her house. When did she do this? She never had the opportunity as far as I saw.

If the pacing doesn’t get you, the story won’t do you any favors. It is extremely cut and dry ‘normal person discovers she has magic powers and is tasked to save the world’ schtick. The good guys are obvious, the bad guys are even more obvious and they practically go out of their way to separate everyone into their respective groups. For God’s sake, if sectioning off good from evil wasn’t enough, they have to cordon off the boys into their own school too. So we can wrangle the love interests? What’s that about?

Wait a minute.

*One Wiki Later*

Yup, that’s literally it’s purpose. All of the future members of the Winx club will have either fiances or boyfriends and, you guessed it, they all, barring one, come from the Red Fountain school. Wow.

Bloom’s parents are unreasonably stupid. Not believing your daughter brought home a fairy is one thing, being one room away from a door that is being brutally pounded on by someone, seeing a pet freaking out about it and constantly wondering why the animal is freaking out and pointing to the aforementioned door is another. They have to shake the whole house and actually enter before they realize, holy crap, someone’s at the door.

Anyone familiar with Tuxedo Mask Syndrome in magical girl shows can rest assured that the girls do indeed get rescued in the end by the hero boys she mentioned. At the very least, they barely know what they’re doing too.

The dialogue is okay at best and cringe-worthy at worst. There’s a lot of lame slang, valley girl speak and just horribly written lines delivered in lackluster ways. Par for the course for 4Kids.

The art and animation are horrid. It’s not the absolute worst I’ve seen, but it is quite a ways down there. Italy, I hate to keep giving you crap, but….you kinda keep giving me crap. It’s weird. There isn’t really a tidal wave of animation errors – it’s moreso like an unfinished animation or just sloppily done. The action actually isn’t the worst part of it. The bad animation is most highlighted in the speaking scenes. I laughed out loud when we saw Brendan speaking in that extreme closeup. If there was ever a shot where bobble-head physics applied, it’s that one.

The music is about what you’d expect from a girl-targeted show from 4Kids. Girly earworms. I will wag my finger in 4Kids face for one moment of music faux pas. They very clearly use a piece of BG music from Pokemon when Bloom wakes up. Tsk tsk.

As a first episode, it does the job just fine. Mostly because they’re mowing down the plot of the episode to shove every bit of exposition down our throats as quickly as possible. It introduces us to the characters and their universe just fine. They don’t really explain too well what fairies are in terms of what they do, nor do they explain how their magic works. They also never explain why or how Bloom is a fairy. She just shows she has powers and Stella spends half the episode gushing about how awesome she is.

They show the big bads, but we have no clue what they want beside power and I can only assume world domination.

Final Verdict—wait a minute.

While this first episode, in my opinion, is a hot mess that doesn’t make me want to want to watch anymore, I will concede for a bit. Winx Club is a huge franchise spanning over several seasons, movies and even comics.

I’ve read some stuff from future storylines and it seems somewhat interesting. I don’t want to write off the entire franchise for you all here, so let’s leave this as an;

ebzss3e

I, personally, won’t be continuing because it’s just not my cup of tea. However, if you can find yourself getting into shows of this vein, I recommend giving it a go for a few episodes. If anything, the art and animation seem to improve over time.