Pokemon Episode 45 Analysis – The Song of Jigglypuff

Pokemon Ep 45 title

CotD(s): None

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

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

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

They leave the city the next morning and find a Jigglypuff. Misty tries to capture it, but is surprised to find it starting to cry after attacking it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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– 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ah, fond memories of my childhood.

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

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

– *Misty attacks Jigglypuff out of nowhere with Staryu*

*Jigglypuff starts crying*

Misty: “What’s wrong?”

Ash: “It looks like it’s crying.”

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

Ash: “I wonder what its problem is.”

What the hell is wrong with you people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Awww, Pikachu trying to Sing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Psyduck falling over in a daze is hilarious.

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I caught this frame by accident. What the unholy hell?

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

– Why didn’t they get Jigglypuff’s song on tape? They used a boom mic and recorded right at the tail end of the song. Even if they did record a good deal of snoring, surely the very start of the tape has some of the song. Not sure if that’s enough, but still.

This would be more understandable if they caught the snoring of Ash and co, considering the boom mic was very close to them. Maybe make them snore so loudly it drowned out the song. However, Team Rocket’s snoring is all they recorded, despite the mic not being anywhere near them.

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

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

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

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

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– 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– They really try to hammer Brock’s theory in by having Team Rocket ridiculously giddy as they leave the city, but-

1) Nope, still bullshit.

2) If it really does make you nicer, and Ash and Co, have fallen asleep from it three times at this point, shouldn’t they be joining a convent by now?

3) Team Rocket was not any nicer after they fell victim to the song the first time.

4) If they’re nicer now, shouldn’t they stop being criminals, or is the nice thing just temporary? Because that makes this ending even more pointless.

And 5) This little extra power stuff is never seen or mentioned after this episode, so bullshit.

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

————————————-

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

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

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

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

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 30 Analysis – Sparks Fly for Magnemite

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CotD(s): None, really.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock arrive in a gross, desolate factory town called Gringy City. This area used to be a bustling factory town, but became nearly abandoned and loaded with pollution after the town became too saturated with factories.

Pikachu suddenly falls very ill, so Ash rushes him to the nearby Pokemon Center. The odd and seemingly uncaring Nurse Joy claims Pikachu has a cold and takes him in, but the power quickly goes out. The Pokemon in the ICU will be in grave danger if they don’t get the power back on, so Ash and the others go to the police station to get some answers.

Jenny tells them that she’s been trying to contact the people at the power plant to see what’s going on, but there’s no answer. Ash and the others are about to make their way towards the plant to investigate when Pikachu suddenly emerges from the bushes, still incredibly weak and unsteady on its feet. Misty tells Ash that Pikachu is probably scared that Ash will abandon him there, so he agrees to take Pikachu with them.

When they arrive, they find the place seemingly deserted, but Misty gets the sneaking suspicion that they’re being followed. Her suspicions are realized when they see Pikachu being accosted by a Magnemite.

Misty surmises that the mysterious Electric Pokemon caused the power outage, so Ash decides to capture it. He stops himself when he realizes that Magnemite is acting strangely around Pikachu, like it’s in love. However, Brock questions how an inorganic Pokemon can be in love with an organic animal Pokemon.

Ash manages to shoo the Magnemite away when they’re met with yet another problem – a legion of Grimer invading the hallways. They are easily angered when called stinky or smelly, and a Muk emerges when Misty yells out that they smell bad.

They run from the Grimer and Muk, and they soon bump into two of the power plant’s employees. They hole themselves up in a room, and the employees tell them that the water intake for the generator is plugged with Grimer. Without water, the generator cannot run, but they can’t take on so many Grimer without Pokemon of their own. They suggest Ash, Misty and Brock take care of the Grimer problem for them so they can get the power back up and running, but Ash doesn’t believe Pikachu is well enough for the job.

Finding no other option, Pikachu goes out into battle and Ash reluctantly agrees to let him battle. However, his efforts make little headway. A swarm of Magnemite and Magneton emerge from the ducts and shock the Grimer away from the halls and from the water intake, allowing the generator to turn back on.

While the Grimer flee, the Muk remains and challenges Ash. Pikachu steps up, but its Thunderbolt isn’t quite strong enough to take down the huge pile of sludge. Its friend, the ‘Stalker’ Magnemite from before, comes back and helps take it down with a Thunderbolt of its own.

Ash captured Muk, but is disgusted when he realizes that the stench of Muk comes through the Pokeball.

Later, Pikachu is fully recovered, and one of the power plant employees states that Pikachu sometimes enter states of seeming illness when they have too much electrical energy built up. When Pikachu battled, it had discharged enough to make it feel better. The Magnemite ‘stalker’ starts to ignore Pikachu, and it’s revealed that it was only attracted to Pikachu because it was magnetized when it was sick. Now that it’s better, it has no desire to follow him.

Ash, Misty and Brock chastise Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny for the state of their waterways and tell them to clean up the pollution to help stop the Grimer from returning. Ash and the others continue on their journey, but not before sending the smelly Pokeball of Muk to Professor Oak so they won’t have to deal with the stench.

—————————–

– With a name like Gringy City, you’re basically damning the place to eventually earn the monikers of ‘depressing’ and ‘desolate’, Mr. Narrator.

– It’s no shock (puns!) that there’s an environmentalist message in this episode, even if there’s something odd that I’ll have to address about it near the end. However, this is one of those times where it might be justified for two reasons.

1) It fits well with the capture and Pokemon featured in this episode.

2) The inspiration of this episode very loosely stems from the novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, which focuses on a post-apocalyptic world ruined by radioactive nuclear fallout. Obviously, it’s toned way down just to show a, well, gringy, city ruined by pollution, but still.

– Here’s one of the things about this aspect of the episode that does piss me off a tad – Nurse Joy. Since they have to shove the green message down our throats, obviously they have to come across someone who is a lazy, inconsiderate ass wipe. The Nurse Joy they come across is constantly yawning, doesn’t even give the clearly sickly Pikachu a second look and brushes it all off as a cold. Even if she does provide evidence towards her claims (that Electric Mouse Pokemon discharge sparks from their cheeks when they’re getting a cold) the damn thing is still barely able to walk and needs treatment.

To be fair, she mostly drops this behavior after the power outage occurs, but still.

– Another Pokemon Center without it’s own generator? As someone who is also much further ahead, technically, on an unrelated viewing of the series, this is practically a trope at this point.

– Oh good, Joy’s also an incompetent boob who let Pikachu escape. Also, to get this out of the way, we see later that she neither seems to notice nor care. Good job.

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– Uh, Jenny, why are you not going to the power plant? What the hell are you planning on doing about this problem while they go there? It’s nice to know you give a crap, but sending a bunch of children off to do something that seems to be your job seems ill-advised.

……Are you….are you the only cop on duty? I know this place is basically a ghost town, but it seems like plenty of people still need power around there. Several factories seem to still be functional when they get there, hence why the pollution in the air is still an issue.

……Wait a damn minute…..they have power at the police station! They have power or a generator there but not at the Pokemon Center? The hell?

– How does Misty know Pikachu is worried Ash and the others will leave and never come back? They’ve been separated several times at this point and this never came up. In fact, when Pikachu and the other Pokemon were stranded on the Island of Giant Pokemon, he had complete confidence Ash and the others didn’t abandon them and that they’d find them. He leaves for all of 30 seconds, telling Pikachu he’ll come right back after he gets the power to come back on and Pikachu has a panic attack and runs after him. I don’t get it.

– Oh yeah, Ash. Your extremely ill Pikachu is suddenly screaming out in discomfort so just tell it to shut up over and over without even looking back to see if it’s okay. Best. Pokemon. Trainer. Ever.

– Dexter: “This very mysterious Pokemon is of the Electric type.”

Ash: “What’s a Pokemon like that doing here?”

……………………..…..…..…..…..…..……………………………………………………………

.……..…..………………………………..

What’s an Electric Pokemon…..doing…..at…..….……..a………….Power plant…….…

Mystery of the goddamn century.

– Misty: “It caused the blackout! Magnemite shut down the power plant!”

Brock: “This one? By itself? No way!”

Misty: “Well….Dexter said it’s mysterious.”

Well, gosh, since when did being mysterious mean you’re instantly guilty? I hope our court system doesn’t work that way.

“Well, the evidence presented here is mostly melted Skittles from the prosecutor’s pocket, and some of the documents are written in crayon and finger paints, but I don’t know what makes you tick. Why you are who you are. Where you came from and what your goals are. Your eyes are dark and seem to see right through me, whilst I cannot do the same…..GUILTY.”

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Ash’s expression is priceless.

– Ash: “These things really stink!”

*Grimer get agitated*

Brock: “Ash! Don’t say anything that might insult their Pokemon pride, or make them mad!”

You’d think Pokemon that are literally living piles of sludge would be prideful of their stink. Erika’s Gloom never seemed to have esteem issues about it.

– I’m actually impressed that Ash knew immediately that Muk was a different Pokemon and not just a huge Grimer, considering the fact that it’s dark in that hallway and Muk really does just look like a huge, slightly darker colored Grimer.

– Ash, stop yelling at the poor power plant employees about the power outage. Isn’t it obvious that the place is being overrun by tons of Pokemon and that the blackouts are out of their control?

– *explanation as to why the plant’s not working – lots of Grimer mucking (more puns!) up the water intake and causing the generator to fail*

Ash – “SO DO SOMETHING!”

Oh sure, they look like experienced Pokemon Trainers and it’s not like they’re not obviously trapped in the place by legions of Grimer and you’re being an asshole, stop it.

– Misty: “I hate to say it, but if we don’t act fast, we’ll be on the menu!”

….What makes you think the Grimer are going to eat you?

– Oh boy, let’s rage me up!

Dick: (their canon, non-spoken names are Dick and Philip, based on the author of the novel, but I don’t know who is who, so pbbt.) You guys are all Pokemon Trainers aren’t you? You’ve got to use your Pokemon to help us out!

Philip: “That’s right! If you can get rid of the Grimer, the generator will work!”

Why, what a logical and completely smart suggestion, Dick and Philip. I’m certain this will be responded to with the same amount of logi–

Ash: “What do you expect us to do!? Pikachu is sick! It won’t be able to take out all of those Grimer at once!”

Are you kidding me

.….….…..…..……..………….*DEEP*

.….….………………………………….….….….*SIGH*

Ash…..are you fucking kidding me!? I know you’re notorious for derping out on the fact that you have more than Messiahchu in your party, but this is epic levels of ‘What are these things on my belt for again?’ dumb. Is the pollution killing off one of the two brain cells you have left?

And, what, ladeeda, the few people in this place that actually have the means and abilities to take care of the Grimer can’t do a damn thing. You better feel like an asshole for yelling at Dick and Philip now.

What’s even worse is, obviously, Ash isn’t the only one derping on the ‘I haz Pokeemanz?!’ front for a change. Misty, Brock, you’re forgetting that you also have at least half teams of Pokemon with you. Brock, let out Onix for God’s sake. It may wreck some stuff, but it would plow through those Grimer like they were silly putty on a driveway in July. Vulpix would reduce them to smelly puddles.

Why do characters always have to be turned into idiots for plot convenience?

– And let’s just go further with this, because there’s a bigger issue here.

Ash: “Pikachu, you’re the only one who can help!…You…you’re our last chance!”

Yes, my clearly sickly Pokemon who can barely stand! I am forcing you out into battle, possibly killing you right now! I have no choice but to do this, ya know. You’re our last chance….out a totally honest one chances. Not twelve, the amount of Pokemon we have collectively! I am absolutely abysmal at Pokemon Training. But hey, at least we get a LITERAL MARTYR SCENE FOR MESSIAHCHU.

– Ash: “An adult Muk, and its child!”

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This shot always confused the hell out of me, even as a kid. There’s so much wrong with this one sentence it’s actually intriguing.

First, there is clearly only one Muk in the room. I guess 4Kids thought that since the front shot of the Muk didn’t mesh up well with the side view that immediately follows, they assumed there were two Muk there?

Second, saying a Muk is an ‘adult’ is both incorrect and correct. An evolved Pokemon is typically considered ‘adult’ by default considering how much time usually has to go by for evolution to happen and just going by stages, but there can be no ‘child’ Muk because an offspring of a Muk would be a Grimer. They are born at base evo stage.

Unless they’re saying that the shot looks like a Grimer, which is possible, even though it’s obviously the same Muk. I guess you really have to give 4Kids slack when it comes to evos that look so similar to their pre-evos. Afterall, it’s not like paying an iota of attention to what’s happening on screen or, oh I dunno, reading the original script, would help them at all.

Finally, Ash captures Muk, but the supposed ‘child’ vanishes. We’re left to assume Ash just technically orphaned a young Grimer. Nice.

– You wanna talk captures that weren’t really earned? Muk was only captured because Magnemite lent Pikachu a hand….err….magnet. Also, I thought you were firmly against matches in which the sides aren’t even, Ashy boy?

– Ash: “I did it! I captured Muk! Ash Ketchum saves the day once again!”

You unfairly captured Muk with the assistance of a wild Pokemon and using a two-on-one approach. You didn’t save anything. You needlessly put your Pokemon in insane amounts of danger, letting it head off into a one-on-possibly hundreds match when it’s sick as hell and you all have plenty of Pokemon who could’ve handled it easily.

The lone Muk posed no threat to the power plant, either. The only reason anything was saved was because the Magnemite and Magneton burst in to help Pikachu because one of them was attracted to it (PUNNZZZZ).

You are an egotistical dumbass of a person who is more disgustingly slimy in this episode than the Grimer and Muk combined.

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– Dick: “Ah, when an Electric Mouse Pokemon builds up too much electrical energy, it becomes magnetized and seems like it has a cold.”

….Why a random power plant worker seems to know Pikachu physiology like the back of his hand, even moreso than a Nurse Joy, aside……..how little training is Ash doing that Pikachu is actually getting sick because he hasn’t discharged enough electricity?

Also, if Pikachu was magnetized, so strongly to the point of basically making a Magnemite fall in love with it, why was the magnetic pull not affecting anything else? Ash and co. don’t have anything metal with them? Dexter wasn’t screwing up?

– Yes, Ash, Misty and Brock. It’s totally Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny’s responsibility and/or fault that the pollution in the water is so bad. I’m so sure they’ll get right on cleaning up the entirety of the fucking ocean. Especially considering they seem to have such a vast and helpful community to give them a hand with all that.

Maybe their mayor is an avocado and hasn’t noticed the massive pollution problem. Maybe they have hundreds of millions of dollars to convert their factories over to greener solutions. I’m also certain that cleaning the place up and making it as bustling as it was won’t start the whole vicious cycle all over again.

A bunch of ten year old kids surely opened the eyes of seemingly two of four confirmed residents of this giant PSA town.

– Nurse Joy: “Thank you, Ash” Don’t thank him. “You worked so hard to make sure all of these Pokemon survived” No, he didn’t “that you’ve inspired me to be a better nurse.” You better become a better nurse because, as of now, Dick and Philip seem far more qualified for your job than you are. Pikachu could’ve blown up under your care for all we know.

Jenny: “We salute your fine work!” Stop feeding his stupid ego.

Well, whatever. At least now Ash has a pretty powerful Pokemon taking up his sixth party seat. I can’t wait to see how much Muk will help him…………Ah, how nice. A random check-in with Professor Oak. Wonder what he’s up to.

Oh look…..he’s getting a Pokemon from…Ash…..

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Alright, look, I will tell you a secret. The main reason I’m upset about this minor twist is because the whole crap about Muk’s Pokeball being smelly, and him being unbearably smelly at all, isn’t a thing after this episode. Meaning the reason Ash had for sending Oak Muk is just a pointless plot device so Ash won’t have a Pokemon that’s even marginally high-powered (besides Messiahchu of course) on his team.

I just don’t get why they don’t want him to have strong Pokemon. Having stronger Pokemon on your team and facing greater challenges based on how powerful your Pokemon are is part of the growth of this journey…..It’s kinda….the point of the game it’s based on too. I always feel like they’re stunting his growth as a Trainer when they take away these strong Pokemon.

I wasn’t that upset back when I first watched this because I thought the reasoning was good enough, even if the fact of Pokeballs being unable to contain smell when they do all sorts of unrealistic stuff for the sake of convenience (Ex.: weight, temperature, other powers etc. don’t matter when contained in a Pokeball) was a bit dumb. Now that I know Muk can be carried around without issue, it pisses me off a little.

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This episode was stupid. I don’t even really feel like elaborating all that much. It was stupid. I will admit, it was an interesting and rare instance of having four Pokemon debut in the same episode (Magnemite, Magneton, Grimer and Muk) but, outside of that, hardly any part of this episode makes sense.

You’re either being force-fed environmentalist messages that don’t work too well in context (or out, for that matter. They’re literally just suggesting ‘hey kids, clean up the air and water! We won’t give suggestions on how to do that, but just do it.’) or you’re following a non-sensical pile of stupid, irrational decisions and plot conveniences for the sake of ‘we don’t like to put effort in writing’.

And some of these decisions are worthy of your anger because Ash is being an arrogant hypocritical jack-off, 10x stupider than he normally is, putting his Pokemon in life-threatening danger for absolutely no reason followed by him ditching a newly captured powerhouse for the sake of avoiding an issue that isn’t even an issue in the future.

It just seems like an incredibly sloppy way of getting Ash another Pokemon while also patting themselves on the back for eeking out an environmentalist message of some sort at the same time. (Pollution is bad. Stop it, okay?)

Next episode, Gary makes a surprise appearance when there’s a huge rush to capture some trouble-making Diglett. And there’s a surprising development with Team Rocket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

……Oh right! Yeah! Team Rocket was in this episode….they just didn’t interact with the group, didn’t do anything important and didn’t say or do anything interesting or funny so I just omitted them from the plot synopsis…..yep.

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 23 Analysis – The Tower of Terror

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CotD(s): None

Captures (Ehhhhh kinda maybe?): Ash’s (?) Haunter – Whether or not Ash truly ‘caught’ Haunter is up for debate. I’m on the side of him not catching Haunter because we never see the capture, Haunter is never in his Pokeball and it’s more heavily implied that Haunter is helping him with this one task and will then go back home.

Haunter is my favorite of the Gastly line, and the Haunter here is pretty funny. Sure his antics get a little tired, but he’s mostly funny.

Plot: After making their way through a dense and scary fog, the group arrives in Lavender Town – Home of the Pokemon Tower that is famed for its Ghost Pokemon.

Team Rocket has arrived ahead of time, and they get a sneak peak at the ghosts around the tower as they try to lay a trap for Pikachu. A nearby Gastly has some fun with Team Rocket and sends them crashing through the floor.

Ash and the others make their way into the tower with only a candle to light their way. They are continuously freaked out by the sounds of the tower such as screaming (by Team Rocket) and strange laughter (Gastly, Haunter and Gengar watching TV). Suddenly, the lights turn on and reveal a nearby feast. They pull a string, which triggers an explosion of confetti and a welcome banner.

The food and furniture then float around and attack the group, forcing them out of the room and giving Gastly, Haunter and Gengar a good laugh.

Misty, Brock, Charmander and Pikachu want nothing more to do with the Pokemon Tower. Ash is only able to convince Charmander and Pikachu to go back with him. He believes he’s found a Ghost Pokemon in its vapor form and tries to capture it, but he unknowingly attacks Team Rocket instead.

They suddenly come face to face with Haunter and try to battle it, but to no avail. Charmander succumbs to a Lick attack by Haunter and Ash is forced to recall him.

Suddenly, Gengar shows up and the two try to make Ash laugh with some slapstick humor, but Ash is less than impressed. Depressed at their failure and Ash’s comments on their comedy act, they start to disappear under the floor. Ash tries to grab them before they leave, but just crashes into the floor.

The impact rattles an overhead chandelier, which crashes into Ash and Pikachu. As they lie unconscious, Haunter grabs their spirits from their bodies, wanting to fly around with them for a while. Ash has a bit of trouble believing he’s a ghost at first, but quickly decides to have some fun by flying around and picking up Misty.

After some more fun, the three ghosts lead Ash and Pikachu back to the tower where they show them their play room. Ash deducts that these ghosts are not really threats but simply want to play with the visitors of the tower since they’re bored and lonely being stuck in the tower all the time. Despite having a good time with them, he explains that he has to go back to his body and live his life, so the ghosts tearfully part with him.

Misty and Brock, having dragged Ash and Pikachu’s bodies from out of the chandelier, try desperately to wake them up, fearing the worst. Ash and Pikachu quickly return to their bodies and reunite with their friends.

The next morning, Ash and the others leave Pokemon Tower empty-handed. Brock asks how Ash will beat Sabrina without a Ghost Pokemon when Haunter reappears and jokingly scares Brock and Misty away. It has decided to hang out with Ash for the time being and help him in his rematch with Sabrina.

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– Gotta love that trope where someone sees something scary, tells another character to look where they’re looking and by the time they look it’s gone. I’ll also say it’s a part of that trope to have the person who saw the scary thing shriek at the top of their lungs yet no one finds that odd.

– While I do like this episode just fine, I do find it to be a horrible waste in regards to what this town really is. As many fans of the games know, Lavender Town is a surprisingly depressing town, and the Pokemon Tower is home to one of the saddest moments in any of the games.

Lavender Town is filled with grieving people who share stories of their Pokemon who have passed away. The Pokemon Tower is essentially one giant Pokemon cemetery littered with Ghost Pokemon and the ghosts of Pokemon who cannot rest.

Within Lavender Town is Mr. Fuji’s House where he cares for abandoned or orphaned Pokemon. When the player arrives, he explains that he’s currently caring for a Cubone who recently lost its mother when it was killed by Team Rocket.

Once the player obtains the Silph Scope and becomes able to identify the ghosts within the Pokemon Tower, he finds the ghost of Cubone’s mom and the player has to defeat her in order to allow her spirit to pass on. It’s also kinda implied that a good chunk of the Pokemon within Pokemon Tower were killed by Team Rocket.

In the anime, however, it’s just a tower where a bunch of Ghost Pokemon hang out and Lavender Town isn’t even explored. I get that Pokemon is far from a dark or deep show, but watering Lavender Town and Pokemon Tower down this much just seems really weak. At least they make up for it in Pokemon Origins.

– While I, again, like that Ash thought to use a Pokemon to solve a problem, yet again using Charmander as a lantern, there is seriously no excuse now for him to not be carrying a flashlight. At the very least Brock, should have one. Ash has a random skull mask in his backpack but not a flashlight?

– Wait, they never even tried to turn on the lights? Nullify my last half-compliment.

– I don’t know how Ash managed to coerce Pikachu and Charmander into going back into the tower by saying they can’t beat Sabrina without a Ghost Pokemon. He asks them if they want to lose again, but Charmander never battled to begin with.

Also, if you’re getting a Ghost Pokemon to beat Sabrina, it won’t help THEM beat her Pokemon, will it? That flashback Pikachu has about getting beat by Kadabra is also kinda sad. It acknowledges that it failed and feels very sad about it, but, again, getting a Ghost Pokemon won’t help it beat Kadabra.

– Ash clearly hears people talking down a hole in the floor, so his first instinct is to shock it with Pikachu and set it on fire with Charmander? I know it was Team Rocket (so haha, they deserve it by default) and he thought they were Ghost Pokemon, but he didn’t even try to see what was down there before attacking it. He could’ve been attacking an innocent person.

– Also, why is Dexter so mysterious about Ghost Pokemon’s forms now? Just a few episodes ago, we met a Ghost Pokemon – Gastly. And it was indeed in another form – The ghost of Maiden’s Peak. However, it had no difficulty finding the entry of the Pokemon when Ash was able to aim the Pokedex towards the main ghost form.

– They did the “Ah, something’s behind you!” *they look* “You’re seeing things” thing again….

– Dexter: “Haunter – The Gaseous Pokemon. No further information found.” No furth—It’s Gastly’s evolved form. Ash even already has the Pokedex info for Gastly. You honestly don’t know that much? You’re being particularly useless today, Dexter.

Ash: “Ah?! Is that all?!” My sentiments exactly, Ash.

– Why did Charmander start making funny faces at Haunter when it was told to use Leer?

– Dexter: “Gengar – No information found.” Are you friggin’ kidding me? Gengar was the first ever Pokemon to be shown on this show. We know people own them, so there’s no excuse as to why there’s absolutely no information on them, not even a classification.

– Ash, king of terrible puns, is making fun of Gengar and Haunter’s slapstick. Pot, kettle, black.

– I guess if we accept that Ash and Pikachu died we also have to accept that Haunter was a big enough dick to laugh at someone dying.

– Alright, we can just say Ash and Pikachu got knocked out by the chandelier at this point. It does make a little bit of sense with the proceeding scenes. It’s widely accepted by many beliefs that we’re closer to the realm of spirits when we’re asleep, knocked out or nearly dead. It’s possible Ash and Pikachu are unconscious and, because they’re closer to the spirit world now, Haunter was able to pluck their spirits from their bodies and later return them.

Plus, if Ash really did die, you’d think his reaction would be more dramatic than ‘Oh no!….Oh well, let’s fly around and have fun! Wheeee!’

– Wow, Ash, you could’ve killed Misty by dropping her from that height. You don’t know if Brock would’ve been able to catch her. What an ass. It’s even worse considering that, before he grabbed her, she was talking about how worried she was of Ash, and Ash heard her say that. He doesn’t even feel bad that his friends are so worried.

– Okay, so if the Pokemon Tower in the anime is not a giant Pokemon cemetery, what exactly is it? I know it’s a place where Ghost Pokemon hang out, but it’s only these three and there are a bunch of things here that could not be around without people like toys and carnival rides and huge feasts. This stuff is fully functional and not covered in dust. Who built this place? Why is it abandoned? Who used to live here?

– Gastly, Haunter and Gengar only scare visitors to the tower because they’re trying to play with them. Okay.

They want to play with them because they’re incredibly bored being stuck in a tower all the time.

Why are they stuck there?

I know the lore of ghosts commonly has them being anchored to locations where they must haunt because it has a strong connection to their life or death. However, these are Pokemon – not people. And we’ve seen that they can come and go as they please. They just flew around town and the local woods with Ash just a few shots ago, and Haunter will make its way all the way to Saffron City in the next episode, even staying with Sabrina. Why are they staying at this tower if they’re so bored and lonely?

You can’t even say that they stay there for a majority of the day or something because, as was established in The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak, sun+ghosts=bad (except when it’s not), but Haunter goes into clear sunlight in the next scene and the next episode.

– Haunter needs to intervene to take their souls out of their bodies, but getting back in just requires laying down on the floor on top of them?

– Ash and Pikachu made it out of that without even a slight injury?

– Aw, Misty crying because she thought Ash was dead, aw.

– Brock: “Then how will you beat the Psychic Pokemon?”

Ash: “Hmm….Maybe I’ll just have to use my sense of humor!”

It’s kinda funny because that is exactly how he wins.

– The Ghosts are harmless, eh? They’ve tied up Team Rocket and are spinning them around endlessly on a merry-go-round. That’s not very harmless.

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I thought this episode was better than it ended up being upon the rewatch. The first half is kinda boring, especially since we already have a slight grasp on Ghost Pokemon at this point, despite them changing the rules. It’s not even so much of a story as it is a ton of padding to get to Haunter randomly deciding to follow Ash (and subsequently abandon his friends at the tower) to help him beat Sabrina, which is particularly weird on the episode most people remember as ‘the one where Ash and Pikachu die.’ Even that’s not a big plot point.

It wasn’t even necessary, nor was it even truly a legitimate ‘death.’ They could’ve flown them around and had fun with them without them being ghosts.

Team Rocket’s role was entirely pointless. While I don’t like their intrusions a bulk of the time, they literally just show up to be pushed out of the way and are relegated to slapstick comic relief for the rest of the episode.

I could forgive them completely gutting Lavender Town and Pokemon Tower if they replaced it with something of far more substance, but they didn’t deliver at all. There’s absolutely no story attached to this place or these Pokemon – They just exist. This also seemed like a lazy way of introducing two new Pokemon (Haunter and technically Gengar) at once.

It’s not an awful episode, but it’s incredibly poorly handled and could’ve been so much better.

Next episode, Ash has his rematch with Sabrina. Will Haunter be enough to help him take her down, or will his new ghostly friend let him down?

Previous Episode…..

Pokemon Episode 20 Analysis – The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak

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CotD(s): Technically no one, though one could say that Gastly and the Ghost are Characters of the Day.

Gastly: A Ghost Pokemon, this particular Gastly is a unique one in that it can talk without telepathy and can transform into anything it wishes. This Gastly also makes a habit out of coming to the Summer Festival for the sake of keeping the Ghost of Maiden’s Peak’s story alive by pretending to be her and whisking men away. For some reason, this Gastly is also deathly afraid of sunlight.

The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak: Name unknown, she is a spirit of a maiden whose lover was supposedly lost in a war. She waited for him day after day on the cliffside waiting to see her lover’s ship come in, but it never did. She died there, leaving her spirit and the strange rock formation bearing her image behind. Her story follows several other well-known similar tales across the globe.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock arrive at Maiden’s Peak after their adventures in Porta Vista. While Misty and Ash are excited to arrive at a new location, Brock is sullen that he wasted a whole summer not enjoying the ‘finer sights’ of the season, such as girls in bathing suits, and didn’t find love.

They arrive on shore to find that there’s a Summer’s End Festival going on, but Brock continues to mope until he spots a beautiful woman on a dock. While he’s instantly head over heels for her, she mysteriously turns into a Gastly and vanishes before Brock can go see her.

Team Rocket schemes to take the money that is dropped on the ground throughout the festival. James catches a glimpse of the same beautiful woman Brock saw, but she also vanishes while James is looking away.

As the group enjoys the festivities, Brock continues to feel sullen, but now he’s saddened by being unable to meet the woman from before. He bumps into an old woman who warns him of a beautiful young woman who will lead him to a cruel fate.

As Team Rocket tries in vain to get some coins, James also meets the old woman who gives him the same warning.

Later, a painting that is usually kept within the Maiden’s Shrine is unveiled to the public. James and Brock are shocked to see that it depicts the woman they both saw earlier. The old priest presenting the painting explains that it’s impossible that they saw this woman since she died 2000 years ago.

Legend states that the Maiden’s lover went off to fight in a war and she pledged to wait at that cliff overlooking the waters until he returned to her. Sadly, he never came back (and imagery would imply he died), but she continued to wait and wait until her body turned to stone, leaving behind the statue-esque rock formation. Even today, the Maiden continues to wait until she reunites with her love.

James and Brock visit Maiden’s rock and instantly start gushing over her again. In the midst of James’ ramblings, Jessie and Meowth scheme to steal the painting and sell it.

Later that night, Ash and Misty prod Brock to leave Maiden’s Rock, but he tells them to go on ahead to the Pokemon Center, intent on watching the rock formation at least until curfew. However, when curfew rolls around, Brock is nowhere to be seen.

Meanwhile, as Team Rocket is about to awaken to steal the painting, the ghost emerges and puts everyone but James to sleep, luring him away from Jessie and Meowth. As Brock continues his rock-watching marathon, the ghost appears before him as well and takes him away.

The next morning, Team Rocket and Ash and Misty find that James and Brock are missing. They all bump into one another, prompting Jessie to do the Team Rocket motto, albeit by herself since James is gone. In the middle of the motto, James pipes up to do his part, leading the group to discover him and Brock acting all giddy and weird in the shrine. With a swift jolt from Pikachu, the two come to their senses.

The old woman from before explains what happened to the guys. During the festival, the ghost of the Maiden whisks away all of the men in the area, and the next morning they’re found in the shrine with the life sucked out of them acting like zombies while babbling like idiots.

The group pays for some ‘anti-ghost stickers’ to help James and Brock, but as the night draws on, they find that the ghost is unaffected. She tries floating James and Brock away, but Brock is grabbed by Ash and Misty. James is broken from his telekinetic hold by Jessie, who blasts the ghost through the stomach.

The Maiden fights back with some ghouls, and Ash tries to identify them with his Pokedex to no avail. However, Dexter does detect a Pokemon nearby, so he scans around for it. Ash discovers that the Maiden herself is actually the Ghost Pokemon, Gastly, in disguise.

The group prepare for battle, but Gastly’s transformation and hypnotic abilities prove to be formidable. Against Pikachu, it turns into a giant mouse trap. Against Meowth, it turns into a giant ball. Against Ekans it turns into a mongoose. Against Koffing it merely protects itself with a gas mask. It combats Charmander with a fire extinguisher.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, Ash calls out two Pokemon at a time with Squirtle and Bulbasaur, but Gastly also easily combats them by transforming into their evolved forms, and even decides to mess with them by fusing the Venusaur and Blastoise together into the fake Pokemon Venustoise.

Ash is just about ready to give up, but Misty throws her hat into the ring by defending them with a cross, garlic and a wooden stake. While Gastly groans at the vampiric defense, he cringes when the sun rises as that is one of his weaknesses. He vanishes before their eyes and the groups return to the festival.

As the festival goers send out lanterns on the water to guide the way for lost spirits, we see Gastly also departing, bidding farewell to the real Maiden.

He claims that he visits places like this frequently to keep old legends and spirits alive, and the Maiden thanks him for his efforts. As Gastly leaves, he tells her that he’ll be on the lookout for her love to hopefully reunite them and allow them both to rest in peace.

That night, Ash and Misty enjoy the final dance of the festival while Brock longs for love once more.

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– I really believe this episode would’ve been quite a bit better if they hadn’t spoiled that the ghost was actually Gastly the whole time at the very first scene. Granted, some shots of the Maiden, even before the very end, are supposedly her, but the one causing all the mischief was Gastly. The Pokedex reveal later is actually pretty clever and a good reveal. Why ruin it?

– Yes, Porta Vista that place we won’t know of for a few years.

– Ladies and gentlemen, yet another prime example of how far 4Kids fell. They left that shot and scene with Brock talking about and imagining ‘bathing suits, and girls to wear them’ completely alone. Bikinis are fine, guys, but for the love of God, Jessie, have some shame with that skirt! *digital paints longer skirt*

– So, spoiling the Gastly thing again? We’re three minutes in counting the theme song, guys. At least pretend it’s a twist.

– Jessie: “People spend a lot of money at these festivals, but they never pay attention so they drop their change all over the place!” I’ve been to a lot of fairs and festivals in my life, and, hoo boy, let me tell you how much change I’ve dropped. They give me the change, but I’m just so into everything else around me that I spill it like I’m in an infomercial. Unable to pay attention to the fact that I’ve dropped my change because of the aforementioned distractions, my change remains on the ground, amongst the other millions of coins that have been scattered by the other guests. I start to hear my footsteps turn to chinging noises. But I pay it no mind. For everything is so awesome that I cannot look down. Change does not exist in my world. My world of festivities.

Joking aside, can we all show some serious empathy for Team Rocket who have now apparently become so poor that they have to resort to crawling in the dirt at a festival hoping for some pocket change?

– Jenny is seriously going to take in a penny as lost currency? The amount of tax dollars she wasted just approaching Team Rocket and taking the penny was 100000% more than that penny’s worth. And she was really going to file a report? I don’t even think Mr. Krabs would be such a tightwad that he’d go to the police looking for a lost penny. How would you even prove it’s yours?

– I don’t know why, but James is kinda adorable when he’s in love.

– They said ‘perished’. I’m going to put that in the ‘directly mentioning death’ jar.

– Eric Stuart seems to be having a lot of fun playing James and Brock in this episode.

– Megan Hollingstead is doing a terrible job as the Maiden, though.

– Brock: “If she were my girlfriend, I’d make sure she’d never leave my sight.” Maybe there’s a reason you don’t have a girlfriend, Brock.

Also, congrats, James’ declarations of even fighting Team Rocket to keep the Maiden safe are way more romantic and less creepy than what you just said, Brock.

– Aw, Jessie tries to save James from falling.

– Brock stares at a rock shaped like a woman for hours on end……Brock….you’re starting to scare me. You could argue that it’s the effects of the spell, but we haven’t really seen any proof of any spell in Brock yet. Brock is just obsessed with girls and vulnerable, and James is just a healthy adult male. They saw a gorgeous mysterious woman and started fawning over her – it’s not that hard to believe. And if it truly is the effects of the spell, why doesn’t James feel compelled to stare at the rock for hours?

– Jeez, with that nagging, you’d think Nurse Joy was Ash’s mother.

– Why is Team Rocket sleeping in a tree?……How are they sleeping like that?

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– I don’t really mind the Who’s that Pokemon? being Gastly, since it would moreso be a clue to what’s going on and not a downright spoiler.

– Side note: I’ve seen this episode in Japanese, and the part where Musashi/Jessie does the motto by herself until Kojirou/James chimes in is hilarious in the original. It’s also funny in the dub, but the way the Japanese VA’s say the lines are just golden.

– Considering how utterly giddy Brock and James are when they get out of the shine and the fact that their hands are up in ‘groping position’ if you’ll forgive the term, I kinda have to wonder what the hell Gastly was doing to them all night.

– So she whisks away ALL the men, huh? Because there were quite a few men at the festival that didn’t succumb to this.

– It is a weird parallel how Brock is still entranced by the ghost and in love with her, but James is scared to death and wants nothing to do with her now. Did they just not give Brock enough juice in that electric jolt or is Brock so blue balled that he’s giving into this while James’ fear of ghosts is overcoming his desire for the Maiden?

– It’s also weird how they’re keeping so much of the Japanese stuff, even some text, in this episode, but they resort to calling the o-fuda ‘stickers.’ Talismans or sutras work just fine, guys.

– James, I know Jessie and Meowth are indeed cheap, but it’s quite obvious that the ‘stickers’ don’t work anyway. The ghost blew them away like they were paper airplanes. In fact, considering that you still have several ‘stickers’ stuck to you while the others have blown away, I’d actually say, somehow, the ones Jessie and Meowth got for free bummed from Ash and Misty’s purchases are actually of higher quality. At least the adhesive is.

– Jessie: *blasts the ghost with a rocket* “Hey, girl! You can’t take him!” Whoo yeah!

“You haven’t got a GHOST of a chance!” *exasperated sigh*

– James: “You really do care!”

Jessie: “It’s not cuz of you. Girls like her disgust me. Always waiting around for her man as if she were his faithful pet. She can’t stand the thought of losing him. She cries. But I’d say ‘See ya later! There are plenty more fish in the sea.” Okay, first off, I’ve always really liked this whole scene from the blast to this rescue. I’ve always been a rocketshipper and this was basically the first episode where we got slight pokes at that. Plus, it’s just a pretty nice moment between them anyway.

While I do agree with Jessie to a degree in saying no one should be so hung up on someone they love that their whole lives are dedicated to just waiting around for them, especially to the point where your body becomes part of the cliff you’re waiting on (And, hey, taking into consideration fossilization, it could possibly happen), is it really a wonder that Jessie doesn’t get many love interests considering her attitude in the second half of that tangent? Yeah, there are many more fish in the sea, but some people are worth fighting for and waiting for.

– And as an AAML lover, I always thought Misty hiding behind Ash and grabbing his arm was adorable.

– No idea why this Gastly can talk without telepathy.

– Kinda SDC stuff, but the ball that Meowth plays with originally has the text “matatabi” in hiragana written on it. In the dub it’s removed. I only mention this because it’s kinda sloppy digital paint considering that it’s moving. The lineart and some of the coloring on Meowth’s paw keeps getting covered by white when it moves.

– So they go to the trouble of removing the hiragana from a rolling ball but not the kanji from a static fire extinguisher? Okie dokie.

– Well, it’s been more than 15 years……where the hell is our Pokemon fusion? I really mean it. Pokemon fusion is an awesome concept and it’s been a part of the fanbase for many years. I even used to make Pokemon sprite fusions. Digimon had it, why not Pokemon? It can be temporary like it is with Mega evolution and Digivolving. Are they saving it for a rainy financial year?

– I like how Venusaur and Blastoise kinda do a little fusion dance when they combine.

– That sure is a close up shot of a big shiny cross that is. A lot bigger than Zakuro’s cross necklace from Tokyo Mew Mew, it is, it is. Uh huh. Then again, I guess holding up a big gold rectangle would just be dumb.

Misty – “How about this?”

Gastly – “What’s that!?”

Misty – “It’s a golden rectangle!”

Gastly – “Why are you holding it in my face?”

Misty – “I don’t know!”

– Also, a cross. Is that more proof that Christianity/Catholicism/Judaism is a thing in the Pokemon world?

– Gastly is not weak to sunlight. However, some interesting tidbits in the same vein;

It can be blown away in heavy winds due to the fact that it’s made up of toxic gas.

Ironically, per this episode anyway, it has the ability to learn Sunny Day through TM11.

– I like that Gastly wasn’t the ghost the whole time as the Maiden actually is around and was the being that Brock and James supposedly saw at the beginning of the episode. I also like how this Gastly has taken it upon itself to keep old legends like this alive, as well as keeping the memory of some otherwise forgotten souls fresh in the memories of others. It is depressing that the Maiden is still just waiting there, though.

– Brock: “If only you were 2000 years younger….*sigh* maybe next year.” Next year she’ll still be 2000 years too old for you…..with a lover…..and still dead….and a rock formation. Get help, Brock.

– Now for one of my favorite scenes of the series; the festival dance. Granted, it’s not a big deal, but I still vividly remember this scene both because all of the imagery just seemed so awesome to me (Oh wait, I mean, it’s Japanese so it scared the hell out of kid-me, 4Kids. Honest. I still have nightmares) and, obviously, the AAML shipper in me loved that Ash seemed googoo eyed over Misty in her yukata. That yukata is awesome, too. I love the Goldeen and bubble designs, and the whole thing just fits Misty perfectly.

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I still adore this episode, and it stands as one of if not my favorite episodes ever, even if it’s riddled with oddities and errors. I could just be biased, but so be it.

In addition to all of the nostalgic stuff, I love the festival aspect, I love ghost stories and supernatural plot lines, Brock and James were quite a bit of fun here, and it never seemed like they were wasting any of the moments they had. There were several subtle character moments, developments and even some nice psuedo-romantic moments. Granted, knowing what I know now in that Jessie and James never happens (Well, in the manga they do) and Misty and Ash will likely never happen, it just gets the die-hard old shipper in me down.

They also had the awesome aspect of Pokemon fusion, even if it’s never seen again and ultimately wasted. While the concept is cool, Venustoise was just Blastoise with a flower on its back. If you want some awesome Pokemon fusions, check this out. http://pokefusionman.deviantart.com/

Next episode…..*sigh* Well, we all saw this coming. Our first departure and one of the saddest. Three words everyone. Bye. Bye. Butterfree. Get out the tissues.

Previous Episode….

Pokemon (Banned) Episode 18 Analysis – Beauty and the Beach/Holiday at Aupulco

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CotD(s): Brutella/Obaba – A kinda creepy witchy character, Brutella is a big sack of horrible who has a debt over Moe, one that he will lose his boat over if he doesn’t pay her back in time. She ‘hires’ Team Rocket to help with messing with his business to destroy him and get his boat. She somehow treats them worse than Giovanni does.

Reappears?: Surprisingly, yes. She has a minor appearance in the next episode.

Moe/Ryu – Also a little creepy, Moe is a restauranteur who is being put out of business by Brutella. He recruits Ash and the others to help him save his business and his boat when they accidentally stole his boat and crashed it into his pier.

Reappear?: No.

Pre-Episode Notes: Ah, our first banned episode. Though one could say this isn’t technically entirely banned.

4Kids got this episode among the rest of the batch for the Indigo League, but decided against dubbing it since there was questionable content. Namely, this is the infamous ‘James has boobs’ episode. Yup. The big issue with this episode is James crossdressing again, but this time he’s in a bikini and somehow has inflatable prosthetic boobs that he squeezes and shows off. I imagine 4Kids didn’t think it to be reasonable to edit out these scenes since it would bring down the runtime quite a bit. So, instead, they opted to remove it entirely.

There’s also some controversy over some of the scenes James is in, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

The reason this isn’t really a banned episode anymore is because, unlike every other banned episode, it was eventually dubbed. It was finally edited, dubbed and shown in the US……three years later….

Why they waited so long to finally release this episode is beyond me. If they did indeed feel comfortable releasing the butchered edited version, then why wait three years to do it? For the controversy to die down?

They released this as a Lost Episode, and, to my recollection, it was airing right as the Orange League was going down, so it felt kinda weird to watch it.

I can only surmise that they didn’t feel comfortable airing the edited version when the Indigo League was first airing because they felt that to be too big of a gap for the sponsor support they had back then? The episode is a mere 18 minutes long as opposed to the near 22 minutes it’s supposed to have. Maybe they decided to make it into a special “Lost episode” much later on where they could jam in more commercials and get more money? I dunno.

It’s also interesting to note that the two times this aired on Kids’ WB were the only occasions this episode saw TV time outside of Japan. It was never put back in its rightful place in the Pokemon DVDs or VHSs, to my knowledge, it was never released in other formats like Netflix or Hulu, and it was never on any other channel where Pokemon was syndicated like Cartoon Network. The official US Pokemon website didn’t even make a listing for this episode. It’s like they wanted its release to be a secret. It is a legit Lost Episode now.

The only way you can watch it is by hunting it down on the Internet. Many sources have horrible quality thanks to the old VHS recording on Kids’ WB, but someone synced up the English Audio to a DVD version of the Japanese airing and edited it themselves, so there is now a much better quality version out there. Mazel tov.

With all that out of the way, let’s tackle Beauty and the Beach – both the Japanese and English versions.

Plot Color Key: Stuff that is purely in the Japanese version IE banned will be put in red. Stuff that is purely in the English dubbed version will be in blue. Anything that carries between versions will be in regular black.

Plot: At the beautiful island paradise of Porta Vista, Ash, Misty and Brock decide to take a much needed vacation after the harrowing journey they took after the sinking of the St. Anne. As they enjoy some swimming and time in the sun, they decide to take a leisurely boat ride. However, a terrible mix up leads them to accidentally stealing the boat. After a run in with Team Rocket’s Gyarados sub, they lose control of the boat and crash it into a dock.

As bad luck would have it, the owner of both the boat and the dock, Moe, shows up on the scene. Since he’s perving on Kasumi in her bikini, he decides to be lenient with them and let them work off the damages. Since Misty reminds Moe of his granddaughter, he decides to be lenient with them and let them work off the damages.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket is hired as waiters at a restaurant belonging to a terrible woman named Brutella. It just so happens that Ash and the others were also hired as employees at Moe’s restaurant, which is experiencing a lull in business while Brutella’s is booming.

Team Rocket mocks Ash and Co. for working at Moe’s crappy dive while they’re working at a nice swanky place. Angered at these taunts, Ash lets out all of his Pokemon to help them out with promotions, cooking and waiting tables.

As Moe’s restaurant has an explosion of popularity, Team Rocket decides to rain on their parade by sabotaging all of their efforts such as using a fan to blow away Squirtle and Pikachu’s fliers, putting gasoline on the coals in the stove to make it flare up in Moe’s face and tripping Bulbasaur and Misty with banana peels to make them dump food all over some of the customers.

Just as quickly as the place filled up, Moe’s restaurant empties completely. Brutella and Team Rocket show up to not only gloat but to remind Moe that he owes her money, and if she doesn’t get it she’ll take his boat.

Moe has always dreamed of sailing the world on that boat, so Ash and the others encourage him to not to give up. However, the problem with the money remains, and they have no ideas to come up with the extra cash.

Professor Oak and Delia surprise the group with a visit, though they don’t explain why they’re at Porta Vista in the first place. Oak shows them a flier about a local Pokemon beauty and costume contest that will draw in plenty of customers to generate the money needed to pay back Brutella.

The plan works as the place is packed when the contest starts. Misty decides to partake in the contest for the extra prize money and makes up a UFO and alien outfit for Squirtle and Starmie during the costume portion.

As Kasumi finishes up her set, Team Rocket pushes her away. They’re partaking in the contest, complete with Kojirou crossdressing yet again in a bikini and inflatable prosthetic boobs. Since they’ve suddenly barged into the contest, Takeshi wonders if they should be barred from participating. But after Kojirou super inflates his boobs, the crowd cheers and welcomes them to the contest with open arms.

Team Rocket butts into the contest uninvited with Ekans and Koffing dressed up as an Omastar. However, they’re quickly booted from the stage by Gary. Surprising Ash immensely, Gary has shown up to blow the contest away with six girls from his fan club. Brock obviously could not be happier and neither could the crowd as they all gush over the girls in their bikinis.

As the crowd cheers for Shigeru’s ‘girlfriends’ Team Rocket stews over the loss of attention. Obaba, however, drags them away with a better idea.

Brutella says she’s fixed Team Rocket’s Gyarados sub/tank, and as payment for the repairs, she wants them to use it to bust up the contest and ruin Moe’s business, to which they happily agree.

As Ash stews over being rejected for a Pokemon battle with Gary, Team Rocket show up and start causing a panic on the beach. Ash manages to calm everyone down, but Team Rocket fires back with a heat-seeking missile. Ash combats this by having Pidgeotto carry Charmander up in the air to fire a Flamethrower at the missile, sending it flying back at Team Rocket. They try to outrun the missile but end up crashing into Brutella’s restaurant, along with the missile, and Team Rocket and Brutella blast off.

Moe gathers the money necessary to pay Brutella back, and sets off on his world cruise after bidding Ash, Misty and Brock farewell. They also say goodbye to Delia, who is now in possession of the contest trophy as a gift from Ash, and Oak as they continue on their Pokemon journey.

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– I guess this is technically our first pun title.

– Ash: “Surf’s up, dude!” Dated dialogue out of the way, 1) the surf’s not up, it’s actually pretty calm water and 2) you’re not surfing.

– I find it odd in both versions how Ash/Satoshi think it’s weird to see Misty/Kasumi ‘looking like a girl.’ Uh, Ash, her regular ensemble is a yellow bare mid-drift tank top with short-shorts that need to be held up with suspenders. If that’s not girly, I dare you to wear it. Also, Brock/Takeshi, why are you gawking at her with Ash? You’re several years older – it’s bordering on creepy.

– How the hell do you accidentally steal a boat? More importantly, even if they did legitimately borrow or rent the boat they’re on, they’re all way too young to be driving the damn thing. Why aren’t any of them asking about that? It looks like Ash might be driving, but why is he driving? I’m pretty sure he’s the youngest of the group even if Misty is the same age.

Also, Satoshi, you think you’re on the wrong boat? No – there is no right boat. You never rented a boat.

– So that boat was Moe’s/Ryu’s? And the dock they crashed into is his too? How convenient yet also horribly inconvenient that they bring the boat back to the dock they took it from after losing control of it.

– I know the dub always changes food when it’s brought up, but it’s usually to AMERICAN things like cheeseburgers, donuts, hamburgers, burgers and sometimes burgers, but clam juice snow cones? Eughghg.

– Is it really a surprise Moe’s restaurant isn’t doing any better with Ash and the others’ help? Would you feel anymore compelled to visit a restaurant if they had a 10 and 15 year old outside in swimsuits trying to call you to it with a Pikachu?

– Brock: “Jessie looks pretty good in that uniform too!” Since when does Brock notice Jessie in a romantic way? I can only remember this as the only incident in which he does.

– Letting Pokemon help out in your restaurant seems like it would be breaking all kinds of health codes….For instance, birds are disgusting and carry tons of diseases. Ash lets his Pidgeotto use the wind from its wing flaps to cool down corn on the cob….but I guess this is Pokemon where Pokemon are welcome everywhere and can do no wrong

– SDC stuff, but Satoshi says Pidgeotto is using the wind from its flapping wings to cool down the hot corn on the cob. Ash says Pidgeotto is keeping the charcoal toked. I guess both are viable results of that, but why the change?

– So Charmander’s job is to give Moe third-degree burns on his legs?

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– I honestly don’t get why all those people up and left Moe’s place. Most of the stuff that Meowth was sabotaging had little impact on the guests. He blew away the fliers. Big whup. Who really pays attention to fliers that get handed to them? To quote the great Mitch Hedberg;

“Whenever I walk, people try to hand me out fliers, and when someone tries to hand me out a flier, it’s kinda like they’re saying, ‘Here, you throw this away.’ “

People were paying attention to the place either way. It has heavy foot traffic, people just think it’s a dive.

He flared up the stove, which probably burned a little food, as well as Moe’s face, but he could’ve easily made up a new batch. Meowth wasn’t standing there with the gasoline can ready to continuously ruin the food.

The only thing that affected the guests was Bulbasaur and Misty tripping, but come on. Shit happens. Probably 80+ people left because of slight delays in one or two food orders, lack of fliers and a little food being spilled on them after two of the wait staff obviously tripped?

And, again, it’s not like Meowth was there continuously tripping them time and again getting food on everyone. They spilled one drink order and another food order on two people. Those minute things made them go from 80+ customers to zero. These people are pretty damn uptight for beach goers.

– Hold the phone…..Ash didn’t let out all of his Pokemon like he said. Why wasn’t Butterfree given anything to do? You’d think after the crap Ash put him through on the St. Anne that he’d want to spend some time with him.

– Also, that means Ash, Misty and Brock crashed the boat that meant the world to Moe? I know it seemingly suffered no damage, but I’d be way more pissed if my dream heavily relied on a nice boat and three kids steal and crash it….into my own pier.

– Considering this episode was aired three years out from its intended slot, it’s not surprising this note isn’t seen as more of an issue by people, myself included up until this point. However, since I’m doing these analyses in order…..uh….Professor Oak….Delia…..why are you not shocked beyond belief to see Ash….ya know….alive?

Remember, this episode is coming straight off the St. Anne arc. Last the public heard of Ash, Misty and Brock, they were three of the casualties of the sinking. Unless the cops were such complete assholes that they didn’t bother telling their families what happened, which, considering the confusing funeral scene, is a scary possibility, Delia and Oak should be under the impression that Ash and the others are dead.

You might be able to argue that Ash called Delia when he got to the island to tell her that they were all okay, which may explain away Misty’s sisters and Brock’s dad and siblings absence, but that doesn’t make any sense for Ash. If he did, why wouldn’t Delia tell him that she and Oak intended to go out and visit him in Porta Vista? Why wouldn’t she be giving him crushing hugs and sobbing when she saw him again?

Remember the second movie? How she only believed that Ash was in the general area where a bunch of terrible weather events were happening so she hopped on a helicopter to search for him and make sure he was okay? And then when she found him she yelled at him for making her worry so much? Where is that Delia here?

The only way this whole situation would make any sense, if she was told about the situation, is if she and Oak gave zero shits about Ash and the others dying and went to Porta Vista for a nice vacation and/or to celebrate that he was gone.

Or….ya know………the writers forgot about that whole three episode arc. Whoopsee.

– A bathing suit contest for girls and…..Pokemon…..Errrrrr……uhhhh.

– Also, Misty really shouldn’t be able to enter such a contest. Aren’t there age restrictions on that stuff? She’s freakin’ ten.

– How does Oak know how much money they need? Since the reason behind the money is never given in the dub, for all we know, it could be some ridiculous loan with interest or something.

– Where the hell are these fliers coming from?

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I mean, I can think of a place, but ew.

– Notice how most of the people in the shot afterward look surprised or annoyed at the sudden rain of fliers? No one likes fliers, and they especially don’t like when they’re poured on top of they’re heads. Also, isn’t that a ton of littering?

– Why is Brock announcing the contest? Surely they had an announcer in place when this whole event was planned.

– In the original Hanako/Delia and Okido/Oak are just there on vacation, which begs the question of why they had to explain their presence later. Because it takes so much time to say ‘we’re on vacation’…..Also, why are Hanako and Okido on vacation….together? In the dub, they’re there because they’re with a tour group – the Pallet Town Volunteer Patrol…..patrol? Patrol what? Tour? Of what? Volunteer? For what? Your presence in neither version makes sense!

Now that I’m thinking about it, it is really weird that they had Ash crash a boat after the St. Anne arc…

– I knew Starmie could kinda float, but it can really fly in the air for extended periods of time? With a passenger?

– More SDC stuff, but Kasumi loves being in the contest while Misty says it’s completely degrading and embarrassing. I guess this line may have been put in here to give a message about beauty contests, but Misty was excited about entering and now she hates it but is putting up with it for the money.

– The other kinda minor thing I was talking about with the bikini James thing is that he mentions that Misty partook in the contest ten years too early, poking fun at her small chest. This was probably also deemed as a controversial message to young girls what with body image and whatnot. I especially think this now considering the line change with Misty being embarrassed about being in the contest.

Originally, Arbo and Dogas are dressed as a leviathan. In the dub, they’re supposedly an Omastar.

– Usually Gary’s a breath of fresh air in this series, but even though those were Team Rocket’s Pokemon, it was a complete dick move to kick them off the stage. Not only in regards to the contest, but he just kicked two seemingly innocent Pokemon for no reason.

– Also, considering Ash and the others have been lost at sea for like a week, it is a crazy coincidence that not only Delia and Oak but also Gary are at the exact place they happened upon after they finally reached civilization.

– Hey since we’re on the topic of creepy attractions to people way outside of your age range, let’s again talk about the weird fact that Gary has six girls in their 20s who follow him everywhere, seem to live with him on his journey and gush over everything he does – Everything this ten year old boy does. Also, in the original, he outright calls them his girlfriends.

– Let me get this straight…..without Ash and the others getting interested in this contest….it would’ve had no entrants? Misty enters legitimately, but both Team Rocket and Gary’s fan club girls burst in uninvited. They’re the only participants that we see, so I guess no one else wanted to enter. In that case, Misty definitely would’ve won with no problem.

– Technically more SDC stuff, but Obaba tends to add ‘baba’ to the end of her sentences and Brutella does not, for obvious reasons. Musashi accidentally catches herself saying ‘baba’ as they leave in their sub, but since she doesn’t say this in the dub, Jessie puts on a slightly gruffer voice and says Brutella’s rubbing off on her. She made very little effort to sound like Brutella. I don’t know if they knew what she’d sound like at this point, but you can barely even tell she’s altering her voice at all.

– Brutella randomly has a docked underground waterway to the ocean in her backyard…..why?

– *sigh* Please let Ash go, Brock. We hardly ever get to see Ash and Gary battle.

– How the hell does Brock know that’s a heat-seeking missile? It gives no indication that it’s following heat. This isn’t a dub exclusive line either. He just magically knows that the missile launched right in front of their faces directly towards them is heat seeking.

– Why does blowing fire on the heat seeking missile redirect it towards a mostly cold Gyarados sub/tank?

– That was some cheap as hell animation on Ash’s goodbye wave.

– Why does Delia have the trophy? She didn’t enter the contest. I guess Misty could’ve won and given it to her….but why? There’s another theory that whichever of Gary’s fangirls might’ve won and gave it to her….but why?

In the dub, the trophy’s plaque is changed to say ‘First place in our hearts: Ash Ketchum’……does that mean Ash won? Because usually people put the winner’s name on the trophy. And I can’t imagine Gary would purposely change the engraving to make it a nice gesture from Ash to his mom. This whole trophy thing makes no sense, and I don’t even know why they felt the need to add it in there without even a line of dialogue poking at it.

…………….Now I have to imagine Ash in a bikini. Thanks, 4Kids.

I will say that this last shot is one that I was very much happy to see when I first watched this episode. In a future episode, there’s a clip show that includes this very scene. Child me, being such a huge Pokemon fan, beat myself in the head for ages trying to remember where the hell that clip came from. I had no clue it came from a banned episode until the Lost Episode event where I was finally able to get this monkey off my back.

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All in all, this episode was….eh….blech. I didn’t really enjoy any of it. There are so many creepy or confusing aspects of this entire episode that it’s actually not that much of a bother that they never aired it when they were meant to. James with his fake boobs is really the only thing even slightly entertaining about it, and that’s just a quick one-off joke.

Plus, since that scene is gone from the dub, it makes the dub seem even more bland.

Ash and the others stealing a boat ‘accidentally’ just seems like a huge plot device, and them subsequently crashing it to get the plot started was predictable the moment we realized it was stolen.

Them working off the damages is nothing special, nor is the whole business vs. business with one business owner obviously being a complete ass while the other owes a debt thing. In addition, this is all topped off with a ‘have a contest to raise/win the money’ trope.

I don’t really understand why Moe couldn’t have gone on this trip up until now. He owes money to Brutella, but we’re never told what it’s for. He owes her rent for the restaurant in the original, but even then it seems like it doesn’t make sense. He runs the restaurant for the boat and this trip, but he has the boat. Did he need to stock up on supplies and stuff? At the very least, Moe was a pretty decent character, albeit a bit of a pedo creeper.

It really seems like they had no idea what to do with this episode so they just threw a bunch of tropes together to see what stuck. Then they realized it wasn’t that good so they threw in not one, not two, but three cameos from side characters whose presence there is one of the biggest coincidences ever.

They didn’t let Gary battle Ash, and outside of some nice connections between Delia and Ash, there was really no reason for any of them to be there at all. Do I even need to mention the whole ‘we forgot we think you’re dead’ thing?

Plus, we can pretty much chalk this up as Pokemon’s first and probably only ‘hot-springs-esque’ fanservice episode, because that’s really all of the takeaway.

Next episode, Tentacool and Tentacruel wreak havoc in Porta Vista, a place they supposedly just left. Thanks sloppy dialogue edits for the sake of trying to fill continuity errors that no one cares about…..not even me……..For the record, this episode actually takes place in Aopulco, which is a separate yet nearby town to Porta Vista…..*cough*

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 17 Analysis – Island of the Giant Pokemon

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CotD(s): None

Plot: Following the events of the previous episode, Ash, Misty, Brock and Team Rocket are hurdled through the sky from Gyarados’ Dragon Rage attack. Ash, Misty and Brock manage to survive the fall and find themselves on a beach in the middle of nowhere. Worse yet, Pikachu is missing and so are Ash’s Pokeballs.

Team Rocket also managed to survive the attack. Not surprising, considering they get blasted off every week, but they find that Meowth is missing as well as Jessie’s Ekans and James’ Koffing.

Pikachu finds the Pokeballs of Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur, and the group tries to find their way back to Ash and the others. Meowth, Ekans and Koffing later join them, avoiding the conflict of their Trainers by claiming that Pokemon are only bad when their masters are.

Later, they discuss their situation by a campfire, but are interrupted when a giant Rhydon starts attacking. Meanwhile, Ash and others also find themselves on the receiving end of an attack by a giant Zapdos while Jessie and James end up at the mercy of a giant Moltres.

The Pokemon all gather at a local Slowbro’s food stand to lament in the loss of their Trainers over dinner.

The next morning, everyone, Pokemon and human alike, prepare to set out to find each other. Jessie and James use the telephone booth that they found earlier to contact Giovanni and ask him for assistance. However, since Jessie and James screw off and do their motto first, he quickly hangs up on them. They decide to pull themselves along by the phone cord in hopes of reaching the phone company.

Meanwhile, the Pokemon try to get some help from the local giant Pokemon by approaching the evolved forms of Squirtle and Bulbasaur, Blastoise and Venusaur repsectively, hoping to establish a familial connection. However, their efforts are in vain.

Team Rocket escapes from a giant Kabutops and Pikachu in a railcar, but panic when the railcar ends up traveling back the way they came. Luckily, the phone cord James has been carrying wraps itself around the giant Kabutops’ leg and drags it with the car. Ash, Misty and Brock end up falling into the railcar when it crashes into the bridge they were standing on, and the resulting carnage grabs the giant Pikachu along for the ride as well.

As their paths converge, Ash catches sight of his Pokemon being chased by the remaining giant Pokemon. They manage to jump into the cart, but there’s a problem. They’re out of control and will inevitably crash soon. The cable snaps, and the cart is hurdled through the air, causing it to crash into the Zapdos, which is revealed to be a giant robot, same with the other giant Pokemon on the island.

The group finally plunges into the water, and a passing ferry reveals that the island is actually a theme park called Pokemon Land, which Giovanni owns, and he’s none too happy about his park being destroyed.

Later, Ash and the others get back on their journey and arrive at the beautiful beach town, Porta Vista, ready to take a well-deserved vacation after everything that has happened to them lately.

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– I find it weird that Ash, Misty and Brock stayed together after that, especially since they made a big to-do in the beginning of the episode about them losing their grips on each others’ hands, same for Jessie and James, yet Ash’s Pokeballs and Pikachu got flung however many miles away.

Also, we saw Staryu, Starmie and Goldeen get taken up in the cyclone as well yet they’re never seen being recovered in the start of the episode. Guess they died and Misty caught new ones while they were looking for the other Pokemon. Convenient as they’re right by the water.

– We’re STILL using the Pokemon logo to say ‘Pokemon’ in the title screen?

– I love how that Krabby finds two dead bodies in the sand and his first reaction is ‘Sweet! I get to pinch dead bodies!’

– So Jessie got her Ekans for her birthday and James got his Koffing for Christmas…..I guess that begs the question of who gave them those Pokemon?

– Irrelevant but the random phone booth on the beach reminds me a lot of Digimon. This probably preceded Digimon, but still.

– While this episode does have the charm of finally understanding what the Pokemon are saying, I’m disappointed in several aspects.

1) They never do an episode like this again. I can’t imagine the chore of reading subtitles would be that big of an issue, and this provides so many opportunities for new stories. Plus, actually being able to understand the Pokemon sometimes allows us to better understand their personality traits. Like, gee, it sure would be nice to get to know Pidgeotto’s true personality.

2) Pidgeotto and Butterfree, as well as all of Brock’s Pokemon, are missing from this episode. It’s a little more understandable that Goldeen, Staryu and Starmie are missing, considering they’re corpses in the sand now, plus Goldeen wouldn’t have been able to travel on the land and hearing Staryu’s ‘Hiya!’s and Starmie’s ‘*sighs*’ would’ve been grating.

3) Come on, give Pidgeotto some love.

4) I really would’ve liked to have heard how Butterfree felt after being traded. I’m sure he’s somehow aware he was traded and that must be emotionally trying to be suddenly taken away from your trainer and given to some stranger. It was only for a short time, but it’s an emotional and psychological aspect of the show that I would’ve liked some insight on. Imagine if you were best friends with someone and suddenly they decided to trade you to some weird man for a giant rat that you were beating up earlier.

– Slowpoke will never not be entertaining to me.

– This episode also further highlights Charmander’s kind personality before he suddenly shift gears as Charmeleon and Charizard. Now I really want an episode where we get subtitles in the scenes where Charmeleon and Charizard are being dicks for the sake of comparison.

Squirtle and Bulbasaur’s personalities are further explored here. Squirtle is playful and a bit mischievous while also being laid back. He also has plenty of faith in Ash as he refuses to believe that he would forget about them.

Bulbasaur shows that he may still have a bit of a bitter aftertaste in the thought of trusting humans as he’s the one who suggests that Ash forgot them in the first place. Even after the others try to convince him otherwise, he only says that ‘maybe’ Ash isn’t that way. I really really really want to know what Bulbasaur’s backstory is after hearing him speak, since he seems to have a very interesting past. Too bad they’ll never explain….

Charmander visibly gets worried at the prospect of Ash abandoning them. This doesn’t really show that Charmander distrusts Ash, but that he’s still worried about being abandoned given his past with Damian. He also comforts Ekans and Koffing by assuring them that Jessie and James are looking for them, even though, by all intents and purposes, he has every reason to believe that they’re mean enough to abandon their Pokemon.

However, I do have to point out the depressing fact that Jessie and James really aren’t concerned about Ekans and Koffing or even Meowth for that matter. They acknowledge that they’re missing, but after the initial scene, they never bring them up again. Their whole focus after that point is getting off the island, not looking for their Pokemon.

– I like how Charmander’s using his tail flame as a lantern again.

– Meowth: “That means I can finally get my revenge!” Revenge…for….what? Saving your ass from drowning in the hallways of the St. Anne? Helping you find a way out of the sinking St. Anne? Saving your ass from drowning in the ocean? Letting you share a raft with them? Sure Pikachu was disappointed that Meowth didn’t die in the ocean (Which, by the way, is still messed up, Pikachu) but Meowth didn’t see that little snap of his fingers.

– You really gotta love Koffing’s perpetually doofy grinning face.

– I kinda call BS on the whole ‘no Pokemon is bad, they only have bad Trainers’ thing. Considering Pokemon seem to all have their own personalities, temperaments and most of them seem pretty intelligent, it’s unrealistic to assume that there’s not at least a few jackasses in the bunch.

I guess Meowth’s self-analysis also combats this, but Meowth’s shown time and again that he’s not all that bad.

– It’s nice that we also get a look into the personalities of Ekans and Koffing because, let’s face it, they don’t get really any focus, character wise, at all. Until much much much later anyway. All we know about them is that they’re Team Rocket’s Pokemon. Although, I do find it weird that Ekans and Koffing have such an odd manner of speech. They’re not dumb, they just talk like cavemen.

The fact that Koffing and Ekans are actually quite kind Pokemon is both surprising and a welcome twist. It would’ve just been every other Pokemon episode just with the Pokemon acting out the human parts if Koffing and Ekans ended up being evil.

– I believe the whole ‘My master’s not around’ thing that Meowth says is dub-exclusive, but I do have to consider the theory that he was once Giovanni’s Pokemon, considering he’s always saying how he wants to be ‘top cat’ again.

– That cutaway to Ekans and Koffing drinking tea is hilarious.

– Squirtle incorrectly says ‘our masters are gone, too.’ Since the only Pokemon there are Ash’s, it should just be ‘Our master is gone too.’ Yay grammar!

– I love Bulbasaur’s face in this shot.

pokemon-episode-17-bulbasaur-screen

Looks like he’s doing a Ricky Ricardo impression.

– These giant Pokemon are robots. So why are they not only on, but also actively traversing the island in the middle of the night?

– Okay, letting the giant Pokemon robots wander the theme park on off-hours….I can stomach that, even though it would be a huge safety risk, liability and drain on power. But why the hell would you give these robots working attacks?

Zapdos has lightning shooting from it, Blastoise can use Hydro Pump, and Moltres and Charizard can use Flamethrower. What’s even worse is that they’re actively seeking people out to attack.

I would say this is just a Team Rocket scheme, but they’re trying to make legitimate money off the place. Having a bunch of patrons killed in your theme park by giant flame-wielding, water shooting, lightning spouting Pokemon is a good way to lose money on all sorts of lawsuits, get time in prison and possibly get the organization investigated.

– I love how 4Kids doesn’t cut out the scene where Bulbasaur and Meowth are very obviously drunk.

– Also, it’s very trippy to see a scene where a bunch of Pokemon are wallowing in depression while also getting drunk. It’s even worse considering that 4Kids doesn’t add any subtitles here. The Bulbagarden comparison noted that it’s all mostly incoherent stuff in the Japanese version, but seeing it without any subtitles is just weird, especially considering how long they linger on the final shot.

– I like how the music for the Team Rocket theme is coming from the phone.

– It’s nice that Squirtle and Charmander are courteous enough to call for Misty and Brock too instead of focusing their attention on Ash.

– I love Bulbasaur trying to play the stoic tortured hero in an effort to avoid talking to Venusaur.

– There’s no way that dinky railcar has enough power to pull a giant robot Kabutops…

– Notice how the Pikachu robot is the only one not chasing or attacking anyone? Wouldn’t want to besmirch Messiahchu’s good name.

– Why the hell would there be a random loop-de-loop in an otherwise normal set of train tracks?

– Despite not actively looking for them, James’ face when he gets Koffing back is pretty heartwarming. Too bad Jessie’s too out of it in panic to care about Ekans. It’s made up for when you see them both crying happy tears later on. Ekans’ smiling and content face as Jessie pats him just makes it all the better.

– I love how Team Rocket is obviously disappointed that Meowth came back. It’s a bit mean, but it’s played up for laughs and you know they really care about him.

– The scene where James, Jessie and Meowth predict what will happen as they go out of control is just great. They’ve become so good at being failures that they can accurately predict every single thing that will happen during the crash.

—————

All in all, this was a really great episode. Disappointed and confused on some levels, but it’s a great break from the norm, explores territory we haven’t explored before (and never will again….) and has plenty of heartwarming and funny moments. It’s actually a lot better than I remembered as I thought the St. Anne trilogy petered off at this episode.

Next episode is the infamous first banned, yet not really entirely banned, Beauty and the Beach episode. Will FiddleTwix go the extra mile and review the original version to get all that James boobage the audience wants so much? Find out next time on Pokemon Ball Z!

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 16 Analysis – Pokemon Shipwreck

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And then they died

CotD(s) – None

Evolutions: James’s Magikarp evolves into a Gyarados, but he loses it just as soon as it does.

Plot: As a funeral is given in their memory after the sinking of the St. Anne, Ash, Misty, Brock and Team Rocket find themselves trapped aboard the ship as it plunges into the depths of the sea. While everyone is okay after the sinking, they must still find a way back to dry land through a ship that is quickly filling with water, is upside down, and teetering on a rock in the middle of an abyss.

As Team Rocket awakens and learns of their situation, Jessie uses her Ekans’ Acid attack to burn a hole in the floor as an escape route. However, that obviously just floods the place even further.

Back with Ash and the others, they reach the staircase and the waters that are flooding into the ship. Ash wants to try to dive into the water to make it to the deck, but the dangers of encountering a dead end, no pun intended, are very real, so Misty sends out her Goldeen to search for a clear pathway.

Goldeen manages to find two things; a dead end, and the corpses of Team Rocket.

Of course, they aren’t really dead, and once they get their second wind, they challenge Ash and the others to a match. However, once they let out their Pokemon, the ship starts to shift due to the extra weight. The group tries to direct the Pokemon to a good location to make the ship level again, but find themselves on edge after several attempts.

In order to keep the ship level and manage to find a way out, the groups call a truce and recall their Pokemon. Using knowledge that she attained while making a St. Anne replica in the past, Misty suggests that they go upwards to the hull and cut a hole in the ship to escape since their path to the deck is blocked.

They make their way through the staircases above and the fires below utilizing Onix and Bulbasaur’s abilities. They finally make their way to the engine room where they plan to cut the hole since the hull is thinnest in that area.

Ash cuts the hole with Charmander and they all attach themselves to their Water Pokemon to escape. Left without a Water type, Team Rocket panics, but James laughs and reveals that he does have a Water type, the Magikarp he bought earlier.

However, the Magikarp can’t swim and Team Rocket gets washed away as the ship finally falls and sinks to the bottom of the sea.

Back on a raft on the surface, Ash and the others decide to find some dry land by sending Pidgeotto out to retrieve anything from land. Instead, Pidgeotto finds the seemingly lifeless bodies of Team Rocket.

Ash and Co. decide the only thing to do for them is to give them a burial at sea, but as they’re about to put them back into the water, Team Rocket wakes up and reveals that they’re fine.

As the group floats in the middle of the ocean for over a day, they start daydreaming about eating James’ Magikarp only to have Meowth try and fail, breaking his teeth since Magikarp is nothing but scales and bones.

In a rage that the expensive Pokemon is completely useless, James kicks the Magikarp overboard, causing it to evolve into Gyarados. The fearsome Pokemon chases them down, eventually stopping to call upon other Gyarados to perform its special attack – Dragon Rage.

Dragon Rage creates a huge cyclone that sucks up the group and sends them flying. Will Ash and the others survive the ride? Will they ever get back to land if they do?

———————–

– So we’re still using the Pokemon logo in the title cards when they say ‘Pokemon’?

– I’m always amazed by the fact that 4Kids kept in the funeral scene at the start. They would never even consider doing such a thing not too far down the line. Not only is it a damn funeral (That somehow manages to avoid mentioning that they seemingly died) but it’s saying that all of our main characters drowned in a shipwreck.

If 4Kids were a cooler company, and complete trolls, they’d put the end credits after the final shot of the flowers sinking. I’d laugh my ass off even as a kid.

However, while we’re still on the funeral scene, let’s address some things. First of all, it’s nice that they’re treating Team Rocket well instead of excluding them due to their criminal nature. They’re put on the same level as Ash, Misty and Brock and I appreciate that.

Next, where is everyone’s families? Have they not been notified yet? It seems really weird that they’d have a funeral without notifying any next of kin.

Did they even perform a search? It looks like it’s merely the next morning. Don’t they usually have a search party out for a couple days at least before declaring people dead? At most, they’d just be marked as missing until enough time went by that they could legally be declared dead.

I know they were in a sinking ship, and that looks really bad, but it’s not like the waters were glacial and the storm subsided very shortly after the sinking. Even when the Titanic sunk in glacial waters they still sent out people to look for survivors despite the incredibly low chances of anyone staying alive in such conditions.

Finally, as much as I hate to admit it, the funeral scene is pretty moot because of the points mentioned above. Especially since, as we’ll later find out, their families really did never find out that they were in a shipwreck nor that they were declared dead. There’s no emotional reunion, they never even clear it up with the cops, and we already know that the group isn’t dead or else the series would end. This funeral scene serves no purpose other than to maybe make the weight of the event a little more apparent.

– If Ash spent all that time upside down, surely he’d be dead. Nitpicky in a cartoony universe, yes, but still.

– When you think about it, Acid is a really horrifying attack for a Pokemon to have in the anime. If it can burn through a metal floor/ceiling in seconds, imagine what it could do to a Pokemon.

+ 1 for one of the many times we’ll be seeing the gang utilize their Pokemon to solve their problems, though.

– Okay, I’m trying to follow Ash’s logic here. They agree that since the boat is sinking, going up is the best option. When Misty points out that the deck is below them and the hull is above, Ash thinks it’s a good idea to go down…..into the water…Brock does point out the obvious and dangerous aspect of this, but I just find it a little too dumb, even for Ash, to suggest that going down into the water, deck or no deck, is preferable to seeking higher ground in a sinking ship flooding with water.

Yes, there are probably fewer escape routes near the hull, but taking the water pressure of that depth out of the equation, does he really think they can hold their breath long enough to navigate through even an open pathway to the deck and still have enough air to make it to the surface?

– +1 for using Goldeen to find a pathway under water, even if that plan is very dangerous.

– Misty tells Goldeen to bring something back from outside if she makes her way to the deck…which makes some sense, but what does she expect Goldeen to bring back? They’re in the middle of the ocean. Is she just meant to bring back something that’s on the deck? Like what? A deck chair? A lifering? Really anything that could be inside of the ship could be on the deck too.

– I don’t know why, but I like when characters on the opposite side command the other side’s Pokemon to do something….Okay, I really only like it when it’s Ash and co. commanding Team Rocket’s Pokemon.

– This sequence with the teetering ship always annoyed me. Can such minor weight differences, on a huge steel ship anyway, really cause such drastic shifts in angle?

The heaviest Pokemon in that group is Geodude, and yes I was nerdy enough to look up their weights just because this scene annoys me so much.

Geodude weighs 44.1 lbs while all of the other Pokemon weigh between 2 and 20-ish lbs. Meaning, altogether, the Pokemon would weigh around 100 lbs, if that. Guessing that Ash and Misty weigh about 60-70lbs each (give me some leeway, I’m not up to speed on the average weights of 10 year olds) and Brock maybe 90-100 (same for 15-ish year olds) and Jessie and James 100-110 each, the group weighs, at least, 410 lbs. Why were they waltzing around the ship with no problem whatsoever a minute ago but an extra 100 lbs being set right where all of them were standing suddenly causes near ship-tipping shifts?

Why is Geodude being called back over to Brock what equalizes everything? Putting 44 lbs on one side and 454 lbs on the other makes everything okay? Why is Geodude being portrayed as a super heavy Pokemon anyway? 44 lbs isn’t that much, and Geodude, despite being a rock-like creature, is still small. Plus, doesn’t he have the ability to float? Why is he banging into the floor like he’s a pogo stick made of cement?

And after managing to make it somewhat even with Geodude on the human side, the final shot of the groups apart still has Geodude on the Pokemon’s side.

Why is Koffing even being commanded? He weighs the least at 2.2lbs, is made of gas, which is lighter than air, and he floats. Him moving would have no bearing whatsoever on the angle of the ship.

And finally, to end this nitpicky rant that might have holes in it, it took them way too long to think that recalling their Pokemon would fix the problem. Yes, recalling your Pokemon technically means conceding defeat to Team Rocket, but even if they did win, who cares?

Even if them winning somehow meant they got Pikachu, still who cares? I’m not saying that as a sleight against Messiahchu, I really mean, who cares? Where the hell would they go with him? They’re stuck in the same predicament that Ash and the others are in. They could grab Pikachu and run but they would never get far without the help of Ash, Misty and Brock as well as their Pokemon.

Even if they did somehow escape the ship with Pikachu, still still who who cares cares? They’re in the middle of the ocean and the Ash group has a way better chance of making it out first. They could just sit at the surface and wait for them, attack their unable-to-fight-in-water asses and take Pikachu back.

This whole thing is rooted in personal pride, and I’m confused as to why Brock of all people is one of the hotheaded ones here. If anything, Misty should be the hotheaded one battling alongside Ash, especially with her advantage in water, and Brock should be the voice of reason. Misty can be more levelheaded later when she’s devising the escape routes and showing off her mad St. Anne blueprint memorizing skills that still baffle me a little.

– Was everyone seriously thinking that Misty built a life-sized St. Anne? Yeah she totally builds life-sized luxury cruise liner replicas of luxury cruise liners for funsies.

– Okay now we’re at the scene that makes the whole tipping ship scene really confuse the hell out of me as opposed to merely being a slight annoyance.

Since the ship is upside down, they can’t access the stairs easily, so Brock uses Onix….Take that in, Onix…..to make a makeshift staircase in the stairwell above them.

While I will give them the proper dues for yet again using a Pokemon to solve a problem, +1, Onix….the giant snake made of boulders, weighs 463 lbs….How the hell did Brock release this thing without even having the ship shake a little bit if 100lbs of extra weight can turn the ship into a see-saw?

Also, I think his proportions are horribly misrepresented here. Onix seems a lot smaller in this shot than he actually is.

– Using Charmander to solve the problem of loss of light in the stairwell. +1

Although you’d think that a bunch of people who travel the world and always camp out would have flashlights and lanterns. You can’t argue that they may have gotten wet as none of them have been in the water yet outside of Team Rocket.

– Why would the hull be the thinnest in the engine room? That’s not a complaint, I’m just curious as to why that would be. Wouldn’t that be a really dangerous design flaw or does that hold some function?

– Ash asks Pikachu to shock him to help him think. This is the second instance of this happening (technically the first since the other one in way down the line in Johto) and I just don’t get it. Has anyone really ever felt like they got better ideas or concentrated better after getting electrocuted? It really just seems like they needed something for Pikachu to do since his abilities are zero help here.

– Using Bulbasaur’s vines to get across the gap is good, +1, but the manner in which they cross seems unnecessarily dangerous. Why go in a group and try to stand and balance on Bulbasaur’s vines, which has to be incredibly difficult, especially considering they’re vines that a small Pokemon, who merely weighs 15lbs mind you, is holding and not strong cable connected to a heavy anchoring point, when you could hang from them and go one by one making it both easier on Bulbasaur and less difficult to cross?

You could make the argument that hanging from them, even with legs and arms attached, would be more dangerous considering the lake of fire below, but if Bulbasaur’s vines can stand up just fine without any heat damage from where they are, I can’t imagine the kids would be in any danger of burns while trying to hang and cross.

– I really like the moment where James freaks out and Jessie convinces him to go across the fire together. That was legitimately sweet and a layer of characterization that is very much welcome for them.

– Mmm….Misty should really know by now that the only Pokemon Team Rocket has are Koffing and Ekans. At the very least, she should’ve checked to see if everyone had a Water Pokemon before they even started cutting the hole. She thought ahead enough to lend Starmie to Brock, there’s no excuse with Team Rocket.

To be fair, you’d think in the time it took to recall Charmander, call out Starmie, Goldeen and Squirtle, get rope and tie themselves on that Team Rocket would’ve said “We don’t have any Water Pokemon. Can we borrow some of yours, or at least share a rope if you don’t trust us??”

– +1 for using Charmander to burn the hole. Though it is incredibly dangerous for Charmander of all Pokemon…

– Hehe, I do love the scene with James revealing he has Magikarp and then the long pause when they try to escape with it only to realize it can’t swim.

– What a convenient raft they found out in the middle of the ocean….

– Guys, there is totally something you can do to find out where Team Rocket is and if they made it – send out your Water Pokemon to search for them. They’re basically directly above the shipwreck – it wouldn’t be that hard to at least conclude that they didn’t make it. What is with people in this episode not wanting to search for survivors? They just go ‘Not here? Dead. Oh well, let’s move on.’

– Ah referencing the Bible in Pokemon. Yet another thing that would never happen in later episodes. Also, does that mean Christianity/Catholicism/Judaism exists in Pokemon?

– Great use of Pidgeotto, +1, even if they already did something very similar to this earlier with Goldeen.

And like Misty did with Goldeen, Ash should’ve been more clear with his instructions beyond ‘Bring us back whatever you find.’ There is tons of debris from the sinking floating around. It could just grab some crap from the water and come back without ever touching land.

The reason the branch in the Noah story is significant is because an olive branch would be a clear indication of land.

– How did Pidgeotto bring back Team Rocket? And considering James and Meowth were floating with their faces down in the water, both of them should be dead or in desperate need of CPR.

– These children are awful calm when faced with three supposedly dead bodies.

– While I do find it kinda cute and funny the way he snaps his fingers, Pikachu was disappointed that Meowth didn’t die. That’s messed up.

– For a show/franchise that really tries to make you connect emotionally with Pokemon and makes tons of them super cute and cuddly, plus taking into consideration 4Kids harsh censorship, that is some pretty messed up imagery of Magikarp. Fileted, fried, make into marinated slices. Keep in mind this isn’t just like they’re showing plates of food, they make it a point to put a little Magikarp severed head on each imagined plate….

– Being kicked makes Magikarp evolve? Dammit, if I had known that I wouldn’t have wasted my time using Exp. Share and putting it out front to switch out in one turn….

– I love the way James says ‘I’m James, your master, obey me.’……Not in that way….

– If James really is still its master, under the belief that kicking it and saying he didn’t want it anymore wasn’t a legit abandonment of it, however the hell that works, couldn’t this all be solved by James recalling it to its Pokeball? Pokemon break out of their Pokeballs all the time ala Psyduck and Wobbuffet, but surely you could maybe recall it then tape the ball up or something.

– I also find it funny when Misty just decides to book it instead of even attempting to fight Gyarados.

– Forgiving that they suddenly got five sticks of the same length and width out of nowhere, wouldn’t those be completely ineffective in moving a raft in the ocean? The don’t have paddles at the bottom, they’re just sticks. Those might help in shallow swamps and ponds, but not in the ocean.

– You don’t typically need numerous Pokemon to do one attack, especially in Gen 1. It wouldn’t bother me as much if the attack didn’t look silly.

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Overall, this episode, despite its many flaws in logic, is still one of my favorite episodes. It has tons of Pokemon utilization, some of it pretty clever, neat and realistic obstacles, some character development, life-threatening situations and a lot of action and fun. This kind of episode is really a rarity in the series now, so it’s nice to get a taste of a more linear and less episodic Pokemon.

Next episode is the finale to this three-parter even if it could very easily be a stand-alone. Island of the Giant Pokemon. I’ve always been a bit iffy with this episode, so here’s hoping it’s better than I remember.

Previous Episode…..

Pokemon Episode 13 Analysis – Mystery At the Light House

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Ash used STICK. It’s ineffective, pointless and silly.

CotD(s): Bill – An eccentric and world-renowned Pokemon researcher, Bill is the inventor of the Pokemon storage system that most Trainers use for storing, withdrawing and transferring their Pokemon.

Captures: Ash’s Krabby – Krabby is a happy little Pokemon who is fairly attached to Professor Oak since he spends most of his time in his care. Krabby is seldom used by Ash, being relegated to his At-Home B-Squad, which is a shame because Krabby packs a pretty big wallop.

Plot: A quick recap of Ash’s progress leads him to bragging about his accomplishments, but he’s quickly brought back down to earth when Misty and Brock point out that Ash has had several advantages, such as being handed badges by Misty’s sisters and Brock, gaining Misty and Brock’s assistance in training and battles, and having many of his Pokemon simply follow him instead of being properly caught.

Additionally, Brock points out that Ash is actually behind in his training as most Trainers would’ve caught at least 20 or 30 Pokemon by now, not the measly six he carries with him. Determined to prove his prowess as a trainer, Ash runs off to capture more Pokemon.

After running through the woods for a while, Ash comes upon a beach where he sees a little Krabby. Armed with a stick, Ash attacks the Krabby, but the stick is easily chopped apart by Krabby’s pincers. Nonetheless, Ash throws his Pokeball and captures the Krabby. He’s left startled and confused when the Pokeball vanishes.

Misty and Brock explain that Trainers can only carry six Pokemon at a time. Anything more is transferred to wherever the Trainer got their Pokedex. Ash deduces that this means Krabby is with Professor Oak. Worried that Krabby might not be okay (or that Oak might eat the poor thing) Ash decides to call Professor Oak. They travel to a nearby lighthouse in order to use their phone and hopefully spend the night.

A mysterious voice welcomes them into his home, and Ash calls Oak to check up on Krabby. He’s delighted to hear that it’s fine, but also devastated to see that Gary has caught a Krabby much bigger than his, and Gary has caught a grand total of 45 Pokemon so far.

When Oak requests for Bill, a great Pokemon researcher and owner of the lighthouse, to give the gang some of his wisdom, Bill accepts and reveals himself – as a Kabuto.

The group is stunned to see a talking extinct Pokemon, but Bill explains that he’s actually in a Kabuto costume trying to fully understand the Pokemon, but got stuck within it.

Bill stats that, since the dawn of existence, over 150 Pokemon have been discovered, but there could be an untold amount of Pokemon yet to be found. After an inspiring speech about everything and everyone having a purpose and meaning in living, Bill explains that Trainers capturing Pokemon is important both for Pokemon Trainers and research. Afterall, many new Pokemon are found by Pokemon trainers.

However, at the moment, only one Pokemon is in Bill’s sights – a gigantic mysterious Pokemon that is the sole survivor of its species. It wanders the world looking for friends, though has yet to find any.

Recently, Bill recorded the mysterious Pokemon’s call, interpreting as ‘I want to meet you.’ Bill created a similar call that he believes translates to ‘Let’s be friends. I want to meet you.’ and transmits it out of the lighthouse in hopes of the Pokemon’s return. It eventually responds by saying ‘I want to meet you too. I want to be friends.’ Just as Bill hears this, the Pokemon shows up, calling out in a beautiful, almost musical, sound.

Team Rocket, having been trying to break into the lighthouse to steal Pokemon, is startled by the creature and tries to capture it for themselves. James shoots at it with a cannon, causing the Pokemon to lash out and start destroying the lighthouse. Bill begs for it to stay while the Pokemon remains under fire, but it refuses and swats Team Rocket away with its tail. Bill and the others watch on as the mysterious Pokemon returns to the ocean waters and disappears.

While he’s disappointed, Bill remains excited over the prospect of seeing the Pokemon again, and the others are reinvigorated with a deep love and respect for the wide world of Pokemon.

——————————————–

– We can see some other Pokemon League badges in the background during the opening that don’t follow the traditional eight that we know of. Many of them actually look like prototypes for the badges we know, and I don’t recognize any as being either of the extra two that Gary has near the end of Indigo.

– Misty: “Caught? Ash, all of your Pokemon followed you!” Again, like last episode, no. Pikachu was given to him. Pidgeotto was legitimately caught. Butterfree was legitimately caught. Bulbasaur was legitimately caught. The only two Pokemon he has who followed him without a battle are Squirtle and Charmander.

– Why exactly did Ash decide to attack Krabby with a stick? He does have Pokemon to battle with. I don’t get his logic, and I almost want to say that capturing a Pokemon like that (outside of the Safari Zone, ironically) would be against League rules or even illegal. Additionally, why was Krabby so easily caught if the stick was hacked up to bits in less than a second? Ash didn’t land a blow, so it seems like this attack was pointless.

– Also, this whole ‘proving I can catch a Pokemon on my own’ tiny side-plot is basically moot since, like I said, he has ‘caught’ several Pokemon. He should be trying to prove that he can catch as many as Gary and the Phantom Pallet Trainers.

– The art seems a little weirder than usual. It’s like many angles are sharper than usual, and some shots are just poorly drawn.

– There are some kinda logical explanations for this, but why doesn’t this six Pokemon carried at a time rule apply for all Trainers? We just saw a Trainer with a bag full of Pokemon that he carried around. His Pokemon didn’t disappear past six.

– The assortment of Pokemon on Bill’s door is weird. Some are legends, others are common, and Mewtwo’s on there way before he was ever created……Hm. Is there something you’d like to share, Bill?

– Brock: “And I was wondering if I could use your kitchen to make some bacon double cheeseburgers for my friends here.” I should start a ‘ham/cheeseburger’ count for this series….

– I like how they reference the games in putting Bill in a Kabuto costume (whereas in the games he WAS a Kabuto and you had to change him back to a human). It’s a realistic way of portraying that scene anyway.

– This is one of those early moments that completely contradicts what we know later. Yes, Bill says there could be an unlimited amount of Pokemon in the world, but he specifically says that, on the planet, only 150 are known. We’re supposed to take the ones that appear later as having been discovered for at least quite a long time. The different regions do communicate with each other, so….yeah.

– It’s pretty obvious that, if you know Pokemon, the ‘mysterious Pokemon’ is obviously a Dragonite (albeit a giant version) I’m not sure why Bill doesn’t recognize the silhouette as such. Dragonite are rare, but not nearly as rare as Moltres or, uhm, MEWTWO.

– I always thought it was weird that Brock and Misty started dancing to Dragonite’s call. It is very pretty, in fact I’m almost positive they reuse those sounds for Lugia’s call in the second movie, but it’s not really anything you can dance to, even slowly.

– Jessie: “That’s one big Pokemon!”

James: “So size DOES matter.” Was….that a penis joke, 4Kids? Or am I just perverted?

———————————

This episode was…kinda….always….boring to me. Bill is a great person with a deep love of the Pokemon world, but this episode just seemed a little……filler-y? Which is probably stupid to say in this show.

Much of the episode is taken up talking about Pokemon world specifics that, really, anyone who’s played the games would already know. Plus, it brings up stuff that won’t matter outside of this episode like the white button on the Pokedex allowing for Pokemon transfers.

Like I said, the tiny subplot of Ash trying to show up Misty and Brock by catching a Pokemon legitimately makes no sense either as most of his Pokemon are ones he legitimately caught, even taking Pikachu off the table. Plus, this determination to catch more Pokemon also, of course, dies out with this episode. At least until the next time he decides to be that way. In addition, the starting subplot itself is dead before the commercial break.

A great and mysterious Pokemon appearing is made boring by the fact that probably most viewers would already know what it is. Yes, it’s giant, but making it giant doesn’t make it anymore fascinating. Maybe they could’ve made a less specific Pokemon silhouette or make up a Pokemon to highlight how there are Pokemon out there that have yet to be identified.

All in all, this entire episode just amounts to ‘Golly gee, Pokemon sure are the bees knees.’ It’s such deep Pokemon praise that it’s actually a little annoying at points. Being incredibly interested in something so amazing is great, but knowing how much the Pokemon world is so obsessed with Pokemon makes an episode like this feel either weird or self-congratulatory.

Next episode is the Vermilion City Gym match against Lt. Surge; the Electric Pokemon trainer.

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 12 Analysis – Here Comes the Squirtle Squad

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CotD(s): None

Captures: Ash’s Squirtle – Previously the leader of the prankster gang turned firefighter group, the Squirtle Squad, Ash’s Squirtle has a bit of a cocky attitude, but is ultimately very loyal to Ash. Behind Bulbasaur and discounting Pikachu, Squirtle stays on Ash’s team the longest throughout the series.

Plot: After gaining two new Pokemon in Bulbasaur and Charmander, Ash happily continues on his Pokemon journey only to end up in yet another pit. It’s not Team Rocket this time – instead it’s a gang of Squirtle who dug the hole as a prank.

Ash attempts to capture the leader of the Squirtle, noted by his angular glasses that contrast to the rest of the Squirtle having circular ones. However, one of the other Squirtle takes the brunt of Pikachu’s electric attack to protect the leader. Wanting revenge, the leader faces off against Pikachu but the Squirtle suddenly run off when they hear police sirens.

The Officer Jenny of the nearby town explains that they encountered The Squirtle Squad, a group of Squirtle who have all been abandoned by their trainers and now play pranks all over town.

Team Rocket watches Ash and the others from afar. Just as they’re about to enjoy a picnic lunch, the Squirtle Squad appears again and forcibly takes Team Rocket’s lunch from them after catching them in a pitfall trap and tying them to a tree. Team Rocket hatches a plan to have the Squirtle get Pikachu for them. The Squirtle won’t hear Jessie and James out because they don’t trust humans, but Meowth hatches a plan to pretend that the two are actually his ‘pets’ to gain the trust of the Squirtle.

Meanwhile, Ash and the others rest near a river bank. One of the Squirtle appears and starts making trouble for them. Ash tries attacking with Pikachu, but he ends up in the river after a Rapid Spin attack. While trying to swim to shore, Pikachu suffers from a Horn Attack from a Goldeen, leaving him weak and injured on the river bank.

Ash tries to help him, but he, Misty and Brock all end up getting tied up by the other Squirtle. Now their hostages, Ash and the others try to reason with the Squirtle Squad to get some Super Potion for the badly wounded Pikachu. They initially refuse, but after seeing how desperate Ash is to help his friend, they agree. They say that he only has until noon tomorrow to go to the next town and get the Super Potion or else Misty’s hair will be dyed purple.

Ash heads off as fast as he can, and after a dangerous journey he finally makes it to the desolate desert town. However, as soon as he arrives, he’s knocked unconscious by someone slamming the door to the shop in his face.

The next morning, Team Rocket holds up the same shop that Ash is at. They steal all of the flash powder to scare off the Squirtle Squad from the town in an attempt to steal Pikachu from them in the resulting commotion. They run off, and Ash sets off after them but not before getting the Super Potion for Pikachu.

Jenny saves Ash from the storeowners who mistake Ash for another member of Team Rocket. With Super Potion in hand, they drive towards the Squirtle Squad’s base on Jenny’s motorcycle before the time limit is up.

With the bridge out, Jenny leads Ash to a secret entrance in the cave where he eventually finds his friends safe and sound, as well as freed. Misty states that Squirtle Squad aren’t as bad as they first thought and had no intention of ever dying Misty’s hair.

They quickly apply the Super Potion to Pikachu, but as soon as they spray it on, Team Rocket arrives and put their plan into motion. Team Rocket makes off with Pikachu while the others try to protect themselves from the bombs in the cave.

The leader Squirtle is stuck on his back outside of the cave and nearly gets blasted by the bombs, but Ash rushes in and protects Squirtle by covering his body with his own.

As more bombs fall, Ash urges Squirtle to run off and save himself, but Squirtle, touched by Ash’s sacrifice, instead gets up, picks Ash up and runs toward the cave while dodging all of the bombs.

Ash and Squirtle work together to send Team Rocket blasting off and save Pikachu, but the bombs have caused a forest fire. Ash suggests that the Squirtle Squad use their Water Guns together to put out the blaze, and they succeed in saving the forest. Thrilled with their bravery in saving the town, Jenny appoints the Squad as the town firefighters.

Later, as Ash and the others continue on their journey, the leader Squirtle starts following them. Ash asks if he’d like to join him on his journey, and he accepts. With a new Squirtle by his side, Ash continues on to the next town and his next Gym challenge.

———————————————-

– Narrator: “You’ll recall in a previous Pokemon adventure, our hero, Ash, achieved his dream of catching a Bulbasaur with a shocking victory.” Wha…it was his dream now? His first choice back when he was selecting a starter was Squirtle. I get that he really wanted one, but if it was his ‘dream’ why wasn’t it his first choice?

– Narrator: “And that’s how Ash caught Charmander and Bulbasaur.” Well, to be fair, he only legit caught Bulbasaur. Charmander just decided to go with him.

– What is up with the text crawl for today’s title? It goes way faster than usual, which I guess is better because it helps prevent the awkward pauses that Ash usually has to do in order to match up with the speed, but it’s just weird.

– This happens so often that I’m just going to make this a new thing.

Why Use the Pokedex? – Squirtle. He should know very well what a friggin’ Squirtle is. In fact, of all Pokemon, he should know more about the starters than anything.

First, I believe Ash thought day and night over which Pokemon he’d select for his starter.

Second, he watched an educational program on the starters before his journey.

Finally, his dream sequence in the first episode indicates that he does have a fair amount of knowledge on them.

– Also, I know this is their legit classification, but I find it kinda silly to be intimidated by the’Tiny Turtle Pokemon.’

– I know that one of the staples of the series is the odd fact that every city and town has their own Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny that are all supposedly sisters/cousins who all look the same (except the emblem on their hats) and have the same name. And I’m also fairly certain that, at least in Joy’s regard, this a poke at the games having the same sprite for the nurses and cops throughout the entire game, but you really do have to wonder what it’s like to be in their families.

They also have to be insanely big families considering that this shtick doesn’t just cover Kanto but also every region to date (Well, it kinda changes in Unova onward because of the art change). At least the Joys eventually get the excuse that Joy is actually their family name and not everyone’s first names (though I could swear that’s refuted in an episode or two) but this Jenny straight out says that all of the Jennys have the first name of Jenny.

– How did Jenny even know something was going on in the middle of a dirt road out in the sticks?

– Let me get this straight….It’s perfectly safe to assume that every starter that Ash now has was abandoned or otherwise wronged by a human? Charmander was abused and abandoned. Squirtle is part of a gang of abandoned Squirtle. And it’s likely that Bulbasaur was either abused or treated poorly by a human or abandoned by a previous trainer? Wow….That’s…wow.

And not to sound like I’m making light of this, but why would anyone abandon a starter? They’re usually some pretty nice Pokemon, and being the first one that a trainer obtains, usually, they’re typically much further along in level than subsequent Pokemon captures. I know that I kept my starter on my team full game in, I believe, every single Pokemon game I’ve ever played.

– The excuse for the Squirtle Squad’s behavior isn’t so much that they were abandoned and feel resentment towards people, it’s that, without trainers, they feel like no one cares about them so they play pranks to get attention? I…guess that kinda makes sense, but there are plenty of wild Pokemon out there who get along just fine trainer-less.

– Ladies and gentlemen, I give you JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLYYYYYYYY DONUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTS!!

Okay, not the infamous ‘Jelly donuts’ scene with Brock, but I believe this is the first time that they call onigiri (rice balls) jelly donuts in the series. They also call them eclairs.

It could be that some Squirtle off-screen is eating these things, but the line is preceded by watching two Squirtle eat onigiri along with drinking lemonade, which is another thing Jessie mentions when she says this. I find it weird that James was bitching before about every meal being pizza, yet they have a picnic basket full of food and none of it is pizza.

And who honestly has a lunch made up of nothing but jelly donuts and eclairs? Shouldn’t that be Officer Jenny’s lunch? 😀

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– Meowth: “You’re not gonna Squirtle out of this one!”…….What does that pun even mean? The phrase is to ‘weasel’ out of something. That doesn’t have anything to do with turtles nor does it really sound like ‘Squirtle’.

– I love Ash’s grin after he bites Meowth’s tail.

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– I don’t know why, but these glowing scratch marks actually look much MORE painful than just showing red marks or even blood drips….

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– Really, they couldn’t find any other way to cover up the threat of killing Misty than threatening that they’ll dye her hair purple? Like, oh no, not something that’s completely temporary and reversible. And considering the plethora of colors we see in the hairstyles of anime, I don’t even see why this is a little threatening. Even within the main cast we have blue hair in Jenny and James, pink hair in Joy and cherry red hair in Jessie.

– I know Ash tripped and even got some air time, but was he really considering stopping after that? He doesn’t even have dirt marks or any visible boo-boos.

– Man, if Goldeen isn’t being treated like garbage, it’s being portrayed as a Horn Attack-happy asshole.

– Well, hello there completely random one-second cameo by Gary. Does this mean he’s finally caught up with the Pallet town trio?

Also, how did Gary not realize that he hit someone with the door? Especially if he did it hard enough to knock someone out for hours.

– How did some random country bumpkin know who Team Rocket was but not a big city’s Officer Jenny?

– Ice guns? *sigh* I suppose it’s better than turning them into Super Soakers, but I do have to say….James’ gun….yeah, no kid will believe that’s an ‘ice gun’. That’s very obviously a real rifle. I can believe the cannon thing shoots ice or something, it just looks like a generic weapon that could be anything, but that gun is very obviously a bullet shooting lead pumping rifle.

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– Those are very obviously cherry blossoms and not snow that Jessie shoots from her cannon.

– Okay, 4Kids, what’s the explanation as to what guns the storeowners are using? They even make real gun sounds. And you’d think they’d actually want to make a ‘safer’ explanation for these guns since they’re all being pointed at a ten year old boy.

Also, there’s a problem merely with the fact that several people are holding shotguns and rifles at a ten year old boy’s face. What the hell? More importantly, where were these guns when the real Team Rocket was robbing them?

– How the hell did Jenny know something was going on here now? And great police work, appearing after the incident has already occurred yet again….

– She was really intending on driving across that bridge? That one that Ash couldn’t take three steps on without breaking a board and subsequently fell through?

– Now, considering the threat earlier was changed to merely dying Misty’s hair purple, you have to wonder why they kept in the imaginary shot of Misty falling into a bottomless pit, insinuating that the Squirtle Squad killed her. Seeing as how they were all gone from the cave, you’d think he’d be worried that something actually bad happened to all of them, especially the weakened Pikachu. But nope, he’s more worried that the (invisible) hair dye made her fall down a pit.

– I still find it weird that merely spraying something on a Pokemon helps them recover from injuries.

– The Squirtle were bluffing about dying Misty’s hair because they’re just not that mean? When they capture people, keep them hostage, drop them down huge pits, keep injured Pokemon locked in cages without proper medical care etc? Uh…yeah. I imagine this line made more sense when it was something like ‘The Zenigame may play pranks, but they’d never kill anyone!’

– I love when Squirtle’s carrying Ash through all the bombs while crying happily. Him being able to pick up Ash at all is impressive, but that’s just hilarious.

– Yes, Jessie, I’m so sure that the town would hail you as heroes for getting rid of a few prankster Squirtle when you just robbed one of their stores earlier at gunpoint.

– Why didn’t Misty try to help put out the fire with her Water Pokemon?

– And considering how long it seems to take to get from that cave to the town, and especially considering that there’s a huge canyon/river in the land between the two areas, the fire would probably take eons to finally get to the town, if it would be able to get there at all.

– Also, again, Officer Jenny arrives only after the dangerous events have already concluded. Sure, she’s here for the fire, but she can’t put it out.

– Why doesn’t the town have its own firefighters? They have their own cops.

– And the townspeople must really not have seen the Squirtle Squad as such terrible troublemakers if they hail them as heroes for saving them from a threat that was miles away and they likely never even saw.

——————————————-

Dogasu from Bulbagarden noted this as seemingly being the weakest of all the Kanto starter episodes since the reason for Squirtle going with Ash seemed tacked on. Me? I actually enjoyed this episode most of all.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Charmander episode and I like the Bulbasaur episode, but this one just has so much more going on. The Squirtle Squad are cute and entertaining, and their backstory, while being overused at this point, was fine. I think the explanation for their behavior should’ve been revolting against humans since they were all abandoned instead of just ‘they’re lonely and act out because they don’t have trainers’ but maybe that’s just 4Kids’ doing.

This episode had the main group being taken hostage, a life or death situation racing against the clock, a robbery complete with actual non-painted guns, a second scene with guns, bombs, a (albeit random) cameo by Gary, an…okay-ish plan by Team Rocket, threats to lives, dangerous situations and an action climax during a rain of bombs. It’s very fun and even exciting to watch. Sure the ‘dye Misty’s hair purple’ thing is dumb, but that’s 4Kids for ya.

Bulbasaur’s episode was half made up of nothing but the group falling into traps and then them hanging out in a Pokemon sanctuary with an ornery Bulbasaur. The finale in that was fine, but the majority of the episode, while also being fine, was pretty uneventful. Plus, the lack of any backstory on Bulbasaur was very disappointing.

Charmander’s episode is obviously the biggest contender here. It is a memorable and sad episode with a decent dose of drama, for a Pokemon episode anyway. However, Damian was a laughably over-the-top antagonist, no matter if he does make my blood boil or not.

There was really no huge climax, Damian only got a little comeuppance, and, in the end I find the reasoning behind Ash getting Charmander to be a bit more poorly arranged than this episode. Like I stated, they go the whole episode focusing on Brock’s concern for Charmander with Ash only doing really one thing, then Ash gets Charmander and Brock and Charmander never share any sort of connection. It really seems poorly planned.

With the finale of this episode, I will admit that it seemed a bit rushed, iffy writing-wise, and the sloppiest part is Squirtle joining the group. I don’t think it’s written in a way where it comes out of left field that Squirtle ends up going with Ash. You can tell simply from the scene where he saves Squirtle from the bombs that he’ll end up going with him, but it would’ve been a lot better if the leader Squirtle saw Ash leaving, visibly made the decision to go with him instead of staying with the Squad, shared a conversation or a knowing nod with his gang members to show that they understand and then have Squirtle stop him as he’s leaving and ask to go with him.

Having the firefighting team be assembled and ending on Squirtle looking really proud of his new job only to cut to the group as they’re clearly far away from the town now being followed by Squirtle and then just say ‘You wanna join us, Squirtle?’ *nods* really does seem like it doesn’t fit properly. It would’ve been nice to have something with Squirtle actually leaving the gang, but he just appears alone.

In order, my favorites of the Kanto starter arc are;

Squirtle

Charmander

Bulbasaur

Though it is weird that all these episodes have two things in common. 1) All the Pokemon distrust people or at least the main group for some reason. 2) The Pokemon decides to trust Ash and/or go with him because he saved their lives. Yet another trope that will continue to pop up through the series.

Let me just finish by saying Jenny was such a useless person in this episode. She did three things; explain who the Squirtle Squad were to the group, explain that the town will eventually catch fire if the blaze isn’t put out and give Ash a ride back to the cave. And, to be honest, she wasn’t necessary for any of these things. For some dumb reason she was always arriving after the fact, only really arriving ‘in time’ once to save Ash from, ironically, the storeowners who were just victims of a robbery.

Next episode is Bill’s debut as well as Dragonite’s….kinda. I believe this episode will be really weird to analyze considering several factors….

Previous Episode…

Devilman (Manga) Volume 4 Review

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Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: The worldwide attack of the devil army is underway, and Devilman is forced to watch humanity fall in front of his eyes. As millions of people are wiped out by the demons, it seems like even more human on human violence and insanity is erupting. The demons, having taken over numerous government heads, start launching attacks against each other. There are still numerous devilmen out there who can help save innocent human lives, but will they be wiped out before Akira even has a chance to start his devilman army?

Breakdown: Whoo boy the first quarter of this volume is insane. It is just non-stop massacre and destruction; they really weren’t playing around with wiping out humanity. Even though it seems like the killing definitely slowed down substantially after the initial blow. And here Ryo said nearly everyone would be wiped out after the first wave.

After the insanity starts to calm a bit, we see that the demons end-game is for humanity to destroy itself with nuclear weapons. They purposely spark war between the nations and send out hundreds of missiles towards Russia. However, the missiles mysteriously disintegrate in mid-air, and all of Russia is wiped off of the map by a huge sphere of white light.

Ryo believes that this is actually the apocalypse as foretold in the bible. While this theory brings about even more worry as the threat of Satan himself leading this army makes hope dwindle, it also invigorates Akira even more to find the other devilmen and make an ‘army of god’.

However, it really seems like humanity itself is the biggest threat to his cause here as I guess the Japanese government has been hauling ass in mere hours as it not only has numerous ways of combating the demons now, even avoiding the various powers of the demons, but they’ve also developed an incentive that is surely designed to be the downfall of humanity in every way.

Yeah, after this is over, could you guys direct your attention to finding a cure for cancer? Because you seem to really have it together.

Some scientist believes he has found the reason behind the creation of the devilmen and failed mergings lately; frustration, stress, anger and anxiety. The government decides that anyone showing such symptoms is a demon and will be killed on sight. However, they don’t realize that the devils have mostly retreated from merging with humans and most of the people who will be killed will be innocent people and devilmen.

Meanwhile, a major hint is given as to Ryo’s nature as his body starts to emit light just as the sphere of light in Russia has been. However, no one else immediately near the light has shown such symptoms. He also believes that he’s been a little too spot-on with his predictions and feels like he’s actually been dictating things that will happen.

We also meet back up with Miko who is sadly being horrifically tortured in a government facility and being used as an experiment. Luckily, she’s saved by Devilman at the end of the volume, though.

Despite wars erupting in every country, the devils still attacking every which way, the governments of the world killing everyone who shows natural human emotions, especially in times of war and mass panic, and a suicide rate probably so high that they’re killing themselves faster than anyone else is killing them, humanity is still around and kickin’ at the end of the volume which seems to be at least a few weeks or months after the government has called for these measures.

Akira has formed an underground rebellion of sorts, and he has found a handful of devilmen to help him with his attack. Dosuroku and the other thugs have joined up with them as well, acting as their information gatherers and security.

A band of monks contact the devilmen telepathically, revealing that they are also all devilmen who have maintained great composure and sense of mind after much training. They promise to provide Akira and the others with a great devilman army in one month, and Akira states that as the moment when they’ll strike on the demons.

This is another great buildup to what I hope to be a fantastic finale and battle. The opening was insane and really made you lose hope for humanity. I mean, even if the devilmen win, it would be incredibly hard if not impossible for humanity to come back from this.

Akira’s frustration here was well-done, even if you can understand where Ryo’s coming from too. Regular Akira shines through here several times, which is nice to see every now and then. Despite his desire for fighting seeming to take hold of him, you can see where Akira has the bigger hold several times.

Miki also wasn’t terribly annoying for a change. She did keep worrying about Akira when he was gone during the attack, but that’s understandable. She also had one moment of irkness when she acted like she knew all along that humanity would be fine and beat the demons, but that’s also not terrible considering that she could just be trying to make light of a bad situation and latch onto some hope.

She also didn’t really do much in this volume. She and her family did get attacked by a demon, but Dosuroku and his gang beat it and saved them off-panel.

The art has even gotten a bit better, especially in the softer shadows and shots where they try to be realistically detailed, possibly to give us a realistic view on what’s going on to connect to the situation even more. It’s very effective, especially in one scene with an air force pilot that was affected by the light. That was awesome.

This is a fantastic volume and I’ll be sad to see it end, but here’s to volume 5!

Recommended Audience: Wow, they really amp up the gore even more here a few times. They even kill a baby on-panel, though it’s in silhouette. There are some instances of nudity, no sex, a few swears; 16+

Next Volume…..

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