A Very (Somewhat Banned) Pokemon Holiday Special Analysis: Holiday Hi-Jynx

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CotD(s): None, unless you count Santa and…is it really necessary to talk about him?

Pre-Analysis Notes: Hah! Gotcha! You thought I had reviewed all of the Christmas specials for Pokemon? Nope! There’s still one, technically two-ish more, but there’s a reason why I haven’t reviewed them yet.

You guys remember how I talked about the Pokemon Shock incident and how it screwed up the episode order? Well, Holiday Hi-Jynx, their first foray into Christmas, and Snow Way Out were both booted from the planned lineup entirely, which is the main reason why they were subsequently thrown off my analysis lineup for the moment as well since I’m strictly going in numerical order as listed on Bulbapedia. Technically, these episodes have no official numbers. They were originally set to air right around Christmastime in 1997, but since the producers didn’t want to air a Christmas special and a winter-themed episode in April/May, they opted to air the two episodes as specials much later.

I don’t why they bothered, really, because they ended up actually releasing the episodes both on October 5, 1998. Yeah, airing Christmas/winter themed episodes is so much more fitting in the dead of fall, a month before Halloween. Good job.

At least the US had their ducks in a more uniform row, because they aired the dub on December 11, 1999. (Snow Way Out airing a week later on December 18th.)

Despite this being a more fitting airing spot, this did cause some major confusion. Back when I was a kid, these episodes premiered with no fanfare or explanation of what happened. And the reason this was necessary was because, out of nowhere, Ash’s troublesome Charizard was back to being a lovable Charmander, and Misty no longer had Togepi yet still had her Starmie and Horsea, which she had left at the Cerulean Gym at that point. I chalked it up to being an old episode I must’ve missed, but it still nagged me, especially considering that, at the time of this airing in the States, Ash was prepping for the Indigo League tournament.

The trouble doesn’t end there.

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Say hello to Jynx! She is the reason this episode is kinda, sorta, somewhat, ehhh maybe, but not really, depending on how you look at it, banned.

Jynx was heavily criticized as being a racist depiction of a black woman shortly after this episode aired in the US. As a result, the episode was taken out of rotation after a handful of airings and has never reappeared in syndication.

Unlike most banned episodes, however, you can still find this episode fairly easily. It’s on the VHS and the original volume 3 of the Indigo League DVD set, it’s on Cartoon Network Video and Cartoon Network’s On Demand service, it’s available on Boomerang and you can find it on the Japanese versions of Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu.

Subsequent airings have been edited to change Jynx’s skin color to purple to avoid controversy (Kinda like how Mr. Popo’s skin was changed to bright Genie-from-Aladdin blue during his appearances in DBZKai.) but several sources and countries show the original version.

Despite this, the episode is still quietly banned in certain regions. It’s not listed on Pokemon.com, it’s not available on Netflix, it wasn’t included in the re-release of volume 3 of the Indigo League DVD set, and it’s not included in the Indigo League complete collection DVD set. Additionally, the episode is fully banned in South Korea, and India only aired it once before taking it out of rotation entirely.

The edited version has not been applied to the English Dub, so that makes up for a decent amount of the trouble in obtaining this episode.

This initial backlash caused a ripple effect. While Jynx is not a forbidden Pokemon in the anime like Porygon basically is, 4Kids opted to skip over another episode – Ep250: The Ice Cave – because Jynx was so prevalent in it to the point where removing her scenes would destroy the footage and reduce the runtime too much. Episode 287 – All Things Bright and Beautifly – was also edited in the English dub to remove a sequence with Jynx.

Even the Gen II games and the manga were retroactively edited in the west to change Jynx’s skin to purple. Eventually, Game Freak would choose to officially change the character’s skin color to purple to allow it to be featured in the anime and games without additional edits in other areas.

As for why Jynx was designed this way, well, I can’t bring myself to say outright that the designers gunned for a clear black woman stereotype for the sake of being bigots. I don’t like slinging accusations of that caliber around so flippantly without firm evidence. However, it’s hard not to see it.

There’s a theory that she is based on ganguro style, which was popular in the 90s. Ganguro involves dying your hair blond, heavy tanning and wearing a lot of makeup. The actual style, while being rather gaudy, shows the person’s skin as being very orange. You might remember Jessie and James sported ganguro style during the first part of the St. Anne arc.

With that in mind, it’s hard to say that it was taking inspiration from that. By logic, Jynx’s skin would be orange or burnt orange, not black.

However….

There are even more extreme versions of ganguro – Yamanba and Manba, where the tanning is much darker (being dark brown, not orange) and the makeup, accessories and hairstyles are even more outlandish. However, considering this gained popularity long after this episode was created, around 2004, I doubt either of these were the inspiration.

Plus, it’s really hard to seek justification in something where the name, ganguro, can literally translate to ‘black face’………

I’m having trouble getting that anyway because what relation would ganguro have with either psychic powers or ice? You’d think with the requirement of getting so much tanning you might as well jettison yourself into the sun that such a thing couldn’t be further from ice.

Despite having no connection to Santa in the games, it’s also been theorized that, considering Jynx’s role as Santa’s helper in this episode, it might be based on Zwarte Piet or Black Pete, who is a companion of Santa in Dutch folklore……………and…..it’s still racist because, even though the character himself is black, most portrayals of him are done by white people in blackface…

Also, I doubt that theory too because Jynx is clearly designed as a female.

Finally, there’s the theory that it was based on Hel, the Nordic goddess of the underworld who ruled Niflheim, a land of ice and snow. This theory seems to have the best logic to it, but Hel’s face is either meant to be half-blue and half-flesh colored or half-black and half-flesh colored; not fully black. So either they screwed up the facial design or this theory is wrong too.

I never much cared for Jynx either way. I find her to be very creepy on all fronts (Creepy design, creepy voice, creepy movement, creepy blushing, creepy kissing attack – creepycreepycreepy) but I think it’s a good thing that she was changed to purple over the years.

Even if her entire existence is a big question mark in regards to intentions, there’s really no getting around the implications, especially considering only one of the three viable theories I read didn’t include mentions of flatout blackface (It’s also theorized that Jynx are based on opera singers, given their overweight appearance and musical ability, but this confuses me just as much as the others, quite frankly.) Changing her to purple was a much better course of action than trying to justify her offensive appearance – if they even have a justification.

Keep in mind, everything I just discussed were fan theories on her origins – people coming up with less offensive possibilities for Jynx’s existence. I don’t think an official explanation was ever given, which is fairly suspect. Even if it is meant to be a racist depiction of a black woman, which is, of course, insanely messed up, what does that have to do with ice or psychic powers? What were they going for? I just don’t understand Jynx at all.

I don’t really want to press this matter into even worse implications, but I can’t help but ask this question. If people find that Santa’s elves are basically slaves…and taking Jynx as being a depiction of a stereotypical black woman…..Does that mean I’m technically watching a Christmas special with depictions of black people as Santa’s slaves? I really wish I had turned my brain off before it went down that route, because if you lock onto that idea, this episode just gets so much worse. It’s bad enough that Jynx technically are indeed ‘owned’ by their Trainers in the first place……

To be honest, other than having ice powers and being human-like, I don’t know why Jynx was the Pokemon chosen to be stand-ins for Santa’s elves to begin with. I know Delibird doesn’t exist yet, but certainly there’s a better option.

M…merry…Christmas…..I’m really uncomfortable now.

Plot: On Christmas Eve, Team Rocket plans on trapping Santa and taking all of the presents for themselves. Jessie has a vendetta against Santa, believing him to be a thief who stole her doll when he visited on Christmas ten years ago….Only ‘he’ was actually a Jynx working for Santa that she believes was actually Santa.

Meanwhile, Ash tries to capture what he thinks is a wild Jynx waiting on a beach. After a failed attempt, they surmise that it has a Trainer after seeing it holding a boot belonging to none other than Santa Claus! Jynx Psychically transmits her story to Ash and the others – some time ago, she was shining Santa’s boot when the ice she was standing on broke away. She drifted to shore and is desperate to reach Santa.

Ash, Misty and Brock agree to help her out, worried that Santa won’t be able to deliver gifts without his Jynx or his other boot. They grab a raft and head off in the direction of the North Pole, using their Water Pokemon to help pull them along. After a long, long while and exhausting their Pokemon, Ash finds one of Santa’s telepathic Lapras who has been following them for a while. Realizing their intentions are good, it decides to pull them along for the rest of the ride.

When they arrive, however, Team Rocket springs up. They trap Ash and the others in a net and capture Jynx, whom Jessie still mistakenly believes is Santa. They then head to the workshop to steal all of the toys. Jessie spots the real Santa and they hold him hostage so all of the Jynx will hand over the presents. Ash and the others try to intervene, but hold themselves back to protect Santa.

Jessie chats with Santa who asks why she’s doing this. After explaining her story, Jynx perks up and runs off to retrieve Jessie’s doll – now fixed. Santa explains that his Jynx had gone to deliver presents to her and noticed her broken dolly on the floor. She took it to get fixed, but they couldn’t return it since Jessie no longer believed in him and he’s not allowed to tread in the homes of hearts that don’t believe in him.

While she tearfully reunited with her doll, Jessie continues her plan anyway. However, they’re all stopped by Lapras, who freezes their sub with Ice Beam. Ash uses Charmander to free them all from the ropes and commands him to use Fire Spin on the sub. The ice melts and Team Rocket escapes.

Santa commands his legion of Jynx to use Psywave to pick up their sub, shake out all of the presents, destroy the sub and blast off Team Rocket.

With Santa and the presents safe, Santa heads off on his sleigh to bring Christmas to people all over the world. Jynx and Lapras deliver presents to Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu, bringing them all Christmas cheer.

Meanwhile, a beaten up Team Rocket lies in bed, waiting for Santa to hopefully deliver gifts to them despite their actions. He does show up, but all that happens is Jynx uses Lovely Kiss on them all to make them sleep. It may not be the best Christmas for them, but they certainly didn’t do anything to get on the nice list this year.

——————–

– Whose castle is Team Rocket staying in?

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– I kinda understand why Jessie’s doing the title card read today, but it’s also a little weird.

– Jessie has a really nice house for a kid who supposedly grew up so poor that her mother fed her snow….

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– If Santa sends out his Jynx to deliver presents….what…exactly…does HE do?

– Why is Ash so gung-ho about catching a Jynx?

– I love how Misty and Ash are claiming it’s very weird to leave a Pokemon alone outside, but they’ve left Pokemon in the middle of a street sitting in a kiddie pool before….

– Why is Jynx blushing when it looks at the boot? Is she in love with him?

– If Jynx could transmit messages telepathically, why did she even need to waste time with the boot?

– Couldn’t Jynx have just used Ice Beam to create a bridge to get back to shore?

– Is Brock seriously asking how Santa’s going to deliver presents without his Jynx? You don’t even know what she does as Santa’s Pokemon.

– Look, I’m trying to give this episode some modicum of leeway in the logic department, because it’s a kid’s show trying to talk about Santa, but Ash and the others are really planning to head to the North Pole on a wooden raft they either found or somehow made in about ten seconds. Unless the North Pole is much closer to Kanto in the Pokemon world than it is in our world, they’re either going to die, their Pokemon are going to die from exhaustion, both or they’ll all be lost adrift at sea for a long, long time.

– Huh, Misty’s actually being accommodating to Psyduck. It’s a Christmas miracle.

– Hey, the Gyarados sub! Yay!

– I sincerely doubt Ash has the strength to pull that raft at any reasonable speed. Also, did none of them think to just bring oars?

– So a non-Psychic Lapras can telepathically speak, but Psychic Jynx can only project images and only through touch……….Kay.

Also, why is Lapras glowing so brightly when it first meets Ash?

– I feel I should call BS on Misty not knowing what a Lapras is, but I’ll refrain from making a ‘Why Use the Pokedex?’ note since I have no way of knowing if she does. Would be weird of someone who is currently trying to be a Water Pokemon Master is all.

– Lapras has been watching them for ‘some time’ but didn’t think to offer them a ride or a tow? Jerk.

– Okay, so Lapras’ logic with not appearing sooner was not knowing their intentions….but she can speak telepathically, which means she must be able to read minds and thus easily know their intentions immediately. Or it could’ve just asked the Jynx telepathically if she trusted these kids. Also, Lapras, it’s a bunch of kids on a wooden raft in the middle of the ocean trying to get to the North Pole to deliver Santa’s Jynx back to him. You can’t get much more wholesome that that. You’re just a jerk, Lapras; which sucks because I adore Lapras.

– It’s really nice and cool of Jynx to use her hair as an umbrella for Misty…….That sure is a unique sentence.

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– I just realized that they were heading to the North Pole without any winter clothes….now that I think about it, in the next episode they head into snowy mountains without winter clothes. Delia constantly asks Ash if he has clean underwear on but never thinks to ask if he has weather-appropriate attire for his journeys?

– Santa Claus lives on a spiky ice island of death?……COOL!

– Hah, I like how the motto music sped up when Jessie and James realized how cold it was.

– Neither Jynx nor Lapras did anything to the missile or net when it was being so slowly deployed.

– How does Santa not have a second pair of boots? Also, Jynx has been gone for some time, supposedly, so how has Santa not made or otherwise obtained another pair in the meantime? Has he been walking around outside with one shoe?

– This version of Santa’s pretty lame. Not only does he have a bunch of Jynx do most of his work, but he also apparently is not all-seeing because he doesn’t realize Jessie and James are bad guys and probably naughty list recipients.

– What is up with how fast Meowth’s lips are moving when he’s telling the Jynx to load up the gifts? That’s not typical Japanese to English lip flap syncing trouble, that’s almost like they sped up the footage.

– I’m realizing now that, even accepting the silliness of Jessie believing a Jynx is Santa, why is she still insisting SantaJynx is male? She keeps using male pronouns, but not only is Jynx clearly female-based, but her species is 100% female.

– I’m surprised Jessie was so emotionally impacted by Jynx stealing her doll…the one she broke in a fit of unjustified rage and didn’t react much when it happened.

– Okay, wait, wait, time out. Jessie broke her doll, Jynx came to deliver presents….didn’t do that, grabbed her doll off the floor and took it, ran off to get it fixed, but couldn’t return it for ten years because Jessie didn’t believe in Santa anymore after that?

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First of all;

Santa: “There, you see? I knew my Jynx would never steal anything.” She took someone’s property from their house and didn’t return it. That’s stealing.

Second of all;

Santa: “I repaired it in my sleigh….” Wait, that means you repaired it right then and there….Why wouldn’t you just instantly give it back then?

Third;

Santa: “We tried to go back, but you didn’t believe in me anymore, and I’m powerless to go where hearts are closed.” Powerless to go where hearts are closed….that’s a new one. And a stupid one.

If you repaired it in the sleigh, that means Jessie instantly stopped believing in you when Jynx went up the chimney. That’s a bit extreme.

She never stopped believing in Santa Claus anyway. If she did, she wouldn’t be in the North Pole right now. She just mistakenly believed Jynx was Santa.

Does this mean Santa can’t enter most houses? Because most parents don’t believe in Santa, and many older kids don’t either. If he can’t enter the home of non-believers entirely, his trip must be much shorter than we think.

Even if all of that was true, why take the doll with you? Why not put it on her windowsill or, oh I dunno, send your non-Santa-and-thus-not-restricted-by-the-belief-thing back down the chimney to return what she stole?

– Oh my God, Ash, why would you have Charmander burn the ropes and give you all third degree burns when you could have just had him untie you? Come to think of it, you must have a decent amount of movement capability if you could find, grab and send out Charmander’s Pokeball….

– Yes, Charmander, Fire Spin the thing that currently holds all of the presents for all of the little girls and boys of the world. I hope they asked Santa for asbestos….

– I get that Team Rocket’s Pokemon are perfectly fine following the orders of either Jessie or James, but why does Jessie have Weezing’s Pokeball?

– Also, Team Rocket has a point – Ash just helped by thawing them out after Lapras froze them. Why would he even consider doing that?

– If these Jynx all know Psywave, then they’ve all been given the TM to learn it. I’d think another good TM to give them would be Teleport so it would make deliveries essentially instantaneous. You wouldn’t even need the sleigh and none of your Jynx would ever get lost.

– I should question the flying Rapidash, but I moreso want to comment on Santa saying ‘No reindeer.’ Oh, Santa, just wait a gen.

– That snow effect is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t even look like snow. It looks like fully white ladybugs crawling on the screen in four intersecting lines. I make better snow animations than that, and that’s just sad.

– Aw it’s nice that they got presents. I hope it’s winter clothes because some of you have to be losing some appendages at this point.

– Pikachu getting a gift is really cute and nice, but I really hope Santa has gifts for all of their Pokemon, otherwise this little note is actually quite unfair and more blatant favoritism – and this time not even from Ash!

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————————————

I’ve always remembered this episode as being really weird, really confusing and just strange, but I guess it’s not a particularly terrible Christmas special. There are so many other better holiday Pokemon specials out there that I certainly wouldn’t place this at the top tier of your Christmas must-watch list, but it’s alright.

Amid all of the controversy and other messes this episode was wrapped up in, you’d hope this episode would be one worth waiting for, but it’s really not. I still think it’s really weird, really confusing and just strange. There are so many questionable writing choices made in this episode, both Japanese and English, that it’s actually somewhat impressive what a massive tangle of nonsensical weird they made out of a Christmas special.

Jynx’s mere existence may be enough to put some people off of this episode, especially if your brain runs a little wild with the implications like mine did. I really hope I’m just reading too far into things again. Otherwise, it’s an okay-ish watch around the holidays. Nearly any other entry in the ‘Pikachu’s Winter Vacation’ series would be a better alternative, though.


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Pokemon (Banned) Episode 38 Analysis – Electric Soldier Porygon

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I’m certain most of Japan agrees with you, Kasumi.

CotD(s): Akihabara-Hakase – Creator of the Monster Ball transfer system, Akihabara is very intelligent but also eccentric and somewhat dangerous.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Akihabara has two Porygon, and the species as a whole is also his creation.

Pre-Analysis Notes: Look, you know what this is. I know what this is. Nearly everyone who knows even a little about classic Pokemon or anime knows what this is. But, just in case, let’s be frank about it anyway.

It’s the seizure episode.

It’s arguably the most well-known singular episode of Pokemon and, arguably, the most well-known banned episode of any animated series outside of that one episode of Tiny Toons where they drink beer.

The cause of the famous Pokemon Shock incident, Electric Soldier Porygon is the episode that caused seizures in 600+ kids in Japan when it first aired. The effects of this episode airing are still being felt to this day. In fact, this episode caused the creators of Pokemon to go back and edit some of their episodes to help prevent possible seizure-inducing shots.

For instance, you may have noticed by now in certain episodes where Pikachu is doing electric attacks (most notably in these instances, I might add, but let’s address this later) that the animation starts jutting or slowing down and the brightness gets significantly lower. I also mentioned that I believe this incident is the reason for the nightmare fuel animation Hypno and Drowzee shots in Hypno’s Naptime.

It’s not just contained to Pokemon either. Other anime and western animated shows also tone down the brightness and tweak the animation in flashy action shots, such as in shounen fighting anime, to prevent this same thing from happening.

That’s not all. Many anime also started putting those all too familiar ‘don’t sit too close to the TV and turn up the lights in the room’ warnings at the start of certain shows to also help prevent this.

And that’s still not all. Because of this incident, the creators of Pokemon felt they had to do damage control in the future and prevent people from remembering this event. Thus, Porygon had to be sacrificed.

In addition to it never getting an anime release outside of Japan, Porygon and all of its evos have been silently banned from ever getting their own episodes or being used by Trainers in the entirety of the anime. They don’t even get mentioned. The best they get are incredibly minor cameos in the background, almost always just being an obligated feature in a huge collab screen during those The World of Pokemon openers for the movies.

And it was wrongfully damned because…..*huff* Nope. Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.

This is our second completely banned episode in regards to it obviously being taken out of rotation (In Japan too, which makes it ultra-banned) and never being dubbed by 4Kids. In fact, unlike The Legend of Miniryu, it’s highly unlikely 4Kids ever got a copy of this episode to dub considering that they wanted to basically remove this episode from existence.

You can find more information on the event, the banning and why it likely wasn’t ever dubbed and will probably never be released, even edited, here http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/kanto/ep038.html And I know Dogasu links to this page in the article, but just because I believe it deserves a look for the sake of learning more about the event itself https://www.csicop.org/si/show/pokemon_panic_of_1997

Without any further adieu. The seizure ep—Er, The Electric Soldier Porygon.

Japanese Key: Satoshi/Ash, Takeshi/Brock, Kasumi/Misty, Hakase/Professor, Monster Balls/Pokeballs, Fushigidane/Bulbasaur, Arbo/Arbok, Metadogas/Weezing, Masaki/Bill

Plot: Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi have arrived in Matcha City. Pikachu seems really tired, so they visit the local Pokemon Center to get him some rest. When they arrive, they find the Pokemon Center in chaos as they try to field phone call after phone call with complaints about the Monster Ball Transfer System not functioning.

Whenever a rare Pokemon is being transferred, the Pokemon is switched with a much more common Pokemon and the original Pokemon never arrives. Joy and the tech specialist who created the system, Akihabara-hakase, are working to fix it, but so far have been unable to find the bug.

Takeshi suggests that it’s a virus, but Akihabara vehemently refuses the suggestions. He runs out of the building stating that the system is far too advanced to get a virus.

Satoshi and the others go to Akihabara’s laboratory to see what’s wrong when they’re stopped by a strange polygonal Akihabara head that turns out to be a hologram. Akihabara lures the group into a giant Monster ball transfer machine where he tells them that the source of the problems for the system is Team Rocket.

They somehow managed to sneak in, steal a prototype CG Pokemon, Porygon Zero, and transfer themselves into the network. Whenever a rare Pokemon is sent through, Team Rocket snatches it and replaces it with a common Pokemon.

He knows he could fix the problems with a vaccine program. The problem is, if he activates the program now, Team Rocket will be killed. In order to avoid this, he sends Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi into the digital world to take down and retrieve Team Rocket so he can execute the program and fix the system.

Riding on an enlarged Porygon, the group assesses their situation and follows the network highway to Team Rocket, who are stopping all transfers in the middle of the highway with a literal road block and taking all of the rare Pokemon for themselves.

Satoshi and the others arrive, demanding they release the Pokemon. Team Rocket refuses and sends out Arbo and Metadogas. Metadogas uses Smokescreen, but Porygon uses its Conversion technique to match Metadogas’ physical traits and knock it away. (Actually it adopts the Pokemon’s type, but this is fun too)

Team Rocket uses Porygon Zero to fight the other Porygon, but it’s mostly a stalemate of Porygon transforming into a shield and Porygon Zero transforming into various weapons. Akihabara tells the group to take this opportunity to take down the barriers on the network highway and restore the Monster Ball transfers.

Team Rocket tries to stop them, but they get electrocuted by Pikachu and blasted off with Porygon Zero.

Akihabara and the others believe the problem is about to be solved, but the Pokemon Center suddenly accesses the system. Akihabara learns that the main Center sent down a computer specialist who is using a strong vaccine to take care of the problem. Akihabara panics since Satoshi and the others are still in the system. If the vaccine hits them, they’ll be unable to escape back to the real world.

Akihabara warns Satoshi and the others to get out of there. They call Porygon and start to make their escape. Team Rocket also starts to escape via their Porygon Zero as the vaccine starts its assault.

They race to the exit, dodging blast after blast of bright assaults from the vaccine. Team Rocket gets wrapped up in one of the attacks, which causes a hole in the system’s coding. Team Rocket, now with a knocked out Porygon Zero, is trapped within the hole, and the computer specialist in the Pokemon Center starts to close it. Satoshi and the others near the transfer point, but Satoshi wants to go save Team Rocket.

Just when it seems like Team Rocket is done for, Satoshi, Fushigidane and Porygon swoop in to save them. But they’re not out of the woods yet. The vaccine is still pursuing them, and now Porygon is faltering due to exhaustion and too much weight. The vaccine launches four missiles. Pikachu manages to blow two of them away with an electric attack, but the other two smash into the transfer point, causing the entire laboratory to explode.

Luckily, they all managed to get out just in time. The Pokemon transfer system is now working perfectly, but Akihabara’s human transfer system is destroyed. With the group keeping their digital heroics a secret, they continue on their journey.

————————–

– Akihabara-Hakase made the transfer system?…..Considering Masaki made the storage system, I always thought he made the transfer system too. Hm. Anyone want to throw in their two cents about whether this is BS to game canon?

– For some reason, I think it’s adorable that Satoshi thinks computer viruses are little demons who poke at computers in hospital beds.

It also just dates the hell out of this show. Ten year old kid is clueless about everything computers. You just wait a decade or two, Satoshi. You’ll be catching Pokemon with your smartphone and annoying the shit out of everyone around you soon enough.

– What the hell is up with this map? Why is it taking a ridiculous route around the backside of the Pokemon Center when you could just hang a left at the entrance and then head north? Is there an annoying ‘you can jump down but not up because I said so’ ledge over to the left?

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– They follow that map with no problems whatsoever, but get lost every damn episode even with a professionally made–…

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Er….nevermind. Pokemon really needs a better educational system because they are in desperate need of competent cartographers.

– I love how Kasumi is concerned about walking around some other person’s house. I think you’ve long since passed that worry, Kasumi. You were breaking and entering without issue just last episode.

– Some strange man in the dark is telling us to follow him into a strange dark room? Well, we really shouldn’t, but we have no sense of self-preservation so why not?

– He trapped them in a giant Monster Ball transfer machine? That is straight up kidnap—……that is a really cool concept that might answer numerous questions I’ve had about that thing…..But he is kidnapping them……..Hm…..Promise me they’ll be un-kidnapped and I’ll turn a blind eye.

– Unless Akihabara works for Silph Co., which I doubt because it doesn’t seem to exist in the anime, he did not canonically create Porygon.

– Bullshit Team Rocket was smart enough to not only steal a CG Pokemon but also somehow have been stealing Pokemon in cyberspace on purpose. They can barely steal a scene.

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– So instead of recruiting people qualified to enter a digital world and fight monsters to take down evil forces, Akihabara decides to just kidnap whatever children just happen to be nearby and make them do it–……Holy crap, this is Digimon Adventure 01!

– Porygon may be far from my favorite Pokemon, but it’s still pretty cute in this episode.

– Well, we finally know what the inside of the digital world looks like…..a bunch of non-detailed tubes…….I like Digimon’s interpretation better. Also, this is a missed opportunity for some nightmare inducing polygonal CGI scenes.

– I don’t really understand Team Rocket’s plan. Sure, they’re stealing the most amount of rare Pokemon they’ve ever managed to get their hands on…..but how do they expect to leave? They can’t even contact Giovanni or anyone from within the system. They could steal every rare Pokemon in the world in there and it wouldn’t matter. Unless they plan to accumulate a ton of digital monsters and create a new world order within the system—Oh my God, it’s a prequel to Digimon Adventure 01!

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– Porygon’s an interesting Digim—Pokemon purely for Conversion and the way it transforms in the digital world. In a lot of ways, it’s like Ditto, which is weird to follow up with immediately after the Ditto episode.

– Takeshi: “Just what you’d expect from a pair of Porygon.” Dude, you just learned what a Porygon was five minutes ago, and you still weren’t properly given a rundown on what it was outside of being a CG Pokemon. Stop being a not-knowing know it all.

– Where did Team Rocket get the road blocks in the mostly vacant digital world? Why are these pitifully undersized roadblocks stopping this massive pile of Monster Balls from transferring?

– I know Akihabara’s a crazy weirdo, but they seriously sent down someone else to fix a problem in the system he created without even telling him? What asses at the….main Center…..what main Center? Where is this?

– He could’ve avoided this whole mess if he told Joy the problem in the first place instead of just being incredibly vague and running out of the Pokemon Center without a word.

– I don’t know why, but I find it really cute that the vaccine program is a little ambulance.

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– Rocket-propelled needles….not so much.

– Alright, so we’re at the seizure moment basically. The action escape scene involves a lot, and I mean a lot, of bright blue and red beams and flashes of red and blue light. And it’s not anime-ish drawn light, it’s full-on neon colors legit light-light.

Most of the scene is not too much of a problem because the characters are usually taking up much of the shot, the light is simply beams or the light is contained to maybe 50% of the screen. I imagine kids might have been getting flicker vertigo at this point.

The part of the episode that was the tipping point into massive seizures, however, was the finale where the entire group are about to be hit with a barrage of vaccine missiles before they leave the system. In order to help save them, Pikachu shocks two of the missiles into blowing up before they reach them, which briefly causes the entire screen to flicker blue and red for about two seconds, followed by a shot of the flashing taking about 70% of the screen for another couple of seconds. And that’s all it takes, really.

That’s also why this incident is coined the Pokemon Shock incident. All of the other scenes were mostly okay, but the finale with Pikachu’s shock was the crux.

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Whoo yeah, you did it Pikachu! Now let’s wait for the audience to get back from the hospital to talk about how proud we are of you.

What’s that, you ask? What did Porygon do to contribute to this event? You say it must’ve done something horrible because it’s anime-banned? Oh it just bravely fought through exhaustion and encumbering weight to help everyone, including Seizurechu, escape. Porygon was not, in any way shape or form, responsible for the flashes. The only two things that caused the seizures were the vaccine program and Pikachu.

Surely, this must mean Pikachu is the one who deserves to be banned then, right? What say ye, Nintendo?

Nintendo: “Pikachu’s face is already plastered on a fuckin’ jet, and we are not going to risk our newest, cutest money whore. Ban the polygoned duck thing and shut up.”

……

sad okay

You know….I really have to tamp down my anger both at the injustice towards Porygon and the secret-service-esque maneuvers to save honored Messiahchu……because I get it. I really do. Logically, it makes sense.

As much as we, the viewers and fans of the show, know how much of a raw deal Porygon’s getting here, let’s be honest, other people, those who don’t watch the show regularly and the parents of these kids, are never going to associate this event with Pikachu because the scene was literally seconds long.

When people have talked and currently do talk about this episode, they usually refer to it as the Porygon episode or, at most, Electric Soldier Porygon. What matters most to fans is not what’s put in play here. It’s what matters to the public at large. Porygon is the face of this episode and, sadly, that means he’s damned to being the face of this incident.

Banning Pikachu would seem logical to us, but I can bet damn near anything that parents would petition to have Porygon removed from the franchise for the sake of avoiding trauma anyway, and the franchise as a whole would suffer do to lack of ‘chu.

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Yeah, you got banned for Pikachu’s sins! Thanks, Porygon!

It’s just more painful when you actually watch the episode. Porygon is still far from my favorite Pokemon, but this episode gives you a new appreciation for it. It has cool abilities, at least within the system, it’s very nice, brave and even kinda cute.

This whole incident is really just a shame all around. Truthfully, if it wasn’t Porygon and this episode, I can bet anything it would’ve been some other episode or even another show triggering the necessary changes for preventing seizures. Best case scenario is finding out about these risks beforehand and changing things before incidents such as Pokemon Shock occur, but we can’t always be so lucky.

I should mention that, while I am not epileptic or prone to seizures, I still very easily get motion sickness. I am extremely prone to carsickness, seasickness, lightheadedness, dizziness and I am prone to being digitally motion sick (getting motion sick while playing video games). It’s only with certain games and lighting, but it does happen.

For instance, I can’t play many classic Star Wars games, such as Dark Forces and Mysteries of the Sith (classic FPS’s in general mostly due to the art and way you move) and Dead Island (really bright first person environments) for longer than about five minutes without getting a splitting headache and feeling like I’m going to barf.

While I was watching ‘the scene’ I did feel slightly ill and off-kilter, but only a little. That was my experience anyway. I can certainly see how that scene would trigger seizures. I do have to wonder how many people who have watched the bootlegs of the episode have gotten seizures or illness.

– Bullshit they all survived the laboratory blowing up. Then again, this is, worryingly, not the first or last time Satoshi and co. will survive being inside of a building as it’s blown to smithereens (See: Pokemon Emergency!)

– I do like Team Rocket being appreciative of the group saving their lives, though.

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– So Akihabara made the human transfer system for the sake of making people’s lives easier? But you still need to actually travel within it. Without a Porygon, it would’ve been ridiculous. And the slightest errors or viruses could kill you or make you unable to return to the real world.

– Why is this whole thing being kept a secret anyway? If Akihabara had just told Joy about what was going on, none of this vaccine stuff would’ve happened. Actually, none of this episode would’ve happened. Oh, right, nevermind.

– Despite the fact that Fushigidane also did work today, why is Satoshi only telling Joy to care for Pikachu? Well, I guess sending 600+ kids to the hospital IS tiring.

archer-burn

————————–

I did enjoy this episode. We really needed a change of pace from forest, city, forest, city, forest, forest, city, forest. The digital world in Pokemon is…..a little boring, but has some cute and interesting aspects. Team Rocket’s plan made absolutely no sense, but at least they netted a crapton of Pokemon for a change. Honestly, I could spend pages just asking questions about the transfer system and the digital world, but I think we had enough to go over today.

Akihabara had more personality than the average CotD, but he was also a bit of an ass for kidnapping Satoshi, Takeshi and Kasumi and risking their lives when it was totally avoidable. At least he got a bittersweet ending.

I’ve said my piece about Porygon. Fare thee well, little angled duck. We’ll always have Paris the games.

Next episode, Jynx’s deb—Oh right, crap. Okay, there’s also one more consequence of this episode. Due to the Pokemon Shock incident, Pokemon was put on hiatus for four months, throwing its whole schedule out of whack. The next episode preview is for what we in the west know as Holiday Hi-Jynx (Rougela’s Christmas)……which is, oddly enough, ANOTHER banned episode (to a degree).

It was also meant to be followed by Snow Way Out (Iwark the Bivouac). As you can guess, these episodes were meant to be aired in winter, with Holiday Hi-Jynx being planned for the day before Christmas Eve. However, due to the hiatus, both episodes were ripped from their respective spots and saved until the following October, where they were aired as special episodes, kinda.

There’s a lot more to go over here, but I think that’s enough for now. Let’s talk about this whole mess when we get to the actual episodes. Since I’m following the wiki’s episode list and Dogasu’s listings, I’ll be moving on to Pikachu’s Goodbye next…..which is also a source of some anger for me, to be honest, as it comes hot on the heels of this episode, but again, let’s save that for later.

Next episode, Pikachu’s Goodbye.

Previous Episode….

Pokemon (Banned) Episode 35 Analysis – The Legend of Miniryu/Dratini

Pokemon episode 35 title

CotD(s): Kaiser – Owner (?) of the Safari Zone, Kaiser has a very quick temper and is even quicker on the draw of his gun. He is ready to protect the Safari Zone from any and all potential threats at all costs. 30 years ago, he was inadvertently nearly the cause of the destruction of the Safari Zone, and now he vows to protect it and the Miniryu that seemingly live within its walls.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Nothing officially, but Miniryu/Hakuryu might have been in his possession at one point.

Pre-Analysis Notes: Here we are at what is actually the first real banned episode of Pokemon. Technically, it’s the third episode to be banned in the US period, with Tentacool and Tentacruel and Beauty and the Beach getting the first two spots, the second to be banned and taken out of rotation to this day (Tentacool and Tentacruel is back in rotation and on official releases) and the first to be completely banned IE never even dubbed (Beauty and the Beach was dubbed and aired eventually, even if the episode is still lost).

4Kids received the episode when they got the licensing rights, but they never dubbed it. They did use clips in the PokeRap, but that’s it. Dogasu wrote a very detailed and eloquent explanation as to why this episode was banned and why it’ll never be officially released. Since I don’t believe I could tackle this issue anywhere near as well as they did, I will direct you to their website. http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/kanto/ep035.html

Short answer – way too much gun use, even if it’s less than what many people would lead you to believe. The closeups, the fact that they were fired and the way they were being used were also major factors.

This episode was the source of some continuity trouble because it’s the episode where Ash catches his 30 Tauros. Since the episode never aired, every Pokemon fan in the world, including me, collectively scratched their heads when Ash revealed that not only did he own a Tauros, but he had a whole damn herd of them at Oak’s lab. You just sat there trying to wrap your head around where, when and, quite frankly, why he could’ve done such a thing.

Since The Kangaskhan Kid is the last we see and hear of the Safari Zone, you’re also left to believe that the group went to the Safari Zone and did absolutely nothing there in regards to catching Pokemon.

Shame, really. Dratini, Dragonair, the Safari Zone, Ash actually doing some catching for a change – it’s all lost to us in the west.

Japanese Key – Satoshi/Ash, Kasumi/Misty, Takeshi/Brock, Okido/Oak, Miniryu/Dratini, Kentauros/Tauros, Saihorn/Rhyhorn, Arbo/Arbok, Musashi/Jessie, Kojirou/James, Nyasu/Meowth, Hakuryu/Dragonair, Shigeru/Gary

Plot: Finally actually in the Safari Zone now, Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi meet Kaiser, who greets them with a revolver to the face at the sounds of their happy singing. Kaiser is very gun-happy, and he whips it out and threatens the three at the drop of a hat.

As Satoshi gets his Safari Balls and rod, Kasumi notices a picture of Kaiser and a Miniryu on the wall. They all get excited at the prospect of a Miniryu in the Safari Zone, but Kaiser nabs the picture from them and claims there are no Miniryu in the park.

Satoshi and the others contact Okido to see if he knows anything about it. Okido states that 30 years ago, Kaiser found a Miniryu in the park. Word traveled fast, and Trainers from all over stormed the Safari Zone looking for the Miniryu. As they searched, they caught tons of Pokemon and nearly wiped the place out. Because of this, a new policy was put in place to only allow captures in the Safari Zone with the park’s official Pokeballs – Safari Balls. No one ever saw the Miniryu, though some people still search for it.

Satoshi, Takeshi and Kasumi gather their Safari Balls and fishing rods and prepare to leave when they’re suddenly stopped by Team Rocket. They attempt to start their motto, only to be met with a hail of gunfire from Kaiser.

Team Rocket settles down and asks Satoshi for a friendly competition. Whoever catches the most Pokemon in the Safari Zone wins. If they win, they get all of the group’s Pokemon. If they lose, they’ll leave the group alone forever. Satoshi agrees and they head into the park.

Satoshi and Takeshi each catch a Kentauros, and Satoshi sets his sights on a Saihorn next. However, the same herd of Kentauros block his Safari Ball throw and net him another Kentauros instead as the Saihorn gets away.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket hold Kaiser at gunpoint and demand he tell them where the Miniryu is. After some mild torture, he agrees to give up the location.

Back with Satoshi and the others, Kasumi reveals her special Pokemon lures, including one modeled after herself called the Kasumi Special. Almost immediately after Kasumi casts her line, she hooks a Gyarados. The line snaps, and the catching attempts are interrupted by Kaiser who warns the group that Team Rocket is planning on capturing Miniryu in Dragon Valley.

Musashi spots a Miniryu but it’s scared away when the scuba diving Nyasu and Kojirou surface for air. No matter, it seems, since Nyasu reveals an electric bomb that will knock out all of the Pokemon in the water.

Satoshi and the others arrive, but it’s too late. Musashi throws the bomb into the water and Kaiser immediately dives in after it. Satoshi follows with Kasumi’s Hitodeman helping him swim faster. Satoshi sends Hitodeman off to help Kaiser resurface and catch his breath while he handles the bomb himself.

Satoshi gets the bomb and Kaiser resurfaces, but Satoshi can no longer hold his breath and sinks to the floor of the lake. Suddenly, the weather turns dark and stormy, and a whirlpool emerges within the lake. With a fantastic light, a Hakuryu darts from the lake and into the sky with Satoshi on its back. Satoshi tosses the bomb to Team Rocket and blasts them off.

Kaiser recognizes the Hakuryu as the Miniryu from 30 years ago and reunites with his lost friend. He’s ecstatic to see that not only has Hakuryu been thriving in Dragon Valley, but it also has a child – the Miniryu from earlier.

Later, Satoshi and the others catch up with Okido, promising to never talk about the Miniryu and Hakuryu in the Safari Zone to ensure they stay protected. Okido asks if Satoshi caught anything and he says he filled up all 30 Safari Balls – but they’re all of Kentauros.

Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi bid farewell to Kaiser as they continue their journey. Hakuryu and Miniryu bid a quiet farewell to their heroes from the sky, safe once again within the walls of the Safari Zone.

———————

– Pokemon Center music playing in the Safari Zone? Couldn’t use the Safari Zone mus—?….actually, no, no, leave it be. Forget I said anything. We don’t need that ‘song’ in here. I’m sorry I even brought it up. Move along!

– Aw the Nidorino and Nidorina cuddling.

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– See, look here. Safari Zone – giant friggin’ gate, huge goddamn fence, clear sign indicating they’re approaching the entrance to the Safari Zone. Is that so hard, other three areas they thought were the Safari Zone?

– I like that Kasumi doesn’t agree to stop Satoshi from singing because she’s so excited about capturing Pokemon in the Safari Zone that she starts singing too.

– Kaiser actually points a gun at Satoshi and the others for SINGING. No wonder this psychopath got banned.

– Kaiser points a gun at Satoshi for trying to take the rod and Safari Balls he was just trying to give him! The hell is wrong with this guy?

– He named his gun…..Wow.

– Also, apparently bait and rocks are not offered in this Safari Zone. I get that the rock thing is a bit hard to justify for the anime (for the game too, honestly) but why no bait? Or at least some other way of distracting them or something.

– I know the cops in the Pokemon universe are useless, but Satoshi and the others should totally be calling the cops on this guy for constantly pointing a gun at their faces. Even if you argue that it’s for protecting the Safari Zone, 1) That’s understandable for the reasons behind why he has the gun, not why he keeps whipping it out and pointing it at people. 2) These kids are not posing any threat. They were singing and trying to receive things being given to them by the aforementioned gunslinger. 3) They’re unarmed. 4) Oh yeah, they’re friggin’ children.

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I love how Takeshi seems to give zero shits.

– If Kaiser wants to keep the existence of Miniryu in the Safari Zone a secret, why put up a picture of him and a Miniryu clearly in the Safari Zone in the lobby of the Safari Zone in plain view? He didn’t even just have it there temporarily on accident – even Okido said he’s seen that picture.

– Hey look, it’s convenient exposition-dump Okido.

– What a massive coincidence that Okido knows Kaiser and knows him well enough to know this backstory that Kaiser seems to want to keep a secret. I guess it’s understandable that a Pokemon researcher knows the owner/keeper of the Safari Zone, but this still seems extremely unlikely. Also, how lucky was it that Satoshi and the others thought to call Okido and ask him even though they had no reason to believe he’d know anything about this.

– I don’t really understand parts of this backstory very well. Kaiser found a Miniryu in the Safari Zone, word got out and everyone rushed to the Safari Zone to see if they could catch one too. In the process, they caught a ton of other Pokemon, nearly wiping the place out. Ever since that incident, the Safari Zone has banned the use of traditional Pokeballs and required the use of Safari Balls.

Safari Balls seem to have a 100% capture rate here, or these Pokemon are, by default, much easier to catch than normal, since Satoshi easily captures all of those Kentauros without a single one bursting out and he doesn’t weaken any of them, use bait or use a rock.

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Even though they give you a maximum of 30 Safari Balls, there’s no limit on how many times you can visit the Safari Zone. You could load up on 30 Pokemon, leave, then come back.

There also seems to be no fee for this Safari Zone, unlike the games where it’s 500 Pokedollars per visit. So, if you wanted to keep leaving and returning in the anime, you could do so with absolutely no problem on your end.

You’re also forced to adhere to a “time limit.” In the original games, you were only allowed 500 steps before you were booted from the place. There is no such time limit here. Kaiser just says to come back when they’ve used all 30 Safari Balls.

In essence, they added a backstory that explains why the Safari Zone restricts visitors to only using Safari Balls, explaining that it’s meant to help preserve the Pokemon there, but completely remove several other policies in the Safari Zone that would help attain that goal much better. In fact, some of the choices made for the anime, such as coming back when all 30 Safari Balls are used, seems like more Pokemon would be caught because of it.

– I do kinda like the backstory of the Safari Zone, though. Even if it is more ‘humans suck’ messages.

– Kaiser’s gun happy to protect the Miniryu from being harassed….In a place where people are encouraged to capture Pokemon. That seems even more dangerous than it’s already seemed. What if someone just happens upon a Miniryu? Not like he has eyes everywhere. The Safari Zone is huge. Even if he did manage to spot all of these people, is he really going to murder anyone who stumbles upon Miniryu’s home and captures one?

The Dragon Valley isn’t even hidden, it seems, nor is it difficult to access, from all we see.

– Wait, Satoshi whips his Pokedex out for damn near everything but seems to easily recognize a Miniryu? Maybe I need a ‘Why not use the Pokedex?’ segment alongside the ‘Why use the Pokedex?’ segment.

– The fact that both Takeshi and Kasumi went to the Safari Zone with intentions of capturing Pokemon yet neither caught a thing is also a massive wasted opportunity. It’s also sad considering how excited Kasumi was.

– Kaiser is shooting way too many bullets at Team Rocket for merely two revolvers.

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– He instantly draws on Satoshi and the others for singing and going to grab their Safari Balls but someone stands on the sign for the Safari Zone and he waits until they’re half done with their motto to pull the guns.

– This whole bet is completely ridiculous. First, Satoshi should just tell Kaiser they’re criminals and refuse them entrance into the Safari Zone. They’d probably sneak in anyway, but letting them in is just stupid.

Second, Satoshi actually believes that they’ll uphold their end of the bargain if they lose, and never hassle him, Kasumi and Takeshi ever again. Even Kasumi calls bullshit on this, but Satoshi agrees because, as a future Pokemon Master, he can’t turn down challenges. Uh, maybe for battles. Not for catching contests. And there is a thing called intelligent judgment. A good Pokemon Master would never risk the welfare of wild Pokemon or his own Pokemon for the sake of a petty competition.

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Seems legit.

Three, either this bet is Team Rocket against Satoshi or Team Rocket against Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi. Either way, it’s unbalanced and not fair. In addition to the help of an extra person, they collectively have 90 Safari Balls while Team Rocket will only get 60. Alternatively, Satoshi would only have 30 while Team Rocket would have 60.

– I do like how Pikachu’s being used for the dramatic lightning effects when he accepts the challenge, though.

– Now to address the other half of the bet, which Satoshi agreed to before even hearing it – Team Rocket gets all of their Pokemon if they lose.

First, Satoshi is agreeing for all of them. Who made him leader?

Second, he is way too unconcerned that he will lose all of his Pokemon. He even agrees to the terms a second time with a smile on his face.

Third, Takeshi tells Satoshi ‘That means Pikachu too.’ Because he wouldn’t care about the rest of his team, but Pikachu!? Oh God no! Sacrifice your left nut before you dare risk honored Messiahchu!

Finally, he has no worries about losing because ‘Good always wins.’ Nice unrealistic message and all, but you’re a moron. Also, notice how he didn’t agree to the terms of capture. Team Rocket could ‘capture’ a ton of Pokemon in a net or something.

Why Use the Pokedex? – Satoshi saw and Dex’d a Kentauros merely two episodes ago. Does he really need a refresher? Also, tiny nitpick, but the picture of Kentauros in the Pokedex here is different from the one shown in The Flame Pokemon-athon. Even the background changed.

 

– Takeshi’s throwing Safari Balls at the Kentauros too. Is he illegally using Satoshi’s Safari Balls to help him win or is he capturing Kentauros for the contest and we just never ever see them ever? Do the Safari Balls know who’s throwing them? I don’t get the mechanics of this series sometimes.

– Satoshi: “This is too easy. It’s no fun at all.” Basically confirming the Safari Balls have a 100% success rate in the anime. If that’s true, that is indeed really boring. Catching Pokemon in the Safari Zone in the games is almost entirely luck, trial and error.

– Satoshi has an empty spot in his party – why did he not keep one of the Kentauros?

– How did Team Rocket get the jump on Mr. Itchytriggerfinger? More importantly, the guns they’re threatening him with are HIS. How did they manage that?

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– Musashi’s making me uncomfortable when she’s flirting with Kaiser.

– I like how they play Nyasu no Uta (Meowth’s Song) on the stereo when they’re trying to remind Kaiser of his mother.

– I know Team Rocket likes stupid robots, but they needed a robot to tickle Kaiser?

– And that works?!

– Love the introduction to Kasumi’s special lures, but I do have some questions.

She thinks Water Pokemon will want to eat a tiny version of herself?

Won’t the Water Pokemon think that a Charmander underwater is a tad odd? Shouldn’t that be dead? There being a Charmander in that lure box is even weirder considering every single other Pokemon lure is Water Pokemon based. Were they just unable to think of another Water Pokemon?

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Notice how they set up the shot so you can’t see the flame on Charmander’s tail. Don’t want people to ask questions.

– Hmmm….should I call foul on Kasumi hooking a Gyarados since those aren’t native to the Safari Zone or let it pass since Magikarp are?

– Wait, so this whole bet was a distraction?……Why was that even necessary? They were already going into the Safari Zone and were already going to be preoccupied with trying to capture Pokemon. They could’ve done this whole plan without alerting their presence to Satoshi and co.

And why didn’t they keep Kaiser tied up or at least wrapped with Arbo like it was before so he couldn’t escape and warn someone of what they were doing? Damn Team Rocket is so stupid sometimes.

– They didn’t even need to torture him if Miniryu’s home is in a place as obvious as ‘Dragon Valley’.

– If they had a bomb that could knock out all of the Pokemon in the water, why did they bother scuba diving for Miniryu in the first place?

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– Satoshi filled up all of his Safari Balls?….between when he tried to capture Saihorn and when Kasumi went fishing or did he make 28 pit stops before he went to Dragon Valley?

– Shouldn’t Satoshi be using Zenigame to help him go faster? Or shouldn’t Kasumi send out another Water Pokemon to help him? Satoshi, you’re losing your breath. Zenigame is right on your belt….right there…You don’t even have to throw it – just tap the button twi—or drown. Whatever you want. Now the series can follow Shigeru. Fine with me.

– If it’s now super cloudy and raining when it was clear and sunny when Satoshi went under, he should be dead and that bomb should be very well detonated by now.

– The Pokedex is activating by itself again? It hasn’t done that since way back in episode one.

– Even if Hakuryu made the storm 1) why did it do that and 2) I still doubt it could make the storm quickly enough to not let Satoshi die and the bomb detonate.

– He waited until there was literally one second left on the bomb to throw it? Do you have a death wish today, Satoshi?

– I know he didn’t want anyone to know where Miniryu was, but he seriously never visited it in 30 years?

– Also, bullshit that all of his capture attempts were blocked by Kentauros. Bull. Shit. Pun intended. Either he did that on purpose to win the bet, which is stupid, or this is a back-handed insult to viewers who were sick of Satoshi never catching any Pokemon. ‘How can you say he’s not catching Pokemon? He just caught 30! HURRDURR!’

– Anger immediately dissipated by Miniryu riding Hakuryu. D’awwww.

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—————————

I have always liked this episode since I watched it years ago. Despite the baffling gun use and Team Rocket’s stupidity, I do love Miniryu and Hakuryu, and this was a nice story between Kaiser and Miniryu, even if many aspects of it make no sense.

My qualms aren’t with the story, it’s the wasted Safari Zone. They ‘teased’ the Safari Zone for three episodes, and when we finally get there, what happens? Satoshi captures a herd of Kentauros and hardly ever uses one of them. Takeshi ‘captures’ one Kentauros but it’s like he never caught it. And Kasumi captures nothing.

That’s basically why the banning and non-dubbing of this episode wasn’t entirely a big deal. You wonder where Satoshi got a herd of Kentauros, but he so rarely uses them that it’s not a major issue throughout the series. It’s basically a passing thought whenever you see them.

We finally have an episode in a location where you’re supposed to go capture crazy but after this episode you’ll barely even notice he caught a damn thing. He’ll never use Kentauros until the friggin’ Indigo League tournament, for God’s sake.

Next episode, we get more of a look into Team Rocket’s continuously confusing backstory.

Previous Episode…..

Pokemon Episode 19 Analysis – Tentacool and Tentacruel

pokemon-ep19-title

CotD(s): Nastina – Basically Brutella, just with a gaggle of scantily clad bishies around her at all times. And if they’re a legit harem, then I’ll need to run to the store for some brain bleach.

Pokemon: None

Reappears?: No.

Captures: Misty’s Horsea – Cute little Horsea….is cute. Other than that, it does mostly nothing and is later kept at the Cerulean Gym and never really seen again once the writers realized how much nothing it does.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock find themselves stranded for three hours in Porta Vista after missing their ferry. Misty spots an injured Horsea who draws an odd picture of squid-like creatures with its ink in the water. As Misty’s about to capture it to help treat its wounds, a nearby ship is suddenly smashed in half. The group manages to save the sailors, who have all been mysteriously paralyzed, and they wonder what caused such a disaster.

They bring one of the sailors to his boss, a woman named Nastina, who seems to be Brutella’s doub—Oh I mean, who seems like a really brash character who doesn’t seem related to anyone since I’m watching the dub…..*cough* She’s extremely grateful to the group for saving her sailors, and invites them to check out the new resort she’s building.

She reveals that the construction is being plagued by a swarm of Tentacool, which were responsible for the paralyzation of the sailors. She contracts Ash, Misty and Brock to exterminate the Tentacool with promises of food, money and hotel vouchers. They’re about to agree, but Misty vehemently refuses, disgusted with the thought of exterminating Pokemon, especially a Water Pokemon she adores, such as Tentacool.

They return to the pool that they left Pikachu and Horsea in to see that Horsea is recovering well after Brock gave it a Super Potion. However, it’s still worried about something. They believe that the picture it drew earlier was of a Tentacool and that it was trying to warn them about it.

Nastina announces over a town-wide intercom that she is recruiting the townsfolk for the job instead, and everyone, including Team Rocket, agrees to help out.

As Misty looks on in worry, Team Rocket makes their way to the construction site with a barrel of stun sauce, guaranteed to paralyze the Tentacool and make them easy to catch. However, before they can even get to the site, they’re surrounded and halted by thousands of Tentacool.

Faced with far more Tentacool than they anticipated, Team Rocket panics as their boat is rocked, causing the barrel of stun sauce to fly out of the boat and onto a nearby Tentacool’s head.

This causes the Tentacool to not only evolve into the fierce Tentacruel, but also to make it gigantic.

The huge Tentacruel overtakes the construction site, and efforts to shoot it down are completely in vain. The remaining Tentacool take over the town, and the resulting tidal wave from the Tentacruel moving towards the town floods the area. The Tentacool and Tentacruel commence the destruction of the entire town. One takes control of Meowth to communicate through him, and they find out that the reason behind this attack is the destruction of their home due to the resort construction.

Ash, Misty and Brock try to shoo the Tentacool out of the area with their Pokemon, but Tentacruel easily smacks them away. Pikachu manages to talk some sense into Tentacruel with a desperate plea from Misty being the crux of its decision to leave as long as no more destruction comes to their home. As they’re leaving, Nastina commences her attack with everything’s she’s got, but she’s also smacked away by Tentacruel before it goes back home.

With Porta Vista now safe from the gigantic Tentacruel and the swarm of Tentacool, Ash, Misty and Brock finally catch a ferry off of the island and resume their journey.

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– Why exactly didn’t Ash and the others hitch a ride with Delia and Oak on their way out? They didn’t really have a reason to stay after that. If anything, it looked like they left before Delia and Oak did at the end of the last episode.

– Horsea really made those huge drawings with one spurt of ink? Also, wouldn’t the ink just dissipate really quickly instead of stay on top of the water like oil?

– Misty: *lets out her Water Pokemon to help the people from the ship*

Ash: “I didn’t know that you could do that!”

Durr I didn’t know that Water Pokemon could swim or help people out in water. I thought they were bicycles made of ice cream. Durrr.

– Misty: “Don’t just stand around! Go get a boat to help those people!” Guys, for crying out loud, you just stole a boat in the last episode. I know it’s for better reasons this time, but you may end up developing boat kleptomania or something.

– Who the hell is driving the boat in this shot?

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– A moment of silence for the dignity of these men.

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– Misty: “Doesn’t that Nastina make you sick!?”

Ash: “Well, she’s not really my type but….”

What exactly made you think she was implying anything about her attractiveness, Ash?

– Why aren’t Ash and Brock more offended by Nastina’s offer anyway? I mean, yeah, the reward is really appealing, but they’re being sent out to kill Pokemon. She specifically said ‘exterminate’. Even if they are seen as ugly and a nuisance to the project, they can’t really be okay with mass murdering Pokemon, can they?

– Alright, fine. Pikachu drinking a drink in an inner tube is adorable. But where did they get that kiddie pool and why put it smack dab in the middle of the road?

– Why is Misty surprised that Nastina’s asking the citizens to exterminate the Tentacool? That is exactly what she was just trying to get Ash and co. to do.

– Nastina seems to pronounce Tentacool as ‘tentacle’ a lot.

– Also, I’m starting to connect tentacles and Nastina’s bishie harem. Please help…

– Seems Nastina has lowered her generosity, though, since she took the food and hotel vouchers off the table as a prize.

– I do like seeing Misty when she’s all excited about the sea and Water Pokemon.

– That shot of the Tentacool under the water glowing red like that has always seemed awesome to me.

– Getting hit by a barrel of ‘stun sauce’ causes a Tentacool to evolve?…..and makes it giant? What was in that stuff? Radioactive goo courtesy of comic books?

– That shot of the bishie harem guys getting run over by the Tentacool……Nope, nope. Stop making those connections. Stop.

– I’m sorry, since when are Tentacool Psychic Pokemon? I know the eye beam thing is a real trait, according to the Pokedex, but they can’t control the minds of other beings.

– Misty, you’re kinda beating yourself up too much for not connecting a rough drawing of a Tentacool and Tentacruel to ‘The Tentacool and Tentacruel are mad because their home’s being destroyed by the resort construction, that’s why these attacks are happening.’

Meowthtacruel: “So you say we’re the spineless ones?!” Well….you are jellyfish….

– Wha, Ash actually refrained from using Charmander in his full-team attack against Tentacruel? Ash made a smart move, everyone! Rejoice!

– 4Kids kept in the several guns being used here and even kept in the gun noises. Wow.

– Hey, who’s that woman who looks so similar to Nastina and is building something on the beach? Her cousin? Hm, I wonder why that’s a joke. The world of dubs may never know~~~

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Here’s an interesting tidbit about this episode – it was also banned. Yup, fresh off of the heels of the first ever banned episode comes another banned episode.

This one was temporarily banned after the events of 9/11 due to Tentacruel destroying buildings. Though, as the wiki states, there’s a huge bit of irony in the fact that that shot of Tentacruel destroying buildings remains in the opener of the Indigo League episodes and said opener is shown in every single episode, including this one, sooooo….pretty pointless.

Like everyone else who watched the dub, I also never saw the episode until much later down the line in reruns, though I believe my first viewing of it was on a VHS. However, I still watched this episode before the ‘Lost Episode’ so the connection at the end to Brutella would still be lost on me until I watched the edited Beauty and the Beach.

Also, I was merely under the assumption that Misty had a Horsea all along and that she just never let it out for whatever reason. Not that it matters – like I said, it’s one of the most useless Pokemon in the series. She barely ever lets it out since it needs water to be out and she rarely battles with it because, well, it’s not that that good of a fighter. Plus, Misty rarely battles anyway.

We basically jump straight from St. Anne’s trilogy to The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak, and since that episode also takes place in an island environment, it doesn’t transition too badly.

I like this episode a fair deal despite the just weird writing choices like the inexplicable giant Tentacruel, Tentacool gaining psychic mind control abilities and the oddity herself that is Nastina. Anyone else think they really wanted to get extra mileage out of Brutella without just making her Brutella?

Misty got a pretty good part here, and her deep love of Water Pokemon is always nice to see. I like how she thinks every Water Pokemon is beautiful no matter how weird they may look to others. It’s a nice little character trait.

I also appreciate that the problem of the week is actually a legit town-destroying threat and not just some mild problem that will go away eventually. Porta Vista is essentially entirely destroyed by the end. Tentacruel also had a legitimate reason for attacking like it did, and it did show that it was a reasonable being with mercy.

Next episode, one of my absolute favorites, The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak. Ash and the others encounter a ghost who is seducing Brock and James at a local festival.

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….