Plot: Haruka’s mother has been getting harassed by Mrs. Todoka – the wife of her husband’s boss. As the abuse gets worse and worse, Haruka’s mother tries to commit suicide. Her father doesn’t believe her mother about any abuse and constantly tells her to get along with Mrs. Todoka in order to please his boss. At the end of her rope and worried about losing her mother, Haruka calls on Hell Girl.
Breakdown: Another one of the more intriguing stories in Hell Girl, this victim definitely deserves her fate. She is a completely evil irredeemable bitch from head to toe. Her daughter is also an irredeemable bitch from head to toe – like she and her friends are literally just mini-versions of their mothers, who are also bitches.
It’s interesting to get this revenge story from a different perspective. While we have had cases involving someone avenging another who has died, this is the first time we’ve had a case where the abuse is not directed at the client. Some of the abuse is, but what Haruka gets is small potatoes compared to what her mother goes through.
Mrs. Todoka basically makes a hobby out of harassing Haruka’s mother to ensure that she won’t talk about something she did. While some of the harassment is just verbal mudslinging and mocking, she implies that she’s being followed, sics her daughter and her friends on Haruka, possibly poisoned some of her food and later seemingly has her sexually assaulted (possibly raped) so that she can take pictures of her in the act and blackmail her with them. She even goes so far as the imply that, if she talks, she’ll have Haruka sexually assaulted too.
Haruka’s father is a complete asshole. It’s a bit understandable that he’d be unsympathetic during the more minor stages of abuse, but when she’s badly beaten and nearly died, all he focuses on is the fact that a strange man was knocking on the door and making a ruckus, causing rumors around town, and getting increasingly irritated that she’s not getting along with his boss’s wife. He even demeans her further and smacks her around when she’s still recovering from the assault.
There are several people who deserve the red string tug in this episode, if you ask me.
The reason Mrs. Todoka is doing this is because Haruka’s mother spotted her in a window having an affair. Even though she gave no indication that she was ever going to say a thing (and, ironically, I don’t think she ever would’ve thought about it had Mrs. Todoka not started harassing her) she started abusing her day in and day out.
Of course, this means you feel even worse for the client this time around. It’s very noble and brave of her to sacrifice her own afterlife for the sake of her mother’s safety and happiness, but you can’t help but feel bad, especially considering her dad is still an asshole.
This episode was also interesting in that, for some reason, Ai seemed expressive in it. She noticeably changes her usually stony expression twice in this episode – once when she was talking with Haruka and another when Mrs. Todoka called her a brat. In fact, she almost looked pissed when the brat comment was made. Ai is not an emotionless person by default. She does have feelings, she just has to keep them locked up. Why this particular case made her crack her mask a couple of times raises some questions.
CotD: Seymour (The Scientist®) – Seymour’s one of the most memorable CotD’s to me. He was really animated, passionate and quirky, and I had a lot of fun watching him. He works at the Pewter City Museum and is really interested in learning about the Clefairy and Moon Stone at Mt. Moon.
Reappears?: No 😦
Captures: Brock’s Zubat
Plot: Ash, Brock and Misty arrive at the beautiful Mt. Moon only to find an eccentric man named Seymour (The Scientist ®) being attacked by Zubat. They save Seymour and wonder why the normally nocturnal Zubat are active in broad daylight.
Seymour shows the group that Mt. Moon has been covered in string lights, confusing the dark-loving Zubat, the local Paras and drying out the Sandshrew. They find out that Team Rocket is behind the whole thing, digging for the legendary Moon Stone to power up their Pokemon.
They manage to save a rare Clefairy that happens to have a Moon Stone from the clutches of Team Rocket, and the Pokemon is nice enough to lead Ash and the others to the larger Moon Stone and its Clefairy friends who pray to the stone as a deity.
Team Rocket appear again and steal the Moon Stone from the Clefairy, but Brock quickly stops them in their tracks with his Onix. After another battle, the Clefairy take out Team Rocket themselves with the mysterious deus ex machina, Metronome.
The resulting explosion from the attack not only makes Team Rocket blast off, but it also blows some of the Moon Stones to shards, making some of the Clefairy evolve into Clefable.
Later, Seymour claims he wishes to live with Clefairy in Mt. Moon to study them and hopefully discover if Pokemon really do originate from space. He bids farewell to the group, and they set off on their next destination.
Ash spots a sign showing that the nearest town is Cerulean City and marks it as their next destination. He’s fired up when he sees that Gary scribbled “Gary was here. Ash is a loser!” on the sign, which makes him run off in anger towards Cerulean City.
– Seymour: “And these hot lights are drying up these Sandshrew.” I get that it’s just that they’re really hot, but why phrase it like ‘drying up’? Makes it sound like they’re Spongebob and Patrick in that scene in the Gift Shop in the Spongebob movie…..
Also, they’re Ground Pokemon, particularly ones who thrive in sand. Is dryness really a problem for them?
– While I find the theory of Pokemon being aliens…interesting, does he really believe they came to earth….in a rock?
Okay, that’s two Spongebob references in a row. I need to chill out.
– Ash: (In regards to Team Rocket’s Motto) “Don’t you ever get tired of saying the same things over and over?” Oh, honey….no…..
– This is one of those storylines that could’ve been over in five minutes if the Pokemon world had decent law enforcement. Someone strung lights up at Mt. Moon and it’s damaging the ecosystem there? That’s illegal. Call the cops. It’s obvious this isn’t anything official from the getgo, so why not just take the lights down yourself?
– Should someone tell Team Rocket that the Moon Stone won’t make their Pokemon more powerful….at all? In fact, isn’t it the least used evolutionary stone in existence seeing as how there are so few Pokemon that can use it?
– I really like Zubat and all, and bravo to Brock for being so proactive in not only capturing a Pokemon but jumping right into battle too, but the fact that it was caught completely offscreen never ceases to bug me. It’s not even like they have the excuse of ‘Oh they showed it, but the episode got banned’ like with Ash’s Tauros. They just threw a Zubat to Brock.
– Brock: “I caught one just before we entered the cave.”
Ash: “Aw, I shoulda caught one.” Yeah, you should’ve considering you were the one who weakened them all. Then again, you were probably distracted by Seymour’s awesomeness.
Speaking of Zubat, why would he use that when it is weakened from the previous attack and capture? He has a couple of other Pokemon on hand, why not use those?
– Ash: (While Brock is feeding his Zubat) “What’s that?”
Brock: “Pokemon food.”
…..Ash…..please tell me you’ve fed your Pokemon since you’ve caught them.
– I love how Seymour and Ash are both completely flippant about eating what is essentially pet food.
– This episode kinda confuses me. How do evolutionary stones really work? Clefairy has been carrying around a Moon Stone this entire episode and they worship a giant Moon Stone yet evolution is not instantaneous. Something similar pops up later during the Thunder Badge episode where Pikachu is not only near a Thunder Stone but also touches it with his tail yet doesn’t evolve. What exactly is the trigger for stone evolution in the anime?
– Ash: (Trying to translate what Pikachu’s saying) “These Clefairy collect all these rocks and……do the macarena!” Ah the macarena. That won’t ever get dated.
– Misty: “What rhymes with hair?”
Brock: “Hey, how about ‘prayer’?” Yes, everyone, there was a time when 4Kids would actually mention religion. Twas long long ago, back when we as children used to try to keep these things called ‘Gigapets’ alive. They were needy little bastards who never left you alone, but dammit you loved them.
– I gave you guys a pass when you had Misty say ‘Have a nice drip’ when she Water Gunned Meowth away, but having Meowth tell Seymour ‘Hope you had a nice trip.’ in the same episode after tripping Seymour just forces me to point out that you’re both lame and lazy.
– God, just look at how much Misty and Brock are doing. Battling right out the gate, catching Pokemon, proactively initiating plans. It really makes me feel bad that they so rarely get to do much of anything in future episodes.
– Wow, really? A Tackle attack by Koffing instantly KO’d Onix? That’s….highly unlikely.
– Misty: (Watching Clefairy wave their fingers back and forth to perform Metronome) “I’m getting dizzy.” Do people really get dizzy from watching something go back and forth?
– I do love the scene where the group of Clefairy perform Metronome, though. That’s a definite highlight in the cuteness factor for me.
– So wait, the Moon Stone had to explode into a million pieces before it would let the Clefairy evolve? I really don’t get this.
– In…let’s say a couple weeks or so, Ash has caught a glimpse of a legendary Pokemon and seen two of ‘the rarest Pokemon in the world’ in Clefairy and Clefable. I guess it is completely plausible that he runs into one or two legendaries per year.
– Seymour’s really going to live in Mt Moon in hopes of seeing the Clefairy and Clefable return to the stars one day? You truly are an odd duck, Seymour. But you got a good heart, champ.
– Brock: (In regards to Ash) “He’ll never learn.”
All in all, I always really liked this episode and I still do. I really like Clefairy and the story of them worshiping a Moon Stone that fell to earth is kinda interesting. Seymour is also a great CotD. He’s just kooky enough to be funny without being annoying and he has a true love of Pokemon. Team Rocket’s scheme was okay, and everyone got to do plenty of stuff.
The animation actually seems worse in this episode for some reason. The lipsyncing also has several really rough spots in the first half. Nothing too major, but I’m really starting to see what Dogasu meant about not understanding why the early seasons are praised for their animation over the later seasons. Sure, I’m not a big fan of the CGI they shove in there later on down the road, but the early seasons had a lot of really rough episodes in terms of art and animation.
Next episode, we make it to Cerulean City and Ash gets a surprise when he finds that Misty is the Cerulean City Gym Leader. Can he beat her Water Pokemon and obtain a Cascade Badge?