Pokemon Episode 52 Analysis – Princess vs. Princess

Pokemon Episode 52 screen1

CotD(s): None

Captures: Jessie’s Lickitung – Lickitung’s random capture is matched only by its equally random sudden accidental trade away much later down the line in Johto. Despite clearly being much more powerful than Arbok, Jessie rarely ever uses Lickitung in battle because I guess she has Ash syndrome when it comes to it. Lickitung has a massive appetite, but doesn’t have much of a personality besides that.

Plot: It’s Princess Day! – A holiday dedicated to celebrating women. During this day, girls get all sorts of special perks like massive sales at stores, free food and even having the men in their lives do anything they want.

As Misty and Jessie enjoy the spoils of Princess Day, a Lickitung comes along and spoils Jessie’s day by eating the gifts she got for Giovanni and ruining the clothes she bought for herself. She tries to battle it with Arbok, but it’s easily beaten in one lick. Jessie decides instead to capture it and she’s actually successful.

Later, at a big clothing store’s Princess Day sale, Misty and Jessie are caught in a massive fight over some of the clothes while the boys sit and sigh in the corner, waiting for them to be done. Misty and Jessie start a fight over a particularly nice article of clothing, which leads to them about to start a Pokemon battle when suddenly the clothing is taken by another woman.

Over the loudspeaker, Jessie and Misty hear the announcement for the main event of the Princess Festival – the Queen of the Princess Festival Beauty Contest. The winner gets a unique princess doll collection and their photo taken with the movie star, Fiorella Cappuccino.

Jessie and Misty decide to settle their differences over the beauty contest, eyeing the doll set as their true victory.

They get dressed up into traditional Japanese kimonos, dazzling the boys with their beauty, when it’s revealed that the actual competition is not a beauty contest afterall – it’s a Pokemon battle tournament.

Misty asks to borrow some of Ash and Brock’s Pokemon to get a more balanced team since her team is all Water Pokemon. They agree, but wonder why winning is so important to her. She reveals that she never had her own princess doll set when she was younger. She was given her sisters’ hand-me-downs. Everyone always told her how lucky she was to have three sets of dolls, but she always wanted her own set.

Jessie and Misty both do amazingly in the Pokemon Tournament, and the finale match pairs them off against each other. Before the match begins, Jessie explains that she always hated the Princess Day Festival because she never had a single Princess doll. Her family could never afford to get her any, and she was the only girl in town to go without any dolls on Princess Day.

The match begins – Misty sends out Pikachu while Jessie uses Arbok. Pikachu is able to easy toss aside Arbok, followed quickly by Weezing and Meowth.

Jessie starts thinking the match is already over when Meowth reminds her of her newest Pokemon, Lickitung.

She sends out Lickitung, and it’s surprisingly able to defeat Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Vulpix with a single Lick each. Misty looks like she’s in trouble, but as she’s about to call on Staryu, Psyduck lets itself out.

Jessie prepares for victory with one final Lick, but Psyduck is, oddly, unaffected. It’s a stalemate as Psyduck is too daffy to follow Misty’s commands for attack while Lickitung is unable to follow the battle commands of Jessie since she’s telling it to do moves it doesn’t know. They try to continue the Lick, resulting in giving Psyduck a headache.

The headache allows Psyduck to use its Psychic powers and it uses Confusion to fend off Lickitung and blast Team Rocket off.

Misty gazes upon her new doll set, proud that she finally has one to call her own. She sends them back home and relishes in the idea of her sisters being incredibly jealous of her unique and expensive doll collection.

Meanwhile, Jessie sits in silence and cries over losing the doll set. In an effort to cheer her up, James and Meowth arrive in traditional Japanese garb. The final shot pans out on all of the Team Rocket gang dressed as the dolls, having turned themselves into a doll set just for Jessie so she’d never be without one again.

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– We have a lot to cover when it comes to Princess Day. Some stuff I’ll save for later for the sake of avoiding a text wall.

First and foremost, this fictional holiday is based on a real Japanese holiday called Hinamatsuri, also known as Girls’ Day or Dolls’ day. It is part of five different seasonal festivals that occur during the year.

In the weeks leading up to the holiday, parents of young women will set up a display of dolls meant to resemble the emperor, empress and their court dressed in Heian period clothing. This tradition is meant to bring these girls health, success and happy marriages in their futures.

As the name suggests, a good chunk of the day centers on the dolls. These can range from being fairly simple displays sometimes adorned with paper dolls or pictures to extremely complex and expensive displays with intricately sculpted dolls, some costing upwards of $2,500. Dolls are typically bought or handed down before a girl’s first Hinamatsuri and the display can be improved upon as they grow.

Outside of that, Hinamatsuri doesn’t have many other ‘perks’ so-to-speak – at least not that I found through my research (Feel free to inform me). You cook a variety of tasty foods and beverages for the occasion, including a sweet non-alcoholic sake drink, and some girls hold parties, but that’s about it.

Pokemon Episode 52 screen2

In Pokemon, Princess Day is quite a bit different. The dolls seem divorced from the actual holiday – more like they’re just a special thing all girls wanted and the prize happens to be a set of those dolls.

The festivities for the holiday are also quite different. Any female is treated, well, like a princess. The perks they get are pretty insane. Gashed prices in stores, free food and the ability to force anything with a Y chromosome to do your bidding all day.

All of this culminates in a beauty contest and Pokemon tournament to win a set of princess dolls.

For those of you wondering, there was a Boys’ Day festival, but now it’s encompassed as Children’s Day, which we’ll be focusing on next time.

Also, this holiday is purely Hinamatsuri in the original version. However, it’s obviously being tweaked for this series. I haven’t been able to find anything that says part of traditional Hinamatsuri celebrations is intense shopping, ridiculous sales, getting free food and making guys do whatever you want.

Second of all, am I the only one who feels like this whole Princess Day deal is…..just a tiny bit…..sexist? Not actual Hinamatsuri – the fictional Princess Day. I mean, I’m more than down for celebrating women – I am one – but…..I dunno, maybe the name kinda pisses me off, which would be 4Kids’ fault, maybe the aspect of there being a lot of sales on clothes, cute toys and other girly things irks me, maybe part of the festival being a beauty contest grinds my gears, maybe the concept of enslaving the penised ones seems a bit uncouth, I dunno.

Actual Hinamatsuri seems pretty cool, but this seems like a bit much.

Dogasu noted this in their comparison: “(The Narrator) then goes on to say that women are basically allowed to do whatever they want thanks to all the money they bring in during the holiday.” Something’s off about that too. With such drastic sales, between 70 and 90% off AND giving lots of freebies like free food, certainly the profits can’t be enough to let women ‘do whatever they want’

I don’t have much of a mind for economics, so maybe it is. *shrug*

…..And, yes, it is entirely possible that I’m a smidgen jealous that actual Princess Day doesn’t exist. We don’t even get Hinamatsuri in the US. We do have International Women’s Day, which is awesome, but there aren’t any celebratory traditions for it that I know of….So I’m petty. Leave me alone.

– Being a hypocrite, though, I find the Narrator’s opening statements to be quite funny based purely on how he delivers the lines. When he says ‘and if you’re a male, well, you get to carry packages’ I laughed out loud.

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– Fun Fact: This episode was originally meant to air on Girls’ Day, March 3rd 1998, but the Pokemon Shock incident pushed the air date all the way back to July. Is there no limit to what the Pokemon Shock incident affected?

– So, we, for no other reason besides we need a hot guy to make all the girls hot and bothered on Princess Day, they bring in a celebrity…..from Italy…..named Fiorella….Cappuccino….*deep sigh*

Also, I thought this ugly-ass picture on the billboard was part of 4Kids’ digital paint job, but nope. That’s the original design….ick.

– While we’re on the topic of this billboard, we have a sexy heartthrob advertising something called ‘Gigantic’ Oh the innuendos I could make.

– I always, always, forgot that this episode is where Jessie caught Lickitung. I nearly always forget she has a Lickitung to begin with. What is with these sudden instances of characters catching Pokemon, sometimes very useful powerhouses like Primeape, Snorlax and Lickitung, only to have the characters seldom use them until their cheap departure episodes?

– I will give Jessie a bit of props for attempting to battle Lickitung before capturing it, but Arbok never did a thing to it, so there’s no reason Jessie should have been able to capture it without issue, especially considering Lickitung are pretty difficult to capture by default.

– Why didn’t she even consider giving Lickitung to Giovanni? It would be a decent replacement for those eaten gifts and he does want Pokemon above all else.

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– Part of this plot is Jessie and Misty as well as a slue of other women fighting over clothes while the boys sit in melancholy lamenting over the misery that is being a man out with a woman while shopping. The copious amounts of stereotypes are staggering.

– It’s kinda cute that Pikachu’s also excited about all the beautiful women who will be partaking in the beauty contest….but it’s also kinda….confusing. Is he just admiring the beauty of the human female form or is he…..attracted to humans?

– Of course the prize for the beauty contest is a bunch of dolls and a picture with a hot guy. And of course all the women in the store stampede when they hear of the photo part. Sorry, the stereotypes are getting to me.

– This announcer’s an idiot or purposely misdirecting people. The winner of the beauty contest gets nothing. It’s the winner of the following Pokemon battle tournament that gets both prizes. This is irritating enough, but what if you enter the beauty contest and don’t happen to be a Pokemon trainer too? It’s a massive waste of time.

– Misty: “And the winner gets to keep the doll collection?” Uh…..yeah? That’s how prizes work. It’s not like either of you is currently in possession of the doll collection and will battle to determine the owner. The dolls don’t belong to either of you and will be given to the winner. There had to have been a better way to phrase this.

– I hate Fiorella Cappuccino. Just thought I’d sum up every scene with him to save space. The way he talks, the way he acts, his dumbass name. I hate him.

– Misty: “Being so smart and beautiful and talented, I shouldn’t have a problem winning!” No, I didn’t mislabel that as Misty’s dialogue instead of Jessie’s – Misty legit says this.

– Announcer: “Batteries sold separately.” Uh, what would batteries do in this doll set, exactly?

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Note that the dolls are set up as a hierarchy, and Pikachu is, of course, in the place of the Emperor.

– Okay, so the Pokemon battle is part of the competition, but they don’t advertise that at all. Also, what exactly is the point of having the girls dress up like this? The beauty contest never actually happens and they go back to their regular clothing when they battle. Did they just want an excuse to make Jessie and Misty all (forgive the pun) dolled up?

– Ya know, I definitely feel more for Jessie in this situation. Misty never had her own doll set, boo hoo, but she still got three doll sets. Jessie got a grand total of none. Misty seems like she was pretty well-off growing up while Jessie was poor and got shitty toys when she was a kid. I love the ending to this episode, but the fact that Misty wins always rubbed me the wrong way.

– How is it not cheating to use other people’s Pokemon?

– I don’t believe for a second that Jessie is blasting her way through the tournament like this. All she uses are Arbok, Weezing and Meowth, and she regularly gets beaten by a ten year old idiot. Either she has the best luck ever or she’s getting incredibly crappy opponents.

– I think this is probably one of the last times we see guns in Pokemon, but don’t quote me on that.

– Why does the announcer note that Misty is undefeated? Given the structure of the tournament, of course she is, otherwise she would be out of the tournament altogether. And why does he not state the same of Jessie? She’s undefeated too.

– Announcer: “This could be one of the greatest comebacks in Pokemon history!” Okay, calm down, guy. This is a Princess Day Pokemon match between a ten year old girl and a Team Rocket member, not an Indigo Plateau climb.

– Announcer: “Now Misty has only one Pokemon left…” Wait, what? Lickitung took out Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Vulpix. Is this a four on four match? Because Misty has many other Pokemon. Why would this be four v. four? How random.

– Announcer: “This is incredible! Lickitung’s Lick attack isn’t working against Psyduck!”….Uh….care to wager a guess as to why? Are they trying to make off like Psyduck’s too dumb to be Paralyzed?

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If I wanted to be overtly generous and stretch things a lot, I’d say they thought Psyduck was part Psychic type, and considering that Lick is a Ghost type move, the writers believed it was entirely ineffective against it.

However, I can’t be certain if they realized their mistake in this at this point because Ghost types were originally meant to be strong against Psychic types in the games, and they took the glitch in the games that made Ghost strong against Psychic to heart, resulting in such events like the Marsh Badge episode.

In all honestly, I’m probably reading way too much into this and it’s likely the ‘Psyduck is too dumb to be affected’ theory, but it’s interesting to consider either way.

– I always remember the ending of this match being so dumb. Lickitung and Psyduck just derping and either not following orders or being unable to follow commands because their trainers are telling them to do things they can’t do, making for a painful stalemate until the obvious of Psyduck’s headache comes around.

– Let’s pause for something funny, though. In Gen I, Lickitung could not learn Lick.

– This is less funny, but, Jessie, Lickitung also can’t learn Tackle.

– It’s really sad that this random Lickitung’s debut episode showed it off much more than Arbok and Weezing did when they debuted.

– You wanna know what pisses me off even more about Misty winning the dolls? When she sends them back home, she’s clearly more intent on making her sisters jealous than she is happy that she finally got a doll set all for herself. I’m so glad this petty little brat who got three doll sets as a kid now has her own unique expensive doll set to rub in her sisters faces while Jessie, the dirt poor girl who grew up with no dolls, loses even though she was fighting the whole tournament completely on the up and up.

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– Ash: “They’ll be pretty jealous!”

Brock: “I’ll bet that’s the best prize of all!” They’re obviously speaking in a weird tone here, in response to Misty literally saying “I’d like to see the looks on my sisters’ faces!” with a big evil grin on her face, but even Ash and Brock point out that this was always more about showing up her sisters than it was filling some stupid youngest child void she always had.

– Despite all that crap, the ending where the Team Rocket gang dresses up like the dolls for Jessie is one of the most touching endings I’ve ever seen in Pokemon. Those are true friends right there.

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I used to enjoy this episode much more than I do now. Not only am I more jaded on the sexist-ish aspects of the story, but looking at it over again I’m actually pissed that Misty won. Poor Jessie. She doesn’t even go on her typical rage rampage when she’s defeated and blasts off. She starts crying and sits huddled next to Lickitung until her friends come to cheer her up. Meanwhile, Misty’s super smug as she sends off her new dolls to the Cerulean Gym as she imagines her sisters turning green with envy….

Not much really happens in the first half, either, besides catching Lickitung completely at random. There’s shopping and the boys being exasperated with the girls and the girls living up to damn near every stereotype imaginable, blah blah.

I will admit that the episode is well-written in terms of dialogue. There are several funny lines, some sweet moments and the ending is very beautiful. I won’t really say I disliked the episode, but I don’t like it nearly as much as I did back in the day.

Next ep–…………………………..Wait…..a…..second…..Where the hell was Togepi this entire episode?! This has nothing to do with the episodes being messed up by the Pokemon Shock incident – they literally just straight up forgot to put Togepi in this episode. Wow.

Next episode, Children’s Day!….Kinda….a little.

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 49 Analysis – So Near, Yet So Farfetch’d

Pokemon Ep 49 Title

CotD(s): Keith – An idiot and a thief, Keith utilizes his Farfetch’d to trick Pokemon trainers so he can steal their stuff.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Farfetch’d.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock stop in the middle of a forest to rest. Ash looks up Farfetch’d on his Pokedex since Brock mentioned a rumor about one being spotted around the area. They’re extremely rare, so Ash is itching to catch one.

As Ash and Brock head off to get some water, Misty rests with her Psyduck. She spots a Farfetch’d that is clearly trying to impress her, so she prepares to capture it. However, it runs away from her. She bumps into a boy in the woods and after they exchange apologies, he grabs her bag off the ground and hands it back to her. He leaves, but now Farfetch’d is long gone.

When Misty returns, she meets up with Ash and Brock and tries to relay her story to them when she realizes her bag is filled with rocks. The boy she bumped into, Keith, must’ve taken her bag on accident. Misty freaks out since all of her Pokemon were in her bag, so they rush off to tell Officer Jenny.

Meanwhile, Keith is revealed to be a con man. He switched her bag on purpose to steal her Pokemon, and the Farfetch’d who ran off was actually his.

As he enjoys the fruits of his mischievous labor, Team Rocket walks by. He decides to pull off another con. He tells them that he’s looking for someone to take his Farfetch’d, Staryu and Starmie off his hands because he’s tired of being a Pokemon Trainer. They happily agree, and he suddenly claims that he has to take off for a few minutes, so he asks them to watch his Farfetch’d and his bags. Again, they agree, but decide to just swipe his stuff and make a quick getaway on a nearby boat.

They laugh about their haul until they realize the boat has been sabotaged by Keith. It starts to sink, and Jessie and James’ Pokeballs float off in the water. Farfetch’d scoops them up in a basket to deliver them to Keith. Jessie and James try to use the Starmie and Staryu they believe they stole until they discover that the bag is yet another one filled with nothing but rocks. Team Rocket, sufficiently conned, get swept away by a waterfall.

Misty, Brock and Ash arrive at the police station, and Jenny reveals the swap was no accident. That same Farfetch’d con was pulled on at least five other Trainers that week alone. She’s been trying to catch the culprit for a while, but he never stays in one spot for too long.

Meanwhile, Psyduck lets itself out of its Pokeball and takes notice of its situation. It runs off into the forest to tell Misty. She brings Jenny out to the spot in the forest where Keith bumped into her and Psyduck suddenly pops up. They decide to follow Psyduck’s direction to find Keith.

Team Rocket find and confront Keith. He gets them to go away again by giving them a whole bag filled with Pokeballs as an ‘apology.’ He’s about to move camp when Misty and the others find him. They scold him for stealing Pokemon, citing how much love and hard work goes into training them to help them win battles. Jenny believes he’d learn a good lesson if he had to battle with his Farfetch’d. Keith doesn’t want to battle, however, since he believes Farfetch’d is too weak.

Farfetch’d decides to go in on his own, against Keith’s wishes. Ash sends out his Bulbasaur and the match begins. For a while, it seems Keith was right. Farfetch’d is getting beaten down badly by Bulbasaur. Keith tries over and over to get Farfetch’d to give up, but it won’t listen. It suddenly turns the match around with Agility to confuse Bulbasaur. Then it finishes the battle with a Fury Attack.

Keith is baffled since he never knew Farfetch’d had such power. He admits that, had he known, he never would’ve used it for stealing.

That’s not quite good enough, and Ash tries to continue the battle, but Misty intervenes to battle him herself. She tries to send out her Pokemon only to remember that she never got her Pokeballs back. Psyduck steps up and it’s a duck on duck smackdown….literally.

Farfetch’d starts smacking Psyduck in the head with its leek, laughing at how pathetic Psyduck seems. Misty, realizing that Psyduck will get a terrible headache this way, encourages Farfetch’d to keep attacking. The headache triggers Psyduck’s psychic powers and it uses Disable to throw Farfetch’d into Keith and then throws them both into a tree.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket is in their balloon, and they want to see what Pokemon Keith gave them. They open the Pokeballs and reveal that they’re all filled with Voltorb. They chuck them all out of the basket before they can explode, and the Voltorb rain over Ash and the others. As the explosions go off around them, Keith yells out that he’s sorry for stealing and that he’ll never do it again.

Later, at the police station, Keith is relieved to hear that none of his victims will be pressing charges since the Pokemon are all being returned to their rightful owners. He decides to start a proper Pokemon journey and work hard to train his Farfetch’d to be the best it can be.

Team Rocket keep up the search for Keith, prepared to report their encounter to Giovanni, but Meowth convinces them not to since he’d probably want to hire him and fire them as a result. A leftover Voltorb explodes in the basket and Team Rocket blasts off.

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– I always thought it odd that, out of all the Pokemon you could claim are hunted for their delicious meat so fiercely that they’re nearly extinct, you’d choose…Farfetch’d….the Pokemon based on the very common non-nearly-extinct duck.

– I also find it odd that no one says anything in disgust or outrage that Farfetch’d are nearly extinct because they’re too yummy. Ash just says he wants to capture one because they’re so rare.

– Let’s just get this out of the way – I don’t care for Farfetch’d.

I adore ducks. Ducks are insanely awesome. I am always checking local ponds, lakes and rivers for ducks when I drive by them. My favorite hockey team is the Ducks purely because their mascot is a duck. Yes, I am that petty. I have a duck Beanie Baby. Ducks are amazing.

This duck, however, is boringly designed and ugly. It’s a blah shade of brown, it looks like it has a unibrow, and it’s a little dumb to have a duck Pokemon that’s not at least partially Water Type. What were they thinking? Make an ugly duck and give it a leek. Then make it Normal-Flying. Another Pokemon successfully designed.

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It’s also redundant because, as we plainly see, we already have two duck Pokemon in this gen with Psyduck and Golduck. Sure, neither really looks like a traditional duck, but since when does that matter?

Even its voice is annoying. Ducks aren’t exactly songbirds, but Farfetch’d sounds like a kazoo being tortured.

People only even remember this thing because it has a silly name. And that’s English-exclusive, so it doesn’t even really have that. Why is it called that anyway?

Wiki – “Farfetch’d is derived from far-fetched, meaning unbelievable, perhaps relating to Farfetch’d’s rarity or the “far-fetched” theme of its Japanese name.

Kamonegi is a combination of kamo (wild duck) and negi (spring onion). Additionally, 鴨葱 kamonegi is an abbreviation of the proverb 「鴨が葱をしょって来る」 (“a duck comes bearing green onions“), which means “something surprising but convenient”.”

……Alright, first of all, Farfetch’d would’ve had to have been nearly extinct since it was first discovered to warrant the name ‘Farfetch’d’ because of that, which is impossible.

Second, Farfetch’d is uncommon at best. It’s nowhere near rare enough to call it ‘far-fetched’ to ever see it. It also has a fairly high capture rate.

Third, alright, let’s say that they were clever enough to poke fun at the origins of Kamonegi’s name. Why poke fun at that name specifically? There are a hell of a lot more Pokemon with weird name origins to warrant being called ‘Farfetch’d’ A duck holding a leek based on an old proverb? Weird, sure, but considering the other weird Pokemon in existence, it doesn’t deserve that moniker.

– “So Near, Yet So Farfetch’d” And I hate your title! It’s a pun for the sake of nothing, and it barely makes sense!

….Sorry, residual anger.

– I’m confused. Since when do they need to ask the others’ permission before they go off to try and capture a Pokemon? I know Farfetch’d is ‘rare,’ but what did they expect her to do? Run off and tell them about it, bring them back and hope this ‘super-rare’ Pokemon sits still long enough for them to return and discuss who gets to capture it?

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– So this kid’s scam, one of them anyway, is to lure Trainers into running into the forest after Farfetch’d, bump into them and….somehow have a bag that looks identical to theirs prepared to swap out with the victim’s…..How?

Not only that, but he seems to be under the assumption that all of the Trainers he tries this with will be holding their bags so loosely that they’ll pop off when he bumps into them. Even with Misty having her bag on her shoulder and not grasping it with her hand, chances are the bag would slip down her arm and not just fly off after being hit.

Even so, he is a master of slight-of-hand if he can grab the bag as it’s slipping off, throw it to where it won’t be seen, and make the switch for the identical bag filled with rocks without the target seeing him do it.

A better plan would be to lure Misty away from the spot so he could steal Ash and Brock’s bags, since she just left them sitting there to chase after Farfetch’d…..Actually, he had no way to know she’d take her bag in the first place so this whole trick could’ve been for nothing. A lot of ridiculous dominoes had to fall in place perfectly for this to work.

– What is in Misty’s bag that she doesn’t find it suspicious when her bag is switched with one filled with rocks?

– Keith: “Let’s see what’s inside. Five Pokeballs! This must be all of her Pokemon!” Why would you assume that when most trainers have full parties of six?

– Give him credit, though, he’s way more successful at this than Team Rocket ever was.

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– I’m a little confused as to why Misty and the others believe Keith switched the bags on accident. Do they really believe this kid was carrying a bag of rocks wrapped with newspaper on a random walk through the forest?

Not only that, but Keith obviously didn’t leave the scene with a bag.

– For some reason, Keith’s character design is modeled after Farfetch’d. I have no clue why they randomly decide to do this with some CotD and their Pokemon, but it’s obvious and goofy.

I’m aware that Ash has those lines on his face because they’re meant to look like lightning bolts and he has a Pikachu, but it’s not like he looks like a Pikachu.

– Jessie: “I hear that people are spotting Farfetch’d in this forest all the time.” Well, then, they’re not that rare then, are they?

Oh excuse me, I meant to say ‘That’s far-fetched!’

– Why are Team Rocket so disheartened to learn Farfetch’d has a trainer? They do remember what they are, right?

– Meowth: “Hehehe, that sucker just lost one Farfetch’d!” But he was planning on giving it away anyway. I don’t get why this plan had any further steps since he should’ve screwed himself over after saying ‘I’m looking for someone to take all these Pokemon off my hands.’ Team Rocket would be all ‘We can do that!’ and his response would’ve been…what? They just cut from him saying he’s looking for someone to take his Pokemon to him walking in the forest with Team Rocket.

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“Look, he even left a boat for our getaway!” How and why does he have that there? Also, either he knows what Team Rocket is, and hardly anyone, even those in law enforcement, know what Team Rocket is, or he’s just under the assumption that any random Trainer will steal Pokemon when given the chance.

– How did he know they’d take the boat instead of just running away?

– Meowth: “Too bad he didn’t leave his recipe for Farfetch’d flambe!” I know he’s joking, but this is the third time they’ve mentioned eating this thing. They finally manage to snag a ‘really rare’ Pokemon and they seem to be seriously considering eating it.

– How did he know merely putting them out in the water would be enough to knock their Pokeballs off? I thought Pokeballs sank. Or is this one of those factoids they screw with whenever they feel it like because the plot says so?

How did he know they wouldn’t be able to stop the boat from sinking? How did he know they didn’t have a Water Pokemon capable of saving them? How did he know they wouldn’t be able to grab their lost Pokeballs before they floated away? This guy is either the luckiest kid in the world, or this is some of the most convoluted writing in the world.

– How did Jessie and James even know those Pokeballs contained Arbok, Weezing and Lickitung (Lickitung’s here because of episode arrangement problems due to the incident.)? They didn’t check their belts to see if their Pokemon had gone missing. They could’ve just been garbage Pokeballs floating in the lake.

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– Congratulations, Keith! You’ve been upgraded from a petty thief to an attempted murderer!

Even if you take the boat sinking and capsizing on purpose as a harmless prank, and he had no reason to believe they could swim, there’s a massive waterfall they get dragged into as a result, which would almost certainly kill them whether or not they can swim.

– Jenny can’t catch a backpack thief who is staying in a large tent no more than 100 feet from the nearest trail, considering he can easily see Team Rocket passing by. She’s been on this case for at least a week, but says she’s been trailing him ‘for a while.’ He targeted both sets of main characters within an hour and he’s really cocky. Bait him out. It’d be easy.

– Keith: “We’ve been together for a long time, Farfetch’d. Right after I found you injured on the road and nursed you back to health, we started stealing. I wish there was some other way for us to get by, but…how else are we going to survive?”

That was so exposition-y I’m going to have a bruise from the exposition hammer you just slammed into my face.

Who just randomly spouts out their backstory to the only other being who knows it?

Also, that second sentence is so weird. It sounds like the reason they started stealing was because he nursed a wounded Farfetch’d back to health.

“I wish there was some other way for us to get by”? Do you not have parents, kid? I assume most Pokemon Trainers have allowances sent to them by their parents so they can travel the world without needing to get odd jobs or resorting to….well…thievery. Either his parents are terrible or he’s an orphan. In the case of the latter, why isn’t he in a group home or with relatives or something?

Keep in mind that he’s very clearly stealing money and other items from these trainers in addition to their Pokemon, but all Jenny and anyone else seems to be concerned with is the Pokemon. If he wasn’t stealing items or money, which he must be considering he’s stealing whole backpacks, where did he get the money for that massive tent or all that camping gear or that boat that he just flippantly sank on purpose?

Either way, don’t try to BS me into feeling bad for this guy. It would be one thing if he was obviously reluctant to steal or at least outwardly expressed remorse to himself after he stole something, but he doesn’t. Like I said, he’s cocky about it. He finds it entertaining. Not to mention that you don’t need to steal POKEMON to ‘get by’ unless he’s selling them or something, and that’s even worse.

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Oh but please, continue, Keith.

“We’re just too weak to battle.”

1) Is this confirming that Trainers give out money to their opponents when they lose, like in the games? That sounds like it’d be a huge pain in the butt. How do you even decide upon the amount?

2) If the parent thing was the real reason he doesn’t have money, he’d have said that. Since he blames their lack of money or whatever on weakness in battle, which we’ll address soon enough, I’m left to assume he’s not an orphan. What’s the deal there, then?

3) If that’s the issue, why did he not just steal some Pokemon and start using them to win battles, legitimately catch more Pokemon and get money? Why is he collecting a mass amount of Pokemon just to seemingly use them as tools in his tricks? He’s been at this ‘for a while’ (At least enough time for a significant injury to heal) and has at least ten backpacks, not counting what I believe is his own bag. Unless he’s been selling the Pokemon, there’s no reason why he hasn’t been doing this unless he’s just making dumb excuses for himself to make it seem like he’s a victim somehow.

– I commend Psyduck for going off to find Misty….but I think it’s more than strong enough to have brought her bag to her as well.

– Misty gives zero shits that her Psyduck was stolen. Being annoyed by it is one thing, not caring that it could now be in the hands of someone who might be doing harm to it is just low.

– Then she turns around and is all happy to see Psyduck. I hate how she acts around Psyduck sometimes. Does she think her friends will think less of her if she shows affection for a Pokemon she has had an unreasonable amount of anger for since the day she met it? I’d think they’d think less of her for treating it like crap for no reason.

– Why is Misty asking Psyduck all these questions like it possesses the ability to answer back with anything but ‘Psyduck’?

– Granted, it’s a kinda funny scene…..until Misty blows up at Psyduck.

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– How did he manage to pack up ten backpacks, a tent, cooking equipment and all those Pokeballs in three bags?

– Why is he not packing the Pokeballs in their shrunken forms? Surely that would make them easier to pack and carry.

– Keith: “Well, if we meet someone on the road, we’ll just have to take their Pokemon too!” See, even he states he’s doing this purely for the Pokemon, which let’s assume he’s keeping. And he’s outright proclaiming that even bumping into a random person on the trail is grounds for stealing their Pokemon. He’s not doing this because he has no choice. He’s not doing this to ‘get by.’ He’s doing it because he’s a jerk.

– Keith: “Hey, can’t you guys take a joke?” A joke where you steal their Pokemon and try to murder them? Haha.

– Why and how did he have an entire bag filled with Pokeballs that only contained Voltorb? That either means:

1) He legitimately caught all of those for the sake of using them as a means to deal with threats or anyone who manages to find him. In which case, that means he has a bunch of Pokemon who are, objectively, fairly strong. Why does he not just use them in battle?

I doubt this one because that would most likely mean he’s used Farfetch’d in battle, and he hasn’t.

2) He ran into several Trainers who had numerous Voltorb on them for whatever reason. How does that happen?

3) Either way, he just gave up like 25 Pokemon. He could’ve easily just used one, had it explode and run away in the smoke.

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– Jenny: “You’re under arrest for grand theft Pokemon!” That’s a thing? Also, many counts of regular theft and several counts of attempted murder.

“Maybe we should start off by showing this kid just how difficult a Pokemon battle is!” Jenny, for the love of god, just cuff him! You’re not his mom. It’s not your job to teach him a lesson about how difficult it is to battle Pokemon, which is an asinine lesson at this juncture anyway.

You want to teach a real lesson? Take his Farfetch’d away. The real moral Ash was going for was you can’t take someone’s Pokemon away because they put a lot of love and care into raising them. The battling thing is only a small part of that.

He’d lose his Farfetch’d anyway since I doubt they allow Pokemon in juvie.

– Who really has the final say in consent when it comes to Pokemon battles? Keith is very clearly against this, but Farfetch’d wants to battle.

– Misty: “At least now you can see the right way to capture a Pokemon in the wild!” This line is bafflingly horrible to me because she’s saying this while Bulbasaur is beating the living hell out of Farfetch’d. It’s hard to see who has the moral high ground here. No, it’s not right to steal other people’s Pokemon, but it’s also very difficult to say it’s better to beat Pokemon into submission, jam them into a small ball and enslave them for life.

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– Ash: “What’s that?”

Brock: “It’s Farfetch’d’s Agility!”

Keith: “I didn’t know Farfetch’d could do that.”

Let’s play pretend and believe levels properly exist in the Pokemon world again. If this is right, Farfetch’d is at least level 31. How did it get to this point without Keith battling with it? If it was that level when they met, why did he ever believe Farfetch’d was a weakling?

The only thing I can come up with is that, since they met when Farfetch’d was very injured, Keith subconsciously believed Farfetch’d never recovered to a point where it was strong enough to battle again. However, nothing in the episode implies this. Keith never states such a thing. It’s a very weak correlation that is basically fantheory territory.

The best explanation I can make out of this for real is that Keith never bothered trying to train it or battle it. I would say maybe he’s so worthless as a Trainer that he couldn’t do much with Farfetch’d but he is literally doing nothing but telling Farfetch’d to stop and it’s winning.

He just assumed Farfetch’d was too weak to ever battle for absolutely no reason and never bothered putting him in a battle because of that fact. I don’t even know how he managed that because Farfetch’d is very confident in battle and is going in against its master’s commands.

In essence, his reasoning behind why he ‘has’ to steal Pokemon and backpacks, which is ludicrous enough, is based on a ridiculous assumption he never bothered to check.

– Keith: “Wow, I never knew Farfetch’d had attacks like that.”

Misty: “You really didn’t know about its powers?”

Keith: “No. If I had known it was this strong, I wouldn’t have used it to steal.”

If they hadn’t wedged in that exposition earlier, purely on the basis that he said that to no one but himself and Farfetch’d, I would swear this is another con. Even Misty facepalms at how clueless this kid seems.

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Brock: “You can’t judge a Pokemon by the way it looks.”

Oh….so his assumption was based on….the fact that Farfetch’d’s design looks weak….That’s even worse. There are a multitude of Pokemon who look much weaker than Farfetch’d and they win matches just fine.

– Wait, now he’s sending Pikachu out? For what purpose? Keith only has Farfetch’d, legitimately. If Farfetch’d falls, he’d have nothing to even the match with. Why is this not merely one on one? Is this match designed specifically to have Keith lose? That’s unethical to say the least. Two wrongs don’t make a right, guys.

Let me also point out that Farfetch’d is very visibly injured right now. They rarely ever show wounds on anything in this show, but Farfetch’d looks like it’s been thrown off a cliff. Not to mention that Ash is sending Pikachu after a Flying type. This is needlessly cruel, even if Farfetch’d won. He gets the point.

– Misty: “Hold it! He robbed me, so it’s my job to battle him!” What? He’s already in the middle of a battle. Where was this five minutes ago?

“I choose you, Staryu!….Oh wait. I forgot. I didn’t get my Pokeballs back yet.” This is kinda funny, but it’s also a little stupid considering Misty also didn’t notice that she didn’t grab nor throw a Pokeball. Did she think Staryu was already out for some reason?

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– Psyduck fighting for Misty’s…honor I guess, is kinda cool, but I really wish the poor thing could use its psychic abilities without needing to be put in terrible pain.

– Yeah, you threw a ten-year-old into a tree and cheered. Be the bigger person, Misty.

– Why would Team Rocket think it smart to open all those Pokeballs in the hot air balloon? Any one of those could hold something like a Snorlax, which would cause them to crash, or a Magmar, which would probably kill them just by being in such close proximity. Even if they were all small Pokemon, opening them all at once is incredibly risky in such a small space in a hot air balloon.

Do I even need to mention that, since they didn’t think to check the Pokeballs before leaving the area, Keith could’ve just given them empty Pokeballs?

They are being ridiculously dumb today, even for them.

– Also, giving people a bunch of Pokemon that are essentially bombs. More counts of attempted murder.

– Also, also….does this mean Team Rocket never got their Pokemon back?

– Team Rocket has been gone for a while now. What are the odds they would be flying right overhead as they decided to open those Pokeballs?

– Good thing Voltorb can easily survive 300 foot falls.

– From what we’ve seen, Voltorb explosions are typically much more violent than this. Either these are some very low-level Voltorb or this is more inconsistency.

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– Keith: “Forgive me. I’ll give back all the Pokemon I stole.” You don’t really have a choice.

Jenny: “None of the victims are going to press charges since they all got their Pokemon back.”…..What!? This is seriously a three numbered list rant episode? Fine.

1) None of them are going to press charges? Not a single one?

2) All of them are still in the area? Or do more people have cell phones in this world than we’ve been lead to believe?

3) You managed to contact all of these people and ask them if they’ll press charges in such a short amount of time?

4) Keith only now agreed to give back the Pokemon, meaning the victims haven’t yet gotten their Pokemon back. *Some might be missing. If none are missing, that confirms that he hasn’t been selling them, but if he hasn’t been selling them or using them in battles, what is the point in stealing them at all?

Also, same issue with Team Rocket, what if this is another con? What if all of those Pokeballs are empty or have more Voltorb in them? You’d never know until after he left.

5) Again, you’re only focusing on the fact that he stole Pokemon. He also stole property and money. I assume they’re getting at least most of their property back (though, if he also stole the boat…) but what about the cash? Considering he’s been ‘getting by’ on stealing, he must’ve used up a good chunk of the money and can’t replace it if he doesn’t get money of his own.

6) Let’s be really, really, insanely generous right now and say this kid would get off without charges or juvie time. Jenny should still technically be taking him in since he seemingly has no parents and no financial assistance.

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Alright thief kid with no money, no place to stay, no parents and a penchant for attempted murder. Be on your way.

– I was under the assumption that the big blue bag was legitimately his, but he left it behind. Now he’s traveling without any supplies whatsoever?

If you really don’t get money through Trainer battles, he’ll be back to stealing within a day or two.

– *There was a Voltorb left the in the basket, meaning one of those victims must be missing a Voltorb if none of those were legitimately caught by Keith, which, if he’s never battled with Farfetch’d, must be true. Charges filed then?

– Where was that Voltorb hiding in the balloon?

———————————-

This episode is dumb.

It is.

This is another episode I have on VHS, and even back when I was a kid I didn’t care for it.

Keith’s character is all over the place. I don’t like Farfetch’d (and it’s yet another Pokemon that never seems to be characterized as anything but a cocky jerk) Misty was being a bitch, Team Rocket was being stupid even for them and Keith’s cons weren’t so much clever as they were simultaneously insanely lucky and completely contrived.

Not to mention that this is another criminal character who is getting away with various crimes without a drop of legal ramifications just because they ‘learned their lesson’ some other way. I don’t think this one’s quite as infuriating as the criminal situation with Melvin, but it’s on the same level. At least Keith’s not nearly as obnoxious or creepy as Melvin.

Next episode, prepare yourselves.

The egg is hatching……and the Togepi is upon us….

Previous Episode…..

Pokemon Episode 47 Analysis – A Chansey Operation

Pokemon Ep47 title

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

Reappears?: No (Thank God)

Pokemon: None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

———————————-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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His hand has to be touching intestines.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Misty: “Your phone’s ringing.”

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

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

“Like with Pikachu!”….Or with…people…

Also, thanks for clarifying what constitutes as an emergency.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call them in from home? HMMM?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep47 Screen6
I could make a bone related joke here, but I’m above that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

………*sigh*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s not quite clear whether snakes are immune to their own venom via bite. There have been rare cases in which a snake has bitten itself and died from its own venom. However, immunity seems to depend on the species.

There was an example of a cobra who bit itself and suffered from an abscess on the wound that needed to be treated surgically, but it, notably, did not suffer from the same ill effects that the venom typically presented in other creatures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, class, any questions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Meowth and Chansey have a back and forth with Chansey mishearing what Meowth’s asking for (or it’s trolling the hell out of him) Enter bunch of visual gags that don’t work due to being lost in translation. The ice to rice one works, but the go board makes no sense, neither does Venonat, and police doesn’t work because the end of that word is pronounced ‘eese’ not ‘ice.’

I don’t fault 4Kids for this because this scene is just a nightmare to localize, if it’s even possible. I did still laugh at Chansey somehow having the strength to easily remove a police station from its foundation, carry it into the hospital and present it to Meowth like it’s any other object.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– IVYSAUR!

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

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

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

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

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Adorable Chansey reaction, though.

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

– Brock: “So what now?”

Ash: “Beats me.”

CALL. FOR. HELP!

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

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

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

“Weaken it with Water Gun!”

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

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

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

YOU BRAINDEAD FUCKBUCKET! Now this isn’t just being abusive to a patient, this is just downright cruel. Dodrio was already clearly down for the count, as evidenced by the swirly eyes, it’s soaking wet AND a Flying type so you just Thundershock the hell out of it? What is wrong with you today!?

And you have the nerve to be bitchy about Team Rocket just being there. You’re being more of a villain in this episode than they are, even considering they’re the cause of this whole mess and that they try to steal the Pokemon at the hospital later.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Someone seems awful comfortable taking a ‘flasher’ pose.

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous Episode…

Pokemon Episode 46 Analysis – Attack of the Prehistoric Pokemon

Pokemon Ep 46 Title

CotD(s): None

Evolutions: Ash’s Charmeleon evolves into Charizard. It does get much more powerful, but it remains being a dangerous little brat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————-

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

– Hi Gary!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– James: “Oh it’s that pest again!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The reactions are priceless, though.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen3Pokemon Ep 46 Screen4

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

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

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

– How is Weezing falling if it can float?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The best part of waking up is–MURDERING YOU!

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

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

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

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

Here we go.

Ash Being a Charmoron Count:

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

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

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

– Geodude gets to do stuff! Whoo!

….It’s just moving rocks…..but whoo!

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

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

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Pictured above: Everyone’s expression when Ash let’s out Charmeleon/Izard.

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

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And he could be a stand-in for Harry Potter.

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

– Here we are. The point of ranting about Charmeleon’s cheap as hell evolution. You can definitely make the case that Charmander was at the right time to evolve into Charmeleon. You can also make the argument that it deserved to become a Charizard at least before Cinnabar Island or the Indigo League conference. But I cannot accept this evolution as being anything other than bullshit.

It’s been all of, what, three episodes since it evolved? And it hasn’t even won any battles since then (except kinda against Paras) because it wouldn’t listen to Ash, and it wasn’t even in Jigglypuff’s debut episode.

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

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen10
He looks like an eight year old who just got told he couldn’t get ice cream for lunch.

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

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

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

He was just pissed.

Here’s Charmeleon’s evolution scene entirely.

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

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

Charmeleon stamps its feet and has a tantrum.

Evolve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And don’t even mention Pidgeotto.

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

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

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

– Rrrgh…..

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen13

Frickin’

Egg.

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

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

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

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

This is very much cover-up-ish, but if so, why? It might be to protect the fossil Pokemon, but there’s nothing to protect them from, besides Team Rocket and they died in the second cave-in.

I get the good intentions behind these ‘we have to keep pretending they’re not here so they won’t be bothered’ motivations, but I doubt the government, of all things, would see previously-thought-to-be-extinct Pokemon and just ignore them for the sake of maintaining their peace and quiet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

—————————

Outside of the evolution and the weird coverup, I’m pretty alright with this episode. There’s not too much wrong with it outside of the evolution, but there’s not a lot going for it in regards to fun or interesting things, in my opinion.

I think they could’ve done a lot more with the fossil Pokemon, and jam-packing all of them in one episode is a bit too much, but I guess I can see why they went down that road. Also, for an episode about the fossil Pokemon and starting with a ‘great fossil rush’ we see all of one fossil and it’s of crap. What prompted the great fossil rush anyway?

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

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

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

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

Previous Episode…..

Pokemon Episode 45 Analysis – The Song of Jigglypuff

Pokemon Ep 45 title

CotD(s): None

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————–

– We’re literally not even a second into the episode and I have to stop. Why…and how….are Ash and Co. lost….in a damn desert? Where the hell is there even a desert in Kanto? Hang on, let me check that map gif from Pikachu’s Goodbye.

labeled_map_of_kanto_by_rythos-d3c4hsg

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen1

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen2
Ah, fond memories of my childhood.

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

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

– *Misty attacks Jigglypuff out of nowhere with Staryu*

*Jigglypuff starts crying*

Misty: “What’s wrong?”

Ash: “It looks like it’s crying.”

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

Ash: “I wonder what its problem is.”

What the hell is wrong with you people

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

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

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

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

ohsnap

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

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

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

– Awww, Pikachu trying to Sing.

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Psyduck falling over in a daze is hilarious.

Pokemon Ep 45 screen5
I caught this frame by accident. What the unholy hell?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen6

– I am not in the least bit surprised that Team Rocket has quick access to a portable outdoor stage.

– I can understand the song reaching the town square and maybe even a little beyond that, but Neon Town is incredibly loud. I doubt it would cover the whole city, even with loud speakers and amps. I especially don’t believe it would be audible in the buildings, particularly the casinos and bars…..Oh yeah, by the way, there’s a place here called 7 Diamond Bar in this town and 4Kids didn’t censor or paint it. I guess because it just looks like a slot machine, but it’s very obviously the sign for the casino/bar.

Pokemon Ep 45 screen7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen8

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

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

1) Nope, still bullshit.

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

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

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

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

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

————————————-

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

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

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

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

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Episode 36 Analysis – The Bridge Bike Gang

Pokemon Episode 36 Title

CotD(s): The Bridge Bike Gang – A group of thugs on bicycles that frequent the new bridge to Sunny Town. The most notable members of the Bridge Bike Gang are the leader, Chopper, a man with spikey red and yellow hair that rides a Zapdos themed bike, and a girl with green hair, Tyra. Jessie and James used to be very notable members of their gang, and the entire gang idolizes them.

Reappear?: No. 😦

Pokemon: Chopper has a Golem while Tyra has a Cloyster.

Plot: After spending eons in the woods looking for the Safari Zone, the group gives up on finding it, miraculously finds 30 Tauros off-screen, and head to the nearest city (that’s my take on it in the dub, anyway). They spot a huge ten mile bridge that has almost fully completed construction. If they can cross the bridge, they’ll have a straight path to their next destination. Only bikes can cross the bridge at the moment, and since they have no financial means of getting a bike, the group is unable to cross.

Later, at the Pokemon Center, Joy recruits the group for an important mission. The Pokemon in the Sunny Town Pokemon Center, just across the bridge, are very sick and are in dire need of a delivery of medicine. She’d usually do it, but she’s too busy at the Center to make the journey, so she asks Ash, Misty and Brock if they’ll do her this favor. With the promise of lending them the Pokemon Center’s bikes, they agree to do it, killing two birds with one stone.

They head down the bike path, making great time, until they’re cornered by a bicycle gang and forced into a Pokemon battle.

The leader, Chopper, sends out his Golem while Ash sends out his Bulbasaur. He tries Vine Whip first, but it doesn’t make a dent. Golem uses Tackle and instantly KO’s Bulbasaur.

Ash sends out Charmander next. He starts with an Ember, but it’s not very effective. Golem tries to Tackle, but he misses. Charmander uses Flamethrower, which seems to do a little more, and then follows up with Fire Spin, which sets Golem on fire and makes him red hot. Golem tries to Tackle again, but Charmander dodges and Golem rolls out of control towards the other gang members, setting them on fire.

With Chopper defeated, the lone girl of the group, Tyra, steps up next. She sends out Cloyster while Misty tries to send out Starmie, only to get Psyduck instead. The gang all laugh at the goofy duck, especially when it hurts itself trying to Tail Whip and Scratch Cloyster’s spiky shell.

Misty realizes that Psyduck can’t use its Psychic powers without a severe headache so she tries to get them to trigger it by attacking its head, but they don’t fall for it. She’s about to beat the headache into Psyduck herself when Team Rocket arrives, saying their motto on unicycles.

Jessie and James reveal that they were actually extremely respected and beloved members of the bike gang once upon a time, and they recruit the help of the gang to get revenge on Ash and co. for continuously ruining their plans. Chopper, Tyra and the others are about to gladly help out their old pals, but a slue of cops rush to the scene, scaring them all away.

Ash and the others continue down the path when a storm suddenly surges. The bike gang and Team Rocket watch from a building on the other side of the bridge, and Chopper and Tyra convince them to ride through the storm too to show the other gang members how to really ride.

Team Rocket reluctantly agrees and both sides are faced with a huge challenge – the draw bridge is opening. Ash and the others believe they can’t wait for it to come back down because they need to get to the sick Pokemon as soon as possible. Team Rocket is pressured into making the jump for the gang.

As they reach the gap, neither side seems like it will make it, but Ash and the others bounce off of Team Rocket’s heads, allowing them to make it to the other side. Seeing their dedication to pull off such a stunt for a sick Pokemon, the gang decides to escort Ash, Misty and Brock across the rest of the bridge.

They’re able to deliver the medicine in time, saving a sick Shellder in the process. The gang celebrates Ash, Misty and Brock as heroes. As Team Rocket sadly unicycles their way back onto land, Ash and the others continue on their Pokemon journey.

—————————-

– Narrator: “With fond memories of the Safari Zone fresh in their minds….” Actually, if we really never made it to the Safari Zone in the dub, they have fond memories of a land they never visited. Unless you mean the area where the Kangaskhan were in. In which case, bite me. There were no fond memories in that episode.

– Norman: “Even if it were finished, this bridge is only for cars anyway.”

-Literally two lines later-

“Of course, you could always cross if you had bicycles.”

Why wait to divulge that information to these kids? Why not just say “This bridge is only open for cars and people on bicycles.”?

– Norman: “The road isn’t finished but the bicycle path is.” That’s so dumb. Why would you finish the bike path first when the vehicle road would obviously be the most important thing? And if the road isn’t finished but the bike path is, that makes even less sense for you to wait to tell them that they can cross with bikes.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen1
Hi, My name’s Norman. Can I interest you in some double-talk and pointless run-arounds?

– Misty: “Well…If a certain someone here hadn’t completely destroyed my bike, we could just be zipping right across this bridge right now, couldn’t we?”

No. One of you could. Last I checked, your bike wasn’t a three-person tandem bicycle.

– Even though I know bikes in general are expensive and Ash and the others have never been known to have money, I like to think that their complete resignation on getting one, to the point where they won’t even enter the store, is a throwback to the games where bikes are ridonkuously expensive.

– Call me crazy, but certainly there are faster ways of getting that medicine to those Pokemon in Sunny Town than three kids on bicycles. A boat? A flying Pokemon? Hey, a car would be really helpful. Boy howdy, if only that ROAD was given priority over that bike path.

– On paper, Misty and Ash’s plan makes sense, but there’s a fatal flaw in it. They plan on using the bikes the Pokemon Center is loaning them to cross the bridge and get to Sunny Town….but that’s the problem. They’re borrowing them. They have to return them. And when they ride back to return the bikes, they’ll be back to square one. I guess they could just leave them at the other Pokemon Center and they can send them back somehow, but how would they do that without a car?

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen2

– I adore that they’re using the game’s bike music, though.

– Ash: *biking* “See, we got to cross the bike path afterall!”

Misty: “Right, Ash! We sure are lucky!” Those sure are things we’ve already established both in dialogue and something being shown to us on screen right now!

See? I got to type out that complaint afterall! I sure am lucky!

– Okay, so let’s leave the tangled web of Jessie and James’ backstory alone for the moment, especially since the bike gang is my favorite backstory for them. However….how are they treating this bridge like it’s their old home when it’s only recently even gotten a little completed?

I guess it’s possible that they still hung out on the incomplete bridge, but…what? Did they just bike to the cutoff then turn around? Or did they hang out in one area and….do nothing because no one would be trying to pass on bicycles since the path wasn’t done? Actually, they probably wouldn’t be let on at all if it wasn’t done. I don’t get it.

– I like how they make sure to show them throwing away their cans and bottles into the garbage to prove they’re not littering out there.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen3
Give a hoot. Don’t throw your trash on the ground like an asshole….oot.

– I love how Misty nearly breaks out laughing when she hears they’re a bicycle gang. She has a point, though. At that age, they should be a full-on motorcycle gang.

– You’d think a Zapdos bike would be awesome, but I just find it really dorky for some reason.

– Also, as an adult, this whole ‘circle them with bikes and act like badasses’ thing is hilarious. Don’t piss them off, Ash, or you might make them ring their little bells.

– The ‘proper introduction’ scene is priceless. The timing, the voice work, it’s all great.

– Pbbbbtttttttttttt They’re even wearing knee pads. Hahahahah!

– Ash’s face a millisecond before Brock asks Tyra out.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen4

– Tyra: “Give me a break, loser. I only care about my bike and my gang.” Soooo…do your Pokemon count as a part of your gang or do you not care about them?

– Ash: “Alright, let’s get started. Then we’ll see who’s the master!” Master? Wha? Who said anything about a master of anything?

– Jesus, the choking sounds Bulbasaur makes after getting hit by that Tackle. God.

– *Bulbasaur get’s KO’d by Golem* Well, if a Grass type couldn’t hack it, time to see what Squirtle can d–

Ash: “Charmander, I choose you!”

Ash, goddammit.

– Ash: “Use Ember!”

Not only are you going to use a base-evo Fire type against a fully evolved Rock/Ground type, but you’re going to use the weakest Fire Type move in Gen 1 on it (Not counting Fire Spin because it’s DOT and for some reason the anime keeps portraying it as like the second strongest Fire move.) Strategist of the year.

– Ash: “Charmander, use Flamethrower!” That’s better, but still won’t work…..why is Golem glowing?

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen5

Ash: “Fire Spin, now!” Seriously, Ash? What did I just say? In summary, Ash did noth–

*several confusing moments later*

What the hell did I just watch? There are so many scientific and fictional logistic reasons why everything that just happened there was bullshit.

Golem, this giant rock, caught fire? What?

The only way the fire would ever even affect him in such a way would be if the Flamethrower was so hot it made the rock in its body red hot, like a coal. But even that’s stretching it a mile because it would probably die if it ever got that hot.

Plus, we’d have to believe Charmander has flames powerful enough to pull that off, which is more bullshit. Even if it did, it would need to Flamethrower Golem for hours probably to get it that hot.

Even rolling around for a few seconds should be enough to put out those flames and cool off Golem a bit. If its Trainer would tell it to follow his voice or something or stop and un-withdraw, this match wouldn’t have ended so soon.

None of what just happened should’ve happened. That is a legit Messiahmander moment. You’ve got me making that a word, Ash! That’s shouldn’t be a thing!

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen6

– While we’re on the topic of this scene, yes, just recall the Pokemon that is currently ON FIRE. Don’t put it out or anything. Let it burn to death.

– Ash and Charmander are laughing at people being set on fire. Good job.

– Why would his Pokeball heat up from that? There are Pokemon who are literally living fire and lava and they don’t heat up their Pokeballs. Given this and the thing with Muk, they really pick and choose the rules of Pokemon based on how they’re feeling that day, it seems.

– Did that Golem only know Tackle?

– Misty: “It’s a Water Pokemon. Leave it to me!” Yes, I do love matches where I have a .5x effectiveness rate, too.

Ash wouldn’t be able to help anyway. Not like he has any Electric Pokemon.

– Misty: “Which one would be best against Cloyster’s hard shell? I know! Starmie, go!” What logic went into that decision? What better Pokemon to throw against a Pokemon with a shell so hard that it can withstand a bomb than a starfish!?!

– Poor little Psyduck. Being laughed at and hurt. 😦

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen7

– Misty: *sigh* “You were supposed to be attacking….” Well then, Misty, maybe command it to do an attack instead of the de-buff, Tail Whip.

Misty: “Psyduck, use your Disable attack!” Disable – another not-attack.

– The reason I like Jessie and James when they’re part of this gang is because, despite the fact that they’re still basically thugs, they’re much more harmless in this group than they are with Team Rocket…..and I use that term loosely.

It’s nice to see them be happy in their organization instead of being miserable all the time in Team Rocket. They’re extremely proud to be Team Rocket members, but it brings them nothing but problems. We never really know anything that they did to earn the respect they get in this gang, but they have fun. They get respect. They seem generally happy.

I know Team Rocket can be extremely annoying, but I want them to be happy….in a legal non-harmful way. That’s one of the reasons why I like it so much when they open shops and stuff. They have a passion for those things and seem happy making an honest buck.

– I get why Jessie may have been a badass with her chain and everything, but how did James get any sort of badass rep with a name like ‘Little Jim’ and ‘Trainer James,’ a name he got because he was the only gang member who still used training wheels?

– Tyra: “I guess your cycle gang must save a ton of money on handlebars.” Are handlebars a huge frequent expense for bicyclists?

– Who alerted the cops?….Why are the cops here? It was just a Pokemon battle. No one else tried to get through here, so it’s not like they were bothering anyone. Wait, I thought the road wasn’t done yet. How and why are Jenny and her backup driving through here?…..This Jenny has backup!? In circumstances where backup of any kind would be necessary, there’s none to be found. Legal Pokemon battle on a bridge that’s no bother to anyone? CALLING ALL CARS! SOME MINOR EVENT HAPPENING! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

I wasn’t kidding on the ‘calling all cars’ thing, either. There’s a grand total of five police cars shown, not counting Jenny’s motorcycle. What….the hell.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen8

– Jenny: “You need to get there, so I’ll give you an escort. *radio crackles* This is 303. Roger. Over and out. There’s been an accident – I’ll have to go.” Oh, no worries, Jenny. They’ll just hitch a ride with one of the other officers in one of the five—where the unholy shit did they all go!? Either you Pokemon world cops are overreacting and being useless or you’re not there and being useless! Bloody hell.

– Wait, she was offering them an escort….that means the bridge must be fully done for cars. At least before I could maybe justify that they were only driving on one side of the bridge, but now they go and create a conundrum.

– Misty: “We should go, Ash. A sick Pokemon needs us.” Where was that when you were stopping for a nice soda? Or when you were battling? I know they challenged you and everything, but they didn’t really threaten you and you were eager to accept the challenge. You never even tried to say ‘Sorry, but we have to get this medicine to a sick Pokemon. Can’t you please let us pass?’

– The question here is, did Jessie and James agree to go out in the storm because they wanted to prove themselves or because they didn’t want to let their old friends down? Hm.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen9

– I love how they’re coaxing Meowth into doing it too even though they know nothing about him. Plus, he has tiny legs.

– Ash: “We can’t wait. They need that medicine!” Again, where was that earlier? And you can stop for soda and Pokemon battles but not for a draw bridge opening? You’re on bicycles….in the rain….you’re small children. That bridge looks like it opens and closes fairly fast. Just wait a minute or two. If the Pokemon can’t wait that long, Joy should’ve sent a more fitting emergency crew out for this mission…..Like….a cop.

– I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Jessie and James actually have more justification for doing this than Ash and co.

– Why are Misty and Brock trying to make the jump? I assume Ash is carrying the medicine, so why can’t they wait for the bridge to close? Let me remind you, they’re on a tandem bike. If this is a bullshit jump for Ash, it’s a double-scoop of bullshit with sprinkles for Misty and Brock.

– Just all of the no to bouncing off of Team Rocket’s heads in mid-air.

– Also, Ash and the others condemned Team Rocket to death just there. Brock yelled out ‘we’ll drown!’ before they bounced. So either Team Rocket will drown or–

*boat comes by immediately after*

–they’ll be crushed by a boat. Good job.

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen10
Whoo! Manslaughter!

– ObliviAsh and the others smiling as they land after that might be understandable, but why are Tyra and Chopper? Their idols were just murdered.

– Chopper: “Alright, now you’ll have to battle us.”

Ash: “I’m delivering medicine for a sick Pokemon. Outta my way!”

Tyra: “You mean that’s why you’re out in this storm?”

Misty: “That’s right!”

Chopper: “Unbelievable. That’s a real biker for ya. Listen up guys, we’re gonna take ‘em there in style!”

See? Everyone in the Pokemon world loves Pokemon. If you had just said that at the beginning, none of this would’ve happened. Is this one of those ‘if we did that, we wouldn’t have an episode’ things?

– Chopper: “Don’t worry, Ash, we’ll clear the way for ya!” Clear the way of what?

– Mmm….thinking about it, I guess I can just assume that, given their new hero status with the gang, they might have offered to bring the bikes back to the other town. Yeah, I’ll take that.

——————————

This episode is still a ton of fun, even if there are many, many, many logic flaws. I like this part of Team Rocket’s backstory, even if they seemingly get thrown away by the gang in the worst way in the end. (They just got brutally murdered? Eh. Sick Pokemon!? LET’S GO!) The bike gang, whom I wish got a name, were also very entertaining. The fact that they ride bikes and try to act badass is just hilarious, and something about Chopper just entertains me a lot.

This episode was also a nice sendup to the game’s Cycling Road, even if they never call it that.

Next episode….*sigh* Duplica’s debut…..Mmm.

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?

Pokemon episode 35 screen10

– 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.

Pokemon episode 35 screen11

—————————

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 33 Analysis – The Flame Pokemon-athon

Pokemon Episode 33 Title

CotD(s): Lara Laramie – Part of the prestigious Laramie family, owners of a massive Pokemon reserve called the Big P Ranch, Lara is a kindhearted girl with a love of Pokemon and racing. She is one of few people that her Ponyta trusts to touch its flames without burning them.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Being a part of the Big P Ranch, it could be said that Lara technically has hundreds of Pokemon, but her main and only confirmed Pokemon are Ponyta (later Rapidash) and Growlithe.

Dario – A Dodrio trainer, Dario is a jerk who mocks Lara and claims he’ll be the one to win the Big P race. He’s also a cheater and will do whatever he has to to win.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Dodrio.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock make it to what they believe is the Safari Zone where they spot a herd of Tauros stampeding through the valley. Ash tries to send out Pikachu to battle one for capture, but Pikachu is too scared and pretends to sleep to avoid battle.

Instead, Ash sends out Charmander, but before he can do anything, a Growlithe comes out of nowhere and pounces on Charmander’s back. Ash commands Charmander to use Flamethrower and Growlithe counters with the same. Realizing it’s a Fire type, Ash recalls Charmander. He prepares to let Squirtle out, but he’s stopped by the sudden appearance of a Ponyta and its rider, Lara Laramie.

Lara explains that capturing Pokemon is strictly forbidden in this area as it’s a recognized Pokemon reserve. She states that she’s part of the well-known Laramie family, who owns the Big P Pokemon Ranch that covers the region.

Ash and the others are impressed by Lara’s ability to ride a Ponyta without getting burned by its flames, but she explains that Ponyta never burns anyone that it truly trusts. Ash tries to pet Ponyta and subsequently gets burned since Ponyta doesn’t trust Ash.

Brock explains that the Laramie family and the Big P Ranch have a great reputation with Breeders. They take very good care of the Pokemon there and train them well. Since they’re raised in the wild, they are supposedly even stronger than most Trainers’ Pokemon.

To help the group learn more about their ranch, Lara invites them to a party they’re having later that day and the Pokemon race they’re holding the following day where the winner will get bragging rights and an honorary place among the Laramie clan.

Another stampede seems to be coming their way, but this time it’s a speedy flock of Dodrio being lead by a boy named Dario. He stops by Lara to mock her, stating that he’ll be the winner of the Big P race.

Later, Lara, Ash, Misty and Brock hang out at the party when Dario suddenly rushes in to tell Lara that her Tauros herd is going nuts. She calls out Ponyta and races over to the ranch to find her Tauros are running around in a panic. Growlithe manages to calm them down, but a shadowy creature jumps out, startling Ponyta and sending Lara careening down to the ground, injuring her arm.

Ash manages to calm Ponyta while Misty and Brock tend to Lara. Turns out, Team Rocket, most specifically Meowth, were the ones riling up the Tauros. They were hired by Dario to do so in order to hurt Lara and keep her out of the Big P race. If they help Dario win, they’ll have an in with the Laramie family and supposedly get rich.

Lara is unable to race due to her injury, so she suggests Ash takes over as rider. He doesn’t want to participate due to fear of being burned by Ponyta, but accepts when everyone supports him and encourages him to try.

Ponyta initially burns him again, but after a pep talk from Lara, Ponyta allows him to ride without issue. Ash is so excited that he accidentally bumps Ponyta, sending it running out of control.

After some more practice through the night, they head to the Big P race. Ash sidles up to the starting line with Ponyta, Misty rides up on Starmie, Brock comes up with Onix and Pikachu steps up with Squirtle.

The race begins, and Dario and Dodrio take an early lead. Several of the Pokemon are taken out almost right out of the gate when a ball bearing is shot from the tall grass into a Tauros’ face, causing a huge battle between some of the Pokemon.

A boy and his Electrode take the lead on a downhill slope, but a hole in the path stops them in their tracks. As the other riders make their way around the hole, Electrode suddenly uses Explosion, knocking several riders, including Ash and Ponyta, off the track. With a quick shock from Pikachu, however, they’re back up and racing.

The next neck of the race involves crossing a lake by jumping on a path of stones. Afraid of the water, Onix shies away from the obstacle and exits the race. Brock fully understands Onix’s aversion and concedes from the race. Squirtle and Starmie are making off easy on this hazard, however, and even Ponyta is flying through the jumps with ease.

The next hazard involves the Pokemon eating a whole bowl of food before continuing the race. Dario starts to have trouble when the three Dodrio heads start arguing over who gets to eat first. As everyone else prepares to eat, Dario calls out to Team Rocket, who have been sabotaging the race this whole time.

Ash sends Squirtle and Pikachu out, but are promptly halted by Arbok’s Glare. Misty sends out Starmie, but it’s disabled by Weezing’s Sludge. Ponyta starts to freak out again, so Dario takes this as his opportunity to head back off into the race.

Misty tries to convince Ash to continue the race while she and the other Pokemon take care of Team Rocket since Ash is racing for Lara, but as Ash tries to make his decision whether or not to leave, Arbok tries to attack Ponyta with Poison Sting. It protects itself with an aura of flame. Weezing tries to use its Poison Gas on Ponyta as the flames continue to burn. The mistake is realized too late as the gas ignites, sending Team Rocket blasting off.

The race continues, and Ash and Ponyta are blazing (hehe, puns. Also, literally blazing) towards the lead. They’re neck and neck so Dario commands Dodrio to Peck at Ponyta, causing it to fall behind. Ponyta, fired up (heheh, more puns) to win, suddenly evolves into Rapidash and closes the gap between them and Dario. They reach the finish line, and Rapidash wins by a literal nose. Dario won’t take that lying down and tries to attack Ash and Rapidash, but Rapidash easily kicks them away.

Ash, Lara and Rapidash celebrate their victory and later bid their goodbyes as Ash continues on his journey to the Safari Zone.

—————————–

– I think this is the first time the word ‘Pokemon’ has been used in the title without them using the logo. Not sure if the fact that it’s being used in a hyphenated word has anything to do with it, though. Stay tuned for updates on this ongoing expose.

– You may have noticed several things odd about the Safari Zone in this episode. First, Ash and the others are able to enter without even realizing where they are. In the games, you can’t access the Safari Zone without going through a guarded gate where they charge you for your ‘time’ (steps taken), give you some Safari Balls and Pokemon bait. Once your time is up, you are forcibly booted from the place.

Other than that, the area is entirely inaccessible (you can’t even ‘see’ the area on a wide shot of Fuchsia City.) In the games, the entire area is blocked by impassable trees, hedges and rocks, though one should assume that in ‘real life’ this area would be securely surrounded by fencing.

Second, and most confusingly, Lara specifically says that it’s a Pokemon reserve and capturing Pokemon is against the law there. Anyone who knows even a little about the game’s Safari Zone knows that statement is entirely backwards. In fact, they promote capturing Pokemon in the Safari Zone.

Like I mentioned, when you pass through the gate, you have to pay 500 Pokedollars. When you do, you’re given 30 Safari Balls and supposedly some bait and rocks (Unless you just find the rocks on the ground and use your own bait.) You have 500 steps to try and catch any Pokemon that comes your way using just the bait, rocks and the Safari Balls. Bait is meant to distract, rocks piss them off and the Safari Balls are so you don’t waste all of your regular Pokeballs in the park trying to capture Pokemon.

The only thing against the law/rules in the Safari Zone is battling Pokemon (because throwing rocks at them is so much better).

The reason for these screwups is because Ash and the others actually aren’t in the Safari Zone in the original episode. They’re really in Safari Land, which is an area outlying the Safari Zone that is an anime-exclusive region.

It’s understandable that 4Kids would make this goof because the Safari Land is not in the games and the name is so similar, but the dubbing implies later on that they’re aware of the fact that they’re not yet in the Safari Zone. So either 4Kids just had a derp moment while translating this part and didn’t go back to correct their mistake or they believe there are two Safari Zones each with incredibly different functions yet named the same thing, which, holy crap, that would be unnerving. ‘I’d like to try and catch this Pokemon, but which Safari Zone am I in? I really don’t want to get arrested, but it’s a Chansey!’

I joke, but that last line is seriously foreshadowing.

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I endlessly love this screencap for some reason.

– Someone named their child Lara when their last name is Laramie.

– I know Brock is trying to…..impress (?) Lara by putting on a southern accent, but he just comes off as mocking of her own accent. Who does that anyway?

– Adding even more confusion as to where the hell Ash and the others are, Lara states that they’re at the Big P Pokemon Ranch (Pbbbbttt….the Big P…..heeeeheheeheheh), which her family owns. And, again, if this is a ranch and Pokemon reserve, why isn’t it protected by fencing?

– Also, YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE PONYTAAAAA YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!…..Excuse me, Ponyta’s one of my favorite Pokemon.

– Ash hears that Ponyta will never burn anyone it truly trusts, so of course, the guy who just nearly tried to battle and capture Pokemon in this Pokemon reserve tries to pet it and, of course, gets instantly burned.

– Dexter: “Dodrio – a three-headed bird Pokemon that can run faster than it can fly.” I want to make a joke about this, but just checking the facts to make sure I don’t look like a moron has lead me to a rather lengthy debate on whether or not Doduo and Dodrio can actually fly.

Both are based on flightless birds – most obviously the extinct dodo bird, but also the emu and ostrich. Given this and the fact that they don’t appear to have wings, it’s easy to assume that they simply can’t fly.

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The general consensus seems to be that Doduo and Dodrio can merely jump extremely high and very far, like it can fly, since it still is part Flying Type and can learn the move ‘Fly’. However, neither bird is ever shown to really ‘fly’ in the anime.

The closest we get is Falkner, much further along the line in Johto. Ash says this, which kinda debunks everything right out the gate – “I’m not scared. Everyone knows Dodrio can’t fly.” but Falkner claims his can. However, like everyone has been speculating, all it does is jump really high – it doesn’t fly.

The only other ‘proof’ is this ridiculousness which is Doduo performing ‘Fly’ in Pokemon Stadium.

As you can see, it’s just floating in the air with a walk cycle animation going. Unless we’re meant to assume Doduo and Dodrio are filled with helium, this Pokemon cannot logically fly.

In conclusion to this unnecessarily lengthy and geeky analysis, I return to my initial joke which isn’t even that funny in hindsight….ahem.

“Considering it can’t fly at all, that’s about as impressive as saying my toaster can make toast faster than it can perform calculus.”

– If Dario’s voice sounds familiar, this is Maddie Blaustein doing her AJ voice. Absolutely no difference.

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– Why is Lara so impressed with Ash calming Ponyta down? All he did was yank on Ponyta’s reigns and yell out ‘CALM DOWN, PONYTA!’ He’s far from the Ponyta whisperer.

– It could be argued that Dario is one of the worse one-off antagonists in Pokemon because this plan was specifically set up to get Lara physically injured.

– Why is it so important for Ponyta to be in the race? Just to represent the Laramie clan? Because the main prize is being an honorary part of the Laramie clan, so it seems a little pointless.

– Okay, so we get some reasons why Ponyta should race….but they’re…..egocentric? Lara says Ponyta has to race to show everyone how great it is and to show everyone that its the best. And ‘that will be the best praise for me (Lara)’…..All I’m getting here is ‘You have to race because, if you win, everyone will know you’re the best and then I’ll be the best by proxy because you’re my Pokemon.’ If not taken that way, then it’s just putting a lot of pressure on Ponyta for no reason.

– I’m a little confused as to how Ponyta’s flames work here. They’re obviously actual flames yet Ash can grab onto Ponyta’s tail like it was made of hair.

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That has to hurt like hell.

– At this point, I’m kinda wondering why this episode is called The Flame Pokemon-athon. Ponyta’s a Fire Type, sure, but other than Growlithe, it’s the only other Fire Type here and it’s the only Fire Type in the race. Ponyta and Rapidash aren’t called The Flame Pokemon, and it’s not like Lara or the Laramie clan specializes in Fire Types or anything. They’ve already been getting into the puns, so why not call it My Little Ponyta or The Ponyta Express or Fire Horsing Around?

– Mad props to the guy partaking in the race while balancing on an Electrode, though.

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– How is Pikachu a contestant? That has to be against the rules. And if you’re going to have Pikachu ride any Pokemon, why, of all things, Squirtle? Not only is it far from the most coordinated of Ash’s Pokemon, it’s also a damn turtle. Tortoise and the Hare be damned, that would never work.

Let’s see, which of Ash’s Pokemon is the best in terms of speed? Squirtle’s base speed is 43, Bulbasaur’s is 45, so Squirtle’s already lost. Charmander’s is 65. Pidgeotto’s is 71. And Pikachu’s is

*drumroll*

90. His base speed is 90.

So, in short, the slowest of Ash’s Pokemon is being ridden by the fastest of Ash’s Pokemon in a race….Logic…is….fun.

– How is Misty standing on Starmie? Starmie aren’t known for their speed either. I mean, it has to be slower than Squirt—115?!….Starmie’s faster than Pikachu? ….The hell? It’s faster than Ponyta too. (90) and Rapidash (105) Okay fine, floating is power. I stand corrected. Have at it, Starmie. Sure am glad I’m being ultra snoopy today.

– If the main thing about this race is to help Lara and Ponyta win, why are Brock, Misty and Pikachu risking its chances by partaking in the race too?

Why am I complaining? Misty and Brock actually get to to do stuff today. GO MISTY AND BROCK!

– Announcer: “Rock Pokemon can’t deal with water so Onix is out of here!” Seems a little unfair to have such an obstacle when you know certain Pokemon can’t cross.

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Forever this screenshot.

Come to think of it, it’s also unfair if some people *coughMisty and Pikachucough* are riding Water Pokemon.

– Lara: “That’s right. You can do it, Ash!” You can do it, Ponyta* Does she have a crush on Ash or something? I thought she was amped up for Ponyta to race, but all she’s focusing on is Ash. And, truth be told, all Ash is doing is going ‘FASTER FASTER FASTER FASTER FASTER!’ She must be very easily impressed.

– I was actually hoping that food hazard would show us how Starmie eats.

– This whole obstacle is dumb anyway. Do you want to give these Pokemon a bunch of cramps in the second part of the race?

– Yes, Dario, yell out to Team Rocket to help you. Not like the people around you or the cameras following the race can’t hear that.

– Heh, I love that Pikachu and Squirtle are happily eating away while Team Rocket does their motto.

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Despite the horrid art and animation issues this episode, there are some great screencaps here.

– Yes, Team Rocket, point out that you’re in cahoots with Dario. Again, not like there aren’t tons of witnesses around you and a camera pointed right at you while a huge audience watches the race.

– Okay, so the camera’s feed was off during that whole thing…..but it wasn’t. They lost the picture due to Team Rocket’s smoke screen. The feed never cut out or anything, the picture was just obstructed. When Team Rocket blasts off, the camera suddenly cuts back on, implying that the feed had been cut when it wasn’t.

Even so, there would be at least two witnesses (several if, for some reason, you count the Pokemon) who could claim Dario was cheating and sabotaging the race with Team Rocket.

– Is this announcer and the whole audience blind? How did no one see Dodrio Peck Ponyta?

– Just to be nerdily thorough, Dodrio has a base speed of 100, five less than Rapidash. However, in its Dex entries, Rapidash can run around 150 mph (listed as 100 in this episode) while Dodrio tops out at about 40.

I realize that the anime doesn’t mirror the games well enough for this to truly matter…..but research is fun for me. 😀

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– Even taking the complete hypocrisy of Dario’s claims out of the equation, how could Dario ever back up the statement that Ash ‘interfered’ with him? He did absolutely nothing, unless there’s a rule about evolving during the race.

– Also, they should both be disqualified for not eating the food at that last obstacle.

—————————-

This episode was fun, and I like the racing aspect, but it does have its problems. First of all, the art and animation are notably much worse than normal. I don’t know if the race caused budget cuts for the rest of the episode, but nearly every other part looks like garbage. There are unfinished lines, shine and highlights missing, shaky frames when minor movement such as talking is occurring, numerous missing frames and jutting movements.

I liked that Dario was a different antagonist for a change, but his motivations seemed odd. He was already almost winning the whole time, even without Team Rocket’s help. Is he such an asshole that he feels the need to cheat just to cheat?

Also, his motivations are never really clear. Team Rocket wants Dario to win so they’ll have an in with the Laramie family and somehow get rich off them, but Dario never explains why he wants to win outside of maybe bragging rights.

I don’t really like that Ash was the racer here. I don’t mind it too much, but it seems a bit unfair that Ash is the one riding and racing Ponyta when it evolves when Lara is the one who raised and trained it its whole life.

I don’t have much to say against this episode, but it still never reached the prestige of being a personal favorite, which is weird because Ponyta is one of my favorite Pokemon and Fire Types are my favorite type. There’s just nothing too special about it.

Maybe it’s because there’s nothing important on the line and no character development, not even for the CotD or the Pokemon? Lara’s already a part of the Laramie clan, it’s not like Ponyta or Lara has something to prove to the village because they all adore her, Ash is just in it for the fun and to help Lara and Ponyta. Really the only thing on the line is stopping a cheater from winning the race, which is fine and all, but not that interesting and something you can see a million times over on literally any other show.

Who cares if he wins anyway? What does being an honorary member of the Laramie clan do to benefit him? This isn’t even as interesting as those episodes where Team Rocket tries to cheat their way through competitions because at least they usually have malicious goals and Pokemon they want to steal.

Unrelated, but I would like to draw attention to the depiction of Dario in The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga.

Dario_EToP

Someone designing for the manga really liked Dario and fanarted him up because he is so bishie there.

Next episode, The Kangaskhan Kid! Sure to be very…interesting to say the least.

Previous Episode…..

Pokemon Episode 30 Analysis – Sparks Fly for Magnemite

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CotD(s): None, really.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—————————–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.……..…..………………………………..

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

Mystery of the goddamn century.

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

Brock: “This one? By itself? No way!”

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

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

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

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Ash’s expression is priceless.

– Ash: “These things really stink!”

*Grimer get agitated*

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

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

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

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

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

Ash – “SO DO SOMETHING!”

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

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

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

– Oh boy, let’s rage me up!

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

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

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

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

Are you kidding me

.….….…..…..……..………….*DEEP*

.….….………………………………….….….….*SIGH*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Ash: “An adult Muk, and its child!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Previous Episode….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Aw, Jessie tries to save James from falling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– James: “You really do care!”

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

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

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

– No idea why this Gastly can talk without telepathy.

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

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

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

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

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

Misty – “How about this?”

Gastly – “What’s that!?”

Misty – “It’s a golden rectangle!”

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

Misty – “I don’t know!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous Episode….