Plot: Around Christmastime, a mysterious ‘angel’ goes around the city saving people.
Breakdown: X-Men: Evolution was one of the first comic-book-based animated series that I got into. I had watched a handful before, but never really got too into it until Evolution. It’s not fantastic, but it’s a good show.
This Christmas special is….nothing special. It’s a very cut and dry mutant introduction. Mutant trying to do good or fit in, ends up being vilified for something that was an accident or wasn’t his fault, Magneto tries to recruit him, fails, so he joins the good guys. This is bookended by Christmas stuff and stuff that it kinda weird or annoying like Jean being jealous of Rogue trying to get closer to Scott as she leaves for Christmas break or the fact that Angel only dons a mask after already saving two people that we know of.
There….really isn’t much to say about it. It’s a fine episode, but it’s not much of a Christmas special and not a very interesting action episode.
There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just pretty bland. I like Angel fine and Scott and Rogue are fine leads here. It’s fine. And that’s about it.
Ash’s Caterpie/Metapod: The first Pokemon Ash ever caught (Pikachu not counted because it was given to him), Caterpie wishes for nothing more than to be a Butterfree and fly around in the sky. He also has a great deal of affection for Misty, who despises bugs. Poor guy. He’s also, I believe, the first and only Pokemon to be caught and evolved in the same episode.
Ash’s Pidgeotto: The second of Ash’s captures, Pidgeotto usually has the lame job of merely popping Team Rocket’s balloon when they show up, but he stands as a very loyal and fierce ally of Ash.
Plot: Continuing from the last shot of episode 2, Ash throws a Pokeball at a nearby Caterpie in Viridian forest and manages to capture it! Ash couldn’t be more excited to catch his first Pokemon, but Misty couldn’t be more grossed out that it’s a Bug type. This is an even bigger problem as Caterpie takes quite the liking to Misty.
Tensions are high for the group as they travel, and they’re only made worse when Ash shows poor judgment while trying to capture a Pidgeotto. He does manage to capture it, but not before nearly getting Caterpie badly hurt.
As Misty chews him out for it, Team Rocket shows up again to capture Pikachu. They Sludge Pikachu in the eyes, leaving him out for the battle, and Ash is forced to go on without him. He uses his newly captured Pidgeotto, but to no avail. His only other option is the weak Caterpie, who actually manages to beat all of Team Rocket with some String Shot.
This is enough to trigger Caterpie’s evolution into Metapod, making him well on his way to his dream of being a Butterfree.
– The word ‘Pokemon’ is still replaced by the Pokemon logo. Also, in this episode, Misty says the title instead of Ash, who usually does it.
– Misty’s pretty much at her worst here. I hate bugs too, but Caterpie’s adorable, and it just wanted to be her friend, yet she treats it like garbage.
– Despite really liking Caterpie….the sound it makes is friggin’ awful. It sounds like a cat mimicking a monkey.
– I love Caterpie and Pikachu’s little conversation, even if you can’t understand what they’re saying.
– Apparently, because 4Kids edited out Japanese text behind Caterpie in this shot, they left a very noticeable black bar off to the left.
– Ash chasing after Caterpie while still in his sleeping bag is also funny. However, the linework on his eyes in that shot is so heavy it looks like he’s wearing eyeliner.
– You know, I am going to make a real effort not to bitch too much about Ash’s mistakes in season 1 because he’s a rookie….even though he should know the bare basics if he’s such a Pokemon nut, but I can turn a blind eye for the sake of story. However, I am going to call out this scene where he tries to capture Pidgeotto the first time.
Why? Because in the first episode, he did the same exactly thing with a Pidgey and, surprise, it didn’t work. Sarcastic-Dexter even practically reprimanded him for making such a rookie mistake of not battling and weakening the Pokemon first. Here, he’s trying to capture an evolved form of Pidgey, IE stronger and even harder to catch than Pidgey, without battling it or weakening it first.
And what’s worse is, at least with Pidgey he had some form of an excuse. Pikachu wouldn’t fight for him anyway, so he kinda had to at least try on his own. Here, he has Pikachu on his side and a huge advantage with Pikachu being Electric and Pidgeotto being Flying, yet nope. He still does it anyway.
– Ah here’s a sneak peak to the Ash I’ll grow to hate. Acting like a hotshot and claiming he knows what he’s doing even though he just made one of the rookiest mistakes in Pokemon….again.
– I’m also not really going to complain about Ash being ignorant of type advantages and disadvantages at this point, even if that is another bare basic….I will, however, agree with Misty’s reasoning. He should at least be smart enough to know that birds eat worms, especially considering that Pidgeotto is eating a worm in his first scene.
– In the early days, it seems the Pokeballs couldn’t recall the Pokemon unless the Pokeball opened, which isn’t true later. I guess this was to cut corners in order to save on the animation budget.
– Ash: “I am the greatest!” There you go opening that window to Dumbash. You really want me to make that transition awful fast, huh? Especially considering that I could not agree more with Misty’s tangent after he says this. It would’ve been different if he was just excited about his capture, but he completely ignores that he nearly got Caterpie severely injured, much in the same realm as Pikachu did and episode ago, also because of his ignorance.
– I’m still not sure if Pikachu is as powerful as Meowth states. Sure Messiahchu seems like it somehow cheats a lot in battles just because, being the mascot, it has to win nearly all the time, but saying its power far exceeds its level is a bit…iffy to me, especially considering he’s using the fact that the Pokemon Center blew up as proof, given that it was Koffing’s gas igniting that caused the explosion.
– So he seems to know Pokemon league rules fairly well, (stating that, by league rules, only one Pokemon can be on each side) yet still doesn’t know the basics….Must resist bitching….But man he is just a giant contradiction in a hat.
– How is it that Caterpie’s too weak to battle but Pidgeotto isn’t? It’s a Flying Type that just took a Thundershock to the back minutes ago.
– The battle with Caterpie at the end kinda bugs me….hehe puns. *cough* I mean, I guess it’s possible that Pidgeotto weakened them enough to have Caterpie easily take them out, but it didn’t really land any hits.
Overall, this was a really good episode. I love Caterpie and Pidgeotto and the major thing that irks me here is Misty continuously being annoying still. But you can see how they’re slowly switching places because Misty gets a little more tolerable towards the end, emphasis on ‘a little’, and Ash starts showing his more annoying colors here and there.
While the first half was a bit slow, the second had all sorts of action in it, and I really enjoyed it.
Next episode, our first Character of the Day with Samurai…..Yeah, he’s just Samurai. Ash has his first non-Team Rocket Pokemon battle with a trainer in Viridian Forest who dresses and acts like a Samurai. They have a never-ending Metapod battle since they only keep doing Harden back and forth, but they’re soon in danger of a nearby group of Beedrill.
A humble, but mostly less than half-assed, blog of a pessimistic Otaku that was saved by Anime first, Manga then, just to be saved once again by Light Novels and Visual Novels; and thus wishes to share the beautiful world that is 2D. Yet, you will find mostly rants. Also available at 7thStyle.