Pokemon Episode 27 Analysis: Hypno’s Naptime

Pokemon Ep 27 title

CotD (s): None, really.

Captures (technically): Misty’s Psyduck – Not really a legit capture since Psyduck trapped himself in Misty’s Pokeball, Psyduck is one of Misty’s most notable Pokemon next to the yet-to-debut Togepi. He is one of the funnier comic relief Pokemon with his dopey behavior, but the fact that he starts the teeth-gnashingly annoying trend of Pokemon who let themselves out of their Pokeball just to appear, say their name and that’s somehow deemed funny is something I will never forgive him for.

Plot: Ash and his friends arrive in a large city called Hophophop Town, lost yet again. Suddenly, a woman runs up to Ash and hugs him tightly, proclaiming that he’s her lost son, Arnold. They clear up the mistake, and Arnold’s mother explains that Arnold suddenly disappeared three days ago with no communication in the meantime and no logical explanation for his sudden disappearance.

Arnold’s mother explains that her son is just one of many children who have disappeared in the town recently, so she has little hope of seeing her son again. Brock, always earnest to help Officer Jenny and Ash, reminded of his own mother through Arnold’s mother, along with Misty get involved in the missing child investigations.

Officer Jenny relays to the kids that all of the missing children disappeared exactly three days ago. Since Jenny has no other leads, she’s decided to ask the children hanging out at the Pokemon Center if they know anything or if they’ve seen the missing children. They don’t get many answers from the children, but Nurse Joy brings up a curious development.

Exactly three days ago, all of the Pokemon in the Pokemon Center and several local Pokemon suddenly lost all of their energy. Jenny surmises that the problems with the Pokemon and missing children might be connected. Suddenly, her sleep wave detector goes off, indicating a source of waves that induce sleep. Joy says no Pokemon at the Center should be emitting such waves, and Pikachu succumbs to the energy draining effects.

At this turn of events, they deduce that the sleep waves might have something to do with the odd changes in the health of the Pokemon. They follow the intensity of the sleep waves and find themselves at a mansion that that’s been built on top of a skyscraper. It turns out that the sleep waves were being emitted by a Drowzee and a Hypno. One of their Drowzee evolved into this Hypno three days ago, creating another link in the oddities around the city.

The club members explain that they’ve been using Hypno and Drowzee to help with their insomnia. Brock deduces that Hypno’s Hypnosis must be having an adverse affect on the Pokemon and certain sensitive children since the wavelength must’ve been changed to put humans asleep as opposed to Pokemon.

Misty tries it out, and after Hypno uses his Hypnosis on her, she suddenly starts acting like a Seel. She bursts from the mansion and runs towards a large park. As she enters a clearing, the group sees all of the missing children have gathered here. They’re all acting like Pokemon and vehemently refuse to snap out of it.

One of the club members suggests to use Drowzee’s dream waves to counter Hypno’s sleep waves, and they bring Misty back to the mansion to try it. It works, and Misty snaps out of her Seel state. Encouraged by the results in Misty, Ash and the others decide to bring Drowzee to the park to snap the other children out of their trances.

Suddenly, Team Rocket drops from the sky on gliders, intent on stealing Drowzee and Hypno. They trick Hypno into hypnotizing itself by putting him in front of a mirror, but Ash stops it before it completes by smashing the mirror with a potted plant.

As plan B, Jessie and James nab Drowzee and Hypno with whips, but Misty uses Staryu to slice through both of the whips and free them. Ash uses Pidgeotto’s best Gust attack to blast them off, and they head back off to save the children.

Drowzee works his dream magic on the children, and they’re all back to normal. Pikachu also snaps out of his drained state. As the children clear out of the park, Arnold’s mother appears and reunites with her son.

They head to the Pokemon Center and cure the Pokemon too. Everything’s back to normal, but Joy remains concerned over the Psyduck that keeps holding its head. In an attempt to impress Joy, Brock agrees to take Psyduck and try to help it. However, he’s completely clueless as to what to do with it. He tries to pawn it off on Misty, but Misty isn’t interested in a ‘boring’ Pokemon.

Ash attempts to research Psyduck again through Dexter and it’s revealed that there’s nothing wrong with Psyduck – it’s a part of its nature to always suffer from a perpetual headache. As Misty bursts in anger at this revelation, she topples over and one of her Pokeballs falls out of her bag. Psyduck bops the button on the ball and captures itself, leaving Misty with ownership over it.

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– Like the Rainbow Badge episode, this was another episode I had on VHS, which means I watched it fairly frequently.

And, even back then, this episode raised all sorts of questions with me that left me more confused and weirded out the more I watched it. I can’t really think of any episode like it. It’s such an odd duck. But don’t just take my plot synopsis’ word for it. Let me take you on a journey of confusion.

– Even in cities, these three cannot help themselves but get lost.

– Why is it never explained why this city is called Hophophop Town? Nothing about this name makes sense. There’s never anything hopping related going on ever (this episode might be better suited for a much later Hoppip themed episode or something) and it’s not a town – it’s a huge city rivaling Celadon in its sheer size and skyscrapers.

You might think this is just 4Kids having their stupid jollies, but it’s not really. In the Japanese version, this town is called Yoyoyo Town……which makes about as much if not less sense. Actually, it sounds like they got the names backwards. If either set of writers would stake a claim on Yoyoyo Town, it would be the masters of rap, 4Kids.

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– Misty: *after seeing the wall of posters* “My picture’s going to be on posters when I’m a big famous star!” Reacting to a wall of posters with pictures of missing children with ‘~~~*sigh* I’m going to be famous!~~~’ is about as vain, self-absorbed and terrifyingly uncaring as you can get, Misty. Please hit yourself repeatedly with a rock for 45 minutes and think about how awful your last line was.

Though, if I can delve into the Bulbagarden comparison for a moment, this actually isn’t nearly as bad as her original lines.

“Originally, Kasumi’s first line has her saying that she’d better watch out for kidnappers because she’s so cute. Satoshi and Takeshi kind of give her a look, prompting her to go “What!?” Satoshi then pats Pikachu’s head and tells Kasumi that, fine, she is cute and that she had better watch out.

I guess the dub changed this because they didn’t want parents walking into the room and hearing one of the main characters act so nonchalant about a subject like child abduction.”

Yeah, 4Kids didn’t do a great job changing this line, but the Japanese writers definitely eek out a WTF at this.

In all honesty, this would be one occasion where I’d be fine just cutting the whole exchange, animation and all, but Kasumi, my God, what the fuck is wrong with you? Your elated smile and pose lead me to believe you find child abduction to be flattering. Not to mention that kidnapping usually has little to nothing to do with how ‘cute’ you are. Hate to go dark here, but if a child abductor is really nabbing you on the grounds of your physical appearance, the outcome would likely not be in the least bit happy for you, Kasumi. Please seek help.

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– It was in this episode where Ash has the flashback to the lost episode, which spurred my multi-year-long annoyance as to where that scene came from.

You want to know what else? Even this little tidbit induces additional confusion!

Another dip into Bulbagarden’s comparison shows that this isn’t even the clip that was originally used for Ash’s flashback to his mom. In the Japanese version, they used a clip of her from the pilot.

Since I’d just be parroting their reaction, here’s another excerpt.

“Like…what was the logic behind that decision!? Maybe they thought it would be better for Ash to think about the most recent time he had seen his mother instead of the first time? But when that “most recent time” comes from an episode that, as far as dub viewers know, doesn’t exist, you run into problems. I wonder how many fans watched this episode and wondered “wait a minute…when did that happen!?” I’m sure there were more than a few.

Even today, this edit is weird because the majority of Pokémon fans in the U.S. have never seen “Beauty and The Beach” and would therefore have no reason to know where those clips came from.”

I believe 4Kids wanted a more sentimental memory of Delia for Ash to be thinking of at this moment since the original was a comedic scene where Delia’s handing him a bunch of stuff to take with him on his journey. Though, this is still a little sentimental because it shows how much Delia dotes on him and cares about his well-being.

While the shot from Beauty and the Beach appears more sentimental and is nice in context with the trophy, the actual scene when shown here and with no prior knowledge of the lost episode is just empty. He smiles at her, she smiles at him while holding a trophy (‘for some reason’, thinks the oblivious viewer) and he leaves.

I have enough to develop a headache about in this episode, so let’s just leave that there.

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– Ash is incredibly annoying saying ‘Brilliant deduction!’ every few minutes. Mostly because he doesn’t seem to know what that really means.

– Brock’s also being obnoxious by scaring the crap out of a couple of little kids just for the sake of impressing Jenny.

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– Ash: *in reference to a sick Magikarp* “Looks like it’s ready for the deli counter.” Why the hell would you say something that crass? You might as well tell Oddish it’s ready to be in a salad and Cubone that he’s about to be reunited with his mom. Not only is it crass, but it’s also stupid. Ash knows quite well that Magikarp are inedible. They’re nothing but scales and bones. He learned this on Pokemon Shipwreck.

– Nice to see Nurse Joy’s also joining in on the idiocy. She should know that Psyduck suffers from an endless headache, thus there’s nothing really wrong with it.

– Here’s one of the biggest questions of the episode – Why the hell does Jenny have a sleep wave detector? Nonono – why does she have a sleep wave detector on her? Nonoononononono – Are sleep wave detectors standard issue for cops in the Pokemon world? Nnononononononononononononononono – why are sleep wave detectors a thing? How could they possibly be useful outside of this insanely specific circumstance?

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Was there a rash of criminals taking naps in their crime scenes? Are you worried Freddy Krueger’s going to pop up somewhere? Are you a cop who usually patrols parks and you use it to detect sleeping homeless people so you can ask them to please sleep somewhere else, sir? Do you scan pieces of evidence to see if anyone’s napped on it recently? Did a hypnotist on a cheap cruise line traumatize you because he made you quack like a duck every time someone says ‘potato salad’? I am legitimately curious as to the history of this thing.

The whole concept of the sleep wave detector just seems silly and incredibly lazy. They could’ve made up something like the sleep waves were interfering with some of the equipment in the Pokemon Center or something of Jenny’s and the malfunctions got worse the closer they got to the source. Or they could’ve had a Pokemon be somehow attracted to the sleep waves and follow it to the source.

Nope – fucking sleep wave detector.

In the first draft, this thing was called ‘the convenient plot device generator’

– Alright, with all of that sleep wave detector nonsense behind us, we can move o—why the hell does Team Rocket have a sleep wave detector?! I mean….I guess if anyone had such a stupid device, it would be Team Rocket, but, seriously, where did they get a sleep wave detector and how did they know such a device would be useful here?

– Their plan this week is also pathetic and stupid. They plan on finding the source of the waves and knocking out Giovanni with it so they can take a vacation. Yeah, I’m so sure no one will notice he’s MIA and wake him up incredibly quickly. I’m sure he doesn’t have any subordinates who can take over his job temporarily if he’s indisposed. I’m sure he won’t realize what you did to him when he wakes up and he won’t put your collective asses in a sling.

Plus, they’re completely ignoring the obvious criminal use for a source of sleep waves – putting Pokemon to sleep. Their main objective is stealing Pokemon. Imagine if you could put any Pokemon to sleep. A whole Pokemon Center, forest, lake etc. of Pokemon out like a light. All you’d have to do is nab them and put them in a container then gift wrap them and send them to Giovanni. I’m sure he’d rather have loads of Pokemon delivered to him than be pseudo-roofied by you nimrods.

– Why is there a huge mansion/estate on top of a skyscraper? The characters also express surprise and confusion at this, but not a single person gives a reason as to why this is happening. It seems so inefficient, illogical, not cost-effective and just stupid. Surely if you have the money to get a mansion built on top of a skyscraper, you have the money to buy a huge plot of real estate in the city or just beyond it.

 

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By the way, skipping ahead a bit, maybe if you rich idiots want to help your insomnia, you might not want to live and socialize in a huge loud city by purposely building your house/meeting area on top of a skyscraper.

– Yes, Officer Jenny, just let these small children break into what could be a building filled with dangerous people.

– I have a bunch of questions about the Pokemon Lovers Club.

1 – So this mansion isn’t even a place where someone lives – it’s just a clubhouse? You went through all that trouble and spent so much money for a clubhouse on top of a skyscraper? Talk about disposable income.

2 – This is a Pokemon Lovers Club, so I assume there are frequently lots of Pokemon up in this clubhouse at any given time…..On top of this skyscraper…..with no protective barriers to stop them from falling off the roof. More like Pokemon Negligence Club.

3 – For a Pokemon Lovers Club, this place is sure devoid of….well, Pokemon. The only Pokemon in the area are Hypno and Drowzee, and those are the only Pokemon they talk about.

Pokemon Ep 27 screen7

This is a far cry from what is supposed to be the inspiration of this club, which is the game’s Pokemon Fan Club. (It’s never explicitly stated that it is, but given that the original Japanese name for the fan club is Pokemon Lovers Club, it’s hard to say it’s not)

You’d think they might make up for it with Pokemon décor or activities or something, but there’s nothing even Pokemon related in the entire vicinity besides the Hypno and Drowzee sitting on that table. Everyone’s just standing around drinking wine….err, I mean, what I assume is fruit juice. It’s like that pseudo-sitcom trope where the mom has a book club but it’s really an excuse for her and her friends to sit around and gossip while drinking wine.

4 – So if the point of this club isn’t celebrating all Pokemon, I guess I can assume it’s for a Hypno or Drowzee fandom….if that’s true, why is no one paying it any mind before Ash and the others talk about it?

5 – From what they say, it’s almost like the point of this club is an insomniacs club. All of these rich tycoons are so stressed out from living in the city (pbbbttttmove awaypbbbttttput your clubhouse in a place that isn’t the top of a skyscraperpbbbbtttyou’re hobnobbing and drinking in the middle of the day – you can’t be too stressedpbbbbttt) that all of them suffer from insomnia, a condition I’m surprised 4Kids didn’t try to explain to the audience. So they all get together and have Hypno and Drowzee use Hypnosis on them to help them get to sleep at night.

6 – To help them get to sleep AT NIGHT. Why are they making Hypno put them to sleep now?

– Why is the closeup shot of Hypno using Hypnosis a still-screen? It is insanely creepy because of that.

Pokemon Ep 27 screen8

– Okay, I can understand Hypno’s changed wavelength having an energy-draining effect on Pokemon. If it’s altered from the regular version, it’s just making the Pokemon in the area incredibly tired as opposed to being entirely asleep. That doesn’t really explain Charmander’s dying tail flame, but still.

I can even believe it’s affecting only certain children in the area who might be sensitive to such waves, putting them in a trance state.

What I DON’T understand is why the children all start believing they’re Pokemon. The only reason I can come up with is that, when people get hypnotized in shows in real life, they’re commonly given something goofy to do, and it usually involves acting like an animal – like acting like a dog at the sound of a bell or acting like a chicken at the sound of a clap……but that just doesn’t make much sense at all.

Apparently they originally based this off atavistic regression, which is a hypnosis technique in which the therapist helps psychologically regress a person to previous evolutionary states, eliminating internal stressors, activities and barriers that usually cloud a person’s mind and make them stressed and anxious. This therapeutic technique is used to help people sleep better, be more relaxed and be more open to hypnotic suggestion.

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Problem is, humans did not evolve from Pokemon in this world. (Did they? I’m not current on Pokemon lore. I know Arceus is treated as Pokemon God, and that’s about it in that regard.) Even if they did, atavistic regression doesn’t cause you to start acting like you’re devolved. It just attempts to switch off certain higher functions of the brain that have only been utilized in recent stages of evolution. You’ll have a clearer head, not communicate through grunts and attempt to spear down a city bus.

I also don’t understand how these waves can be so friggin’ powerful that it’s affecting children and Pokemon for miles around. By that logic, any other Hypnosis should zonk out any Pokemon in a five mile radius, like when Jigglypuff uses Sing only much worse.

– Ash, you stuffed a comatose Pikachu in your zipped backpack instead of leaving it at the Pokemon Center where it could be treated? What is wrong with you?

– Thank God Seel!Misty knows how to use an elevator or else there’d be a big stain on the sidewalk out front.

– If the aspect of the children all suddenly believing they’re Pokemon is hard to swallow, even given the backstory of the idea, it’s impossible to believe that they’d all be drawn to the exact same spot in the park. Misty was gunning for that place, she knew exactly where she was going – like it was innate. What’s so special about this section of the park?

– Let’s hope none of the kids believed they were Water Pokemon based on fish or else you might want to call a dive team.

– That one kid should not have been able to crawl down that tree on his belly like that.

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– These kids are surprisingly clean and well-groomed for living in the woods acting like Pokemon for three days.

Gentleman Guy – “I know! Why don’t we use Drowzee to cure the children?”

Ash: “Drowzee?”

Gentleman Guy – “Sleep emits dream wavelengths, which, in this case, might counteract Hypno’s wavelengths.”

I don’t….understand that sentence…..Sleep….emits dream wavelengths…yes. That might counteract Hypno’s wavelengths…..no….Hypno made those wavelengths….Why would Drowzee….he might have a different wavelength but….dream wavelengths… Dream Eater? How would that help?…..How is this…working?……Forget it. Let’s just say they’re reversing the polarity and move on with our lives.

Ah, according to the Wiki, this is just a dub error. Sleep is Drowzee’s original name and 4Kids accidentally used it here……Still doesn’t clear up what the hell is going on, but that clears up the sentence structure anyway.

– They’re having Drowzee emit his dream waves toward Misty?….How is that not Hypnosis?….Why does Hypno not have an ability of his pre-evo? Nope, I’m not going down that slippery slope again.

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– Drowzee’s Hypnosis shot isn’t nearly as creepy as Hypno’s because he’s actually animated here, but it’s obvious the animation is just keyframes. Is this a post-edit because of the Porygon episode? Even Misty, when she’s being subjected to the dream waves, is clearly animated in an extremely shaky way (IE, you can see the frames jutting up and down) Neither the Bulbagarden comparison nor the Wiki page even mentions this odd animation.

– I’ve always thought Eric Stuart’s delivery when he says ‘Just don’t hypnotize me. Okay, do it.’ was hilarious for some reason.

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– Hypno’s incredibly stupid for attempting to hypnotize a mirror. Who is its trainer/owner? Why did no one command it to stop?

– Oh now Hypno’s animated when doing Hypnosis. No clue what’s different now. Also, it has that same keyframe animation issue.

– Nice throwing that flower pot to destroy that mirror, Ash. Considering Hypno was standing a foot away from it and you threw it through the back, Hypno should be cut up like a Christmas ham right now, but good job.

– Hey, Pidgeotto nice to see you actually being used for a change. Though, this is still technically using it for blasting Team Rocket off.

– All, and I mean all of the voices of these children are horrible. Awful. Just….awful.

– Why did they all spontaneously blurt out what they wanted to be when grow up?

– Ash really doesn’t look much like Arnold at all. You only see him for a few frames, but he’s much shorter, has completely different clothes and his hair is blue not black. Guess his mom could’ve just been hysterical, but still.

– Misty is known for adoring even the ugliest of Water Pokemon, but she has absolutely no respect for Psyduck out of the gate and even calls it boring despite hearing that it has mysterious powers.

– Why does Misty have such a burst of anger over hearing Psyduck always has a headache? She doesn’t even own it at this point.

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– That last bit is just all sorts of giant convenient coincidence. She just happens to fall. She just happens to have a Pokeball fall out of her pocket/bag. It just happens to stop rolling right in front of Psyduck. Psyduck just happens to bop the button over and over to enlarge the ball and capture itself.

– Not to be cruel, but why doesn’t Misty just instantly release Psyduck if she’s so intent on hating it from the get-go? It didn’t even do anything wrong. She just hates it for no reason.

– Mystery of what the inside of a Pokeball looks like solved – it’s a blue abyss of nothingness.

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Like I said, this episode is just an endless stream of confusion and peculiarity for me. It only got even worse the more I analyzed it. Some questions were answered, but I just raised other questions I never even thought of before, and if this weren’t the episode where Misty gets Psyduck, I’d almost say it’d be better off if we all just believed it was a weird collective dream.

Now that I think about it, this is the perfect episode for Psyduck to debut in. What better Pokemon to have be caught in this massive web of weirdness and disarray than the Pokemon who, like all of us at this point, has a massive headache?

Next episode, one of my favorites, Brock meets his idol in breeding, Suzie, and gets Vupix.

Pokemon Episode 25 Analysis: Primeape Goes Bananas

Pokemon EP 25 title

CotD(s): None

Captures: Ash’s Primeape – A rowdy Pokemon that Ash first met as a Mankey. Primeape is too uncontrollable for Ash to handle most of the time, so on the few times he considers using him, he usually opts against it. Don’t get attached to him.

Plot: Ash contacts Professor Oak to show off his four badges, but is furious when Professor Oak is completely unimpressed by the news since Gary and the other Pallet trainers who started at the same time as Ash all have five badges and already went through Celadon City. Not only that but Oak also claims that Gary has caught 30 Pokemon so far, while Ash only has a grand total of six.

Oak lectures him on making more progress as a trainer before ending the call, subsequently taking Ash down from his new badge high and making him very depressed. He’s determined to go to Celadon City and get his fifth badge and to catch more Pokemon, despite Misty and Brock saying it’s not how many Pokemon you have, it’s how well you train the ones you’ve got.

Suddenly, a Mankey appears and wants one of Brock’s rice ba—donuts. He gives him one, and Ash tries to capture it without weakening it first. Mankey easily avoids capture by throwing the ‘donut’ at the Pokeball, capturing it instead.

Infuriated at the attempted capture, Mankey starts chasing the three – and once a Mankey starts to thrash, there is no stopping it. Brock attempts to calm it by throwing a donutty donut to it, but it just bashes it away and continues its pursuit.

It finally catches up to Ash and beats him up, taking his hat as a prize. Ash is enraged since that is his treasured hat. He won it at the official Pokemon League Expo. Ash climbs up the tree that the Mankey is on, but gets beaten down when he reaches the top.

Team Rocket takes advantage of Ash’s condition and distraction to walk up and demand Pikachu. But when they start assaulting Mankey, it seeks them out as its new target. Enraged even further, Mankey evolves into the fierce Primeape.

Team Rocket brushes off the appearance of Primeape and goes back to trying to get Pikachu, but Primeape won’t be ignored and punches Jessie so hard that it sends her flying face first into a boulder. Enraged at the attack on her beauty, Team Rocket launches a full-out attack on Primeape, but Primeape wins out easily.

Pikachu tries to retrieve Ash’s hat, which has fallen on the ground, but Primeape stops him. As Primeape happily puts the hat back on his head, Ash commands Pikachu to Thundershock him. It hits, but only proves to make Primeape even angrier.

Brock decides to take another approach. He believes that Primeape is not actually angry and that he’s just scared and lonely since Ash tried to capture it and James kicked it. He tries to calm him down and hug him, but is met with a brutal beating.

Primeape continues its relentless pursuit of Ash and the others. Ash and Misty split up and Primeape doesn’t even think twice before continuing to follow Ash since he was his main target from the start.

Team Rocket tries again to capture Pikachu by digging a hole in the middle of the road to catch Ash and Pikachu as they run from Primeape. It works, but Ash just commands Pikachu to Thundershock them to get them out of his hair. Now cornered by Primeape, Ash, determined to catch more Pokemon and achieve his dream of being a Pokemon master, decides that enough is enough.

He sends out Squirtle and douses it with a Water Gun, but the attack seems ultimately ineffective.

He recalls Squirtle and sends out Bulbasaur to attack with its Razor Leaf, which is also completely ineffective.

Charmander’s up next with a few Flamethrowers, but Primeape easily dodges them and punches Charmander square in the face. It starts brutally beating up Charmander when suddenly the flame on its tail starts growing exponentially. Charmander has learned Rage – a powerful ability that gets stronger with each attack. Like Primeape, a Pokemon using Rage won’t stop until its opponent is defeated.

Charmander continues to get beaten up, but is able to hold its own. With one powered up Flamethrower, Primeape is defeated, but not before Pikachu shows the forethought to grab Ash’s hat before it becomes a casualty of Charmander’s fire.

With Primeape sufficiently beaten, Ash manages to capture it.

Team Rocket re-emerges and Ash decides it’s a good time to introduce his new Pokemon to their faces. Primeape sends them blasting off, and while Ash thinks he’s got Primeape on his side now, he’s quick to punch him right in the face.

After running so far from Primeape, Ash and others find Celadon City is incredibly close. With a new Pokemon by his side, Ash goes off to get his fifth badge.

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– Instead of getting off of his lazy ass to pick up the phone, he waits until Ash’s Krabby picks it up and brings it to him. Bear in mind, I’m talking about the whole phone, not just the receiver. And also bear in mind that the phones in this era are basically the size of old Macintosh computers.

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– The thing about Ash’s Pokemon capture update with Oak being stagnant is actually made a lot funnier when you realize that Ash not only hasn’t captured any new Pokemon since Mystery at the Lighthouse (Holy crap, it was really that long ago) but he actually has fewer Pokemon now than he did then. Remember, that episode was where he captured Krabby and talked to Oak about his capture rate, leaving him with a grand total of seven Pokemon at his last check-in. He recently released Butterfree so he went from seven Pokemon to six.

Being fair, though, Gary’s Pokemon number has also decreased. In Mystery at the Lighthouse, Oak said Gary’s captured 45 Pokemon, but here he says that Gary’s caught 30. He could mean he’s caught 30 more since the last update, but it’s not worded like that. Also, I can’t fault 4Kids for the flub here since this error is also in the original Japanese version.

– Oak: “Pokemon training is a lot like writing poetry. I can’t write a good poem without rhymes…” Actually, while he may just be talking about his own poetry skills, lots of good poems don’t rhyme nor is it a rule that poetry has to rhyme. I know. I struggled like hell when I had to write poetry in school, both rhyming and not.

“And you can’t be a good trainer without catching more Pokemon!” That’s also technically not true. Your skills as a trainer are reflected in how well you battle, how well your Pokemon obey your commands and how good of a relationship you have with your Pokemon. You can have all of the Pokemon in the world and still be a shitty trainer. Having numerous Pokemon just gives you more options. I guess it also does give you a wider range of experience with various types of Pokemon, but still.

Also, this is another taste of irony. Remember, many Gym Leaders and even Elite Four members in the games rarely have a full party of Pokemon. Many of them only have three or less.

– Obligatory (Courtesy of Dogasu at Bulbagarden): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x81zbl_they-re-really-donuts-we-promise_news

Eric Stuart really does sound like he’s having a ball selling those ‘donuts’ as hard as he can. I can bet on one of the takes he says something along the lines of “Nothing beats a jelly-filled riceball—err, onigiri—I mean Ricenut—DONUT.”

– Speaking of Dogasu, the narrator butts in as Ash looks at the path to Celadon City just to ask a cliffhanger-ish question of whether he’ll catch up to his rivals or be left in their dust. I always thought this was out of place and just awkward considering the Narrator typically stays quiet outside of the very beginning and end.

According to the comparison, this line of dialogue was originally said by Oak and was an audio flashback to what he was saying on the phone. Since his Japanese VA is the same as the Japanese Narrator, 4Kids got confused and gave his line to the English Narrator, even though you’d think just the translated line itself being identical to Okido’s previous lines and not sounding like something the Narrator would say would be a big hint.

– So, Brock and Misty agree that being a good trainer isn’t about how many Pokemon you have, it’s how well you train the ones you’ve got. If you focus on that, then the Pokemon you’ve trained well can easily help you increase your capture rate. Of course Ash doesn’t get any of this and focuses purely on capturing more Pokemon, but it’s weird that Misty and Brock have a better understanding of what it means to be a good Pokemon Trainer than Oak does.

I know Oak’s not a Pokemon Trainer (actually, technically, he kinda was when he was a kid) and they’re Gym Leaders, but being an authority on Pokemon and a man who sends new trainers off on their journeys every year or so, you’d think he’d know better.

– 25 episodes in. 25. Goddamn. Episodes. In. And Ash is still too stupid to realize that you can almost never capture a Pokemon by just throwing a Pokeball at it without weakening it. He’s facing an energetic Fighting Pokemon, of all things, and just throws a Pokeball at it. I’m cutting off my ‘give him a break, he’s a rookie’ leniency right now. He’s done this several times at this point. He’s just being an idiot.

– I love Mankey mocking Ash’s capture style.

– It’s also a bit funny seeing Ash so sensitive about his hat here considering that, in a few years, he’ll replace that hat, replace it several more times and never ever put that hat back on.

– Holy crap, they left in James kicking the Mankey away? Early 4Kids really did let more violence slide……except that dumb slap in episode 2. I’m sorry I can’t get over that when watching these more violent episodes.

– This is the second time James has caused a Pokemon’s evolution by kicking it away (Magikarp being the first). I wonder if he has some mystic unknown evolution stone wedged in his foot.

– I know Brock fancies himself as a breeder, but he was pretty stupid to believe that Primeape was just scared and lonely when Dexter gave several full explanations as to why it was attacking everyone.

– I always liked Charmander’s proud little poses at the end, even if it might be a glimpse into his later cocky side.

Pokemon EP 25 screen2

– Oh god. I don’t think I can get a screenshot that would do it justice, but Pikachu’s derpy face from faraway as they see Celadon City on the horizon. Yikes.

Pokemon EP 25 screen3

———————–

This episode was alright. It’s got some funny moments, with the almighty donuts being one of them, and I like Primeape, but it’s really just one long schtick of running from Primeape and getting beaten up by him. It’s nice to see Ash get a fairly powerful Pokemon, but he never trains it and, because of that, his appearances are damn near non-existent until its departure, which will come depressingly soon enough.

Watching this in hindsight is almost a joke. Yay, Ash, you captured Primeape and are making some semblance of progress to catch up to your faceless and nameless Pallet Town rivals and Gary, but you’ll never train it, you’ll never use it and you’ll be back down to your pathetic six Pokemon count in a handful of episodes. Not to mention, you’re still far behind them because, by the time you’re done getting your fifth badge, they’ll all probably have their sixth or seventh in their hands. Plus another bunch of Pokemon captures. Good job.

Team Rocket was also being completely uncreative by just waltzing up to Ash and demanding Pikachu then following that up with the tired pitfall trap.

Next episode, Ash has to deal with a bunch of girly girls and their perfume and rainbows at the Celadon Gym. But how can he get a badge there if he’s banned for hating on perfume?

Pokemon Episode Analysis: Episode 7 – The Water Flowers of Cerulean City

Either Misty’s the pink ranger or she just picked up the crest of light.

Character Debuts:

Misty’s Sisters/The Sensational Sisters/Lily, Daisy and Violet: I really hate these three. They’re complete airheaded valley girls whose voices pierce my soul. Beyond that, what’s there to say about them? They’re Misty’s three spoiled older sisters who partake in aquatic shows at the Cerulean Gym where they hail as completely ineffectual gym leaders to the point where I have no clue how the Cerulean Gym even became a thing. Either they inherited it or Misty must really be a lot more impressive offscreen, which, considering post-departure episodes that feature Misty, is probably true.

They poke fun at Misty and treat her like an outcast, they may be fraternal triplets though I have no clue how such an assortment of hair colors (blue, blond, red and hot pink) can come from only two parents….They have no interest in battling, seem to suck at it when they do, and they hand badges out like candy. I have no clue why Misty thought it was a good idea to leave the gym in their hands.

Pokemon: The gym seems to harbor many Water Pokemon, but Seel, a Goldeen and later a Luvdisc seem to be the main ones.

Reappear?: Yes.

Badge episode – Cascade Badge: Cerulean City

Leader: Misty

Plot: Ash arrives at Cerulean City to get his second badge, but Misty’s been acting strange the entire way there. She desperately doesn’t want to go to the city but won’t give a reason as to why. She suddenly disappears, and the boys stumble upon a store that was recently burglarized. After being hounded by the odd Officer Jenny, they discover that the thieves took a giant vacuum with a giant hose and nothing more. Later, Brock wanders off to do something while Ash goes for his badge.

He arrives at what he thinks is the gym only to find three sisters performing a synchronized swimming show. He discovers that the girls actually are the gym leaders, and he challenges them to a match. However, they’ve recently been steamrolled by three trainers from Pallet and only have a Goldeen to battle with, so they offer him the badge without a battle. He’s about to reluctantly accept when Misty comes out of nowhere to stop him. She announces that she is also one of the ‘Sensational Sisters’ of Cerulean City and one of the gym leaders, so she’ll battle Ash in their place.

Misty starts off with Staryu. Ash tries to start off with Pikachu, but he refuses to fight his friend. Instead, Ash uses Butterfree. He manages to put up a good fight, but Staryu knocks him into the water, making him unable to fly and unable to continue. Both of them recall their Pokemon for round two with Starmie battling for Misty and Pidgeotto for Ash.

Starmie struggles with Pidgeotto and nearly gets knocked out for good when Team Rocket shows up with the stolen vacuum. They suck up all the water in the Cerulean Gym’s pool along with a Seel. They nab Pikachu too, but he Thundershocks the water and subsequently Team Rocket and saves the day.

Afterward, Daisy gives Ash a Cascade badge claiming he would’ve easily won against Misty’s all Water Pokemon lineup if Pikachu had decided to battle and he saved their gym so he earned it. Misty begrudgingly lets it pass, and Brock returns to join them as they bid farewell to the sisters and head back on their journey.

====================================

– Haha, in the recap, as Ash runs away, you can see the Cerulean City sign back to Japanese. ….Eh, it’s a hollow victory in 4Kids’ early years. 😦

– If it’s such a bother for Misty to go back home, why doesn’t she just…..not? I mean, I’m not saying she has to stop following Ash but she could just say she has errands to run and go off into town while Ash gets his badge. Brock left, why can’t she?……Hey, why did Brock leave anyway? And why is he so sneaky about it? If they weren’t going to give a reason, then….just why? Less people to animate/draw?

– Wait, now Ash’s ID in Dexter has barcodes on it? I don’t get it.

– Ya know….the Boulder Badge doesn’t prove that Brock was the leader of Pewter City’s gym. It just proves that he has a badge. Ash has one too; can he show that off claiming to be the Pewter City Gym Leader?

– Brock knows the Cerulean Gym Leader and his ‘special move’? I guess that makes sense considering he’s a Gym Leader too, but why wouldn’t he say anything to Misty or Ash? Or is he under the assumption that someone else is the current Cerulean Gym Leader?

– Man, even when the Goldeen isn’t Misty’s, Goldeen is still treated like garbage. Poor Goldeen….

– How can Goldeen be ‘the only Pokemon’ you have left if you obviously have a damn Seel!?

– I really don’t get how any of these girls are gym leaders. Misty’s sisters are complete garbage in battling and Misty’s treated like she’s basically not much better than a novice and only recently decided to go off to hone her skills as a trainer. So how exactly did a gym end up in their hands?

– Misty: *after Staryu is hit by Stun Spore* “Oh no! It looks like Staryu is in real pain!” But Stun Spore paralyzes you. Shouldn’t it actually be numb?

– Any particular reason Misty is speaking in third-person when she’s calling out her Pokemon?

– What’s the big deal if Pikachu gets sucked up into the vacuum thing? Seel did and he just ended up outside….somehow. I think because the vacuum empties out through a hose outside, but then again I don’t know Team Rocket’s capture plan if it was that easy to get out. Silly continuity.

– As much as I hate to say it, Daisy does have a point in saying that Pikachu would’ve won the match pretty easily for Ash if he was willing to battle. But the fact of the matter is that his refusal to battle is pretty much the mark of a bad trainer. Yes, Misty is Pikachu’s friend but so is Ash and he’s battling her. It’s not like he’s ordering Pikachu to attack her physically, so I can’t see much of a reason as to why he refuses to battle especially considering that he’s perfectly fine with said battle much later on in Johto.

Most of all, it’s another pity badge…Ash claims he was close to winning, but not really. It was really a draw considering it was 1 to 1.

All in all, I’m pretty torn about this episode. I usually like badge episodes, but it’s a really polarizing match with the Pikachu factor and the tie. Misty’s sisters always annoy me, but they do have rare moments where they’re nice. Brock’s disappearance was just weird and his reappearance was just as jarring and rushed.

Next up, our first filler episode with AJ and the unofficial Pokemon Gym!

Pokemon Episode Analysis: Episode 6 – Clefairy and the Moon Stone

Knowledge….Research….I’m Seymour the Scientist!

CotD: Seymour (The Scientist®) Seymour’s actually one of the most memorable CotD’s to me. He was really animated, passionate and quirky and I had a lot of fun watching him. He works at the Pewter City Museum and is really interested in learning about the Clefairy and Moon Stone at Mt. Moon.

Reappears?: No 😦

Captures: Brock’s Zubat

Plot: Ash, Brock and Misty arrive at the beautiful Mt. Moon only to find an eccentric man named Seymour (the scientist ®) being attacked by Zubat. They save Seymour and wonder why the normally nocturnal Zubat are active in broad daylight.

Seymour shows the group that Mt. Moon has been covered in string lights, confusing the dark-loving Zubat, the local Paras and drying out the Sandshrew. They find out that Team Rocket is behind the whole thing, digging for the legendary Moon Stone to power up their Pokemon.

They manage to save a rare Clefairy that happens to have a moon stone from the clutches of Team Rocket, and the Pokemon is nice enough to lead Ash and the others to the larger Moon Stone and its Clefairy friends who are shown to pray to the stone as a deity.

Team Rocket shows back up and steals the Moon Stone from the Clefairy, but Brock quickly stops them in their tracks with his Onix. After another battle, the Clefairy show back up to take out Team Rocket themselves with the mysterious deus ex machina, Metronome.

The resulting explosion from the attack not only makes Team Rocket blast off, but it also blows some of the moon stones to shards, making some of the Clefairy evolve into Clefable.

Later, Seymour claims he wishes to live with Clefairy in Mt. Moon to study them and hopefully discover if Pokemon really do originate from space. He bids the group goodbye, and they set off on their next destination.

Ash spots a sign showing that the nearest town is Cerulean City, which marks it as their next destination, and he’s fired up when he spots that Gary scribbled that Ash was a loser on the sign, which makes him run off in anger towards Cerulean City.

============================

– Seymour: “And these hot lights are drying up these Sandshrew.” I get that it’s just that they’re really hot, but why phrase it like ‘drying up’? Makes it sound like they’re Spongebob and Patrick in that scene in the Gift Shop in the Spongebob movie…..

Also, they’re Ground Pokemon, particularly ones who thrive in sand; is dryness really a problem for them?

– While I find the theory of Pokemon being aliens…interesting, does he really believe they came to earth….in a rock?

Okay, that’s two Spongebob references in a row. I need to chill out.

– Ash: (In regards to Team Rocket’s Motto) “Don’t you ever get tired of saying the same things over and over?” Oh, honey….no…..

…….no…….

no.

– This is one of those storylines that could’ve been over in five minutes if the Pokemon world had decent law enforcement. Someone strung lights up at Mt. Moon and it’s damaging the ecosystem there? That’s illegal. Call the cops. Hell, it’s obvious this isn’t anything official from the getgo so why not just take the lights down yourself?

– Should someone tell Team Rocket that the Moon Stone won’t make their Pokemon more powerful….at all? In fact, isn’t it the least used evolutionary stone in existence seeing as how there’s so few Pokemon that can use it?

– I really like Zubat and all, and bravo to Brock for being so proactive in not only capturing a Pokemon but jumping right into battle too, but the fact that it was caught completely offscreen never ceases to bug me. It’s not even like they have the excuse of ‘oh they showed it, but the episode got banned’ like with Ash’s Tauros. They just threw a Zubat to Brock.

– Brock: “I caught one just before we entered the cave.”

Ash: “Aw, I shoulda caught one.” Yeah, you should’ve considering you were the one who weakened them all. Then again, you were probably distracted by Seymour’s awesomeness.

Speaking of Zubat, why would he use that immediately when it was weakened for capture? He has a couple of other Pokemon on hand, why not use those?

– Ash: (While Brock is feeding his Zubat) “What’s that?”

Brock: “Pokemon food.”

…..Ash…..please tell me you’ve fed your Pokemon since you’ve caught them.

– I love how Seymour and Ash are both completely flippant about eating what is essentially pet food.

– This episode kinda confuses me. How do evolutionary stones really work? Clefairy has been carrying around a Moon Stone this entire episode and they worship a giant Moon Stone yet evolution is not instantaneous. Something similar pops up later during the Thunder Badge episode where Pikachu is not only near a Thunder Stone but also touches it with his tail yet doesn’t evolve. What exactly is the trigger for stone evolution in the anime?

– Ash: (Trying to translate what Pikachu’s saying) “These Clefairy collect all these rocks and……do the macarena!” Ah the macarena. That won’t ever get dated.

– Misty: “What rhymes with hair?”

Brock: “Hey, how about ‘prayer’?” Yes, everyone, there was a time when 4Kids would actually mention religion. Twas long long ago, back when we as children used to try to keep these things called ‘Gigapets’ alive. They were needy little bastards who never left you alone, but dammit you loved them.

– I gave you guys a pass when you had Misty say ‘Have a nice drip’ when she Water Gunned Meowth away, but having Meowth tell Seymour ‘Hope you had a nice trip.’ in the same episode after tripping Seymour just forces me to point out that you’re both lame and lazy.

– God just look at how much Misty and Brock are doing. Battling right off the bat, catching Pokemon, proactively initiating plans. It really makes me feel bad that they so rarely get to do much of anything in future episodes.

– Wow, really? A Tackle attack by Koffing instantly KO’d Onix? That’s….highly unlikely.

– Misty: (Watching Clefairy wave their fingers back and forth to perform Metronome) “I’m getting dizzy.” Do people really get dizzy from watching something go back and forth?

– I do love the scene where the group of Clefairy perform Metronome, though. That’s a definite highlight in the cuteness factor for me.

– So wait, the Moon Stone had to explode into a million pieces before it would let the Clefairy evolve? I really don’t get this.

– In…let’s say a couple weeks or so, Ash has caught a glimpse of a legendary Pokemon and seen two of ‘the rarest Pokemon in the world’ in Clefairy and Clefable. I guess it is completely plausible that he runs into one or two legendaries per year.

– Seymour’s really going to live in Mt Moon in hopes of seeing the Clefairy and Clefable return to the stars one day? You truly are an odd duck, Seymour. But you got a good heart, champ.

– Brock: (In regards to Ash) “He’ll never learn.”

All in all, I always really liked this episode and I still do. I really like Clefairy and the story of them worshiping a Moon Stone that fell to earth is kinda interesting. Seymour is also a great CotD. He’s just kooky enough to be funny without being annoying and he has a true love of Pokemon. Team Rocket’s scheme was okay, and everyone got to do plenty of stuff.

The animation actually seems worse in this episode for some reason. The lipsyncing also has several really rough spots in the first half. Nothing too major, but I’m really starting to see what Dogasu meant about not getting why the early seasons are praised for their animation over the later seasons in their digital animation. Sure, I’m not a big fan of the CGI they shove in there later on down the road, but the early seasons had a lot of really rough episodes in terms of art and animation.

Next episode, we make it to Cerulean City and Ash gets a surprise when he finds that Misty is the Cerulean City Gym Leader. Can he beat her Water Pokemon and obtain a Cascade Badge?

Pokemon Episode Analysis: Episode 5 – The Pewter City Showdown!

Stop being a baby, Pikachu. It’s just a hug.

Character Debuts:

Brock: The Pewter City Gym leader, Brock is a very responsible and caring teenager. His father left him, his mother and various brothers and sisters to go on a Pokemon journey. His mother left—oops I mean died then became a zombie I guess much later, thus he was left as the sole caretaker of his siblings. Brock is a pretty level headed and knowledgeable individual, unless a pretty girl is around, and he really aspires to be a Pokemon breeder. Once his father, Flint, returned and decided to take the reigns on caring for the family, Brock decided to join Ash on his journey so he can develop his skills a Pokemon Breeder. He typically offers plenty of knowledge and advice to Ash while serving as the group’s cook. He’s known for being a great chef both for human and Pokemon food. Though not aspiring to be a Rock Type Master, Brock still does seem to favor Rock types in his roster.

Badge Episode – Pewter Gym

Leader: Brock

 

Plot: Ash has arrived in Pewter City and notices a poster about the upcoming Pokemon League Championships on the Pokemon Center wall. In order to enter, you need to travel to various Pokemon Gyms throughout Kanto and defeat the leaders of the Gyms in order to obtain at least eight badges that will later be presented to the league as qualification. Ash gears up to join the tournament, and he’s directed to a Gym right there in Pewter City lead by someone named Brock.

Ash arrives and meets the stone-faced (hehe puns) Brock who accepts his challenge. He starts with the giant Onix while Ash starts with Pikachu. The little yellow mouse is intimidated by the huge snake made of rocks, but agrees to battle anyway. Pikachu’s electric attacks are not powerful enough to harm Onix, so he easily gains the upperhand.

Onix binds Pikachu and Ash finds he’s unable to recall him so he’s forced to forfeit before Pikachu gets hurt.

Defeated in more ways than one, Ash laments on his loss as he talks with the mysterious rock salesman, Flint who explains to him that Brock has an unfortunate situation. His mother ‘died’ and his father left on a Pokemon Journey never to return. Thus Brock is left as the sole caretaker of his ten brothers and sisters.

Despite seeing Brock in a different light, Ash still wishes he could find some way to defeat Brock. Flint offers a suggestion of powering up Pikachu with the local water wheel. It’s dried up, so Ash will have to power through operating it manually like an external hamster wheel. Pikachu bears the pain while being infused with the electricity and they get ready once again to take Brock on.

The next day, Ash asks for a rematch against Brock and with Misty as well as all of Brock’s sisters and brothers watching, they battle once again.

Brock starts out this time with Geodude while Ash starts off with Pidgeotto. However, Pidgeotto’s almost completely ineffective against Geodude, so Ash is forced to recall him and sends out Pikachu. Powered up Pikachu is able to take out Geodude with a single blow, but Onix proves he won’t make things that easy.

While Pikachu’s putting up a better fight, even damaging the Gym with its power, Onix still is too powerful for him and ends up trapping him in a Bind once more. Brock calls off the attack this time for fear of hurting Pikachu, but Ash won’t stop the match.

Suddenly the small flames caused by Pikachu’s earlier attacks cause the sprinkler systems to go off, inflicting pain to Onix. Misty points out that Rock Types are weak to water, giving Ash an opportunity to take Onix down. He attacks with Pikachu once, causing Onix to fall. As Ash is about to make the final blow, he’s held back by Brock’s brothers and sisters who don’t want Brock to continue to watch Onix get hurt any further. Ash agrees and says it wouldn’t be fair to continue since Onix was unfairly damaged by the sprinklers so he leaves.

Brock later catches up with him and offers him the Boulder Badge for his kindness towards his Pokemon. Ash accepts and Brock reveals that he’d rather be a great Pokemon Breeder than a Gym Leader or a trainer, but since he has his brothers and sisters to care for, he can’t follow that dream so he tells Ash to do it for him.

Just then, Flint arrives and reveals himself to be Brock’s estranged father who offers to finally return home and take care of his family while Brock goes off on his own journey. They all depart for the next city and the next Gym with Ash’s shiny new Boulder Badge proudly pinned to his vest.

================================

– $1,150 is quite a bit for a bowl of rice and a drink. That’s not even counting tips. How did they go from doing such a fantastic job repainting the Pokemon League poster to neglecting to add a decimal point after removing the yen symbol for a dollar sign? If such a tiny detail as the yen symbol was enough to bring out the digital painters, you’d think they’d catch such a thing. Hell, I caught that when I first watched this as a kid.

– With how busy Brock must be, I find it weird that he sometimes sits alone in the dark in his gym. Also, who turned on the spotlight when he first spoke?

– I really, really don’t want to complain about this, but it’s just bugging me. Why did Ash previously have such detailed knowledge of Pokemon League rules before but now he’s completely oblivious as to what gyms are and how they work? Did he just pick and choose specific details about training to learn by heart?

– The wiki notes that there’s a graphical error before the battle begins where we see Ash’s eyes turn red, but they just look brown to me. It’s technically still a graphical hiccup as, despite the fact that Ash’s eyes are indeed brown, they’re usually colored black unless it’s a particularly detailed closeup. However, I find it weird saying that coloring his eyes their canon color for a change is a ‘mistake’.

– Brock: “As Gym Leader, I have to accept every challenge.” Odd that Dogasu’s comparison doesn’t note this, so it’s possible that the original has him say the same thing, but I’m noting this in conjunction with the Rainbow Badge episode where it’s noted that Erika in the dub says she’s obligated under league rules to accept all challenges. In the original, she says no such thing and had actually been rejecting Ash’s challenges all day, so the rule seems like bull if it does exist in the original.

– Brock definitely had a bit of a personality change over time, eh? He went from really serious and blunt, almost mocking, to being a pretty goofy skirt chaser. Granted, he’s still very knowledgeable and responsible, but you can really tell the difference in this episode.

– Also, Brock, why are you not shirtless? You’re shaming your game counterpart with your shirt.

– Eric Stuart doesn’t really sound like he has……acting down. I would say Brock’s voice, but he’s just acting pretty poorly in this episode for some reason. He gets better with time but ech.

– Brock: “Such a weak electric attack can’t hurt Onix.” No; no electric attacks period can hurt Onix because it’s part Ground type….

But as we’ll later see, screw that logic. Messiahchu to the rescue!

– It’s understandable to feel like crap when you lose, especially as badly as Ash just did, but come on. He’s had one other trainer match in his entire life yet he’s acting like his career is over after one loss.

– Ash: “Yeah but why has he never been in a regional championship himself?” Who said he hasn’t? Also, I’m really unclear as to how Gym Leaders are chosen. The wiki says it varies greatly either from region to region or Gym to Gym but you’d think there would be some solid rules considering they’re all under official league contracts. How did Brock prove himself to be good enough to be a Gym Leader? How did Misty? They’re not really particularly strong when you view them against other Gym leaders in the region or even the whole Pokemon world, so it’s just confusing to me.

– Behold! 4Kids purposely adding in character death for no reason! Join us in about seven years during Pokemon Chronicles where Zombie-Brock’s Mom makes an appearance.

– I would ask why doesn’t Flint tell Ash that Electric vs. part Ground is pointless, but in this episode it doesn’t seem to matter much anyway. Weird how they pay such attention to the type advantages and disadvantages from the game that it actually made them goof a couple times yet they get this completely obvious fact wrong just to give Pikachu more limelight. Granted, neither Butterfree nor Pidgeotto would have a good shot either, they’re both weak to Rock types, but still better than a Pokemon who, by all logic, should have no effect on any of Brock’s Pokemon.

– That’s right, kids. If you want to get a badge; don’t go out there and train. That’s for morons! Instead, torture your Pokemon by hooking them up to generators and pumping raw electricity through their bodies! And don’t try to tell me that this isn’t hurting Pikachu. They make a point to show that it’s really painful. I especially find it stupid that Ash is like ‘I can bear moving a waterwheel with my feet as long as you bear having electricity forcibly fed into your body.’

– And do I even need to bring up how cheat-y this seems? I mean, I know there are items in the games that can improve your Pokemon’s attributes, but this is just a big fat shortcut to, as Flint puts it ‘Superpowering’ Pikachu. The power wasn’t earned, it was taken.

– Flying types pointed out as being weak against Rock → Rock (Geodude) easily wins.

Electric types have no effect on Ground types → Beats Geodude (Part Ground type) easily with one electric attack.

😐

– Brock: “It looks like you’ve trained it better.” Last I checked, training did not involve booster cables. Also, does he really believe he trained Pikachu that much better in one night?

– His electric attacks are hurting Onix too. Pfft.

– Misty, why are you telling him to cheat?…even more than he already was? I know he realizes this is wrong later, but A) he still attacked anyway, B) He was going to finish it off before Brock’s brothers and sisters intervened and C) Misty’s still encouraging him to do this. Onix getting hurt by the sprinkler system is an accident; taking advantage of an accident during a match is just as bad as cheating. To put it into perspective, imagine you’re battling a Grass type and someone threw a lit cigarette on it, causing it to burst into flames. Or imagine if a Water type accidentally stepped on a live electrical wire. Would you take advantage of that and overtake them in battle or stop the match immediately? That should be common sense not an after-after-thought.

– Onix is also basically ‘finished’ before Ash tries to attack again, so this just seems cruel.

– Misty: “*sighs* Just when he finally gets a lucky break, he decides to be a nice guy too.” Wha, did you want him to be an asshole? What’s wrong with you?

– Brock: “No, you beat me both in battle and in being kind to Pokemon.” No, he didn’t beat you in either. If he beat you in battle, it would’ve been because he cheated; twice. And he wasn’t particularly kind considering he was going to attack your already beaten Onix. In competition there, you released Pikachu from the Bind earlier and gave him an out to surrender before Pikachu got hurt. He didn’t beat you in any way, shape or form.

– And thus starts the line of Indigo League pity badges. Hooray.

– How is Ash supposed to fulfill Brock’s dream of being the greatest Pokemon breeder for him if Ash is a Pokemon trainer? Also, why can’t Brock become a great breeder at home if he can still be a gym leader?

– Why did Flint need to wear a fake beard as a disguise? Couldn’t he just grow one?

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I……pretty much hate this episode. Okay ‘hate’ may be a strong word, but I don’t really like it. I like the introduction to Brock and Flint is one of the funnier minor characters, but Ash essentially cheats, twice, even if he decided to finally stop at the end, with interference mind you, and Misty encourages him to essentially cheat. Team Rocket’s role, while being the first pitfall trap they’ve made, is completely minor and not funny. They don’t even come face to face with Ash and Co. all episode, they just get stepped on by them at the end and appear for a couple minutes at the beginning, which I don’t really mind but still. If they played such a small role, why include them at all? Note how I didn’t include them at all in the synopsis; they’re that minor here.

It’s not just the cheating that bothers me either, it’s just uncomfortable that Ash was that okay with pumping Pikachu full of electricity instead of just saying ‘well, guess I need to train more.’ Ya know…like anyone else would. Or hell ‘Maybe I need to train more and catch more than three Pokemon.’ that would work too. He doesn’t even second guess this. He’s excited about doing it. Was it a big emergency that Ash had to beat Brock as soon as possible? Pikachu agreed to do it, but it still just doesn’t sit right with me.

Plus, like I said, this is the first of many ‘pity badges’ that Ash gets in the Indigo League. In fact, let’s crack out his legit badge earnings right here. X is pity, O is earned.

Pewter City (Boulder Badge) – X

Cerulean City (Cascade Badge) – X (Though, I do agree that Ash would’ve won easily had Pikachu agreed to fight. However, the mere fact that Pikachu refused to fight is sorta a testament to his skill as a trainer, isn’t it?)

Vermillion City (Thunder Badge) – O

Celadon City (Rainbow Badge) – X

Fuchsia City (Soul Badge) – O

Saffron City (Marsh Badge) – X

Cinnabar Island (Volcano Badge) – O (In fact, I adore that Blaine was like ‘Hell no! You still have to battle me, idiot!’ when Ash asks if he earned a badge by helping Blaine with his Gym. It was a slap to the entire concept of pity badges.)

Viridian City (Earth Badge) – X (To a degree. He did beat Team Rocket, but he didn’t technically earn the badge properly. He never faced Giovanni, who is the actual Gym leader, leading to more confusion about how gym leaders are chosen, plus he definitely would’ve lost if he was faced against Mewtwo. Just because Team Rocket had stronger Pokemon doesn’t make them more of a challenge. They’re still the same idiots Ash beats all the time. So, this one’s on the line, but it still counts)

I’m so glad this stops after the Indigo League.

Next episode, Clefairy and the Moon Stone. Ash and the others go through Mt. Moon on their way to Cerulean City for Ash’s next Gym Match. They meet the stranger Seymour (The Scientist) who is researching the Clefairy found on the mountain as well as the mysterious Moon Stone.

Pokemon Episode Analysis – Episode 4: Challenge of the Samurai

Go ahead, giggle. Get it out of your system. You know you want to.

Character of the Day:

Samurai: Not given any other handle besides ‘Samurai’, Samurai is a boy who dresses in traditional samurai gear and lives in Viridian Forest. He is the first ever CotD, with nothing else really notable about him beyond that.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Pinsir and Metapod.

Plot: Misty and Ash are still traveling through Viridian Forest when they spot a Weedle. Ash rears up to capture it when he’s approached by an odd kid dressed in Samurai clothes named, oddly enough, Samurai. Well, if your parents name you that, I guess you’re damned to dressing like that. He’s searching for a trainer from Pallet Town, Ash identifies himself as such and Samurai challenges him to a battle. The Weedle gets away while he’s talking to Samurai and in his frustration of losing his catch, he fires up for his first non-Team Rocket Pokemon battle against another trainer.

Ash starts with Pidgeotto, who is tired from battling Weedle, while Samurai starts with the fearsome Pinsir. The tired Pidgeotto is unable to defeat Pinsir, however, and is recalled.

Ash tries his new Metapod instead and manages to beat Pinsir with Harden.

Samurai calls out a Metapod as well and Ash and Samurai get locked into a stalemate of constant Hardens.

After a long while stuck in battle, the group hears a swarm of Beedrill approaching so Samurai recalls his Metapod and calls off the match. Ash tries to do the same, but Metapod is taken away by a Beedrill before he’s able to. He’s forced to run away, and sees that Metapod is being taken in as a Kakuna among a whole hive of sleeping Kakuna. Ash is unable to free his Metapod before the Kakuna evolve into Beedrill and attack them yet again.

They take refuge at Samurai’s cabin, and Samurai chews Ash out for being an incompetent Pokemon trainer much less skilled than the other three trainers from Pallet that Samurai battled. He also berates Ash for ‘abandoning’ Metapod.

The next morning, Ash heads out to retrieve Metapod only to be ambushed by Team Rocket. They wake the sleeping Beedrill and Ash uses them as a distraction to take Metapod and run. Metapod is upset with Ash, but he voices his guilt over his mistake and Metapod saves him from a Beedrill, causing him to evolve into Butterfree.

With Ash’s new Butterfree by his side, he commands him to use Sleep Powder to knock out all of the Beedrill and Team Rocket allowing them to finally leave Viridian Forest and head to Ash’s first gym match in Pewter City.

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– Ash’s mouth doesn’t move during the ‘Maybe it’s a’ part of the line ‘Maybe it’s a Cowterpie’ which makes sense given that the original line there was only one word, ‘Ushi’ (meaning cow) to make a pun on the fact that she was originally yelling ‘Mushi’ (meaning bug. Also, kudos to Dogasu’s Pokemon comparison for this additional information.)

– Why are there bar codes on the Pokedex screen when Ash’s checks Weedle’s data? That’s never happened before and I don’t believe it ever happens again.

– Dexter: “Weedle – The stinger on this Pokemon’s head guarantees that any attacker will ‘get the point’ right where it hurts.” Dexter really was a cheeky little machine back in the day.

– Ash: “Oh yeah I almost forgot, you have to weaken a Pokemon before you can capture it!” Ah now see here. A rare example of Ash learning. Scientists take the time to document this event and study it carefully since they never know when another opportunity to witness this event will come around.

– Also, I love how Ash is looking into the camera when he says this. Like he’s trying to teach US something he couldn’t learn with only one lesson.

– It still amazes me how amped up he gets for catching Pokemon here. Enjoy it while it lasts.

– More bar codes with Pinsir, what is going on?

– What the hell? 4Kids left in the fantasy shot of Metapod literally getting crushed in half by Pinsir? Times really have changed.

– Ash: “Maximum hardness, Metapod!” Must….resist….joke.

– Both of them are really too stupid to see that a Harden vs. Harden battle is a never ending stalemate? And Samurai has the nerve to call Ash a novice. Why doesn’t Ash make Metapod use Tackle? Shouldn’t it still know that from being Caterpie?

– More bar codes with Beedrill.

– Metapod’s voice, at least in the Who’s That Pokemon, is horrendous. It’s like someone’s holding their nose and saying ‘Metapod.’

– Again, barcodes with Kakuna’s entry. Hm.

– How does a ten year old own a cabin? Moreso why does he own this cabin if he’s on a Pokemon journey?

– Samurai: “I do take it back because not even a novice would abandon his own Pokemon as you did!” If this is in regards to when it got captured, there’s nothing Ash could’ve done there. He tried to recall it and it was taken too far away.

If this is in regards to when he saw Metapod moments ago then yes he totally should’ve gotten stung by hundreds of Beedrill (and maybe died?) to save a Pokemon that wasn’t in immediate danger, if anything was being protected by the Beedrill, instead of regrouping and developing a plan. He actually seemed like he was going to rush over and grab Metapod before Misty grabbed him and covered his mouth. Not his fault the Kakuna decided to evolve at that time. I’m usually all for pointing out Ash’s dumb mistakes, but this one’s unwarranted because there’s absolutely nothing he could’ve done.

– Another mention of all three of the first trainers from Pallet on their journeys. And from what Samurai said they’re all awesome at battling and training, not just Gary. Dammit, I really just want to see what they look like. A silhouette. Anything!?

– Hehe, they left Satoshi’s name tag on the sleeping bag. Makes it seem like Ash stole his sleeping bag from someone named Satoshi.

– Even if the Weedle hadn’t eaten the tank, what makes Team Rocket think a paper tank would’ve protected them from Beedrill stingers? Let me point out that they we easily breaking through the wood in Samurai’s log cabin a while ago.

– Yay, Butterfree’s debut! Caterpie’s dream came true!

– I kinda think the ending was dumb. Samurai really backtracks and says he’s the real novice just by Ash commanding his Butterfree to use Sleep Powder on the Beedrill? That’s not really impressive. I just think it was a bit of a cop out since they probably didn’t have enough runtime to continue their battle.

– Ah with the first CotD comes the first time Ash promises to see them again and never ever doing it. Good times.

All in all….this episode….was…eh. Samurai’s not a very compelling or interesting CotD, and his VA is so awkward. The Metapod vs. Metapod match is obviously the most memorable and funny part of this episode, with the rest being kinda weak. I still stand by my belief that Ash had no real choice but to ‘abandon’ Metapod, so the conflict here just doesn’t work to me. But who cares? Butterfree!

Next episode, Ash arrives in Pewter City to get his first badge from the gym leader, Brock.

Pokemon Episode Analysis: Episode 3 – Ash Catches a Pokemon!

Pokeballshipping – The one true canon

Character Debuts:

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.

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– 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.

Pokemon Episode Analysis: Episode 2 – Pokemon Emergency!

Poses for picture; still can’t get a clear shot of their faces.

Character Debuts:

Officer Jenny: Despite the seeming lack of police assistance in actual emergencies most of the time, there are cops in the world of Pokemon. Most of them, the prominent ones anyway, are Jennys. In practically every town ever, there is an Officer Jenny. They all look exactly the same and are somehow all related to each other. Officer Jenny is sometimes accompanied by a Growlithe.

Nurse Joy: Just like the Jennys, there are also identical Joys who are all related to each other in every Pokemon Center in every town. Nurse Joys are usually assisted by Chansey. I honestly don’t know why none of these Nurse Joys ever wanted to go the extra mile and become a Pokemon doctor, but whatever.

Team Rocket: While Team Rocket as a whole is a large organization, it usually merely refers to the trio of Jessie, James and Meowth. Jessie is a vain and greedy woman who rarely has a moment of kindness. She also seems to hold the most power in the group and kinda acts as the main leader since James and Meowth are regularly frightened by her. Jessie used to be a very poor and kind child, but the rest of her backstory is a big web of mess.

James is slightly nicer when the situation calls for it, but he is also pretty vain and greedy. Unlike Jessie, he was actually born into an incredibly rich family, but ran away from home because he didn’t want to be married to the obnoxious Jessibelle.

Meowth is one of the few Pokemon in the world who can talk, and this is made even more impressive since he’s also one of the few who can talk without the assistance of psychic powers. He taught himself how to speak human language and walk on two feet in order to impress a female Meowth named Meowsy, but his efforts ultimately made him even less appealing in her eyes and he eventually went on to join Team Rocket.

Plot: Ash takes an injured Pikachu into the local Pokemon Center for treatment, but the place is soon attacked by the malicious Pokemon thieves, Team Rocket. Ash as well as the girl he met in the previous episode, Misty, try to battle them, but to no avail.

Instead, the center’s backup electrical supply, a team of Pikachu, shock the trio and their electric power brings Pikachu back to peak health somehow. In order to take them out fully, Ash uses Misty’s broken bike to generate power through the headlight and power up Pikachu enough to deliver one final Thunderbolt, causing the entire Pokemon Center to explode by igniting the gas from one of Team Rocket’s Pokemon, Koffing.

Team Rocket take note of Pikachu’s incredible power and vow to capture it no matter what. Meanwhile, Ash continues on his journey by heading through Viridian Forest, which leads directly to Pewter City, the site of his first Gym match. Misty follows him, determined to get Ash to pay for her ruined bike, but as they travel through the Viridian Forest, Ash spots a Caterpie and readies a Pokeball for its capture.

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– The title card is looking a bit more normal, but they still use the Pokemon logo to say ‘Pokemon’.

– Oh….so I guess, from what Dexter says anyway, that the function of the Pokedex in the anime is really more for the trainer’s benefit in providing information and advice and not keeping a log while trying to see and capture all of the Pokemon, IE Completing the Pokedex. Hmph.

– James in episodes 2 – 8 isn’t voiced by his most notable voice actor, Eric Stuart, here. He’s instead voiced by Ted Lewis who does quite a few roles otherwise such as Tracey, Giovanni, Bakura and Bandit Keith from YGO. He does have really good range, and he fits the role pretty well here, but I can see why they’d replace him with Eric Stuart if his role was going to become more comical later.

– Likewise, Meowth also has a different voice actor in the earlier episodes, episode 2 – 31, Nathan Price, who does the role more low-key than Maddie Blaustein will later on. I honestly can’t decide which voice I like better, but Maddie’s is also more fitting for the more comical parts while Nathan is better at being more sly. Plus, Maddie says ‘Meeeowth’ a little better.

– I really will just take a minute to enjoy the more serious Team Rocket for this episode. I do love them as comic relief sometimes, but it would be nice if they were an actual threat.

– Why did Jenny feel the need to jump her motorcycle into the Pokemon Center? Yeah, risk more injury to the already injured Pokemon. And it really took them until nightfall to get there? How big is this city?

– It’s weird to me that Pikachu is so injured after just taking a few Pecks by a couple Spearow, especially given that he’s strong against Flying types.

– Nurse Joy’s a bit of a bitch here. People must come there all the time with Pokemon at least in Pikachu’s condition, considering how many attacks there are in Pokemon and the fact that their lot in life is usually to fight, yet she chews Ash out for letting Pikachu get moderately hurt when she doesn’t even know how it happened. That’s like a doctor yelling a parent for letting their kid scrape their knee.

– Why is the Pidgey that comes out of the cuckoo clock green?

Must be all that awful hospital food.

– And here we get the only mention ever of Ash’s deadbeat not-caring-whatsoever-about-his-family dad. I would complain about this, but at this point does anyone really care who Ash’s dad is? Yes, it’s a mystery, but no answer will really be fulfilling now. Plus, he’ll just be a target for hatred considering he never seems to talk to or otherwise communicate with Ash or Delia. And I do not believe for a second that they always talk off-screen or never ever managed to bump into each other during their journeys.

– It took four days for Ash’s dad to get to Viridian City?…..Why? Jenny said all of the other Pallet trainers had already passed through. What was keeping him so long? Maybe I’m wrong about Ash’s dad. Maybe he’s like Flint and completely sucked at training and was too ashamed to show his face around his family again. There. That’s a suitable story for Ash’s dad. You’re welcome.

– Delia: “Spreading your wings and soaring like a Spearow!” Uhh, I’d change your wording, Delia, considering the main reason he’s feeling like crap right now is because of a flock of Spearow.

– Delia: “And are you changing your underwear everyday?” He hasn’t even been gone a full day yet. Are his underwear made of the same material as the notes in Inspector Gadget and they’ll blow up after a period of time?

– The legendary Pokemon on the board at the Pokemon center are interesting. Ash believes the blue bird is the one he saw earlier, but it’s an Articuno not a Ho-Oh. Ho-Oh won’t be introduced until Johto. I’m not even sure what this really indicates. Did Ash just think it was the same because the outline is kinda similar or the anime creators screwed up? I would think he’d believe Moltres looks more similar given the coloring. Also, for some reason, Arcanine is up there. I know that he’s given the moniker of ‘legendary’, but why? Is there a legend about Arcanine somewhere? Because he’s just the evolved version of a fairly easy to find Pokemon.

– Oh my God, there’s text everywhere. I feel so unreasonably happy.

– I still find it funny that Oak’s all ‘There’s no way you saw a legendary Pokemon’ here and yet not a year goes by now where Ash DOESN’T see/battle with/spend time with a legendary Pokemon. It’s so common now that he’s basically become totally used to it.

– Misty: “You’re what happened to my bike, you little loser! This is what happened to my bike after you stole it to save your Pokemon!” Yeah, he sure is a loser because he cared more about his Pokemon’s well-being than a hunk of replaceable metal. Can you get less annoying soon so I can start hating Ash, please?

– Misty: “I don’t want any of your lame excuses, Kid! Just gimme a new bike right noooooooooowwwwwwww!!” First of all, kid? He’s the same age as you. Second, nice tantrum.

– What ‘procedure’ was Joy performing anyway? She put on rubber gloves and went in and came out with Pikachu having a lightbulb on its head while connected to some black box and some electrical box but no bandages or anything else on its body. He got Pecked a few times, he didn’t have his electricity sucked out him.

– Ash: “Listen, I’m sorry about your bike. But I’m going to need some time to make things right.”

Misty: “NO WAY! I FELL FOR THAT LAST TIME!”

Fell for what? He said he’d bring it back someday and accidentally got it destroyed. He hasn’t even been gone a full day, so he could’ve been intending on giving her a replacement bike SOMEDAY. Though, considering how crazy expensive bikes are in the Pokemon world, I can kinda understand her anger.

– They have radar that detects aircrafts in Viridian City? Ones that can specifically identify the craft as belonging to Pokemon thieves? Where are these in future episodes?

– I am weirded out beyond belief by those Pikachu in the Pokemon Center. They not only chant, but they hold out their paws like robots and have mouths that are way too big.

– Why do they need to be on a treadmill anyway if they produce power on their own?

– The hell is up with the eyes on that Pidgey?

Can Pidgey not look normal today?

– It’s amazing that Team Rocket is so intimidating during the early episodes that all of the Pokemon actually refuse to fight because they’re so scared just by seeing Ekans.

– I still don’t understand why Misty let Goldeen out. Either this was poking at the fact that all Pokeballs look identical and thus it must be hard to determine who’s in what without customizing them or she’s just an idiot.

– Misty: “You know as well as I do that a Water Pokemon can’t battle on land. I was just warmin’ up!” There are so many things wrong with that. Let’s start with, no, only SOME Water Types can’t battle on land. How were you ‘warming up’ by letting out a Pokemon that you knew couldn’t battle on land? Did you need to warm up your Pokeball throwin’ arm? Even if it was a distraction or something, what good would that do considering they’re standing in front of the only exit?

– Oh, I guess it wasn’t the only exit……There were no other visible doors to that room besides the one Team Rocket burst through and were standing in front of the whole time, but whatever. Still didn’t do much because after Ash and Pikachu escape, they’re immediately followed by Team Rocket.

– Why did Pikachu even need hours of ‘treatment’ if just being dogpiled and shocked by a group of Pikachu seemed to make him good as new?

– How did any of them survive that explosion? Pikachu’s in the ICU for being pecked by a few birds for a second or two yet is perfectly fine when in a building that just exploded and created a fire so big it looks like it took out a city block.

– How did Team Rocket get away?

– Now that I’m really thinking about it, Pikachu’s attack really isn’t a decent reason for them to be so insanely obsessed with catching Pikachu. It was essentially given a buff to begin with in regards to the bike and the only real reason anything substantial happened was because of the reaction with Koffing’s gas.

– I can’t believe it took me so long to question this, but isn’t it impossible for Team Rocket’s balloon to be ‘popped’ and send them flying all over the place? Wouldn’t it just gently float down? It’s not a helium balloon.

– How is the computer perfectly fine? They’re literally sitting amongst the rubble that once was the Viridian City Pokemon Center with a desktop computer that’s not even dirty.

I didn’t know Nokia made desktop computers.

– Narrator: “Will Ash capture the Caterpie?” Seeing as how the next episode is titled ‘Ash Catches a Pokemon’ I’ll go ahead and say no.

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This episode was….pretty okay. It was sillier than I remember it being, and I already remembered it to be a tad silly. Team Rocket pose a threat for a change, but they don’t even go the full episode without being downgraded to comic relief. Plus, I do have to say that the start of their obsessive mission was just not really worth it. I’m starting to think that after a certain point, catching Pikachu was no longer about catching it for its power or rarity but purely because of a personal vendetta.

Misty’s still annoying here, and Ash is still relatable and likable, even if he still has a lot to learn.

I also really like the linear set up of the first handful of episodes. I miss having an actual story instead of ‘Leave home on journey’ ‘Go to gym’ ‘filler’ ‘gym’ ‘filler’ ‘another gym’ ‘filler’ etc etc etc. The only times filler isn’t really filler in later episodes is usually just when Ash catches a Pokemon; those incredibly rare occasions. Plus, after he gets his party filled, he hardly ever gets more.

Certain aspects are still bugging me like mentions of Ash’s dad knowing they go nowhere, another mention of the other two Pallet trainers that also goes nowhere…..But it’s still pretty decent.

Next episode, Ash Catches a Pokemon. Caterpie joins the group (Oh sorry, spoilers!), one of the rare times Ash catches a Pokemon without needing to spend an entire episode bonding with it. We also get the rare treat of him catching TWO Pokemon in one episode, marking Pidgeotto’s debut. I really love Pidgeotto; hate the hell out of how he gets treated over the series. We also have a cute little episode just getting to know Caterpie and seeing it trying to bond with Bitchy—Err, Misty.

Pokemon Episode Analyses – Episode 1: Pokemon, I Choose You!

Aw, they’re already friends. ❤

I started rewatching Pokemon from scratch a while ago and while I was watching it I started making little snippets of notes in my personal blog on another website about certain episodes. Eventually, this lead to me making regular entries about the episodes, breaking them down and basically making mini-reviews. As of this writing, I am up to episode 156, which is really just a drop in the bucket compared to the 840+ that are out right now. I wanted to add this little series to my actual blog, but since I only have about 50-60 episodes worth of legit entries, I have to go back and start from scratch again. Well, at least for little bit. Plus, I’ll still be watching from where I am onwards as I’m doing it, so once I reach a certain point it’ll be much much much easier to make entries.

Here’s how it works. I give the full plot synopsis so I don’t have to go step by step and bore everyone with every single detail, and after that I give my notes on the specific episode whether it be errors or plot holes or just things that piss me off or make no sense, and I’ll be including aspects that I enjoy, of course. Then I’ll give a short review of the episode and a preview of the next. I’ll also be noting character debuts, characters of the day (CotD) and Gym Matches to be annoyingly thorough. Alright, let’s start!

Character Debuts:

Ash Ketchum: Our protagonist of the entire series, Ash Ketchum is loosely based on the protagonist from the first Pokemon games, Red. He is a ten year old boy just starting out on his Pokemon journey. He’s a bit cocky and stupid, especially later on, but he ultimately means well and does learn lessons sometimes.

Pikachu: Pikachu, or as I’ll not-so-lovingly nickname him throughout the series, Messiahchu, is an Electric rat Pokemon that Professor Oak gives Ash as a starter since all of the others were taken. He started out as a complete brat for some reason, but soon became the best of friends with his new trainer, Ash, after he tried to save his life. He’s also inexplicably powerful for some reason.

Professor Oak: The local Pokemon professor and the one who gives starters to new trainers in Kanto, Oak is a Pokemon researcher, grandfather of Gary and friend of Ash and Delia. He frequently gives Ash advice and information while taking care of his excess Pokemon not in his party.

Delia Ketchum: Delia is Ash’s mother who simultaneously dotes on him and overlooks him most of the time when he visits. Delia has an odd fixation on ensuring Ash changes his underwear, but is ultimately a kind woman. She eventually ‘captures’ a Mr. Mime who keeps her company and helps around the house.

Gary Oak: Gary is more strongly based on the rival from the first video games, Blue (or Green depending on what version of the game you’re playing or what manga you read.) Gary’s role here is basically the exact same thing. He shows up sometimes out of the blue, makes fun of Ash and then leaves. The biggest difference is that, unlike Blue, Ash rarely ever battles Gary at all over the course of the series. I think they battle a maximum of twice if I recall correctly. He’s a much more competent trainer than Ash is, and is chauffeured around in an expensive sports car by cheerleaders who are way older than him. It’s assumed that Gary took the Squirtle as a starter as he has a Blastoise later on.

Misty: The former Cerulean City Gym Leader, Misty aspires to be the best Water Pokemon trainer in the world. She is also Ash’s first companion under the excuse that she’s following him to make him pay for her bike that he ruined, but it’s not long until that’s pretty much forgotten and we assume that Misty follows Ash because they’re friends. Misty is also Ash’s love interest to a degree, but it doesn’t go anywhere. 😦

Plot: Ash Ketchum has just turned ten years old and he’s ready and raring to become a Pokemon Trainer. His dream is to become a Pokemon Master, and he gets started on achieving this dream (pfft) by getting his first starter Pokemon the next morning. Ash oversleeps and finds that all three of the starter Pokemon being given by Professor Oak, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander, have been given to other trainers. One of which, Squirtle, being given to Gary Oak, Professor Oak’s grandson and Ash’s rival. Bummed from not getting a starter, Oak decides to take pity on Ash and give him the temperamental Electric Pokemon, Pikachu.

He and Pikachu head off on their journey, but Pikachu severely dislikes Ash and needs to be literally dragged on the journey since he’s too much of a brat to even stay in his Pokeball.

Ash finds a Pokemon that he wants to catch and tries to get Pikachu to battle. He refuses, so Ash decides to assault the innocent animal with a rock. It turns out to be an ornery Spearow who calls his friends and begins to attack Ash and Pikachu. In an effort to save an injured Pikachu, Ash steals a nearby girl’s bike (Hi Misty!) and heads to the Pokemon Center.

They’re cornered by the Spearow and Ash decides to take the birds’ attacks to protect Pikachu. Seeing his sacrifice, Pikachu shocks the birds, saving Ash and starting a lifelong friendship as they finally arrive in Viridian City.

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– I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when I see the GameBoy game opening scene shift into the anime’s version. Especially since they seem to use the same music from the game too.

– What is up with this guy?

Where am I?!

– We see an odd green Pokeball, but it’s possible that it’s a Safari ball.

– It also may be possible that the silhouette of the trainer we see is Bruno, one of the Elite Four, though since this seems like a league match, I’m not sure why he’d be there. Unless the league mirrors the games in that regard and you get to fight the Elite Four after. I wouldn’t know, we never see Ash or anyone else get that far.

– Seeing all of the various Pokemon stuff in his room just makes me more angry for future episodes when he’ll have no idea what some of these Pokemon are like Voltorb, Clefairy and Zubat.

– It seems they don’t really pronounce Pokemon correctly in earlier episodes. It’s Poh-kay,mon, not Poh-kah-mon. Though, in all honesty, since it’s short for ‘pocket monsters’ it should be ‘pock-eh-mon’….Eh, semantics.

– In addition, it really seems like Veronica Taylor’s voice was fairly different in the first handful of episodes too. It was quite a bit deeper and she didn’t have as much excitement in his voice. I don’t know if she got more comfortable in the part or if her voice naturally got raspier with each recording and all his yelling. I’m kinda hardpressed to say that the first voice is bad. The acting’s toned down a bit much but I kinda like the first one.

– The title card’s all funny too. They use the English logo instead of just writing ‘Pokemon’ and the background’s all green, checkered and funny looking.

– Also, everyone please enjoy the pun-less titles while you can.

– It still bugs me to this day that we never find out who the other two trainers from Pallet Town were. That would’ve made for some great storylines. At least include Green/Blue (Green if you’re following more closely to the English manga, Blue if you’re more towards the original Japanese version) somewhere in there. She would’ve made a great anti-hero-ish character. Or hey include them in the Indigo League somewhere. Don’t just ignore that they exist….

– I love seeing all this Japanese text in a 4Kids production. It’s just an amazing example of how far they plummeted.

– It kinda bothers me that Gary, a 10 year old boy, has a personal cheer squad of girls who are 16+ (considering one of them drives after the Indigo League)

– Gary may be obnoxious, but I will defend to my dying day that he is a way better trainer and much more interesting character than Ash….

– Speaking of which, their first meeting is kinda weird now that I think about it. Gary acts like he’s never met Ash, but he’s heard of him. Ash acts like he knows Gary but hasn’t seen him in a long time. Much later, we learn that they were childhood friends (pre-10-years-old), so this is confusing both ways.

– Why do the Pokeballs have Japanese text on them in their first shot but not close up? ……Wait….*checks* Dammit, 4Kids, I was just praising you for this! I mean, including them from far away is better than not at all, but I am just disappointed.

– Speaking of which, all of these Pokeballs shouldn’t even be here if all of the starters are gone. Unless Oak transfers them between balls for whatever reason.

– Oak should’ve just saved Ash the trouble and told him that all of the starters were taken and not even let him in. Or at least he should’ve mentioned it and immediately taken Pikachu out to not waste his and subsequently our time by showing all of the Pokeballs being empty one by one.

– Seeing as how he chose Squirtle and was going through the choices in his dream in terms of difficulty, it seems Ash was willing to go with an intermediate choice erring on easier (Bulbasaur) for a second option and just settling on the hardest selection (Charmander) for last. Poor Charmander.

– Do we ever get the origin story of Pikachu? How’d Oak get it and why was it such an untrusting brat when it was first introduced?

– Also, seeing as how we see all of Ash’s Pokeballs several times and never see the lightning bolt mark again, I’m gonna assume it was just forgotten about in the art department. Not that it matters, he never uses it and the ball only appears a few times in Ash’s futile attempts to make him go in.

– Hey they show the skeletons when they’re electrocuted here! They removed that in Mew Mew Power! There, a legitimate change between early and late 4Kids. I feel I’ve accomplished something maybe.

– Delia: “I packed your sneakers…” Isn’t he wearing his sneakers? Or does he need an identical backup pair?

– Delia: “I thought all Pokemon stayed inside their Pokeballs.” Yes, Delia. They stay in there forever….and ever….and ever 

– And thus starts Delia’s odd fixation on Ash’s underwear. What a momentous day.

– This episode also really showcases how much Pikachu has slimmed down over the years. What, was pudgy Pikachu not ‘cute’ enough?

– Dexter really had a ‘tude in earlier episodes didn’t he? With his sarcasm and insults….He’s also a lot more talkative. He keeps chiming in all the time with new info but in later episodes he’s basically relegated to just Pokemon intros.

– I would call Ash out for throwing rocks at Pokemon to capture them….but….Safari Zone….It’s still messed up.

– I tend to like Misty, but she’s pretty much a bitch in the first handful of episodes. She pulls a clearly roughed up boy and a Pokemon out of the water and 1) all she cares about is the Pokemon, 2) She SLAPS Ash for no reason (it’s cut out of the dub) and 3) She instantly insinuates that HE did something to Pikachu even though no evidence is given to support that. I will grow to loathe Ash with every fiber of my being later on, so enjoy these few episodes where Ash is actually preferred over Misty….

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Overall, this is a really good start to the series. It introduces Ash pretty well and I’m much more accepting of his cluelessness in these earlier episodes than I am in later seasons. At least he has an excuse of actually being a complete beginner here, though considering how fixated he is on Pokemon basically being his life, it seems weird that he doesn’t even know the bare basics. The beginnings of Ash and Pikachu as a team is also pretty memorable, but still somewhat cliché.

The art and animation in this episode are actually fairly worse off than I remember. The electric shock scenes may have been changed later on to sate the newer rules about flashes that were brought on with the Porygon episode, so that may explain why they look insane choppy. There are just a slue of odd shots and weird animation that kept cropping up.

This episode also featured a lot less music than I’m used to with 4Kids. There’s almost always noise, but there are several periods without any BG music whatsoever and that weirded me out.

A lot of people, even I, praise the original episodes for being some of 4Kids’ better works. Deservingly so since this was one of if not their absolute first dubbing venture. However, there are still some 4Kids-isms left like erasing the text from the Pokeballs and cutting out a mere slap to the face. They also paint over a banner, but I’ll definitely let that slide since I know they could’ve just erased the whole thing and showed their support with a plain white banner.

The voice acting is somewhat stilted, and I think many of the actors, except maybe Rachel Lillis, were still getting used to their roles. They just don’t seem as comfortable or animated (if you’ll excuse the term) as they do later.

However, despite the various problems, it’s still a pretty good pilot episode that I can watch over and over. It is the start of an era afterall.

Next episode, Ash and Pikachu make it to the Pokemon Center in Viridian City, but the place is soon ransacked by Non-Comic-Relief Team Rocket. Yeah enjoy this one episode where they’re not comic relief. At least until the start of Best Wishes, where I believe they get changed back to comic relief later anyway.