Pokemon Shorties! (6) Gotta Dance!

Rating: 6/10

Plot: Team Rocket has made a new base in a canyon, and they are making a party there for Giovanni to impress him. Jessie and James leave Meowth in charge while they go invite Giovanni. Meowth uses this time to rehearse his music and dance number with three captive maraca playing Whismur. He forces them and the Team Rocket alum to dance using a magic baton…..In a world with sentient serial killer lawnmowers, please refrain from laughing.

Pikachu and some of the other Pokemon stumble upon this and try to save Whismur, but the power of dance is too much to resist.

Breakdown: Ladies and gentlemen, the last short to accompany a Pokemon movie….for a long whole anyway. I think they might have started doing it again, I’m not certain.

They continued to make shorts throughout the years, but this was the last short to be included with a Pokemon movie. I don’t know why they ended this trend as I thought it was pretty nice to have these shorts alongside the movies, but what can you do?

Like the last one, I have no prior knowledge or experience involving this short. Pokemon movie 06 was the first Pokemon movie that I only just caught on TV when it played on Cartoon Network. This was probably due to the fact that the movie came out right at that time when I really didn’t care much for Pokemon anymore because it was the post-Misty days. I was more into Digimon, Yugioh and whatever I could get my hands on with Toonami and Adult Swim.

I was bitter because Misty was gone, and I didn’t take to May much. I especially didn’t like Max, which may make the rewatch of the movie annoying….But I digress. What awaits us in this short? Hopefully a DDR contest.

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Lotad, Pikachu, Torchic, Mudkip and Treecko are playing around in a tree as Meowth narrates over them. He muses over their frivolity and says he wishes he could be that way, but music recently ruined his life. I still have no idea why A) These Pokemon are wandering around in the woods alone with no sign of their trainers and B) why it’s only these five Pokemon. I don’t know their rosters at this point well enough to list off everyone who’s missing, but considering there’s only five here, they’re likely missing a lot. Ash’s Pokemon are Pikachu and Treecko, Brock’s are Lotad and Mudkip, while May’s is merely Torchic.

The Pokemon all get flung through the air by springing on the awful CGI tree branch because we’re really vying for ‘Pokemon flinging’ to be an Olympic sport.

I love how Treecko won’t get out of his laid back pose as they’re flung through the air. Such a bad ass.

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They continue falling after the ground breaks below them and they all slam into a boulder. No worries, though, because they slam through it and leave marks behind in the exact shape of their bodies like Looney Tunes.

The horrendous CGI rock falls apart – seriously guys, just draw it. It’s a rock.

They look up and see some fort embedded into the cliffside. It’s decorated to look like dice for whatever reason.

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Narration from Meowth says it’s Team Rocket’s new headquarters and they were about to show it to Giovanni when his story began. A base? What the hell do you guys need a base for? You travel all the time because you follow DumbAsh and the superfriends to get Pikachu. More importantly, why would Giovanni be happy that you’re wasting funds on building a clubhouse?

They’re preparing a big party at the base, complete with an ice sculpture of Giovanni, to impress their boss. Jessie and James, who remain mostly out of frame in line with the usual ‘no humans’ law of the shorts, leave to retrieve Giovanni and leave Meowth in charge. He takes this opportunity to rehearse with the band, a trio of Whismur playing maracas.

He leads them with some stick that he says can control all Pokemon, forcing them to dance easily……Wait…you guys have a stick that controls Pokemon…..and you think it’s more impressive to show Giovanni…..a fort painted like dice…….It’s really no wonder how much you guys fail.

We get our opener which is really forgettable and not really the most dancey or catchy song ever. There’s a noticeable lack of….well, music, and Meowth is the one singing….

One interesting aspect is, it’s almost like they knew this was going to be the last movie short because they show the Pokemon dancing in the main locations of all of the previous shorts. We get the Pokemon sign from the park in Pikachu’s Summer Vacation, the giant tree from Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure, the tire fort from Pikachu and Pichu, the mansion from Pikachu’s Pika-boo, and the train from Camp Pikachu.

After that, we get bad CGI dice (what is with the dice? Am I missing something?) and our title screen.

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The song soon ends, and Meowth gushes over his baton, imagining that Giovanni will be really impressed with it. I would say this makes my earlier poke moot, but he says he’ll be impressed with how it can make Pokemon dance, not how it would help……take over the world and everything. At least easily steal every Pokemon you see.

They continue to rehearse while we cut to the main group heading towards Duke Devlin’s wet dream.

Meowth and the others lock up the Whismur in a cage and Meowth says this:

Meowth: “You three wisenheimers….” Wisenheimers?! Wisenheimers?! My great-grandpa wouldn’t even use that in serious conversation. How old are you?

Pikachu and the others spy on Meowth and the Team Rocket Pokemon in the base as they walk away from the cage to get something to eat. They fall through the window after they leave because I guess Lotad’s another comic relief clumsy Pokemon.

They discover that the Whismur have been taken captive by Team Rocket, and they use Pikachu’s lightning, Torchic’s fire and Mudkip’s water to blow the lock off the cage………..which is entirely unnecessary seeing as how the only lock on that cage is an easily accessible lever that one of them would just need to push…..but why do that when you can make explosions while trying to perform a covert operation?

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The Pokemon hide as Meowth and the others investigate the noise. They discover the Whismur are missing and Meowth commands the others to find them. In the process, they knock Meowth over, causing him to drop his magic baton thing, sending it flying to the barrel that Treecko is hiding in and suddenly activates.

It plays music and all of the Pokemon dance uncontrollably…wait….so…that stick really is only good for making Pokemon dance? What a dumb invention. I would take back my earlier comment, but if it can control these Pokemon to a degree, surely it can be reprogrammed to control them in other ways. But whatever, it will likely see the fate of the dark balls in ‘just forget it exists-land.’

I do love that Treecko’s doing everything in his power to not dance. I forgot how much I love that little guy.

During the dance, a Loudred that has been sleeping outside shows up to do some disco moves. Well thank god. Now someone do the macarena.

Treecko, in his efforts to avoid dancing, falls over, causing the baton to shut off.

Everyone stops dancing and Meowth notices Pikachu and the others. They attack, but Pikachu and the others knock them all down with the barrels. And when that’s over they play a version of

Not even kidding.

A chase ensues and the Team Rocket gang chases the Pika gang to the balcony. Pikachu tries to Thunderbolt them, but Wobbuffet Reflects it back, nearly knocking Mudkip off the tower. Treecko uses the baton to try and save Mudkip and in the process, it accidentally activates the stick, making everyone dance.

Mudkip is saved and joins the dancing. Their dancing, however, is causing the balcony to collapse and even makes the horrible CGI tower do a terribly animated fall into the river below. Well, at least we’re destroying most of this eye abusive CGI….

They’re about to dance off of the balcony and suddenly switch to a tango, making them walk onto a more sturdy part of the building while the barfy CGI balcony also breaks and falls.

They deactivate the stick again and start the chase back up.

They run into the party room and destroy it with the final blow being Cacnea using Pin Missile all over the room. This results in him destroying three pinata/party balls which revealed three banners with poorly drawn pictures of Giovanni on them…..okay you got me, that was funny.

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So they’re destroying the base when Giovanni’s supposed to show up for a party eh? I smell sitcom-level shenanigans!

Meowth gets up and accidentally hits the baton again. He hits a button which changes it to hula mode, causing everyone to hula while covered in flowers.

It’s deactivated again rather quickly since one of the pinata/party balls falls on Meowth. They run off again, and I’m gonna mention at this point that whenever they end these dance sequences….they focus on the Loudred for a bit….Just long enough to be awkward because much of the time he’s just staring with his giant mouth agape or he’s quietly saying his name. It’s unsettling.

You can see where this is going. They get chased, Meowth gets flung in the air, the baton falls on Wobbuffet’s head and they start dancing again.

The baton gets flung up again and gets stuck in some sand, for some reason causing it to short out. They make three quick cuts to Treecko, who’s still doing his damnedest to not dance, and I guess since the stick shorted out, he can’t take it anymore and goes dance crazy.

They keep dancing and dancing and dancing….I actually think they repeat animation shots a few times with the excuse that it goes with the music, roughly. They also speed up a shot.

They have to keep switching from speeding up to slowing down and we crescendo as the baton explodes.

Everyone stops dancing, but now Loudred is going nuts and attacking the Pokemon with a pipe. He corners them in a room, Seviper tries to attack, but is interrupted by Loudred’s pipe which breaks an important column in the base. The base rumbles and seems like it’s going to fall, but doesn’t. However, Lotad, a Pokemon I don’t remember being quite this irritating, sneezes causing the whole place to come crumbling down.

Well, they’re dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nah, of course they’re not. They’re just riding such a terrible looking CGI wooden platform that my sides hurt from laughing at it.

 

This is just insanely crappy CGI and it’s horribly integrated with the traditional animation. The guys at OLM keep getting worse and worse at this. Please, either go back to training or save my eyes and stop using CGI where it’s not necessary.

Their platform breaks in two sending Pikachu and the others flying one way and Meowth and the others in another. Pikachu and friends are about to crash into a cliffside when Lotad decides not to be annoying for a change and Water Guns them away from it, allowing them to land safely.

Meowth and the others end up back in the now destroyed base and as it crumbles even further, we get another

It wasn’t funny the first time, stop it.

The end!….Hey wait, what about Giovanni? That was a great set up for more sad trombone-y goodness.

Granted, I can’t imagine Giovanni would’ve bothered humoring these idiots anyway.

Also, that Loudred seriously wasn’t related to those Whismur? Why was it there then?

Like I said, the end, with those cute little fan art drawings of Pokemon. They also have Pikachu doing his impressions of the featured Pokemon, which I admittedly think is really funny. Then we have the Pokemon just doing random things.

Bottomline: Well that was….something. What a random short. Pikachu and the others save some Whismur from Team Rocket and we get what is essentially a 20 minute long chase scene with really long dance sequences intertwined and then they destroy the place and fly away. That’s it.

The art and animation, like always, get a bump up in this short. Except for the awful, terrible ew CGI.

The music, shockingly, is pretty poor for an episode centered around dancing. The main song is completely forgettable and definitely not up to the catchy ear worm standards of 4Kids. I would dance to a lot of 4Kids songs and this is one I wouldn’t tap a toe to.

While I will admit that the short had its entertaining moments such as Pikachu’s impressions, Treecko’s desire to avoid dancing as much as possible and some of the dances, there’s a lot wrong with it.

There’s so much padding. It’s almost like this short is nothing but padding, which, admittedly, is what most of these shorts are by default. The chase is padding, and the dancing, while being the focal part of the short, is basically just padding. It’s pointless dancing for the sake of ‘oh how funny! Pokemon dancing!’ It is entertaining a few times, and it made me smile once or twice, but it really gets old.

The sequences with Loudred were also pointless. They were causing enough destruction as it was, he didn’t need to be here. And those times when they lingered on him after a dance were just awkward.

Some of the ‘jokes’ like Lotad’s sneeze have poor timing, and I am forever perplexed as to how and why Meowth had a magic ‘force Pokemon to dance’ stick.

It’s probably the funniest short since the first one, but it’s too long for this non-existent story, very repetitive and, to be honest, poorly directed.

Well, we end the movie shorts on a mediocre note, but there’s still more shorts to cover! I just have to pick them out by my own discretion now. What will come for movie 07?! Find out when it happens!

Recommended Audience: You need to ask? E for everyone!

Final notes:

………WHAT WAS UP WITH THE DICE!?

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WHAT DID DICE HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? I DON’T GET IT!…….DICE!

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My Poke-Pinions: 001-003 – The Bulbasaur Line

Bulbasaur

Name: According to Bulbapedia, Bulbasaur’s name is pretty self-explanatory. The ‘bulb’ part is indicative of plant bulbs, and the ‘saur’ part is Latin for ‘lizard.’ I’ve always loved the name Bulbasaur. It rolls off the tongue nicely, is very fun to say and suits it very well.

In the original Japanese, its name is Fushigidane, which can either be translated as ‘Isn’t it strange?’ or ‘Mysterious bulb’, the latter of which is what I believe the writers were going for. I’ve always liked Fushigidane too, even if it is more of a mouthful than Bulbasaur.

Fun fact: In the French version, its name is Bulbizarre, which I thought was really cool.

In the Mandarin version, its name is Miàowāzhǒngzǐ, which translates to ‘Wonderful frog seed’, which is just amazing. Here’s to you, Bulbasaur! You’re a wonderful frog seed!

Design: Bulbasaur’s design is very simple, but incredibly cute. I love its large and expressive eyes and the overall shape of its body. It looks perfect for a pet. I also really like its color scheme. Oddly, I believe the spots were just the right add-on for Bulbasaur because I think it would look really weird and too simplistic without them.

Going over the sprites real quick, the one for Red and Blue is cute.

It’s in a dynamic pose, and I like that. The back view makes it look derpy, though.

Yellow’s version makes it look possessed.

Green’s version makes him look derpy from the front.

Pretty normal and nice until we get to Crystal, which is also fine, but I could do without that animation. That makes me uncomfortable for some reason.

All of the other sprites look fine except for the backs of the Black and White versions. They’re fine, but the animation makes it look like it’s humping something….

Shiny:

The shiny version kinda ruins the color scheme, if you ask me. Yeah, it’s a Grass type, so green should suit it just fine, but it’s a little…too green.

Cry/Voice: Bulbasaur’s cry is cute, but sounds too much like an old Atari crash sound near the end. Bulbasaur’s anime voice has always been a favorite of mine. Whenever I feel like imitating a Pokemon, my first choice is usually Bulbasaur.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Bulbasaur’s story is pretty straightforward in all of its Dex entries. It’s a creature that had a seed planted in its back from birth. The seed slowly sprouts and grows with the Bulbasaur over time. Bulbasaur absorbs and stores nutrients from photosynthesis in the bulb, and can go days without a proper food source thanks to this storage system. The bulb itself is full of seeds.

Anime-exclusive, the bulb will glow blue when it’s close to evolving, which I believe is a fine add-on.

Another thing they only mention in the anime is that researchers aren’t sure whether to classify Bulbasaur as a plant or animal, but that’s always seemed silly to me. The entries clearly state it’s an animal that had a seed planted in its back upon birth. In fact, no matter the physiology of the Pokemon, don’t all Pokemon have to be technically classified as animals or animal-like since they’re living, breathing creatures?

Ivysaur

Name: Ivysaur’s name is on par with Bulbasaur’s, even if it has slightly less bounce to it. Like before, the ‘saur’ part is Latin for lizard while the ‘ivy’ part is alluding to the plant, ivy.

In Japanese, its name is Fushigisou, which is also not quite was bouncy as Fushigidane, but still nice. It translates to ‘It seems strange’ or ‘strange grass,’ again, the latter of which is what I believe they were going for.

Fun Fact: In French, Ivysaur’s name is Herbizarre, poking at herbs. I think Herbizarre sounds cooler than Bulbizarre and Fushigisou.

The Mandarin version of Ivysaur’s name is Mìaowācăo, which means ‘wonderful frog grass’ Somehow, not as funny as ‘Wonderful frog seed.’

Design: I adore Ivysaur’s design. They add enough to it to make it very distinct among its line without seeming like it’s purely a middleman. The flower bud is pretty, the leaves make it look much grassier, the sharpness to its face is just enough to keep it adorable while also giving it a clear tough look. The slight change to its color scheme is nice. I like the darker blue-ish green hue and the black pupils they added, plus it’s cute little ears.

Sprite-wise, what the hell is up with Red and Blue?

Green’s look like it got run over.

And all of the early back sprites look very odd, like they pushed the flower up way too high.

Silver makes him look like a super villain, which is awesome.

And Crystal makes it seem like he just ate a part of my face, which is…awesome?

Every other sprite looks pretty okay, except what is up with Black and White? Why does it look like its waving its leaves at me?

Shiny:

I like Shiny Ivysaur much better than Shiny Bulbasaur. It’s not my favorite shiny by a long shot, but the yellow flower looks nice, and that melded with the lighter green skin gives off a calm spring meadow vibe.

Cry/Voice: Ivysaur’s cry is rid of the Atari crash sound from Bulbasaur’s cry, which is nice. It also sounds a little higher pitched while ending on a deeper note, which makes it sound pretty cool, in my opinion.

Ivysaur isn’t in the anime enough for me to even remember what it sounded like (Mid-evo starters get no love in the anime. They even had the perfect opportunity to give a main character an Ivysaur, twice (Ash’s Bulbasaur refused to evolve – May’s evolved into Venusaur from Bulbasaur OFF-SCREEN, but nope. Pbt.), so I had to go check. Ivysaur’s voice is mostly just a slightly deeper and more gravelly sounding voice, which is fine, but not as nice to listen to as Bulbasaur.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Personally, Ivysaur is my favorite Pokemon – really only sharing that spot back and forth with Raichu. I can’t really explain when or how Ivysaur became my favorite, but I’ve always been a huge fan of it.

Ivysaur’s Dex entries are usually off-shoots of Bulbasaur’s, explaining that the bulb on its back has now turned into a flower bud. The bud absorbs nutrients from sunlight much in the same way the bulb on Bulbasaur’s back did, and it will start to bloom when it’s fully grown, IE ready to evolve. It’s also said to be close to blooming/evolving if Ivysaur starts spending much of its time laying in the sun.

Due to the large flower bud on its back, it can no longer stand on its hind legs (so it can’t look weird in Red and Blue….well, weirder.) and now its legs and trunk have started to become much stronger in response.

Finally, Ivysaur’s flower bud emits a very pleasant and sweet aroma, which is more just a note than anything else as it doesn’t appear to have a function.

Venusaur

Name: Venusaur’s name keeps the saur=lizard theme, and the ‘venus’ part is referencing the Venus Fly Trap, which I find odd because Venusaur’s flower in no way looks like a Venus Fly Trap. If anything, it always reminded me, oddly, of the Corpse Flower.

At least with Ivysaur, its leaves looks somewhat reminiscent of ivy leaves.

Venusaur’s name is alright, but it never hooked in with me that much.

In the original Japanese, it’s called Fushigibana, but which is a pun on the phrase Fushigi no hana – or Strange flower. I like Fushigibana. It brings back the bounce that Fushigidane had – in fact, I’d say it’s even bouncier.

Fun Fact: In French, it’s called Florizarre, which I find difficult to pronounce for some reason, and in Mandarin, it’s Miàowāhuā or Wonderful frog flower.

Design: I’ve never been a huge fan of Venusaur’s design. The flower doesn’t look all that great, the angles of the face, particularly the eyes, don’t sit well with me, and the wart-like bumps put me off, but if there are few Grass Pokemon that give off a feeling of the pure power of nature, it’s Venusaur.

In Bulbasaur’s Mysterious Garden, a Venusaur is basically portrayed as the king of this forest. Its voice even causes a tree to immediately blossom. This thing is huge, looks like a reptilian or amphibian powerhouse and, as we see in the manga, it looks like a sneaky Bulbasaur when it has its flower closed.

It’s still my least favorite of the three final evo Gen 1 starters, but I’ve gained a better appreciation for it over time.

Sprite-wise, we’re going pretty good in Red, Blue and Yellow, but Green looks like it was, again, run over by a truck.

The back sprites of the early games were just sloppy. You can barely tell what that is.

Other than Crystal’s animation looking like it’s winking at me,

and Black and White’s randomly getting its groove on,

the rest of the sprites are very good.

However, the back sprites of the most recent games….let’s just say, I don’t think Venusaur is meant to show so much ass.

Shiny:

I feel about the same way towards Shiny Venusaur as I do Shiny Ivysaur mostly because the changes are identical. It gains a light/lime green skin color with a yellow flower. Though, the flower for Venusaur is slightly more golden looking, making it seem slightly a little better than Ivysaur’s to me.

Mega:

Mega Venusaur was one of the first Megas I ever saw and….I was never a fan. They added more plumage, put a flower on its head, marked its face up a bit and put some vines in there. Sadly, I have not gained a better appreciation for Mega Venusaur over time. There are much better looking Megas out there, and, frankly, Venusaur’s somehow looks both cluttered and lazy at the same time. I prefer the regular version of Venusaur.

Cry/Voice: I’m okay with Venusaur’s cry, but it doesn’t have a deep enough tone or enough oomph for me to be impressed with it. Its anime voice is a huge step in the right direction. It’s deep toned, powerful and fitting. The only gripe I have is that it sounds a little goofy while saying ‘Venusaur’, particularly when yelling it.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Venusaur’s Dex entries are kinda boring because they say almost nothing different from Ivysaur’s except that the little flower bud is now a huge flower. Venusaur is also noted as being more powerful in summertime due to the energy it absorbs from the sun, but why can’t that be said of Ivysaur and Bulbasaur?

Other than that, the sweet scent emitted from the flower, stated in Ivysaur’s Dex entry, is said to soothe people and Pokemon. I prefer that the anime adds that it has somewhat of a power of nature, because that makes it seem a lot cooler.

Next entry: the Charmander line.

My Poke-Pinions Intro Post

Welcome to my debut entry of ‘My Poke-pinions,’ because I don’t have enough Pokemon content on my blog. This series is dedicated to exploring my opinions on all of the Pokemon in existence. Here are the topics that will be covered:

– Name: I find it really interesting how some Pokemon got their names in pretty much any language, but usually Japanese and English. Some may be obvious, but others have very interesting lore to them. Names can also make or break a Pokemon. It should be fitting and roll off the tongue easily.

– Design: This includes official artwork and sprites from each generation.

– Shiny: Basically covered under their design, but shinies are an entirely different design ballpark for many species.

– Cry/Voice: Covering its cry from the games and its voice in the anime, if it currently has one. This will not cover Japanese voices, because I doubt I would be able to find clips of each one. Also, keep in mind, I’m basing most of my voicing opinions on the 4Kids dub. Until I get to Pokemon who debuted exclusively in the newer dub, they will not be considered, mostly because I don’t have enough experience watching that version.

– The entire evolutionary line: I believe in getting an entirely evolutionary line out of the way instead of putting out several entries for it. Just saves time for you as a reader.

– Dex entries: All of them, including games, anime and manga. Most of them say the same thing, but they explore interesting things about a Pokemon’s backstory or biology that are worth noting.

– Alolan versions: While I am only spottily watching Sun and Moon, I will give my opinions on the Alolan versions of Pokemon.

– Mega Evolutions (Where applicable): After getting over my old person views of ‘boy this seems contrived, silly and like they’re running out of ideas even more’ from when these were first introduced, I have grown to really love and dislike many Megas, so I will be going over these, if the Pokemon has one available.

What will not be covered, for the most part:

– Stats: I was never too deep into the world of stats, and I have never done competitive play, so unless I have something particularly noteworthy to discuss in this regard, I will not be talking about stats.

– Moveset: Again, unless something seems noteworthy, I won’t be discussing this.

– Portrayals in the Anime: This is an opinion series on the Pokemon as a species, so I won’t be giving my opinions on any portrayals in the anime (*usually). I might share some gripes about a Pokemon’s lack of presence in the anime or small notes such as that, but I won’t be discussing particular examples of Pokemon in the anime. Each Pokemon has their own personality so it seems wrong to mark them up or down as a species because of one or two examples.

That’s about it! Updates for this series might be slow, but I hope to have fun with it. We’re going in official dex number order, so the ‘Saur line is up first.

The Salty Anime Challenge Day 9: Least Favorite Anime Trope(s)

I’ve been riding ecchi kinda hard for this challenge (….I should reword that too.) so I’ll restrain myself there. While a bunch of tropes get on my nerves, I’d say the ‘main character gets the best everything’ trope wins out.

Mew Mew Style, Mew Mew Grace, the other mews just fill background space.

I’m sorry I had to remind you of Mew Mew Power’s motto.

This is most prevalent in magical girl shows and shounen gaming and fighting anime. The main character always has to have the best powers, the most powerful transformations, all the cool weapons, win the best matches, etc.

I understand that, as main characters, they’re kinda entitled to have those things. Afterall, you don’t want other characters stealing the spotlight. However, I tend to empathize with and like side or secondary main characters more than primary main characters. And I feel like there are many circumstances where great characters fall to the wayside and eventually become unimpressive at best and useless at worst when they didn’t have to be.

Look at what DBZ turned into. It wasn’t even meant to be about Goku at the beginning. Gohan was meant to surpass his father and take the role as main character, but then MC favoritism boosted him back to the spotlight again. But why bother talking about that when you could discuss nearly any human character in the franchise now? They’re damn near furniture while Goku and Vegeta have gone off to become literal gods. They can’t even hope to dream about trying to help now. If you’re not saiyan or otherwise an alien, you’re screwed.

They didn’t even get beyond the first arc without becoming useless meat shields, even with self-sacrifice.

Goku: “Okay, guys, we have to draw out this fight for 25 episodes, so go off, die, and I’ll go eat a sandwich and defeat everyone you were too weak to even scratch when I come back. Kay? Kay.”

(I’ll be fair, though, Yajirobe basically saved the day in the Saiyan arc….but who wants to root for Yajirobe?)

That’s one of the reasons why I have no real bad blood against Naruto now. You can definitely argue that Naruto, Sasuke and a few others are the strongest and get the best stuff, but they do a good job making nearly everyone else at least seem useful for something. If not, they get cool and unique powers and abilities as well as awesome fight scenes. Ask anyone who their favorite Naruto character is and a very sizable chunk will say someone besides Naruto or Sasuke.

Don’t even get me started on magical girl shows. They are definitely the worst offenders. I’ve felt most irked by Tokyo Mew Mew in this regard because the other girls get literally nothing else after their debuts while Ichigo gets a slue of new weapons and attacks. It takes no time for the other Mews to seem useless outside of Zakuro and even she stagnates. When they actually bother putting the spotlight on the other Mews, it always seems like Ichigo steals it in the climax.

Sailor Moon’s also guilty, but I feel less irritated by this because it never really felt like the other senshi were useless, per se, and they did get upgrades, they just never got anything nearly as good as the stuff Sailor Moon did nor did they get better stuff as often.

Pokemon, to varying degrees throughout the ages, but most notably in the first few seasons, has this as well. Ash gets all the best Pokemon and gets to do nearly everything. The entire journey is about Ash’s desire to be a Pokemon Master. Misty and Brock have dreams too, but they get kicked to the wayside 98% of the time. It actually makes Ash look like he has a better work regimen than the two of them and that’s hella sad.

Ash: “I’m gonna be a Pokemon Master!” Misty and Brock: “And we’re going to rot for five+ years.”

They have to leave Ash’s side before they start becoming, to put it bluntly, interesting characters who grow and develop. Brock goes off to medical school and Misty catches and tames a damn Gyarados for god’s sake. With him, they stagnate, without him they surpass him. I appreciate it, but it takes them way too long for them to actually be impressive and badass, though, and we rarely ever see them beyond this point anyway.

Do I even need to touch upon the favoritism of Messiahchu? He’s the OP powerhouse that Ash always coddles, uses even when it’s ill-advised and he has better more logical options, and keeps around while his other Pokemon keep getting released or box’d.

I guess, in the end, I’m not so much salty that the main characters get the most power and best stuff – it’s that many writers believe that doing so means not letting the other characters grow or stay useful.

“Why would we have (SC) fight this match when (MC) can beat them in a single swoop?”

“You don’t need to do that (SC), we’ll give (MC) a new power to make that pointless.”

“Train? Pft. Why bother, (SC)? You’ll never get anywhere near (MC)’s level. Just be a meat shield until (MC) shows up.”

Yu Yu Hakusho is a good example of doing this right. I believe it’s highly arguable that Yusuke is the most powerful protagonist (I’d give that to Kurama, to be honest. But I might be biased), and the other characters, even Kuwabara who is the weakest of the team, never seem like they’re stagnating or not useful. They’re always striving to improve, and they do.

Imagine how irritating it would be to be on a team like that. Imagine working your ass off to improve and risking your life on a daily basis just to have the world handed on a silver platter to ‘the leader’, which is usually a self-appointed title. Also imagine if that person was an idiot, egotistical or both, which is shockingly common.

Maybe this is why I tend to like side and secondary main characters over main characters. Maybe it’s because I like the underdog. I dunno. Give your secondaries proper dues, guys.

Pokemon Episode 47 Analysis: A Chansey Operation

Pokemon Ep47 title

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

Reappear?: No (Thank God)

Pokemon: None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

———————————-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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His hand has to be touching intestines.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Misty: “Your phone’s ringing.”

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

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

“Like with Pikachu!”….Or with…people…

Also, thanks for clarifying what constitutes as an emergency.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call them in from home? HMMM?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………*sigh*

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep47 Screen7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, it’s not quite clear whether snakes are immune to their own venom via bite. There have been rare cases in which a snake has bitten itself and died from its own venom. However, immunity seems to depend on the species. There was an example of a cobra who bit itself and suffered from an abscess on the wound that needed to be treated surgically, but it, notably, did not suffer from the same ill effects that the venom typically presented in other creatures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep47 Screen10

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

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

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

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

So, class, any questions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Meowth and Chansey have a back and forth with Chansey mishearing what Meowth’s asking for (or it’s trolling the hell out of him) Enter bunch of visual gags that don’t work due to being lost in translation. The ice to rice one works, but the go board makes no sense, neither does Venonat, and police doesn’t work because the end of that word is pronounced ‘eese’ not ‘ice.’ I don’t fault 4Kids for this because this scene is just a nightmare to localize, if it’s even possible. I did still laugh at Chansey somehow having the strength to easily remove a police station from its foundation, carry it into the hospital and present it to Meowth like it’s any other object.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– IVYSAUR!

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

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

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

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

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Adorable Chansey reaction, though.

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

– Brock: “So what now?”

Ash: “Beats me.”

CALL. FOR. HELP!

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

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

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

“Weaken it with Water Gun!”

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

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

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

YOU BRAINDEAD FUCKBUCKET! Now this isn’t just being abusive to a patient, this is just downright cruel. Dodrio was already clearly down for the count, as evidenced by the swirly eyes, it’s soaking wet AND a Flying type so you just Thundershock the hell out of it? What is wrong with you today!? And you have the nerve to be bitchy about Team Rocket just being there. You’re being more of a villain in this episode than they are, even considering they’re the cause of this whole mess and that they try to steal the Pokemon at the hospital later.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Someone seems awful comfortable taking a ‘flasher’ pose.

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 05: The Guardians of Altomare/Guardian Gods of the City of Water: Latias and Latios (Sub) Review

Rating: 7/10

Plot: Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi are on an island called Altomare where they treasure the heroes of their local legend, Latias and Latios. Satoshi is lucky enough to see them after saving a Latias from the thieves Zanner and Lion, but they still have plenty of plans in store for the pair. Plans that could involve the destruction of the town.

Breakdown: Now THAT is a much better poster, Japan. That is eye-catching, detailed, well organized, contains scenes from the actual movie and just looks great. If I would complain about anything, it’s the lack of Kasumi, Takeshi and Team Rocket, but seeing as how they’re basically not a part of the movie, I can’t damn it too much.

There’s also this poster, which is more complex.

That is pretty good too, and Kasumi and Takeshi are included this time as well. Plus there’s the awesome soul dew center piece. My problems are the slight nitpick that Satoshi wasn’t wearing his vest or regular pants in the race, Kasumi was wearing a life jacket (the Water Pokemon trainer’s wearing a flotation device but not Satoshi? Weird) and the odder issue with what the hell Takeshi is even doing there.

That shot, to my recollection, is not in the movie, though his role really is just gushing over girls. It’s a shame, it’s like they wanted to include him but realized he did absolutely nothing the entire movie. They would’ve been better off using stock pictures, to be honest.

Alright, well, since we may be dealing with first movie level changes according to Dogasu, I’m going to go through the movie step by step again. I’ll try to glance over scenes whenever possible to avoid unnecessary text walls. Here we go!

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The ‘World of Pokemon’ opener starts us off even though it seems faster and like it’s missing a couple scenes in contrast to the dub. For example, this version doesn’t include the further shot of Satoshi in Okido’s lab, and it includes scenes from the first episode with Satoshi and Pikachu running from the flock of Onisuzume/Spearow and the classic battle between Iwark and Gangar from stock Pokemon League footage.

Our movie actually starts off with….me wondering if I put the right movie on—oh god it is the first movie all over again!

Alright, alright!….Deep breaths, everyone! I’m sure we’ll be fine.

 

We start off with some pretty cool looking construction-paper cut-out-like animation of the town of Altomare. In the Japanese version, Altomare is one word. In the dub, it’s two. I don’t understand why, but I’ll assume it’s because the Italian translation is two words…

 
A female narrator starts explaining the backstory of Latios and Latios. Back in the ancient days of Altomare, an elderly couple found two children, a boy and a girl, injured and washed up on the beach. They took the children in and cared for their injuries. As the children were recovering, a gigantic monster that looked like a huge cloud made of dark gears appeared and…..wait, dark gears?….Black Gears?! Someone call the Digidestined, looks like Devimon’s up to his old tricks again!

 
The monster took over and started destroying the town. The elderly couple tried to shield the children from the monster’s attack but were startled when the children started transforming. The children became the Infinite Pokemon, Latios and Latias. Together, they called upon their other Latios and Latias friends to defeat the darkness with what seems to be the power of the Heart Drop (The Soul Dew).

 
As we cut out to the shots of the book actually seen in the dub, we learn that peace returned to the island, and the two Latios and Latias who were cared for by the elderly couple started frequently visiting the city of Altomare to ensure that the peaceful state remained.

 
The book is held by two thieves, Zanner and Lion – Annie and Oakley respectively in the dub – and they run off before they’re caught stealing the book. Also, according to the Wiki, they’re sisters in both versions, but I don’t recall hearing them ever say that in the dub.

 
In the car, Zanner points out that the story is just a legend, but Lion says there’s plenty of evidence to support that the story is real, and there’s also a hidden secret in the book that leads to something much better than the jewel. They drive off and then fly off on Barbie’s magic dream jet/convertible and head towards Altomare.

 
We get our title screen and it beats out the 4Kids one. They did a better job with the jet transition and the tidal wave effect. Plus the actual title itself looks like finished CGI.

 
For comparison’s sake, I made a gif of the dub movie’s title sequence too.

 

 
We cut to the start of the race and learn that it’s actually Altomare’s Summer Festival and this is just a water race for the festival as opposed to the actual race being the big event, the Tour de Alto Mare – and I’m just now realizing that 4Kids was probably referencing the Tour de France with that…..you know, the French bicycle race? France, Italy? They’re both foreign, who cares? Bicycles, boats? They’re both modes of transportation, who cares?

 
The race begins and we get our theme song which is just another remix of the same Mezase Pokemon Master song we’ve heard every single movie so far. Guys, it’s a fine song, but change is good. As much as I love the original Pokemon theme song, even that would get old after hearing it for so long. Variety is the spice of life, people.

As for how this remix fares….it’s okay. It’s pretty poppy for my tastes. They remove the Pokemon sounds, so that’s something.

Everything’s fine and dandy throughout the race, except we don’t hear Takeshi talking to that girl when he’s on the bridge. Not a big surprise, even though I don’t get why they’d leave it alone in movie 02 and 03 and yet add dialogue again here.

Satoshi wipes out, gets saved by Latias and then pulled by Latias and we cut to Kasumi and the other guy vying for first place. Believe it or not, 4Kids almost left his name intact. He’s Rossi in the original and Ross in the dub.

Satoshi catches up, but gets diverted when Latios skews him off course and he crashes. Meanwhile Kasumi pulls out the win.

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Rossi offers a ride in his boat to celebrate, and the gang heads off with him on his gondola. Kasumi marvels at her medallion, but there’s nothing stating that the symbols tell the story of Altomare. In fact, now that I really look at it, the only symbols are Latios and Latias. How is that a ‘story’?

Kasumi asks what the statues of Latios and Latias are and Rossi basically just gives the cliffnotes version of the legend. And now it makes perfect sense why Latios and Latias are both on the statues instead of just a Latios like the dub legend states.

Cut to Zanner and Lion’s little camera thing and the icky CGI people below. They explain the same thing about how Latios and Latias can disguise themselves as humans so they’re scanning the people. Latios and Latias have lower body temperatures than people, so the thermal imaging can quickly spot Latias.

As they pursue Latias on their boat, they splash Team Rocket and Kojiro instantly recognizes them as two of the top thieves ever. Yup, another change between the two versions is that Zanner and Lion are merely great thieves, not spies for Team Rocket, nor members of Team Rocket at all. I don’t have any clue as to why 4Kids changed that.

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The comparison states that it was big rumor that the two were part of Team Rocket before the movie even came out, but that’s not really an excuse seeing as how they eventually got and translated the damn script themselves. Unless they started writing the dub script before the movie even came out….I wouldn’t put it past them.

Sucks, actually. While they don’t do a whole lot, I like when Team Rocket actually does villainous organization things. Like how I liked Vicious in movie 04. Though I’d prefer if one day the whole organization got off their asses and did something big and movie-worthy for once. All I remember is them taking over the St. Anne and a few things Butch and Cassidy did. They’re a pathetic organization….

They get basically the same idea as the dub, only they want to outwit and beat them at thieving not follow them and try to learn from them.

Back with Satoshi and the others, Rossi bids them farewell and tells them of a great crepe shop, not an ice cream shop and seafood place like the dub. Surprisingly, the ‘ciao’ is also present in the dub, and I feel weird about that for some reason.

The gang runs off for some crepe-y goodness while Pikachu goes off to a fountain. Latias, in human disguise, turns on the faucet for him and Pikachu starts drinking and cooling off. Satoshi arrives and thanks Latias for turning on the water for Pikachu. Latias gets in his face, circles him and runs off.

Latias continues her stroll until Zanner and Lion spot her, out her as Latias and pursue her. Pikachu hears the fuss and runs off, prompting Satoshi to follow, and Zanner and Lion catch Latias. Satoshi to the rescue, but Zanner sends out Elfie/Espeon to attack Satoshi.

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Satoshi counters with Pikachu’s electricity and runs off with Latias while Ariados and Elfie pursue.

They run through the town giving us that ‘flying’ shot, but it’s slightly helped by the inclusion of footsteps. It’s still way too smooth to be running, though.

Satoshi gets a bit lost, and Latias leads him back to Kasumi and Takeshi before mysteriously disappearing.

Satoshi reunites with Kasumi and Takeshi and they head off to some temple. Oh, it’s a temple and not a museum. I guess that makes more sense considering the only things I saw there were the two fossils and the machine.

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Zanner and Lion spy on them with their little robot and Lion says he won’t get away, which I guess means she doesn’t want to keep Latias and him apart like the dub said.

At the temple, Satoshi and the others see the fossils of Ptera/Aerodactyl and Kabutops. As expected with the different backstory, there’s no mention whatsoever about these two nearly destroying the city. In fact, they’re not even the only fossils at the temple supposedly. I’m not exactly sure why they’re there, but there ya go.

They’re brought to the machine and Takeshi says his pointless and confusing line about finding a girlfriend in the city all because he saw stained glass.

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As we cut to an outer shot, the old man explains that, in ancient times, the temple that they’re currently in and a neighboring building called the Sun Tower were built for Latias and Latios as an expression of the people’s gratitude for them saving the city. The machine was also seemingly built for the sake of peace, but no one knows how to operate it.

Satoshi sees what he thinks is the girl from before and takes chase. When he finally catches up, he asks the girl why she ran away but she just asks what he’s talking about and walks away.

The chase continues, but he gets lost and gives up right as they spot Latias, who drags them through town some more until they reach the portal.

They go through the portal, find themselves in a park and find Latias yet again, but Latios springs up out of the water and attacks Satoshi and Pikachu. The assault is halted by Latias, and Kanon/Bianca soon shows up to see what the fuss is about. Kanon hears Satoshi’s story about how he followed Latias into the park, but she finds it suspicious and sics Latios on him. He’s instantly stopped by Vongole/Lorenzo, however.

Everything’s sorted out and they start playing together, and we cut to Kanon and Vongole talking to Satoshi about how they protect the secret garden as a sanctuary for when Latios and Latias come to visit the island.

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Wait, that just raises more plot holes in the dub. The city was supposedly just a regular land-based city before the evil trainer and his Kabutops and Aerodactyl attacked and then it became flooded with water that Latios delivered. Unless Latios made a damn OCEAN when it defeated Kabutops and Aerodactyl…in which case, why is Latios not a Water Pokemon?

They also explain that the Latios and Latias before them are indeed brother and sister with Latios being the older brother.

Latias steals Satoshi’s hat and playfully teases him while Latios starts sight sharing, called Dream Projection in the original (though, to be honest, sight sharing is a more logical name) before diving underwater.

After that’s over, we’re brought back to the secret garden where we catch the tail-end of the legend of Latios and Latias, and they solidify that these are not the same Latias and Latios from the legend nor are they the direct children of the one/ones responsible for it, they’re their ancestors.

They explain the stuff about the Heart Drop being used in conjunction with the device from before even stating that the many Latios and Latias helped them build it, which explains how it’s all magical and stuff.

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Satoshi is tasked with keeping the garden and the Heart Drop a secret, he agrees, and Latias and Latios try to play some more. He politely declines as he says he needs to get back to his friends, but promises to come back and play later.

They exit out of the door in Vongole’s gondola workshop while Zanner and Lion’s camera captures images of Latias and Latios in the garden, and Kanon escorts him to the Pokemon center.

Meanwhile, back with Team Rocket, they see Zanner and Lion roof-hopping, try to follow them and fail. And thus ends their kinda-sorta-ish-maybe-a-little-okay-not-really subplot.

Zanner and Lion knock out Vongole again and break into the secret garden. Latios and Latias try to fight the intruders, but they ultimately fail. Latios is captured, but manages to let Latias escape.

Latios and Latias sound awful in both versions. In the dub, they have higher-pitched squeals, and in the original, Latias has a high-pitched squeal while Latios constantly sounds like he’s saying ‘Wha-hoo!’ It’s not unbearable but it is annoying.

Zanner and Lion steal the Heart Drop and Lion scans the tablets on the floor to figure out how to use the Heart Drop in conjunction with the machine. It’s here where we learn the not-stupid explanation of what happens later in the movie.

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The tablet warns that the Heart Drop should not be used for evil. If it is, the Heart Drop will be defiled and will vanish along with the island. It was a warning to the villagers stating that, as long as they’re responsible with the Heart Drop and the machine, their land will forever be protected, but if they decide to use the powers they’ve been given for evil nothing but destruction will follow. Much better explanation than ‘Oh yeah, if the Soul Dew is used at all, or if it’s kept out of its water tank for more than 15 minutes, our protected land will be wiped out by a tidal wave caused by the thing we used to protect ourselves.’

I still say that the secret garden has the worst security measures ever. They don’t even have a lock on that damn entrance in Vongole’s workshop. Town-destroying jewel, the instructions on how to use it right next to it and two legendary Pokemon sitting right there and you can’t be arsed to buy a damn padlock. Does Altomare have no hardware store?

Zanner and Lion head to the temple to use the Heart Drop with the machine, Vongole and Kanon arrive only to get knocked out, and they start the machine.

Meanwhile, Latias goes back to Satoshi in the Pokemon center, and Takeshi and Kasumi are made privy to the situation. Latios uses Dream Projection to show Latias, Satoshi, Takeshi and Kasumi what’s going on.

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Lion starts controlling the machine, revives the Ptera and Kabutops fossils to have them do her bidding, and sets up grates to block all exits and entrances, except, as I mentioned, the damn waterways, while Satoshi escapes the Pokemon Center with Pikachu before they’re trapped as well.

Satoshi grabs a boat and heads to the temple, but Ptera attacks them, destroying their boat and nearly drowning Satoshi. Latias saves him and they grab one of the boat things I still can’t identify to continue traveling.

Back with Takeshi and Kasumi, still trapped by the grates, they let out Crobat, Sunnygo/Corsola (Sunnygo?….That sounds really weird. And I keep thinking of Sunny D. I know it has actual meaning; the word Sunny mixed with sango (coral) but still, weird.) and Nyoromo/Politoed to help Satoshi.

Nyoromo has an incredibly cute and goofy Japanese voice, by the way.

They valiantly go off to help Satoshi, ashamed of the fact that their combined strength can supposedly not support the weight of Satoshi’s monster balls and belt. If only monster balls weren’t made of dark matter!

Kasumi and Takeshi’s Pokemon help Satoshi take down Kabutops and he heads back off towards the temple.

Lion, spying on them with the machine, realizes that Kabutops and Ptera failed, so she uses her waterbending to create a water spout that ensnares Latias and Satoshi. However, Latias uses her psychic powers to break the water.

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This results in the machine going haywire while Satoshi, Pikachu and Latias try to free Kanon, Vongole and Latios, meaning I get to watch Satoshi the human battering ram again! Hahaha! The entertainment value with this is endless.

They eventually do get Latios out, and the machine shuts down. Everyone’s okay, even if Latios is worse for wear. Kasumi and Takeshi arrive because they exist, and Zanner retrieves the Heart Drop.

However, it’s completely tainted by evil and expels a huge burst of energy when she tries to remove it. Zanner and Lion both fall into the machine as it powers back up again and spins them right round baby. Right round. Like a record, baby. Right round round round.

The legend starts coming true as the water starts receding into a giant town-destroying tidal wave. Latias and Latios realize that they can’t depend on any of the other Latios and Latias who are around to come in and help, because that would just save the life of one of their kind and everything. The Celebi from movie 04, you are not. They head towards the wave and use their psychic power to disperse the water in a harmless manner across the town again.

Latios dies due to expending too much energy and bids farewell to Latias.

The effects of the machine start to disappear over the town, and Satoshi and the others head out into the water to find Latias. They find her being rescued by some Water Pokemon and are soon made aware of Latios’ fate.

Latias’ dream projection activates and Latios shows them his view of the clouds and the earth from space (or maybe it’s heaven now that I think about it) and Latios either makes a new Heart Drop or becomes one, it’s not entirely clear. In this version, the Latias and Latios who gave the initial Heart Drop just had one, no one died for it that I know of, but they keep saying ‘Latios’ to the new Heart Drop so *shrug*

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Satoshi and the others are leaving the city, so they bid farewell to Vongole. They want to say goodbye to Kanon as well, but she seems to have stepped out for a second. Also, this shot lends more credence to the theory that it was Latias in the end and not Kanon. There’s really no reason why Kanon/Bianca wouldn’t have responded when being called numerous times unless she was Latias and couldn’t speak. Not only that, but you’d think Kanon would hear that Satoshi and the others are leaving and ask out the window that they wait for a second while she gets the picture to give to Satoshi.

Satoshi and the others leave until they realize ‘Kanon’ is following them. They stop, she hands Satoshi a rolled up drawing, puts her mouth hole to his face and runs off.

Satoshi opens the paper to see a drawing of him and Pikachu and they depart from the island once again, seeing a bunch of Latias and Latios on their way out, segueing us into the end credits. The end song in Japanese is ‘You Are Not Alone’ by coba & Kazufumi Miyazawa. I really like this song. It has a great melody, wonderful singing and the instruments being used fit in wonderfully with the setting. It’s probably my favorite Pokemon end theme so far, movie wise anyway.

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If I have one complaint, it’s that the opening is a little too peppy to really fit the tone of the final couple of shots. 4Kids’ little CD mashup may have been random, but they did purposely start off with a nice slow song.

During the end credits we see Zanner and Lion in prison, Vongole fixing up the machine or temple, Kanon drawing and Satoshi and the others traveling some more. The end.

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That was actually a lot better than the dub, mostly because it actually made sense. Who woulda thunk it?

I know I’ve mentioned that 4Kids, oddly enough, sometimes changes stuff to make it worse than it actually is to create drama and tension, but I still can’t get over the fact that their revised story involves so much death and murder. Kabutops and Aerodactyl get forcibly drowned, probably alongside the unnamed evil trainer, the citizens are left with the worry that their town will be destroyed and everyone will be killed if a ball accidentally dries out, and Latios from the legend dies while sacrificing himself for the town. The original story was perfectly fine and very sweet, yet they made it dark and nonsensical for no real reason.

Think about that. Let it sink in. The company that is so scared of death that it’s basically became a meme to replace ‘death’ with ‘the shadow realm’ or something, purposely added in much more death to the movie. I can’t even begin to comprehend that.

What I really find problematic is I cannot in any way justify why they changed it. The whole thing with Mewtwo way back when, they probably changed that just to make it a more clearcut struggle of good vs. evil. Can’t make Mewtwo too sympathetic until his redemption. Plus, they were really trying to shoehorn in a ‘violence is bad and we don’t condone it’ message to the parents of the world who were outraged at Pokemon for the violence and ‘cockfighting’.

However, I can’t understand why the original story wasn’t good enough. If it was really because the art style for the story part upset them for whatever reason, then it’s still not justified. They repeat the story without the special construction-paper animation, so they could just parrot the story without showing the opener. I see nothing wrong with any part of the original story to warrant changing so it’s really just boggling my mind.

It’s boggled even further by the fact that most of the movie besides that is left completely alone for the most part. Some minor changes, but nothing that major.

Bottomline: It’s much better than the dub…..but I’m still not all that into it. I love Latias and Latios, Kanon’s made to be more tolerable than Bianca, the story here actually makes sense, the death scene with Latios is on par with or better than the dub’s, the town is probably the best location Pokemon has had to date, the music’s great and very fitting for the location, but the plot is still predictable from practically the first scene with the only real shock being Latios’ death. The giant tidal wave, once it’s actually explained why it’s happening in a way that’s not out of the blue and dumb, makes for a pretty good scene as well. I can better understand why this is Dogasu’s favorite Pokemon movie thusfar, but it’s still nothing that special to me.

Recommended Audience: I’ll actually lower the rating for the original merely on principle that 4Kids added death. 3+

Pokemon Episode 46 Analysis: Attack of the Prehistoric Pokemon

Pokemon Ep 46 Title

CoTD(s): None

Evolutions: Ash’s Charmeleon → Charizard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Hi Gary!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– James: “Oh it’s that pest again!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The reactions are priceless, though.

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen3Pokemon Ep 46 Screen4

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

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

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

– How is Weezing falling if it can float?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The best part of waking up is–MURDERING YOU!

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

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

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

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

Here we go.

Ash Being a Charmoron Count:

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

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

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

– Geodude gets to do stuff! Whoo!

….It’s just moving rocks…..but whoo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Here we are. The point of ranting about Charmeleon’s cheap as hell evolution. You can definitely make the case that Charmander was at the right time to evolve into Charmeleon. You can also make the argument that it deserved to become a Charizard at least before Cinnabar Island or the Indigo League conference. But I cannot accept this evolution as being anything other than bullshit. It’s been all of, what, three episodes since it evolved? And it hasn’t even won any battles since then (except kinda against Paras) because it wouldn’t listen to Ash, and it wasn’t even in Jigglypuff’s debut episode.

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

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

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

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

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

He was just pissed.

Here’s Charmeleon’s evolution scene entirely.

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

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

Charmeleon stamps its feet and has a tantrum.

Evolve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And don’t even mention Pidgeotto.

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

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

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

– Rrrgh…..

Pokemon Ep 46 Screen13

Frickin’

Egg.

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

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

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

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

This is very much cover-up-ish, but if so, why? It might be to protect the fossil Pokemon, but there’s nothing to protect them from, besides Team Rocket and they died in the second cave-in. I get the good intentions behind these ‘we have to keep pretending they’re not here so they won’t be bothered’ motivations, but I doubt the government, of all things, would see previously-thought-to-be-extinct Pokemon and just ignore them for the sake of maintaining their peace and quiet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

—————————

Outside of the evolution and the weird coverup, I’m pretty alright with this episode. There’s not too much wrong with it outside of the evolution, but there’s not a lot going for it in regards to fun or interesting things, in my opinion. I think they could’ve done a lot more with the fossil Pokemon, and jam-packing all of them in one episode is a bit too much, but I guess I can see why they went down that road. Also, for an episode about the fossil Pokemon and starting with a ‘great fossil rush’ we see all of one fossil and it’s of crap. What prompted the great fossil rush anyway?

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 05: Pokemon Heroes (Dub) Review

Rating: 4.5/10

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock are in the beautiful town of Alto Mare partaking in the local traditions, competitions and culture. One of their most beloved legends is that of Latios (with special guest Latias, who wasn’t even in the legend) who is known to be the guardian of the town after saving it centuries ago…..or less than 50 years ago depending on if Lorenzo’s a vampire or not. Ash is lucky enough to meet a pair of Latias and Latios, but soon discovers that they’re in danger from the thieving Team Rocket pair of Annie and Oakley.

Breakdown: I watched this movie quite a few times On Demand back when it was released, and I remember enjoying it perfectly fine. Annie and Oakley were fairly interesting, and I like Latias and Latios….

I guess this movie, like 04, just never felt that big to me. Latias and Latios, while I do really like them, don’t seem like actual legendaries to me for some reason. I was expecting some movie about Kyogre and Groudon and maybe Rayquaza and yet we got these two. Instead, two of them are made into a special arc in the TV series and the other gets a role in the Destiny Deoxys movie.

I was pretty okay with doing the review until I remembered this excerpt from the Bulbagarden comparison.

“The problem with the Pokémon Heroes dub is that the script is really off. For whatever reason, 4Kids decided to completely throw out the movie’s backstory and create their own, which is strange considering how they haven’t had any script changes this major since Mewtwo Strikes Back.”

….I’m in for first movie level changes? Ouch.

Enough jabber. Let’s get into Pokemon movie 05: Enter Super Generic Title Here—I mean, Pokemon Heroes.

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

Brock murders the narrator again and gives us ‘The World of Pokemon’ intro that I still don’t understand why they do in these movies. I guess it makes for a good intro, but every single movie? Also, it should be noted that this entire sequence is the exact same scene as it was in movie 04. They don’t even fix the pajama mistake I mentioned last time. Lazy little movie makers.

I find it funny that, in this intro, Brock calls Ash ‘the pride of Pallet Town’. Gary’s a better trainer, capturer and battler and I will believe until my dying day that Ash ever winning against Gary is a complete fluke.

Technically Ash is an awful ‘pride of Pallet Town’ seeing as how Red, the character Ash is based off of, is so much better as well. He won the Indigo League while two other Pallet Alum, Blue (Gary’s inspiration) and Green (who never gets an anime counterpart, which sucks…) were second and third place respectively.

Why do Misty and Brock get no explanation whatsoever? It’s just ‘and joining them is Misty and yours truly, Brock.’ Sadly, this is the last time they can use this opener. This is the last movie that Misty ever appears in. 😦

Getting to the actual movie, we see a few pages from an old book and two thieves, Annie and Oakley, talking about it. They discuss how the book explores Latias and Latios as well as a jewel but that the book doesn’t get into the really good stuff until the end. I don’t know why they’re spending time talking about it while they’re still in the process of stealing it. Seems like a needless waste of time when you’re pressed for it.

A security guard at the library they’re in nearly spots them, but they get away on cables. The guard finds a single rose in the spot where the book was as well a picture with two lip icons on it, one red and one blue.

They zipline their way back to their car with spy-like music playing and Annie asks what the ending is about. Oakley says it explains how to control a machine called the Defense Mechanism of Alto Mare. It’s pronounced ‘Mar’ here, but it’s spelled ‘M-air’ so I dunno.

They drive off a cliff, perhaps a nod to Thelma and Louise, but then we see the car instantly transform into a jet and fly away. You guys are really taking the spy thing all the way, huh?

As they fly, Oakley explains that the Defense Mechanism of Alto Mare, really original name by the way, is supposedly the most powerful weapon in the world. Annie says she doesn’t care about the weapon and all she wants is the jewel from the story – the soul dew.

However, Oakley states that the jewel is needed to operate the machine and then goes on to explain the origins of the name ‘soul dew’ – it contains the soul of a Latios and looks like a dew drop.

Annie says that they have to remember to capture Pokemon for Giovanni and then they head to Alto Mare. Ooh, Team Rocket’s actually doing stuff for a change? I’m surprised 4Kids even believes viewers will remember Giovanni’s name at this point. He’s such a non-existent character. When he is brought up he’s usually just called ‘the boss’.

We get our title screen with the Pokemon logo over water, and they go to the trouble of putting the logo’s reflection in the water. Fancy~

Then we get the word ‘Heroes’ in 2 ½D. It looks like it’s unfinished. It’s flat, obviously, but it’s designed in such a way that makes it seem like it was meant to be entirely in 3D CGI.

That being said, the animation and colors for the title are pretty good, so I can’t fault them too much.

In Alto Mare, Ash and Misty are partaking in a water race where trainers stand on small boat things while their Water Pokemon pull them. Ash is using Totodile while Misty is usin – Corsola? Really? Out of all of her Water Pokemon, she chose the one based on an organism that is basically immobile and the Pokemon itself is known for being so sedentary that people build houses on them? Politoed, Staryu, hell this would’ve been great for Goldeen, but no – she chose Corsola. Okaaaay.

The race starts and we get our theme song, Master Quest. Unlike the other movie songs, this is just the TV version only extended with more instrumental parts and repeating the chorus a couple times. Booooooooo! You guys have been doing so well with the movie themes, yet you don’t even try on this one? Shame!

Pikachu ends up getting knocked off the bridge he’s on and lands conveniently on Ash’s shoulder. Oh yeah, sorry Pikachu. We didn’t realize you weren’t getting attention for more than five seconds.

The race is neck and neck….and neck with Ash, Misty and some dude named Ross with a Wailmer. Nothing much else is going on for a good chunk of this segment. Brock chats up a girl, there’s a joke about Team Rocket getting splashed by water from the racers and we see translucent Latias and Latios flying around. Several of them, it seems.

Ash ends up wiping out on a corner but is saved by one of the translucent Latias or Latios. If the rest of the movie is any indication, it’s probably the Latias we see later. He gets back on his float thing, gets back into the race and is propelled by Latias who suddenly grabs the rope and drags him.

Surprisingly, the race doesn’t end when the song does, and it’s a race to the finish with Misty and Ross.

Latias is allowing Ash to catch up to Misty and Ross, making me worry that he’s going to end up unwittingly cheating to get the win, but Latios grabs the tether as well and sends Ash down the wrong path, eventually throwing them back onto land and then they fall into the water.

Back with Misty and Ross, they’re still neck and neck and they cross the finish line at the same time. However, video evidence shows that Misty won by the horns on Corsola. Wow, Misty actually won? Holy crap. I would say this is a nice movie sendoff for her, but she is basically non-existent for the rest of the movie.

Ross congratulates her on her win and offers to show her around Alto Mare. Damn, you’re a really good sport…..or he’s hitting on her and didn’t expect that she’d take her guy friends with her. Either way.

And that medallion looks freakin’ awesome.

If there was ever one piece of Pokemon merchandise that I needed in my life, it’s this. Someone make my dreams come true and tell me this is a thing.

Ross explains that the symbols on the medallion tell the story of Alto Mare. Misty points out the that symbols look like Pokemon, but he doesn’t bother actually telling the story yet. They see statues of Latias and Latios, and Ross explains that they’re Pokemon that protect the town. No one sees them, but most people believe they’re real.

Cut to a flock of Pidgey followed by a little flying gadget that flies by a drill on its head recording everything on the island, including the painfully CGI people down below.

When we get a closer shot, it’s even more obvious how ech it is. It’s that weird cel-shaded CGI we’ve seen before. These same people were traditionally animated and drawn a minute ago, so I dunno what they’re doing.

We cut to Annie and Oakley watching the video feed with a thermal imager. Annie asks why they haven’t seen either Latias or Latios yet if they’re the guardians of the town. Oakley claims it’s difficult because they can take on different shapes, even disguising themselves as humans. The reason they’re using the thermal imaging software is because either Pokemon in general or Latias and Latios specifically have lower body temperatures than humans. They find one of them and leave on their boat.

Team Rocket are about to eat ice cream by the waterway. You’d think they’d eat indoors or further away from the water after last time, but then we wouldn’t have this running gag.

After Annie and Oakley splash them with water as they drive by in their boat, Jessie points out that it was Team Rocket. James worries that they saw them and Meowth states that they’re spies for Giovanni. They decide to follow them to somehow make a big break for themselves.

Back with Ash and friends, they bid farewell to Ross and he tells them where to get great food and ice cream. They head off for the ice cream place first, but despite the fact that they’re going to get cold desserts and drinks, Pikachu decides to make a pit stop at a rusty fountain to get a drink instead. Pikachu can’t turn the tap on, but a mysterious silent girl turns it on for him.

Ash arrives to come get Pikachu for ice cream, and the girl gets all up in his grill and stares at him while circling him. He just stares in response before she walks away.

She wanders by the river and Annie and Oakley catch up. They confirm that she’s Latias and attack her with their Espeon and Ariados. They have custom designed Pokeballs, black with a red lipstick mark for Annie and blue lips for Oakley. Fun how custom Pokeballs mostly just pop up in movies.

Latias runs, and Pikachu, still bathing in the fountain, hears the commotion and runs off. Ash follows after him, and I love how he takes the time out to turn off the tap before running after Pikachu. Ash is such an advocate for water conservation.

Latias is cornered and captured in String Shot before Ash catches up and saves her, but Annie and Oakley aren’t going to stand for that.

Oakley: “Whatever would we do if he attacked us, Annie?”

Annie: “Espeon, show Oakley what we’d do.”

Ash: “That was a dirty trick!” What trick? That was the most obvious sarcastic set up to an attack I’ve ever seen. Even if there was no sarcasm, she clearly pointed out that Espeon was going to do something bad. You’re just dumb.

Ash decides to fight back and has Pikachu Thunderbolt them. I’m now realizing that Espeon has an awful English voice. Ick.

Ash and Latias run away, and Espeon and Ariados chase after them. During the chase we cut to their view, I suppose, but the shot is too smooth so it’s like they’re flying through the CGI town. This is made even worse by the fact that, though you can hear Ash panting as he’s running, you can’t hear his footsteps.

Latias takes the lead when Ash realizes he’s lost and she leads him right back to his friends before vanishing.

As Ash reunites with his friends, Annie and Oakley watch over them with their little drill camera gadget thing from earlier. They note that Latias isn’t with Ash anymore and will be ensuring that it stays that way……Really? You’re that intimidated by a ten year old boy with a yellow rat? You really are from Team Rocket.

The gang heads to a museum and Ash gives us this line:

Ash: “Is this a fossil of a Pokemon?”

Ash, sweetie, remember that thing you were captured by a long time ago? That thing that spurred your old Charmeleon’s evolution? Looked like a pterodactyl? Similar to that fossil? Come on. You can do it. I believe in younotreally.

Some old guy named Lorenzo who I think is a curator explains that the fossils are more than just fossils – they’re the remnants of Pokemon who used to terrorize Alto Mare.

Lorenzo: “One was an Aerodactyl, the other was…”

Misty: “Kabutops?”

Lorenzo: “That’s right!”

Wait, Misty remembers Kabutops, but Ash doesn’t remember Aerodactyl?

Lorenzo introduces the kids to the DMA, the Defense Mechanism of Alto….Mare….It’s two words, so doesn’t that mean it should be DMAM?—oh whatever.

Brock sees light coming through the stained glass windows and proclaims it’s a sign that he’ll meet a girl in Alto Mare…….kinda random there.

Lorenzo tells a story about how the people of Alto Mare were terrorized by an Aerodactyl and a Kabutops and their evil master. When this happened, Latios arrived and flooded the town, drowning the evil Pokemon and turning the streets into canals…..

That’s real neat and all….but…uh, if Latios flooded the town….wouldn’t that kill all the innocent people and Pokemon there too? And how did flooding a town kill an Aerodactyl? They can fly….For that matter, how’d it kill a Kabutops? They’re part Water type. They just chose two Pokemon who have no real reason to ever drown to be the victims of a drowning. I’m surprised 4Kids even opted to say that they drowned. That’s a bit dark.

I thought there was some preachiness at some point in time that said no Pokemon is evil, they just have evil trainers. I didn’t hear him say the evil trainer was killed by Latios.

He explains that the story and the canals are the reason the town’s called Alto Mare as it means ‘high seas’. It’s also how the DMA(M) got built.

As he’s telling us more about the weapon, Ash notices a girl who looks suspiciously like the girl he met earlier, only with a hat, drawing up in the balcony.

Ash pursues the girl all over town, but when he finally catches up with her and asks why she disappeared, she says she doesn’t know him. Also her voice sounds way too old for her body. She’s ten like Ash, right? She sounds like she’s 30.

The girl leaves, but Ash still decides to follow her through town. We see some Murkrow, who also have have awful voices, and Ash gives up on his chase right as he sees her again. It’s clear this time that it’s Latias since she’s now sans hat and art supplies and isn’t speaking. She runs off prompting Ash to follow her. We get more ‘flying’ through the CGI town some more and it’s even more distracting because now because I can’t hear Ash panting to imply that he’s running.

He’s brought to a cool little part of town with a garden lattice and a fountain for the bird Pokemon. Latias suddenly disappears through a portal in a wall, so Ash and Pikachu follow.

They’re lead into a beautiful park and continue to follow Latias. When they catch up, Latios springs from a nearby pool and starts attacking Ash while invisible, but Latias steps in to protect him.

The girl from before who looks just like Latias walks up and starts bitching out Ash for attacking Latios. They try to explain, but the girl, Bianca, will have none of it and orders Latios to attack. They’re stopped, however, by Lorenzo. He explains that the other girl is Latias and she just wants to play with her new friends. As we learned earlier, they have the power to change their form, but the reason she chooses to look like Bianca much of the time is because they’re best friends.

Ash starts swinging on the swing with Latias who spooks him by turning into her actual form. Latios also apologizes to Pikachu for attacking it by licking its cheek. Pikachu plays with Latias and Latios while they fly around.

Latias plays around with Ash by stealing his hat and playing keepaway. After he retrieves it, Latios uses the ability of Sight Sharing while he dives underwater. It allows Latias to not only see what Latios sees but also allows her to project the images to other people. We get a neat rail-shooter-esque ride through Latios’ sight. Even though it’d be more effective for the audience if they kept Ash and the others out of the shot, it’s still neat either way.

After that, we hear the story of how Lorenzo and Bianca came to know and care for Latias and Latios. Lorenzo has not only known them since they were babies, but also knew their father, Latios, who was the one from the legend who brought water to the town, stopped the ancient Pokemon and created Alto Mare.

Wait, wait, wait, back up the truck. He was there when Alto Mare was formed? The whole event with the….evil….ancient Pokemon? I guess it’s not impossible for ancient Pokemon to live back then because, well, Ash and the others have awakened ancient Pokemon before, but that theory gets squashed when you remember that the Aerodactyl and Kabutops fossils they saw at the museum earlier were the actual fossils. There’s no way in hell those Pokemon fossilized in 50 or so years. Maybe if they were killed by lava, but they were drowned.

All of this, the museum, the ancient machine, the legend book, all of it points to stuff that happened an incredibly long time ago. This is made even more apparent by the fact that the story is laid out for us in what seem like ancient tomes carved into stone. Unless Lorenzo is immortal, I think this whole story is complete BS.

Their father died back then (and despite the fact that they say it ‘vanished’ Ash does actually say ‘die’. Guess the movies have different rules now or something) because he expended all of his power to bring the water to Alto Mare……Really? It’s a legendary Pokemon and it didn’t have the strength to take out two Pokemon without making a martyr of itself? Just because they’re ancient Pokemon doesn’t mean they’re anymore powerful.

In Latios’ place, a gem was left behind said to contain its spirit and was named the soul dew. The gem was then used to power the DMA(M). While the soul dew contains the soul of Alto Mare’s guardian, it also contains the power to destroy their town if it gets into the wrong hands, thus its location must be kept secret.

Ash agrees to keep the secret when Latias comes up from behind him and tries to give him a ride, but he’s too heavy for Latias and she drops him. However, he’s saved by Latios. Bianca points out that Latias is trying to play with him some more, but he says he can’t because he needs to find his friends.

He bids them farewell and Bianca decides to take him back. As we cut out of the park, we see Annie and Oakley’s drill camera thinger. Dun Dun Dunnnn.

Later that night, in front of a glowing sapphire moon (this movie is so friggin’ blue) Annie and Oakley head off over the rooftops to Latias and Latios’ location while Team Rocket tries to follow. We see Lorenzo working in his workshop making a gondola when Espeon enters and knocks him out with its psychic powers.

They enter the park through the secret entrance in Lorenzo’s workshop. As Latios and Latias sleep, Latios senses them and goes in to attack. Annie and Oakley start a counteroffensive, but Latios and Latias choose to go invisible. That won’t work, however, as ♫ they wear their sunglasses at night, so they can, so they can, see Latios and Latiiiiiaaaaaassssss .

They attack Latios and Latias, and in an effort to save Latias, Latios takes the hit and they capture him in some sort of awful CGI electro-slime net.

Despite Latios’ efforts, Latias is shot down soon after. As they’re about to capture her, Latios steps in to save her and tells her to run. She manages to get away, but now Annie and Oakley have Latios as well as the soul dew.

So wait, the soul dew and the DMA(M) are the two things needed to easily destroy the town? Yet, one’s in an easily accessible museum and the other’s in a park with the access to this place being either an unguarded portal in an easily accessible wall or a door in an old man’s workshop. And the tablet which explains, step by freakin’ step, how to use the soul dew with the machine is embedded in the floor mere feet away from the dew. You guys suck at security. It’s almost like you want your town to be destroyed.

The tablet not only explains how to use the soul dew and the machine but also explains that operating the machine must be kept as merely a last resort as using it will destroy the soul dew and cause the waters in the city to recede. Annie doesn’t want to sacrifice her gem, but Oakley says it’s probably a bunch of bull.

Annie and Oakley head to the museum and follow the instructions from the tablet. They lay Latios on a platform—wait, I thought all you needed to make the machine work was a soul dew and the machine. Now you need a live Latios too?

Lorenzo and Bianca, having discovered that the soul dew was missing, arrive at the museum to stop Annie and Oakley but get knocked out by Espeon again. You guys could’ve called the cops ya know…..oh right….cops…in Pokemon. Yeah, you’re better off on your own.

Oakley uses the soul dew and they marvel in the machine powering up.

Back with Latias, she finds Ash and the others sleeping at the local Pokemon Center. She transforms to her Bianca form, wakes Ash and hugs him in fright.

Ash explains the situation to Misty and Brock and says that the girl before them is actually Latias. They strangely believe him without question, but get instant proof when Latias returns to her Pokemon form. You could’ve saved several precious minutes by just doing that in the first place…or never transforming to the begin with.

Latios awakens and uses sight sharing with Latias to show Ash and the others what’s going on. Oakley enters the machine, and I’m just now realizing that they never say exactly what the machine is supposed to do. It’s a weapon of course, but what powers does it have?

Power 1 – The power to bring fossils back to life as pseudo-zombie Pokemon.

I don’t see how that helps defend the town….

Oakley uses the machine to bring Aerodactyl and Kabutops back to life through their fossils to make them fight on their side. It still bothers me that we never learn who this evil trainer was that owned these two. You’d think the legend of the evil person who trained these Pokemon to attack the town would be more prominent than the Pokemon themselves.

Oakley commands the two to capture Latias, and Latios ends the sight sharing.

Power 2 – Close off all of the streets, pathways and all exits in town with giant grates.

Uh….Okay, I guess that’s a defensive power. But if the danger is in the town, it’s just locking the enemy in with the townspeople and making it impossible for them to escape from the threat.

Oakley causes a city-wide lockdown, performing the same function I just mentioned, to trap the citizens within the city as she takes it over.

Ash manages to escape and heads to the museum while Misty and Brock are trapped in the Pokemon Center for the time being.

Ash rides in a gondola to the museum, but Aerodactyl attacks Latias. He manages to save Latias for a moment, but she flies off and turns invisible. Aerodactyl comes back with a Hyper Beam to destroy Ash’s gondola and nearly drowns him, but Latias saves him.

Latias pulls him through the water slowly since she’s shown not to have the strength to let him ride on her back, and Ash stops her as they pass some of those little boat things from the race so he can use that instead. Yay reincorporation!

Misty and Brock somehow managed to find a way out of the Pokemon center, but are still trapped by the grates all over town. They’re trying to deliver Ash’s other Pokemon to him in case he gets into trouble. Since they can’t pass the gate, they open their Pokeballs outside of the gate to let Crobat, Politoed and Corsola deliver them instead.

Oh wait, scratch that, that would’ve been intelligent. Instead they keep Ash’s Pokeballs and just let their Pokemon go off as support for Ash while they try to find a way out. Brock starts climbing the grate which really does highlight a big problem with that power.

Some of the grates are inescapable because of what they’re covering such as doors and windows, but the ones blocking the streets and alleyways have no tops and are designed in such a way that is easily climbable. So…this power’s a little dumb. Don’t even get me started on the fact that in this town where most people travel by the city’s waterways the power doesn’t block off the waterways at all….

Back with Ash and Latias, they’re still being pursued by Aerodactyl but now are also being attacked by Kabutops. They crash the little boat thing and nearly get attacked by Kabutops, but Brock and Misty’s Pokemon save them. Behold, the only thing Misty and Brock do all movie! No, I’m not kidding. Also, the only thing they do all movie is something they’re not even present for. Hooray!

By the way, Latios the legendary Pokemon, had to flood the city and sacrifice its life to beat these Pokemon before. Three fairly unimpressive (power-wise) Pokemon from trainers who hardly ever get chances to battle beat them easily. Yay for making sense!

Power 3 – Can see all over town like it’s covered in hidden cameras.

That’s a better defensive power. Leaves few places for the enemy to hide.

Oakley sees Latias coming towards the museum as well as Ash. Bianca and Lorenzo try to change her mind about using the machine, but Oakley’s gone a little mad with power.

She uses the machine’s next power–

Power 4 – ….Basically Water Bending.

I’m becoming increasingly baffled by this machine. Latios can’t do any of these things, yet the machine uses its power and the power of the soul dew, which is just a Latios as well, to achieve these things. What magic is going into this thing? Who actually built it? Just the citizens of Alto Mare? Are they graduates from Hogwarts? Every other weird machine or monster that has appeared in these movies has had a reason behind their powers yet this is completely unexplained.

Oakley attacks Ash and Latias with a bunch of tidal waves and traps them in a floating whirlpool in an effort to actually kill them. Holy crap, someone actually tried to murder another person on this show. Though I have noticed that whenever that happens, it’s usually through drowning. Actually….it’s that way in several other shows too, like Avatar the Last Airbender…..Drowning gets a murder pass in kids shows? Weird.

Latias saves the day by blasting the water away with its psychic powers. Because of the broken attack, the DMA(M) starts going haywire.

Ash arrives and saves Bianca and Lorenzo while Latias tries to free Latios from its prison that looks oddly like the prisons from movie 02. Also, this machine was supposedly made with the intentions of trapping a Latios in it and torturing it to uses its powers. Nice, citizens of Alto Mare. Real nice.

Pikachu Thunderbolts the cage, but the lightning gets redirected back at them. Strangely, this does cause the cage to be lowered to ground level though….Wait….it’s in Ash’s range now…..Could it be?!

YAY! THE EXTREMELY WEIRD MOVIE TROPE OF ASH RAMMING HEADFIRST INTO SOMETHING THAT OBVIOUSLY WON’T BE AFFECTED BY HIS PUNY HUMAN BODY AND THEN BEING THROWN FROM IT AND HURT IS BACK! Whoopee!

I think I’m actually enjoying this trope since I am increasingly amused by Ash getting hurt when he’s being dumb. It’s even better because he does it twice in this scene.

Latias manages to break the barrier with its own psychic powers and Ash and the others pull Latios out of the cage, which causes the machine to breakdown. Misty and Brock arrive just in time to be useless and Annie reunites with Oakley. They’re about to leave, and Annie tries to recover the soul dew, but she finds that it’s black. As she touches the soul dew, she is thrown back by an expulsion of energy from the jewel.

The machine starts back up again and traps Annie and Oakley within it. Lorenzo explains that the soul dew’s been out of the pool of water for too long and now all the water in the town will dry up. Well, thanks for telling us that could happen. The only thing I heard of like that was the machine using too much of the soul dew’s power, which is what I thought was going on.

The water in the town does indeed start receding, but we learn that the real issue isn’t the water going away – it’s the fact that, once it does, the water returns in a giant city-destroying tidal wave—okay, now you’re just making shit up! This is truly the dumbest defense machine and mystical gem I’ve ever seen. Protect the town by using a machine that is powered by a gem that can’t be out of water for more than ten minutes and its use results in the city being destroyed.

The tidal wave comes, does some awful CGI damage to the ruins and Latias and Latios go to combat it. They combine their psychic powers to split the wave and allow the water to gently return to the city.

Because he expelled so much power while being so weak, Latios dies. Wow….he does….he dies! And he doesn’t get brought back to life…..Hm, I think that’s the first ever legit death Pokemon has ever had on screen.

The water returns to the city, Aerodactyl and Kabutops return to their fossils, the citizens are none the wiser, and Annie and Oakley remain trapped in the machine until cops one day decide to get off their asses and find them.

Back with Ash and the gang, they grab a boat and start looking for Latias and Latios. They manage to find Latias who is saved by some passing Water Pokemon. They mourn when she tells them that Latios died to protect the city. Latias’ sight sharing activates and they see what Latios is seeing, which is a view of the clouds and the earth from space. It’s actually a very sad and well-handled scene.

Latios turns into a new soul dew and lands in Bianca’s hands. They bring the new soul dew to the pool in the park and welcome a new guardian to Alto Mare.

Ash and the others bid goodbye to Lorenzo. He tries to call Bianca down to say goodbye as well, but state that she must’ve left for the market. In her room, we see her hat on the easel and someone grabbing a drawing she had made.

As Ash and the others drive away on a boat, they see ‘Bianca’ waving them down. They stop at a dock, and Ash gets out to see what’s up. She hands the picture to Ash and we get the big to-do about this movie, Ash’s kiss.

The big mystery is if the girl was Latias or Bianca. Given that Bianca left her hat at home, it’s completely possible that it’s Bianca and most fans would probably want it that way, because ew. But Bianca’s a big mouth. She’s always talking when she’s on screen. Yet she’s not making a peep here and suddenly runs off like Latias would do, so I’m inclined to believe it’s Latias.

I’m not even sure why this was thrown in there anyway. If it was Latias, then, well, it’s kinda cute but definitely weird. If it’s Bianca, then why should we care?

She was bitchy for half of her scenes, and it’s not like we ever saw any sort of connection, romantic or otherwise, between her and Ash. The picture is of Ash and Pikachu so I suppose Bianca could’ve had a thing for Ash, but we don’t see any chemistry or decent scenes with them on screen. She wasn’t memorable in the least, so this just seems forced. If you want to go the extra mile, the argument can be made that her character was entirely pointless besides to purposely make this confusion.

Ash has had two kisses in the course of the show to this point, both of which he got in movies and both of which were on the cheek, which is why I didn’t say this was Ash’s first kiss like a lot of people seem to call it.

She clearly kissed him on the cheek. With the bright background and closeup on the kiss, they’re making off like this is his legit first kiss, in spite of the fact that he got a kiss on the cheek by Melody in movie 02. The only reason I can think of for this seeming like his first kiss is that it kinda looks like Ash is kissing her on the cheek a little, but he’s really just surprised at the kiss.

As of now, Ash has actually gotten his first legit kiss, even if it was off-screen, by Serena in Pokemon XY.

In summary, ooOOOoooohhhh kissy! Mwah mwa mwah!

They drive away from Alto Mare and we start getting our ending songs, which are just two snippets of songs found on Totally Pokemon, a CD I actually have. Yay me! And two from 2BA Master, a CD I don’t have and never will own on principle because of that insanely stupid title. Just write it out, guys. Stop trying to be ‘hip’.

The first is a slower remake of the song ‘You and Me and Pokemon’, which I enjoy better than the original. Next is ‘Pikachu (I Choose You!)’ which is more catchy than anything. It’s also not remixed for the movie. Next, we get ‘The Time Has Come (Pikachu’s Goodbye)’ a song they’re going to keep milking apparently. Finally, we get ‘My Best Friends’ even though it would’ve been better to end on ‘The Time Has Come (Pikachu’s Goodbye)’ considering the death and all, but ending on a lighter note’s fine.

In terms of the scenes behind the credits, we have Ash and the others leaving on the boat (They never mention why they were even there, It looks really far out of their way to be a stop on his Johto journey) and seeing a few Latias and Latios flying through the air, confirming what I thought earlier in seeing numerous Latias and Latios flying around during the race instead of just two, which just begs the question of where the hell were you lazy sumbitches when Latios was dying and the town was nearly destroyed? Some guardians you are.

Annie and Oakley get captured by the cops in a picture that looks like brown comic book inking and then we see Annie and Oakley in prison reading a book about ancient treasures. However, on the right page we see Lawrence the Third and his ship thing. What a weird cameo. A villain who was only there to get a plot going and was ignored most of the time gets a random spot in a book they’re reading. What’s he even in there for? Why isn’t IMM in there? He was a better criminal.

Other than that, we see the usual shots of Ash and the others camping and traveling, Team Rocket following them, Bianca drawing and that’s pretty much it. The End.

——————————————-

How did this movie fare for me?….It was a lot worse than I remember it being. Annie and Oakley aren’t as good villains as I remember them being. Annie’s a non-villain as she more preoccupied with pretty stuff than power, and Oakley’s your average ‘gets drunk on power and nearly gets destroyed by it’ bad guy. While it was one of her more tolerable performances, Oakley being voiced by Lisa Ortiz didn’t help. And I find it a bit weird that they basically murdered a Pokemon and are treated like comic relief villains.

The story is stupid and makes no sense most of the time. The big machine is given no adequate explanation beyond it’s a big mysterious machine with magic powers that regular people made. Don’t even get me started on the tidal wave thing.

I really like Latias and Latios. They’re pretty weak for legendaries, especially if they couldn’t beat two measly Pokemon without self-sacrifice, but I always liked their designs and their personalities were likable.

One of my biggest disappointments was the lack of Misty, Brock and even Team Rocket. The only thing Misty did the entire movie was win a race that didn’t even matter. I thought they’d do something with her awesome medallion, but nope. It was in one shot then forgotten. Brock did absolutely nothing during the whole movie except get a couple jokes. Sure, they let their Pokemon out to help Ash with Aerodactyl and Kabutops, but they do one attack and are gone from the rest of the movie.

Brock and Misty’s little mission to get Ash his Pokeballs wasn’t even needed. He never used any other Pokemon besides Pikachu and Totodile this entire movie, and I don’t even think they showed them returning the Pokeballs to Ash.

Team Rocket was even worse. They did 100% pure nothing. They didn’t even talk to Ash and co. or Annie and Oakley. They got splashed with water, failed at following Annie and Oakley on the rooftops and that was it. They basically vanished from the movie after that only appearing in reaction shots to what the machine was doing with little dialogue, and we don’t see them again until the end credits where we see them following Ash and the others like normal.

The visuals of Alto Mare were the best things to say about this movie because the city is incredibly designed and well-detailed. The whole city is a big rip off of Venice, and they even throw in some Italian words to push this further, but it’s still really amazing. The overall art and animation was back and forth. Some of the CGI was a huge step up from what they’ve been doing, especially in regards to the CGI shots of the city, but some shots almost seemed unfinished they were so bad.

Not to mention that the colors are just wrong during most of the movie. It feels way too dark a lot of the time, and like the comparison said, it’s almost like some scenes have a blue filter over them. It really tarnishes a good visual experience.

The animation and art of the characters is bumped up as it usually is, though.

Music-wise, they kept the original soundtrack besides the ending and beginning theme, and the original soundtrack is quite nice and builds a good atmosphere for the town. It was really disappointing that the beginning theme wasn’t remixed in any way since I’ve truly been enjoying most of the remixes. I find it especially weird that this wasn’t remixed when ‘You and Me and Pokemon’ was remixed for the ending.

Extending the TV version like they did just seems lazy. The ending songs, while I enjoy them, just seem like a big plug for their other CDs instead of trying to make legit ending songs for an actual movie soundtrack. Like why is ‘Pikachu (I Choose You)’ mixed in there? It’s a jarring contrast on ‘Polkamon’ levels. They were also a little bit too short for my taste. It’s like they wanted to compact as many songs as humanly possible in there, though admittedly the first movie had a fairly similar problem.

Bottomline: I really don’t understand how Dogasu can say this is their favorite movie of the five so far. Everyone has their own views, which I respect, and they may have been talking about the supposedly drastically different subbed version. It’s an okay movie at its core for me.

The stakes, like I mentioned, aren’t that high, even though a Poke-death does take place. I’m not denying that the death scene wasn’t sad or impacting. It was. However, it just didn’t hook me in very well.

There are too many characters doing nothing, side characters getting more impact than they deserve, story issues etc. This also works on that whole trope of repeating a legend over and over and then have the legend either come true or be repeated. Nothing’s that surprising or interesting when everything is laid out for you that much. I can’t even remember why I watched it so often when I was younger. Maybe I enjoyed Latias too much back then. My rating is mostly for Latios and Latias, the art of the town and the death scene.

Recommended Audience: Several mentions of death and one on-screen death, though not graphic. 5+

 

 

Pokemon Episode 45 Analysis: The Song of Jigglypuff

Pokemon Ep 45 title

CoTD(s): None

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————–

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

labeled_map_of_kanto_by_rythos-d3c4hsg

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– *Misty attacks Jigglypuff out of nowhere with Staryu*

*Jigglypuff starts crying*

Misty: “What’s wrong?”

Ash: “It looks like it’s crying.”

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

Ash: “I wonder what its problem is.”

What the hell is wrong with you people

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

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

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

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

ohsnap

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

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

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

– Awww, Pikachu trying to Sing.

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

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

Pokemon Ep 45 screen3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Psyduck falling over in a daze is hilarious.

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I caught this frame by accident. What the unholy hell?

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

– Why didn’t they get Jigglypuff’s song on tape? They used a boom mic and recorded right at the tail end of the song. Even if they did record a good deal of snoring, surely the very start of the tape has some of the song. Not sure if that’s enough, but still. This would be more understandable if they caught the snoring of Ash and co, considering the boom mic was very close to them. Maybe make them snore so loud it drowned out the song. However, Team Rocket’s snoring is all they recorded, despite the mic not being anywhere near them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– They really try to hammer Brock’s theory in by having Team Rocket ridiculously giddy as they leave the city, but 1) Nope, still bullshit. 2) If it really does make you nicer, and Ash and Co, have fallen asleep from it three times at this point, shouldn’t they be joining a convent by now? 3) Team Rocket was not any nicer after they fell victim to the song the first time. 4) If they’re nicer now, shouldn’t they stop being criminals, or is the nice thing just temporary? Because that makes this ending even more pointless. And 5) This little extra power stuff is never seen or mentioned after this episode, so bullshit.

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

————————————-

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

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

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

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

Previous Episode….

Pokemon Shorties! (5) Camp Pikachu

Rating: 3/10

Plot: It’s the return of the Pichu Bros, and they need help from Pikachu and the gang. They got knocked off of a train that was supposed to be taking them back to their home town, and they have to find their way back.

Breakdown: Well, now we’re treading into completely unfamiliar territory. Despite the fact that I’ve seen Pokemon Heroes a few times, I’ve never seen the accompanying short, Camp Pikachu.

I’ve only ever seen Pokemon Heroes On Demand, and for some reason the short that went with the movie was never included or offered separately. I never bought the movie on DVD, so Camp Pikachu became an unknown feature to me.

Should be interesting to tackle something I have no knowledge about thusfar so let’s dive right in!

We start off with the Pichu Bros., apparently they’re becoming a recurring thing in the shorts now, riding on top of a train. The narrator tells us that they’re taking the train back to their hometown, but they hit some…hanging bag or something and end up flying back into the forest. This is why you should’ve purchased a ticket. Damn rail-riding hobos.

They fly into a tree branch that has a Wynaut on it and they all get flung into another direction—again with the flinging Pokemon. Why is this a weird running gag in Pokemon shorts?

We cut to Pikachu, Togepi, Psyduck, Corsola, Cyndaquil, Totodile and Phanpy playing by themselves in the forest. No idea where Ash, Misty and Brock are. Again. I also have no clue where all of the other Pokemon are, nor why none of Brock’s Pokemon are present here. Again. They just seem to pick and choose who gets to be in the shorts sometimes.

The Pichu Bros and Wynaut land on Psyduck’s head, have a quick reunion with their old pal Pikachu and explain what happened. They need to get to the train station to find another train back to their hometown and we get our disgusting CGI wood title screen.

Be glad you didn’t get an animated gif version.

The gang starts their journey and if you ever wanted Pokemon to have a hoedown song, your dream’s about to come true!

I seriously can’t make heads to tails of this choice….Why a hoedown song? Did they immediately think ‘redneck’ when they thought of camping? I haven’t even seen any camping so far – they’re just walking through the woods. I would almost say this song sequence is trippy. It’s just…it doesn’t seem like something Pokemon would have….ever…The singer saying the word ‘Pikachu’ in itself is so odd to me. Plus the banjo….I just…I feel weird.

Cut to Meowth and Wobbuffet who seem to be legit camping and are currently on a nature walk. I find it funny that the times when Team Rocket chooses to go on vacation or just not be around are during times when it would be insanely easy to catch Pikachu. They roll down a steep hill together, end scene.

Back with the Pokemon, they play around in a river for a bit with Totodile’s Water Gun, we cut to sunset when the Pokemon play with their shadows and then we cut to night time when they have a nice campfire courtesy of Cyndaquil.

One of the Pichu Bros. spots something behind them and goes to investigate with Wynaut to find that it’s a Duskull. It scares Pichu for a minute until Wynaut reveals that it’s friends with Duskull.

Back at camp, a stick pokes the scruffy-haired Pichu Bro and he goes off to investigate only to be spooked and chased by Duskull. He chases Pichu into the camp and the other Pichu and Wynaut pop up laughing to reveal it was all a joke. Those silly little rapscallions. Everyone else laughs along with them and we cut to later that night.

It starts downpouring and they’re soon approached by a Volbeat who tells them how to stay out of the rain – by using big leaves as umbrellas.

Volbeat leads them to a water mill for a dry place to spend the night.

Meowth and Wobbuffet are also stuck in the rain, and they’re soon spooked by Duskull as well, causing them to tumble down a hill and into the water wheel. They take shelter in the water mill, which they believe is empty, but the other Pokemon are sleeping upstairs.

Meowth and Wobbuffet accidentally activate the water mill causing all sorts of hijinks and slapstick. During the chaos, Meowth and Wobbuffet get flung out of the water mill, into the water and flung off into the woods.

After more hijinks, Pikachu and Volbeat find the lever and shut off the mill.

The next morning, everyone wakes up and bids farewell to Volbeat and heads off for the train station.

Back with Meowth and Wobbuffet, they take out one cookie as their final food for the trip (Team Rocket is just friggin’ awful at managing their damn food supply.) and a Skarmory that appeared earlier grabs the cookie from them. However, Wobbuffet and Meowth grab onto it to get the cookie back and end up flying away on it.

The group finds their way to the train station, but the train is already heading out. They toboggan down the hill on giant leaves and grab a handcar. Wynaut calls a bunch of its Wynaut friends out of nowhere to help them push the car.

Scruffy-haired Pichu makes it onto the train, but the handcar starts losing speed and the other Pichu can’t make it on. They try to go faster and Cyndaquil decides to use his Flamethrower off the back of the hand car to make them go faster. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t work that way. If it did, Cyndaquil would fly off whenever it would use that attack.

They start catching up but Psyduck gets flung off the car and into the track switcher, which causes the handcar to go up a mountainside that still seems to roughly follow the train’s original tracks. While they’re on a bridge overlooking the train, Phanpy throws Pichu off towards the train, but all of the Pokemon end up flying off it as well. Totodile realizes that Pichu won’t quite make it so he Water Guns him further towards the train.

Pichu reaches the train and reunites with his brother, the other Pokemon fall into a conveniently placed pile of hay, Meowth and Wobbuffet also land on the train, which I guess they needed to do and the Pichi Bros wave goodbye to the gang.

Bottomline: Well, that….certainly was….boring. It’s not awful or even particularly stupid….it’s just boring. I kinda regret writing out the whole synopsis because I barely had a note to say about it the entire time. The Pichu Bros need to get on a train, so they go to the train and get on….that’s about it. It seems like these shorts are just increasingly becoming more and more of ‘watch cute Pokemon be cute, but do nothing.’

Is anyone else a little pissed that this short is called ‘Camp Pikachu’ and yet all of a minute and a half involve anything camping related? They had a campfire that they didn’t even really do anything at because the Pichu Bros were too busy with Duskull. And….that’s it.

Even Pikachu didn’t do much in the short, which baffled me. He turned off the water mill with Volbeat, and that’s about it. Wynaut knew the way to the train station, Cyndaquil made them a fire, Volbeat gave them Leaf-brellas and shelter, Wynaut got its friends to help move the handcar, Cyndaquil made it go faster, Totodile launched Pichu at the end and Pikachu amounted to nothing for a change. Don’t get me wrong, that’s actually a breath of fresh air, but it’s weird. Camp Pikachu has a severe lack of CAMP and PIKACHU.

We still never found out where Ash and the others are. Pikachu and the others have to be fairly far away from where they were left at this point since it took them over a day to get to the station, and they stayed overnight during the journey. Ash and the others are probably basket cases by now.

There wasn’t even a big conflict in this one. The first one had Charizard stuck in a pipe, the second one had the storm, the third had the tire fort thing, the fourth had the psychopathic lawnmower from hell and this one has….nothing. There are mini-conflicts but ultimately nothing.

There wasn’t even any funny parts except maybe Wynaut and Wobbuffet going back and forth like Psyduck and Slowpoke did back in the day.

The art and animation, at least for the Pokemon, was a step up, as it usually is, but the backgrounds and CGI suffer for it. The backgrounds look scratchy as hell, like a kid made them most of the time, and the CGI is just ick. Either it looks fake as hell or it looks overly realistic.

The music was weird, too. The concept of a Pokemon Hoedown still baffles me and the execution is awkward. The BG music and end credit music are forgettable.

Overall, like other shorts, this is probably good for a little kid to watch just to enjoy the cute Pokemon flying everywhere and doing cute things, but everyone else can pass.

Recommended Audience: If you’re not conceived yet, you can probably still watch this.