Pokemon Episode 43 Analysis: The March of the Exeggutor Squad

Pokemon ep 43 title

CotD(s): Melvin – A creepy jackass who sucks at magic.

Reappear?: No, thank god.

Pokemon: He initially only has one Exeggcute, but he eventually gets many Exeggutor though less than legit means. His original Exeggcute also evolves into Exeggutor.

Evolutions: Ash’s Charmander -> Charmeleon

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock arrive at a town where there’s a carnival currently going on. They enjoy the festivities until Misty stumbles upon a down-on-his-luck magician named Melvin, who just had his assistant quit on him. He begs Misty to take her place and she reluctantly agrees.

At the magic show, Melvin is shown to be an incredibly inept magician and showman, and even gets himself fired when he goes overboard with his fire-shooting cane.

Ash, Misty and Brock won’t let him give up his dream, so they help him learn some new tricks to spice up his act. However, even that goes terribly.

Ash tries to show him what real magic is all about by putting on a magic show of his own. He presents Melvin, Misty and Brock with a box that has three holes in it and claims he can summon fire, water or whatever from it. He does as he promises, though it’s revealed that Ash’s Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander are really the ones making the water and fire. They fight inside the box and ruin the show.

They try a different approach by analyzing Melvin’s only Pokemon, Exeggcute. They use Hypnosis on Ash, which causes him to be open to suggestion. Melvin realizes this power and enslaves Ash to do his bidding.

He uses Ash to cart him through the forest and commands him to weaken the numerous Exeggutor in the area so he can capture them all. Melvin captures hundreds with the intention of hypnotizing everyone at the carnival into going to his show, which should quickly skyrocket him to Las Vegas. Team Rocket interrupts and tries to steal the Exeggutor, but are stopped by his Exeggcute, which evolves into Exeggutor. The newly evolved Pokemon tries to hypnotize Team Rocket, but the herd of Exeggutor hypnotize each other along with them and get confused, sending them on a rampage.

They destroy the carnival, and the owner decides to stop them all with a time bomb, evacuating everyone from the area before it goes off. Realizing the danger this poses to the Exeggutor, Ash tries to stop them with his Pokemon but realizes only Charmander’s fire is effective in stopping even a few of them at a time. Charmander quickly gets too exhausted, however, but Misty has a plan.

She tells Melvin to use his fire trick with Charmander to stop all of the Exeggutor at once. Melvin is very uncertain and initially refuses to do it since he believes he can’t do anything without messing up, but Ash and the others encourage him. He finally agrees when he sees how hard Charmander is trying to help, and together they send a fire wave strong enough to stop the Exeggutor.

Suddenly, Charmander evolves into Charmeleon and while Ash is ecstatic at his friend’s new evolution, Charmeleon sends him a quick Flamethrower near his face.

Ash, Misty and Brock depart from the area and bid Melvin goodbye.

———————–

– Ash: “Alright, let’s show these people how to really party!”

Brock: “Yeah!”

Pokemon ep 43 screen1

And then the episode was banned.

– I can kinda understand Brock partying in a weird pink samba outfit, but why does Ash instantly dress up in a weird orange suit with a ruffled undershirt and an orange bowler hat when he thinks ‘party’?

– Why did they have those outfits on hand? Actually, scratch that, the editing suggests they had those outfits on under the clothes they were wearing (unless they ran real quick to a changing room after getting naked in the street), so where’s the logic in that?

– Ash: “Let’s boogie!” Boogie? My God, Ash. Please at least try to act like you’re a ten year old in the late 90’s and not a 20 year old in the 60’s.

– Ash: “What’s the matter, Misty? Don’t you want to party with us?” I don’t have a clue why, but I am endlessly entertained by him saying those lines.

– Is there any particular reason the text on the title card this week got a boost in font size and bold face?

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I have never felt more yelled at by one of these titles.

– Cards on the table right now, this is the first episode of Pokemon that I remember actively disliking. As a kid, I loved all things Pokemon, even if they made no sense and even if they infuriated me. I usually had fun, even with the infuriating parts (just look at me now!) so it wasn’t hard to love even when we had stuff like The Kangaskhan Kid and even infuriating video game aspects like non-stop Zubat or Whitney and her friggin’ Rollouting cow and crying fit. Even if I now have differing views, past me was cool about most anything Pokemon. This, however, was the first episode I remember going….’Well….that was terrible. I didn’t like that….that was awful.’

It has nothing to do with Exeggcute or Exeggutor. It’s anything and everything involving Melvin. He is one of, if not the worst CotD I’ve seen in a while. Let me clarify, I mean this as a non-antagonist way, because he’s made off like a protagonist. He’s not worse than Damien or anything, but he’s still a terrible person. His face, his haircut, his voice, his possibly intentional egg-shaped head, his creepy eyes, his creepy laugh and just the fact that he’s not only terrible as a human being, but he also…just sucks. I don’t mean that to be a lazy descriptor – I mean that as in he sucks at everything.

But let’s get more into that as the episode goes on.

– I know it’s probably meant to be him nuzzling her thigh, but given the height, I’d say he’s nuzzling her….Nono zone…..actually, even if he was nuzzling her thigh, in that outfit no less, that’s damn near sexual assault.

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– Melvin: “You’re a kind person, aren’t you?”

Misty: “Well, no, not especially.” Misty has her dick-ish moments, but she is a nice person. The joke would work better if someone actually mean, like Jessie, said it. Also, considering her ego, why would she say she’s not kind?

Melvin: “Such a beautiful girl. You’d help me out, wouldn’t you? I need your help so badly, and you’d be so perfect!” Creepy man calling a 10 year old girl ‘beautiful’. This whole exchange is just wrong.

Melvin: “You’re the only one who can help me now.” Why? I saw the first scene of the episode – there were tons of scantily clad women you could ask to do this. Why, specifically, do you believe Misty is your only hope outside of you either don’t want to be arsed to find someone else, or you really want to see a ten year old girl in a skimpy outfit take orders from you?…..In which case, I’ll be dialing 911.

Melvin: *creepy music* “Just listen….”

Misty: “Uh huh…”

Melvin: “Keep an open mind….”

They are intentionally making this creepy. From the shadow on his face, to the creepy closeups to the ominous music to how clearly uncomfortable Misty is right now. How did this fly under 4Kids’ radar?

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– Kids, seriously, if you see a creepy guy in a backalley begging you to wear a skimpy outfit and do his bidding, even if he gives you a flower, don’t follow him. Especially not into a dark tent. There’s only one magic trick he’ll show you, and it results in him getting 25 years in prison.

– Pikachu in a tuxedo is adorable, though.

– Ash: “That’s a real cute outfit, Misty.” And thousands of AAML fans are mildly sated for another 20 episodes.

– They didn’t remove that guy’s cigarette?

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– As much as I hardly use Exeggcute, I will admit they’re adorable……what’s up with that one with the exposed brain matter, though? All I’ve found is Pokedex entries which state that finding cracks means they’re close to evolution, but that doesn’t answer my question nor does that make sense. They evolve from Leaf Stones – why does it matter if they have cracks or not?

– Melvin: *creepy shadowed closeup’d grinning face as he shoots fire randomly into the audience* “I can’t believe it! It never worked befo-hoho-re!” Creepy AND dangerous. Are we sure he’s not an antagonist?

– Melvin: “Wait! The best part’s coming up!” *gets hit in the head with a bottle* You’re right – that was the best part.

– Guys, seriously, I get the message is to not give up, but he’s dangerous and completely inept at his job. This is one of those times where you should maybe be helping him find something less…..fiery…something that involves fewer….sex offender registries.

– Who the hell would do anything, let alone sunbathe, on top of a hot air balloon? How is this even a thing that is happening? How are those chairs up there? How are they keeping balance? How did Jessie and James get on the chairs? How are they staying on the chairs? How is that ladder secured to the balloon? How did they get that ladder attached to the balloon?

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– The only reason I’d feel even a little bad for Melvin is because him being sad makes his Exeggcute sad.

– Melvin’s been working his whole life to be a magician and he still can’t pull off a simple cane to flowers trick without screwing it up. Either he hasn’t been working hard at all for, eh, 20+ years, which I’d believe in a heartbeat since Ash’s suggestion of learning new tricks seemed to be foreign to him, or he just sucks THAT bad at this.

– I do like Ash’s swami outfit. He looks kinda like Aladdin.

– Ash, who is doing magic for the first time in his life, is doing way better at it than Melvin, who has supposedly been doing it his whole life. Seriously, dude, go find a new career path. He doesn’t even explain why being a magician is his dream outside of him wanting tons of adoring fans at Las Vegas. He never says anything like it’s connected to some sweet story of his childhood or he’s always been amazed by prestidigitation – it’s all admiration and money. That’s it.

– Yay! Melvin was burned!

– Yay! Melvin might drown in a Water Gun because he’s too stupid to move out of the way!

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– Misty: *sarcastically* “How DOES he do it?…” I love that line delivery.

– I love the scene in the box with Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur. I just enjoy when Ash’s Pokemon have some time to interact with each other and show off their varying personalities.

Also, take note of Charmander’s very kind and apologetic attitude in the box. Enjoy it, because Charmander’s going away very soon.

– He’s only now just realizing that his Exeggcute knows Hypnosis? Jot down ‘sucks at Pokemon training’ on his resume too.

– Also, to point out the obvious, Hypnosis is not actual hypnotism. It just puts people and Pokemon to sleep. Hypno’s Naptime doesn’t count because that was…..*sigh* Pokemonitis.

– Just to recap what’s going on, Melvin has hypnotically enslaved Ash, kidnapped him, is making him cart him through the forest and is making him call him ‘Master’.

Bonus!: Melvin – “I hate doing this to you, but I hate exercise.” He says with a stupid grin.

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I hate his face more with each passing second.

– Brock: “Someone saw them head into the Leaf Forest”

Okay, let’s backup even more. Where the hell have you two been? How did you guys let Melvin enslave your friend and kidnap him? You were both there when he did it, yet now, over the span of a commercial break, you’ve lost him.

……What kind of name is ‘Leaf Forest’? You sure you didn’t see him near Water Lake? Ooh, maybe he’s heading to Rock Mountain!

– We now return to ‘Brock Says Stupid Shit’

Brock: “But why would Ash follow Melvin?” BECAUSE HE’S HYPNOTIZED, YOU GOOBER!

Did you not get a hint from him spinning in circles and acting like a Bulbasaur at Melvin’s suggestion?

– This creepy shit.

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– Even while hypnotized, Ash is biased towards his starters, sends them all out and completely forgets his Pidgeotto. Because why use a damn Flying Pokemon against these Grass Types when you can chuck out Squirtle?

– Melvin is catching the Pokemon Ash is weakening. In addition to this being another dick move, how exactly is this happening? Are you telling me there’s no way to stop someone from snaking a Pokemon you’re trying to capture? Imagine if you were playing the games and battling a legendary, doing your damnedest to get it to low HP without knocking it out. Then you get it to that sweet spot and you’re about to throw an Ultra Ball when a pop up comes up saying ‘SOME DOUCHE FROM THE BUSHES used ULTRA BALL!’ *wigglewigglewiggle* ‘SOME DOUCHE FROM THE BUSHES caught THAT LEGENDARY YOU WORKED YOUR ASS OFF TO WEAKEN’

– Not to mention, Melvin, in all his skeevy glory, looks and sounds so ridiculously content as he’s catching the Exeggutor.

– Squirtle is Water Gunning Exeggutor’s crotch.

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I didn’t meant to pause it right here, but appropriate expression is appropriate.

– How is he catching this many Pokemon without the excess Pokeballs being transported somewhere? If only people with Pokedexes have this ‘only six in a party’ rule, that seems really unfair.

While we’re on the subject, this should be called ‘Exeggutor Forest’ because, holy crap, that is a massive load of Exeggutor.

– Allow me to introduce our CotD who’s totally not an antagonist.

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– Melvin: “Look at all the Exeggutor I’ve caught.” Fuck you.

– I kinda have to wonder why Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander never thought that Ash was maybe acting weird or asking why they were assaulting a massive hoard of Exeggutor.

– Melvin: “Now that I’ve captured all of these Exeggutor, I can put everyone at the carnival under hypnosis and command all of them to come see my magic show.”

Oh boy, where do I begin? First of all, if he had no idea what an Exeggutor was, as shown by Melvin commanding Ash to use his Pokedex on them, why did he bring Ash out to that forest in the first place?

Second, is it really necessary to capture hundreds of Exeggutor for the sake of hypnotizing everyone at a carnival? Does he need one per person? Technically, he could’ve just used his Exeggcute. Would’ve taken a while, but who knows how many people Exeggcute can hypnotize at once.

Third, mass mind control! How is he not an antagonist?!

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I am getting mad while getting screencaps, I hate his face that much.

Fourth, let’s just get this mini-moral out of the way – Melvin, if you’re hypnotizing people into going to your shows, you’re not really getting any legitimate adoration. You might as well be putting a gun to people’s heads and yelling ‘BE AMAZED AT MY MAGIC!’

Fifth, he states that he’ll get to Las Vegas in no time with this plan, which must mean he intends on having all of these hypnotized people pay for his shows. Mind controlling people into giving you money = theft. How is he not an antagonist!?

Finally, does this plan have no non-hypnotizing end game? Because, even if he made it to Las Vegas on his hypnotic theft money, what then? He’s still a totally horrible magician. Is he going to hypnotize the showrunners into letting him have a spot in their lineup? Is he going to hypnotize the people of Las Vegas to go to his shows? Is he going to hypnotize people through the TV to get them to watch his specials? Holy hell, is he going to just hypnotize anyone he comes across to give him adoration and money? HOW IS HE NOT AN ANTAGONIST?

– Melvin: *in regards to Team Rocket* “They look more like magicians than I do.” They do. And they’re much better at showmanship and magic tricks than you are. Team Rocket, as pointless as it is, actually puts a lot of effort into all these theatrics. That’s why they’re so good. You’re just a creepy imbecile.

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Just a suggestion, but Jessie, sweetie, you might want to have your spine looked at.

– Bullshit on Exeggcute evolving right then. They need a Leaf Stone to evolve. I saw the warning sign, but I still find this ridiculous. Unless the ground is loaded with Leaf Stones and they somehow haven’t all been used up by the many Exeggcute that seem to live here, that’s bull. Even if there were Leaf Stones deep underground, Pokemon need direct contact with evolution items in order to evolve. Just a thin coating of dirt would be enough to protect them. And why was that sign only warning people of the possibility of their Exeggcute evolving? It’s only Gen I but you also have Gloom and Weepinbell.

– Does owning all of these Exeggutor make Melvin exempt from their hypnosis? Because he’s looking right at them.

– Hahaha, they ran over Melvin! Good job, Exeggutor!

– Also, if they hypnotized each other, they wouldn’t spontaneously rampage. They’d either all fall asleep or they’d be open to hypnotic suggestion from their owner.

– Melvin: “I don’t get the respect I think I deserve.” No, but you do get the respect you legitimately deserve……until the end anyway.

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– I thought Team Rocket fell asleep. Why are they rampaging with the Exeggutor? And why do they seem to be saying ‘Exeggutor’?

– Melvin: “Now they’re beyond my control.” You could use your Pokebal….Actually, you know what, I am really more annoyed at his voice right now. Does he ever even slightly emote? He sounds the same no matter if he’s happy, sad or concerned. His face almost mirrors this weird quirk. Is he a sociopath? What the hell is wrong with him? How can anyone even begin to connect or sympathize with this guy when his actions, mannerisms, expressions and voice all scream either ‘bad guy’ or ‘I couldn’t care less’?

– Carnival Runner: “I’ve planted a time bomb in this clearing. It’ll blow up right as they pass over this field.”…….Okay, fine. The Unabomber over here is making a play for true episode antagonist.

I get that the place was destroyed and all, but mass murdering a bunch of Pokemon with a BOMB is hardly the answer. Especially when you have the owner of said Pokemon right there. Also, you’d be arrested for illegally obtaining, using and planting a bomb, let alone using it to kill Pokemon, which would likely put you away for decades.

– Ash: “Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Charmander…” *breathes deeply through nose*…..AND?…….PIDGE–”Attack!”

go fuck yourself

– How is it these Exeggutor were all getting weakened enough by these three before to be captured instantly with one shot of Pokeball, but now they’re damn near unaffected?

– Of all three Pokemon he currently let into battle, he used Squirtle first, then Bulbasaur, THEN Charmander. It’s 43 episodes in, kid. You’re either going to have to learn how types work or join Melvin in the ‘doing things we shouldn’t because we suck at it’ camp.

– Recalls Squirtle and Bulbasaur. Does not take this opportunity to let Pidgeotto out. And don’t think I’ll let up on this. Sit back and relax, because I’m prepared to ream him on this until the episode where Pidgeotto leaves.

– Ash: “Stop, Exeggutor!” *the weakened one stops* Uh….that Exeggutor doesn’t belong to Ash. Why did it obey?

– Misty: “Exeggutor are weak against fire!”

genius

– Misty: “Melvin! You can wake up all of the Exeggutor at once with your fire magic trick!” Oh boy! I can make another list of complaints and reasons this makes no sense!

First, I let this slide during the magic show because the whole ‘going crazy with fire’ thing was just a testament to how crazy, psychotic and stupid Melvin was. In a ‘real’ setting, I wouldn’t believe that cane would be more powerful than a Bic lighter and a hair spray can, let alone matching Charmander in power and distance.

Second, there’s the issue of fuel. How much gasoline or kerosene or whatever could possibly be stored in that cane? About 32 ounces, if that? Is that really enough to do much of anything?

Third, I was saving this, but uh, Misty, Brock, you both have Pokemon. I know, I know, Misty’s Pokemon wouldn’t do much to the Exeggutor and most of Brock’s Pokemon are weak against Grass, BUT he does have Onix who might make a wall that could block the Exeggutor, a Zubat which might know Wing Attack and….wait, there was another…..Let me do some research.

researchresearch 3research 2research 4research 5

Eureka.gif

 

After much study and experimentation, I have come to the striking conclus—BROCK HAS A GODDAMN VULPIX YOU STUPID BRAINDEAD SONS OF BITCHES!

You’re telling me that a Pokemon with a Fire Spin so massive and powerful that it creates a fire tornado several stories high is something you overlook when thinking of sources of fire? The only reason I can think of for forgetting Vulpix besides being unreasonably stupid is purposely forgetting so they can boost Melvin’s ego. In which case, please go to hell. His self-esteem is not worth risking your lives and the lives of the Exeggutor.

– And now he’s clinging onto this young girl again.

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– Melvin: “I did it…I did it! I REALLY DID IT!” Your part in those heroics were about 10% if we’re realistic, and I’m being very generous…..Oh wait, this whole thing is your fault anyway, so gimme that 10% and deduct another 100%.

– Ash: “Great job, Melvin!” Yeah, great job! You properly operated a trick cane that probably only required the pressing of one or two buttons max. You’re so talented.

– As much as I’ll grow to rage about this whole situation, Charmander evolving was actually pretty satisfying…..Until it Flamethrowers in Ash’s ear, giving us a slight hint at Charmander’s new personality that raises a bunch of questions as to why this happened. One second he’s obeying Ash fine and being kind, apologetic and self-sacrificing, the next he’s got a bitchy little ‘tude and Flamethrowering people whenever he can. I get that the topic of Pokemon changing personalities has been brought up over the series, but what warrants it? Most Pokemon don’t change personalities in the slightest when they evolve, but Charmander/eleon/izard seems like a big exception for no reason.

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Smug little bastard. He was giving you a hug, for god’s sake!

Also, slight nitpick, but why do we never get any implications at Squirtle possibly evolving? Chamander did evolve and Bulbasaur nearly evolves soon, but Squirtle never has a moment where it’s about to evolve.

————————————

I hate this episode even more, somehow.

Melvin is such a shitty character who really just needed to be taken care of like any other antagonist. But no. He’s given his undeserved ‘redemption’, despite being the cause of all of the problems, causing thousands of dollars in property damage, hypnotically enslaving and kidnapping a young boy, unethically capturing hundreds of Exeggutor and nearly getting hundreds of Pokemon killed, gains an Exeggutor and is encouraged to never give up on his dreams.

What did this episode even accomplish for him besides giving this creepy bastard hypnotic powers? He still sucks at magic in the end, even if he works his little fire stick. How is that even an improvement? He used it just fine earlier. It’s just that he went overboard with it. And I really have to be Little Miss Cynic again, but if you’ve been doing something for 20+ years and still massively suck at it, no, practice does not make perfect, Ash. Maybe some dreams should be given up on, Misty. And no, you’ll never see him in Las Vegas, Brock. Unless you see him on the news after molesting some showgirl.

I can see what will happen in mere days. He’ll practice his other tricks, still suck, decide to use Exeggutor’s hypnosis and enslave tons of people to a life damned watching his awful magic show.

He’s still out of a job, too, so what else can he do?

Even if you take all of the crappy things he did and his creepy behaviors out of the equation, there’s still nothing to root for or sympathize with. Who cares if he never becomes a great magician? He only wants to do it for unwarranted and undeserved praise, adoration and money.

Ash, Misty and Brock mean well, and Melvin does get some comeuppance, but not nearly enough. He didn’t deserve a happy ending after all the stuff he pulled. He deserved to have reality bitch slap him in the face until it squeezed some emotion out of it.

Not to mention that Melvin is such a massive focal point of the episode that there’s barely any side moments to make up for it. Ash’s dance at the start and his magic show were entertaining and Misty’s day at the carnival with Pikachu was nice, but that’s about it.

Next episode, hey, let’s follow up the first episode I remember actively disliking with the SECOND episode I remember actively disliking. How convenient! The Problem with Paras is coming up….

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Pokemon Episode 42 Analysis: Showdown at Dark City

Pokemon ep 42 title

CotD(s): Yas – Leader of Dark City’s unofficial Yas gym, Yas is locked in a fierce battle with the Kaz gym for the right to shoot for official gym status from the Pokemon League. Like Kaz, he recruits passing trainers for his gang to help him beat the Kaz gym. His intentions for opening a gym are purely for the money.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Scyther.

Kaz – Leader of Dark City’s unofficial Kaz gym, Kaz is also locked in battle with the Yas gym’s gang. It’s unknown what his intentions are with the gym, but it can be assumed that he has the same motivation of money.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Electabuzz.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock arrive at Dark City – a dilapidated ghost town where people seem to be afraid of Pokemon trainers. Pikachu is suddenly pelted with rocks from a rooftop, and Ash commands him to stop the attackers with a Thundershock.

The three attackers fall from the roof, revealing themselves to be three children who are attacking them for being Pokemon trainers. They hit them with sticks and tell them to leave their town, but they’re suddenly stopped by a local business owner who invites them to his restaurant to make up for what the kids did and explain what’s going on.

He states that there are two unofficial gyms in Dark City – the Yas Gym and the Kaz gym. They’re basically a couple of gangs who have been destroying the city on a regular basis through street fights involving their Pokemon – a Scyther for the Yas and an Electabuzz for the Kaz. Both gyms recruit passing Pokemon trainers to be a part of their gangs to help them gain victory over the other and become an official Pokemon gym. The destruction and pain has been going on for so long, some of the townsfolk are scared of Pokemon trainers and others hate them – if they’re not destroying the town and risking the safety of the citizens, they’re being set up to be recruited for the gangs, only making the problem worse.

Just then, a fight breaks out in the streets between the Yas and Kaz gyms, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and causing a panic in the townsfolk.

Team Rocket, siding with the Kaz gym, shows up to the restaurant demanding food, but the restaurant owner denies them service since the Kaz gym hasn’t paid their tab in over two years. Angered, Team Rocket sets their Pokemon on the man, but Brock stops them with Vulpix and sends them packing.

A woman from the Yas gym shows up, very impressed with their training ability to send three of Kaz’s best bodyguards away and invites them to join Yas. Misty and Ash try to refuse, but Brock, unable to resist a pretty face, accepts.

The woman brings them to the Yas gym leader, Yas, and presents Ash as a great Pokemon trainer with Misty and Brock as his disciples. Yas suddenly attacks him with his Scyther as a test of his ability, but Scyther slashes a ketchup bottle Pikachu is holding and becomes furious when his vision turns red.

Scyther attacks Yas and Yas recalls him. He’s impressed enough by this ‘display’ to request that Ash and the others join the Yas gym and help him win his fight against Kaz. Ash asks why they want to be an official gym so badly, and Yas answers that it’s a quick way of getting money. Hearing this unethical and coldhearted reasoning, Ash refuses to join.

Yas doesn’t accept his refusal quietly and sics his followers’ Pokemon on him to ensure he doesn’t decide to join the opposition. He gets beat up fairly badly before being carried out by Misty and Brock, who regroup at the restaurant.

Ash uses his Pokedex to learn that both Electabuzz and Scyther are enraged by the color red, which was demonstrated back at the Yas gym when the ketchup got in Scyther’s eyes. They concoct a plan to use this weakness to their advantage and stop the fighting.

Later, Yas and Kaz’s gangs meet once again in the middle of town to finally have one big brawl before the Pokemon League inspector shows up. The brawl starts and Ash, Misty, Brock, the kids and the restaurant owner implement their plan, which involves pouring gallons of ketchup on Yas and Kaz.

Enraged by the color red, Scyther and Electabuzz both start attacking their trainers. When they believe they’ve had enough, Ash uses Bulbasaur to pour ketchup on Scyther and Electabuzz, which shifts their targets to each other. In a blind rage, the two slam into each other and knock each other out.

It seems Ash and the others have taught Yas and Kaz a lesson, but the tables are turned when they decide to join forces against Ash and co. Just as both gangs are about to attack the group, Ash sends Pikachu off to do a Thunder attack, which is sent through the lightning rods Ash and the others planted around town and into the ground where both gangs are standing, electrocuting them all.

Yas and Kaz still try to attack Ash and the others with sticks this time until they’re stopped by a mysterious woman in a trench coat, hat and mask. She reveals herself to be the Pokemon League inspector, Nurse Joy. She refuses to approve of any gym that uses Pokemon as tools for street fighting.

When Yas and Kaz beg for a second chance, she agrees to give it to them if they learn how to be true Pokemon trainers from Ash. He fumbles through his lessons, but demands that they repair all of the damage that they did to the town.

With that, the kids from before have gained a new appreciation for Pokemon and Pokemon Trainers. Ash and co. take their leave, knowing Dark City may not have gained a new Pokemon gym, but it’s certainly creating a more hopeful future.

———————-

– “Hey, guys, we did a good job getting Pikachu’s rep back up after the Pokemon Shock incident, so I want you all to clear Pikachu scenes with me for a while so we can maintain momentum with it.”

“Sure thing. Hey, there’s this scene we want to animate where Pikachu electrocutes a group of small children and makes them fall off a roof, is that cool?”

“For some reason, I see nothing wrong with that.”

“Cool!”

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– Guys, you can introduce yourselves without explaining your goals in life.

– Misty: “And I’m going to be the world’s best everything!” Well, you’re certainly giving Ash a run for his money for best narcissist.

– And thus we begin this one episode long affair Pikachu has with ketchup. Is it cute? Sure. But it comes out of nowhere, is never brought up again (Alright, it’s brought up one more time 234 episodes from now…) and is borderline creepy.

– I still don’t understand how becoming an official gym even works. If you’re only allowed one gym per city, why don’t these guys just move their gym to one of the many, many, many towns with no gym? Maybe a less….crappy looking city?

What is the officiating process for a Pokemon gym? What entails an inspection beyond ‘don’t be a skeevy jerk and/or a gang leader’? (Which just raises all sorts of questions on how Giovanni became a gym leader.)

Is there a limit to how many gyms can inhabit a region? Because we know from Gary that, canonically, there are at least ten gyms in Kanto that are official under the Pokemon League, meaning they must allow more than the standard minimum of eight per region. This makes sense because traveling all that way is a pain in the ass. You’d think there’d be tons of the gyms, in the anime anyway, since the Kanto region seems to be massive and covered in cities, towns and villages. Does it specifically have to be a city? Because so many areas where there are gyms seem far more suited to be towns than cities. Dark City is a perfect example. What part of this run down old west-styled ghost town screams ‘city’?

Gyms get money?….Actually, I guess that makes sense. They probably get grant money or something from the Pokemon League for maintenance and gym leader salary. That would explain how Brock was able to care for his family as an unemployed 15 year old. Also, if they do get paid, they’re totally obligated to accept all challenges. Screw you again, Erika. (And….well, more confusion when we get to Blaine)

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– I do find the concept of a gym v. gym gang war to be intriguing, but, I’m sorry, I cannot take these idiots seriously in those outfits – especially the Yas gym. I mean, at least the Kaz gym just looks like a bunch of Team Rocket ripoffs. The Yas gym looks like a weird combination of Luigi and Fred from Scooby Doo.

– Oh and, does Dark City have no…..oh what’s the word?….Uh….COPS! Right, them. Not that the Pokemon world cops are effective at their jobs, but they’re non-existent here.

– *Team Rocket shows up* Ash: “There’s something familiar about them.” Obvious aside for a second, they’re only covering their mouths with scarves. Obvious back, THERE’S A TALKING GODDAMN MEOWTH, YOU DINGUS.

– Wait, the Kaz gym, and supposedly this war, has been around for over two years? How long does it take to get a Pokemon League inspector out there?

– Why did Team Rocket hear the word ‘trouble’ several times before their ears finally perked up at the mention of it?

– Team Rocket’s gang affiliation at this point is a bit of a cluster. They were part of the bridge bike gang, and maybe still are, then they joined Team Rocket and now they’re part of the Kaz gym.

– Ash: “It’s Team Rocket. I knew it!” No you didn’t, you ninny.

– Why are Ash and Misty so surprised that Brock used Vulpix? It’s basically his signature Pokemon now. Are they just surprised he’d let his precious Vulpix out into battle?

– What the hell is up with this woman’s outfit?

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She looks like a reject extra from a Chattanooga Choo Choo music video.

– Woman: “Those were some of the strongest bodyguards from Kaz gym.” Then neither of you deserve to be gyms considering Team Rocket was seen as competent enough to be hired as bodyguards by the Kaz and the Yas considers them to be some of the strongest trainers on the Kaz side. Ten year olds beat them on a regular basis. In fact, they beat them and blasted them off with one Gust attack just the previous episode.

– I thought that the making up the names from foods thing was kinda cute as a kid, but now….seriously guys, you can’t just think of some BS names? You just jump to ‘Ketchup’ because it’s a thing in the room? Then you purposely theme the rest of your names on foods? That sounds more difficult than just making up a real name. Try it. Think of a fake first and last name then try to come up with another where both names translate to a food. It’s pretty hard.

– Just because Brock accepted the invite to Yas doesn’t mean Misty and Ash had to go. In fact, they didn’t even show their trainer prowess considering Brock did the work to send Team Rocket away. I guess their reputations as trainers are important enough to create false identities but not to avoid joining a gang.

– Hey look, a gym where people are actually working out. We didn’t even get that in the Fighting Spirit gym.

– Woman: “Yas leader, let me introduce to a great trainer. This is Pokemon trainer, Tom Ato. He’s brought his two disciples to help us.” I do not understand this at all.

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1) Like I said, Ash did nothing in the ‘demonstration’ against Team Rocket. He was going to, but Brock took the lead for some reason. 2) She was focusing on Brock before, why is she ignoring him now? 3) Why does she just assume Misty and Brock are Ash’s disciples? Why can they not be at least treated as equals, especially when, again, Ash did nothing to earn this praise?

At least Brock brings up how unfair this is, but it doesn’t make it any better. Can I just chalk it up to this woman being even stupider than they are?

– Even as a kid, this ketchup thing seemed like bunk to me. It’s ketchup, not red wine. It’s not even translucent. If you got a bunch of ketchup in your eyes, two things would happen 1) you’d probably see next to nothing since, again, you can’t see through ketchup and 2) you’d go OH GOD! THERE’S KETCHUP IN MY EYES! IT BURNS! THE ACIDITY! I AM WAY TOO FOCUSED ON THE PAIN RIGHT NOW TO BE ENRAGED BY ANYTHING! ARGH!

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One of the best Pikachu screencaps, though.

– Getting infuriated literally causes steam to appear on Scyther. I know it’s a cartoon, but it’s not steam out the ears or cartoonish – it’s like they want you to believe there’s really steam on him.

– Yas: “That’s the first time my Scyther has been frightened so badly. You are a powerful trainer.” Oh for the love of….where do I begin? First, was this guy even watching the ‘battle’? He attacked a ketchup bottle, got ketchup in his eyes and then went on a rampage. How does that, in any way, translate to an impressive Pokemon battle?

Second, Scyther was obviously enraged, not frightened.

Third, Ash didn’t command Pikachu to do a damn thing. How does his Pikachu shielding himself with a ketchup bottle make Ash a good trainer?

Fourth, that splash of ketchup to the eyes does not physically make sense. I imagine, if you sliced open a ketchup bottle, you’d only have the ketchup spilling downwards, not backwards towards the attacker. At most, it would follow the direction of the slice.

Fifth, if he was paying attention at all, he should’ve called BS on Pikachu’s use of a ketchup bottle in battle to possibly blind his opponent.

Why are so many people in this episode so insanely stupid just to move the plot forward?…..Oh I guess I answered my own question.

– Yas: “You must work for me. I need your power.” No, you need their ketchup…..I am actually not kidding. That’s how they resolve this plotline for the most part…with ketchup.

– Ash: “Why is it so important that this should become an official Pokemon gym?”

Yas: “That answer should be obvious. What faster way is there to make money in today’s world than becoming an official Pokemon gym?”

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Oh geez, this is going to be one of those episodes where I need to make a list of reasons why characters make no sense every line or two, isn’t it?

*sigh*

First, no…no that answer is not obvious. At all. I could think of many reasons to open a Pokemon gym without even thinking for a second about the money involved. In fact, I’m only now musing about the financial aspects of a Pokemon gym.

Second, ‘what faster way is there to make money than becoming an official Pokemon gym?’….Uhh…getting a job. Selling your crap on eBay. Selling your body to science. A laundry list of other methods of getting money which are faster than starting a Pokemon gym. Actually, if this whole gang war has been going on for years and becoming a gym is crazy difficult, then this seems like one of the absolute worst ways of getting money. Certainly not worth all the property damage, criminal mischief and reputation destruction.

Third, it’s not like these are real gangs fighting over drug dealing turf. How much money can there really be in being a gym leader? Not many gym leaders seem like they’re rolling in money. In fact, most seem to live a rather modest life.

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Brock’s house looked average.

Misty seems better off, but considering she got hand-me-down doll sets, I can’t imagine her parents were rich either. Plus, they seem to have the side-business of the Sensational Sisters underwater shows.

Lt. Surge’s gym was like a hollowed out high school gym.

Erika seems rather well-dressed and elegant to a degree, plus her gym is fairly impressive. However, she also owns her own perfume business, which might generate a lot of money.

Koga had an old mansion, but I’m more apt to believe he inherited it through family ties instead of buying it with gym leader money.

Sabrina had a nice-ish psychic training facility, but nothing lavish. Plus, she might generate money from training those psychics.

Outside of Giovanni who obviously gets income from Team Rocket, Blaine seems like he might be the richest with his super secret in-volcano gym, but he also has supplemented income with a hotel. Plus, game canon-wise, he’s a scientist.

In fact, it seems like most gym leaders, even in Johto and beyond, have another form of income besides the gym, and even then they don’t seem particularly rich. If they did offer a lot of cash, Misty and Brock should never ever ever have a problem with money. It’s already a stretch that Ash keeps running out of whatever money we assume his mother sends him, but traveling with two gym leaders, by this guy’s logic, should result in no money problems whatsoever.

It would’ve been much more believable if these gym leaders were just petty dickheads who were all ‘we’re just better than the other guy! So there!’ Or maybe they just wanted the power and prestige that seems to come from being a gym leader, which is also a stretch because it rarely gets Brock and Misty more than a passing glance (Just look at this episode – they’re tossed to the side in favor of Ash and called his disciples.)

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Fourth, if opening a gym were easy, quick cash in copious amounts, way more people would be doing it. There’d be gyms everywhere.

Finally, if money’s the reason, why is anyone following either of these idiots? No matter who wins, they won’t get any money from the Pokemon League – only the gym leaders would. Don’t tell me they intend on divvying the money up across the gang, because then you’d really be earning next to nothing.

I don’t understand how so many people are getting caught up in this. If money’s not the allure, then what? What do they intend on doing when whomever wins, wins? Are they going to stay at the gym and….Enter activity here?

Another tangent over. We now return to me stopping at the very next line to complain.

– Ash: “Pokemon are not just tools for fighting or making money. And I know…because I’m going to be a Pokemon master!” A being who, by definition, uses Pokemon as tools for fighting.

– Pikachu is spending way too much time mourning that ketchup bottle. They’re back at the restaurant now – just give him another one.

– This whole ‘enraged by red’ thing is considered canon by the Wiki, but is entirely a fabrication of the anime. I will even go so far as to say the Wiki’s wrong in confirming it’s anime canon, because they never do this again, and Scyther and Electabuzz are fairly common Pokemon throughout the series.

And what a friggin’ coincidence that the main Pokemon of each of these gyms just happens to be two Pokemon who are infuriated by the color red? Though they didn’t seem bothered by the ketchup bottle itself, Kaz’s gloves, Kaz’s scarf, most of Ash’s hat, the red in the logo for the Yas gym, Misty’s suspenders, Misty’s backpack, Jessie’s hair – Hell, Pokeballs are half red!

– Weird how that woman completely disappears during the big gang battles. I’m to assume she’s stupid AND useless.

– Why was Team Rocket climbing on that building anyway?

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– It’s very interesting how nearly everyone in these gangs have a ‘bad guy’ Pokemon. Ya know, Pokemon who are usually used by villains, excluding poison types. We have a ton of fighting Pokemon, then we have Rhydon, Raticate, Kingler and Golem. Also, why did everyone just release one Pokemon? If this is really a ‘we don’t care about fair battling, we just wanna fight’ brawl, they’d release all of their Pokemon. Even Yas and Kaz only seem to have Scyther and Electabuzz. How do they expect to run a gym with only one Pokemon?

Disclaimer: I am aware of the minuscule teams gym leaders commonly have in early game, but according to Pokemon Origins, it’s not that they don’t have more Pokemon, it’s that they choose to use fewer Pokemon based on the experience of the challenger.

– How do the owners of a Scyther and Electabuzz not know of the red thing? Especially considering that it’s the first thing the Pokedex focuses on when their entries are brought up.

– Why did their big plan involve pouring ketchup on Scyther and Electabuzz? Wouldn’t a better option to be using Squirtle or something to wash the red off of Yas and Kaz and stop the rampage?

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There’s no way they knew they’d be stupid enough to charge literally head first into each other and knock the other out.

Also, I’m aware that these barrels might be filled with red paint, not ketchup, but ketchup was the inspiration for this plan and I believe they’d have more readied access to big containers of ketchup given they’re being helped by the restaurant owner.

– While I do applaud Ash for having the foresight of setting up a plan B just in case the gangs turned on them, Thunder shouldn’t require lightning rods to strike multiple targets.

– I was always immensely confused as to why Nurse Joy was a Pokemon League inspector. Even her badge seems more fitting for a nurse than an inspector. I might be able to swallow this better if they made her look the part, but she’s a Nurse Joy to the bone. Her Chansey still has a nurse hat on, she still has a nurse uniform on, and when she reveals her identity she calls herself Nurse Joy. I really feel like they got insanely lazy with the character designs for this episode and when they got to the inspector, they panicked because they were short on time and just borrowed Joy’s.

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– For that matter, why was she in disguise in the first place? I know she wanted to secretly monitor the gangs, but she’s a Nurse Joy. No one would suspect that she was the inspector.

– Why did Joy release Chansey? Besides to give a hint as to who she was literally three seconds before she revealed herself.

– Joy shouldn’t have given those two a second chance at becoming a legit Pokemon Gym. She doesn’t offer any resolution to their problem of ‘this town ain’t big enough for the two of us’, both of them are guilty of numerous accounts of assault and they’ve spent the last two years or better continuously destroying the town. But Joy seems to only see the crime of them using Pokemon for street fighting.

– I love how Ash really doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about when he’s trying to teach Yas and Kaz about being an ethical Pokemon Trainer. He means well, but he can’t get around the logistic problems of the Pokemon World. Don’t use Pokemon to fight, except when you use them to fight.

– I also believe this was the first episode where one of those ‘jokes that don’t translate’ really became apparent to me. I never once understood why there’s a picture of some food that flashes on Ash’s face when Yas and Kaz call him ‘Tom Ato’ It wasn’t until I read the comparison that I learned that Satoshi’s fake name was the food seen on screen, Omurice. For all the digital painting 4Kids is known to do, why the hell couldn’t they have drawn a tomato?

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Also, it’s very awkward when they always say their full fake names. Who talks about themselves or other people in their full name?

– This is another infuriating instance of two assholes turning on their heads and completely changing their personalities when it doesn’t seem like enough happened to do so. They got beat up and their Pokemon knocked each other out, then they got chewed out by Nurse Joy. Remember, their incentive to becoming legit gyms was to make money. Why do they seem to act like it’s just something they really want to do now? Unless they’re faking it for the sake of getting another chance at the money, which is possible I guess, but Kaz definitely doesn’t seem smart enough for that….and we know Yas isn’t.

– Ash: “Oh well, Pikachu really is the star.” Don’t remind me….Seriously, it’s totally unnecessary. And as sad it is, he really is right. Even Ash is not as irreplaceable as Pikachu.

——————————-

I like some parts of this episode, but others just confuse me so much that I lose my enjoyment. The Pokemon League stuff I can mostly overlook – it’s the incredibly stupid red stuff and the Nurse Joy thing that miff me.

I do like the gang v. gang concept, though I think it could’ve been executed much better. I also like Ash’s plan for stopping the fighting, even if the second splash of ketchup didn’t make much sense to me. It seemed unnecessary to knock them out if their trainers agreed to stop fighting.

Ash was pretty well done in this episode. He stood by his principles in the faces of gang leaders, and even when he was beaten up he still wanted to help the town and stop the fighting. I also like how Ash was portrayed at the end. He may have a good heart, but he’s still a bit of an idiot even when he’s being noble. Him having his ego put in check several times throughout the episode through his clumsiness and by the kids being more interested in Pikachu is also more than welcome, even if it is more Pika-pandering.

Team Rocket is probably the most absent they’ve been in a very long time. Outside of that one battle in the restaurant, which was hardly a battle at all, they were completely superfluous to the plot and barely appeared.

Finally, I want to reiterate how awful the character designs are in this episode. Just awful. Outside of the clothes being eyesores, the actual designs of the faces are forgettable as hell. And just screw off with the Nurse Joy thing. I see through your laziness.

Next episode, one I actively hate and the debut of Exeggcute and Exeggcutor.

Pokemon Episode 41 Analysis: Wake Up Snorlax!

Pokemon Ep 41 Title

CotD(s): Hippie – No real name given, Hippie is usually seen hanging out beside the road, playing his PokeFlute. Like his ‘name’ suggests, he’s very much a stereotypical hippie, talking in 60s slang and being very laid back. He owns a slue of Snorlax which he wakes up with his PokeFlute on a schedule.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Many Snorlax.

Plot: As Ash, Misty and Brock continue on their journey, they come across a hippie in the path who plays his flute for them. He asks for some food as payment for the song, but they reveal they’re completely out.

Hungrily, they continue down the path, and they’re pleasantly surprised to finally find a town where they can get some food. They’re devastated to find that the entire town is out of food. The local mayor invites them over to his house for a meal and explains that the stream where they get all of their water suddenly dried up out of nowhere two weeks ago. Without that water, they can’t water their plants and they can’t make food. The town will starve soon if they don’t get the water flow back.

Ash and others offer to go upstream to figure out what’s causing the stoppage. After wading through a sea of thorns, they discover that the spring that the stream is coming out of is dry and that a Snorlax is sleeping on what seems like the source of the water.

Ash, Misty and Brock do everything they can think of to wake it up, but to no avail. Team Rocket shows up with intent of taking the Snorlax, and Ash and co. believe helping them do it will solve the problem. Despite not wanting to help their enemies take a Pokemon, they do so. However, the cables they were using to lift the Snorlax with the balloon snap, leaving them back at square one.

They try many other methods of waking up Snorlax until it suddenly shifts, revealing a note which instructs passersby to use a PokeFlute to wake the Snorlax in the event of an emergency.

They come to the realization that the hippie from before was playing a PokeFlute and rush to ask him for help. Team Rocket and Ash and co. clash over who gets to bring him to the Snorlax. Jessie sends out Arbok to attack and Ash sends out Pidgeotto.

Pidgeotto quickly sends them blasting off with a Gust.

Ash, Misty and Brock lead the Hippie to the Snorlax and explain the situation. He states that this Snorlax is actually his and he usually wakes it up once a month, but he’s been running late. He plays the PokeFlute and successfully wakes it up, but the stream is still not flowing.

Shockingly, they see that the stream continues behind where Snorlax was sitting and that the actual cause of the stoppage is a massive pile of thorns. Ash and the others gawk at the horribly large job ahead of them, but notice the thorns starting to pull away. Snorlax has started to eat them. Turns out, thorns are Snorlax’s favorite food, and it quickly clears up the riverbed, restoring the water flow.

The Mayor praises their efforts with a banquet and Ash, Misty and Brock collect the fruits of their labor before continuing on their journey to Cinnabar Island.

———————–

– I like how they show Pikachu waking up to the sound of the PokeFlute. It’s a subtle hint to its function considering you could just say Pikachu’s waking up to the sound of music.

– Why doesn’t the hippie ask for food as payment and then play the song? I know it’d be more difficult to get people to pay up, but if he’s so sick of giving away free concerts, he doesn’t have much of a choice.

– Why are all of these food based businesses open if they haven’t had food stock for days at least?

– And for the ones who are closed, why are the employees still there?

– You know, for the longest time while watching this episode for the first time, I would swear the Mayor was actually James in disguise. It just really seems like a person in disguise, and the design reminds me of some of James’ better masquerades.

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– I love how Ash and co. suddenly pause while eating and silently feel guilty for eating so much when the town is struggling to get food.

– Mayor: “Oh please, don’t worry. My family and I can live off of our food stores for quite a while yet.” Live in a mansion, mayor of the town, have plenty of food to go around – but the townspeople can starve.

– Soooo…no one in this town has something like a well or a water tank or anything? They’re entirely reliant on that river?

– Here is reason 1 why this episode is complete bullshit. This town has been without water for at least two weeks. The problem is so bad, they’re literally starving (and….dehydrating? They should be dead by now) and their businesses are losing money every day. However, the first people to go “maybe you should follow the river and see why it’s drying up” are three children who got there an hour ago.

Maybe there’s a reason they can’t do that, you ask? Well, the Mayor says “I should tell you, no one dares go upstream anymore. There’s no telling what you might find.” And that’s it. He’s entirely vague on what’s so scary up there just so we won’t ask why they don’t go investigate. And, spoilers, there is nothing big and scary up there.

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Besides, if the problem is so threatening to the businesses and lives of the town, surely some people would’ve braved the journey to see if they can fix the problem. THREE CHILDREN are risking their lives for this and they barely owe anything to this town.

And, what, is there not a single Pokemon trainer in the entire town who feels up to the task? I doubt that immensely. Even if there weren’t any in town, this seems like a fairly major road. Why not contract out passing Pokemon trainers to help, like they did in the Diglett episode? They might not have much to offer in return, but some people have to be willing.

If not Pokemon, why not grab a few guns and a strong, sturdy vehicle and follow it? Don’t show the guns on screen, though.

Why not go to a neighboring town or city and ask for help? I can’t imagine they’re too far out in the sticks. It’s a small town, not an Alaskan homestead. At least ask for some water trucks to come through until the problem gets resolved.

There is the roadblock of the thick thornbushes, but, again, THREE CHILDREN are going through these bushes with not much issue. Misty got scratched, oh no, but they did it relatively easily. Surely a few adults with machetes or a Pokemon or two could get through that no problem.

There are just so. many. options. to help address this issue, but they think the best one is ‘sit on our asses until a bunch of children pass by and offer to help……or die. Whatever.’

– *Misty gets scratched by a thorn bush* Brock: “Be careful. Those things are sharp.” NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wha-NO WAY! GUYS! THORNS ARE SHARP! Don’t alert the media just yet, because I’m investigating something that might just lead to proof…..that fire….is hot!

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– Brock: “Hey Ash, let’s get our Pokemon to help us out here.” Now that Misty has shed blood, we can finally choose to do something we should’ve done before crawling around in a bunch of thorns. Keep in mind, these are the same kids who will let out their Pokemon for completely minor tasks sometimes like handing out fliers. But clearing the path through miles of thorns? Pbbbt, we can handle this.

– If it’s so insanely tight in those bushes, how are they doing their regular Pokeball throwing animations? Where did Bulbasaur even fit without getting itself hurt?

– Snorlax is yet another Pokemon Ash should know considering he has a Snorlax doll in his room.

– Why is Misty so excited to see a Snorlax? It’s not a Water Pokemon nor is it particularly cute. I find Snorlax kinda cute, but she later expresses disgust towards Snorlax seemingly on its appearance.

– Even without checking the Pokedex for its weight, Ash should be smart enough to figure that, if it’s hard to move, it’s probably heavy. Is it a secret Snorlax is big and fat? Cuz I don’t think it is.

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– Onix may not have the weight on Snorlax, but surely it has the mass and power to move it a little.

– James: “Ah it’s sleeping. Still sleeping. Watch closely, everyone. This is how Snorlax looks when it’s sleeping.” His delivery of these lines is hilarious to me for some reason.

– Ash: “I hate to let them steal Snorlax….” From most of the evidence we’ve been given so far, this is a wild Snorlax. Taking it away with cables is no more stealing it than capturing it in a Pokeball.

– Heh, Pikachu directing the balloon with landing lights is adorable.

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– I also love Team Rocket and Ash and co. working together to ‘steal’ a Pokemon for some reason. Getting increasingly interested in an AU where Ash and co are villains.

– I think it would be more realistic if the balloon just failed to lift Snorlax instead of having the cables snap. I think the most hot air balloons can usually carry is only around 500 pounds and Snorlax is twice that. But I guess having the cables snap makes for more comedy.

– It’s a bit mean, but I’m surprised none of them have thought to use a Pokemon to attack Snorlax. At the very least, Pikachu should’ve been called upon it to shock it awake.

– I know they’re all desperate, but they’re incredibly stupid for even musing for a minute that kissing Snorlax will wake him up.

– Why is she having such trouble finding Horsea’s Pokeball? Even though it’s a pure mystery how any trainer instantly finds and identifies their own Pokemon’s Pokeballs…they always do it. Immediately.

– Either Psyduck somehow heard what was going on from its Pokeball and really wanted to volunteer to kiss Snorlax…or it had no idea what was going on and just burst out of its Pokeball and kissed Snorlax for no reason. ….And gauging by its reaction, it really liked it.

Hey, I’m not here to judge.

– Psyduck’s expressions after the fact are gold, though.

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– You know, believe it or not, I actually do think Meowth is the most suitable ‘noble’ Pokemon. Cats have been closely associated with royalty throughout time, so it kinda makes sense.

– I do love how it’s obvious Team Rocket’s just taking the piss out of the situation to prank Meowth.

– Brock: “How would you feel if you were kissed by Meowth?”

Ash: “I’d look for a new mouth.” Hahah! I thought that joke was funny.

– Ash: *reading the note* “In case of emergency, use a PokeFlute to wake.”

Brock: “That’s right! Now I remember! I heard once that you play a PokeFlute to wake up a Snorlax!” Oh wha—FUCK YOU, BROCK! You’ve been trying to wake Snorlax for hours, and only just now remember a precise method of specifically waking up a Snorlax?! After you read it on a note!? That is beyond even Ash levels of stupid. Go in the thorn bushes and think about what you’ve done.

– And now for even more levels of stupid – why did they never once think about consulting the Pokedex for any Snorlax waking methods? Why did they wait until a note told them about one for them to open Dexter and find out what it was?

Please, guys, stop already. We’re way over our moron quota for the episode.

– Why are Team Rocket and Ash and co. fighting over who gets the hippie? (Why am I watching an episode of Pokemon where the characters fight over who gets a hippie?) I thought they both had the same goal – to wake up Snorlax. Who cares who does it? Will Ash and the others really stop Team Rocket from taking it once they wake it up?

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– Ash: “Great, now’s our chance!” I have nothing to say about this line, but the animation on his mouth during it is absolutely horrid.

– Why is the Hippie running late to wake up his Snorlax? He spends his time sitting on the side of the road waiting to play a flute to passersby in exchange for food. I doubt his schedule is packed.

– Also, I was going to complain about how Ash’s Pokeball doesn’t even open when it hits Snorlax when it’s been known to catch riceballs, but if it belongs to someone else I guess that’s the reason why. I am still greatly confused as to the mechanics of Pokeballs.

– Reason number 2 why this episode is complete bullshit. Snorlax is not the reason why the river stopped flowing. There was a blockage of thorns behind him. They just automatically assumed that Snorlax was the cause of the clog without thinking for a second to look behind him and make sure there was water. If that was the case, they could’ve easily redirected the water by digging a trench around Snorlax or something until they figured out how to move him.

This ‘plot twist’ is also cheap and nonsensical because there’s a far away shot of Snorlax a little while ago with a clear shot of what’s behind him and there’s no divot for a stream anywhere.

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It’s even more nonsensical because, what, is it just a giant coincidence that Snorlax is sitting at that exact spot right as the stream dries up?

– Ash: “That means…we’ll have to clear out all of these thorns before the river can flow into town again.”

Brock: “What a job!”

Yeah, if only you had a Pokemon who knew Razor Leaf and could slice through the thorns with no problem. If only you had a Fire Pokemon who could do a controlled burn to clear them out. If only we had adults with brains and equipment for stuff like this back at some town.

– How did these thorns grow this much this quickly? If they’ve always been there, this can’t be the first time the stream has dried up because of it. This is why towns usually carefully monitor and maintain streams and rivers when they’re vital parts of their infrastructure.

– Hippie: “Chow down, Snorlax. Looks like you’ve got a case of the munchies!” …..Did 4Kids just make a pot reference? I don’t know how to feel right now.

– Mayor: “This calls for a celebration! We’ll have a special banquet!” Uhh, the water’s been back for all of ten minutes. Maybe hold off on the huge banquet until the townsfolk can get some water on their crops and actually replenish their food supplies. Unless you have enough food to hold it yourself….in which case, you’re still a dick.

————————–

Despite the insane stupidity that is going on in this episode, I can’t deny that the part where they’re trying to wake Snorlax up has many funny and interesting moments. Plus, this is one of those rare episodes where they’re actually trying to mirror something that happens in the games.

In Pokemon Red and Blue, you can’t go to certain areas early on because two Snorlax are blocking two paths. You can’t wake them to battle them until you get the PokeFlute. This was an interesting way of….’realistically’ approaching that because, honestly, having a Snorlax block a path always felt really cheap to me. Can I not just go around? I can climb a rock or a bush or a tree. Surely there are spaces between the trees, I can just wiggle through. I can even get over this fence and these weird…pillars? Please? No? Fine.

Next episode, Electabuzz vs. Scyther!

Pokemon Episode 40 Analysis: The Battling Eevee Brothers

Pokemon ep 40 title

CotD(s): Mikey – The youngest of the Eevee brothers, Mikey is constantly being pressured by his brothers to evolve his Eevee. He wants his Eevee to stay as it is, but doesn’t have the courage to tell his brothers since they’re so adamant about it being necessary for Pokemon to evolve.

Reappear?: No. 😦

Pokemon: Eevee

Sparky – One of the three more outspoken Eevee brothers, (and possibly oldest?) Sparky, like his brothers, believes Pokemon should evolve as soon as possible and that the main point of Pokemon is to evolve them. He and his brothers seem to mine evolution stones from Evolution Mountain. He is constantly pressuring Mikey to evolve his Eevee, though would prefer him to evolve it into his Eeveelution of choice, Jolteon.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Jolteon.

Rainer – Essentially identical in personality to Sparky and Pyro, though maybe less angry and loud, Rainer’s only real point of variation is that he’d like Mikey to evolve Eevee into his Eeveelution of choice, Vaporeon.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Vaporeon.

Pyro – Again, same, but he wants Mikey to evolve Eevee into Flareon.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Flareon.

Plot: As Ash, Misty and Brock continue their journey through the woods, they spot what seems like an abandoned Eevee tied to a tree. They spot a tag on its collar that says ‘Stone Town 3-14’ and decide to return it. Stone Town is known for its vast collection of evolution stones since it lies right at the base of Evolution Mountain, where they are easily mined.

The house number is that of a gigantic mansion at the edge of town where an evolution party is being held. People are bringing Pokemon that only evolve through stone or have evolved through stones to evolve their Pokemon, talk about them and compare them. The hosts of the party are three brothers known as the Eevee brothers – Rainer, who trains a Vaporeon, Pyro, who trains a Flareon, and Sparky, who trains a Jolteon.

The group gives Eevee back, and they reveal that the Eevee belongs to their young fourth brother, Mikey, who actually seems upset that it was returned.

Turns out that the party is really being held in celebration of Mikey choosing which Pokemon he’ll evolve his Eevee into. His brothers all pressure him immensely to evolve it, stating that leaving a Pokemon unevolved makes it weak and useless in battle. They all want Mikey to choose their preferred Eeveelutions, but Mikey seems very uncertain about making any decision.

Ash and Brock try to defend Mikey, claiming he’s too young to be worrying about trainer stuff and doesn’t need to evolve Eevee if he doesn’t want to. The brothers turn the conversation to Ash and Brock’s preferences on stone evolution, asking when Ash intends on evolving Pikachu into a Raichu and when Brock will evolve Vulpix into a Ninetales. They state that they don’t want to force their Pokemon to evolve and the Eevee brothers yell at them for having stupid views on evolution.

Meanwhile, Misty tries to talk to Mikey about what he really wants for Eevee. Mikey says he doesn’t really care about battling, and he’d like Eevee to stay how it is. As long as they’re together, that’s all that matters.

His brothers ask him again if he’s finally decided and just when he’s about to tell his brothers how he really feels, Team Rocket shows up. They Smokescreen the whole party and take everything from the food to the stones to the Pokemon. Using a clever balloon decoy, Team Rocket actually manages to get away for a change.

Team Rocket revels in their victory and quickly direct their attentions to Eevee and what they should evolve it into. Meowth wants it to be a Jolteon, Jessie wants it to be Flareon and James wants it to be a Vaporeon. They decide to meet halfway and use all of the stones on it at once to turn it into some super hybrid evolution. Before they’re able, they’re stopped by Ash and co. who followed an ink trail made by Misty’s Horsea.

They manage to get by the other Pokemon, but Eevee remains in their clutches and they’re not giving it up easily. Ash and Co. prepare to battle Team Rocket, but the Eevee brothers are determined to step up and fight for their brother’s Eevee themselves.

They manage to use the Eeveelutions’ specials abilities to battle Team Rocket and stop them from leaving, but they quickly lose the upperhand. Pikachu steps in and Thundershocks them all, but they still want to fight. Determined to avenge his brothers’ Pokemon, Mikey and Eevee step up to battle. With one swift Take Down, Eevee sends them blasting off.

Sparky, Rainer and Pyro are proud of their little brother’s first battle victory and acknowledge that the unevolved Eevee battled very well. Mikey gathers the courage to tell his brothers that he wants Eevee to stay how it is and they accept his decision, welcoming him as the official fourth member of the Eevee brothers. They change the party theme to be a victory party for Mikey, and Ash, Misty and Brock enjoy the festivities before continuing on their journey once more.

———————-

– Brock: “It’s been abandoned.”

Ash: “What?”

Misty: “That’s so cruel!”

Yes, it’s clearly been abandoned what with the full food bowl….the water dish, the collar, the leash and, oh yeah, the tag which clearly displays where it lives so, should it ever run off, whomever finds it would be able to easily return it.

– And just to get this out of my system EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE EEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! SO CUTE!! AW!

Pokemon ep 40 screen1

– Evolution Mountain is one of the dumbest names I’ve ever hear—Stone town…..creative lot these guys are.

– Give the animators props for paying attention – there are no Pokemon who evolve through Moon Stones at this stone evolution party since Moon Stones are only obtained from Mt. Moon.

– Let’s get the elephant out of the room – obviously this episode is more than dated. Today, there are a grand total of eight Eeveelutions with; Umbreon, the Dark type, Espeon, the Psychic type, Leafeon the Grass type, Glaceon, the Ice type and Sylveon, the Fairy type. You can shoo this away by saying these Pokemon simply weren’t released or ‘discovered’ yet but considering we’ve always had the base evo, I can’t logically imagine these Eevee Brothers (or the Pokedex) don’t at least know of these options. If they really want to be a full set of Eevee brothers, their parents are going to have to get to work in the bedroom.

– Also, if your family (I presume) specializes in Eevee and you name your kids Rainer, Sparky and Pyro, they’re damned from birth to be pigeon-holed with the Eeveelutions that match their names. Must’ve been awkward when Mikey was born.

Dad: “There are no more Eeveelutions!”

Mom: “We’ll have to give him a normal name then, like Mikey.”

Rainer: “Mom, why does Mikey get a normal person name?”

Mom: “Because we haven’t even reached Gen II, dear. In the future, you’ll have more brothers named Shade, Espa, Meadow, Icicle and Tinkerbell!”

Pyro: “Mommy, Daddy, do you hate us?”

Dad: “Of course not, son.”

Pyro: “Really?!”

Dad: “Yes, really. Now shape your hair into the appropriate elemental for what we’ve assigned you and dye it the proper color.”

Sparky: “Do we have to?”

Mom: “Yes, dear. And don’t forgot to wear those color coded leotards we bought you!”

Pyro: “But….why? What does that have to do with the Eeveelutions or our assigned elements?”

Dad: “Don’t backtalk your mother, Sport.”

Sparky: “Will Mikey have to wear a color coded leotard?”

Dad: “Oh, gosh, no, son. He has a normal person name, so he can wear normal person clothes.”

Rainer: “Awwwwwwwww!”

Mom: “Don’t worry, kids. His hair will be styled into an Eevee collar poof design.”

Pyro: “Will he have to dye his hair?”

Dad: “Golly, no, Champ. He has normal person brown hair. Now go along and develop a completely understandable complex about evolution and prepare to put undue pressure on your brother for his whole childhood.”

– Also, being fair to 4Kids, Sparky, Pyro and Rainer’s names are puns in the original version too.

– RAICHU! 😀

Pokemon ep 40 screen2
You’re too good for this world, Raichu.

– Is it ever explained how the Eevee brothers are so rich? I imagine evolution stones fetch a nice price, and they state that they mine the stones from Evolution Mountain, but they certainly don’t look like miners (I will not let the leotard thing go) and considering they’re just giving away tons of evolution stones at this party, I can’t imagine they’re in the business of selling them (unless they’re just that rich that they don’t care about handing out a batch or two for free). Like most kids in the Pokemon world, they don’t seem to have parents, sooooo.

– Sparky: “Where did you go to? We were worried about you, Eevee!” Not worried enough to…ya know…look for you…or stop this party….but we were worried sick!

– The voice acting for these three brothers is horrid. They all sound like they’re always yelling and their delivery is so stiff I thought they’d be able to introduce a new Rock-based Eeveelution.

– Pyro: “How could you lose him!? You’ve got to be more careful!”

Rainer: “You’ll lose your trainer qualification.”

Pokemon ep 40 screen3

Whoa wait, back up. First of all, he’s like six or seven, there’s no way he’s old enough to be a legit trainer with qualification yet. Second, he can lose his trainer qualification if he loses his Pokemon?….Just….what? If that’s true, Ash and co. should’ve lost their qualification eons ago and a hundred times over at this point in the series. (I mean that both at this episode and where we currently are in airing) And if losing a Pokemon is something worth having your qualification revoked over, why is there no penalty for abandoning or releasing a Pokemon? That seems like a much worse offense.

– Sparky: “Listen up, Mikey! One day you’ll be a Pokemon trainer just like us!” But you just said he was. How do you have trainer qualification without being a trainer?

– Rainer: “Do you really think you can win your first battle with an unevolved Eevee?” I dunno. Let’s ask the first-time trainers who win their first matches with Pokemon like Caterpie, Weedle, Rattata, Pidgey, Spearow and other very weak base evo Pokemon that most people have when they start out because they’re STARTING OUT.

In fact, Eevee actually has slightly better total stats than all of the Kanto starters.

– Pyro: “We won our first battles because we evolved our Eevees. There’s no other way to win!”

Yeah, it’s not like you can train a Pokemon to be strong or anything.

Pokemon ep 40 screen4

– Mikey: “But…I don’t care about battles…”

Eevee Brothers: “DON’T CARE?!”

Mikey, you know that as a small child in the Pokemon universe, you must desire to one day be a Pokemon trainer. It’s just the way it is. Now take this mostly empty backpack and go camping in the mountain wilderness for a week to prepare for a childhood wrought with travel, lack of survival supplies and useless maps.

– Here we go with the ridiculous repetition of the Eeveelutions names. I almost wish we had separate episodes for each one.

– I don’t even know why they’re explaining all of this to Mikey. Surely growing up in a town filled with stone evolved Pokemon with the Eevee brothers as his brothers, in a house with the Eeveelutions, he already knows what stones yield what evolution and what the Eeveelutions are. You could say it’s for the audience’s sake, but we just had a scene a moment ago where Ash learns of the Eeveelutions through the Pokedex. Outside of some more specific information on their abilities, which Dexter could’ve given, this is completely pointless.

– This explanation also makes Flareon look boring.

“Look! Jolteon can turn its fur into needles and shoot them at its opponents!”

“That’s nothing! Vaporeon can literally melt into bodies of water and disappear!”

“Oh yeah, well, Flareon can shoot fire from its mouth!”

“…Like…literally any other Fire Pokemon?”

“…..Er….yes!”

Pokemon ep 40 screen5

Even its Japanese name slams the brakes on when put in a list.

Thunders! Showers! …..Booster!

confused-nostalgia-critic-o

– Anyone who wants my opinion on the Eeveelutions, by the way, I have always been very partial to Vaporeon. Even today, I’d still say it’s my favorite. Though, when I first played Pokemon Red, I do believe I made my Eevee a Jolteon just because I didn’t have a decent Electric Pokemon on hand. My favorite type is Fire, but I had Charizard on my first go, so I didn’t see the point in getting Flareon.

I’ve always really liked Umbreon and Espeon, but I never became interested in Glaceon, Leafeon and Sylveon.

– I doubt this was planned, but it is interesting that Ash, Misty and Brock all have at least one Pokemon who can evolve through stones, and they all have one that match the specific types that Eevee evolves into (Ash with Pikachu (Thunder Stone) Raichu, Brock with Vulpix (Fire Stone) Ninetales and Misty with Staryu (Water Stone) Starmie)

Pokemon ep 40 screen6

It’s also interesting that each is in a different situation with stone evolution. Ash has already gone over this exact same thing. He respects Pikachu too much to force it to evolve without its consent. If Pikachu wants to stay the way it is, he’s happy to oblige.

Brock can’t really evolve Vulpix because it’s not his. Vulpix is on loan from Suzie. Evolving it without her permission would be very douchey. Shame no Rock Pokemon evolve through stones. You’d think they would, but I guess they’d have to be called the Stone Stone or something.

Misty’s situation is actually the most interesting, but they don’t address it. Misty does have Staryu, but she also has Starmie, meaning she has no reason to evolve Staryu and she is the only one of the group to evolve her Pokemon through stones (Unless she caught it wild, which is possible) It’s also interesting that the Eevee brothers don’t offer Misty a Water Stone to evolve her Staryu.

……..I just now understand the pun of Starmie and Staryu’s names….Star-me….Star-you…..Ugh, I can’t even blame 4Kids for this.

– Misty: “Wow, Water Stones! And Thunder! And Fire!”…..Aaannnnddd…….

Leaf.

Why is the Leaf Stone being so ignored? Just because it doesn’t do anything for Eevee?…..Why doesn’t it do anything with Eevee? Especially now considering that there is a Grass Eeveelution. You’d think if you were making some super multi-evo Pokemon that you’d have something prepared with all of the stones.

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– Pyro: “But you can’t mine them all the time!” *cut off by Team Rocket*

Wha…why? Why bring that up just to not explain the reason? I mean, I imagine it’s bad for the environment or the mountain maybe…..Do evolution stones replenish themselves in nature? Do they ever regain their power once used?

– The Pokemon Friend….the worst book title ever. What is with the god awful naming today?

– Why, if they mine evolution stones for a living and live, eat, breathe evolution, did the Eevee brothers need a special book on the subject to plan a party? It’s even weirder considering they never explain the contents of the book and they never bring it up again outside of this two-line exchange. Damn you fake product placement!

– Brock: “I’ve got a Vulpix that will evolve into a Ninetales.” *can evolve into a Ninetales. “Will” implies that you intend on doing it or that it will naturally evolve.

….Wait, why is Vulpix already out of its Pokeball? When did you do that?

– Brock: “I just can’t force Vulpix to evolve. Vulpix is very important to me.”

Eevee Brothers: “DON’T BE DUMB!”

I’ll just keep this scene in my pocket for now.

Pokemon ep 40 screen8
Is Pikachu doing the Thriller Dance?

– Misty: *watching Horsea swim around in the fountain* “It sure has been a while, hasn’t it?” Yeah it sure has been a while since we remembered you had a Horsea…..Also, you have other Pokemon who maybe would like a swim, Misty. Like your seldom-used Goldeen, who might as well be named Goldeotto.

– Watching Misty punch her Psyduck in the head cheers Mikey up…..Wow.

– If Mikey intended on going back for Eevee tomorrow or later that night, what would that have solved? It’s not like the party is his only shot at evolution. He can evolve Eevee at any time and they’ll never let up on pressuring him into evolving it.

Pokemon ep 40 screen9

– Mikey is….happy to hear that if he hadn’t reclaimed Eevee, Misty would’ve just made off with it? You react oddly to things, Mikey.

– I’ve always really loved the interactions with Mikey and Misty. She makes it clear that she’s more interested in what he wants than what his brothers want, which is probably something Mikey has yet to hear. She also connects back his situation to not one but two callbacks to previous episodes and backstories.

First, she brings up Pikachu’s choice to not evolve in The Electric Shock Showdown. Which is very applicable here because Misty accurately surmises that Mikey doesn’t seem interested in evolving Eevee at all.

Second, she connects with Mikey as a younger sibling, which loops back to her backstory as being the youngest of four sisters who are also less than kind to her (Oddly, the three older siblings hair color even matches. Daisy has blond hair, like Sparky. Violet has blue hair like Rainer. And Lily has pink hair, which is technically a light red, like Pyro. Her hair color, like Mikey’s is also different from her sisters, and their name themes also don’t continue. Misty’s sisters’ name have a flower theme, but her name reflects her love of Water Pokemon. Mikey’s brothers’ names are element themed, but his name is normal, which reflects the Normal type of Eevee.)

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– Brock: “They took the stones AND they took the food too!”….Aaaaaannndddd……

The Pokemon.

I can overlook ignoring the Leaf Stone but Brock’s supposed to be the bleeding heart breeder. Why would he only point out that the food and stones got stolen?

– It is funny that Misty’s disappointed that they didn’t take Psyduck, though. It’s even good continuity because they’ve rejected stealing him in the past.

– Pidgeotto: Balloon Popper extraordinaire.

– Credit to Team Rocket for the balloon ruse. That was pretty damn clever.

– Oh I see now. Misty let out Horsea to be a plot device. Got it.

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– James: “We’ve been beaten so many times, I’ve forgotten what victory tasted like.”

*punch*

Jessie: “I don’t ever want to hear you call us losers again!”

…..Ctrl+f “losers”……Nope.

– Why are they set on making Eevee evolve? They already have all of the Eeveelutions and surely there’d be a bigger market for an unevolved Eevee. Hell, sell the lot as a packaged set.

– I know it would likely just evolve from whatever stone hit it like a millisecond first, but I do have to wonder what would happen if you applied all of the evolution stones to Eevee.

– I can’t believe I never remembered Psyduck knows Water Gun….then again, considering it does next to nothing, I suppose I’m not surprised.

– Aw, Psyduck’s adorable and hilarious following up his dinky Water Gun with a V for victory sign and a big goofy smile.

Pokemon ep 40 screen12

– Sparky: “Watch the power of an evolved Pokemon! Jolteon, attack!” Is that directed at Team Rocket? Because….uh….Weezing and Arbok are evolved Pokemon, so this declaration doesn’t make sense.

– What the hell is up with the animation when Team Rocket starts to run away? It’s like they only had keyframes and animated them with fade transitions.

– Pyro: “Flareon! Fire Spin!” Remember, kids, only you can cause forest fires.

– Bullshit all of the Eeveelutions are being taken out by Arbok and Weezing, especially when they’ve been easily beating them this whole time.

– Mikey: “Eevee Take Down attack!” *two seconds later* “Rage tackle!” Keeping in mind that Mikey’s young and inexperienced, I’ll just jot these down as notes. First off, let the Take Down hit before you call for another attack. Second, Rage Tackle is not an attack. Third, holy crap, how does this newbie have an Eevee who is high enough level to know Take Down!? That’s Eevee’s strongest Gen I attack, and it learns it at level 42. And these dumbasses still think Eevee is too weak to win his first battle as a new trainer? Geez.

Pokemon ep 40 screen13

– I can believe that Eevee beat an already weakened Team Rocket, but not that it blasted them off by sheer force.

– Sparky: “Mikey! Winning your first battle by yourself! That’s incredible!” By himself? What? You guys had weakened them first, then Pikachu Thundershocked them all then Mikey came in. That is probably the biggest group of named characters I’ve seen against Team Rocket yet. He did well, sure, but beat them single-handed? Yeah right.

– Rainer: “And you won without making Eevee evolve. I was wrong.” For the love of—Eevee could’ve snuggled them and won at that point!

– Mikey: “Guys, I’ve decided that I want to be an Eevee trainer.”

Sparky: “An Eevee trainer?” Here it comes….

“Well, Mikey, if that’s what you want to do, then do it.”

……Eh?

Rainer: “If you felt that way about it, you should’ve told us sooner.”

BULL.

head-desk-gif-12

FUCKETY.

head desk

SHIT…

head desk MLP

I hate character revelations where jerks suddenly turn on their heads and decide they were wrong and act like they would’ve understood something earlier when all implications given earlier are the complete opposite.

Remember that scene I kept in my pocket? Where Ash and Brock said they respected their Pokemon’s wishes and didn’t want to force them to evolve? And the Eevee brothers responded with an aggressive “DON’T BE DUMB!”?

If Mikey had expressed this sooner, which I can’t imagine he never even implied through conversations or behavior, his brothers would give him that same stupid speech about how evolved Pokemon are the only way to win battles and how Pokemon are only really useful when evolved and blah blah blah. Just like how they blew up when he said he didn’t care about battling.

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Other than ‘the plot said so because it’s 22 minutes, wrap it up’ there’s no reason why the brothers are being so unbelievably understanding right now. I really wanted Mikey to rant on the spot at Rainer’s line, saying how massive douchecanoes they all are in the amount of pressure they’ve been giving him to evolve Eevee – even putting him on the spot to make a decision at some big evolution party in his honor to celebrate his evolution decision.

– Uhh, there is no way an Eevee is holding a glass with its paw…..Why are the Pokemon drinking out of glasses anyway? Someone put down a bowl.

– Misty: “Friends forever?”

Mikey: “Friends forever!” ….Ctrl+F “Reappear?:”…..Welp.

– Misty: “It must be nice to have big brothers.”

Ash: “You could pass for my brother!”

Ash, you really couldn’t resist being an idiot during a legit nice moment, huh? Also, Ash sure has been a background character today.

– What the hell is up with Raichu in this picture?

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– Where the hell did Cloyster and Vileplume go?

– Why is Arcanine the one stone evo Pokemon they opted not show in this episode?

– Who let Psyduck run the camera?

– Where the hell were you extra trainers when they were trying to retrieve your Pokemon? It’s the Butterfree trainers all over again.

—————————

All in all, I do really like this episode mostly for the relationship between Mikey and Misty and the focus on Eevee and its Eeveelutions. It has a lot of good writing with how they approach this topic, though they missed some opportunities for discussion, and Team Rocket actually was pretty clever today. Plus, they did succeed fully for once – they stole and ate all of the food.

However, the Eevee brothers damn near ruin it for me. They are just so ridiculously obnoxious. It truly is like three mini-Lt. Surges.

And it’s a bit tired to constantly see stone evolution in a bad light. They always treat it like the Pokemon is being forced into it against their will, but stone evolution is a perfectly legitimate and fine method of evolving.

If regular evolution, like the series has shown us time and again, is a choice for many Pokemon, especially when it comes to staying put as they are, there’s nothing wrong with using a stone on them to do the same thing. I’m quite certain most stone evolved Pokemon are asked for consent and seem fine with doing it. For example, the Poliwhirl seen at the start of the episode seemed very happy to become a Poliwrath.

In hindsight, this is also a bit odd because we will see Ash and Co. stone evolve Pokemon through the years and they seem to have no moral qualms doing it.

Next episode, Snorlax is blocking stuff because that’s what Snorlaxes always do.

Pokemon Episode 39 Analysis: Pikachu’s Goodbye

Pokemon Ep 39 title

CotD(s): None.

Pre-analysis Notes: Yup. There’s more behind-the-scenes stuff to go through. And this episode isn’t even a little banned. Last time for a while, I promise.

Like I mentioned in the previous episode, the airing of Pokemon was put on hold for four months after the Pokemon Shock incident. Since the show started re-broadcasting in April, they opted to skip the winter-themed episodes, Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out, for the time being. Because of this, they had to move on to the episodes that followed.

The Battling Eevee Brothers is about—No wait, that’s not right. Wake Up, Snor—nope. That’s not it either. Showdown at D—…Still no. Where the hell did this episode come from?

Turns out, there was still damage control to do after the Pokemon Shock incident. We all know that the Electric Soldier Porygon episode got super-banned and Porygon and its evos were shoved into a closet marked “Don’t Porygon. Open inside.” But there is still one obvious loose end that needed to be tied up. A yellow rat shaped loose end.

Despite the fact that the public at large associated the Pokemon Shock incident with Porygon, many people were still very aware that Pikachu was the cause of it. And even though I said that the showrunners would never sacrifice their precious Pikachu shaped ATM, they realized what had to happen in order to properly respect the children who were affected. They had to take the proper steps, story-wise, to say goodbye to Ash’s best pal. So they dedicated an entire episode to Pikachu finding other wild Pikachu and forming a familial bond with them. Ash, realizing that his Pikachu was happy there, tearfully bid him farewell and continued on his journey.

While he felt the weight of the missing Pikachu on his shoulders every day, he knew it was for the best. Hopefully, he’d come back and visit his old friend someday, having grown, learned, matured and—PBBBBBBBBBBTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *snort*Ahahahaha, I knew I couldn’t make it through that! Ahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa! *sigh* No.

What really happened, in speculation because they’d never admit to this of course, is that they realized that Pikachu had been slightly vilified by the events of the previous episode, so they knew they had to do something major to put Seizurechu back in the good graces of their audience.

During the four month hiatus, they seemingly brewed up this episode on the fly since it had not appeared in any broadcast or production schedule before the incident occurred. And if there was ever an episode cherry-picked to make you love Pikachu, it’s this one.

Step right up! Hurry hurry! We’ve got so many Pikachu, you’ll think you just fell into a bargain bin of clearance Pikachu plushies at that outlet mall that never doesn’t smell like mildew! Check it out! We’ve got Pikachu with slightly ruffled tails, Pikachu with slightly bent ears, Pikachu with slightly bent and ruffled ears! Not enough?! What are you? A black-hearted Porygon?! What do we have to show you? A baby Pikachu?! Well, that’s physically imposs—OH BOOYA! BABY FREAKIN’ PIKACHU!

Look, they’re doing cute things like throwing Satoshi’s Pikachu into the air with their tails, doing a handshake with tails, rubbing their faces together and making sparks, and chanting to the moon like a Clefairy cult!

But wait, we offer more than just diabetes-inducing cuteness! We also have heartwrenching sadness! Get a bittersweet smile as Satoshi’s Pikachu has a bunch of fun with the other Pikachu. Tear up as Satoshi comes to the realization that Pikachu’s better off in the wild. Cry your eyeballs out of their sockets when that damn clipshow with that godforsaken song comes up. Then forget all about any connections Pikachu had with the—Hhmm? What’s that? Already forgotten because Pikachu’s slow-mo jumping into Satoshi’s arms? Nevermind then!

That is basically the entire gist of this episode.

As I read the episode’s Wiki page before starting the rewatch, I came across an interesting section. When this episode aired in Japan, they had a woman named Miyuki Yadama introduce the show. She explained the reasons behind the hiatus, the whole Pokemon Shock incident and even the specific reason behind the seizures. The interesting part is what’s in the frame with Ms. Yadama as she’s giving this intro. She’s surrounded by Pokemon dolls. There are several species in the frame, but one Pokemon is noticeably much more prevalent.

Guess who?

EP038_incident_explanation

There are, at least, 12 Pikachu in this shot. Maybe 13, but I can’t tell if the first one to the right is an Electabuzz. If you had any question about the validity of my suspicions, just look at this picture. This intro preceding this episode makes me wonder if there’s such a thing as overdosing on Pikachu.

They so very desperately want you to fall back in love with Pikachu again, it’s almost creepy.

Without any further adieu, Pikachu’s Goodbye.

Plot: Taking a rest in the forest, Pikachu spots a Baby Pikachu in the bushes and runs to greet it. The Baby Pikachu runs off to its group and Pikachu tries to make friends with them. The group is leery, but welcome Pikachu into the group when the Baby Pikachu properly greets him with a tail shake.

Ash decides that he wants to make friends with them too so he bursts from his hiding spot and yells out that he wants to play with them. However, they’re quickly scared off by him, leaving Pikachu disappointed.

Later, Brock explains that the Pikachu are likely scared of humans due to a lack of contact with them. They’re currently so far into the woods that people likely don’t wander around there very often. This area is like a paradise to them and they agree that they should do everything in their power to avoid disturbing them.

Suddenly, the Baby Pikachu from earlier falls into the nearby river. It’s not strong enough to fight the current, so Pikachu jumps in to save it. The other Pikachu form a Pikachain to grab onto the two of them and pull them to safety. Pikachu’s now even more accepted into their group, and Ash comes to the realization that Pikachu may be better off living with the wild Pikachu than traveling with him.

He struggles with the thought through the night when the Pikachu cry out in panic. Team Rocket has wrangled up all of the Pikachu in an insulated net and plans to take them all. They start to fly away, but Pikachu bites through the net and climbs up onto the balloon’s basket to distract Team Rocket while Ash and the others catch the Pikachu in a net as they jump from the balloon.

Pikachu bites the balloon and sends Team Rocket blasting off. Everyone’s greatly impressed with Ash and Pikachu. As the Pikachu cheer, Ash becomes adamant that Pikachu really would be better off in the wild with the other Pikachu and tries to silently leave. However, Pikachu tries to follow him. Ash tries to get Pikachu to understand that the other Pikachu need him there and that he shouldn’t follow him anymore.

Trying his best not to cry in front of Pikachu, he quickly bids him goodbye and runs off. Misty and Brock catch up to him and try to understand why he feels the need to do this. They’re unable to argue when Ash explains the situation.

Suddenly, Pikachu shows up again, much to Ash’s surprise. The Pikachu cheer on the both of them and Ash realizes that Pikachu has chosen to stay by his best friend. They tearfully reunite with a hug, knowing they’ll always continue their journeys together.

————————

– Narrator: “Our hero, Ash, along with his friends, Misty and Brock….” Oh, we’ve gone from ‘our heroes’ to ‘Ash, the hero and friends.’ Nice.

– Ash: *swinging from vine* “KANGA-KANGASKHAN!” It’s less than 30 seconds into the episode and so far it’s given me two prompts to punch Ash in the face. Good job.

– Eeeeeee! Baby Pika…….I mean *cough* in hindsight, baby Pikachu is impossible because it’s an evolved form from the yet to be revealed Pichu. Hahaha, what adorable continuity—HORRIBLE! What HORRIBLE continuity.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen1

– Awwww the Pikachu rubbing their faces together to get sparks. That’s so cu—Uh….Shouldn’t they be stuck together like Pikachu and Raichu did in Pikachu’s Vacation? Pbbtt, you guys sure are messy with the yet-to-happen continuity today. Hahaha…..ha.

– AW THEY’RE NIBBLING APPLES AND WRESTL—Ahem….errr…..where the hell are they going? Pikachu are only indigenous to the Viridian Forest, The Power Plant and the Rocket Game Corner (in Green) in Kanto.

So, given the last few episodes and considering they’re in a forest, they went from the Safari Zone to Cycling Road (it’s definitively called that in the original version) to two anime-exclusive towns along the way to Viridian Forest.…..when their next destination is Cinnabar Island here which takes them nine episodes because apparently between Viridian Forest and Cinnabar Island there are at least seven different towns and cities when it would’ve taken an episode or two from where they started, especially considering the Seafoam Islands don’t seem to be the same hurdle that needs jumping to get there from there and they just take a boat anyway.

Basically, they did this

Map confusion

When they just needed to do this. map6

 

I really need to stop applying game logic to this show or else I’ll have to buy one of those blood pressure cuffs.

– Aw, the Baby Pikachu is ‘shaking tails’ with Ash’s Pikachu. Awww—fully easy to earn your trust, eh Baby Pikachu? Yeah….*sniff*

Pokemon Ep 39 screen2

– Ash, after seeing how wary they were of his Pikachu, thinks nothing of bursting from a nearby bush, running towards the group of Pikachu, waving his arms and yelling to them. *sigh*

– Not for nothing, but couldn’t any of Ash and Misty’s Water Pokemon help save the Baby Pikachu?

– I get that it’s hard to grab anywhere else in a Pikachain, but pulling on their tails has to be really painful.

– Uh, why is the Baby Pikachu, the one who was originally drowning, fine, but Ash’s Pikachu is unconscious?

– Cheek to cheek resuscitation would be a cuter term for this if not for the giggles it would receive….heheh, butts.

– Awwwwww, they’re lifting him up and throwing him through the air with their tails to cheer for Pikac—No!….No…*cough*

– Is that one Pikachu rubbing the other’s ass?

Pokemon Ep 39 screen3

– I love that it seems like Team Rocket feels justified to put much more value on an otherwise very common and easy to capture Pokemon just because they believe one Pikachu is more powerful than it should be when they have no proof of that. I really just think, at this point, it’s been burned into their minds.

– Awww, they’re sing/chanting at the moon that’s….cute and creepy? Are we back to the theory that Pokemon are aliens? What is this exactly?

– I will fully admit that it’s cool that their chanting matches the BG music.

– The Who’s That Pokemon shot of Pikachu just reminds me of how much weight little chubby Pikachu has lost since he met Ash.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen4

– I do like how they create this dilemma with Ash. Pikachu is Ash’s best friend and first Pokemon. He obviously loves all of his Pokemon, but Pikachu is still very special to him. (blatant favoritism aside) Hearing that Pikachu might be happier without him while seeing the evidence in front of his face has to be incredibly difficult.

I’d compare it to Bye Bye Butterfree to a major extent. Butterfree was the second Pokemon Ash ever had and he realized that its future and happiness was not with him but with his new mate and children out in the wild. Even though Butterfree meant a lot to him, he knew he had to let him go. One of the purest forms of showing true love is pushing your happiness and feelings aside in order to make the other happy.

He’s doing the same thing here, which could nudge this episode slightly into rip-off territory (even the title is similar: Bye Bye Butterfree → Pikachu’s Goodbye) but I think does enough to skew it away from that.

The thing that kinda snags this is that Ash isn’t really taking into consideration what Pikachu wants. I know that seems counter to what I’ve been saying, but he never really asks Pikachu if he wants to stay there. He’s just doing what he believes is right for Pikachu, when, in reality, wouldn’t every Pokemon who is captured be better off with their own kind back in the wild?

Ash knew Butterfree had made his decision to stay with the other Butterfree and his mate to start a new life in the wild again. He knew that was what he wanted. Here, Ash just sees Pikachu enjoying itself and making new friends then assumes he’d be happier there without him.

It also messes up the departure scene. Whereas in Bye Bye Butterfree where the entire departure is sad and heartbreaking, though bittersweet because you know it’s for the best, here you get like an Old Yeller impression, like Pikachu’s confused as to what Ash is doing and seems like he’s being abandoned, to a degree. Before Pikachu goes to see where he went, Ash seems like he’s going to leave Pikachu without even saying goodbye. The sadness is mostly triggered by the clipshow and accompanying song.

– I think I understand now why Brock’s eyes are the way they are. He sleeps facing fires.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen5
Thank God, a Pika-free screencap…..are they sleeping on top of their sleeping bags?

– Ash: *facing a net filled with the Pikachu* “Pikachu! PIKACHU!”

This is one of those times where calling a Pokemon by its species name seems stupid. This would be like me naming my dog Dog, losing him in a pack of dogs and yelling ‘Dog! DOG!’

– Hey, you know what’s a good idea to include in your first post-seizure episode? A shot where the characters are blinded by bright lights!

– Misty: “You’re not swiping anything!” Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping!

Misty: “Pikachu! Break through the ropes with an electric attack!” Why did Misty get these lines? Pikachu is not her Pokemon.

– Hey, you know what’s a good idea to include in the dubbing of the post-seizure episode? This line;

James: “They’re no match for our Pikachu insulated SEIZURE net!” Good job, 4Kids.

– *sigh* Yet another time where Ash and the others forget they have non-Pika Pokemon.

Misty’s Staryu and Starmie have been known to cut through things. Brock’s Vulpix could burn the ropes. Geodude could just rip them up. Ash’s Bulbasaur could Razor Leaf them out. Charmander could burn the ropes. Pidgeotto might be able to cut through them.

Even after they get captured in the net, they could still easily use a Pokeball.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen6

– Pikachu, the mouse Pokemon, just now decided to start chewing the ropes.

– The animation for the chewing, when seen from afar, seems so erratic.

– Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s a hell of a lot more Pikachu than we’ve ever seen on screen before this point. We’ve been seeing like 20-30, but there have to be hundreds in there.

– Ash: “Alright! We’re free!” We won’t explain how, but we’re free!

– Ya know, I know this episode wasn’t even a thought back then, but I feel like this episode should’ve preceded Sparks Fly for Magnemite. At least this would explain why Pikachu has a fear of being abandoned by Ash, to a slight degree.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen7

– It’s actually a little funny. The episode’s called Pikachu’s Goodbye, but Ash is the only one who says it.

– Ash: “All of these Pikachu in the forest need you.” That’s highly debatable. He could help them out, sure, but need? That’s going a bit far. Honestly, Pikachu wouldn’t have even been successful in saving the other Pikachu from Team Rocket if Ash and the others didn’t catch them with the net.

This is another reason why the departure is a bit screwed. He should’ve just sat down with Pikachu and explained that he believed he’d be happier there with the wild Pikachu.

– “I close my eyes….and I can see….the day we m–” NOPE!

You’re not getting me this time! You can’t make me feel feelings!

feelz

NO! LEAVE ME ALONE!

drowning

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

feelings

– Must….include….cynicism….Urgh….Oh I know. Way to save two minutes of animation by having a somewhat sloppy clipshow. Our second one this episode, I might add, but the first was much shorter.

– Oh look, honored Messiahchu literally summoned the sun. That’s the only way to explain away going from dead of night to sunrise in three seconds.

Pokemon Ep 39 screen8
Pikachu: “You’re my bitch now, Ra!”

– Aw, the Baby Pikachu saying goodbye to Pikachu—I mean, it’s really stupid how—Awwww, Pikachu jumping into Ash’s arms. Rrrghh…resist…. Aw, the look on Ash’s face before he does it…..I’m slipping….Aw, he’s crying! Not gonna make it….not…gonna…Aww the other Pikachu are cheering for them–Feels-Explosion

————————–

Fine! I like this episode, okay? It’s not a masterpiece, but I like it. I don’t care if it has minimal story, I don’t care if they’re obviously cutting corners with the animation to get it out within four months, I don’t care if the art sometimes looks really weird like making them seem too tall or too old (Ash looks about five years older when he’s watching the fire.) I don’t care if this plot is a little recycled from Bye Bye Butterfree. I don’t care if the departure’s botched a little, I don’t care if my feelings are being manipulated for the sake of ‘love Pikachu again, we promise he won’t make you foam at the mouth anymore.’ They succeeded in their mission.

Hell, I’ll even forgive a minor issue with this episode – the Baby Pikachu might just be a chibi Pikachu. *shrug*

As we’ve all learned by now, sometimes we just like things without needing a good reason. It’s cute and sad. That’s my justification. As much as I hate the favoritism sometimes, Ash and Pikachu can be legitimately heartwarming as a friendship. I grew up with these two. I can’t untug the heartstrings.

Next episode, Eevee! The Eeveelutions! More continuity problems with later generations! Annoying as hell CotDs! And hair.

Pokemon (Banned) Episode 38 Analysis: Electric Soldier Porygon

Pokemon ep 38 screen8
I’m certain most of Japan agrees with you, Kasumi.

CotD(s): Akihabara-Hakase – Creator of the Monster Ball transfer system, Akihabara is very intelligent but also eccentric and somewhat dangerous.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Akihabara has two Porygon, and the species as a whole is also his creation.

Pre-Analysis Notes: Look, you know what this is. I know what this is. Nearly everyone who knows even a little about classic Pokemon or anime knows what this is. But, just in case, let’s be frank about it anyway.

It’s the seizure episode.

It’s arguably the most well-known singular episode of Pokemon and, arguably, the most well-known banned episode of any animated series outside of that one episode of Tiny Toons where they drink beer.

The cause of the famous Pokemon Shock incident, Electric Soldier Porygon is the episode that caused seizures in 600+ kids in Japan when it first aired. The effects of this episode airing are still being felt to this day. In fact, this episode caused the creators of Pokemon to go back and edit some of their episodes to help prevent possible seizure-inducing shots.

For instance, you may have noticed by now in certain episodes where Pikachu is doing electric attacks (most notably in these instances, I might add, but let’s address this later) that the animation starts jutting or slowing down and the brightness gets significantly lower. I also mentioned that I believe this incident is the reason for the nightmare fuel animation Hypno and Drowzee shots in Hypno’s Naptime.

It’s not just contained to Pokemon either. Other anime and western animated shows also tone down the brightness and tweak the animation in flashy action shots, such as in shounen fighting anime, to prevent this same thing from happening.

That’s not all. Many anime also started putting those all too familiar ‘don’t sit too close to the TV and turn up the lights in the room’ warnings at the start of certain shows to also help prevent this.

And that’s still not all. Because of this incident, the creators of Pokemon felt they had to do damage control in the future and prevent people from remembering this event. Thus, Porygon had to be sacrificed.

In addition to it never getting an anime release outside of Japan, Porygon and all of its evos have been silently banned from ever getting their own episodes or being used by trainers in the entirety of the anime. They don’t even get mentioned. The best they get are incredibly minor cameos in the background, almost always just being an obligated feature in a huge collab screen during those The World of Pokemon openers for the movies.

And it was wrongfully damned because…..*huff* Nope. Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.

This is our second completely banned episode in regards to it obviously being taken out of rotation (In Japan too, which probably makes it ultra-banned) and never being dubbed by 4Kids. In fact, unlike The Legend of Miniryu, it’s highly unlikely 4Kids ever got a copy of this episode to dub considering that they wanted to basically remove this episode from existence.

You can find more information on the event, the banning and why it likely wasn’t ever dubbed and will probably will never be released, even edited, here http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/kanto/ep038.html And I know Dogasu links to this page in the article, but just because I believe it deserves a look for the sake of learning more about the event itself https://www.csicop.org/si/show/pokemon_panic_of_1997

Without any further adieu. The seizure ep—Er, The Electric Soldier Porygon.

Japanese Key: Satoshi/Ash, Takeshi/Brock, Kasumi/Misty, Hakase/Professor, Monster Balls/Pokeballs, Fushigidane/Bulbasaur, Arbo/Arbok, Metadogas/Weezing, Masaki/Bill

Plot: Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi have arrived in Matcha City, and Pikachu seems really tired, so they visit the local Pokemon Center to get him some rest. When they arrive, they find the Pokemon Center in chaos as they try to field phone call after phone call with complaints about the Monster Ball Transfer System not functioning.

Whenever a rare Pokemon is being transferred, the Pokemon is switched with a much more common Pokemon and the original Pokemon never arrives. Joy and the tech specialist who created the system, Akihabara-hakase, are working to fix it, but so far have been unable to find the bug.

Takeshi suggests that it’s a virus, but Akihabara vehemently refuses the suggestions. He runs out of the building stating that the system is far too advanced to get a virus.

Satoshi and the others go to Akihabara’s laboratory to see what’s wrong when they’re stopped by a strange polygonal Akihabara head that turns out to be a hologram. Akihabara lures the group into a giant Monster ball transfer machine where he tells them that the source of the problems for the system is Team Rocket.

They somehow managed to sneak in, steal a prototype CG Pokemon, Porygon Zero, and transfer themselves into the network. Whenever a rare Pokemon is sent through, Team Rocket snatches it and replaces it with a common Pokemon.

He knows he could fix the problems with a vaccine program. The problem is, if he activates the program now, Team Rocket will be killed. In order to avoid this, he sends Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi into the digital world to take down and retrieve Team Rocket so he can execute the program and fix the system.

Riding on an enlarged Porygon, the group assesses their situation and follows the Network Highway to Team Rocket, who are stopping all transfers in the middle of the highway with a literal road block and taking all of the rare Pokemon for themselves.

Satoshi and the others arrive, demanding they release the Pokemon. Team Rocket refuses and sends out Arbo and Metadogas. Metadogas uses Smokescreen, but Porygon uses its Conversion technique to match Metadogas’ appearance and knock it away. (Actually it adopts the Pokemon’s type, but this is fun too)

Team Rocket uses Porygon Zero to fight the other Porygon, but it’s mostly a stalemate of Porygon transforming into a shield and Porygon Zero transforming into various weapons. Akihabara tells the group to take this opportunity to take down the barriers on the Network Highway and restore the Monster Ball transfers.

Team Rocket tries to stop them, but they get electrocuted by Pikachu and blasted off with Porygon Zero.

Akihabara and the others believe the problem is about to be solved, but the Pokemon Center suddenly accesses the system. Akihabara learns that the main Center sent down a computer specialist who is using a strong vaccine to take care of the problem, which panics Akihabara since Satoshi and the others are still in the system. If the vaccine hits them, they’ll be unable to escape back to the real world.

Akihabara warns Satoshi and the others to get out of there. They call Porygon and start to make their escape. Team Rocket also starts to escape via their Porygon Zero as the vaccine starts its assault.

They race to the exit, dodging blast after blast of bright assaults from the vaccine. Team Rocket gets wrapped up in one of the attacks, which causes a hole in the system’s coding. Team Rocket, now with a knocked out Porygon Zero, is trapped within the hole, and the computer specialist in the Pokemon Center starts to closeit. Satoshi and the others near the transfer point, but Satoshi wants to go save Team Rocket.

Just when it seems like Team Rocket is done for, Satoshi, Fushigidane and Porygon swoop in to save them. But they’re not out of the woods yet. The vaccine is still pursuing them, and now Porygon is faltering due to exhaustion and too much weight. The vaccine launches four missiles and Pikachu manages to blow two of them away with an electric attack, but the other two smash into the transfer point, causing the entire laboratory to explode.

Luckily, they all managed to get out just in time. The Pokemon transfer system is now working perfectly, but Akihabara’s human transfer system is destroyed. With the group keeping their digital heroics a secret, they continue on their journey.

————————–

– Akihabara-Hakase made the transfer system?…..Considering Masaki made the storage system, I always thought he made the transfer system too. Hm. Anyone want to throw in their two cents about whether this is BS to game canon?

– For some reason, I think it’s adorable that Satoshi thinks computer viruses are little demons who poke at computers in hospital beds.

It also just dates the hell out of this show. Ten year old kid is clueless about everything computers. You just wait a decade or two, Satoshi. You’ll be catching Pokemon with your smartphone and annoying the shit out of everyone around you soon enough.

– What the hell is up with this map? Why is it taking a ridiculous route around the backside of the Pokemon Center when you could just hang a left at the entrance and then head north? Is there an annoying ‘you can jump down but not up because I said so’ ledge over to the left?

Pokemon ep 38 screen1

– They follow that map with no problems whatsoever, but get lost every damn episode even with a professionally made–…

POKEMON EP31 screen1

Er….nevermind. Pokemon really needs a better educational system because they are in desperate need of competent cartographers.

– I love how Kasumi is concerned about walking around some other person’s house. I think you’ve long since passed that worry, Kasumi. Hell, you were breaking and entering without issue last episode.

– Some strange man in the dark is telling us to follow him into a strange dark room? Well, we really shouldn’t, but we have no sense of self-preservation so why not?

– He trapped them in a giant Monster Ball transfer machine? That is straight up kidnap—……that is a really cool concept that might answer numerous questions I’ve had about that thing…..But he is kidnapping them……..Hm…..Promise me they’ll be un-kidnapped and I’ll turn a blind eye.

– Unless Akihabara works for Silph Co., which I doubt because it doesn’t seem to exist in the anime, he did not canonically create Porygon.

– Bullshit Team Rocket was smart enough to not only steal a CG Pokemon but also somehow have been stealing Pokemon in cyberspace on purpose. They can barely steal a scene.

Pokemon ep 38 screen2

– So instead of recruiting people qualified to enter a digital world and fight monsters to take down evil forces, Akihabara decides to just kidnap whatever children just happen to be nearby and make them do it–……Holy crap, this is Digimon Adventure 01!

– Porygon may be far from my favorite Pokemon, but it’s still pretty cute in this episode.

– Well, we finally know what the inside of the digital world looks like…..a bunch of non-detailed tubes…….I like Digimon’s interpretation better. Also, this is a missed opportunity for some nightmare inducing polygonal CGI scenes.

– I don’t really understand Team Rocket’s plan. Sure, they’re stealing the most amount of rare Pokemon they’ve ever managed to get their hands on…..but how do they expect to leave? They can’t even contact Giovanni or anyone from within the system. They could steal every rare Pokemon in the world in there and it wouldn’t matter. Unless they plan to accumulate a ton of digital monsters and create a new world order within the system—Oh my God, it’s a prequel to Digimon Adventure 01!

Pokemon ep 38 screen3

– Porygon’s an interesting Digim—Pokemon purely for Conversion and the way it transforms in the digital world. In a lot of ways, it’s like Ditto, which is weird to follow up with immediately after the Ditto episode.

– Takeshi: “Just what you’d expect from a pair of Porygon.” Dude, you just learned what a Porygon was five minutes ago, and you still weren’t properly given a rundown on what it was outside of being a CG Pokemon. Stop being a not-knowing know it all.

– Where did Team Rocket get the road blocks in the mostly vacant digital world? Why are these pitifully undersized roadblocks stopping this massive pile of Monster Balls from transferring?

– I know Akihabara’s a crazy weirdo, but they seriously sent down someone else to fix a problem in the system he created without even telling him? What asses at the….main Center…..what main Center? Where is this?

– He could’ve avoided this whole mess if he told Joy the problem in the first place instead of just being incredibly vague and running out of the Pokemon Center without a word.

– I don’t know why, but I find it really cute that the vaccine program is a little ambulance.

Pokemon ep 38 screen4

– Rocket-propelled needles….not so much.

– Alright, so we’re at the seizure moment basically. The action escape scene involves a lot, and I mean a lot, of bright blue and red beams and flashes of red and blue light. And it’s not anime-ish drawn light, it’s full-on neon colors legit light-light. Most of the scene is not too much of a problem because the characters are usually taking up much of the shot, the light is simply beams or the light is contained to maybe 50% of the screen. I imagine kids might have been getting flicker vertigo at this point.

The part of the episode that was the tipping point into massive seizures, however, was the finale where the entire group are about to be hit with a barrage of vaccine missiles before they leave the system. In order to help save them, Pikachu shocks two of the missiles into blowing up before they reach them, which briefly causes the entire screen to flicker blue and red for about two seconds, followed by a shot of the flashing taking about 70% of the screen for another couple of seconds. And that’s all it takes, really.

That’s also why this incident is coined the Pokemon Shock incident. All of the other scenes were mostly okay, but the finale with Pikachu’s shock was the crux.

Pokemon ep 38 screen5
Whoo yeah, you did it Pikachu! Now let’s wait for the audience to get back from the hospital to talk about how proud we are of you.

What’s that, you ask? What did Porygon do to contribute to this event? You say it must’ve done something horrible because it’s anime-banned? Oh it just bravely fought through exhaustion and encumbering weight to help everyone, including Seizurechu, escape. Porygon was not, in any way shape or form, responsible for the flashes. The only two things that caused the seizures were the vaccine program and Pikachu.

Surely, this must mean Pikachu is the one who deserves to be banned then, right? What say ye, Nintendo?

Nintendo: “Pikachu’s face is already plastered on a fuckin’ jet, and we are not going to risk our newest, cutest money whore. Ban the polygoned duck thing and shut up.”

……

sad okay

You know….I really have to tamp down my anger both at the injustice towards Porygon and the secret-service-esque maneuvers to save honored Messiahchu……because I get it. I really do. Logically, it makes sense.

As much as we, the viewers and fans of the show, know how much of a raw deal Porygon’s getting here, let’s be honest, other people, those who don’t watch the show regularly and the parents of these kids, are never going to associate this event with Pikachu because the scene was literally seconds long. When people have talked and currently do talk about this episode, they usually refer to it as the Porygon episode or, at most, Electric Soldier Porygon. What matters most to fans is not what’s put in play here. It’s what matters to the public at large. Porygon is the face of this episode and, sadly, that means he’s damned to being the face of this incident.

Banning Pikachu would seem logical to us, but I can bet damn near anything that parents would petition to have Porygon removed from the franchise for the sake of avoiding trauma anyway, and the franchise as a whole would suffer do to lack of ‘chu.

Pokemon ep 38 screen6
Yeah, you got banned for Pikachu’s sins! Thanks, Porygon!

It’s just more painful when you actually watch the episode. Porygon is still far from my favorite Pokemon, but this episode gives you a new appreciation for it. It has cool abilities, at least within the system, it’s very nice, brave and even kinda cute.

This whole incident is really just a shame all around. Truthfully, if it wasn’t Porygon and this episode, I can bet anything it would’ve been some other episode or even another show triggering the necessary changes for preventing seizures. Best case scenario is finding out about these risks beforehand and changing things before incidents such as Pokemon Shock occur, but we can’t always be so lucky.

I should mention that, while I am not epileptic or prone to seizures, I still very easily get motion sickness. I am extremely prone to carsickness, seasickness, lightheadedness, dizziness and I am prone to being digitally motion sick (getting motion sick while playing video games). It’s only with certain games and lighting, but it does happen. For instance, I can’t play many classic Star Wars games, such as Dark Forces and Mysteries of the Sith (classic FPS’s in general mostly due to the art and way you move) and Dead Island (really bright first person environments) for longer than about five minutes without getting a splitting headache and feeling like I’m going to barf.

While I was watching ‘the scene’ I did feel slightly ill and off-kilter, but only a little. That was my experience anyway. I can certainly see how that scene would trigger seizures. I do have to wonder how many people who have watched the bootlegs of the episode have gotten seizures or illness.

– Bullshit they all survived the laboratory blowing up. Then again, this is, worryingly, not the first or last time Satoshi and co. will survive being inside of a building as it’s blown to smithereens (See: Pokemon Emergency!)

– I do like Team Rocket being appreciative of the group saving their lives, though.

Pokemon ep 38 screen7

– So Akihabara made the human transfer system for the sake of making people’s lives easier? But you still need to actually travel within it. Without a Porygon, it would’ve been ridiculous. And the slightest errors or viruses could kill you or make you unable to return to the real world.

– Why is this whole thing being kept a secret anyway? If Akihabara had just told Joy about what was going on, none of this vaccine stuff would’ve happened. Actually, none of this episode would’ve happened. Oh, right, nevermind.

– Despite the fact that Fushigidane also did work today, why is Satoshi only telling Joy to care for Pikachu? Well, I guess sending 600+ kids to the hospital IS tiring.

archer-burn

————————–

I did enjoy this episode. We really needed a change of pace from forest, city, forest, city, forest, forest, city, forest. The digital world in Pokemon is…..a little boring, but has some cute and interesting aspects. Team Rocket’s plan made absolutely no sense, but at least they netted a crapton of Pokemon for a change. Honestly, I could spend pages just asking questions about the transfer system and the digital world, but I think we had enough to go over today.

Akihabara had more personality than the average CotD, but he was also a bit of an ass for kidnapping Satoshi, Takeshi and Kasumi and risking their lives when it was totally avoidable. At least he got a bittersweet ending.

I’ve said my piece about Porygon. Fare thee well, little angled duck. We’ll always have Paris the games.

Next episode, Jynx’s deb—Oh right, crap. Okay, there’s also one more consequence of this episode. Due to the Pokemon Shock incident, Pokemon was put on hiatus for four months, throwing its whole schedule out of whack. The next episode preview is for what we in the west know as Holiday Hi-Jynx (Rougela’s Christmas)……which is, oddly enough, ANOTHER banned episode (to a degree).

It was also meant to be followed by Snow Way Out (Iwark the Bivouac). As you can guess, these episodes were meant to be aired in winter, with Holiday Hi-Jynx being planned for the day before Christmas Eve. However, due to the hiatus, both episodes were ripped from their respective spots and saved until the following October, where they were aired as special episodes, kinda.

There’s a lot more to go over here, but I think that’s enough for now. Let’s talk about this whole mess when we get to the actual episodes. Since I’m following the wiki’s episode list and Dogasu’s listings, I’ll be moving on to Pikachu’s Goodbye next…..which is also a source of some anger for me, to be honest, as it comes hot on the heels of this episode, but again, let’s save that for later.

Next episode, Pikachu’s Goodbye.

Pokemon Episode 37 Analysis: Ditto’s Mysterious Mansion

Pokemon Ep 37 title

CotD(s): Duplica – A Ditto trainer, Duplica loves to put on shows for people. She wants to make a name for herself as a great impersonator and Ditto Master. Duplica is very intelligent in regards to Pokemon since Ditto can transform into any Pokemon.

Reappear?: Yes. She appears later on in Johto.

Pokemon: She has one Ditto now, but later she’ll get another one.

Plot: In an effort to get out of a sudden storm, Ash, Misty and Brock wander into a nearby mansion. They see Pikachu playing with another Pikachu and are surprised to find the other Pikachu has a weird face. Ash decides to capture it, but is blocked in his capture attempt by a guy who looks suspiciously like Ash.

He reveals himself to be a she – Duplica of the Imite House. Likewise, the weird Pikachu turns out to not be a Pikachu at all. It’s actually a transformed Ditto.

The group initially marvels at the unique transforming capabilities of Ditto, but quickly get less impressed when they realize that it can’t transform its face and that transforming is all it can do. Ash is especially unimpressed since he believes being unable to teach a Pokemon new moves is boring. In order to prove Ash wrong, Duplica challenges Ash to a match.

Ash chooses Bulbasaur and Duplica chooses Ditto, who transforms into Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur uses Razor Leaf, but the leaves are all smacked away by a Vine Whip from Dittosaur. Everyone’s baffled that Ditto can also mimic the attacks of whatever it transforms into. Dittosaur wraps up Bulbasaur in Vine Whip and Ash surrenders.

Duplica shows off her impersonations in the costume room where she mimics Nurse Joy, Officer Jenny and Misty. However, Ash is still sulking after his loss because he believes the real versions shouldn’t lose to copycats.

Misty says Ditto technically was a real Bulbasaur and Brock adds that Duplica has to be very knowledgeable to use her Ditto so well. Since she’s only used a Ditto but it can copy any Pokemon and its attacks, Duplica must know every Pokemon and all of their attacks.

Duplica states that she wants to be the greatest Ditto Master and a star of the stage, but her Ditto can’t break through its problem of leaving its face the same way. Her audiences get annoyed by her Ditto’s lack of face transformation and leave her shows, making Duplica pessimistic about her chances of stardom.

Suddenly, Team Rocket breaks in and snatches Ditto. They manage to get away and try to get it to Transform into a Dratini for Giovanni, but it keeps messing up the transformation. After some threats and intimidation, Ditto is finally able to perfect a facial transformation.

Ash, Misty, Brock and Duplica figure out Team Rocket’s location with Pidgeotto and Zubat, so they head out. When they arrive, they mimic Team Rocket’s motto and demand to have Ditto back. They realize that its taken the form of Meowth perfectly and they cant tell the difference.

Duplica tearfully thanks Team Rocket for helping Ditto fix its Transformation problem. At Duplica’s gratitude, Team Rocket decides to give Ditto back and leave.

However, Duplica quickly realizes that this is a trick – they gave her the real Meowth and took Ditto. She throws Meowth to the balloon and Ditto bites Jessie, jumping back down into Duplica’s arms. Jessie unveils a cannon under the balloon and prepares to fire. Duplica tells Ditto to transform into the cannon, and Ash uses Pikachu as a makeshift cannonball. Jessie and Ditto shoot at the same time. A net is launched from Team Rocket’s cannon while Pikachu jets off from Ditto-cannon. Pikachu Thundershock’s the net, which shocks the balloon and Meowth, causing his claws to puncture the balloon and send them blasting off.

Duplica fixes up the Imite House and prepares for many shows with her newly perfected Ditto, and Ash, Misty and Brock head off to their next adventure.

————————–

– Narrator: “As our heroes continue their journey, the future looks sunny and bright. *storm clouds come in* Uh ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh!” He says that with such snark, I almost want to believe the narrator is omnipotent and made the storm to mess with them.

– Things Ash and co. don’t seem to ever carry with them.

  • Flashlights.
  • Umbrellas.
  • Coats.
  • Basic survival gear despite being children on a global backpacking journey.

– Getting this out of the way right now – there’s nothing mysterious about this mansion. It’s not even Ditto’s. In fact, it’s questionable whether this place even belongs to Duplica.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen1
How is the sign falling down but the ribbons and flag look like new?

– Ash: “Hello! Sorry for barging in!” You better apologize. You didn’t even knock or open the door like a normal person. You literally barged in.

– Ash: “Hey, since nobody’s here, we might as well stay here until the rain stops.” Ash seems to work on video game protagonist logic sometimes. You watch. Eventually we’ll hear him say stuff like ‘I wonder if there are potions in this vase. I should break it and find out. Afterall, no one’s around.’ and ‘No one’s home. Wonder if they’ll care if I pick this locked chest in their basement and take everything in it?’

– Wow, Misty. You see a Pikachu with a slightly goofy face and your first instinct is to drop it and then yell out at the top of your lungs “WHAT IS THIS?! WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT!?”? Way to be an ass, Misty. Ditto’s face is cute, too, so you’re an ultra ass.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen2

– I love how Ash is all gung-ho about catching this ‘weird Pikachu’ Does he intend on it replacing his Pikachu or does he just want it for a trophy? Either way, it’s messed up.

– Also, one of the few times he’s gung-ho about catching a Pokemon and it’s one he already has. *huff*

– Okay, Ash, good. You’ve learned that you need to battle with Pokemon to weaken them before using a Pokeball on them. You’re learning….but….first off, you used Pikachu on it, which, considering you think it’s a Pikachu…..duh.

Second, Pikachu have been known to absorb electricity (though this seems to turn off and on), so your attack would barely do anything even if the Electric vs. Electric wasn’t already weak. (I will give him some leeway because, technically, he has no Pokemon strong against Electric types. His best bet would be Bulbasaur, and he just doesn’t take as much damage from electricity – his attacks aren’t 2x effective against them.)

And finally, Dittochu used some form of Electric attack to counterbalance the Thundershock, so the attack wasn’t even damaging him anyway.

All in all, I give this capture attempt a C+. Needs improvement.

– Duplica had Ash’s exact outfit, down to his supposedly unique Pokemon League hat, on hand to trick the group despite never meeting them before just now, but she didn’t have a wig to mimic Ash’s hair?

Pokemon Ep 37 screen3

– Misty: “Ash, that guy is dressed just like you.” See? They didn’t say anything like ‘There are two Ashes!’ or ‘That guy looks just like Ash!’ they said that guy is dressed like Ash. B- Try harder.

Brock: “Except it’s a girl.”

Misty: “How can you tell?”

Brock: “Men’s intuition.” I feel weird for analyzing this, but is he saying….he’s turned on and thus this has to be a girl? Because Duplica’s around Misty’s age…in which case, ew.

Or is he just saying that men have the innate ability to tell who’s a girl and who’s a guy from a distance? Do penises double as divining rods? I don’t get it.

– Is Megan Hollingstead actually doing an Ash impression, or is Veronica Taylor dubbing her over here? Because she’s actually very good at it if she is doing an impersonation.

– Why do they have no problem saying the term ‘Imite’ but they changed her named to Duplica? I usually don’t complain about name changes much, but Imite is such a cool name. So is Duplica, but I much prefer Imite.

– Misty: “You were right, Brock. She is a girl.”

Brock: “But she may be a little young for me.” Brock, stop, please.

– I like that Duplica also mimics Ash’s mannerisms in battle.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen4

– Just because Ditto is shown to be able to mimic attacks too….that’s what impresses Ash enough to say it’s not boring? But…the reason he said they were boring was because you don’t get to have the fun of teaching it new attacks. She’s still not doing that – She’s just mimicking the moveset of the Pokemon in question.

– That Razor Leaf being smacked away by a Vine Whip scene gives me deja vu for the Venusaur vs. Cloneasaur battle in the first movie.

– Ash: “But…how could the real thing lose?” Because you surrendered just because Bulbasaur was caught up in vines, moron. Bulbasaur could still use Razor Leaf (which would actually hit this time because its vines are being used to wrap up Bulbasaur) and its own Vine Whip, but you just gave up instead.

– Oh but she has a Misty wig.

– Brock: “That Ditto’s moves are unbeatable.”

Misty: “Better than the real Pokemon.”

Pbbbtttttttttttttt nooooooooooooo. Okay. Ditto is a not a crappy Pokemon. It can be very useful and fun….but also kinda bad. Ditto has horrible base stats out the door, which isn’t a bad thing in itself because it transforms and copies the stats of whatever it’s transforming into, but a Pokemon can easily get the first attack before Ditto can transform and just knock it out, which is easy anyway because its speed is terrible (coincidentally or on purpose, all of its base stats are the same.)

Ditto also cannot copy the HP of its opponent, meaning if you have crappy HP on your Ditto, which is likely no matter the level, it doesn’t matter if you’ve copied a powerhouse or a weak Pokemon, because it can still be knocked out with not too much issue.

Plus, you rarely have the type advantage with Ditto since it can’t do Transform twice in one battle. If you start with a Goldeen, it transforms, and then you switch to a Jolteon, you’re golden. If the Ditto is not wild, you can switch it out and back in to initiate Transform again, but there is still no type advantage and you leave yourself vulnerable for two turns.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen5
Dittosaur: “What the hell just happened?”

It’s been my experience that most people just tend to use Ditto for breeding purposes since it’s a Poke-whore that can make babies with nearly anything breedable. Hardly anyone uses Ditto for competitive purposes because there are so many workarounds to beat it.

The thing of it is, the anime’s Ditto bypasses all of these problems through suspension of disbelief. Ditto seems to get first move no matter what, meaning it can transform right away and not leave it susceptible to attack. Ditto can still use Transform even if the opponent has switched Pokemon (I’m getting this from the fact that it Transforms from a Machoke form into a Voltorb when a new Pokemon gets on stage in the flashback) Anime!Ditto can also turn into anything it wants to as well.

Game!Ditto is a good Pokemon with several flaws, but these flaws are understandable for the sake of balance. Plus, having an OP copycat Pokemon just seems lazy and annoying. Anime!Ditto, as long as you have the patience to study Pokemon attacks, seems OP no matter how you look at it.

– Brock: “Duplica must know all of Bulbasaur’s potential attacks. She can order Ditto to use the strongest attack possible, according to whatever form it takes.”

Misty: “That’s right. I guess Duplica must know every attack of every Pokemon there is.”

Pokemon Ep 37 screen6

There’s a bunch of things wrong with that. First of all, Ditto copies the moveset of the Pokemon it’s copying too. Bulbasaur’s strongest move, at the moment, is Razor Leaf.

Second, if she wanted to use Bulbasaur’s strongest move, she’d tell it to use Solar Beam. She doesn’t know Ash’s Bulbasaur doesn’t know it and since she has no game-esque HUD, she’d have to guess. But since that would make her look a little dumb, they didn’t.

Third, I can buy that she knows Bulbasaur’s moves, but the moves of every Pokemon in existence? Even taking into consideration TM’s and HM’s, should they exist here? No. I doubt even Gary can do that. Hell, I doubt even Professor Oak can do that. Why would she study that much anyway when she wants to be a great impersonator/comedian and not a trainer? I guess maybe to better impress audiences?

– Duplica should really stick to human character impersonations because her Pokemon imitations kinda suck.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen7
Nothing more entertaining than someone imitating a Pokemon that is known for not moving.

– Duplica: “This place is so flat and boring, but people pass by here all the time. I figured when people stop by to rest, I could entertain them.” You mean people break into your house all the time? Buy a lock, woman.

– Duplica has Ash and Charmeleon/izard syndrome. She knows Ditto has a problem but instead of trying to fix it, she just keeps expecting it to stop this ‘habit’. She even says flatout that Ditto has yet to fix his problem.

– Audience member: “It can’t transform at all!” Uh…obviously it can transform a little or else it would still be a pink blob.

– I really love how blasé Ash has gotten about Team Rocket’s appearances. I’d gladly take one of his goofy expressions and an exasperated brush off over him saying ‘It’s Team Rocket again!” for the billionth time.

– Duplica: “Ditto’s gone!”

Ash: “Team Rocket….What are they up to this time?” Don’t quote me on this, but I think, I THINK,…They might be trying to capture Ditto. Just maybe. I’ll have to post this on r/FanTheories and see what other people think.

– James: “Transform into Dratini, the Pokemon we’ve never been able to capture.” When did you try to catch a Dratini, James? My poor little American brain doesn’t understand when this may have happened.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen8

Joking aside, why are they asking it to transform into Dratini when they know of and have ‘seen’ a Dragonair, which is more impressive?

– Why not just give Giovanni the Ditto? It’s a rare-ish Pokemon with a unique and fairly powerful ability. Having it Transform into Dratini won’t work for long. Eventually, it would just change back and then Giovanni would get pissed at them for tricking him.

– Actually, it wouldn’t transform into a Dratini at all considering they don’t have the real thing there.

– Does Jessie not understand how Ditto works? You can’t show it a picture of someone, ask it to predict how the depicted person will look like older and then expect it to transform into anything but the exact same picture. Ditto’s a copying Pokemon not age progression software.

– I really don’t understand how the Transform ability works when it comes to transforming into things. When it Transforms for Jessie, Ditto actually agrees to show her a picture of the boy as an adult, but since we don’t see the source picture, we don’t know if he succeeded. Meowth calls him a ‘little boy’ and Jessie describes him as her first love, which commonly occurs in childhood (loosely using the term ‘love’ since that can stretch to ‘crush’) He doesn’t describe Ash and Misty as little boys or little girls (Jessie and James do mockingly on occasion) so I’m to assume he has to be younger than Ash and co.

However, the depicted boy looks to be about Brock’s age at least. Did Ditto actually succeed in age progressing this kid? If so, screw Pokemon training. Ditto could be invaluable in searching for missing children.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen9

– It’s also a major shame that we never learn anything about this kid besides this one photo, and we don’t even see his face due to it being Ditto-fied. It’s obvious he’s still very important to Jessie, considering she still carries a framed photo of him around, but we don’t even get his name. Was he a fellow orphan? Did they go to Pokemon Tech together? I’d assume not because James would know of him. Did he like her too? What circumstances separated them?

Why the hell would you make up such an interesting plot thread and then do absolutely nothing to explore it later?

– The scene with it transforming into the book would be more humorous if it copied the book exactly, but the Dratini’s face was Ditto-fied. Showing a blank book with a Ditto face makes the joke fall flat.

– Brock: “We’ve already sent Pidgeotto and Zubat out for surveillance.” Pidgeotto’s allowed to be useful! Praise the pigeon gods!

Pokemon Ep 37 screen10
Pikachu: “Whoa whoa whoa! Who let this peasant share a frame with me, Messiahchu!? Just for that, I’m taking your balloon popping scene later in the episode. BEGONE!”

– Props for Zubat being able to do something once every 15 episodes too.

– Ash: “It’s not the Pokemon but the trainer who decides what attacks to use in battle, right? So that means, if you raise a Ditto, its progress and power are connected directly to your own.”

Brock: “Yeah, I think you’re definitely right about that, Ash.”

Misty: “Sounds like you’ve been studying, Ash.” Studying what? I’ll give him credit for actually using that sloshy pile of goo in his head for a change and it is nice to see Ash thinking, but all he’s saying is something that is incredibly obvious and really not unique to Ditto trainers.

All Pokemon grow and increase in true power based on how their trainers grow and change. Having a powerful Pokemon does not, by default, make you win. Just as a crappy Pokemon can become great in the right hands, a good Pokemon can be useless if in unskilled hands.

For instance, Bulbasaur is a very intelligent and fairly powerful Pokemon. But it just lost a match against itself in one move because its trainer was a doofus.

– Why is it that Ash can seemingly understand what Pikachu’s ‘saying’ but not Pidgeotto? Result of not spending enough time with it?

– Well, of course they found Team Rocket’s hideout when they’re in a house with a huge Meowth head on the roof.

– It’s always bugged me a bit that Ditto needed to be threatened and intimidated to finally Transform correctly.

But, hey, at least Team Rocket was useful for a change.

– Again, I absolutely love Ash and co. doing Team Rocket’s motto, and the fact that they’re in Team Rocket costumes this time makes it all the better….but Duplica ruins it. Not only are there way too many people doing the motto, but Duplica says the ‘That’s right!’ line way too early.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen11
We need an AU where Ash and Co are Team Rocket and Jessie and James are aspiring Pokemon trainers.

– Where did Duplica get four properly sized Team Rocket uniforms anyway? Let’s say, at best, she knows of Team Rocket as an organization. She’d have the black uniforms, not the white ones. The black ones are the standard issue designs – Jessie and James altered them because they thought they looked better that way.

– Can I get a consensus? Would the mock-motto be funnier if they were also wearing James and Jessie wigs? Or would that be teetering into creepy?

– Why is Ditto going along with Team Rocket’s plan? I might say it’s to show that it can transform faces now to Duplica, but it can do that without seemingly siding with Team Rocket.

– I can buy that Ditto is mimicking Meowth’s voice, but I don’t think I’d suspend my disbelief enough to say he’s learned human language, too.

– I’ll give major credit to Team Rocket for coming up with a great on-the-fly ruse….but…did they really think they could get away in a hot air balloon quickly enough without Duplica noticing that Meowth wasn’t her Ditto?

– Likewise, it took until Ditto was being carried away in the balloon and Duplica noticing that Meowth wasn’t Ditto for Ditto to finally go ‘Oh wait, you’re kidnapping me. Fuck off’ and bite Team Rocket before going back to Duplica? Your motivations confuse me, little Ditto.

Pokemon Ep 37 screen12
Take that, three-minute Stockholm Syndrome!

– Again, Ditto’s object Transformation doesn’t make sense. It transformed into a cannon, yes, and Team Rocket has a cannon, yes, but the cannon they’re using is attached to the balloon. It doesn’t sit on the ground with big wheels.

– Ash, you just shot your Pokemon out of a damn cannon. What is wrong with you?

– Minor thing, but Duplica is nowhere near hitting any nails when she’s hammering on the sign. It bugged me is all.

——————————-

All in all, I like this episode, but the only thing mysterious here is what the hell is up with Ditto’s ability to transform into objects?

Duplica’s okay, but I never thought she was interesting enough to warrant her getting a revisit. The writers seem to suck at choosing good characters for that.

Ditto is an interesting Pokemon to highlight, and I believe they hit all the high notes, but added a few too many because anime!Ditto seems slightly OP.

Team Rocket was useful for a change, we got some extremely minor backstory on Jessie that becomes irritating when you realize it’s another interesting factoid they’ll never speak of again, and their plan this time around nearly succeeded. They really have to work on running very far away when they succeed….and hiding in places that doesn’t make it glaringly apparently that they’re hiding in there. Even their plan B was fairly good barring the slow as hell balloon making the getaway impossible. If they can get Giovanni to invest in flying stadiums and giant robots, they can surely get him to pay for a car or a plane or something.

Even if it’s never in my game roster, I still think Ditto’s an adorable Pokemon and Rachel Lillis does a great job voicing it.

Next episode, Porygon and the Seizures that Shook the Anime World. Alternative title – Porygon Was Wrongfully Martyred for Messiahchu.  #JusticeforPorygon

Pokemon Episode 36 Analysis: The Bridge Bike Gang

Pokemon Episode 36 Title

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

Reappear?: No. 😦

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Chopper defeated, the lone girl of the group, Tyra steps up next. She sends out Cloyster while Misty tries to send out Starmie, only to get Psyduck instead. The gang all laugh at the goofy duck, especially when it hurts itself trying to Tail Whip and Scratch Cloyster’s spiky shell. Misty realizes that Psyduck can’t use its Psychic powers without a severe headache so she tries to get them to trigger it by attacking its head, but they don’t fall for it. She’s about to beat the headache into Psyduck herself when Team Rocket arrives, saying their motto on unicycles.

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

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

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

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

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

—————————-

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

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

-Literally two lines later.-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen2

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

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

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

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

– Okay, so let’s leave the tangled web of Jessie and James’ backstory alone for the moment, especially since the bike gang is my favorite backstory for them. However….how are they treating this bridge like it’s their old home when it’s only recently even gotten a little completed? I guess it’s possible that they still hung out on the incomplete bridge, but…what? Did they just bike to the cutoff then turn around? Or did they hang out in one area and….do nothing because no one would be trying to pass on bicycles since the path wasn’t done? Actually, they probably wouldn’t be let on at all if it wasn’t done. I don’t get it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ash: “Charmander, I choose you!”

Ash, goddammit.

– Ash: “Use Ember!”

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

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

Pokemon Episode 36 Screen5

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

*several confusing moments later*

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

Golem, this giant rock, caught fire? What?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Did that Golem only know Tackle?

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The reason I like Jessie and James when they’re part of this gang is because, despite the fact that they’re still basically thugs, they’re much more harmless in this group than they are with Team Rocket…..and I use that term loosely. It’s nice to see them be happy in their organization instead of being miserable all the time in Team Rocket. They’re extremely proud to be Team Rocket members, but it brings them nothing but problems. We never really know anything that they did to earn the respect they get in this gang, but they have fun. They get respect. They seem generally happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*boat comes by immediately after*

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

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Whoo! Manslaughter!

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

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

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

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

Misty: “That’s right!”

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

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

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

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

——————————

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

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

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

Pokemon (Banned) Episode 35 Analysis: The Legend of Miniryu/Dratini

Pokemon episode 35 title

CotD(s): Kaiser – Owner (?) of the Safari Zone, Kaiser has a very quick temper and is even quicker on the draw of his gun. He is ready to protect the Safari Zone from any and all potential threats at all costs. 30 years ago, he was inadvertently nearly the cause of the destruction of the Safari Zone, and now he vows to protect it and the Miniryu that seemingly live within its walls.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: Nothing officially, but Miniryu/Hakuryu might have been in his possession at one point.

Pre-Analysis Notes: Here we are at what is actually the first real banned episode of Pokemon. Technically, it’s the third episode to be banned in the US period, with Tentacool and Tentacruel and Beauty and the Beach getting the first two spots, the second to be banned and taken out of rotation to this day (Tentacool and Tentacruel is back in rotation and on official releases) and the first to be completely banned IE never even dubbed (Beauty and the Beach was dubbed and aired eventually, even if the episode is still lost).

4Kids received the episode when they got the licensing rights, but they never dubbed the episode. They did use clips in the PokeRap, but that’s it. Dogasu wrote a very detailed and eloquent explanation as to why this episode was banned and why it’ll never be officially released. Since I don’t believe I could tackle this issue anywhere near as well as they did, I will direct you to their website. http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/kanto/ep035.html

Short answer – way too much gun use, even if it’s less than what many people would lead you to believe. The closeups, the fact that they were fired and the way they were being used were also major factors.

This episode was the source of some continuity trouble because it’s the episode where Ash catches his 30 Tauros. Since the episode never aired, every Pokemon fan in the world, including me, collectively scratched their heads when Ash revealed that not only did he own a Tauros, but he had a whole damn herd of them at Oak’s lab. You just sat there trying to wrap your head around where, when and, quite frankly, why he could’ve done such a thing.

Since The Kangaskhan Kid is the last we see and hear of the Safari Zone, you’re also left to believe that the group went to the Safari Zone and did absolutely nothing there in regards to catching Pokemon.

Shame, really. Dratini, Dragonair, the Safari Zone, Ash actually doing some catching for a change – it’s all lost to us in the west.

Japanese Key – Satoshi/Ash, Kasumi/Misty, Takeshi/Brock, Okido/Oak, Miniryu/Dratini, Kentauros/Tauros, Saihorn/Rhyhorn, Arbo/Arbok, Musashi/Jessie, Kojirou/James, Nyasu/Meowth, Hakuryu/Dragonair, Shigeru/Gary

Plot: Finally actually in the Safari Zone now, Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi meet Kaiser, who greets them with a revolver to the face at the sounds of their happy singing. Kaiser is soon shown to be very gun-happy as he whips it out and threatens the three at the drop of a hat. As Satoshi gets his Safari Balls and rod, Kasumi notices a picture of Kaiser and a Miniryu on the wall. They all get excited at the prospect of a Miniryu in the Safari Zone, but Kaiser nabs the picture from them and claims there are no Miniryu in the park.

Satoshi and the others contact Okido to see if he knows anything about it. Okido states that 30 years ago, Kaiser found a Miniryu in the park. Word traveled fast, and trainers from all over stormed the Safari Zone looking for the Miniryu. As they searched, they caught tons of Pokemon and nearly wiped the place out. Because of this, a new policy was put in place to only allow captures in the Safari Zone with the park’s official Pokeballs – Safari Balls. No one ever saw the Miniryu, though some people still search for it.

Satoshi, Takeshi and Kasumi gather their Safari Balls and fishing rods and prepare to leave when they’re suddenly stopped by Team Rocket. They attempt to start their motto, only to be met with a hail of gunfire from Kaiser.

Team Rocket settles down and asks Satoshi for a friendly competition. Whoever catches the most Pokemon in the Safari Zone wins. If they win, they get all of the group’s Pokemon. If they lose, they’ll leave the group alone forever. Satoshi agrees and they head into the park.

Satoshi and Takeshi each catch a Kentauros, and Satoshi sets his sights on a Saihorn next. However, the same herd of Kentauros block his Safari Ball throw and net him another Kentauros instead as the Saihorn gets away.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket hold Kaiser at gunpoint and demand he tell them where the Miniryu is. After some mild torture, he agrees to give up the location.

Back with Satoshi and the others, Kasumi reveals her special Pokemon lures, including one modeled after herself called the Kasumi Special. Almost immediately after Kasumi casts her line, she hooks a Gyarados. The line snaps, and the catching attempts are interrupted by Kaiser who warns the group that Team Rocket is planning on capturing Miniryu in Dragon Valley.

Musashi spots a Miniryu but it’s scared away when the scuba diving Nyasu and Kojirou surface for air. No matter, it seems, since Nyasu reveals an electric bomb that will knock out all of the Pokemon in the water.

Satoshi and the others arrive, but it’s too late. Musashi throws the bomb into the water and Kaiser immediately dives in after it. Satoshi follows with Kasumi’s Hitodeman helping him swim faster. Satoshi sends Hitodeman off to help Kaiser resurface and catch his breath while he handles the bomb himself.

Satoshi gets the bomb and Kaiser resurfaces, but Satoshi can no longer hold his breath, and sinks to the floor of the lake. Suddenly, the weather turns dark and stormy and a whirlpool emerges within the lake. With a fantastic light, a Hakuryu darts from the lake and into the sky with Satoshi on its back. Satoshi tosses the bomb to Team Rocket and blasts them off.

Kaiser recognizes the Hakuryu as the Miniryu from 30 years ago and reunites with his lost friend. He’s ecstatic to see that not only has Hakuryu been thriving in Dragon Valley, but it also has a child – the Miniryu from earlier.

Later, Satoshi and the others catch up with Okido, promising to never talk about the Miniryu and Hakuryu in the Safari Zone to ensure they stay protected. Okido asks if Satoshi caught anything and he says he filled up all 30 Safari Balls – but they’re all of Kentauros.

Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi bid farewell to Kaiser as they continue their journey. Hakuryu and Miniryu bid a quiet farewell to their heroes from the sky, safe once again within the walls of the Safari Zone.

———————

– Pokemon Center music playing in the Safari Zone? Couldn’t use the Safari Zone mus—?….actually, no, no, leave it be. Forget I said anything. We don’t need that ‘song’ in here. I’m sorry I even brought it up. Move along!

– Aw the Nidorino and Nidorina cuddling.

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– See, look here. Safari Zone – giant friggin’ gate, huge goddamn fence, clear sign indicating they’re approaching the entrance to the Safari Zone. Is that so hard, other three areas they thought were the Safari Zone?

– I like that Kasumi doesn’t agree to stop Satoshi from singing because she’s so excited about capturing Pokemon in the Safari Zone that she starts singing too.

– Kaiser actually points a gun at Satoshi and the others for SINGING. No wonder this psychopath got banned.

– Kaiser points a gun at Satoshi for trying to take the rod and Safari Balls he was just trying to give him! The hell is wrong with this guy?

– He named his gun…..Wow.

– Also, apparently bait and rocks are not offered in this Safari Zone. I get that the rock thing is a bit hard to justify for the anime (for the game too, honestly) but why no bait? Or at least some other way of distracting them or something.

– I know the cops in the Pokemon universe are useless, but Satoshi and the others should totally be calling the cops on this guy for constantly pointing a gun at their faces. Even if you argue that it’s for protecting the Safari Zone, 1) That’s understandable for the reasons behind why he has the gun, not why he keeps whipping it out and pointing it at people. 2) These kids are not posing any threat. They were singing and trying to receive things being given to them by the aforementioned gunslinger. 3) They’re unarmed. 4) Oh yeah, they’re friggin’ children.

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I love how Takeshi seems to give zero shits.

– If Kaiser wants to keep the existence of Miniryu in the Safari Zone a secret, why put up a picture of him and a Miniryu clearly in the Safari Zone up in the lobby of the Safari Zone in plain view? He didn’t even just have it there temporarily on accident – even Okido said he’s seen that picture.

– Hey look, it’s convenient exposition-dump Okido.

– What a massive coincidence that Okido knows Kaiser and knows him well enough to know this backstory that Kaiser seems to want to keep a secret. I guess it’s understandable that a Pokemon researcher knows the owner/keeper of the Safari Zone, but this still seems extremely unlikely. Also, how lucky was it that Satoshi and the others thought to call Okido and ask him even though they had no reason to believe he’d know anything about this.

– I don’t really understand parts of this backstory very well. Kaiser found a Miniryu in the Safari Zone, word got out and everyone rushed to the Safari Zone to see if they could catch one too. In the process, they caught a ton of other Pokemon, nearly wiping the place out. Ever since that incident, the Safari Zone has banned the use of traditional Pokeballs and required the use of Safari Balls.

Safari Balls seem to have a 100% capture rate here, or these Pokemon are, by default, much easier to catch than normal, since Satoshi easily captures all of those Kentauros without a single one bursting out and he doesn’t weaken any of them, use bait or use a rock.

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Even though they give you a maximum of 30 Safari Balls, there’s no limit on how many times you can visit the Safari Zone. You could load up on 30 Pokemon, leave, then come back.

There also seems to be no fee for this Safari Zone, unlike the games where it’s 500 Pokedollars per visit. So, if you wanted to keep leaving and returning in the anime, you could do so with absolutely no problem on your end.

You’re also forced to adhere to a “time limit.” In the original games, you were only allowed 500 steps before you were booted from the place. There is no such time limit here. Kaiser just says to come back when they’ve used all 30 Safari Balls.

In essence, they added a backstory that explains why the Safari Zone restricts visitors to only using Safari Balls, explaining that it’s meant to help preserve the Pokemon there, but completely remove several other policies in the Safari Zone that would help attain that goal much better. In fact, some of the choices made for the anime, such as coming back when all 30 Safari Balls are used, seems like more Pokemon would be caught because of it.

– I do kinda like the backstory of the Safari Zone, though. Even if it is more ‘human suck’ messages.

– So Kaiser’s gun happy to protect the Miniryu from being harassed….In a place where people are encouraged to capture Pokemon. That seems even more dangerous than it’s already seemed. What if someone just happens upon a Miniryu? Not like he has eyes everywhere. The Safari Zone is huge. Even if he did manage to spot all of these people, is he really going to murder anyone who stumbles upon Miniryu’s home and captures one?

The Dragon Valley isn’t even hidden, it seems, nor is it difficult to access, from all we see.

– Wait, so Satoshi whips his Pokedex out for damn near everything but seems to easily recognize a Miniryu? Maybe I need a ‘Why not use the Pokedex?’ segment alongside the ‘Why use the Pokedex?’ segment.

– The fact that both Takeshi and Kasumi went to the Safari Zone with intentions of capturing Pokemon yet neither caught a damn thing is also a massive wasted opportunity. It’s also sad considering how excited Kasumi was.

– Kaiser is shooting way too many bullets at Team Rocket for merely two revolvers.

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– Also, he instantly draws on Satoshi and the others for singing and going to grab their Safari Balls but someone stands on the sign for the Safari Zone and he waits until they’re half done with their motto to pull the guns.

– This whole bet is completely ridiculous. First, Satoshi should just tell Kaiser they’re criminals and refuse them entrance into the Safari Zone. They’d probably sneak in anyway, but letting them in is just stupid.

Second, Satoshi actually believes that they’ll uphold their end of the bargain if they lose, and never hassle him, Kasumi and Takeshi ever again. Even Kasumi calls bullshit on this, but Satoshi agrees because, as a future Pokemon Master, he can’t turn down challenges. Uh, maybe for battles. Not for catching contests. And there is a thing called intelligent judgment. A good Pokemon Master would never risk the welfare of wild Pokemon or his own Pokemon for the sake of a petty competition.

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Seems legit.

Three, either this bet is Team Rocket against Satoshi or Team Rocket against Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi. Either way, it’s unbalanced and not fair. In addition to the help of an extra person, they collectively have 90 Safari Balls while Team Rocket will only get 60. Alternatively, Satoshi would only have 30 while Team Rocket would have 60.

– I do like how Pikachu’s being used for the dramatic lightning effects when he accepts the challenge, though.

– Now to address the other half of the bet, which Satoshi agreed to before even hearing it – Team Rocket gets all of their Pokemon if they lose.

First, Satoshi is agreeing for all of them. Who made him leader?

Second, he is way too unconcerned that he will lose all of his Pokemon. He even agrees to the terms a second time with a smile on his face.

Third, Takeshi tells Satoshi ‘That means Pikachu too.’ Because he wouldn’t care about the rest of his team, but Pikachu!? Oh God no! Sacrifice your left nut before you dare risk honored Messiahchu!

Finally, he has no worries about losing because ‘Good always wins.’ Nice unrealistic message and all, but you’re a moron. Also, notice how he didn’t agree to the terms of capture. Team Rocket could ‘capture’ a ton of Pokemon in a net or something.

Why Use the Pokedex? – Satoshi saw and Dex’d a Kentauros merely two episodes ago. Does he really need a refresher? Also, tiny nitpick, but the picture of Kentauros in the Pokedex here is different from the one shown in The Flame Pokemon-athon. Even the background changed.

– Takeshi’s throwing Safari Balls at the Kentauros too. Is he illegally using Satoshi’s Safari Balls to help him win or is he capturing Kentauros for the contest and we just never ever see them ever? Do the Safari Balls know who’s throwing them? I don’t get the mechanics of this series sometimes.

– Satoshi: “This is too easy. It’s no fun at all.” Basically confirming the Safari Balls have a 100% success rate in the anime. If that’s true, that is indeed hella boring. Catching Pokemon in the Safari Zone in the games is almost entirely luck, trial and error.

– Satoshi has an empty spot in his party – why did he not keep one of the Kentauros?

– How did Team Rocket get the jump on Mr. Itchytriggerfinger? More importantly, the guns they’re threatening him with are HIS. How did they manage that?

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– Musashi’s making me uncomfortable when she’s flirting with Kaiser.

– I like how they play Nyasu no Uta (Meowth’s Song) on the stereo when they’re trying to remind Kaiser of his mother.

– I know Team Rocket likes stupid robots, but they needed a robot to tickle Kaiser?

– And that works?!

– Love the introduction to Kasumi’s special lures, but I do have some questions.

She thinks Water Pokemon will want to eat a tiny version of herself?

Won’t the Water Pokemon think that a Charmander underwater is a tad odd? Shouldn’t that be dead? There being a Charmander in that lure box is even weirder considering every single other Pokemon lure is Water Pokemon based. Were they just unable to think of another Water Pokemon?

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Notice how they set up the shot so you can’t see the flame on Charmander’s tail. Don’t want people to ask questions.

– Hmmm….should I call foul on Kasumi hooking a Gyarados since those aren’t native to the Safari Zone or let it pass since Magikarp are?

– Wait, so this whole bet was a distraction?……Why was that even necessary? They were already going into the Safari Zone and were already going to be preoccupied with trying to capture Pokemon. They could’ve done this whole plan without alerting their presence to Satoshi and co.

And why didn’t they keep Kaiser tied up or at least wrapped with Arbo like it was before so he couldn’t escape and warn someone of what they were doing? Damn Team Rocket is so stupid sometimes.

– They didn’t even need to torture him if Miniryu’s home is in a place as obvious as ‘Dragon Valley’.

– If they had a bomb that could knock out all of the Pokemon in the water….why did they bother scuba diving for Miniryu in the first place?

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– Satoshi filled up all of his Safari Balls?….between when he tried to capture Saihorn and when Kasumi went fishing or did he make 28 pit stops before he went to Dragon Valley?

– Shouldn’t Satoshi be using Zenigame to help him go faster? Or shouldn’t Kasumi send out another Water Pokemon to help him? Satoshi, you’re losing your breath. Zenigame is right on your belt….right there…You don’t even have to throw it – just tap the button twi—or drown. Whatever you want. Now the series can follow Shigeru. Fine with me.

– If it’s now super cloudy and raining when it was clear and sunny when Satoshi went under, he should be dead and that bomb should be very well detonated by now.

– The Pokedex is activating by itself again? It hasn’t done that since way back in episode one.

– Even if Hakuryu made the storm 1) why did it do that and 2) I still doubt it could make the storm quickly enough to not let Satoshi die and the bomb detonate.

– He waited until there was literally one second left on the bomb to throw it? Do you have a death wish today, Satoshi?

– I know he didn’t want anyone to know where Miniryu was, but he seriously never visited it in 30 years?

– Also, bullshit that all of his capture attempts were blocked by Kentauros. Bull. Shit. Pun intended I guess. Either he did that on purpose to win the bet, which is stupid, or this is a back-handed insult to viewers who were sick of Satoshi never catching any friggin’ Pokemon. ‘How can you say he’s not catching Pokemon? He just caught 30! HURRDURR!’

– Anger immediately dissipated by Miniryu riding Hakuryu. D’awwww.

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—————————

I have always liked this episode since I watched it years ago. Despite the baffling gun use and Team Rocket’s stupidity, I do love Miniryu and Hakuryu, and this was a nice story between Kaiser and Miniryu, even if many aspects of it make no sense.

My qualms aren’t with the story, it’s the wasted Safari Zone. They basically ‘teased’ the Safari Zone for three episodes, and when we finally get there, what happens? Satoshi captures a herd of Kentauros and hardly ever uses one of them. Takeshi ‘captures’ one Kentauros but it’s like he never caught it. And Kasumi captures nothing.

That’s basically why the banning and non-dubbing of this episode wasn’t entirely a big deal. You wonder where Satoshi got a herd of Kentauros, but he so rarely uses them that it’s not a major issue throughout the series. It’s basically a passing thought whenever you see them. We finally have an episode in a location where you’re supposed to go capture crazy but after this episode you’ll barely even notice he caught a damn thing. He’ll never use Kentauros until the friggin’ Indigo League tournament, for God’s sake.

Next episode, we get more of a look into Team Rocket’s continuously confusing backstory.

Pokemon Episode 34 Analysis: The Kangaskhan Kid

Pokemon episode 34 title

CotD(s): Tommy – A young kid who was accidentally dropped into the Safari Zone by his father and left to be raised by Kangaskhan, Tommy is a very excitable and wild child, though he’s also very brave and sweet.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: None, though it could be argued that since he can command the Kangaskhan that they’re kinda-ish sorta his. At least on his side.

Mama – A doting mother, she, like Papa, can be a bit on the weird, spoiled and eccentric side, but not nearly as bad as Papa. Mama was furious when Papa lost Tommy and is willing to do anything to be reunited with him.

Reappear?: No.

Pokemon: None.

Papa – An irresponsible, weird, creepy asshole, he, like an asshole, is an asshole.

Reappear?: No. Thank God.

Pokemon: None. Thank God.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock have supposedly now made it to the Safari Zone. In awe of the number of Pokemon nearby, Ash gears up to catch some of them. He spots a Chansey in a bush and tries to capture it, only to find that it’s a Jenny, a Safari Ranger, in disguise trying to catch Pokemon poachers.

She arrest them and brings them to her basecamp where she explains that this area is not the Safari Zone, but a National Pokemon Preservation Area where catching Pokemon is strictly forbidden. She lets off Ash with a warning since she believes he really didn’t know where he was, and they’re interrupted by a poaching alert that Jenny must respond to.

When they arrive, they spot a herd of Kangaskhan and Team Rocket, who are trying to capture them. As they spook them with rockets, Jenny and the others try to outrun the resulting stampede in her Jeep.

The Kangaskhan run into a net trap set by Team Rocket, and they prepare to capture them in Pokeballs. Ash, Jenny and the others are left to watch helplessly since Jenny’s Jeep has overheated.

Suddenly, a wild child emerges from the brush, throwing a boomerang at Jessie’s Pokeball and knocking it in her face. He runs towards the net, cuts through the ropes with his boomerang and lets the Kangaskhan out.

The boy sics the Kangaskhan on Team Rocket, who smack them around a bit before blasting them off. The boy hops in one of the Kangaskhan’s pouches and walks away. As Ash and the others try to process what they saw, a helicopter suddenly lands in front of them. Two people walk out, introducing themselves only as Tommy’s parents.

A three year old boy named Tommy accidentally got lost in the Safari Zone after a terrible accident, and they’ve been looking for him for five years. A recent photo lead them to this spot where they believe he’s living with the Kangaskhan. Jenny recognizes him as Tomo and has a full file of information on him, including his address. They ask for all of the group’s help in finding him and they agree.

As Ash, Misty and Brock carry Mama and Papa through the forest, they come across a wounded baby Kangaskhan. Brock tries to treat it with a super potion, but the baby cries in pain due to the sting of the spray. Tommy quickly emerges from the bushes, ready to defend the baby Kangaskhan from the people seemingly hurting it. Ash, Misty and Brock explain the situation, and it soon becomes clear that Tommy’s very confused after spending five years in the Safari Zone.

He doesn’t appear to be able to differentiate much between people or Pokemon and he doesn’t remember his parents. When Misty coaxes him to try and remember, all he remembers is being cared for and raised by his Mama Kangaskhan. Papa smacks him in the head with a log, knocking him unconscious. He dreams about his time as a baby being cared for by Mama and awakens with his memories intact. However, he’s terribly confused over which family he belongs with.

Ranger Jenny shows up with reports of Pokemon poaching and asks for Ash and co.’s help. Back at the Kangaskhan herd, Team Rocket has built a giant Kangaskhan robot and lure the Kangaskhan to it with fake cries. When they approach, they’re shot with tranquilizers.

Tommy tries to save them, but his little boomerang is no match for the robot. Team Rocket retaliates by launching their robot’s fists at Tommy, but he dodges. Ash and the others arrive and try to battle the robot, but to no avail. Tommy manages to knock off the cover to the gas tank and Ash’s Charmander ignites the fuel. However, the robot keeps charging towards them.

Suddenly, Mama and Papa arrive in their helicopter and crash it into the robot to blast off Team Rocket and save Tommy.

Tommy mourns the loss of his human parents, but they emerge from the rubble unharmed, explaining that they realize forcing Tommy to depart with his Kangaskhan family isn’t fair, so they’ve decided to live with Tommy and the Kangaskhan. Tommy happily reunites with his family, human and Kangaskhan alike, as they bid Ash and the others farewell.

——————————

– Someone should really tell Ash and the others that you can’t just wander into the Safari Zone so they and the Narrator will stop thinking they’re in the Safari Zone.

– Also, for crying out loud, how far away is the Safari Zone in the anime? They’ve already been to the Fuchsia City Gym and have stumbled upon a Pokemon reserve as well as a Pokemon Ranch and now a Pokemon Preservation Area (which is basically what a reserve is) and yet they still won’t reach the Safari Zone until the following episode. Let me remind you that the entrance to the Safari Zone is merely the northern most point of Fuchsia City in the games. Then again, Fuchsia City has a really frustrating layout to the point where I almost want to let this slide.

– Hey look, more guns! Funny how an episode with guns is preceding an episode that was banned for rampant gun use.

Pokemon episode 34 screen1

– The Jenny here is a Safari Ranger….then why is her uniform no different from a traditional Officer Jenny? Also, Jenny really thinks these ten-year-old children are poachers? Also also, she calls herself a Safari Ranger but, as stated, they’re not in the Safari Zone. I’m almost certain they’re no longer in Safari Land either. It’s hard as balls to get your bearings in this show sometimes.

– How do these three keep accidentally wandering into Pokemon reserves? If you’re not going to border the place with fences or walls, at least plaster signs everywhere so innocent people will stay out.

– Since I didn’t hear Ash about to call out any Pokemon (he only said ‘I’m gonna catch it!’ with a Pokeball in his hand, ready to throw) and it didn’t seem like he grabbed the ball from his belt, I’m left to assume two things about the scene before Jenny reveals herself.

1) Ash, 34 goddamn episodes in, was about to try and catch a Pokemon without battling it first.

2) Ash was trying to catch a CHANSEY, of all things, without battling it first.

(I realize you don’t battle Pokemon in the Safari Zone, but if he’s unaware of the Safari Ball restriction, I assume he’s unaware of the no battling restriction.)

– I now understand why Ash hardly ever catches Pokemon. This is the second time in a row that his capture attempts have been turned into a crime – and this time he actually got arrested for it.

– Why is the Safari Zone, of all things, basically surrounded by Pokemon Reserves? I know I brought this up last episode, but there are now two of these places on their outskirts – three if the Big P Pokemon Ranch counts as a separate Pokemon reserve.

– How does that map Jenny has know where Pokemon poaching is taking place? Is it really just detecting humans and Jenny instantly assumes they’re poachers?

Pokemon episode 34 screen2

– Ash: “Let us help, Jenny. We want to make up for what happened before.”

Jenny: “Thanks! Get in!”

Yes, ten year old children. Hop in the Jeep as I confront potentially dangerous Pokemon poachers. Remember, we’re in an episode with guns, so try not to get shot.

– Dexter: “Kangaskhan – a Parent Pokemon. Once approaching extinction, they are now protected by law and inhabit the Safari Zone.” We’ve already established that they’re not in the Safari Zone. Also, how are they really being protected if they inhabit an area where trainers are encouraged to throw rocks at them and try to capture them?

– Ash: “Team Rocket! *to Jenny* We have to stop them!” Stop the poachers from poaching? That thing we came here to do? Naaaaah.

Pokemon episode 34 screen3
I stumbled into this frame by accident. Ash’s face is priceless.

– How did Team Rocket know that the Kangaskhan would run right in the direction of their net trap? It was a very wide open area – they could’ve gone anywhere. And it’s not like they directed them that way with the blast because it was straight above their heads.

– Ash: “We have to do something to stop them!”

Jenny: “It’s no use. I overheated the engine on the last stunt.”

Since when do you need your Jeep to stop poachers? You didn’t even have it when you caught Ash and the others. If you’re close enough to see how scared the baby Kangaskhan are, you’re well within walking distance. Take out your gun, walk over and stop them. You’re just as useless as the other Jennys.

Pokemon episode 34 screen4
Does this seem Looney Tunes-ish to anyone else?

– Jessie was trying to capture a Pokemon without batting it first. I don’t give a damn if they’re in a net – that wouldn’t work.

– Jessie was trying to capture a Kangaskhan without batting it first. That’s almost as laughable as Chansey.

– A small boy with a dull wooden boomerang was enough to cut through the net, but oh god there’s nothing this forest ranger and three Pokemon trainers could do to help.

– I block out this episode for two reasons. 1) Tommy’s stupid ass parents (mostly Papa) and 2) Tommy’s horrific voice spouting ‘Kanga-kangaskhaaaaaannn!!’ every five friggin’ seconds. Thanks for that, Jimmy Zoppi.

– Tommy’s Wiki page says he’s a boy who lives in the Safari Zone, leaving me confused yet again. If this really is the Safari Zone then why does Jenny have jurisdiction here? Why is trying to capture the Kangaskhan poaching when capture is legal in the Safari Zone? I guess they’re not capturing them ‘correctly’ but that’s not what she’s citing them for. If the Safari Zone is like a couple of miles away from a Pokemon Preservation Area and there’s no signs or fences separating the two, it’s a wonder lost Pokemon trainers trying to capture Pokemon isn’t a more common occurrence for Jenny.

– Judging from how close the Kangaskhan are to the Jeep as they walk away after blasting off Team Rocket, holy friggin’ hell in August, you morons were plenty close enough to stop Team Rocket. You didn’t even need to leave the Jeep – you just needed to throw a Pokeball from where you were sitting. They only reason they were dense enough to sit there is so they could be introduced to Tommy and watch him demonstrate his relationship to the Kangaskhan.

Pokemon episode 34 screen5
We would get out and help, but Jenny just got these new heated car seats and they’re just heavenly.

– No matter if this is a Pokemon reserve or the Safari Zone, they shouldn’t be allowed to land their helicopter on the grounds.

– Papa and Mama have arrived……I would tune them out, but I kinda have to pay attention just so I can lay rest to why these idiots make my blood boil.

– Papa’s character design pisses me off for no good reason. He doesn’t look like a real character. He looks like a living creepy-ass muppet. Papa’s jacket pisses me off. It’s like someone blew their nose on a Rorschach test. Papa’s voice pisses me off. It sounds like some parent going overboard while trying to sound like a cross between a butler and a court jester.

He has no name. He literally introduces himself as Tommy’s father even though they have no clue who Tommy is at this point.

Mama looks like any other character for no reason. Is this a joke I’m just not getting?

Papa is way too happy for a person searching for his lost son in a dangerous area.

Pokemon episode 34 screen6
Look at him and feel the hatred enter your soul.

– Tommy’s eight years old? He doesn’t seem like it. Ages always worked oddly in this show. Why does eight look so drastically different from ten? He only barely looks a little bigger than his three year old version.

– Alright, let’s get to the meat here. I’m going to be swearing a bit more than usual so bear with me. Five years ago, a three year old Tommy and his parents were sight seeing in their helicopter over the Safari Zone. In order to get a better look at the Pokemon, Papa held Tommy out the window and FUCKING DROPPED HIM.

And immediately after this happens, Mama screams in horror, which is perfectly understandable,….and Papa looks on with his same doofy-ass smile like he almost meant to do that.

Pokemon episode 34 screen7
“Hahaha, anything that has spawned from me is an abomination upon God anyway. Let’s go have some tea!”

Not only that, he then says this, still with the same stupid smile.

Papa: “Don’t worry, Mama, he just wants to get a closer look. Smart boy our Tommy is.”

FUCK. YOU. MENTALLY. BARREN. OOMPA LOOMPA.

Luckily, he was wearing a parachute and somehow knew to pull the rip cord at the proper time. Indeed smart boy Tommy is.

But, despite the fact that they knew he was wearing a parachute (for what purpose, I don’t know) neither of them could’ve known he would know how to activate the damn thing. He is only three afterall. So, for all Papa knew, mere moments after he was smiling about Tommy going to get a closer look at the Pokemon, he’d be shopping for a child-size casket for whatever they could scrape off the ground…..and he’d still probably be smiling while doing that.

They go down to the ground and look for him, only to find an empty parachute caught in the trees. Again, for all they know, he’s been grabbed by a Pokemon and eaten.

Does Papa express concern? Does he mourn over his lost son?

Nope. He just says with a smile –

Papa: “Maybe if you had been holding him this wouldn’t have happened.”

renaldo-rageragerage hades

 

The unholy nerve of this little goofy hobbit. He has the balls to not only drop his near infant son out of a helicopter with a smile, not find him later on and seemingly not give a shit, but then pass on the blame to his wife who was in no way at fault and was the only one showing a modicum of concern here. I want Papa to die with a shovel in his hands so that when he reaches the lowest depths of hell, he can dig even further to make his own custom level.

Wanna know something even worse? His original Japanese dialogue (courtesy of Dogasu’s Backpack) is this –

“Originally, Papa figures that Tarou has turned into a star in the sky, which is obviously a euphemism for death. Mama replies by yelling that that’s not what happened.”

He originally thought his son was dead, and responded to it calmlywith a fucking smile on his face…and completely ignored the fact that he possibly murdered their son. 

I have no words.

– I do love Mama’s reaction to his accusations, though. Her voice actress even gasps before she says her line like she’s that enraged.

Pokemon episode 34 screen8

– No one listening to this story is the slightest bit angry at Papa for what he did, said or how he reacted to what he did. They all just start crying. I know it might be crass at this point, but Jenny should also be arresting him for child endangerment, negligence and damn near manslaughter.

– Someone took a picture of a wild boy living with Kangaskhan and didn’t think to report it to the authorities?

– Tommy’s been missing in the Safari Zone for over five years and he’s supposedly been, at most, only a few miles away from the Ranger Station. Jenny also seemed quite familiar with the Kangaskhan herd. How has Jenny never heard of or seen him before now? Did she never get a missing child report?….Did…..they never file one? I honestly wouldn’t put it passed them.

-…..The hell? Jenny not only knows there’s a kid living with the Kangaskhan, but she knows his name and even has an address for him and a full file with his information. Even if Jenny didn’t have a missing child report on Tommy, there is absolutely no reason why she should’ve left him there. You fling up a rifle at a ten year old for attempting to capture a Pokemon, but you do nothing but write a file on a three year old spending five years living in the wild, being raised by Pokemon who are so dangerous even Dexter warned them of how vicious they were?

No wonder she’s not arresting Papa for child endangerment – she’s basically committing the same thing. Maybe he is better off living with Pokemon – God knows humans don’t give a flying crap about his safety.

Pokemon episode 34 screen9
So what’s the qualifications for being a police officer in the Pokemon world? Be named Jenny and have a blatant disregard for the safety of children?

– After asking Jenny, Ash, Misty and Brock to help them find their son, they then ask them to carry them through the woods on a litter (It’s a very rough one with no cab, but calling it a gurney seems wrong and I can’t find any better word for it.) as they search. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Their justification for it? Papa doesn’t get outdoors much and isn’t in the best of shape.

Few things.

1) Who cares? Man up and walk, you lazy ass.

I want to put something into perspective. A long way down the line in Johto we get a character named Madame Muchmoney who is pretty overweight and hardly seems like she knows any other exercise beyond maybe fanning her face in summer. When her beloved Pokemon, Snubbull, goes missing, she walks, hikes, runs, climbs, swims and more all through the wilds of Johto for months, seemingly never using any vehicles.

This lazy bastard nearly kills his son, loses him for five years in the Safari Zone and just because he’s ‘out of shape’ (I see nothing indicating he’s anymore out of shape than the average person. He has a cane but he’s obviously not supporting himself on it) he refuses to walk even a little and asks to be carried like royalty.

Madame Muchmoney cared far more about her Pokemon, her dog, than this guy cares about his son.

2) Even if he can’t walk very much for whatever reason, that’s no reason to need to be carried on a litter. He’s so small, he could easily be carried on the back of one of the characters.

3) Why are they not using the Jeep if Papa can’t travel on foot?

4) Why is Mama riding on the litter? There’s no excuse given as to why she can’t walk.

5) He’s Mama’s horrible husband. If he needs to be carried, Mama should be doing it.

6) It’s cute that Pikachu’s holding part of the litter, but he’s way too small and physically weak to be supporting that. He’s also too short to be doing that at all. Why is Brock holding both back poles? I know he’s older and bigger, but that seems a little unfair and unnecessary considering a strong Pokemon like Geodude could help him out. Actually, why not just let Onix out and have them ride on it? Onix probably wouldn’t even notice.

Pokemon episode 34 screen10

7) Come to think of it, Jenny could be holding one of the other back—where the hell is Jenny? Did she agree to help them search then just decide not to go with them? As a Safari Ranger, she shouldn’t be letting this search with three children and two civilians go on without someone official escorting them. Is she the only Ranger in the area? Is she the only Ranger period? What is wrong with the authority figures and organizations in this show?

8) Wait – he doesn’t get outdoors often? How the hell is that possible if he’s been searching high and low for his son for five years?

– Props to Ash and co. for dropping them, though.

– Ash: *in regards to an injured baby Kangaskhan* “Can you treat it, Brock?”

Brock: “Don’t forget, Ash, I’m training to be the world’s best breeder.” *whips out a Super Potion*

Yes, Ash, as a super skilled Pokemon Breeder, I, of course, know the way to treat injured Pokemon. With this incredibly common literally-treats-damn-near-everything-besides-status-effects item that even the newbiest of trainers know to use.

Also, minor nitpick, but this is a baby Kangaskhan – is it really necessary to use a super potion? Surely a regular potion would suffice.

Pokemon episode 34 screen11

– Who beat up this baby Kangaskhan and where is its mother?

– The sound that baby Kangaskhan makes when it gets the super potion is horrifying. I haven’t heard anything on Pokemon nearing that bad since the Charmander/Squirtle fight in Origins.

– Also, Brock, when most people treat wounds with sprays, they typically don’t just give a wide shot right to the patient’s face. You go up close and quickly spray each spot. No wonder Kangaskhan responded like it did.

– Is Tommy a Kangaskhan whisperer or something? How is he constantly not only able to immediately detect when a Kangaskhan is in peril or pain, but he is also always close enough to immediately react.

– For the love of all things holy…So, Papa finds his son after he’s been lost in the woods for five years being cared for by Kangaskhan, all of which is purely his fault after dropping him from a goddamn helicopter. When Tommy has difficulty remembering him and Mama, what does he do? Cry? Get depressed? Feel resigned and leave?

……He knocks him unconscious by smacking him in the head with a log and then basically says they’ll forcibly take him back home and reboot him.

Ya know, sometimes people that would be offerings in a human sacrifice were also carried in a litter. Dunno why I thought of that.

Pokemon episode 34 screen12

– Tommy’s eight. He shouldn’t have memories of being a baby.

– Let me rephrase that – I mean, holy crap, giving him a concussion should not return his memories of his parents.

– I know the Japanese reason behind him doing this, but out of all the superfluous things cut from Pokemon how did Papa going *opens shirt* “Does this help you remember me, Tommy?” escape from the edit room of doom?

– Bless Misty for konking him on the head, though.

– Oh thank God, Offi—Ranger Jenny. I’d like to report more rampant child abuse and I’d also like to report you to your superiors for not arresting this man in the first place.

– Still, though, where the hell has she been? Who takes the only motor vehicle and no one else in the search party? At least take one of the parents. Preferably Papa.

– Jenny rushes to the children and useless Pokemon-less adults for help with Pokemon poachers. Is she seriously sans backup?

Pokemon episode 34 screen13
Good job, Misty! Now bury his body in the woods and the people of the world will be safe once more.

– Mama gives up surprisingly easily on retrieving her son. He didn’t rush to the Kangaskhan for fun – he did it because Jenny said they were in trouble. No matter which family he’d want to go with, he’d still want to protect both no matter what.

– James: “It’s jungle boy.”

Jessie: “Hr ruined our plans last time. This time we’ll show him who’s boss.” *rocket launches the giant robot Kangaskhan’s fists at Tommy*

Yes, we’ll teach this small boy with mental and social development issues who’s boss by trying to kill him with a giant robot. Rational responses all around.

– How long are Bulbasaur’s vines that it can wrap this massive robot several times over?

– Ash telling Squirtle to Skull Bash….a giant robot. I know Ash’s team isn’t very equip for a giant robot fight but anything would be better than that.

– Squirtle doing that instead of looking at Ash like he’s a lunatic. I respect that level of commitment to his trainer, but dude….

– Well, Squirtle’s dead. He died doing what he loved. Following a complete idiot into battle.

– If Tommy has little understanding of anything modern, how did he know what a gas tank was? How did he know to look for one? Unless he didn’t and just blindly threw his boomerang and got lucky, in which case, bullshit it did.

Pokemon episode 34 screen14
I was planning on writing a joke here, but got distracted by Bulbasaur’s face. Did he do the fusion dance with a Bratz doll?

– No gas tank I’ve ever seen has a cap that can be knocked off like that. They almost always have self-locking designs and twist caps. Unless it wasn’t secured at all in the first place, that shouldn’t have happened.

Also, it wouldn’t drain like that. Gas tanks are specifically designed to not have gas gush out of the filling hole. That’s why gas siphoning is a thing. You can really only get it out through suction. Imagine if you went to fill the tank, popped off the cap and suddenly gas gushed all over you.

– It either lost all or most of its gas by opening the tank like that or all of it burst into flames. Either way, the Jeep and the robot should not be working right now.

– Despite my bitching about them, I will give Mama and Papa the props they deserve for sacrificing their lives for the sake of saving Tommy. And that was a pretty good climax.

– Well, I WOULD give them those props…. If they died.

Few things (yes, again.)

1) The cockpit of the helicopter very obviously blew up. They showed the shine of the initial blast right in that spot.

Pokemon episode 34 screen15

2) The helicopter is so destroyed there’s hardly a trace of it in the rubble.

3) I’d say a few hours went by between the crash and the reflection seeing as how it’s sunset at that point. That means the wreckage had to have had enough time to burnt itself out. Are you telling me Papa and Mama sat in a smoldering helicopter/giant robot crash covered in gasoline and didn’t suffer any injuries? Blow me.

4) The odds of surviving that crash and fire were so low, Jenny didn’t lift a finger to search for them in it. She didn’t rush in or call for backup – nothing. Then again, this is Useless Jenny we’re talking about here.

5) If they were perfectly fine, not even any boo boos, why did it take them so long to emerge from the rubble? What were they doing down there?

6) Where the hell did they get those ‘Tarzan’ outfits?

7) When did they have the time to put them on? They were wearing their regular clothes in the helicopter before it crashed. Are you seriously telling me they were sitting in the wreckage and CHANGING THEIR CLOTHES?

– With any luck, Papa will die of exposure or a random Pokemon attack whilst living among the Kangaskhan.

– Jenny should still not be letting any of them live in the Safari Zone, however.

———————————–

I think after all that rambling, I’ve said my piece on this episode. I don’t like it…..At all. Everyone’s being incredibly stupid, Papa can suck a stripped power line and the only redeeming aspects are whenever Papa gets smacked. The voice acting’s annoying, the animation’s poor, the story is so ridiculous and filled with completely stupid decisions and consequences that it’s insane and the Kangaskhan were more set dressing than they were focused on. I would’ve loved to have seen more of a relationship between Tommy and his Mama Kangaskhan, but you just barely realize there’s one specific Kangaskhan that he’s taken to over three-quarters of the way into the episode.

How Dogasu called this a great episode is beyond me. Even as a kid I was, at best, ambivalent about this episode. To each his own I suppose.

……Hey wait. Mama has light brown hair and Papa has dark brown hair….But Tommy has turquoise hair….*gasp* Papa’s not his real father! Papa probably killed his real father and tattooed those swirls on his face to make him think he was his! I gotta call the cops!

*dials phone*….Hello? This is FiddleTwix. I’d like to report a suspected murder, child abuse, neglect, attempted murder, child endangerment – just a whole bunch of stuff!….Wha….what do you mean you can’t do anything about it?….Overheated Jeep?……Just get out of it, then!…..Stop laughing!…Hello? Hello?…*sigh*

Next time, our first ever for really realz completely never been dubbed ever banned episode. Oh yeah and we FINALLY LEGITIMATELY FOR REALREALREELZREALLYNOTKIDDING get to the Safari Zone at last.