Pokemon Episode 28 Analysis: Pokemon Fashion Flash

Pokemon Episode 28 title

CotD: Suzy – One of the brightest rising stars in the breeding world, Suzy believes in nurturing a Pokemon’s inner beauty above all else. Brock is her biggest fan and aspires to be her pupil. Suzy loaned Brock her beloved Vulpix, which, in turn, became his most precious Pokemon.

Reappear?: Yes. After over 100 episodes and well into the Johto saga, Brock finally comes across Suzy again.

Pokemon: Suzy’s not a Pokemon trainer, but she has a seemingly high level Vulpix that is her best friend. Vulpix does not take kindly to strangers picking it up, but is a very kinda, well-behaved and gentle Pokemon.

Captures?: Not technically a capture, but went on for so long that it may as well have been, Suzy loans Vulpix to Brock for a while. Vulpix becomes Brock’s trademark Pokemon for several years until he finally returns it in Johto.

Plot: Brock has taken Misty and Ash down a street in Celadon City called Scissor Street or Breeder’s Lane. It is an area chock-full with everything a breeder could ever want or need. It’s saturated in breeder salons and supply stores and breeders from all over go there to stay up to date on the latest trends and fashions.

One of the newest hot spots for Pokemon fashion is Salon Roquet. While many people are flocking to their doors, including Misty, their fashions are less than well-received by Ash, Brock and many of the Pokemon getting the makeovers since they’re being overloaded with baubles, bows, weird hair designs, clothes and gaudy add-ons.

Turns out, Team Rocket is behind the business, looking to make themselves rich off of this venture.

Brock finds the shop he’s been looking for – a rather modest salon run by a beautiful woman named Suzy, who is a very talented and acclaimed breeder. While Misty gazes in awe at Suzy’s Vulpix, Brock fumbles over himself trying to introduce himself to her. He shocks everyone when he suddenly asks Suzy if she’ll take him on as her pupil.

Suzy is forced to decline his request since she’s far too busy with breeding to take on pupils, but commends him greatly for developing Pokemon food that her Vulpis will eat since it usually won’t eat any food not prepared by her.

They start discussing the newest fashion trends and Suzy states that she doesn’t like how the focus is now on improving a Pokemon’s outer beauty more than their inner beauty. She believes a Pokemon’s true strength comes from inside and that a breeder is meant to bring out that inner beauty, not focus on superfluous fashions. Misty disagrees and states that some Pokemon would probably like to get dressed up, but Ash argues with her stating that those fashions are stupid and it’s what’s inside that matters most.

Misty becomes enraged and decides to go to salon to makeover her Psyduck.

In order to combat the more vain views of Salon Roquet, Brock comes up with the idea of Suzy doing a public lecture on the benefits and techniques of Pokemon care, specifically massage. It’s a huge hit and people flock to her salon, even draining the customers at Salon Roquet.

Misty stands as their lone customer and Team Rocket takes this opportunity to kidnap her and grill her for info on how to steal Pikachu. She believes Psyduck has abandoned her, but it’s actually gone to Suzy’s salon in a panic to get Ash’s help.

When Ash and the others arrive, Team Rocket reveals that they were using the salon as a cover for a plan where they’d steal any rare Pokemon that came into the shop, though they never actually did that. They offer Misty in exchange for Pikachu, but he won’t hand him over. Team Rocket starts the battle by sending out their dressed up Ekans and Koffing. Ash sends out Pikachu, fully charged from being massaged at Suzy’s salon, and Brock sends out Geodude.

Geodude uses Seismic Toss on Ekans, but it saves itself by coiling up and rolling into Pikachu. Pikachu is able to also save itself and Thundershocks Ekans and Koffing. However, the attack is ineffective as they spin around in circles to avoid the electricity.

Koffing uses Sludge on both Geodude and Pikachu, blinding them. As they’re about to finish them off, Koffing and Ekans both fall over due to the clunkiness of their costumes.

As Meowth joins up, they try once again to finish it, but Suzy and Vulpix intervene. In an effort to teach them the true beauty within a Pokemon instead of focusing on their appearance, she commands Vulpix to use Fire Spin and blasts them off.

Brock explains to the audience that outer beauty masks a Pokemon’s inner strength, which is what truly needs to be nurtured, causing them to shed the various clothes, accessories and makeup of their Pokemon.

Later, Suzy explains that she realized she still has much to learn in the world of breeding, no matter how many awards she’s gotten for it. She decides to close down her shop and go on a journey to learn more. Impressed by Brock’s attitude and skills, she decides to let Brock raise Vulpix for a while. Brock happily accepts and they part ways.

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– As you can guess, this was another episode I had on VHS and it was probably the episode that got the most mileage because 1) Brock’s being hilariously adork-able in this episode and 2) FREAKIN’ VULPIX, PEOPLE! WHOO! Vulpix was and still remains as one of my favorite Pokemon of all time. Fire types are my favorite Pokemon type, foxes are my favorite animal, and it’s Vulpix! It’s so cute my brain short circuits when it’s on screen.

– They’re still using the Pokemon logo when they say ‘Pokemon’ in the titles? Geez how long does this go on for? It’s way surpassing my original estimation.

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A healthy dose of brief AAML for the nostalgic old people like me.

– There are some weird disconnects in this episode, in my opinion. First, it’s always been weird to me in the first place that raising and caring for Pokemon has been known as Pokemon breeding. I mean….supposedly having a pure lineage is important in judging real-life animals such as dogs and horses, even if there’s evidence to suggest that pure-breeds actually have more physical problems than mutts, but that has nothing to do with Pokemon breeding.

The one thing that never seems to be brought up when talking about breeding is…well…breeding. It’s mostly developing Pokemon diets and health programs to keep them in the best condition that they can possibly be while also sometimes learning and giving medical care and grooming. I just feel like they should’ve given it a much more fitting name like….Pokemon…Health…Person….Okay, that’s awful. But still, there has to be a more fitting name for this practice than ‘breeder’.

Second, grooming seems to be a very small aspect of Pokemon breeding, and fashion seems to be no real part of it. It’s all about focusing on a Pokemon’s physical, mental and emotional health as well as their happiness. I know that this is the point of this episode, but there’s nothing technically wrong with what Team Rocket is doing here. If people like to dress up their Pokemon, as long as it’s not harming them or making them unhappy, then have at it.

Their biggest mistake here is putting their business under the cloak of breeding superiority. If they had just staked a claim as being Pokemon fashionistas or something, Team Rocket would actually have a legitimately successful business that Ash and the others wouldn’t have to take down in a ‘breeding’s not about goofy fashions’ debate.

– I don’t understand how James even performed any ‘hairstyling’ on a Dodrio….it’s a bird….it has feathers

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– I do like the visual gag about James and Jessie having roses taped to their back.

– I will never tire of that scene where Brock slams his head on the table trying to thank Vulpix for eating his food.

– Ash: “I don’t like it either. It’s pretty stupid to waste your time showing off.” Because you never show off, right, Ash? You humble bumblebee, you.

– Also is anyone else getting deja vu? This whole ‘inside vs. outside’ debate seems an awful lot like the ‘perfume vs. anti-perfume’ argument they had merely two episodes prior. In fact, given Gloom’s mini-lesson, it is the exact same moral.

– This whole debate loses a bit of its spark when you consider that Suzy’s business is not in danger at all. She said herself that she’s incredibly busy with breeding, so this new trend can’t be affecting her customer base very much. Why would it anyway? Team Rocket is just putting makeup and baubles on Pokemon. They still need somewhere to go for Pokemon nutrition, massage, etc.

– Substance with style is just giving a lecture on Pokemon care and a demonstration of a Pokemon massage? And it’s so popular that Team Rocket’s shop is empty because of it. Certainly if Breeder’s Lane is filled with breeders, they probably know all this stuff, right?

– It was very important for Ash to learn this lesson on Pokemon massage. I’m sure he’ll utilize it in the imaginary future where Ash retains things he’s learned.

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A ticklish Pikachu is an adorable Pikachu.

– I actually like it when Team Rocket gets excited and passionate about jobs that aren’t criminal. Sure, these designs and fashions are gaudy and ridiculous, but they have their moments where they’re legitimately happy making an honest buck. I kinda wish they’d just quit Team Rocket and do that.

– On first glance, before she gets that crap on her face, Misty actually doesn’t look that bad in Team Rocket’s makeover. I’d lose the clips in her bangs and some of the added baubles, but she actually looks fairly decent.

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Also, another note of deja vu, Team Rocket making over a member of Ash and Co. seeing as how they did that same thing two episodes ago.

– Team Rocket was wearing their uniforms under their clothes?….why?

– This episode really does have some great comedic moments.

– Suzy: “Beauty research? Can’t you understand that it’s the beauty inside that counts? Each Pokemon is beautiful, we just have to help the Pokemon discover it.”

First of all….they were talking about Misty, not Pokemon.

Second, they never said what’s inside doesn’t count or that it wasn’t most important, even if that is what they think.

Third, beauty research is a thing, even if what they’re doing here is just flatout g-rated ‘torture’.

Fourth, the fashion and beauty industry is also still a thing. I also don’t put much stock in fancy hairstyles, clothes, jewelry and baubles, I’m more of a wash, dry and go type of girl, but I can see the allure in wanting to spiffy yourself up. There’s nothing wrong with it, unless it’s causing some form of harm to you or others.

Again, Team Rocket would’ve been much better off if they stayed away from the breeding label, but they kinda backed themselves into a corner anyway with tying a ten year old girl to a chair and ‘torturing’ her for info…in the lobby of their shop….with their glass doors and giant window….and the door wide open.

– Okay, so Team Rocket wasn’t really being completely legitimate here. Their salon was a front for criminal activities….but their plan was insanely stupid. They were basically planning on luring trainers to the salon, being legit for the most part, and, if or when a person with a rare Pokemon showed up, they would distract the trainer and steal it…..that’s it…..Uh, I do believe the trainer would wonder where the hell their Pokemon was after a while. Would you just steal one Pokemon and then close up shop and book it to avoid the trainer calling the cops?

And there were plenty of good Pokemon ripe for the stealing coming into this place. Two Squirtle, a Bulbasaur (starters are technically rare), Dodrio and even a Raichu, the evolved form of the Pokemon they keep drooling after, yet not a one stolen. This has to be the first time Team Rocket’s plans have failed because they were seemingly too lazy to go through with the main step of it.

– Ekans and Koffing are doing surprisingly well in this match…..Are they really claiming this is because of the costumes? Because that’s kinda dumb. I just don’t see any other reason for this sudden surge in skill.

Also, if they had the ability to dodge/refract electricity by spinning in circles why have they never done it before or done it since?

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Aww, Geodude’s hugging Ekans.

– Remember what I said about Team Rocket sometimes going surprisingly dark?

Jessie: “We’ll give Vulpix a makeover when we get rid of its tails!” Team Rocket wants to amputate Vulpix’s tails…..Holy. Shit.

– I agree with Misty, why the hell are you allowing her to get caught up in the Fire Spin, Suzy?….Is…it because she was interested in the Pokemon makeover and found merit in outer beauty, so the writers decided to punish her? Seriously? Geez, guys, there’s no gray area with you is there?

– Brock: “Did you see that? A cute exterior hides inner strength. That’s the Pokemon’s true personality!”

Okay, Brock, let’s play another game of ‘overanalyze a stupid thing said to overemphasize the incredibly obvious moral of the episode, which, ironically, screws up the whole moral.’

First of all, “A cute exterior hides inner strength”? What? Are you saying cute people and Pokemon are, by default, hiding their inner strength and beauty just because they happen to match society’s views on physical beauty? Like anyone who is attractive doesn’t show or have a real personality? What kind of stupid idea is that? Beautiful people and Pokemon can be assholes just as much as they can have wonderful personalities and the same goes for traditionally ugly or unappealing people and Pokemon.

Or is he saying that trying to change outer appearances with fashion and makeup is wrong because you’re hiding your ‘true’ self from the world? I guess that one might make a bit more sense, but just because you put on something physical does not hide what’s inside, at least not as long as you don’t change your personality when you dress up.

Second, Brock, did your opinions drastically change since Pokemon Scent-Sation? If you want to get technical, perfume is also something people use to make themselves seem more appealing. It’s not something visible, but it is a physical item people use to cover up their natural smell in lieu of something ‘prettier’. Hell, in Erika’s little ‘P-E-R-F-U-M-E’ rant, she specifically says the P is for pretty.

Third, now that I’m thinking about it, how ironic is it that Brock of all people is saying focusing on outer beauty isn’t important when he drools after every pretty girl he sees? Has he ever gone after a girl who was traditionally unattractive?

Fourth, he’s referring to Vulpix taking down Team Rocket with Fire Spin as he says this…..which basically makes the whole moral extremely confused. Yes, outer beauty is unimportant and cuteness masks a Pokemon’s true inner strength…..he says referring to one of the cutest Pokemon in existence that is world-renowned for its beauty, including Pokedex entries that specifically refer to its tails as beautiful and gorgeous, and evolves into something that is arguably even more beautiful and elegant?

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Finally, what the hell does focusing on personality have to do with using Fire Spin? Your Pokemon can have the best personality in the world and still have crappy attacks. Just like you can dress up your Pokemon and they can still do well in battle, like Ekans and Koffing just demonstrated, despite the fall. That has to do with training. Unless you’re saying Suzy massaged her Vulpix into level 42. In which case, screw the dangerous battles. Just prepare for the Pokemon league with a massage marathon.

If you wanted this message to fly at all, you should’ve used a Pokemon that is not usually noted for its cuteness or beauty. Try this episode with a Muk or a Paras or a…Gloom maybe. And make the ‘inner strength’ point of note a triumph of self-confidence instead of a Pokemon attack.

– While I disagree with Misty getting Fire Spun, she deserved it after the fact for yelling at Psyduck for seemingly running away and not helping her when he immediately and, without command, went for help. She’s known Psyduck all of a day and has only insulted the poor thing the whole time, yet it still rushed to her rescue without question. What a bitch.

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– Suzy: “and Brock I was very impressed with how you handled your Pokemon in a crisis like that.”

Like….what? He called out Geodude, commanded a Seismic Toss, it technically failed and then Geodude was disabled with Sludge blinding it for the rest of the match.

– Suzy: “I want you to continue your journey too, Brock. From now on, we’re rivals.” There are rivals in Pokemon breeding? Is that like being a competitive veterinarian?

– I don’t really see why Suzy has seen enough of Brock’s skills as a breeder to believe he’s competent enough to care for her beloved Vulpix, especially, as she stated, better than she could. Also, she’s known Brock all of a few hours, if that, yet she trusts him enough to give over her Vulpix?

– How did Brock capture Vulpix in his empty Pokeball when it’s still technically owned by Suzy? Couldn’t Suzy have just handed over Vulpix’s Pokeball to Brock?

– So now Suzy has no Pokemon to practice her breeding skills on. I’m sure that will be real helpful to your quest to improve your skills, Suzy. Actually, this wouldn’t be a huge issue if she was staying at her salon, but she’s closing up shop and going on a journey, so pbt.

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I couldn’t not include this shot.

– James: “Now we need a total makeover – so no one we ripped off will recognize us!” Uh, who’d you rip-off? You offered a service, you provided what was expected, they paid the price you advertised….They’re not entitled to refunds just because ‘doy we realized it’s what’s inside that counts!’

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I still love this episode, but I will admit I noticed quite a few more glaring flaws in the plot and lesson than I did when I was younger. I’m surprised I actually got ranty near the end. I feel like, given Pokemon Scent-Sation, they should’ve went a different route with this whole episode in regards to the moral because 1) it just does not fit well with Vulpix being the focal point, 2) they seem to demonize outer beauty, natural or otherwise, in their efforts to emphasize inner strength, and 3) they go even further with the ‘outer beauty is bad’ stuff by making the fashion trends as gaudy and ugly as humanly possible.

Gloom, on the other hand, was a Pokemon who, by all intents and purposes, was as unappealing as possible. It’s not really physically cute, it even drools, and it’s noted for its horrible stench. It’s evo is smack between a Pokemon that is pretty cute and a Pokemon who is a little cute and a little beautiful. Yet it’s noted for its great personality in saving Erika and keeping its stench in check around those it trusts. There’s also something poetic about a notably perpetually stinky Pokemon creating wonderful perfumes from its own extract.

I do like Suzy as a character quite a bit, and the comedy in this episode is spot-on, but I can’t help but say the quality is very tarnished by how poorly conceived this episode was as a whole.

Well, maybe next episode will be more relaxing and fun. What is next anyway?

Next episode

..Dammit!

Pokemon Shorties (3)! Pikachu and Pichu

Rating: 7/10

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock have arrived at nonspecific oddly American looking big city. Pikachu and all of the other Pokemon are let out of their Pokeballs to have some fun on the roof of some building while Ash and the others plan a big surprise. However, when Pikachu gets made fun of by a Pichu in a building across the street, he ends up falling from the roof and landing on the other building with the Pichu Bros. Can Pikachu make it back in time before Ash returns?

Breakdown: And now for the short that accompanied Movie 03, Pikachu and Pichu, otherwise known as “That one with the Pichu Bros.” and…..I really don’t remember jack about this short. I remember it taking place in a city and the Pichu bros., of course, I remember there being a Smeargle….that’s about it.

Oh and I remember the ending being the cause of much discussion seeing as how many people take this as proof that at least one year has gone by since the start of the series, which I don’t really believe given how much has gone on between then and now. Also, it’s hard to take that as canon when the series keeps insisting that Ash is and always will be 10 years old.

As for Pichu….I don’t particularly care for it. Its existence makes me think they wanted a ‘chibi’ Pikachu that they could market even harder than Pikachu. Lest we forget the pointless novelty of spike-eared Pichu and even Ukelele Pichu (proudly following in the footsteps of surfing Pikachu….Where are the damn novelty Raichu? What a rip off. Raichu>>>>>>>>everything) Pichu’s existence never made full sense to me, either. That means Ash got an evolved Pokemon as his starter Pokemon, and Pikachu was a huge brat when we first met it which makes it hard for me to believe that Pikachu evolved from a full happiness Pichu.

I do remember the music being a snappy new change, so there’s that. Well, let’s start, shall we?

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Ash and the others are in some unspecified city. They let out all of their Pokemon on the top of some random building/hotel(?) because they have stuff to do. However, even this doesn’t make much sense to me. It makes sense that Ash wouldn’t want Pikachu around to keep from spoiling the surprise, but why let out all of the other Pokemon, which they hardly ever do? Just to keep Pikachu company? It is a nice thing to do, but it’s also rare. They say they’ll be back at six o’clock and leave.

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A smiling Vulpix with sparkles around it. Enjoy your free warmfuzzies.

The copy I’m using for screenshots is the Japanese video spliced in with the English audio track (Since my copy is VHS and I have no way to transfer that to my computer). The Japanese version has an entire theme song here, but they completely amputate it from the short in the dub. They skip the entire theme song animations just to splice in their own opening which is just the title card translated to English, Pikachu meeting with the Pichu bros. and having the city background appear for a second before a dual page transition goes back to the short.

The English theme is a jazzy track that was made for this short. The Japanese theme is okay, but pretty forgettable.

As the Pokemon are playing, Pikachu comes across two Pichu, one of which starts mocking Pikachu from a building across the street. Pikachu makes faces back and Pichu climbs out on a ledge. Pichu’s brother, let’s call him Tuffed-Hair Pichu, tries to keep him from going out on the ledge and getting hurt while Pikachu climbs out onto a flag pole to warn him as well, which just furthers the question of why the hell did they let out all of their Pokemon to play ON THE TOP OF A BUILDING!?

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I get it, it’s all fancified meaning that people can hang out on the roof without issue, but there are no guardrails and it can’t be all that safe if Pikachu can perch itself on a nearby flagpole on the side of the building with no problem. Imagine what would happen if dopey Psyduck got turned around up there.

Pikachu looks down to realize where he is and wow, cars! Lots of ’em! I keep feeling like they’re in some American city from the way they keep portraying it. The buildings, atmosphere, music etc. just give the feeling like they’re in America somewhere. It definitely doesn’t give the same vibe as other cities seen earlier in Pokemon. Even Celadon city felt a lot different than this.

Not only does Pikachu freak out because of this, but a few Murkrow also come out and peck at him since he’s on their perch. He falls, but grabs onto the always handy rope that is always below in these situations.

The Murkrow aren’t deterred, however, as they also peck at the rope to make Pikachu fall. So, in conclusion, Murkrow are murderers….which makes sense because a flock of crows is called a murder. Next time on Law and Order: Johto Unit.

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We pan down to Meowth who is washing windows sans Jessie and James, but this time they actually give a reason for this that makes a lot of sense. They tricked him into a window washing job so they could get extra money. Since it has been shown several times in the series that Jessie, James and Meowth do get jobs sometimes and many of those jobs tend to be separate from each other, this makes perfect sense.

Murkrow starts untying the rope when a breeze carries a bunch of Hoppip into the Murkrow’s face, making him drop the rope and Pikachu. The rope somehow swings up which allows Pikachu to fly up and bounce on all of the Hoppip. However, when he gets to the last of them, he falls onto Meowth’s washing platform, which causes a see-saw effect and sends Meowth flying into a nearby billboard.

Pikachu climbs up to meet the Pichu bros. but is upset when he finds out that none of the other Pokemon can hear him and help him get back to the other building. So that means that, unlike the other shorts where we got small groups of the Pokemon mostly made up of Ash’s with some of Misty’s, Tracey’s and Brock’s…..this short just releases them for a few seconds and puts the entire focus on Pikachu and Pichu until the very end where they all reunite. I get it, it’s the title of the short, but come on. The other Pokemon get such little screen time. It’s almost mocking to let them all out to hang out and play but give them absolutely nothing to do.

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The Pichu Bros. offer to take Pikachu back to the other building. They make their way out, but land on a bus, which only leads them further away. The Pichu Bros don’t seem to care (jerks) and the bus takes a sudden turn which causes the three to fly off of the bus and into a nearby river.

Everything seems okay for a bit until a ferry in the shape of a Lapras shows up and is about to run them over. Pikachu and Pichu try to get away, but they succumb to Prometheus syndrome with not realizing that there are directions beyond straight. Luckily, a Gyarados suddenly shows up and sends the three flying again….Pokemon shorts really do involve a lot of Pokemon being flung around like ragdolls. Also, this is a manmade river, why the hell is a Gyarados in there? Do you love scaring the crap out of the people on the ferry boat and putting them in danger for no reason?

The three fall into some alleyway onto a Houndour who starts chasing them around. He corners them, but the wonder twins use their electric powers to shock Houndour. However, “Too bad Pichu can’t use electric attacks without shocking themselves!” Pichu sucks.

The Pichu Bros end up knocking themselves out due to the electricity, and to make matters worse, Houndour’s not affected that badly and starts chasing them again, this time with Pikachu carrying the Pichu Bros. Pikachu bounces off of a random Snorlax’s belly yet again. For the love of God, he’s not a trampoline or an air bag! Stop making this a theme in the shorts!

Houndour tries to follow, but Snorlax moves when he tries to jump on him, causing Houndour to land on the ground instead and get squashed when Snorlax moves back. Well, he’s dead. A moment of silence for Houndour.

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They arrive at some fort made of tires and pipes and we discover that this is actually a little hideout for the Pichu Bros and their friends, a whole bunch of other Pokemon with many of them being new pre-evos. Oh and we get another Pokemon misidentification. This time a Voltorb says ‘Electrode’. I’m going to give 4Kids a slight pass here since, like Poliwhirl/Wrath, they look very similar, but 4Kids should really know better by now or at least know to double check this crap.

They screw around with all of the Pokemon to eat up two minutes of screentime. When they’re done, the other Pokemon leave and they realize that it’s getting awfully late. Pikachu has to be back before Ash returns so he asks the Pichu Bros to lead him there. They start to leave but AH ZOMBIE!!

Oh, I guess Houndour lived through that. Houndour arrives and starts chasing them around again, causing the big tire fort to fall over, burying Houndour in huge heavy tires. Well, I guess he’s dead again. A moment of silence for twice dead Houndour.

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Also, why is Pikachu not attacking Houndour? It’s shocked people and Pokemon for lesser reasons.

Anyway, Houndour’s not dead again, instead he’s mildly stuck I think maybe. Pikachu and the Pichu Bros help him out and they’re instant friends I guess. Another part of the fort starts falling over and Houndour and Pikachu try to save it, but they’re slipping fast. The Pichu Bros then call their friends back to help out…where were they going anyway? Do they have owners? Where else would they be living besides that fort?

The Pokemon band together to save the fort, even Cubone, the Pokemon who cares only about itself. Sorry – some leftover bitterness.

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Pictured: A selfish fuck.

And, really, guys, hire a licensed contractor next time. The design of that thing? No wonder it fell so easily.

So the fort is saved, hip hip hooray! That’s also a recurring theme in these shorts – a bunch of random Pokemon coming together to solve a problem and fix stuff.

Pikachu realizes what time it is and he and the Pichu Bros help him get back to the building by rolling in a tire. And on the way they run over Meowth….I would complain about his completely pointless part in this short, but this short is already basically Togepi-free, so there’s a bonus. However, the Pichu Bros kinda act like Togepi a few times.

Pikachu returns, the Pichu Bros leave and Ash and the others return to show their big surprise to the Pokemon (mostly Pikachu).

The owner of this place has no qualms with a giant snake made of rocks being in what looks like a very nice dining room? Okay.

Ash reveals his surprise is a big party in honor of it being the anniversary of the first day he became friends with Pikachu. Geez, look at that setup.

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So much food and decorations and reserving a beautiful room too? For god’s sake, I’ve never had a birthday anywhere near this nice. And this is a friendship anniversary for a mouse! Where the hell did Ash and the others get the money for this? They can usually just barely afford to feed themselves. Did they plan the fireworks too? Because I can’t see any other reason for that.

This I find to be even more blatant favoritism considering he never does the same thing for any of his other Pokemon. Then again, he’d actually have to have his Pokemon for over a year to do that…But Squirtle and Bulbasaur are still around at this point, which means it shouldn’t be far off from their one year anniversary, but nope, no party for them. They should’ve just said they wanted to make a sort of annual Pokemon appreciation party instead. But why do that and have Pikachu share the attention, which is, of course, blasphemous?

And thus our short ends….in the English version anyway. The Japanese version stays true to their ending credits sequences with fan art a and song behind it. While the fan art is nice…did the kids who sent in the pictures get like a template to color in? Because all of the pictures in the start have the exact same pose and drawing quality. Unless this is just crudely drawn official art.

Whoever made the picture with Pidgeotto despite the fact that it was long gone before this short, my hat’s off to you good sir or madam.

Art and Animation: The art is crisp and the animation was actually quite a bit better than normal. Some scenes were shaky, particularly the last shot you see of Pineco, but nothing that bad.

Music: I really enjoyed the jazzy soundtrack. It’s a welcome change from the average Pokemon music we’re used to.

Bottomline: I can’t bring myself to say I’m crazy about this short. By all intents and purposes, it’s completely harmless fun, but then again it is just a lot of hijinks with not a lot of story, and any message is one we’ve already heard before in previous shorts; teamwork basically.

Also, the stuff with Houndour was resolved so quickly and easily it’s almost like it was a non-plot point. That being said, it does have the best art and animation quality of any of the shorts so far. The city looks very nice, many shots look great, the Pichu Bros didn’t get annoying and there were never lulls in the fun like the second short. It’s a pretty good short, but it is disappointing that none of the other Pokemon get to do anything.

Recommended Audience: E for eggplants! And everyone. Eggplants are people too!

Pokemon Episode 27 Analysis: Hypno’s Naptime

Pokemon Ep 27 title

CotD (s): None, really.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nope – fucking sleep wave detector.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ash: “Drowzee?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Extravaganza! Pokemon Movie 02 – Revelation Lugia (Sub) Review

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Rating: 5/10

Plot: Satoshi and the others are heading to their next Orange Island destination when a sudden storm beaches them on a nearby island called Earthia Island. The villagers are holding a legend festival and Satoshi is chosen to be the ‘great controller’ from the legend. He’s tasked with retrieving three spheres from three neighboring islands and returning them to Earthia to stop the destruction of the world through an imbalance in nature. However, he soon discovers that the legend is coming true.

Breakdown: Okay, the good news is that they seem to have gotten better at making movie posters. The bad news is, it’s still a pretty bad poster. I mean, Lugia looks fantastic, which is the main thing, the three legendary birds don’t look too small, but Satoshi is oddly placed. I find it weird that he’s even making that pose. It just seems like everyone’s picture is clipart that they pasted onto the cool Lugia and legendary birds poster. What is Okido even doing there?

Just to solidify something without a doubt, I want you all to take notice of something. Who is oddly missing from this poster?…..That’s right, Kenji/Tracey. Proving just how useless he is in the movie and the series as a whole. Less than Okido, less than Slowking. That is just sad.

Now, since this movie doesn’t appear to be anywhere as drastically changed as movie 01, I won’t bother doing a complete run though of the entire movie. Instead, like I have done in the past with other review projects, I will break this movie up into chunks (of ten minute segments) and give my notes of each segment of the movie. Let’s begin!

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Ten Minute Mark

As expected, Fire, Freezer and Lightning (Moltres, Articuno and Zapdos respectively) are called the gods of fire, ice and lightning as opposed to titans. Lugia is also called the ocean god.

Shamuti Island is actually called Earthia, and it wasn’t until they said this that I noticed his computer labels the island in green. Then it hit me. Earthia corresponds with Flame, Ice and Lightning as representing life and the balance of nature; earth as a whole. That also explains why the light at the end of the movie is green…I know 4Kids changes the names of practically everything, but Earthia actually seems to have a clear point in its name, so that’s disappointing. Plus, like the comparison says, it seems odd that 4Kids would purposely change its original name to something more foreign-sounding.

The title is, of course, different, but something I found odd is that the Japanese version only uses fire effects during its title whereas the dub utilizes fire, ice and lightning to represent the birds. Gotta give 4Kids props for actually being more thorough. I do miss the awesome electric guitar.

The original’s theme song is also still pretty good, being another rendition of Mezaze Pokemon Master. I don’t know why it still has a Charizard/Lizardon’s roar and Pikachu sounds on it though. Without visuals to match that, it just seems random.

I’m just now realizing how much I miss Scyther/Strike. It was the only one of Tracey’s/Kenji’s Pokemon that got both a backstory and a personality; and it was pretty interesting too. It was just the shot where it’s trying to protect Venonat/Kongpang for a minute, but that did spring to mind.

Twenty Minute Mark

Ohhh THAT’S why they specifically needed a Pokemon trainer. The original’s legend states that a ‘great controller’ will calm the anger of the gods. They’re equating a trainer to a controller to fit the legend. Also, that is what equates to ‘the chosen one’ in the original. In my opinion, it sounds better and doesn’t insinuate that Ash was destined at birth to do this. One could say that since the dub legend says the chosen one will ‘tame the beast of the sea’ that that may also be poking at that, but I think that’s more of a stretch.

The song is obviously different, but it’s surprisingly not all that different to my ears, really. The original one has higher pitches and some different tones, but it seems to follow roughly the same melody.

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Again, applause with no moving hands. What the hell?

Furura (Melody) doesn’t seem to be quite as upfront with her flirting as the dub would insinuate.

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Thirty Minute Mark

MistyxTracey fans may be sad to note that the one hint of that pairing (Tracey wondering if the girls are talking about him when they discuss Misty liking Ash) is not present in the original. He just says ‘I’m going too!’ If it makes you guys feel any better, the original line makes the scene much funnier.

Musashi actually asks why they’re bothering talking about Kasumi and Satoshi’s love-hate relationship since they’re ten years too young to be caught up in that stuff. Kojirou chimes in and says even they don’t talk about it much. Nyarth’s line is kept the same. I know I keep delving into sub dub comparison stuff, but the Bulbagarden comparison doesn’t cover much of what I’m talking about, probably because it’s not really important, but still noteworthy to me.

Forty Minute Mark

I love how Kasumi’s line to Jirarudan (Lawrence; who, by the way, hasn’t been named yet (if ever) in the original either.) makes it seem even worse. She yells at him to put the legendary birds in monster balls because trapping them this way is a waste. Yes, it’s awful that he’s forcing Pokemon into small technologically advanced cages to look at them when he could be forcing Pokemon into much smaller technologically advanced cages and making them fight. Shame!

I just realized, when we cut to the water Pokemon traveling by sea to get to Earthia Island, we see Arbo/Ekans in the water traveling this way too….I know some snakes can swim and some even slither on top of water, but I never knew they traveled by water too. Kinda makes you think maybe Team Rocket could’ve used Arbok in movie 01.

Hanako (Delia) actually solidifies that she has no clue where Satoshi is; just that he’s somewhere in the Orange Islands. Considering how vast and wide the Orange Islands seem to extend, that is an incredibly flimsy reason to be out there. Hey, I can fix this in one sentence. Watch. Ahem…. ”Satoshi/Ash just contacted me from Earthia/Shamuti Island earlier!” …..Boom! Was that so hard? You can send me money now, writers. I have a Paypal.

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Fifty Minute Mark

We’re at that cut scene with Kenji talking about the explosion made to free Fire. He’s saying how the electricity affects the water separating the H2 and O. That coupled with flamethrower equals boom. I think it’s going a bit far to say that’s instructions for essentially making a bomb – it’s moreso just explaining the chemical reaction going on and the explosion that proceeds it, but I guess 4Kids has removed scenes for lesser reasons. They honestly just could’ve said “Water…plus electricity…and fire….?!” And really, that’s the only thing Kenji’s noted as doing in this movie? He truly is a boring worthless character.

Also, I guess Fushigidane really didn’t have any role in that. He was just there whippin’ away.

Hour Mark

Nothing to note here, to be honest. However, the reason he’s stuck with being the one who has to do this is really that he was chosen by the villagers, started collecting the spheres and has to finish it, not that he’s destined to anyway.

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Hour and Ten Minute Mark

Despite also making a pun or two (“Pikachu, we’re gonna get ‘chu.”?) Team Rocket has a funny line when they let go of Lugia.

Team Rocket – “You’re the main character!” See, that’s how you break the fourth wall, 4Kids.

Also;

Satoshi: “Amazing! Are those really Pokemon?”

Lugia: “Yes, every Pokemon living on the planet.”…….Yeah you won’t come to eat those words in another year or so.

You know, if anything, the original movie has the opposite message from the dub. It seems like the original has more of a message of ‘it’s not what one person does, it’s everyone doing their part towards a specific goal that is powerful.’ whereas the dub is very clearly ‘the power of one.’ Lugia cements this further by saying everyone’s doing their part to try to help; the Pokemon, Lugia and Satoshi.

While he doesn’t mention it, even Team Rocket and Furura have been helping along the way. In the dub, Lugia outright says that the one with the power to actually make a difference is just Ash. I’m not saying the dub’s message is a particularly bad one. Many people succumb to the belief that just one person alone can’t do anything to make significant change, but it’s worth mentioning.

Finale

While I still really like the original song…I dunno, the dubbed version of the final legend song seems more impacting and epic to me.

Hanako actually says she saw Satoshi do…something dangerous. I’m assuming she saw him riding Lugia or something. She also doesn’t say anything about her constantly missing him; just that if he were to die, she’d lose her whole world. Her final words are also asking Satoshi what he really wants in life. Satoshi says he wants to be a Pokemon Master. Hanako replies if that’s really his dream then he can’t overdo it. I like the original version better. It explains a little why she was so angry and it doesn’t give us the slightly cheesy stuff about him always being her hero.

Surprisingly we don’t get ANY extra bits from Jirarudan stating what he plans to do now. He just picks up his ancient Mew card and smiles. According to his Wiki page, it’s supposed to imply that he intends to restart his collection but in a much more modest way. Whatever that means, I don’t know.

Team Rocket and Yadoking/Slowking don’t break the fourth wall at the end. They also rarely bring up the stuff about them being temporary good guys.

The song for the credits in the original is okay, but the song starts out with really irritating sing-talking. It also gets a bit repetitive. But at least it doesn’t bludgeon you with a sudden polka.

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

And that was Pokemon movie 02 subbed….I see no real reason to rate it that much higher than the dub. While I prefer it to the original mostly because I like the original score, voices and dialogue better, 4Kids didn’t change all that much. It’s odd, while 4Kids seemed to get better and better at dubbing the movies (I find movie 03 to be their best work ever, though I’ve only gotten to movie 06 as of this writing) they got progressively worse, in my opinion, with the series. Not saying everything was perfect after this movie-wise (there are definitely some stinkers and major issues) but they seemed to make more of an effort in the movies. Maybe they never wanted to suffer another backlash from fans and critics as they did after movie 01.

Anyway, if anything, maybe a .5 point for not being all ‘chosen one’ crap, but even that is still hinted at. Better than shoving it in your face, but still. Plus I do like the dub’s legend song just a tiny bit more.

Recommended Audience: E for everyone….Unless your kid is smart enough to build a bomb by learning a bit of simple chemistry and has intentions of doing so once he/she acquires the knowledge, in which case SV for Super Villain.

Pokemon Episode 26 Analysis: Pokemon Scent-Sation

Pokemon ep 26 title

Gym Leader: Erika – Erika is a very polite and kind individual (er, well, she’s meant to be) who values empathy with her Pokemon above all else. She specializes in Grass Pokemon and has a particular connection with her Gloom, a Pokemon most people cannot stand due to its terrible smell. Erika also owns a perfume shop and treasures the beautiful scents and feelings that perfume provides. While she is a very gentle and loving person, she cannot stand ignorant people who badmouth perfume.

Reappears? No.

Pokemon – She has numerous Grass Pokemon kicking around her Gym, but in this battle she uses a Weepinbell, a Tangela and a Gloom, who is her most prized Pokemon and is in fact the source of her secret ingredient for her perfumes.

Badge:

50px-Rainbow_Badge

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock arrive in the massive Celadon City. As they gaze in awe at the skyscrapers, Misty and Brock are suddenly captivated by the aroma of perfume. The scent leads Brock to a perfume shop where he gawks at the girls at the counter. Ash wants to get going to the Gym when he notices that Misty and Pikachu are actually in the store trying out various types of perfume.

She’s about to buy some when Ash bursts in and tells her not to buy it because ‘Perfume is a waste of money, and it stinks!’ The store manager comes in and states that she resents Ash’s remark. She asks if Ash is insinuating that she overcharges her customers for poor-quality perfume. Ash tries to save face by saying that all perfume is a waste of money, because ‘all it does is turn guys into zombies.’ like Brock.

She gets increasingly angry as Ash continues to speak badly of perfume and she kicks him out of the store. Ash doesn’t really care, though, since he’s off to the Gym.

When he arrives at the Gym, he’s shocked to find that the girls at the door won’t let him in since they don’t let anyone in who badmouths perfume given that they manufacture the perfume in that very Gym. Ash begs and pleads to challenge the Gym Leader, but they still refuse.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket breaks into the Gym to steal the secret perfume formula. While they’re searching for it, they stumble upon a sleeping Gloom. After James accidentally wakes it up, he attacks it with Koffing’s Poison Gas. Shockingly, not only is Gloom unaffected, it actually sucks up the gas with no problem.

In retaliation, Gloom sets off a cloud of its terrible stench, causing Team Rocket to nearlyfaint and giving the guards at the Gym the opportunity to knock them out and kick them out. They tie Team Rocket up in a tree, and Ash comes upon them.

They decide to coerce him into cutting them down from the tree by saying they can get him into the Gym. Desperate for another badge, Ash accepts. Their big plan? To dress Ash up as a girl, pretend to be named Ashley and pretend he likes perfume so he can get through the door and challenge Erika.

Posing as Ash(ley)’s parents, Team Rocket enrolls Ash in the Gym’s Pokemon training classes. As Ash gets ready to infiltrate the Gym to challenge Erika, Team Rocket excuses themselves so they can steal the formula. In retaliation for stamping a big X on her face, Jessie also has Meowth plant a bomb in the building.

The class starts, showing the Gym’s Pokemon getting exercised and cleaned up while Erika reads them all a sad story about an Omanyte. Ash(ley) is introduced to the group and he’s shocked when he notices that Erika is also the manager of the perfume store. Misty, Brock and Pikachu are also at the class, which makes him increasingly concerned that he’ll be found out.

Misty asks Erika why the seemingly always stinky Gloom smells perfectly fine while hanging out with them in the Gym. Erika explains that Gloom does indeed have a terrible smell, but only when it feels threatened or scared. If you show Gloom that its safe and that you want to be its friend, it will smell fine. Misty asks how she knows this and Erika explains how she and gloom met.

When Erika was a small child, she went off on her own and was suddenly cornered by a Grimer. Gloom was passing by, and she asked it for help. Gloom somehow sensed how scared Erika was and used its terrible smell to send the Grimer away and save Erika. Ever since that day, she and Gloom have been close friends. Her relationship with Gloom even inspired her to become a Grass Pokemon trainer and open her Gym.

Misty wishes that Ash was around to hear the story and Ash accidentally outs himself by saying he did hear it. He tries to save face, but Pikachu tries to cuddle him, realizing who he is. Ash tells him to back off, which prompts Pikachu to shock him, revealing his true identity. Ash admits what he did and challenges Erika to a Pokemon battle, which Erika accepts.

Ash chooses Bulbasaur at first while Erika uses a Tangela. Bulbasaur uses Vine Whip to wrap up Tangela, but Erika commands it to use Constrict to coil up Bulbasaur’s vines and reel him in. She then commands Tangela to use Stun Spore, which paralyzes Bulbasaur and leaves him unable to battle.

Ash considers using Primeape, but decides against it when he remembers how crazy and violent it was. Instead, Ash uses Charmander. In response, Erika sends out Weepinbell.

Weepinbell uses Razor Leaf, but Charmander burns all of the leaves with a Flamethrower and KOs Weepinbell with a Skull Bash.

Erika uses her trump card, Gloom, and it easily knocks out Charmander with its stench. Ash struggles to figure out what Pokemon to use next since he doesn’t believe any of his Pokemon can withstand that smell. However, Pikachu steps up to the plate and volunteers to go.

Their battle is interrupted by Team Rocket who now have the secret formula in their possession and have come to gloat. Their visit is cut short when they accidentally set the bomb too close to where they are and blast themselves off.

A massive fire breaks out in the Gym and everyone tries to gather the Pokemon and evacuate. Outside, everyone tries to put out the flames with hoses, Water Pokemon and Brock’s Geodude.

Erika runs by in a panic, worried that Gloom never made it out of the building. Ash goes into the Gym to retrieve Gloom, but is deterred by the frightened Pokemon’s horrible smell. Ash has no choice but to hold his breath and brave the stench to get Gloom out, but is surprised to find the air to be clear of the smell when he gasps for a breath. He suddenly remembers Erika’s words about the smell vanishing if Gloom feels safe and friendly towards you. With a smile, Ash grabs Gloom and runs out the door.

Later, when the fire is extinguished, Erika gives Ash a Rainbow Badge in gratitude of him saving her Gloom. Ash admires his new badge, but asks what Erika will do now that Team Rocket has her secret perfume formula. Erika laughs and said they didn’t steal the formula; they only stole an ingredient of her perfume – essence of Gloom.

As we cut to Team Rocket, they open the bottle to enjoy their new perfume only to be disgusted at the odor within the bottle.

With his new badge in hand, Ash and his friends set off to the next Gym.

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– Oh great, our first actual official pun title. Whoopee.

– Just a side-note/backstory thing before I get started: This episode is one my most remembered since it was one of a handful of episodes that I got on VHS when I was a kid. I also had the episode with Primeape, but I guess I didn’t much care for that episode as a kid either because I don’t remember watching that episode much.

Since there was a good chunk of time in my childhood when I was obsessed with Pokemon, but it was only on either incredibly early in the morning (before it started airing on Kids WB. And by early I mean around 5:00/30 AM. I had to pester my dad to wake me up when he woke up to go to work so I could watch it) or only on weekends (when it finally aired on Kids WB) I basically watched my VHS episodes over and over to sate my Pokemon cravings. As such, this episode became ingrained in my memory. I could probably recite the entirety of the script in my sleep.

However, looking back on it, I can definitely feel a rant storm a brewin’

– They’re still using the Pokemon logo when they include the word “Pokemon” in the title? Wow, that is going on way longer than I thought it did.

– I understand that Erika’s ‘spell out perfume with positive words’ rant is a dub-only thing, but uh, 4Kids, U for Urbane? You really think any kid knows what urbane means? Also, Erika, I can do the same thing in reverse to make your pathetic ‘point’ moot. P for Putrid, E for Ew, R for Repulsive, F for Foolish, U for Ugly, M for Mundane and E for Egregious. That spells…!

Misty: “Perfume!”

Brock: “Right!”

Pikachu: “Pika!”

Your move, Erika.

– I know Ash is, for lack of a better term, a typical ten-year-old boy (Thinks perfume is stupid, doesn’t get romance, fashion is dumb, makeovers are pointless etc.) but where exactly is this rabid anti-perfume stuff coming from? Disliking that Misty is buying perfume is a different level from yelling at her to not purchase it then going on a rant about why it’s awful.

And he hates it because it turns guys into zombies? Brock’s always a skirt-chasing zombie, and that’s his only example. Besides, I’ve never seen any guy gush over a woman’s perfume. Most guys I know don’t really care for perfume. They might say it smells nice on a woman they’re interested in, but never have I ever seen a guy, besides girl-crazy Brock, go zombified because he smells perfume or value a woman higher due to her perfume. It really seems like this hatred was written in for the sake of getting Ash thrown out, banned and then starting up the plot.

It also seems out of character for a woman as gentle, kind and polite as Erika to go berserk about someone disliking perfume to the point where she’ll not only refuse to battle him, but she’ll ban him from her store and her Gym. This is especially weird since she’s all about empathy. A person such as Erika would try to see Ash’s side or at least respect his opinion, despite disagreeing with it. But no – she immaturely gets in his face about it, even pointing her finger in his face while she lectures him on the value of perfume, then tells him to leave while her employees literally kick him out.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 1

– So, instead of calling the cops and having Team Rocket arrested, the girls at the Gym stamp X’s on their faces, tie them up and hang them from a tree in the middle of nowhere…..I know the cops in the Pokemon world aren’t known for their effectiveness, but you’re basically damning Team Rocket to a slow death here.

– Retroactively, Ash doesn’t really need to crossdress and act like a girl/completely different person to get into this Gym if there are supposedly at least two additional Gyms in Kanto besides the typical eight, as seen in Gary’s badge collection. I know these Gyms are never given names or Gym Leaders and probably aren’t canon, but if there are more Gyms than the typical eight, he can just get another badge there to get his required eight badges instead of jumping through hoops for an unreasonable perfume fanatic.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 2

– While we’re on the subject, why is Ash pretending he’s enrolling in Pokemon Training classes? Enrolling in those classes won’t get him a challenge, it will just….enroll him in training classes. Why not say (s)he’s a trainer who’d like to challenge Erika for a badge? It’s like they made this whole class thing up so Ash would get to listen to Erika’s story about her Gloom and appreciate her more.

– What the hell? It’s actually a prerequisite to like perfume before you’re accepted into the classes?

Girl: “Do you like perfume?”

Ash(ley): “Oh, yes!”

Girl: “Well, then, I’m sure you’ll be accepted!”

Being mad at Ash for being an anti-perfume asshole to the point of banning him from the store and Gym is bad enough, but only allowing confirmed pro-perfume people into your Gym/classes is downright obsessive. How does this conversation sometimes go?

Girl: “Do you like perfume?”

Trainer: “Uhm, not really, I guess.”

Girl: “Well, you can go fuck yourself then. Have a nice day!”

– Team Rocket, especially in the early days, definitely have their moments of insane evil. Jessie basically wants to commit a terrorist act (planting a huge bomb in the Gym; Which not only proves to be enough to destroy the place but also puts the lives of many people and Pokemon, Grass types no less, at risk) because they stamped an X on her face.

– Girl: *while wiping droll off of Gloom’s mouth* “Remember, a pretty Pokemon is a strong Pokemon!” Wow, you guys really are shallow ditzes aren’t you?

– I need to address several issues with this ‘Pokemon training class.’ First of all, what the hell are they even doing? One of the staff members is exercising a group of Grass Pokemon, which is technically training, but there aren’t ‘students’ watching or partaking in it.

Another employee is cleaning Gloom’s face which might be a lesson on keeping your Pokemon neat and tidy, but she also makes the stupid statement above, which is a fairly bad lesson to be teaching Pokemon trainers. (How did my Pokemon lose? It’s so pretty!) And, again, no ‘students’ are watching or helping.

Erika is telling a story to a group of her employees, Misty, Brock and Pikachu and that’s it. There are absolutely no other students besides Brock and Misty. I assume Misty and Brock have enrolled as students but there’s no reason given as to why they did such a thing. Brock may have done it because he gets to be surrounded by pretty girls for a few hours, but why Misty?

Pokemon ep 26 screen 3

 

Furthermore, why the hell are they having irrelevant storytime with this one ten-year-old, another teenager and a group of her own employees who are all either in their mid-teens or twenties? What does this have to do with Pokemon training? Did they accidentally sign up for Pokemon daycare?

– Erika and Gloom’s backstory is all fine and dandy, but the logistics don’t really add up. Little girl Erika went into what looks like a dark, broken down abandoned house all by herself? Why? It’s understandable that there’s a Grimer there since that’s a typical area where Grimer might hang out, but why is it attacking her?

It’s much less understandable as to why Gloom’s there. It might be part Poison type, but it’s mainly a Grass type. There’s no reason for it to just be wandering aimlessly in this building.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 4

– This line always pissed me off.

Erika: “I accept your challenge! It’s my duty under the league rules!” IT IS, IS IT?! Hoo boy, it sure is a good thing you haven’t been denying his attempts to challenge you this whole episode! And if it’s true that you have to like perfume before you’re allowed entry into the Gym, it sounds like you deny quite a few challenges, Erika.

– It bothers me how arrogant Erika is when she lets out a new Pokemon. Every time, she says ‘This ought to be easy!’ Even when Ash lets out Charmander, which is a big threat just on the type advantage alone.

– Yay! Tangela! Whoo! Call your agent and get more use in the series, please. You’re almost as ignored as the Paras line.

– Uh, Erika….what is Tangela doing? I don’t know if you know this, but Constrict isn’t a move that makes you spin in circles. That doesn’t even make sense.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 5

– Ah, Ash thinking about using a powerful Pokemon (Primeape) only to decide against it because he can’t control it and never trained it. This is annoying, but remember everyone, this is totally the last time it happens.

– While we’re on the subject, remember what I mentioned in the last analysis about not getting used to Primeape?

Wiki – “This episode marks the only appearance of Ash’s Primeape between its capture and departure episodes, although merely in a flashback.” You may repeatedly bash your head against your desk now.

– What exactly leads Erika to believe that Ash has no empathy with his Pokemon? Except maybe that one line where he refuses to take her offer of a Paralyze Heal for Bulbasaur just because he wants to do things for himself.

– Also, more ego.

Erika: “Without it, you’ll never be a great Pokemon trainer like me!” I honestly don’t remember Erika being this obnoxious, but holy hell she’s an ego-driven, pretentious crazy person.

– Erika: “Now I’m going to give you a lesson in empathy! Gloom, go!” Yes, here’s a lesson in empathy. A putrid stench. I’m starting to wonder if you know what empathy means, Erika.

– Now she’s laughing at Ash for losing. She is a lot different from her game counterpart, isn’t she?

– Actually, Ash, Pidgeotto would be a fantastic choice to combat Gloom. Not only is Grass weak to Flying, but who better to air out a stinky Gym than a Flying Pokemon who can stay above the smell and blow it away with Gust? But oh yeah, keep giving Pikachu all the shots and completely forget Pidgeotto, you little welp.

– Girl: *during the fire and trying to round up the Pokemon* “We’ve gotta catch ‘em all!” No! No, 4Kids, no! Bad 4Kids. Bad!

Pokemon ep 26 screen 6

– Alright, fine; the shot of Pikachu trying to put out the fire with a watering can is adorable.

– So the fire department never showed up? What assholes! You’re about as useless as the police in the Pokemon world.

– Now, in typical pity badge fashion, let’s go over the reasons why him getting one for the Rainbow Badge is stupid.

1) Ash only got the pity badge because he braved a burning building to save Gloom and he managed to show Gloom that he was friendly and could keep it safe. It was very brave and nice of Ash to do that, but that shouldn’t earn him the badge. Partly because of principle and mostly because of reason two….

2) Ash is right; it’s kinda his fault that ever happened to begin with. He was stupid enough to free Team Rocket and fall for their little scheme when, logically, Team Rocket wouldn’t bother keeping up their side of the bargain if he cut them down any other time. The only reason they’d help him is if they had ulterior motives, which Ash should’ve been able to figure it out because the only reason they were up in that tree was because the girls at the Gym found them trying to steal something and kicked them out. Even if they didn’t tell him the reason, it’s not hard to deduce considering who they are and the fact that they had those trademark red Xs on their faces.

You could say they would’ve sneaked in anyway, but there’s no denying that Ash facilitated it here. If Ash were more intelligent and more mature, he’d suck up his pride and apologize to Erika and the girls about what he said and he’d probably be let in.

Instead, he freed a group of criminals who try to steal his Pikachu every week and believed their stupid plan that didn’t even need to involve them. There’s no reason why Ash couldn’t have gone into the Gym alone in his disguise. He didn’t think it odd that his character needed parents to walk her into the building? Which is all they did. They didn’t even sign him/her up like they said they would. He signed himself up.

3) Ash definitely would’ve lost that match, I don’t care what Pikachu ‘said’ to him. He might’ve had a good chance with Pidgeotto, but Ash’s mantra is always ‘Fuck Pidgeotto! Go pop Team Rocket’s balloon!’ Ash himself said Pikachu is trying to battle even though he knows he’ll probably lose. Pikachu just says he’s sure he’ll win without us ever finding out why Pikachu is so confident of that.

4) Pikachu is an especially stupid choice against Gloom because not only are Electric Types not very effective against Grass types, but we’re well aware that Pikachu has a super sensitive nose. He’d be out of the match just breathing in the leftover fumes.

Pokemon ep 26 screen 7

– Notice how Ash has gotten progressively less resistant to these pity badges? When Brock gave him one, he was really reluctant to get it. When Misty’s sisters did it, he was more easily swayed. When Sabrina did it, he only mildly questioned it as he was walking away from the Gym and admiring the new badge. With Erika, he just asks what he’s getting the badge for, Erika says he earned it and Ash is all “Look at my new badge!” I can’t wait until Cinnabar Island, I tell ya what.

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I still hold a nostalgic love of this episode, but giving another look for this review really showcases what a hot mess it is both in the grand scheme and in the little details. In addition to everything I already covered, they also never revisit the perfume angle. They have the whole first half be about appreciating perfume and having Ash being a rabid anti-perfume advocate and then nearly everything perfume related is dropped in the second half. I don’t even care much for the perfume plot because, in my opinion, both sides were being ridiculously immature and stupid, especially over perfume of all things, but if you’re going to spend that much time on it, why not continue it in the second half?

This plot might make a little more sense if the episode started out with Ash mocking or disliking Gloom based on its disgusting smell (perhaps it could’ve been the mascot for the perfume shop), and her relationship to her Gloom made her so insulted that she banned him from the shop and the Gym. Sure, it’s a bit OOC, but no more than he’s being here. That way, the moral at the end, which they outright say is not judging a Pokemon by its smell, would be more fitting. He was never judging Gloom for its smell – he was just understandably put off by the stink as a whole. Looking back, that Aesop might actually be trying to apply itself to Ash’s dislike of perfume, but since the perfume is never addressed in the second half, I sincerely doubt it.

I used to find Erika to be just fine as a character and a trainer, but looking closer at her just shows her to be egotistical, perfume-crazy and just as immature as Ash. I’m convinced that Brock liking her perfume (and her) is the only reason she doesn’t post a ‘No boys allowed’ sign outside.

The battle is fine, but mostly unimpressive for a Gym match. Tangela’s win was half because of a move that isn’t performed properly for the sake of plot convenience. Charmander’s win was predictable and a little boring, and, like I mentioned, with Ash not using Pidgeotto, there’s no way he would’ve legit won against Gloom’s stank. If there is, they never bother to tell anyone, and I can’t think of any way it would’ve been possible without pulling something out of Messiahchu’s ass.

It’s yet another pity badge, which is already major points off, and the only really good point standing is Ash’s heroics during the fire. However, that scene would’ve meant more if he had more interaction with Gloom in the first half.

Next episode, Hypno’s Naptime! It’s time to get….confusing and weird….

Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 02 (Dub) Pokemon the Movie 2000/The Power of One

smtkfgs

Rating: 4.5/10

Plot: Set sometime during the Orange League, Ash and the others are traveling when they get caught up in a storm. The storm lands their boat on a nearby island called Shamuti Island where the locals are holding their annual legend festival. The legend states that the harmony caused by the three legendary birds, Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres, will be disturbed and cause all of nature to fall out of whack. Only the chosen one can bring together the three spheres of fire, ice and lightning to restore harmony back to the world with the help of the legendary Lugia.

If you didn’t catch that, don’t worry, you’ll be reminded about it a lot. Ash is selected as the chosen one this year because he’s a Pokemon trainer, but as he’s going off to find the spheres for the sake of the festival, he finds that the legend is actually coming true.

Breakdown: Ah, Pokemon the Movie 2000. Even you couldn’t resist the allure of naming yourself ‘2000’ in the year 2000. One of the most annoying things ever. Luckily, that was doomed to die within a year, so yay.

I don’t have as much nostalgic love for this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I do hold nostalgia for it. I saw it in theaters with my friends when it first came out, I got excited for the release and I enjoyed the movie fine.

My problem with this movie is that it is just so damn cliché. Ash being ‘the chosen one’ is one of the most cliché plot threads ever. The whole aspect of collecting element themed jewels might as well have ‘property of Final Fantasy and a crapton of other video games’ labeled on it. Tampering with the gentle balance of nature by the will of an eeeevil human is also not very original (someone call Captain Planet). The legendary Pokemon here don’t really do much besides Lugia and even it’s kinda moot. I do love Lugia and the legendary birds. Articuno is my favorite followed by Moltres then Zapdos. I just wish they had done more in the movie.

Our main baddie is also completely forgettable in my opinion. Hell, I don’t even remember his name, which, for the record is Lawrence III. To be fair, though, I don’t think the dub movie ever gives his name. He suffers the same fate as the three trainers from movie 01. But it’s much more forgivable for them to be nameless. They were forgettable side characters; even though it would’ve been crazy easy to just add in an introduction line for each of them. This is the main villain of the movie.

Pokemon movie 02 screen 2

I remember he likes collecting legendary things and had an ancient Mew card that he started his collection with (I remember getting one when I saw this movie. Still have it. 🙂 ) other than that, he’s just boring. Notice how I wrote an entire synopsis for this movie without even mentioning this guy once? And you know what? That was in no way intentional. I completely forgot about him until I had already started writing the actual review. I wish I was lying.

On the Japanese release of this movie, the audience members were given a booklet which contained background information on the character…..Which I find a tiny bit dumb. I mean, it’s nice to have your own little booklet of information, but shouldn’t that information be…ya know….in the movie?

The plot is way too obvious giving us really no room for surprises. This is made even worse with the recited legend which literally lays out the entire story nearly beat for beat (and made increasingly worse since the legend is the first thing stated in the movie and is frequently being repeated). Apparently the original doesn’t explain as much, but the dub’s version explains the entire movie. How the hell can you have any tension when the entire movie’s story is laid out on a plate for you right when the movie begins and it’s constantly being relayed to you throughout?

Pokemon movie 02 screen 1

It’s definitely not all bad, and I can at least be thankful that this movie’s not ungodly preachy like the first movie, but it has its flaws.

For the Bulbagarden comparison of this movie, see here. http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/movies/mov02.html

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Our movie starts out with a shot of the three islands, the islands of Fire, Ice and Lightning, and a sneak peak at Slowking. I’ll get him out of the way right now, I do not understand Slowking. We have two really entertaining Pokemon in Slowpoke and Slowbro then we get….a talking sage-like unfunny Slowking…..for no reason. What does this thing do during the movie besides stand there and tell us things we already know? I have nothing really against the Pokemon, but why does his character exist?

We see Lawrence III in his flying base thing while his computer explains that the three titans of the elements fire, ice and lightning are Moltres, Articuno and Zapdos respectively. His computer then says that the islands containing said Pokemon are on islands adjacent to Shamuti Island and goes to capture them for his collection with Moltres being first on his list.

I would question the mechanics of that entire ship, but this is a world where a small ball can shrink and capture huge monsters.

Wait, was he already at the island? Because it’s like he didn’t travel far at all. If he was, why was that information about the birds even given? Wouldn’t he have known all that before now?

At Fire Island (considering Moltres’ Japanese name is Fire, this island doesn’t seem like such a secret location of Moltres…) Lawrence starts attacking the island with ice bombs, which prompts Moltres to come out. When Moltres emerges, Lawrence uses his super rings of technology to trap Moltres and capture it in his ship…..And that was Moltres ladies and gentlemen! Give it a round of applause!

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He says he’s going to go after Zapdos next, then Articuno and finally draw out Lugia before we get our title card. Man, 4Kids was really feeling the electric guitar in this opening sting. Kudos on matching the drum beats with the lights on the word ‘One’. That reminds me; seeing as how this movie was not in any way advertised as ‘Pokemon: The Power of One’ (at least no where around where I lived, and my VHS copy says “Pokemon the Movie 2000”) I was confused as hell by this title when I first saw it. It doesn’t even say “Pokemon the Movie 2000: The Power of One” it’s just “Pokemon: The Power of One.”

We fade in to Ash, Misty and Not-Brock on a boat heading to their next Orange Island destination that is never given. Not-Brock suggests that they should let their Pokemon out for some fresh air and that prompts our movie theme which is okay. Just seems like a more pop-ish sounding version of the Orange League theme.

Unlike movie 01, 4Kids actually doesn’t give a crap that there’s no background audio from the Pokeballs, Pokemon or humans during the song despite the fact that you can see that the video prompts sound.

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Surprisingly, all of the Pokemon in the current group make an appearance. Charizard isn’t left out because it’s still out of control, I suppose, and Snorlax doesn’t stay out because he’s too heavy for the boat.

We also see that Team Rocket’s following them in their signature Magikarp sub.

Pikachu’s acting oddly like it senses something, but none of the other Pokemon are being disturbed. Is it just because Zapdos is the next target or is Pikachu secretly a Psychic type? Or is this this an hidden power of the almighty Messiahchu?

A storm comes about because I guess the Pokemon movies love storms. We just had one in the short!

The captain, Maron, says they’re at Shamuti Island, which is very far from their intended course. Luckily, she used to live on that island. What a coinkydink.

Team Rocket, in their wake, makes a bunch of puns and crashes into a cliff.

Cut to Pallet Town where we see Delia Ketchum tending to her garden and her Mr. Mime sweeping the grass.…….Why is he sweeping the grass?

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Professor Oak comes up to chat and we get this line:

Professor Oak: “Well this is the time of year when the sun shines every day!”……..What time of year is that? I assume summer, but the sun shines in every season. There are rainy/cloudy days in summer too. Is this an actual saying?

The weather takes its cue and starts to get really crappy. It rains heavily for about five seconds, stops then starts snowing and we see that an aurora has appeared in the sky. All sorts of Pokemon start going nuts alongside the weird weather.

Professor Oak says that since Pokemon, like animals in real life, are more in tune with nature than humans, they can sense when something’s wrong. Since the Pokemon are acting so weird it must mean something’s very wrong. Yeah, this would’ve had more weight if not for the random five second downpour, snow storm and sudden aurora lights that came and went in ten seconds preceding said Pokemon freakouts. Pretty sure we could gauge from that that something was horribly wrong.

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Back on Shamuti Island, Ash and the others have arrived at the shore and are met with natives wearing traditional garb and odd masks. They scare Ash and the others for a bit until they realize that one of the villagers actually knows their boat captain, Maron. The villager woman, named Carol, explains that they’re preparing for their annual legend festival. Carol explains that since she’s too old to be the maiden of the festival her snarky brat of a little sister named Melody will be taking her place.

Maron introduces Ash to the group and explains that he’s a Pokemon trainer. Before she can introduce the others, the villagers go nuts because he’s a Pokemon trainer and apparently that means he’s the chosen one from the legend. Well, wait, Misty’s a Pokemon trainer too. A Gym Leader at that. Why can she not do it? Was it just because Ash was introduced first?

Melody says he’ll do as the chosen one for the festival and gives him a welcome kiss on the cheek, which makes Misty visibly perturbed. This is our first indication that this movie will have a pro-AAML (Ash and Misty Love) slant. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support AAML. My problem with this part of the movie, as with any AAML I see now, is the fact that now I know this pairing will likely never ever happen, especially since the show essentially got rebooted and Misty hardly ever makes appearances anymore. And there’s the frustration that is the weird TraceyxMisty BS they apparently have in later seasons. Made even worse by the fact that I think Tracey’s supposed to be around 15 and Misty’s 10……Now watching AAML just makes me sad.…

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Melody asks if Misty’s his little sister, Misty says no. Then Melody asks if she’s his girlfriend, which she is appalled at and says is gross, but Melody says she doesn’t think so. She invites them to the legend banquet and tells Misty not to get jealous, which just pisses her off even further. You know what’s annoying me? I can’t find Melody’s age anywhere. She looks like she’s at least a couple years older than Ash and Misty, though she may be the same age as Tracey which may or may not make this situation slightly icky.

The festival starts and we cut to the banquet where we hear this…

Maron: “So she said ‘No, but I have Krabbies!’ Ahahahaha!”…..What the hell was the start of that joke?! That seriously sounds like a play on words to implicate someone having crabs. Am I looking too much into this? Because I never noticed that until now.

Misty’s still stewing over Melody’s comment about being Ash’s girlfriend and we see Melody come out in her purty festival garb playing the legendary song, AKA the theme of this movie, on her little seashell ocarina thing.

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Tracey and Ash are enamored by her, but Misty calls her a show off…..well…considering she’s putting on a show….yeah. Also, she’s just dancing a little bit while playing the song, it’s not like she’s got a pyrotechnic display set up.

We hear applause afterward but no one in the audience is visibly clapping so I dunno.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pokemon Episode 25 Analysis: Primeape Goes Bananas

Pokemon EP 25 title

CotD(s): None

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Primeape sufficiently beaten, Ash manages to capture it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– I love Mankey mocking Ash’s capture style.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Shorties (2)! Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure

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Rating: 2.5/10

Plot: While napping in the woods one day, Togepi wanders off and falls down a tunnel. It’s up to Pikachu and the others to save Togepi while finding some new friends along the way.

Breakdown: Ah, Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure……..I remember like nothing about this short except the opening. I know there’s an Elekid and some other ‘new’ Pokemon and a storm…..and Togepi gets lost….That’s about it.

…….Well, let’s start, shall we?

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We start off with Ash, Misty and Not-Brock deciding to take a nap on a tree. They let out SOME of their Pokemon to nap too (Scyther, Staryu, Snorlax and Charizard are noticeably absent. It’s understandable that Lapras and Goldeen aren’t there since they’d need to be in water (even though there’s a suitable body of water mere feet away), but why not Staryu, Snorlax, Charizard and Scyther? Are they not ‘cute’ enough for the short? The short and movie do supposedly take place after Charizard starts behaving so there’s no real excuse for him.) Togepi wakes up and sees some Ledyba flying by and tries to follow them, but ends up tripping and rolling down a huge hill.

While falling, it knocks Meowth over who seems to be traveling by himself because Pokemon short law says he has to be alone and they both fall into a nearby hole that leads into an incredibly long and fairly clear tunnel that leads into a gigantic tree that is so huge it’s basically its own forest. Now that I’ve wrote that out it seems incredibly convoluted…

Pikachu and the others reach the hole and try to call for Togepi, but a crazed Psyduck crashes into them while trying to catch up and they all fall into the hole and through the tunnel.

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It’s here where we get our short’s theme song “Comin’ to the Rescue” by O-town. Remember O-Town? Yeah, no one else does either. I actually really like this song and as with “I Need a Vacation” it’s an ear worm that sometimes gets stuck in my head randomly.

They tumble down the long tunnel and land on a passing swarm of Ledyba who bring them into their tree home. I think this is the first sighting of Ledyba in the series. The Pokemon then meet an Elekid, who was actually teased in one of the Orange League episodes through one of Not-Brock’s sketches. They fear that the Elekid wants to fight, but Pikachu makes nice with an Electric Pokemon ET finger touch.

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After they become friends, the other Pokemon in the forest feel comfortable to come out and damn, if you really wanted to become a Pokemon Master, just go to this forest. It’s like there’s nearly every Pokemon in existence, Kanto-wise, in this forest.

We cut to Meowth who is stuck on a limb overhanging a waterfall…..which would indicate that Togepi died because that’s a nasty drop and Meowth and Togepi fell at the same time, but of course we know the little egg’s not scrambled.

Pikachu asks if Elekid knows where Togepi is and Elekid leads them someplace.

Dear God, the animation is horrible; and it’s in this scene with the Pokemon in the trees that you really start noticing. We just get like 15 seconds of seeing Pokemon in trees standing completely still while making Pokemon calls as we move through them…..and they’re all paper cutout ‘animations’. Not deliberately like how Kare Kano sometimes used crayon drawings and cutout animation to be funny; this is just really, really, really lazy animation. Most of what you see behind the trees is either pure black or more trees, which just adds to the laziness.

Elekid leads them across a vine bridge and we actually learn something about one of the Pokemon; Squirtle’s really afraid of heights. Not scared enough to not do it, but he’s holding onto the vine with his ‘hands’ and feet instead of just walking across like everyone else did.

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Elekid leads them to the section of the giant tree world with nests of Exeggcute eggs, and we see that Togepi is perfectly fine in one of the nests……..how he got there….or what the unholy hell Exeggcute are doing in tree branches like bird eggs is beyond me, but there it is.

Exeggcute don’t ‘hatch’ or evolve into birds….why are they in nests on tree branches? Why are they in nests period? They’re not Pokemon eggs. They’re egg Pokemon. There’s a difference. We already know at this point that Pokemon come from eggs anyway. Hence the Togepi. So why not just make up some random Pokemon eggs and put them in the nests? It would make more sense and it’s not that hard.

Pikachu and the others try to retrieve Togepi, but the Exeggcute in the nest won’t let him go. They’re missing one of the their eggs so they’ve adopted Togepi as one of their own. Pikachu and the others then embark on a journey to find the missing Exeggcute egg to get Togepi back.

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They arrive at some oasis and some debuting Bellosom along with every other Pokemon in the oasis start doing a random dance number out of nowhere. Because….padding? I mean….I have no problem with this little number….except we get ANOTHER Pokemon misidentification since 4Kids makes a Poliwhirl repeatedly say ‘PoliWRATH’ and it’s just pointless.

They run into a cave because Pikachu senses a disturbance in the force and finds a bunch of Clefairy hopping around like fleas. He freaks out because he knows they’re doing Metronome and if Togepi’s taught us anything, that move nearly always results in Explosion.

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So the cave explodes and sends the group + Elekid flying off, and they land on a bunch of insanely convenient leaf-springs….I’m not kidding, they’re leaves with huge springs on the bottom that I guess just grow that way. Huh, I had no idea Tigger had a green thumb.

Pikachu and Elekid hop all over the springs and – goddamn this short is so boring. I am well aware that these shorts are aimed at an even younger audience than the TV show – as in the kinds of fans who just want to see the Pokemon being cute instead of being interested in battles or plot, but damn this is some boring short. Nothing’s happening. Just a bunch of random nothing. Random dance numbers, random leaf springs, random Meowth appearance, random explosions, random random.

At least the last short was interesting due to the rivalry between the main group and the bullies. It made for some funny and memorable moments. This is just harmless boredom in a can. You know what I thought was the most boring and vapid part of the first short? Taking care of Togepi. So now we’ve based our main plot on that boring side plot. It’s already resolved too. Sure, Exeggcute are keeping it hostage, but Pikachu and the others have already found Togepi and have more than enough muscle to just take it away. The only reason this short is continuing is because Pikachu and the others are too nice to take Togepi away from the Exeggcute.

Cut back to Meowth who is still stuck in the tree. However, Pikachu and Elekid fly out of the trees and crash into Meowth, knocking him off the branch and into the waters way way way way below…..but don’t worry. It’s water. And we all learned in every movie ever, including Pokemon movie 01, that landing in any body of water from any height means the fall is survivable.

They also somehow grab onto a Gyarados who tries to climb up the waterfall. Meowth tries to kick Pikachu away for whatever reason and this prompts Pikachu to use Thundershock. Since Gyarados sucks due to it’s 4x weakness to electricity, the shock causes them all to fall/fly off, which makes them land in a Snorlax’s belly (did they just rip off the first short?) and Snorlax slingshots them out of his fat and makes Meowth ‘blast off’.

I’m just now realizing, there’s a crapton of the Pokemon just being flung around random places in this short.

Immediately afterward, a bunch of insanely dark storm clouds charge into the sky when no indication of bad weather has appeared in the slightest until now. I swear, it comes on so suddenly that it’s almost like Mewtwo was back to his old tricks again…In fact….I’d say this storm actually comes on faster than Mewtwo’s, which is just baffling.

The resulting wind causes the Exeggcute nests to start flying around, and the Pokemon try to save them. Geez, the bad animation is really highlighted during the storm. That tree is just awful. Fade animation and hastily painted stills? That’s the best we can do, huh?

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More Pokemon come to help, and I find it funny that one of the Pokemon that arrives in the nick of time to help is a Slowpoke. I have nothing against Slowpoke, it’s one of the more entertaining Pokemon (though Slowking can bite me…Eh, I’ll save that for the feature presentation) but I just find it weird that one of the Pokemon who rushed to the scene to help in a clinch was a SLOWpoke.

I also find it funny that a Wigglytuff is helping Pikachu. Yes, I’m so sure the BALLOON POKEMON would be a great asset in a wind storm.

Snorlax tries to block the wind with his body, but the lightning becomes a problem as it strikes the tree and causes a branch to nearly fall on the Pokemon.

In an effort to repel the lightning, Elekid and Pikachu match the lightning bolt for bolt, but they miss a particularly powerful one that causes the tree to catch fire. Fear not, though, Marill and Squirtle are here to save the day.

Once the fire’s out, the wind picks up some more and the nest with Exeggcute and Togepi starts flying away. All of the group’s Pokemon plus a few others from the forest, including Snorlax who keeps getting the focus set to him for some reason even though he has no character (Cubone syndrome I guess. It’s not even like this is Ash’s Snorlax, it’s a wild one). He tries to hold on, but gets distracted by apples flying by and lets go of the Pokemon. Pikachu tries to hang on, but can’t. However, Snorlax comes back to save the day. Yay, the reason we were about to die in the first place has saved us, yay!

Snorlax reels them all in and, I’m just now realizing that considering the fact that this short has made a point of saying that you can be flung thousands of feet through the air and always land without harm, it seems kinda stupid to have this ‘keep Togepi and Exeggcute from being flung thousands of feet through the air’ plotline.

The instant that Togepi and the others are safe, the sky clears up. Because there’s nothing else to do with this storm plot. Geez, look at how quickly those clouds went away. Were they late for an appointment?

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Pretty rainbow and sudden Dragonair flying by indicate that all is well. Pikachu and the others reunite with Togepi who still won’t get left alone by Exeggcute. A Chansey comes by and reveals that the egg it had in its pouch was the missing Exeggcute egg….Well, where’s Chansey’s egg? Why was it in there to begin with? Did it sneak in there without Chansey’s knowledge? Did Chansey steal it? What just happened?

The Exeggcute reunite and hop happily on a leaf stone, turning them into Exeggcutor. I would say this was completely random, but earlier there was a shot where Psyduck gets hit in the head with a rock and you can see for a second that it’s a leaf stone. Still fairly random, but they did foreshadow it, I suppose.

Pikachu and the others bid farewell to the other Pokemon and head back to Ash, Misty and Not-Brock. Cut back to Meowth who did nothing whatsoever during this entire short. He’s floating down a stream and he tells us that he never wants to go to camp again. Oh that’s why he was alone I guess. Wait, what camp? There was a camp in there? Or did he mean ‘camping’? Ah, who cares?

Cut back to Ash, Misty and Not-Brock who are waking up from their nap….It’s nearing night time now….they slept all day? Also, how far away were Pikachu and the others? They couldn’t have been that far considering they went there, did all of that stuff and then came back before Ash and Co. woke up, yet they didn’t seem to weather that huge friggin’ storm or even hear it off in the distance? They must be deaf in addition to blind.

They see the Pokemon playing in the water and assume they must’ve been playing the entire time. Pikachu hops up in the air with the group and they freeze frame like we’re in a cheesy 80’s movie. The End.

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Bottomline: That….was boring. Even the stuff with the storm wasn’t all that exciting. I laughed several times in Pikachu’s Summer Vacation yet it seems like they weren’t even trying to be entertaining in this short. What a waste of time. No wonder I don’t remember it. I guess if you have really little kids this would hold their attention through a couple of playthroughs just because the Pokemon are doing cute things, but for anyone else it’s incredibly boring.

Recommended Audience: E for everyone! Or Exeggcute. Whatever.

Pokemon Episode 24 Analysis: Haunter Versus Kadabra

Pokemon ep 24 title

Gym Leader – REMATCH: Sabrina

Reappear?: No

Pokemon: Still Kadabra, and befriends/maybe ‘captures’ Haunter.

Badge:

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Plot: Ash has finally returned to Saffron City with his new Ghost Pokemon friend, Haunter, ready and raring to help him beat Sabrina and get a Marsh Badge.

Ash faces Sabrina yet again, despite the bet that yet again he, Misty and Brock will have to ‘play’ with her if he loses. Sabrina sends out Kadabra and Ash calls for Haunter….

…..And finds Haunter has literally left the building. Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Pikachu refuse to battle out of fear of both Sabrina and Kadabra. Left with no Pokemon to use (Because Pidgeotto doesn’t exist), Ash is forced to forfeit.

He and the others try to run away only to find that the Gym is going on lockdown to keep them in. Since Ash technically lost again, he has to keep his end of the bargain and play with Sabrina. Little Sabrina turns Misty and Brock into dolls. Just as she’s about to do the same to Ash, the same mysterious man from before shows up and teleports them out of there.

The man explains that Sabrina wasn’t always such a frightening person. She used to be a nice little girl, but then she developed her psychic powers quickly at a very young age, and she became consumed with her training. She wouldn’t let anyone stand in the way of her practice and even ended up pushing her parents away and destroying their house with her psychic powers.

Presented with a picture of Sabrina as a child with her parents that is identical to one Sabrina had in her room, the audience is made aware that this man is Sabrina’s father, even thought Ash is too dense to connect the dots.

Sabrina’s Father explains that the only way to save Misty and Brock is by beating Sabrina in a Pokemon battle – Meaning he has no choice but to find Haunter and face her once more.

Haunter is having fun messing with Team Rocket as they attempt to take Pikachu again, and Ash finds it after it causes them to fall from their window washing platform.

Meanwhile, Brock and Misty, now dolls in Sabrina’s dollhouse, meet Sabrina’s mom, who has also been turned into a doll.

Ash returns to the Gym and challenges Sabrina to yet another rematch. This time, if he wins, he not only gets the Marsh Badge, but Sabrina also has to turn Misty and Brock back to normal. However, the bet if he loses remains – If he loses, he also has to be turned into a doll.

She accepts and sends out Kadabra yet again for a one-on-one match. Ash chooses Haunter again….

And Haunter has gone missing yet again. On the verge of forfeit and doll-dom, Ash collapses in defeat, but Pikachu enters the arena, ready to battle. Ash tries to convince him not to do it, but Pikachu is determined to try and save his friend.

The battle begins and Pikachu starts with a Thundershock, but Kadabra easily avoids it with Teleport. Kadabra counters with Psywave, confusing Pikachu. Pikachu is able to get back up and hit Kadabra with a good Thunderbolt, but Kadabra is able to restore its energy with Recover.

Just as they’re about to go at it again, Haunter returns and starts making goofy faces at Sabrina. After detonating a (mostly harmless) bomb, Sabrina smiles and starts laughing. Sabrina’s dad appears again and expresses his great joy at seeing Sabrina finally smile again.

Ash is not pleased, though, because he still believes this means he’ll be turned into a doll. However, Sabrina’s father points out that Kadabra is incapacitated since Sabrina is laughing uncontrollably, and due to their psychic bond, he is doing the same.

The doll Sabrina smiles and vanishes, and Misty and Brock are returned to normal. Since Kadabra is unable to battle, Sabrina’s dad calls the match in Ash’s favor, winning him the Marsh Badge.

Now it’s on to Celadon City for Ash’s next Gym match!

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Narrator: *recap* “Ash had a high-flying adventure…” Yeah, the adventure of borderline death.

– I think this is the first time in history someone’s said ‘You paralyzed her!’ immediately followed by ‘it’s not that big of a deal.’ And yes, those are in the same scene and context.

– Any reason why Ash let out all of his Pokemon (Besides Pidgeotto of course 😐 ) before he even got in the Gym?

– Did Kadabra get a voice change since the last Gym match? He sounds higher pitched and ridiculous.

– Ah, so Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle were let out so we could easily see that they’re too scared to fight. Still doesn’t justify him completely ignoring Pidgeotto.

– Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the only time that Ash has lost against a Gym Leader twice?

– Whoa whoa, wait. Back up a minute….Sabrina turned Misty and Brock into dolls….She also turned her mother into a doll….It’s safe to assume that all of the dolls in her toybox were once people….so that means….the naked lady in the bathtub from the last Gym episode….was a legit naked lady?…..I don’t know what to feel right now.

– Aw, it’s so cute to see Charmander playing with Squirtle and Bulbasaur napping. The only thing that could make it cuter is if Ash wasn’t a Pidgeotto-forgetting asswad.

– Looking back, it’d be rather easy to claim that Sabrina has deep-seated mental problems. Becoming emotionless, uncaring of others and incredibly destructive at such a young age is indicative of sociopathic tendencies. Plus, the fact that she views other people as mere objects for her amusement. It’s interesting, yet at the same time makes the finale of this episode all the more annoying.

Also, Sabrina chose at an incredibly young age to do all of those things. I can’t see why her personality would split into two beings; one of which being a more innocent child who merely wants to make friends. I can’t even tell when that picture that her father has was even taken considering how young she was when she became obsessed.

It’s like they’re trying to make a claim that Sabrina was forced into being this emotionless shell while also saying she made the choice to be that way. This would’ve worked a bit better if someone taught her to be that way instead of just saying she is that way by choice but that’s not really the way she is.

Or, hell, maybe that is a psychological issue. She made the choice to do those things, but she wouldn’t have if she were more mentally sound. She’s essentially a prisoner of her own mind, which is a bit poetic for a psychic….

Why does this show continuously make me feel like writing psychological analyses?

– Gotta love Haunter trying to straight up murder Team Rocket.

– Even though it’s clearly a pop gun, I’m very surprised 4Kids left in Haunter’s gun.

– Meowth: “She’s gonna die laughin’” Wow, and a mention of death? Ah, young 4Kids.

– Why does Ash just assume Haunter saved Pikachu from getting captured by Team Rocket? The only thing he confirmed about their presence was that they just fell 100 stories into solid concrete and that Haunter was there.

– Isn’t it weird that Sabrina has dark green hair but her mom has brown hair and her dad’s is dark blue? It’s interesting to note, however, that the young girl Sabrina/the Sabrina doll has blue hair. I have no clue why this is. I guess it’s possible she dyed it, but considering Sabrina’s personality I don’t see why she’d bother.

– Also, why does Sabrina’s father not seem at all concerned about his dollified wife? I imagine she’s been like that for probably over a decade.

– It is still very much unfair that Brock and Misty are even a part of this, let alone the only ones who turn into dolls. Ash is the one who keeps making these bets and Ash is the one who keeps losing yet Misty and Brock keep having to suffer for it. Hell, he forced them into coming with him in the Gym this time.

– Oh so now Pikachu’s all brave and will try to battle Kadabra to save his friends. Where were you in the last rematch?

– Why did Sabrina allow Kadabra to get hit this time? Last time, Pikachu couldn’t land a thing because Sabrina was commanding Kadabra to psychically direct all attacks away from it. There was plenty of notice given to redirect that Thunderbolt away with its psychic abilities, yet she commanded nothing.

– Okay, I’ve been wanting to lay into this ending for a long time. So let’s dive into ‘A Bunch of Stupid Reasons Why The Ending of The Marsh Badge Match is Crap’

1 – They avoid the two on one rule breaking by saying Haunter is just playing around, not battling, so it’s not really a two on one. However, not only has Haunter been accepted as being technically Ash’s Pokemon, for this match anyway, since he was trying to use him in battle, but also Haunter is clearly doing something to benefit Ash. If this were something negatively affecting both sides, there wouldn’t be an issue. But when you declare a Pokemon’s on your side and then that Pokemon starts doing something inside of the match that directly benefits you, that’s pretty much having another Pokemon on your side.

2 – Even if this weren’t technically cheating, the match should still be delegitimized on the grounds of the results of the match being influenced by an outside source. No, Haunter is not technically Ash’s Pokemon. But Pikachu is already partaking in this no-switching one on one match. The interference of another Pokemon making the opponent distracted or otherwise incapacitated, causing the debilitation of the other trainer’s Pokemon no less, should not be considered a legitimate victory.

A legit Pokemon victory is called when one trainer’s Pokemon KO’s or otherwise debilitates the opponent’s Pokemon. If the other Pokemon is weakened, KO’d, injured or otherwise debilitated by outside means, that means, technically, you did not win the match with your Pokemon. You won because of uncontrollable outside sources.

Imagine if this wasn’t Haunter goofing around. Imagine if Pikachu decided to sneak over to a Gym Leader while he was battling Ash and tried to distract him or did something to him to make his skills in the battle much worse. This would be seen as cheating or at least unfair and the match would be called off for third-party BS, even if Ash didn’t command Pikachu to do such a thing.

Case and point; Ash’s match against Brock. He found it to be cheating if he used the sprinkler activating and weakening Onix because he wouldn’t have been able to beat him if that accident, a third-party event, didn’t happen. Even if powering up his Pikachu with a water wheel is already on questionable ethical grounds.

3 – Does Kadabra not have a will of his own? In these two episodes only, psychics are the only ones who can control Psychic type Pokemon, and they do share a psychic link. However, just because Sabrina’s laughing doesn’t mean Kadabra should be laughing uncontrollably too. As an Abra, it was sleeping when it was released but Sabrina wasn’t sleeping. When Kadabra takes damage, Sabrina doesn’t feel it. They shouldn’t be linked that strongly for this laughing crap to work.

4 – Yes, Sabrina laughing at physical comedy is what cures her of her decades long sociopathic personality and her psychic physically manifested dissociative identity disorder. That’s what finally makes her creepy doll version of herself go away and finally turn her ‘back’ into a kind-hearted individual. Maybe this is why you don’t see many psychiatrists on Pokemon. There’s no need when there’s laughter.

5 – You’re telling me that in over ten years, no one has been able to make Sabrina laugh? Even when stupid slapstick is her tipping point?

6 – Despite Ash’s reaction to all of this BS mirroring mine

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he still accepts the win with no argument. He didn’t train Haunter. He didn’t command Haunter. He doesn’t even own Haunter. And he was definitely going to lose with Pikachu. Yet he has no qualms about winning because of Haunter. What? Is the justification “I lead Haunter here, so that has to be enough for me to earn this badge”?

7 – Being fair, Ash does ask his friends if he really earned the badge (while admiring it and walking away from the Gym, of course) and, oh wait, they totally do offer a justification. Misty says that making Haunter laugh her Kadabra into submission is a great strategy…..It wasn’t a strategy. Haunter came out of nowhere and started doing his schtick completely outside of Ash’s commands. Ash wouldn’t have been able to come up with such a strategy anyway. He was totally unaware that incapacitating Sabrina meant incapacitating Kadabra. He meant for Haunter to battle Kadabra legitimately.

Brock: “Keep it up and you’ll be known as the funniest Pokemon Master of all time!” Ash wasn’t even the one making the jokes! It’s like you’re taking the piss out of the fact that this resolution was BS.

– I get that it’s a joke, but those cement guys are seriously pouring cement down a hole made by Team Rocket (after their fall….because cartoons) and not only didn’t bother to check if anyone was down there, but repeatedly ignore cries for help and to stop pouring cement. Cries that even Ash heard? Negligent is a massive understatement.

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This whole Gym arc had a lot of potential. It’s one of the only Gym confrontations that technically spans three episodes. I believe it’s the only time Ash has needed two Gym rematches (though don’t quote me on that) It’s Ash’s first confrontation with a Psychic Pokemon. It’s with the most fleshed out, interesting and intimidating Gym Leader so far (She crushed her house with psychic abilities when she was like four. I don’t see how really any Gym Leader to date beats that). It has a good backstory for Sabrina, even if it’s a bit silly and doesn’t make full sense. It could’ve had a great climax yet we just end with a stupid fizzle instead of fireworks. They don’t even talk to Sabrina after it happens, at least on screen.

What’s worse, I can easily make the ending with Haunter work legitimately.

Ash calls out Haunter and he actually shows up. The battle between the two begins. Since Psychic moves don’t work on Ghosts in this Gen, the match is a joke. I mean, since Haunter’s strong against Psychic types, he’s easily countering Kadabra. Haunter’s not even taking the match seriously and is instead goofing off. He decides to start doing his schtick in the middle of battle, much to the annoyance of Ash. Getting fed up, Ash believes he’ll lose on technicality (Haunter basically refusing to battle) and end up as a doll, but he’s broken out of his worry when he hears Sabrina laughing. At the sound, Sabrina’s dad shows up and starts tearing up at the sights and sounds of her laughing, realizing his kind-hearted Sabrina is back.

Due to Sabrina losing focus or regaining her humanity or what have you, the doll version of herself disappears and Misty and Brock turn to normal. Ash inquires about the match and Sabrina’s dad points out that not only did Haunter get Sabrina laughing uncontrollably, but Kadabra also found his hijinks hilarious, rendering him unable to battle. Ash is completely baffled by the turn of events, but accepts the Marsh Badge anyway since Kadabra was technically incapacitated by a Pokemon Ash was using, there’s nothing in the rules about using comedy in battle and Ash likely would’ve won anyway with how easily Haunter was countering Kadabra (and the whole immune to Psychic damage stuff.)

Or as an alternative, Ash could’ve realized that Haunter was making Kadabra laugh a little with his schtick and since Haunter didn’t seem like he would battle seriously, he’d fight using laughter. Ash tells him to keep it up in order to distract Kadabra and make it so he’s not attempting to battle anymore. Then he comes to realization that the plan won’t work because Sabrina’s psychic link with Kadabra might pull him out of his laughter. Then Sabrina’s dad shows up and points out that that’s not a worry since Sabrina is also laughing uncontrollably, effectively incapacitating both of them.

And, really, what purpose did Pikachu have for battling anyway, storywise? Outside of giving it a modicum of redemption for the last time it faced Kadabra. There’s absolutely no reason why this couldn’t have worked out with Haunter actually legitimately fighting on Ash’s side. We just have to keep having Pikachu get some glory in practically every episode.

The whole thing seems like such a big waste. Two episodes of buildup for pbbtt.

Next episode, Ash catches a Primeape. Oh and there will donuts.

Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 01 – Myuutwo Strikes Back (Sub) Review

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Rating: 6/10

Plot: Myuutwo (Mewtwo) was a clone created from the legendary Pokemon Myuu (Mew). Uncertain of his purpose in life, he rebels against the scientists who created him and Sakaki (Giovanni) who betrayed him. He wants revenge, he wants a purpose, he wants his life to have meaning…And no one will get in his way.

Breakdown: I am actually excited to be reviewing this. My views on the first movie in terms of the dubbed version have been so tarnished. My nostalgia goggles weren’t removed for that review, they were stomped on and eaten by goggle-eating sharks, which breaks my heart. As much as I like to nitpick and rage at the TV series, I can still enjoy many episodes because it has that charm and relative harmlessness to it. It’s not teaching bad lessons (usually?), it’s not mean-spirited, it’s just….stupid sometimes.

However, the movie (dubbed) was a complete train wreck. Despite it trying to give a good message, it was being way too overly preachy about it and didn’t seem to realize that the message it was trying to give was completely hypocritical given the show they were using. There were too many errors that couldn’t be forgiven, the side characters they introduced were complete throwaways and they supposedly changed the entirety of the script and story; including Myuutwo’s motivations and overall goal.

The original version is supposedly entirely different and much better.

Before we start, I want you to look at that Japanese poster……It sucks. Badly. I mean, wow, in addition to no effort it’s also got messed up focus. First of all, what is Satoshi doing with his other hand? Is that a ballet move?

Second of all, Pikachu’s in it twice. Once on Satoshi’s (Ash) shoulder, another down below. Despite this movie being called Myuutwo Strikes Back, look at how small Myuutwo and Myuu are in this poster. I didn’t even realize where they were when I first glanced at it.

Third, wow, that’s really the best shot you could use of Kasumi (Misty) and Takeshi (Brock)? Come watch Myuutwo Strikes Back to see Kasumi and Takeshi eating lunch!

Next, why are Gallop (Rapidash) and Dodorio (Dodrio) in silhouette at the bottom? One of the other trainers has a Gallop, but it does quite literally nothing over the course of the entire movie but stand in the corner. And there’s no Dodorio whatsoever so I have no clue where that even came from.

Finally, why does it look like Zenigame (Squirtle) and Fushigidane (Bulbasaur) are flying? I know their clones fly off at the end of the movie, but these are the regular ones.

Compare that to the dub’s poster which, while being simplistic, is much better. It showcases a good chunk of Pokemon in back because they’re trying to promote the fact that they’re the 150th and 151st Pokemon. Mewtwo and Mew are huge on it and looking towards each other (Hell, Ash and the others aren’t even on it) and the only reason that Pikachu’s on it is to promote the short that came with the movie. I don’t usually pay much mind to movie posters, but damn Japan, you dropped the ball. You dropped all sorts of balls. And they ended up on Myuutwo’s fingers.

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We start off…..wondering if I put on the right movie….Why are we in the jungle? Oh hey, explorers. Oh hey Myuu, so it must be kinda related. Wait, the running time is longer too. What’s going on?

Oh yeah, in the original American theatrical release and my version (the VHS), this entire ten minute segment is removed. You may recognize it, though. It was released quite a few years later as a short called ‘The Uncut Story of Mewtwo’s Origin’ that was released alongside Mewtwo Returns. Two minutes of the short apparently stayed for the first American VHS release, according to the Wiki, but I call BS on that since my copy of the movie starts immediately after the short ends. *shrug*

The point is, American/English speaking audiences didn’t get to see this segment of the movie for years due to reasons never explicitly stated. I guess I might review the dubbed short later on in its own review too, but I would like to know why this was removed to begin with. Sure, keeping this segment in means it’s a whopping 20 minutes until the title screen shows up as opposed to the already long 10 minutes, meaning we also don’t see Satoshi and the others until 20 minutes in too. This isn’t even counting the time for the Pikachu’s Vacation short, which means it’s technically over 40 minutes until we get to our title. Yikes. That’s like Kingdom Hearts 2 levels of waiting for the title screen.

Maybe 4Kids thought this was too boring or maybe they wanted to save time, maybe they could only get so much time allotted for the theater to run it…..or maybe, and this is just my theory, maybe 4Kids erased this part because it really showcases that Myuutwo has a kind heart, was actually a child at a point and is just really confused about various aspects of life. They wanted to make Mewtwo an evil world-taker-over so they can’t make him too likable. Plus, they could always release the segment later as a stand-alone short and make bank off it. It may sound farfetched (hah, Pokemon pun) but would you really put it past them?

Anyway, a bunch of researchers/explorers are walking through a jungle as Myuu watches over them. They discuss the various legends surrounding Myuu; how it can supposedly cause huge floods, produce crops on barren lands and is supposedly immortal. However, since there have been no confirmed Myuu sightings in recent years, it’s believed to be extinct (The extinct immortal Pokemon!)

They arrive at the ruins of….some place that used to exist and we see a familiar stone tablet with the carving of Myuu.

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One of the researchers shows that they have discovered a fossil (which is supposedly an eyelash) from Myuu and plan to make the strongest Pokemon in existence with it. Cue the science!

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Once the science is done, we cut to awwwww, wittle baby Myuutwo.

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He’s wondering the same questions as the dubbed version; where am I, who am I? Etc. Outside of the test tube, the researchers are wondering why he won’t wake up. Myuutwo opens his eyes in whatever world is in his head and wonders what the noise is. A small girl replies that he’s hearing human voices.

Myuutwo doesn’t know what humans are and asks if he’s one too. The girl replies that since he can talk, he might be human or she might be a Pokemon. Myuutwo doesn’t know what Pokemon are either and damn he is too adorable. I’m serious. He has a perfect voice and he’s adorable as hell. If my theory on why 4Kids didn’t keep this segment is correct, I can really see why they’d think that way.

The girl says it doesn’t matter which one either of them are since both of them are about the same. She also says that there are many others like them in this world and we’re introduced to some more semi-familiar faces; clone-Fushigidane, clone-Hitokage (Charmander) and clone-Zenigame. They’re not the same clones as the ones seen later in the movie, however, as we’ll soon see.

The researchers outside are monitoring Myuutwo’s brain activity. They say that it’s fluctuating and seems to be reacting with the clones or communicating telepathically. A mysterious cluster of light in a test tube is apparently the girl Myuutwo is seeing; Aitwo, a clone of a girl named Ai.

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Back in…wherever this is. Clone purgatory? Aitwo introduces herself and says that the one thing they all have in common is they’re all ‘twos’, so I suppose the clones are technically called Fushigidanetwo, Hitokagetwo and Zenigametwo…..That’s a mouthful. Myuutwo wonders if he’s a ‘two’ too and they all start having fun spinning around with each other.

Cut back to the lab where we learn that the only distinguishable researcher there (the one with the funky hair and made the tape that Team Rocket listens to) is actually Ai’s father. We get a flashback to a small town where we see a woman and the researcher. He states that he’s made a beautiful hologram with which he can recreate their dead daughter (how she died, I don’t know.) His wife says nothing they can do will bring her back, but he won’t listen to her.

We cut to a note left by his wife telling him that she can’t live being controlled by old memories and is leaving him. On the note is her key and wedding ring and behind the note is a picture of them and Ai, leaving the researcher with only the glimmer of hope to recreate his daughter.

…..Already this movie is a million times better than the dub. It’s given me a whole new view on both the scientist and Myuutwo and introduced me to a very interesting part of the story. Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe they cut this because it involves a dead girl, but as we’ll see in later movies, they’re not as scared of death in the movies for some reason. Also, Satoshi technically ‘dies’ in this movie, so *shrug*

Soon after, he gets contracted into doing some work in a Pokemon cloning facility where they have recently gotten the Myuu fossil and here we are now.

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I can’t really reflect the mood of this next part, but back in clone purgatory, Aitwo is showing Myuutwo visions of her old home town. She shows him the sun, wind, moon and stars. But something’s wrong. Hitokagetwo starts to vanish and cutting back to the real world shows that it’s dying. Fushigidanetwo and Zenigametwo also start vanishing and dying in the real world.

Aitwo also starts to vanish.

We see the other clones tubes are now empty, and Aitwo’s light is dimming. The clone world starts blackening as Aitwo says goodbye to Myuutwo. He starts to cry, and he wonders what’s coming out of his eyes. Aitwo explains that they’re tears. Living beings shed tears when their bodies are in pain, humans shed tears when they are sad. She thanks him for his tears, and tells him to stay alive and have fun in the world before finally vanishing completely.

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Myuutwo starts getting out of control with sadness and starts to activate his psychic powers. The scientists, to keep him under control, inject him with a tranquilizer in order to put him into a deep sleep. Shoulda done that when he went bonkers later on, eh?

We then see Myuutwo back in the darkness as we watch him grow up in the tubes and eventually forget Ai before we cut to where the dubbed movie started.

Wow, that was a great backstory. In 10 minutes it made me feel more emotionally invested than many shows can’t do in several episodes. Though I will admit, I wish they had more time to spend together to get more bonding in. Screw you 4Kids for not including this to begin with. I feel so robbed. Granted, I still feel a little robbed considering that Myuutwo completely forgets about her and this is never brought up again over the course of the rest of the movie.

Now that we’re back to where the dub movie started I will change it up a bit. I’m going to gloss over stuff if it’s exactly the same in the dubbed movie. It’s a bit redundant to repeat the same things. Unless there’s a major change or just something of note, I’ll just be going along at a CliffNotes rate.

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No narrator on this scene. Instead we hear Myuutwo asking where he is and we see the scene underwater. He says he keeps having dreams of a strange world but has no memories of it. As he sees a Myuu swim by, he asks who it is, but Myuu won’t acknowledge him and just flies away. As we fade out, we hear Myuutwo saying he’ll never forget that dream world with the strange flying creature.

Back in the lab and citrus Crystal Light, we see Myuutwo as he’s waking up. He asks where he is and who brought him there before losing consciousness again.

He starts to awaken once more and asks the same questions. He states that he is just there, that he wasn’t born into the world. He asks who he is again before using his psychic powers to break the tube.

The scientists explain what he is and who he is as well as his origins like the original, but it skews from the original after that. Myuutwo asks if Myuu is his father or mother, but the researcher says it’s neither yet both. He was created from Myuu and made even stronger. Myuutwo asks if he wasn’t born then was he created by God? The researcher says only God and humans can create new life (…..I’m assuming he means new life out of essentially nothing, because breeding is creating new life and basically every living thing can breed.)

Myuutwo is outraged by this. As the scientists congratulate one another, he stews in anger. He starts activating his psychic powers and getting out of control.

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Myuutwo blows up the island and we see Sakaki arrive. Myuutwo asks if what he has done is a show of his true power and if he truly is, as the researcher stated, the strongest Pokemon in the world, even stronger than the legendary Myuu from which he was created. Sakaki says basically the same thing about how Myuutwo needs to control his powers, but he also says that Myuutwo may be the world’s strongest Pokemon but humans are powerful still, and combining the powers of humans with Myuutwo will give them the power to take over the world.

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Myuutwo agrees and gets outfitted with the focusing armor. Sakaki gives him the orders to simply fight and take care of anyone who gets in their way.

We cut to the montage of ass-kicking where Myuutwo fights Foodin (Alakazam), a herd of Kentauros (Tauros), Rarecoil (Magneton) and of course, Shigeru (Gary)’s Nidoking and Windie (Arcanine). All the while he continuously asks “Who am I? Why am I here? For what am I fighting for?”

Cut back to Myuutwo in his little storage area where he’s wondering why he lives. Sakaki arrives and gives the same speech about how, since he’s a Pokemon, his purpose is to serve humans and nothing else. Oh good, for a second I thought Sakaki was smarter than his dub counterpart. *phew*

As he destroys the place, Myuutwo states that despite the fact that he was made by humans, he’s not a human, but he’s not a Pokemon either.

He blows up the place and escapes, landing on the island on which he was created. He asks himself the same questions about his existence before stating that, and this part’s important, that ‘not as an attack or a proclamation of war; against those responsible for his existence (he)’ll strike back.’

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We get our title screen, which is arguably cooler than the dubbed version’s, but it’s a tossup kinda.

And we all know what the title screen means! It’s time to see everyone’s slightly better versions of the characters that annoy me usually, Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi! They’re preparing their lunch in a meadow when the bandana’d trainer shows up.

Oh goood…..ahahahahahaha! He’s American. I knew this going in, because I saw a very short clip online before, but every line he says clearly has a thick American accent and he sprinkles English words into almost every sentence. What’s really great is that it actually sounds like the VA is a native English speaker and this isn’t one of those times when a Japanese person is just speaking broken Engrish to act like an American (*coughyugiohcoughtokyomewmewcough*).

He states he’s looking for some trainer around who supposedly has eight badges. Ahah! So it is before the Indigo League. I’d relish this victory of solidifying when the movie takes place, which is more or less a mystery in most of the movies, but I keep forgetting that several hints are given in the anime….Pbbt.

The battle commences and we get the Japanese theme song over the battle, of course. I’ve always been kinda ambivalent towards the Japanese theme, Mazase Pokemon Master. It’s alright, but I much prefer the dub’s. Plus the original’s is kinda annoying at times.

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The scene with Kairiki (Machamp) and Zenigame is perfectly fine, as expected. And wouldn’t ya know it, the scene’s a lot better and doesn’t look like it was edited by a blind hamster.

The scene that I watched of this, by the way, is the very ending after Pikachu’s attack. The opponent yells out “OH MY GOD!” and it is just hilarious.

Cut to the Rocket-dan (Team Rocket), and even though I’m using the Japanese names for mostly everyone else in the Japanese movie reviews, I’ll just say ‘Team Rocket’ when referring to them. It just seems more natural. They’re talking about getting Pikachu and how hungry they are, big surprise.

Cue the Onidrill (Fearow) and the first shots of Myuutwo’s island where Nurse Joy (That is her Japanese name as well) sends out Kairyuu (Dragonite) out to give the invitation to Satoshi.

Still no ‘Wow, A Kairyuu!’ but whatever. It delivers the message and, here’s something odd – it actually is inviting all of them as ‘promising Pokemon trainers’, which is weird because Kasumi and Takeshi didn’t battle so how does Myuutwo know this?

Kairyuu starts to leave, Team Rocket sees the reply card and we cut back to Myuutwo making his storm.

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