Pokemon Episode 63 Analysis: The Battle for the Badge

Pokemon Ep 63 Screen 1

CotD(s): None.

Character Returns: Both Gary and Giovanni are present. The only reason I feel like mentioning them now even though they pop up quasi-frequently throughout the series is because this is the first time either has ever been given extended focus without having the actual focus be either Team Rocket or Ash and co.

Badge Episode: Viridian City

Gym Leader: Giovanni – Leader of Team Rocket, Giovanni also acts as the Viridian City Gym Leader for some reason somehow. However, due to plot, Ash never actually battles or even meets Giovanni in this episode. Gary battles him, but loses to Mewtwo. Officially, Giovanni specializes in Ground Type Pokemon, but he tends to just use whatever.

Reappears?: He appears about as much throughout the rest of the series as he does in this region, which is hardly at all but he still exists. As long as Team Rocket is around, which will probably be until the end of the series, Giovanni will always be their boss, most likely.

Pokemon: Most notably, Giovanni has his trademark Persian by his side at all times. He’s never seen battling with it, however. Giovanni is shown using a Golem, Kingler (Possibly two or even three Kingler considering we also see one in a cage in the basement. He could possibly have a second Golem as well by that logic.) and Mewtwo, though he only has Mewtwo temporarily. He also gives Jessie and James a Machamp and a Rhydon, and has a Cloyster in the basement.

Interim Gym Leaders: Jessie, James and Meowth. No intro needed.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock have arrived in Viridian City to obtain Ash’s eighth and final Gym badge. Once he wins this match, he’ll have enough badges to enter the Indigo League conference.

However, just as he’s about to enter the Gym, Gary pulls up to taunt his rival. Ash is shocked to learn that Gary has actually obtained TEN badges and is just challenging the Viridian Gym Leader for kicks. Since no more than one Trainer is allowed in a Gym during a challenge, Ash is forced to wait outside while Gary battles.

After being spooked by Togepi, Ash accidentally throws the baby Pokemon into the mouth of a nearby Fearow, who flies off with him. Togepi manages to escape Fearow’s clutches, but Team Rocket spots him and decide to capture him to give to their boss.

Meanwhile, Gary’s battle with the Viridian Gym Leader, who turns out to be Team Rocket’s leader, Giovanni, begins. Gary starts with Nidoking while Giovanni starts with Golem, which is instantly KO’d by Nidoking’s Tackle attack.

Next, Giovanni chooses Kingler. Gary opts to switch out his Nidoking for his Arcanine. It dodges a Crabhammer and follows up with a Take Down, Fire Spin and Fire Blast, which defeat Kingler.

Gary’s victories are making him so bored and inflating his ego so much that he actually tells Giovanni that he should just end the match because there’s no way he can beat him. With a smirk, Giovanni wagers otherwise. He unveils his strongest Pokemon, a mysterious creature clad in armor that is not listed in the Pokedex, and tells Gary that he can use multiple Pokemon against it, if he wishes. Arcanine is thrown psychically by the creature with ease. Starting to panic, Gary sends out both Arcanine and Nidoking against it, but both are instantly stopped in their tracks by the Pokemon’s powerful psychic abilities.

In no time at all, Gary is handily defeated.

Afterward, Team Rocket presents their newly captured Togepi to Giovanni, but he’s thoroughly unimpressed and deems it and Jessie, James and Meowth as completely useless. He’s suddenly called away on an emergency, so he leaves the trio in charge of the Gym and gives them three of his Pokemon to help guard the place.

Meanwhile, Misty and the others continue their search for Togepi. They suddenly hear him chirping from behind the doors of the Gym, so they forcibly open them. Misty and Togepi happily reunite, but they’re quickly shocked by what they find beyond the doorway – Gary and his cheerleaders are unconscious on the floor.

Ash and the others rush to them. Gary wakes up and explains that they encountered an unbeatable ‘evil’ Pokemon, much to Ash’s shock and confusion.

To make matters even more confusing, Team Rocket emerges from under the arena to deliver the good news to Ash – they’re now the Viridian City Gym Leaders, and Ash must beat them in order to get his final badge – the Earth Badge.

Ash agrees to the match, but this whole situation is very suspicious.

The match is three on three. Jessie releases all three of Giovanni’s Pokemon – a Machamp, a Kingler and a Rhydon.

Ash sends out Squirtle first. Jessie chooses Machamp, who easily defeats Squirtle with a Karate Chop. When Squirtle takes the hit, Ash is struck with a jolt of electricity. They rigged the arena to give the Trainer just as much pain as the Pokemon whenever they get hit.

Ash sends out Bulbasaur next while Jessie chooses Kingler. With one Bubble attack, Bulbasaur seems down for the count. Like last time, Ash is struck with another jolt of electricity. He’s weakened, but he continues.

He sends out his final Pokemon, Pidgeotto, to attack Rhydon. Much to her surprise, Jessie is shocked like Ash. James wired her side of the arena too, not believing they’d lose. Meowth tries to trigger the bomb on Ash’s side instead, but Gary stops him.

Fed up, Jessie sends out Arbok and Weezing to battle as well, which is a violation of the terms they set for the Gym match. Realizing their rule-breaking opens him up to breaking the rules as well, Ash sends out Pikachu. With one Thundershock, Pikachu takes out the entire group of Pokemon.

Ash demands his Earth Badge, but Jessie won’t hand it over. Togepi wanders over to the remote Meowth dropped and hits both of the buttons, blowing up both sides of the arena and sending Team Rocket blasting off. Jessie drops the Earth Badge in the process, but Ash recovers it. He has finally earned his eighth and final badge, allowing him entrance into the Indigo League conference.

The kids escape as the building starts to collapse. Gary has gained a bit more respect for Ash as a Trainer, but he still believes no one will ever be able to beat the mysterious Pokemon that defeated him.

Ash, Misty and Brock head off, but they soon realize they have no clue where the Indigo League conference is even held. They decide to visit Pallet Town to ask Professor Oak about it. Ash is one more step closer to trying his luck at winning the Pokemon League.

———————————

-…..*huff* Let’s get this over with.

“Golly, Twix, you sure seem perturbed. Shouldn’t you be excited? It’s the final Indigo League badge episode afterall!”

I should be, Unnamed Disembodied Voice I’m Using for the Sake of a Segway into an Explanation. But I remember this episode. I remember how foolish it was to have hopes and ‘expectations.’ This was the eighth and final Indigo League badge episode, and what do we get?

This.

You remember Pokemon Red and Blue? How you had so many encounters with Team Rocket the entire game and they all lead up to you facing off against the leader, Giovanni, for your eighth and final badge? How satisfying it was to take him down and end all of Team Rocket? No, he wasn’t the biggest challenge in the world, but he was a challenge and a threat. He was the big bad of the game.

I was so excited when I first watched the series to finally get to Giovanni. After being robbed of pretty much anything Team Rocket related (outside of Jessie and James, who quickly became jokes after about the third episode) I was stoked to finally have a full confrontation with the shadowy man himself – the guy who makes Jessie, James, Meowth, and even Butch and Cassidy shake in their boots. The guy they’ve been teasing this whole time as being a big deal with all the darkness and voice filters and stereotypical cat stroking whenever he’s seen – which is rarely. The guy who had all the means to be a huge challenge for Ash to overcome in his final badge match. And considering we’re fresh off the heels of a two-parter badge episode, and that was the second of two two-parter badge episodes so far in this region, surely the final badge episode had to be a two or three-parter, right? It’s gonna be awesome, right?

Oh young Twix. You stupid naive girl in a Reptar t-shirt.

No. What we got was half an episode’s worth of a commercial for the first Pokemon movie, a quarter of an episode chasing Togepi, and quarter of an episode’s worth of disappointing battle…..with Team Rocket….

And, no I don’t mean Giovanni.

I mean Jessie and James.

Pokemon Ep 63 Screen 2

The same dolts that Ash has defeated over 60 times already.

The same dolts who couldn’t win a Pokemon battle if they were battling Pokemon plushies with a full team of Moltres.

The same dolts who are so bad at their jobs that one of the biggest mysteries of Pokemon is why Giovanni hasn’t fired them a hundred times over by now.

People kept saying it was okay because they were using Giovanni’s Pokemon, but it’s not. They’re still Jessie and James. They’ll still fuck it up. Which they do. They fuck it up so breathtakingly badly that I’m almost impressed with their newfound level of stupidity.

The Trainer Box shock trap? Who cares? Ash gets shocked by Pikachu so much in a comedic fashion that this never even registers as a real threat. And he’s feeling all of the pain his Pokemon feels, which gets really messed up the more you think about it. Ooh it’s so impressive that Ash is taking all of this pain and bravely continuing on. His Pokemon do that all the time. And I must point out that one of the attacks he ‘bravely endures’…..is a Bubble…hitting a Grass Pokemon.

They completely drained every semblance of coolness and tension from the final badge episode all because Giovanni had to leave for some reason.

Don’t get me wrong – it is pretty cool to see so much of the normal anime dedicated to tying into the movies, which is something they very, very rarely ever did, and the confrontation between Gary and Giovanni/Mewtwo was pretty cool and a great tease for the movie, but they should have made this an entirely separate episode. Have it be a special teaser episode for the movie and then move on to the eighth badge episode. Have Giovanni return after Mewtwo left and have him be incredibly pissed that his experiment escaped. That way the battle with Ash will be tension-filled AND frightening. Imagine Giovanni agreeing to the battle with Ash purely because he wants to let off some steam by pummeling his Pokemon into the Ground.

Get it? Ground? He specializes in Ground-type Pokemon.

Pokemon Ep 63 Screen 3

But nope. Instead, we cram all the movie stuff into the final badge episode and, if you never see the first movie, none of that shit ever matters. It’s a big tease into nothing. It’s like when you’re reading a comic, something really interesting pops up and then you see that dreaded text box that says something like “to know what the hell all this is about, check out ComicName #164!” It’s one of the reasons why I don’t actually mind all that much that anime movies tend to exist in their own continuity most of the time. They can definitely be considered canon, but the TV series aren’t obligated to bring them up or weave their stories into the main storyline.

And lest we forget that almost as much time is dedicated to the pointless bullshit with the Togepi chase sequence.

I wouldn’t even be upset about the time wasted if they had made this a two or three-parter, but it’s not. It’s a one-parter, and it’s barely that.

I’m not even really angry – I’m just disappointed. Because that’s what I felt when I was a kid as I watched this episode for the first time. Just a big pile of disappointment sitting on my kidneys. What makes this worse is that this is one of the episodes I first watched on VHS because I missed it on the regular airing.

Whenever I rewatch Pokemon, I get to this episode and I don’t get angry. I just think “*sigh* Let’s just get this over with.” because I don’t want to think about what a massive missed opportunity this episode is any more.

If you got bored of my blathering and want to hear an interesting story about the production and release of this episode in regards to the Pokemon Shock incident, see Dogasu’s comparison found here.

And now, let’s move on with the episode.

– Ash: “I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we were here.”

I never much paid attention to this line, but apparently a lot of people did, taking this as more or less confirmation that a year has gone by and even linking it to the idea that each League/Generation Ash goes through counts as one year. Well, as you probably read on the Dogasu comparison, this is a dub-exclusive line.

The timeline is always super vague with this show, so they only had Satoshi say it’s been a long time since he was here. We pretty much just have to accept the fact that 20+ years worth of Pokemon stuff has gone on in less than a year and Ash is perpetually ten years old and somehow keeps getting designed to look younger and younger with each new art style.

– Misty: “Hm, well the Pokemon Center’s up and running again.” I’m surprised they actually brought that back up.

Brock: “Look, Ash! The Viridian Gym!”

Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. You’re telling me he spent nearly all of his time at the Viridian City Pokemon Center when he was here last and yet he didn’t realize the Gym was practically next door? I mean, yeah, there’s no sign, but it’s a giant building with stone pillars and Roman guards at the door. Wasn’t he at least curious as to what this place was?

– Ash: “I know I can do it. I’m on a hot streak!” Hot streak how? Just because you won your last badge match?…..After losing the first time?

Fire is shown in Ash’s eyes as he says this, and then we cut to Pikachu and Togepi enjoying a fire in front of him. I get the joke, and it’s funny, but why the heck did Pikachu decide to start a campfire in the middle of the road? It’s not even like it’s cold outside.

Misty: “Ugh, why did you do that Pikachu?” Are you ruining the joke by pointing out how ludicrous that was?

– This is followed up by an equally funny joke where Ash and Pikachu do that sparkly dreamy ‘run into each other’s arms’ thing after Ash proclaims that he can do anything with Pikachu by his side.

– I know Gary’s just teasing Ash, but why would he think Ash quit Pokemon Training? He literally just saw him four episodes ago, and he got his Volcano Badge there.

– Now we have to give proper focus to Gary’s insane assortment of badges – not just in the fact that he somehow has ten badges, and is aiming for his eleventh, but also that only three of the badges seem like they’re from known Kanto Gyms. He has the Boulder Badge, a Cascade Badge and the Rainbow Badge. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s also possible that he got a Volcano Badge after Ash since one of the badges looks very similar, but it’s not the exact same so maybe it’s not meant to be the Volcano Badge.

Pokemon Ep 63 Screen 4

I’d think all badges from a Gym need to look identical to prevent counterfeits. Is there a black market for badges? Because I can totally see people just grinding at a Gym for badges so they can sell them to lazy Trainers. Do Gyms even allow you to have rematches if you won already?

I’m getting off-topic.

I can totally understand that there might be other Gyms in Kanto for the sake of making official Gyms more accessible to Trainers who may live far out in the country or whatever, but why is it that Gary doesn’t have the traditional set if it seems like he was following Ash’s route for the most part? He bumped into him way too often for him to not be roughly following the same path. Ash always went to the nearest Pokemon Gym when he was out adventuring. Why wouldn’t Gary do the same?

For that matter, why hasn’t Gary gotten his Earth Badge yet? In the games, the Gym was closed down when you first visited Viridian City, which is why you had to skip it and move on to the next town. In the anime, they never say such a thing. The only reason Ash never goes to that Gym is because he didn’t know there was a Gym there.

– Jeez, look at how huge the guards are compared to Ash. They’re giants.

Pokemon Ep 63 Screen 5

– Guard: “Only one Trainer allowed in the Gym at a time, kid.” They didn’t check if any of Gary’s cheerleaders were Trainers.

– Ash: “I have to do something fast or else Gary is going to get way ahead of me.”

Misty: “Uh, reality check, Ash. Gary’s been way ahead of you since the beginning.”

Damn, Misty. I thought you specialized in water not fire.

How can he even say, with a straight face, that Gary’s ‘going’ to get way ahead of him? He literally just showed him that he has three more badges than Ash. Every time Ash catches a Pokemon, he’s reminded that Gary has caught ten times as many as he has.

– Ash: *not looking* *Togepi bops him on the head because he’s sad* “Thank you. You’re the only one who always stands by me no matter what. Oh Pikachu!” More favoritism. Because he certainly can’t rely on his other Pokemon to always stand beside him no matter what. No sirree. Isn’t that right Snow Way Out?

– Ash was so spooked by Togepi that he threw him high enough to bounce off of a flagpole and into a Fearow’s mouth….Wow, Ash….Just wow.

– Misty: “Why did you do that to my Togepi!?”

Ash: “Misty it was an EGGcident!”

– I know I said that I liked the confrontation between Gary and Giovanni, but I really only meant that in terms of when Mewtwo finally shows up, because, prior to that, this match is absolutely pathetic.

Gary starts with Nidoking, and Giovanni chooses Golem. They both opt to use Tackle, and Golem is ONE-HIT KO’D………BY A TACKLE.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Then Giovanni chooses Kingler, who uses Crabhammer, which is a bit better, especially considering they show it smashing the stone floor, but then Gary switches to Arcanine, whom I do love, but why did he even switch out in the first place? Nidoking’s a fine match against Kingler, and Arcanine’s a FIRE type. I’d expect Ash to make a move that nonsensical, not Gary. He attacks with a Take Down, which is fine, but then follows up with a Fire Spin? And then a Fire Blast? And that defeats Kingler.

– Why exactly does Gary need to use a Pokedex on a Kingler? His Krabby should be a Kingler by now, and even if it’s not he’d certainly have done the research on Krabby to know it’s evolutionary line. Gary makes such a big deal later about not using the Pokedex whenever he sees a Pokemon like Ash does and yet here he is using it when, by all means, he shouldn’t have to.

– The perspective in this shot…

Pokemon Ep 63 Screen 6

Why is Arcanine so small?

– Why is Gary so confused as to how his Arcanine got psychically thrown across the ring? Surely he has faced Psychic Pokemon by now, and surely he knows that Confusion is basically Poke-speak for Telekinesis.

I was going to say surely he had faced Sabrina, but according to his weird-ass assortment of badges, he never fought her.

– I love how immediately after Giovanni gets pissed at them for being half-wits, Giovanni leaves Jessie, James and Meowth in charge of his Gym. Does he not have literally anyone else working in this place that is capable of being a Gym Leader? No other Rocket grunts?

– What exactly happened after Giovanni defeated Gary? He had Mewtwo psychically knock out Gary and his cheerleaders? For what purpose? They had to have been out for like an hour. That’s pretty serious.

– Gary: “This Pokemon’s not just powerful – it’s evil.” How is Mewtwo, based from Gary’s interaction with it, any different from any other Rocket Pokemon? When called to attack others, it will, usually. I do believe some Pokemon are evil, despite what the show may insist, because it’s just unrealistic for them to all be good at heart. If some Pokemon are jerks, some have to be evil. What I don’t get here is why Gary believes Mewtwo is evil just because it attacked them when Giovanni probably called for it to attack them. Giovanni’s the evil one.

– Cheerleader: “I can’t believe Gary lost.” *they all start bawling*

Misty: “Why are you making such a big deal about one lost battle?! If I cried like that every time Ash lost a battle, I’d be waterlogged.” Damn, Misty. You’re being really vicious to Ash today.

– I’ve also been a little annoyed how it’s never explained how and why Giovanni became a Gym Leader in either the games or the anime. Pokemon Origins implies that he was a Gym Leader first and later started Team Rocket and kept the Gym as a cover, but that was never in the games.

– Misty: “You mean this Gym is controlled by Team Rocket?”

Brock: “Why would they want a Gym?”

Jessie: “Oh, you little dweebs couldn’t understand the complex schemes of Team Rocket.”

Ash: “Oh yeah? Try us!”

James: “They’re for us to know and for you to find out….” *to Jessie* “What are they?”

Jessie: “Huh?…..Those plans are classified information.”

Meowth: “She don’t know ‘em either.”

So….basically “We never thought of anything clever or interesting to write as a reason, so we’re going to joke about how there isn’t one.”

– Gary didn’t battle in a Trainer’s box. Why are there suddenly Trainer’s boxes in here? Did….did James install the Trainer’s boxes themselves as well? Jeez, that’s a lot of work for such a short amount of time.

– 16 Minutes…..

It takes 16 GODDAMN MINUTES of a 22 minute long episode (including credits) Before the ‘Battle for the Badge’ actually starts.

– One of the Pokemon Jessie uses is Giovanni’s Kingler, which was defeated earlier, which must mean it’s really tired right now. Unless it’s a different Kingler, but is his pool of Pokemon so shallow that he has duplicates? I was really confused because he has a Kingler on him, but there’s a Kingler in a cage in the basement where he keeps Mewtwo, and he gave Jessie one. No matter, really, because even if he does have two or even three he’d obviously keep his best Kingler on him, which means the others have to be weaker, which is a problem when we already saw his best one be easily defeated.

– This Gym makes no sense. The Trainer’s boxes are rigged to have the Trainers shocked whenever their Pokemon receive damage, meaning they ‘feel all of the pain the Pokemon feels’ but how do they detect any of that? The Pokemon aren’t connected to anything to gauge such a thing.

Pokemon Ep 63 Screen 7

– Also, dammit, Ash, CALL THE COPS! Not only is Team Rocket running this Gym, but they’re physically assaulting you and they (well, Giovanni/Mewtwo technically, but still) knocked out Gary and the girls. Gary is proof that there are other Gyms to get badges from – it’s not worth this trouble.

– The fact that Ash’s Bulbasaur basically gets taken out with one hit of a Bubble attack by a Kingler when Gary handily defeated it with a Pokemon that had a type DISadvantage is so depressing.

– You can argue that Squirtle and Bulbasaur merely got hit, not defeated, but Ash and Jessie both switch out Pokemon when the hits land, so it’s clear they’re making off like it’s a defeat.

– Ya know how I said Team Rocket would inevitably fuck it up? Well, here comes the fuck up.

Jessie: “James, why did you set it up to give shocks on both sides? Ugh, turn it off, turn it off!!”

James: “I didn’t think it would matter. It didn’t occur to me that we could lose.”

You….*sigh*

How long do you think it takes to set this system up? Quite a long time, right? (Which begs the question how they had the time to do that between Giovanni appointing them Gym Leaders and now. Also, they had to have been doing all of that construction with Gary and the girls unconscious on the floor…..) And it’s probably a pain in the ass. James went through all of that work to set up the shocking device on Jessie’s side in addition to Ash’s side just because whoopsee he didn’t think they’d lose or I guess they’d never even get hit once. And they have no way of just turning it off, whether purely on their side or entirely…….That is so monumentally stupid I think it shaved years off my life.

Also, Rhydon getting hit by Pidgeotto twice, despite them clearly winning against Squirtle and Bulbasaur with one hit, is enough to make Jessie flip out and start cheating, thereby allowing Ash to cheat, sealing their fate and blasting them off again *ding* Screw this whole battle.

– Rhydon’s getting shocked by Pikachu even though it’s a Ground-type……Need I remind everyone this is the second time they’ve made that mistake with this exact same Pokemon. Ultra screw this whole battle.

– FFS, Giovanni’s Pokemon are such wimps they actually RUN AWAY COWERING after Pikachu shocks them – EVEN RHYDON. Infinity screw this whole battle.

Pokemon Ep 63 Screen 8

– Technically, Pikachu just won this whole battle by one-hit KOing five Pokemon at once (Only Rhydon had taken damage so far, by Pidgeotto) – three of which were Giovanni’s Pokemon.

– Gary gets a way better story in this episode. He gets to fight Mewtwo, he gets his ass handed to him, which helps him learn some humility, and he gains a better respect for Ash. All the more reason this should have been a lone episode about him instead of having it also be Ash’s final badge episode.

Ash doesn’t learn anything or grow here. He just battles.

– Wait a minute. So they were not only stupid enough to put the shock system in Jessie’s Trainer box, but they also took the time and effort to RIG IT WITH EXPLOSIVES?!

– Both sides of the arena blew up, but Ash and the others are just fine?

– That explosion was powerful enough to LEVEL THE WHOLE BUILDING?! But also somehow weak enough to leave Ash and the others untouched? What the hell!?….Also, this is the second time Team Rocket has blown up a building in Viridian City. You’d think blowing up his friggin’ Gym would be enough for Giovanni to finally fire these two, but of course not….

– Misty: “But where is the Pokemon League?” How the hell does a former Gym Leader not know that?

Brock: “I’m sure Professor Oak could tell us all about it.” You don’t know either, Brock!?

– I love the song, but the fact that the Pikachu’s Jukebox of this episode is (Double Trouble) Team Rocket’s Song feels insulting.

——————————————

Well, that’s that. That’s the sloppy mess that is the Battle for the Badge. I’ve already said my piece, and I don’t really have anything else to add. I’ll just cap it off by acknowledging my disappointment in the completely lost opportunity one more time.

Knowing how the Indigo League ends, it’s almost like this was foreshadowing of how the entire region would wind up being disappointing. But that Charizard-shaped problem will be addressed later….and compounded by other things on the table that need to be discussed.

Next time, Mr. Mime’s debut. I don’t remember disliking this episode, which was another I had on VHS, but I also don’t remember much about it besides Mr. Mime making a huge box out of Reflect panels…


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Poke-Pinions | #46 and 47: The Paras Line

Paras

Name: Paras’ name is the same in English and Japanese, and it’s based on the word ‘parasite.’ I get what they were doing with this name, but I spent my entire childhood and most of my adult life believing its name was meant to be a play on the word “Paris”…..Just ‘Why is this little mushroom tick named after a city in France?’

Am I the only one who thinks its name would be a million times better if it was just Para? Heck, even Rasite would mesh better than Paras, if you ask me.

No fun facts this time because nearly every other country just kept Paras’ name the same because I guess no one gave enough of a damn about Paras to come up with a better name. In Cantonese, they made Mohguchuhng, which means ‘mushroom bug’ and that’s the best we got.

Design: Paras’ design is fine….It’s a bug….with mushrooms on it. It’s kinda cute, I guess…a little.

Sprite-wise, R/B looks really off. Its eyes are on top of its head for some reason, and it looks like it has a bit of a snout.

Yellow has a similar coloring issue as Oddish, Gloom and Vileplume. It’s extremely orange with barely any other discernible colors.

Everything else is fine, however, we do encounter something I’ve never seen before once we enter Gen III.

In Gens I and II, Paras is a deep orange color

and its shiny is this incredibly ugly light yellow-ish brown color. Seriously, this one of the least appealing shinies I’ve ever seen. It’s horrible.

In Gen III, however, they switched the color palettes. Now the regular version is a more yellow-ish color

and the shiny is a deep orange?

And in FR/LG the shiny has yellow mushrooms for some reason.

In later Gens, the color gets changed again to a deeper orange while still not being quite as deep of an orange as the shiny.

Shiny:

As I mentioned, it’s a darker orange Paras. They took a Paras, turned up the color saturation and called it a day.

At least we no longer have that gross Gen II shiny, though.

Dex Entries and Backstory: No matter if Paras is boring at face value, there’s no denying that it does have some creepy and interesting backstory to it. Paras is a bug with parasitic mushrooms on its back. The mushrooms are sought after as ingredients in vitality medicines. Paras spends its days constantly eating tree roots, but it is never satisfied because the tochukaso mushrooms on its back steal all of the nutrients from the host body, meaning the actual body of Paras is technically always starving. In Crystal, it’s even explained that the parasitic mushrooms are actually telling Paras to eat the juice from tree trunks.

Paras lives such a sad life. It’s constantly being starved by the mushrooms on its back, and those same mushrooms are plucked off by medicinal researchers. The mushrooms just grow back when they’re cut off, so it’s not even like Paras is freed after this. Jeez.

But as we’ll see, Paras kinda has it easy compared to Parasect.

Also, even though Paras, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t have an alternative Alola form, the Dex entries note that Paras’ mushrooms don’t grow quite right in the Alolan environment.

Design-wise, the tochukaso mushrooms are based on caterpillar fungus, found in Southern China, Bhutan and Nepal. These mushrooms latch onto the larva of ghost moths, kill them, frickin’ mummify them and eventually sprout a fruiting body that is used in herbal medicines in China. In folk medicine, it is believed that the caterpillar fungi has great properties since it is a rare merging of animal and vegetable. The fruiting bodies of caterpillar fungus contain Cordycepin, which has been found to be very useful as a therapeutic compound, such as treatment in depression, and it has recently found some success in combating leukemia. I couldn’t find where they got this information, but the tochukaso page also says the fungus is used as a aphrodisiac, and that it treats fatigue and cancer.

I won’t go on and on about the caterpillar fungus since this is all you need to know in connection to Paras, but check out that Wiki link – it’s fascinating.

The body of Paras is said to be based on the cicada nymph, which….

I dunno, I guess maybe. In the legs at least.

The concept of Paras is also suggested to be based on ants that sometimes get parasitic mushrooms, also known as zombie-ant fungus, attached to them that takes over their brains and juts out of their heads and back. The fungus legitimately does turn them into mind-controlled zombies since, once the fungus takes over, the ant will be compelled to climb a leaf stalk and stop at exactly 25 centimeters, which is the optimal height for this fungus to grow due to having the best temperature and humidity. The ant just hangs there with its mouth latched onto the leaf while the fungus grows. Eventually, the fungus grows a bulb full of spores that will bust and rain spores all over the ant’s unwitting brethren who will then also be infected by the fungus and turn into zombies themselves.

Again, read the Atlantic article I linked to here. It’s incredibly interesting, gross and creepy as hell.

Finally, the mushrooms could be based on massospora, which is a type of fungi that commonly infects cicadas and produces a psychoactive effect.

Parasect

Name: Parasect’s name is less distractedly familiar than Paras’ name. It’s fine. It’s a combination of ‘parasite’ and ‘insect.’

Like before, its name is the same in Japanese and English, and every region barring China (in Cantonese anyway) keeps the name the same. In Cantonese, Parasect’s name is Geuihguchuhng, which translates to ‘giant mushroom bug.’

Design: Parasect technically looks fine. It has one giant mushroom instead of two small ones. It retains the poky pincer front legs, and the vacant white eyes definitely reflect a darker aspect of this Pokemon that we’ll go over in a second.

It does look a bit too much like a hermit crab, though. If you’re not looking at it from the right angle, the mushroom on its back can just look like a cone-esque shell.

Sprite-wise, the coloring issue Paras had doesn’t seem to have ever been present on Parasect. It was more orange-y in the first Gen, got a bit too red in Gen II, but then stayed consistent at red and orange-red/burnt orange, until Gen VI where it suddenly became gold and a fleshy pink color for some reason? It’s really, really ugly now.

Shiny:

Gen II’s shiny is the same yellow-brown gross mess than Shiny Paras’ was. However, in later Gens, it has more of a gold or light/yellow-orange appearance to it, which is pretty nice.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Unlike Paras who is only partially compelled by the parasitic mushrooms on its back, Parasect is fully taken over by it. The parasite is so firmly in control of the bug portion of Parasect that Ultra Sun even states that the bug is mostly dead, leaving the mushroom as the main living organism. If the mushroom is ever somehow removed from Parasect it will stop moving and presumably die.

Parasect typically live in cool, dark places, though, again, this is by will of the mushroom since that is where mushrooms thrive. Parasect will sometimes move in swarms that attack trees, drain them of their nutrients and kill them, simply moving on to another tree when they’re done.

Parasect is constantly spreading spores from its mushroom. These spores are used in medicines in China, and yes they outright say China several times, once again muddying what world Pokemon is meant to take place in.

I had wondered how Paras gets infected from birth, because its Dex entries stated that spores are sprinkled on them from birth, which is what causes the mushrooms to grow on their backs. I got my answer when Crystal explained that, when Parasect is so drained of energy that it dies, the mushroom will leave spores on the Pokemon’s eggs, seemingly infecting the newborn Paras.

That. Is. Horrible.

In Gen VII, Parasect starts having territorial disputes with Shiinotic, and the spores from Alolan Parasect are not considered as good as those in any other region, but, again, Parasect never got an alternate Alolan form.

And that is Paras and Parasect – the usually overlooked, underappreciated walking tragedy of a Pokemon. These two still aren’t climbing any favorites lists for me, but I can’t deny that they have a really interesting story to them, even if it is terribly sad. Their entire species is geared towards suffering and basically becoming a zombie. And they don’t even have a chance at birth. They’re infected in the egg. It’s awful.

Next time, it’s the Veno line!


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Poke-Pinions #43, 44, 45 and 182 | The Weed/Flower Line

Oddish

Name: Oddish’s name is pretty cute and memorable. It’s a mixture of ‘odd’ and ‘radish’ however it has been posited that it’s just the “word” ‘oddish’ like ‘kinda odd’ which I don’t believe.

Its Japanese name is Nazonokuza, which is supposedly based on nazo no kusa, which means enigmatic grass. It’s a bit long and clunky of a name, but it’s pretty fitting.

Design: Oddish is pretty cute……Yup.

There’s no much to say about Oddish. It’s literally a vegetable with a simple face and simple feet. It’s always kinda creeped me out that Oddish doesn’t have any arms, but even that’s nothing significant.

Sprite-wise, Gens I and II are way too dark. It’s less blue and green and more midnight blue/black and green.

Some of the animations are adorable, such as Crystal’s,

Emerald’s

and B/W/B2/W2.

That’s about it.

Shiny:

I’ve never been much of a fan of Shiny Oddish. It’s just a lot of green. Granted, it’s basically the same situation as Shiny Bulbasaur, but for some reason it bothers me more with Shiny Oddish. I think Shiny Bulbasaur’s shades of green are better and have more contrast than Shiny Oddish.

In Gen II, Shiny Oddish looked almost entirely different. It had a super dark green body with yellow leaves, and, in my opinion, it looked a million times better than the flat green version we have today.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Oddish is supposed to be heavily based on the mandrake plant. Mandrakes are root vegetables that kinda resemble human figures. Mandrakes are most famously known for the myth of basically being living plants. When in the ground, they look no different from other plants, but when removed from the ground, they’ll shriek. Oddish’s Dex entries just recycle this myth full-out in several games, even though I can’t remember this ever happening in any Pokemon media I’ve consumed.

It also has a scientific name, one of only two Pokemon with such a thing (The other being Kabutops) – Oddium Wanderus. At night, it will wander around the land sowing its seeds while absorbing moonlight as nourishment.

I don’t think this is reflected in either the games or the anime very well either, because I found a lot of Oddish in the games during the day, and, in the anime, I only remember them really being shown during the day. Only the TCG seems to reflect this, but even that seems to have dropped the nocturnal concept.

Oddish is also based on, as you can guess, bulbous root vegetables like onions, turnips and, of course, radishes. The leaves are meant to be in reference to snake plants, but uh….yeah, I think they’re just leaves. Especially considering that a lot of snake plant leaves seem to have yellow in them, which, unless that’s meant to poke at Gen II Shiny Oddish, isn’t reflected in Oddish.

Gloom

Name: Gloom’s name is a bit weird. It’s fine, technically, but it’s also strange. Gloom’s not really a depressed Pokemon. It just tends to be drawn in a manner where it’s nearly always frowning or at least just has a neutral expression. I guess I’d understand if Gloom was bummed all the time because literally all anyone talks about in regards to this Pokemon are that it stinks something fierce. However, it’s not noted as being depressed or gloomy or making anyone else sad.

It also took me until I was an adult to realize that Gloom’s name was meant to also be a play on the word ‘bloom.’ I was wondering why Gloom’s name was such a blunt reference to sadness and non-related to plants, but then I remembered ‘oh yeah, bloom.’ But that doesn’t even really work because the word is completely lost in Gloom. It’s just ‘gloom.’ Am I just stupid? How many people got that on the first hearing?

In Japan, it’s known as Kusaihana, which literally translates to ‘stinking flower.’

Design: I never much cared for Gloom. I don’t like its weird face, I definitely don’t like its drool, and I don’t like its weird ball-flower thing on its head. It’s not the weirdest/ugliest/creepiest Pokemon in the world, far from it, I just don’t care for it very much. At least it has arms now.

Sprite-wise, R/B is weird.

Green is like its drunk.

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK.

IS.

WITH.

YELLOW?!

Why is it so red?! It’s ENTIRELY RED! What the hell happened to this sprite?

Other than that, Silver looks drunk again.

Crystal’s animation is ueghhghgh.

Emerald’s animation make it look like it’s high.

HG/SS looks like it’s having a slight seizure.

I don’t much care for any of the sprites, to be honest.

Shiny:

Gloom’s shiny is one of the laziest and ugliest shinies. They literally just put an ugly-ass yellow filter over a regular Gloom and called it a day. At least Gen II’s shiny feels like the flower is glowing, but every other Gen’s shiny of Gloom is just terrible.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Hey, guys, did you know Gloom smells bad? You do? Well, now you know 95% of the content in Gloom’s Dex entries.

It’s smells real bad. It smells so bad, people may faint because of it. The stench is so strong, you can smell it from over a mile away. And, to make matters worse, this fact makes Gloom even creepier, because apparently it loves its own stench and will drool more after sniffing it…..eugh. When calm and secure, Gloom won’t produce its horrible stank, which is something they actually highlighted in the anime.

Outside of the constant ‘it smells bad’ the Dex entries note that the ‘drool’ coming out of Gloom’s mouth is actually honey, which, ew, that tastes good, which ew, who the hell discovered that and why? To make matters worse, while most Gens insist that only the flower on Gloom smells bad, Gen VI claims that the honey also reeks as badly as the flower, which is strange because Gen I explained that the drool/honey was used to attract prey. Don’t think it would do a good job of that if it smells horrid.

Design-wise, Gloom was also based on the mandrake, but more specifically it was based on the budding stage of the Rafflesia, which is known for its giant (and ugly, quite frankly) spotted five-petal flower and for smelling like rotten fish. It is also a parasitic flower, which is supposedly why the leaves on its head are now orange/brown – because the leaves are dying.

Female Gloom are said to be based on Rafflesia hasseltii, which have larger spots, as female Gloom do. If I can rag on Gloom’s design one more time, I also don’t care for Gloom’s female version because, being totally honest, it just looks like it has a bunch of discolored boobs on its head.

Finally, Gloom’s stench amplification abilities used as a defense mechanism are based on skunks. And the fact that Gloom’s pollen is used as an ingredient in perfume, as seen in the anime, is also a reference to real-life musk, which, despite its pungent odor, is commonly used as a base in perfumes.

Vileplume

Name: Unlike Gloom, whose name is a bit too one-note to the point where it loses the plant indication, Vileplume’s name works very nicely. It’s memorable and very fitting since it works in both the unpleasant implications and the plant reference very well. It’s a combination of vile, which is in reference to its stench, and plume as in a plume/cloud of pollen.

Its Japanese name is Ruffresia, which is obviously a nod to its real-world flower inspiration. I don’t like the way they changed it, though. It’s a clunky word, and unless you know of the genus of flower from which Vileplume is derived, you’d have no idea what it means.

Fun Fact: In Germany, it’s known as Giflor, which is ‘gift’ and ‘flor’ mixed together, which sounds weird from an English standpoint, but ‘gift’ here actually means ‘poison’ which is very fitting.

Design: Vileplume looks….fine. I was never a fan of the thick flower petals, they always gave me ew vibes, but overall it’s fine. It’s a flower….with a body, a face, arms and legs….

Sprite-wise, R/B looks…off. It’s like an Oddish ripped the leaves from it’s head and wore that flower as a hat. The perspective is very weird.

Green is the same issue, but it somehow looks worse, like it’s a bootleg sprite.

Yello—AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

How the fuck did that happen twice?! Who’s in charge of the Gloom and Vileplume sprites for Yellow? What were you on when you did this?

Other than that, the rest of the sprites are actually pretty cute. I love Silver’s pose.

Emerald’s little dance is really cute.

What the hell is happening to Vileplume in D/P/P?

Did it drop its keys?

Gen V is also odd because it looks like it’s tipping its flower to me.

Everything else is fine.

Shiny:

I would say it’s basically the same situation as Gloom, but despite also seeming very yellow-filter-y Vileplume is moreso pure green and orange than just putting a yellow filter over the original sprite. Out of the three so far, it’s probably the best, but I still don’t really care for it that much.

The Gen II sprite isn’t as different from the regular set as Gloom and Oddish’s. In fact, other than having a darker body, it looks about the same as it does later on.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Vileplume has the largest flower petals in the world, which I think is incorrect because surely Venusaur beats it? It spreads a toxic pollen around by flapping the petals, and the more pollen it contains the larger and heavier the petals are. The petals can get so large that Vileplume may have difficulty holding its head up.

Most of the Dex entries note it as being both poisonous and allergenic, but….I think if it’s poisonous it doesn’t much matter if it’s allergenic. It’s like, imagine poisoning someone and then, as they lay dying, you gloat that they’ll have acid reflux because of the poison.

The pollen is used for paralyzing its prey, which is fine and dandy, but….uh….how does Vileplume kill or consume living beings? It’s not like a Venus fly trap. It has little stubby arms and legs and no teeth. I’m trying really hard to imagine Vileplume trapping and eating its prey, and I just can’t do it. Anything I come up with is too silly.

In terms of design, we have the same info from Oddish and Gloom, but the notes about paralyzing its prey and eating it are based on carnivorous plants, as I already pointed out. Also, like Gloom, the females have larger spots than the males, but female Vileplume looks much better. At least it has a multitude of spots instead of head boobs.

Bellossom

Name: Bellossom’s name probably beats Gloom in being one note. It’s literally just an extremely slightly changed version of ‘blossom.’ At least this name is obviously related to flowers, but it’s also incredibly boring. The ‘bell’ part is meant to come from either ‘bella’ which is Spanish for ‘pretty’ or just ‘bell’ in reference to its shape.

In Japan, it’s known as Kireihana, which is a combination of kirei, meaning ‘pretty’, rei, which means ‘bell’, and hana, which means ‘flower.’ This is a perfectly fitting name for this Pokemon and it flows well. It’s also a slight send-up to Gloom’s Japanese name.

Design: Can I be real with you guys? I don’t get the point of Bellossom. There are many Pokemon from old Gens that eventually received new evolutions, and the results vary with each one, but Bellossom has always stood out to me as being particularly pointless at best and completely nonsensical at worst.

The Oddish-Gloom-Vileplume line already has three stages. It’s such a ridiculously simple Pokemon line that it doesn’t need a fourth optional stage.

But more than that, Bellossom doesn’t fit in this evolutionary line at all. At least when old Pokemon get new evos or pre-evos they typically stay consistent with what the original Pokemon was about. How did we go from a line based on ugly, toxic, rancid smelling flowers to a “cute” and “beautiful” Pokemon based on hula dancers? It doesn’t look anything like its predecessors. The only thing that comes remotely close is its face and even that’s not quite right.

The flowers on its head are supposedly Rafflesia flowers, but I’m not buying it. They don’t look like those thick gross flowers. They just look like normal pretty flowers.

Not to mention that Bellossom is one of the weirdest instances of regressive evolution I’ve ever seen in Pokemon. It’s not only purely Grass type, making it the only Pokemon in existence that evolves from a dual-type into a single-type, even Oddish was dual-type, but it’s also, somehow, the smallest Pokemon in this evolutionary line. Yes, it’s even smaller than Oddish.

Oddish is 1’8” and Bellossom is 1’4”.

Being completely fair, I have nothing against Bellossom’s design. It’s a very cute little Pokemon. Not one of my favorites, but still a cute Pokemon. I’d have no complaints about it if it was just a standalone Pokemon, but it’s not. For some reason, they decide to staple this Pokemon onto Oddish’s evolutionary line and I just don’t understand in the slightest.

Sprite-wise, G/S looks a bit off, but not bad. It had pink flower petals and leaves instead of red. Looks kinda pretty, if you ask me. In fact, I’d prefer that be the shiny version.

Crystal also has red on the leaves, which will later be green, but I also don’t mind that. It looks pretty cool.

I don’t have much to say about any other Gen. Some Gens have cuter dance animations than others, but that’s about it.

Shiny:

Gen II’s shiny is a bit strange. It’s like a denim or navy blue mixed with red. It’s alright.

Gen III is also a bit strange. It has a purple face and nothing else is different. I don’t know if it’s just the clashing of the red with the purple or something, but even though purple is my favorite color, I’m not really into this shiny.

Gen IV and beyond has Shiny Bellossom in more of a lilac purple with pinker flowers, which I think works perfectly and definitely makes it the best shiny version out of this entire evo line.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Bellossom love to dance, a lot, which is in reference to the hula dancer inspiration I mentioned earlier. They dance to worship or summon the sun, and they close up their petals at night to fall asleep, which, in my opinion, just makes this evolution even weirder because we had established earlier that Oddish was nocturnal.

When their flower petals rub up against each other, they make a pleasant ringing noise. Finally, Bellossom is said to grow more beautiful flowers if it evolves from stinkier Gloom, which….I guess makes sense but also doesn’t. Why does that matter? Also, it’s funny how the brown/orange tinge of Gloom’s leaves are meant to be indicative of the parasitic plant drawing nutrients away from the leaves Oddish had, effectively killing them, but Bellossom will grow prettier flowers if it’s evolved from a really smelly Gloom.

I just don’t understand this evo at all.

Design-wise, we already touched upon how Bellossom is based on hula dancers, but specifically the grass skirt is present and the flowers on its head are meant to look like plumeria, which are commonly worn as hair decorations and used in leis. It’s also meant to be based off of Rafflesia, but I already said I don’t buy that. Specifically, it’s based on the Rafflesia keithii, which, I’ll admit, does look kinda similar to Bellossom’s flowers in regards to the shapes of the petals, but that’s about it.

Finally, it’s bell shaped, which is meant to build on the ringing sound that it makes when their petals rub together. I don’t get what any of that has to do with flowers, hula dancers or quite literally anything related to this line. I don’t understand how flower petals rubbing against each other can sound like ringing. I don’t know why it’s bell shaped as a result. I don’t know what the bell or ringing would even mean. I guess bells are sometimes used in rituals, and the dance is meant to summon or worship the sun, so….maybe that’s the reason? It’s not mentioned anywhere. I’m just guessing. I dunno.

Next time, we tackle the Paras line!


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Pokemon Shorties! (10) Pokemon Adventure Club Review

Pokemon Short 10 Pokemon Adventure Club

Plot: Things happen. Pokemon are involved.

Breakdown: I have watched nearly all of the Pokemon shorts so far. I am well aware of their intentions, how they work, their target demographic etc., so believe me when I say this with certainty – this is, by far, the worst Pokemon short I’ve ever seen.

Nothing. Happens. Which is to be expected of the shorts, really. I’ve mentioned a few times by now that a good chunk of the shorts don’t really care about having a good story or anything, they just want to show Pokemon being cute and funny. And that’s fine. Their target demographic with these shorts is even younger than with the normal show, and that’s also fine.

But my god, this short is just awful. It’s not cute. It’s not funny. It’s actually pretty annoying. I can completely understand why this short never got an English release.

I’m pretty thankful for that, honestly, because the narrator is again providing the voices for the Pokemon, so they didn’t have to have Rodger Parsons do this. Like I said before, no bad blood with Rodger Parsons, but he made my experience with the last short incredibly frustrating because he made zero effort to have the voices sound different between the Pokemon. The Japanese narrator, Unsho Ishizuka, is making very distinct voices for each Pokemon, and it’s so much better and easier to follow, even if I’m using subtitles.

The reason it’s annoying isn’t because we have May’s Squirtle or anyone else who likes to joust my eardrums with their voice lances – it’s because the short is insanely repetitive.

Let’s take the Regis for instance. Meowth and the others accidentally run into a Registeel while wandering around in the woods. It attacks them. Haha.

Later, in a cave, they try to move a ‘giant rock’ which is so obviously Regirock that I can’t believe they even tried to pass off this trick. It’s not like mistaking a Geodude, Graveler or Golem for a rock or an Oddish for a radish or a Exeggcute for a pile of eggs. Regirock is very human-shaped, and it was standing up. If they could see there was a ‘giant rock’ from a fair distance away, they could see that it had a very human-like shape.

Pokemon Short 10 Screen1

But whatever, Regirock attacks them. Haha. So this is already repetitive, but now that they’ve done this shtick with two Regis, what do you KNOW for a fact is going to happen soon? If you guessed, “they’ll run into a Regice and it will attack them, haha” then you have electrical impulses coursing through your skull meat.

Believe it or not, that’s not the only repetitive ‘joke’ they have running through this short. There’s an even MORE repetitive joke involving a Marill – or as I like to refer to it here as Marillypuff.

Why the nickname? Because, for reasons beyond my scope of human understanding, they decided to have this Marill act exactly like our old friend, Jigglypuff. And I mean EXACTLY like it.

Here’s the exact same Marill joke they use three times.

Meowth and the other Team Rocket Pokemon are hungry, so they get some fruit from a tree. Marill walks in out of nowhere and starts singing Jigglypuff’s song to the group for no reason. And I don’t mean it starts singing like Jigglypuff would. I mean, it’s the exact same melody as Jigglypuff’s song only with the lyrics being ‘Marill’ because it can’t say ‘Jigglypuff.’

Pokemon Short 10 Screen 2

Predictably, the group falls asleep, and they drop their fruit down a small hill. Marill gets upset and inflates itself like a balloon, like Jigglypuff always did, but since it doesn’t have the marker, it just bops the group with its ball-tail, which does nothing, they don’t even react or say their faces hurt when they wake up. Then the fruit is taken by one of the passing teams of other Pokemon, Meowth and the others wake up and then the exact same thing happens twice more in a row.

And I mean in a row.

At least with the Regi jokes they were spaced out a little, but nope. We get the exact same confusing Jigglypuff reference scene three times in a row. It’s torture. If you thought Jigglypuff randomly appearing in the show to do this shit once every few episodes was annoying, this will drive you up a wall.

I just don’t understand what they were trying to achieve with this. The Jigglypuff joke has been run into the ground so much I think it dug a hole to the other side of the globe. That’s why they stopped doing it. It’s so repetitive, and it leaves very little room for creativity. It’s like the running joke they have with the Pokemon who always pops out of their Pokeball when they’re not supposed to and their Trainer gets mad, or James having a Pokemon who shows affection through unintentionally hurting him, but at least those repetitive jokes are over with within five to ten seconds. The Jigglypuff shtick usually takes at least 20 seconds to over a full minute. Jigglypuff still pops up once in a blue moon, but even then it’s shtick is still old as hell and just something to boop the old nostalgia button.

If they really wanted to do this joke again, why not just bring back Jigglypuff? It would make about as much sense as a random singing Marill, who, like Azumarill in Pikachu’s Summer Festival, should really not know Sing naturally except on the off-chance it was bred by a Pokemon who knew Sing naturally – one of those breeding possibilities being, coincidentally enough, Jigglypuff.

Pokemon Short 10 Screen 3

Wait a second, I say they did this joke three times? Oh silly me. I meant to say they technically do this FOUR TIMES. Later, when they’re wandering around a cave, Meowth and the others find a block of ice with a bunch of fruit in it. I had become conditioned to the image of fruit, so the hairs on the back of neck instantly stood up. They quickly look around for Marill, but when they see he’s not around, Meowth Fury Swipes the fruit free.

Golly.

Wonder what happens nex–

Marill pops up, Sings, sleep, inflate, tail bops, blah blah. I am in physical pain.

There’s no ‘Adventure Club’ here, by the way. You want to know everything that happens?

Pikachu and the other Pokemon, including Meowth and Team Rocket’s Pokemon, want to play in the river, but it’s dried up. So they go upriver to see what’s causing the stoppage. Meowth doesn’t want Pikachu and his group to solve the problem first…..for some reason….so he gets all competitive with them. They all hitch a ride on some Drifloom and Drifblim, but Meowth being an idiot makes them all fall, scattered in groups of two or more throughout the woods. They all encounter a bunch of random shenanigans, most of which I’ve already explained, and most of the shenanigans (and lines, quite frankly) are mirrored between the groups because it’s hard to write different things for each group (Ex: Buneary freaks out because she thinks someone’s tapping her shoulder, but Pikachu says it’s just a water drip and reassures her. Then we see Aipom getting nervous because he feels someone tapping him on the shoulder, but Piplup reveals that it’s just water dripping and reassures him. In another instance, they all get to four different caves and we have to hear them all explain to their groups that this is the proper way to go etc.), and then they reach the problem, it’s a dam built by Bidoof and Bibarel, they help them destroy the dam, and then they race in the river.

The end.

There’s no club, not even as a passing mention. There’s no story. There’s hardly any real instances of the Pokemon being particularly cute. There’s rarely a joke that works, and they repeat several of them to the point of frustration. There’s no real conflict either. It’s not like they’re concerned that the river being dry will have dire consequences for the area. They’re purely concerned with the fact that they can’t play in the river. And, in the end, they basically rip off the ending to the first short. It’s solved by the conflicting Pokemon groups working together and pulling on a rope to yank out something that’s stuck.

Even the animation seems subpar. Some parts look like the inbetweens are missing, and there’s this completely unnecessary bunch of CGI animated music notes that appear when Marill starts singing, which are so bad they reminded me of those music notes that they added to the DiC dub of Sailor Moon when Serena had the radio on.

The one thing I actually enjoyed about this short was Croagunk, who was being pretty funny just….existing, really. His unchanging expression as he floats around and inflates his cheeks was kinda funny, but even that wore thin and didn’t build up to anything.

Overall, you’re better off skipping this short. There’s really nothing worth your time here, even if you’re hard up for ‘Pokemon being cute.’


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Poke-Pinions #41, 42 and 169 | The ‘bat Line

Zubat

Name: Zubat’s name is obviously derived from the word ‘bat’ but it’s also taken as a pun since it originates from the onomatopoeia for the sound of an edged tool forcefully piercing something, ‘zubatto’ since it’s a vampire bat. As you can guess, it has the same name in English as Japanese.

I like Zubat’s name just fine. It’s fitting, memorable and snappy.

Fun Fact: In France, it’s called Nosferapti, based off of Nosferatu and ‘pi’ for petit. That is one of the coolest names I’ve ever heard. Remind me if I ever have kids, I’m totally naming one Nosferapti.

Design: Zubat is a bat……*lip smack* Yup.

Okay, maybe I’m not giving Zubat enough credit. I do think Zubat is really cute. I actually am a fan of bats, and this one is pretty adorable. It has a nice blue and purple color scheme, cute little ears, and enough creepiness in the fact that it has no eyes and a perpetually open fanged mouth to at least be a little intimidating.

What I never liked about it, though, are its weird ‘tails.’ Never understood what the purpose was for those tails either practically or as a design choice. I honestly didn’t even know they were tails until I read the Wiki for this analysis. I honestly always thought they were really skinny legs with no feet.

Sprite-wise, I literally have nothing to say about any Gen’s sprites. They’re all decent enough. The animations are sometimes a little spastic, but none I really feel like pointing out.

The only one that might be worth noting is Gen II, which, for some reason, made Zubat’s sprites all insanely dark. I know they’re mostly found in caves, but they’re WAY too dark. It’s hard to make out details on them.

Shiny:

Most people hate shiny Zubat because of the ick green, and I agree, but in other Gens the sprite is more of a lime green, which I’m more receptive to.

I’m not receptive of the yellow/beige they chose for the insides of the ears and wings, though. Gen II had those areas be more of a pink-ish color, which I’m not that happy about either, but it looks better than yellow/beige.

Dex Entries and Backstory: It’s a bat.

Sorry, I won’t do it again.

Really, there’s nothing in the Dex entries that don’t apply to your average bat except that sunlight burns them/causes them to become unhealthy, because vampire lore. I was actually pretty surprised to learn this because, in all my years playing the games and watching the anime, I’ve never heard of this being a thing. Apparently, captured and trained Zubats are somehow more resilient to sunlight and don’t get burned or sick. *shrug*

Zubat’s design was based off of—do I honestly need to keep typing that sentence? Its Poison typing is either based off of the anticoagulant found in bat saliva, which I find hard to believe because anticoagulants are not poison, or its based off of the fact that bats coming carry diseases such as rabies, which is a bit more believable. The whole poison/venom thing has become more common in vampire media. In fact, a manga I’m currently reading, Higanjima, has vampires with venom that instantly completely paralyzes their victims upon a single bite. It also lulls the victim into a state of pure ecstasy.

Well that was a short entry. Only one page….Hmmm….I need something to fill time.

Here, let me grab a Zubat meme real quick.

There we go.

Golbat

Name: Golbat is supposedly derived from the word “gollop” which is another word for ‘gulp’ which is supposed to be in reference to gulping blood because vampire bat. It could also be short for golden-capped fruit bat, which looks nothing like Golbat and is a fruit bat anyway, not a vampire bat.

Honestly, I don’t believe either of these theories. I have never heard the world ‘gollop’ in my life. If the gulping thing was the main inspiration, why not just name it Gulbat? They sound almost identical.

I like Golbat just fine as a name, but I prefer Zubat.

Fun Fact: In France, it’s called Nosferalto, which is also incredibly awesome. The alto part means ‘high’ which I think is in reference to Golbat’s flying abilities.

Design: I think Golbat’s design is the perfect combination of ‘typical bat’ and ‘creepy. I mean, look at this thing. It’s just a bat with a HUGE mouth, but that’s all it really needs to come off as creepy. It’s gaping, never closing, black abyss of a mouth.

I don’t much care for its feet is all I can say in the negatives. They seem like they’re an afterthought, but they don’t bother me nearly as much as Zubat’s tail feet.

Sprite-Wise, YES! I finally get to talk about one of my favorite sets of weird-ass Gen I sprites!

Look at it!

Look at it!

And, of course, the cous de gras, the weirdo Gen I king,

Bask in the glory that is funhouse mirror Golbat with a frickin’ TONGUE. Just when you think the black abyss mouth was the creepiest they could pull off with Golbat’s mouth they give you this nightmare. It makes total sense that he has a tongue, and I’m…..a little certain it probably does have one even though we can’t see it, but GOD. It’s like it swallowed a Lickitung. It’s so messed up and cool, I love it.

Other than that, I have the same notes about Golbat’s sprites as I did with Zubat’s. They’re all fine, Gen II is still way too dark, though, and sometimes the animations are a bit too erratic, but they’re all fine.

Shiny:

Golbat’s shiny has the same problem as Zubat’s shiny only a lot worse because they don’t improve the color with time. It has this weird olive-green and bubblegum/peach color scheme that is putrid. I know I said I liked Zubat’s shiny a tiny bit better with the pink over that weird beige, but this shade just looks awful.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Golbat’s Dex entries are only a little bit more interesting than Zubat’s, this time focusing more on the vampire angle. Golbat targets humans and Pokemon, and it never stops draining blood from its victims, even if it gets too heavy to fly. Moon’s Dex entry goes even further with this and points out that Golbat will quickly become food for other Pokemon if it allows itself to get this heavy (Jeez, these entries are dark.) It also sometimes shares the blood that it’s already gathered, which, what the fuck and HOW?! Does it throw it up? Is there some Golbat bucket hidden in its mouth? Its sharp fangs can puncture any type of skin, except those of Steel-type Pokemon. Attempting to bite Steel-types has caused Golbat to lose their fangs occasionally.

Two other interesting notes are 1) I changes its blood type to that of the victim when drinking blood…which, cool, but why? And 2) even though I noted its little weird legs, it’s apparently very good at walking. So good, in fact, that it can stalk prey silently on land as well as in the air.

Design-wise, it has the exact same information listed as Zubat.

Crobat

Name: Out of all of the ‘bat line, I like Crobat’s name the best. It’s either a merging of ‘bat’ with the word ‘cross’, referencing the way its four wings cross over each other, or it’s derived from the word ‘acrobat’ which is alluding to its skills flying through the air. Both explanations of this name are much better than the explanations we get for Zubat and Golbat. Also, it reminds me of crows, which adds to the creepy factor.

Fun Fact: In France, it’s called Nostenfer, which I like the least out of all of the French ‘bat line names. It just doesn’t flow nearly as well. You almost have to stutter through it. The ‘enfer’ part means ‘Hell’ which is fitting but also not because Crobat’s not nearly intimidating enough to earn that dark name.

Design: Just gonna get this out of the way, because I know how much people tend to love Crobat, but I’ll be honest…..I like Golbat better. Golbat kinda gives off a creepier vibe while still being cute, but Crobat is just like an angry bat. Don’t get me wrong, I love Crobat too. I really, really love the fact that it has four wings that intersect each other when flapping, and the differences in my preference levels isn’t that much, but I still find myself preferring Golbat.

Sprite-wise, not much to note. The flying animations are, again, a bit sporadic sometimes, but it’s nothing that bad. Only one that is noteworthy is Crystal, whose flying animation looks awful. It looks so much more like it’s trying to wave ‘hi’ with both wings than it is trying to fly.

Shiny:

So, everyone has a beef with baby poop-colored Zubat and Golbat, eh? May I ask why I haven’t seen more people complain about this flesh-colored abomination?

Granted this specific shade of pink was only around for Gen III, every other Gen is like a bubblegum pink, but WHY? Why did this happen? And why is it paired up with the classic baby-poop green for the wings?

At least the bubblegum pink does work kinda better, but if I were a shiny Crobat I’d be embarrassed as shit.

Crobat….the final evo of the vampiric ‘bat line. Stalking its prey swiftly and silently…..drinking the blood of any poor creature that crosses its path……IS NOW AVAILABLE IN COTTON CANDY, ROSE, AND BALLET SLIPPER PINK!

Dex Entries and Backstory: Crobat’s Dex entries skew away from the vampire motif for the most part and tend to focus more on its impressive speed and stealth. Its hind legs actually evolved into the second set of wings, making it faster and more agile, but greatly hindered its ability to travel on land.

It can fly super fast and extremely quietly, so much so that most people don’t even notice them going by. Supposedly, you won’t even realize you’ve been fed on until it’s too late. If it has been flying for long periods, it will switch which pair of wings it uses to fly around so it can rest the other pair.

Kinda disappointing pool of info, to be honest.

May I ask I one thing, though? Why does a Pokemon based on bats and vampires evolve through, of all things, friendship?

Design-wise, it’s mostly the same as Zubat and Golbat with two additions. The first is suggesting that the second pair of wings is based on the fact that a bat’s wings are connected by their patagium, which connects all of their limbs into their wings. The increased speed is theorized to be based on the Mexican free-tailed bat, which is noted as being able to reach the fastest horizontal flight speed of any animal.

I don’t really have anything to discuss there. It’s pretty straight-forward.

Next time, it’s the….Uh….I don’t really know what to call this line. They don’t really have a naming scheme. Maybe the Weed/Flower line because two are the Weed Pokemon and two are the Flower Pokemon?…..Oddish, Gloom, Vileplume and Bellossom are up next.

My Poke-Pinions #(174) 39 and 40 | The ‘Uff Line

Igglybuff

Name: I don’t like Igglybuff’s name. The iggly part isn’t awful, it’s just a shortened version of Jiggly/Wiggly, but they chose poorly when they chose ‘buff’ for the ‘uff part. I think ‘buff’ and I think some overly muscular dude constantly flexing. Well, maybe there’s a good reason for that choice.

Wiki: “Igglybuff may be derived from a shortening of jiggly or wiggly and buff (a pale, soft, flexible leather; referring to its skin).” Uh……yuck. Leather itself isn’t disgusting or anything, but it’s weird that they’d make that reference when talking about a Pokemon that’s supposed to be reminiscent of a plush toy.

Why not use the word ‘fluff’? Is that not the next logical progression in the realm of cutesy ‘uff’ words? What say ye, German name for Igglybuff, Fluffeluff, which is one of the most adorable names I’ve ever heard?

Its original Japanese name is Pupurin, which is just playing off of Jigglypuff’s original name, Purin, but it’s also meant to be derived from the words puchi, meaning petit, or puripuri, which means “angrily or in a huff”….Huff. Another word they could have used that would have fit better. The word ‘fusen’ meaning balloon, is also supposed to be a part of it.

……..I……am very immature……….I don’t care for this name….because it starts with ‘pupu.’You look me in the eye and tell me that doesn’t sound silly.

Design: Hate to say it, but I also don’t like Igglybuff’s design. It’s not horrible, but it’s definitely the lowest ranked among the three in the evo line. The hair tuft at the top is really awkward, like they’re three cysts on its head, and I don’t know what the logic was with giving it red demon eyes when the rest of the line has cutesy blue eyes. I do like how its mouth is drawn in that little kitty-esque manner. At its best, it reminds me of Kirby, which is good, but at its worst it makes me want to exorcise it, which is bad.

Sprite-Wise, Gen II comes off as very creepy.

It’s like they kept the body bigger like Jigglypuff’s but also made the eyes really small. I will say that the sprite for Silver is cute because it makes it look like it’s flying.

And Crystal’s animation is pretty cute.

Nothing much of note until HG/SS where its animation makes it look WAY too creepy.

Although they make up for it in Gen V by giving it a really adorable bouncing animation.

Everything else is alright.

Shiny:

It’s a different shade of pink.

Alright, let me be fair. First, the shiny for Gen II also has green eyes, spiral and shadow for some reason (The shadow thing must’ve been an oversight.)

I like that change because that’s how it should be by default (barring the shadow). Second, I like the shiny’s shade of pink better because it comes off more like bubblegum.

Dex Entries and Backstory: The Biology section of the Wiki mentions that it lives close to freshwater streams and uses the water to gargle when it has a sore throat…..Does someone want to tell the people at Pokemon that you’re supposed to gargle saltwater to treat sore throats? Drinking freshwater would hydrate you, which is important, and gargling with cold water would feel nice for a second, but the only way to actually soothe and treat a sore throat with just straight water is with saltwater.

Anyhoo, Igglybuff is really bouncy. So bouncy, in fact, that if it starts rolling away, it will surely bounce out of control and be ‘impossible to stop’ which sounds like absolute hell. I’m just imagining there’s an Igglybuff out there that once rolled away and has never stopped bouncing.

Its legs are so stubby that it chooses to bounce everywhere instead of walking. It has a soft plushy body that feels like a marshmallow, and it even has a pleasant sweet smell that calms its foes.

Oddly, despite its evolutions, the Dex entries also state that not only is Igglybuff not very good at singing yet but it also can’t sing for long periods of time without developing a sore throat because its vocal chords are not fully developed yet. However, it is constantly practicing and gets better and better over time.

Igglybuff’s design is derived from balloons, rubber balls and powder/cream puffs. Combined with its soft, marshmallow-like texture and singing ability, it’s also said to be based on plush toys that play music to help them fall asleep, which I find to be very cute.

Before I move on, I will say that my opinion on Igglybuff lightened quite a bit as I was researching for this post. The design has grown on me a tiny bit more, and I like the aspect of it being like a plush toy, even if that doesn’t really translate given how shiny it looks. Definitely more balloon/rubber ball vibes than plush toy.

Jigglypuff

Name: Jigglypuff has an adorable and fitting name. It’s origins are….pretty obvious.

Its original Japanese name is Purin, and the origins are the same as listed in Igglybuff’s section. I like Purin more than Pupurin, for obvious reasons, but I still don’t think it fits very well. I mean…..pudding…..is not really “soft.” It’s gooey. They’re referencing the flan-like pudding in this regard, but my statement still stands. You can call it fluffy, being all eggy, but I would never, in a million years, connect pudding to Jigglypuff. Maybe some sort of puffy chewy pastry or something, but not pudding.

Fun Fact: In German, it’s called Pummeluff, which is much better than Purin and very adorable.

Shiny:

It’s a different shade of pink.

BUT

……It also keeps the green eyes throughout.

I really, really, like green-eyed Jigglypuff. Yes, it’s a terribly bland shiny overall, but I just think the contrast between the green and pink works better than blue and pink.

Dex Entries and Backstory: You probably know Jigglypuff’s main claim to fame by now – it sings a lot, and its song lulls people and Pokemon to sleep. The Dex entries are same old, same old until we hit Sapphire where it notes “When this Pokémon sings, it never pauses to breathe. If it is in a battle against an opponent that does not easily fall asleep, Jigglypuff cannot breathe, endangering its life.” Wouldn’t it just, ya know…..stop? Usually, if you try a move and it fails, that’s it. You don’t sit there for minutes on end waiting for it to succeed.

It has really big eyes, massive lung capacity, a wide vocal range. Etc. I think the most interesting entry is Ultra Moon, however, because it notes that “Recordings of Jigglypuff’s strange lullabies can be purchased from department stores. These CDs can be found near the bedding area.” I have never seen a Pokedex entry that looked so much like an ad.

‘Do you like Jigglypuff’s jams? Then check out its Greatest Hits CD available at your local PokeMart! You’ll get such hits such as “Song of Jigglypuff”, “Song of Jigglypuff”, “Song of Jigglypuff”, “Song of Jigglypuff” and its platinum hit “Song of Jigglypuff”! For more of Jigglypuff’s songs, visit Spotify, Pandora or that stupid radio function on your PokeGear that you never use.’

In terms of design, there’s nothing really of note that we haven’t already gone over except that Jigglypuff was possibly based on the legend of the moon rabbit, which is why Wigglytuff has bunny ears, why it eventually became a Fairy type (which are associated with the moon) and the fact that it uses a Moon Stone to evolve. Mmmm….Can’t really agree 100% there. Outside of evolving with the Moon Stone, nothing relates this line to the moon or rabbits. Maybe you can make the argument for Wigglytuff, for obvious reasons, but not Jigglypuff. It looks nothing like a rabbit. If anything it has little kitty ears. Also, why would the moon rabbit be a balloon? Is there something I’m missing there?

Wigglytuff

Name: Wigglytuff is one of those names I go back and forth on. It is cute and a natural fit for a final evo of a cutesy line. However, the wiggly part does kinda bother me a little. I think of wiggly things, I tend to think of worms. Also, nothing about balloons or bunnies makes me think of wiggling either.

The tuff part I’m perfectly fine with. It’s obviously meant to be ‘tough’ but it could also be in reference to ‘tuft’ like a tuft of hair a la Wigglytuff’s little hair tuft. Also, not for nothing, but I desperately want to draw Toph as a Wigglytuff now. And yes, it would be called Wigglytoph. And yes, there’s a 50/50 chance it would look like something out of a nightmare.

Its original Japanese name is Pukurin, which is, by far, the best Japanese name of the line. It also means it’s a Pokemon I can fitting call ‘Pookie.’ In addition to the name origins already discussed, the ‘ku’ part might come from pukupuku, which means cute and chubby, kurikuri, which means big and round, or fukureru, which means to expand or inflate. All very fitting and cute theories

Fun Fact: In German, it’s called Knuddeluff. Germany wins this entire evo line. Hands down.

Design: I really like Wigglytuff’s design. I love its bunny ears and its little swirly hair tuft and the more marshmallow-y vibe you get from it. Not entirely sure I’d say it’s cuter than Jigglypuff…..maybe it’s a rare tie in that regard.

Sprites: R/B is the tiniest bit derpy.

Yellow is fine, but WOW they went hard on the pink. The back sprite isn’t nearly as dark. What the heck happened there?

Gen II’s shade of pink is very sharp. I think it’s a bit too much. Gold has a nice sprite…

….but what is Silver doing?

Trying desperately to point at something important?

Crystal has a little dance and a butt wiggle and I kinda love it.

Also, it looks like they fixed the coloring on Crystal’s sprite. The coloring for this Gen basically made it nearly identical to the shiny version, so that change was even more appreciated, Crystal.

Not much else to say about the other Gens. They’re all varying amounts of adorable.

Shiny:

Again, it’s just a different shade of pink with green eyes. I do like this shiny best out of the three because it’s a really nice shade of purplish-pink. It’s like an orchid color.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Did you know that Wigglytuff is rubbery and can inflate itself? Then you know 90% of what’s covered in its Dex entries. Other than that, they really like talking about how soft and luxurious Wigglytuff’s fur is, even though it just doesn’t come off as a furry Pokemon to me. Also, it has big eyes, which is obvious, but did you also know that they are covered in tears and can wash away dust?……Like……most eyes? Cuz they can.

I’m really surprised that they mention absolutely nothing about its singing prowess. Isn’t that supposed to be the main hook of this line, outside of being a balloon? It’s like Igglybuff is the rough aspiring singer who needs work, Jigglypuff is the one kinda making a name for itself and Wigglytuff retired early because the music business is BS.

Next up, it’s time to get batty with Zubat, Golbat and Crobat.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Pokemon Episode 62 Analysis: Clefairy Tales

CotD(s): Oswald – He’s not Seymour the Scientist ™.

Reappear?: No. Also, he’s not Seymour the Scientist ™.

Pokemon: None.

……And he’s still not Seymour the Scientist ™.

Plot: As Jigglypuff happily wanders along singing its song (and putting passersby to sleep, of course) it’s suddenly bonked on the head by a teapot that seemingly fell from a crashing spaceship. It investigates further to find it is indeed a spaceship – filled with…Clefairy?

Meanwhile, Ash, Misty and Brock stop by a local city for some ice cream as their continue their journey to Viridian City. As they enjoy their treats, a Clefairy suddenly appears, but quickly runs off. Misty gives chase, intent on capturing it, and Ash and Brock chase after her to stop them from getting separated. Their unsupervised bags (and ice cream) are snatched by an unseen thief.

Some time later, the trio returns to their table to find their bags and ice cream are gone. They head to the police station to report the crime to Officer Jenny, but they’ll have to wait in line behind dozens of other people who have had random items stolen, much to the confusion of both the police and the victims.

A strange man named Oswald offers a theory – Aliens. While Misty thinks it’s ridiculous, Oswald is able to convince the group of the alien culprits by showing them a picture of an alien space craft. The chef states that he saw that ship on the outskirts of town three days ago, which is when the thefts started.

Alongside Oswald, who is somehow tracking the ‘aliens’ with some sort of device, Ash, Misty and Brock go searching for the ship in order to get their bags back. They, shockingly, seem to find it as a spaceship descends from the sky right in front of them. Two ‘aliens’ emerge, kidnap Pikachu and leave. Turns out, it was Team Rocket using a fake ship hung by a crane on a building above. Pikachu has been placed in a glass case to protect them from his electricity.

Back on the ground, Ash uses Pidgeotto to cut the cable and send the ship crashing down.

As the group and Team Rocket face off, they’re suddenly approached by the same Clefairy from earlier. Jigglypuff also shows up out of nowhere. Before anyone can make heads or tails of what’s going on, Clefairy makes off with the still-imprisoned Pikachu. Team Rocket tries to chase it, but they’re stopped by Clefairy’s Light Screen.

Ash and the others take chase next, but Clefairy escapes down an alleyway. When they arrive at the alley, they find that Clefairy has disappeared. Jigglypuff points out that the sewer is the only way Clefairy could have escaped. They all hop down in the manhole and wind up in a cave.

Much to their surprise, the Clefairy has built a new rocket and spaceship using the items that they’ve stolen around town. They spot the Clefairy who stole Pikachu bringing him into the ship, intending on using him as a power source for the ship.

A countdown to the launch commences. Brock runs off to inform Officer Jenny while Ash, Misty and Oswald infiltrate the ship to rescue Pikachu. When they find him, they’re met with a slue of Clefairy who vehemently guard Pikachu. Jigglypuff walks in and challenges the whole lot of them, shockingly Pounding and Double-Slapping them all into submission.

Jigglypuff enters the control room where the Clefairy who stole its microphone is sitting in wait. The two have yet another slap-down until they’re interrupted by Oswald. He plays with the control panel and accidentally breaks off the ‘joystick’ which turns out to be Jigglypuff’s missing microphone. Jigglypuff immediately snatches the microphone and starts singing over the PA system, causing everyone to fall asleep. As usual, Jigglypuff huffs, draws on their faces and leaves.

When the launch begins, Pikachu is prompted to use a powerful electric attack, powering up the ship enough to take off. The rocket shoots through the launch tunnel and pops up under the road in the city above. Using the street as a runway and a building as a ramp, the spaceship launches into the sky.

Pikachu’s electricity breaks him out of the pod, and Ash and Misty wake up just in time to grab their backpacks and escape. However, they’re much too high up to jump out of the ship. They have one chance – jump down onto a nearby skyscraper as they fly by it. With the help of Bulbasaur, they’re able to land on the skyscraper safely.

Ash and Misty watch the spaceship fly off over the horizon, bidding the Clefairy farewell as they head towards their destination……Little do they know that the Clefairy’s ship cannot make the journey and crash lands at a campsite several miles away. The Clefairy (and Oswald) emerge from the ship and once again begin stealing things to make repairs.

Later, Ash, Misty and Brock meet back up with Officer Jenny and the victims of the thefts. Everyone somehow recovered their stolen items and they express their gratitude to the three before they head off once more towards Viridian City and Ash’s eighth, and final, Gym Badge.

—————————————————-

– Before I even got to the title screen, I remembered why I didn’t like this episode. It is just a cornucopia of stupid and confusion.

– Also, it’s a friggin’ crime, a CRIME I say, that Seymour the Scientist ™ is not in this episode.

– I absolutely hate that the ice cream place they stop at is called ‘Soft Cream.’ That’s just eugh no.

– I know that I tend to not give Ash some slack in areas when he should because he is a kid, but even at ten years old he shouldn’t be double-fisting ice cream cones, getting it all over his face (even on his nose and under his eyes) and slurping it like a thirsty dog. Apparently Delia was too busy teaching her son proper underwear changing habits and never got around to teaching him manners.

– Why does the ice cream box say ‘Lucky’ on the side?

– This perspective is really, really weird. It makes Clefairy look only a few inches tall.

– Misty: “I can’t let this one get away!” Is my memory garbo or did Misty ever try to catch a Clefairy before? I don’t remember her trying it in Clefairy and the Moon Stone.

– Not a single one of them thought to grab their bags before leaving the table? All of their money, clothes, food, emergency supplies etc. are in those bags. Why are they even chasing her anyway? Do they want to fight her for Clefairy’s capture rights or are they worried she’ll never find her way back? She’s not a dog, guys.

– Now THIS perspective is weird. It makes it look like the table and chairs are teeny tiny.

– Ash: *crying* “I never got to taste the chocolate!” Yes, you did. You had chocolate ice cream on your face, you liar. Unless you somehow got chocolate ice cream on your face without tasting it, which is sad and impressive at the same time.

Also, while they definitely should report their bags being stolen, depending on how long they were gone, it’s perfectly reasonable to assume their ice cream cones were just cleaned up by the busboys.

– Chef: “I turned my back and my pot disappeared! My chicken too!” Okay…..So….Why are you still holding the ladle and whisk? What were you making that involved a whisk and a ladle at the same time, for that matter?…..Are you seriously going to the COPS for a stolen chicken and pot?

– Mother: “My baby’s favorite bottle was stolen!” *baby starts crying* Yes, and instead of going to the store to buy another, I decided to stand in this ridiculously long line for however long until I could report this crime to the cops, who will inevitably do nothing because it’s a frickin’ baby bottle.

– Baseball Player: “My lucky bat is gone, and now I’ll never hit another home run.” Again, the cops would do nothing about this.

– Man: “The buttons on my coat are gone!” Are you friggin’ kidding me?

– Woman: “Someone stole the candles off my birthday cake.” You people are insane.

– Kid: “What about my bike horn!?” They stole the horn but not the bike?

– Brock: “I mean, who’d want to steal somebody’s bike horn or the buttons from a coat or the candles off a birthday cake?”

Oswald: “Aliens!”

….

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to discount low-calorie no-sugar knock-off Seymour the Scientist™ – Oswald. And I’m not kidding – they have Oswald do Seymour’s over the top shtick and make him obsessed with Clefairy. The major differences are Seymour was awesome and entertaining and this guy is an annoying kook. Perfect opportunity to bring Seymour back, but nope. Bastards.

– Ash: “How do these guys find us?…..” *snort* Alright, that was pretty funny.

– How and why is there such a clear picture of the Clefairys’ space craft in that book? How long have these things been toting that ship around earth? Also, the chef saw this thing, seemingly on the ground, and didn’t do anything?

– I love how Officer Jenny is doing absolutely nothing about Oswald viciously shaking the chef and shouting at him for information on the space craft. Meanwhile, Ash, the ten-year-old boy, has to stop him. She’s certainly a crime fighter for the ages….

– This is a town where the citizens will rush to the police station (instead of doing what most normal people would do and call) for incredibly minor ‘crimes’ and will actually believe a nutjob who claims aliens stole the items. Then the cops will have a trio of children follow the nutjob, alone, and investigate the crashed space craft, also alone, while following a blinky doodad.……Ash, Misty, Brock….call your folks, have them send new stuff, and walk away.

– Speaking of which, what even is that stupid gadget? What is it actually detecting? Because as far as I see it just goes off randomly, even detecting Misty and Jigglypuff as ‘aliens.’

– Misty: “I don’t understand why we have to be part of this stupid spaceman search party.” Misty, the also ten-year-old, is the only one with sense here.

– Fun Fact: The ‘alien language’ Jessie and James are speaking when they kidnap Pikachu is ‘Nomekop’ or ‘Pokemon’ spelled backwards. No clue whose idea that was, but it’s pretty clever and works well because the word does sound odd yet still like a real language.

– I am willing to give a pass to them for being too in shock of the ‘aliens’ that they accidentally let them make off with Pikachu, but I will not give them one for being too blind to not see the cable attached to the ‘space ship’ and the giant crane on the building overhead. Granted, because they wanted to fool the audience too, this wasn’t visible to us until they were already leaving (the cable on top isn’t even visible in a wide shot – that one was flatout cheating.) but surely the characters should have noticed. At least Misty, the skeptic, should have.

– Ash: “Hey, that’s a crane.” Very good, Ash. Hindsight and post-Pika-napping is 20/20.

– Hey, Ash, Pikachu was in that ship you just made crash probably 50 feet into the pavement below….Oh, also, the frickin’ thing was in a GLASS case, which means he’s probably filleted ‘chu right now. Good job.

– Oswald: “You mean they’re not aliens?” Oswald, goddammit.

– Oswald may be an idiot, but Misty should at least apologize for breaking his dumb useless scanner.

– Oswald: “It took me weeks to assemble that scanner! What will I do if I can’t find the comic book I ordered it from!?” I at least appreciate that the show recognize what a doof Oswald is, and it’s funny that his scanner came from a comic book ad…..but….it took him weeks to assemble it? It’s a little gizmo the size of a cell phone. Why wouldn’t it be sold already assembled? And even if they were that cheap, how much assembly could that thing need? Did you need to solder all of the electronics and everything? What the heck?

– So this little Clefairy had the time and strength to put down Pikachu, remove the manhole cover, grab Pikachu, head down the sewer and (mostly) replace the manhole cover (with Pikachu still in its hands) all before Ash and co., who were like three seconds behind, caught up?

– Okay, it’s crazy for Jigglypuff to just jump down this manhole, especially when Brock said they can’t even see the bottom, but it’s the balloon Pokemon. It will probably be alright. However, it’d be ultra dumb if the humans, who are not small pink sentient balloon animals, jumped down this hole that almost certainly leads to either a quick death or horrible life-changing injuries. Good thing that would never happen, right?

Right guys?

…..Rig–

So, Ash and the others jump down after Jigglypuff.

Because they’re all just….so dumb.

So….

Unreasonably….

Dumb.

Again, even ten-year-olds should know that this is insanely dangerous. Not to mention the fact that this can be mimicked by their younger audience. Yeah, kids. If you see an open manhole, hop right in! You’ll find a spaceship and Clefairy and you certainly won’t wind up in a wheelchair, coma or dead because you fell however far onto solid concrete!

-What the hell is happening here?

Did they find a portal to purgatory?

– Okay, I’m not a sewer expert or anything, but 1) Pretty sure you wouldn’t end up falling through a series of pipes if you fell down a manhole. Again, you’d probably just crash into the concrete below and die. 2) Even if you did, I doubt you’d be able to survive the hit into the pipe as you fell, and they smack into the pipes hard several times. 3) Why would the sewer empty out into a random cave? 4) Why would the random cave they wind up in have no water at the end? There’s no water in any of this equation. It’s a real sewer line, we see the various pipes. Unless the Clefairy built this sewer system themselves, this is somehow a sewer system without water or, ya know, sewage.

– Misty: *seconds after landing in the cave* “Pikachu’s gone. Let’s go.” Nice, Misty. Also, why would you be brave enough to dive into an open, dark manhole but you don’t have the balls to weather being in a random cave to find Pikachu?

Ash: “Very funny.” Was she joking? That didn’t come across.

– *sigh* And now the cous de gras of stupidness…..the Clefairy’s new spaceship. I’m working under the assumption that everything down in this cave was built by the Clefairy and not the theory that, somehow, the Clefairy found and abandoned by working secret rocket launching facility made by humans because that somehow makes less sense to me.

So……all of this…the spaceship, the rocket, the extendable and movable staircase, the launchpad, the giant countdown thinger that descends from the ceiling, everything…….was built….using the most random garbage they could get their little pink fingers on. Baby bottle….pot….chicken….baseball bat…bike horn….birthday candles…..coat buttons….We’re also later shown a golf club, a tennis racket, a radio and a ball. How is ANY of this helping them build ALL OF THIS? I would understand if they were stealing stuff like arc welders, scrap metal, fuel etc. but ice cream? Whatever the hell is in Ash, Misty and Brock’s backpacks?…..Oh yeah, holy crap, Misty, you just got all your Pokemon stolen again. Your bag safety practices have not improved at all since the Farfetch’d episode, young lady.

This plot is probably the most nonsensical in the series so far, and it pretty much just expects to be brushed off with ‘They’re aliens, so they can make whatever with whatever.’

I am perfectly willing to accept that maybe the spaceship itself wasn’t made from junk. But it’s clearly repaired by it, and the rocket still had to have been built from the ground up by junk.

– Brock: “I’ll go tell Officer Jenny.” How? You got here via a sewage pipe that you can’t climb, and considering how long the ride took, I can bet you’re fairly far away. Is there an exit I’m not seeing?

– They have a gear system working with a soccer ball as one of the cogs, spinning on the missing pot….How is that staying there? Either something is piercing it, meaning it would be deflated, or it’s purely friction, which shouldn’t keep it there indefinitely, especially once the ship starts moving. I love how they show a few things here and there to ‘prove’ that they are indeed using the stolen garbage, but you can’t explain away the other 99.99% of the stuff around here. Like the glass power pod thing they’re storing Pikachu in. What is that made from? How did it get made?

– Oh god, the animation on Ash and the others when they run in after seeing Pikachu. This is definitely a budget episode.

– Where did all the Clefairy randomly pop in from? There’s only one entrance to the room and they kinda appeared in front of the pod.

– There is clearly power being fed into this ship somehow. Machines are running and the lights are on. Not to mention, they have tons of power if they can use that huge stadium-level countdown indicator outside. They have to have some substantial source of electricity. Why is Pikachu so vital?

– Before I rewatched this, I thought the Clefairy and Jigglypuff stuff was the worst part of the episode, but now I realize it’s actually the saving grace because their fight is hilarious. Don’t think we need to add fancy attack labels to what is essentially a bitchslap fight, but still entertaining.

– And then Jigglypuff’s curbstomping the other Clefairy because it wants its microphone back is just the icing on the cake.

– Oswald: “I wonder what this joystick does. *breaks it* Oops. I broke it.” Oswald, goddammit.

– I love that Jigglypuff immediately starts singing when it gets its microphone back.

– Ash: *hearing Jigglypuff’s song* “What’s that?”

– Misty: “It’s Jigglypuff’s song!”

Ash: “That’s a song I always get tired of.” And yet you never remember it.

– Jigglypuff sure has gotten lazy with its face scribbles. It used to actually doodle funny pictures. Now it’s just random black squiggles.

– It’s very cute that they used a little plastic hammer to boop Pikachu on the nose to make him attack.

– The Clefairy also built a tunnel system and tracks for the rocket to travel through, somehow broke up the road in secret and turned a massive section of the road into a panel that could be remotely turned into a ramp for the rocket to use. All with garbage.

– Also, all the stolen stuff just falls from the rocket as it’s leaving the hanger. I’m sure it was so vital….or maybe it was vital and the Clefairy are just shoddy mechanics.

– Chef: “Now I can cook my chicken!” You’re a professional chef who only owns one pot? Also, your stolen chicken didn’t fall out. Guess you have to buy a new one….or, if it did fall out off-screen….uh….you’re gonna cook that now?….Ew.

– All of the streets in this massive city are surprisingly void of literally any cars.

– Their runway leads straight for a massive building that, conveniently, has sloped sides.

Also, I know cartoon logic is in play here, but

….screw you.

– Why would they have it set up so that the rocket separates from the spaceship before it’s even cleared the buildings?

– I find it funny that, for a change, Team Rocket is actually blasting off in a rocket.

….It’s at least funny until that thing kills dozens of people because it not only doesn’t have a parachute, but it’s the middle of a densely populated city with no way to control it.

– They’re doing the questioning for me here in regards to Pikachu breaking itself free, but it actually kinda makes the situation worse.

Ash: “I wonder how it cracked open.”

Misty: “Pikachu’s electric attack must’ve been too much for it.”

Ash: “Like when a balloon pops because there’s too much air inside.”

Mmph.

I’m not expecting ten-year-olds with no education to know how this would happen….especially because it probably wouldn’t.

Glass can shatter because of electricity, but, considering the situation, it’s unlikely it would have happened in this circumstance. The speed and heat of a sudden BOLT of lightning, plus the shockwave of the thunder, can shatter glass. However, in the case of Pikachu, he was delivering an even stream of electricity for about a minute. This application of electricity should have heated and melted the glass, at most, not broken it.

Also, it should be noted that Pikachu’s supposed maximum amperage is 1000, while the average lightning bolt is around 30,000 amps.

Ash is right in that air pressure can break glass, but that’s not what they’re implying here. They’re making the claim that Pikachu was just too powerful for the glass to handle, which I sincerely doubt. Even if air pressure was a factor here, I doubt that pod is air tight (unless they wanted to murder Pikachu) like a balloon would be.

I’m no scientist, again, researching as I go, so if you think this is feasible then comment below. I’m actually very interested in this.

– So their bags were just….sitting there….in the same room Pikachu was being held?….Nothing missing from them? Surely, out of all the stuff the Clefairy stole, their backpacks had to have had things that they could have used in the ship.They found uses for a microphone and a soccer ball but nothing in the backpacks?

Why, it’s almost like the missing backpacks were just a flimsy plot device….and, really, that’s what they were because not only did the Clefairy not use anything in the backpacks, but how many times has Ash and co. just stumbled upon the problem of the week and just volunteered to help? The episode could have easily started with them walking down the street and wondering why there’s a huge crowd outside the police station and then they help the investigation.

– Bulbasaur landing on Ash was very cute.

– I commend the Clefairy for being able to make even a slightly working spaceship out of random crap, but it’s hard to be impressed when the thing keeps crashing and then they steal more crap to make another. How many times have they done this?

– It’s pretty dumb of those people to run from Oswald when he’s clearly wearing a cardboard box, a pot and a desk lamp. He’s also speaking clear English and has visible human hands and feet.

– Officer Jenny: “On behalf of everyone, I’d like to say ‘Thank you.’”

Ash: “Thanks!”

No, Ash, SHE wanted to say thanks, silly.

– Ash: “We’re glad you got everything back.” What the….what…..what the…..wha…..How is that even remotely possible?! Some stuff fell from the ship, sure, but if the ship was made entirely from random stolen crap then surely a good chunk of it has to be gone for good. You can’t tie up that bow, Pokemon. It’s impossible.

– I love how absolutely no one is concerned about Oswald.

——————————————

Well, that certainly was an episode.

It’s a massive overload of stupid, even for this show, but it never made me really angry or anything. Mostly, I just feel like my intelligence was insulted. Even for kids, this is some insane stretching they’re doing here. You could say it’s…..astronomical. 😀

…..Yeah, I’m sorry.

Also, it’s kinda weird that this group of Clefairy is a super-smart group of seemingly legit aliens when the last ones we saw just lived like normal Pokemon with the implications of being extraterrestrial.

Don’t even talk to me about Oswald. He’s not making my blood boil or anything, but he is one of more annoying CotDs we’ve had, and he took up Seymour the Scientist’s ™ role and that’s just blasphemy.

Even the art and animation were low grade today.

The one saving grace of this episode, like I mentioned, was the Jigglypuff vs. Clefairy stuff…and even that got a little old by the time the main Clefairy showed up.

This episode wasn’t terrible to sit through, but it definitely did not deserve to be the lead up to the final (Indigo) badge episode.

Speaking of which, holy crap, guys, next time we cover the final (Indigo) badge episode! It’s also the first and only time (that I know of anyway. Much later movies might do this more. I’m not as familiar.) where the movies have interjected with the main series.

That’s right! We’ve got Viridian City! We’ve got Earth Badge! We’ve got Gio-frickin’-vanni! We’ve got Gary in a Gym match! We’ve got MEWTWO, bitches!

And…..and………we have one of the most wasted badge episodes, let alone final badge episodes, to ever grace Pokemon because they spent too much time and energy tying into the movie that they didn’t bother making a good story for the main plot of the series. We’ve got a lot to go over, folks.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Poke-Pinions #037-038 Vulpix and Ninetales

Vulpix

Name: I absolutely love Vulpix’s name. It’s adorable, but also striking and somewhat intimidating. It’s meant to be a mixture of the word vulpes, which is Latin for fox, and six, due to its six tails.

Alolan Vulpix is known by the nickname Keokeo, which is based on the Hawaiian word for white, ke’oke’o. I really like this nickname. It’s very fitting, snappy and cute.

Its original Japanese name is Rokon, which is a mixture of roku, the Japanese word for six, and one of several theories for the second syllable – kon for grudge, due to the curse involved in its evolution, kon kon, which is the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound foxes make, konro, which means gas stove (I think that one’s stretching too far.) and ko, which is a variant reading of the word kitsune, the Japanese word for fox.

Truth be told, I never much cared for the name Rokon. It’s fine. It’s kinda cute and rolls off the tongue, but it just doesn’t fit this Pokemon.

Fun Fact: Vulpix’s French name is Goupix, and that word is way too fun to say.

Design:

Foxes are one of my absolute favorite animals, and Vulpix is one of my absolute favorite Pokemon. It is one of the most adorable designs to this day, and it doesn’t try too hard to make it cutesy. It has such a sweet wittle face, pwetty eyes, curly tails and hair, wittle paws, and just the perfect shades of brown and burnt orange. How can you not love this adorable ball of everything good in life?

Alolan Vulpix

Alolan designs tend to be hit and miss, and Alolan Vulpix is a home run. I adore the shift to white and ice blue, it’s extremely adorable still, the slight change to its hair isn’t overboard, and they changed it just enough to be a true change to form and not just a recolor.

I don’t like Alolan Vulpix more than regular Vulpix, but it’s a close call.

Sprite-Wise, Gen I looks a teeny bit weird just because Vulpix’s eyes are so tiny. I think they were trying for a more realistic fox look, and while it’s cute and works alright, it’s so much better with bigger eyes.

Gen II looks nice. I love the little blink and tail wag animation they added in Crystal.

Gen II’s cute, although the animation for Emerald is slight spastic.

Gen IV…..can fuck off, quite frankly. Look, I love Vulpix. Truly. With every little bit of my heart. But I do not….ever….want to see Vulpix presenting its ass to me. I just don’t.

HG/SS is a more proper pose, but the animation is just a very simple growl.

Gen V is fine, but, like others, its constant animation makes it look like it’s hyperventilating.

Gen VI and VII are cute.

Shiny:

I…..want the name….of the evil person who decided it would be a good idea to turn my beautiful Vulpix….into…..into THIS.

This is an affront to poor Vulpix. Bright neon slightly green yellow?! Washed out orange?! Some sort of weird washed out pea soup green for the brown areas and the eyes?! What did Vulpix ever do to you?!

It’s weird. Usually Gen I shinies are nothing to write home about. They’re typically either the worst in the set or they’re just blah, but Vulpix’s Gen I shiny version is actually the best one, in my opinion. It’s like a mixture of gold and bronze. It’s quite beautiful.

In Gens VI and VII, it’s like they realized how fugly the previous shinies have been, so they changed it up. Now it looks like someone put a dull lime green filter very lightly over Vulpix. While it technically looks better, it’s still ugly. Vulpix deserves better.

As for Shiny Alolan Vulpix, well, what’s there to say about that?

…..I’m serious, what’s there to say? Because I honestly, legitimately cannot tell the difference between the two. Maybe….the inside of the ears….are darker?

This is probably in the top ten worst offenders of ‘Wait, that’s shiny?’

Dex Entries and Backstory: Vulpix is born with only one (white, for some reason) tail which then splits off into six after some time. Also look at a baby Vulpix!

You can’t tell the white tail color differentiation, but it’s so cute!

Also, there’s this weird note, “The tails grow hot as it approaches evolution.” How can it be close to evolution if it requires a stone to evolve?

Vulpix can not only produce flames – it also has an eternal flame burning within its body – like the Char line’s flame only less sucky. When it’s too hot outside, they will expel some of the flames in order to cool off. They can manipulate these flames to mimic will-o’-the-wisps, which trick its prey and local humans.

Most of the Dex entries just point out the tail splitting thing and mention that it’s beautiful, cute and cuddly – can’t argue with facts. Some of them also mention that it will fake injury in order to escape from powerful enemies and that, without brushing, its fur will tangle….because….that last one was useful information. I mean, it technically is useful information because tangled hair can be a huge issues for animals, but it’s not typically something you’d think you’d see in a PokeDex.

In terms of design, Vulpix and Ninetales are very obviously based off of foxes, but more specifically the well-known Japanese legend of the kyubi no kitsune or the nine-tailed fox. According to legend, the kitsune grow many tails over the course of their lives and develop supernatural powers the older they get. When they reach an advanced age, they can start to take on spirit forms

The Alolan Vulpix became as such due to living in the snowy mountain areas of the Alola region. They move in small packs called skulks, which is the actual name for a group of foxes, and they’re typically lead by a Ninetales. Alolan Vulpix exhales air as cold as -58°F and typically freezes its prey and threats with its breath. Shield mentions that, if you look at some of its hair through a microscope, you can actually watch ice particles form, which is really cool.

Ninetales

Name: I love Ninetales’ name. It’s elegant, fitting and a clever play on words by using the word ‘tales’ instead of the obvious ‘tails’ to reference the more mysterious mythical background of the Pokemon. The Wiki page also surmises that it could be based on the cat o’ nine tails whip, but I don’t buy that, really.

Its Japanese name is Kyukon, which I think fits a bit better than Rokon purely in regards to sound. Kyu is the Japanese word for nine, and the kon part is explained in Vulpix’s name section.

Fun Fact: In French, it’s called Feunard, which sounds really funny to me. It is mixing the French words feu (fire), renard (fox) and neuf (nine) so it makes perfect sense, but the word itself seems silly.

In German, it’s Vulnona, which makes me think Ninetales owns a classy bar downtown for some reason. Again, it makes perfect sense as it’s vulpes mixed with nona, meaning nine, but I can’t help but think that.

Design:

I stand firm in my opinion that Ninetales is a contender for most beautiful Pokemon. I can’t find a single flaw with this Pokemon’s design. Cute face, beautiful colors, striking eyes, pretty flowy tails – it’s just amazing. ♥

Alolan Ninetales

Much in the same vein as Alolan Vulpix, I absolutely love Alolan Ninetales, but not more than the original design. I like Alolan Ninetales more than Alolan Vulpix just because I think it’s more elegant than it is poofy. It comes off like the spirit of a glacier or a snowstorm more than just a different version of an existing Pokemon.

Sprite-Wise, R/B looks a little weird in much the same way Vulpix looked off. Its eyes are too small, but it’s also holding its paw in a weird way.

Green is better, and I love that pose, but the tails are way too short and the hair on the top of its head is shaped upwards Vegeta-style, which is strange.

Crystal is a bit overly yellow, like it’s more lemon than cream, but I do enjoy the subtle animations on the tails and the mouth.

I like the static pose for Gen III, but the shaky animation for Emerald is no bueno.

The head position for the sprite on D/P seems really weird, something they appear to have noticed and fixed for Platinum.

The static pose for HG/SS is okay, but the animation is overly simplistic. Why is it ‘barking’?

I like the animation and pose for Gen V, but the mouth is a little bit too wide, like it’s grinning too hard.

Gen VI and onward look really good, though. The first of the sprites to really come off as powerful and elegant.

Shiny:

Shiny Ninetales is 100000000000x better than Shiny Vulpix. It’s baffling how polar opposite these two shinies are. Whereas Shiny Vulpix is gross yellows and greens, Shiny Ninetales is beautiful silver and blue. I don’t think this color scheme would have worked well for Vulpix, but it would’ve been so much better than the puke they gave us.

Even Shiny Alolan Ninetales looks much better. Granted, it kinda loses some of its ice motif by heading more for a purplish gray than glacial blue and white, but I like to think more along the lines of a cloudy sky on a snowy day. And, hey, at least I can tell the difference between regular Alolan Ninetales and the Shiny version.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Ninetales is an extremely interesting and simultaneously confusing Pokemon. It is intelligent enough to understand human speech, which….I dunno, is neat, but also a weird thing to note because it seems like most Pokemon can understand human speech just not speak it themselves. The point is that Ninetales are extremely intelligent and vengeful.

Supposedly, this intelligence and mystical power was created when nine saints merged into one, but that’s…..huh? Were they vengeful saints? Why did they merge together? How did they merge together? How did they form an evolved Pokemon? Why take the form of a fox? Another Dex entry says the spirits of nine saints were reincarnated as Ninetales, but since when do numerous spirits combine when reincarnating? It’s really interesting, I just wish there was more information available to help clear up the hows and whys.

They can hypnotize others with their beautiful flames and can even control minds if someone looks into its red eyes. Depending on the source, or I guess your own interpretation, Ninetales either curses you if you mistreat it and/or you get instantly cursed if you grab one of its tails – the curse in question could also last for 1000 years, but considering most living beings don’t live nearly that long it seems strange to make that assumption (how would you even know?).

Ninetales can live upwards of 1000 years using the power stored in each of its nine tails. Each tail is supposed to have a unique power, but no source lists suggestions on what each individual power might be nor if it varies from Pokemon to Pokemon.

Alolan Ninetales was originally mistaken for a mountain/snow deity before they distinguished it as a variant of normal Ninetales. Locals now believe a deity lives in the mountains with Ninetales and they choose to not enter that territory out of fear. Ninetales itself seems to be a force to be reckoned with because they not only have zero tolerance for people damaging nature, but they will freeze their enemies stiff in an instant.

They guide lost travelers back down the mountain, and here’s something funny from Shield “The reason it guides people all the way down to the mountain’s base is that it wants them to hurry up and leave.” Pbbbtttt. “I’m not actually rescuing you. I just want you to leave faster.”

Ya know, I adore Ninetales, I truly do, but reading up on its lore really shines a light on the fact that it’s a bit of a dick. They can be really friendly and sweet Pokemon, but it does not come off as nice in any of its listed information…..Would definitely still get one if they existed, though. No doubt.

Alolan Ninetales was based on the arctic fox, which sports white fur to blend in with the snowy terrain. Its lore indicates it might be loosely based on Poli’ahu, a Hawaiian goddess of snow which resides in Mauna Kea – the tallest mountain (and dormant volcano) in the world if measured from the seafloor. While Poli’ahu is not a fox of any kind, she is noted as being the most beautiful of the already beautiful four goddesses, which definitely relates back to Ninetales, and it seems extremely fitting that she resides on a snowcapped dormant volcano considering Ninetales can either be Ice or Fire.

It’s also theorized that Alolan Ninetales could be based on tulikettu, a mythical ‘firefox’ of Finnish legend that creates or is made of the Northern Lights but also, obviously, controls fires.

—————————

And that was our beloved Vulpix and Ninetales. Love to love them to bits and pieces, and they are extremely interesting Pokemon, but there are some details here and there that are not exempt from criticism. I’m still salty about Vulpix’s shiny. Poor Vulpix. Ninetales fares a lot better, but there’s no denying that its Dex entries and backstory don’t paint it in a particularly pleasant light. I need a real life version of both of them, though. Right now.

Next up, get puffed, get tuff and get buff – we’re going after the ‘iggy’uff line…….I might need to workshop that name….


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Pokemon Extravaganza | Movie 10 (Sub) Dialga Vs. Palkia: The Rise of Darkrai Review

Plot: Satoshi, Hikari and Takeshi arrive in Alamos Town – the location of Hikari’s next contest. Along the way, they meet the balloonist/musician, Alice, and her childhood friend, Tonio, who studies energy abnormalities. As they get a tour of the local gardens, they meet Darkrai, a powerful Pokemon who induces nightmares. He seems to be terrorizing the area, but they don’t know what he wants.

Little do they know that a fierce battle between two deity Pokemon, the master of space, Palkia, and the master of time, Dialga, has started in a dimensional rift. When these two massive powers clash, it’s only a matter of time before reality as they know it starts to fall apart.

Breakdown: Gauging from Dogasu’s Backpack entry for this movie, it seems it got away mostly unscathed, so I might not have much to talk about today, but, nevertheless, let’s see how the original Japanese version of Rise of Darkrai hits with me.

20 Minute Mark

The opening is less epic than I’d expect from a tenth anniversary movie opener, but it’s pretty good.

And, get this, they actually decided to use most of the animation for the opener in the dub opening. While they didn’t maintain the cracking animation for the initial title, opting instead to use a flash and jumping transition, the pink and blue time/space stream is kept intact. The final title card is obviously changed too, though.

Oddly, I prefer the title card that the dub created over what the original movie had because not only is the title itself better (The ‘Dialga vs. Palkia’ part makes this seem like a wrestling match) but that was a kick-ass font, color and animation they had for that title card. This one’s alright, but it seems cheesy, especially that gigantic VS.

Also, I’d like to support Dogasu’s claim that there’s a black screen after the title card instead of showing Pikachu’s shadow as it’s also on my copy. I checked some clips of it online just to make sure and it’s still in those versions too. I assume that was an error caused by the edited opening sequence and they just never bothered to fix it.

Brock’s ‘Little Blue Book of Babes’ is originally his ‘Lover Ranking Book’ That’s creepier, but less demeaning than the dub’s.

The ‘ten times ten’ thing is, strangely, in the original…..It’s not a good line, guys. I don’t know if you guys think it’s a joke or a clever nod to the tenth anniversary or whatever, but it’s not a good line. Satoshi is not the type of person to hear a number and instantly start wondering about mathematical equations to achieve said number.

One of the things that is always changed between versions is the theme song. In this version, we get Together 2007. It’s a fine song but it’s terribly generic in terms of nearly everything. Not to mention that, while the song is really Pokemon-ified, it fluctuates back and forth between making sense and being gibberish.

The leaf whistle sounds the same in the original. I was hoping it’d sound better….Seriously, why would you have a part of the movie be a song so beautiful and calming that it can instantly quell fighting between Pokemon, yet have it sound like a song you’d hear coming out of a Otamatone?

40 Minute Mark

Hey, what do you want to see more than anything over a beautiful shot of fireworks over the Space-Time Towers at night?…..Bunyatto/Purugly’s butt!? You got it!

I gotta say, while I wasn’t a fan of Darkrai’s dub voice….his Japanese voice isn’t much better.

Oh dear. I have to apologize to TPCI now because they were just mirroring the same lame cover name system the original had. Musashi calls herself Musashina, Kojiro calls himself Jikoro and Nyasu calls himself Nyasugo….

Man, I want a Crescent Feather necklace….

Hour Mark

This might just be the subs, but the scene with the illusion Beadaru/Bibarel makes more sense now. Musashi says ‘A super rare Pokemon!?’ Kojiro says ‘I’m not sure about that!’ and Baron says ‘It’s an illusion!’ Goes to show how much even minor line changes can make an entire exchange seem goofy.

Nice to know that in addition to Mojumbo/Tangrowth being the worst Pokemon ever that its Japanese voice is equally horrible.

While we’re on the subject, Lucky/Chansey’s Japanese voice is also doofy.

End

No notes until the credits where the only change is the predictable replacement of the credits music. The original has a fully English song called Going Where the Lost Ones Go. I believe this is the first time that they’ve replaced a fully English song, but, as the comparison states, I imagine it was for licensing rights issues or something.

Shockingly, I prefer the dub’s I Will Remember You to this song. This song just sounds like a million other duets. It’s very bland.

———————————

This movie fared very well, and most of my notes are superfluous. The dub only really hiccuped in some lines that made some things either confusing or make no sense, but they weren’t really important things. And that’s kinda made up for with the songs since the lyrical songs in the original movie are incredibly weak in my opinion. Great score, bad lyrical songs. Only mar in that area for the dub is the intrusive rap song they had for no reason.

Recommended Audience: Let’s parrot the drab ‘cartoon violence’. 5+


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Poke-Pinions: (175) 35 and 36 – The Clef Line

Note: From now on, I’ll be omitting the section on the cries/voices. It’s just a hassle for something that doesn’t really matter or affect my opinion on the Pokemon that much. Plus, in the anime, the voices change so it’s even more pointless. Thank you for understanding.

Cleffa

Name: Cleffa’s name is cute, but kinda lazy. It’s just a shortening of Clefairy/Clefable. Cleffa is meant to be the word ‘clef’ as in the musical note, and a shortening of the word ‘fairy.’

Its original Japanese name is Py, which is also cute but just a little bit weird since I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be pronounced “pee.”…..

Fun Fact: In French, it’s called Melo, as a shortened version of melodie (melody), and I think that it’s a really cute name.

Design: Cleffa’s pretty cute, but I think its ears come off a bit too much like weird thick horns. Admittedly, out of the entire Clef line, Cleffa’s my least favorite.

Sprite-wise, I don’t really have much to say on any Gen. Given the very limited range of motion and the teeny-tiny face of Cleffa, nearly every sprite looks exactly the same. The one exception being Silver, with bigger eyes and one of its ‘hands’ going up to its mouth. It’s almost criminal how cute that looks.

The animation in Emerald is very erratic.

The one for HG/SS is adorable.

And the one for Gen V looks too robotic, like I’d see it in a Pokemon amusement park.

Shiny:

Keeping in tradition with the entire Clef line, Cleffa’s shiny sports a lighter pink on the pink parts and lime green where the brown used to be.

This color scheme works just as well with Cleffa as it does the rest of the line. The lighter pink gives off a bubblegum-like vibe, and the green feels like a nod to its supposed alien origins.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Cleffa absolutely adore stars, are star-shaped and commonly hang around sites of craters made by meteors, leading people to believe that they originally came to earth on a shooting star. They love to dance on nights with meteor showers, and they’re more frequently found during these times. It’s said that those who witness a Cleffa dancing under shooting stars will have good fortune. Once they’re done dancing, when the shower stops and the sun rises, they quench their thirst with the morning dew.

They’re also noted as loving Minior because they resemble meteors.

In terms of their design, Cleffa, and basically the entire Clef line, are based on fairies and pixies. Cleffa in particular is based on star shapes. While I think this fits more with Clefairy and, most of all, Clefable, Cleffa’s design is also said to be based on the legend of the Moon Rabbit since they have long ears and evolve to their final forms with the Moon Stone. Not….entirely sure how much stock I put into that idea, but I guess it fits.

Clefairy

Name: Clefairy’s (Clef and fairy) name has the same origins as Cleffa’s. It’s a very cute and fitting name.

In the original Japanese version, its name is Pippi. I never much cared for that name, and I care for it even less now because my grandma has an evil psycho cat named Pippi, so no thank you.

Fun Fact: The prototype name for Clefairy was Aria, which is beautiful.

Also, in France, it’s known as Melofee, which is adorable and equally as fitting as Clefairy if you ask me.

I think they were going a bit hard with the music theme even though music is a very minor aspect of these Pokemon.

Design: Clefairy is, unsurprisingly, very cute. I can never decide if I like the wings or not. I like that it has wings, because it’s a fairy, but they’re a little too fleshy to be cute. In my opinion, though, overall….it’s a little…too cute. Ya know? All the curls and the pink and the fairy wings. I like it, don’t get me wrong, and I’d take a plushie of it no problem, but it’s just a little overkill to me. My girly side only goes so far.

It’s quite possible that Clefairy was made to be so ridiculously cute because, another fun fact, Clefairy was originally meant to be the mascot for Pokemon. In fact, Ash was meant to get a Clefairy as his first Pokemon in the anime, but they changed it to Pikachu in the last minute to better mirror the manga.

Imagine how different the Pokemon franchise and fandom would be if he started with a Clefairy. Would it have even lasted as long as it has? I joke about the almighty power and influence of Messiahchu, but his relationship with Ash is such a memorable staple in pop culture, even outside of anime fans, that it’s hard to imagine if Pokemon would have enjoyed nearly as much success as it has without them.

Sprite-Wise, I don’t really have much to note in any Gen. They’re all varying degrees of cute. If I had to pick out any as my favorite, I’d say Gen V has the best version because the animation is the arm movements for Metronome, and I thought that was really clever and cute.

Shiny:

Pretty much have the same opinion of shiny Clefairy as I did of shiny Cleffa.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Clefairy tends to be very peaceful and friendly, yet very shy. They are extremely adorable and highly sought after as pets, but they’re very rare and commonly targeted by thieves. Like with Cleffa being more common on nights of meteor showers, Clefairy are more commonly found on nights with full moons. Actually, it seems like Cleffa and Clefairy share a lot of Dex info – only replace ‘shooting stars’ and ‘meteor showers’ with ‘full moons.’ The only real difference is that Clefairy also has wings that collect moonlight and allow them to float when enough moonlight has been stored.

The design notes are also the same as Cleffa.

Clefable

Name: Clefable (Clef and fable) has a rather nice name. In fact, out of all of them, I’d say this one’s my favorite. A bit more mature and dignified than the more cutesy Cleffa and Clefairy. Still fits in with the fairy theme and actually adds a bit to their mysterious nature.

In the original Japanese, it’s called, simply enough, “Pixy” which actually reminds me more of Pixy Stix than pixies…..and now I want Pixy Stix.

Fun Fact: Its prototype name was Ariala, which is supposed to be building upon Aria, but kinda doesn’t work because Ariala doesn’t have anything to do with music. In fact, the best I can deduce about Ariala (that being a real name) is that, apparently, in Germany, it means “A beautiful, funny and gorgeous yet strong and independent person.” I guess that can apply to Clefable, but I doubt that’s what they were going for.

….Maybe they were adding a ‘la’ like singing to Aria?

Design: Clefable is cute enough. It’s not that much different than Clefairy. It’s bigger, has longer arms/legs and has bigger/spikier wings.

….Basically, if you want Clefairy, but smaller and not as cute, get a Cleffa. If you want a Clefairy, but bigger and not as cute, get a Clefable. That is really all there is to say about the designs in this line when you get down to it. I never thought Cleffa added much to the line, and I feel like Clefable was mostly pointless too, but I didn’t really care that it existed.

Sprite-Wise, it’s also keeping in line with the others. Lots of sprites that are cute, but mostly not noteworthy. The only one I think merits even a little mention is Crystal and that’s just because its animation makes it look like it’s in some sort of cutesy army.

Shiny:

Third verse, same as the first.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Somehow, they made the final evo of this line have the most boring entries of the bunch. Almost all of them are either echoing information from Clefairy or talking about how it has really big ears with really sensitive hearing and loves quiet.

The only other interesting fact listed is, if a couple sees a pair of Clefable skipping it’s said that they’ll have a happy marriage, which is neat and in line with the Clefairy and Cleffa facts about them being good luck, but….what are the odds of not only seeing a pair of Clefable, noted as being insanely rare, skipping along but also that two people sees them at the same time and those two people are a couple?

—————————–

And that was the Clef line. A fine set of Pokemon, but disappointingly kinda boring to talk about. The most interesting topic was behind the scenes stuff involving Clefairy near-missing being the Pokemon mascot. It’s strange, considering that Clefairy are made out to be alien Pokemon but they just don’t have a lot of information on what they might actually entail.

……………………………BUT WHO CARES?!

GUESS WHO’S NEXT!

IT’S VULPIX AND NINETALES!

Prepare to endure me being obnoxious about how incredibly adorable they are.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com