Pokemon Episode 60 Analysis: Beach Blank-Out Blastoise

Pokemon Episode 60 Screen1

CotD(s): None

Plot: As Ash, Misty and Brock try to catch the last ferry off of Cinnabar Island, Ash runs into a panicked Wartortle. Pikachu lets Squirtle out to figure out what it’s trying to tell them. After some discussion, Squirtle and Wartortle rush off into the ocean. Ash and the others grab a boat and make haste in their direction. Their destination? A small island not marked on any map that has a mountain in the shape of a Squirtle shell.

When they arrive, they see a multitude of Squirtle and Wartortle shells scattered across the beach, and one massive Blastoise shell sits on a stone platform up ahead. Excited at seeing a Blastoise, Ash rushes over to get a better look, but when he and Squirtle put their ears up to the shell, they quickly fall asleep.

Pikachu awakens them all with a shock, and Ash explains that the last thing he heard before he konked out was weird familiar music.

They learn from the Wartortle and Squirtle that this is the island of Turtle Pokemon, and their king is Blastoise. One day, Blastoise went for a swim, but didn’t return. When they found him, he was in the middle of the ocean and withdrawn into his shell, fast asleep. Almost as soon as they got Blastoise situated on his platform, all of the other Wartortle and Squirtle fell asleep – all except one; the Wartortle that ran into Ash and the others. It had ran to the shore in a panic to retrieve help.

As they investigate Blastoise a little more, Blastoise suddenly starts waking up. It releases its cannons, but something seems to be jammed in there – something pink and blobby with a pointy little ear.

Misty and Brock realize what’s really going on – Jigglypuff is stuck in Blastoise’s cannon and is continuously singing, putting everyone to sleep. But before they can run away, they hear Jigglypuff singing once more and everyone is knocked out.

In an effort to get Blastoise while everyone is sleeping, Team Rocket sends Meowth over, but he falls asleep as well. Going to Plan B, they grab Blastoise with a line shot from their sub and nab him up. They’re happy as clams on the sub until they hear the music coming from Blastoise and fall asleep, causing the sub to sink.

On shore, Ash and co. as well as the other turtle Pokemon wake up and realize Blastoise was taken by Team Rocket. Squirtle leads the other turtles into the water to retrieve the sub and their king. They’re successful in their mission, but Team Rocket’s not done yet. They return to their sub and change it into its tank mode. They charge after the Wartortle and Squirtle, aiming to capture them all.

Ash commands Pikachu and Squirtle to wake up Blastoise with a combination Water Gun and Thundershock. It works in not only waking Blastoise up, but also ejecting poor Jigglypuff from the cannon.

Blastoise grabs the tank and stops it dead in its tracks. With a massive collective Water Gun from the Squirtle and Wartortle and one good Hydro Pump from Blastoise, Team Rocket blasts off….with Jigglypuff inside! Jigglypuff sings yet again, causing the trio to fall asleep as their sub falls back into the ocean.

Squirtle pulls off a brave rescue on Jigglypuff as the sub explodes underwater, but Jigglypuff sings yet again on shore, causing all of the turtle Pokemon and Ash and co. to fall asleep once more.

Later, the group wakes up, with marker on their faces, as always, and they bid farewell to Blastoise, the Wartortle and the Squirtle of the island, setting off to leave Cinnabar Island and head to Viridian City for Ash’s eighth and final badge.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket, also covered in marker, sits on the remains of their sub out in the middle of the sea…

———————–

– It took me way too long to figure out what that title was meant to be playing off of, but, in all fairness, what kid would get that either? Beach Blanket Bingo a very VERY dated reference. And even if it wasn’t, that’s a really sloppy title either way. Blank-out? Who says that?

– Ash: “A War-what-tle!?” Ash, if there’s any group of Pokemon you should know about quite well, it’s the starter line. They are actually Pokemon you’ve canonically studied. Unless you just stopped learning about them at their base stages, which is ridiculous. Selecting a starter has a lot to do with knowing what they’ll (likely) become in late game, too.

– Dexter: “Its long furry tail is a symbol of its age and wisdom.”

Ash: “It doesn’t look smart.”

WOW, ASH!

WOW.

FUCK OFF.

WOW.

Also, you’re the last person on earth who should be criticizing the intelligence of others.

– Why is the one person here who’s not in the slightest bit interested in Wartortle, Misty? Brock identifies it right away and is impressed by seeing such a rare Pokemon, and Ash leaps up to use Dexter on it, but Misty just doesn’t say a word.

– How does Pikachu not understand Wartortle? It’s been established that Pokemon language is universal amongst Pokemon. And Pikachu can understand Squirtle just fine. Just seems like a lazy reason to bring Squirtle out when they easily could’ve justified it anyway.

– The return of the sunglasses!!

Pokemon Episode 60 Screen2

– Ash: “Hey it’s a pair of Squirtle Squad sunglasses!”….Err…you mean “It’s Squirtle’s sunglasses!” Or “It’s the sunglasses Squirtle wore when he was in the Squirtle Squad!” It’s not like they’re Squirtle Squad brand sunglasses or anything. Ash, you’ve had your Squirtle for a long, long time now and you’re just now realizing it kept its sunglasses?

– I love how Misty let out Horsea for this little boat trip, but it’s not in the water. (Skipping ahead, she gives up Horsea in the next episode because it doesn’t get to swim enough. Yet she’s in the ocean right now and Horsea’s not in the water. Maybe it wouldn’t be able to keep up, but what’s the point of having it sit on her shoulder?)

– I was going to ask how the island isn’t on their map, but then I remembered that their maps are all useless collections of random shapes and various shades of green.

– They notice the Squirtle and Wartortle shells littering the beach before they notice the massive Blastoise shell sitting 50 feet in front of them on a stone platform?

– Really bothers me that when Ash ‘dexes Wartortle, all he has to say is ‘It doesn’t look smart.’ But when he ‘dexes Blastoise, he’s all jazzed and rushes over to see it.

Speaking of that, it’s also a little irritating that this is the second time a mid-evo starter has been introduced in the same episode a final evo starter has debuted. It diminishes the mid-evos entirely. Charmeleon got off a little better, but not by much because Ash’s Charmander only got a couple of episodes as a Charmeleon before they got tired of it and just upgraded it to Charizard.

The mid-evos have enough problems getting any sort of recognition without their debut episodes turning out this way. And it’s a real shame, too, because Ivysaur’s my favorite Pokemon and Wartortle is one of my favorite Pokemon. I’d say Ivysaur was treated a little better than Wartortle here, but it’s still a sucky situation for both sets.

– Brock: “It’s either asleep or practicing its Withdraw attack.” Withdraw is not an attack. Also, as a turtle, does it really need to practice that move?

– Ash is really so excited to see a Blastoise that he runs up and HUGS the shell? And he says “I’ve waited so long to meet you!” I guess a Squirtle was his starter of choice, before he realized all of the starters were gone and he ended up with Pikachu (and Gary likely got the Squirtle he coveted) so maybe he’s a fan of Blastoise….but that also indicates that he’d have to know about Wartortle, which means you’d think he’d be a fan of that too, but I guess he just thinks it’s an idiot. 😐

– So they’re right by the ocean, and waking people up is commonly done by splashing people in the face with water, so it’s obvious they’re going to try that–

Misty: “Pikachu, try an electro-shock alarm clock!”

………*sigh*

– Ash says he heard music that sounded familiar….and put him to sleep. Anyone want to connect those dots? It’ll be easy. They’re so close together that you’d need a microscope to see any space between them.

– Misty: “Well, I guess we better get going.” Eghasdkasoepah—wha? You haven’t helped the Pokemon yet. Blastoise is still asleep and there’s still…’some weird music’ that is completely unknown making everyone who hears it fall asleep.

Ash: “We’re not going anywhere until we wake up that Blastoise!”

That’s more like it!

Misty: “I was afraid you were going to say that.” What is wrong with you today, Misty? These are Water Pokemon in distress, but you seem to give less than a shit about them.

– Also, I know the reason for the weird faces Brock and Misty keep making in the Japanese version (Satoshi originally mentioned the sound was like something out of hell) but faces in the dub combined with the deduction skills of anyone with enough brain power to complete a two-piece puzzle really makes it seem like Brock and Misty know what the super mysterious source of the unknown sleepy music is, but they just want to leave to avoid having to deal with it, and that’s just crappy of them.

Pokemon Episode 60 Screen3

– Why did Brock sit down and draw an entire slideshow presentation about what happened to the Blastoise, Wartortle and Squirtle? And why are they wasting time watching it when they could be helping the Blastoise?

– Wartortle ran (on water) from the island to the mainland? Either this Wartortle has insane levels of stamina and speed or this island is very close to the mainland and should be on a map. Technically, it should be on a map either way because it looks like it’s high noon, if the sun is any indication, yet they got to the island that same day on a boat pulled by Pokemon. And considering they were trying to catch the ‘last ferry’ off of Cinnabar, I’d imagine it wasn’t first thing in the morning when they left either.

– Misty: “Gee, people have been looking for the Turtle Pokemon breeding grounds for years. Could this really be it?” Again, there’s no way this island is too far away from mainland Cinnabar nor is it in some remote closed off area, so it seems ridiculous that no Pokemon researchers have found this place by now. But, of course, Ash and pals manage to access it easily because of course they do. With them finding so many inaccessible/lost locations with ease and meeting legendary Pokemon once a year, Pokemon Researchers should really just shadow Ash and his friends at all times.

– I probably took too long to ask this, but why didn’t they just shock Blastoise awake and ask him what happened?

– Ash: “Looks like Blastoise was asleep too.”

Ash…..does your brain cell ever get lonely?

– *A pink blob with a pointed ear pops out of Blastoise’s cannon*

Misty: “It can’t be!”

Brock: “I hope that’s not what I think it is!”

Ash: “Uhh, what is it Brock?”

Ash: *Hears the music* “That’s it! That’s the sound I heard!”

Brock: “Jigglypuff!”

This still isn’t over. Jigglypuff is still mostly in the cannon. Keep this in mind for a little later.

– Jigglypuff is JAMMED in that cannon, and it was pretty far down the pipe too. How is it breathing, let alone singing?

– Speaking of that, HOW did it get jammed in there? Was Jigglypuff just chilling out randomly in the middle of the ocean and somehow got sucked into Blastoise’s cannon and couldn’t get out? The cannons expel things, not suck them in.

– I really don’t understand any part of sending Meowth over to get the Blastoise. It’s clear either it or something around it is causing everything in its radius to fall asleep, yet they send him over without any investigation or attempt at protection. And when he falls asleep, they slap him around, chuck him like a ragdoll and say he was a coward who fainted….right before acknowledging that they don’t want to get near Blastoise out of fear of the same happening to them.

– They had a mechanism in their sub that could latch onto Blastoise from their spot in the water, drag it over and secure it instantly….That makes the plan with Meowth even more nonsensical.

– Gotta love Squirtle taking charge as leader and getting the Wartortle and Squirtle back to their senses.

Pokemon Episode 60 Screen4

– Misty: “Ash, your Squirtle’s a real leader!”

Ash: “Well, that’s what happens when you have a great trainer.” Squirtle was a great leader before it ever became your Pokemon, Ash. Also, it remained a great leader IN SPITE of your incompetence.

Brock: “Hm. Or maybe they’re just impressed by the sunglasses.” I get that this is a joke, but please just leave it at Squirtle being awesome because Squirtle’s awesome.

– I feel the need to bring up a note the Bulbagarden comparison had on this episode, and that was why they never discussed the possibility of Ash’s Squirtle evolving in it.

While I did herald back to Bulbasaur’s Mysterious Garden in this review, I gotta say, until I saw the comparison, I never really thought too much about Squirtle’s stunted evolution when watching this episode in particular. I don’t know why, especially since I went on about how much I like Wartortle, and I have talked a few times already about Squirtle being stunted

Logically, it doesn’t make much sense. Bulbasaur just seems to be happy as a Bulbasaur and doesn’t want the physical change – as much as I gathered anyway. Pikachu also seems to be happy and proud as a Pikachu, though this will later become a bit of a contradiction once Johto rolls around and we learn Pikachu is actually a mid-evo. Pidgeotto will evolve later, so there’s no reason needed to be given there (even if it took way too long for it to happen.)

However, we never get an explanation as to why Squirtle doesn’t evolve or even if he wants to.

….Maybe he doesn’t want to evolve because his sunglasses won’t fit anymore if he does….

– Ash, Misty and Brock: “IT’S A TRAIL!” A trail that just magically appeared out of nowhere. It’s not like this is a trail of footprints or drops or anything – it’s a massive four foot wide drag mark left behind from Blastoise’s shell – and it was right in front of them. It’s not that they didn’t notice, either – it did not exist in the artwork. It’s like the stream behind Snorlax in Wake Up Snorlax!

Pokemon Episode 60 Screen5Pokemon Episode 60 Screen6

– It is really cool how Squirtle commands these Squirtle and Wartortle like well-trained soldiers. They have formations and everything.

– Team Rocket is acting as if one Blastoise will give them the power to steal any Pokemon they want. Even if Blastoise was strong enough to do that, they acknowledge that they have to give Blastoise to Giovanni, so what gives? Or….are they talking about their little suction-cup grabber thing? Because that’s a very limited use item, guys.

– Team Rocket is being extra shitty to Meowth today. I actually feel bad for him.

– Aw, Pikachu giving CPR to Meowth.

Pokemon Episode 60 Screen7
Misty…..where is your other arm?

– Jessie: “I don’t recall asking you to save our lives.”

James: “Well, I’m grateful.” Pft, can’t help but love James sometimes.

– Ash: “I kinda feel sorry for that guy.” Me too.

…Also, his name is James, sweetie. It’s episode 60 – you should know the name of your weekly adversary by now, especially considering that, nearly every time you see him, he gives a lengthy introduction including his name.

– Aw, Ash’s Squirtle tries to stand his ground against the tank. What a brave little sweetheart.

– I was going to give the combo Water Gun/Thundershock a pass because it’s just another silly Pokemonism, and I was really just thinking they were combining the awakening effects of the water with the electricity to make it more powerful, but they had to practically make me bring it up with Brock saying this.

Brock: “Squirtle’s Water Gun is carrying the electricity of Pikachu’s Thundershock!” This isn’t so much a problem with the science, even though, going by that logic, Pikachu would be shocking Squirtle too, but it’s moreso a question of…why? Why would Pikachu need Squirtle’s Water Gun to carry his electricity? If Squirtle is close enough to reach with his Water Gun, which should have much lower range than Thundershock, Pikachu is more than close enough to land a hit.

– Ash: “Ah, it’s Jigglypuff!”

infinity iq

Seriously, Ash, how…..just….how…is it 18 minutes into the episode and you’re just NOW getting that it was Jigglypuff all along? Especially since, right before you all fell asleep the last time, Brock yelled out ‘Jigglypuff!’? You had so many clues, it’s almost comical that you never got it until Jigglypuff finally popped out of the cannon.

Again, he has the nerve to say he doesn’t think Wartortle seems smart.

Truth be told, I’m still baffled he didn’t figure it out the first time he got knocked out. You hear a mysterious song that sounded familiar and made you fall asleep. A song where the lyrics are literally, as I will now transcribe for you all, ahem;

“Jigglypuff, Jigglypuff.

Jigglypuff, Jiggly.

Jigglypuff, Jigglypuff.

Jigglypuff, Jiggly.

Jigglypuff, Jigglypuff.

Jigglypuff, Jiggly.”

And you’re completely clueless.

The point is, Ash,

– I was going to maybe give the writers a pass on the grounds of they thought we had forgotten about Jigglypuff since it does take long breaks between appearances sometimes…but nope. It appeared in the last episode and one the before that. I even noted in the last episode how it seemed like they put a blink-and-you-miss-it Jigglypuff cameo in for no reason other than to remind us it exists.

– Blastoise didn’t get to do a lot this episode, which is kinda surprising, but if the one thing it actually does is stop a tank with its bare hands and then blast it off with a Hydro Pump, I got no complaints.

– Brock: “Blastoise is da bomb!” Don’t ruin it….

– Uhm….why did the sub explode when it splashed down back into the water?

– Misty: “Are Squirtle and Jigglypuff okay?”

Why does no one care that Team Rocket is surely dead now? Either the explosion killed them or being sunk underwater while being knocked out by Jigglypuff did.

– Also, Jigglypuff is a balloon. Wouldn’t it just instantly float up to the surface and be fine?

– Oh well, it gave us another badass Squirtle moment, so it’s all good.

….Well…I guess except for the dead Team Rocket thing.

– So is Jigglypuff an idiot too? Because it’s literally done nothing this entire episode except sing over and over. It’s not even reacting to what’s happening to it. Got sucked into a Blastoise cannon? Sing. Stuck there for hours? Keep singing the entire time. Land in Team Rocket’s sub? Sing. Get saved from drowning and an explosion? Sing.

Or maybe it’s stuck in plot device mode today….

– Jigglypuff’s shtick does get very old, but drawing eyes on Brock was hilarious.

Pokemon Episode 60 Screen8

– Misty: “I don’t think this is funny! I look like a cartoon character!”

Ash: “A cartoon character?! Like THAT could ever happen!” That little meta joke might have actually worked if they didn’t make Ash go too far with it. It’s not just what he says, but how he’s gesturing as he says it and the way Veronica Taylor delivers the line. We’re not as dumb as Ash, guys. We get what you did there….

Ash’s line is so awkward either way. Misty said she looked like a cartoon character. She didn’t say she was turning into one or anything.

And they hold on the shot for several seconds after he says this, like they’re waiting for the audience to get done laughing at that zinger. What a weird moment…

– And don’t worry, Team Rocket’s alive…They won’t die because of that. They’re so durable. It’s like….they’re cartoon characters.

Pftt, like THAT could ever happen! 😀

———————————–

All in all, despite not remembering this episode too well, I ended up liking it. Sure, it didn’t highlight Wartortle very well at all, and I’m still a bit salty at that ‘It doesn’t look smart’ crack, but it was pretty entertaining in its own right, even if the “mystery” was almost insultingly easy. I get that it’s a kid’s show, but I imagine even the demo for Pokemon would be rolling their eyes that they’re not figuring out that it’s Jigglypuff.

At least Misty and Brock seemed to figure it out within a reasonable time frame, but the fact that Ash didn’t figure it out until he saw Jigglypuff full out, even with Brock exclaiming what it was earlier, even with nearly every clue in existence shoved in his face, was just a masterclass of stupidity.

You never cease to remind me why I don’t feel bad about nicknaming you ‘DumbAsh,’ DumbAsh….

It was also pretty repetitive to just have Jigglypuff constantly singing and knocking everyone out over and over. I just don’t like when Jigglypuff is given so much focus because it’s a shining example of a one-note character. It’s tired old shtick gets irritating when it just randomly pops up in any episode, but giving it essentially an entire episode is too much.

And why, if Misty and Brock knew what was going on quite early, did they not think to plug their ears or something? Why were they practically keeping it a secret between the two of them and almost didn’t want to believe it was Jigglypuff? If I were them, I’d have noise-canceling headphones or earplugs on me at all times.

Even though the episode didn’t specifically focus on him, Ash’s Squirtle was a delight in this episode. We got a return of the legendary sunglasses, and he lead the Squirtle and Wartortle of the island like he was born to be a leader – and we know he was. The things he was pulling off with them, especially when he’s barely known them for an hour or two, was very impressive. I’m just a bit disappointed we never got an actual scene between Squirtle and Blastoise – like one where Blastoise would either thank Squirtle or show a mutual respect among leaders.

And while the shtick was really tired, there is a certain charm to this episode for some reason. I don’t know what it is because around every corner is another ‘Doh!’ moment. Maybe it was just how they got through it together and all the little moments that made it much more tolerable than it otherwise would be.

Next time, one of my favorite episodes, but also a slightly bittersweet one, The Misty Mermaid!


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My Poke-Pinions: 007-009 – The Squirtle Line

Squirtle

Name: Squirtle’s name is a mixture of ‘squirt’ as in a squirt of water or a small child’s nickname, and ‘turtle’ because…..turtle. Apparently, it might also poke at squirrels because of the shape of its tail. I have never heard of that, and it kinda blew my mind.

I love the name Squirtle. It’s very bouncy, memorable, and if I ever have a pet turtle, you bet your ass I’m naming it Squirtle…..and I’ll get a second named Donatello.

Its original Japanese name is Zenigame, which literally translates to ‘baby pond turtle.’ Also, it was revealed in Black and White that the ‘zeni’ portion of its name is an allusion to the pattern on its shell. It looks like an old coin and an old term for money was ‘zeni.’

I like Zenigame. It’s a very cool word with an adorable meaning, and it rolls right off the tongue. I do prefer Squirtle, however, because it has more zip and isn’t as much of a mouthful.

Fun Fact: In German, it’s known as Schiggy, and I find that endlessly adorable for some reason.

Design: Like Charmander, Squirtle’s design is so straightforward that it’s almost exactly just a cartoony turtle…..but it’s an ADORABLE cartoony turtle! Look at those big expressive eyes! Look at that widdle beak and big smile! Look at it’s tiny hands and feet! Look at it’s curly tail! Look at it’s cute shell! It’s so adorable!

I have a Squirtle plushie, and it was one of the first pieces of Pokemon merchandise I ever got. And it’s adorable too! I just want to hug it.

The colors are nicely chosen. If you’re not going to go for the turtle-y green, which is reserved for Grass types, basically, a cool baby blue will do wonderfully.

In regards to sprites, Red and Blue’s always looked….cute but goofy? It’s like Disney tried its hand at drawing it.

Yellow is adorable.

Green’s is like a baby for whatever reason.

Gold, Silver and Crystal are alright. Ruby and Sapphire’s look like it’s teaching math class.

Emerald looks like it’s teaching math and roll back and forth on your butt class.

FireRed and Leafgreen are fine. I find Diamond, Pearl and Platinum to be hilarious because it looks like it’s tap dancing.

The newest generations are consistently alright, except the most recent incarnations have Squirtle in a zombie stance for some reason.

Shiny:

I’ve always really loved Squirtle’s shiny form. It has a beautiful lighter blue color on the skin, which makes it look cool, and I love the contrast with the lime green shell, which is a very fitting throwback to actual turtles.

My only complaint is that the earliest versions of this sprite also have a green tummy, which I think is too much.

Cry/Voice: Truth be told, Squirtle’s cry was always a bit obnoxious to me. It’s loud, it’s grating and it doesn’t sound like it fits very well.

I’ve always loved Squirtle’s voice in the anime. It’s very unique and fitting for the character. I’ve always thought it sounded very vaguely Donald Duckish, but maybe that’s me.

Dex Entries and Backstory:

Ash’s and FireRed’s Pokedex Entry: “Squirtle. This Tiny Turtle Pokémon draws its long neck into its shell to launch incredible water attacks with amazing range and accuracy.”

Long neck?

Artwork by TeleDildonics

……???

Squirtle’s Dex entries are pretty basic. After birth, the Squirtle’s back swells up and hardens into a shell. It will withdraw into the shell to shoot blasts of water and foam at its enemies. It has a smooth, well-rounded shell for hydrodynamic purposes. Not terribly interesting, but that’s to be expected, really.

Squirtle as a Pokemon is merely based on turtles, so there’s no interesting backstory to go over, either.

Wartortle

Name: Wartortle is a mix between ‘war’ or ‘warrior,’ ‘tortoise’ and ‘turtle.’ I really like the name. It’s more intimidating than Squirtle, but it’s still cute. It’s fitting and the ‘tortle’ part is really unique. It’s especially cool because it’s a middleground between Squirtle (Turtle) and Blastoise (Tortoise).

I will share a pointless story, though. When I was a kid, I had a bad habit of pronouncing it as ‘Warturtle.’ and my friend had the annoying habit of condescendingly correcting me whenever I’d say it that way.

Wartortle. TORtle. It’s an O.

I get it, thanks.

Yeah, but it takes years before I correct myself in not pronouncing ‘Gyarados’ ‘Jai-ar-a-dos.’ That’s much more embarrassing, Jamie! Thanks for nothing!

……Uuuhh….*cough*

In the original Japanese, it’s called Kameil, which is either a mixture of ‘kame’ for ‘tortoise’ or ‘turtle’ or is an offshoot of ‘Kameru’ which means ‘to be able to bite.’ I’ll be honest, I don’t much care for the name Kameil. It sounds like a dog food brand. Wartortle’s a million times better.

Fun fact: In German, it’s called Schillok…I have no clue why, but that sounds like an insult.

Design: I almost love Wartortle’s design as much as Ivysaur’s. It’s another example of a great mid-evo design. It’s different enough from the other two to stand on its own without seeming like it’s just ‘the placeholder’ and it has a lot of style that the other two don’t have. I particularly love it’s ears and eyes. The ears are an adorable add-on, though I’m not sure why they get lost in the final evo (same for the tail) and the eyes are sharper and fierce while maintaining a cuteness to them.

Truth be told, I’ve never been a major fan of the tail, but it is cute when drawn well, and it adds a lot of character to it.

I also love the colors. It’s such a beautiful shade of blue.

Sprite-wise….Uh, what’s up there, Red/Blue? You’re cute, but you have a bad case of Jack-O-Lantern face.

Yellow looks badass because he looks like he’s really cocky lol.

I don’t know what’s up with Green’s. He looks like he’s pretending to be Yao from Mulan. “I am Yao! King of the rock!”

Gold’s is alright. Silver’s is like ‘Come at me, bruh!’

Crystal’s….made me laugh uncontrollably. What is up with that weird pelvic thrust animation?

I have no clue what’s up with the coloring in Ruby/Sapphire. It’s so deep blue, like Blastoise. And I don’t much care for the pose, either.

Emerald fixed the coloring, but the animation is weird, like it’s throbbing.

FireRed/LeafGreen is alright. D/P/P has a great starting pose, but what is the animation doing? It’s hopping on one foot like it just stepped on a Lego brick.

HG/SS look better because it’s like it’s calling you out and yelling at you.

I love the ones for B/W/B2/W2 because it adds a cute twitching animation to the ears.

The most recent versions are just okay. They’re very stiff and have no dynamic posing.

I don’t really like how they keep changing the coloring on Wartortle. His original artwork color is fine, thank you.

Shiny:

I’ve always loved Wartortle’s shiny. It’s such a cool purple color, and, again, the contrast with the green is fantastic. The only gripe I have is that Wartortle shares the same issue as Squirtle – in the first version of the shiny, they also make its belly green.

Cry/Voice: Wartortle’s cry in the games is alright. It’s a bit high-pitched at the start, so it’s kinda cute, but they add the lower tones at the end to make it seem more intimidating.

As for its voice in the anime, Wartortle pretty much just sounds like a Squirtle with a sore throat saying ‘Wartortle’

Dex Entries and Backstory: Wartortle’s lore has always been very fascinating to me, partially because it’s not a part of either Squirtle or Blastoise’s but equally because, when you dig into it, there’s a lot of it and it’s hard to make any sense of it.

Wartortle’s big fluffy tail is said to be symbolic of age and wisdom, which, while being cool, is also a bit weird considering Wartortle’s a mid-evo. Usually Pokemon of advanced age are fully evolved. They go even further with this by stating if you find algae on a Wartortle’s shell, it’s a sign that they’re very old.

It’s said to live for 10,000 years(!!!???) and the tail fur changes to deeper colors the older it gets.

Its tail is also said to bring good luck.

It uses its ears and tail to maintain balance while swimming, and Wartortle can also store air in its tail to stay underwater longer.

The Dex notes that scratches on Wartortle’s shell are signs of its toughness, which is also weird to note because you could say that of nearly any Pokemon if you include scars in that.

Wartortle is based off of the legend of the minogame – a Japanese legend about a 10,000 year old turtle who grew a tail of seaweed. Supposedly, the Dex fact about it storing air in its tail for use underwater is a reference to the fact that some turtles have the ability to breathe through their cloaca. Yup, some turtles have air sacs in their tummy and can breathe through their butts. Biology is fascinating and disgusting.

Blastoise

Name: Blastoise’s name is a combination of ‘blast,’ which is fairly obvious, and ‘tortoise.’ I’ve always really liked Blastoise’s name, for the most part. The ‘blast’ part is really powerful and cool, but I feel like the ‘toise’ part kinda hangs there.

It’s original Japanese name is ‘Kamex’ which is a mix between ‘kame’ for ‘turtle’ and ‘max.’ I’m alright with Kamex, though it seems a lot like a brand name.

Fun fact: In French, it’s called Tortank, which I find to be insanely awesome. In German it’s ‘Tortuk,’ which, again, kinda sounds like an insult.

Design: It’s a mix between a tortoise and a tank. What’s not to love? It’s so simplistic, just adding cannons onto a tortoise, but it works so well. I also love the color scheme. It’s the perfect shade of blue.

Sprite-wise, Red looks…..cool, but weird. It’s like he’s a gang member from the 50s and the shell is his leather jacket. The back sprite doesn’t help this theory because the dimensions on the shell are entirely off. It looks flat.

Yellow’s kicks ass.

Green’s make it look like a bear.

Gold’s alright. I really like the pose in Silver.

Crystal’s awesome both for showing the cannons ‘firing’ and its little tail wag like ‘yeah, I’m badass, and I like it.’

Ruby and Sapphire are alright. Emerald’s playing a really violent game of patty-cake.

FireRed and LeafGreen are fine. DPP is aggressively waving at me.

HG/SS is pretending to be Thumper.

And the most recent gens are alright, though they also have zombie stance syndrome.

Shiny:

I really like shiny Blastoise….mostly. I love the cool purple color much in the same vein as Wartortle’s shiny, but the shade of green they chose for its shell is a little too dark for me. Blastoise’s first shiny also shares the same green belly issue, though, with the poses, it’s not as noticeable. Also, it’s licorice flavored.

Mega:

*sigh* Mega Blastoise…..Gurl, you fugly.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some things I like about it, but it is flat-out ugly. They made it very wide, messed up its face and now it’s all hunchback.

I like the new wrist cannons, and the back super cannon is a little cool, but kinda sloppily designed and clunky. I just feel like they had a great opportunity to make this bad-ass turtle tank and messed it up.

Cry/Voice: Blastoise’s cry is friggin’ terrifying. It’s awesome, but terrifying.

Blastoise’s voice in the anime just sounds like Venusaur saying ‘Blastoise.’ Venusaur drawls a bit more, but it’s basically the same voice. It’s not a bad voice. It’s very powerful and commanding, but it’s still a bit lazy to me.

Dex Entries and Backstory: As you can probably guess, most of Blastoise’s info involves its water cannons. They’re powerful enough to blast through concrete walls and thick steel, they’re so powerful that Blastoise is intentionally heavy to withstand the forces. They’re so accurate that they can hit soda cans from 160 feet. It can use the force of its cannons for high-speed tackles, and that’s about it.

Also, Blastoise likes to crush its enemies, I suppose.

The origins of Blastoise as a Pokemon is…well, it’s a tank merged with a tortoise. Again, that’s about it. How that derived from the mythical 10,000 year old turtle with seaweed for a tail, I’ll never know. Supposedly, the cannons may be based off of the tubes that some mussels use, hence why it’s now a shellfish Pokemon, but I find that to be a bit of a stretch. How do you go from tubes used for eating and extracting feces to high-powered steel water cannons?

Next up, the Caterpie line.

Previous – The Charmander Line

Pokemon Episode 12 Analysis – Here Comes the Squirtle Squad

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CotD(s): None

Captures: Ash’s Squirtle – Previously the leader of the prankster gang turned firefighter group, the Squirtle Squad, Ash’s Squirtle has a bit of a cocky attitude, but is ultimately very loyal to Ash. Behind Bulbasaur and discounting Pikachu, Squirtle stays on Ash’s team the longest throughout the series.

Plot: After gaining two new Pokemon in Bulbasaur and Charmander, Ash happily continues on his Pokemon journey only to end up in yet another pit. It’s not Team Rocket this time – instead it’s a gang of Squirtle who dug the hole as a prank.

Ash attempts to capture the leader of the Squirtle, noted by his angular glasses that contrast to the rest of the Squirtle having circular ones. However, one of the other Squirtle takes the brunt of Pikachu’s electric attack to protect the leader. Wanting revenge, the leader faces off against Pikachu but the Squirtle suddenly run off when they hear police sirens.

The Officer Jenny of the nearby town explains that they encountered The Squirtle Squad, a group of Squirtle who have all been abandoned by their trainers and now play pranks all over town.

Team Rocket watches Ash and the others from afar. Just as they’re about to enjoy a picnic lunch, the Squirtle Squad appears again and forcibly takes Team Rocket’s lunch from them after catching them in a pitfall trap and tying them to a tree. Team Rocket hatches a plan to have the Squirtle get Pikachu for them. The Squirtle won’t hear Jessie and James out because they don’t trust humans, but Meowth hatches a plan to pretend that the two are actually his ‘pets’ to gain the trust of the Squirtle.

Meanwhile, Ash and the others rest near a river bank. One of the Squirtle appears and starts making trouble for them. Ash tries attacking with Pikachu, but he ends up in the river after a Rapid Spin attack. While trying to swim to shore, Pikachu suffers from a Horn Attack from a Goldeen, leaving him weak and injured on the river bank.

Ash tries to help him, but he, Misty and Brock all end up getting tied up by the other Squirtle. Now their hostages, Ash and the others try to reason with the Squirtle Squad to get some Super Potion for the badly wounded Pikachu. They initially refuse, but after seeing how desperate Ash is to help his friend, they agree. They say that he only has until noon tomorrow to go to the next town and get the Super Potion or else Misty’s hair will be dyed purple.

Ash heads off as fast as he can, and after a dangerous journey he finally makes it to the desolate desert town. However, as soon as he arrives, he’s knocked unconscious by someone slamming the door to the shop in his face.

The next morning, Team Rocket holds up the same shop that Ash is at. They steal all of the flash powder to scare off the Squirtle Squad from the town in an attempt to steal Pikachu from them in the resulting commotion. They run off, and Ash sets off after them but not before getting the Super Potion for Pikachu.

Jenny saves Ash from the storeowners who mistake Ash for another member of Team Rocket. With Super Potion in hand, they drive towards the Squirtle Squad’s base on Jenny’s motorcycle before the time limit is up.

With the bridge out, Jenny leads Ash to a secret entrance in the cave where he eventually finds his friends safe and sound, as well as freed. Misty states that Squirtle Squad aren’t as bad as they first thought and had no intention of ever dying Misty’s hair.

They quickly apply the Super Potion to Pikachu, but as soon as they spray it on, Team Rocket arrives and put their plan into motion. Team Rocket makes off with Pikachu while the others try to protect themselves from the bombs in the cave.

The leader Squirtle is stuck on his back outside of the cave and nearly gets blasted by the bombs, but Ash rushes in and protects Squirtle by covering his body with his own.

As more bombs fall, Ash urges Squirtle to run off and save himself, but Squirtle, touched by Ash’s sacrifice, instead gets up, picks Ash up and runs toward the cave while dodging all of the bombs.

Ash and Squirtle work together to send Team Rocket blasting off and save Pikachu, but the bombs have caused a forest fire. Ash suggests that the Squirtle Squad use their Water Guns together to put out the blaze, and they succeed in saving the forest. Thrilled with their bravery in saving the town, Jenny appoints the Squad as the town firefighters.

Later, as Ash and the others continue on their journey, the leader Squirtle starts following them. Ash asks if he’d like to join him on his journey, and he accepts. With a new Squirtle by his side, Ash continues on to the next town and his next Gym challenge.

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– Narrator: “You’ll recall in a previous Pokemon adventure, our hero, Ash, achieved his dream of catching a Bulbasaur with a shocking victory.” Wha…it was his dream now? His first choice back when he was selecting a starter was Squirtle. I get that he really wanted one, but if it was his ‘dream’ why wasn’t it his first choice?

– Narrator: “And that’s how Ash caught Charmander and Bulbasaur.” Well, to be fair, he only legit caught Bulbasaur. Charmander just decided to go with him.

– What is up with the text crawl for today’s title? It goes way faster than usual, which I guess is better because it helps prevent the awkward pauses that Ash usually has to do in order to match up with the speed, but it’s just weird.

– This happens so often that I’m just going to make this a new thing.

Why Use the Pokedex? – Squirtle. He should know very well what a friggin’ Squirtle is. In fact, of all Pokemon, he should know more about the starters than anything.

First, I believe Ash thought day and night over which Pokemon he’d select for his starter.

Second, he watched an educational program on the starters before his journey.

Finally, his dream sequence in the first episode indicates that he does have a fair amount of knowledge on them.

– Also, I know this is their legit classification, but I find it kinda silly to be intimidated by the’Tiny Turtle Pokemon.’

– I know that one of the staples of the series is the odd fact that every city and town has their own Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny that are all supposedly sisters/cousins who all look the same (except the emblem on their hats) and have the same name. And I’m also fairly certain that, at least in Joy’s regard, this a poke at the games having the same sprite for the nurses and cops throughout the entire game, but you really do have to wonder what it’s like to be in their families.

They also have to be insanely big families considering that this shtick doesn’t just cover Kanto but also every region to date (Well, it kinda changes in Unova onward because of the art change). At least the Joys eventually get the excuse that Joy is actually their family name and not everyone’s first names (though I could swear that’s refuted in an episode or two) but this Jenny straight out says that all of the Jennys have the first name of Jenny.

– How did Jenny even know something was going on in the middle of a dirt road out in the sticks?

– Let me get this straight….It’s perfectly safe to assume that every starter that Ash now has was abandoned or otherwise wronged by a human? Charmander was abused and abandoned. Squirtle is part of a gang of abandoned Squirtle. And it’s likely that Bulbasaur was either abused or treated poorly by a human or abandoned by a previous trainer? Wow….That’s…wow.

And not to sound like I’m making light of this, but why would anyone abandon a starter? They’re usually some pretty nice Pokemon, and being the first one that a trainer obtains, usually, they’re typically much further along in level than subsequent Pokemon captures. I know that I kept my starter on my team full game in, I believe, every single Pokemon game I’ve ever played.

– The excuse for the Squirtle Squad’s behavior isn’t so much that they were abandoned and feel resentment towards people, it’s that, without trainers, they feel like no one cares about them so they play pranks to get attention? I…guess that kinda makes sense, but there are plenty of wild Pokemon out there who get along just fine trainer-less.

– Ladies and gentlemen, I give you JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLYYYYYYYY DONUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTS!!

Okay, not the infamous ‘Jelly donuts’ scene with Brock, but I believe this is the first time that they call onigiri (rice balls) jelly donuts in the series. They also call them eclairs.

It could be that some Squirtle off-screen is eating these things, but the line is preceded by watching two Squirtle eat onigiri along with drinking lemonade, which is another thing Jessie mentions when she says this. I find it weird that James was bitching before about every meal being pizza, yet they have a picnic basket full of food and none of it is pizza.

And who honestly has a lunch made up of nothing but jelly donuts and eclairs? Shouldn’t that be Officer Jenny’s lunch? 😀

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– Meowth: “You’re not gonna Squirtle out of this one!”…….What does that pun even mean? The phrase is to ‘weasel’ out of something. That doesn’t have anything to do with turtles nor does it really sound like ‘Squirtle’.

– I love Ash’s grin after he bites Meowth’s tail.

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– I don’t know why, but these glowing scratch marks actually look much MORE painful than just showing red marks or even blood drips….

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– Really, they couldn’t find any other way to cover up the threat of killing Misty than threatening that they’ll dye her hair purple? Like, oh no, not something that’s completely temporary and reversible. And considering the plethora of colors we see in the hairstyles of anime, I don’t even see why this is a little threatening. Even within the main cast we have blue hair in Jenny and James, pink hair in Joy and cherry red hair in Jessie.

– I know Ash tripped and even got some air time, but was he really considering stopping after that? He doesn’t even have dirt marks or any visible boo-boos.

– Man, if Goldeen isn’t being treated like garbage, it’s being portrayed as a Horn Attack-happy asshole.

– Well, hello there completely random one-second cameo by Gary. Does this mean he’s finally caught up with the Pallet town trio?

Also, how did Gary not realize that he hit someone with the door? Especially if he did it hard enough to knock someone out for hours.

– How did some random country bumpkin know who Team Rocket was but not a big city’s Officer Jenny?

– Ice guns? *sigh* I suppose it’s better than turning them into Super Soakers, but I do have to say….James’ gun….yeah, no kid will believe that’s an ‘ice gun’. That’s very obviously a real rifle. I can believe the cannon thing shoots ice or something, it just looks like a generic weapon that could be anything, but that gun is very obviously a bullet shooting lead pumping rifle.

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– Those are very obviously cherry blossoms and not snow that Jessie shoots from her cannon.

– Okay, 4Kids, what’s the explanation as to what guns the storeowners are using? They even make real gun sounds. And you’d think they’d actually want to make a ‘safer’ explanation for these guns since they’re all being pointed at a ten year old boy.

Also, there’s a problem merely with the fact that several people are holding shotguns and rifles at a ten year old boy’s face. What the hell? More importantly, where were these guns when the real Team Rocket was robbing them?

– How the hell did Jenny know something was going on here now? And great police work, appearing after the incident has already occurred yet again….

– She was really intending on driving across that bridge? That one that Ash couldn’t take three steps on without breaking a board and subsequently fell through?

– Now, considering the threat earlier was changed to merely dying Misty’s hair purple, you have to wonder why they kept in the imaginary shot of Misty falling into a bottomless pit, insinuating that the Squirtle Squad killed her. Seeing as how they were all gone from the cave, you’d think he’d be worried that something actually bad happened to all of them, especially the weakened Pikachu. But nope, he’s more worried that the (invisible) hair dye made her fall down a pit.

– I still find it weird that merely spraying something on a Pokemon helps them recover from injuries.

– The Squirtle were bluffing about dying Misty’s hair because they’re just not that mean? When they capture people, keep them hostage, drop them down huge pits, keep injured Pokemon locked in cages without proper medical care etc? Uh…yeah. I imagine this line made more sense when it was something like ‘The Zenigame may play pranks, but they’d never kill anyone!’

– I love when Squirtle’s carrying Ash through all the bombs while crying happily. Him being able to pick up Ash at all is impressive, but that’s just hilarious.

– Yes, Jessie, I’m so sure that the town would hail you as heroes for getting rid of a few prankster Squirtle when you just robbed one of their stores earlier at gunpoint.

– Why didn’t Misty try to help put out the fire with her Water Pokemon?

– And considering how long it seems to take to get from that cave to the town, and especially considering that there’s a huge canyon/river in the land between the two areas, the fire would probably take eons to finally get to the town, if it would be able to get there at all.

– Also, again, Officer Jenny arrives only after the dangerous events have already concluded. Sure, she’s here for the fire, but she can’t put it out.

– Why doesn’t the town have its own firefighters? They have their own cops.

– And the townspeople must really not have seen the Squirtle Squad as such terrible troublemakers if they hail them as heroes for saving them from a threat that was miles away and they likely never even saw.

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Dogasu from Bulbagarden noted this as seemingly being the weakest of all the Kanto starter episodes since the reason for Squirtle going with Ash seemed tacked on. Me? I actually enjoyed this episode most of all.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Charmander episode and I like the Bulbasaur episode, but this one just has so much more going on. The Squirtle Squad are cute and entertaining, and their backstory, while being overused at this point, was fine. I think the explanation for their behavior should’ve been revolting against humans since they were all abandoned instead of just ‘they’re lonely and act out because they don’t have trainers’ but maybe that’s just 4Kids’ doing.

This episode had the main group being taken hostage, a life or death situation racing against the clock, a robbery complete with actual non-painted guns, a second scene with guns, bombs, a (albeit random) cameo by Gary, an…okay-ish plan by Team Rocket, threats to lives, dangerous situations and an action climax during a rain of bombs. It’s very fun and even exciting to watch. Sure the ‘dye Misty’s hair purple’ thing is dumb, but that’s 4Kids for ya.

Bulbasaur’s episode was half made up of nothing but the group falling into traps and then them hanging out in a Pokemon sanctuary with an ornery Bulbasaur. The finale in that was fine, but the majority of the episode, while also being fine, was pretty uneventful. Plus, the lack of any backstory on Bulbasaur was very disappointing.

Charmander’s episode is obviously the biggest contender here. It is a memorable and sad episode with a decent dose of drama, for a Pokemon episode anyway. However, Damian was a laughably over-the-top antagonist, no matter if he does make my blood boil or not.

There was really no huge climax, Damian only got a little comeuppance, and, in the end I find the reasoning behind Ash getting Charmander to be a bit more poorly arranged than this episode. Like I stated, they go the whole episode focusing on Brock’s concern for Charmander with Ash only doing really one thing, then Ash gets Charmander and Brock and Charmander never share any sort of connection. It really seems poorly planned.

With the finale of this episode, I will admit that it seemed a bit rushed, iffy writing-wise, and the sloppiest part is Squirtle joining the group. I don’t think it’s written in a way where it comes out of left field that Squirtle ends up going with Ash. You can tell simply from the scene where he saves Squirtle from the bombs that he’ll end up going with him, but it would’ve been a lot better if the leader Squirtle saw Ash leaving, visibly made the decision to go with him instead of staying with the Squad, shared a conversation or a knowing nod with his gang members to show that they understand and then have Squirtle stop him as he’s leaving and ask to go with him.

Having the firefighting team be assembled and ending on Squirtle looking really proud of his new job only to cut to the group as they’re clearly far away from the town now being followed by Squirtle and then just say ‘You wanna join us, Squirtle?’ *nods* really does seem like it doesn’t fit properly. It would’ve been nice to have something with Squirtle actually leaving the gang, but he just appears alone.

In order, my favorites of the Kanto starter arc are;

Squirtle

Charmander

Bulbasaur

Though it is weird that all these episodes have two things in common. 1) All the Pokemon distrust people or at least the main group for some reason. 2) The Pokemon decides to trust Ash and/or go with him because he saved their lives. Yet another trope that will continue to pop up through the series.

Let me just finish by saying Jenny was such a useless person in this episode. She did three things; explain who the Squirtle Squad were to the group, explain that the town will eventually catch fire if the blaze isn’t put out and give Ash a ride back to the cave. And, to be honest, she wasn’t necessary for any of these things. For some dumb reason she was always arriving after the fact, only really arriving ‘in time’ once to save Ash from, ironically, the storeowners who were just victims of a robbery.

Next episode is Bill’s debut as well as Dragonite’s….kinda. I believe this episode will be really weird to analyze considering several factors….

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