Worst: Once Upon a Time

The narrator tells us about how mysterious Mt. Moon is and how there are many legends regarding it, “all of which are true.” Yes, even the one about the hook on the car door but probably not the one about McDonald’s being the world’s largest purchaser of cow eyeballs.

But you’re only going to hear about the lamest legend today, I guess.

Best: A Cartoon Platoon Upon Mt. Moon

Misty finds the idea of a giant meteor crashing into a mountain in prehistoric times “romantic.” While I’d use the adjectives “awesome” and “dinosaur-killy” rather than “romantic”, I can at least respect her fondness for the subject.

Brock tells us about how a meteor might have crashed into the mountain but no-one really knows for sure even though it seems like the kind of thing that would not be impossible to investigate. By the way, I think the bit that actually crashes into the earth is a meteorite. The meteor is just the visible streak in the sky. But no-one on the show knows that.

Worst: Mt. Moon is a Zubathysphere

A crowd of Zubat are attacking our newest character of the day and I couldn’t be sadder about it. I mean, Zubat? Sigh.

There are three Pokémon that playing Red, Blue, Gold and Silver repeatedly for over ten years have ruined my ability to appreciate on almost any level: Geodude, Tentacool and Zubat. I don’t particularly want to catch them. I don’t want to train them and I certainly don’t want to watch them blunder about on my television screen in the name of recreational entertainment.

I know the real fault lies with my own biases and Game Freak for making them so ubiquitous but this is my one prejudice than I am unwilling to overcome.

Best: What Does the Scouter Say About His Power Level?

I like the image of Ash calmly surveying this potentially brutal attack on a man by a colony of Zubat before jumping to action by taking out his Pokédex and getting some of that patented Dexter unhelpful trivia. I mean, can you imagine a real life report on bats, written by some of the greatest animal researchers in the world reading as “Bats like the dark. Some can be found in caves. In conclusion, bats can be compared and contrasted.”?

Of course, Ash isn’t inhuman, so after he hears the entry, he immediately helps out. Actually, no, he mumbles to himself about how the Pokédex entry is inaccurate because these Zubat are clearly outside of their own volition. Eventually Misty yells at him enough to have Pikachu resolve the situation with some Thundershock attacks.

Best and Worst: Bill Nye the Science Person

Seymour is the second ever character of the day. I’m sort of conflicted over him. I like that he’s a young scientist, excited about his work. He’s not the stereotypical old man doddering around in a lab, isolated from the world. He’s out there in the field, investigating.

What’s bad is that like all scientist characters on television, that’s all he is; The Scientist Character. At least in the dub, anyway. His two main virtues (which he proclaims loudly) are Knowledge and Research, which is fine but a bit more clichéd than the Japanese virtues of Love and Courage. I think scientists are able to have hobbies outside of science and science-related accessories.

Japanese Pokémon has Seymour, the scientist. Dubbed Pokémon has Seymour the Scientist. I think that’s the best way to put it.

  1. Delsaber says:

    A few stray observations…

    You know too much about rhymes.

    I never noticed this before, but Team Rocket is totally the Japanese analogue to Cobra Commander. Right? It feels like they’re cribbing from the same playbook.

    For some reason I always thought Brock was older, but I guess 15 still makes him the elder statesman on this show.

    We never did find out for sure if Evil Arturo made that slide instead of Real Arturo, did we?

    Seymour: the true founder of Heaven’s Gate.

    I had an “adolescent giant, rock-hard snake thing” for Jesse when I was a kid. That might be why I love thigh-highs so much. Pokémon was truly a formative experience.

    • David says:

      I think it’s just hard to mature “bubblegum cute” without losing something that made the original form so popular.

  2. Rando says:

    after misty’s ‘not so fast, meowth’, i’d love staryu to spend 30 seconds rising to the surface, doing flips and posing and shit, only to find misty and seymour in a bloody pile with meowth smugly nibbling on a severed ear. but maybe that’s just me.

    and you could probably end the majority of these recaps with ‘and then ash gets a gym badge for no reason’.

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