Best: Brock the Participant

Hey, everybody! Brock’s here and he’s doing something!

I like Brock, and I’ll like him a lot more when he’s gone and I have to deal with (ugh) Tracey Sketchit for a few months of Orange Islands garbage but I don’t remember him doing much besides being the designated cook and failing to seduce every woman he encounters so seeing him actually battle with confidence and skill was pretty surprising.

Brock was a Kanto gym leader. Even if he is only 15 years old, he should at least be an impressive trainer. He should certainly be more than Ash’s equal at this point in the show.

Best: Just Call Him Brock Ketchum

Brock caught a Zubat on his way into Mt. Moon, off screen. It was pretty smart of him to snag one even though I’m finding it hard for this off screen capture to make any sort of sense within the context of a universe based on linear time. I think this is a Sliders sort of thing where an alternate Zubat catching Brock has replaced the regular Brock from last episode.

Whatever the mechanics of this Zubat capture may be, Ash complains that he didn’t think of catching one. Brock is already a better Ash from one episode than the real Ash has been from six of them.

Neither: Swiftian Values

While Brock and Ash fight Jessie and James, Misty and Seymour chase after Meowth and Clefairy.

You’ve got to laugh at Misty saying “Not so fast, Meowth!” as he leaps towards Clefairy and Seymour before cutting to 15 seconds of her Poké Ball slowly floating to the bottom of the river so that Staryu can come out and use Swift. I guess Meowth really took that command to heart because he’s still floating in the air when he’s hit with the attack. Cartoon time is great and also explains that thing about Brock and the Zubat.

Worst: Would You Like Fries With That?

Ash doesn’t know what Pokémon food is. Has he been feeding his Pokémon at all or do they just go dumpster diving at night while he’s asleep? Officer Jenny might want to think about rescinding his trainer licence.

Anyway, Seymour tries the food, because he’s such a kook, you guys, while Ash does the same and reacts as most people would if they were to taste pet food.

Worst: VH1 Presents We Love the 90’s

Pikachu tries to communicate what the Clefairy are doing, which Ash then interprets as doing the Macerena, which is about as 90’s one hit wonder as you get without mentioning Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Cotton Eye Joe or doing the bloody Bartman.

Other surely timeless things the dub writers could have suggested the Clefairy were doing:

  • wearing florescent coloured oversized jackets
  • using the Moon Stone to get better reception so they can watch Kenan and Kel
  • celebrating the fall of communism in eastern Europe
  • worrying that Comet Hale–Bopp was going to hit the earth and kill us all

It turns out that instead of playing with Stretch Armstrong toys or getting worked up about Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Clefairy are actually praying to the Moon Stone. This (somehow) proves to Seymour that the Moon Stone is indeed a spacecraft that humans and Pokémon are destined to ride into the stars together and, oh god, he’s not really a scientist, is he? I think he’s just wearing the coat of the mental health doctor he murdered and ate before escaping into the mountains.

  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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