Worst: Ash’s Tenth Victory

We see Ash’s tenth win in a Pokémon battle but not wins one through nine? Whatever.

They better not be counting that one Team Rocket battle as a win. Double battles are not authorised by the Pokémon League, remember? Besides that, I remember a no contest with Samurai, a loss and another deadlock with Brock and a third no contest against Misty last episode. That puts him at 0-1-3 in my book.

Even if you accept that Team Rocket battle as a legitimate win, it’d still be nice to see Ash win a full, legit Pokémon battle sometime before Lt. Surge.

Best: Shorts Are Comfy and Easy to Wear

Still, it’s nice to see a Youngster make an appearance, even as fodder for Ash. Generic trainer types are something that do not pop up in the cartoon very often, which I’m fine with because, as the term suggests, they’re pretty generic. But it’s always nice to see elements of the game bleed into the reality of the show, as long as I don’t have to suffer through an episode about Ash getting a fishing rod.

I wish the random trainers Ash met would yell out their in-game non-sequitirs though. I’m holding out for a Lass to run up to him, yell “Hi! My boyfriend is cool!” and then throw a Poké Ball at his face.

Worst: Oh, It’s an “Ash Gets Cocky” Episode

After the 600 years or so since this cartoon first started, some episode ideas are bound to get repeated and given a fresh coat of paint from time to time. These generally include…

  • An item or Pokémon is up for grabs between Ash, Brock and Misty or their non-union Mexican equivalents so they’ll argue and/or have an impromptu tournament for it.
  • Someone wants to build something but it’ll destroy Pokémon habitats. Ash will try to help the people until he realises why the Pokémon are objecting and will convince the construction to stop.
  • The Rocket trio will encounter someone more evil than they are and so they will do the right thing for one episode while remarking how this never happens no matter how many times it happens.
  • The group participate in a small, local tournament, usually based on Pokémon types. Ash will usually win because these competitions are meaningless.
  • A colony of wild Pokémon is under attack from meanies. One of the main characters gets to dispose of some deadwood tearfully lets a Pokémon remain behind to protect the wild Pokémon.
  • The group meet an incompetent trainer/criminal/Pokémon and will waste 22 minutes trying to help until it accomplishes what it needs to do without their help.
  • Ash loses a gym battle for no reason but to make it two episodes long. He’ll usually have a crisis of faith for 5-10 minutes because of this.
  • A Pokémon is able to evolve but doesn’t want to. Ash and the others convince it and/or its trainer that it’s fine for it to remain as it is.
  • Ash will meet a member of a region’s Elite Four, will battle them in an exhibition match and will lose horribly. This sometimes ties into today’s idea which is…
  • Ash gets overconfident for no reason other than to be taken down a peg or two later in the episode.

Worst: The Savage Pokémon Trainer and His Sophisticated Score Keeping

He trains Rattata, Beedrill, Butterfree and Sandshrew. None of them seem particularly savage to me. They don’t act savage and apart from cracking a whip without hitting anyone, A.J. isn’t particularly savage either. Maybe the Youngster meant to say “southern Pokémon trainer” judging from the accent the dub gives the character. One of the first rules of fiction is to show, not to tell.

Also, look at the horrible edit work and gradients on that scoreboard. Nice use of Adobe Photoshop 5.0, guys. Up the contrast and add a few lens flares and you’ve got yourself a work of art. The Japanese board was silly as well but at least no-one there decided to break out the special effects.

Best: A.J.’s Head Looks Like a Pineapple

This is a dull episode. I’m taking what I can get.

  1. Delsaber says:

    Holy shit, A.J. is Guy Fieri.

    Whatever happened to Bill Goldberg, anyway? Still squashing cruiserweights somewhere?

    Koffing! should be high-octave. Perhaps ALL the octaves.

    Obligatory Star Trek Reference of the Week: Vermillion City, isn’t that where the weird holodeck train was going? Y’know, with the dude delivering metaphorical bricks, or something?

  2. Rando says:

    you know, when i watched it, i assumed the ‘place with the great gym’ was referring to aj’s gym, and was some poorly-articulated message about how it was great even though it wasn’t in some big city, but upon further consideration, that makes even less sense. it’s a dumb closing line either way.

    and i don’t think i even noticed the mid-episode VA switch >.>

  3. Anonymous says:

    Shell helmet=shelmet. It’s not a lazy pun, it’s MATH. I guess we should count ourselves lucky they didn’t invent a Shelgina. Oh wait, they did. It’s called Cloyster.

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