I may not like Charmander’s voice but even I’m touched by the short scenes of him struggling to keep his flame burning in a violent storm. I’m not a monster.
Kind of a convenient large leaf he’s got there but whatever, it’s still touching.
You may be strong but are you ROCKET STRONG?! Join Team Rocket they said. Protect the world from devastation they said.
I wonder what kind of comprehensive benefits package Team Rocket offers? Or is it a scam like one of those “work from home” adverts you see on poster boards with the little strips you can rip off with a phone number and e-mail on them? Do you get your own uniform or do you buy your own black clothes and they just give you an iron-on ‘R’ or something?
Damian is a character you love to hate. Usually most of the jerk characters of the day are redeemable in some fashion but Damian is different. He never realises the error of his ways. He doesn’t battle Team Rocket, then shakes Ash’s hand and promises to meet again at the Pokémon League. Part of it is because he can’t, Ash has to be able to keep Charmander, but it means Damian is written very nastily to show why this is.
It’s not like Damian is irredeemable in the grand scheme of things. I’m sure he’ll grow up and focus his rage into a minimum-wage job, a minimum-wage girlfriend and unexpected children. But right now, for this episode, there is nothing he can do to redeem himself.
After listening to Damian and his gang chortle about abandoning Charmander, Brock has a rebuttal to make. Brock calmly getting up, walking over to Damian and grabbing him by his stupid pink shirt and rodeo vest is about the pinnacle of Brock’s Pokemon tenure. Sure, it’ll make it slightly awkward when everyone quietly agrees later than Ash deserves Charmander but it’s still a cool moment. I would have cheered if he had punched his lights out.
The time Brock has on this show as an actual thing people care about is quickly winding down but this is certainly one for the highlight reel.
Any attempt at actual drama in this show will usually get a “best” from me and it doesn’t get much more dramatic than “rescue the Charmander or it will die”. Well, that or “rescue the Charmander or it will die also it turns out the planet Melancholia is getting closer again, the ghosts are actually Cybermen, Vince McMahon was the Higher Power all along and Soylent Green is people.”
It’s one thing not to show Pokémon actually dying, that’s fine, but sometimes there needs to be more danger, you need to have the possibility of them dying. Would this episode have nearly the same impact if the danger was that Charmander might faint?