Best: Theme From Pokemon

Ash hums the Pokémon Red/Blue title tune as he walks. Well, humming isn’t the right word. What do you call it when you’re all “Dah dah dah dah dadadah”? They’re called non-lexical vocables but that hardly flows off the tongue. Unlike the Pokémon Red/Blue theme, funnily enough.

Anyway, it’s a neat touch that isn’t in the Japanese version which just goes to show that dubbing a show doesn’t automatically ruin in. No, it takes effort to do that.

Worst: The Hole in the Ground Gang

You know, maybe Team Rocket is right about digging holes for these guys. I always figured it was sort of a cliche that Team Rocket would dig holes and they would never work but all these guys have been doing for the past three or four episodes is stumbling from one pitfall to another.

At least Misty didn’t set off this one. She’s been rolling 1’s as far as checks go lately. Actually, I’ve been noticing a trend with Misty these last few episodes and I haven’t mentioned it until now in case it suddenly stops and then I look crazy but what the hell: Misty is just hanging around at the rear and triggering all the traps for everyone and I don’t know why. She’s not exactly turning into Brock in terms of (lack of) screen presence but juggling a three-person cast shouldn’t be that difficult.

Also, note the skeleton in the bottom right of the above picture. It’s probably Cubone’s father. No one wants to wear his skull, poor guy.

Best: “Playing dangerous practical jokes isn’t funny!”

Stay in school, kids!

Whenever a character looks directly at the screen in the show, you have to be prepared for a lecture on eating your vegetables or how to properly battle and catch Pokemon or why you shouldn’t start fires in the rooms that don’t have fireplaces. I know another 90’s show, Power Rangers, had to play up this public service stuff in order to fend off accusations about its unrelenting violence (lol). Is this the same sort of thing? I remember Pokémon getting a lot of (mostly undeserved and poorly researched) flak for being a cash-cow designed to force parents to buy merchandise of all 151 Pokémon.

Best: Lucky Luke

Ash must think he’s hopped up on Red Dwarf’s luck virus or something because he’s determined to view every starter encounter as a regular wild Pokémon battle when it never works out that way. There’s a reason the Pokédex displays the big words “LOCATION UNKNOWN” for these bloody things, you know.

The gang climb out of the hole only to be confronted by five chortling Squirtle in sunglasses (the international sign of a bad-ass, apparently). Surely Ash should figure there’s more than meets the sun-protected eye on this one. There’s a showdown, with some sort of Showdown at the OK Corral type music, but then the police arrive, causing the Squirtle to cheese it.

Worst: They Call Him the Man With No Name

Officer Jenny lets us know that the gang “calls themselves the Squirtle Squad.” Uh, no, Jenny. They don’t call themselves anything. All they do is repeat what I presume to be onomatopoeic sounds that lend themselves to their common names.

Really, I assume most Pokémon names are just common nomenclature and that Squritle are called Terrapene kanto or something similar by actual Pokémon professors.

Either way the point is, you can call them whatever you want. The Squirtle Squad, the Turtle Team, the Reptile Rodeo. But they won’t be doing it.

  1. Delsaber says:

    Just offscreen from the buried skeleton: the Skylab probe, Mega Man’s dog, James’ original voice actor, Brock’s eyeballs.

    So, why would the Squirtle run from the police? Can you arrest and charge Pokémon? Wouldn’t that be more of an animal control situation? Are there Big Serious Questions regarding the definitions of sentience involved? WHERE DID THEY GET THOSE SUNGLASSES

    “Squirtle Squirtle Squirtle! Squirtle! Squirtle Squirtle!”
    “He says: ‘we call ourselves the Squirtle Squad.”

    There’s your explanation!

    I wonder if that old Stone Cold skit would fly today. Also, it’s been a while since the last Hair vs. Hair match. Next one should just be colour-related.

    lol, SAMVIR.

    The Squirtle Squad would be an awesome wrestling stable. Impossible to CAW, though. I guess I’ll just keep doing The Turks over and over again.

  2. Rando says:

    while i do find the toned down translations hilarious, this episode (in its original script anyway) does seem rather violent, comparatively… team rocket goes from kidnapping pokemon in sentient rubber balloons to blowing them up? were the writers at particularly difficult places in their lives that week?

    of course, the unrelenting violence was precisely what made my mom decide i couldn’t watch power rangers as a kid, though i don’t think she’s ever seen an episode. with that in mind, i’m kind of surprised she was okay with adorable dogfighting japanese monsters.

  3. Rando says:

    (and if squirtle had also let down its flowing hair when it took off its sunglasses, ash would not only have accepted it into his party, but would have also seen that it was truly beautiful)

  4. Blutiger_Engel says:

    “Is Ash in Filgaia now? Will he meet up with Virginia Maxwell and destroy her bike too?”
    Win.

    I also loved that Gary cameo. I wonder if he really did get condoms…

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