Officer Jenny takes Ash directly to the top secret cave entrance. That’s a pretty crappy secret entrance, if you ask me. I’m not sure why Jenny knows about it when even she can’t fit in there and she looks like she weighs about 80 pounds, and that’s if her hat is very heavy indeed. Maybe both Jenny and Vincent de Boule played in this area as children.
Inside the cave, Ash uses Charmander to help lead the way. I had sort of assumed that Squirtle or Meowth would have taken away his Poké Balls when they let him loose. Really, he has Butterfree, Pidgeotto, Bulbasaur and Charmander with him. I’d say that group has pretty good odds of taking down the entire Leatherback League in a battle. Even if that’s not Ash’s “thing”, then surely the two flying Pokemon could have scouted ahead on the journey to town or something.
It turns out that the Squirtle were bluffing and would never change a woman’s hair colour. Well, phew. They’re just kidnappers and thieves, not monsters.
I can’t explain why I’m going to complain about seemingly every word change on this blog and then fall in love with “flash bombs” over regular bombs but here we are. The heart wants what it wants.
The great thing is that the flash bombs exist ostensibly to remove any of the nasty elements of real bombs. You know, explosions, shrapnel, screaming limbless children, that sort of thing. So of course, this is the one episode where the flash bombs start a raging forest fire.
You know, you’ve got Nintendo backing you up here, so why not just make them Bob-ombs? Everybody loves those guys and not even the Super Mario Brothers Super Show had a reason to edit them out. If the King Bob-omb from Super Mario 64 turned up and starting knocking over trees, that would be pretty cool.
Anyway, Team Rocket show up with [OBJECT] that uses [OBJECT 2] to snatch Pokémon. Luckily, Ash uses [POKéMON] which uses [MOVE] which causes the [OBJECT] to explode or fly away, causing Team Rocket to [END LINE].
Object: their Meowth-headed balloon
Object 2: flash bombs
Pokemon: a Squirtle he hasn’t even captured
Move: Water Gun
End Line: blast off again, twinkle.
After that, it’s up to the Squirtle to put out the forest fire with their water attacks. Where do Squirtle get all their water from? Do you think they massively dehydrate their own bodies with these Water Gun attacks and will have to drink gallons of water later on? I’m not sure why I’m so interested in the minutiae of Squirtle this week but I’m just thankful I don’t have to try and explain Blastoise’s water cannons from a biological perspective.
It’s a Japanese thing (something to do with 18th century firefighter-equivalents in Edo Japan), but it doesn’t make it any less weird to see a town’s honourary firefighters have uniforms that are similar to what the old pervert on Family Guy would wear. At least tie them, Pervert Posse. This must be violating some indecent exposure law.
Honestly, this episode has been a bizarre mix between hard-to-localise Japanese cultural tidbits and some sort of old west homage. We’ve got rice balls, western towns, Japanese firefighters, western showdown music, lassos, Japanese gangs, the lot. There’s real promise here for a buddy comedy, starring Jackie Chan and anyone else in the world. If Ash were to be replaced with Jackie Chan in the role and the next episode saw him (in Ash’s clothes, of course) running up the side of Bill’s lighthouse, this would not make the show any worse.
“He who fights with Pocket Monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a Pocket Monster.” I believe Neitzsche said that after his fourth badge. Of course, he also said “You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” when all you need is to do is capture a Jirachi so who cares what he thought about anything.
The Testudinal Troupe are comprised of angst-ridden Squirtle who had been abandoned by their trainers and so learned to distrust all humans. Their leader manages to work together with Ash and company and what’s the first thing he does? Abandon all his little Squirtle acolytes to join him! Maybe the Lizard Liasons were on to something with this anti-human agenda.
I also have to note that bad-ass Squirtle turning into (allegedly) adorable Squirtle once he removes his sunglasses is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things in this show. I’m not sure when he got so clingy but it doesn’t bode well for an emotionally healthy relationship. This will end in the sort of drama where Squirtle says he’s leaving forever and hates you and Ash lets him go then Squirtle gets mad he didn’t try harder to stop him leaving. Mark my words.