What kind of costume has a magic button on it anyway?
It turns out Bill dressed up as a Kabuto
because he’s a lunatic to get inside the mind of the Pokémon (no, seriously, he’s a lunatic).
It’s hard not to hear Bill speak without being reminded of LittleKuriboh’s Bakura voice. By the way, the most obscure cosplay costume would be anime Bill dressed like a Kabuto. Someone get on that.
If only, right, everything after Red and Blue haters?
Bill gives a speech about the wonders of the Pokémon world and how there’s so much to explore and do. He talks about how there are more Pokémon than we could possibly imagine and Ash is humbled and also inspired. It’s surprisingly pretty good and just about the best thing about this episode.
Of course, the real funny bit is that Bill comes from Goldenrod City in Johto and still says there are only 150 documented Pokémon. I guess no-one told him where that Moomoo Milk comes from, huh?
Bill reveals that he’s here to play Pokémon sounds from the lighthouse, which will attract a one-of-a-kind Pokémon that he’s always longed to meet. He has no intention of capturing it, which surprisingly doesn’t earn him derision from Misty, but he will try to be it’s friend. Aww.
The Pokémon, which is clearly just a silhouetted Dragonite, although no-one ever says this, turns up but then Team Rocket try to capture it and it leaves, pissed. Bill is sad but resolves to keep trying and I really don’t care.
So why does this get a best? Because Bill is so delightfully psychotic through his rambles and is completely oblivious to the strange looks he’s getting from everyone. It gets especially weird when he starts talking about what he and the Pokémon have been talking about even though he’s just been playing recorded snippets of howling into the ocean.
OK, how do I explain this? A Dragonite with some sort of gland problem which has caused it to grow to many times its usual size is not a unique species of Pokémon, any more than the Great Khali is a distinct off-shoot from humanity. It turns what could have been an interesting and important episode into one of those Crystal Onix deals where even if you think it’s cool (and a silhouetted Dragonite is not as cool as a Crystal Onix, sorry) it doesn’t really mean anything.
A giant Dragonite is a curiosity but it’s not really a strong enough hook to drive an entire episode about the wonders of the Pokemon world. I’m not sure how hooks are expected to drive anything but that’s a thing people say.
They showed a Ho-oh in episode one. They could have brought it back for this, keep it silhouetted if they want, and now you’ve got a second sighting, some continuity and they would have created a little bit of hype for Gold/Silver for the TV audience. Or they could have used Lugia, or Tyranitar or any of the new Johto Pokémon. Come on, this stuff writes itself.
Mystery at the lighthouse? Mystery? What mystery?
Was the mystery why Bill is whatever the non mammalian equivalent of a furry is?
Was the mystery why no-one knew the giant Dragonite was a Dragonite?
Was the mystery how everything else was clearly visible but the Dragonite remained shaded for the entire episode?
Was the mystery why Bill is living in a lighthouse anyway and is he the lighthouse keeper?
Was the mystery why there was yet another front camera view PSA moment from Ash, Misty, Brock AND Bill about being friends with Pokemon?
Was the mystery how going up Route 24 to meet Bill somehow brings the gang closer to Vermilion City?
Or was the mystery what the mystery was?