Worst: Situational Vagueness

Surge and cronies laugh at Ash and his “baby” Pikachu so Ash, of course, gets all worked up and punches Misty in the face asks why they are being mean to his Pikachu, but stops short of turning to the camera and telling us that bullying is a bad thing.

Of course the reason is because Surge has a Raichu but he’s not allowed just say “because my thing is better than your thing.” He has to be all, I’ll show you and then, despite everyone else in the world yelling out their Pokémon’s name when they send them out, yells “Go, Poké Ball!” when sending out his Raichu for the first time, something he never does in subsequent battles, just to keep the suspense going four seconds longer.

Don’t do this. It’s lame. It’s like in shows and video games where everyone forgets personal pronouns and refers to someone as “they” so you can be surprised when it turns out a previously unseen character is a woman. It’s lazy and the surprise doesn’t matter, stop doing it.

Aww: “Bad Ass” Raichu

Oh, honey. Frowning doesn’t make you look any tougher, Raichu. You’re still a big, chubby, ball of fluff. Stop it.

Mimicking Surge is just more adorable and doesn’t help either, Raichu. Surge is only intimidating because he’s like 14 feet tall.

Best: Youses Guy Wannas Fightses?

I’m not sure who on the 4Kids staff decided Maddie Blaustein’s Surge should speaks with the vocal inflections of Sal from Futurama, right down to the plethora of unnecessary plurals but I’d like to buy them a meal sometime.

Best: The Passion of the Pikachu

It’s not much of a battle but it went the way it should. Pikachu’s attacks shouldn’t do jack to a Raichu. Besides, it ties back into gym leaders being a big deal. They should be tough to beat. Tougher than any of the trainer battles Ash has, win or lose, between each one. The worst gym battles are the ones like with Koga where he just kind of breezes through it like he’s fighting Ninja Giselle or something.

So, yeah, Raichu straight up murdering Pikachu was the right call even if it’s partly character-of-the-day early-episode spitefulness driving it.

Best: Team Rocket Hooray

Jessie and James wonder if Pikachu actually sucks after all and are worried they wasted their time trying to capture it (yes you have, but not because of its failure to beat a Raichu).

I thought Pikachu’s power outstripped its evolutionary level? I guess its evolutionary level is Crap Raichu. My Raichu always suck. Maybe I just have bad luck with Pikachu hidden values. How about catching the good Pikachu and evolving it into an awesome Raichu? Maybe they could just not follow Ash everywhere and go back to their other criminal work. You guys used to have wanted posters in Viridian City, you know.

  1. Delsaber says:

    This might be the only episode of the series that I can still remember with any clarity, other than fleeting moments from that Pokémon Island thing, or the one with the hidden village of Pikachus. Pikachu. Pikachii. Pikachese. Whatever.

  2. Rando says:

    congratulations on a successful breaking down of my favorite episode! i just think this one’s fantastic, what with the brief moments of foreshadowing, the slight complexity given to team rocket, and the introduction of ideas/morals other than just ‘don’t be a jerk, pokemon are our friends, blah blah’. that being said, i’ve always picked out the same ridiculous parts as you have – like after pikachu loses the first battle and is moping in the hospital, they’re all like ‘ooh it’s really upset that it didn’t have what it takes’ when it was probably thinking ‘why the FUCK would you make me do that?’

    american tv would be better if characters sporadically shouted obscenities in other languages.

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