"Ash Catches a Pokémon" Episode Discussion
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September 11th, 2008 (2:11 PM).
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Originally Posted by
People still wonder why this show is so popular even today. Part of the reason why I like the anime so much is because of a certain "charm" to it, best shown by episodes like this. ...Well, technically, it was a carry-over from the previous episode (as I'll get to shortly), but it's much more evident in this one.
First of all, the intro. We have the most over-the-top Pokemon capture ever (we
have an actual capture with this much flair again), then we have Ash freak out and start dancing over it. And right in the middle of this, what do we get? "Ash Catches a Pokemon!" The entire thing is so overdone that one can't help but laugh at the absurdity. This is only the first few minutes of the episode, no less.
Then we have Misty. The 'cute' tomboy with the big hammer and raging phobia of bugs (yet she never freaks about Butterfree, now does she?) :P. This is actually the first time we see the "legendary" hammer, isn't it? She has to use it on such a cute little thing, too...which sends it into a giant inferiority complex that makes it want to fly off the face of the planet. *shiftyeyes*
I have to agree with Charaxes on the TR battle against Pidgeotto--it was surprisingly well-done, especially considering how this is only the third episode in the series. Ekans and Pidgeotto actually managed to hold an equal footing (see Pokedex entry for this) until Ash looked away for even a moment. Then...he sends out Caterpie. A wounded Caterpie, against three Pokemon and two humans, and it managed to win. Granted, Pidgeotto had previously worn down two of them, but still. And somehow those Pokemon were enough to get it to evolve, no less. ...Is it just me, or is something not computing right here?
And then we top it off by Ash literally shoving his new Pokemon in Misty's face and freaking her out once again. This anime goes from ridiculous to depressing to exciting and back to ridiculous again all in one episode. THIS IS WHY POKEMON IS FAMOUS.
Or so I delude myself at this moment in time.
Right, the first two episodes were self-contained by comparison, whereas, this one was more serialized. Most Pocket Monsters episodes, I've noticed, are episodic by nature (until recent times), which, I think, enhanced this episode. After all, we got to see the implications from the previous two episodes (Pikachu's being a powerhouse and TR's apparent obsession/acknowledging Ash's existence), watching the continuity form (which takes an interesting, crooked journey). Conversely, the next episode will set the writing formula for years to come, and how banal it would be. Heh.
Sorry about that, but I haven't had the chance to discuss on the show's early writing much, so far, so there I went.
I actually liked the over-the-top aspects in this case, for it reinforced Ash's human personality. After all, if you lived in the Pokemon world, wouldn't you get that excited about your early captures? These days, "I caught something. That's kinda awesome. Yep." Throw in Misty's non-plussed reaction, and there's some great range and banter (i.e., the Heaven/Hell exchange).
Yes, I miss the hammer. Then, I think on Jessie's paper fan (I forget when that first appeared), and wonder "how real is this show, if the girls are pulling things through hammerspace? Then again, I'm conversing about a show with an electric rat, so what do I know?" Heh.
I believe the wounded Caterpie saving the day was more compensation after Misty's disparaging remarks and its overall weaknesses, as per its Pokedex entry. Was it deus ex machina? Yeah, but Caterpie needed its time in the spotlight and to highlight how even weak creatures can prevail, sometimes, so I'm willing to let this one go.
Or, it could be my pro-Caterpie bias talking there.
And, no, this is why Pokemon is awesome, or would be awesome back in 98. Heh.
On a side note, did anyone else note on Meowth's "exceeding its evolutionary level" line? Because, given how the show would later avoid levels altogether, I was surprised by that one.
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