The School of Hard Knocks


The group is headed to Vermillion City and decide to take a break. While Brock makes them food Ash is sent to find firewood. He finds a group of boys, one clearly being hazed in someway. He’s running on a treadmill while the other boys pokequiz him. They were from Pokémon Tech, a school for Pokémon trainers. The boy on the treadmill says the other boys were his friends and they were really just trying to help him. Just like in real schools the teachers ignore the hazing like study help. The boy, Joe points the group towards the leader of this study group, Giselle. Brock, Ash, and Joe all like the way she looks. Team Rocket begins their scheming for later in the episode while they reminisce about their days at Pokémon Tech. Misty doesn’t like that Joe thinks gyms like Cerulean City are weak, so she challenges him to a battle. His Weepinbell versus Starmie ends in Misty’s favor even with the type advantage. Giselle finally appears being super condescending to Joe and kind of everyone else too with her little monologue about how great she is. She’s shown being very much the Regina George of Pokémon Tech. Giselle fights Misty with her Graveler. Unlike Joe, Giselle is able to defeat Misty’s Starmie. Really Giselle just keeps being a know-it-all brat until Ash finally decides to knock some sense into her. Pikachu goes up against her Cubone in a battle of honor. It’s tough at first for Pikachu, but even without relying on electric attacks it’s able to outsmart Cubone. This loss seems to knock some humility into Giselle. Team Rocket officially arrive in all their glory. The Pokémon  Tech kids are able to blast Team Rocket away by simply throwing Pokeballs a them. Joe decides to leave Pokémon Tech and Giselle definitely seems to have learned a lot about having a graceful attitude.


What I Liked

  • Pikachu on the treadmill (aww)
  • Experience is shown as being better than blind knowledge
  • Misty standing up to Giselle
  • Great seeing Cubone, my favorite Pokémon, get some screen time


  • James calls back the one at a time rule

What I Disliked

  • The idea of a Pokémon academy- just seems more practical to actually take the journey
  • Sometimes Pikachu’s cry sounds kinda weird
  • Pokehazing and bullying
  • Giselle

Any Surprises?

  • Brock carries around a whole Poketeaset and mineral water in his backback
  • Pokémon levels re acknowledged
  • Giselle can violate Brock’s rights anytime
  • Jessie and James went to Pokémon Tech, and got the lowest scores in the school
  • Pikachu should be level 25 after two months

vlcsnap-2013-11-20-14h46m33s169.pngI like the premise of this episode better than what it actually ended up being. The idea of a school to learn all about Pokémon seems pretty cool, I mean it worked well with Yu-Gi-Oh. Going to school in place of the journeying and earning all eight badges sounds pretty lame though. I did like how this episode shows the effects of choosing a path like this. Joe and Giselle know more factual knowledge about Pokémon, but are both beaten bad in battle. Giselle especially cause unlike Misty, Ash uses unconventional methods to beat Cubone. I liked this because we’ve gotten some good solid battles but this one was just fun. My favorite part was Pikachu trying to sych out Cubone with silly faces. Team Rocket was pretty underused and honestly felt shoehorned in. It was funny learning about their failures at Pokémon Tech and seeing them beaten with pokeballs, but they just didn’t need to be here. Especially since they came right as Giselle started learning her lesson. I didn’t like Giselle, but it was satisfying to see her taken down a few pegs. It was an alright episode, same league as the last one. It was overall pretty neutral.



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