Our trio wakes up on a mysterious island. Pikachu and four of Ash’s Pokemon aren’t with them. Cutting to Team Rocket also on the beach, Meowth and their pokeballs are gone too. Somehow there’s a phonebooth that Jessie and James sees. Pikachu finds the Pokeballs of Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle. Oh they all have subtitles now. The Pokemon try asking a slowpoke for help, but it’s not much of a talker. Meowth stumbles across the Pokemon as they wander the forest. He has Ekans and Koffing with them, but they don’t listen to Meowth’s orders since he isn’t their master. Without Meowth’s help (he’s a bit tied up) the six Pokemon set up a camp and talk to each other. Both groups just want to find their trainers. Their tender camp time is interrupted by a giant rhyhorn. They all run away fast.
Ash and the trio are having their own troubles with a zapdos of all things. Jessie and James are dealing with a fire breathing moltres. Morning comes and Jessie and James head back to the phone booth. They call the big boss for help, they end up annoying him into hanging up. They have the logical idea of following the phone booth’s cord to safety. Jessie and James think they find Pikachu, when really it’s a giant one that smashes their phone booth, More scattered problems ensue between each of the group and the giant Pokemon.
Jessie and James’ phone cord eventually leads them to a mine cart. Team Rocket accidentally uses it to string along the giant Pokemon, and catch Ash and the gang. Finally all the Pokemon find the trainers, but they’re in great danger from the giant Pokemon. They’re able to get the mine cart next to the Pokemon and all are reunited. They are launched into the air and crash into the zapdos, which is revealed to be mechanical. The island is revealed to be Pokemon Land, a theme park with giant Pokemon as attractions, that were all recently destroyed. The trio resumes travelling and arrive a nice beach side town.
- Ekans and Koffing were gifts
- Pokemon subtitles
- Bulbasaur’s a pessimist
- Ekans’ and Koffing’s loyalty
- “Pokemon do bad things cause master’s bad”-Ekans 1998
- Clearly drunk Pokemon
- Big boss made a theme park of dangerous giant Pokemon
This episode is pretty good, but is a bit of a mixed bag. The idea of everyone being split up and trying to find their way back to each other is always a classic one and the concept of this happening while on an island of dangerous giant Pokemon makes for good suspense. This is where the mixed bag comes from. The groups trying to find each other is great. It leads to some good tender moments, but eventually the giant Pokemon attacks begin to weigh down the episode. The last half before everyone reunites is nothing but cuts between the groups running into new giant Pokemon. It just really gets tiring because no one even tries to fight them, every time it ends with the group running away. It becomes more of showing off these large Pokemon for really no reason. The moltres and zapdos only get a minute of screen time, keeping those on the chase instead of showcasing Pokemon we’ve already seen would have really made things pace better. Really they just tried showing off too many gimmick Pokemon in such a short time which really killed the pacing.
This episode did take an interesting twist. The main Pokemon are all alone together and they talk. Their usual Pokemon speak is subtitled. I thought it was weird and bound to be stupid at first, but it really ends up working well. Being able to know exactly what a Pokemon is saying and how they are feeling instead of just guessing really does wonders for storytelling. I especially enjoyed seeing Ekans and Koffing speak. It was weird that they were the only two speaking with broken English, but they really had some profound things to say. It really helped characterize them, which is great because besides battles we never see them or their relationship with their trainers. The large focus really was on the Pokemon this time.
Team Rocket did really well finding a way to safety. Their phone cord plan was really good. I also love how it actual ends up making sense why something so stupid like a phone booth is on a deserted beach. Ash and co don’t really do much except try to find their Pokemon and run from giant pokerobots, but I’m okay with that because this episode isn’t set up as their story. Hopefully next time they get a bit more focus though.
It ended up being another good episode with a heavy focus on comedy and suspense. Not as good as the previous one, but still pleasant one. The show goes back to being pretty light after the last episode. The Pokemon were really the stars. I don’t expect there to ever be another episode the Pokemon are subtitled, but at least they showed it can work.