The Ninja Poke-Showdown

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Our heroes are searching for the Fuchsia Gym. Misty’s being pretty  terrible to little Psyduck, so nothing new’s actually going on with them. They eventually stumble across a strange old house full of traps. They are lead through by a strange little venonat. They end up getting stuck between invisible walls and Ash nearly falls to his death. This event causes Ash to recklessly chase venonat and get stuck in another trap. They meet Aya, a hot pink ninja. She explains they are in a ninja training ground.

Ash battles Aya with Bulbasaur, she uses her Venonat. Ash ends the victor and the gym leader, Koga appears in a smokey explosion. He refuses to let anyone leave without battling him. Through some miracle Ash sends out Pidgeotto to face off against Koga’s Venonat. Immediately Venonat evolves into Venomoth. It easily takes down Pidgeotto through it’s various powder attacks. Ash tries again with Charmander. Team Rocket interrupts the battle to steal all the poison Pokemon.

Koga and Ash team up to defeat Team Rocket’s Pokemon. Misty tries to help, but Psyduck just wants to hug her legs (aww). Misty doesn’t even know any of Psyduck’s attack so they try a bunch of different ones. It ends with no trainer being able to do anything as the floor starts slanting. Psyduck begins getting effected by a major headache and unleashes massive psychic powers. Koga is very impressed with Psyduck and offers her a trade, but Misty finally grows a heart and refuses to give it up. Ash and Koga finishes their match. Ash wins the soul badge thanks to Charmander. The episode ends with Misty giving Psyduck some well deserves positive reinforcement.

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Any Surprises? 

  • There seems to be no Fuchsia city
  • Even Misty thinks hot pink is a bad color for a ninja
  • Meowth had a voice change
  • Pidgeotto gets used!
  • Pidgeotto is KOed from stun spore and sleep powder, neither cause damage
  • Ash working with a Gym Leader
  • Misty admitting her affection for Psyduck (or maybe just selfishly impressed with its power)

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This is an episode that really goes back to basics. Ash goes back to his goal of badge collecting and does it through pure battle. Misty and Psyduck’s relationship gets some major focus. She still treats it terribly. She just acts so bratty about having it. It should make it okay that she refuses to trade it away, but it really just comes off selfishly because it comes right after a huge display of Psyduck’s power. Everything else in the episode is pretty on point for Pokemon though.

This was another really good battle. I was happy to see Pidgeotto after a decently sized absence. It didn’t last long, but it’s something. I was surprised that this ended with Ash winning the badge instead of being given it through heroism. I was so sure as soon as Team Rocket burst into the battle that it was going to end that way. I did love seeing Ash and Koga teaming up. It was a good little moment of characterization for Koga, it shows he respects other trainer’s abilities. They both even lose too, only Psyduck is able to beat Team Rocket.

I actually liked that they resumed their battle. So far it’s a 50/50 badge through battle and heroism. With two badges left it’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues.

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