Our heroes are going the safari zone. Immediately they meet a herd of tauros. Ash tries attacking them with Charmander, but gets interrupted by a growlithe. Growlithe’s trainer, Lara appears telling them it’s illegal to catch Pokemon on her family’s ranch. Lara invites our heroes to a party on the ranch and to see the big Pokemon race. Lara has a racing rival, named Dario who trains Dodrio.
While out and about Dario informs Lara that her family’s Tauros are going crazy. It’s clearly his fault. Lara falls off her Ponyta and injures her arm. By calming down Ponyta Ash really impresses Lara. It turns out Team Rocket riled up the Tauros and are working with Dario. Unable to compete with her injured arm, Lara asks Ash to take her place. Ash enters the race confident with Ponyta by his side.
Ash with Ponya, Pikachu with Squirtle, Misty with Starmie, and Brock with Onix are all ready to start the race. Dario takes the lead and Team Rocket slowly picks off the competition. Ash is nearly caught in Team Rocket’s traps, but Pikachu gives him a literally jolt of luck. Onix is knocked out due to a stretch of race on water. Dario runs into a snag with his Dodrio heads fighting over a bowl of food. Team Rocket full on attacks the remaining competitors (Ash, Misty, Pikachu). Misty and Pikachu stay behind and send Ash off to finish the race. Team Rocket end up blasting off when Weezing tries to gas attack a flaming Ponyta (yay science). Ash catches up to Dario and the two are neck and neck. Pontya ends up evolving into Rapidash which gives them the burst of speed they need to narrowly beat Dario.
- There’s straight up no Fuchsia City in the anime
- Can’t catch Pokemon in parts of the Safari Zone
- It’s possible to ride a ponyta
- Magikarp shaped cookie/cracker snack
- Misty races riding her Starmie
- Some fool’s racing standing on an electrode
- Pikachu entering with Squirtle (awwwww)
- Some guy and his Rhyhorn drowns in the water stretch
- Squirtle and Pikachu sharing the race food (awwwww)
This episode was very creative with it’s use of Pokemon. The highlight of the episode is the race. The different obstacles combined with the unique use of Pokemon lead to some intense scenarios. I loved the guy rolling around on his Electrode. That idea just makes full use of the Pokemon world. Also poor Brock and Rhyhorn rider not being able to complete the race due to a water section was great too.
I liked Dario as the typical sports genre antagonist. His only reason for winning and cheating is because he’s a jerk. I don’t mind it as much because so much more of the episode is fleshed out. I really see this more as world building. Not every episode has to contribute to the series story in any way. This one is definitely filler in every definition of the world. What they do have is showing off Pokemon uses in a different and fun way.
If I had any complaints it would be everything before the race is not particularly interesting except for Lara’s injury and the aftermath. And the other racers getting picked off so quickly is a shame since it was great watching a variety of Pokemon compete. Either way it ends up being a fun adrenaline filled episode with loads of poke–creativity.