Annotated Episodes: 20-29

1.20, “The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak”

  • Ghost pokémon are nearly impossible to defeat because of their ability to shape shift.
  • Gastly can speak in English, pass as human, yet also use mind control and telekinesis to manipulate people and objects.
  • The ghostly Maiden is also real as well as Gastly, simply more limited in what she can do. He helps keep her story fresh in people’s minds by terrorizing and extorting visitors for kicks and cash.
  • At one point gastly scares ekans by turning into a mongoose— are there giant mongooses in this world that eat ekanses?

1.21, “Bye Bye Butterfree”

  • People release their butterfree so they can pair off, mate, migrate, and lay eggs. If you don’t release your butterfree at this time of year, Brock tells Ash, it’ll never get the chance to breed. Why?
  • Butterfree perform a “courtship dance” to attract a mate. Brock explains it’s “butterfree’s way of saying, I want to be your butterfree!”
  • Misty says that “love is all about attacking your opponent first.” Ewwww
  • Misty: This is important to you, isn’t it?
    Ash: I raised that butterfree myself, and I’ll show them all how good it is!
    Ash helps Butterfree get more attractive in part as a desire to prove he can raise a sexy bug pokémon. This episode is weird.
  • Pikachu blows up a friggin helecopter, leaps form the wreckage onto Butterfree’s back. He is a stone cold mofo.
  • Pokémon are again extensions of the trainer—
    Brock: You raised Butterfree to have a lot of courage, and I think that means you have a lot of courage, too.
    Ash: Thanks Brock.
    Pikachu (smiling from Ash’s shoulder): Pi-ka. [Translation is probably: “I am a destroyer of world! :D” ]

1.22, “Abra and the Psychic Showdown”

  • A warp tile teleports Ash etc., the first time we see dissolution tech used on human characters. It’s done against their will a way that restricts them— similar to how pokéballs operate on pokémon?
  • “You can’t control psychic type pokémon without telekenesis!”
  • “This looks more like some kind of temple than a pokémon gym!”
  • Sabrina levitates things, rarely uses her hands. It’s almost like erasing her own body by inhabiting others. Her control over other bodies, living and inanimate is ubiquitous. Not just mind over matter but mind inside all matter.
    Abra evolves at the start of the match, which apparently isn’t against rules but is sneaky, unstable.
  • She shrinks Ash, Brock and Misty as a penalty for losing.

1.23, “The Tower of Terror”

  • The ghosts aren’t evil, just mischievous fans of slapstick comedy.
  • The Pokédex has very limited info on gastly/haunter/gengar.
  • They hurt (kill?) Ash and take his and Pikachu’s spirits out of their bodies. Later, Ash and Pikachu return to their bodies of their own accord and then become conscious.
  • Haunter agrees to go with Ash but is never caught in a pokéball— is this even possible, since haunter is gaseous?

1.24, “Haunter vs. Kadabra”

  • Brock doesn’t trust ghosts— “I don’t know, Ash… Maybe haunter’s the one controlling you .”
  • Sabrina’s puppet doll chases them and Brock and Misty are transformed into cloth dolls.
  • Sabrina developed a disassociative disorder, splitting herself into talkative puppet-Sabrina and serious, scary trainer-Sabrina.
  • Sabrina is unable to socially relate to others unless she is in full control over them. She wants Brock and Misty as “friends,” which = toys.
  • Haunter shows up, not on Ash’s side but as an independent entity, makes Sabrina laugh. Haunter is never aggressive.

1.25, “Primeape Goes Bananas”

  • Pokémon (specifically mankey) most definitely show aggression against humans directly.
  • Oak’s lab is amazing and beautiful. He writes poetry with Krabby, saying, “We’ve become very good friends! We especially enjoy tea time and writing poetry, and some of it’s not that bad, either! Every day it’s cake and tea/ just my pokémon and me.” What is he, AA Milne?
    The original poem is: ポケモンと ようかんたべて ああおいしい Pokémon to, yōkan tabete, aa oishii;
    trans.– “With Pokémon, eating yōkan – oh, delicious.”
    It’s haiku-like, sort of cute; idk if the rhythm is as dumb or cutesy in Japanese as the rhyme is in English , but I like the original it so much better.
  • Why do they keep translating rice balls as donuts? Those are obviously not donuts.
  • Ash’s hat is a rare, “official” pokémon expo hat. “Losing your official hat is like losing your best friend!”
  • James kicks mankey, and mankey evolves— a magic kick? Because this is what happened to magikarp, too. They also made that tentacool evolve by hitting it with a barrel of stun sauce.
  • Jesse: Team Rocket always puts beauty before duty! (Awesome.)
  • Ash: I’m gonna capture you, primeape! … it’s because I want to be a pokémon master. A real master would never let any pokémon get away!
  • Ash catches the primeape.
  • Primeape still hits Ash after being caught, although less violently, but he can now return it to its ball when it loses its temper.

1.26, “Pokémon Scent-sation.”

  • Celadon is “the great metropolis”
  • Ash insults perfume, is misogynist: “all perfumes are a rip off because all they do is turn guys into zombies.”
  • The shop clerks call him an “insensitive little weeerm!” Hahahaha, awesome.
  • Ash’s jerky remarks get him barred from the gym because the gym manufactures the perfume for which Celadon is famous. The manager of the perfume store is also the gym leader, Erica.
  • 4th wall broken again— Meowth isn’t affected by Gloom’s stench, says, “I almost forgot, the cartoonists never gave me a nose!”
  • TR calls Ash “The Pest.” Hahaha, awesome.
  • Ash cross dresses to get into the gym.
  • Erica is a nice person. When her tangela paralyzes Bulbasaur, she’s concerned for it.
    Erica: Poor Bulbasaur! Later I’ll give you some paralyze heals. . . Your battling skills are impresive Ash, but there’s one thing you done have, empathy with your pokémon!
    Oh, snap. Someone called him on his sociopathy.
  • Ash rescues Gloom from a burning building, does so being his bush brash, Ashy self. Doesn’t seem to learn empathy but show’s he’s brave and willing to risk his safety for others, so… that’s something?

1.27, “Hypno’s Nap Time”

  • Hop Hop Hop Town is bewildering with all of its buildings; they’re just as lost in the city as they are in the forest.
  • Some rando woman thinks Ash is her kid, boobs him in the face. Wtf.
  • Ash asks if Officer Jenny of Hop Hop Hop is the cousin of a Jenny elswhere, and later asks the Nurse Joy is she’s realted to the Joy in Maiden’s Peak— he’s continually distracted by their identical features, can’t seem to let it go.
  • Brock is really gross to Officer Jenny. At one point says that she looks too worried and that “A beautiful woman like you can’t have much to be worried about,” which implies that her beauty is all she needs? Reductive, sexist, totally ignores her position as a police officer on a tough case.
  • Hop Hop Hop’s pokémon are all listless. Ash sees a magikarp, says, “Looks like it’s ready for the deli counter!” Does this mean pokémon get sent to the butchers when they get old?!
  • Jenny’s device picks up a signal, a “sleep wave detector.”
    Sleep Waves- wavelengths that induce sleep.
    (A wavelength is just a measurement of a wave. What sort of energy is a sleep wave? Never clarified.)
  • Rich people have been using the hypno’s hypnotic attacks as an anti-anxiety therapy.
  • They also have a drowzee, which the ‘dex describes as “a descendant of a dream eating tapir.” Like, a species of dream-eating tapir or one, single, freak dream-eating tapir? The design of dream-eating tapirs continues with munna/musharna, so maybe it’s a hint of a bizarre evolutionary progression and the pokéverse is far-future earth?
  • Brock theorizes that because Hypno’s sleep waves usually are directed at other pokémon, something has changed. “Since wavelength was changed to affect humans, it’s creating a side-effect for the pokémon.” It’s a new wavelength, somehow, with a wide-range effect on both young humans and all pokémon in Hop Hop Hop. The side-effect for the kids is “pokémonitis,” which makes people act like pokémon.
  • The kids are in vast urban park.
  • Club Member: Sleep emits dream wavelengths which might just counteract hypno’s wavelengths…
    Brock: Yeah, that just might work!
    (Wtf are dream wavelengths.)
  • TR tries to goad Hypno into hypnotizing itself in a mirror, but that bounces the waves off the mirror and puts the hypno to sleep, which is… bad I guess? Also, what sort of waves bounce off a mirror but can still affect children in a park a long distance off? Why don’t the waves bounce of buildings? Anime phsyics is messed up.

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