Sunday, 18 May 2014

[#13] Mystery At The Lighthouse

This episode starts with, you guessed it, the gang being lost. Well isn't that a doddle. We've come to expect as much. This episode also covers some more game mechanics - carrying six Pokémon and Pokémon computer storage. It also introduces an important character in the games (though of much lesser importance in the show). So let's get on with it.

"Well here's a familiar scene!"

Yeah, we know that Narrator. Care to provide anything useful?

"Wandering in a forest? It appears our friends have once again lost their way."

That's right.

"It's been quite a while now since Ash left his home in the town of Pallet, and a lot has happened since he began his Pokémon journey. He's already earned two of the qualifying badges--"


"--for participation in the Pokémon League."

This is why his wife left him, he's married to the job.

"A Boulder Badge and a Cascade Badge."

The characters continue the exposition, as they discuss the badges Ash has, how he obtained them and what that means in the grand scheme of things. Rather than give you the inane fluffing drivel the Narrator goes on to say, let's just say, CUTTING TO SAVE TIME.

It's going to be a bumper post, both parts together. So let's cut out the twaddle.

Ash rushes ahead eager to catch a Pokémon and prove both Brock and Misty wrong when they say his Pokémon "followed him" and that he didn't really catch them. He discovers the ocean where he finds a wild Krabby, the crab Pokémon. After a heated gurning match, Ash captures Krabby.

Then Krabby... disappears.

Misty explains that a Pokémon trainer can't have more than six Pokémon at a time.

You make rules, you break rules. In Charmander - The Stray Pokémon, Damien was carrying a LOT of Pokéballs, certainly more than six. They must have mostly been empty!

How else can it be explained!? Well, actually, if the cartoon is to be believed on face value, then Damien quite simply isn't an official Pokémon trainer and doesn't have a Pokédex or a license. Shove that in your tea and spread it on your crumpets you cheeky monkey.

Mystery At The Lighthouse also states that you can switch out your Pokémon at any time with the white button in the Pokédex, a feature very quickly dropped in the cartoon in favor of the computer transfer )like in the games).

Ash's imagination runs wild when he's told Professor Oak now has his Krabby, fearing Samuel Oak would be eating his Krabby as part of some delicious meal.

Pikachu spots a nearby lighthouse and helps to progress the story for us, otherwise we'd be on this beach hearing lies for ever.

How they didn't notice a lighthouse that close nearby, sending out a huge light-beam, I'll never know. But at least some kind of plot progression is happening, so we have that at least.

Somehow, it is night by the time they get there, but it's sunset in the previous scene so I won't be a bother this time and point how stupid the time skip is, but anyway.

"Phew, that was farther than it looked."

FINE. At least you acknowledged it.

They get to the lighthouse and buzz the intercom. A conversation of mundanity happens where they talk to the lighthouse keeper, and Brock convinces the keeper that he can make a meal without using tofu. In the Japanese, he offers some kind of rare delicacy of some kind that I can't remember, but what I do remember is that in the Japanese version of this series, Oak and the lighthouse keeper, Bill, LOVE eating tofu. It's a weird reversal...

Anyway, here's the door of the lighthouse. Look at all the Pokémon... like Mewtwo. WHO SHOULDN'T BE HERE BECAUSE GIOVANNI HAS PROBABLY ONLY JUST CLONED HIM AT THIS POINT. But heh, they didn't know what they were doing back then so cut some slack for them, they need it after the beating I've given so far over these thirteen episodes.

The early days are the worst for any series, especially when the rules aren't properly set in stone.


Ash asks if he can use the phone. He wants to call Professor Oak and make sure that Krabby is alright and more importantly that Oak isn't eating Krabby for some delicious snacking.

The telephone is Bellsprout shaped. In the Japanese, Misty acknowledges this, but in the English she does not.

Ash also calls the Professor collect, where in the Japanese he instead calls him directly making a point that he knows the Okido-Hakase's phone number. Oh yeah I just used the Japanese, so what!? Wanna fight about it?

Wait, wait, the lighthouse keeper said his cook was on vacation over the intercom. And Oak just said his cook was on vacation too! THERE'S A SECRET COOKS CONVENTION AT VIRIDIAN CITY

"Why would I eat your Krabby, you idiot?" is not something Oak said. But it should have been.

Ash's Krabby and Gary's Krabby side by side. Ummm, I know which one I'd rather eat.

Brock's reaction? "Awesome." Yep, I agree.

Oak brags about how his grandson Gary has caught at least 45 types of Pokémon. Following game logic, Ash has caught 9 types - taking into account Caterpie's evolution states as caught Pokémon types.

Oak tells Ash he's at Bill's lighthouse. Bill? Let's have an explanation. Who's going to do the honors?

Ah, Oak will. Oak explains that Bill is a young Pokémon researcher who knows even more than he does.

Now we get our appearance from Bill. No, it's a Kabuto.

This is a reference to how in the games, Bill sometimes finds himself spliced with-- WHO'S THAT POKéMON!?

OH COME ON I was telling an exciting story about Bill!

Well, I couldn't eat a whole one right now, I'm stuffed with donuts and beef chow mein, and filled up with sugar free cola. It's of course, a Pikachu Krabby!

Anyway, the story about Bill. In the first game, he has accidentally fused himself with a Pokémon! Yeah, like in David Cronenberg's The Fly. (But less gross.) So to acknowledge this joke, the cartoon has come up with its own dumb idea, have Bill get stuck in a mechanical Pokémon costume.

Here's some more trivia, courtesy of my Fame Checker, uhh, Bill is lactose-intolerant and has a crush on the Flower Shop girl in Goldenrod City.Thanks, Fame Checker.

Once again, the characters who should be treated with more respect and who should have their own show turn up, having researched that the lighthouse belongs to Bill, and should therefore contain some awesome Pokémon to steal or something.

They also do the whole motto and decide it is better that they scale the cliff than just walk down the path. Huh, you guise, seriously.

This blog is mostly just going to be pictures of Team Rocket being sexy.

I still would. Both of them.

Ash helps Bill escape from his costume. Bill then proceeds to talk about how the planet was made 4.6 billion years ago or whatever and starts saying things that make me uncomfortable so we're skipping it. Don't put your existentialist anti-Christian filthy propaganda in my Saturday morning cartoon! #satire



Saving us some time and some headaches I'm skipping Bill's crazy computer room and his long talk about Pokémon, their relationship to humans and the number of Pokémon out in the world and how they'll never know about all the Pokémon because a lot of what he says has been proven so darn wrong in the cartoon, manga and games sooooo many times since and quite frankly I do not care for it, so there.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket are climbing the cliff. Here is the thirteenth Team Rocket image in this article, just to put my crazy obsession in perspective.

Bill is still talking. Ah yes. He is now telling the gang about the only Pokémon he wants to catch, a large mysterious Pokémon from across the sea, who he has been communicating with. Sounds familiar? That's right, it's ripped straight out of the classic short story The Fog Horn by Ray Bradbury. Like, not even a passing resemblance, but totally flipping lifted completely.

That's right, smile you smug plagiarist.

According to Bill, it's the only Pokémon of its species, one of a kind. This is important, as we'll find out very, very, very soon. But yes, this episode is mostly a bag of moist nappies and lies, LIES!

Why, that silhouette looks awfully familiar, is that, a Dragonite?

Nah, it can't be because there is more than one Dragonite, right? RIGHT? 

Yep, Dragonite. That's OK, we only have to wait until the next episode for a massive glaring inconsistency so look forward to it, friends!

Still just pointing out that the Pokémon here is a Dragonite, because this is important.

Up close? Still a Dragonite.

Team Rocket attack the Dragonite, 'cause they're totally fearless and awesome.

Like in the story this episode so blatantly stole from, the creature destroys the lighthouse. I suppose the show writers wanted the Pokémon to have a reason to attack, whereby in the original story it is unprovoked murderous carnage. I prefer the original story more.

Epic action shot coming up.

Pikachu is looking pretty tanned there.

Anyway, they're outside now. Bill is begging the Pokémon not to leave, he isn't aware that the Pokémon is getting attacked by Team Rocket. Speaking of James, Jessie and Meowth, they recieve a smack to the face with Dragonite's tail and...

It looks like Team Rocket's blasting off again!

The Dragonite leaves and Bill is pretty broken hearted. Oh, and his home was destroyed too, that's kind of important also. 

Oh, it's day now.

"What kind of Pokémon was that anyway?"
"Who knows."


We get bombarded with Pokémon morals like how catching Pokémon should bring people together and stuff like that... I didn't order the Cheese Board but I'm stuck with it anyway, thanks Waiter. 

"Bill, do you think we'll ever find all the Pokémon there are?"
"No Ash."

Oh wait, that wasn't the end?

"Maybe there's no limit to the actual number of Pokémon we can find on this planet."


That makes no sense. Narrator, sing us out!

"Over time we uncover new information about the mysterious ways of the Pokémon. The more knowledge we gain, the more we realize how little we actually do know. And so the journey of discovery continues in the incredible world of Pokémon."

And it ends on a Dragonite cloud, how lovely.

But don't forget the Dragonite, it's important next time.

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