This episode had some really interesting animation. It seemed particularly rubbery, and it seemed as if the animators had fun emphasizing the many comedic elements of the episode. Before this episode, I had thought that Kucheat was the ugliest pokemon in all of Houen, but the cute Kucheat in this episode changed my mind.
However, what’s odd to me is the inclusion of a bunch of odd sound effects that stuck out to me. Throughout the episode, a number of American-sounding, almost Hanna Barbara-ish sound effects can be heard, which almost ruined a few of the scenes. I hope they don’t ever come back.
Anyway, here’s the synopsis:
-The episode starts with the gang eating a meal at a picnic table. There, Satoshi asks Takeshi if he wants to have a pokemon battle to pass the time, and the Pokemon Breeder agrees. Satoshi chooses his Kortoise while Takeshi chooses his Hasubrero, prompting Masato to comment on how Takeshi’s water-type has the advantage against Satoshi’s fire-type.
-The battle starts as Haruka comments on how laid-back Hasubrero looks. Satoshi starts off by having Kortoise use Stomp, which Hasubrero manages to dodge. Kortoise then tries a Flamethrower attack, but Hasubrero is able to dodge that as well, even though it does fall backwards in the process. Kortoise attempts to use Stomp again, but it misses yet again. Now, Hasubrero goes on the offensive, hitting Kortoise with a Water Gun. The turtle pokemon survives the attack and counters with Flamethrower, but it misses. Hasubrero responds with Razor Leaf, but it’s no good as Kortoise withdraws into its shell to deflect the attack. After the Razor Leaf subsides, Satoshi has Kortoise use Overheat, which hits Hasubrero and causes it to go blasting off, Team Rocket-style. The water pokemon lands in a nearby forest, where a Kucheat and its trainer are practicing new techniques.
-Satoshi and the others soon catch up to Takeshi’s pokemon. Takeshi gets one look at the Kucheat’s trainer, Sayori, and instantly begins his heart-eyed routine (he breaks down her name, saying that the sa is for something about sakura, the yo is for something, and the ri stands for something else). Satoshi looks Kucheat up in his Pokemon Zukan, and after that the deceiver pokemon starts getting closer to a vacant-faced Hasubrero. Sayori reckons that her pokemon likes Hasubrero, causing Takeshi to give his pokemon a sort of “ ’atta boy” nudge.
-Kucheat moves in a bit closer, but Hasubrero turns its back toward Sayori’s pokemon and walks off to the side! Takeshi goes over and asks the water pokemon what it’s doing, whispering that if it gets together with Kucheat, it will improve his chances of getting with its trainer, Sayori. Masato overhears Takeshi’s plot and promptly scolds the Pokemon Breeder for planning to use his pokemon like that in one of the funnier Masato scenes in the series. Kucheat approaches Takeshi’s Hasubrero again and tries to get closer, but it’s rejected again, so the deceiver pokemon turns around and uses its massive jaws to attack Hasubrero! Suddenly, Haruka looks over to Sayori’s bags and notices a bunch of ribbons, so she asks her what they’re for. She responds by saying that her pokemon and she perform a dance with the ribbons, and so she prepares to demonstrate what she means.
-A bit later, Sayori and her pokemon are ready to perform. The two dance around while waving the ribbons about, creating an elegant dance. Satoshi and the others watch intently while, unbeknownst to anyone in the group, Team Rocket watches. Nyasu decides that they should kidnap the Kucheat, saying that its ribbon dance will entertain the Boss (this is accompanied by a scene of chibi-Sakaki giving Kucheat a round of applause). Kojirou asks if that’s it, and Nyasu responds by saying that the pokemon could also use its large jaws to fan the Boss (holding a glass of purple wine) whenever he gets warm. Finally, Nyasu tells the group that the pokemon’s jaws could be used as a sort of lawn chair, enabling Sakaki to leisurely sit while he talks about how great Nyasu and the others are. Team Rocket agrees that there are enough reasons to kidnap the pokemon, so they begin their preparations.
-Now that the ribbon dance is over, Satoshi and the gang are seen walking with Sayori. On the road, an abandoned bouquet of flowers can be seen, so Takeshi runs over to pick it up, offering it to Hasubrero to give to Kucheat. Satoshi and the others catch up with Takeshi, but when they do the ground begins to rumble. They’re standing over one of Team Rocket’s pitfall traps! After everyone falls into the hole, Team Rocket appears in their Nyasu balloon as they scoop up Sayori’s pokemon. Satoshi calls on Heigani while Takeshi calls on Hasubrero, so Musashi responds by calling on her Habunake. Heigani uses Bubble Beam on Habunake, knocking it back for a moment. Kojirou decides to call on his Sabonea to help Musashi out, and, as predicted, the cactus pokemon begins to hug its master.
-The battle continues as Habunake wraps its body around Heigani. Hasubrero steps up and uses Razor Leaf on the snake pokemon, freeing Heigani from Habunake’s grasp. The viper pokemon responds by using Poison Tail on Hasubrero while Sabonea uses Poison Needle on Heigani. Both pokemon are knocked back as Satoshi decides to call on his Kortoise, who quickly hits Sabonea with one of its attacks. It then uses Flamethrower on Habunake, knocking it back into the Nyasu balloon’s basket. The jolt from the snake pokemon jars the balloon, enabling Kucheat to escape. Now that Sayori’s pokemon is free, Heigani Crab Hammers Kojirou’s Sabonea onto the balloon. The pokemon’s needles puncture the balloon, sending Team Rocket blasting off again.
-With Team Rocket out of the way, Heigani is able to get a good luck at Kucheat, and it likes what it sees! The pokemon gets all heart-eyed and offers the pokemon the bouquet of flowers, but Kucheat responds by clasping its jaws on Heigani! It then hurls the pokemon around before tossing it into the distance! Heigani doesn’t give up as it runs back to the others to try again. However, it’s greeted by the sight of Kucheat holding on to Hasubrero’s arm! The heart-broken Heigani begins to bawl, and Takeshi joins in, telling it that he knows how it feels. Satoshi’s Kortoise joins in all the crying, just because it can.
For the first time since Pocket Monsters Advance Generation started, the eyecatch has changed. While the same shots of the four main heroes are used, the Groudon/Kyogre backgrounds have both been replaced by a green Rayquaza background.
-The group’s now in a city, where Sayori and her Kucheat are about to go on-stage to perform for an outdoor stadium full of people. In the audience, Satoshi and the others wait for the start of the show as Heigani gives Hasubrero the death glare. Haruka comments on how Heigani sees Hasubrero as its rival in love as the show starts. The spotlight comes on Sayori and Kucheat, and the two begin their ribbon dance. Suddenly, the lights go out, and Team Rocket’s balloon can be seen arriving on the scene!
-Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyasu, all in theatrical costumes, recite their motto as they botch up their act (Musashi tries twirling a ribbon about, but she ends up wrapping herself with the ribbon instead; likewise, Kojirou tries juggling what looks to be bowling pins, but he misses them and they all land on his head). After the motto, Musashi calls her Habunake out and orders it to use Haze on the stage. As everyone coughs from the smoke, Team Rocket emerges from the smoke with pokemon in tow, laughing victoriously. After Team Rocket escapes, the group notices that Kucheat is still there, but Takeshi’s Hasubrero is missing. They took the wrong pokemon! Takeshi decides to stay behind to stall the audience while the others go out to stop Team Rocket. Before they leave, Takeshi calls Satoshi’s Heigani over and asks it to help him with his act…
-Elsewhere, we see that Team Rocket has landed their balloon and realized their mistake. Nyasu thinks that they can still give Hasubrero to the Boss, so he imagines the Boss waking up…only to be disturbed by Hasubrero’s odd face. OK, bad idea. Well, the Boss could be going to the pool one day, see Hasubrero, and…be disturbed at its odd face. After thinking for a while, it’s decided that giving Hasubrero to the Boss would be a bad idea, and Sonansu comes out of its Monster Ball to agree. Sonansu and Hasubrero begin to have a conversation, but it seems to be as mindless as the conversation between Sonansu and Sonano in “Camp Pikachu.” Nyasu can’t seem to make heads or tails out of what they’re saying as Team Rocket watches, bewildered.
-Suddenly, Satoshi and the others arrive. As Ready Go! plays in the background, Musashi calls on her Dokukeiru while Kojirou calls on his Sabonea. Kucheat is ordered to use Bite, so the pokemon uses its massive jaws to clamp down on Sabonea. Dokukeiru is ordered to use Psybeam and Sabonea is ordered to use Pin Missile on Kucheat, so Satoshi steps in and has his Pikachu use Thunder. The attack hits Dokukeiru, knocking the moth pokemon into Nyasu. However, Sabonea’s Pin Missile is still coming toward Kucheat! At the last minute, Hasubrero jumps in front of Sayori’s pokemon and shields it from the attack as Kucheat looks lovingly at Takeshi’s pokemon.
-After the Pin Missile attack stops, Dokukeiru, having recovered from Pikachu’s attack, charges toward Hasubrero. The water pokemon is able to dodge its attack, and afterwards Kucheat moves from behind Hasubrero and uses some kind of punch attack on Dokukeiru. Sabonea aims a Pin Needle at Hasubrero, but it’s able to dodge it, and responds by hitting Kojirou’s pokemon with a Water Gun. Dokukeiru uses Gust, so Hasubrero responds with Razor Leaf, impressing Kucheat even further.
-Back at the outdoor stage, we can see Heigani shaking a pair of maracas…
-Back to the battle! Sabonea uses Pin Needle, which Hasubrero is able to dodge. Kucheat then comes up and prepares a massive Solar Beam. The attack is released, sending Team Rocket blasting off. Everyone congratulates each other on a battle well-fought, but they realize that they have to return to relieve Takeshi and Heigani.
-Sayori and the others arrive to find Takeshi all decked out in his “Takeshi’s Paradise” outfit. The Pokemon Breeder is visibly tired from the performance, so he’s relieved when Sayori gets back on the stage.
-She and her Kucheat resume their ribbon dance as everyone else goes backstage. There, Hasubrero approaches Sayori’s bags and starts rummaging through them. Suddenly, he pulls a Water Stone out of her bag! Just then, Hasubrero begins to glow and evolves into Lunpappa! After it evolves, it quickly jumps onto the stage and joins the performance, happily dancing along.
-After the show, Takeshi apologizes to Sayori for Hasubrero using her Water Stone. She says that it’s OK as Lunpappa gets hearts in its eyes for Kucheat, but Kucheat doesn’t want anything to do with Takeshi’s pokemon! Sayori’s pokemon then spots a Koduck in the distance and begins fawning over it, and Sayori guesses that it must be attracted to absent-minded pokemon. Ludicolo quickly gets over its rejection and starts dancing, using Bullet Seed on the ground as it does so. Takeshi is happy with his new pokemon as the begin dancing.
Next week will be the last episode I’ll be able to do preview of. After that, I’ll be returning to the U.S., meaning that I won’t have access to the episodes until everyone else does.
Characters (in order of appearance):
Satoshi = Ash
Takeshi = Brock
Kortoise = Torkoal
Hasubrero = Lombre
Masato = Max
Haruka = May
Kucheat = Mawile
Pokemon Zukan = Pokédex
Nyasu = Meowth
Sakaki = Giovanni
Kojirou = James
Heigani = Corphish
Musashi = Jessie
Habunake = Seviper
Sabonea = Cacnea
Sonansu = Wobbuffet
Monster Ball = Pokéball
Sonano = Wynaut
Dokukeiru = Dustox
Lunpappa = Ludicolo
Koduck = Psyduck