It’s been a little while since my last Indigo League retrospective and I’ve written quite a few things in between, but here we are yet again. In between watching and reviewing several other shows lately (of which you should be seeing more meat in terms of reviews releasing) I’ve also taken the time to rewatch old Pokemon episodes and catch myself up accordingly. As such, I’ll be presenting another five episodes today and once I’ve completely finished rewatching The Clone Wars you can expect a continuation of the blog series from season two onward (including Rebels).
My previous Pokemon: Indigo League retrospective can be found here if you do not wish to search overly much for the original post itself. As always, I’m going to be breaking down Ash and his crew’s ongoing adventure into bite-sized portions that are much more manageable both for review and consumption. So without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Ep. 6: Clefairy and the Moon Stone | 22m
Even as I remember it fondly today having just recently revisited the episode, the Mt. Moon-centric episode has always been one of if not my very favorite Pokemon episodes of all time. I’m not sure what the initial draw of it was for me all those years ago but now I just enjoy the enigmatic presence of Clefairy and later Clefable, as well as the first showcase of evolutionary power beyond the normal evolutionary track itself. Ash, Misty, and Brock meet a scientist (Seymour) who is being attacked by confused Zubat- all of this ties into yet another unoriginal Team Rocket scheme of course as well. Needless to say, it always boils down to Team Rocket wanting to either steal Pokemon or something that will inherently increase their power. In this case it’s the latter and the Moon Stone itself, which is fabled to be in the caves somewhere around Mt. Moon. Although there is a lot of shenanigans and mysticism involved, ultimately the Moon Stone is shattered and transforms many nearby Clefairy into Clefable, an even more rare Pokemon who sends Team Rocket packing. Grade: A
Ep. 7: The Water Flowers of Cerulean City | 22m
Having ended the previous episode with some timely signpost graffiti courtesy of Gary Oak, Ash Ketchum’s greatest and original rival, Cerulean City’s journey starts with Brock mocking the young hero for his willingness to let Gary stay one step ahead and forces him to go to battle other opponents in anticipation of a rival challenge. Misty, to her credit, attempts to divert them from heading to this particular city (for reasons that are more apparent later on) but nothing will deter Ash. When Ash does arrive at the local gym it’s not exactly what he was expecting and he finds three apathetic sisters more concerned with their looks and synchronized dance routines. Somewhat discouraged but still wanting to earn his badges the correct way, he moves on. Enter Misty. The friend (and as it turns out, fan of hard work and making Ash work hard particularly) returns and forces Ash to battle her for the Cascade badge he covets dearly. Just when it looks like Team Rocket will miss their entrance for once, the trio crashes the show and Misty/Ash team up to take them on. After they’re done with, it’s another solid win in the books as the crew continues on their journey. Grade: A
Ep. 8: The Path to the Pokemon League | 22m
With two badges down and untold adventures to come, Ash and his friends head off into the relative unknown- purportedly making their way to Vermilion City which holds luxury and intrigue. Of course now is the perfect time to encounter some local trainers who wish to test Ash’s prowess- so enter A.J, who also has a tent full of wild pocket monsters for the crew to ooh and ahh over. And did I mention A.J’s gym has been undefeated? Needless to say, A.J isn’t exactly the best with how he treats his Pokemon but figures the ends justify the means. And right on cue, Team Rocket starts to weasel their way into this setup as well. Ironically, A.J and his Sandshrew take it upon themselves to defend their gym and their honor, even if it means pretty much destroying the place in their bid to send Team Rocket heading for the hills. As we learn by the end, all trainers do things their own way and Ash and A.J must inevitably head their separate ways as they each make their own legacy and work towards entering the Pokemon league proper. Grade: B+
Ep. 9: The School of Hard Knocks | 22m
As the narrator says the friends will continue on their adventure in “perfect harmony,” we see that this is in fact nowhere near reality and Misty is still rightfully angry about her bike being totaled. Soon they stumble upon what looks to be the very definition of ‘school of hard knocks’ when they encounter kids quizzing each other on all things Pokemon- with the added bonus of doing so while amping up the speed on a treadmill. If that’s not interesting plot development, I’m not sure what is. In fact, the entirety of this so-called Pokemon Technical School is something of a satirical take on real universities and their issues and that alone makes me love Pokemon so much more. Before long, Ash and Misty (and sort of wallflower Brock) are doing their best to battle the local cliques and stick it to the student body, er man. Despite his lack of general knowledge in most regard, Ash proves that you don’t necessarily need to be a know-it-all to win matches. Hands down the best moment comes when Team Rocket stumbles in and is subsequently attacked by not one but all of the students who’ve gathered around- citing that “bad guys don’t play by the rules” and as such they don’t merit one on one confrontation. Grade: B
Ep. 10: Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village | 22m
Ash and his friends start off once more in the wilderness and find themselves reliant upon his often off-the-mark “instincts.” Things quickly go awry as the trainers experience everything from falling into a watery canyon to being caught in a hunting snare. Later on things take an unexpected turn when they encounter an atypical village that has been erected for injured Pokemon to recover and recuperate in. Team Rocket is shown to be essentially following the kids and also ironically falls into every single pitfall that the others had already encountered, often hilariously escaping just barely. Later on when they finally make it to the so-called “Pokemon health spa” as well, their advances are of course denied by the gathered pocket monsters who’ve grown particularly unruly when it comes to dealing with insensitive trainers and the likes of Team Rocket. In the final moments, both Ash and Misty would like to battle for the right to capture Bulbasaur but it is of course Ash who wins this right and wins the following battle before they turn their gaze back to making the trip to Vermilion City. Grade: A-
Well, there’s the next series snippet of my Indigo League reviews and retrospective. I hope you’ve been enjoying everything so far and will continue to read and review my words and thoughts as well as supply your own. Enjoy!