VHS Review (Posted on 04-14-2014)
Off it starts with a sinister laugh from a spooky spirit! As the trio sail, they all land, including Team Rocket, on Maiden's Peak. Before that, Brock sees that summer is coming to a close, to which he says:
"Summer means bathing suits and girls to wear them!"
Not to worry Brock. That's what bikinis are made for: girls and women.
Standing by the dock, Brock and Pikachu see a beautiful girl from afar, but Pikachu has a bad feeling of what "that" may be, when the girl suddenly disappears. On the other hand, Team Rocket also land by the dock when James also sees that same pretty girl afar, even though Jesse looks to steal money and Meowth in the mood for some festival snacks such as corn dogs (what about funnel cake?). Going by Jesse's plan, Team Rocket all rummage through the floors to find loose change when James finds a penny. A grisly old lady stops James, claiming his bad antics foresees a terrible future in his life. In addition, the old lady made mention about James' love life dipping as James openly admits being a curse.
The festival then features the unveiling of the painting of the Maiden by the shrine. Mesmerized by the Maiden's beauty, Brock and James slowly approach the painting only to be stopped; Meowth also thinks the girl is beautiful. If pictures are worth a thousand words, this painting of the Maiden has a story to tell:
"The woman in this painting perished over 2,000 years ago. She was in love with a brave and handsome young man, but he left her and sailed away to fight in a war.....And she did wait for a very long time hoping to see his ship on the horizon. But her true love never returned to that place again. Still she waited and waited, never moving from that spot, until finally her body was turned into stone just like the cliff upon which she stood. To this day, she waits for her love to return."
With everyone seeing the Maiden's rock, nighttime falls, and Brock offers to stay by the rock promising he'd be back by curfew. It's 11:00PM and Brock isn't back but Ash, Misty and Pikachu are stuck in the Pokémon Center for the night and can't go out to get him. Outside, the winds pick up waking Meowth up but Jesse and James stay asleep. Over by the shrine, the doors open and Meowth witnesses a beautiful ghost come out! The ghost casts what looks like a sleep spell—Hypnosis—and forces Meowth to go back to sleep. Meanwhile, James wakes up and sees the Maiden's ghost telling him she's been waiting for him all this time. She also approaches Brock and was happy to see him. I don't know about you, but something very wrong is going on here; No guy would fall for a line like that (assuming girls use come-on lines to lure a guy).
Next morning, Ash & Misty try to call for Brock, and Jesse & Meowth call for James as both men are gone. Running into each other, they both nearly challenge each other to a fight when the doors of the shrine open and out goes James, helping Jesse with the motto. When Brock and James fly outside, they both land laughing and laughing. The old lady sees that both men have been possessed by Maiden's ghost, when Ash commands Pikachu to electrocute them. After awakening from a ghostly possession, the old lady recommends pasting anti-ghost stickers all around to sway away the evil ghosts. This never worked as the winds began picking up and blew the stickers away. The Maiden's ghost appears again and try to grab Brock and James, to which James "doesn't want to go." Jesse stops the ghost from kidnapping James by firing at her. The ghost retaliates casting a flock of ghouls, as Ash uses his PokéDex to see if it's a Pokémon, but Dexter couldn't read. Pointing and pointing, Ash detects the Maiden's ghost is a Pokémon—Gastly! Now that Ash found out, Gastly shows it can pose as anyone and anything, including the Maiden's ghost and the old lady! A battle ensues: Ash summons Pikachu but Gastly stops it with a mouse trap! Meowth's turn to attack but get distracted with a ball of yarn! Jesse summons Ekans but Gastly scares it with a mongoose! James hesitantly summons Koffing but it gets stomped by the mongoose, as Gastly says, "smoking is prohibited." Ash then summons Charmander but Gastly chases it with a fire extinguisher! Desperate, Ash summons both Squirtle and Bulbasaur but Gastly laughs again: it summons Venusaur and Blastoise, and "just for fun" he says, Gastly combines both to summon a super Pokémon: a VENUSTOISE
! Out of the blue, Misty holds and shows a....crucifix? She also holds garlic, a stake and a hammer. Gastly bluffs as it isn't a vampire. Although it's not, Gastly hates sunlight and has to wait to appear again in next year's festival.
Next day, folks set little boats to sail above the calm water. Officer Jenny explains that by the end of the summer, visitors send out boats with a candle on it to help light the way for wandering spirits who can't find their way back home. A conversation takes place between Gastly and the real spirit of Maiden, promising her that he will find her true love and remind him that she's still waiting. All in all, Gastly was the guard to protect the beautiful Maiden. "I enjoy keeping alive all the old legends people have forgotten over the years," says Gastly. Meanwhile, knowing he fell for a Gastly, Brock looks from afar feeling bummed out.
"If only you were 2,000 years younger....maybe next year."
The summer festival begins as Jesse and James play the drums excitedly while Meowth plays the flute! Studying more on Gastly, Misty approaches Ash to dance with her and Pikachu too!
Second episode of the volume feels like it was placed out of order, but more on that later. The trio run into a cliff when they see a flock of Butterfree from afar. It's mating season for Butterfree, and as Ash summons his, they all go on a hot air balloon ride. They find that all trainers release their Butterfree to help find a mate. Ash's Butterfree finds a female Butterfree it likes, tries its courtship dance, but gets rejected painfully. Ash's Butterfree tries again but gets slapped! Butterfree flies toward the forest in tears, as the trio follow the poor butterfly.
"You've got to be assertive."
I'm not surprised Misty knows a thing or two about the rules of dating. Brock helps out by wrapping a scarf on Butterfree to change its look. Suddenly, Team Rocket looks to capture the flock. If you notice, James' voice was similar to how he sounded on the earlier episodes of Pokémon. Either the release was out of order or producers/writers wanted to elongate fans' belief that Ash spent more and more time with Butterfree before letting go. Anyway, Team Rocket successfully capture all the Butterfree, including the female one whom Ash's Butterfree has a crush on! The trio charges to save the flock, catching up to Team Rocket in a little hideaway. The trio introduce themselves making a parody of Team Rocket's motto. The battle begins: Misty summons Starmie but get hit with Jesse's sledgehammer! Ash's Butterfree, however, uses all its strength to break the trap to free the flock. As it does, the female realizes that Ash's Butterfree really likes her and sees it when it tries to save her after being kidnapped. Success! The flock is free; James tries to catch the female Butterfree but gets tackled! Time for submission: Butterfree flies Pikachu to have it land on Team Rocket's helicopter, in attempt to capture the flock again, and casts Thunder Shock! Team Rocket is finished.
Now the female is trying her courtship dance to attract Ash's Butterfree this time....and accepts! The time has come: Butterfree and its new partner have to cross the ocean to start a family. Ash and Pikachu break down in tears saying their last goodbyes. A flashback scene shows as Ash reflects back on the good times he had with Butterfree—being the first Pokémon he caught since Caterpie. The TV show's introduction song plays during the flashback as well!
"You know Ash, you raised Butterfree to have a lot of courage. And I think you just proved, you got a lot of courage too."
We're all in this together: "goodbye" is the most difficult thing to utter during our span in this human life.
After subtly spreading a hidden message, or messages, from the previous two episodes, the third episode continues Ash's quest. To begin, it opens with a beautiful girl sitting on her 'throne' holding a laughing doll on her lap with glowing red eyes. And now it's time for the Marsh Badge over in Saffron City, but we can't continue without a little Ash and Misty fight. Out of the blue, the trio see a giggly little girl bouncing a ball, then running away. The trio go on after her to see where she's headed, as our heroes are lost again. Ash runs after the girl then runs off the cliff! He quickly summons Bulbasaur to use its vines to save him. When the trio finally made it to Saffron City, two Hawaiian girls (*ahem*) show up and tell them they won a prize. The duo, looking like Team Rocket, push the trio into a warp tile—as seen on the Pokémon video game! Right when the trio warp, they're trapped in a room with no exits, other than the tile itself. They're forced to watch "The Team Rocket Show" but aren't paying attention. Misty thinks their show is boring and Ash hopes their show will get cancelled! In order to get the trio's attention, Team Rocket tie up Pikachu on camera. Suddenly, that little girl from the forest, shows up, petrifies Team Rocket and takes Pikachu. The little girl spontaneously teleports the trio and Pikachu and had them land outside of Sabrina's gym. A stranger approaches Ash and the rest to warn them not to enter the gym but Ash is in dire need of the Marsh Badge. Who could stop him?
The trio enter the gym and see a room with people practicing, what looks like, power of the mind—bending spoons. Being approached by a staff member, he bends a spoon with his mind in front of the trio, as Ash makes a smartass remark thinking he could bend a spoon physically with little effort. Looking to obtain a Marsh Badge without further ado, the staff member leads them to the battle arena of the Saffron gym. Ash demands a match, and as the folks see that little girl again, she says that if they lose they have to play with her (sounds like something you'd hear from a horror movie, huh?). Gym leader Sabrina shows her face and then summons Abra already. Ash summons Pikachu as the little mouse starts trash talking Abra, but Abra doesn't react. Pikachu casts its first attack but Abra teleports its way out! Suddenly, Abra evolves into Kadabra! Angered by Sabrina's game plan, Ash commands Pikachu to electrocute and destroy the whole gym (a Lt. Surge move?). As a pillar of electricity is headed toward Kadabra, it uses its mind to redirect that attack to Pikachu! Kadabra casts confusion making Pikachu move in random ways and making it dance. (Don't be surprised if that's where Twerking
was extracted from—not really, but still.) To finish the match, Kadabra casts Psychic, flattening Pikachu on the ceiling and the floor. Ash throws in the towel then gets teleported for losing. Coming from the outside, Brock senses the area in which they landed seems too quiet. The trio enter into a house with food on the table. Brock takes a bite of the cake only to find that the cake is....fake! Ash looks at the bathroom only to see a naked girl taking a bubble bath. Looking at the reflection of the girl, Pikachu points there's something fishy about the girl—she's a doll! The trio conclude that they've been shrunk and trapped inside Sabrina's doll house! The place shakes and the little girl wants to play with the trio, as the folks run for their lives while the little girl continues her eerie laughing. The trio run into a dead end, looking like a family portrait of the little girl and her parents (crucial clue in the coming episode, after the next). Wanting to play catch, the girl throws the ball to the trio as they've ran out of places to hide. That same stranger the trio met appears again and teleports them to safety. Landing outside, he suggests Ash and the crew leave as Sabrina is too dangerous for anyone's own good. He explains more about the phenomenon of telekinetic powers dropping Ash's pants as his demonstration. Pushing Ash away from him with his telekinesis, Ash strongly asks the man advice on how to overcome the psychic elemental over and over again, while Misty and Brock tell Ash to stop. Pushing and pushing up against his psychic strength, he crawls to the man asking how to defeat Sabrina. The man realizes the dedication and couage Ash has, so only one thing can defeat her: obtain a ghost Pokémon from Lavender Town. Wasting no time, the trio walk to Lavender Town as Meowth drags Jesse and James as they're still petrified from the telekinetic power casted by the little girl. Lots of unanswered questions went on during this episode, so we'll find out on the next volume!
The volume ends with commercials for Pokémon for Game Boy, Ranma ½
, The Dog of Flanders
and Kimba: The White Lion
Let me first say that writing this review you are reading took me one week to write. And that isn't counting revision and proofreading. Volume seven of Pokémon for season one will come down as the beefiest volume strung with an array of hidden messages. I suggest you wear your thinking hat before you proceed to the next few paragraphs. You ready? Let's go:
Episode The Ghost of the Maiden's Peak
gave us a glimpse of the annual Japanese festival filled with beautiful dancing, drumming and flute-playing. (Check our Nisei Week (2013)
photo album for more.) It also includes the Japanese ritual for those who have gone home—loved ones who have passed away. Officer Jenny made a brief description about the floating boats all of which have candles. Being that the Japan is one of the least religious countries in the world, compared to, say, the Philippines, they do have belief in the existence of a soul (I personally do research and study on these things). So let's backtrack: it's about the ghostly existence of the Maiden, who fell in love, but stood there for the rest of her life and still awaits for her man. Despite being an old, but true, legend, Brock and James both fall in love with this gorgeous girl. Brock was the only one, out of everyone, to bravely try to sense and communicate with the Maiden. Shocked that it was a Pokémon, Brock still wished she was around, which tells us what kind of heart he has.
"If she were my girlfriend, I'd make sure she was never out of my sight."
Persistence. Assertiveness. This is the same lesson Butterfree was taught on episode Bye Bye Butterfree
. James, on the other hand, fell head over heels but wasn't getting comfortable with existence of something "nonexistent." In other words, he tries to find out why he's in love, yet feels as if he isn't ready. A one-night stand? Not really.
The part when the Maiden-replicate gravitationally pulls Brock and James toward her, Brock yells at Ash and Misty to let go. James, however, made this scene very clear, when he kept saying this to Jesse and Meowth:
"I don't wanna go! I don't wanna go! I don't wanna go! I DON'T WANNA GO!"
As both men gravitate toward the Maiden-replicate made it look like they were ascending. This clarifies a major difference: if Brock had to die for Love, he'd do it; James would love to have her as his girlfriend but likely wouldn't die for it hence his whining about not wanting "to go [home]." Anything for Love? Being one of the most difficult topics to philosophically interpret, there's something about Love & Admiration portrayed here.
The beautiful Maiden literally sacrificed her whole life to wait for her man whom she's in love with. Love, in this case romantic love, is the companionship between two people's attraction toward each other. The togetherness and admiration for each other, from a person's status, intelligence, right up there with a sense of humor, are a few elements of attraction that magnetizes another with an invitation to their life. To keep a relationship strong and healthy requires time, bliss and teamwork (in this day and age, that includes money, effort and affection). We don't know the deeper story behind the Maiden but we assume they both love each other for reasons stated above. When her man goes off to fight in the war, the Maiden feels lost—"incomplete," per se. When this togetherness gets broken, a grocery list of things occur in the mind of someone who lost a loved one.
"I'll wait for you forever. Come back to me. Farewell."
In this case with the Maiden, it also correlates with the death of a loved one. We grow to admire the people who love(d) us since youth, unaware that one day, every one of our lives will end. The love and sacrifice this beautiful girl laid down for her man is unparalleled. It is nearly the same portrayal that Brock showed us, doing anything for the girl because she makes him happy.
Those with a long relationship history, to which I'm sure many women reading this would remember theirs, will likely suggest that the Maiden go out to find someone else. As sad as our US troops fighting to protect our land, with their girlfriends/wives intentionally cheating due to lack of affection, many will think that her man fighting off in war will unlikely come back. If the Maiden agreed with this idea, will her story become something to be remembered in the next thousand years for the future generations? Didn't think so. Because it's socially acceptable, and often recommended, to find someone else to "match" with your puzzle piece, the Maiden placed her life on the line and waited day and night. If Love persists us to go the distance, no matter how good or bad his/her partner may treat them, will the benefits satisfy when we reach the finish line? Reasons like this is why many women find jerks irresistible; They're unattainable and a complete challenge to women. Even though some women feel embarrassed with this kind of mindset puts the Maiden's sacrificial persistence into perspective. Some will argue that the woman's history dictates why there exists women who are in abusive relationships, yet still refuse to break up with their partner despite the mistreatment ("damaged women" as they're described). Like death, the fear of uncertainty when one is in a relationship is what one thinks about before proposing to ask someone to be their boyfriend/girlfriend. However, if you know you love someone and they love you, what's there to fear about? Lots: Feelings can run out of gas; You feel something personal came up and can't date for a period of time; You find someone else who makes you happier but don't want to make any mention of it; You are both bored of each other—a reason that makes up more than 90% of why couples break up during their early high school/college days. The fact that it's acceptable to find someone else when someone left in accordance to something, what did that tell the Maiden (we don't know if the Maiden's boyfriend/husband was required
to go to war, or chose
to go)? This is why Jesse's rebuttal of the entire legendary story is logically sound:
"Girls like her disgust me. Always waiting around for her man as if she were his faithful pet. She can't stand the thought of losing him; she cries, but I say 'see ya later!' There are plenty more fish in the sea."
Apparently, the kind of man Jesse wants is someone who'll always be with her and giving her lots of attention. Well, Jesse, no one's judging you for it, as long as that's your type.
As we grow and mature, our parents won't be there to pamper us anymore, thus making finding a partner the closest thing to the admiration we grew up with. Love can cast happiness you'll never find anywhere else but, like Kadabra's psychic powers, may take over some people's lives. I've read about a brother and sister attracted to each other, May-December relationships, attraction to infants and toddlers, a couple in love with both being born with no arms and legs, interracial relationships, skinny-fat couples, tall-short couples, couples with different religions, those in love with inanimate objects/robots/mannequins and even themselves. Beyond the normal connection between two people who are attracted and admire each other have caused the connection of "odd couples" around the world. What does this tell us? No matter what, we just want to be happy, be it someone different from us. If a part of us drifts away, we wither, and for the Maiden, even after her death, still longs to wait for her man to come back refusing to let go. Speaking of letting go....
The narrator states that Ash matured a bit having said his last goodbyes to the Pokémon he first got. ALL of us faces this at a point in our lives: Why is it hard to say goodbye? Here's a good answer from Yahoo! Answers
and another from "GypsyRoxyLee" on her WordPress blog
talking about it. They both have good points.
I must admit one thing honestly: I hate saying goodbyes. I never said goodbye to my father after he went back Home; What I told him is that I hope to meet and hang out again (hence my italicized message found below on every page of this website). A growing number of people have adopted this way of thinking knowing that Death is not
the end of Life. Feel free to debate me on that because, although Science has enough proof, that's all it can explain. Let's not forget that Science will never be able to explain everything—everything
. There exists questions we'll never answer in our lifetimes, and reasons why we're here, why there's something instead of nothing will forever live in mystery. Nevertheless, folks who have lost loved ones know they will be reunited after our time here on Earth. It gives us Hope; Life would be meaningless if we knew nothing after this life will happen. And if so, what's the point in doing the things you do?
Only reason I would say goodbye is if I'm sure I never want to see a person or a place ever again. My former flame Ashley is one of them; In fact, I said "goodnight" to her. No girl has serially murdered my heart harder than Ashley, making her a companion monster, instead of a good girlfriend/wife material. I feel bad for her new boyfriend but he'll know....be careful, dude.
Third episode is story-based this time, though we get introduced to the human power of telekinesis. Whether you believe in it or not is up to you, but I want to ask: am I the only guy who always thought Sabrina is/was hot? I always thought she was cute, right up there with Nurse Joy.
I can't see how she isn't cute. Her rebel attitude makes her fascinating and mysterious. However, like most guys, I like it when a girl smiles. Will Sabrina ever smile and laugh? We shall see.
And there you have it. Again, this took me one week to write and finish. Lots to be said on this volume set. Despite being a kids show, I know one thing: Pokémon never disappoints. Excellent volume for VHS, and if you have this on DVD, keep these season one episodes in mind now that you've successfully finished reading, what likely is, the longest written review here on Showsotros.com.
Who's That Pokémon?
Ep.019 - Gastly
Ep.020 - Butterfree
Ep.021 - Abra
If all that didn't make you think, you can talk about this Pokémon volume, through video, on the ever-popular video sharing website Vimeo
! Your videos look better on Vimeo:
© 2008-2018 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
Norman J. Grossfeld
U.S. Production by
4Kids Productions, Inc.
Norman J. Grossfeld
Norman J. Grossfeld
Thomas D. Sullivan
Nicholas James Tate
Theme and Pokérap by
for Rave Music
Audio Post Production
Button Sound, Inc.
Sound Supervisor/Final Mixer
ADR Engineer Editor
Video Post Production
Betelgeuse Productions, Inc.
ORIGINAL PRODUCTION BY
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Based On A Story by
Animation Production Company
Director of Photography
East Japan Marketing &
FOR THE SUMMIT MEDIA GROUP
FOR 4KIDS ENTERTAINMENT
Joseph P. Garrity
GAME FREAK, TV Tokyo,
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