VHS Review (Posted on 04-03-2014)
On "Pokémon Shipwreck," already you hear the narrator say, "Holy Titanic!" With the St. Anne sinking, that statement shouldn't surprise anyone. Officer Jenny and a crew of sailors pay their respects, thinking all folks—Ash, Misty, Brock, Jesse and James—have passed away, tossing a bouquet of white flowers to the ocean. Ash slowly wakes up....upside down unaware they're still stuck in the ship. On the other hand, Jesse and James are sunbathing, when James catches a fiery sunburn. No, they're not at the beach, Meowth alerts them that they're catching fire in the kitchen, as they, too, are stuck in the ship! Without further ado, Jesse summons Ekans having it cast Acid to bust a hole on the floor. Not a great idea: water rushes in through the hole leaving Team Rocket drowning! As the ship sinks further, Misty summons Goldeen commanding it to find any exits....until it ran into Team Rocket! As Goldeen rescues Team Rocket, they look immobile but spring back to life as they set up a fight against Ash and Brock. Misty stops the match saying their lives are at risk, to which the folks reluctantly shake hands to work together to get out of the ship. Knowing that the ship is on the tip of an ocean floor rock, all try to maintain a steady balance of the ship, but no good. Suddenly, Misty unveils she knows the structure of the St. Anne, having built a mini-model of it back in her hometown. After setting a plan with all that she knows, Brock summons Onix using its body as a staircase to the "upper" level (since the ship is upside down). For light, Ash summons Charmander to lead the way to the engine room. When they enter in, a huge fire below separates everyone and the exit, and using the staircase to the other side is useless since it's broken in half. Ash then summons Bulbasaur to use its vines as a bridge to the exit. James is too scared to cross to which he mutters his famous last words looking to accept his final fate. Not giving up, Team Rocket crosses successfully to the engine room. Ash commands Charmander to bust a hole in the "ceiling" with its flamethrower, but water then rushes in! Ash calls back Charmander, and Misty quickly summons Goldeen and Starmie and Ash summons Squirtle. Misty ties herself to Goldeen, Brock ties himself to Starmie and Ash & Pikachu ties themselves to Squirtle, as the trio swim to reach the ocean surface. Meanwhile, James makes the last laugh after being ridiculed by Meowth and Jesse about buying a gold-plated, cheap Pokémon from a vendor who conned him into buying it. James summons Magikarp as the team tie themselves up to Magikarp....but all it does is splash. The ship gives way sinking far below the trenches of the ocean, but Team Rocket never escaped!
Right when Ash and the rest reach a platform on the ocean surface, Brock mentions biblical figure Noah on how he summoned a bird to fly out and bring back a tree branch—a tactic that might help them. Ash summons Pidgeotto to do just that....until it comes back with Team Rocket, all of whom are out cold. Suddenly, the trio put their hands together in prayer for Team Rocket, despite being their enemies when suddenly....they awaken!
- Ash, in reaction to Team Rocket coming alive
Pikachu watches Meowth nearly get drowned then snaps hoping the feline wouldn't make it but did. Now that everyone settles and sleep on the platform, Magikarp continually flops and flops all day and all night. Everyone starts feeling very hungry, as Ash, Brock, Jesse, Meowth and James envision delicious carp filet. Meowth jumps in to take the first bite of Magikarp but couldn't! Misty explains Magikarp is all scales and bones, when a frustrated James kicks Magikarp rejecting it as its owner. Magikarp feels hurt when it shockingly evolves into a violent Gyrados! Misty talks about the mythical stories told about Gyrados and how true it became, then begins summoning Staryu, Starmie and Goldeen, tying them up to the platform to help everyone escape as Gyrados chases after them! Gyrados stops, and strangely the folks stop to see why. While the stories are true according to Misty, Gyrados, in response to James' rejection, angrily casts Dragon Rage with the help of five others of its kind! All six of the Gyrados move rapidly in a circular motion casting a cyclonic vortex of water as everyone gets sucked in to the tornado-like spout! "Talk about a twist of Fate," says the narrator. It is here where the episode ends....abruptly.
Second episode and everyone gets washed ashore, not knowing where they are or what happened. Ash finds he only has two Pokémon in his possession but can't find the rest, including Pikachu. Team Rocket also get washed ashore as they both awaken being pinched by a Krabby. They both can't find their Pokémon either, including Meowth. The next scene cuts to a interesting exchange between the Pokémon themselves. Translating what they say, Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur try to find Ash having been lost as well. Pikachu and Squirtle talk to a weird looking creature named Slowpoke, but never received any help; Bulbasaur claims they've been rejected on purpose by Ash. On the other hand, Meowth oversee Pikachu and the gang then looks to challenge them. Meowth tries to summon and command Ekans and Koffing to attack....but nothing happens. Ekans and Koffing explain they only do what they're told by their masters, and Meowth isn't one.
"Pokemon do bad things...because Master bad!"
Quite a statement by Ekans. If we could translate animal language to our native human language, who knows, they might hold answers to questions we're still searching answers for, such as why we're here, what our purpose is being here and if this is all there is. Then again, would anyone believe the truth coming from an animal?
Anyway, all Pokémon gather around the campfire eating dinner with Meowth is tied up, not having a small bite after trying to instigate a match. A gigantic, vicious Pokémon appears and is chasing after Pikachu and the rest—it's a Rhydon! All Pokémon start running away when Pikachu kindly unties Meowth, but selfishly never thanks the electric mouse for it. Meanwhile, Ash, Misty and Brock also do some sprinting as they're being chased by an enormous electric bird: Zapdos! Another vicious bird does some chasing as well, this time on Team Rocket: it's the fiery Moltres! Running and running, Jesse and James had their faces flattened running into by a KEEP OUT
sign. What a "good sign" it was, eh, Team Rocket? Back to Pikachu and the rest, they all settle in at what looks like Slowpoke's bar, when Pikachu comforts Ekans and Koffing crying for Jesse and James. After, all rest up together until the next morning.
Jesse and James awake making a phone call first thing to the Boss, via Collect (remember those "Call Collect" commercials?). Hoping to get somewhere, Jesse and James start pulling the telephone cord to wherever it may lead, until they run into a happy, smiling Pikachu. It's not Ash's Pikachu; It's a gigantic Pikachu walking by, as it steps on the phone booth Jesse and James nearly escaped! For Ash, Misty and Brock, they continue searching when they see an enormous Charizard over yonder, casting flamethrower to the trio! Pikachu and the gang oversee a Blastoise, as told by Meowth, where Squirtle shyly asks Blastoise for help....instead, asking how nice the weather is. Blastoise casts Hydro Pump to the gang as Pikachu and the rest run away! The gang then see a giant Venusaur trying to get Bulbasaur to talk to it. "Call me an orphan. I have no family," says Bulbasaur. Charmander says that's a good point, while Squirtle calls Bulbasaur a coward. Running away profusely, Jesse and James are being chased by a giant Kabutops, as they both hop into what looks like a coal-carrying box car. Unknowingly, the car runs backwards toward the Kabutops as they both run into the long telephone cable, tying up Kabutops with it! Jesse and James try to pull the brakes but broke the lever! Ash then see all his Pokémon run away from Charizard and Blastoise, when he and the others hop onto the coal-carrying car Jesse and James are in. Trying to get them to use the brakes, Jesse and James admitted breaking it. "Give me a 'break,'" says Ash. Pikachu and the rest of the Pokémon also hop on, as Meowth is the last one to make it onto the car. The car is approaching a circular loop, similar to what one will find in a roller coaster theme park. Jesse mentioning the cable, having tied up all the giant Pokémon says the cable is about to snap, then Meowth states they'll fly off to the ocean once again. As they fly off the rails, they crash into Zapdos....but they find nuts and bolts with Brock realizing the giant Pokémon weren't real. The moment everyone crashes into the ocean again, a tourist boat sails by as a pretty tourist guide introduces the people to "Pokémon Land" where large replicas of giant Pokémon roam about, until she sees that all Pokémon are "out of order." The Boss of Team Rocket receives a phone call reporting the massive destruction of the theme park, when he angrily claims he spent millions of dollars building the theme park. After a wild adventure, Ash and the crew reach Porta Vista. The episode ends when Slowpoke gets its tail bitten by an angry Shell....der, evolving into Slowbro. Yeah.....
Having arrived at Porta Vista, Ash and crew want to sail across the ocean. Unfortunately, they arrived too late and have to wait another three hours for the next boat. In the meantime, Pikachu finds a Horsea in the water with a black eye. Using its acid, Horsea draws a jellyfish-like mural on the water to send Ash a message—namely Tentacool and Tentcruel. Up ahead, a ship explodes and Misty summons her water Pokémon to save them. The trio find out about the mayhem through a grizzly old lady named Nastina—a woman trying to build "Nastina's Paradise" on the ocean but couldn't complete her project without looking to exterminate all Tentacools. Plan: eliminate all Tentacools and you get a $1 million reward, including all-you-can-eat dinner and vouchers to stay at her hotel building once it's completed. Ash and Brock love the reward, all except Misty who storms off not liking the idea. Misty expresses how cute Tentacools are, when Ash looks at his PokéDex to find out more.
"I guess Ugly is in the eye of the beholder."
Sorry Misty, it works both ways; I have to agree with Brock.
As Horsea recovers from the Super Potion, the trio hear a town-wide announcement from Nastina willing to give the money reward to anyone looking to exterminate the jellyfish holding her back from finishing the "Paradise." Nastina then hires Team Rocket who make their infamous appearance. When Team Rocket gets to work after the hire, all three envision how rich they'll get after Jesse spills their super secret stun sauce, Meowth reeling in all the Tenacools then James selling them for more money. Team Rocket gets attacked as Jesse's stun sauce hits the head of a Tentacool, which evolves into a dangerous Tentacruel! Ash uses his PokéDex as Dexter describes the evolved jellyfish as "the gangster of the sea." Without waiting, Nastina and her crew fire at Tentacruel but no good! A tidal wave rises and hits the town, as the gang of Tentacools led by Tentacruel destroy the city—Godzilla style. Ash and the folks realize that that was what Horsea was warning them about earlier, using its acid drawing up Tentacool and Tentacruel. To report its plans, Tentacruel uses Meowth as a puppet to speak out about its attacks and why, summoning all the vicious jellyfish to wipe out all humans and the rest of the world for building land into its territory. Horsea tries to convince Tentacruel not to do so, but gets whipped by Tentacruel! Ash summons Pidgeotto to save Horsea as its in bad shape after that hit. Retaliation time: Brock, Ash and Misty summon all
their Pokémon to combat against Tentacruel and organized crime! All the trio's Pokémon get defeated! Misty sneaks out to climb atop the building, while Pikachu tries to reason with Tentacruel. Misty, on top of the building, send Tentacruel an apology until it finally walks away. Not giving up, Nastina still shoots at Tentacruel but no effect! Tentacruel whips Nastina away as she "drops by" her cousin's place. Ash and the crew sail away safely, and Team Rocket tags along riding on a barrel tied to the ship, looking beat after a wild adventure themselves.
The volume ends with credits, along with commercials of Pokémon on the Nintendo® Game Boy, Ranma ½
and Kimba: The White Lion
. One new addition to the commercials is The Dog of Flanders
! Looks like a neat anime film to me. Remind me to purchase, watch and review that film (if you want
Another action-packed, yet very busy, list of episodes on this volume. While the sinking of the St. Anne was a reenactment of the Titanic, we did see the evolution of Magikarp into Gyrados. Although story-based, there wasn't much meaning behind it. Second episode Island of the Giant Pokémon
used a storyline tactic that directors, editors and film producers used in the olden days: Introduce the characters on land, they're forced to survive and live off whatever they find, reach the climax then slowly unveil why the characters acted the way they did. Because us viewers were lured into thinking that it's an island with large Pokémon that are likely impossible to defeat, those giant Pokémon don't seem "conscious" and thus walking and wandering about. The plot continued to thicken, then after the climax, we realize it was all just a theme park costing the Boss of Team Rocket millions of dollars. Restitution? It doesn't matter. However, I found that episode quite compelling, as we also saw all Pokémon communicating with each other (explains why they have their own short film as well).
For the third episode of this volume Tentacool & Tentacruel
, the meaning is something that requires attention. Because entrepreneurialism is reaching its peak, or has reached its peak, business buildings are opening up everywhere. Good for them and the service to customers, but bad for the environment. I personally am not an environmentalist, but industrial waste is ruining our atmosphere, along with methane and more. Misty's reaction not to attack the flood of Tentacools seems like a call to stop animal cruelty. Then again, how many people have been killed from animal attacks? There's no law prosecuting animals that kill humans, which explains Nastina's urge to continue to eliminate all the jellyfish; Yet, there's no grand animal government that gather up to cease human activity occupying their land. Dexter described Tentacruel as "the gangster of the sea." When I think "gangster," I think the Mafia. Leading the pack of Tentacools to destroy the town to retaliate against humans for occupying its territory looked like a quick attention at the rapid torture felt when being retaliated and attacked by the Mafia and organized crime. Then again, occupying, or should I say combating, against organized crime is one of the world's most dangerous tasks anyone can undertake, and their retaliatory plans couldn't be any more scary (ask people from Columbia—the country with one of the highest organized crime activities on the planet). Being that this is Pokémon, a popular anime series in Japan, there's an organized crime gang named "Yakuza
;" Find out the most well-known is/was here in the US clicking here
. Lots to be said, but there's a few interpretations on this episode.
All in all, it's another volume that'll keep you at the edge of your seat. And lastly, don't think that Mafia and organized crime are a bunch of suited men with hats roaming living in desolate buildings, gambling their money away on sports and were a thing of the fifties. They still are around today.
Who's That Pokémon?
Ep.016 - Magikarp
Ep.017 - Slowbro
Ep.018 - Horsea
Good videos about Pokémon on the ever-popular video sharing website Vimeo
keeps people at the edge of their seats! Your videos look better on Vimeo:
© 2008-2017 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
Norman J. Grossfeld
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