VHS Review (Posted on 04-23-2013)
The moment Ash and Brock arrive to Cerulean City, on this episode The Water Flowers of Cerulean City
, Misty tries her hardest to detour Ash and crew away from the city. As Misty makes up excuses why, Ash had this to say:
"Ahh we'll never figure out girls."
...you may want to, Ash. Otherwise, you'll never understand Misty (hah!).
As the guys arrive in Cerulean City, they witness police infiltrating a store that was robbed. They run into Officer Jenny, who is the sister-in-law of Jenny from Viridian City. Some odd exchange goes on in the dialogue, up until Brock asks Jenny out! With Ash incredibly eager to obtain a second badge, extracting some clues from Brock about the city's gym leader, he puts on his philosopher's hat:
"Know yourself, know your adversary, and you hold the key to victory."
- Ash (learned from Dexter—PokéDex)
Sounds like a great quote many aspiring athletes today can take in consideration.
Brock then heads off somewhere, as he never said where specifically, thus leaving just Ash and Pikachu. They arrive at Cerulean Gym, which from the outside, looks like a circus tent/carousel with Pokémon Seel on top as the mascot. Ash notices something strange and he and Pikachu enter in: they see a large pool and an audience cheering for three girls performing what looks like a pool choreographic act. Pikachu read our minds very well: the beauty of these girls are astounding. And why not, they're in bikinis as well. Ash, not feeling enlightened by those three, inadvertently runs into them. The three girls are sisters of the Cerulean City Gym. Just when I thought they'd talk all angelic, they're extremely conceited, similar to your average, clueless teenage girls. Yes, you'll hear an excessive usage of the words "like" and "totally." The sisters didn't have any strong backbone to battle the second Ash demands a challenge, as they have only a Goldeen, and so they offer Ash a badge without any effort...until Misty stops them. Misty then has a little screaming match with the three girls—her sisters.
"There's only three sensational sisters and one runt."
- One of Misty's sisters, Lily, calling out Misty
One can imagine how much yelling goes on at home with these girls, while their house smells like perfume filled with mirrors. Nevertheless, one of the sisters joke about Ash being her boyfriend, and not a very 'cute' one at that compared to Misty herself. So yes, lots of angry girl talk. What more can I say? Choose the Vimeo membership that’s right for you.
The battle is set: Ash goes against his friend (*ahem*) Misty and Pikachu isn't willing to fight a friend, leaving Pidgeotto and Butterfree. Misty summons Staryu and Starmie, while her sisters make absurd comments about the battle...and Misty, of course. Battle is stopped as Team Rocket (TR) crashes the party. They unveiled the vacuum machine—the item they stole from the store. TR vacuums up the water, spews it all up toward Ash, Misty and the sisters. The sisters' Pokémon Seel gets sucked in the vacuum, as does Pikachu. Ash remembers that water conducts electricity, thus getting Pikachu to cast Thunder Bolt electrocuting TR (that wasn't difficult). TR loses once again, and Ash quickly tries to stop the machine from vacuuming up the pool water and Pikachu. The sisters explain why Misty would've had no chance against Pikachu because of water's elemental weakness against electricity. Ash finally receives a Cascade Badge. Brock catches up and their journey continues, while Ash and Misty argue about their battle again and again, and again...
Episode The Path to the Pokemon League
features more arguing scenes. The show starts with Ash walking on sunshine, celebrating his tenth victory. The kid he defeated encourages Ash to battle AJ—one of the toughest trainers Ash has faced, with 98 straight wins and no losses (if such a record ever happened today, specifically in the sports world, everyone would play the skeptic wondered if any of those wins were rigged). Ash stated just that after losing terribly to AJ and his Pokémon Sandshrew, after all that talk (proves that nobody wins with an ego). Arguing picks up as AJ heads back into his gym training his Pokémon, similar to drill sergeants training his troops in an extremely tough manner. More yelling from Ash claiming Pokémon needs special care and to be treated nicely. Shots of various Pokémon like Butterfree, Beedrill, Rattata and Sandshrew training, much like a boxer training and breaking sweats. Pikachu hilariously struggles to pick up some weights, learning from the hard training of Sandshrew. Well well, if it isn't TR looking to crash the party yet again: they successfully kidnap AJ's Sandshrew. As they unveil Sandshrew, its tail is bitten by Meowth and digs rapidly back to AJ's gym. Even with his tough training, Ash learns that AJ's Pokémon still loves him no matter what. Meowth lies on the floor beaten up after that dig by Sandshrew, knowing that he and TR were the ones responsible for stealing Sandshrew. And although TR's motto remains the same, they thought about changing it, but have no time to brainstorm as AJ challenges them the moment Meowth gets back up. Sandshrew ends the match with a one-hit KO: Fissure (if you own a copy of Pokémon for the Nintendo Game Boy, or Nintendo DS, you know exactly what this is, along with other one-hit knock-outs like Guillotine). Meowth, Ekans and Koffing run away as they couldn't defeat Sandshrew, with Meowth hilariously wanting to help change the crew's motto.
The final episode on tape is The School of Hard Knocks
, which brings one back to school. A hilarious scene involves Brock setting up a picnic while Ash and Misty still fight it out again. As Ash goes out to find wood for fire, he notices a kid, surrounded by "tough" dudes, being bullied on a treadmill by quizzing him about Pokémon, most notably about Pidgey. The kid introduces himself—Joe—and talks about student life on the campus of Pokémon Tech: a school for Pokémon trainers, split between expert, intermediate and beginner levels. Misty shows a flyer she saved about the school, and while Brock reads and dictates about it, comes another hilarious scene involving Pikachu and the treadmill. Hard not to laugh during that scene, let me tell you. On the other hand, TR jumps on in as they unveil they flunked out of that school.
Joe explains everything about everything about the school, how extremely tough it is, how expensive and the need to arrive back home to their parents' house with a diploma. Joe then introduces to the head of the beginner's student body: Giselle. Joe shows Ash and crew her picture and eyes shine brightly...while Misty's jealousy propels her to smash Giselle with a battle. Meanwhile, explaining the role of the "cool" dudes bullying Joe still referring them as "friends," he explains the weak training and effort by gym leaders to Misty, as she decides to prove her worth. Joe summons Weepinbell—a grass Pokémon with the elemental advantage over Staryu, which Misty summons. Joe loses, then what do you know—an attractive girl shows up that just happens to be Giselle. As you might have guessed, she has an angelic voice and, unlike Misty's sisters, she's a complete brain. Unfortunately, she makes a scene not helping out her friend Joe, talking him down and walking out on him—something some guys never want to see happen in their lives. Misty puts her foot in, calling out Giselle's "bitchy" personality, as she, and in another scene Jesse, unapologetically verbalize their jealousy, stating reality afterward.
"A true friend wouldn't walk away from someone who needs help."
GISELLE GOT TOLD. She then battles Misty, summoning Graveler, while Misty sticks with Starmie. Although elementally weak against water, Graveler, a rock/ground Pokémon, defeats Starmie. Giselle then has a scene exploited her true colors: brainy yet conceited, and only thinks of herself (and who doesn't
remember/recall a girl like this back in our school days) laughing mercilessly at Ash's lack of knowledge, when he steps on in taking up the challenge. Ash isn't going to take that laughing sitting down, and demands a battle. Ash summons Pikachu while Giselle summons Cubone. Like the tough training shown by Graveler, Cubone dodges Pikachu's electric shock and petrifies its defense by casting Leer. Pikachu retaliates hilariously with a staring contest, until Cubone casts Bone Club...twice, leaving Pikachu in the dust. Giselle's snotty attitude still goes on, until Pikachu gets back up and serves Cubone his own prescription: Pikachu dodges its Bonemerang attack, biting its tail, scratching its body, kicking its skull, as the cast of Bonemerang hits back at Cubone's face (nice!). Giselle wallows in defeat, questioning why Pikachu can attack without abiding by its own abilities—casting electric attacks. Joe thought it was a fluke but a great one at that. TR appears again, but not for long as they run away getting hit by the PokéBalls thrown by the students (write your own joke here). As Giselle befriends closer to Joe, Ash jokingly wonders why he and Misty can't get along like them.
"There's some things you just can't learn in school."
Controversially, those things also include the bad ones. Nevertheless, it sure pays to go out, experiment and learn for yourself.
The very end of the tape features the same advertisements shown on the previous volume: an ad for Pokémon action figures by HASBRO, Pokémon for Nintendo Game Boy, Ranma ½ and KIMBA feature anime films.
This volume set was okay, and as super as it sounds knowing there are some really cute girls in it, there's just lots of arguing (with the exception of Ash and Misty). Other than that, these episodes explain some decent messages: you can't win with an ego, tough training can strengthen your focus and determination, or your Pokémon (almost similar to parenting as well), bullying is a severe problem today and you can learn a plethora of things about yourself, about life and everything in and out of this world that you will never learn in school (unless you were the lucky ones to sign up with an excellent professor). I love how at the end, the 'loser' Joe becomes good friends with Giselle (ask her out dude!), because, well, that's the way it is. Growing up, I never got along with the socially "popular" crowd, yet as I struggled to be good friends with someone (I tried), I'd always get hit on by a girl named Alejandra as she'd always ask me to share my lunch with her; this happened every single day until she graduated. So yes I can relate to Joe's character, personally—though I must say that seeing the jerks fail and collapse always made me smile. Anyway, another key message is friendship and its true value. A lot can be said about this, despite technology ruining the quality of a real friend. Saddens me just thinking about it, but can you live without friends?
Overall, Ash and crew, along with you as well, learn something whether it's about Pokémon or life, and the messages are a little strong on this volume. You do get into the battles just when Ash nearly falls off the cliff nearly losing, yet Pikachu always finds a way to save the day.
Lastly, just one more thing: is there any girl out there that has cosplayed Giselle? I've seen cosplays of Misty and Nurse Joy—my Anime crush—but not Giselle. Any? If not, I'd like to see one, if it hasn't been done yet.
Who's That Pokémon?
Ep.007 - Seel
Ep.008 - Sandshrew
Ep.009 - Cubone
However, I do like to see your video blogs about Pokémon 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
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