This episode is of note because it was the longest episode written for Cosmic Quest so far. Most episodes average between 4,000-5,000 words, with some of the lager episodes, normally the specials, having a word count in the low 6,000s. This episode had nearly 7,000 words. It could have been split into two small episodes if I wanted. The reason it was so long is because I had to cram in three independent battles with two Pokémon each plus a battle against Team Rocket. That’s a whole lot, but I couldn’t cut any of it out, as all three battles had some sort of importance to them. Brock and James was James’ Astro Camp finale, to which he has been so dedicated, as well as a rare chance for Brock to battle. Brenda and Michelle’s was the true beginning of the next part of Brenda’s story arc. And Ash and Braydon’s battle was the start of their rivalry, which will continue on into the future, as well as Elgyem’s finale.
The anime 20th Anniversary is only a week out, so I thought a cool way to celebrate would be to go through as many categories as I can think of and rank my favorite aspects of the anime. This will be a long post, so let’s get started.
Island of the Giant Pokémon: I love this episode so much. The obvious reason is the sequence where we actually get to see (well, technically read) Pokémon talk for the first and only time. The likely reason that this happened was because it was still so early on in the series that the writers didn’t know if they could get away with just having a group of Pokémon with no humans to interpret what they’re saying. We all know from modern episodes that they were wrong, and that an episode with a group of Pokémon and no humans works just fine. That being said, it was still incredibly fun to have this one time to actually see what Pokémon are saying directly, instead of just having to figure it out based on context. This translation of the Pokémon’s words also gave us an analysis into the mindset of Pokémon like Ekans and Koffing who have evil masters, and yet don’t find themselves to be evil. The one other thing that I love about this episode was the “supernatural” aspect to it. Even if the giant Pokémon turned out to be just robots, we went the entire episode thinking they were real, creating one of the more unique scenarios in the entire series.
Honorable Mentions: Pokémon I Chose You!, Charizard Chills, and Battling the Enemy Within
As always, I like to make myself desktop backgrounds to commemorate special events, and as always, I’ll share it with you. This background depicts a scene containing all of the most influential characters from seven generations and 20 years of the show, all in one place for the first time. One important thing to note is that it contains your first look at the official character artwork for Brenda.
This background has been added to the Bonus Content page. For instructions on how to get this background for yourself, as well as several others, see that page.
First off, I would like to note that a review for Chapter 2 of the Cosmic Chronicles is coming soon. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Right down to the episode’s title, this episode was meant to be a sequel to the episode A Bird in the Hand, where Ash first captured Apprentichick. Having Falcoknight evolve into its final form while finally getting its rematch against Pidgeot was a poetic idea that I had all the way back when I first wrote A Bird in the Hand. I had yet to plan the excursion of Professor Pine’s Astro Camp, but I did know that Ash would eventually have to return to Tenno Minor in order to battle the Crater Town Gym, so I knew the opportunity for a sequel episode would certainly be there. Of course, the episode couldn’t be solely focused around a battle between the newly-evolved Eagladiator and Pidgeot, so that’s where Team Rocket comes in handy as always, allowing me to turn a half-formed episode concept into an actual episode.
I remember way back in a review of one of my episodes that I made promise that I would try to use Brock better in my series than he was used during the later half of his run in the show. It may be nearly 70 episodes later, but I like to think that I am now fulfilling my promise. I completely admit that I let Brock drift to the side and haven’t given him anywhere near the focus he deserves. For real this time, I promise that that will change now. The concept of this episode is something that I’ve been toying around with for quite a while now. I realized that if I were to redefine Brock’s goals just a little bit, and gave him some sort of equivalent to a trainer earning badges or coordinator ribbons, that he could be written in a much better way. Of course, that left me with the question of what that should be. How does a Pokémon doctor-in-training go about having physical representations of his progress akin to a badge? Obviously it couldn’t be any sort of competitive nature, as being a doctor should be anything but competitive. But without competition, where would the drama come from? I even considered just forgetting the doctor stuff and having Brock enter Pokemon breeding contests, something akin to real-world dog shows, but decided in the end that that would just be backwards progress for Brock. I needed something that would progress him towards his current goal of being a Pokémon doctor. Finally I settled on what you see in this episode. The curing of previously-incurable ailments to earn a medical degree without the normal schooling. One thing that works quite well about it is that it helps me justify taking Brock out of medical school and putting him back in the field. My previous excuse was tenuous at best. Speaking of, that was the other big purpose of this episode, fully justifying why Brock’s time isn’t better spent in medical school. It was all designed to prove that he gets just as valuable experience, if not more, traveling around the world with Ash. We’re entering a new age with Brock here, and hopefully it’s a change for the better.
One other topic I want to address quickly is Team Rocket’s appearance in this episode. In case you didn’t understand the blatant joke, the entire scene was making fun of the fact that it’s essentially a rule that Team Rocket has to appear at least once in every episode (unless said episode takes place in Unova, which is a major part of the reason why Unova was my least favorite series). The reason I made this joke is because when trying to figure out how to work Team Rocket into this episode, I realized that I was literally just shoehorning them in like people often complain about. Personally, I want to see them every episode, even if they are shoehorned in, but I decided that this would be the perfect time to use Team Rocket’s outrageous personality and ability to break the fourth wall to make light of the scenario.
Sun and Moon is beaten and Winter Break is over, so episode 69 is here!
One morning while camping, Ash and Brock stumble across a group of Pokémon being bullied. With its strong sense of justice and desire to protect the weak, Arborrior jumps in to stop the bullies. However, things get more complicated than they seem when Team Rocket enters the fray.