Episode 87 Review


What I mean to say is, I absolutely adore this episode. I think it’s easily one of my favorites. Wobbuffet is easily one of my favorite Pokémon characters in the entire series. How can one not love that intrusive blue blob? An interesting fact is that Wobbuffet is the Pokémon in the show with the third most appearances, falling only behind Pikachu and Meowth. Even among all characters, human or Pokémon, it has the sixth most appearances, behind Ash, Pikachu, Jessie, James, and Meowth. Despite this seriously impressive record, Wobbuffet has only ever had four episodes truly dedicated to it. Those episodes are its debut appearance in the Johto episode Tricks of the Trade, another Johto episode, 30 episodes later, in Wobbu-Palooza, and then The Wayward Wobbuffet 20 episodes after that. After The Wayward Wobbuffet it wouldn’t be for nearly another 700 episodes and 14 years that Wobbuffet was given its next dedicated episode in the Kalos episode A Fork in the Road! A Parting of Ways! To date, it has now been about 140 episodes since then, and not another one has appeared. The fact that Wobbuffet went 700 episodes and 14 years without an episode, having no dedicated episode whatsoever in Hoenn or Sinnoh (Unova too, but that doesn’t count for obvious, yet unfortunate, reasons), is absolutely insane for a Pokémon that has appeared as much as Wobbuffet has. It makes no sense that a Pokémon that has literally appeared in over 700 episodes over the course of the past 18 years, would only have these four episodes dedicated to it, and how few and far between the ones it does get are. Pokémon that only appeared for one region and a mere fraction of Wobbuffet’s episodes have more dedicated episodes to their name. With that all being said, I knew that it was absolutely mandatory for me to not only make a Wobbuffet-centric episode, but to go all-out with it.

This episode was inspired by the aforementioned episode, The Wayward Wobbuffet. It was a fun episode in which Wobbuffet gets separated from Team Rocket and we get to witness its wacky adventure. This was always one of my favorite episodes, and is certainly my favorite Wobbuffet-centric episode, so I decided to take it’s concept and scale it up for my own Wobbuffet episode. I wanted to put Wobbuffet in the most random, bizarre, and incredible circumstances I could come up with. I wanted an episode as wacky and outrageous as Wobbuffet itself. And that’s exactly what I ended up with.

Among the many strange things I had Wobbuffet do, one probably stood out more than the others, the cooking competition show called Sliced. If you didn’t know already, this was a parody of the real-life Food Network show called Chopped, which is pretty much the exact same thing as what I portrayed in Sliced. I really enjoy that show, so when I decided that one step of Wobbuffet’s misadventure would be on a cooking show, I knew it had to be a parody of Chopped.


Episode 70 Review

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.

Episode 60 Review

Safari Zones (and variants thereof) seem to pretty much be ignored in the anime, with the exception the episode in Kanto (which was banned). Hoenn’s Safari Zone was completely ignored while the Great Marsh in Sinnoh was used simply as the location for a random episode, the fact that it was used for Safari Games was never addressed. As Cosmic Quest is the main way to show off my ideas from Luna, Terra, and Sol, I didn’t want to leave the Park Zone out. Speaking of the Safari Zone in the anime, just as I did previously with the Porygon episode, this episode featured a joke where Ash forgot about the events that took place during a banned episode, reflecting the fact that most English viewers would have no idea what they’re talking about. Another joke this episode made was Ash failing to catch a Dunsparce. For some reason it would appear that whenever Ash tries and fails to capture a Pokémon that it’s a Dunsparce. This has been seen twice now, once in the Unova episode The Path that Leads to Goodbye and again in the Kalos episode Under the Pledging Tree. I figured if I was going to have Ash fail to capture a Pokémon, that I might as well continue the joke and make it a Dunsparce as well.

An interesting fact about this episode, and the Pokémon featured in it, is its origin. Traineed and Arborrior are actually two of some of my very earliest Pokémon (alongside “Megachu,” Delphin, and Ivine). As a child when I created these Pokémon, I would play make believe with my friends using them. One scenario that I always reused was that the person I’m playing with would be training by attacking a tree, and out of that tree a group of Traineed (back then given the uninspired name of Seedona) would fall. One of these feisty Pokémon  would challenge the trainer and end up finding a Leaf Stone (the original evolution method that I recently changed) and evolve into Arborrior (known as Treeona back then). This event would always occur before the trainer fights a Grass-Type gym (this was in a proto-region I created before Tenno). Wanting to give the trainer a Pokémon that is good against Grass-Types, I would have the captured Arborrior know Fire Punch. I took this original scenario and transformed it into this episode. If I had been able to write a longer episode, then there would have been one final battle between Arborrior and Breloom, representing the battle against the Grass gym leader.

Finally, I want to take this chance to give my opinion on Safari Zones. I’ve seen a lot of people complain about the Safari Zone and how annoying it is. I personally cannot agree with this at all. Not only do I not think it’s too difficult, but I think it’s a great thing to have. It is an area that completely changes all of the conventions about capturing Pokémon, leading to a completely unique experience found nowhere else. It adds variety to the game, and I really don’t know how that can be a bad thing. I personally hope strongly that Sun and Moon sees the return of the Safari Zone, and I don’t mean excuses like the Friend Safari or that pale imitation we see in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. I want an actual Safari Zone with an actual Safari Game.

Episode 55 Review

I don’t know if it was obvious beforehand or not, but the Wallace Cup really is just an excuse to bring in old characters. Just as May came to Sinnoh’s, it would stand to reason that Dawn would come to Tenno’s. Having Dawn come in to help Brenda out of her self-pity was something I’ve been planning for a while now. The problems Brenda faces really are the exact opposite of what Dawn faced, as Dawn’s problems were working to hard on her combinations so that her Pokémon were lost in them, and thinking so much about contests that she would psych herself out, while Brenda does the opposite and doesn’t work or think ahead at all. With these two completely different problems, the two characters seemed to compliment each other well. The idea to have Brenda and Dawn meet each other without knowing they have mutual friends was a last minute bit of inspiration for the episode actually, and I must say, I am proud of how that ended up turning out. Now, I should mention that having the Wallace Cup does pose a minor continuity issue. In the Wallace Cup episodes in Sinnoh, it was referred to as this year’s Wallace Cup, inferring that the Wallace Cup is a yearly event. As Ash was 10 in Sinnoh and is still 10 here, a year has yet to pass technically. However, this exact same continuity issue was already made during Unova when Dawn returned. At one point she claimed she went off to Johto to partake in a Wallace Cup there. So either there is more than one Wallace Cup a year, or…well…time just doesn’t make sense in the world of Pokémon, but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Episode 30 Review

First I brought back Jigglypuff, now I brought back Biff and Cassidy (Oops, I meant Butch). Butch and Cassidy brought a lot to show back when they appeared. By being rivals to Jessie, James, and Meowth, they brought out sides of them we normally wouldn’t see. In addition, they gave us a look at Team Rocket beyond the normal three. Unlike Jigglypuff, they actually managed to make it up into Sinnoh. Sadly, Unova came and completely ignored everything from Pokémon’s history, including these two. I felt like they deserved to return. Two interesting things to note about this episode was their Pokémon. Cassidy has always been shown to have Houndour as her primary Pokémon. In one scene, I showed her having a Houndoom. I figured that after all this time, it probably should have happened. The other thing is their Charizard and Aggron. These are the same Pokémon seen in the Battle Frontier episode Grating Spaces, where Jessie and James got them delivered to them by the Team Rocket Delibird by accident. At the end of the episode, it told them, that those Pokémon were actually meant for Butch and Cassidy. I figured that they should have those Pokémon, so why not use them?

Episode 26 Review

Finally I got around to writing a Brock-based episode just like I promised. I actually really liked this episode. It said such a great balance of comedy and emotion. When I first came up with this episode, it actually had nothing to do with the old love of Brock. It was simply Brock attending a Nurse Joy convention. After a while of thinking it over, I realized that that didn’t provide too much story opportunity, so I decided to add something. I actually combined it with another episode idea, which was about Brock meeting up with his first love. I just made that girl a Nurse Joy, and suddenly I have great story potential. In a way, you could say that this episode explains why Brock is so infatuated with Nurse Joy. One little joke I threw in was Brock not being attracted to the Nurse Joys of Unova and Kalos. I’ve always joked that those Nurse Joys must be impostors, so Brock would never love them.

Episode 11 Review

The first gym battle has finally arrived. When I initially planned for this series, I only planned up to this episode, so from this point on, I’m winging it. Crate is of course a Rock-Type Gym Leader, like Brock, Roxanne, and Roark before him. I always liked the tradition of having a Rock-Type Gym Leader as the first, and I’m disappointed to see them fall away from that in Unova and Kalos (especially with Kalos being the first region to have a Rock-Type leader who isn’t the first one). Similar to how Crate has his meteorite hunter profession, all of the Tenno Gym Leaders will have a space-based or related side job/inspiration.