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Challenge of the Samurai


Another good episode here. I seriously doubt we'd be seeing anything like that kid's samurai sword in any of the newer Pokemon episodes, especially with the way he was waving it around. Anyway, he was Ash's first human opponent in a Pokemon battle, and he certainly had character. Too bad he made Ash miss catching that Weedle though, but it'd be a bad and predictable way to start off anyway if Ash successfully caught every Pokemon he saw. Anyway, we saw another rookie mistake (or learning experience, whatever you want to call it) of Ash's, sending out a tired Pidgeotto to face Samurai's Pinsir. That battle also had the lamest matchup in Pokemon history: Metapod vs Metapod. It was funny to see Ash and Samurai's concentration though. However, for that battle they seem to have forgotten one thing: only wild Metapod have Harden as their only move; human-trained Metapod can still use Tackle and String Shot. Oh well, Ash's Metapod used Tackle on its own later, but I'll get to that. As mentioned, this episode introduced us to Weedle, and we also saw its evos for the first time, as a bunch of Kakuna evolved into Beedrill and chased the humans. In the confusion, Ash lost Metapod, which Samurai scolded him for when they ran to his cabin to escape the Beedrill swarm. I liked how it showed that the Pokeball beam isn't infallible, the Beedrill holding Metapod was able to dodge it several times. Then Samurai told of his battles with the other three trainers from Pallet, including Gary, and we saw that Samurai wasn't as good as he acted because he lost all three of the other matches. At least he had the right attitude. Anyone else besides me notice that when Ash was lying in his sleeping bag in Samurai's cabin thinking about Metapod, the nametag on Ash's sleeping bag read "Satoshi"? I'm surprised the dubbers missed that, since they'd normally have painted "Ash" on over it, but in this case I don't think it's really a bad thing.
Anyway, Ash managed to get Metapod back and admitted that it was his fault that it got lost, then it evolved into Butterfree and used Sleep Powder on the Beedrill swarm, that was cool. Seeing TR trussed up with the Kakuna at the end was cool, as it was the first time we got a little clip at the end of the episode of what happened to them.
The Metapod battle brought down the score a bit, but we met Ash's first human opponent, were introduced to five new Pokemon, saw one of Ash's Pokemon evolve, and saw a group of wild Pokemon evolve. That's pretty good for one episode.

Geodude's rating: 8.5 out of 10

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