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The Water Flowers of Cerulean City

No, before you think it, this episode title does NOT confirm Misty's last name. "Water Flowers" is two words, not one. That aside, continuing on after the hint from the last episode, the opening scene was funny with how Misty was trying to convince Ash not to go to Cerulean. She mentioned a romantic park in Vermilion, hoping to get him to go there instead...she also mentioned something romantic in the Clefairy episode...wonder why she keeps mentioning "romantic" things when Ash is right nearby? ^_^ Anyway, Ash and Brock then came across a store that had been robbed (we saw Team Rocket do it, but nobody else knew it at the time), but all that was taken were a large vacuum and hose. Jenny's suspiciousness of Brock and Ash was funny, and Ash remembered that Dexter was also his ID, some good continuity there. It was funny how Jenny said that she was now suspicious of her sister-in-law in Viridian because of her choice of friends. ^_^ This was Brock's first encounter with a Joy in the anime, and he asked her out quite calmly. Too bad he didn't stay that way because he seemed quite mature, but I think we all know of a certain traumatic experience that later changed him. I like how Brock chose not to reveal what he knew about the Gym Leader in Cerulean, it added a bit of realism to have a "trade secret" like that. Coincidence that Brock never met "him"? Maybe...but it's funny how Brock assumed the Leader was male...and that there was only one. ^_^ We were then introduced to another great mystery of the Pokemon anime: what "stuff" did Brock have to do in Cerulean that took him away for most of the episode? We can only speculate.
When Ash found the Gym and saw the Sensational Sisters' synchronized swimming act, I like how the whole crowd was cheering for them and yelling that they were beautiful and so on, while Ash just stared, unable to figure out why this apparently wasn't a Pokemon Gym. Even Pikachu was entranced by the sisters. ^_^ He then discovered the aqariums and saw...real-world fish instead of Water Pokemon? Strange and unexplained. Chalk that up to a rookie mistake by the animators, I guess.
The Sisters were just about to outright give Ash the badge because they'd just lost to the three other trainers from Pallet and were tired of battling, but Misty stopped them and said she'd battle him, revealing her reason for not wanting to come to Cerulean. The resulting dialogue between the four sisters also revealed something about Misty's past, that her sisters considered her a no-talent runt, so she wanted to run away and prove she could be a great Water Pokemon trainer. I like how Pikachu didn't want to battle Misty, and Ash understood. There's further proof that trainers consider their Pokemon's feelings too when it comes to battling. The battle between Ash and Misty was good and fairly close too. Misty used the water to her advantage (and the battle introduced her Starmie to the anime in the process), while Ash used the air to his advantage. The Whirlwinds from both of his Flyers, as well as Pidgeotto's Gust and Wing Attack, were good. Then TR broke in with the stolen vacuum and hose and started to suck up all the water and Pokemon. I like how Ash remembered pretty quickly that water conducts electricity, and had Pikachu Thunderbolt them. James' quote then was classic:

"It's times like these that make me want to go straight."

The Sisters gave Ash the badge for good this time for beating Team Rocket, and Ash accepted it. I like how the episode ended with the trio walking off into the sunset, and Ash and Misty arguing about the match. ^_^
A classic episode with major character development for Misty, and a decent Gym battle to boot. The whole thing with Brock was a bit weird but interesting, and the real-world fish just didn't seem right somehow...yeah I know they were aquariums, but there should have been Water Pokemon there instead. But this episode gets a good score overall, with a slight demerit for the match itself not being finished, but the argument at the end kinda made up for it. This review was a bit long, I know...I seem to do that with most Gym episodes for some reason.

 

Geodude's rating: 9 out of 10


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