Just Waiting on a Friend
So it's the Pokemon version of a ghost story in this episode.
OK I can live with that. At first the ep seemed relatively standard (although
if you're good at noticing foreshadowing hints, the fog would've told you
something), but when strange things started to happen in the mansion like
Lakoko not showing a reflection in the mirror and TR coming across rooms
full of food, anyone could tell that they were in for what's basically a
ghost story. There was a stupid little dub mistake too--Brock said Ninetales
probably liked him so much because he used to have a Ninetales. (He didn't,
it was Vulpix.) I thought it was hilarious when Ash and Misty were trying
to convince Brock that something weird was going on, Ash yelled at him to
open his eyes.
After Ninetales threw them out and they got back in, it was cool how Ash
wanted to jump right in and battle it, but Misty was the voice of reason
and wanted to do some detective work first to find out who Lakoko really
is, so they did. It was weird that when they found out the truth about the
mansion's history (and throughout the episode), the dubbers purposely avoided
using the words "death," "died," etc., choosing to imply it instead. Many
other cartoons, especially Disney ones, refer to death, no reason Pokemon
can't. (At least that idea is put to rest, no pun intended, in Pokemon 4Ever,
but I digress...)
It was interesting how when Totodile's Water Gun scored a direct hit on Ninetales,
it lost its concentration and the illusions it was maintaining vanished,
which was when TR discovered they were eating leaves instead of potato chips.
"We cashed in our chips." That was funny.
When Misty and Ash led Brock to the room with the painting, his reaction
was funny: "Wow! That handsome guy looks a lot like me!" Interesting how
when Ninetales had the trio cornered, Brock had no choice but to pretend
he was its master long enough to get it to return to its Pokeball.
When it was revealed and confirmed that Lakoko was another illusion created
by Ninetales and being used by it to communicate with the humans, I found
that interesting. We've seen Psychic-types speak psychically before (and
one, Slowking from Pokemon the Movie 2000, even speak normally) but we've
never seen a Pokemon speak through an illusion of a human. The explanation
as to how Ninetales gained Psychic powers didn't really seem to suffice.
Just hanging around the same place for 200 years didn't seem to be enough
of a reason to gain Psychic abilities.
When TR attacked and Bayleef freed Ninetales from the net, it was an interesting
touch how Ninetales obeyed Brock's command to do a Flamethrower. At that
point, it must have either still believed Brock to be its master, or just
trusted him enough to do it. Another nice touch at the end was Brock letting
Ninetales go free after its old Pokeball broke. That could probably be used
as an example to show that Pokemon isn't all about battles, but it's also
about friendship and respect.
You can't do too much with a standard ghost story, and this episode was nothing
special, but an interesting change of pace at least.
Geodude's rating: 6.5 out of 10