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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

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