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REVIEW: EP021: Bye-Bye Butterfree

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EP021 - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia
This episode was chosen for Pocket Monsters Anime Premier by Rica Matsumoto, Satoshi's voice actress.

Animation:
Team Ota
Screenplay: Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
Storyboard: Yūji Asada
Assistant director: Yūji Asada
Animation director: Akihiro Tamagawa


I figured we could take these as a chance to revisit older episodes, perhaps with a new perspective now that we've seen what's to come after them.

This is the first time in the anime where a Pokémon is released, and perhaps that's what makes it so memorable. It'd mark a standard for these episodes to usually be (or at least try to be) pretty sentimental, and for being a first, it's pretty decent in my opinion.

That said, I can't come up with... many arguments in favor. I like how Misty and Brock also take part in trying to get Butterfree laid instead of just being shoved to the sidelines, and how the fact that Butterfree was going to leave is pretty much established since the beginning. (Speaking of which, I wonder if the writers already planned to do this when they decided to give Ash a Caterpie? It's weird how fast it got released.)

On the other hand, the "romantic" storyline is kinda bland, typical love-at-first-sight/damsel-in-distress combo, with the Pink Butterfree not really doing much. There's also the fact that none of the other Trainers seem to give a fudge about their Pokémon. Really, they all just let Team Rocket take their Butterfree and then do nothing about it? At least a general shot of them looking worried or just some background crowd sound effects would've been nice.

By the way, it's amusing to see Ash trying to get Butterfree laid so actively and being totally aware of it, compare it with his (now usual) role as the oblivious kid in the Cottonee episode from Best Wishes.
 
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I watched it 2 weeks ago and I found it quite good. Like you said, Ash, Misty and Brock's friendship and desire to help Butterfree is nice and makes the episode even more nostalgic. Butterfree got some development, but I liked some of his hero moments wouldn't had been stolen by Pidgeot and Pikachu. The TR fight is quite long, but it's fun how Jessie and James just use their bodies. I give it an 8/10.
 
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Was this episode similarly remastered like EP001?
 
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I wouldn't call that remastered, just... upscaled, I guess. They didn't use the remastered opening and ending either, though they did use the CGI version of the opening, for some reason.

Butterfree got some development, but I liked some of his hero moments wouldn't had been stolen by Pidgeot and Pikachu.
Misty actually prevented Ash from using Pidgeot because she thought it was better for Butterfee to prove himself alone. Ironically, she isn't hesitant to call Starmie out for help couple of scenes later.
 
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No need for me to explain this one, one of the most memorable episodes mostly because it's the first time Ash releases a Pokémon and quite early too, coupled with some terrific animation by the great Tamagawa, a wonderful animator who's sadly missing in action nowadays.
 
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Quite bizarre to rewatch this in all honesty. Like many people, I saw this at its original airing and, when I returned to the fold many years later, it was one of the very few episodes which I remembered clearly.

It just doesn't carry the emotional punch it did back then, for me at least. Part of this is that this was the very first release episode and it has been improved upon quite significantly in the years following it. Especially considering the similarities between the two, this episode doesn't hold a candle to the emotional wattage of its DP counterpart Bye Bye Dokucale, despite the fact that this one starred a pokemon most of us are far more invested in (Satoshi's first capture!) and was better animated to the power of n.

The story was thrown together haphazardly in true early Kanto style, resulting in more questions than answers. Others have brought many of them up but here are some more:
- If Takeshi and Kasumi knew about this Butterfree mating business, how come they hadn't pre-warned Satoshi?
- Why were the TRio after bucketloads of Butterfree?
- Did none of the other trainers care even one ounce that their freshly released pokemon were being herded into a net or?

All credit to Tamagawa for some outstanding art, although GOD do Kanto levels of reused animation burn my eyes these days!
 
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Episodes like these remind me why Tamagawa is my favorite AD as not only is the animation good but I love the way he draws faces and poses the characters. I really wish he did more episodes nowadays (he did like what, two XY episodes?)
 
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Someone on here said last year (?) that he's ill :-(
 
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This episode was my favourite along with Charizard Chills! from Original Series when I was little. I remember myself thinking about these two particular episodes even after hours when I got in my bed. Butterfree, along with Charizard, remained as my favourite Pokémon for a decade, just because of Ash's Butterfree/Charizard, and I was really mad at Ash for a long time for letting Butterfree go. This is remarkably one of the best products of the animé.
 
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Episodes like these remind me why Tamagawa is my favorite AD as not only is the animation good but I love the way he draws faces and poses the characters. I really wish he did more episodes nowadays (he did like what, two XY episodes?)
I believe four or five, although 009 was mostly done by Hirooka the part where Clemont and Bonnie's dad was introduced looked like it was done by him, 018 was a Natsume episode but the quick scene of Team Rocket hiding inside the armour suit looked like his style again, he fully did 031 and 040 and the last of him we saw was 050 where he did the second half of the episode, the first half was done by Matsunaga.
 
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It's a bit sad they aired this episode unremastered considering to the first episode. This episode was great and emotional. Like in original series, everything has a happy ending. I hope Ash's Butterfree will breed with a pink Butterfree soon.
 
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I always find the Butterfree's departure from the show strange. Satoshi just traded him in EP15 and, except of a small cameo in EP19, he never appeared again till his release episode. It's especially jarring because Satoshi didn't send him with Pidgeotto, and he neither used or appeared in EP16. Which is why I think that EP15 originally meant to be Butterfree's last episode. Butterfree supposed to be traded for real, or lost in the shipwreck, but then they decided against that because they thought that it's too cold hearted or tragic for a mainstream anime.
 
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I always find the Butterfree's departure from the show strange. Satoshi just traded him in EP15 and, except of a small cameo in EP19, he never appeared again till his release episode. It's especially jarring because Satoshi didn't send him with Pidgeotto, and he neither used or appeared in EP16. Which is why I think that EP15 originally meant to be Butterfree's last episode. Butterfree supposed to be traded for real, or lost in the shipwreck, but then they decided against that because they thought that it's too cold hearted or tragic for a mainstream anime.
Butterfree's departure is not that strange actually. The only reason Ash had a Butterfree was because he needed to catch his first Pokémon without battling, and Caterpie was the easiest one to go in that path. Weedle would not be preferred, because it was poisinous and Caterpie looks more naïve. After a short span of time, his process was completed, and a room on Ash's team was needed. Caterpie was not meant to be in the show for a massive impact, but we all loved him and seeing his dreams come true, and we all were upset when he left.
 
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All credit to Tamagawa for some outstanding art, although GOD do Kanto levels of reused animation burn my eyes these days!
A pipedream of mine is to see all the old Kantou episodes reanimated with large numbers of OLM's good key animators and animation directors so they could look like Mewtwo Strikes Back: consistently close to Sayuri's character designs and little use of BANK animation + speed lines (but using the same audio). lol
 
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will be cool to see Butterfree coming back in one ep of Sun and Moon

We could see Pink Butterfree is actually a aloha Butterfree form lol
 
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