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Review JN041: The Great Pikachu Dubbing Operation! / Half a Numacraw

Alola

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Uneventful but not as bad as I thought it'd be from earlier comments. My only gripe was Sobble saying "peace out" to helping and Ash & Go just rolling with it.

I thought it was hilarious that Wobbuffet, behind Jessie and James' back, acquired a drone (what even?! haha) and has been spying on Pikachu in its spare time. It's already bad enough with how much they mess with Ash, but now the poor boy is being watched who knows when as well; I hope that drone becomes a plot point later on.
 

Paulisthebest

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If not Goh, then I wish Ash would've caught a Marshtomp in order to get Swampert. I think it would be an awesome member of his team and maybe even mega evolve someday. Yeah, I know Brock already has a Marshtomp, but still it would've been great!
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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If not Goh, then I wish Ash would've caught a Marshtomp in order to get Swampert. I think it would be an awesome member of his team and maybe even mega evolve someday. Yeah, I know Brock already has a Marshtomp, but still it would've been great!
It was a half-episode filler. There was not enough time to build a connection between the two for a believable capture.
 

Panky..

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Filler episode, short write-up. Nothing more to say.


Pros:
  • + The first half was much needed for TRio in a relatively calm and dialogue heavy slice-of-life segment (with some memefaces), after how badly they were shafted and wasted in the previous episode, and when you consider that their last focus episode was more than 4 months ago. The episode really shows you that despite being a bunch of misfits, they're still a family to each other with their own quirks (something that some of the writers just don't seem to get when using them as generic stealing villains). There were a lot of relatively comical moments in this segment, from Meowth's illness being a cheeky jab at COVID-19, to Wobbuffet being revealed to stalk/spy on Ash and Pikachu in his free time with drones (though I doubt this revelation will go anywhere), to the much needed fourth wall breaking by them. The dubbing segments themselves were not noteworthy, but their interactions with each other were (I completely lost it at the "I love you" dubbing btw).
  • +/2 The second segment was relatively generic and stale, especially in light of PotD plots that have been handled better (recent JN031 being an example). At least they didn't go up and contradict the situation with Celesteela by having an easy capture with Marshtomp, instead resorting to the boys trying obvious means to help it (including Sobble using Water Gun). Ludicolo using Sunny Day and hardening the ground further made me spit my drink out. Also, is it just me or did they use one of the older generation soundtracks during Ludicolo's Rain Dance? I could have sworn it was something out of Gen 4, can anyone figure out if it's so or if it's an OST by Hayashi? Bit of a bolded sentence there since it's really intrigued me.
Cons:
  • - (?) Ironically, there weren't any noticeable cons in this episode... outside it being a standard filler. I guess the Brock baiting counts as one? I mean, Ludicolo does use the signature spin while holding someone's arms in a way that Brock's used to do with Max, and the two signature Pokemon in this episode are the exact same ones as his aces back in AG. A similar 'nostalgia but not exactly nostalgia' scenario from JN008.
  • - - Okay, I came up with a con retroactively. Why were the Marshtomp behaving so uselessly and unnecessarily afraid? They could have easily used their water moves to get their friend out long before the boys arrived. Then there was the forced sidelining of Sobble. This is the same Sobble who was willing to take on a Flygon that was actively attacking the group and even threatening people's lives, yet it's somehow scared of a harmless Marshtomp who's stuck in the ground just so that they can show the boys and their shenanigans? Is this all Sobble will be cursed to being now?
Additional:
  • It's always nice to hear TRio members call Ash by his name instead of referring to him as "twerp/brat boy". A cameo by Morpeko is welcome but if it's just going to be a hungry freeloader in a recurring gag then that's not welcome. I was quite surprised when the intro and title cards came in nearly halfway through the episode, and especially more so when Wobbuffet and Meowth featured in them.

Verdict: For the first half, I give a 7/10 and the second half gets 3/10. As a single episode, it’s 5/10. Nothing much of note from it overall, other than being a calmer episode before things get serious next week.

but I do love when the writers make the point that Ash is very much an idiot outside of battles, Trying to carry water with his mouth is really in character for him.
It's not exactly stupid, especially if they had gone through with it to the end. I'd call it being unusually practical, preferring straight up unorthodox actions/strategies over more convenient methods, which as you said is very much in-character of him.
 
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Silktree

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I thought Ludicolo saving Marshtomp was cute. The final shot detracted from that, though.

It was a half-episode filler. There was not enough time to build a connection between the two for a believable capture.
It worked for Galarian Farfetch'd (okay, that episode wasn't a filler). But there wasn't any reason to expect Ash to get an old starter, when he could just bring back any of the ones he has (or get Grookey, I guess).
 

Paulisthebest

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It was a half-episode filler. There was not enough time to build a connection between the two for a believable capture.

Eh, stranger things have happened in this show. Don't establish a full connection in this 'filler-sode' but do so in the next one. Heck, I'm just looking at how random Ash's sorrow for losing to Bea went up and down like a roller coaster within 2-3 episodes.
 

Johtohfiller

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Also, is it just me or did they use one of the older generation soundtracks during Ludicolo's Rain Dance? I could have sworn it was something out of Gen 4, can anyone figure out if it's so or if it's an OST by Hayashi?

I thought that sounded like Miyazaki too, not sure though.
 

Nicolas721

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The first half is a perfect textbook example of a Bottle Episode. Some parts were funny, but some relied too much on the "Jessie and James arguing over irrelevant stuff" gag. I wish that we had seen more of the dubbing part, and an answer to what Pikachu actually said (my headcanon is "ii kanji" :wynaut: ), but overall it was okay. I'll definitely enjoy it more in the Latin American dub.

The second part is obviously an Infinite/10 because it features our Lord and Savior Marshtomp, but story-wise I admit it could have been better. I admit that some parts felt strangely slow-paced, and it wasn't clear why they gave up on the Sobble and leaf ideas after only one try. But it was still cute. If I had to answer why it was made I'd say that it was to boost the species' popularity a bit, as believe it or not our Lord appears a lot in merchandise.
 

DynamicFusion

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what the hell was this episode, 41 episodes in and it feels like the staff has already given up on this series. This is 2 bad episodes in a row.
 

Beatsy Ray

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Part 1:

Team Rocket gold, what more could you ask for. I would happily have watched a full episode's worth of TRio antics. In fact it felt disappointingly short, there could have been limitless potential with those dubbing gags but they actually only took up a small portion of the episode. They were a lot of fun though, particularly Jessie's interpretation of Pikachu being an arrogant Pokemon-supremacist, and referring to itself as "Pokun".

The COVID parody was another highlight. The joke about Jessie and James not being able to hear Meowth through his facemask absolutely killed me. As someone who works in customer service that really hit home. That line from Meowth, "you guys are just using my sickness as an excuse to slack off" also felt more politically charged than I would expect from a kid's series.

Part 2:

Typical comedy filler. Really not much to say, It had it's moments but only a few. To it's credit, my biggest issue with the last double-episode was that Ash and Gou felt really out of character, but that's not the case here thankfully.

An awesome episode plus an okay one equal a good episode in my book.
 
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Queen Cynthia

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Oh dear, what was that?? As the first 2-in-1 episode a couple of weeks ago already turned out to be totally disappointing, I was afraid and nervous it would be the same this time... and it was!

The first part started promising. Seeing Jessie's and James' antics and especially the way the interpreted Pikachu with their respective personalities shining through was really nice! It would have been great to learn what Meowth was actually thinking about them and what Pikachu was really saying.

However, the second part pretty much destroyed everything! What was that for in the first place? A pretty boring plot and so many questions that remained unanswered:
- Why didn't the other Marshtomp come up with a plan on their own how to free their friend by just using a Water-type attack? And why didn't they even try when Ash asked them to?
- Pikachu's Irontail has already been shown to be able to break through things much stronger than dried out soil. So why not have him use that?
- Why didn't Sobble just use Water Gun but chose to be useless instead?
- Why did Ludicolo act so retarded at first? Aren't Pokemon supposed to understand human speech?
Frankly, all those questions didn't make sense at all and they turned the second part into a really badly written, useless episode. A waste of time that could have been used much better for the TRio part.

To sum it up: Partly a waste of time and partly a waste of potential. What was that "epsiode" supposed to be in the first place? Please, writers, please stop those useless 2-in1 episodes at once!
Apart from my personal disappointment, there's nothing left for me to say ...
 

Adelon

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Oh dear, what was that?? As the first 2-in-1 episode a couple of weeks ago already turned out to be totally disappointing, I was afraid and nervous it would be the same this time... and it was!

The first part started promising. Seeing Jessie's and James' antics and especially the way the interpreted Pikachu with their respective personalities shining through was really nice! It would have been great to learn what Meowth was actually thinking about them and what Pikachu was really saying.

However, the second part pretty much destroyed everything! What was that for in the first place? A pretty boring plot and so many questions that remained unanswered:
- Why didn't the other Marshtomp come up with a plan on their own how to free their friend by just using a Water-type attack? And why didn't they even try when Ash asked them to?
- Pikachu's Irontail has already been shown to be able to break through things much stronger than dried out soil. So why not have him use that?
- Why didn't Sobble just use Water Gun but chose to be useless instead?
- Why did Ludicolo act so retarded at first? Aren't Pokemon supposed to understand human speech?
Frankly, all those questions didn't make sense at all and they turned the second part into a really badly written, useless episode. A waste of time that could have been used much better for the TRio part.

To sum it up: Partly a waste of time and partly a waste of potential. What was that "epsiode" supposed to be in the first place? Please, writers, please stop those useless 2-in1 episodes at once!
Apart from my personal disappointment, there's nothing left for me to say ...

I don't recall Ash or Goh telling Ludicolo what was happening (Marshstomp is stuck in dried mud and can't escape) they literally just demanded it use a water attack which means the Ludicolo might had thought they were asking it to attack a random stranger for no reason.

Once they asked it to use Rain Dance it caught on to what was happening and what needed to be done.
 

JeoDude

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Welp.. That sure was an experience..

I liked the first part with Team Rocket. It felt really nice how careful Jessie was for Meowth. We don't see that side of her that much, normally James shows that behavior. Also, Wobbuffet's face when Meowth blames them for thinking about themselves was hilarious.
Another thing I found funny was Jessy thinking that Pikachu would talk very pompous, when Ash and Pikachu can already understand each other with explanations like "wham" and "zwooshh".
I think Pikarla from SM91 would like the way James tries to understand Pikachu with all the times he used "Pi".
Next up is Morpeko, why is that mon reappering? I would like to see Chewtle again too, I found its personality very entertaining.
One last thing about this part that I found interesting was that there was barely ost used, I wonder why that is the case.

The second part... was horrible. Its been a while I have seen something that bad and boring. To put it simply: Almost everyone and everything in this part annoyed me. I didn't like the comedy, the jokes were too predictable and simply not funny to me. The only thing I quite enjoyed was Ludicolo trolling Ash and Go (they deserved that) and the way it acted before rain dance.

Conclusion: I would have prefered a complete Team Rocket focused episode where they could have added some extra elements (the thing thwy were lacking, the actual dialogue from Pikachu from Meowth) to make it a typical good Team Rocket focused episode.
 

SonansuMan

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This episode was super uneventful as expected, but the first segment with TRio made every second worth it!! Their humor shined in this episode and the fourth wall breaks combined with a lot of the expressions (including Wobbuffet with a nose) made me cackle. The dynamic of the four was written perfectly and even the little touches like Jessie and James showing Meowth love even after messing with him made them feel so much more real compared to most of their appearances this series. It's weird how little of the segment was actually spent dubbing, but seeing more silly SOL action with the TRio was fun and long overdue.

The second episode had plenty of funny bits but also felt much more slow paced compared to the first part. Most of it felt like rewatching a classic OS/AG episode but I enjoyed the simplicity of it while Ash supplied a lot of the humor. Personally I'm relieved Marshstomp didn't get caught as it either would've took the 6th spot that could've gone to a Galarmon or rot in a lab and only occasionally get 5 second cameos (which funnily enough still applies to Ash)

I'm not a huge fan of episodes being split in half but it worked great here because both of the plots were simple enough that they could be fleshed out within 10 minutes and gave us 2 episode concepts we otherwise probably would've never seen in a full episode.

OVERALL SCORE:
7/10
(+1 for Morpeko and Chewtle cameos)
 
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Islander Princess

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This two parter was a lot less absurd than the first (which is not a slap, I loved the insanity lol) but I actually still enjoyed this episode!

Team Rocket's half was pure gold. I don't love the way they've been treated in Journeys thus far, but their half was reminiscent of the vacation episode, which has been one of my faves. I just love seeing them hang out together and do stuff other than just trying to steal Pokémon. Also, Jessie and James failing to understand Meowth in the beginning with the mask on had me chuckling. I know it wasn't BECAUSE he had the mask on, but that is the story of my life right about now, so that's a connection I made that amused me. And that fourth wall break? Hilarious.

The Marshtomp half was fine. The way some reviews went here I thought it was going to be unbearable, but I honestly didn't mind it. Everyone came across as super cute. It definitely wasn't the most interesting plot ever concocted, but for half an episode it was a sweet little adventure. Ludicolo had me laughing and the end scene did as well, solely because the damn Marshtomp just had those frozen looks on their faces, lol.

I know a lot of people aren't fans, but I really haven't minded the two parters. There are bound to be filler episodes no matter what, so getting them broken down into half the time actually serves them well. I wouldn't have been able to take the Marshtomp half as a full episode, but for the time it ran here, it was okay. In my opinion, this series has had far worse episodes (looking at you iceberg race and Ho-Oh) that would've been a lot better suited cut in half (or not existing at all but that's just me being petty :D)
 

Alola

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I don't recall Ash or Goh telling Ludicolo what was happening (Marshstomp is stuck in dried mud and can't escape) they literally just demanded it use a water attack which means the Ludicolo might had thought they were asking it to attack a random stranger for no reason.

Once they asked it to use Rain Dance it caught on to what was happening and what needed to be done.

While you're correct that they didn't explain the situation clearly at first, they did immediately ask it to use Rain Dance; they didn't ask it perform any other Water-type technique.

I found it alarming they assumed it could even do Rain Dance, but then again the episode wasn't exactly the most practical; cough Sobble cough.
 

Beatsy Ray

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I found it alarming they assumed it could even do Rain Dance, but then again the episode wasn't exactly the most practical; cough Sobble cough.
I thought that was a nice nod to Ash's exstensive knowledge of Pokemon and their moves, which I think is one thing this series does a pretty good job at. Of course Ludicolo could have simply not known it, but considering it's dancing motif and the fact that it's ability is activated with rain, you could consider Rain Dance to be a signature move of sorts.
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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I thought that was a nice nod to Ash's exstensive knowledge of Pokemon and their moves, which I think is one thing this series does a pretty good job at. Of course Ludicolo could have simply not known it, but considering it's dancing motif and the fact that it's ability is activated with rain, you could consider Rain Dance to be a signature move of sorts.
Rain Dance isn't a dance move in the Japanese version.
 
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