The Pokemon television series was an essential part of my upbringing. Every Saturday I watched as Ash Ketchum, Misty, and Brock fought through the region in an attempt to become Pokemon masters...I think. Now, watching it on Netflix as an adult, I find many confusing plot points that childhood me never questioned. When it comes down to some of these facts, the bottom line is they don't make sense. And that's okay because I still love Pokemon. I do, however, also love to gripe, so let's dive into this.
5. Team Rocket Trying To Catch Pikachu
Why is it Jesse and James think Giovanni, the leader of the strongest Pokemon gym in the Kanto region, is interested in a low level Pikachu? From the very start they try to capture Ash's Pokemon like it's some kind of crown jewel, and it's not even near that level. Throughout the show, we've met far cooler Pikachu than the one Ash has been given. Ritchie's Pikachu with the sweet hair flip was more unique than Ash's Pikachu. Let's not also forget Ash once met a Pikachu that could not only surf, but had blue eyes and glowed when big waves were coming! If I were Jesse and James, I would've abandoned the journey right there and spent every waking moment trying to score the surfing Pikachu, rather than break the bank following some random kid. Here's a crazy thought...why not catch a Pikachu in the Pikachu forest with your own Pokemon! Does Giovanni even need a Pikachu? He genetically created a clone of the rarest Pokemon of them all, so why is Team Rocket scrambling to get him a second tier electric type at best?
4. Brock's Dad
In episode 5 Ash and Misty meet a mysterious man named Flint. Flint sells rocks and seems to know quite a bit about the town gym leader (Brock) and the personal struggles he faces everyday. Nothing really out of the ordinary about his knowledge, considering there are only two residential homes in Pewter City, it would be normal for the town to be aware that Brock is the oldest of 10 and keeping house while their deadbeat father is off training.
Ash, knowing absolutely nothing about Pokemon at this point, foolishly tries to fight Brock with Pikachu. Brock, hardened by the loss of his mother, the abandonment of his father, and the cruelty of life, mercilessly tortures Pikachu to the point that Ash forfeits the match out of fear for his Pokemon's safety.
Out of nowhere, Flint is back and tells a devastated Ash to hook his Pikachu up to the town generator so that he can beat Brock. At this point I'm unsure if there is any concrete science to what's being done, but it works, and Pikachu sets part of Brock's gym on fire. Brock's Pokemon is weakened by the sprinkler system and everyone is sure Ash will get the victory and Ash walks away like he's too good to win that way. Remember now, that the night prior, Ash hooked up his Pikachu to a generator to give him more juice, but an advantage like this is just way too beyond his moral wheelhouse. I digress...
Ash and Misty leave, and Brock chases them down and gives Ash the Pewter badge because....who knows at this point. Flint then appears and proclaims he is Brock's long-lost father. His long-lost father who in a village with two houses and his own family making up 90% of the population was able to fly under the radar and make a living selling rocks at the town entrance. It could be due to the fact that no one in their family opens their eyes, but damn, how did no one notice this? Furthermore, how much of an ass is he for watching his son suffer from afar and just now, after witnessing this is like "time for me to be a dad"? WHY THE SUDDEN CHANGE?! I hated this episode as a child, and I still do watching it now.
3. Ash Earns Quite A Few Badges Without Battling Which Ultimately Leads To His Downfall
Battling gym leaders for badges is Pokemon 101. Earning those badges is imperative not just for entry into the Pokemon league, but to gaining the respect of your Pokemon. Ash only legitimately beat Lt. Surge (Electric), Koga (Poison), and Blaine (Fire). As for the rest...
- Brock gave Ash a badge for a reason I'm still unsure of.
- Misty gave Ash a badge after battling Team Rocket.
- He saves the Celadon gym leaders Pokemon from a fire.
- Saffron Cities gym leader loses as she is unable to fight due to a hilarious Haunter interrupting the match.
- If you really want to split hairs Ash won the Viridian city badge not by facing Giovanni, but Team Rocket with Giovanni's Pokemon. It's quite obvious this would be a huge advantage in Ash's favor.
By the time he reaches the tournament, Ash has only earned about half his badges through actually battling the gym leaders. So when Ash is humiliated on national television by Charizard just up and refusing to battle causing him to forfeit, I want to laugh in his stupid prepubescent face because he should've known. In his defense, Charizard is a very hard Pokemon to win the respect of. It wasn't until he turned to stone in the movie that their relationship made any real progress.
2. Gotta Catch Em All?
Fairly obvious point here. Professor Oak entrusts Ash with a Pokedex and encourages him to catch as many Pokemon as possible for him to research at his lab. Ash responds by catching very few Pokemon and eventually releasing a good deal of them back into the wild. This is what happens when you entrust a 10 year old with any real responsibility.
1. Why Is Mewtwo Wearing Armor?
When we first see Mewtwo in the show he is hooked up to some strange robotic shell that harnesses his power. It could have been assumed that Mewtwo was far too powerful of a Pokemon to be controlled and that keeping him restrained was Giovanni's one way of controlling him. Why would he need to do that, though? Pokemon up to this point have been shown to be obedient even if they can be a bit unruly, and never considered so dangerous they need constant restraint. This mystery has haunted me for ages, and I'm happy to say I've finally discovered the answer!
Prior to the first Pokemon movie in Japan, a radio drama was created with the translated title of Birth of Mewtwo. After a fossilized eyelash of Mew is found at an excavation site by a Team Rocket member, Giovanni is approached by a scientist who has successfully cloned his daughter, who died years ago. The scientist says the method can likely be replicated with Pokemon, and Mewtwo is created.
Mewtwo at first leads a happy life and befriends his human clone counterpart Ambertwo and battles wild Pokemon to grow stronger. Sadly, the scientists learn that clones of humans can only live four to five years and Ambertwo passes not long after befriending Mewtwo. Depressed, Mewtwo destroys the lab he is created in and is then sedated and placed in armor to better be controlled. A very sad explanation that really makes you feel for the world of Pokemon, unlike the story of Brock's dad... That prick.