0108 The path to the Pokémon organization September 17, 1998 008 ポケモンリーグへのみち The roadway to the Pokémon organization May 20, 1997 inside the writers create a forgettable filler episode and enjoy the endure so lot they decide to repeat the procedure several hundred much more times.
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Well. Right here it is. We have arrived in ~ what is officially the first "filler" illustration of the Pokemon anime. This is the very first time in Ash"s adventures that he doesn"t conference a character/location indigenous the video clip games or acquire a brand-new Pokemon. Don"t gain me wrong, i don"t i ordered it to the viewpoint that equates all filler episodes through terribleness. Few of my pure favorite episodes space technically filler – after all, the whole allude of the anime is to broaden upon the story indigenous the games, so that stands to factor that there would certainly be many of adventures exterior the confines of the restrictive video clip game storyline. Unfortunately, the writers would ultimately fall prey to the lull of formulaic illustration plots: Ash meets a character of the day and/or a Pokemon with a problem, Team Rocket tries come steal Pokemon, Ash defeats Team Rocket and solves the problem. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

Anyway, this is our first foray right into filler land, so let"s acquire to it, chandelier we?

our hero, Ash Ketchum, is fresh turn off of his second gym "victory" in 3 episodes, and also wants anyone to know about it. Unfortunately, while Pallet Town"s village idiot may have actually learned just how to counting to the number two, he still has no idea wherein he is headed next. His red-headed stalker/girlfriend Misty angrily informs him, because that what appears to be the umpteenth time, the they room headed to "Vermilion City" house to a luxury cruise ship that Misty is just dying come see. "We won"t have actually time because that sightseeing!" declares Ash, advocating the precise opposite ideology that will guide his future travels with Johto – after ~ all, Ash is still setup a slow pace than his arch competitor and secret nephew, Gary Oak. But that all alters when wise mentor Brock chimes in, "I"ve heard there"s a great gym in Vermilion."

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A gym?! oh boy!

with the promise of much more Pokemon battles ahead, over there is nothing that can slow Ash down now....except an ext Pokemon battles of course. The scene conveniently cuts to the end of a one-sided fight in between Ash"s mighty Pidgeotto and also a Rattata belong to some dumb child who is plainly supposed to stand for the Youngster trainer course from the games (I wonder if his shorts space comfy and also easy come wear?)

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This success is supposedly Ash"s tenth success in a row (is he consisting of his two gym "victories"?), and also as he revels in the youthful praise of the Youngster, Ash"s manages come accidently-on-purpose speed his 2 gym badges to the awe-filled reverence that his vanquished young foe.

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Oh, these badges?

The Youngster informs Ash that there is a trainer named AJ surrounding with his very own (unlicensed!) Pokemon gym, who has actually never shed a single match! our haughty hero responds v derision, claiming the this AJ has never come across the likes the him prior to (that"s true – it"s no every day the you come across the mentally-impaired love-spawn of the forbidden passion in between a world-renowned Pokemon expert and his next-door neighbor). Misty sardonically notes the Ash is obtaining a huge head, to which Brock sagely responds, "but his brain"s still the exact same size!"

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unwilling to recognize there can be Pokemon trainers qualified of defeating him, Ash rushes off to track down this AJ through Misty and Brock in tow. They pertained to a huge spiked wooden fence with a circus tent inside, which follow to a dreadful digitally altered sign is home to AJ"s unlicensed gym. (A note from Nintendo: perform not try and set up your own Pokemon gyms. We will sue you.

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Misty notes the 98 wins is quite a lot of – virtually ten times as countless as Ash has. This usage of math seems to have unnerved our brainless hero, and also he angrily responds the he "goes for quality, not quantity!" (a line the he will certainly undoubtedly try to usage again on their wedding night...)

our heroes quickly encounter AJ self – a black and green haired tubster v the loudest shirts this next of Don Cherry. AJ asks Ash i m sorry Pokemon he will pick for AJ"s 99th success – and also it takes Ash"s mind a bit to procedure the humiliation behind the words. Our hero starts to mock AJ as soon as he learns that señor tubby won"t even start to difficulty gyms until after his 100th victory. Ash"s sleep grows come Pinocchio-sized proportions as he brags around the two gym title he currently has. "Did friend buy those badges or stealing "em?" AJ asks, "either that or you competed in some loser gyms. Where were they, fail City or Whimpsville?"

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apparently Brock and also Misty take violation to this characterization.

AJ calls out his star Pokemon – Sandshrew. Both Brock and Misty warn Ash that Pikachu won"t do much against this Ground-type, but our dim-witted hero snaps that he to know what he is doing and tags Pidgeotto again. In concept Ash has actually the kind advantage, and he smugly chuckles just how it"s too negative that Sandshrew can"t fly...

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until it does.

Responding just to the sound that AJ"s whip, Sandshrew easily sweeps v both Ash"s loyal pigeon, and also the unnecessarily shrill Butterfree. Beginning to panic, Ash transforms to Pikachu – that after seeing what taken place to the pals Pidgeotto and Butterfree is having actually none the this battle. So as Ash yanks on his electrical rat"s tail, and also Pikachu clings to the leaf of the fight area, Brock and also Misty begin to slowly ago away, anticipating the violent electrical discharge that soon follows.

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(I miss douchey fat Pikachu so much.)

however even together Ash"s Pinocchio nose has actually snapped off, something an ext important is hiding in the canopy the some nearby trees – it"s Team Rocket! lock are somewhat impressed v AJ"s Sandshrew, return Meowth points out that that looks fat and that Jessie and James should carry it. But the fabulous fashionistas are more engrossed in the aesthetics that the fight they simply witnessed. Jessie can"t think that AJ goes out in windy dressed together he is – his outfit is "positively hideous!" James is equally unforgiving, bitchily noting that his shirts looks favor it is indigenous a "century or two ago" and also that he would feel right at home in a museum. Although brand-new York wise-guy Meowth can"t assist but aside that "at the very least he doesn"t look like he"s trick-or-treating favor you do," through painful results. (Ahh… unabashedly gay James and human-on-Pokemon violence – exactly how I miss you original Series!)

Ash"s solution to his first televised loss because the Pewter Gym is … much less than magnanimous. He starts crying like the immature boy that the is and begs AJ for a rematch, then easily decides the something around the gym arena need to be rigged – after all Butterfree never ever lost before (except versus Misty), and also flying Pokemon should constantly have the benefit over Ground-types! (Did friend ever take into consideration that Butterfree simply simply sucks?)

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AJ brushes Ash aside and also returns come the confines of his circus high-top, wherein the sound of upset yelling soon emanate. Advertise his way inside, our dim-witted hero comes throughout the horrific sight of Pokemon within crude looking right jackets engaged in feats of stamin with one another – with AJ in ~ the facility of it all literally whipping his Sandshrew come get ago in the swim pool. Well! Self-appointed defender-of-all-Pokemon Ash Ketchum cannot let this stand (plus how might AJ buck tradition and also skip best to the tasks of strength without first participating in the airing the the grievances?!), so he charges at AJ and tackles him right into the swim pool. (This is the type of male locker room horseplay that is sure to entice James" attention) AJ begrudgingly defines that Sandshrew is no being tortured, that is attract a "strength-intensifier" that his own creation (presaging the Macho Brace by several generations), and it is swimming to acclimate chin to water and assist it nullify its herbal weakness come Misty"s favorite sort of Pokemon.

Engrish time!

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AJ order Sandshrew to choose up its pacing, and also the mouse Pokemon curls up right into a round that is headed back and forth by a team of Rattata. Ash angrily interjects the he thought AJ said "pacing, no passing!", i m sorry elicits a groan indigenous Misty and also Brock. Pikachu helpfully offers its trainer a pillow, because, well also Dogasu"s not as well sure, however if Ash knows one point it"s that he stated padding – I mean pacing! (Kudos to 4Kids for in reality making something the end of this Japanese non-sequitur as soon as it would have actually been much simpler to just cut this segment out of the dub entirely.)

in spite of AJ"s explanations around he and Sandshrew"s cultivate techniques and also their pursuit to come to be the biggest Pokemon/trainer mix of every time (Hey, that"s Ash"s thing!), our hero tho isn"t satisfied. He turns to cool-older-brother Brock for support, questioning if there isn"t anything the squinty-eyed gym leader desires to say come AJ.

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"I do," responds Brock. "You"re Pokemon room all in good shape, what kind of food do you feed them?"

yet as Brock and AJ prattle on about the merits of proprietary Pokemon chow blends, Team Rocket is outside confronted with one existential situation – must they dump the motto and replace it through a song and also dance routine?

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Meowth opines that everyone loves "meuthic," and also being the true artistes that they are, Jessie and also James space obliged to shot and think with the costuming and also choreography necessary to put on a show commensurate with their imaginative talents.

Meanwhile, back in the tent, Ash still isn"t finished saying with AJ and also espousing his patented line around loving his Pokemon over anything else. The 2 literally come to blows, and for the second time now Ash and AJ finish up wrestling in the pool. Well, the mix of two underage boys, wet t-shirts, and wrestling has proved irresistible come James, and he conveniently arrives with the remainder of his Team Rocket compadres inside of a large red round with a hole in one end (ah yes, the land prior to mechas…).

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Pikachu has made the unwise decision to shot on Sandshrew"s strength-intensifier, i beg your pardon has forced the yellow chubster into a curled-up ball. Sandshrew sniggers and also mimics this posture, which causes Team Rocket all kinds the problems. Never ever the brightest bulbs in the irradiate fixture at the best of times, ours villains room unable to differentiate one curled-up rodent indigenous the other and grab AJ"s Sandshrew by mistake. No one seems to notice when Team Rocket"s round suddenly sprouts two pairs of legs and also stumbles the end of the tent, yet when the bell rings to signal the end of the maintain break, AJ immediately spots his lacking Sandshrew. Ash believes this to be proof positive that AJ"s Pokemon despise his harsh training methods, yet something much an ext important is taking place outside.

Team Rocket is busy clamoring up a hill, however James has been stuck with the job of lugging the Sandshrew sack, and also he informs Jessie that he is exhausted and also that she should lug the bag now. "But a genuine gentleman always carries the bag," claims Jessie coyly, letting united state know how she prefers her males – subservient. "Is that so!" responds James, "well as you know, I"m no gentleman!" (Double entendres room the ideal kind that entendres) James take it his very first tentative step out that the closet last episode, and also he has included yet one more bundle of sticks (or dare I speak "faggot") come the cultivation pyre the his very own flamingness.

regrettably for our beautiful baddies, all their squabbling has offered Sandshrew an opening to escape. That burrows underground with Meowth clamped come its tail, acquisition the semi-conscious scratch Cat along for the ride. Sandshrew returns to the big top wherein Ash is make the efforts in vain to recruitment AJ"s Pokemon to defect. ~ above seeing exactly how glad AJ and also Sandshrew are to view one another, our dim-witted hero is compelled to grudgingly recognize that maybe AJ and also his Pokemon execute love one another. Meanwhile, Pikachu is strongly trying to steal the ancient Japanese coin the is growing out that Meowth"s head.

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Meowth concerns after Ash picks him increase by the tail, and gives Pallet Town"s village idiot a scrape to the challenge for great measure. Brock wisely surmises that it to be Team Rocket that stole Sandshrew, and also Meowth finds himself cornered by both the twerps and AJ, v no prospect of to escape until…

Prepare for trouble… …and do it double!

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Team Rocket is on the back! Meowth motivates Jessie and James to "use the old motto!", also though they never ever did come up through a replacement. It doesn"t matter though, hear the sacred Team Rocket motto is sufficient to carry tears come the eye of any type of TR fan. That is a classic, after ~ all. Ours voluptuous villains notify the green-haired tubster that they have no interest in his lame old Sandshrew, they"re just interested in Pikachu. AJ refuses come hear any kind of slander against his illegal gym, and also immediately challenges Team Rocket to step exterior to the battlefield, and also Jessie and also James accept for some reason, overestimating together usual their battling abilities.

AJ declares to Sandshrew that Team Rocket will carry out them through their one hundredth victory, an applications of an easy math that seems to have actually once again befuddled Ash"s puny brain, "one hundredth… ?" Team Rocket does supposedly have sufficient sense to realize that if they room going to victory then they are going to have to cheat. Jessie calls the end her Ekans and also James, oh my –

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ERIC STUART IS HERE!

It"s lastly happened! through not-quite eight illustration of the anime in the books, James has finally uncovered a voice actor capable of liberating his fabulous spirit. The work of evil Tracey Sketchit are over! all hail Gaymes, in every his squealing effeminate glory!

Unfortunately, not also a proper voice actor deserve to save James and also his comrades. Sandshrew twists Ekans right into knots and easily repels Koffing"s poisonous goo. Meowth seems much more intent in merrily chasing the balled-up Sandshrew about the battlefield for this reason Jessie decides to resort to damaging puns to sway the tide of battle. "Stop pussy-footing around!" she speak the scratch Cat. "Just biting my time!" declares Meowth prior to chomping under on Sandshrew – and also getting a free NHL-style dental job in the process. "The moment of tooth!"

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AJ tires of messing around and calls on Sandshrew to use Fissure – producing a brand new rift in the Earth"s tectonic plates! (We won"t check out the likes of that in the anime today…) that is a usage of the Viridian Gym"s signature technique that is sure to do Giovanni smile.

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strange enough, Ash actually permits Team Rocket to operation away unmolested ~ they traction themselves the end of the chasm the Sandshrew just created – he is no yet feeling the murderous urge to zap them complete of thousands of volts precious of electrical power every episode. Our hero also offers come let AJ join his traveling party currently that the tubster is finally ready to take on the Pokemon gym challenge. But strangely enough, it appears that there room actually gym leaders (albeit unlicensed ones) that don"t want to follow Ash around, and also so Ash and also AJ promise to accomplish again part day, a promise that Ash will certainly break v every other character of the day that he will ever meet. (Although he and Samurai do acquire to make a cameo figure in the electric Tale of Pikachu manga) and with that, Ash is turn off to take component in his next an excellent adventure.

Final thoughts: For a Season One episode, this one is a stinker. That being said, I would still quite watch all of my short rated Season One and Two episodes in a loop than any kind of of your counterparts today. There space still a great number of amazing things that taken place today: Ash received a great in humility that wouldn"t yes, really sink in because that a while, James noted us with some an ext gay humor fodder, and also Eric Stuart arrived as a mid-episode voice replacement. It"s not sufficient to make this illustration a must-watch because that the original Series, however I perform think it provides it an ext interesting than your standard modern-day formulaic filler. Also, if this illustration hadn"t been dubbed in the short duration when 4Kids to be still do the efforts to somewhat faithfully translate the Japanese episode titles, I would certainly be ready to bet nearly any lot of money the this episode would be dubbed "The Taming that the Sandshrew" or part close sport thereof.