Electric Shock Showdown (Pokémon the Series: Original Series)
Electric Shock Showdown (でんげきたいけつ！クチバジム Electric Shock Showdown! Kuchiba Gym) is the 14th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 1, 1997, and in the United States on September 25, 1998.
The Pokémon Center in Vermilion City is full of Pokémon that were injured in battle with Lt. Surge; Ash challenges Lt. Surge to a battle.
Why It Rocks!
- The concept of Pikachu vs. Raichu was excellent, and inspired similar plots in future episodes that are just as good.
- The plot is very well done. Ash getting his third page fair and square, where he finally gets his first badge by actually battling and winning.
- The gang arrives in Vermilion City, and relax and heal up at the Pokémon center first after some hard traveling.
- The music is amazing, and fits really well with the episode, as usual.
- Some funny moments in the episode, like with the gang being hungry after arriving in the city, and Team Rocket cheering for Ash and Pikachu.
- Shocking moment while the gang was at the Pokémon center, as there were many Pokémon healing after being brutally defeated by Lt. Surge, the gym leader, showing how tough he was going to be.
- Great animation in its time, especially for the Indigo League season as usual.
- After recovering, there was a funny moment where Pikachu got scared after knowing the Pidgey brought in was badly beaten by Lt. Surge, Ash does acknowledge he cares if Pikachu does end up like him, but then shakes it off, saying there’s nothing to worry about, with Pikachu shocking Ash again.
- Shocking and awesome introduction to Lt. Surge and his Raichu, who look and feel like a tough challenge, with Ash and Pikachu ready to face them, especially after being made fun of.
- The first battle was tough, as even after Ash decides to follow advice from Brock and Misty about forfeiting, Pikachu still wants to go on, not wanting to be defeated, only for it to be badly beaten like the other Pokémon.
- While healing at the Pokemon Center, Nurse Joy gives Ash the Thunder Stone, and it was nice that he’s giving Pikachu the choice to evolve or not, showing he cares about his Pokémon’s feelings.
- Pikachu decided not to evolve, touching Team Rocket’s heart that he wants to beat Raichu just the way he is. Ash understands, and they agree that they will beat Lt. Surge and Raichu together.
- Brock thinks about the strategy Ash could use, knowing that Raichu never learned the speed moves when it was a Pikachu because it evolved too fast, and that’s what Ash taught his Pikachu, speed.
- This episode really shows that Pikachu can be a real MVP as evidenced when he rematches against Raichu.
- The rematch was awesome, as soon as the speed moves Pikachu had kicked in, it was too fast for Raichu to handle, as Agility and Quick Attack really helped out, and Pikachu dodged Raichu’s attack by sticking his tail on the ground, and then finished off Raichu with his tail wrapped around his electricity, giving Ash and Pikachu the win.
- Pikachu would keep his speed for the rest of the ongoing anime. While he did forgot Agility when he learned Iron Tail in the Advance series, he did keep Quick Attack since this episode, and he’s been always using his speed to help him in many battles.
- Lt. Surge, his Raichu, and his crew all congratulated Ash and Pikachu on their victory, as Ash gets his third Kanto gym badge, the Thunder Badge, and Misty and Brock also congratulated him. Ash and Pikachu embraced, as Pikachu shocked him again in joy, and Ash does feel the joy with him, as everyone laughed together.
- The ending is really good, with the above mentioned reason, and also a funny moment as Team Rocket was walking away, they realized they’ve been cheering for the good guys.
The Only Bad Quality...
- The infamous part where Ash almost assaults Misty, which is kind of out of character. Plus, Nurse Joy saying two people who argue must mean they love each other is nonsense and hard to believe. Of course this was in the days when Misty and Ash have argued despite being friends, but that's still nonsensical.
This episode received largely positive reviews from critics, audiences and fans of the Pokémon franchise. Is one of the episodes that YouTuber Lumiose Trainer Zac gave a 10/10, and it has a 8.2/10 rating on IMDb.