Pikachu's Goodbye (Pokémon the Series: Original Series)
"Pikachu's Goodbye" (Japanese: ピカチュウのもり "Forest of Pikachu"/"Pikachu's Forest") is the 39th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 16, 1998, and in the United States on November 20, 1998. It was the first episode to air after the "Electric Soldier Porygon" incident. Notably, it is also, with "The Battling Eevee Brothers", the first hour-long Pokémon special.
When Pikachu wanders off, the heroes see a field of Pikachu, whom Ash's Pikachu quickly befriends. When Team Rocket steal the Pikachu, Ash's Pikachu defeats them and gains the loyalty of the other Pikachu. Ash, seeing that his friend will be happier staying with them, makes a difficult decision of releasing Pikachu.
Why it Rocks
- The concept where Ash's Pikachu befriends a field of Pikachu is very well nailed. It does show the Pokémon anime series is very creative at times.
- The plot is very well done, it had great writing, emotional efforts, and very well done character development between Ash and Pikachu.
- This is the episode that made up for the "Electric Solider Porygon" incidents that occurred in Japan back in 1997, and brought Pokémon back to where it left off.
- Some of the music pieces that replicated from the video games was heard again, and stands out even more.
- There is one funny moment where Misty tells Ash to watch out for that tree, and with Ash crashing into the tree is a very humourous reference to George of the Jungle.
- The flashback montage songs, "Goodnight my Pikachu" in Japan, and "The Time Has Come" in English and international versions are great choices for the near end of the episode. Though, "The Time Has Come" was more heartbreaking and sadder than what you expected.
- Great animation in its time, especially for the Indigo League season.
- The flashback montage sequence within' the other past episodes where Ash and Pikachu had their times together after Ash leaves Pikachu with the other Pikachu in the wild is emotional and heartbreaking, even Ash releasing Pikachu until both reunite quickly has left a sad impact on the two.
- The addition to Baby Pikachu on the Pikachu flock is a very great addition within' the Pikachu family.
- The scene where Pikachu was trying to save the little Pikachu, but with the other Pikachu flock to rescue both is really tense.
- The happy ending: When the sun rose, Pikachu decides to rejoin Ash, embrace each other with a passionate hug, with Ash being overwhelmed by the emotion, cries happily while still hugging Pikachu with the cheers of the wild Pikachu echoing in the background.
- This episode shows that Ash and Pikachu had a very good dynamic, and always had for years to come, even after this episode.
"Pikachu's Goodbye" was met with positive reception and critical acclaim among fans and critics. It was scored an 8.1/10 on iMDB.com.
- Like in "Pokémon: I Choose You!", the first episode of the series, the Pokémon in this "Who's that Pokémon?" segment in this episode is Pikachu.
- This is one of the only episodes that 4Kids Entertainment did not lessen the brightness on the ending scene with Pikachu and Ash. The original reason for this is unknown at this time.
- Brock didn't seem to realize that it was he who influenced Ash into letting Pikachu go, despite him being against it later on.
- Additionally, before this episode was first broadcasted on TV Tokyo, there was a short segment titled "テレビの前のみなさんへ" (To everyone watching TV previously) airing before it with Miyuki Yadama explaining the issues with the previous episode with many going to the hospital as a result of the broadcast and how the network and its affiliate networks, professional doctors, and the government had to research into the cause of this at-the-time unknown issue to ensure that it will not happen again.