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| Pokémon Fashion Flash
Rokon! Breeder Showdown!
|| October 7, 1997
| United States
|| October 14, 1998
|| Team Ota
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 玉川明洋 Akihiro Tamagawa
| Additional credits
Pokémon Fashion Flash (Japanese: ロコン！ブリーダーたいけつ！ Rokon! Breeder Showdown!) is the 28th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 7, 1997 and in the United States on October 14, 1998.
Ash, Misty, and Brock find themselves on Scissor Street, a location colloquially referred to as Breeder's Lane that Brock explains is well-known for its Pokémon salons and beauty parlors. Misty, with Ash in tow, pauses outside of one venue in particular to examine a poster featuring a Koffing and Ekans adorned with a number of gaudy accessories. Debating whether or not to join the throng of apparently eager customers vying to get inside the Salon Roquet, she is interrupted by Brock who announces that he has "found it". Ash and Misty follow him the short distance to a storefront that is much less crowded and rather bland compared to its neighbors, whereupon Brock is suddenly struck by a fit of apparent nervousness and freezes. Oblivious, Ash and Misty enter first and are greeted by a feminine voice that serves the added effect of snapping Brock back to reality.
Inside they meet a Pokémon Breeder, who introduces herself as Suzy, gently massaging a Chansey; however, Misty has shifted her attention to a Vulpix that is fast asleep on a chair. Ash scans it with his Pokédex while Misty approaches the sleeping Pokémon. Misty, obviously enthralled by the cute creature, scoops it up in her arms while offering numerous compliments. Vulpix is understandably annoyed by this interruption of its afternoon nap and reacts with a Flamethrower directed at Misty's face.
Brock, who has been unusually silent up to this point, suddenly blurts out that he wants to become Suzy's pupil. Everyone is shocked, especially Suzy. Brock explains that Suzy is a highly accomplished breeder who he idolizes.
Later, Suzy serves tea for the three while Pikachu happily munches on some food. Suzy compliments Pikachu's shiny coat, and asks if Brock made its food. Brock replies that he did, and Misty explains that it is Brock's own recipe. Suzy explains that she too got into Pokémon breeding because of her interest in Pokémon nutrition. During this exchange Vulpix suddenly leaps up to the bowl of food, sniffing at it curiously. Pikachu offers Vulpix the piece it was eating, and Vulpix accepts it. This surprises Suzy, who explains that Vulpix usually does not eat anything she has not made herself.
Misty then mentions all the flashily dressed Pokémon they saw outside. Suzy points out that ever since Salon Roquet opened up, Trainers have been focusing on making their Pokémon look as flashy as possible. Ash says that looking flashy is dumb, but Misty counters that even Pokémon like to dress up once in a while. This leads to an argument between Ash and Misty about what is more important for a Pokémon and its Trainer: the inside or the outside. Ash jokingly suggests that, if fashion is so important to Misty, she should take her Psyduck over to Salon Roquet. Misty loves the idea, and calls out Psyduck.
After Misty leaves, Suzy expresses doubt in her own methods, but Brock and Ash quickly reassure her. Brock suggests a way in which Suzy can compete with the growing popularity of salons like Salon Roquet: by combining style and substance. Soon thereafter, Suzy gives a lecture on Pokémon breeding and treatment. She explains that if a Pokémon has been injured in a battle, it should be given a therapeutic massage, which she demonstrates on Pikachu. As Brock had hoped, Suzy's lecture starts to draw the crowd away from Salon Roquet. As Suzy, Ash, and Brock demonstrate the importance of good communication between Pokémon and Trainer, Trainers arriving from Salon Roquet begin to doubt if they made the right choice.
Meanwhile, at Salon Roquet, Jessie orders Meowth to send in the next customer. It is then that it is revealed that Team Rocket is running the salon. He complains that he is too busy counting the money they have made, but then realizes there is only one customer left: Misty, with her Psyduck. Team Rocket drag her in for a makeover of her own, her protests that Psyduck was the one who needed the makeover falling upon deaf ears. She loves the bright and flashy results, however, and asks the undercover Jessie and James to continue.
Meowth then mentions Pikachu, tipping Misty off to his identity. Misty screams that she will never tell Team Rocket anything, but James threatens to paint her face like Frankenstein if she does not. Thinking that over for a moment, she suddenly realizes that Psyduck has gone missing. In fact, Psyduck has run back to Suzy's salon, where it goes into a panic. Pikachu signals that Misty is in danger, and takes off with Brock, Ash, and Suzy behind him. They make their way back to Salon Roquet, where they face off against Team Rocket.
They are startled to see what Team Rocket has done to Misty's face, but Team Rocket defends the bizarre makeover, claiming they are conducting "important beauty research" on her. This starts an argument between Suzy and Team Rocket about whether beauty is on the inside or the outside. Meowth, however, interrupts by revealing Team Rocket's fraudulent intentions.
Team Rocket offers a trade: Misty for Pikachu. Ash refuses and challenges them to a battle. Team Rocket, however, has prepared for this, and pushes a button on a microphone, which reveals their latest invention, the Salon Roquet Battling Platform. To begin the battle, Jessie sends out Ekans, and James sends out Koffing, both of which are still dressed in their ridiculous outfits. Ash sends out Pikachu, and Brock uses Geodude. Brock orders a Seismic Toss, and Geodude carries Ekans into the air and flings him down. However, Ekans turns the momentum of the throw into a spinning wheel strike and slams into Pikachu. Ash calls for a ThunderShock, but the spinning of Koffing and Ekans makes their extravagant outfits deflect the lightning. James then orders a "Sludge makeover", blinding both Pikachu and Geodude. But as Team Rocket's Pokémon are sent in to finish them off, Ekans and Koffing end up tripping over their outfits, halting the attack. Meowth tries to help the tangled Pokémon, but Vulpix cuts in. Suzy calls that if you only focus on outer beauty, a Pokémon's inner strength will be lost, which Vulpix drives home with a powerful Fire Spin that sends Team Rocket blasting off.
Brock takes this opportune moment to explain to the crowd that there was first-hand proof that a cute exterior hides inner strength. The crowd, taking the words to heart, begin to remove all the flashy items from their Pokémon and wipe off the applied makeup.
Back at her salon, Suzy thanks Ash and his friends for helping her regain confidence in her beliefs. She plans to leave the salon for a while and go on a journey to learn what it truly means to be a Pokémon breeder. Suzy says that Brock is the first person other than herself that Vulpix has shown affection to, and asks that Brock take care of Vulpix for her while she is on her journey. Brock gratefully accepts, and obtains the small Fire-type.
Soon enough, Ash, Misty and Brock are on their way once again, standing to wave goodbye to Suzy. Behind them, Team Rocket goes running past, pursued by a crowd of their angry former customers.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Vulpix
- Meowth's Song replaces One Hundred Fifty-One as the ending.
- The outfits Jessie and James wear in this episode resemble those of Oscar and Andi.
- This episode marks the first time a variation of Team Rocket's motto is used.
- According to the third book of the "Kids Pocket Books Pocket Monsters" series, the Chansey Trainer in this episode is homosexual.
- There is a parallel between this episode and Super Contests in Sinnoh, as Team Rocket's Ekans and Koffing dress up, analogous to the Visual portion, and perform, analogous to the dance portion, before attacking, analogous to the Acting portion.
- When Brock obtains Vulpix, he captures it by simply taking out a Poké Ball and opening it, thus sucking the small Fire-type inside without making contact. To date, this is the only Pokémon capture without direct physical contact between Poké Ball and Pokémon that has occurred.
- This is the first episode where Brock's Geodude is seen using a move.
- When it first aired in Japan, this episode was followed by a clip-show summing up from EP001 to EP027.
Misty's head overlapping James's arm
- When Misty yells for Psyduck and lifts her head, her neck overlaps James's arm.
- When Brock introduces Vulpix, it has seven tails.
- During Suzy's lecture, the Rattata has a completely purple face.
- A total of 22 scenes were digitally edited in the dub to remove Japanese characters.
- Jessie and James's code names were removed from the dub.
- Misty does not ask for permission to touch Vulpix in the dub.
- The details of two of Suzy's accomplishments differ between the Japanese original and the English dub. In the original, it is mentioned that she was nominated as Trainer of the Year, and that she ranked number one in Pokémon breeding for four years in a row. The English dub calls her the most popular Pokémon Breeder for four years straight, and states that she has a hugely popular website with upwards of 10,000 hits per day.
- One of Misty's responses to Ash regarding her Psyduck differ between the Japanese original and the English dub. In the original, Misty says that she is the cute one. In the English dub she questions what Ash knows about fashion.
In other languages