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| Volcanic Panic
Decisive Battle! Guren Gym!
|| August 20, 1998
| United States
|| September 18, 1999
Volcanic Panic (Japanese: けっせん！グレンジム！ Decisive Battle! Guren Gym!) is the 59th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on August 20, 1998 and in the United States on September 18, 1999.
Ash continues his quest to attain his Volcano Badge once he finally locates the gym that is suspended above a pool of molten lava! Only a strong fire Pokémon could help him in this battle, so Ash must rely on his misbehaving Charizard to help him win this smoldering match.
When we last saw Ash, he was locked into battle against Blaine, down two Pokémon before Pikachu had managed to knock out Blaine's Rhydon. However, any semblance of a comeback was halted by Blaine's Magmar, who quickly corners off Pikachu and is about to finish it off with a Fire Blast. Ash tells Pikachu to duck in the last second, hoping to avoid the blast, but Pikachu is hit, but fortunately is not knocked into the lava, having hung on to the edge. Though Pikachu makes it back onto the battlefield, Ash concedes the match, not wanting to risk Pikachu falling into the lava. Blaine allows Ash to stay, as the hot springs will help heal Pikachu from its burns. Though Brock and Misty advise Ash to leave for another Gym, as Blaine was simply too powerful, Ash declares that he will not leave without a Volcano Badge.
The next day, as Ash, Misty, and Brock try to help Pikachu, Team Rocket manages to sneak into the battlefield, in an attempt to steal Magmar by freezing him. Though it appears that their attempt is successful, Magmar simply melts the ice around it, which in turn causes Team Rocket to fire more freezing missiles at it. However, their over zealousness causes the battlefield walls to cave in, and Ash, Misty, Brock, and Blaine arrive as Team Rocket is sent flying. With nowhere to run, and the volcano about to erupt due to the frozen ice causing fissures in the walls and ground (causing the battlefield in turn to sink into the lava), Blaine is forced to use Magmar to dam the volcano and prevent its eruption. Ash also tries to have Charizard to pitch in, but Charizard is unwilling to cooperate. However, after seeing Magmar throw rocks in an attempt to dam the volcano, Charizard decides to help, and Onix, Geodude, Staryu, and Squirtle also pitch in (the latter two helping to cool off Onix and Geodude). Pikachu also makes an effort to help, while Misty is forced to rein in Psyduck and Togepi from helping, while Ash is forced to rein in Jigglypuff from putting everyone to sleep. Eventually, the volcano is dammed, leaving Charizard and Magmar with a desire to battle it out against each other.
As thanks, Blaine allows Ash a rematch for the Volcano Badge. But with the battlefield destroyed, Ash and Blaine agree to battle one-on-one on the summit of the volcano - Blaine with Magmar, and Ash deciding to use Charizard after it shows a desire to battle (he had originally wanted to go with Pikachu). As the battle begins, both sides trade Flamethrowers, and Magmar counters with a Fire Blast, which Charizard digs in and manages to deflect. Magmar then proceeds to hit Charizard square in the gut with a Skull Bash, pushing Charizard into a pillar. Charizard begins to fall towards the lava. Charizard recovers, and locks up with Magmar. Magmar then uses Charizard's own momentum against it by flipping it over, and pushing the two into the lava. Although Ash calls foul, Blaine reminds him that "under the volcano" is still part of their agreed-upon battlefield. However, once the two emerge from the lava, Charizard is now the one with the upper hand, having used his flight ability to create an aerial Submission and finish off Magmar with Seismic Toss. Having won the battle, Ash proceeds to congratulate Charizard and return it, only to be blasted in the face with another Flamethrower. As it turns out, Charizard only obeyed Ash in order to fight Magmar, and nothing more. Still, Ash had earned his Volcano Badge, and leaves Cinnabar Island.
Wondering where to go next, Brock suggests that they head to the Viridian City Gym, which is a leading Gym where the best Trainers prepare for the Pokémon League. Ash was unaware of the fact that there was a Gym in Viridian City and asks Misty why she didn't tell him before. Misty replies that they were too busy arguing for her to remember. Misty can't recall why they were fighting and just as Brock was about to refresh her memory, Ash quickly declares to keep moving, only for Misty to remember about him owing her that bike...
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Paras (U.S. and international), Magmar (Japan)
- This is the first time Charizard's signature Seismic Toss finisher is seen.
- When Charizard performs its Seismic Toss, real world countries can be seen, such as Australia.
- This is the first episode where Masaaki Iwane is credited as an animation director.
- Staryu and Squirtle keep other Pokémon cool with help of water. Even Brock's Geodude and Onix are kept cool this way, despite the fact that Rock-type and Ground-type Pokémon are weak to water, and Brock's are not exceptions, as seen in The Flame Pokémon-athon!, Sick Daze, Right on, Rhydon!, and other episodes. This may mean that the weakness arises from water pressure tolerance.
- At the end of the episode, the narrator says that "Ash hurries on to Viridian City, eager to compete for a green Earth Badge, meanwhile Misty is seeing red, and that's sure to make Brock blue", obviously referring to the original Generation I video games.
- This is the first episode to be the length of 24 minutes and 35 seconds, which afterward became the standard for all episodes. Also, since the Japan-exclusive segment Professor Oak's Pokémon Lecture began two episodes later, it is one of the two longest actual episodes in the original series, later matched only by DP120.
- Parts of this episode were reanimated and used for flashback material for The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion!.
- In the flashback at the beginning of the episode the narrator says that Ninetales beat Squirtle with an Ember, when it was actually a Fire Spin that defeated Squirtle.
- Also in the flashback, Ash can be heard telling Pikachu "You'll feel 100 percent soon," but this line was never spoken in the previous episode. He actually delivers the line a few minutes later, shortly after the conclusion of the battle.
- Furthermore in the flashback, when Blaine called on Magmar he said "Come out...Magmar!", but he actually said "I choose...Magmar!".
- During the scene where they are stopping the volcano from erupting, Misty calls on Starmie to keep everyone cool. However, it's Staryu that comes out.
- A similar mistake happened in Princess vs Princess, where she says she is going to use Starmie, but later in the episode, she tries to send out Staryu (only for Psyduck to come out).
- The second time the Gyarados statue that opened the volcano's entrance is seen, it is no longer on a rock and is instead on the cement surrounding the hot spring.
- Jessie and James can be heard perfectly under water, with no speech hindrances and no air bubbles. Additionally, they were using reeds to breathe, which would make talking even harder. This may be an example of anime physics, though.
- When Magmar is about to use Flamethrower, Misty tells Ash, "Watch out for Magmar's Flamethrower!", even though they haven't seen Magmar using the move before, and shouldn't be able to know what move it was going to use.
- Magmar was seen running towards Charizard, even though there were platforms in the volcano.
- Just after Charizard uses Seismic Toss on Magmar, Magmar blasts out of the volcano. When Magmar lands onto a platform its mouth changes to orange instead of cream and in the next shot it changes back.
- When the volcano is erupting, Blaine orders Magmar to block the "lava flow". Technically speaking, it is called magma when it is inside a volcano, and called lava outside of it.
- In the original version, Misty doesn't tell Ash specifically to watch out for Magmar's Flamethrower, but simply says that he should watch out for Magmar's Fire-type attacks.
- When Charizard pushed the Fire Blast away, its shape changed into the kanji for medium (中), and then small (小), before vanishing. The dub kept it the same shape until it disappeared, but didn't erase the sound effects that came with the pun.
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