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| The Double Trouble Header
The Rookie's Chicorita!
|| October 21, 1999
| United States
|| October 21, 2000
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 椎名ひさし Hisashi Shiina
| Assistant director
|| 福本潔 Kiyoshi Fukumoto
| Animation director
|| はしもとかつみ Katsumi Hashimoto
| Additional credits
The Double Trouble Header (Japanese: ルーキーのチコリータ！ The Rookie's Chicorita!) is the 118th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on October 21, 1999 and in the United States on October 21, 2000.
In a Pokémon battle, Ash soundly defeats an ambitious young Trainer, who runs away dejectedly. Before Ash can comfort the novice, though, Team Rocket steps in, convincing the girl that Ash won by foul play, and recruiting her to their cause.
Venturing from New Bark Town, the group sees a girl and her Chikorita training while the girl is saying a whole bunch of baseball references. Stopping to watch this girl and her Chikorita, Ash takes this time to be pulling his Pokédex out to be getting the information on the Chikorita. Ash and the others soon watch as a Rattata hops out of a bush and is soon battled. As the girl tells her Chikorita to use a Tackle attack on Rattata, the two of them win easily against the Rattata and the girl immediately captures it with a Poké Ball. After confirming its capture, the girl is soon known as Casey, a beginning Pokémon Trainer who is obsessed with baseball, and she starts to sing the Team Electabuzz theme. Afterward, she calls back her Chikorita and soon spots Ash, Brock and Misty; her attention, however, is more focused on Pikachu, as that's what she immediately goes to speculate after running up to the group. As Casey continued to fawn over Ash's Pikachu, she soon asked for it to shock her since she's been wanting to know what it feels like, despite Ash's protests against it. Both she and Ash get shocked by Pikachu and the next scene shows Ash and the others getting acquainted with Casey.
Talking more with Casey, the trio find out that Casey has an affinity for yellow striped Pokémon, and more than anything, she wants an Electabuzz for her own. She also reveals the fact that she's a huge Team Electabuzz fan; Ash asks, "but don't the Electabuzz always finish in last place?". After this, both Ash and Casey get into an argument that soon ends with Casey declaring a Pokémon battle with Ash. Casey starts the battle with Pidgey and Ash finds himself reminiscing over past events before sending out his Charizard. Both Brock and Misty are surprised by his choice and don't exactly seem to approve the choice. However, Casey calls out the first attack and Pidgey flies in for a Quick Attack, where it merely bounces out Charizard's chest and is soon blown away by a strong exhale by Charizard. After getting knocked out, Casey recalls Pidgey and then sends out her Rattata. Casey commands Rattata to use Tackle against Charizard, where, again, the Pokémon just bounces off Charizard's stomach. Becoming somewhat infuriated with how the battle is ending up, Casey finally sends out her Chikorita and tells it to use Vine Whip on Charizard. Ash, simply tells Charizard to use Flamethrower on Chikorita. Due to this, Ash wins the battle, as declared by Brock.
Misty, Brock and Ash all say that even for a rookie Trainer, she did great. Ash even tried to offer his hand in friendship to Casey. However, her pride broken by the battle, Casey starts to cry and runs away while telling Ash to leave her alone. Running away from them, she trips and falls in the middle of a wooded area. With this, Casey recalls on her family's tradition of cheering on the Electabuzz, because even though they haven't won any of their games, they never gave up. With that in mind, she got back up and told herself that she would be just like Team Electabuzz, that she wouldn't give up either and that nothing will stop her!
With this proclamation, Team Rocket applauds Casey and reveal themselves before her. Lying to Casey, they tell her that they're also big supporters of Team Electabuzz, and Casey starts to open up to them right away. James tells Casey that Ash has beaten them many times. Jessie, jabbing her arm into James' side to shut him up, steps in and tells Casey that she wouldn't have had a chance against Ash in the first place. After telling Casey this, Team Rocket then convinces her that he is a cheater for using a Charizard against her and that Charizard is forbidden from being used against new Trainers.
Finding Ash once again, Casey challenges Ash to another battle. The stage is set in a baseball diamond and Casey starts the battle with Chikorita while Ash uses Pikachu this time around. Both Brock and Misty root for Casey as she begins the battle by telling Chikorita to use Sweet Scent, the attack immediately makes both Ash and Pikachu a little dazed by the smell and then Chikorita is told to use a Tackle attack on Pikachu. Team Rocket is snooping up in the scoreboard while watching the battle and waiting for the most opportune moment to be implementing their cheating tactic to assist Casey. After a small discussion, Meowth presses a button and turns on electric Electabuzz fans to cheer Casey on and boosting her confidence.
Continuing on in the battle, Ash commands Pikachu to use Thunderbolt against Chikorita, and the Chikorita easily deflects the attack with the leaf upon her head. At this, Brock tells Ash that Grass-type Pokémon are strong against Electric types, and therefore, he'd have to change his battle strategy. After this, Team Rocket then turns on another machine, which appears to be a giant batting machine. Ash questions what it is while Casey accuses him of being a cheater and that the machine simply proves it. However, Team Rocket controls the machine and sends it after Chikorita, and it cowers in fear of not knowing what to do. This is where Ash's Pikachu jumps out in front of Chikorita to protect it against the contraption. At this motion, Casey gasps, surprised that it would do this since she had been convinced that Ash was indeed a cheater.
The machine soon 'hits a home run' with Pikachu and Chikorita, the two being sent directly to Team Rocket. As they get the two Pokémon, Team Rocket reveals themselves to everyone and recites their motto. Ash tells Casey that it's Team Rocket and Casey soon realizes that she had been tricked all along as Team Rocket tells them their plans with both Pikachu and Chikorita. Team Rocket makes a plan for a quick get away and Meowth turns on pitching machines aimed for both Casey and Ash. As soon as a baseball hits Casey in the leg, she immediately gives up, and Ash declares that they can't just allow Team Rocket to defeat them. He makes a reference to a Pokémon match being just like baseball, that you have to hang in there till the last out. This is where Ash gets hit by a baseball and claims that a baseball is not a Poké Ball.
Touched by what Ash had said, Casey gets back up on her feet and pulls out her bat. With a new determination burning within her, she hits all the baseballs she can back, aimed for Team Rocket, her desire to win showing strong. After there had been enough hits to ward off enough of the baseballs, Ash calls out Squirtle and Bulbasaur as Casey calls out her Pidgey and Rattata to help hit away the rest of the baseballs that were still being fired in their direction. Becoming tripped by the oncoming baseballs, Team Rocket is tripped up and allows Casey to attack Team Rocket with her Rattata and Pidgey, getting both Chikorita and Pikachu back.
After receiving both Pikachu and Chikorita, Casey tells Chikorita to use Razor Leaf on Team Rocket followed up by Ash telling Pikachu to use a Thunderbolt attack on them. After the two attacks, Ash and Casey team up and tell Chikorita and Pikachu to use a double Tackle attack on Team Rocket. When this is all said and done, the battle is won and Casey apologizes to Ash and the two of them become relatively good friends before Ash and company and Casey part ways for their next adventure.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Heracross (U.S. and international), Chikorita (Casey's) (Japan)
- The English dub of this episode first aired exactly one year after the original did in Japanese.
- This episode's dub title is a reference to the popular saying, "double trouble," and the baseball term, doubleheader.
- The baseball teams all seem to be representations of real-life Japanese baseball teams, with the Electabuzz based on the Osaka Hanshin Tigers team, and the teams with Magikarp and Starmie logos representing Hiroshima Toyo Carp and the Yokohama BayStars respectively.
- In this episode, Team Rocket uses a variation of their motto.
- The book The Chikorita Challenge is based on this episode.
- This episode is featured on Pokémon All-Stars: Chikorita from Magna Pacific's Pokémon All-Stars series.
A frame from the deleted image.
- The shot of Ash getting hit by baseballs was covered by impact animations for the dubbed English version. But the shot of Meowth getting hit by a baseball in the face was not changed.
- The exchange between Ash, Misty and Brock was different between the two versions. Originally, Ash mentions that he wants to hurry up and capture a new Pokémon. Misty states that she thought Totodile was cute and how she wanted one, and Brock then mentions he wants a Cyndaquil.
- The robotic cheerleaders' cheers were originally "Ato hitori!" ("One person left!", as in, one more out until the end of a baseball game). This was changed to "Gotta catch 'em all!" in the dub.
- Ash's advice to Casey was originally supposed to be that she should keep her eyes on the ball, and that Pokémon matches are similar in the sense that the Trainer has to keep their eye on the opponent. This was rewritten in the dub.
- Ash's statement about a Pokémon not being a bean ball was originally an untranslatable pun relating to the words タマ tama and ボール ball, which are both used in Japanese in different contexts to refer to a ball.
- In the dub, Brock wonders if Casey has an older sister he could date, while in the original Brock expresses interest in Casey herself, stating that she would be a lot of fun in eight years.
- In the original Japanese, Ash declares that Casey will be his new rival outright.
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