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| Just Waiting On a Friend
The Kyukon in the Fog!
|| January 17, 2002
| United States
|| September 26, 2002
|| Team Ota
|| 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| 徳田夢之介 Yumenosuke Tokuda
| Additional credits
Just Waiting On a Friend (Japanese: きりのなかのキュウコン！ The Kyukon in the Fog!) is the 232nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on January 17, 2002 and in the United States on September 26, 2002.
Our heroes are traveling over a mountain pass when inclement weather occasions a stay in a lodge located conveniently nearby. Brock is very taken with the hospitable caretaker of the lodge and her Ninetales, but his friends grow increasingly suspicious of her as they notice, and unsuccessfully try to point out to Brock, vague warning signs—her being distant and distracted, her preoccupation with the past, her not reflecting in mirrors—that she is not in fact his dream girl. Brock will have none of it, though, and eagerly accepts her proposal of marriage, even as the lodge itself grows increasingly sinister.
On the way to Mahogany Town, Ash, Misty, Brock, Togepi and Pikachu find themselves lost in a heavy fog. After Ash and Brock accidentally fall off a ledge, they realize that they won't be able to continue until the fog lifts, and resign themselves to a long wait. However just when they begin to set up camp, a mysterious girl named Lokoko comes out of the mist, accompanied by a Ninetales. Lokoko tells them that they can wait out the fog at her house, and invites them to follow her. Lovestruck, Brock immediately accepts her offer, Ash and Misty follow along behind. Nearby, Jessie, James, Meowth, and Wobbuffet notice Lokoko leading the "twerps" away. They decide to follow them and steal both Ninetales, and Pikachu.
Lokoko leads Ash and his friends to a gigantic mansion, decorated in a feudal Japanese style. She invites them to the mansion's dining area and serves them a delicious meal made out of fruit. Brock begins flirting with her, and to Misty's surprise Lokoko begins flirting back. She asks Lokoko if she's the only one living in this mansion, which causes Lokoko to tell her the mansion's story. The mansion was originally owned by a man, the original Trainer of Ninetales. However he left on a long journey and has yet to return. The other servants in the mansion eventually left for other places, leaving Lokoko and Ninetales as the only people in the mansion. Touched by her story, Brock offers to stay with Lokoko forever. To everybody's shock Lokoko accepts his offer, and agrees to marry him.
Meanwhile Team Rocket succeed in sneaking into the mansion. They decide to put off capturing Pokémon for a bit, and instead look for something to eat. Exploring some of the mansions storehouses, they find that the first room they explore is filled with treasure. An entire room filled with delicious cookies!
Back in the dining room, Misty tries to talk some sense into Brock. As she looks around the room she suddenly notices that Lokoko leaves no reflection in the rooms cabinet mirror. When she points it out to Lokoko, the doors to the cabinet suddenly slam shut, as if pushed by an invisible hand. Misty becomes frightened, and tries to convince Brock to leave with her and Ash, but Brock refuses to listen. Brock runs towards Lokoko to hug her and to both Ash and Misty's terror, falls right through her body! Brock doesn't seem to notice this, and Misty realizes that he's been put into a daze. Along with Ash she tries to knock some sense into him, but all it does is make him angry. Lokoko tells Brock to wait outside for her, and after he's left she turns her attention to Ash and Misty. Angrily she tells them that if they want to leave so badly, then they can go without Brock. Using a strange power, Ninetales levitates both Ash and Misty off the ground, and throws them out of the mansion.
Fearful for Brock's safety, Ash and Misty quickly sneak back into the mansion, and begin exploring. They soon find a room that used to belong to the owner. Hanging above the desk is a portrait of the owner, who looks almost exactly like Brock. The desk also has two objects on it, Ninetales's Poké Ball
(an incredibly old model, intricately made out of expensive materials), and the owner's diary. Paging through the diary for clues, they learn that there was once a man who owned this mansion who left and never returned. And to their horror, they discover that the last entry was made over 200 years ago! If Lokoko has been waiting for the owner for 200 years, then she must be a ghost! They rush outside and see Brock relaxing with Lokoko and Ninetales. As they watch Brock's clothes suddenly change to the ones the owner was wearing in his portrait. Realizing that the spell over Brock is being maintained by Ninetales, Ash calls out Totodile
and orders it to attack Ninetales with Water Gun
. Though the attack misses Ninetales, it hits Lokoko and passes right through her, causing Brock to see her for what she actually is. The spell over him broken, Brock returns to normal. Furthermore the mansion itself begins to decay, revealing that its grand appearance was just an illusion over a long abandoned ruin.
Team Rocket, who are still chowing in the storehouse suddenly realize that all they've been eating were tree leaves, which were disguised as food by Ninetales's power. Ash and his friends race through the mansion, pursued by Ninetales. It eventually corners them in the owner's study. Ash tries to battle it with Totodile and Bayleef, but Ninetales easily defeats them using its telekinesis. Noticing the Poké Ball on the table, Brock picks it up and orders Ninetales to return. Confusing Brock for its owner, Ninetales happily jumps into the ball. Lokoko reappears and tells them the real story of the mansion. Over 200 years ago, the owner of the mansion left on a journey. Though he promised he'd be back in a month, he never returned. Over time the servants who worked in the mansion began to leave, each sadly bidding Ninetales farewell, one by one until Ninetales was eventually left alone. Though Ninetales waited patiently, losing track of time, it came to realize that a century had passed; it knew its owner could not possibly still be alive. It tried to leave the mansion, but found that it was bound by some sort of power centered around its Poké Ball. Trapped in the mansion, it continued to wait, its power growing stronger and stronger as time passed on. Over two hundred years after its master had left, Ninetales sensed Brock's presence. Since Brock looked almost exactly like its late owner, Ninetales decided to lure him to the mansion and trap him, so Brock could take over as Ninetales' new Trainer.
Suddenly Team Rocket appears and captures Ninetales in a net. Angry over being tricked into eating leaves, they've decided to capture Ninetales and deliver it to their boss. Their plans are foiled when Ash uses Bayleef's Razor Leaf to cut the net open. With its telekinesis, and Pikachu's Thunderbolt, Team Rocket is quickly sent "blasting off again". During the fight Ninetales's Poké Ball is shattered, releasing it from the spell that had trapped it in the mansion. Finally free, Ninetales goes off to explore the world. As Ash and his friends prepare to continue their journey, they are met one last time by Lokoko, who thanks them for helping Ninetales.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Sudowoodo (US and international), Ninetales (Japan)
- This episode features references to the myths of kitsune that Ninetales was based upon.
- This episode could also be a reference to Hachikō, the dog well-known for his loyalty to his owner, even years after his death.
- This episode aired between For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll and Extreme Pokémon in the dub.
- Music from Mewtwo Strikes Back was used in this episode.
- Interestingly, in the dub, Ninetales says of its master that he was no longer "of this Earth", a phrase similar to one Mewtwo repeated in both Mewtwo Strikes Back and Mewtwo Returns.
- In the English dub, Brock claims that he had a Ninetales of his own, but the Vulpix that he temporarily acquired from Suzy never evolved into Ninetales.
- In the English version, Lokoko explains that when the master went away and never came back, the servants disappeared, but in the Japanese version, they had left or died.
In other languages