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| A Tail with a Twist
Habunake VS Kimori! The Strike Offensive of Certain Kills!!
|| January 16, 2003
| United States
|| December 6, 2003
|| Team Ota
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
| Additional credits
A Tail with a Twist (Japanese: ハブネークVSキモリ！必殺のはたく攻撃！！ Habunake VS Kimori! The Strike Offensive of Certain Kills!!) is the eighth episode of the Advanced Generation series and the 282nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on January 16, 2003 and in the United States on December 6, 2003.
Ash's newly caught Treecko may be a bit standoff-ish, but the little green Pokémon is quite a fighter. When Team Rocket sees Treecko knocked down and hurt by a Seviper, they decide that they must have that Seviper. Jessie is very impressed with its "sneaky, snakey ways." Meanwhile, Treecko escapes from the Pokémon Center where Ash brought it to recover. When the gang finds Treecko, it is practicing its attack moves. Again and again, Treecko jumps from the top of a waterfall and tries to break a rock at the bottom with its tail. Ash is very impressed with the rigor of its training. All of Treecko's hard work appears to have paid off—when Team Rocket attacks and catches Pikachu with the help of their new Seviper, Treecko is able to save the day.
The episode begins with the group releasing their Pokémon and settling down to a meal prepared by Brock. Upon their release, Taillow, Torchic and Forretress are surprised to see Ash's newly caught Treecko. Nervous about the attention it is receiving, Treecko quickly climbs a tree and refuses to come down. The group eventually returns to their food, as do their Pokémon. From its perch, Treecko, spots a Seviper in the bushes. Torchic gets overexcited and runs around with an apple on its head and a bunch of grapes in its mouth. Seviper trips Torchic up using its tail, causing Torchic to drop the grapes and the apple. Torchic runs off after the apple and stops in front of it. Torchic begins to dance happily, before noticing the huge snake Pokémon on the other side of the apple. Seviper eats the apple and Torchic gets angry. Seviper attacks Torchic and Treecko tries to save the tiny bird, but gets knocked back. Seviper hits Torchic around using its tail.
As the others rush up to help, Seviper uses its Haze attack so that they can't see what it's doing. Treecko sees that there is a gap at the top of the haze, so it jumps back up the tree again and sees Torchic being captive by Seviper's tail. It jumps down onto Seviper's head and Seviper drops Torchic. Treecko picks Torchic up and delivers it to May. Seviper gets furious and uses Poison Tail on Treecko, scoring a direct hit straight into a tree. As Seviper is about to hit Treecko again, Ash commands Taillow and Pikachu to use Wing Attack and Thunderbolt respectively, while Brock's Forretress uses Spikes. After they get rid of Seviper, Ash and his friends run to Treecko, who's so weak it can't even stand up. They rush it to the nearest Pokémon Center, where Nurse Joy treats it.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket has been watching, and seeing the way Seviper almost effortlessly dispatched the Pokémon, decides they want to catch it. They see that it likes fruit, so they lure it with a basket of fruit left on the other side of a trap hole. Seviper just picks up the basket with its tail, stretches over the trapdoor, and glides away. Team Rocket gets mad and jumps out from the bushes, straight onto the trapdoor, and falls in. However, they don't let it discourage them. Turns out, they had a backup plan, but their plan using a net doesn't work either; Seviper just bites through the net.
Back at the Pokémon Center, Ash and Pikachu are observing Treecko. Meanwhile, the Rockets have lunch, during which they fight over the last rice ball. When they accidentally send it flying into the nearby brook, James and Meowth freak out, but Jessie calmly breaks out a rice ball she'd hidden "just in case", angering her partners. However, Seviper sneaks up on her and swipes the rice ball just seconds before she chomps down on it. Jessie gets mad and sends out Wobbuffet (The only Pokémon she has after releasing her Arbok) and commands him to "teach that thieving Seviper a lesson". Wobbuffet obeys, but as he can't attack until something or someone else attacks him first, nothing happens. James soon points this out after a moment, and a frustrated Jessie recalls Wobbuffet, grumbling about how he's "never useful when necessary". She then grabs Meowth and hurls him at Seviper, commanding a Double-Edge attack. As he soars towards Seviper, Meowth screams that he doesn't know that attack just before the Fang Snake Pokémon smacks him across the face with its tail, sending him flying backwards into his comrades.
As all three hit the ground, another rice ball is knocked out of Jessie's pocket and rolls towards Seviper. James and Meowth are surprised by this revelation as Jessie chases after the rice ball, though she fails to get it back. To the trio's horror, Jessie's hair gets caught in Seviper's jaws in the process and a large chunk of it gets cut off. Enraged, Jessie makes a "Scary Face" at the Seviper and proceeds to give it a merciless beating with her "Fury Swipes" and "Mega Kick" in front of her terrified partners, who are seen hugging each other in desperation and fear throughout the majority of the scene. The ferocious beating knocks Seviper out cold, and Jessie, still seething with anger even though she has calmed down a bit, seizes it by the neck. Fortunately for Seviper, James and Meowth quickly remind Jessie that she is supposed to catch it. This calms Jessie down, and, as James and Meowth sigh with relief, she tosses a Poké Ball at Seviper, catching it at last.
At the Pokémon Center, Brock is explaining Nurse Joy's position in the family to May (she's the younger sister of the second cousin of Nurse Joy in Oldale Town's first cousin) when Chansey rushes in and indicates that Treecko ran away from the Center. Ash and his friends run out, calling for it, and see it jumping down a waterfall, onto a rock, and into the water. They realize that it's training, trying to break the rock with its tail. After a few more jumps, Treecko has an idea. It spins to increase its power before hitting the rock, finally breaking it, much to the amazement of the group. Ash congratulates Treecko and runs out with Pikachu to meet it, but Pikachu gets captured by Team Rocket.
Ash, enraged, sends out his Taillow, while James sends out Cacnea against it, and yells as Cacnea hugs him, ordering it to use Pin Missile, to which Taillow dodges successfully. Jessie then sends out Seviper, and the "twerps" are surprised to see that it's the same one that faced them before. Treecko, after Ash's short speech, faces up to it, and after an exchange of attacks between Seviper's Poison Tail and Treecko's Quick Attack and uses its new spinning move, defeats it and rescues Pikachu. It says that now it's had its revenge, Pikachu can finish it off, so Pikachu uses Thunder to send the Rockets flying. Ash thanks Treecko for battling for him, and finds he's won Treecko's trust when Treecko turns and holds out its tail. Ash and Pikachu shake hands with Treecko's tail, laughing happily.
Jessie after catching Seviper
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Gligar
- This is one of the rare occasions in the 4Kids dub that rice balls have been referred to as such instead of something more Western.
- This episode is featured on Volume 12: Treecko from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
- The title of this episode references "a tale with a twist".
- This is the second time a Pokémon has taken a chunk of Jessie's hair, the first instance being a Scyther.
- This is the first episode where an instrumental version of Advance Adventure is used as the new action sequence in the English dub.
- This episode is one of only two times in the anime where a Pokémon is caught during a battle with a human. The other time occurred in Facing Fear with Eyes Wide Open!, 407 episodes later.
- This is the first episode in which Cacnea hurts James when it is released from its Poké Ball.
- After the few seconds where she is off-camera between throwing her Poké Ball and picking it up, Jessie's hair is back to full length, when it was just bitten off by Seviper.
- Brock tells Forretress to use "Spike attack" instead of Spikes attack.
- In one scene, when Team Rocket is spying on Ash and his friends in the bushes, Meowth says that Seviper took down Pikachu, even though it was Treecko that got hurt.
- When Jessie is attacking Seviper, James says Jessie used "Megaton Kick", instead of Mega Kick. "Megaton Kick" happens to be the Japanese name of the move.
- When Treecko escapes from the Pokémon Center and everybody runs out, only Ash, May, and Max's feet are seen leaving before the door shuts.
- When May calls out her Torchic, her gloves disappear for a second.
- As Team Rocket is blasting off, Wobbuffet can be heard even though he was not out.
Jessie's hair is back to normal
- When Jessie uses Fury Swipes on Seviper, the first second of the attack is obscured by a full screen 'impact star'. This edit is only present on American airings, while most other international and digital versions of the episodes play the scene without any edits.
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