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| A Sappy Ending
Fierce Battle! Heracross VS Kailios!!
|| October 28, 1999
| United States
|| October 28, 2000
|| Team Ota
|| 武上純希 Junki Takegami
|| 井上修 Osamu Inoue
| Assistant director
|| 井上修 Osamu Inoue
| Animation director
|| 梶浦紳一郎 Shin'ichirō Kajiura
| Additional credits
A Sappy Ending (Japanese: げきとつ！へラクロスＶＳカイロス！！ Fierce Battle! Heracross VS Kailios!!) is the 119th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 28, 1999 and in the United States on October 28, 2000.
Ash, Misty, and Brock are walking through a forest, headed for Johto's Violet City, where Ash plans to challenge the local Gym Leader for a Badge. While walking, the group comes across a part of the forest where the trees have no leaves. This confounds the group; Brock mentions that there are no signs of damage to the trees, nor is it the right season for the leaves to be falling off. Pikachu suddenly spots something, and the group notices a single large, healthy tree among the dead-looking trees, one which has a number of large, dark bug-like Pokémon clamped onto its trunk. A closer look reveals that the Pokémon are lapping up a golden substance that is leaking from the trunk.
Misty expresses her disgust in the bug Pokémon, while Ash brings out his new Pokédex and scans them. The Pokédex identifies the Pokémon as Heracross, mentioning their docile nature, great strength, and their preferred food: tree sap. Ash, thinking that the tree is in danger from all of the Heracross feeding on its sap, wants to capture them all and try to save the tree. Before he can toss a Poké Ball, however, a voice behind him tells him to stop. Ash, Misty, and Brock turn around to see a man in a red uniform, who tells him that capturing the Heracross will only cause more damage to the forest.
The man introduces himself as Woodruff, a forest ranger. After the group introduce themselves, Woodruff goes on to explain how important the Heracross are to the forest. It turns out that they share a symbiotic relationship with the local Butterfree population, who also feed on sap but are too weak to break into the tree trunk to get to it. The more powerful Heracross digs into the trunk to start the sap flow, eats their fill, then allow the Butterfree to come and feed.
Misty is worried that both the Heracross and Butterfree are hurting the forest, looking up at the dying trees. Woodruff tells the group that the balance of nature in the forest was broken by "invaders". Pikachu perks up, noticing something different, and turns around to point out something headed their way.
A large herd of Pinsir is stampeding toward the tree. Woodruff identifies the Pinsir as the "invaders" as the bug Pokémon leap onto the tree trunk and scare away the Butterfree. Ash yells at the Pinsir to leave the other Pokémon alone, while Misty demands that the Heracross do something about it. In unison, the Heracross fly up and attack the Pinsir, while Ash and Misty cheer them on. However, the Heracross are easily scared off by the Pinsir's massive pincers, and fly away. Woodruff tells the group that the Heracross are too peaceful to have any desire to take on the Pinsir; this worries Brock, who says that the forest will surely be destroyed if the Heracross don't do something to prevent it.
Ash notices a Butterfree that was left behind, trapped up in the branches of the tree by the marauding Pinsir. A single Heracross pops up in front of the Pinsir to defend the Butterfree, and is quickly set upon by their giant, spiked pincers. Ash, upset that the Heracross is being ganged up on, jumps in to help it, and sends out Bulbasaur. One Vine Whip attack takes out all of the Pinsir, and the Butterfree flies away; however, the Heracross is too tired to follow. The Pinsir regroup and start an ascent up the tree trunk, which Ash quickly puts to a stop by having Pikachu use Thunderbolt. The Heracross looks on while Ash defends it, watching as Ash's Pikachu defeats the lot with a Thunder attack and sends them packing.
At Ash's all-clear, the Heracross flies down and approaches Ash's Bulbasaur and Pikachu. Ash thinks that it wants to thank his Pokémon; however, Heracross begins to suck forcefully on the opening of Bulbasaur's bulb, causing Bulbasaur some degree of pain as it drains his pollen. Bulbasaur knocks Heracross off with a strong vine whip, sending him sprawling on his back in the grass. While the group muses over whether or not Heracross was protecting the Butterfree or its food source, Woodruff is worried about the Pinsir possibly coming back. He mentions that the Pinsir live in the forest on the opposite side of a river, and that something has been causing them to cross the river and invade Heracross territory. Misty, due to her fear of bug Pokémon, would rather leave the problem to itself and move on, but Ash and Brock want to help Woodruff and save the forest. Woodruff begins to lead them toward the Pinsir territory.
While Ash's Bulbasaur clears the path ahead using Razor Leaf, Ash notices the Heracross following them. Ash wonders if the Heracross wants him to protect it, but Misty mentions how Heracross liked Bulbasaur's nectar. Hearing this, Bulbasaur turns and confronts the Heracross, slinging a Razor Leaf at it to try to scare it off. When Heracross looks up, confused, the group is further away down the path.
Once out of the woods, Ash recalls Bulbasaur. The group approaches a deep gorge which the river runs through. Woodruff calls attention to a rope bridge that he uses to cross, only to find that the bridge is down. Looking into the gorge, Misty sees the Pinsir getting across by jumping along tree limbs. Ash accuses the Pinsir of having cut the bridge ropes, but when Woodruff inspects the severed ends of the rope, he points out that the cut is different that what a Pinsir would make, and that it could have only been done by a human. Angry at whatever human had destroyed the bridge, the group then ponders how to cross the gorge. They hear a sound, and turn to find Heracross pushing on a tree. Misty begins to fuss at it, but Brock cuts her off, realizing that the Heracross is trying to push the tree over. The group jump out of the way as the tree comes crashing down, landing neatly across the gorge where the bridge used to be. The group are able to safely cross the river and enter the Pinsir forest, with the Heracross still following at a distance.
As they enter Pinsir territory, they notice a tree with a single gigantic Pinsir up in the branches. Woodruff points out that Pinsir do not grow that large, and that the Pinsir in question is really a machine. A closer look shows that the Pinsir robot has a hose connected to the tree trunk, with golden sap leaking out around the connection point. At this, Team Rocket leaps out from the tree and speaks their motto. Woodruff identifies them as the robot's owner, at which they explain their motive for building it: while hiking in the woods, tired and starved, they chanced upon a tree with sweet-smelling sap. After tasting the incredibly delicious sap, they decide to drain the forest of all of its sap and sell it, building a Pinsir mech (the parts of which they sent for from an ad they found in the back pages of Popular Pokémon magazine) to do the draining job for them. (Jessie originally wanted to start a pancake house to sell the syrup, but her idea to top the flapjacks with her "own special blend" of limburger cheese and cajun curry powder didn't go over well with James and Meowth.)
Ash and the group berate Team Rocket for upsetting the balance of nature for selfish ends, but Jessie states that the only balance they care about is their checking account balance. She sends out Lickitung, while James sends out Victreebel and quickly makes a dive for the bushes, expecting to get a bite on the head from his Pokémon. When no such bite comes, he looks up, finding his Pokémon licking the tree sap. Only when he fusses at it for sucking up their profits does Victreebel pay heed to him and attempt to devour him. Jessie also finds her Pokémon more interested in the sap; realizing that they're not getting anywhere, Meowth whips out a remote to the Pinsir mech and commands it to attack the Twerp group.
Ash sends out Bulbasaur to use Razor Leaf, but the mech negates the attack with its steel pincers. Bulbasaur then wraps it up in Vine Whip and sends it spinning like a top, then Ash commands Pikachu to use ThunderShock on it. However, the mech absorbs the electricity, and shoots it back at the group from its pincers. Knocked down, the group is unable to do anything as the mech approaches them. But then, the mech is quickly put to a halt by Heracross, who leaps in at the last moment, pressing against the mech's body with its claws.
Meowth commands the mech to retaliate, and the mech succeeds in pushing Heracross a distance; however, Heracross gathers up its strength and begins pushing back, while Misty cheers it on, no longer thinking of it as "creepy" like other bug Pokémon. With their mech getting beaten, Team Rocket fights over the controls, and the remote ends up getting destroyed in the scuffle. Unable to receive commands, the mech cannot fight back; after Ash and the group remove the sap tanks, Heracross shoves its horn under the mech and lifts it up onto its shoulders. With a mighty heave, Heracross tosses the mech high up into the air. The mech comes down on Team Rocket, then explodes, sending them blasting off again.
Heracross strikes a victory pose as Ash and Misty congratulate it. They then notice a crowd of Pinsir approaching them from the surrounding forest, signaling that the Pinsir population has returned to its own territory, leaving the Heracross and Butterfree in peace. Back on the Heracross side of the river, the group watch the Heracross and Butterfree feeding on a tree. The lone Heracross approaches the group, and Ash and Misty thank it and congratulate it for all that it did to save the forest. Saying their goodbyes to Heracross and Woodruff, they continue on their path to Violet City.
However, upon leaving the forest, Ash and the group find that the Heracross is still following them. It wants to leave the forest behind and come with Ash. Ash tosses a Poké Ball, which the Heracross willfully enters and remains inside. Ash celebrates having been chosen by Heracross before the group continues on their journey.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Donphan (U.S. and international); Heracross (Japan)
- The English dub of this episode first aired exactly one year after the original did in Japanese.
- This episode was listed on Cartoon Network's website with an alternate title; Getting Buggy With it which, like another episode where Ash catches a Pokémon early on in a region, refers to the Will Smith song Gettin' Jiggy wit It. Also, the title of this episode refers to "a happy ending".
- Meowth's line "Hey! I like it! Meowthy likes it!" is a reference to a similar line spoken in a classic Life cereal commercial.
- Jessie's plan to open a pancake house called the "International House of Jessie" is a reference to IHOP.
- James alludes to a real-world species of bird by calling his Victreebel a "Yellow-bellied Sapsucker."
- The book Go West, Young Ash is based on this episode.
- The story featured in the book Pokémon New Character Special is based on this episode.
- Ash originally mentioned that Heracross might want to thank him for helping him out, and then Misty tells Ash that Heracross seemed more interested in Bulbasaur's sap.
- The dub implies that Woodruff was at the collapsed Bridge at least one week prior. The original doesn't specify if he actually has been to the bridge prior to its collapse.
- Misty's asking about Team Rocket's great plan was omitted from the dub. Also, the dub implies that their Pinsir mecha was received in an ad catalog when no such hint was made in the Japanese version.
- Also, Team Rocket's plot was different between the Japanese and English versions:
- Original: Jessie mentions that the sap tastes like pancake syrup, then she talks about wanting to start a pancake house similar to the ones in the US. She then mentions flipping the pancake on a hot plate, and sprinkling it with katsuobushi afterwards. James corrects her and states that what she is stating is okonoomiyaki, and Meowth tells James to ignore her.
- Dub: Jessie states that she'll open her own exclusive pancake shop that utilizes tree sap instead of maple syrup. She then reveals that she'll use Limburgh cheese and Cajun curry powder to season the pancakes, and then states that she'll name it the "International House of Jessie". James and Meowth then mention that this would be a recipe for a million dollar disaster.
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