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| Pokémon Fashion Flash
Rokon! Breeder Showdown!
|| October 7, 1997
| United States
|| October 14, 1998
|| Team Ota
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 玉川明洋 Akihiro Tamagawa
| Additional credits
Pokémon Fashion Flash (Japanese: ロコン！ブリーダーたいけつ！ Rokon! Breeder Showdown!) is the 28th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 7, 1997 and in the United States on October 14, 1998.
At Brock's persistent request, our heroes stop by Caesar Street, a town of breeders famous for its Pokémon beauty salons. Brock makes a special request to visit a salon called Coron. The owner of the Beauty Salon, Coron, is a breeder who has received the most superior ranking in the Pokémon Breeder Contest for three years straight. Recently, a store called Salon Roquet has been introducing outrageous fashions, making wild profits and disrupting long-term shop-owners.
Ash, Misty, and Brock find themselves on Scissor Street, also referred to as Breeder's Lane. Brock explains that it is well known for its high-end Pokémon salons and beauty parlors. Misty, with Ash in tow, pauses outside of one venue in particular to examine a poster featuring a Koffing and Ekans adorned with a number of gaudy accessories. Inside Salon Roquet, Team Rocket enacts their latest moneymaking scheme, a bustling beauty parlor. They give a woman's Raichu and Dodrio a color and fur makeover, much to the displeasure of both Pokémon. Debating whether or not to join the throng of apparently eager customers vying to get inside the Salon Roquet, she is interrupted by Brock who announces that he has found it. Ash and Misty follow him a short distance to a less crowded storefront, whereupon Brock is suddenly struck by a fit of apparent nervousness and freezes. Oblivious, Ash and Misty enter first and are greeted by a feminine voice that serves the added effect of snapping Brock back to reality.
Inside, they meet a Pokémon Breeder, who introduces herself as Suzie, gently massaging a Chansey; however, Misty has shifted her attention to a Vulpix that is fast asleep on a chair. Ash scans it with his Pokédex while Misty approaches the sleeping Pokémon. Misty, enthralled by the cute Vulpix, picks it up while offering numerous compliments. However, Vulpix, annoyed by the interruption of its nap, fires a Flamethrower at Misty's face before falling back asleep. Brock, who has been unusually silent up to this point, suddenly blurts out that he wants to become Suzie's pupil. Everyone is shocked, especially Suzie, who explains she does not have time for students due to her busy workload. After Ash asks, Brock explains that Suzie is a highly accomplished breeder, who has won the World Pokémon Breeder's Contest for three consecutive years, and who he idolizes.
Later, Suzie serves tea for the three while Pikachu happily munches on some food. Suzie compliments Pikachu's shiny coat, and asks if Brock made his food. Brock replies that he did, and Misty explains that it is Brock's own recipe. Suzie explains that she too got into Pokémon breeding because of her interest in Pokémon nutrition. During this exchange, Vulpix suddenly joins Pikachu in eating his food. This surprises Suzie, who explains that Vulpix usually does not eat anything she has not made herself. Misty then mentions all the flashily dressed Pokémon they saw outside. Suzie points out that ever since Salon Roquet opened up, Trainers have been focusing on making their Pokémon look as flashy as possible. Ash says that looking flashy is dumb, but Misty counters that even Pokémon like to dress up once in a while. This leads to an argument between Ash and Misty about what is more important for a Pokémon and its Trainer. Ash jokingly suggests that, if fashion is so important to Misty, she should take her Psyduck over to Salon Roquet. Misty loves the idea and calls out Psyduck, much to Ash's amusement.
After Misty leaves, Suzie expresses doubt in her own methods, but Brock and Ash quickly reassure her. Brock suggests a way in which Suzie can compete with the growing popularity of salons like Salon Roquet. Soon after, Suzie explains that if a Pokémon has been injured in a battle, it should be given a therapeutic massage, which she demonstrates on Pikachu. As Brock had hoped, Suzie's lecture starts to draw the crowd away from Salon Roquet. As Suzie, Ash, and Brock demonstrate the importance of good communication between Pokémon and Trainer, Trainers arriving from Salon Roquet begin to doubt if they made the right choice.
Meanwhile, at Salon Roquet, Jessie orders Meowth to send in the next customer, though they are shocked to see it is Misty, with her Psyduck. Team Rocket drag her in for a makeover of her own, her protests that Psyduck was the one who needed the makeover falling upon deaf ears. She loves the bright and flashy results, however, and asks the undercover Jessie and James to continue. Meowth then mentions Pikachu, tipping Misty off to his identity. Jessie and James begin attacking Meowth, who scratches them revealing their true identities. Misty screams that she will never tell Team Rocket anything, but James threatens to paint her face like Frankenstein if she does not. Thinking that over for a moment, she suddenly realizes that Psyduck has gone missing. In fact, Psyduck has run back to Suzie's salon, where it tells Pikachu that Misty is in trouble. Pikachu signals that Misty is in danger, and takes off with Brock, Ash, and Suzie behind him.
They make their way back to Salon Roquet, where they face off against Team Rocket, who has since tied Misty to a chair. They are startled to see what Team Rocket has done to Misty's face, but Team Rocket defends the bizarre makeover, claiming they are conducting important beauty research. This starts an argument between Suzie and Team Rocket about whether beauty is on the inside or the outside. Meowth, however, interrupts by revealing Team Rocket's fraudulent intentions. Team Rocket offers a trade: Misty for Pikachu. Ash refuses and challenges them to a battle. Team Rocket, however, pushes a button on a microphone, which reveals their latest invention, the Salon Roquet Battling Platform.
Jessie sends out Ekans, and James sends out Koffing, both of which are still dressed in their ridiculous outfits. Ash sends out Pikachu, and Brock uses Geodude. Brock orders a Seismic Toss, and Geodude carries Ekans into the air and flings it down. However, Ekans turns the momentum of the throw into a spinning wheel strike and slams into Pikachu. Ash calls for a Thunder Shock, but the spinning of Koffing and Ekans makes their extravagant outfits deflect the lightning. James then orders Sludge, blinding both Pikachu and Geodude. But as Team Rocket's Pokémon are sent in to finish them off, Ekans and Koffing end up tripping over their outfits, halting the attack. Meowth tries to help the tangled Pokémon, but Vulpix cuts in. Suzie makes her stand and calls out that on if the focus is on outer beauty, a Pokémon's inner strength will be lost. Vulpix's powerful Fire Spin drives the message home, and sends Team Rocket blasting off.
Brock takes the opportunity to explain to the crowd that Vulpix is a prime example that a cute exterior hides inner strength. The crowd, taking the words to heart, begin to remove all the flashy items from their Pokémon and wipe off the applied makeup. Back at her salon, Suzie thanks Ash and his friends for helping her regain confidence in her beliefs. She plans to leave the salon for a while and go on a journey to learn what it truly means to be a Pokémon breeder, and proclaims she is still a student and now Brock's rival. Suzie says that Brock is the first person other than herself that Vulpix has shown affection to, and asks that Brock take care of Vulpix for her while she is on her journey. Brock gratefully accepts, and obtains the small Fire-type Pokémon. Meanwhile, Ash looks at Misty's made-up face again and cracks up laughing, angering her.
Soon enough, Ash, Misty and Brock are on their way once again and wave goodbye to Suzie. Behind them, Team Rocket runs past, pursued by a crowd of their angry former customers.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Vulpix
- Meowth's Song replaced One Hundred Fifty-One as the Japanese ending theme.
- The outfits Jessie and James wear in this episode resemble those of Oscar and Andi, which is a reference to the two main characters from the manga series The Rose of Versailles.
- This episode marks the first time a variation of Team Rocket's motto is used.
- According to the third book of the "Kids Pocket Books Pocket Monsters" series, the Chansey's Trainer in this episode is homosexual.
- There is a parallel between this episode and the Super Contests in Sinnoh, as Team Rocket's Ekans and Koffing dress up, analogous to the Visual portion of the Super Contests, and perform, analogous to the Dance portion, before attacking, analogous to the Acting portion.
- When Brock obtains Vulpix, he captures it by simply taking out a Poké Ball and opening it, thus drawing Vulpix inside without making contact. To date, this is the only Pokémon catch without direct physical contact between Poké Ball and Pokémon that has occurred.
- This is the first episode where Brock's Geodude is seen using a move.
- When it first aired in Japan, this episode was followed by Pocket Monsters, Fall Special!, a 90-minute clip show summing up from EP001 to EP027.
- The style in which Jessie and James dress Misty in is the popular fashion in Japan, "Shinorer fashion", started by Tomoe Shinohara.
- When Misty yells for Psyduck and lifts her head, her neck overlaps James's arm.
- When Brock introduces Vulpix, it has seven tails.
- During Suzie's lecture, the Rattata has a completely purple face.
- When Geodude uses Seismic Toss on Ekans, causing Ekans to roll towards Pikachu, Pikachu's back stripes are missing.
- When Vulpix is seen from behind before battling Team Rocket, its hind left leg overlaps its tail and attaches to its hind right leg.
- The blurb mistakenly refers to Scissor Street as Caesar Street and Suzie as Coron.
- When Ekans and Koffing spin to deflect Pikachu's Thunderbolt, Ekans's Japanese voice is heard.
- Near the very end when Ash is laughing at Misty's face, her shirt is red (instead of the normal pale yellow).
Misty's neck overlapping James's arm
- Kanto Pokérap: Day 3
- A total of twenty-two scenes were digitally edited in the dub to remove Japanese characters.
- Jessie and James's code names were removed from the dub.
- Misty does not ask for permission to touch Vulpix in the dub.
- The details of two of Suzie's accomplishments differ between the Japanese original and the English dub. In the original, it is mentioned that she was nominated as Trainer of the Year, and that she ranked number one in Pokémon breeding for four years in a row. The English dub calls her the most popular Pokémon Breeder for four years straight, and states that she has a hugely popular website with upwards of 10,000 hits per day.
- One of Misty's responses to Ash regarding her Psyduck differs between the Japanese original and the English dub. In the original, Misty says that she is the cute one. In the English dub she questions what Ash knows about fashion.
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