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| The Pi-Kahuna
The Legend of the Surfing Pikachu
|| October 22, 1998
| United States
|| October 2, 1999
|| Team Ota
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
The Pi-Kahuna (Japanese: なみのりピカチュウのでんせつ The Legend of the Surfing Pikachu) is the 67th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 22, 1998 and in the United States on October 2, 1999.
In an effort to train hard and maintain top shape for the Pokémon League, Ash decides to try some surfing. When he hits rough waters, a surfer named Victor comes to the rescue and tells Ash about a gigantic wave called Humungadunga which hits the island just once every 20 years. Having failed to ride the wave in his youth, Victor is afraid to try again so Ash and Pikachu must provide Victor with the confidence he needs to conquer Humungadunga!
Ash and his friends, training for the Pokémon League, are jogging on one of Seafoam Islands' cliff-side roads. Ash, wearing his white-and-orange shirt, is ahead of Misty, who is wearing a blue outfit, and Brock, who is in his basketball jersey. However, Ash's progress is interrupted when a truck passes by, blinding him with its exhaust. Because of this, Ash does not see another vehicle heading in his direction, but it manages to swerve out of the way, leaving Ash unharmed, though it creates a large pileup behind him. Officer Jenny arrives to defuse the arguments between Ash and the drivers, who quickly speed off. As Ash wonders why the road would be so crowded, Officer Jenny tells them that it is the surfing season, and that the famous wave Humungadunga is coming. Surfers from all over the world have tried to ride the Humungadunga, which only appears once every 20 years, and plant their flag at the top of a rock, much like a famous surfer named Jan had done some 40 years ago.
Ash decides to also try surfing out, but his first try does not bode well. He tries again, but his foot cramps up. At that moment, he is saved by an older man and his Pikachu whose tail glows before a wave arrives. As Ash recovers in a seaside cabin, Misty and Brock introduce him to Victor, the cabin's owner, and his Pikachu, Puka, who saved him from drowning. As Pikachu meets Puka outside and watch the sea together, Team Rocket, in the Gyarados submarine, plots to steal them both.
Meanwhile, Victor reveals his past: 40 years ago, he had been a young surfer who tried to emulate Jan. Although he was not that good, Jan eventually took him under his wing, teaching him all about surfing. After Jan conquered Humungadunga and planted his flag atop the rock, he gave his own surfboard to Victor, as well as a word of encouragement. With that, Jan had left to see the world. 20 years later, the Humungadunga had arrived, but Victor had failed to conquer it. Discouraged, he was about to give up on surfing, but he then met Puka, who had been cast away on a tiny raft. Since then, the two have worked as a team: Puka had the ability to sense the waves, emitting a bluish glow whenever a big wave approached, and it helped the two conquer many big waves on the island, with Humungadunga being the only one that they have yet to conquer.
Just then, Team Rocket kidnaps both Pikachu and Puka, sealing both in a glass container. Diving down to make their getaway, Team Rocket encounters a group of real Gyarados during their mating season. They attack the submarine and finish it off with a Hyper Beam, causing the now-destroyed submarine to launch into the air. This sends Team Rocket blasting off, and frees Pikachu and Puka. Chasing after them on a boat, Ash has Bulbasaur catch Pikachu, but Puka falls into the water. Victor dives into the water and rescues Puka using Jan's surfboard. However, the waves become more fierce and Brock, now driving the boat, is forced to retreat before they capsize. Now alone in the water, Victor notices Puka beginning to glow, a sign that Humungadunga is coming.
Ash and his friends are warned by Officer Jenny to evacuate the beach and stand as far back as possible. Worried about Victor and Puka's safety, they are relieved when to see them riding the wave from atop a nearby cliff. They manage to position themselves close to the rock and plant their flag atop it, next to Jan's. Back on shore, Ash congratulates Victor for achieving his lifelong goal. He then turns to a small group of young surfers, and reiterates Jan's advice from 40 years before in an attempt to inspire the next generation of surfers.
Meanwhile, night falls, and Team Rocket is seen atop a rock with half of their submarine as several Gyarados swim around them.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Gloom (U.S. and international), Pikachu (Puka) (Japan)
- Professor Oak's Pokémon Lecture: Fearow
- Pokémon senryū summary: Fearow, you may not peck, Fearow.
- This is the second time, if banned episodes are included, Ash, Misty, and Brock all wear different clothes for the entire episode (the previous time was Beauty and the Beach, where they wore swimming suits).
- This episode is the first in which Ash's swimsuit from the Advanced Generation series is seen.
- This episode references the Pikachu's Beach minigame from Pokémon Yellow.
- This episode's dub title is a reference to the surfing term, The Big Kahuna.
- This episode is featured on Volume 1: Pikachu from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
- The Pokémon Junior book, "Surf's Up, Pikachu!" was based on this episode.
- Music from Mewtwo Strikes Back is played during the episode.
- The Japanese version contains references to the 1978 American film Big Wednesday.
- Though it is said many times that surfers from all around the world congregate to attempt to surf the Humungadunga, when the wave actually hits, Victor is the only one riding it. Everyone else evacuates the beach.
- In a shot near the beginning of the episode, Pikachu's tail is brown with a yellow base, rather than the other way around.
- In the flashback picture of Jan, his hair is blonde. However, when Victor has a flashback of Jan his hair is brown. This is also true in the picture of Jan and Victor.
- When Young Victor is surfing on his stomach, his board has the design of an Ampharos, a Pokémon that was not yet released. All other times his board is a Pikachu.
- In the flashback, Puka's eyes are brown, up until it gets on the wave, where only its left eye was blue. Both were blue when Victor was holding it.
- When Victor puts Puka on his board during the storm, his board is blue.
Pikachu's miscolored tail
- Pikachu's Jukebox: Double Trouble
- Misty originally references her title from the games, "The Tomboyish Mermaid", when she runs into the water.
- There was originally no narration during the scene where Jan gives Victor his surfboard.
- In the European Portuguese dub, Victor is named Vítor Brás. This is likely a reference to his voice actor Rui Luís de Brás.
- The wave was originally called "Big Tuesday" in the Japanese version.
In other languages