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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, decked out in his white and orange shirt, is ahead of Misty who is wearing a blue outfit and Brock in his basketball jersey. However, Ash's progress has stopped when a truck passes by, spewing its exhaust in its wake. Blinded, Ash does not see that he is in the path of another vehicle heading in his direction. Misty and Brock look on in horror as Ash is seemingly. Fortunately, the vehicle managed to swerve out of the way, leaving Ash unharmed, but it created a large pileup behind him. Officer Jenny quickly arrives to defuse the volatile arguments caused by 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 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 go-around does not bode well. He wipes out often, and when on one occasion his foot cramps up, 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 had help 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.
In the meantime, Victor's past is revealed: 40 years ago, he had been a young surfer, who had tried to emulate Jan. Although his skills were not good, Jan eventually took him under his wing, teaching him all about surfing. After Jan had conquered Humungadunga and planted his flag atop the rock, he had given his own surfboard to Victor, alongside a word of encouragement. With that, Jan had left to see the world. 20 years later, the Humungadunga had arrived, but he had failed. Discouraged, he was about to give up on surfing, but he then saw a Pikachu that had been cast away on a tiny raft.
This was when he first met Puka, and since then, the two have worked as a team: Puka had the ability to sense the waves, emitting a bluish glow when a big wave had approached, and it had helped the two conquer many big waves on the island—Humungadunga was the only one that they have yet to conquer.
However, Victor's reverie is interrupted by Team Rocket, who have kidnapped both Pikachu and Puka. The Gyarados submarine's claws retract, and seal the two Pokémon in a glass capture container. Diving down to make their getaway, Team Rocket encounter some real Gyarados in its mating season. The Gyarados is none too pleased, attacking the submarine and finishing it off with a Hyper Beam, causing the now-destroyed submarine to launch into the air which sends Team Rocket blasting off, but frees Pikachu and Puka.
Chasing after them on a boat, Ash manages to have Bulbasaur catch Pikachu, but Puka falls into the water. Victor himself dives into the water, and using Jan's surfboard, manages to rescue Puka. However, the waves become more fierce and Brock, now driving the boat, is forced to retreat before the boat capsizes. Victor and Puka are now alone in the water, though are unscathed. Just then, Puka begins 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 from atop a nearby cliff, they are relieved when to see Victor and Puka riding the wave. As for the two, they manage to position themselves close to the rock, and plant their flag atop the rock, next to Jan's. Back on shore, as Ash congratulates Victor for achieving his lifelong goal, Victor turns to a small group of young surfers, simply reiterates Jan's advice from 40 years before in an attempt to inspire the next generation of surfers.
Meanwhile, the day has turned to night and Team Rocket remain 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