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EP088 : In the Pink
Original series
EP090 : Stage Fight!
Shell Shock!
The Secret of the Kabuto Fossils!
First broadcast
Japan March 25, 1999
United States March 4, 2000
English themes
Opening Pokémon World
Japanese themes
Opening ライバル!
Ending タイプ・ワイルド
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Animation director 山田俊也 Toshiya Yamada
Additional credits

Shell Shock! (Japanese: カブトのかせきのひみつ! The Secret of the Kabuto Fossils!) is the 89th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on March 25, 1999 and in the United States on March 4, 2000.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


Aboard Lapras, the group follows a news crew to an uninhabited island, where a scientific expedition is underway after the discovery of a fossilized Kabuto. A series of natural disasters place our heroes in mortal danger, with only the power of their Pokémon to help them. What is the secret of the Kabuto, and who wants that secret to remain hidden?


Aboard Lapras, the group follows a news crew to Fukuhara Island No. 4, where a scientific expedition is underway after the discovery of a fossilized Kabuto. While on the island Ash and the gang are shocked to find out that Nurse Joy is the director of the Kabuto excursion. While listening to Nurse Joy being interviewed by a news reporter they find out that the reason why the crew has come out to the island is to study the habitat of the extinct Pokémon Kabuto. She also remarks that they would like to find out if the claims about Kabuto oil are true or not. The claims being that the oil can not only bring good health, but also cause someone to live forever. After hearing all of this, Ash and Tracey jump in front of the reporter's camera and ask if they can help with the fossil digging. A moment later, Ash looks into the camera and makes a scene, which in turn causes Misty to grab him while yelling at him for embarrassing them.

Meanwhile Team Rocket have been watching the whole scene from their Magikarp submarine, at which Jessie says that she wonders why a television crew would be on the island, which then prompts Meowth into saying that if they hurry up and catch Pikachu, they can then maybe catch some face time too.

After the Team Rocket scene the show cuts to Nurse Joy leading a group of explorers, the news crew, and Ash's group to the digging site. A group of Growlithe also accompany the team to possibly find the scent of the Kabuto. While Machoke are seen carrying some equipment, along with Rhydon for drilling holes. As they pass by, a mysterious silhouette of a man is seen behind a tree. They eventually reach a small cliff path which Misty is very uneasy about because of the height. At the same time Team Rocket is shown following the same path on a lower section of the cliff. As Nurse Joy's team moves on the Growlithe start to growl at a large boulder on a hill at which Nurse Joy dismisses. Suddenly the boulder gives way and starts racing towards them. As the boulder races down the viewer can see a leg of a man on top of the hill, hinting that the boulder was pushed down by him. While the group is running down the hill, Ash mentions to Nurse Joy to use the Machoke; she agrees and tells them to stop the rock. They succeed and the team is saved. Unfortunately for Team Rocket, the boulder then rolls off the side of the cliff and hits James on the lower level of the cliff into what looks like a canyon.

As the team keeps walking once again,a silhouette of a man is seen, but this time from behind a rock. Pikachu catches a glimpse and looks over which catches Ash's attention. After not seeing anything Ash says, "Nothing there Pikachu." and turns around. Although, the moment he turns around the man's figure can be seen again. Eventually the team reaches their destination, "a hidden bay on the island's desolate northern shore." Right away the crew gets down to digging with some Machoke and Rhydon pitching in. As Ash, Tracey, Pikachu, and Togepi dig, a bunch of boulders start falling down from the top of the cliffs onto them. Luckily Nurse Joy commands Rhydon to use Horn Drill on the crashing boulders and once again the team is saved.

After the second near boulder catastrophe Misty mentions that she thinks all these accidents aren't really accidents — that maybe someone else is causing all these bad things to happen. Tracey brings up the point that the island is supposed to be deserted and that can't possibly be true. Just as he says that a dark silhouette of a man is seen running from behind a tree at which Pikachu notices and starts chasing after him. Ash follows suit and ends up jumping on the man, bringing them both to the ground. As the rest of the crew catches up, the identity of the man is finally revealed. With that, he then sternly tells them all to leave the island while admitting that he has been the one who has been pushing the boulders onto them.

The man then explains that he was only trying to keep them out of danger. He then tells of an ancient prophecy which implies that anyone who comes to the island to disturb the Kabuto will cause the island to be swallowed by the sea. At that moment, an explorer comes running into the forest, ecstatic to have found another Kabuto fossil. This then causes the team and the man to venture into a cave where the fossil was found. When they get to the end of the cave they find tons of Kabuto fossils on the walls. Suddenly the cave starts to crumble only to reveal Team Rocket, who plan to steal all the Kabuto fossils for themselves. James then throws a bomb that gets passed around until Ash catches it and throws it at the wall of Kabuto Fossils. The fossils then explode off the wall, and Team Rocket wraps them up in a net and tries to get away with their hot air balloon. The Kabuto then end up coming to life as the light of the moon hits them and one ends up popping Team Rocket's balloon which leads to them blasting away.

As the island starts to crumble apart the team decides to head for the boat, but the strange man insists that the prophecy said to run into the forest and make a raft. So they listen to the man and start building a makeshift raft. As the island sinks they all jump on the raft, and Ash sends out his Lapras and Squirtle, while Misty sends out her Staryu and Goldeen to help pull the raft. They all make it to sea safely and watch the island completely sink. Joy remarks that maybe the Kabuto oil does cause them to live forever. She then apologizes to the man for not believing him, and the news reporter says that she thinks it's best that no one ever find out the Kabuto's secret. At the end, the Kabuto are seen swimming towards the moonlight, looking for a new safe home.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.


Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Ponyta (US and international), Kabuto (Japan)


  • Professor Oak's Pokémon Lecture:
    • Pokémon senryū summary: A back of mushrooms, raised to grow; Paras.
  • This episode's dub title is a reference to the illness shell shock.
  • This episode's title is formatted as Shell Shock on the DVD menu of Australian DVDs.
  • This episode shows Kabuto's dormant form, only awakened due to a blood moon. This is the only time a fossil Pokémon is shown to have a dormant form.


  • Ash's Pokédex refers to Kabuto as the Ancient Pokémon, as opposed to the Shellfish Pokémon.
  • When the island is falling apart, some of the Kabuto appear as fossils as opposed to Kabuto.
  • When the expedition team is being chased by the boulder, the reporter's microphone is gray.
  • When the island starts sinking, water splashes onto Misty's feet. However, when the camera cuts, there is still a small cliff above water.

Dub edits

In other languages

EP088 : In the Pink
Original series
EP090 : Stage Fight!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.