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| The Psychic Sidekicks!
Kirinriki! The Village of Esper Pokémon!
|| July 13, 2000
| United States
|| August 11, 2001
|| Team Ota
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 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 Psychic Sidekicks! (Japanese: キリンリキ！エスパーポケモンのむら！ Kirinriki! The Village of Esper Pokémon!) is the 156th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 13, 2000 and in the United States on August 11, 2001.
Our heroes come to a town whose residents all raise Psychic Pokémon to repel the Ghost Pokémon that lurk nearby. Soon thereafter, Team Rocket makes its appearance in a Ghost Pokémon machine impervious to Psychic attacks, and begins to steal all the town's Pokémon.
Ash and his friends are walking through a wood, and notice a sign that warns about Ghost Pokémon in the woods and they should use a Psychic Pokémon to keep them away. They don't have any Psychic types, but Brock remembers that Psyduck can use Psychic attacks. Misty releases her Psyduck and tells it to use its Confusion attack if they meet a Ghost Pokémon, but it doesn't seem to understand her.
The bushes rustle and something peeks out. Misty orders Psyduck to use Confusion but it returns to its Poké Ball. Ash and Brock examine the thing in the bush, it doesn't look like a Ghost-type. A girl walks up and says it isn't, it's her Girafarig's tail. Ash consults Dexter: a Girafarig is a Psychic Pokémon with a second face on its tail.
Ash introduces himself. The girl is Cherry. She picked a Girafarig to train because it's different. It's tradition in her home town to raise Psychic Pokémon because of the ghosts in the woods.
Team Rocket is listening to this and they make a plan to go to town and steal all the Psychic Pokémon. Wobbuffet comes out, annoying Jessie. Meowth says Psychic types are tricky to catch but he has a secret weapon.
The kids are eating lunch together. Cherry says she wants to compete in the Johto League. She notices that Ash and Pikachu know each other very well, and says that it's thought if a Trainer and their Psychic Pokémon are very close they can communicate psychically. She challenges Ash to a battle and he accepts.
Pikachu starts with a Quick Attack that knocks Girafarig down, but Girafarig gets up and uses Future Sight. Nothing seems to happen, so Pikachu continues with Thunderbolt and Agility when Girafarig tries to Stomp him. Suddenly a wind rustles through the trees and a tremendous blast comes out of nowhere! Pikachu is thrown back but he's not out of the fight yet. Cherry explains that this is Future Sight: a time delayed Psychic attack. Now Girafarig uses Psybeam, Pikachu counters it with Thunderbolt, creating an explosion that raises a cloud of dust. Before Girafarig can attack again, Pikachu leaps out of the cloud and uses Thunder to win the match.
All of them congratulate Cherry for a great match, but she's worried because she can't communicate psychically with Girafarig. Ash reassures her that she's still a good Trainer. Cherry invites them all to her town to see all the other Psychic Pokémon.
In town, Misty is impressed with the Psychic Pokémon everywhere. A woman, Mrs. Bellows, chases after her playful Abra which keeps Teleporting around. Then an exhausted man, Toku comes running up the street and warns them about a giant Ghost Pokémon that was immune to Psychic attacks! He and his Mr. Mime were fishing when a giant Gengar appeared. He had Mr. Mime do a Psywave but the attack bounced off the Gengar and hit them instead. Then the Gengar captured Mr. Mime with its tongue. Brock and Ash decide to check it out.
Jessie and James drink a toast to their mechanical ghost, but Meowth says they should go back to town and catch the rest of the psychic Pokémon. Mrs. Bellows finds her Abra in a tree and then they both see the Gengar. She tells Abra to use Psychic but the attack bounces off the Gengar's eyes and hits the Abra. The giant tongue comes down and grabs the Abra. Team Rocket gloats, this time they're unstoppable!
Cherry's Girafarig indicates that something is wrong, just as the giant Gengar is seen at the town limits. Toku recognizes it as the same one that ate his Mr. Mime, and Mrs. Bellows returns with the same story about her Abra. All the townsfolk grab their Pokémon and run inside, but Cherry believes that her Girafarig can take on this thing despite its size.
As Team Rocket prepares to capture Pikachu, Cherry tells Girafarig to attack with Psybeam. The attack bounces off the Gengar's eyes and hits, knocking it down. Team Rocket appear and say their motto, then explain that the Gengar works by using mirrors to reflect the Psychic attacks. Brock admits that this time they've been pretty smart. Misty grabs his ear and demands to know whose side he is on.
Cherry gets angry. She and her Girafarig glow for a moment, then she orders Confusion. The attack is reflected and Girafarig gets stunned! Not giving up, Cherry encourages her Pokémon to get up and use Psybeam. This attack is bounced back as well, and to protect Girafarig both Ash and Cherry stand in front of it and take the blast themselves.
Ash tells a weakened Cherry to leave Team Rocket to him, but she tells Girafarig to use Future Sight. Team Rocket watches the Girafarig just stand there and wonder if Future Sight will tell them what their future is going to be.
As Pikachu runs forward to attack, Cherry suddenly has a vision of the Gengar trying to lick up Pikachu. She realizes that this is Girafarig's vision and warns Ash of the attack, so Pikachu is able to avoid the robot's tongue at the last second. All attempts to catch Pikachu fail, because he's now flying high thanks to Girafarig's Confusion ability. Eventually the robot's tongue can't stretch any farther, and Pikachu uses a Thunder attack which disables the robot and frees the Abra and Mr. Mime that were inside.
Team Rocket are about to get out their Pokémon to continue the fight, but a wind rustles the trees and the Future Sight attack goes off, sending Team Rocket blasting off again.
Cherry is happy, she and her Pokémon finally connected psychically. Ash and friends depart, and Cherry vows that she and Girafarig will become as good a team as Ash and Pikachu are.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
Who's That Pokémon?: Ursaring (US and international), Girafarig (Japan)
- When Pokémon: The Johto Journeys went on a two month hiatus on Kids' WB! in 2001, this episode was promoted as a "lost episode". Even though it was classified as a lost episode, it was rerun four more times after its premiere (October 19, 2001; December 10, 2001; July 9, 2002; June 3, 2008).
- This episode aired April 20, 2001 in Italy. Because of the "lost episode" incident, this is the longest distance between a European airdate and the correspondent American one with the European coming first: 113 days.
- Up until the November 10, 2015 DVD release of Pokémon The Johto Journey: The Complete Collection, this episode, along with The Fortune Hunters, wasn't released on Region 1 VHS or DVD much like the lost episode Beauty and the Beach.
- Ghost-types that are immune to Psychic-type attacks were later introduced as actual Pokémon, in the form of Sableye and Spiritomb.
- The sign that the group encounters is based on the Trainer Tips from the games.
- When Team Rocket is driving with their mecha, they chant, "We've gotta catch 'em all!"
- Abra was freed alongside Mr. Mime, although it could have easily teleported itself to safety.
- This episode was the first to air in Japan after the theatrical release of M03.
- During this episode, it is mistakenly stated that Psychic-types are strong against Ghost-types, when in fact the reverse is true (though Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar were weak due to their secondary type). In Generation I, an error in programming resulted in Ghost-type attacks having no effect on Psychic Pokémon, rather than being super effective against them as was intended; as this particular episode was released well into Generation II, after the mistake was fixed, it is unclear how this error entered into the script.
- When the group comes across Girafarig for the first time and Misty is telling Psyduck to use Confusion, Psyduck's bill becomes the same color as the rest of its body.
- At the end of the episode, the narrator says "What will happen to our heroes on their way to Johto?" However, they are already in Johto.
- When Jessie opens up her compact, which gives a reflection of James and Meowth, the "R" on James' shirt is facing the correct way instead of being flipped horizontally as it should be seen on a mirror.
In other languages