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Anime / The Legend of Thunder

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Ash Ketchum? Never heard of him.

A Pokémon TV special made to promote Pokémon Crystal, with the English dub airing five years later as part of Pokémon Chronicles.

It features Raikou (despite the mascot of Crystal being Suicune) at the center of a plot by elite Team Rocket agents involving a Power Crystal which drains Raikou's power, only to be foiled by a group of meddling kids named Jimmy, Marina, and Vincent.

Unlike most episodes of the Pokémon anime, the typical main characters Ash, Pikachu, Brock, and Misty did not appear at all. However, Vincent would go on to become one of Ash's opponents during the Johto League (though he was renamed Jackson there), making The Legend of Thunder! canon to the main series. Jimmy and Marina would later cameo alongside him in Pokémon Journeys: The Series.

This special provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Marina may be a ditz, but she's quite competent as a trainer.
  • Accidental Pervert: While seemingly innocent, if one pays attention to the perspective of the scene where Marina was speaking to Jimmy and Typhlosion, it can be deduced that Vincent had a clear view of Marina's butt for an extended period of time (This explains it)
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In order to fit with the character, Marina's design was recolored from her game counterpart's to look more girly than tomboyish (pink instead of red, blue rather than yellow, light blue hair instead of dark blue hair, etc.)
  • Adaptation Name Change: Kenta/Jimmy and Marina are clearly adaptations of the GSC Player Characters, but have names not based on one of the default name options in any language.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Only in the English dub; Hun is never referred to with a singular pronoun, and the issue isn't helped by his rather androgynous appearance and his being voiced by Veronica Taylor (that said, she also voices Ash). However, he's confirmed to be male in the Japanese version.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Crystal System.
  • Ascended Extra: Professor Sebastian, a One-Scene Wonder in the special, went on to become a more important character in the later Lake of Rage two-parter. A Rocket agent working under him there even has the same type of uniform as Attila and Hun.
  • Bit Character: Kudo. The man has, what? Two minutes of screen time total? About half that in the dub considering that they cut the whole epilogue. (Yet, he somehow earns himself his own eyecatch...)
  • Broken Mon: Raikou. It's... leery of humans. Being continually molested by Team Rocket can't help matters.
  • Butt-Monkey: When he's not being ignored by his crush Marina, Vincent is constantly embarrassing himself with his own fumbles. The instant Jimmy arrives in the hospital, Marina decides to hang up on Vincent; later, Vincent manages to cushion Marina's fall, but she doesn't notice because she's too busy making mutual eyes with Jimmy.
  • Canon Foreigner: Jimmy and Marina are both adaptations of the Player Characters from Pokémon Crystal, but Vincent is original to the special. One of Vincent's functions as a character appears to be filling in as the trainer of a Meganium so that all three starter pokemon can be represented.
  • Catchphrase: In the English dub, Jimmy normally says "You rock, you rule!" to his Pokémon whenever they win a battle. In the Japanese version, it's, "Okay! Perfect!"
  • Chewing the Scenery: Vincent during the "Marina's gone missing" scene.
  • Continuity Cameo: The rival from Pokémon Gold and Silver makes a cameo in the Japanese opening theme.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Vincent's not quite murderous towards Jimmy, but he's quite territorial about Marina—when confronted over the phone by his Unknown Rival, Jimmy is warned to steer clear of Vincent's "girlfriend" (which Marina is most certainly not).
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Hun's androgynous features look a lot more feminine next to a manly-man like Atilla—in the English dub Veronica Taylor gives Hun a feminine voice.
  • Electric Torture: While Raikou does get shocked a lot, it at one point is also forcibly and painfully drained of its own electrical power.
  • Elsewhere Fic: A canon example; Ash and his friends do not appear.
  • Fangirl: Marina is a total Lance fangirl. Or as she calls him in the dub... Fabu-Lance!!
  • Fanservice Pack: Compared to Kris, Marina's chest was given a bit of an upgrade compared to her in game counterpart. One shot where Marina is getting a pokeball stays a good amount of time pointed at her chest.
  • Genius Bruiser: Attila.
  • Hero of Another Story: Ash & friends are nowhere to be seen, with the only connection to the main series being the appearance of Jackson/Vincent.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: When Jimmy first arrives at the Pokemon Centre, Vincent comments “Look what the Gengar dragged in”.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Vincent is out of his league with Marina and subconsciously appears to know it, given his tendency to overplay his hand, prematurely declaring Marina his girlfriend in an effort to make Jimmy back off and dressing up like Lance with a Badass Cape.
  • Inconsistent Dub: Jimmy, Marina and Vincent are known in the English version of the main anime as Yoshi, Dani, and Jackson ("Yoshi" and "Dani" made no on-screen appearances, but Jackson made a specific shout out to them during his League match).
  • Knight of Cerebus: Both Attila and Hun. Unlike Jessie and James or even Butch and Cassidy, Attila and Hun have almost no moments of comedy and are portrayed as legitimate threats to the heroes and even Raikou. Their Skarmory and Steelix are also some of the most powerful and aggressive villain Pokémon in the anime.
  • Love Triangle: Jimmy carries a torch for Marina... and so does Vincent. (Marina's affections, in turn, are clearly for Jimmy).
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Other characters besides Ash and those he knows are the main characters for this special. Jackson/Vincent, however, would go on to meet Ash in the Johto League.
  • Male Gaze: Marina naturally, both in universe and to the audience as in the scene where Marina was talking to Vincent on the phone Vincent had a lot of time to look at Marina's butt. The audience gets a good amount of times to see Marina from behind too.
  • Million to One Chance: When the Black Hole Crystal activates, Eugene explains to Jimmy and the others that their only chance of saving Raikou would most likely become a suicide mission if not timed to the right fraction of a second.
  • Moment Killer: Vincent is this when Jimmy and Marina are making eyes at each other at one point. Justified however considering that they were still in danger from the villains, and Marina was still sitting on his back after falling several feet from the air.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Marina may very well have the finest derriere out of all the main girl characters in the anime thus far.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • Amazingly, averted by the Macekred dub. Attila outright says "You want to go on a suicide mission, be my guest!"
    • Jimmy also says that Raikou will "perish" if it's not set free. Probably kept in because the proper demographic wouldn't know what "Perish" means.
  • Painted-On Pants: A more child friendly version, Marina being the eye candy sees her shorts outline what is under it quite accurately.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: The special seemed to be testing the waters on if a Pokémon series that didn't star Ash would be profitable. Considering it wouldn't be until Pokémon Horizons: The Series would Ash finally be replaced as the protagonist, apparently it wasn't that successful at the time.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Beefy, aggressive Attila and cold, slender Hun are the Red and Blue, respectively.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Downplayed with Hun, who is never directly referred to by gender in the English (outside of being referenced to by pronouns collectively with Atilla), but is clearly assigned with a feminine voice actor.
  • Ship Tease: Mostly Jimmy and Marina, but there's quite a bit of Marina and Vincent too.
  • Special Edition Title: Only in the Japanese version.
  • The Stoic: Hun's only visible emotion can only be described as "bloodlust". Anything else and he maintains a bored facade.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Vincent overplays his chance at being a Big Damn Hero thanks to going out of his way to copy Marina's idol, Lance, by wearing a big black cape. Vincent even copies Marina's nickname for Lance ("Fabu-Lance"), by calling himself "Fabu-Vinny".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Vincent. In the Johto Silver Conference (where he went by the name "Jackson") he was able to fight Ash to a draw, though he kept the silly attitude and clumsiness.
    • Marina also has non-speaking cameos in the "Diamond and Pearl" series, once on a watch advertisement and the other in footage of her appeal in a contest, where she's known as one of the world's best coordinators. Seeing as she wanted to be an idol trainer, this makes her one of few characters to succeed in her goal. Her Croconaw is also shown to have evolved into Feraligatr.
  • Unknown Rival: Jimmy finds Vincent annoying, but despite them having a crush on the same girl, he largely ignores the other boy. Marina (being already interested in Jimmy) is also all but blind to Vincent's interest in her—when she discovers Jimmy has arrived at the same pokémon center where she's chatting with Vincent, Marina immediately tries to hang up.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Not exactly hit, but Attila had no problem shoving Marina to the ground when she was annoying to him.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl Raikou, it had no problem aiming it's electricity at many males, especially Jimmy. It also almost hit a good amount of Male characters when it was just discharging energy. Justified at first by Marina being conveniently out of harm's way but later when Marina and Raikou were trapped together Marina was safe (but still being knocked down due to the impact) by Raikou's electricity. Later when one of Raikou's cross fire electricity did affect Marina it simply and conveniently impacted her gag that Team Rocket placed on her mouth and didn't actually hurt her.