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Recap / Pokémon S1E32 "The Ninja Poké-Showdown"

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Japanese Title: Sekichiku Ninja Showdown!

Original Airdate: November 4th, 1997

US Airdate: October 20th, 1998

Fuchsia Gym, the authorized gym where Ash seeks his next badge, turns out to be a hidden ninja's lair. After finally discovering and entering the gym, he is held up by a complex system of traps. At last, the gym's eccentric trainer challenges Ash to a match. Just as he defeats the trainer, the official battle with the Master begins. The battle goes out of control as Team Rocket also enters the gym and its vast array of traps. Can Ash actually earn the gym badge?


  • Adaptational Personality Change: Koga is depicted as The Stoic and a more reasonable individual than the Large Ham Torture Technician from the games.
  • Adapted Out: Koga doesn't use any of the Pokémon he had in the game.
  • Ash Face: Brock gets one accidentally when struck by Charmander’s Flamethrower.
    Brock: Ouch.
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  • Bizarrchitecture: The Ninja gym has rooms with slanting walls and floors to confuse invaders.
  • Canon Foreigner: Aya has no counterpart in the games.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Psyduck, as its headache, when strong enough, causes it to manifest extraordinary powers for a brief period.
  • Enemy Mine: Ash and Koga team up against Team Rocket.
  • Eye Catch: This episode, the Who's that Pokémon is Venonat.
  • Graceful Loser: Unlike his sister, Koga accepts his defeat with dignity.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Misty notes that Aya's hot pink outfit is pretty conspicuous.
  • Humiliation Conga: As so often happens with Misty when Psyduck is involved, at least until it shows off its Hidden Depths. First it pops out of her Pokeball when she summons a different Pokémon; then its first two attacks turn out to be hilariously ineffective; then it gets rejected even by Team Rocket.
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  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Team Rocket's kabuki costumes are too heavy to move in.
  • Invisible Wall: Ash walks straight into two of them.
  • Knife Outline: Ash gets Pinned to the Wall with Aya's shuriken.
  • Large Ham: Jessie and James when performing the Team Rocket motto kabuki style.
  • Mythology Gag: When trying to find the right moves to use against Team Rocket's Pokémon, the Pokédex suggests Tail Whip. In the game, this move is used to lower an opponent's defense. just embarrasses poor Psyduck.
    Misty: How can you call that lame tail wag an attack?!
  • Not Me This Time: When Ash gets shocked while in the mansion, he asks Pikachu why he did that. When Pikachu claims innocence, Ash is confused what zapped him, before Brock points out the Voltorb in a hidden compartment in the floor.
  • Running Gag: This marks the first time Psyduck comes out of his Poké Ball of his own free will.
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  • Shaking the Rump: "Tail Whip" is animated to resemble this, complete with Psyduck blushing.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Voltorb makes its debut.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Psyduck is unusually persistent when Misty tries to summon Starmie/Staryu. The way that it hugs her legs suggests that it just wants to help her, which she had yet to do until this episode.

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