Japanese Title: The Kyukon in the Fog!
Original Airdate: January 7th, 2002
US Airdate: September 26th, 2002
Ash, Brock, and Misty are continuing on their quest when they encounter a strange girl named Lokoko, who offers to let the trio stay at her mansion. As they are visiting, Ash and Misty begin to notice strange things about Lokoko - she doesn't appear in mirrors, people pass right through her, and she seems unusually fine with Brock's constant flirting, despite never seeing him before in her life. Lokoko explains how the master of the house left a long time ago and never came back, leaving her and her Ninetales alone to take care of it. Lokoko asks Brock if he'd like to stay with her forever, and the two begin to discuss wedding plans despite the protests of Ash and Misty, who are beginning to find the entire situation very suspicious. Although the two try to convince Brock that something is very wrong, Brock is too smitten to care, and Lokoko and Ninetales force them out of the room so that she may be with Brock alone.
As Ash and Misty explore the mansion, they discover that the master of the house is actually Ninetales' owner, that he looks suspiciously like Brock, and that he actually left over two hundred years ago. Ash and Misty try to confront Lokoko, but Ninetales is infuriated and the illusion on the mansion wears off, revealing it to be much older than it appears to be. Lokoko and Ninetales try to force Brock to stay, despite Ash and Misty'S futile attempts to try and explain the situation. Finally, Brock picks up Ninetales' old Poké Ball and convinces Ninetales to return, which it does. A wavering image of Lokoko appears and reveals that she, too, is an illusion created by Ninetales, to try and convince Brock to stay forever because he reminded her of her old master. Lokoko/Ninetales explains how her master left for a month-long journey and never came back, and how she has been waiting for her master to appear for years despite knowing deep down that he is probably gone. Brock remembers how he once read how Ninetales can develop incredible powers over time, but suddenly, Team Rocket appears to cause trouble once again, this time by capturing Ninetales for themselves. Brock commands Ninetales in order to defeat them, and in the conflict Ninetales' Poké Ball is destroyed, allowing her to leave the mansion (since she was forcibly tethered there before because of it). Ash and his friends say goodbye to Ninetales (who is now free to go wherever she chooses and move on from her old master), and the group continues on their quest as the journey inevitably continues.
This episode contains examples of the following tropes:
- Diary: Misty and Ash find the one from the previous owner.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Brock, again. Then again, this girl isn't even real.
- Halloween Episode: This episode is definitely spooky enough to qualify.
- Hollywood Mirage: Ninetales uses its psychic powers, among other things, to produce a human avatar and hide the mansion's decrepit state. It also made leaves look like cookies, popcorn and potato chips, much to Team Rocket's consternation.
- I Will Wait for You: Ninetales waited over a hundred years for her master to come back. Once she realized that he was gone for good, she couldn't leave because her Poké Ball was still in the house.
- Identical Stranger: Ninetales' old master looks exactly like Brock (the only difference being the previous owner has a mole near his left eye), causing her to confuse the two.
- Kitsune: Ninetales really showcases its kitsune traits in this episode, demonstrating psychic powers, the ability to cast illusions, and its long life-span.
- Never Say "Die": Upon learning that the original owner lived two centuries ago, Ash and Misty realize that he's probably...you know, "that word".
- Oh, Crap!: As Ash reads the diary, a spooked look creeps onto his face when he realizes how old the entry is.
- Series Continuity Error: In the English dub, Brock mentions how he once owned a Ninetales. This is supposed to be referring to his Vulpix, which never evolved.
- Stronger with Age: Ninetales developed psychic powers during the first hundred years it waited for its master.
- Wham Line: Upon reading the owner of the mansion's diary.Misty: It seems like it was written a long time ago, huh?Ash: Long time, huh? The owner wrote this 200 years ago!