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Recap / The Lion Guard S 1 E 15 The Imaginary Okapi

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Summary: When Beshte befriends a shy okapi, the Lion Guard thinks Beshte has an imaginary friend.

This episode contains examples of:

  • An Aesop: Just because something sounds ridiculous to you doesn't mean it can't be true, especially when you look at the details.
  • Cassandra Truth: Bunga and Ono don't believe Beshte initially when he says his new friend is real.
  • Cats Are Mean: Makucha is one nasty leopard, and is the first feline foe the Guard faces.
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  • Gratuitous Rap: The song in this episode has rap verses and a sung chorus, in contrast to the folksier sound of the rest of the other songs in the series.
  • Meaningful Name: Ajabu means "wonderful" in Swahili. Makucha means "claws," fitting considering Makucha's a leopard.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Lampshaded as a plot point. Okapis are jungle-dwelling animals, but Beshte tries to convince his new friend that the Pride Land savannah is the ideal place to make a home. Could be averted with Makucha, as leopards dwell on the open savanna as well as the jungle ("The Trouble With Galagos" later demonstrates this).
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Beshte has never seen an okapi before, and asks if it's some sort of cross between a giraffe and a zebra (the okapi, incidentally, is related to the giraffe).
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Pretty noticeable in this episode. The Lion Guard stops Makucha from eating some gazelles because they and the other grazing animals on the Pridelands don't know that leopards are predators which means he could have potentially racked up a hefty death toll had he gone unchecked. But when he tries to hunt Ajabu, who he had chased all the way from the jungle and was his rightful prey, the Lion Guard stop him again just because Beshte recently befriended him (and that still qualifies as hunting in the Pride Lands, which leopards are not allowed to do).
  • Seldom-Seen Species:
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    • An okapi, who is also apparently seldom-seen by the characters themselves; possibly owing to the fact that it lives in the jungles of central Africa.
    • While leopards aren't seldom-seen to viewers, they are this to the Pridelanders as they aren't natives there.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Makucha chased Ajabu all the way from the jungle to the Pridelands.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Preventing this trope is the reason the Lion Guard chase Makucha out of the Pride Lands. Since most of the animals in the Pride Lands aren't familiar with leopards or their carnivorous nature, it wouldn't occur to them that they should be afraid. And Makucha could potentially have exploited this and killed a worrying number of them.
  • Truth in Television: Downplayed. It is indeed true that if a predator is introduced to a habitat that has nothing like it, the native prey won't realize that it's a threat until its too late. But leopards live in African savannas as well as jungles and even without them, the Pride Lands still have lions, cheetahs, and crocodiles to keep the prey animals on their toes. Of course, the characters do specially say that no leopards live in the Pride Lands rather than the savanna, but still. Also, since leopards resemble both cheetahs and lions, prey who are hunted by these two species would probably recognize them as a threat.
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  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kion scolds Bunga and Ono for upsetting Beshte by dismissing his new friend as imaginary, reminding them that Beshte explained that his friend was chased into the Pride Lands by a leopard which they just encountered and that Beshte doesn't make things up.
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