| Mystery at the Lighthouse
|| June 24, 1997
| United States
|| September 24, 1998
|| Team Ota
|| 首藤剛志 Takeshi Shudō
|| 石山タカ明 Takaaki Ishiyama
| Assistant director
|| 広島秀樹 Hideki Hiroshima
| Animation director
|| 平岡正幸 Masayuki Hiraoka
| Additional credits
Mystery at the Lighthouse (Japanese: マサキのとうだい Masaki's Lighthouse) is the 13th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 24, 1997 and in the United States on September 24, 1998.
The party emerges from the forest onto a beach, where in the distance they see a lighthouse, shining at the top of a cliff. The lighthouse belongs to Bill, a Pokémon researcher who is awaiting the coming of a one-of-a-kind Pokémon, never before seen by humans. Before long, a tremendously large shadow begins to take form in the sea mists, but this possible discovery could be hindered due to the infamous Team Rocket lurking in the background cooking up another one of their schemes. Could such a legendary Pokémon truly exist?
While Ash and is wandering through the forest with his friends, he begins bragging about his accomplishments, but Misty claims all his Pokémon followed him, and therefore he failed to actually catch any of them. This angers Ash, who then runs off through the forest vowing to catch a seventh Pokémon, but legitimately this time. As he breaks free of the forest, he finds himself on a beach, too wrapped up in his own Pokémon thoughts to enjoy the beautiful sunset. While he is moping, he notices a small Krabby scurrying between his feet. Ash insults Krabby about its small size, and it challenges him to a battle. Not even bothering to call upon one of his Pokémon, Ash lunges at Krabby with a stick (which Krabby slices into pieces with little effort), throws a Poké Ball, and catches it. When the Poké Ball is transferred to Oak's lab, Misty teaches him that Trainers can carry a maximum of six Pokémon with them at one time. Suddenly, Pikachu begins jumping and looking at a distant object, and as the gang looks over they can make out the shape of a lighthouse on a cliff. Excited, they all run towards it.
By the time they arrive there, night has fallen and the long walk has made them exhausted. Ash rings the bell, only to be greeted by an eerie ringing and a mysterious voice asking them to identify themselves. After Ash and company explain their situation and Brock offers to cook the lighthouse keeper a bacon-double cheeseburger, they are granted entrance. But as the door swings open, they find there is no one there to greet them. Ash asks for permission to use the lighthouse's phone, and is directed to a phone near them. The owner of the voice is still unknown. Ash calls Professor Oak to ask about his newly caught Krabby. As he picks up, the professor is shown cooking dinner. Ash is enraged upon hearing that Gary has also caught a Krabby, and becomes even more so when he sees how large it is compared to his own. Ash is further humiliated when he finds out that Gary has already caught 45 Pokémon, dwarfing Ash's mere seven. Oak tells them that they are calling from Bill's Lighthouse, and that he knows more than Oak himself, so listening to him would be good.
Suddenly, a giant Kabuto appears, claiming to be the keeper of the lighthouse. It is revealed that the Kabuto is in fact Bill, who has become stuck in a Pokémon suit during his research. Ash helps him out. After receiving a life lesson from Bill and learning that there are more than 150 known Pokémon species, the friends learn from Bill that there is only one Pokémon he is searching for, which he claims is the largest Pokémon ever. He says it is unique and that no one had ever laid eyes on it. One night, he says, he heard a strange noise coming across the ocean from the Pokémon, but that was the last time he heard it.
As Bill is reminiscing, the same sound is suddenly heard, and a large figure appears, rising from the ocean. It is revealed to be the outline of a giant Dragonite. As it comes closer to the lighthouse, Team Rocket is shown scaling the cliff and, upon seeing the giant Dragonite, they begin launching a barrage of missiles to try to catch it. This angers Dragonite, and it smashes the top of the lighthouse and begins to walk away. Bill calls out at it to stay, but to no avail.
In the morning, Bill seems to be at peace with the fact that he failed to learn more about the Pokémon and is simply grateful he got to see it at all. With another life lesson from Bill, the heroes say goodbye and continue on their journey.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- At the start of the episode, several unidentified Pokémon League Badges are seen in the background.
- This episode confirms that, just like the games, a Pokémon Trainer can only carry six Pokémon at a time.
- The fourth wall is broken in this episode when Ash answers the narrator's question as to what Pokémon he currently has.
- Brock mentions in this episode that Trainers can switch the Pokémon in their party by pressing a button inside their Pokédex, suggesting that additional Pokémon are kept in computer storage similar to the games. However, this rule is immediately dropped and in future episodes Ash would have to call Professor Oak in order to switch the Pokémon in his party and have the requested Pokémon sent over.
- This is the first time that Ash and one of his rivals are confirmed to have a Pokémon of the same type of species. The second and third times were Tyson having a Sceptile and Morrison owning a Gligar, though none of them were at the same time as Ash. The fourth was for a very short time, with Ash and Paul having Starly, and the fifth time was when Ash's Gligar evolves to match Paul's Gliscor. The latest occurrence was Ash's Pidove's evolution into Tranquill, one of which is also owned by Trip, which is also seen in the same episode when Pidove evolves.
- Gary's Krabby is the first Pokémon Gary is confirmed to own.
- In this episode Bill is depicted as having green hair. This is the only time this is the case as he has brown hair in all other media.
- This episode features the first appearance of a giant Pokémon (in fact, two appeared).
- This is the second episode after Showdown in Pewter City where Team Rocket does appear but Ash and his friends do not encounter them at all.
- At the end of the episode when Ash asks Bill if he thinks every species of Pokémon will ever be discovered, a Dragonite-shaped cloud can be seen.
- The plot of this episode was likely based on the short story "The Fog Horn" by Ray Bradbury. In the story, a sea monster who is the only one left of its kind, hears a fog horn that sounds similar to its own voice and it is attracted to it.
- Despite Bill claiming the Dragonite present is the last of its kind, several other Dragonite appear in later seasons. It has been speculated that Bill refers to this Dragonite as the last of its kind not because of its species, but because of its size. The Dragonite in this episode is much larger than Dragonite seen later in the series.
- In the dubbed version, when Misty tells Ash that all his Pokémon followed him, she is actually incorrect. Pikachu was given to him by Professor Oak, Butterfree (caught as a Caterpie) was a lucky catch, Bulbasaur and Pidgeotto were caught in a legitimate battle, while Squirtle and Charmander were the only ones that followed him. Ash further exemplifies this error by saying, "Now I really caught one," after catching Krabby.
- When Krabby pinches Ash's index finger, he pinches Ash's left index finger. But in the next shot, the wound appears on Ash's right index finger.
- When flashing back to when Ash got Pikachu, when deducing that Ash's Krabby is sent to Oak's lab, Professor Oak shouts, "Here is your Pikachu!!!!" (with the elongation of the "chu" part being from Pikachu electrocuting him and Ash). In Pokémon, I Choose You!, the episode the flashback came from, the dialogue was in fact Ash weakly saying, "Thank you," before yelling as well as Professor Oak screaming, "You're welcome!" when Pikachu starts electrocuting the both of them.
- When the lighthouse door was shown for the first time, it shows the second row of Pokémon images from below as: Moltres, Arcanine and Scyther (and Kangaskhan beside Scyther). But when the whole door was shown the arrangement of the Pokémon was:
- Also at this point, Mewtwo has not been cloned, creating a continuity error with its appearance on the door.
- When Bill starts saying the planet was created 4.6 billion years ago, Ash turns to look at Bill but the visor of his hat is white instead of the usual red.
- When Bill shows the map of all the known Pokémon, the space between Marowak, Ninetales, Exeggcute, and (possibly) Rattata is blank.
- When Team Rocket is discussing how they will break into the lighthouse, Meowth's ears turn blue.
- In the shot where Bill introduces himself, the front Ash's hat is partly red, but this error is corrected in the same shot.
- In one shot in the "alternate dimension" Ash's gloves disappear, but the boarders are still there. Also, Ash's undershirt appears white.
- In one shot, the zipper line on Ash's backpack is blue.
- The way Misty retorted to Ash's bragging about how Ash "caught" all six of his Pokémon was different between the versions. In the original version, she questions if how he got those Pokémon should be counted as "caught" or not, with Ash stating that it's close enough. In the dubbed version, she erroneously states that all of his Pokémon just followed him. In fact, only Squirtle followed Ash and Pikachu was given by Professor Oak, while the others have really been caught.
- The speaker conversation between Brock and Bill is different between the two versions: in the original version, Brock asks if he can use his kitchen so he can make delicious tamago chaahan and nabe. Bill asks if he can also make yakisoba as well, which Brock responds that he can make that as well as katayaki, chow mein, sauce yakisoba, or anything else Bill might like, to which Bill responds he'd like katayaki, and lets them in. In the dubbed version, Brock asks him if he can use his kitchen to make cheeseburgers for his group. Bill asks if he can make anything without tofu, to which Brock responds he can. Bill gladly agrees to let them in since he hadn't eaten anything but tofu since his cook left for vacation.
- In the original version, Misty identifies the phone as resembling a Bellsprout; in the dubbed version, she simply points out it's a videophone. Also, Ash called Oak directly by his phone number in the Japanese version. In the dubbed version, he calls him via collect.
- In the original version, Professor Oak says that Ash caught him in the middle of cooking Nabe, while in the dubbed version, he mentions that he is making tofu to make the time while his cook is on vacation.
- Also, the dubbed version implies that Bill and Oak dislike eating tofu. In the original version, they imply that they enjoy eating tofu.
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