| Pokémon Shipwreck
|| July 15, 1997
| United States
|| September 29, 1998
|| Team Ota
|| 武上純希 Junki Takegami
|| 井上修 Osamu Inoue
| Assistant director
|| 井上修 Osamu Inoue
| Animation director
|| 江藤真澄 Masumi Etō
| Additional credits
Pokémon Shipwreck (Japanese: ポケモンひょうりゅうき Pokémon Adrift) is the 16th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 15, 1997 and in the United States on September 29, 1998.
Our heroes are revealed in the middle of a trap concocted by Team Rocket. Luckily the Pokémon Trainers are able to pool their Pokémon resources and successfully battle Team Rocket and their evil crew. In the midst of the confusion on board, however, a tumultuous storm wreaks havoc on the cruise forcing everyone except Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu as well as Team Rocket to evacuate the sinking ship. Luckily, Ash was able to exchange Butterfree for Raticate before the ship went down, but now our heroes are forced to team up with their long-standing enemies in order to survive their life or death predicament.
At the end of the previous episode, the St. Anne overturned and sank into the sea, taking Ash, his friends, and Team Rocket down as well. The next morning, a police ship pulls up at the location. Officer Jenny gives a short speech to commemorate the missing characters, presumed dead. She tosses a bouquet of white flowers into the sea of debris as a memorial. Jenny and the other officers salute, and one plays the trumpet as the flowers sink underwater. Meanwhile, Misty, Brock, and Pikachu call to Ash to wake him up. Misty points to the porthole and Ash looks out, noticing fish swimming. He realizes that the ship has sunk, the image panning out and showing the ship upside down atop a seamount, positioned at the mouth of a trench.
Meanwhile, Jessie and James wake up from being knocked out as well., They run out into the hall and notice everything upside down. Meowth informs them that the ship capsized and sank. James panics as Jessie brings out Ekans. She orders it to use Acid to open a hole in the floor. Meowth tries to stop her, but is too late. The attack opens a hole, through which water begins to shoot as the ship rumbles. Jessie and James try to block the jet of water, but fail, as the water fills the hall and washes Team Rocket away. Elsewhere on the ship, Ash and his friends head out into the stairwell, the water level preventing them from going to the deck. Misty notes that the ship will take time to fill with water, but time is still critical. Ash wants to dive down to the deck, but Brock says that it could be dangerous. Ash realizes he is right, as he has a vision of running into a locked hatch and drowning. Misty sends out her Goldeen to scout the hall. It swims down and finds a dead end, but runs into the members of Team Rocket, who are again unconscious.
As Ash and his friends wait for Goldeen, James’s head pops out of the surface, scaring them. Goldeen then comes into view as it pushes Team Rocket, who are blue in the face from nearly drowning, up onto the deck. Jessie and James regain consciousness and stand up, ready to battle. They send out Ekans and Koffing as Ash and Brock send out Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Geodude. Before any of them can launch an attack, the ship begins to tip, sending everyone sliding. Ash orders the Pokémon to go to the other side, but it causes the ship to tilt the other way. After sliding back and forth, Misty orders everyone to recall their Pokémon and forget the battle in order to survive. They do so and the ship regains balance. Misty finally manages to convince everyone to work together temporarily. With the truce, Misty reveals that she knows the ship blueprints, because she once built a model of it, and that they should go up to the bottom of the ship and cut through the hull to escape. They approach a staircase, and Brock sends out Onix to allow everyone to climb up.
The ship's lights begin to fail as the group approaches a darkened portion of the hall. Ash brings out Charmander to light the way. They enter the next room and find it impossible to cross over to the engine room hatch due to the large gap and the raging fire below them. Ash has Pikachu shock him to get him to think. He then sends out Bulbasaur to use Vine Whip to create a bridge to the opposite hatch. Ash and his friends begin to slowly cross the vines, but James is too scared to cross, begging Jessie and Meowth to go on and leave him behind. Jessie slaps him and helps him regain his composure, but Ash and his friends are already across. Jessie orders Bulbasaur to send back the vines. Eventually, everyone makes it safely to the engine room, though Team Rocket is virtually exhausted. Ash brings out Charmander to use Flamethrower to cut an opening through the hull. Misty instructs everyone to strap onto a Water-type Pokémon, but Team Rocket doesn't have one. The hull opens and water pours in. Ash recalls Charmander, who is running from the water. Ash and Pikachu strap onto Squirtle while Misty gets Goldeen and Brock gets Starmie. While Ash and his friends swim into the waterfall and escape to the surface, Team Rocket is still stranded. James suddenly starts snickering, as he reveals the golden Poké Ball holding his Magikarp, which has proved useful after all. Team Rocket straps onto Magikarp and attempt to escape, but they find that Magikarp can't swim. The water picks up and washes the ship into the trench, leaving Team Rocket's fate unknown.
Ash and friends climb onto a makeshift platform, noticing Team Rocket hasn't yet made it to the surface. Ash looks out to sea and is unable to spot any land. Brock brings up the story of Noah, sending out a bird to search for land and Ash does the same thing by sending Pidgeotto out to scout. Pidgeotto flies out and finds Team Rocket on the surface, still attached to the splashing Magikarp. Pidgeotto brings them back to the platform, and Ash and his friends presume that they have passed on. They attempt to push them back into the sea as a traditional burial, but Jessie and James wake up just in time to prevent their accidental drowning.
The two groups have no choice but to stay on the platform for the night. They wake up the next day and all are starving. Everyone immediately thinks of the Magikarp as their first source of food, Meowth attempts to bite it but ends up breaking his fangs, as Magikarp is, according to Misty, only scales and bones. At this point, James is so frustrated with his Pokémon that he kicks it into the ocean. The Magikarp begins to glow as it evolves into a Gyarados. Ash checks his Pokédex as James attempts to reclaim his role as the Pokémon's master, but is too scared of it. Misty sends out Goldeen, Staryu and Starmie. Brock thinks she will battle it, but she only plans to run away, with the Water Pokémon pulling the platform as everyone else attempts to row. Gyarados begins to pursue them, but suddenly stops. They think it is tired, but Misty remembers Sailor stories about Gyarados’s Dragon Rage attack. The waves pick up as more Gyarados appear. They swim in a circle, forming a powerful water cyclone. The Gyarados advance towards the raft. Brock urges everyone to flee again, but Misty says that nobody has ever survived the attack before. The attack sends everyone spiraling into the cyclone. Ash and his friends try to hold together, but they lose grip and spiral out of control.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- The narrator makes a reference to the Titanic, a luxury liner that sank in the Atlantic Ocean in 1912.
- PM-16 was the name of the ship on which the memorial service was held. The initials appear to stand for Pocket Monsters and the number corresponds with the episode number. A similar Easter egg appears in Misty Meets Her Match.
- Real fish are seen once again in this episode.
- This is the first time that Ash and friends and Team Rocket have to work together.
- In the engine room scene, James refers to Jessie as Jessica.
- Team Rocket does not recite the motto in this episode.
- Brock makes a reference to Noah and his Ark.
- Though Misty never returned her Goldeen, Staryu and Starmie to their Poké Balls when the Gyarados attacked the raft, they were not lost.
- Some events in this episode may parody or reference The Poseidon Adventure.
- The book Island of the Giant Pokémon is partially based on this episode.
- It is unknown how the police knew that Jessie and James went down with the ship, and even more so that they knew them by name. Team Rocket wasn't even supposed to be on board, and their presence wasn't known until shortly before the sinking. The same happens with Ash, Brock, and Misty, as there was never a rollcall.
- This episode was the first episode to hint at Misty's fear of Gyarados, as she immediately strategized running away from the Gyarados, and in the Japanese version was shocked at Magikarp evolving into Gyarados.
- When Ash and Brock are holding their Poké Balls to battle Team Rocket, the tip on Ash's hat is white instead of red.
- During the scene when the Pokémon are running back and forth to give the ship more balance, Brock yells for Geodude to come back, part of Ekans can be seen to the left of Brock, even though Ekans just went to the other side.
- When James shows Jessie and Meowth the gold-plated Poké Ball containing the Magikarp he bought in the last episode, the Ball doesn't have scratch marks anymore (Meowth had scratched the front of the ball out of anger at James in the previous episode).
- When Ash and his friends get hit by Gyarados' Dragon Rage, Team Rocket yells 「やなかんじ！」 "Yana Kanji!" "Bad Feeling!" in their Japanese voices, which is the Japanese equivalent of "Team Rocket is blasting off again!".
- The Titanic reference was in the dub only.
- The scene where Misty tells them to retrieve their Pokémon is slightly different between the two versions. The original version had Misty threatening Team Rocket that if they don't return their Pokémon, she'll throw them into the water. In the dub, she states "What's more important? A Pokémon battle or your life?"
- The part where Jessie and James mention their being "good dressers" was actually a "they'll never forget each other" in the original version.
- Jessie also mentions that if James doesn't come with them, he'll definitely die down there in the Japanese version.
- Also in the Latin American dub, Jessie states that she'll always remember James for being a "Wonderful brother". This is false as Jessie and James are not siblings, although it was most likely a dub mistake.
- Also, Misty states she doesn't want to die in the original version.
- In the CN Hindi dub, Lataak ki Rassi, the Hindi name for Vine Whip was mistakenly called "Dhaga Chodo" by Ash which literally means "release thread".
- When Ash and his friends mention their condolences when they are about to put the seemingly-drowned Team Rocket into the sea as a funeral, they also mentioned the fact that they regretted the way Team Rocket died in the original version.
- Originally, the scene where Gyarados evolved had Misty saying that she heard about Magikarp evolving into Gyarados.
- In the Italian redub, when Ash calls Squirtle for help, his usual cry is replaced with an high-pitched voice saying "Squirtle's ready!"
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