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| Pokémon Paparazzi
Photo Op Pikachu
|| July 23, 1998
| United States
|| April 17, 1999
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| 武田優作 Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
Pokémon Paparazzi (Japanese: シャッターチャンスはピカチュウ Photo Op Pikachu) is the 55th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on July 23, 1998 and in the United States on April 17, 1999.
Say cheese! Ash and friends are being shadowed by Snap, the world's greatest Pokémon photographer. Snap hopes to catch just one great shot of Pikachu, but Pikachu is camera-shy. What Ash and friends don't know is that Snap is doing this job for Team Rocket. But Team Rocket thinks that Snap is in the business of actually capturing Pokémon—the villains don't realize that he only captures them on film. When they realize they've been duped, Jessie, James, and Meowth drop in to swipe Pikachu themselves. Ash and Snap work together to send Team Rocket off in a photo finish. Snap gets the photo he wanted, and Ash gets a new friend.
As Ash and his friends travel, they decide to stop to eat, with Brock making his famous rice balls. However, Ash notices what he thinks is a gun pointing at Pikachu, and knocks his friends out of the way. The rice balls are knocked into the river, angering Brock, Pikachu, and Misty, and making Togepi cry.
Ash sends out Squirtle and commands it to use Water Gun at the bushes where he saw the "gun." Todd stands up and tells him to stop, afraid that his camera, what was really pointed at them, will be ruined. Ash, mad at Todd, asks why he was spying on them. Todd explains that he is a Pokémon photographer and didn't want his picture of Pikachu to look posed.
The group goes in a house to talk to Todd. He shows them a magazine with his picture of an Aerodactyl in it. The Aerodactyl seemed to be carrying Ash in its claws! Todd zooms in on the picture and it is revealed that it really was Ash. To make up for not believing him, Todd makes pancakes for the group.
As the group is eating their pancakes, Todd tries to get a picture of Pikachu. However, as he is taking the picture, Pikachu accidentally zaps Todd. He tries again, but gives up because "Pokémon should be photographed naturally, not posing." He shows them pictures he took of various Pokémon to prove his point.
Pikachu doesn't like to be photographed, so Ash, Misty, and Brock send out their Pokémon for Todd to photograph. However, Todd says that he only wants to take pictures of Pikachu. They ask him why, but he says that he can't tell them.
Ash and his friends leave, and as they are walking down a path, Todd is shown hidden in the grass. A flashback is shown of Team Rocket dressed as seniors begging Todd to "capture" Pikachu. Todd agrees; however, they didn't realize that Todd plans to capture Pikachu on film.
After Todd leaves, Team Rocket is shown eating. They take off their disguises.
Misty and Brock are shown resting under a tree as Ash and Pikachu wash their faces in a pond. Twice, Todd tries to take Pikachu's picture, but he hides behind Ash before he can.
Team Rocket is shown digging a pitfall trap. Meowth yells that Todd is coming, and Jessie and James quickly put their disguises back on. Todd tells them that he hasn't taken Pikachu yet, and James almost tells him about the pitfall, but Jessie and Meowth stop him. Todd sets up his camera and waits for Ash and the group to come.
Todd hears everyone talking about them and is dismayed to hear Ash say that he "doesn't even understand feelings of the Pokémon he takes pictures of." As they walk, however, they fall into Team Rocket's pitfall trap. Todd walks over and looks into the hole. He sees Pikachu peeking out of Ash's backpack and gets ready to take his picture. Team Rocket sees this and realizes that he is a photographer. Todd finally gets Pikachu's picture, but then sees the ground below Ash start to crack. Todd throws a rope into the hole, but it's too late-Ash and Pikachu fall through into an underground storm drain-like place. Todd jumps down after them and runs along the water. He tells Ash to grab on to something-they will fall over the waterfall! Realizing there's nothing for them to grab, Todd holds out his camera on the tripod. Ash grabs onto the strap and realizes that Todd sacrificed his camera to save them.
Team Rocket appears and says their motto before taking off their disguises. Meowth uses a net to take Pikachu off Ash's back. Todd asks why they tricked him, and Jessie answers that he tricked them first. James then throws some small bombs into the waterfall. Ash takes Todd's camera off the tripod and acts like he is taking Team Rocket's picture. As they wait for him to take it, however, the small bomb explodes. Ash pulls himself up the rest of the way with Todd's tripod, then sends out Bulbasaur and tells it to use Razor Leaf. The attack tears the rubber net that Pikachu was in, and he escapes. Bulbasaur uses Vine Whip and chases Team Rocket into the water, then they fall off the waterfall. Brock and Misty run up, and everyone is reunited.
Todd sets up his camera to take a picture with his new friends, but he slips on a rice ball and knocks Ash and Misty down.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Geodude
- In The Battling Eevee Brothers, Pikachu has no problem having his picture taken, whereas in this episode, when Todd Snap tries to take his picture, he gets upset. This may be because it was prepared in that episode, unlike this one, where it was a surprise.
- This is the last episode to use the Pokémon logo as the title uses the franchise's name.
- When Todd is trying to take a picture of Pikachu, Ash mistakes his camera for a sniper, which he imagines shooting Brock. This is the first time a character is seen dying in the anime, though it is not real.
- This is one of the few 4Kids episodes in which rice balls are referred to properly.
Pikachu's missing stripes
- When Team Rocket shows Todd the pictures of Ash's Pikachu, he doesn't have any stripes on his back.
- When Todd is trying to get Pikachu's picture, the napkin he had tied around his neck disappears.
- When Todd offers pancakes to Ash and his friends, one of Pikachu's red cheeks is missing.
- When James is first shown disguised as an old man, his left eye is missing.
- In one scene in the beginning when Misty is trying to get Togepi to stop crying, Misty's mouth moves but her voice is not heard.
- When Ash and co. are eating pancakes, Brock says he would like to get the recipe for them. As he says this, it sounds like he has food in his mouth. However, if one looks closely, Brock's mouth is wide open and his mouth doesn't move.
- Originally, Todd's name was dubbed as "Snap", as it is the default name for him in Pokémon Snap, released earlier in the year for the Nintendo 64. Because of potential issues with Kellogg's over one of the mascots of Rice Krispies, the episode was redubbed and aired in the United States with his name as Todd. The "Snap" dub was used in the airings outside of the United States. When Cartoon Network gained the rights to air first-run episodes of Pokémon and stream older ones on Toonami Jetstream, they chose to use the "Todd" dub, retconning his full name to "Todd Snap".
- In the original, Todd wears a mask of Blastoise because Ash thought he said カメックス (Kamex) instead of カメラ (camera). Because this would not make sense in the dub, the joke changes to Ash thinking Todd called himself a "Pokémon Masker" instead of a "Pokémon Photo Master".
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