| The Misty Mermaid
Hanada Gym! Underwater Battle!
|| September 3, 1998
| United States
|| September 23, 1999
|| Team Ota
|| 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
|| 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
| Assistant director
|| 岡崎幸男 Yukio Okazaki
| Animation director
|| 林広道 Hiromichi Hayashi
| Additional credits
The Misty Mermaid (Japanese: ハナダジム！すいちゅうのたたかい！ Hanada Gym! Underwater Battle!) is the 61st episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 3, 1998 and in the United States on September 23, 1999.
One of Misty's water Pokémon is in desperate need of exercise, so the gang decides to take her Horsea to a gym that's run by her sisters in Cerulean City. But, Misty gets more than she bargains for when she learns that her sisters are planning an exciting underwater ballet.
While in Viridian City, Misty's Horsea, swimming in a fountain looks ill. Brock suggests that it needs to find a bigger pool to swim in, and so, the gang decides to head for Misty's home town, Cerulean City. When they get there, they discover that Misty's sisters at the Cerulean Gym are having trouble attracting crowds to their performances and have advertised Misty to be in a new performance called the "Underwater Ballet." Misty is reluctant to be a part of this at first, but finally agrees after much begging from her sisters. They then celebrate.
The whole Gym fills up with people eager to see the show. Ash and Brock are sitting among the audience, and Ash is excited to see Misty. The show starts smoothly with Misty swimming with the water Pokémon. While Lily and Violet (in costume) are watching Team Rocket attacks them and replaces them to be the antagonists of the show. Daisy, who had been taking tickets, hears her cue on the pre-recorded voiceover and goes to change. Ash and Brock rush past them to help Misty. Confused at this, Daisy hears banging on a nearby locker, and finds Lily and Violet bound and gagged. An underwater battle commence between Misty's and Ash's water Pokémon and Jessie's Arbok. Despite being outnumbered, Arbok is able to defend itself against Horsea, Seaking, Squirtle and Starmie.
The battle continues and the audience are completely convinced that it's all part of the show and are practically enjoying it. Although Weezing floats to the surface, unable to be underwater, Arbok dominates its opponents and rounds them up, looking to finish them off. As it looks like Arbok has won, Seel fights well against Arbok and eventually evolves into Dewgong to freeze Team Rocket in ice. After Misty and Brock pull out the Water Pokémon, Pikachu electrocutes the water, sending Jessie, James, and Arbok upwards, hitting Meowth and the balloon, sending them blasting off once more. The crowd goes wild, an obvious fact that they enjoyed the show. Because of this, the Cerulean Gym shows are popular again.
Before departing, Misty decides to leave Horsea in the Gym, and her sisters also borrow her Starmie. They also want Togepi and Pikachu as well, but Misty and Ash refuse to hand them over, but Misty offers to let them have Psyduck, which the sisters say they aren't that desperate for. After all that, Ash and his friends bid farewell to the Sensational Sisters to continue their journey. As they leave Cerulean City, Ash says that Misty was pretty amazing back there, but Misty reminds him that he still owes her a bike.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- This is the first episode in the Japanese version to feature Professor Oak's Pokémon Lecture, which would last until mid-Advanced Generation series. His lectures resumed in the early Diamond & Pearl series and continued through the XY series.
- The dub title of the episode is a reference to the fairy tale story and Disney film The Little Mermaid.
- The play itself is also a reference to the fairy tale, although the overall premise (namely the fact that pirates were the main villains, as well as the main mermaid's overall appearance and her even being named, or at least played by a person named, "Misty") more closely resembles the Disney storyteller record Misty the Mischievous Mermaid.
- Jessie and James's outfits when they appear to ruin the show appear to be based upon the ballet Swan Lake.
- Since Ash registered Dewgong underwater, the Pokédex is apparently waterproof, this also marks the first time Ash uses the Pokédex underwater.
- Unlike its pre-evolution Ekans, Jessie's Arbok is shown to have the ability to breathe underwater. James's Weezing however, is less dense than water and immediately floats to the surface.
- The DVD and VHS releases of this episode incorrectly place it directly after The Purr-fect Hero.
- The book Splashdown in Cerulean City is based on this episode.
- This episode is featured on the Volume 3: Water copy of Pokémon Elements.
- It's revealed that Psyduck is unable to breathe underwater, despite being a Water Pokémon.
- Real world fish are seen in an aquarium inside the Cerulean Gym, instead of additional Generation I fish Pokémon Magikarp, Seaking, and Goldeen.
- This is one of many episodes in which a variation of the Team Rocket motto is given. In the last line, Meowth replaces "Meowth, that's right" with "Meowth, that's wet".
- The swords Misty's sisters are using are made of rubber, however when Daisy unleashes her sword as she is about to go on stage, it has a metal sound effect.
- When Pikachu falls in the water, its mouth doesn't move when it says "Pika-Pi".
- Despite Arbok fighting in the water, it is said that only Water Pokémon could do so. However, many real snakes have the ability to survive and fight under water, which may explain why Arbok can do so.
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