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| The Wacky Watcher!
Koiking! The Secret of Evolution!!
|| August 19, 1999
| United States
|| September 16, 2000
|| Team Ota
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| 小林勝利 Katsutoshi Kobayashi
| Additional credits
The Wacky Watcher! (Japanese: コイキング！しんかのひみつ！！ Koiking! The Secret of Evolution!!) is the 109th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on August 19, 1999 and in the United States on September 16, 2000.
Ash and friends are no sooner recruited as assistants in an elaborate project researching Magikarp evolution than Team Rocket surfaces, stealing the object of the young Trainers' research.
Ash, Misty, and Tracey are traveling along on Lapras when a submarine surfaces and a man named Quincy T. Quackenpoker comes out and sets up equipment. Suddenly they are caught in the middle of a migrating group of Magikarp. Mentioning that he believes he knows where the Magikarp are headed Quackenpoker sets off after them in his submarine. The trio decide to follow him to Rind Island and find out where the Magikarp are going.
When the trio arrives on the island they see the Magikarp swimming upstream. Shortly after they meet Quackenpoker carrying a large heavy pack who quickly drafts the three friends and Pikachu into carrying it for him. He then introduces himself as a Pokémon watcher who has dedicated his life to the study of Magikarp.
Quackenpoker sets up a tripod with camera programmed to record information on the number and physical condition of the Magikarp. He also explained his system of banding the Magikarp to reveal when each Magikarp left the island. The Magikarp are born in the waters around the island but once a year they all return to the island no matter where they are.
Meanwhile the group are being observed by Team Rocket who at Jessie's instigation hatch a plan to catch all the Magikarp in order that they can train them into evolving into Gyarados.
The trio and Quackenpoker then see the Magikarp swimming up a waterfall. Tracey postulates that while the Magikarp swim around the world they are building up their strength in order to scale the falls, although as Quackenpoker explains half of the school are still too weak to make the climb.
At the top of the falls Jessie, James and Meowth are waiting with nets, having no money for Poké Balls. James catches one in his net, but it quickly escapes onto the bank. In an attempt to stop its escape they jump on it but are dragged into to water and over the falls instead.
Quackenpoker leads the group up the hill hurrying them along so he will be in time to see the Magikarp evolve. When they reach the top, after setting up his monitoring equipment beside the lake, Quackenpoker joins the trio for a meal. He comments that Ash and Pikachu have the most symbiotic relationship he has ever seen.
As night falls Tracey and Quackenpoker are discussing Magikarp habits with Tracey suggesting that the Magikarp navigate by noting the position of the Sun as they leap although Quackenpoker disproves this idea by showing a Magikarp that can't jump at all yet still finds its way to the island. The Magikarp begin leaping out of the water sensing something about to happen. However the water in the lake begins to churn and Quackenpoker states that something is wrong.
Team Rocket's submarine appears, using long arms to pluck the Magikarp out of the water. However their greedy harvest quickly results in a glut of Magikarp within the sub and as a result it begins to sink and they are forced to throw many back. The submarine then surfaces and the Team recites their motto. After this, they begin throwing the Magikarp out of the submarine forcing Ash and his friends to catch them before they fall. Using their distraction they capture Pikachu.
Quackenpoker stops Ash before he can order Pikachu to use Thunderbolt saying that the resulting shock would hurt the Magikarp. Agreeing, Ash selects Bulbasaur commanding it to use Vine Whip, however by passing Pikachu between them Team Rocket are able to foil the attack, although in the confusion James got a Magikarp attached to his head. Jessie and Meowth try to pull it off without success until Quackenpoker intervenes, stroking its fin until it relaxes and releases James. While they were distracted Ash was able to grab Pikachu.
As Team Rocket prepare to retaliate they were surprised when the Magikarp in Quackenpoker's arms began to evolve before being followed by the rest of the lake bathing the scene in white light. The Team Rocket sub was sucked up into a massive water spout and sent splashing off again. The Gyarados and the remaining unevolved Magikarp swim back out to sea being followed by Quackenpoker and Tracey as they count the number of evolved and unevolved Magikarp. Just after the school swims out of sight, the sun rises and the scene fades out. Team Rocket is finally shown to be stranded on a rock in the middle of the ocean surrounded by Gyarados.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Poliwag (U.S. and international); Magikarp (Japan)
- Quincy T. Quackenpoker bears a resemblance to Groucho Marx.
- He even said "When I was a boy, I woke up one morning and saw a Magikarp in my pajamas, how a Magikarp got in my pajamas I'll never know" which is similar to Marx's paraprosdokian "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I don't know."
- This is the second episode of the Orange Island saga to be dedicated to Magikarp and Gyarados. The first was The Joy of Pokémon.
- This is also the second episode that ends with Team Rocket stuck on top of a rock surrounded by Gyarados, the first being The Pi-Kahuna.
- When Team Rocket is snatching the Magikarp into their submarine, Meowth says, "Catch 'em all! Gotta catch 'em all!"
- The book Prepare for Trouble is based on this episode.
- James shows a knack for catching Magikarp in a net, which alludes to his skill with a fishing net as seen in Historical Mystery Tour! roughly 10 years later.
- The Magikarp in Dr. Quackenpoker's data sketches shows Magikarp having red whiskers instead of yellow whiskers.
- Tracey did not introduce his name to Dr. Quackenpoker, but Dr. Quackenpoker called Tracey by his name.
- Dr. Quackenpoker used three colors of bands on the Magikarp. When the Magikarp and Gyarados head down the stream towards the ocean, Quackenpoker tells Tracey to keep track of the red and blue ones. However, they each hold two devices to keep track of the numbers, implying that there is a fourth color.
- Dr. Quackenpoker tells Tracey to hurry because the Magikarp and newly evolved Gyarados are swimming upstream, when they are actually swimming downstream.
- In the dub, Dr. Quackenpoker introduces himself. Tracey repeats his name as if he heard of him before. Tracey then recognizes him as a famous Pokémon watcher. In the original, Tracey had never heard of him before and was only interested in the fact that he was another Pokémon watcher.
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