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| Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon?
Nidoran's Love Story
|| June 10, 1999
| United States
|| April 22, 2000
|| Team Ota
|| 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon? (Japanese: ニドランのこいものがたり Nidoran's Love Story) is the 100th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on June 10, 1999 and in the United States on April 22, 2000.
Our heroes are on their way to Trovita Island when they come across two Pokémon trainers who seemingly hate each other, even though their two Pokémon are in love. He has a male Nidoran and she has a female Nidoran and all that the two Pokémon want is to be together. It takes Misty, the true romantic, to see that perhaps it's the two trainers that are in love as well!
Ash, Misty, and Tracey arrive in Yambera, an old looking town where they meet a young Trainer by the name of Emily. She is looking for her female Nidoran by the name of Maria with an orange ribbon around her neck. She asks if the gang has seen her. Ash looks up his Pokédex and gets a picture of the male one and then eventually the female one. She pleads with them to help her and they agree.
After the gang search for a little while, save for Pikachu who finds a tree full of delicious pink fruit, Ash and Misty eventually bump into Ralph, another kid from the town who has a similar problem as before. He is looking for Tony, a male Nidoran with a blue and purple ribbon. Ash looks up the male Nidoran in his Pokédex and gets the data. Tracey eventually comes back with Emily asking if they have found Maria yet and Ralph calls her a kidnapper. Both Ralph and Emily begin to argue over their two Pokémon.
Tracey's Marill comes back and points to where both Nidoran are located. Ralph and Emily are overjoyed and literally run over Tracey to get to them. The gang follows them to a flower garden, where they find both Nidoran cuddling into each other. Tracey and Misty immediately realize what is going on but Ash, as usual, is clueless. Both Pokémon act very romantic but shortly after are taken away by their Trainers. Both Ralph and Emily insult the others Nidoran.
Ash, Misty and Tracey go to a sandwich bar and talk to the owner who tells them Ralph and Emily’s story. They both knew each other since they were children and competed in many of the same contests and caught many of the same Pokémon; this led to their own two Nidoran falling in love. However, with Ralph and Emily hating each other they could not be together.
The gang leaves the sandwich bar at sunset when they spot a Nidoran running in front of them, revealed to be Tony, and he vanishes into a group of buildings. Tony is seen calling up to a window when Maria comes out to see him. Misty realizes that Tony is “sweet talking” up to the window. Ash asks how she knows this but Misty merely tells him that he is not mature enough to understand. Tony and Maria continue talking to each other until Emily appears at the window and dunks him with a pail of water. Ralph eventually finds Tony soaking and takes him back to his house, which is right next to Emily’s house. Misty vows to do something about the situation but Ash tells her that it is none of her business. Misty brushes him off. Team Rocket is in the bushes listening in on the situation and vows to capture the two.
Later during the night Misty is writing letters, one for Emily and one for Ralph from each other. Misty and Ash end up arguing but they turn on Tracey when he says that they should be together. Jessie plots to have Meowth convince Tony and Maria to come away with Team Rocket by tricking them into thinking that it is the only way to be together. Jessie also gives off a bit of her love life trials only to have Meowth call her a nut job to which Jessie boots him and James. Meowth goes first to Maria and then to Tony to try to convince them to come with him. His plan failed because as much as they love each other they would never abandon their Trainers. Jessie comes up with another plan to which James and Meowth do not have much enthusiasm.
The gang is next seen waiting in the bushes to see the fruits of Misty’s plan. Emily, Ralph and their Nidoran come into the park where they both accuse each other of sending the other a stupid gift and letter. Misty sent Ralph a toy plane and Emily a bouquet of flowers. However Ralph throws up when flying in planes and Emily was allergic to Misty’s flowers. Both start fighting once again. They are interrupted when Team Rocket shows up, cross-dressing as a newly-wed bride and groom. They soon reveal themselves and grab Tony and Maria before saying their motto on top of a giant wedding cake. Inside the cake they reveal their balloon and make their escape. Misty scolds Emily and Ralph for fighting and arguing, saying that it was their fault that their Pokémon were stolen. Ash and Tracey notice some cans that fell from Team Rocket’s balloon and they follow them.
Team Rocket attempts to dress up Maria and Tony despite their squirming only to have the gang find them thanks to the cans. Tony and Maria make their escape but Jessie commands Arbok to attack. Ralph and Emily command them to use their tackle attacks which knocks Arbok back. James joins in and calls out Victreebel who eats Jessie’s head this time. Maria uses Scratch on Victreebel while Tony gets knocked back by Arbok. The battle ensues equal sided until Victreebel traps Tony and Maria rescues him. Both Ralph and Emily find out that both Pokémon are fighting for one another. Both Nidoran beat back Arbok and Victreebel by using double attacks like Double Kick. Ralph and Emily say their attack names together this time without minding each other.
Team Rocket tries to make their escape and catch the Nidoran by using one of their many giant vacuums. It goes amiss when Pikachu uses a branch to get to their balloon to avoid being blown in. Pikachu uses his Thunderbolt and destroys the vacuum. Misty calls out Staryu who bursts Team Rocket’s balloon and they go blasting off once again. Misty gets on to Ralph and Emily to make them realize what they did wrong. Both of them finally listen and decide what’s best for their Pokémon. Tony and Maria finally kiss and in doing so evolve into Nidorina and Nidorino. Tracey sketches it but also wonders what made them evolve, their battle or their kiss. Misty hits him with his drawing. Ash asks if people change with their kiss. Misty says back to him that they should find out for themselves.
At the end Team Rocket is seen being rung with Arbok and Victreebel on the church bells.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Venonat (US and international), Nidoran (Tony and Maria) (Japan)
- Professor Oak's Pokémon Lecture: Kabuto: In the end, Oak picks up a Kabuto Fossil, but accidentally drops it on his own foot.
- Pokémon senryū summary: At the bottom of the sea, Kabuto covers itself with sand.
- The plot for this episode is based on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Likewise, this episode's dub title is a reference to a well-known line in the play, "Wherefore art thou Romeo?"
- Emily also calls Tony "Romeo" just before she throws water all over him.
- The Narrator's parting comment refers to All's Well That Ends Well, another Shakespeare play.
- The names of the two Nidoran, Tony and Maria, are taken from the musical West Side Story, which is based on Romeo and Juliet.
- Also, the scene where Maria talks to Tony from a balcony is very similar to a scene in both Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story.
- This is the first time Pokémon Contests are mentioned in the anime, though it is unknown if these contests are the same as those introduced in the Generation III games.
- At the end of the episode, Team Rocket breaks the fourth wall, replying to the Narrator's comment.
- When Misty was writing identical letters to Emily and Ralph, she's heard humming the notes to the tune that was playing at the time.
- This is the first and only time two species of Pokémon are the answers to Who's That Pokémon?.
- The Pokémon logo of the Pokémon Center resembles the Nintendo logo.
- This is the second time Victreebel eats someone else's head besides James upon being released. The first was Meowth in A Shipful of Shivers.
- Ralph and Emily's Raticate were depicted to be much smaller than normal Raticate.
- Also, they bore the colors of Raticate found in the mainland, which contradicts what Professor Ivy said in Poké Ball Peril. The Raticate at Ivy's lab were much darker, which, as Ivy explained, was a result of the tropical climate.
- The Pokémon Junior book, "Nidoran's New Friend", was based on this episode.
- Misty references England, a real-world location, at the beginning of the episode.
- The architecture in the town appears to be a mix of early Georgian style and Tudorbethan style construction.
- In the beginning of the episode, there is a dubbing error in which the narrator says Ash defeated Prima in the previous episode. In reality, Ash was actually defeated by Prima, and not the other way around.
- The use of a comma after the phrase "Wherefore Art Thou" in the title implies that the writers thought "wherefore" means "where" rather than "why".
- In the scene with Maria and Tony, Ash and his friends chase Tony across town as he is visiting Maria. It is then revealed that this couldn't happen because they live next door to each other.
- In the scene where Jessie and James go over their plan, Jessie's earring is blue instead of green.
- When Team Rocket recall their Pokémon, James recalls Arbok, and Jessie recalls Victreebel.
- When Ash was viewing the Pokédex entries of Maria and Tony, the newly evolved Nidorina and Nidorino, respectively, the picture in the Pokédex was of them with the accessories put on by their Trainers.
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