EP016 : Pokémon Shipwreck
Original series
EP018 : Beauty and The Beach
Island of the Giant Pokémon
Island of the Giant Pokémon!?
First broadcast
Japan July 22, 1997
United States September 30, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 首藤剛志 Takeshi Shudō
Storyboard 日高政光 Masamitsu Hidaka
Assistant director 岡崎幸男 Yukio Okazaki
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

Island of the Giant Pokémon (Japanese: きょだいポケモンのしま!? Island of the Giant Pokémon!?) is the 17th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 22, 1997, and in the United States on September 30, 1998.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


As our heroes and Team Rocket beat the odds by surviving the sinking ship, they are dragged into another potentially deadly situation when they are attacked by the ferocious Pokémon, Gyarados. One Gyarados becomes many and Ash, friends and foe are swept up in a tornado landing them in various locations on an island. Ash loses Pikachu and the Poké Balls containing Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur. Jessie and James from Team Rocket, who land in another remote part of the island, also lose their Pokémon. Thus both Pokémon and their masters are left searching for each other on this strange island, inhabited by gigantic Pokémon. Where could this island be?


After the attack caused by a group of Gyarados in the last episode, Ash and his friends end up on an island, where they realize that four of Ash's Pokémon, including Pikachu, are missing. On another side of the island, Jessie and James are awakened by a Krabby to find their Pokémon, including Meowth, are missing. They try to call for help in a phone booth, but they soon remember they don't have any money. On another part of the island, a separated Pikachu finds the Poké Balls of the separated Pokémon and releases Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. They then see a Slowpoke fishing in the sea with its tail. Pikachu and Charmander decide to ask for help, with little result, while Bulbasaur and Squirtle relax on the beach.

While trying to find Ash and the others, Ash's Pokémon are found by Team Rocket's Pokémon, Koffing, Ekans, and Meowth. Meowth tells Koffing and Ekans to attack Ash's Pokémon, only to find out they won't battle for him because he is not their "master". They also tell him that they are not bad guys and only take bad orders from their masters, much to Meowth's dismay, leaving him unable to battle Ash's Pokémon. Each side tells the other about their missing Trainers and Koffing and Ekans get visibly upset when Bulbasaur mentions that their Trainers may have abandoned them. Pikachu immediately refutes the very idea, telling Bulbasaur that Ash would never do something like that. The two sets of Pokémon join together to find their Trainers. Meanwhile, Meowth is tied up for what he has done to Pikachu and the others in the past. While they are eating, a giant Rhydon frightens them. The Pokémon escape, accidentally leaving Meowth tied up. Pikachu unties Meowth so he can escape. Meowth shows no gratitude for Pikachu's action, instead pushing him and saying that he could have got out himself. At the same time, Ash and his friends are being chased by a giant Zapdos. They soon elude it and decide to rest for the night. Ash vows to find his Pokémon no matter what. Meanwhile, Jessie and James are being chased by a huge Moltres. They run into a sign and are both knocked out, causing them to escape the Moltres.

The next day, Team Rocket runs back to the phone booth and Jessie makes a phone call. When James tells her that they don't have money, she says they are calling the boss by collect. They annoy him with their motto, causing him to hang up on them. Jessie and James then use a wire to get help by pulling on it while inside, hoping it will lead to the phone company. They see a Pikachu and decide to catch it, not realizing until it is too late that it is in fact a giant Pikachu. At the same time, Ash and his friends run behind a rock after being attacked by a giant Charizard. Meanwhile, the Pokémon, still searching for Ash and Team Rocket (and having agreed to a truce until they find them), come across a giant Blastoise. Squirtle is forced to ask it for directions by the other Pokémon, something that it's not too happy to do. Squirtle tries to start up a conversation with the giant Blastoise but it gets attacked by its Hydro Pump. They then see a giant Venusaur. Squirtle asks Bulbasaur to seek help from it as Squirtle thinks it's one of Bulbasaur's relatives. Bulbasaur is too afraid to ask the Venusaur and so says that it's an orphan and has no family, to which Squirtle decides to call it a "coward." Team Rocket, still pulling the telephone wire, are now being chased by a huge Kabutops. They decide to jump into a rail cart to get away. It starts moving but begins to head backwards toward the Kabutops, rather than away from it. It gets its foot tied in the wire and is dragged after Team Rocket. Then Ash and his friends find the giant Pikachu, which is then knocked down because of Team Rocket and the trailing wire on the rail cart. Ash and his friends fall into the cart with Team Rocket inside. Then, they see their Pokémon chased by a giant Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur. The Pokémon manage to jump to their Trainers and are at last reunited. Next, the cart is sent flying into the air because of a giant loop in the rail tracks causing them to crash into the giant Zapdos which they then discover to be robotic. Soon all the other giant robot Pokémon crash into each other and lie broken in a massive pile on the beach. Then the rail cart crashes into the water. A Gyarados-shaped boat approaches the island. Inside, a woman introduces what appears to be tourists on the boat to Pokémon Land. However, upon noticing the damaged Pokémon, apologizes and then makes a call. It is revealed that the island is actually an amusement park owned by Team Rocket's boss, Giovanni, who isn't too happy with the destruction of Pokémon Land.

Ash and his friends resume their journey, ending up in Porta Vista. Meanwhile, the Slowpoke from earlier is still sitting on the rocks. It stands up, revealing a Shellder attached to its tail. The newly evolved Slowbro looks onward and says its name proudly.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Slowbro (US and international) Slowpoke (Japan)


  • This is the only episode where subtitles were used to translate what the Pokémon were saying.
    • In some non-English dubs, the Pokémon used human language or voice-overs and the English subtitles were kept, while in some dubs, the English subtitles were translated into subtitles of the respective languages.
  • In the Japanese version of this episode, some Pokémon had their genders revealed through the subtitles: Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Ekans were implied to be male due to using a first person pronoun almost exclusively used by males.
  • This is the first episode where the Who's That Pokémon? segment is different in the English version than the Japanese version.
  • The picture used during the Who's That Pokémon? segment in the Japanese version shows a real fish biting Slowpoke's tail.
  • Bulbasaur and Meowth appeared to get drunk at the stand, which is backed up by somebody talking to a "barkeep" in the original episode.
  • The music that plays during Pokémon Land- tour is the same that plays when S.S. Anne leaves the port in the game.
  • The robotic Moltres that chased Team Rocket and the robotic Rhydon were the only giant Pokémon that were not seen to be destroyed, although Giovanni's phone call implied that they were indeed destroyed as well.
    • The book adaptation, however, does have the robotic Rhydon being tripped alongside the other robotic Pokémon as well.
  • Even though Ash was never shown to find Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle's Poké Balls, he doesn't seem to have lost them.
  • Slowbro says "Slowpoke" at the end of the episode, before realizing it had evolved. This implies that even Pokémon without training are able to say some things that aren't their own name, at the very least the names of their previous forms. However, this is probably just an example of Slowpoke and Slowbro being slow-witted.
  • This episode is featured on Volume 4: Squirtle from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
  • This episode was partially adapted into the book Island of the Giant Pokémon.
  • More Pokémon's Pokérap images come from this episode than any other episode, providing the images for Meowth, Rhydon, Zapdos, Charizard, Blastoise, Venusaur, Kabutops, and Slowbro. Out of these, only Slowbro and Meowth were actual Pokémon.
  • In India, when this episode aired on CN, the Pokémon were given voice overs even though the subtitles were kept. When it was aired on Hungama, the Pokémon did not receive voice overs even though the subtitles were removed. This made it difficult to understand the Pokémon speech.
  • Despite Ekans explicitly stating that there was no such thing as an evil Pokémon in this episode, future episodes disproved that idea, most notably Malamar in Pokémon the Series: XY.
  • This episode contains one of the few instances of Pokémon eating humans being mentioned (by Squirtle, who jokingly claimed that Ash, Misty and Brock may have been eaten by wild Pokémon, which Pikachu and Charmander didn't find funny at all and told him to stop talking that way).
  • The plot of Ash and his friends washing up on an island, supposedly filled with giant Pokémon could be a reference to the film Mysterious Island, where people get stranded on an island, with creatures, which have been genetically enhanced to be giant.
  • What Jessie says about the sand in the Japanese version near the start of the episode is a reference to the poem "A Handful of Sand" by famous Japanese poet Takuboku Ishikawa.
  • This episode was skipped in Brazil during the 2018 rotation of the anime on RedeTV!.
  • This is the third episode to depict evolution in a completely different manner to the usual glow effect, after Ash Catches a Pokémon and Challenge of the Samurai. The ending of the episode simply has Slowpoke proceed to stand up and fish a shell out via his tail.
  • Jessie and James mention they got their Pokémon for a chugen gift (her last birthday in the English dub) and an oseibo gift (Christmas in the English dub), respectively. Years later in Pokémon Masters EX, it would be specified that the one who gave Koffing to James was Giovanni. Given this, it is implied that Pokémon can be given as gifts.
  • One element of the plot involves a Japanese pun. Immediately after the missing Pokémon are seen at the oden stand, Jessie and James make a telephone call (odenwa).


  • At the beginning of the episode, Ash's hat is miscolored.
  • In several scenes, the yellow stripe on Ekans' underbelly is colored purple like the rest of its body.
  • When Jessie's image appears after Ekans says that it only obeys its master, her eyes are white instead of blue.
  • When the Rhydon robot first appears, its fangs are colored gray like its body instead of white.
  • When Jessie is first seen pulling the cable, the phone booth is not fully colored in and the background can be seen through it.
  • When Team Rocket is about to use the brakes on the cart, they say "pull", but they push the lever.
    • In the same scene, Jessie disappears from the cart, though her outline is still there.
      • Additionally, James overlaps on her.
        • Furthermore, the cart is moving forward, but after they break the brakes, it is moving backward.
  • When Ash and his friends see the giant Pikachu, Misty's bag is on her right shoulder, but when the bridge collapses, it is on her left.
  • When Jessie says that she cannot stand roller coasters, part of the background is colored like her hair.
  • When the cart is in the loop, Jessie's gloves appear to be as long as James' when hers should be longer. This also happens when Meowth explains how he managed to jump onto the cart.
    • In the same scene, Misty's bag is missing.
  • After all the Pokémon jump into the moving cart, when Jessie and James are hugging Koffing and Ekans, their gloves are missing.
  • When James and Jessie see Meowth, James has no pupils when he cries.
  • Right before the Blastoise robot is knocked down, its bottom jaw and the inside of one of its ears are miscolored. This also happens when the destroyed robots are shown.
  • When the Pokémon jump into the moving cart, Misty catches Squirtle and Brock catches Charmander and Bulbasaur. However, when the cart falls towards the water, she is shown holding Charmander while he is holding Squirtle and Bulbasaur.
  • When James is explaining about their recent run of bad luck, Jessie's earrings and lipstick are missing.
  • After the scene when the cable is about to snap, Meowth's paws are brown instead of white.
  • At the very end, when Brock, Ash, and Misty are seen walking a path, Ash's gloves are missing. Just afterward they reappear, only to disappear again as the three are running towards Porta Vista.
  • When the cart flies off the rails, Ekans and Koffing disappear.
  • When Ash and his friends are about to hit the Zapdos robot, its body is missing. Shortly after, one of Pikachu's cheek pouches is missing.
  • When the group falls into the water, Charmander is still out of its Poké Ball and its tail is completely submerged, but the flame does not go out. This happens again, as a Charizard, in Charizard's Burning Ambitions.
  • When Ash and his friends run to the beach at the end of the episode, Brock speaks without moving his mouth.
  • In the English dub:
    • One of Squirtle's captions does not capitalize Pokémon, thus leaving it as "pokémon".
      • Also, as Pikachu stumbles across Ash's Poké Balls, he says "Poké Balls" without the accented "é", making it "Poke Balls".

Dub edits

  • Kanto Pokérap: Day 2
  • In the dub, Jessie and James reveal that Ekans and Koffing were given to them as birthday and Christmas presents, respectively.
  • For subsequent dubs, the text and the Pokémon sounds were deleted and replaced with text/sounds clarifying what they're talking about for non-English speakers. For example: the Latin Spanish version was dubbed over, and the Brazilian Portuguese version was subtitled.
  • The scene where Krabby and Slowpoke appear also had them with subtitles in the Japanese version as well.
  • Meowth's reaction actually had two interpretations in the Japanese version. One implies that he has a master, and one states that he doesn't have a master.
  • The word oden (おでん) is removed from the stand.
    • Also, the scene where the Pokémon were at the oden stand was not translated (with the exception of Bulbasaur and Squirtle's exchange). The translation of the scene is as follows:
...those darn humans
...those darn humans
...those darn humans
Not all people are bad
Now now...
Cheer up
I understand
I understand ya
That's just how the world is
Hey, barkeep...
  • There was also a subtitle added to the English dub that told the time.
  • In the Latin American dub, when Meowth points out that (the mechanical) Blastoise is the evolved form of Squirtle, he pronounces it "Baltoise".
  • Jessie apologizes to the Kabutops mecha when the cart's cable tripped it in the Japanese version.
  • When Jessie and James were making the collect call to Giovanni, they originally asked to be saved and then recited the motto, only to be reminded that they had an advanced payment. Due to the way the motto was triggered in the Japanese version (in this case, Giovanni questioning their request), this was changed in the dub to simply wanting to do the introduction first, with Giovanni expressing his annoyance with their nonsense.
  • In the original Japanese version, the giant robot Pikachu lets out a deep, menacing roar as Ash and his friends confront it. The dub changes this so the robot Pikachu instead plays a recording of an actual Pikachu's cry (a recycled sound byte of Ash's Pikachu with an echo effect added).
  • The digital effect of Giovanni's voice was dub-only.
  • In the Polish dub on Netflix, the Pokémon speech is translated with subtitles. In the original Polish dub, the speech was read by the narrator instead.

In other languages

EP016 : Pokémon Shipwreck
Original series
EP018 : Beauty and The Beach
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.