In honor of Dragonite being this month’s Pokemon of the Month, let take a look at it’s first prominent appearance in the Pokemon anime. Before the airing of this episode in 1999, Dragonite was either shrouded in shadows or was a side character. This episode allowed the viewers to see why people consider Dragonite the pseudo-legendary that it is though it’s battling skills and speed.
In this episode we are watching Ash’s attempt in defeating the Orange League’s Champion. It will take everything Ash has to defeat Drake and his powerful Dragonite in Enter The Dragonite.
Ash continues his battle against Orange League’s Champion, Drake.
Drake is defeated and Ash is allow to be honored in the Place of Victory.
Enter the Dragon
It is kind of ironic that Dragonite is one of the last pokemon to be featured in the anime before the premiere of the 2nd Generation Pokemon and it just happens to be one of the last pokemon out of the original 150 Pokemon. It did get an episode when Bill was shown in the anime but that episode was mostly for Bill. In this episode we actually get to see Dragonite and it’s battling powers. It has a wide range of attacks in it’s arsenal that was used to take out Ash’s pokemon one after another.
It was surely a flawed strategy for Drake to depend solely on his Dragonite to stage a comeback victory but you can’t blame him for that seeing how powerful Dragonite was. His Dragonite’s Water Gun was able to overpower Ash’s Squirtle’s Hydro Pump. An impressive feat to do seeing that Squirtle is a water type pokemon.
The Dragonite also has impressive flight abilities as it was able to out fly Ash’s Charizard and combat it in sky combat. Charizard was still a tough opponent and I was glad to see that they didn’t make it an easy match for Dragonite. In the end Charizard was defeated and Dragonite was tired.
Even though Dragonite was tired out, it was still able to mow down the reminder of Ash’s pokemon. It may have been Ash’s strategy to tired out Dragonite with each of his pokemon then to finish it off with Pikachu but it was still a close one. Ash did took advantage of the terrain his the battling powers of his pokemon. It just that Dragonite was able to keep it’s focus to strike back with it’s powerful attacks. It wasn’t until when Pikachu took it by surprise that allow Ash to win the battle. A cleaver use of Pikachu’s tail. Pikachu was able to springboard it’s way to Dragonite’s head to strike a Thunder for victory. Dragonite was a tough opponent to beat and surely made Drake a formidable foe.
Battle of Strategies
This battle that continued on from the previous episode showed some interesting strategies. As noted earlier, Drake seem to have been banking on Dragonite to stage a comeback victory. Ash on the other hand was relying on his usual speed and power one.
This doesn’t mean that Drake had weak pokemon as we saw that his Electabuzz was anything but weak. It just that Drake clearly wasn’t worry worried as Ash knocked down his pokemon one after another. Drake most likely is like this with all his past challengers knowing full well that Dragonite will win him the battle in the end.
Ash on the other hand knew that he was going have to defeat Drake’s Dragonite but knew that he had to worry about five other powerful pokemon. So he did his usual ‘Power and Speed’ strategy then as soon as Dragonite was released into battle, Ash switched over. The young trainer knew that if they were going to defeat Dragonite then it was going to be a team effort. It was Ash’s ability to switch strategies in battle that allowed him to win.
Lost in Translation
This episode was done back when 4Kids was handling the Pokemon dub which means there surely were some changes in dialogue. This was mostly in attacks names but there is one that really made the episode kind of confusing.
One of the changes in attacks was one that was done by Charizard. In one scene it was said that Charizard used an Ember attack but the animation looked nothing like an Ember attack used in previous episodes. Instead it looked more like a vortex of fire. That was because the attack actually a Fire Spin attack in the Japanese dub. Later on in the episode Ash told Squirtle to use a Bubble attack. This was actually a Bubblebeam attack in the Japanese.
Later in the episode when the Rocket Trio to capture Dragonite, Drake had said “You know what to do”. This gave the impression that people try to steal Dragonite on a regular basis. Jessie, James and Meowth did try to steal Dragonite in the previous episode but it was only once. Instead in the Japanese dub, Drake had told Dragonite to use Skull Bash to pop the balloon.
This episode was mostly about the final battle of Ash’s Orange League challenge but it was also a great way to show off Dragonite’s skills in battle. This pokemon was famous already due to it’s usage in the video games and at the time exclusive typing. This episode only added more to the luster that Dragonite had.
Also it was kind of funny to see that Dragonite’s arms were too short to reach his head. Kind of was a unflattering moment for our Pokemon of the Month but funny.
Ash on the other had provided an interesting battle where he could show off the strengths of many of his pokemon. Most of them had fainted at the power of Dragonite but they all were able to prove themselves in battle. The battle had a good pace and interesting strategies.
Rating: 4 out of 5