How the skipped two-parter
(did not) affect the Plasma-
Dan's story in the TV series

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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Best Wishes!

"The Rocket-Dan vs. The Plasma-Dan" was, as the title suggests, going to be the debut of the Plasma-Dan in the Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! TV series. The Rocket-Dan's boss Sakaki had mentioned a "mysterious organization" earlier in the series but other than that we hadn't seen so much as a single white hood (umm...) before this two-parter. But after their debut here? The group was going to become the major villains of the series, and their rivalry with the Rocket-Dan were going to be the source of many a conflict in the Best Wishes! series. Right? Right?? RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!?

Well, no. If you pay any amount of attention to the first 20 some episodes of the series you'll realize that the writers had already made major, major changes to the Plasma-Dan's storyline even before this whole earthquake business. This wasn't like the evil groups in Houen and Sinnoh, where the TV series more or less followed the plots from the games. No, Best Wishes! pretty much trashed every storyline related to the Plasma-Dan in favor of their own original stories.

By the time this two-parter was set to air, the TV series had already skipped:
  • G'Cis' speech in Karakusa Town
  • N's introduction
  • The kidnapping of the little girl's pokemon by the Plasma grunts
  • The theft of the Dragon Bones in Shippou City
  • The kidnapping of Bel's Mun'na in Hiun City
  • The introductions of four of the Seven Sages (G'Cis, Asura, Sumura, and Rot).
The Site of Dreams stuff from the games was kind of in the TV series, but it was the Rocket-Dan, not the Plasma-Dan, who were behind all the trouble there.

Site of Dreams

Oh yeah, and then there's also the fact that the Rocket-Dan fight the Plasma-Dan, something the games don't even hint at.

Something else people have to remember is that the episodes that followed the two-parter were either already finished or were being worked on when those tragedies struck. We know from various sources (the making of feature in that one Orange Islands book, the date on the character model sheets for the Aloe episodes that were floating around the Internet, basic logic, etc.) that it takes about six months from the time work starts on an episode to the time it airs. By counting backwards we can deduce that at the time of the 3/11 disasters, every episode up to the two-part "A Mad Run!  The Battle Subway!!" (episodes 47 and 48) were being worked on in some capacity. So earthquake or not, the Plasma-Dan still wouldn't have had a single appearance in the six months following the big two-parter. More Plasma plots would have been skipped, Sakaki still would have stopped appearing, and we'd still get a bunch of those self-contained "Rocket-Dan try to steal X pokemon of the day" type episodes. The disasters didn't change how the next half a year or so was going to play out.

There's also 2011's theatrical movie, the animation for which was probably already finished by the time the disasters struck. Those two films, Victini and the Black Hero, Zekrom and Victini and the White Hero, Reshiram, pretty much already took care of the whole "two brothers disagree, fight, and cause Reshiram and Zekrom to turn into the Light Stone / Dark Stone, respectively" plot from the games, so why repeat it in the TV series? Dread, the antagonist of the Victini movie, also seems to be the animation producers' stand-in for N for those few years before the actual N made his debut. There are major differences, of course, but the two more or less serve the same purpose.

BW Movie 01

The truth is, the TV series was never interested in adapting the story from the Black & White games to TV. So when people claim that the 3/11 disasters are keeping the Plasma-Dan from appearing again, I have to wonder if they had ever seen any of the 22 episodes that preceded this two-parter. Yes, the Plasma-Dan should have appeared at X point in the TV series because they appeared at X point in the video games. But the show had broken that "rule" so many times by that point that using the games to predict anything the TV series does is a bit silly. Like it or not, the animated series is doing its own thing.

Maybe the Plasma-Dan was only ever meant to be a glorified "character of the day" and was never going to appear outside of that two-parter anyway. Or! Maybe they were going to appear, get disbanded at the end of this two-parter, and then later resurface again in Season 2? Who knows!

This page was last updated on October 3rd, 2019




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