After almost 21 seasons of anime, I thought I'd never see the day. The loveably hopeless villains Team Rocket have just made history with a Pokémon first.
How many times have we seen Ash clash with Jessie, James and Meowth? Probably about once every two or three episodes, and when you consider the episode count is currently close to 1000, you come to appreciate just how many times Team Rocket have been thwarted by Ash and Pikachu.
You have to wonder, will they ever best Ash in a fair and square Pokémon battle? Well, they just did.
Team Rocket... Aren't Blasting Off Again?
In the latest episodes of the Sun & Moon anime, Team Rocket manage to claim an unexpected victory against the young hero by using Jessie's Mimikyu and newly befriended Mareanie to get the best of Ash's Pikachu and Rowlet.
I can't help but feel happy for them, they look positively giddy with excitement. James openly weeps (though he's no stranger to tears), Wobbuffet seems to be thanking whatever higher power he believes in and Meowth simply cannot contain himself.
Jessie Is On Another Level
She doesn't believe it at first, looking away from Ash's KO'd partners to the rest of her crew for some form of affirmation. When you finally see a change in the long standing imbalance of good beating evil every time, I guess the smart thing to do is to question it.
When It Sinks In
This may be the most twisted I've seen Jessie. Finally, they've beaten Ash and their long-standing goal of bringing the powerful electric mouse back to their boss Giovanni looks to be within their grasp.
To Team Rocket they probably see this win as a legitimate claim to Pikachu; the prize for all their perseverance.
It Didn't Go All Quite As Planned Though...
After their historic victory, they ended up being carried away by the Pokémon named Bewear (which is becoming a common occurrence in the new series), as it wants to feed Team Rocket.
So they manage to get a fair win, only to be snatched of their Pikachu prize by an overly-affectionate Pokémon. Classic Team Rocket.
Is This The Start Of A New Era?
Ash is a great trainer, so a win against him is a big deal no matter how many tries it has taken. Maybe we'll see Team Rocket become more competent as the series progresses, which would actually be a great thing to see.
Team Rocket is often used as comic relief as well as strengthening the protagonists' relationships with others as they team up to stop their stealing of Pokémon, so having them suddenly able to put up a fight and become a true threat once more could be a great change-up in the dynamic.
Pikachu Best Bewear
Ash should start training his Pokémon to get stronger immediately. If this happens again and Bewear isn't around to take Team Rocket away we may see Pikachu fall into the clutches of evil.
Mimikyu has proven to be a strong fighter in Pokémon Sun and Moon, armed with a frightening hatred of Pikachu. Mareanie's evolution Toxapex is a fan-favorite in the competitive battling scene so it may also become a tough opponent if it stays around.
Our heroes need to be more vigilant than ever.
Haven't been watching the anime? Take a look at the new region here:
Do you think Team Rocket will get stronger? Will Pikachu ever be theirs? Be sure to tell me your thoughts in the comments!