5

In the fifth episode of the Pokémon anime "Showdown at Pewter City", Flint (Brock's Dad in disguise) says the following about Brock's family situation.

His good-for-nothing father left the family to become a Pokémon Trainer and they never heard from him again. Brock's heartbroken mother tried her best to hold things together, but sadly, she passed away.

However in the Pokémon Chronicles episode "A Family That Battles Together Stays Together!", Brock returns to Pewter City and sees his mother, who is now running the gym.

Who is this woman? Was this an unexplained retcon to be his original mother? Or is this mother his stepmom?

6

Brock's mother dying is an edit in the English dub not present in the original Japanese version

The website Dogasu's Backpack provides episode comparisons between the English and Japanese versions of the Pokémon anime. The one for Episode 005 has this to say:

Originally, Takeshi's [Brock's] mom didn't pass away. She, like her husband, simply abandoned the family. I guess 4Kids didn't want Brock to have two deadbeat parents, so they killed one of them off. Of course, at this time, neither 4Kids nor the original Japanese producers knew that Takeshi's mom would return to make 4Kids look like dumbasses, but that's all water under the bridge now.

Thus Lola, the woman who appears in later episodes, is indeed Brock's original mother. Japanese viewers would not have been surprised that she was alive, whereas English viewers would have been confused. TV Tropes calls this a Dub-Induced Plot Hole.

  • inserts obligatory TV Tropes warning comment – maguirenumber6 Jul 6 '17 at 17:41
  • @maguirenumber6 I figured I had that covered by saying "TV Tropes calls this..." – Thunderforge Jul 6 '17 at 17:43
  • I just figured I'd add a warning, since all other mentions of that website on here seem to come with one :') – maguirenumber6 Jul 6 '17 at 17:48
2

"Passed away" in this case doesn't mean that Lola (Brock's mother) died. It would mean that she left the Gym and left her children in Brock's care.

It could also have been an inconsistency whereby the film makers changed their minds afterwards.

As they walk away, Flint explains that after Brock's good-for-nothing father left home to become a Pokémon Trainer, his heartbroken mother abandoned them, leaving the eldest child, Brock to take care of his siblings.

I always intrepreted it as such, as rarely does the Pokémon Anime feature a person dying.

Additional information from Lola's character page on Bulbapedia:

Lola is married to Flint and has ten children. Flint left one day to become a professional Pokémon Trainer and never returned. Some time after that, Lola herself wandered away to train Pokémon, leaving Brock in charge of his many siblings. One of Lola's many hobbies is decorating.

So that would mean that this person is Lola herself.

  • 2
    This would be a very unusual use of "passed away", it usually does mean death - though your point about the show's culture is well taken. Wandered away is a better way of putting it, though if they wanted ambiguity something like "was gone", which can go either way, would have been a more intuitive choice. – Megha Jun 7 '17 at 2:37
  • @Megha I'll go rewatch the episode and see if Flint used the term "passed away" or something else. – Mat Cauthon Jun 7 '17 at 2:58
  • The video is here. Fast forward to 9.40 to hear that part – Mat Cauthon Jun 7 '17 at 3:02
  • shrug. I said it would be unusual, not impossible - after all, it's easy for for things to get lost in translation, someone picking the wrong phrase or a later edit by someone without realizing the backstory. Or the character slanting the story a bit. – Megha Jun 7 '17 at 3:09

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