WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 26 of Pokemon Journeys: The Series, “Splash, Dash, and Smash for the Crown! / Slowking’s Crowning!” now streaming on Netflix.
With the official Pokémon social media channels posting several clips from Pokémon Journeys: The Series to promote the show’s release on American Netflix, it reminds fans of how weird Episode 26 (or Part 3, Episode 2) is. Mainly since it shows is that Goh’s Magikarp — yes, Magikarp — is horrifyingly strong, capable of reaching ridiculous heights during a jumping competition.
While the stellar leap is impressive on its own, the facts surrounding this Magikarp’s ability prove how dangerous the fish Pokémon can be.
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The first half of the episode focuses on Goh training his Magikarp for the 10th annual Magikarp high jump competition. He’s hoping to beat the nine-time champion Kasukarp and his shiny Magikarp, Shinegoldie. However, Goh quickly realizes that his giant Magikarp is a little out of shape. Thankfully, Kasukarp is also a bodybuilding trainer, and thanks to his videos — plus a hilarious training montage — Magikarp gets fit, and the group heads off to the contest.
Goh’s freshly fit Magikarp has no problems in the early rounds, beating the previous runner-up in the semifinals with a massive leap of 21.02 meters. In the finals, Goh faces Kasukarp and unveils he’s been keeping a big secret — his Magikarp has been wearing weights the entire time. Taking a page straight out of Goku or Naruto‘s Rock Lee’s book, Magikarp carried weights that were so heavy it required two struggling Machamp to carry them.
As Kasukarp’s Magikarp jumps, Goh’s takes several seconds to charge up — surrounding itself in an aura of energy. When it eventually slaps its tail down and makes the jump, a massive cloud of dust forms as the Magikarp flies off, pushing Shinegoldie out of the sky as it does. In fact, Goh’s Magikarp’s jump is so powerful that it manages to fly into space, breaking out of the Earth’s atmosphere like something out of a strange remake of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Unfortunately, this disqualifies Goh since the contest requires the Pokémon to land, and it seems like Magikarp isn’t going to come back down.
The more you think about a Magikarp leaping into space, the more terrifying this prospect becomes. According to most sources, Magikarp weighs about 10kg, but Goh’s giant Magikarp is likely twice that. In the episode, his Magikarp escapes the atmosphere in about 31 seconds, meaning that it’s traveling at least 13km per second. This speed means that Magikarp is one of the fastest objects on the planet. Based on what we see in the episode, Magikarp also reaches this speed in about a second — giving it a terrifying amount of acceleration.
If we presume that Newton’s Laws Of Motion apply in the Pokémon universe (which is a big if based on this episode), then Magikarp slaps the ground with around 263 kilonewtons worth of force. Or nearly double the force applied to a crash test dummy by their seatbelt in a 100km/h collision. And this is before you attempt to factor in drag, air resistance and the effects of smacking into Kasukarp’s Magikarp on the way up, meaning that the force is likely even more remarkable.
Of course, this ignores the big elephant in the room: Magikarp seems unphased by this entire experience. Despite the massive heat build-up from pushing through the atmosphere and the lack of oxygen in outer space, Magikarp seems just fine. During the second half of the episode, Magikarp finally falls back from space and endures a sonic boom before crashing into the ground with enough force to knock everyone over.
Not only does this imply that Magikarp can survive the heat of re-entry, but the shock from a sonic boom and the sheer impact of landing. It also suggests that Magikarp understands orbital mechanics to the point that it can angle its re-entry to deliberately land near Goh. The fact the Magikarp causes a massive amount of damage to the ground upon landing should make Goh thankful that Magikarp landed on an island rather than smashing through a city like Godzilla.
While Goh has many Pokémon, only one of them has been able to launch itself into space and return to Earth totally unharmed. As a flightless Pokémon that can pull off this feat, Magikarp proves it’s not a fish you want to mess with. It also suggests that when humanity finally makes it to Mars, we may find that Magikarp has beaten us there.
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