Garu and Abyo aim to win the ping-pong tournament, even against Tobe's tricks. Although they might need a little help from Pucca.
|Ping Pong Pucca|
|Season 1, Episode 1C|
|Air date||September 18, 2006|
|Written by||Johnny John-John Kearns|
Noodle Around The World
A Force of Won
"Ping Pong Pucca" is the third segment of the first episode of the Pucca television series. It first aired September 18, 2006.
At stadium high in the mountain range, the citizens of Sooga Village have gathered to watch the big Ping-Pong tournament. Acting as the announcer, Master Soo calls in the first-round players: Dada and Dumpling against Abyo and Garu. He wonders if any of the teams can beat last year's champion, Muji, in his record for consecutive wins and warns them that losers of the match must wear the "sundress of shame" as demonstrated by one of his unlucky maidens.
The match begins and Garu and Abyo immediately gain the lead. After one powerful hit by Garu, he and Abyo are declared winners of the match while Master Soo's maidens help Dada and Dumpling into their penalty dresses. The young martial artists face off against many of the other villagers and win against all of them, soon leaving everyone in the crowd, aside from Pucca, wearing sundresses. Abyo, eating up the support of their crowd, asks if there is anyone who can stop them and is answered in the appearance of Tobe who takes the ring along with one of his ninjas. The match starts with a powerful strike by Abyo, but Tobe deflects it after kicking aside his partner. Things soon turn into a one-on-one battle between Garu and Tobe, leaving their partners to watch from the sidelines. Abyo becomes frustrated with his lack of interaction and jumps in to play, but is quickly struck the ball and knocked unconscious, leaving Garu without a partner.
Chang tells Pucca that only she could save Garu and the village from the tragedy of Tobe's victory and offers to train her in Ping Pong. At the Turtle Training Hall, Chang puts Pucca through a regimen of paddleball exercises, strength training with a tetherball, and blindfolded Ping-Pong ball deflection until she is ready to take the stage.
Back at the ring, Abyo is being rolled away on a stretcher and Pucca hops up to take his place. Though not eager to work with her, Garu does concede that Pucca has skills and holds out his hand to seal the deal in their partnership. Tobe, now seeing that he may have a harder time winning the match, summons in a group of his ninjas to play along side him. Santa, as the referee, tries to disqualify him for having too many partners, but Tobe angrily scales the bench, binding and gagging the jolly man, and declares they will be playing by his rules. Each of his ninjas hits a ball towards the other side and while Garu flees from the nine-ball assault, Pucca takes up his discarded paddle and easily deflects all the balls back. Tobe turns around and finds that all of his ninjas have been taken out by Pucca's assault, leaving him the only player on his side. This changes when Muji, not wanting to have his record broken by anyone but himself, joins the match with a significantly larger paddle to Tobe's approval.
The teams are evenly matched and with every bounce, the ball is rising higher into the air. Muji hits the ball so hard that it makes it all the way to the moon, but Garu (after a series of vehicle rides and ending in a rocket into space), manages to hit it back to earth, punching a hole through the table. Muji then pulls out his secret weapon: a metal ball that, while Garu is distracted by Pucca's congratulatory kiss, hits the young ninja in the face and effectively knocks him out. Pucca is furious and, using the entire table as a paddle, swats the two villains out of the rink and into the distance.
Santa falls off his seat and the newly revived Garu catches him, pulling the tape off his mouth. Santa declares Pucca and Garu the winners and the crowd cheers. Pucca tries to kiss him again, but he takes of running. Pucca takes out another ping pong ball and with it, strikes Garu in the back and sends him flying. He bounces off of the ropes of the ring and smacks into the big screen where Pucca's televised face gives him a kiss. The young ninja lands inside of the trophy cup and is kissed on the cheek by Pucca just as the photographer snaps a picture of them. This photo is shown framed on a wall beside several others of their matches and a glimpse of the trophy.
The phrase "Are you not entertained?" is a reference to the film Gladiator
Santa: [counting Tobe's teammates] One, two, three, hm, hm, eight, nine, ten. You can only have one teammate, Tobe! You're disqualified!
Tobe: What?! You cannot be serious! I've played this game so long, and I never - that's never happened to me before in my life! Do you even know the rules of ping pong?