The Big Al said:
Geography could be the same but events might have made the evolution of human society different. (The Pokemon world is not as urbanized as ours). However, it is canon there is an "America", "South America", "Russia", and maybe a couple of other places. Then there is also the fact the main regions are based off of provinces in Japan. (Which makes me wonder what happens when they run out of Japan.)
Wasn't Alto Mare based off of Venice, Italy? I guess real places aren't to be mentioned, but places not based on Japan seemed to have been utilized. I don't know if it's a parody or not. I suppose basing off of it is fine, just not directly used.
I did like how this episode mentioned crepes, which I don't think ever occured in the dub ever again. I don't know what the content was in Japanese, though. Clearly throwing in Paris was inaccurate, though I suppose that was simply a representation of ... french food ... and the romantic aura.
For simply trying several different things, it was a nice mix.
And on that level thing, wasn't that clearly mentioned in the Orange Islands later (where many considered to be the better of the Orange Island Episodes, the battle with Drake in Enter the Dragonite. "Level is accounted for." "Charizard is at a higher level than I thought." "Electabuzz is at a higher level." Though, that's from the dub so I don't know about the original.)
So real locations, which have been used (like Mew's South America origin, though I only remember that from the dub so the original might be different) seem okay but the mention of cities like Paris is wrong.
Then again, based on the dubbing of this episode, not mentioning Paris would seem odd. I suppose the dub uses it to set the analogy (Relicanth and China is a ... vast expansion idea to the ends of the Earth, I guess. Using a going to China parody isn't uncommon in cartoons in America such as digging.)
Then there's also the sight of a monument for a different episode/movie/opener/ending but it'd be a very indirect spoiler that has nothing to do with any storyline that happens on a later date. However, I suppose that thing is also "basing off" but isn't a direct reference. So, I won't say.
I still think crepes were a plus. ^___^ Though, that might be a dub thing too. ._. (Apparently I like random french notations.)
Cerulean coffee never occured again either (it seems like the original was different to several regards, so chances are it wasn't Hanada coffee, but I wouldn't know.)
I don't really recall Pikachu ever tampering with an electronic device like a treadmill in that fashion ever again. Also, I don't remember if there was an outlet for it, but it looked rather small too (er big for pikachu of course). So while it was very entertaining, I guess it was also OOC in general (the treadmill seems more like tampering more than playing.)
And wasn't Brock's dub quote of "she can violate my rights if ..." a bit too much for Y7 or G rating? xP At the time I first watched it I didn't really notice that but now as far as a kids' show would go that's a bit much depending on interpretation. The only other times "violate" was mention was "violation of rules", but otherwise I don't recall other context of that.
Even though it was somewhat OOC of Ash, aside from Misty and her sisters, I don't recall him actually meeting any girls (Aside from Jesse, Joy and Jenny, obviously ... wow a lot of J's. He met Samurai, AJ/Akira, and like Seymour). Since it was a photo, he could only judge from the look, which was probably some sort of parody of like "prettiest in the class" or some analogy to that regard, so it's supposed to "attract any boy" to match the content intent. This, opposed to every other girl Ash meets is an "encounter", rather than "top of class" or "most popular". I don't remember if there were any other schoolgirl characters either. However, the other female characters Ash met prior to that episode already had a certain role or occupation (Gym Leadre, Police Officer, Nurse). For Misty's case it's "girl following him for destroying her bike (who happens to be able to get moody)".
Of course, the qualification without requiring badges is interesting. It allows an application of strategic understanding (which actually seems to fit the characteristics of a far later character named Max, however, he isn't that rich if not too far either xP. Of course, the idea of him didn't exist at all at the time.) Supposedly because of that, there would be trainers that go to leagues without badges (or rather, go into leagues with a badge that has the equivalent value, since there was later that pokemon test place where Joy was 3rd best, and such).
The content before going to school was funny, at least. I don't think there was ever another episode of such an expensive school again (however, encountering "schools" definitely happened again). When you use textbooks to the regards that they had in the episode, you sort of HAVE to go by statistical data. Sure there are lots of pokemon accessible, but it's far more booksmarts than streetsmarts (er, pokemonsmarts >_>)
Even though game content is anime inaccurate, to look at it the opposite way, the anime was game accurate for that episode (whoo what was it, Wing Attack is learned at level 31 or something?). It might have been overall anime bad but in terms of sheer game accuracy, that was a bit much (Raichu was 2'07" or so, and yet the anime has variance in pokemon size lol). Sure they shouldn't have levels mentioned, but on the other hand it was more of a progress condition (like how far he could have progressed, or whatnot).
Since Ash was just beginning, noting progress is far easier to do for comparison (this was used quite a bit in Kanto, with references to Gary excelling and progressing much faster initially.) Using "Pikachu should be level 25 by now" is overdoing it, but it is supposed to be a certain growth. By sheer anime alone, this cannot be determined, so using a level comparison would be easier. It's more like Ash during the episode was telling Gizelle (eh I prefer Seiyo lol) that level determination and type advantages aren't what factor strengths and weaknesses completely. (Reminds me of charactres that have computers to use for battle analysis. Statistically it's a sure victory but literally it is not.) This kind of disproving of statistics was used multiple times (okay maybe not that often. A later Jouto episode with the Scizor guy and his computer data was used similarly for statistical data.)
Level is clearly a game statistic. I don't think it was THAT anime inaccurate. It's more like a representation of statistical progress. The Graveler winning was a "level difference" or "much higher experience". Pikachu beating Cubone was more like "unconventional attacks" (note: the school was so statistical that pikachu clawing, biting, flipping the helmet, or even throwing Cubone's bone like a boomerang aren't directly identified attacks because statistically it has like Quick Attack and Thundershock ... and Growl I suppose ... with Tail Whip too.) So I think it's more like the school kids identified progress of learning as statistically, whereas Satoshi uses experience instead of a textbook to apply battling mechanics. Thus, a simulator uses the game mechanics while Satoshi uses anime style battling. Seems more like a contrast of two ways to see things. Several times you see "Satoshi is statistically in a disadvantage" but then "willpower or confidence" always seems to propell him through. It's probably another defy the odds parody.