Ash, Misty, and Brock continue on their quest to become Johto League Champions. Planning to travel to Blackthorn City (Fusube City), the friends reach a crossroads at the foot of a mountain. Which trail to follow? The quickest one, of course! They decide on the one going right through the Ice Cave. Traveling through the cave of ice proves to be slower and more difficult than they planned – especially when they are interrupted by none other than Team Rocket and some cold water! While Ash and Misty handle the cold water well, Brock starts to get sick. Fortunately for the friends, there is a Pokémon Center within the Ice Cave. At this Pokémon Center, the human-like pokémon, Jynx, works as Nurse Joy’s assistant. Nurse Joy quickly warms the friends and puts a very ill Brock to bed. While Brock is recovering, Ash and Misty discover that the ice in the Ice Cave is artificially supported so that the ice pokémon (such as Swinub and Piloswine) may continue to live comfortably there. What happens when Team Rocket comes across the device artificially cooling the Ice Cave? Can Nurse Joy, Ash, Misty, and a sick Brock protect the Ice Cave and the pokémon from Team Rocket?
Reason Episode 252 – The Ice Cave is a banned Pokémon episode:
This episode features Jynx – a pokemon which has received a lot of criticism for appearing to resemble what is known as “blackface”. Blackface is a form of racial stereotyping in which an individual darkens their face and exaggerates their lips taking on stereotypical black features. Most of the controversy with blackface revolves not around the physical changes, but with the degrading caricatures portrayed while in blackface which showed black individuals as simple-minded, lazy, lewd, superstitious cowards who massacred the spoken language. Because of the controversy over this pokémon, it was decided to not translate this episode into English. This episode was never aired on English television.