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Breathe In - Pokémon: Paldean Winds Episode 2 Review - The Bond Between Trainer and Pokémon

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A collage of screenshots, showing Aliquis at his desk; a lucky candy ball being opened; Aliquis with Meoscarada; and a battle between Terastalized Meowscarada and Tauros
It’s been a while since the first episode of Paldean Winds aired, and waiting for the second episode has felt like forever. I’m glad that it’s finally here. While the previous episode focused on Ohara, this episode’s star is Aliquis, and it focuses on the bond he has with his Meowscarada.

(Please note: This review contains spoilers. If you haven't watched the episode yet, go watch it now before reading on!)

I have to say, the animation here may not be quite as stunning as the previous episode, but it’s still good. The movements in battle in particular were amazing. I especially love the way Meowscarada moved in battles, like how it shot out Leaf Storm like it was Spiderman shooting out his webs. I think the first battle with Nemona's Kilowattrel was really great animation-wise, with how we see Kilowattrel's perspective from flying past its trainer to soaring back towards its opponent. Attention to detail with the camera angles like this is definitely a necessity in animated battles. The terastalizing in the second match was absolutely beautiful to watch!

Aliquis as a character is a boy frustrated with his constant losses against Nemona. In his previous match, his brother, who attends Blueberry Academy, had watched him lose. The way his brother remarked that he should stop using Meowscarada really irked me. Like, the magician cat is his partner. You can’t tell someone to cast aside their closest friend like that! I feel like his brother was a bit of a jerk, and his words did affect Aliquis as it showed the sore loser within him. While Aliquis is stated to be the best in his class, losing to Nemona makes sense because Nemona has always been the best in the school. Despite his anger, he’s a sensitive soul deep down as he isn’t afraid to shed tears and such. Meowscarada is the deuteragonist of this episode. It has a lot of personality despite being unable to speak words. The way it wanted Aliquis to buy candy, and how it got mad after hearing its trainer’s hurtful words really showed how lively it is. It’s very different from Ohara's Fuecoco from the previous episode to be sure.

Speaking of which, Nemona is shown using Pokémon that’s different from the team she uses in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. I don't remember seeing either a Kilowattrel in her game team, and while the game's opening cutscene did show her owning a Combat Breed Paldean Tauros like we saw in this episode, we've never actually seen her using it in her battles against us in-game. Maybe this team is the one she had before meeting the game's protagonist, which took her to Champion rank. Regardless, it’s nice to see Nemona with more Pokémon, given how much of a battling prodigy she's supposed to be. It’s also nice to see that Aliquis has more Pokémon than just Meowscarada, as he's shown also battling using a Garganacl and Flamigo in his second battle with Nemona at the end of the episode.

Nemona
Other than that, Ohara and Hohma are used as characters that unintentionally rub salt into Aliquis’s wounds, prompting his lashing out towards Meowscarada. The video project from the first episode is mentioned, but isn't the main focus for now. I do wonder what the video will be like at the end of the series. In the previous episode, Aliquis said Iono’s catchphrase, and this episode confirms he’s a fan as we're shown him watching her streams. Speaking of Iono, her voice actress for the Japanese version of this episode happens to be the same voice actress from the Iono TV trailer where she was first introduced with Bellibolt - Fairouz Ai. It’s nice that they kept the same voice for this show, as they normally have different voice actresses for every anime iteration of a human Pokémon character.

The candy Aliquis always eat represents luck in a way. He’s always eating spicy Scovillain candies which are apparently “duds”, but after finding Konpeitō-style star candy inside one of them, he feels as if luck is on his side now. The choice of these candies was an interesting deep cut for those who know the history. The word Konpeito comes from a Portuguese word for another type of sugar candy, confeito, with Portuguese traders having been the first to introduce sugar candy to Japan in the 1500's. Paldea is meant to be based on the Iberian Peninsula, including Portugal, so the selection of this kind of candy may have been intended as both a cultural and historical reference.

I like that the episode ends open-ended because it’s impossible for Nemona to lose, but at the same time, you don’t want Aliquis to lose after all that has happened. What are your thoughts about this episode? Who do you think won?
 
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ecargmura

ecargmura

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