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Final Thoughts On Team Flare's Arc

ロケット団よ永遠
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I loved this arc so much buuuuuut...I wish the Rocket trio had been given more to do, especially given Gojika's prediction at the end of X&Y. She acted like the trio was going to have this huge role in the disaster that's going to visit the Kalos region but when all was said and done they ended up mostly just standing there and filming everyone else doing heroic things. I know that there were like a million other characters in this storyline and that it would have been hard to give them a bigger role but then why have Gojika make such a big prediction in the first place?
 
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I loved this arc so much buuuuuut...I wish the Rocket trio had been given more to do, especially given [Olympia]'s prediction at the end of X&Y. She acted like the trio was going to have this huge role in the disaster that's going to visit the Kalos region but when all was said and done they ended up mostly just standing there and filming everyone else doing heroic things. I know that there were like a million other characters in this storyline and that it would have been hard to give them a bigger role but then why have [Olympia] make such a big prediction in the first place?
I don't recall Olympia mentioning the magnitude of their role. I do remember her saying this: "What role you play is up to you."

Even so, this arc was still rather good. And though I will definitely enjoy it infinitely more once the dub of it premiers, even the JP version managed to do just a few things right.
 
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I loved this arc so much buuuuuut...I wish the Rocket trio had been given more to do, especially given Gojika's prediction at the end of X&Y. She acted like the trio was going to have this huge role in the disaster that's going to visit the Kalos region but when all was said and done they ended up mostly just standing there and filming everyone else doing heroic things. I know that there were like a million other characters in this storyline and that it would have been hard to give them a bigger role but then why have Gojika make such a big prediction in the first place?
Team Rocket filmed the entire crisis to the world so everyone knows what's going on. But yeah they should have done more things to help.
 
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Kind of glad Team Rocket didn't really get involved. This was suppose to be Team Flare's time to shine and they did.
 
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Although I didn't understand the whole point of the"Z" Zygarde did just before defeating Lysandre. Was that just to humiliate him even more? Like not only am I going to defeat you, but i'm going to write my initial on you too?
All a bit Zorro 'eh?

It was certainly action packed, but my first impression of it was not as outstanding as everyone else's.

The standout episode of the arc was the Citroid/Puni-chan's Song one and IMO Citron and Eureka's roles were near perfect. I also have to laud them for attempting to include a huge range of characters in the action, although I feel it backfired in terms of the execution with very few characters eventually feeling like significant contributors.

The pacing was really not good however and I think the buildup (including the tsme specials) was patchy and inconsistent, resulting in a somewhat incohesive narrative. I have more questions now than I did before, and not in a good way.

I do think a rewatch is deserved before I can cast my final judgement, but I remember enjoying the Galactic arc (over the course of DP) marginally more.
 
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The climax 5-parter was excellent. While the planning had some slip-ups the execution more than made up for it, having great pacing and giving every character something to do. It resolved every possible thread in a natural way.

As for the Team Flare subplot, I think it could have been better. It started out nice, giving some opportunities for the group's Pokemon to shine and having a lot of flair, but then they suddenly vanished in flavor of PoTD fillers. This not only lowered XYZ's overall quality but also lowered Squishy's chances for development, having almost zero focus.
 
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As for the Team Flare subplot, I think it could have been better. It started out nice, giving some opportunities for the group's Pokemon to shine and having a lot of flair, but then they suddenly vanished in flavor of PoTD fillers. This not only lowered XYZ's overall quality but also lowered Squishy's chances for development, having almost zero focus.
Exactly. I think they were trying to reach a compromise between Magma/Aqua/Galactic's sporadic appearances and Plasma's compact attempt of an "arc".
 
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When XYZ was first doing its commercial build-up I assumed Flare (and Squishy) would be front and center but nope. Same old formula hub-bub so the overall outlook of Flare (who I can never see as intimidating due to how ridiculous the Grunts look so watching them be so tryhard with skill and intimidation in this and Special is just makes me stare) was spotty and meh.

The big 5-part climax that came at the cost of the league? Big ol' crisis hour final battle arc you can see in any other shounen done better in any other shounen. Really, was every single single person individually screaming "Go!" as opposed to one unified emotional push really necessary? The real standout moments came from the siblings and Citroid's sacrifice. Their emotions and contributions during the arc were picture perfect and I'm really gonna miss them when this series ends.

No seriously, from the very start those two were a treat and continued to be so. Not enough to make me watch EVERY single episode but, hey.

Overall the climax just felt "off" for me. Outside the not letting the bad guy has his way , it was weird to see Ash being in the eye of that storm since all hopes of cohesive writing that glued him the way those episodes did fell apart by robbing him the damn tournament as opposed to winning or fighting so brilliantly with his bondmon that the real show forces itself in in the midst of it all. Would've also made Alian's brief (very brief) crumbling more sensible (and enjoyable).
 
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After finally seeing the full Team Flare arc myself, I can see why it was so highly praised beforehand. It is an enjoyable arc, but I don't think I liked it quite as much as a lot of other people did. I didn't have any problems with the pacing per say, but it did feel like there was a lot going on all at once. It made sense given that they were dealing with a huge world crisis and there were a ton of subplots, but it did feel overwhelming at points, especially when I'm not too used to seeing more intense situations from Pokemon outside of some of the movies.

I honestly loved that it was a true group effort to take down Team Flare. While Ash's team did get reduced to just Pikachu and Greninja after his other Pokemon were defeated, it still didn't come down just to him and his Pokemon. All of his friends helped out and most of them got a shining moment that showed how strong they were, especially Bonnie and Clemont. Some may have been disappointed with how Serena was handled and I can understand that, but she was still a big help with rescuing Mairin's Chespin and they needed someone to protect Mairin and Bonnie during the final confrontation too. Ash had some surprisingly good speeches, Bonnie had some of her best moments of the series with reaching out to Squishy and her goodbye and even Clemont's scene with Clembot was pretty touching. Seeing everyone get their own moment to shine was so wonderfully refreshing. I wish that the movies did this more often.

It was pretty action packed, it was cool to see the Gym Leaders show up to help save the day and it's a much better conclusion than I would have expected for Team Flare. I also really liked how the XY series handled Team Flare in general. They are more serious than they are in the games, but I think that was a good choice to make. It was hard to take them seriously, especially with their melodramatic over the top reactions to losing, and by the time they started to get interesting, it was near the end of the game. I still think that they didn't really lose anything by not including AZ or the Ultimate Weapon backstory. The anime can clearly handle some intense elements like the Ultimate Weapon. The entire arc is praised for being more intense than the anime usually is, but AZ's role in the games is far too short and given how long it took for them to appear in the show proper, it was probably for the best to just cut him out entirely, especially when his redemption at the end doesn't quite work. It is an interesting contrast to how Team Plasma was handled. They removed everything that made that team interesting, while the changes they made for Team Flare actually helped them to create a better climax, or at least didn't really hurt them in the long run.

In spite of all of these strengths, I don't think it wowed me for a few reasons. It has a lot of action, but I don't think that there was much buildup to make it more worthwhile beyond the intensity. Team Flare had presence throughout this part of the series, but they had little impact on the main cast. They only encountered Team Flare twice and they didn't even know who they were until this arc. Team Flare was working behind the scenes and they were able to use the Mega Evolution specials to buildup to their appearances in XY proper pretty nicely, but I do think that the lack of buildup within the series itself hurts them a bit.

I'm also not too thrilled with how they handled Alain's whole issue with finding out that he was indirectly responsible for causing this destruction. I felt like they resolved that a tad too quickly for my tastes. To be fair, they were in the middle of the destruction and needed to confront Lysandre, so there were other matters to deal with. I was just hoping it would be more of a character arc for Alain rather than something he was able to deal with once Ash talked to him and Lysandre. Part of it was also me hoping that Alain winning the Kalos League would serve some function in his development during this arc. I don't know if that does happen within the remaining episodes though.

I didn't like how it pretty much overshadowed the Kalos League as if the Team Flare climax was what the series has been building up to. This kind of ties into my issue with the buildup in general, but the Kalos League seemed to be basically an means of leading up to this arc instead of being the climax of the XY series itself. I'm not a fan of that decision simply because that isn't what I've been watching the show for and more importantly, it hasn't been the main purpose of Ash's journey. Ash's journey through Kalos wasn't to stop Team Flare, but to get eight badges and win the Kalos League. Rushing through the Kalos League, which is what Ash's journey has been building up to, in order to get to a Team Flare climax kind of bothers me a bit, especially when the Kalos League could have been good if they didn't rush through everything. Instead, the Kalos League was a complete disappointing mess. This might not have bothered me so much if Team Flare was buildup more within the series and they didn't appear so late in the game. It's a fitting conclusion for Squishy's and Team Flare's subplots, but I don't think for the series as a whole.

Now I still enjoyed the arc. It was pretty solid, intense and enjoyable to watch. And I really do love seeing how pretty much all of the main characters had some role to play in defeating Team Flare. It felt like a huge deal since the anime rarely gets into dangerous situations and that helped to make it refreshing. It is still easily one of the highlights of XY, but I do have a few issues with it that keep it from being the best evil team climax for me.
 
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This was so amazing! I loved how there was actually besides the league, build-up to the TF arc and that we'd get hints of development on what's up with them and Squishy. Alain realizing what he did wrong with all the mega-evo energy was good cuz it showed that he was aiding Lysandre trying to destroy the world, rather than helping Mairin and Chespie. Ash/Greninja being awesome and everyone else helping out, especially against the giant rock which damn Zygarde went ham on it! At the end I'm just glad that Lysandre is gone and we can finally finish the XYZ series even though I so don't want it to end 10/10(y)
 
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The finale arc as a whole is my favorite episode in the entire series.
 
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Best villain arc and this is how the pokemon anime actually should be. This arc was mainly meant for the teenagers than their demographic. I'm very surprised that Lysandre actually died! I was out of the loop since a month so I ran marathon of the whole arc and it was just amazing! Damn xyz is ending after 2 episodes.....I don't want it to happen....I wished Sun/Moon came out next year and Pokemon Z this year. This way we would have had another year for XY and a better 20th anniversary for the anime too since I wanted this mature Ash to win something like Ash won battle frontier for the 10th anniversary.
I would call this arc a masterpiece.
 
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Best villain arc and this is how the pokemon anime actually should be. This arc was mainly meant for the teenagers than their demographic. I'm very surprised that Lysandre actually died! I was out of the loop since a month so I ran marathon of the whole arc and it was just amazing! Damn xyz is ending after 2 episodes.....I don't want it to happen....I wished Sun/Moon came out next year and Pokemon Z this year. This way we would have had another year for XY and a better 20th anniversary for the anime too since I wanted this mature Ash to win something like Ash won battle frontier for the 10th anniversary.
I would call this arc a masterpiece.
While the arc is more intense than what we normally see from the anime, I wouldn't say that it was meant for teenagers. It is still very much a show aimed at kids. That's kind of like claiming that the Pokemon Adventures/Special series is meant for an older demographic due to it being more intense than the show when it really isn't.

If we had another year of XY, then we most likely wouldn't have gotten a Team Flare arc, or at least not when we did. Defeating the new evil team is usually saved for the tail end of a series or journey in the case of Team Magma/Aqua, so we probably wouldn't have gotten this arc for quite awhile. I'm glad that we didn't get a Pokemon Z for a number of reasons, but I don't think another year of XY would have worked out. I can understand wanting Ash to win something impressive like he did with the Battle Frontier for the 20th anniversary of the show, but I think it would have been a struggle to keep the show going for another year, even if there was a new Kalos game for them to work with. The show was already setting up for its conclusion well before the Team Flare arc happened, such as with Serena's offer to train under that former Kalos Queen, and they were already done with the Kalos League by the time Team Flare attacked. That was one reason why I thought that the theories about the new games being a new generation made sense.

Another Battle Frontier sounds neat on paper, but I don't think it would have been a good idea. The first Battle Frontier arc suffered a lot from how fast paced it was. Having to cover all of the Frontier Brain matches, all of May's Contests and the Grand Festival within a year was not a good idea. It might have worked out better here since Serena's Showcases don't really require nearly as much time or skills as Contests do, but I think it would have just made me wonder why they didn't give Kalos four years instead of three in the first place. An extra year could have helped to make Serena's Showcases more engaging or at least make them seem more difficult than they actually were. Ash's Gym badge collecting journey could have benefited from an extra year too, particularly with actually giving him a sixth Pokemon instead of bringing back Goodra all of a sudden for the Kalos League. It makes way more sense for both the games and the show to feature new Pokemon for the 20th anniversary than continuing XY somehow anyway.
 
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