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Review HZ001: The Pendant of Beginning, Part 1

RetroPokeFan

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Avast everyone!

The dawn of a new era for the anime has begun.

As Ash and Pikachu head off to the sunset on a new journey together, the time has come for Riko, Roy, Friede, Captain Pikachu and the rest to steer the ship into a brand new direction.

What I'm trying to say is Pokémon Horizions has begun and nothing will ever be the same. Or at least I don't anyway, I mean I'm still here mourning the loss of my childhood heroes.

But enough about me, feel free to discuss the first episode of the new series here.
 
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Damn no replies after an hour? Must be mid /sarcasm

Will watch it myself when subbed but I’m hearing really good things so that’s a nice start
 
A slow pace start for a New protagonist after Ash. But, it good beginning nonetheless.

Overall rating: C+
 
Pretty great episode. I wasn't expecting to see a whole semester in the first episode. I hope we'll see more of Ann (I hope she's secretly Nidothing after all).
 
Staff for the episode from Dephender:

Screenplay 佐藤大 (Dai Sato)
Storyboard でんさおり (Saori Den)
Storyboard 矢嶋哲生 (Tetsuo Yajima)
Episode Director でんさおり (Saori Den)
Assistant Episode Director 大賀まこと (Makoto Oga)
Animation Director 升谷有希 (Yuki Masutani)
Animation Director 中矢利子 (Toshiko Nakaya)
Animation Director 服部奈津美 (Natsumi Hattori)
Animation Director 志村泉 (Izumi Shimura)
 
This was kind of a slow burn? I think it's nice that we get to see Liko train her Pokémon but the training segment went on for too long imo. I don't like the school setting, I miss the sense of adventure. It's nice that the training paid off and that she tried to be strategic when fighting Rhydon. I hope she gets a battling oriented goal.

The rival/villain is very creepy. As somebody who had the misfortune of having a stalker once, I could feel sympathy for Liko because she was obviously in a very scary situation but she tried her best to fight back. Add this to her anxiety of being alone in a new country, her struggle to make friends and her self-esteem issues...

I hope we get to see some cute interactions with Roy soon. This first episode was surprisingly heavy so it would be nice to see Liko make a friend. Question is if their personalities will clash because they are too different?

Not sure what to think of Friede. At times Liko almost felt like a damsel in distress but at least Sprigatito encouraged her to be more confident at the end. Otherwise it's kind of like she needs an adult man to protect her which doesn't exactly scream "strong female protagonist".

Terapagos is cute. I hope it gets to come out of the pendant and get some interesting backstory. Kind of funny how Liko already has a legendary Pokémon while Ash never caught Latias lol.
 
Man it feels crazy writing an episode review for the first time in years. Finally, my childhood dreams have been achieved. A brand new fresh start for the anime and it did not disappoint. Liko is adorable and I love her personality. Her friend Ann is super cute and funny. I do hope we'll be able to see more of her, though I doubt it considering Liko is already moving to join Friede's crew. Spigatito confuses me. One second it's like it wants nothing to do with Liko, then the next it's watching videos with her peacefully, then it's ignoring her in battle and running away from her. I guess I'll have to wait or the dub for an explanation on that. Anyway, I liked that they quickly moved into action with The Explorers being added to the plot with the pendant and things moved into the second part really well.

I think the best part about this premier was that I completely forgot they were in Kanto. We got to see so many Pokémon from other regions that you could have told me they were anywhere. This is what the last series should have felt like. This feels like a proper intro to a series focusing on all regions.

Overall nice start to the new era of the anime. I can't wait to see more. 9/10 only because the beginning felt a tad slow and the latter half kind of had to rush into things with the Explorers. But overall this the best thing to come from the anime in 10 years.
 
This was actually pleasantly surprising. Pokemon Horizons is off to a pretty strong start!

First off, I wanna talk about Liko. She has some large shoes to fill, but this episode actually did its job at introducing her properly. It seems she's almost the complete opposite of Ash. She's shy, she seems to lack confidence (though she doesn't let it hold her back from trying), she's pretty studious, and she's pretty creative. I noticed she likes to draw in her diary and she's also a fan of Nidothing. Also seems she knows not to trust Amethio. Overall, I'm ready to welcome Liko. In just her first episode alone she seems like she'll be an interesting character to follow.

Sprigatito was so precious. I just love how it behaves just how any cat would. Sprigatito definitely seems to still care though. Losing the first battle made sense for Liko, so we'll see how she grows.

The overall moments when Amethio was on screen searching for Liko were actually good. You could feel the tension. The clash between Ceruledge and Friede's Charizard was overall pretty nice. Seems Amethio is after Liko and Friede is trying to save her?

One thing interesting to note, in just one episode of Pokemon Horizons, we've seen Sprigatito, Quaxly, Ceruledge, Pawmi, and Finizen. We've already seen 5 new Paldean Pokemon in just the first episode alone. It took 5 episodes for us to see that many Galarian Pokemon in Journeys. Two of which were starters. Already fixing one issue I had with Journeys.

Overall a very solid start for Pokemon Horizons.
 
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I haven't found a subbed version to watch yet, but I did watch the first couple of episodes today and so far I'm impressed! At first, I was mixed about this episode's slow build. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind slower moments, it just felt kind of weird for the first episode. But, it was pretty sweet, and I liked seeing the slow progression of Liko and Sprigatito's relationship, the latter just starting to warm up to Liko. But the end of this episode really kicks things into gear, and I can't wait to be able to understand what they're saying.

Also it was so great to see the Pokemon anime reveal a previously unseen Pokemon again (unless the little baby turtle is just a different form of Terapagos, but for now I'm assuming pre-evo) If I recall correctly, it's been a decade since that happened.

Liko also makes a great main character. I like how she's a little more inquisitive, more cautious of what's going on around her. I can't wait to see where her story goes.
A pretty good start to this series. Solid 7.5/10.
 
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Wasn't expecting the new series this soon.

Couldn't have given Liko anything except a Spirgatito? Pairing girls with cats is so cliche.
 
Wasn't expecting the new series this soon.

Couldn't have given Liko anything except a Spirgatito? Pairing girls with cats is so cliche.
Its been 4 months since Journeys ended and 3 weeks since Aim To Be A Pokemon Master ended. We're actually significantly later than normal for a new series.
 
First episode of a new fresh start and already I'm getting invested and inspired by new ideas for my- oops! Can't say much... The cliffhanger left me with this as I was shocked and captivated by the shield projection the pendant made.

Long already since I've seen the teaser of the new Pokemon Horizons the series once Ash and Pikachu's journey came to a close, I surmised the the anime will follow suit to making new stories in which Digimon had already long started since the beginning 2000s and later following pursuit - Yu-Gi-Oh! - The latter series in which I have more impression of as the new story saga thing brought to my mind about Arc V; I mean, would it rock that, like Arc V, there would be a future gen story or saga to which there would be parallel worlds to which - akin to Arc V's story involving the summoning methods, revelations of similar dimensions, interdimensional conquest and other dark story elements - have new main characters learn about and stop an interdimensional war between factions of the four worlds - ALL NAMED AFTER THE GIMMICKS USED AND SEEN THUS FAR??? And even a role to which a pokemon like Palkia (it is a Poke that governs Space) or a future gen legendary or mascot playing a central key role in which it is suffering and has it's power abused by the main antagonist - who - akin to Leo Akaba - would reign to control the dimensions??? Imagine the possibilities!

Aaaanyway, all in all, I'll be looking forward for how the people running the anime would direct the future for new gens throughout the new series.
 
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A solid start for the new era of the Pokemon anime!

Liko makes an immediate first impression as being very different from Ash right off the bat. In comparison to his all-around giddiness, extroverted-tendencies, and a one-tract mindset towards his ultimate goal of becoming a Pokemon Master, Liko is much more socially awkward, has a harder time bonding with her starting Pokemon (Ash and Pikachu, while a rough start, came to an understanding on their first day, while Liko and Sprigatito are still not really in sync after enough time to pass for school to be on break), and doesn't know what she wants to do, despite wanting to find out.

As much of the episode is us listening to Liko monologue, we learn a lot about her inner thoughts. However, the main plot picks up right away with Amejio and the Explorers trying to still her pendant, while the Rising Volt Tacklers are also after her. Of course, it also ends in a cool little cliff-hanger.

I liked the background music, it sounded quite nice.
Sprigatito knows Leafage and seems like it knows Scratch, also.

I hope Anne is a reoccurring character because she was really fun.
The animation was pretty smooth and cool, too!
 
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I couldn't even make it through half the episode. Felt like your run of the mill anime and it didn't feel anything like Pokemon. I was afraid I would feel like this, but watching this proved it. Ash being away took away any feeling of me watching Pokemon at all. I will say that Liko is likeable, but what I watched isn't Pokemon. The music is wrong, the characters are wrong, the story is wrong, the animation is wrong. Pokemon is supposedly about going on daring adventures alone. Watch the first episode, and then watch this. Felt like two completely different entities. Had they done new characters, but presented this episode like the first episode of Pokemon, then maybe it could have been something special. But this is your basic generic anime.
 
I couldn't even make it through half the episode. Felt like your run of the mill anime and it didn't feel anything like Pokemon. I was afraid I would feel like this, but watching this proved it. Ash being away took away any feeling of me watching Pokemon at all. I will say that Liko is likeable, but what I watched isn't Pokemon. The music is wrong, the characters are wrong, the story is wrong, the animation is wrong.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what your issue is with this episode when you're just saying that everything about it is wrong, but based on how you equated this episode to a "run of the mill anime", I'm gonna assume that you just really dislike the school setting. Which is.. somewhat understandable, there's definitely been plenty of those kinds of anime in recent years, but I don't think there's anything wrong with Pokemon going for that formula.

We've already had a taste of it with the Sun and Moon season of the show, and I personally enjoyed the comfy atmosphere in that series. The Scarlet and Violet games also placed a big emphasis on its school setting, so I think it makes sense that the anime is doing something similar. Plus, you're making it sound like the school setting makes the show feel generic, when going on adventures is also a very common premise in many anime, so I don't think the "run of the mill anime" descriptor means much here.

Pokemon is supposedly about going on daring adventures alone.
And this episode does actually point to that aspect several times, even though most of the episode took place in a school setting.
  • Liko's a foreign student from Paldea going to a school in Kanto, which already highlights her attempt at adventuring outside of her home region. Throughout this episode we can see how difficult it is for her to interact with others around her due to her social anxiety, so in a way, her attempts at going outside her comfort zone and overcoming her anxiety feels like a "daring adventure" of its own.
  • Another major highlight of this episode is Sprigatito's free-spiritedness and how it's slowly pushing Liko to go beyond the confines of the school and out into the world. The immediate first thing the cat does upon meeting Liko was leading her outside of her classroom. Throughout the episode we see Liko constantly chasing the cat around the school and trying to understand its behavior, to the point that they now have a secret training spot outside the school that they constantly sneak away to. This all culminates into several moments at the end of this episode and in the next episode, where Sprigatito helps Liko to stand up for herself and follow her heart's desire.
Again, I understand if you dislike how the main character isn't immediately thrown into an adventure, but if you're willing to stick around, the show does actually seem to be heading in that direction instead of just sticking with the school setting. It's just taking its time to build up to it.
Watch the first episode, and then watch this. Felt like two completely different entities. Had they done new characters, but presented this episode like the first episode of Pokemon, then maybe it could have been something special. But this is your basic generic anime
On the contrary, I'd argue that the show being given a fresh start only to do the exact same thing that it did during the very beginning would've made this new series feel a lot less special and made me question why the fresh start was necessary to begin with. I'm glad to see that they're trying something new with this series, while still keeping to the core themes of Pokemon that made the show feel so enjoyable for me (going out on adventures and seeing a world where people and Pokemon seamlessly coexist with each other).
 
I don't remember where, but I seem to recall speculation that Liko was Ash's daughter or something, but that appears to have been disproven by mention of her grandmother, and the pendant.
 
Welp, I finally decided to cave in and watch the two parter introduction. And this already seems like a pretty great start to the series indeed.

Everything feels so different compared to the era I'm used to. The big difference is that where Ash and Pikachu were happy and joyful and always looking out for adventure, we can see Riko having a bit of a rough start with her heading to a school that's further away from her home and Sprigatito not quite approving of her yet.

And then we have the Explorers going after her pendant and this cool looking Friede guy who Riko isn't quite trusting yet.

There's this sense of mystery and intrigue hanging around this series already and if it can pick up on this and keep it going, then I think we might be in for a good time with this series.

Of course they could fumble the ball later on and we might have another JN/BW series on our hands but here's hoping that won't happen.
 
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