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Internationals - Pokémon: Path to the Peak Episode 3 Review - The Next Step

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Internationals - Pokemon: Path to the Peak Episode 3
From what I’ve seen from this episode and remembering the past two episodes, it’s safe to say that Pokémon: Path to the Peak isn’t an exact interpretation of the Trading Card Game, but is more just a fun series for casual fans like me. I’m saying this because I'd like to learn more about the TCG from this show, but it’s just not that informative about how the game is really played. It’s a good first attempt on a TCG anime though. I think the best part about this show is that it’s just fun. The characters have fun playing, which in turn lets the viewers have fun watching them.

(Please note: This review contains spoilers. If you haven't watched the episode yet, take 10 to watch it now before reading on!)

Ava, Celestine, and Joshua at Internationals
This episode didn’t have much in the way of battle animations, as it's more character-focused. Ava is put through challenges in this episode as she becomes pressured with anxiety due to expectations in Internationals, loses her deck to the wind, and has to get her friends to trade their cards to rebuild her deck. Only to them get defeated by World Champion Edgar Troy, of Team Falinks.

It’s a character-driven episode because it shows the good friends Ava made along the way, starting with Joshua, and now Celestine as well. Both are strong players, but they’re kind people as well. To be honest, I thought Celestine’s sportsmanship was for show last episode, but I’m glad that it’s not the case here. Both Joshua and Celestine are Ava’s biggest supporters and they even traded away their cards for Ava to rebuild her deck. The fact that they did this for her warmed my heart. The little girl who’s a fan of Ava is super adorable too! I think the best part of their friendship was them singing 2.B.A. Master with Ava’s dad.

Since Ava defeated and befriended Celestine, who would be Ava’s next source of conflict? It turns out to be a TCG World Champion. Talk about a difference in level! Edgar Troy and Team Falinks serve as the antagonists of this episode. I did like how they were like a team in a way, which is like a callback to previous animated series where the antagonist was a part of a group. I do wish that Edgar was a bit more fleshed out other than just being the big boss of the antagonist team, but to be fair these episodes only have a very limited amount of time.

I did like the twist of Ava losing Internationals. She has been on a winning streak, so for her to experience loss is a good lesson for her. Failure has always been the best teacher, after all. I do wonder what will happen afterwards. Will Ava work on a new strategy to beat Edgar? From what I’ve heard, she is actually qualified to go to Worlds, which could be a good revenge match for her next episode. What do you think about how this episode went out?
 
ecargmura

ecargmura

Bulbanews Writer
That Pokemon World cameo is going to go down in legend. I think you linked to the wrong article. It leads to an album, not the song.

I liked how the pressure weighing on Ava built up further as the episode went. It starts as just him being the World Champ, but then it becomes the fact that his team knocked both her friends out of the tournament, and lastly that Joshua and Celestine traded away a large amount of their collections just so that Ava could continue competing. After all that, leaving with a loss must have been crushing.

(As an aside, Celestine wears accessories of the ghost type Pokemon she uses in her deck, which makes me think that she ties at least some of her identity to her cards. Should that be true, the choice of trading all of those cards away for Ava's sake must have been rough.)

I think Edgar's character has a little bit of depth. He may just be the big boss, but he is also a famous big boss with experience in the field. This contrasts to Ava, who is new to the fame experience and is handling it awkwardly. The fact that Edgar chooses to immediately concede game one and his skillful use of Iono indicates that he is aware of the need to play the long game.

One thing that's weird here is that Edgar Troy has a last name, a rarity in Pokemon media. Even more oddly is that the announcer calls out "Edgar Troy" but then only says "Ava". Maybe "Edgar Troy" is a stage name? Either that or I think about details too much.
 
One thing that's weird here is that Edgar Troy has a last name, a rarity in Pokemon media. Even more oddly is that the announcer calls out "Edgar Troy" but then only says "Ava". Maybe "Edgar Troy" is a stage name? Either that or I think about details too much.

Pokemon likes only giving first names to their characters, so yes, Edgar Troy is one of the rare cases of characters with actual last names.
 
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