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Review JN013: Satoshi VS Dande! The Road to the Strongest!!

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Gigantamax Pikachu is an absolute unit, it did not disappoint. I really loved how they animated his clumsy movements, especially when he tried to use Iron Tail and G-Max Volt Crash. Slamming Iron Tail into the ground to generate Max-Steelsurge is a pretty cool way of using that move. We've already seen this in the previous episode, but I also liked how Gigantamax Drednaw constantly elongates its neck to attack (even when it was using Max Rockfall) since that's something snapping turtles can do in real life.

Interestingly, even after Ash obtained the Dynamax Band and obtained better control over Dynamax/Gigantamax, Pikachu was still capable of Gigantamaxing without having to return to its Pokeball. They didn't really explain how Pikachu did it, but at least Ash did acknowledge Pikachu's dislike of going back into its Pokeball. Also, the two Dynamax battles that Pikachu has participated in so far ended before both user's Dynamax ran out, but I hope that G-Max Volt Crash's ability to paralyze its targets come into play later on.

Seems like the Rocket trio's first capture this season is gonna be a Chewtle, and I didn't expect it to be so small. I was worried that the trio's attempt to capture Drednaw last episode was simply there so that the Drednaw had an actual excuse to Gigantamax, but thank god that isn't the case. Looks like the Rocket trio really are gonna try and capture their own Pokemon in this series, which is definitely a good thing. Also, it seems like the Chewtle is probably more attached to Jessie, but I can easily see the "James's Pokemon loves to hurt him" running gag coming back once it evolves.

I'll need subs to better understand Ash and Gou's conversation, but it seems like they're incorporating the competitive ranking system from the games into the anime, which is pretty interesting. This opens up tons of opportunities for Ash to challenge other trainers from previous regions in order to climb the rankings and eventually reach Leon. Hopefully this means we'll get more returning characters down the line, or possibly some Elite Fours from previous regions that we haven't seen in the anime yet. Regardless of how it plays out, I just really really hope that this isn't just a regular Gym challenge but with extra steps.

Overall, this was a pretty solid episode. It wasn't as great as the previous one, but still, it's pretty solid. My only major issue with it was Lance being weirdly absent during the G-Max Drednaw attack despite it only being a short while after the previous battle concluded. Aside from that, I think the episode did a pretty good job of easing Ash into the mechanics of Dynamax and Gigantamax as well as giving him an actual goal to work towards this season.
i dont understand why ash doesnt say he is champion to lance
 
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It's all coming full circle now. Ash became the Alola Champion and now he may become World Champion. If I didn't know GameFreak well enough, I would assume that we're nearing the end of Ash's journey.
Also, does anyone get the feeling that Gou will catch Eternatus? Because I have that feeling.
 
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I am so happy it looks they aren't doing another gym challenge. It is really stale at this point and Ash has outgrown it IMO. This ranking system is interesting because it opens the door for so many characters to return. Besides some old characters returning, I hope they take advantage of this and use it as a way to introduce characters that didn't get a chance to debut in their respective series (ex. Karen and Grimsely).
 
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Given that Lance referenced Hammerlocke, Raihan was the first person to come to my mind as well. Foreshadowing maybe?
Ash skipping ahead to the last Gym Leader seems a bit weird, but considering that this isn't a Gym Challenge, it's probably fine.

Also, to add on to the myriad of random Dragon-type trainers that have already been mentioned, I'm gonna say Claire.
 
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Now I think that this saga will be the end of Ash's journey and the Gen 9 saga will start from the beginning with a brand new protagonist.
 
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That's what people have speculated for a few generations now, and it's never come true.
Ash will be way too powerful to keep around, and it would be even more jarring if they did another BW-style reset.
 
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That’s what people used as a reasoning for why Ash will never win a league.
But now, it might actually come true. It would be awkward and jarring for Ash to go toe to toe with Champions one saga and lose to a beginner trainer in the next. Creating a new protagonist would solve these power issues, as they can have him or her lose battles with beginner trainers without it feeling jarring because they are a newbie trainer themselves.
 
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That’s what people used as a reasoning for why Ash will never win a league.
But rather than reverting to another badge quest as so many people thought, the writers are taking him to the next level. The problem is that there is no other level after this, assuming that he actually makes it to the finals (even if he loses there).

I am not of the opinion that this series will necessarily end when the next generation is released, though. They could easily just pull a "Season 2" and add another region to the batch, as well as a new champion that would be another contender for the finals. That is, the World Championship finals could be very far off. Why should it be treated as just another journey?
 
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