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Review JN030: The Reluctant Pikachu and the Exasperated Barrierd

I'm the champion of the ninja.
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The problem of this episode is that it should not been hapening in 2020.

Some points without subs:

- Delia being a mother in general.
- Why did someone stop in the road for a Pikachu that was showing his butt?
-Ash is an idiot
- I'm the only one who wants to see Riolu getting smacked into the ground?
-Pikachu being a jackass
- Pikachu falling into a river and Mr Mime saving him instead of just using Psychic.
-Sobble is there, but he is just there he does nothing more.
-Team Rocket should have been here instead of the next episode.
- Episode 1 rememberance.
-Did the writters forget that Ash in the OS used a black shirt with the jacket?
 
A sight for VenuSAUR eyes
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Don't know about anyone else but I'm glad we followed the journey from Vermillion to Pallet without cutting back to Ash finding Mimey and Pikachu missing
 
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You know, everyone is going on about Pikachu acting out of character, yet as I watch with subs I'm feeling that it's Satoshi who's acting not like himself because I never would have imagined him being so neglectful of Pikachu. While I appreciate Riolu needs training and was on a winning streak, past Satoshi would never have ignored Pikachu's wishes to train constantly and then scold it when it starts to get understandably frustrated. The worst part was that Satoshi promised Pikachu the chance to train next after his all-day session with Riolu, then broke the promise twice afterwards and took Riolu off for more training instead.

To me, Satoshi was being a jerk towards Pikachu and taking him for granted and I totally get why Pikachu started to desire Hanako's company since she was the only one who seemed to notice him that evening.
 
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You know, everyone is going on about Pikachu acting out of character, yet as I watch with subs I'm feeling that it's Satoshi who's acting not like himself because I never would have imagined him being so neglectful of Pikachu.
Dogasu's post in this thread and a comment on twitter made me suspect this might have been the issue.

It feels like some of the writers who joined the series for Journeys write Ash a bit oddly.
 
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I’m guessing it’s just that they wanted to do something different with Ash and Pikachu.

After watching it with subs I definitely quite like it. The music and animation was good and Ash and Pikachu’s reunion actually made me remember that their relationship is really special.
 
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Dogasu's post in this thread and a comment on twitter made me suspect this might have been the issue.

It feels like some of the writers who joined the series for Journeys write Ash a bit oddly.
I wonder if it is a case of a higher up failing to do their job correctly by providing the new writers with a detailed and accurate character bio for Ash. The new writers are not blameless because they should have researched the character they were writing about if they weren't given enough information, but when more than one new writer is failing to capture the series' lead character in a manner consistent with his established character then it does suggest that perhaps they were not correctly instructed.
 
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I don't understand how, but this episode was fantastic. Don't get me wrong, Ash behaving so OOC was really frustrating, but somehow they just nailed the execution. I'll just bullet point my favorite aspects.

  • Animation and music were both top notch this episode.
  • That scene with Delia and Pikachu was just beautiful, probably my favorite Delia appearance since Movie 3.
  • Who would have ever guessed we'd get a recreation of the Spearow scene in episode 1, but with Mimey. Absolutely nuts.
  • Koharu learned from the previous episode and was able to resolve the conflict.
  • Flashbacks (even if it's just episode 1), and I'm glad to see Kanto Pallet Town again, if only briefly.
  • I'm slowly learning not to hate new Mimey.
  • It got me in the feels, man.

On a separate note, I find Ash singing "Sleep tight in Mommy's arms..." to Pikachu really hilarious and cute. Also, does anyone know the ost that plays during the initial travel montage, when Pikachu falls into the river? It's on the tip of my brain and it's killing me.
 
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A hopping TOH brainrot
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Finally got to watch it, it's amazing, and a failure...
The plusle:
  • The music was fitting for once in this series, and the animation was kinda weird but in a good way.
  • Delia and pikachu are perfect and so damn cute, and we need more of this duo, though not really expecting it.
  • Deathbattle: Bonnie's squishy vs Delia's bedtime song!
  • Koharu is the hero as always, Gou and his 2 starters were there, I guess, hopefully sobble won't be reduced to background plush seller like raboot, also he's training with Ash, so now he's a bit less bad.
  • The first episode pandering is the only form of gen 1 pandering I'm okay with.
  • The ending was heartwarming, just a bit.
  • Mr.Mime is a great guy, I always knew that, his bond with pikachu is sweet.
The minun:
  • I came in expecting OoC pikachu, I found someone who doesn't even know what a pokemon is training Ash's team...weird and horrible,I was as angry as pikachu when he called him lazy and acted as if he wasn't going to move.
  • Ash needed Koharu's help to know what's pretty much second nature to him.
Other stuff:
  • The hitchhiking scene is quite....... suggestive...
  • Koharu being weirded out by Mr. Mime.
  • An oshawott appeared in this episode, kinda random.
  • Does this "developpement" mean the new writers will have an idea on Ash and pikachu's bond?
  • Good thing Go hasn't seen Ash's trophies, it'll be a great reaction! Because it will happen....RIGHT?
And the rating iiis*drumroll*
20200727_001721.jpg
3 smirking pikachu and a half! It's a great episode overall but has a MAJOR drawback
 
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I'm the champion of the ninja.
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Finally got to watch it, it's amazing, and a failure...
The plusle:
  • The music was fitting for once in this series, and the animation was kinda weird but in a good way.
  • Delia and pikachu are perfect and so damn cute, and we need more of this duo, though not really expecting it.
  • Deathbattle: Bonnie's squishy vs Delia's bedtime song!
  • Koharu is the hero as always, Gou and his 2 starters were there, I guess, hopefully sobble won't be reduced to background plush seller like raboot, also he's training with Ash, so now he's a bit less bad.
  • The first episode pandering is the only form of gen 1 pandering I'm okay with.
  • The ending was heartwarming, just a bit.
  • Mr.Mime is a great guy, I always knew that, his bond with pikachu is sweet.
The minun:
  • I came in expecting OoC pikachu, I found someone who doesn't even know what a pokemon is training to train Ash's team...weird and horrible,I was as angry as pikachu when he called him lazy and acted as if he wasn't going to move.
  • Ash needed Koharu's help to know what's pretty much second nature to him.
Other stuff:
  • The hitchhiking scene is quite....... suggestive...
  • Kohary being weirded out by Mr. Mime.
  • An oshawott appeared in this episode, kinda random.
  • Does this "developpement" mean the new writers will have an idea on Ash and pikachu's bond?
  • Good thing Go hasn't seen Ash's trophies, it'll be a great reaction! Because it will happen....RIGHT?
And the rating iiis*drumroll*
View attachment 135049
3 smirking pikachu and a half! It's a great episode overall but has a MAJOR drawback
Maybe I will not do a review cause you said exactly what I thought (My rating would be 3 Pikachu's butts) Nah I will do it for the lulz.

But please can anybody in this series not sing anymore. My ears MY EARS.
 
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I liked the episode. I'll start with the cons:

1. This is nothing new, but Riolu is still obnoxious. Give it a better personality or tone down its screentime, please. A Pokemon that only wants to defeat everyone in its path doesn't work for me.
2. Poor Galarian Farfetch'd was made to look like a joke after it tied with Riolu in its debut. If it's meant to play second fiddle to Riolu, what's the point?

Pros:

1. This is the first time since OS that Pikachu has felt more complex than "cute, happy-go-lucky and really powerful." Considering that the writers have no way to make it stronger other than its ridiculous Gigantamax form, they should really try to capitalize on this kind of more nuanced characterization more frequently.
2. I didn't like Ash in this episode, but that was the point. Kids are allowed to lose sight of the bigger picture if they feel invested in something specific; Riolu is the one that needs training, not Pikachu. This is something that should have happened in AG, DP and XY where training sessions had a bigger presence, and both Ash and Pikachu lost elements of their personalities. Actually, the XYZ episode about Ash sulking after his loss to Wulfric was somewhat similar, but there was no bonding with Pikachu as a result of the sulking. That episode was all about justifying the obsession with a single Pokemon, whereas this one says a flat out no to that approach.
3. This is definitely Delia's most significant role since Movie 3, even if she only appeared for a few minutes. She demonstrated that Pikachu is still a child that needs to be pampered, not taken for granted. It's important to remember that most Pokemon have their own little worlds in their Poke Balls (whatever that entails), but Pikachu relies on Ash. It gets bored watching other Pokemon battle all the time.
4. Mimey could have just used psychic powers to force Pikachu to stay at the lab. I liked its open mindedness, and obviously the Spearow scene was touching.
 
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I really liked this episode. As I said last week, I was looking forward to them doing something different with Pikachu. It was the first time in a long-time that Pikachu felt like it's own individual character again. I also love how they were willing to showcase Ash's insensitive side a bit. Normally, when they want to portray Ash in a negative light, they generally stick to the same schtick of Ash getting cocky and then being humbled. The last time they really explored his insensitive side was with Bayleaf years ago.

The only two complaints I have of this episode was Farfetch'd jobbing (that was completely unnecessary, we get it Riolu is getting stronger) and them skipping over the scolding Chloe gave Ash concerning Pikachu's feelings. But the latter one is more nitpicky than anything.
 
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It just occurred to me how, if not for the one-off format that they’re doing with this series, this episode could have been the perfect springboard for an episode set at Oak’s Ranch. Given that they came all the way to Pallet Town and even stayed over, it’s such a missed opportunity that they didn’t have an episode between this and the next where they stop by Oak’s Ranch while they’re in the area allowing Ash to introduce Go to his other Pokémon.
 
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I genuinely do not know how to feel about this episode, it-it just feels like there’s a flip side to every aspect of it to me, that same type of feeling is also what bothered me about that TRio vacation episode.

I mean I can understand where Pikachu was coming from with its feelings, but, as so many other people here have pointed out; that just feels so out of place for him. Surely pikachu should know by now that he is Ash’s right hand pocket monster and his wingman and nothing is ever going to change that. And so what if Ash wanted to train with Riolu a little bit more, it is still a pretty new Pokémon, of course Ash would want to work with it more, and with all of that energy and excitement from Riolu, wouldn’t it have been considered insensitive of Ash to ignore it? Pikachu already has plenty of battling experience, why is it just now having problems with sharing the boss’s attention?

I will admit that Delia was rather charming in this episode, but it does make me wish that she had more of these moments with Ash, instead of most of their interactions within the show being made for laughs at one of them’s expense.

I suppose that giving him such moments do make him seem more human but Ash being neglectful of Pikachu’s feelings and needs just doesn’t seem to fit his personality. The series has made it quite clear that if nothing else Ash can connect to his Pokémon on a emotional level and by now, he shouldn’t really need to be scolded by anyone in that regard, at least not to me. I mean he can still be told by someone in a “you should probably be told this right now” sort of way, but having someone ‘really let him have it’ just seems to be a little bit too harsh to me. Just like with that Bayleaf episode it just feels a bit unlike Ash’s normal character, at least in regards to his relationships with his Pokémon. Also as a trainer isn’t he supposed give certain Pokémon of his special attention from time? I mean if Riolu was on such a roll lately, wouldn’t be the smart thing to expand upon that?

I guess when you come right down it my problem with this episode is that painted both Ash and Pikachu in a less than favorable light, and I’m just one of those fans who has a problem when the shows that I watch do that too often and harshly
 
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It just occurred to me how, if not for the one-off format that they’re doing with this series, this episode could have been the perfect springboard for an episode set at Oak’s Ranch. Given that they came all the way to Pallet Town and even stayed over, it’s such a missed opportunity that they didn’t have an episode between this and the next where they stop by Oak’s Ranch while they’re in the area allowing Ash to introduce Go to his other Pokémon.
I’m guessing they’re still trying to save some sort of big “haha I’m actually a fantastic, powerful Pokémon champion” moment for Ash and Go. They had Go over at Ash’s house but somehow Go won’t see any of his badges or trophies.

Either that or they really have it so him being champion and having a bunch of experience isn't important or affect his relationship with Go in any way.
 
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Ash being OOC was the one problem with this episode. They could still have a misunderstanding, just not a blatantly obvious one. Pikachu could have been resentful but keep it to himself for example, so that way Ash neglecting him would've been more believable. Pikachu himself was in-character though, it would've been OOC if he ran off from Ash just for the sake of it, but that's where the previously established scene with Delia comes in.

Even if Ash was poorly written at the beginning, the unique format and the unexplored dynamics for some of the oldest characters make this one of the show's highlights for me. The episode isn't perfect but I'm still glad they're willing to write stuff like this after so many years.

By the way, the problems of not having real, written text really shows in the signpost scene. I couldn't tell they were still set-on on going to Pallet Town by that point, and surely I can't be the only dumb viewer this show has. The Dodrio drawing only works if you've watched the anime long enough, for that matter.
 
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"What do you mean, my Gengarite is contraband?!"
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I still stand by my last comment. Pikachu made nary a peep last time Ash ignored him for a huge fan favourite, so to be complaining now remains an out of character moment for him. We didn't have a similar XY episode where Pikachu objected with Ash's extensive focus on the Ash-Greninja stuff and thus we didn't need this episode either. I'm definitely skipping it when the dub hits.
 
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vlcsnap-2020-07-26-06h07m52s041.png

I just love that michevious grin.

Anyway, the problem with this episode was how Ash was written. He shouldn't be this oblivious when it comes to Pikachu. I chalk it up to the writer being a little unfamiliar with the anime. That being said, the writer, Reiko Yoshida, is great with emotional moments, which is what saved this episode for me.
 
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