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Review JN036: Satoshi and Go, Crawl Up From the Sand Hell!

Singaporean

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Great episode especially the battle against Flygon with the instinctive from Goh to remind Ash. No matter how hard it is and had to get through. Despite, losing three straight lost in the row. Other than that, It is a pseudo-Raid Battle.

Overall rating: B+
 

Panky..

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This episode was somewhat mixed for me. Goh's new method of capturing a Pokemon before battling in case a direct ball throw failed... is a curveball that swings to the back of the Pokemon, and results in the same one ball capture (even if his Pokemon helped redirect the ball). Talk about boring and lacking any challenge. Also what was the point of Goh realizing that Pokemon can just evolve in just the previous episode (granted, he shouldn't force them to) and he still ended up catching Pokemon from an entire line in the same boring way? That's the definition of one step forward with two steps back, and like always, any kind of character progression from the previous episode being negated by a new one.

I'll do give him credit for taking the lead stance during the battle against Flygon, and presumably completing it. It was a decent battle though I missed the last part of it resulting in Flygon's capture due to network lag. Opinion here will change on how the battle ended or the way the capture happened. Also nice to see Goh actually picking up strategies and learning from observing Ash, there has hardly been any mentor-student type of relation between them where Goh keeps being touted as some sort of prodigy child who doesn't need help.

Those losses at the beginning felt very forced and uninteresting for the sole purpose of enforcing this 'slump' (self contained format and plot jumping makes this even worse), the battles were very generic with a bit too much of Riolu being shown as weak out of the blue. The complete lack of music during them didn't help. Then there's the part where he was shown as helpless just for the sake of it against Flygon, followed by coming out of his slump within this episode itself (that's less than 15 minutes or 'slump' screen time). The entire subplot was very rushed, uninteresting and not impactful, compare all of this to Ash's slump in XY which had a long build-up and was a mini arc of its own with a proper payoff at the end, with him going on a losing streak and getting frustrated with the Bond Phenomenon failures. I'll definitely need subs to know what happened at the end there, but here's hoping that it's Ash realizing that he was one track minded with Pikachu and Riolu, and we see reserve rotation factor in.

On a side note, this episode was a bit dark where Pokemon were literally trying to lure and trap people for who knows what reason, in what is obviously a demise by suffocation under sand.
 
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BigDocFan

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I have to admit, it was good to see Ash's rank progress back down to the normal class, I did wonder what might happen if he loses so many battles

Ash should focus on his other Pokemon for now and just train Riolu elsewhere
 

Srebak

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Well, I was afraid of this, Ash has lost the relatively high position that he had after Bea and is right back in the Normal Class, a rank that he had to battle against Korrina and a mega evolved Pokémon to make it out of. It just doesn’t feel right that Ash got pushed back after so much progress earlier. But, of course, the majority seems to view that as a good thing
 

P_S_B

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Another mixed bag. The good was really good but the bad was really bad and there were lots of both camps.

The Good:
Seeing Gou battle competently, the Sword and Shield music during the battle, the battle itself being great and Gou recalling Messon before it had a chance to get the gag off.

The Bad:
More insta-captures. Trapinch and especially Vibrava's captures were both awful and help to reiterate that the Go catch mechanics really need to go (no pun intended). We don't need to see him battle everything, but give him something stronger than a plain Pokeball if you want to keep his non-weakened catches going, especially something like a Vibrava. The other bad things were Ash continuing to focus exclusively on Riolu and neglecting everyone else, but I'm guessing that's because this whole mini-arc is supposed to be about Ash and Riolu even though we've already had what seems like 1,120 other episodes focussing on Riolu recently at the cost of Gengar and Dragonite. The overexposure of Riolu is becoming a recurring issue and I really hope it subsides once it evolves and/or defeats Bea's Grapploct.

The Worst:
Riolu's strength. It's not really a secret that I don't like Ash's Riolu, but it's not nearly as weak as this episode made it out to be. This is even more egregious by the fact that we literally had an episode devoted to just how much Ash was training it, meaning that it getting curbstomped twice here is either incongruous with what we've seen of it, contrived through Ash just happening to encounter Pokes a billion levels higher than Riolu or a mixture of both. This series has really been lacking in the planning/consistence department and I know they said it was supposed to be episodic but overarching story beats flipping on and off from episode to episode is something they desperately need to look at correcting.

Solid C. Despite my above complaints there was enough good in the Flygon battle for a solid passing grade but too much bad for any higher than pass.
 

Max1996

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The Bad:
More insta-captures. Trapinch and especially Vibrava's captures were both awful and help to reiterate that the Go catch mechanics really need to go (no pun intended). We don't need to see him battle everything, but give him something stronger than a plain Pokeball if you want to keep his non-weakened catches going, especially something like a Vibrava.

The Worst:
Riolu's strength. It's not really a secret that I don't like Ash's Riolu, but it's not nearly as weak as this episode made it out to be. This is even more egregious by the fact that we literally had an episode devoted to just how much Ash was training it, meaning that it getting curbstomped twice here is either incongruous with what we've seen of it, contrived through Ash just happening to encounter Pokes a billion levels higher than Riolu or a mixture of both. This series has really been lacking in the planning/consistence department and I know they said it was supposed to be episodic but overarching story beats flipping on and off from episode to episode is something they desperately need to look at correcting.
I'll admit these two points really brought this episode down for me.
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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The Bad:
More insta-captures. Trapinch and especially Vibrava's captures were both awful and help to reiterate that the Go catch mechanics really need to go (no pun intended). We don't need to see him battle everything, but give him something stronger than a plain Pokeball if you want to keep his non-weakened catches going, especially something like a Vibrava.
I'll admit these two points really brought this episode down for me.
I too want Goh to use better Poké Balls, but I personally don't see it as a glaring problem for most of the time.
 

JinksChow

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Oh wow, I didn't think they would make Ash go back to Normal Class.

Given that Ash's rematch with Bea is in 3 episodes, either Ash climbs back up to Super Class during the next 2 episodes in quick succession ala this episode, or Ash is allowed to challenge Bea even if they are of different classes.

I... don't know how I feel about this. If they go with the first route, then don't forget that the writers made a pretty big deal about Ash climbing from Normal Class to Super Class, so having Ash fall down and then climb back up in such a hasty manner kind of diminishes the accomplishment.

On the other hand, if Ash is allowed to challenge Bea even though they are different classes, then that opens up an entirely different can of worms...
 

L-05308

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Pretty good episode but why is Goh catching Flygon in Hoenn? Are city covering sandstorms common in vermillion city? Couldn’t they have explained where it came from?

Riolu doesn’t do well with tentacles, that’s a very specific weakness... Farfetch’d is unimportant...
 

L-05308

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It was in Mauville City. And it was done by Flygon.
They did go to Hoenn?! That was not clear to me... the battles at the start were in Vermillion though right? I must watch again.

Did they just teleport?! Admittedly I don’t speak Japanese, it would be good if the city looked a little bit like it did in the game.
 
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Alain

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Screenshot_2020_0906_160518.png
IMG_20200906_160335.jpg

This was the point of Episode 30.:bulbaFacepalm:
 

WatcherMark

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Last week we were complaining about Satoshi's slump seemingly coming out of nowhere, and now I'm seeing complaints that the opening battles served no purpose but to enforce this slump... damned if you do, damned if you don't I guess.

Satoshi losing the first battle was fine with me. Okutank using psychic-type moves to weaken Riolu before finishing with Octazooka to the face felt real. But the second one... yeah, I can't justify that. Riolu went down way too easily, and I'd have expected Satoshi to use Pikachu in the second match at least just to boost his rating back up a little. Also, he was training with Pikachu and Riolu while leaving Kamonegi to gather dust at Sakuragi's garden... erm, Satoshi does remember he battled Saitou as well, right?

The battle against Flygon was pretty cool. I liked the setting of it, the effects and music were good, Flygon using a Dragon Rush/Dig strategy was pretty clever and as always it was nice to see Go actually working to catch a Pokemon (kid, throwing a curveball does not count as 'strategy'). Of course, the method used to defeat Flygon was copy/pasted from XY, but you can't have everything these days I guess...
 
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