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Review JN046: Battle and Catch! The Revival of Mewtwo

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Correction: they would have been if Atsuhiro Tomioka had been writing. AT wrote the Vermilion Gym episode, which explains all the callbacks it had.
What did you even want to correct? Because it “corrects” literally nothing I said. Your claim contradicts nothing there. In fact you exactly highlight how they were capable of including context but deliberately decided not to.

Anyways we don’t know for certain. The fact is that Tomioka did NOT write the episode and there’s no draft lying around about that. There’s absolutely no way to verify this claim. Anyways, blind faith (or lack of) on writers is never a good idea. Fujisaku managed not to butcher the Alola league final.
 
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What did you even want to correct? Because it “corrects” literally nothing I said. Your claim contradicts nothing there. In fact you exactly highlight how they were capable of including context but deliberately decided not to.

Anyways we don’t know for certain. The fact is that Tomioka did NOT write the episode and there’s no draft lying around about that. There’s absolutely no way to verify this claim. Anyways, blind faith (or lack of) on writers is never a good idea. Fujisaku managed not to butcher the Alola league final.
Tomioka's track record is pretty dang good. But I admit, saying "correction" may have been unfitting in this case.
 
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We, the fanbase, are Mewtwo at that episode.

We think about and look after the pokemon neglected in the anime, are asking the real questions we have about Goh's mission, and even scoffs at the power levels of Ash's pokemon, questioning actual progress and continuity in the series. And I doubt Mewtwo even bought Goh's explanation on catching Mew, seeing the total annihilation it did against Ash and Goh.

Maybe this could be a turning point in how the series is handled, as Mewtwo seemed almost too much a reflection of the mature anime fans - and that the Producers might start listening to their issues of this series.
 
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The episode wasn't a masterpiece by any means, but it was still okay.
  • I also knew that this was supposed to be the Fridays debut episode as soon as those names appeared on screen. That means that the theories of the Galar arc being rushed because of COVID or episodes being deleted because of it are proven false, but that's a topic or another day,...The introduction was really nice as well as seeing many Pokemon including a past mythical debuting.
  • The first half was somewhat of a slog because we knew what was going to come later, but it was actually entertaining. I hope it makes the writers realize that here should be more adventure episodes and less "Let's catch/help a Rattata" episodes.
  • I don't have a problem with the Shadow Ball spam, but I have one with Mewtwo's lack of movement. It feels like the writers wanted the battle to feel like a Raid but couldn't, it would have been more impressive if Mewtwo was allowed to fly and move. But the animation and the combinations somewhat make up for it.
  • As for continuity and Mewtwo's personality, I guess they did the bare minimum. I liked seeing him more open to humand and proud of his power.
  • Either the pandemic made it problematic producing another ending or they want to torture us with Shiritori forever. :lapras:
 
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Meanwhile SM had Ash, Lillie, Lana, Mallow, Kiawe and Sophocles, all with their pokemon outside of their poke balls, without issue

They should be able to have Cinderace and Lucario as Walking Pokemon without issue
Meanwhile SM had Ash, Lillie, Lana, Mallow, Kiawe and Sophocles, all with their pokemon confined to one place for the most part as opposed to traveling around the entire world every single episode

Journeys isn't a slice of life series like SM was and thus there's a lot of traveling going on and there's certain situations Cinderace and Lucario wouldn't make sense being in (Cars, Planes, Trains, riding on other Pokémon, etc)
 
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So that's all this episode is; a special "we changed timeslots!" celebration.
I wouldn't be so strict with the episode. Yes, it came out of nowhere and it wasn't exactly the best episode. But I wouldn't call it a mere promotional thing, either. I mean, hey, we got a relatively "friendly" Mewtwo that almost acted like a mentor for Ash (and Go), reinforcing their dreams. Believe it or not, I found Mewtow's short speech quite uplifting.
And let's not forget the exciting battle! That was really something despite the many Shadow Balls being used (I've tried to explain that in my first post aleady)

and even scoffs at the power levels of Ash's pokemon, questioning actual progress and continuity in the series. And I doubt Mewtwo even bought Goh's explanation on catching Mew, seeing the total annihilation it did against Ash and Goh.
You've got a good point here! I just don't think Mewtwo referred to the power level of Ash's Pokemon or to plot continuity in their conversation.
 
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Honestly this was still handled better than I expected. The fact it was only a standalone episode had me really worried.
The animation was great. I'm not sure why, but this is the first time after XYZ ended that I could recognize it was Iwane without checking the credits.

I bet the English dub will mark this as the beginning of season 24, assuming they have some common sense.
 
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I actually really enjoyed this episode, however the the Mewtwo side of things was pretty disappointing.

The first half was the highlight for me. Ash and Gou's dynamic really shone during the exploration and hazard scenes. In contrast with the SwSh arc, the animation was excellent. Specifically there was a ton of awesome facial expressions, like when Ash recognized Mewtwo (more on that later), or the panic when Ash and Gou saw Gyarados. Gou utilizing a bunch of his Pokemon was a welcome surprise (it depresses me that Gou can use reserves willy-nilly but Ash isn't allowed to), even Caterpie of all people got to contribute. It's also nice to see Koharu slowly gain an interest in Pokemon. We just might see her become a research fellow soon.

The battle with Mewtwo started out well, the double assault with Pikachu and Cinderace was pretty exciting. Unfortunately, Pikachu gets jobbed in order for Lucario to assert himself some more, and the battle devolves into a repetitive and boring cycle of Mewtwo deflecting everything and spamming Shadow Ball. That said, I have to admit that final combo attack looked pretty sweet, despite being completely ineffective. Ultimately, the ending is pretty anticlimactic, but it did leave the door open for future Mewtwo cameos, so fingers crossed for him playing a more substantial role later on.

I'm confused on the continuity in this episode. What circumstances could result in Ash recognizing Mewtwo, and not the other way around? I was expecting the opposite if anything. The VA makes it clear that this is M01 Mewtwo, however that Mewtwo would obviously hold Ash in high regard for changing his outlook on life, and therefore should have greeted him with an ounce of recognition. I guess there is a third Mewtwo (Mewfour?) (Mewtwothree?) that is somehow identical to M01 Mewtwo in voice and personality, which is FAKE continuity and earns this episode -10 continuity points.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of these "Ash and Gou reaffirm their goals" endings. Aren't their goals affirmed enough by now?

Its such a shame Mewtwo didn't acknowledge Ash or seemed to recognize him, but i think that was on purpose, because if Mewtwo would have recognized Ash, they kinda had to namedrop Misty, Brock and the Pokemon involved that got clones as well, which also meant namedropping the movie rando's. If they only made Mewtwo recognize Ash without namedropping all of that, it would be really out of context, especially for the kids who might not have seen the first movie or its remake.

So in essence, it was better for them not to have Mewtwo recognize Ash.
Why would Mewtwo remember Brock and Misty? They literally just stood there. Disregarding that, for comparison, Ash's Kalos companions were not namedropped in the Korrina episode.
Either the pandemic made it problematic producing another ending or they want to torture us with Shiritori forever. :lapras:
They already have it, but they refuse to use it.
 
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Go's capture spree at the start was irksome and screams of padding. It was nice to see some more of his Pokemon though, showing he thinks ahead to some of the situations he might end up in. My cynical side does think that since this was planned to be the first Friday night episode it was a taster to say "here are some of his Pokemon, keep watching to see them more", and we all know that one of Go's pokemon actually reappearing not just as a background cameo is rarer than Torchic's teeth.
 
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Their excuse for the lack of arcs was the Sunday time slot
this episode was supposed to highlight that
... how do you go from "They want to move from the Sunday time slot", "Sunday time slot was the reason for no arcs" to "the new time slot will start with a new arc"? (Assuming that’s what you mean to "highlight"?). When we have no indication that this would've been an arc?

I don't get the sense of "wow, this new time slot has really made a difference!"
It wasn’t supposed to be that, in my opinion. My interpretation of @Dogasu 's this episode marking the starting of the new time slot was, as a "Welcome to the new time slot! Here’s a reaffirmation of goals if you missed anything on the previous slot! Let’s throw in Mewtwo for more excitement" rather than "This time slot has made a difference!"
 
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And also, the show is just not going to get Masachika Ichimura to sign on for a multi-episode arc. That's just not even the tiniest bit realistic.
 
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I actually really enjoyed this episode, however the the Mewtwo side of things was pretty disappointing.

The first half was the highlight for me. Ash and Gou's dynamic really shone during the exploration and hazard scenes. In contrast with the SwSh arc, the animation was excellent. Specifically there was a ton of awesome facial expressions, like when Ash recognized Mewtwo (more on that later), or the panic when Ash and Gou saw Gyarados. Gou utilizing a bunch of his Pokemon was a welcome surprise (it depresses me that Gou can use reserves willy-nilly but Ash isn't allowed to), even Caterpie of all people got to contribute. It's also nice to see Koharu slowly gain an interest in Pokemon. We just might see her become a research fellow soon.

The battle with Mewtwo started out well, the double assault with Pikachu and Cinderace was pretty exciting. Unfortunately, Pikachu gets jobbed in order for Lucario to assert himself some more, and the battle devolves into a repetitive and boring cycle of Mewtwo deflecting everything and spamming Shadow Ball. That said, I have to admit that final combo attack looked pretty sweet, despite being completely ineffective. Ultimately, the ending is pretty anticlimactic, but it did leave the door open for future Mewtwo cameos, so fingered crossed for him playing a more substantial role later on.

I'm confused on the continuity in this episode. What circumstances could result in Ash recognizing Mewtwo, and not the other way around? I was expecting the opposite if anything. The VA makes it clear that this is M01 Mewtwo, however that Mewtwo would obviously hold Ash in high regard for changing his outlook on life, and therefore should have greeted him with an ounce of recognition. I guess there is a third Mewtwo (Mewfour?) (Mewtwothree?) that is somehow identical to M01 Mewtwo in voice and personality, which is FAKE continuity and earns this episode -10 continuity points.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of these "Ash and Gou reaffirm their goals" endings. Aren't their goals affirmed enough by now?



View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e4rcPcfv4g
[/SPOILER]
I also liked the first half more than the second half (though I did like a good bit of the Mewtwo stuff too) however, I will point out that the "Shadow Ball spam" can be part of the overall battle, as Mewtwo in the overall battle only used it 3 times (once with both hands). And granted, I get complaining of repetitive, but I can't say I was bored of seeing Mewtwo (and part of that is because it's him) just shrug everything off, and the offensive approaches Ash/Gou used were varied enough (though I can get being tired of Double Team, though that made it for me). I also think we did see Mewtwo recognize Ash (Ash would always recognize it due to Returns) via Mewtwo humoring the battle request, and then explaining himself at all post-battle, on top of sending them on their way, though I do get wanting more (even if I disagree there). And whether this was to be "S2" or this prior to the pandemic was to be the first Friday episode, I think the "goal affirming" works, though I will say that complaint I get more than the rest (though affirming the goals to Mewtwo I feel is a tad different).
 
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... how do you go from "They want to move from the Sunday time slot", "Sunday time slot was the reason for no arcs" to "the new time slot will start with a new arc"? (Assuming that’s what you mean to "highlight"?). When we have no indication that this would've been an arc?
They did say that they wanted to minimize the amount of two-parters due to the Sunday time slot (basically admitting they didn't expect kids to watch the show on a weekly basis, which was a little weird). I am not going to look it up, but I believe it's from one of the interviews Dephender translated early this year.

And I didn't anything about this episode being part of a single arc, but rather being integrated into Go's goal to find Mew. That may still be the intention, but they made the episode skippable.

It wasn’t supposed to be that, in my opinion. My interpretation of @Dogasu 's this episode marking the starting of the new time slot was, as a "Welcome to the new time slot! Here’s a reaffirmation of goals if you missed anything on the previous slot! Let’s throw in Mewtwo for more excitement" rather than "This time slot has made a difference!"
The question is why there's a new time slot in the first place. They made a big deal about it with not one, but two new posters. The first one was all over the place, but how is the latest one not supposed to make you expect a little more for Mewtwo than what we got? I think he's at least as likely to come back as Zacian and Zamazenta are (Ash and Go said they wanted to meet all three again), but there wasn't enough world building to make you look forward to it.
 
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  • ++ I'm actually happy for once that Koharu actively voiced excitement over seeking out a Pokemon before either of the boys got to it, which was sadly cut short by a mundane school routine (in the world of Pokemon, for crying out loud, here's hoping that Eevee episodes changes things). The world design and background art for the anime original location was also breathtaking and very reminiscent of Cerulean Cave as well as the Tree of Beginning. Moving further with the visual department, the animation for this episode was spot on and a relief to the eye after the string of disappointing animation we've had recently. Wonder why only Iwane has impressed in this department for this series so far (is no one else bothered outside of ticking corporate checklists?). Miyazaki's sound track was just more cherry on the cake.
  • ++ The battle itself was really good to watch even if it mostly amounted to Mewtwo wiping the floor with its opponents by repeated Shadow Ball spams (including a nice Frieza-esque Spirit Bomb finisher), with all the combination attacks between Pikachu/Cinderace and Lucario/Cinderace (with Lucario going full on Naruto), and mostly in part due to the above mentioned animation. While most people found the initial adventure through the jungle a bit of a slog, I actually enjoyed it (minus the attempt at 'gags' and the one ball captures) because the adventure aspect has been sorely lacking in a series supposedly focused on traveling around. It felt refreshing to see them traverse a local environment and the hazards in it after seeing the boys teleport all over the world, and it would have only been better if Ash's Pokemon weren't neglected when it comes to that adventure.

  • - - Unnecessary redundancy with the 'world of Pokemon' and reintroduction to characters, meant to just use up screentime and make up for lack of actual content of the main plot points, in what is yet another "reaffirm your goals" episode (which didn't do anything to tweak at least one protagonist's flawed goal). It would have been understandable if this was the first episode of a new series, or if the original release did seasons like the dub did, but here it just felt... off. It's like they think their audience are half-wits who don't remember about stuff that happened or characters present literally a week ago. Then there's the fact that at this point, it seems they're intentionally (and somewhat maliciously) ignoring Ash's other Pokemon. If they can have Goh use his reserves, they could have had Ash use his other team members with the same ease as well (even if Dragonite would have cut short on the adventure aspect). But they didn't, they stuck to Pikachu and Lucario only.
  • - - I did mention poor world building in my initial comment, didn't I? Because that's what was present here. You have this supposed Psychic energy build-up large enough to be detected by a Professor's institute, and somehow Sakuragi and co. are the only ones who caught onto it? One could argue that Oak or even Ivy would have been 'closer' to detect that energy, given that the island would be in proximity to Kanto and/or the Orange Archipelago (if it was further away near another region, then that region's scientists should have caught onto it, which only worsens the issue). And what about Giovanni, who should be rich enough to afford all manner of equipment to detect and capture powerful Pokemon? If he could could catch onto something fishy with Chairman Rose, Team Plasma etc., couldn't he have detected this energy build up and sent a team to investigate? For plot reason, it was two boys who discovered the island and no one else, said boys used a public/tourist boat to get there (and somehow, none of the boat's inhabitants cared)...

  • ~ The half baked continuity but not exactly continuity is getting out of hand. While Ash and Pikachu being awestruck and recognizing Mewtwo is definitely some manner of continuity and acknowledges either Mewtwo Returns or M16 (or both), the same not being done from Mewtwo's was silly. Are we to assume that this is a third member of the species despite all hints pointing it to being the original? And for some reason, Goh doesn't even bother questioning Ash on how he knows Mewtwo despite it being an important thing given Mewtwo's strength? You'd also think they'd try to draw a parallel between Mewtwo rescuing mistreated Pokemon and Goh random capturing everything, and try to compare how similar or different the two were.
  • ~ Like someone else pointed out, Mewtwo almost felt like a jaded representation of the audience, although one who might still carry a spark of hope. Him blasting Goh for his poorly framed goal (pretty much what we've been asking since ages) and then proceeding to wipe said boy out after he arrogantly proclaimed that he'd catch it, was the sole highlight of this episode. It's a shame that they didn't even bother treating this crushing defeat as a major roadblock for the boy, to have him doubt and question himself and tweak his path, instead sticking to the same stuff and ending the episode on a cringey-happy-sappy-all-smiles note. The entire explanation that catching somehow helps him to understand Pokemon was very lame, considering the times he's actually understood Pokemon (outside of Cinderace and Sobble) was when he's actively researching and not spamming one ball catches. Said one ball catches somehow become perfect little angels with badly written/handwaving tell but never show 'bonding', so it makes that explanation even weaker.

6.5/10: This episode is one of those cases of all flash but not much substance. Well, at least the boys didn't have their memories wiped out, that would have been even more unnecessarily redundant.

Since this wasn’t written by Tomioka, I hope an absolute blast of an episode by him is present down the line.

I'm just saying, Red was able to damage and defeat Mewtwo by himself haha.
Red was also a player-insert Gary Stu and Origins played by game rules, so… not exactly a good comparison.
 
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While this was basically just a rehash of reaffirming Ash and Go’s goals (as if we needed a reminder when every episode reminds us), I do like that they finally have given at least some depth to Go’s goal of catching every Pokémon with him stating that he wants to learn about them and understand them. Wish they didn’t force those things to be all about Mew though (they’re gonna have me sick of Mew by the end of this series) but progress I guess.
 
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Meanwhile SM had Ash, Lillie, Lana, Mallow, Kiawe and Sophocles, all with their pokemon confined to one place for the most part as opposed to traveling around the entire world every single episode

Journeys isn't a slice of life series like SM was and thus there's a lot of traveling going on and there's certain situations Cinderace and Lucario wouldn't make sense being in (Cars, Planes, Trains, riding on other Pokémon, etc)
Staying in one place =/= going to a new place every episode

Its only the backgrounds that are different
 
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PLEASE CAN SOMEONE
help me understand what happen in the show of mewtwo
the writers made pikachu very weak and goh fire rabbit so munch stronger
Pikachu is munch stronger but he lost so easily
mewtwo and ash barely talk about their history so weird
 
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Red was also a player-insert Gary Stu and Origins played by game rules, so… not exactly a good comparison.
I was making a light joke. As experienced as Ash and Pikachu are, with victories over Legendary Pokémon no less, they should have been able to at least land a hit on Mewtwo.

If you want to get technical about it though, Ash has seven regions worth of experience and is essentially to us what Red also was-the main, player character; given that distinction, I don't think my whimsical comparison is a bad one.
 
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Ash and Go are hecka strong, I sure wouldn't be able to make it across that stringrope lol. This whole mess could've just been avoided if Ash brought Dragonite but alas, the plot had other intentions.

Animation in this episode was smooth and nice most of the time and I enjoyed the battle a lot even if I had hoped Pikachu would at least be able to land one hit at this point. Mewtwo really didn't hold back with that huge Shadow Ball at the end though, oh dear. ouch. Also Mareep (and the others too, tbh) are precious, what evil human in their right mind would do something mean to those babies?? ;_;

Not a bad episode, but I agree it could've been better! I really loved seeing Chloe excited over Ash and Go's adventures too, and am hopeful that trend will continue. Probably a solid 7/10 from me.
 
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