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Review JN104: Hyper Class! VS Dracaena of The Big Four!!

Gabo2oo

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I have a hard time accepting that Ash is making it so far into the PWC while still not learning the types of the Pokémon he's up against, but then again he's always been established as an improviser rather than a planner. Speaking of, Clemont addresses this as something he learnt thoughout their journeys in XY, just as Ash uses information he learned during a one-off joke from a SM episode. Now this is the kind of subtle continuity I'm all in for.

I think it was a decent battle overall for Journeys standards. The animation was better than the previous episode but it's still weird seeing all these still shots and speed lines in the Kalos League, I really miss the camera movement battles had back then. I do appreciate how they keep the background style from the XY series intact though, it's probably to save on costs but it also means they have to match the originals whenever they create new ones.

I also love the little detail of ending the episode with the typical Hall of Fame OST. They really went all out with the XY fanservice this couple of episodes, compared to other times they've visited Kalos in this series.
 

Gengarzilla

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Yep. Looks like I picked a very fine moment to ditch Journeys for good. This is legit Ash vs Diantha levels of sheer absurdity. No bloody more.
 
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Why are people so upset about Ash not knowing M-Altaria is a fairy? He didn’t know it could Mega Evolve and has never seen one before, how was he supposed to guess?

I would say the problem is not in him not knowing, it is consistent with his character. Yep, it is tedious to see someone forget such important and unique typing. I mean, he is facing Elite Four member, even episode prior notes how he necessarily must defeat Drasna to have chance of reaching Leon. So also some tactical/research preparation would be good. But this is Ash, so even with that much on line, he does not prepare a it catches him by surprise. But it is in-character, that's Ash we have known for decades.

The bigger problem is, that with him not knowing and given how powerful opponent he had, the stage and match being only 2v2...it should probably cost him the match. Not making him adequately pay for such blunder is more criminal, story-wise.
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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I would say the problem is not in him not knowing, it is consistent with his character. Yep, it is tedious to see someone forget such important and unique typing. I mean, he is facing Elite Four member, even episode prior notes how he necessarily must defeat Drasna to have chance of reaching Leon. So also some tactical/research preparation would be good. But this is Ash, so even with that much on line, he does not prepare a it catches him by surprise. But it is in-character, that's Ash we have known for decades.

The bigger problem is, that with him not knowing and given how powerful opponent he had, the stage and match being only 2v2...it should probably cost him the match. Not making him adequately pay for such blunder is more criminal, story-wise.
He didn't forget it. He didn't even know Mega Altaria's type changed.
 
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He didn't forget it. He didn't even know Mega Altaria's type changed.

Yep, I should have chosen other word like miss, since (as is evident even from the rest of my post, I understand that) Ash didn't know in first place.
The other thing is that this detail is really the least important bit in my post and topic of this blunder.

The crux of the matter is that with Ash not-having this crucial information about Mega Altaria typing, it even more underlines somehow awkward taste in the mouth after Ash's victory. As if in previous leagues, Ash had to lose, so we witnessed some pretty forceful and unimaginative ways how to do it.
Now he has to win, but even that could be done in several ways. Personally, I was mentioning in "preview" debate to this episode, that with Sirfetch'd and Dracovish starting, them winning was almost certain outcome.
The question remained how well and convincingly it would be handled.

And that case was not particularly helped with this "attack Fairy-type with Dragon-move", especially when they devoted one scene to show us that Drasna on the other hand was researching Ash to the degree that she was familiar with Dracovish - fossil Pokémon used in the battle just once previously without any spectators.
Combine it with the rest of the match, when Noivern and Altaria were landing more hits than Sirfetch'd and Dracovish and it is hard NOT to see way how this battle could be managed better.
 
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I will give Journeys credit, I don’t think any major battle thus far had each matchup conclude the way we were expecting.

That being said, the way said matchups perform is so predictable it’s painful. Ash gets outclassed in every conceivable way and constantly embarasses himself, only to get a lucky shot and win.

Journeys tricks us into thinking Ash is at his peak because he’s winning important battles, when said battles only make him come across as that same incompetent kid that is constantly getting schooled by everyone.
 

A Wild Luxray

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I will give Journeys credit, I don’t think any major battle thus far had each matchup conclude the way we were expecting.

That being said, the way said matchups perform is so predictable it’s painful. Ash gets outclassed in every conceivable way and constantly embarasses himself, only to get a lucky shot and win.

Journeys tricks us into thinking Ash is at his peak because he’s winning important battles, when said battles only make him come across as that same incompetent kid that is constantly getting schooled by everyone.
This is a large part of my problem with battles in Journeys. A large number come off like this. Rarely it comes off like Ash is in complete control of the battle. Rarely we see him using unique strategies to counter his opponents, or his Pokemon in general just outclassing his opponent. It frequently winds up with his opponents walking all over him and his Pokemon tanking ridiculous amounts of damage before landing a lucky one shot.
 
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Queen Cynthia

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Let me say it plain and simple: This battle and Ash's victory was a total disappointment! Illogical, rushed and undeserved!

First of all, we all know the (physical) power level of Ash's Pokemon isn't as high as those of the Elite Four Pokemon, for example. Most of the time Ash doesn't win by brute force but has to rely on strategy and creative thinking, something he's really good at. This battle, however, was a pure clash of attacks, no strategy whatsoever. And that fact makes it even more implausible how Ash would be able to stand his ground against an Elite Four member in a battle of pure strength. Although Drasna was landing hit after hit, Ash still defeated her with his typical "final blow" moment... This battle lacked everything: Suspense, creativity and logic!

To make things worse, there were another three problems that, unfortunately (!), keep returning in the Anime:
  1. The "magical move mastery" problem: It wasn't until the day before the battle that Sirfetch'd started to use Star Assault. And now we're supposed to believe that after one single day, where we hardly saw any training, he already masters the move so perfectly that he can defeat an Elite Four megaevolved(!) Pokemon with ease? No, just no!
  2. The "magical powerup problem": Dracovish was at the verge of losing and all that was needed was Ash's typical "Hang in there" to magically turn his Pokemon into a beast that could defeat Drasna's Noivern as if it was nothing.
  3. The "We're running out of time" problem: A new Pokemon generation has been announced and it seems that, surprise surprise, the writers are realizing they're once again running out of time. While the Bea battle and the victory against her still felt deserved and great, the writers are now rushing through the Hyper Class giving Ash victory after victory, with those victories getting cheaper and cheaper. It's not that we haven't already seen this exact same problem in previous sagas, yet it seems the writers keep making the same mistakes by spending too much time on unimportant filler episodes, while those time slots could have been used for intense and long battles at the end of a saga instead....
I'm still finished yet. Let's not forget the core problem of the PWC which, of course, needed to be addressed in this episode, too: The ranking system (Tell me why I'm not surprised). Ash jumping from 15th rank to 9 by defeating seomebody who's ranked 12th.... And now he obviously has to defeat someone ranked lower than him to actually get to the Masters Eight. How is all this supposed to make any sense?

Why are people so upset about Ash not knowing M-Altaria is a fairy? He didn’t know it could Mega Evolve and has never seen one before, how was he supposed to guess?
Simply because it's the very least you can expect from somebody ranked 15th in the Hyper Class! This is not a small local fun tournament anymore, this is the clash of the world's greatest trainers and if at that stage Ash still makes typical beginner's mistakes and doesn't meticulously analyze his opponents in advance but appears to act like the naive little Ash from Pallet Town he used to be, then sorry, he just didn't deserve to win. Period. That's exactly what I was afraid of in the preview thread of the episode.

And yes, I understand if some guys want to grant Dracovish a really important victory. But what's the use of it if it felt like it was too easy and thus kind of forced ?

Well, this episode was so full of negative aspects, I'd better stop now. I just need to add that I was full of expectation before the episode and now I'm both sad and upset at how the Hyper Class had to end, probably because there's not enough time left for a proper focus on training episodes and intense battle. But wait, what will we be getting next week? Probably a lame and irrelevant contest episode focused on Chloe and her Eevee who will be gone soon anyways. The same mistake I mentioned under 3 ... again.
 
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FinnishPokéFan92

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The "magical move mastery" problem: It wasn't until the day before the battle that Sirfetch'd started to use Star Assault. And now we're supposed to believe that after one single day, where we hardly saw any training, he already masters the move so perfectly that he can defeat an Elite Four megaevolved(!) Pokemon with ease? No, just no!
JN103 explained that the problem was in Sirfetch'd needing to learn to keep its leek stable, which is what it succeeded in doing in the same episode with Dracovish's help. Once that was done, the move was stable and perfectly usable.
The "magical powerup problem": Dracovish was at the verge of losing and all that was needed was Ash's typical "Hang in there" to magically turn his Pokemon into a beast that could defeat Drasna's Noivern as if it was nothing.
Noivern had already taken a lot of damage. At that point, one attack taking it out seems sensible.
Simply because it's the very least you can expect from somebody ranked 15th in the Hyper Class! This is not a small local fun tournament anymore, this is the clash of the world's greatest trainers and if at that stage Ash still makes typical beginner's mistakes and doesn't meticulously analyze his opponents in advance but appears to acts like the naive little Ash from Pallet Town he used to be, then sorry, he just didn't deserve to win. Period.
Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and in this case, Ash's mistake was caused by him facing a Mega Evolution he's never seen or probably even heard of before.
 

Soniman

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There’s literally zero problem with Ash not knowing about Mega Altaria I don’t even know why it’s a big deal, Ash has never been one to deeply analyze his opponents forwards and back heck he didn’t choose who he was using against Drasna until the end of the Clemont episode. It felt like a honest mistake to me.
 

Queen Cynthia

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JN103 explained that the problem was in Sirfetch'd needing to learn to keep its leek stable, which is what it succeeded in doing in the same episode with Dracovish's help. Once that was done, the move was stable and perfectly usable.
I know because I saw that episode, too. And that episode was equally bad because it felt way too easy. Remember how Ash's Pokemon used to struggle when having to learn a really powerful attack? They needed many episodes to finally perfect it (Just like in our world you need time to perfect something) But in this case we only saw Ash "training" for five minutes plus a so-called training battle that felt more like fun than like a really battle. And at the snap of a finger, Sirfetch'd mastered the attack just in time before the big battle. If you ask me that doesn't really sound plausible, does it?

Noivern had already taken a lot of damage. At that point, one attack taking it out seems sensible.
Again, this is Drasna from the Elite Four, not just random COD trainer. Ash's Pokemon took much more damage and even if Drasna's Pokemon had taken some damage, they're no pushovers and shouldn't have been affected that much.

Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and in this case, Ash's mistake was caused by him facing a Mega Evolution he's never seen or probably even heard of before.
Are you telling me somebody ranked 15th in the world doesn't need to know all the Megaevolutions that are publicly known? Yes everybody makes mistakes, but if such a seemingly strong trainer at that stage doesn't even know the official Pokedex by heart and doesn't at least know all the Pokemon forms and at least their types (which isn't too hard to memorize) then he shouldn't be in the Hyper Class in the first place but go back to school!
 

Soniman

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I know because I saw that episode, too. And that episode was equally bad because it felt way too easy. Remember how Ash's Pokemon used to struggle when having to learn a really powerful attack? They needed many episodes to finally perfect it (Just like in our world you need time to perfect something) But in this case we only saw Ash "training" for five minutes plus a so-called training battle that felt more like fun than like a really battle. And at the snap of a finger, Sirfetch'd mastered the attack just in time before the big battle. If you ask me that doesn't really sound plausible, does it?
It actually does, there’s plenty of instances of a Pokémon only dedicating one episode to learning a move the episode it’s introduced, off the top of my head Buizel learning Ice Punch and Gliscor learning Giga Impact, there’s no real hard lined formula to how a Pokémon learn moves it could take one or multiple episodes. I feel like asking if Sirfetchted learning a move before a battle is plausible is willful ignorance to how many different ways the anime approached the concept. Like I’d rather he learn and work on the move an episode before than right in the middle of said battle
 

Unireon

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I was actually dreading that they may bring out the old 'Spraying the opponent cancels immunities'.

Honest mistake or not, there were still Plot-Armor and Buffs.
Satoshi has lost his signature style at battling, where has his creativity and inventiveness gone.....
And that is enough for me to brand this battle as bad.

While I wished for him to lose here, now that Journeys is officially against the clock.
That won't be possible anymore, they would have to rush more things if it happens.
Satoshi will keep on winning and becoming 'more unbeatable' in contrived ways.
 

nickdt

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So.... is Clemont also participating in the PWC?
 

Sai

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Yep. Looks like I picked a very fine moment to ditch Journeys for good. This is legit Ash vs Diantha levels of sheer absurdity. No bloody more.
Ash caught Diantha by surprise and it wasn't even an official battle, I have no idea why this bothers you. Not to mention Diantha is probably weaker than most of the other champions. If you have a problem with Ash being strong this late in the series history I don't know what to say.
So.... is Clemont also participating in the PWC?
No Clembot said that was a Gym match.

I know because I saw that episode, too. And that episode was equally bad because it felt way too easy. Remember how Ash's Pokemon used to struggle when having to learn a really powerful attack? They needed many episodes to finally perfect it (Just like in our world you need time to perfect something) But in this case we only saw Ash "training" for five minutes plus a so-called training battle that felt more like fun than like a really battle. And at the snap of a finger, Sirfetch'd mastered the attack just in time before the big battle. If you ask me that doesn't really sound plausible, does it?


Again, this is Drasna from the Elite Four, not just random COD trainer. Ash's Pokemon took much more damage and even if Drasna's Pokemon had taken some damage, they're no pushovers and shouldn't have been affected that much.


Are you telling me somebody ranked 15th in the world doesn't need to know all the Megaevolutions that are publicly known? Yes everybody makes mistakes, but if such a seemingly strong trainer at that stage doesn't even know the official Pokedex by heart and doesn't at least know all the Pokemon forms and at least their types (which isn't too hard to memorize) then he shouldn't be in the Hyper Class in the first place but go back to school!
Why would Ash know about Mega evolutions he's never seen before? Ash never learns about pokemon before he sees them face to face. There's a lot of writing problems in this battle but not knowing Mega Altaria's type changes is not one of them
 

Enzo

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Journeys tricks us into thinking Ash is at his peak because he’s winning important battles, when said battles only make him come across as that same incompetent kid that is constantly getting schooled by everyone.
This is a large part of my problem with battles in Journeys. A large number come off like this. Rarely it comes off like Ash is in complete control of the battle. Rarely we see him using unique strategies to counter his opponents, or his Pokemon in general just outclassing his opponent. It frequently winds up with his opponents walking all over him and his Pokemon tanking ridiculous amounts of damage before landing a lucky one shot.
This.

JN Ash is so... weirdly passive in battles it's almost jarring. He rarely comes up with strategies while their opponents do. Ash has this bizarre "hyper-offense" approach for battles in JN it's weird. There's his opponents coming up with clever ways to do stuff and then there's Ash just going "ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK" which is just so... Ugh.
 

Unireon

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He rarely comes up with strategies while their opponents do. Ash has this bizarre "hyper-offense" approach for battles in JN it's weird. There's his opponents coming up with clever ways to do stuff and then there's Ash just going "ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK" which is just so... Ugh.
He practically lost his identity/essence.

They are just pushing him to become whatever 'more unbeatable' is supposed to be.

He didn't deserve to win, that's my stance.
 

Paulisthebest

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This battle played out as I feared; Ash winning through BS with Pokemon far less experienced and at a type disadvantage rather than a victory to be proud of because it was his FIRST win against an Elite 4 member. He's lost to Elite 4 members in battles way better than this one! I know with Gen 9 on the horizon, Journeys only has what 30 or so episodes left? With Project Mew, Chloe's Eevee journey and all that jazz it just means Ash's ascension to the Top 8 and challenging Leon is gonna be a rushed 'journey' instead of a satisfying one.

As bad as it was, I didn't freakout over Ash NOT knowing Mega Altaria was part Fairy-type. Correct me if I'm wrong but, I don't think he's ever met a Mega Altaria before. Truth be told, I think I made the same mistake once in a battle with one in an online bout. Well, I don't think I did it on purpose because my opponent switched into it to avoid an Outrage...

I have no idea how it went down AFTER A COTTON GUARD in one hit to Meteor Assault! Yes, I know it took SOME damage from Water Gun and when Ice Fang collided with Breaking Swipe. However, a Mega Evolved Pokemon with a 'drastic boost' in defense losing to an attack it resists as a Fairy?! Ugh...

When did Dracovish get so bulky?! Don't get me wrong, I know it can take some decent damage in the games. However, Super Fang right off the bat...I mean Noivern took 50% of its HP...I mean stamina. So, how did it take so much punishment from a Sky Attack, Play Rough, Dragon Pulse, Boomburst and I know I'm probably missing one or two attacks...

Also, I know Noivern is as thick as a piece of tissue paper. However, Elite 4 Pokemon regardless of defenses have seemed like steel walls compared to other trainers in lower 'trainer brackets' in past encounters in the anime.

Sirfetched & Dracovish got that Dragon Ball Super Tournament of Power Saga random power-up like Master Roshi & Krillin did to compete like actual assets to Universe 7. Now, we've got a duck and Build-A-Fossil fish who are "Elite 4 level" because Ash is knocking on the door of the Masters 8...

I know when Cynthia was revealed to be in the Masters 8, I was afraid she'd battle and LOSE to Ash in a match that made 0 sense with him using far less experienced Pokemon and breaking battle mechanics like Pikachu's Z move working on an Electric type with Motor Drive -_-

Good grief, this series is not gonna end well...
 

R1ke

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I actually liked the first half since Ash’s back was against the wall and Drasna was exploiting his weaknesses. Like separating Sirfetch’d from his leek and distracting Dracovish with Altaria’s plumes. Then the constant switching, like to avoid meteor assault’s cooldown as smart too. Ash did get some good hits on Noivern (brutal swing + ice fang collision + a little meteor assault) so its defeat later felt believable me. Can’t say the same about Altaria tho

Second half kinda sucked, cause Dracovish started tanking so many hits even after super fang. But I liked the water gun + dragon rush combo tried going for, when clemont stood up to warn it reminded me when he did that during XY, when Ash tried using flame charge in trick room. The moments between Dracovish and Sirfetchd were good too

Overall had good setup but the battle execution was disappointing, idk why this wasn’t a double battle either
 
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