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Review JN105: Eievui and Nymphia! Encounters and Reunions!!

Articfoxgamez

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There was no gender differences in Gen6 for eevee and I was sure Serena's Eevee was female. Now, female eevee tails must have heart-shaped white fur. It seems they forgot fixing Eevee's tail in flashback scenes.
Today I learned Eevee has a gender difference now, neat! They just did basically the same thing as Pikachu.
 

PaperSplash

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There was no gender differences in Gen6 for eevee and I was sure Serena's Eevee was female. Now, female eevee tails must have heart-shaped white fur. It seems they forgot fixing Eevee's tail in flashback scenes.
I don't think they "forgot"; I think they deliberately decided against retconning it to stay accurate to how it was in XY.

Though I'll admit it's weird that they care about that now when there's precedence for updating designs in flashbacks as early as DP (Ash's Caterpie's mouth being changed from yellow to green).
 

Handy Man

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I have one more write up in me. This episode left a massive emotional impact on me, I can't stop thinking about it, and I’ve lost a lot of sleep over it the last few days. This episode single handedly enhanced some earlier XY episodes for me, so I’ll list a few and describe how the events of those episodes impacted the events of this Journeys episode. Note that this is all coming from my memories of watching XY, I haven't seen most of these episodes since XY ended back in 2016.

• XY001 / XY002 - These two episodes compliment each other, so I'm combining them. We are first introduced to Serena in the first episode, and it's clear that she is bored and maybe depressed with her current life, being stuck at home with her mother all day. In episode 2, we see Ash trying to help out a Garchomp and save Pikachu from a nasty fall. After Ash's heroic act, we find out that Serena recognizes Ash and remembers him from childhood. This leads to Serena rashly leaving home to find this boy she met once years ago, not knowing what it will lead too. This shows that Serena was not very interested in her current life, and remembering someone she's so passionate for made her yearn for, in her own words, "something interesting to happen".

• XY007 - Even though Serena first reunited with Ash in episode XY005, this is the episode where she joins the group. At this point, she finally got to interact more with the person she remembered, as as she's too used to her lifestyle at home, she comes across as shy and nervous. Due to this, for the only time so far in the Pokémon anime, it's actually Ash that invites Serena to join him, Clemont, and Bonnie on their journey. This demonstrates that Serena's perception of Ash was not misplaced, as Ash's enthusiasm and confidence shows that Serena knew it was a good idea to try to find him again. We get more moments throughout this episode, like the childhood flashback scene, and Serena giving Ash back his handkerchief. This episode is one of the more powerful Serena episodes in XY in my opinion, as it's a great episode that let's her realize that her life is about to go into a new direction.

• XY040 - This is the episode where Serena realizes that she still doesn't have a goal, and she also learns about Pokémon Showcases from Shauna. There's also a great scene in this episode, where Serena asks Ash what his goal is, where he simply says he wants to be a Pokémon Master. Serena thinks its amazing that Ash has a set goal in mind, and it inspires her to really give Pokémon Showcases a fair shot in the near future.

• XY053 - This is definitely an important episode for Serena's character arc. We see the group encounter Serena's mother, Grace, in this episode. Based on what we saw of Grace in the first two episodes, we can assume that Serena feels like her mother is too controlling of her, and that she feels like her mother restricts her too much. At first, Serena is not comfortable in telling Grace about her new dream in trying out Pokémon Performances. However, she eventually gains the courage to be honest and go against her mother's wishes of wanting Serena to be a Rhyhorn Racer. After a race with riding Skiddo, Grace reveals that no matter what the outcome of that Skiddo race was, she is still proud of her daughter for being honest with herself and stating that she wanted to try out something now. With her mother's blessing, Serena is more excited to try out Pokémon Showcases than ever before.

• XY060 - Here it is; Serena's most important episode in all of XY. This is the episode where she finally tries out a Pokémon Showcase. As she has no idea what to expect from participating in one, let alone zero experience, she starts her performance by just trying out what she felt would work with dressing up Fennekin. However, the ribbon Fennekin was wearing was too long, and it trips, causing all of its decorations to fall off. We see that Serena is handling it well enough when she's with Ash and friends afterwards, although you can also feel that she's sad deep down and doesn't feel like herself. This leads to the legendary haircut scene, where we see her let out her tears and releases her sadness from her failure of her first ever Showcase performance. If she decided to give up on Showcases after this episode, I wouldn't have blamed her at all. However, we get something much more empowering. She decides to cut her hair to symbolize that she wants to continue to make Pokémon Showcases her goal, and wears a brand new outfit for the rest of the XY series, including a ribbon that Ash gave to her as a gift in the last episode. This also catches the eye of a former Kalos Queen named Palermo, who we will learn more about later in the series. With Serena's new resolve, and the ribbon she's wearing reminding her of Ash's confidence, she is ready for the next chapter and is excited for what's next.

• XY089 - This episode walked so that this Journeys episode could run. I honestly don't have a lot to say about this episode, but I still felt like it was worth bringing up, because it's where Serena catches Eevee. If this never happened, the events of this Journeys episode would never be possible.

• XY113 - This episode concludes Serena's Pokémon Performance arc. Even though Serena lost to Aria, the current Kalos Queen, she feels like she's learned so much from her adventures so far, and is inspired to keep on improving herself. It's also worth mentioning that Grace came all the way out just to watch Serena in person, showing that she's proud of Serena for being committed to her goal and is proud to be her mother. We see that Palermo is interested in Serena's potential, and is interesting in mentoring Serena to become an even better performer. However, Serena needs time to think about her offer, and says she'll decide when she's ready to answer. It's also worth mentioning that Ash tells Serena after the Showcase a really great quote, about how even if you're unsure of what you do, you should always try to make a move no matter what, because at least something will happen no matter what. In the recent Journeys episode, this quote was referenced to three times throughout. It's clear that the advice meant so much to Serena, that she turned Ash's quote into her own in her Journeys appearance. Now that Pokémon Showcases are taking a backseat for the rest of XY, this is the point where I feel like what Serena will do after XY ends starts to get explored more for the rest of the XY series duration.

• XY121 - This is an incredible episode all around. This episode is mostly focused on Ash mastering the Ash-Greninja form, but I also feel like it's just as important of an episode for Serena as well. This episode is the only time in the entire XY series where Serena gets visibly angry at Ash. This is because, after a devastating loss to Wulfric in the last episode, plus his rival Sawyer witnessing his loss, Ash lost a lot of his confidence and feels terrible that he's not able to control Ash-Greninja properly. This has a domino effect on Serena. Serena has been inspired by Ash throughout the entire duration of XY, and to see her hero get depressed understandably makes her lose her cool. It's so bad, that we see her hands shaking uncontrollably, with her lost in thought. After Serena temporarily finds Ash and tries to cheer him up, she snaps and tells him that "You are not the Ash I know!", running away and not being able to cope what she saw from Ash's behavior. After this happens, there's a scene at some point where Clemont, Bonnie, Serena, and even Pikachu are in a cave, using the cave as a shelter as they try to find Ash again. We get a really powerful moment right here, and this is one of the XY clips I watched again after this Journeys episode.

Serena: "Oh Ash... I hope you're alright..."
Bonnie: "Don't worry, it's okay!"
Serena: "Thanks, but I let something he said get to me, and I said something really terrible back at him. It's just... it's just I admire Ash, so much..."

This episode shows that Serena's world seemed to fall apart when Ash didn't act like himself, and it had a massive impact on her. Ash was the whole reason she went on a journey in the first place, and for Serena to see Ash like that completely broke her. Fantastic episode.

• XY138 - This is the last important episode of XY that focuses on solely Serena. A quote from this episode is also featured in the Journeys episode. As Chloe is about to go on stage, Serena tells Chloe to believe in her Pokémon. This comes directly from the impromptu battle with Ash, where Ash tells Serena the exact same thing. Ash has always been obsessed with Pokémon, and this message conveys that Pokémon give Ash so much energy and make him excited about the world he lives in. Serena realizes that Pokémon can be your best friend in the same way a human friend can be, and she takes this advice to heart for the one time she says it in her Journeys appearance. This episode also shows that Serena turns down Palermo's offer. Serena realized that, if she gets mentored by Palermo, she'll lose a lot of her free will and incentive to keep trying out new things. Serena turning down Palermo's offer was definitely not an easy decision, but it was also a mature one, and one that Serena thought about for a while. Due to this, Palermo then suggests that Serena tries out Pokémon Contests in Hoenn. This suggestion paved the way for the Journeys episode to happen, and considering how successful Serena's Contest Lives run has been in Journeys, with the famous Lisia even wanting to team up with Serena, it's clear that she made the right decision after all.

• XY140 - The last main episode of the XY series. This is the episode that contains the infamous kiss scene. It's been discussed to death by many people, and for good reason. However, I'll keep my thoughts on it brief. I think the purpose of the kiss was to demonstrate that Serena is no longer the shy girl she once was at the start of XY. After all of her adventures in Kalos, she finally is starting to feel confidence in herself, which she has lacked for most of the XY series. The kiss demonstrates that she's no longer afraid to express her feelings, and is happy with who she became after everything she went through. This carries over into her Journeys appearance. Now, six years after her last appearance in XY, we see that the events of this episode, the other episodes I've mentioned, and many more, allowed her to mature into the character we saw in the recent Journeys episode. It's honestly incredible how well written Serena was, and I feel like she is so much more than just a girl who likes Ash. She was a person who was stuck and bored at home, to now a person who found a purpose in life and made the most of everything. Very heartwarming.

There are other noteworthy Serena episodes as well, like XY005, XY059, and XY105, but those were the main ones I wanted to focus on.

Considering all of what I described with the XY episodes, it's very easy to see why Serena is such a beloved character in the Pokéani community. A character that doesn't know what to do in life, finds inspiration in someone else, goes through a lot of failures and hardships, and makes tough decisions for satisfying outcomes is a very relatable concept for most people. Serena is the best written character in the show that exemplifies that. These moments demonstrate that, outside of being inspired by Ash, all of her decisions and actions throughout XY came through her experiences and lessons. No one ever told Serena what she should do in life, except for her mother in the first few episodes, and the result of what she learned throughout XY let her have what would become her Journeys appearance. She has demonstrated free will, didn’t let other people decide what she should do in life for her, and came out as a strong, happy, and independent person for it.

Journeys may have had a lot of missteps, but if it will ever be remembered for anything, this episode will definitely be one of the highlights of not just Journeys, but the entire anime. You just don’t expect an episode like this from Pokémon of all things. Sure, the characters in Pokémon are completely fictional, but the messages and emotions the writers want to convey are absolutely real. This episode has made me cry the most out of any episode in the Pokémon anime. It has made me cry more than series finale episodes, like EP273, DP191, and XY140, as well as iconic, childhood classic episodes like "Snow Way Out", "Bye Bye Butterfree", and "Pikachu's Goodbye". I can safely say that this Journeys episode is in my top five episodes of the entire anime, and people will certainly be discussing this episode for much, much longer than most other episodes. It’s that impactful.
 

Alola

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This is one of my favorite episodes of Journeys as well as the entire animated franchise; it should have been a two-parter. I don't think it was perfect, namely with the shoehorning of Ash and Wallace - a battle between them should not have been relegated offscreen; fun fact, this marks the 3rd Milotic Pikachu has defeated. There was also the lackluster animation during Serena's Appeal (Sylveon's Quick Attack...just...yikes). But that aside, I still enjoyed every moment with Serena; her growth, her confidence, the XY music tracks that complimented her scenes, and the unchanged parts of her personality - all of it was so enjoyable to see. From her performance with her fully evolved Delphox to her reiterating the advice Ash gave her years ago, as something she now believes in fundamentally - I've rewatched the episode several times now, and each time I've smiled throughout the majority of it. I've held off from making a comment in the thread because I honestly don't know what to say, haha; I think Handy Man has really captured a lot of my thoughts and feelings regarding Serena, and has articulated the notions well.

My favorite part of the episode was the ending, with Serena and Ash interacting (as well as the bit with Serena and Chloe before the boys came). I know people criticized Ash running past her without noticing her, but I found that moment highly relatable as I've done that several times myself with friends and acquaintances! Especially if they're wearing different clothes, changed their hair, etc. I thought it was a charming segue into their direct conversation. There was something...like an unsaid understanding about it. Neither of them were insecure or uncomfortable with their first meeting in a while, since the kiss. Serena wasn't even blushing - there was no forced amourshipping moment. It was just a powerful, wholesome scene about two people dear to each other reaffirming their dreams and support within one another. Although I do think a part of Serena was sad that Ash had to go - longingly staying at the pier well after the ship had left and into the evening was a testament to that, and such a beautiful piece of animation; I just loved it and couldn't help get a bit sad myself.

The interview with her voice actress was just the icing on the cake - I had no idea that Mayuki felt that strongly about Serena and her characterization (I would have messaged the writers too about why they hadn't asked me yet about Serena, given the other returns haha); I too, would like to see a performance between, her, Dawn, and Chloe in the future. It makes me love her character that much more knowing that the person behind the voice feels as strongly as I do, if not more, about her.

I'm pretty sure we'll get at least one more episode with Serena before Journeys ends, and I'm looking forward to it.
 

Handy Man

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I've held off from making a comment in the thread because I honestly don't know what to say, haha; I think Handy Man has really captured a lot of my thoughts and feelings regarding Serena, and has articulated the notions well.
I really appreciate the shoutout, thanks! I agree with your thoughts as well 100%. This is the most I’ve ever had to say about an episode by far ever since XY ended. I honestly don’t have much more to say about this episode, I feel like I did such a great job getting my thoughts out there about this episode, but there is one more thing I would like to bring up.

Simply put, it’s the fact that Ash told Serena about the World Champions right as the boat started moving. The way he instantly thinks to tell her about him participating in it, with his eyes glazing and sounding so excited, makes it seem like he really wants Serena to watch his progress in it. Ash never brought up the PWC to any other returning character in Journeys. He didn’t bring it up to Gary at all, who is the only character in the show that he’s known longer than Serena. He didn’t bring it up to Brock, who is his longest lasting traveling companion and one of his most trustworthy friends. He didn’t bring it up to Dawn, who he was fully supportive of throughout DP. And lastly, he also didn’t bring it up to the Alola gang, who he considers to be a family of friends. The only other friends of Ash who knew of his involvement were Iris, who was also participating in it anyway, and Clemont and Bonnie, who Ash probably asked for help with preparing for his fight against Drasna off-screen.

The fact that Ash told Serena to watch him in the Pokémon World Championships is very significant. This is the biggest reason I know we’ll see a little more of Serena later this year. On top of that, Serena also wanted Ash to know that she is also doing Contest Live events. With the rumored Wallace Cup episode that may happen a while from now, this could be the episode where Ash decides to watch one of Serena’s performances. This shows that they haven’t forgotten or given up on each other, and that is very powerful in itself. Every time a previous friend of Ash has returned in Journeys, they act casual overall and hang out for most of the episode. This is the only time where a returning character meets Ash at the very end of an episode, and they did that on purpose for sure. I think it’s much better this way. It would have been a lot harder to write Serena’s return episode if it was about Ash instead of Chloe, but I think it was still important for Serena to see Ash again. The Ash scene doesn’t detract from the visible character development she gained in this episode, but rather, it actually empowers the character development. They clearly put a lot of thought into that last minute of the episode, and it was extremely well done.

With the Team Rocket episode tomorrow becoming the new most recent episode of Journeys, this will probably be my last post in this thread. But I’m really glad I decided to vent my thoughts in this thread. This episode validated for me that watching all of XY was not a waste of time. I really enjoyed it when it first aired, but this episode plus the Clemont and Bonnie ones last week opened a flood gate of nostalgia for every XY episode. Moments like the truce the group does in XY002 and XY067, the running gags Clemont and Bonnie have, and how often the camera would focus on Serena getting worried about Ash in various situations throughout the show, really got to me. The XY group is very special, and I will never forget them. I have a lot of fond memories of the original series group of Ash, Brock, and Misty as well, as I was young enough to start watching this anime from the very beginning, but I actaully always felt like the XY group was my favorite one. When XY ended, I was really sad that the group I got so attached to was finally splitting up, and watching the first few episodes of Sun & Moon was a very hard adjustment for me. I hope these last three episodes, especially this one, demonstrate how special the XY group is to newer viewers. Cherish these moments while you can, they only happen once in a lifetime.
 
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FinnishPokéFan92

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Nice to see Serena back, but I wish ash and go watched this contest and then they had another episode to show more the battle against wallace. They crammed too much things in a single episode.
They made Ash battle Wallace to leave his and Serena's encounter until the end of the episode, making it short and sweet.
 

sc190191

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OMG SERENA!!!!!!!!!! New outfits sooooo cute! and a reference May still exists! Haven't even seen it, but sooooo excited! Way late to the party, just found out today! guess its about time I start catching up again (since I'm too OCD to watch anything out of order)
 
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Serena wasn't even blushing - there was no forced amourshipping moment.
I don’t get this argument. Why is serena blushing supposed to be a bad thing? It’s just a cute little reaction played for comic relief. A girl blushing at the thought of holding hands with her crush, or kissing him isn’t “forced” by any means.
 

Handy Man

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This episode left such an impact on me, that I went out of my way to buy Animedia's May 2022 issue as a memento. My opinions on this episode still stand, and the amount of love I've seen for this episode within the past month has been unreal. I will never forget JN105, it will stand the test of time as one of the best character return episodes in the entire Pokémon anime.

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