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Review JN108: Lucario and Gekkouga! The Wave Guidance of Destiny!!

Lightning Flame Blast

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Man, the animation was horrendous for this one, but I suppose they’re saving it up for next week, so I’m not too bothered.

But, what exactly did Lucario learn here? He already knew how to make giant Aura Spheres and this episode has been the one time he’s come across as sluggish and slow, so… what was the point? I guess it’s nice to see Greninja again, but still feels kinda random.
 

L-05308

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Goh’s Froakie was caught so Ash could be inspired to go find Greninja just as I expected but I was suprised to see it evolve - kinda mad how seldom Goh’s Pokémon evolve but always seem to be a plot starter when they happen. Glad they gave it a slight role between its capture and evolution last episode. Funny that Froakie appeared as many times in 5 episodes as Drizzile did in twice as many…

So great to see Ash training, or just even seeing his Pokémon exist at the lab. Fantastic to see Raihan’s side a little and just generally how big a deal this match is in the world.

Okay, i’m not going to pretend I wouldn’t have liked to have seen even more of Greninja but since I never expected it to appear ever again - this was pretty good. They hyped it up too - Ash’s Lucario is an absolute beast and yet Greninja was able to run rings around it. Didn’t expect it to come back with Ash - I had a feeling that evil vines were going to be a persistent thing.

Would have liked to see Ash-Greninja - feels kind of weird that we didn’t see it, though it and Ash acted the whole time as if the Bond Phenomenon was active so maybe not seeing it is a reflection of growth? And that Cut has basically become the Smash Bros water swords - it’s clear Greninja has gotten stronger and stronger.
 

A Wild Luxray

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This was actually fairly decent, aside from a few disappointing things. It was so great to see Greninja again and I do like how he outclasses Lucario and shows he's still got more work to do, and does show Greninja is still strong. It was some great training for Lucario. Seems he just powered up Aura Sphere. We definitely needed more episodes like this. It was disappointing though that this vine shit is STILL going on and Greninja didn't return to Ash permanently, though that line teasing Ash-Greninja could hint at another return. Of course also Goh gets another undeserved evolution. They did great at hyping up Ash's battle with Raihan also. Overall a decent episode.
 

DynoStretch

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Really surprised that Puni-chan didn't make an appearance... wasn't it supposed to be helping Gekkouga with the vine removal? Also, if the vines are popping up that frequently and dangerously in that forest wouldn't it be better to cut it off to visitors?

Honestly I'm surprised Greninja has been spending this whole time fighting the killer vines. You'd think if it was still this crazy that the Kalos government would have stepped in..

This should be something the Elite Four should be handling. Heck, this is something Alan and Malva should probably be doing to atone for their involvement with Team Flare.

But nah, let's just leave it to this one kid's single Pokemon to tirelessly fight this threat to the whole region by itself.

Fun fact : Ash-Greninja not appearing ( which is so Fu**ing wild ) is a reference to the upcoming great Gou-Greninja

Oh my god, don't even joke like that.

punch.png
 

Blob

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So what's the point of Lucario seeing the vines? Not like Greninja will ever get any backup... no, Greninja is basically the region's gardener and not allowed any help. :/
 

Sai

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So what's the point of Lucario seeing the vines? Not like Greninja will ever get any backup... no, Greninja is basically the region's gardener and not allowed any help. :/
He helped destroy them.
 

Lightning Flame Blast

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It just came to me, Lucario got this and the Mega Stone ep, Gengar got the Gmax shroom hunt and Dracovish and Sirfetch’d got the Kalos two parter. Dragonite is the only one in Ash’s party to not get a dedicated training episode thus far, hope that clip with the Garchomp from the previews will be addressing it.
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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It just came to me, Lucario got this and the Mega Stone ep, Gengar got the Gmax shroom hunt and Dracovish and Sirfetch’d got the Kalos two parter. Dragonite is the only one in Ash’s party to not get a dedicated training episode thus far, hope that clip with the Garchomp from the previews will be addressing it.
It's also the only one of Ash's party Pokémon to have not been used in an Ultra Class battle yet, but that will be fixed in the next episode.
 

PaperSplash

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I don't feel Ash-Greninja was retconned or anything. It's just being kept hidden, possibly for a future return where it will appear again.
I wouldn't go as far as to say it was outright retconned either. Just surprised the flashbacks with it were altered since the previous ones in this series seemed to value fidelity and attention to detail.
 

LeonMagnus

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I wouldn't go as far as to say it was outright retconned either. Just surprised the flashbacks with it were altered since the previous ones in this series seemed to value fidelity and attention to detail.
It could be that they don’t want to promote Ash Greninja anymore since its basically impossible to get it in the games now unless they redistribute it. Megas are at least still in Pokemon Go.
 

Soniman

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Man, the animation was horrendous for this one, but I suppose they’re saving it up for next week, so I’m not too bothered.
Uhhh, wasn’t this said about the Clemont episode being rough visually in regards to the Drasna battle? I know that’s not the same thing since those episodes aired the same day but it’s not really a argument I believe in much these days
 

Lightning Flame Blast

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Uhhh, wasn’t this said about the Clemont episode being rough visually in regards to the Drasna battle? I know that’s not the same thing since those episodes aired the same day but it’s not really a argument I believe in much these days
Touché
 

Kurolegacy

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So what's the point of Lucario seeing the vines? Not like Greninja will ever get any backup... no, Greninja is basically the region's gardener and not allowed any help. :/
Zygarde: For the rest of your days you shall endlessly cut these vines. This shall be your atonement.

Greninja: What? But I’m not the one who caused this. That guy and his Charizard are more at fault than me.

Zygarde: And who was the one who lost to him in the finals? Hmm? You’re supposed to be the most popular Pokémon. Like I said, eternal atonement.
 

Weddingbells

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The two powers are very similar, since they both allow Ash to move in sync with his Pokémon and increase their power. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bond Phenomenon has been about Aura this whole time.

That's not a retcon. They're just keeping the Ash-Greninja form hidden for this episode, possibly to keep it a surprise for new viewers for later.
New viewers can just quickly find out about it online. I find it weird that they chose a specific scene where ash Greninja is shown, instead of any other generic shot with Greninja.

I sorta understand the whole " keep it a secret" but they honestly could of used any generic shot of Greninja when he didn't have AG activated. But instead they chose the fight scene moment where he used it

Idk if they retcon it. But even if they didn't, it's still such a weird way to go about it.

Can you imagine if Ash had a flashback to the escalator scene in XY but the animaters just decided to show Serena hugging him instead of kissing him and people are like "oh there keeping it hidden not retconning it." That's how it feels to me
 

90'sPokéfan

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Just watched a part of the episode again. So after the kamehameha Lucario now also uses the Spirit Bomb? Good thing Pikachu was also raising its arms. Should give a lot of energy to the Spirit Bomb. (Yes, I know this isn't what happened. ;) )
 

Twilight-Kun

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Not a bad episode but whoof that animation was...uh...pretty bad

But now Lucario knows how to do that thing that it... already knew how to do against machamp, so...er...hmmm...
 

R1ke

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Damnn what a good ep. So good seeing Greninja train Lucario and power him up, but still showing that he's in a league of his own. Even in base form. The XY flashbacks were awesome, glad they didn't pull any punches there. Man Ash looks so good in those. I love how they mentioned how similar the two are as well. Finally we see Ash's team training and eating together, idk why it took so long

Also decent setup for Ash vs Raihan, next week looks awesome hope it doesn't disappoint
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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This was an interesting episode, though like many I do find myself weirded out by how out of its way it goes to avoid any reference to Ash-Greninja, possibly setting up for something related to it in the future most likely the Alain rematch if that one leak is to be believed. I did like the interactions between Lucario and Greninja and how the latter helped the former train and fine tune his aura, as well as reign in his impatience. Also, Lucario just learned the Spirit Bomb, lol.

One downside of the episode is that the animation felt seriously choppy and sluggish. Probably because it's all gonna be saved for the upcoming battle against Raihan, which is certainly for the best, but still, it's kinda hard to take the threat of the cursed vines seriously when the attacks (or at least the projectile ones) used to destroy them both move at a snail's pace and look literally pasted on. The boomerang Water Shuriken Greninja used looked especially awkward.

Also, sidenote, but for some reason I really enjoyed the mini sparring match between Chloe's Eevee and Goh's Froakie near the beginning. Especially when Froakie threw frubbles at Eevee's face hard enough to send her flying (highlighted by Eevee's hilariously shocked expression) and then Eevee immediately responds with an equally hard tackle. Idk, that just got a chuckle out of me for some reason. Maybe because it being a clear mimicry of Lucario and Cinderace's sparring had all the vibes of little kids trying to emulate their cooler older siblings.

But, what exactly did Lucario learn here? He already knew how to make giant Aura Spheres and this episode has been the one time he’s come across as sluggish and slow, so… what was the point?
My guess it's that Lucario still needed to perfect the technique or at the very least learn how to do it at will, because the previous times Lucario used it there wasn't much of an indication that he was even aware of what he was doing with his Aura Sphere. It also looks much more clearly bigger here.

As for the sluggishness, I'm just hoping that'll be something exclusive to this episode, since I personally felt most of the projectile attacks looked seriously slow here, but if it's actually intentional... then, I guess maybe it's a technique specifically for countering Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokemon and nothing else? Because those are really the only things I could see a slow Spirit Bomb-sized Aura Sphere being effective on: due to their massive size, Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokemon need seriously hard hits to bring down, especially if for whatever reason you can't afford to stall out their turns, but that same gargantuan size is also a weakness in that they can't really dodge attacks as reliably, meaning the slowness of the Spirit Bomb Aura Sphere is a non-issue.
 
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