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Review JN109: VS Kibana! Battle for Masters Eight!!

Queen Cynthia

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The battle was well-done! Still with a few weaknesses here and there but all in all, very nice and intense! Definitely much, much better than the one against Drasna.

Let's go into detail:
The early KO for Dragonite came as a surprise to me. If I were Ash, I would have used Hurricane against that sandstorm to neutralize it. Nevertheless, that sandstrom strategy was a nice little reminder of those days when Ash was still a gym challenger and needed to struggle hard with the gym leaders' special tactics.

Gengar taking out two of Raihan's Pokemon was also surprising but I'd say it was plausible. However, I had some difficulty accepting that Gengar's Gigantamax lasted that long. You could see it was clearly more than three rounds and that's what felt a bit... meh.

Last but not least Lucario vs. Duralodon: The battle itself was highly intense and the music made it even more exciting. What I couldn't quite understand though was how a non-megaevolved Lucario that learned Spirit Bomb Aura Sphere just one episode ago and could only practice it once (after mega-evolving btw!) was able to more or less OHKO Raihan's Gigantamaxed ace-Pokemon. Yes, that aura scene was just great and dramatic, nevertheless the whole thing felt like it was used too early and I couldn't help thinking of DEM. You'd expect that in order to pull off such an epic move it needs tons of training and experience.
and the Spirit Bomb Aura Sphere actually was pretty freaking cool.
By the way, where does that term "Spirit Bomb Aura Sphere" come from in the first place? It isn't the offical name of that attack, is it? Does it have something to do with Dragon Ball?

Anyways, as I said at the beginning, apart from the few weaknesses it was a thrilling and very good match that I really enjoyed!

As for the reveal of the Masters Eight, I already posted my opinion in the respective thread. And guys I tell you, I'm totally hyped because of that one very special person's ranking ;)
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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I wonder why Max Decay didn't do anything to Lucario

Would've been more interesting if it was taking damage and then used the magic of friendship to break through with Aura Sphere, and THEN gigantamaxed it for the final blow
I wouldn't necessarily say it was "the power of friendship", moreso just that Lucario used the aura of others to strengthen its own.
Gengar taking out two of Raihan's Pokemon was also surprising but I'd say it was plausible. However, I had some difficulty accepting that Gengar's Gigantamax lasted that long. You could see it was clearly more than three rounds and that's what felt a bit... meh.
Gengar shrunk down after using three moves. It's just that Goodra used several moves between Gengar's second and third move.
By the way, where does that term "Spirit Bomb Aura Sphere" come from in the first place? It isn't the offical name of that attack, is it? Does it have something to do with Dragon Ball?
It's just a fan nickname used here. Ash called it "G-Max Aura Sphere".
 

90'sPokéfan

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I think it's because of the way Lucario is using the attack. With both hands up, gathering an energyball above it's head. Just like the Spirit Bomb in Dragon Ball. And the writers/storyboard people do also know this I think. ;) I think it is an intentional reference which the fans picked up.

The normal version also looks like the Kamehameha from Dragon Ball to be honest. However, a lot of Energy attacks from anime and/or fighting look simular to eachother in this way.
 
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Queen Cynthia

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Gengar shrunk down after using three moves. It's just that Goodra used several moves between Gengar's second and third move.
Well from Gengar's standpoint it lasted three moves (or should we say rounds?). Considering that Goodra used more than three moves, you might be tempted to think it was more than three rounds. I guess it depends on how you define a "round" in the Anime as opposed to the games.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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By the way, where does that term "Spirit Bomb Aura Sphere" come from in the first place? It isn't the offical name of that attack, is it? Does it have something to do with Dragon Ball?
It does. I just call it Spirit Bomb Aura Sphere because it strongly resembles the attack from DB with the same name. It helps that Lucario in general is essentially Goku as a dog.
 

Nicolas721

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In my opinion, this was the worst battle since Ash vs Hau. It has a decent start with things like Dragonite using Draco Meteor to hit Flygon or Ash changing his strategy to Gigantamax, but then it was just contrivance after contrivance...

Gengar's mouth can easily absorb whole Sandstorms, but not regular battle moves? And that Goodra must have used Agile Style and have Rain Dish as its ability because there's no way it could launch FIVE moves in a row. Even ignoring the battle logic, it's not realistic that one of the best trainers in the world would stood there doing nothing. And the battle ends with a tie, a very overused trend in this series.

Then Lucario vs Duraludon, which people have recognized its flaws already. There's no strategy at all, just Lucario tanking everything and counter attacking with the Aura Sphere from the previous episode two minutes later, except stronger because "bonds"...The Alola League did it better. However, part of me is thankful that this type of corny writing happened now instead of later where it would be more egregious.

Finally, I expected more frustration from Raihan given what we learned from him the previous episode, not only he has to wait another cycle for his dream battle but it's also likely that he regressed from his previous position. But nope, Ash won so everything is alright.
 

Handy Man

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Finally, I expected more frustration from Raihan given what we learned from him the previous episode, not only he has to wait another cycle for his dream battle but it's also likely that he regressed from his previous position. But nope, Ash won so everything is alright.
I feel like Raihan doesn’t want to get visibly upset publically, since he probably feels that it would ruin his reputation. When he punched that wall after fighting Leon, he did it alone in a room. I’m sure he was livid that he got kicked out of the Masters Eight right before the tournament got finalized, that headpat he gave Ash looked forceful. Plus the fact that Raihan told Ash that he shouldn’t lose to anyone else except himself shows that he still holds himself in high esteem, perhaps even having an ego.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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that Goodra must have used Agile Style and have Rain Dish as its ability because there's no way it could launch FIVE moves in a row.
Pokemon using multiple attacks consecutively is a fairly common occurence in the anime due to turns not actually being a thing, so idk why you're complaining about this.
 

Nicolas721

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I feel like Raihan doesn’t want to get visibly upset publically, since he probably feels that it would ruin his reputation. When he punched that wall after fighting Leon, he did it alone in a room. I’m sure he was livid that he got kicked out of the Masters Eight right before the tournament got finalized, that headpat he gave Ash looked forceful. Plus the fact that Raihan told Ash that he shouldn’t lose to anyone else except himself shows that he still holds himself in high esteem, perhaps even having an ego.
That could be true, but it's still a missed opportunity to not show it. Also, Raihan performing worse than in the last cycle means that his reputation is already damaged.

Pokemon using multiple attacks consecutively is a fairly common occurence in the anime due to turns not actually being a thing, so idk why you're complaining about this.
I would have been okay with two or three, but five is really pushing it, specially as Ash wasn't shown getting consumed by anxiety or something like that.
 

Sai

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In my opinion, this was the worst battle since Ash vs Hau.

That's quite an exaggeration, lol
Gengar's mouth can easily absorb whole Sandstorms, but not regular battle moves? And that Goodra must have used Agile Style and have Rain Dish as its ability because there's no way it could launch FIVE moves in a row. Even ignoring the battle logic, it's not realistic that one of the best trainers in the world would stood there doing nothing. And the battle ends with a tie, a very overused trend in this series.

Gengar absorbing the sandstorm with its mouth was one of the best parts of the episode and then we see its attack hitting Flygon multiple times to bring it down. The Goodra battle went by quick,, but Gengar had already taken some damage from Flygon and was on its way out before the Super effective Gmax move took it out. Gengar was used effectively in the episode and very well.
Then Lucario vs Duraludon, which people have recognized its flaws already. There's no strategy at all, just Lucario tanking everything and counter attacking with the Aura Sphere from the previous episode two minutes later, except stronger because "bonds"...The Alola League did it
Lucario literally only got hit by one attack. This isn't like the Bea fight where it got hit multiple times. It had struck Duraludon twice and the final energy Sphere being built up from Greninja's training finished it off.

Now of course that battle should have even longer and Duraludon should have battled in its base form first, but I really don't see where you thought Lucario was tanking things.
 

Twilight-Kun

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You know, the whole G-Max Aura Sphere being fueled by the bonds of Ash’s team would land a lot more effectively had the series ever actually bothered to establish a dynamic among Ash’s team.
Hey, they did!

...

In... this episode!

...

With images that... never actually happened...

...

siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh
 

Lightning Flame Blast

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Now of course that battle should have even longer and Duraludon should have battled in its base form first, but I really don't see where you thought Lucario was tanking things.
If anything, Lucario seemed oddly frail if it was panting after one ineffective hit. If it’s an attempt on making Duraludon look stronger, I guess it worked.
 

Kurolegacy

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Fun fact: Raihan's movesets on Flygon and Goodra are almost identical to the games. The only difference is that Flygon has Steel Wing instead of Earthquake, and Goodra has Hydro Pump instead of Muddy Water
I think we all know why they replaced Earthquake here. Muddy Water though, is a mystery.
 

Sai

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I think the whole Flygon segment with Dragonite/Gengar was great, we got to see Dragonite score one hit on it before going down and Gengar finish it off with Gmax with it being hit numerous times. Using the Gmax to devour the sandstorm was the best strategy.

Funny thing is during the Goodra fight, Gengar took Thunder, Surf and Hydro Pump full force, in addition to the crunch from Flygon prior and kept going till it got the one Gmax move in. Also anyone notice the tongue attack it used to knock Goodra off the last Surf didn't count as an attack at all even though it did damage? Like it could have been Lick but it wasn't, so technically Goodra got hit twice.

I think the only thing I would change is Duraldon battle in its base stage a bit before powering up, but it did take two smaller Aura Spheres before the final one at least. Lastly Raihan did call a final attack before Lucario threw the Spirit Bomb, so he didn't just allow it to be thrown as people said. He was probably expecting the wall to destroy it.
 

VetProf

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Also anyone notice the tongue attack it used to knock Goodra off the last Surf didn't count as an attack at all even though it did damage? Like it could have been Lick but it wasn't, so technically Goodra got hit twice.
The anime does this every now and then by having Pokemon perform attacks or actions that technically aren't actual "moves" to bypass certain restrictions. Like when Froakie used its frothy bubbles to attack Wobuffet, bypassing Mirror Coat because those bubbles technically aren't an actual attack. Or when Lance's Gyarados protected itself from Leon's Charizard by knocking up some rocks from the ground, even though it was still recharging from Hyper Beam.

In this case, G-Max Gengar attacking with its tongue was just a simple effortless body movement as opposed to being a full-on Max Move, so it had no effect on the duration of its G-Max form and didn't count towards the 3-move limit, even though that action did cause some damage to Goodra. It's similar to how G-Max Gengar stopped Grimmsnarl's Darkest Lariat by just consuming Grimmsnarl whole, right before its G-Max form ran out.
 

Queen Cynthia

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Then Lucario vs Duraludon, which people have recognized its flaws already. There's no strategy at all, just Lucario tanking everything and counter attacking with the Aura Sphere from the previous episode two minutes later, except stronger because "bonds"...The Alola League did it better. However, part of me is thankful that this type of corny writing happened now instead of later where it would be more egregious.
Yes, this also struck me as odd and it felt a bit contrived if you ask me.
This very unique aura/bond-powered attack has the potential to defeat even champions in the Masters Eight but the fact that Lucario just learned it one episode ago and that he hadn't even mega-evolved before using it while Duraludon had gigantamaxed didn't feel quite plausible (Nevertheless, I loved the dramatic and exciting atmosphere of that secene!)
If "Spirit Bomb Aura Sphere" was something that Ash and Lucario have been practicing since their very first day together, then it would make sense Lucario can pull off such an epic move. But now it feels a bit like a last-minute-move and I'm getting seriously concerned the writers are going to exploit it for every battle in the Masters Eight. Just make the ball bigger and bigger and more intense as Ash is ploughing his way through the tournament, and here you go: You've got a perfect explanation why Ash will win in the end... As much as I love Lucario, but honestly, I don't know if I'll like that idea.
 

Sai

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It's very likely Lucario's same attack won't succeed as easily if he does it again in the m8, especially if the writers want to build suspense. I can see the Champions countering it or it failing for whatever reason.

Here though it worked well as a follow up, and Duraludon only got 1 attack on Lucario before he used it. At the end before Lucario threw it Raihan called out the attack thinking the giant wall would flatten it but it broke right through, so it's not like Raihan did nothing.

I fail to see how this was the worst battle since Ash/Hau, when all 3 fights used tons of strategy and this time around Ash's Pokémon also didn't take an extreme amount of damage like the Drasna one before it. Animation was also much better for this series standards.
 
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