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Review JN115: Opening! Masters Tournament!!

Episode as a whole was great, just getting to see the characters interact with so fantastic.

Seems almost intentional that Alain didn’t really interact with anyone, even not returning the smile from Ash - I hope even now that he has lost, we get to see him talk and see where is headspace is at. Goodto see his own little Fanclub watching

The battle was decent, if not a bit short - I suppose they wanted Leon to look incredibly strong but it made Alain in turn not look so strong, but I suppose him Iris and Ash always were the underdogs.
 
So what was that thing you all were doing about Ash v Hop? Something something Hop was matching a M8 in battle? Yeah, nope.
 
Iris' scenes were the best part of this episode. I can't believe how cute the scene of Iris taking a selfie with Cynthia and Diantha was. I also liked how Ash and Iris interacted too. Ash's nod to Alan and fanboying his Charizard was nice too.

Iris is amazing in Journey's.
 
Who cares about Goh and his stupid project???
We still have one final part for that, considering how good Gary was used whatever the final eps for it should be good.

So this episode went exactly how it went. I knew the JN would put barely any effort in Ash's PWC, and the rushed battles with barely any animation is proof. They're most likely gonna rush through the rest of this arc, so they can get back to Goh and Project Mew.
Every battle after this one gets a full episodes, so I don't see how they're rushing
 
What a... lackluster battle, I think? It had decent choreography and really good animation at some points, but I feel like it lacked a lot of oomph. Maybe Rillaboom and Alan's Pokémon didn't last long enough to get the sensation they're really tough (which they really should be at this stage). I really didn't want this battle to make Alan's Charizard look any less powerful than it looked at the Kalos League, but I guess that was too much to ask.

Then there's these little character moments that really rub me the wrong way. I believe Alan's gesture was supposed to be an aknowledging nod towards Ash but it came off as completely disregarding. There's zero justification for him to act like that, so I suppose that was just poor storyboarding or something.

Then there's Iris of course, her interactions with Ash were really brief, which doesn't help considering how she's been handled in this series: we still get no insight on how she got this far while we weren't watching, nor what's her take on making it to the Masters Eight. I hope they're saving it for her battle but I'm just coping at this point.

And then when she does have a moment in this episode, it's... to take a selfie with Cynthia (whom she already knows) and Diantha (whom... maybe should not be as important to her as, say, fellow Dragon-type Champion Lance)? Plus the selfie itself... I'm not saying it's out-of-character, but you'd think she'd rather go for an autograph or something. This is the same Iris that sent a written letter to Ash rather than calling him over the phone, after all. Man, some fans have been really critical about Dawn in this series, but IMO when it comes to characterization and portrayal, Iris has had it the worst by far.

Perhaps a lot of these issues could've been avoided had this been two episodes instead of one. Considering how important the Masters Eight is supposed to be you'd think they want to spend more than 6 minutes building it up before getting straight into the battles. Maybe I'm sounding too rambly but I guess the last batch of episodes had been such an improvement, I forgot I was still watching Pokémon Journeys at the end of the day.
 
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So what was that thing you all were doing about Ash v Hop? Something something Hop was matching a M8 in battle? Yeah, nope.
He's stronger than Raihan, which is accurate to the games, given he beats Raihan in the time it takes the player to walk from the Hammerlocke Stadium to the train station
 
And then when she does have a moment in this episode, it's... to take a selfie with Cynthia (whom she already knows) and Diantha (whom... maybe should not be as important to her as, say, fellow Dragon-type Champion Lance)? Plus the selfie itself... I'm not saying it's out-of-character, but you'd think she'd rather go for an autograph or something. This is the same Iris that sent a written letter to Ash rather than calling him over the phone, after all. Man, some fans have been really critical about Dawn in this series, but IMO when it comes to characterization and portrayal, Iris has had it the worst
Iris taking a picture with two female champions and being in awe over them was the best part of her characterisation. How has Iris had it the worst? This is the best she's ever been, being excited to battle champions and her and Ash getting along great.
 
Iris taking a picture with two female champions and being in awe over them was the best part of her characterisation. How has Iris had it the worst? This is the best she's ever been, being excited to battle champions and her and Ash getting along great.
Because I personally care more about portrayal than track records, she may be a Champion but I don't think they've been given her proper focus regarding that.

I would've been okay with her selfie scene if it wasn't almost the one character-driven moment she got in the whole episode. The other one was running alongside Ash and it was way too brief.

I could also be biased because I've never been a sucker for these "OMG we're all FeMaLe!" sort of interactions in the first place, but I'm not saying it's out-of-character for Iris or anything. Just not the primary thing I would've wish for her to get.
 
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I'm yet to watch it, but I've heard that apparently the japanese fandom did not liked this one.

Oooof.
I mean, I can totally see why. Not only did the writers troll the fandom by bringing back Alain only for him to not even get a chance to battle Ash but to add insult to injury, he went down in a pretty mediocre battle where his ace, that we‘d seen put up impressive feats back in XY, get beaten by a base form Charizard. It basically feels like the writers essentially flipping off the XY fans. Plus, even for those who wanted to see his Mega Charizard X lose, revenge by proxy just isn’t as satisfying as actually getting to see Ash pull off the win thus showing how far he’s come since they last met. It would be like if in a League, Ash’s regional rival that he’d lost to for the entire region got eliminated by some OP trainer rather than him.
 
You know, I never had a problem with Alan before this episode, but after the dirty look he shot Satoshi during the opening ceremony... screw him, he's a jerk and I'm glad he lost so badly.
I know. It seemed rather out-of-character considering he and Ash were on friendly terms after the Kalos League.
 
well another episode that was decent but could have been better but it's JN anyway!

rushed battles to start as I thought would happen were not a big deal anyway although I liked the animation!
the interactions were pleasant (some better than others)!
the result of the battle was obvious! :p

The least exciting tournament start I've ever seen and now there's a 2 week break!
 
Perhaps a lot of these issues could've been avoided had this been two episodes instead of one. Considering how important the Masters Eight is supposed to be you'd think they want to spend more than 6 minutes building it up before getting straight into the battles. Maybe I'm sounding too rambly but I guess the last batch of episodes had been such an improvement, I forgot I was still watching Pokémon Journeys at the end of the day.
I think this was originally planned to be two episodes, but perhaps due to COVID, they decided to condense two episodes into one.

While the battle was rushed and I can recognize its flaws, it still was entertaining enough to me that I can say I liked it.
 
Man I knew Leon would have crushed Alain here but I didn't expect this fast. It's extremely hilarious at least in my opinion. Hop, I give you props for challenging Ash even if it's a total curbstomp that not even Ash expected it. It was a good start for the arc. Not that the battle was good (It was bad). The episode was rushed but at least it's not in the level of the Kalos League start (At least this battle we get to see to its conclusion unlike Greninja one shotting the first oppenent offscreen.)
 
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