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Review JN115: Opening! Masters Tournament!!

Thing is, Alain didn’t organically beat Ash due to Mairin. He beat Ash because the writers telegraphed it would happen, execution be damned. Blaming anyone in-universe for what was clearly solely a higher up decision doesn’t add up.
I think it’s better to ignore what they’re saying, rather than forcing further replies.
 
Alan losing wasn't the problem (obviously we all knew he would) it's that he should of gotten a full episode for his battle like every other champion is getting
 
For all the care they put into introducing older characters to new audiences and reminding older fans what they were all about and what their relationship to Ash was… they really just dropped Alain in with barely any context, gave him little to no lines outside of battle commands and just had Leon piledrive his ass out of the tournament before anyone could even register what he was doing there.

 
What an alright battle episode, but yet ended in a rushed way is just really no creativity whatsoever. Yes, Alain have become the second over-hated character after Tobais since the controversial won in six year ago. That make him second champion after Diantha. But after the redemption from him after being used by Team Flare. All that hates is official gone and the battle can be much longer if the script writer have some idea to kept it going.

Overall rating: B-
 
I talked about this in another thread, but I feel like they brought Alain back just to lose to Leon to make the later seem better by comparasion. Besides, I believe that they thought that seeing Alain being torn apart by Leon would make people feel cathartic and would make them start to like Leon, because they know he's hated by (most of) the fandom.

Except that not only was the execution absolutely awful, but they completely missed the point that people wanted Alain back for him to be defeated by Ash, not Leon.
I honestly don’t think people hate Leon THAT much that they’d concern themselves with that factor when writing this episode.

The movesets on his Pokemon constantly change, this shows strategy which isn’t usually seen often on the show. I think Paul is the only other person who gave me that full impression.

Leon does have plot armor but its not as bad as Alain’s appeared to be, like maybe if you saw Alain’s Charizard go through the same training as Ash’s then get its mega form it’d be more believable. But it was essentially another Darkrai, it was just controlled by someone who didn’t appear out of nowhere.

Like if I wrote a story that had a fighting tournament in it and wanted my main character to lose; it would be like having a guy who could OHKO people enter the tournament out of no where, vs having a side story of a guy who OHKOs people with a special move he learned, destroying everything and everyone in the side story, and then introducing him into the main story. It’s barely any better.
 
This episode just undermines the Kalos League finals and makes Ash-Greninja look even more pathetic. I rewatched all of XY not too long ago, and Alain’s Charizard has had a lot of impressive feats. Taking down Zygarde 50% and defeating multiple Megas is not to be taken lightly, with its only on-screen loss being to Mega Blastoise. As we saw in the Kalos League, it also took a disgusting amount of hits from both Pikachu and Greninja without fainting. It falling to a BASE form Charizard, using non-STAB Dragon Pulse, is extremely embarrassing considering we already know its stamina is through the roof.

The Kalos League finals were already hard to believe, and as a result, this battle is even harder to believe. For Alain’s second on-screen loss, this is a drastically worse showing than losing to Mega Blastoise. I would rather if Alain didn’t come back at all if it meant the scar of the Kalos League finals was going to be ripped open again. It just retroactively made something in the past look even worse than it already was, and that’s just sad. It would have been so much better if Ash beat Alain in the promotion match, and then Leon vs. Raihan would have kicked off the Masters Eight bracket. It would be expected, and a matchup we’ve already seen in Journeys before, but it would’ve been much better than what we got. I know for a fact that people are not going to let this episode go, and will talk about it as long as people talk about Alain in general.

At least we got to see cameos of Mairin and Professor Sycamore though. That was my favorite part of the episode. I’m excited to see what other cameos there are throughout the Masters Eight!
 
For all the care they put into introducing older characters to new audiences and reminding older fans what they were all about and what their relationship to Ash was… they really just dropped Alain in with barely any context, gave him little to no lines outside of battle commands and just had Leon piledrive his ass out of the tournament before anyone could even register what he was doing there.

Yeah that was definitely weird how little fanfare Alan got in general. Even look at what they did with Gary, Paul and Gladion and gave them proper focus but Alan was an afterthought for half an episode.

Alan really should of appeared outside the tournament like Paul did in a random episode.
 
I talked about this in another thread, but I feel like they brought Alain back just to lose to Leon to make the later seem better by comparasion. Besides, I believe that they thought that seeing Alain being torn apart by Leon would make people feel cathartic and would make them start to like Leon, because they know he's hated by (most of) the fandom.

Except that not only was the execution absolutely awful, but they completely missed the point that people wanted Alain back for him to be defeated by Ash, not Leon.
It’s really does feel like the writers just completely misfired on what people actually WANTED from the concept of Alan comming back again. Ash vs Alan? Nope he unceremoniously losses instead to Leon, Ash and Alan interaction at least? Nah let’s just have Alan being a OOC edge lord and complete give him the cold shoulder. We’ll can at least the battle be good? Nope, mediocre animation, one shots and bad pacing galore.

It’s just been a long time that I’ve seen an episode fail to deliver on every conceivable level, and this is the start of debatebly the most important arc in the shows run, what a mess
 
I also think that the writers were primarily doing this to show Leon’s strengths.

He sized up Alain’s Charizard immediately on its appearance and knew it was no match for his, even with the mega evolution, he was very confident when he preformed the mega evolution. He was not worried or even surprised, that battle was pretty much decided before any of them entered the match.

It was obvious to us as viewers but they also illustrated it in the episode by more than just his team basically being swept. It wasn’t an accident, he was meant to be fodder to Leon, Mega Special’s outrageous writing be damned.
 
Alain got his behind handed to him and i absolutely loved it, since that cheater doesn't deserve anything else.

Also Iris and Ash looking at eachother when they were revealed to the audience: Lets show these adults what we can do.
 
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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.
Well there's that interview saying the original plans were to show all non-Ash matches as still montages, but Tomioka's ideas for the battles made them change plans. In that sense, I'm still glad we got to see a fully animated battle.

As to why they even considered to skim through the matches like that in the first place... Sigh. Well I'm not surprised to be honest, but still. Even if we assume COVID was a reason, I'm sure there's other episodes they could've axed before these.

Iris is the youngest champion and she was excited over Cynthia in BW the same way. Her being impressed by two female champions fits her character well. The whole point of that scene in the halls was showing how excited Ash/Iris were but how serious everyone else was.
I literally said it's not out-of-character so I don't see why arguing further over this.

My only point is I wish we got to see the "aspiring Dragon Master" side of her character as well and exchange a few words with Lance, since I have the feeling she won't get the chance afterwards (and even if she does, this would still have been a better moment IMO).

Again, the whole opening ceremony thing was sorta rushed to make room for the Alan battle on the second half, so we got very few character insights for Iris in a series that's IMO already lacking in that front.

Showing us she's an enthusiastic young girl is fine, but I didn't want that to be the only attribute we got to see from her in this episode. She deserved way better in Journeys.
 
My review:

Ash vs Hop was funny I think they were poking fun at the one scene from XY as well as showing that Ash is indeed really strong

Iris just popping up next to Ash while running was so funny to me

Definitely expected more Ash masters 8 interactions as I loved the Iris fan girl moment with Diantha and Cynthia
9104AB62-56DF-43FD-A0D8-8C4F06C05B90.jpeg

And would’ve been interesting to see him in a room filled knowing basically everyone

Some of the commentary by Steven and co was cool

But I do also like that Ash wanted to see the fight in person which meant time away from the Masters 8

Mairin crying sums up a lot of peoples reactions to Alain I feel lol
F7F6AB29-99B3-4ECE-B607-A835E86CE691.jpeg



For the actual battle I’m mixed like I think the Chesnaught and Rillaboom battle was pretty good even if it ended with a one shot (which is 4x effective move but it’s the anime so doesn’t really matter)

And I didn’t mind the Alain’s Charizard revenge KO on Rillaboom

Malamar was such a disappointment even though it’s supposed to make Leon’s Charizard feel powerful
I appreciate the attempt to give him Kalos Pokémon though

And as for the Charizard v Charizard I do kinda like how they showed the difference in the Charizards as Leon’s was more aerial and Alain’s more grounded (Leon had the high ground lol) and I do like that Leon’s seemed to have the type advantages because of moves like Ancient power and Dragon pulse as the surprise super effective moves
But yeah what was essentially a one shot seems odd especially for the Ace as I can understand the other two and not even taking Alain’s history into consideration you would think his Ace Pokémon would last a bit longer

I think it’s partially the JN choreography as there has been many battles where the Pokémon are essentially one shotted so it’s not just this battle specifically
but also partially they wanted to show how strong Leon’s Charizard was as Rillaboom and Chesnaught were equal for the most part but Leon’s Charizard was dominant and imo it wasn’t showcased well enough as it seems more like they nerfed Alains’ Pokémon vs making Leon’s look stronger which I admit is tricky

So the battle was actually visually good as as a lot of the moves and such were great looking but the balance of damage taken brings it down for me

Another way to look at it is that Alain finally got overpowered as he's the one usually overpowering others

Overall I think everything except for the battle was good/great and the battle was overall fine
Making it about a 7.5/10 for me with subs maybe boosting it to a 8 or down to 7

----

As for Alain since he’s now officially eliminated, for the eighth member of the masters 8 (I know he’s rank 6th) I am fine with his inclusion as he’s not only one of the stronger characters in the anime and a rival to Ash but can also be kinda viewed as a second protagonist as he was the lead in the Mega Evolution Specials so this can also feel like they put an old main character in to fill the spot

And for his treatment I’m fine with it, I think a lot of XY fans are going to outrage as Alain was arguably the strongest trainer in that whole series especially with the feats he has
but I always thought even then that he wasn’t champion level and was still weaker than Diantha but the writers picked a good loophole by having him lose against Leon as people can still think he’s on that level and Leon’s just that strong

I think the issue is people viewed Alain at a certain level like even with Steven and stronger than Diantha (even saw some think Alain would win ) and was shown at this level so I didn’t have that same problem so his result doesn’t affect me too much
Plus it’s been said before Ash was a better trainer than him despite the Kalos league finals so I already had him as the weakest member of the masters 8

And for his Charizard X it suffered from Journeys battles as in XY battles he was known for taking a lot of hits which doesn’t blend well with JN’s style it seems (not excusing just pointing out) like with the AshvsBea 3 where people were complaining Lucario was taking too much damage and other Pokémon were getting taken out too fast so in that sense it seemed to not get its justice as it got essentially one shotted but viewing it as just losing to Leon’s with a super effective moves is fine with me
(especially as before you could say Mega Charizard X dragon typing kinda saved it before from certain battles and now it hurt it here)
 
Putting the obvious complaints aside, I will give credit to the writers for having all of the KO'ed Pokemon in the battle go down to super-effective attacks, barring Malamar who was taken out by a point-blank Fire Blast. Also, it's kinda odd that this is the first time a regular Max-Move has had its bonus effect acknowledged in the anime (Max Airstream boosted Rillaboom's speed).
 
Putting the obvious complaints aside, I will give credit to the writers for having all of the KO'ed Pokemon in the battle go down to super-effective attacks, barring Malamar who was taken out by a point-blank Fire Blast. Also, it's kinda odd that this is the first time a regular Max-Move has had its bonus effect acknowledged in the anime (Max Airstream boosted Rillaboom's speed).
I used to find that pretty weird but I just figured they were ignoring those buffs/debuffs that the Max-Moves give just for the sake of simplifying things for the narrative. And well, I'm not mad at that.

...But then they actually make it a thing like, in JN115, which is nearing the saga's ending. Man, these guys sure know how to make bad decisions when it comes to the writing.
 
Also, it's kinda odd that this is the first time a regular Max-Move has had its bonus effect acknowledged in the anime (Max Airstream boosted Rillaboom's speed).
Actually, Lance vs Leon had Max Lightning create an Electric Terrain, like it's supposed to.
 
On the one hand I'm glad Chesnaught finally got some spotlight. Just love to see the big Hedgehog getting some love and attencion. Now, Alan did look like a sacrificial lamb out there just waiting to be butchered. I agree with some members here, a rematch between Raihan and Leon would be better than this debacle. Also, what did happen to Alan's Charizard? Can't believe it got knocked out so easily.

I know this will not happen because they would never let Cynthia win the whole thing, but I'll cheer for her until the end.
 
Alain losing should have shattered him, so did he overcome his losing phobia offscreen? Why is he even in the M8 again?
 
I've got a new game for everyone to play during the remaining episodes of this series... it's called "Spot the Pokemon whose animated debuts will be completely wasted in tiny and/or brief cameos because the show hates the Galar Pokedex for some reason"

Here's this week's selection...

JN115.png


What an absolute terrible use of new Pokemon. Galar got well and truly shafted this series, there's no two ways about it.

Having rewatched the episode... I find myself completely perplexed as to why exactly the writers felt the need to have Alan return in the first place. When we last saw him he was in a good place... he was making up for being part of Team Flare's plot and was happily travelling with Manon. Now for some reason he's back to battling even though that was never really his goal in the first place, he never interacts with Satoshi other than that dirty look he gave him during the opening ceremony and for someone who managed to power through most of the Kalos League using only his Lizardon now they're both portrayed as pathetically weak. So why bring him back? To represent Kalos? Well, we already have Carnet doing that. For Satoshi to get a revenge match? Well, no because again the two barely interact. You know, I wish they'd replaced him with pretty much anyone... even an unused Frontier Brain or Elite Four member would have done.

I admit that I do feel some schadenfreude over the fact Alan spent so much time determined to restore Manon's smile yet his final action ever in the show was to make her cry (and as for Manon, she's pretty much the Pokemon version of Michael Burnham in that my main recollection of her will be her crying all the time).
 
Please note: The thread is from 2 years ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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