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Review JN115: Opening! Masters Tournament!!

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).
Okay WOW I totally forgot about that. This just made this whole thing look so fucking tragic.

And I say this as someone who hates Alain and feels nothing regarding Mairin.
 
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).
Yet in the same breath, Max Quake did not boost Rillaboom's Special Defense like it was supposed to. And as Finnish mentioned, they did have Max Lightning's effect activate way back when (but didn't have Max Airstream boost Charizard's speed when they used it in the same episode; and then Max Strike being avoided...). They've been so inconsistent with Max Moves and it's been disappointing to watch.

Alain's battle was stupid. I don't know what the writers were thinking, but this isn't how you start off the tournament between the strongest Trainers in world. Admittedly, my problems only regard what happened after Chesnaught's defeat (who I thought had a great showing). Alain's, random, Malamar getting one-shot by Leon's Charizard was upsetting - we didn't even get to see Contrary or Topsy Turvy go into effect either, marking a complete waste of the species non-evil debut. But the true offender was how Mega Charizard X was handled. Poorly. Insanely, poorly. As we're all aware, this thing was a juggernaut during its saga for the many feats that have already been listed in this thread several times over - to go from all of that to being one-shot by Leon's base form Charizard, was so unceremonious I don't even know what the point of bringing back Alain was even for. I think this was even worse than Mega Charizard X Vs. Mega Charizard Y. If they were going to have Leon curbstomp over someone, it should have been Raihan; Paul or Alain could have served as the gatekeeper role into the Master's 8, with a full episode, instead of whatever this was. Furthermore, I would have liked to see Gigantimax Charizard Vs. Mega Evolution Charizard - as nice as it was to see Rillaboom, its form change was arbitrary and didn't amount to much aside from a supposed Speed boost. Having the Charizard forms duke it out would have been more impressive as well as representative of what Leon and Alain uniquely bring to the table in this event, for me; it also would have been nice to see a Gigantimax form actually win for once since the recent string of fights have had base forms or Mega Evolution forms triumph over Gigantimax, or the timer just runs out.

It also retroactively undermines the Kalos League severely and all the effort Ash, Ash Greninja, and the rest of his team put in against Alain. Speaking of which, Leon's smug mannerisms throughout the entire match really put me off - whereas I was against it before, I now want to see Ash defeat him only so the writers can animate his first ever loss on such a global audience in satisfying detail. The writers giving his Charizard super-effective moves for every opponent he faces certainly doesn't help either. I understand that it's actually representative of the games when you think about it, especially Sword & Shield interestingly enough, but the anime has long established, for the most part, changing movesets/learning moves isn't exactly a fluid process. It's like Alain's Charizard all over again but in a different flavor, and I'm not looking forward to this thing one-shotting Lance or Diantha's Pokémon with ridiculous ease.

While I don't think Alain was acting coldly to Ash like others have suggested, I do think he was quite out of character. We got no scenes of them actually talking or any kind of fond sentiment exchanged. Which is weird when they left off on such a positive note. Of course, the jury is still out if they will interact during other matches, but with Ash notably sitting with Go rather than the other Champions, I don't find that likely. Which all adds up to a possible thought of someone not liking Alain in that writing room. Possibly, anyway. I am not a fan of Charizard X, believe me - but it and Alain deserved a much better loss than what this was. Side note, but I do find it funny how Alain's Charizard's losses were both to Dragon Pulses from a Kantonian Starter, while it was Mega Evolved.
 
Yet in the same breath, Max Rockfall did not create a Sandstorm like it was supposed to. And as Finnish mentioned, they did have Max Lightning's effect activate way back when (but didn't have Max Airstream boost Charizard's speed when they used it in the same episode; and then Max Strike being avoided...). They've been so inconsistent with Max Moves and it's been disappointing to watch.

Alain's battle was stupid. I don't know what the writers were thinking, but this isn't how you start off the tournament between the strongest Trainers in world. Admittedly, my problems only regard what happened after Chesnaught's defeat (who I thought had a great showing). Alain's, random, Malamar getting one-shot by Leon's Charizard was upsetting - we didn't even get to see Contrary or Topsy Turvy go into effect either, marking a complete waste of the species non-evil debut. But the true offender was how Mega Charizard X was handled. Poorly. Insanely, poorly. As we're all aware, this thing was a juggernaut during its saga for the many feats that have already been listed in this thread several times over - to go from all of that to being one-shot by Leon's base form Charizard, was so unceremonious I don't even know what the point of bringing back Alain was even for. I think this was even worse than Mega Charizard X Vs. Mega Charizard Y. If they were going to have Leon curbstomp over someone, it should have been Raihan; Paul or Alain could have served as the gatekeeper role into the Master's 8, with a full episode, instead of whatever this was. Furthermore, I would have liked to see Gigantimax Charizard Vs. Mega Evolution Charizard - as nice as it was to see Rillaboom, its form change was arbitrary and didn't amount to much aside from a supposed Speed boost. Having the Charizard forms duke it out would have been more impressive as well as representative of what Leon and Alain uniquely bring to the table in this event, for me; it also would have been nice to see a Gigantimax form actually win for once since the recent string of fights have had base forms or Mega Evolution forms triumph over Gigantimax, or the timer just runs out.

It also retroactively undermines the Kalos League severely and all the effort Ash, Ash Greninja, and the rest of his team put in against Alain. Speaking of which, Leon's smug mannerisms throughout the entire match really put me off - whereas I was against it before, I now want to see Ash defeat him only so the writers can animate his first ever loss on such a global audience in satisfying detail. The writers giving his Charizard super-effective moves for every opponent he faces certainly doesn't help either. I understand that it's actually representative of the games when you think about it, especially Sword & Shield interestingly enough, but the anime has long established, for the most part, changing movesets/learning moves isn't exactly a fluid process. It's like Alain's Charizard all over again but in a different flavor, and I'm not looking forward to this thing one-shotting Lance or Diantha's Pokémon with ridiculous ease.

While I don't think Alain was acting coldly to Ash like others have suggested, I do think he was quite out of character. We got no scenes of them actually talking or any kind of fond sentiment exchanged. Which is weird when they left off on such a positive note. Of course, the jury is still out if they will interact during other matches, but with Ash notably sitting with Go rather than the other Champions, I don't find that likely. Which all adds up to a possible thought of someone not liking Alain in that writing room. Possibly, anyway. I am not a fan of Charizard X, believe me - but it and Alain deserved a much better loss than what this was. Side note, but I do find it funny how Alain's Charizard's losses were both to Dragon Pulses from a Kantonian Starter, while it was Mega Evolved.

Its obvious at this point Alains Mega only succedeed and was so strong because of Lysandre. Without it, Alains Zard would probably get his behind handled by Tierno's Blastoise to name an example.
 
Great idea, rushed execution. The point was to show that Leon's Charizard does not actually need Gigantamax and is genuinely strong and capable of winning battles without any gimmicks. It delivered on that.

The issue was the pacing. Because they had to cram a 3v3 battle in the last part of the episode, it ended up being a one-shot fest. Rillaboom VS Chesnaught was the best part of the battle, then Alain's Charizard one-shots Rillaboom, and Leon's Charizard one-shots Malamar and Alain's Charizard.

The pacing is the only real issue I have with this battle, it really could have used an episode to itself. I didn't mind Malamar getting one-shotted that much, but the Charizard clash should have lasted longer. There's also Alain's goal getting retconned (he says it's been his dream to battle Leon's Charizard), but that's neither here nor there.
 
It is baffling they didn't give Leon/Alan a full episode. Like even if the outcome was the same they'd have a full episode to make the fights last a little longer. Every other match in the first round seems to be getting a full ep.
 
Side note, but I do find it funny how Alain's Charizard's losses were both to Dragon Pulses from a Kantonian Starter, while it was Mega Evolved.
Glad I'm not the only one who noticed that. Alain's Charizard must hate the move Dragon Pulse after this.
 
Pokémon has a long held tradition of having its big tournament arcs feeling like they should have been 1 episode longer despite there being some of the most fillery filler in the serious prior:

We could have had an episode about the opening ceremony and THEN this battle, but no, it was more important to have that Plusle and Minun episode (disclaimer: I like that episode but I do think it’s among the most unnecessary episodes of the series.

Could have been one more episode of the Alola league arc (my vote is to make the Guzzlord invasion two parts) if it weren’t for that pointless episode about Pikachu and the others looking for Ash after he went back in time.

Could have split the first episode of the Kalos league into two , if it weren’t for that pointless mechanical obstacle course episode.

Could have had an episode for Dawn vs Jessilina, and an extra episode showing more of Ash’s old Pokémon battling in the Sinnoh league - if it weren’t for that other obstacle course thing (can’t really remember anything about it but I think it was DP135?) and the episode where electric and water type Pokémon were attracted to each other.

Hopefully, this is the only episode that in the M8 tournament that feels like it should have been split into two.
 
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.
Fine by me if to be honest, but I don't see a reason to think that Ash's battles won't be at least as good as the Raihan one.
 
Every other match is getting a full episode. The reason this was poorly done is they put the opening ceremonies and a match in the same episode. I loved the opening ceremonies and would have loved a full episode of just the champions chatting in the waiting room and being announced.

I don't know why they wanted to sweep Alain under the rug so fast, especially since it was the writers themselves who chose to bring him back in the first place when they didn't have to. But it is what it is. If Alain ever appears again people would just like to see Greninja used against him, otherwise there's no point.
 
Okay, I finally had the time to sit down and watch this and my feelings are... very mixed, to say the least. On one hand, literally everyone knew what the result was gonna be, and it is rather cathartic to see Alain finally go down after he spent the entirety of his screentime being basically untouchable, but on the other hand the person who finally beat him is another untouchable trainer with an even more overpowered juggernaut of a Charizard, and because of that it would've been a lot more satisfying to see Alain getting eliminated by literally anyone else besides maybe Iris. The fact that Alain also didn't even manage to force out Leon's third Pokemon is also kinda lame, because it made him look seriously pathetic. Seriously, Alain just got Cameron'd. Also, I was just really looking forward to seeing more of Leon's team getting revealed. Or at the very least seeing Dragapult in an official battle.

I get that they wanted Leon to look immensely strong, but considering the insane feats Alain and his Charizard had, one would expect him to put up a better fight than that. Also, if Leon's Charizard is so strong that it can defeat Alain's Mega Charizard in base form (and without even the justification of MCX being softened up by Gigantamax Rillaboom, which is what I thought was gonna happen before the episode came out), then by all rights it should've OHKO'd Eternamax Eternatus and stopped Darkest Day all by itself.

Finally, I really hate that every battle bar Charizard vs Charizard was essentially a oneshott. Not just because it exacerbates the issues I mentioned above, but I just don't like OHKOs in general, as they feel too boring, especially when they're done like this. Oh, well, at least Chesnaught actually did fairly decently despite the oneshott issue. Wish I could say the same for poor Malamar...

Glad I'm not the only one who noticed that. Alain's Charizard must hate the move Dragon Pulse after this.
Maybe Ash should've saved his Goodra for MegaZardX back in the Kalos League, then, since it knew Dragon Pulse and that move clearly is Alain's Charizard's Kryptonite. Everyone just pack Dragon Pulse on their movesets from now on if they can learn it. That way Alain's Charizard will never again be able to hurt you.
 
Maybe Ash should've saved his Goodra for MegaZardX back in the Kalos League, then, since it knew Dragon Pulse and that move clearly is Alain's Charizard's Kryptonite. Everyone just pack Dragon Pulse on their movesets from now on if they can learn it. That way Alain's Charizard will never again be able to hurt you.
Way #16 I would have rewritten that battle. It made absolutely no sense for Ash to keep Goodra out for Bisharp, rather than switching in Greninja instead after the rain was established and allowing Goodra to fight Charizard later. Sure, it would have been susceptible to Dragon Claw, but so too would Zard to Dragon Pulse and Ice Beam (both ineffective on Bisharp); plus, Rain Dance would weaken Flamethrower and Blast Burn.
 
Way #16 I would have rewritten that battle. It made absolutely no sense for Ash to keep Goodra out for Bisharp, rather than switching in Greninja instead after the rain was established and allowing Goodra to fight Charizard later. Sure, it would have been susceptible to Dragon Claw, but so too would Zard to Dragon Pulse and Ice Beam (both ineffective on Bisharp); plus, Rain Dance would weaken Flamethrower and Blast Burn.
Yeah same. Ash sends in Goodra against Zard instead of Pika, Goodra gets off Bide but falls, Bisharp falls to Greninja, Charizard defeats Pika, and then Ash-Greninja defeats MCX.
Ash was stupid in that battle. Like sending in Noivern against Weavile? Over exhausting Pikachu is what lost Ash the match imo.
 
Yeahh that was basically how I thought it'd go. Decent setup in first half but super rushed 3v3 towards the end. Battle was decent but last week even showed you can't do a super-lengthy 3v3 in 10 mins. They shouldn't have started the matchups this ep, I thought it'd be abt re-introducing the M8 and catching up with Alain. It's pretty dumb to get rid of Alain round 1 since he was the most anticipated return here, weird how they dropped the ball compared to Paul.

Not terrible but didn't deliver on its main selling point
 
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

OMG. I haven't watched the episode yet, but I'm glad I read the review thread beforehand because going into it with this context is just wild.

They really brought these two back just to make them suffer. Wow.
 
As I said in the other thread, if you look at how Ash's other past rivals like Gary, Paul and Gladion were treated, the writers generally treated them well showcasing them all as still strong and giving them some development or new pokemon and battles.

With Alain they basically brought him back to bury him, especially when you realize he only got half an episode of screentime, no interactions with Ash, etc. There's definitely a major difference how he was treated compared to the other 3 past rivals. Almost as if it feels like they did this purposely.
 
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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