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Review JN118: Satoshi Goes into Battle! VS Daigo!!

RetroPokeFan

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And another Metagross becomes mince meat for Pikachu. Easily my favourite part of the episode without a doubt.

For cameos this week we have
Paul and Reggie again, Professor Oak, Delia, Tracey and some of Ash's Pokemon, Harley, Drew, Professor Birch, Morrison, Tyson, Katie, Kain, and even Cerise, Chloe, Ren and Chrysa too but they were probably gonna watch anyway.
 
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BigDocFan

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Wasn't expecting to see Harley, Drew Morrison, Katie and Kelly appear, was nice to see Cerise, Chloe and the lab assistants cameo as well, at least Chloe watched Ash battle when he failed to watch her contest
 

Singaporean

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Knew it from the start that Z-Move versus Mega Evolution. Sadly, the battle is rush and could have been amazing if Gengar and Cradily Double KO. Nonetheless, A win is a win for Ash.

Overall rating: B+
 

BigDocFan

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Full VA list courtesy of Adamant

Voice Cast:
Rica Matsumoto: Satoshi
Daiki Yamashita: Go
Ikue Ohtani: Pikachu
Kenyu Horiuchi: Professor Okido
Megumi Hayashibara: Musashi
Shinichiro Miki: Kojiro
Inuko Inuyama: Nyarth
Yuji Ueda: Sonansu
Kenta Miyake: Metagross
Yasuhiro Mamiya: Gangar
Hana Takeda: Sarunori
Kenichi Suzumura: Daigo
Daisuke Ono: Dande
Tomo Sakurai: Shirona
Fumiko Orikasa: Carne
Kensho Ono: Alan
Aoi Yuki: Iris
Yo Kitazawa: Danpei
Takuto Yoshinaga: Hop
Marina Aicholtz: Go's Smartphone Rotom
 

JinksChow

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So in terms of gimmick track records for the first round of Masters Eight, we have:

Dynamax/Gigantamax - 1 win (No gimmick), 1 loss (Mega Evolution)
Mega Evolution - 3 wins (2 against no gimmick, 1 against Dynamax), 2 losses (No gimmick, Z-Move)
Z-Move - 1 win (Mega Evolution)

Not really a good showing for the Gen 8 gimmick during the first round, but I'm sure Dynamax/Gigantamax will be picking up at least 1 win against Mega Evolution in the second round.
 

Eitarou

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Please tell me Iris didn't leave for good. Goh needs an actually interesting character to bounce off of, and Hop's not it.
 

cricketlaxwolvesbandy

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PIKACHU IS A MOTHERFUCKING WARRIOR
METAGROSS SURVIVED THE NUKE (for a minute) congrats!
This battle sucked. Dracovish and Gengar where jobbers and Ash wins because of plot armor Nuke and two shots Metagross.
Nice to see Birch and Tyson!
ASH VS CYNTHIA
MEGA GODCARIO VS MEGA GARCHOMP HYPE!!!
 

L-05308

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This was a bit of a rollercoaster…

Cameo’s seemed to get wild - I noticed Kelly (Coordinator with a Grumpig) and immediately though that was an odd choice, but it seems people spotted even more obscure AG characters. Them showing all of May’s rivals, all the league rivals (kinda funny Katie got to be in the main shot when Morrison didn’t) and then just scattering in some more makes me think they know AG has had the short end of the stick when it comes to representation in journeys. All Ash’s Oak’d Pokémon will always be wonderful to see, and Tracey was here too - not sure why he always arranges to be out of town when Ash visits…

The battle was… not as good as Iris vs Cynthia - but a strong second. I though Dracovish going down so quick was lame at first, but then I though it was need to add some tension since Steven is by far the strongest trainer Ash has ever battled (and I don’t think the rest of the Journeys team have had enough personality and spotlight but they’ve had incredible treatment compared to Dracovish)

So I got over that, but Aggron went down and it only seemed like it took burn damage. That definitely was lame. However, Cradily came out and was perhaps the best Pokémon to watch in this battle. We’ve seen Aggron loads so I’m glad they went with this. When Meteor Beam and Dazzling Gleam clashed - I was saying to myself “Please don’t be a tie, please don’t be a tie, please don’t be a tie” and it wasn’t so I was incredibly happy, and then we got a great bout between Cradily and Pikachu.

I hate ties, I hate them - always so obviously used to speed things up (rather then seeing Goodra loose to Sceptile, just have it tie with Slurpuff) The only good ties are Bulbasaur vs Meganium, Buisel vs Lucario and Pikachu vs Latios. Yes, perhaps you could argue a tie would have allowed for a longer battle with Metagross - but no thank you, it should’ve been a cliffhanger in that case and carried on till next episode, no ties. The entire first round of this tournament hasn’t had a single tie. I am jubilant!

And look Metagross went down a bit quickly but I like the final match up for two reasons; it was tense - we already knew next episode is not about the Masters 8 so I was slightly worried Ash would actually loose (it’s a twist I probably wouldn’t have liked but they could have made it work) And it wasn’t just a pull out the Z-Move and win button (mostly was though) and Iron Tail won the match after Metagross nearly avoided the Z-move.

I think a lot of people are annoyed that the semifinals are happening later, I’m fine with that. We can get a conclusion to Chloe‘s story, then get the semifinals, then conclusion to project Mew and then the finals (Arceus let us be 6 on 6)

Look, I get there are things to be disappointed with but we’ve had 3 at least pretty great battles out of this (and Leon vs Alain) featuring some of the most best characters in Pokémon and cameos of characters we never thought would ever get an update to their Bulbapedia pages. For all the faults in Journeys, (I could write paragraphs and paragraphs) this is something special!
 

Neo Blaze

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Kinda odd that May was absent when most of her major rivals and even some minor AG characters did appear, especially since May hasn't appeared in Journeys at all aside from a flashback. But I have a feeling that they're saving appearances of Ash's friends for his battle against Cynthia or Leon (the latter especially being most likely).

Also minor detail, but I noticed that all of the AG characters were watching the battle at the Ever Grande City League Conference Pokémon Center. Kind of an odd choice to have all those characters gather there, especially since a bunch of Coordinators were there, but perhaps that's just where they all decided to have a big watch party together.
 

WatcherMark

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Boy, this battle sucked.

Uonoragon was done dirty here, being taken down in a single hit. Like, I appreciate the writers wanted Daigo to seem like he was going to be a difficult opponent for Satoshi to beat but man, let the poor fish dragon take a couple of more hits before being KOed. I supposed I could say it was evened out because Bossgodora was taken out almost as ridiculously easy, being defeated by nothing more than burn damage and a move it resist.

Yuradle made up for its predecessors a bit. I was glad to see it's reputation as a tank in-game was carried over to the anime as it took hit after hit and kept on going, finally managing to knock out Gangar. I thought it'd manage to put up more of a fight against Pikachu but those are the breaks I guess.

Given how the first two scraps in this battle ended in what were pretty much one hit KOs, Pikachu seemed to take way too much damage from Metagross. Part of me even began to think that, since we're back at the lab next week, that maybe Pikachu was going to get knocked out here and Satoshi was going to have to wait for another chance to battle Dande further down the road. But he took hit after hit before Satoshi FINALLY brought out his Z-Ring (I'd have Gigantamaxed personally but whatevs). I will admit, I did like how Metagross didn't just stand there waiting to take the hit and actually dodged the first few bolts and tried to blast Pikachu while he was stuck in position, plus he's the first Pokemon in this series known to survive 10,000,000 Thunderbolt so there's that. Natrually of course, Metagross is eventually taken out by a move he is resistant too because let's finish as we started I guess.

So despite a couple of quick moments, I did not enjoy this battle at all. Too many Pokemon went down too easily with both Bossgodora and Metagross not seeming like the kind of powerful Pokemon that a champion should be carrying. With the exception of Yuradle vs Gangar, the battles were too quick and brief for me to get into.
More cameos abound. I find it strange that Masamune was relegated to a back-of-head shot when he was the closest Satoshi had to a rival in AG while someone Satoshi battled once gets plenty of camera time in the next shot... and boy, did the animators raid the archive for cameos here. Pretty much everyone who appeared in the shot was a COTD during Advanced... once again, weird that so many familiar faces are hanging out in a single Pokemon Center together.

I did like that all of Satoshi's Pokemon at the lab were watching... and hey Kenji! We haven't seen you in years! Try not to be out of town next time Satoshi visits.

Well, that's it for the M8 for now. I still can't fathom why this tournament is so drawn out... imagine if the World Cup took a month-long break after the group stages.
 

Reborn Talonflame

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Another okay battle. The real points go towards seeing Ash act on his feet quickly, showing his experience and techniques over the years, but otherwise, meh. The battle shifted dramatically when the Z-Move was used, and honestly made me think if Ash even knew that the Thunderbolts would catch Steven off guard, thinking it’s only a one-directional attack and couldn’t be controlled.
And, it made me happy seeing Paul smiling for Ash, similar to how he was disappointed when Tobias knocked him out of the Sinnoh League - he respects him so much now.
Overall these battles aren’t really the peak of what the anime can do, so I really hope the battles against Cynthia and Leon step it up by quite a bit.

One thing to note is that Pikachu took out Metagross with an Iron Tail, the first move Pikachu learnt in the Advanced Series to battle Roxanne, so it’s come full circle hasn’t it - beating the first step to facing the Champion, to actually beating the Champion.

Also, whilst I really don’t care for Koharu’s episodes, thank you writers for breaking the tournament up. I couldn’t see how having Goh’s finale after Ash’s would have fit in terms of hype; anything following the battle against Leon would have been so under-par.
Be a bit weird if Iris didn’t return, but I’m expecting all of Ash’s companions to return to watch the final battle, cause Hop just ain’t it - he’s literally just there to be amazed at what Ash has done. Also, damn, Alain really was made to be the dramatic, edgy guy this time. The guy barely shows any emotion anymore.
 

Kairyu

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The main issue with these fights, other than the fact that the animation isn't very good, is that there's simply not enough time available for the fights to feel satisfactory. Forcing certain mons to job quickly (Dracovish in this case) so the other matchups can get said time does not feel good. Another thing contributing to this is all the time spent cutting away to things that aren't directly part of the battle - whilst the battle is going on - cameos, Oak's lab, announcer booth, the stands, Team Rocket, the M8 participants... add all that up and significant battle time is lost, and cutting away this often completely diminishes the pace of the battling too.

Other series did 3v3 battles in a single episode well, like some of Ash's past gym battles, but with all the things going on it currently does not feel possible, and these matchups should be part of multiple episodes to facilitate that.

But hey, apparently the evolutionary outcome of the shows 587'th Eevee is more important than giving battles between literal champions the time it so desperately needs.
 
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LovelyChika123

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The main issue with these fights, other than the fact that the animation isn't very good, is that there's simply not enough time available for the fights to feel satisfactory.
I agree, but unfortunately it may be because the writers want to put this season to a close since a new game of a new region is coming out later this year.
 

Kurolegacy

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Yep, it looks like she left at the end along with Alain and Steven.
So with that, it’s official that Alain’s time here was a total waste of a return. He came back, got curbstomped, watched the remainder of round 1 and then just leaves without actually adding anything with his presence. What a waste.
 
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