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Review JN129: The Finals I: "Torrent"

Writers, all I asked for was some interaction between siblings. Instead, I got "they sat in a room together and didn't talk to each other". I'd call that the bare minimum, but that'd be a lie.
I guess they're being faithful to the games... That aside, Hop has been treated like such an afterthought that I wouldn't have any expectations that they would actually demonstrate his bond with his super star brother in any capacity.

Anyway, what a wonderful start to Journeys' final battle.
  • As several people have pointed out, the animation was top notch everywhere. I really enjoyed Cinderace's ending scenes, the close ups of Inteleon (okay, well everything about Inteleon really), Gengar's Shadow Ball, and Ash's shots of satisfaction when G-Max Terror and Cursed Body activated their effects. And this wasn't even directed by Iwane! Very very impressed.
  • I still find Leon's switching jarring and out-of-character, but it is what it is.
  • Inteleon. Everything about Inteleon was absolutely amazing - even though one of my favorite Galarian Starters lost without a knockout, it still got to go out with incredible style. Dual-wielding finger guns was a neat idea to set Leon's Inteleon apart from others as well as establishing its level of skill. The kid in me screamed seeing it ready that while Ash had Gengar Gigantamax - that level of hype should have been present in every Masters 8 Battle. Then there was the grounded Aqua Jet Counter Shield, which also looked visually impressive. Fun fact: all three times someone has copied Ash's Counter Shield, it's been with a Water-type move (Muddy Water, Bubble Beam, and now Aqua Jet).
    • I liked how it readily used its tail as a weapon and deterrent against opponent attacks - between that and its fingers, its latter scenes were all very gun fu-like and reminded me of Bayonetta. My favorite scenes in particular include that initial Dark Pulse (the sound effect and blur transition from Inteleon's face to its fingers was top notch) and the second, critical , Dark Pulse it shot upside down while midair after a series of spins. Just, badass all around. This was what I expected Go's to do of some similarity after it evolved, but we all know what happened there.
    • My only small gripe is that I think this would have been an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Inteleon's natural skills in full, since this will arguably be the last time we see one animated. We got to see the nictitating membrane (which was eerily awesome, with that clicking and eye darting Inteleon was doing), but wouldn't it have been memorable to see Inteleon use its secret tail knife to try to cut through the bonds of G-Max Terror? Or use its membrane to fly around Max Ooze's burst of acid? Something I thought of after the fact is it would have been clever on Ash's part if Leon commanded Inteleon to go invisible, only for Ash to reveal its footsteps (and thus location) by swamping the field with Max Ooze. But anyway, I digress on the awesomeness that was Inteleon. Gone too soon, RIP.
    • Good on Gengar for getting the first KO of the match! No jobbing on its part and that is wonderful. The writers really stepped it up with its battling in the final quarter of Journeys, which I'm grateful for.
  • I'm not a big Mr. Rime fan, but I must admit it had a spectacular showing shutting down Gengar and establishing not only an ice arena but Psychic Terrain as well; the belly's faces after being afflicted with Cursed Body was amusing to see. I'm looking forward to a clash between tools in the next episode with it and Sirfetch'd.
  • Lastly, I have mixed feelings about Leon allowing Ash to use all three gimmicks. It does seem like a Leon thing to do by the virtue of him wanting to impress a crowd narratively, but it allows Ash three notable powerups that Leon doesn't have. How can we objectively say that the battle is fair now? If Ash wins, how credible is his victory knowing that he did not fight Leon on equal footing? I feel like this decision by the writers was made to appease both sides - if Ash loses, Leon's reputation remains intact and those who feel that Ash's team was never on that level will be validated; if he wins, fans who wanted Ash to will be satisfied while detractors can say it wasn't a equitable victory. Or at least, that's how I see it.
    • That aside, that Ash has already used his Dynamax skill and it was necessary to subdue one of Leon's (nonboosted) Pokémon is pretty telling narratively. Inteleon totally would have won had Gengar not had done that; I guess it just shows the difference in power between the two despite their rankings. I just hope this level of momentum is maintained throughout the four episodes because this is the most interested I have been in an Ash battle for a while.
  • Dawn proves again why she is amazing by being Ash's only friend outside of Chloe to show up for one of his/the biggest fights in the world at its beginning.
  • I liked Pikachu's little flip at the activation of Psychic Terrain. It was so unnecessary but cool nonetheless.
 
I like this battle but I have an few small notes.
1. I wouldnt understand why Mr. Rime used Psychic Terrain. Really nothing special happened. Then that Gengar was the entire battle froze and didnt show his power in the battle against Mr. Rime.
2. Then I think it was Iittle that Inteleon has double-shot but it was kinda the same as an normal Inteleon. And of course: where was Inteleons Torrent?
 
I like this battle but I have an few small notes.
1. I wouldnt understand why Mr. Rime used Psychic Terrain. Really nothing special happened. Then that Gengar was the entire battle froze and didnt show his power in the battle against Mr. Rime.
Gengar being frozen is exactly why Psychic Terrain was so well timed and pivotal - Mr.
Rime was able to freely use it without fear of being attacked or interrupted. It boosts its Psychic moves, including doubling the power of its Expanding Force (meaning it actually can synergize with the terrain it established). Lastly, Psychic Terrain nullifies all priority moves for grounded targets, meaning Pikachu’s Quick Attack and Lucario’s Bullet Punch are now useless on Cinderace, Mr. Rime, Dragapult, and Rillaboom. Those moves are pretty substantial for them.
 
2. Then I think it was Iittle that Inteleon has double-shot but it was kinda the same as an normal Inteleon. And of course: where was Inteleons Torrent?
It's hinted that Inteleon has Sniper instead of Torrent, given that it landed a critical hit on Gengar at least once, likely even twice.
 
I still don't understand why Iris left if she was going to watch Ash battle anyways?

Diantha and Cynthia got to stick around

Aoi Yuki, Iris's VA, is pretty busy and popular right now. Obviously they didn't want to pay her for more episodes than they had to.
 
Many people are saying that it doesnt make sense that Ash´s mom doesnt show up at the stadium, but theres actually a good justification for this. Tickets for world cups of popular sports are expensive , and are sold really fast. Its much more difficult to buy tickets for world events than it is to buy them for a regional league. Goh couldnt watch the finals , so he likely sold his ticket to Chloe or Dawn. Hop went to seat at Sonias side , so Chloe and Dawn could watch together.
 
Many people are saying that it doesnt make sense that Ash´s mom doesnt show up at the stadium, but theres actually a good justification for this. Tickets for world cups of popular sports are expensive , and are sold really fast. Its much more difficult to buy tickets for world events than it is to buy them for a regional league. Goh couldnt watch the finals , so he likely sold his ticket to Chloe or Dawn. Hop went to seat at Sonias side , so Chloe and Dawn could watch together.
I’m pretty sure a soccer player playing in the finals of the World Cup would be able to afford for his mother to be there, though, if the team/organization didn’t provide that funding already.
 
I’m pretty sure a soccer player playing in the finals of the World Cup would be able to afford for his mother to be there, though, if the team/organization didn’t provide that funding already.
In real life, when most soccer players arrive at World Cup, they are alread famous , well paid , and plays in a famous club. The Club pays him to play. However, nobody pays pokemon trainers to battle. We know from the games that trainers earn money from the other trainer if they win a battle and LOSE money if they lose the battle. We never saw that happening in the anime, but I think we can assume its the same as the games until a proper explanation to how trainers are able to feed themselves is given.

The most famous trainers will likely be paid to have ads stuck on their clothes, just like Leon has many ads stuck on his cape. But Leon is a world champion, while up until now, ash was just a boy that won a regional league in a place that never had a league before.
We have zero clue how expensive most things in this show are. Given people use planes like they're an uber service, I doubt real world logic applies here.
People dont use planes like ubers in pokemon world. From kanto saga to kalos saga, ash used to WALK from city to city and camp in the forest if he got lost. In alola, he lived with professor kukui and used to ride pokemon use boats to go from island to island. Only in journeys he uses planes. But most travels by plane are done to do a research to the professor. So, he is traveling on business, the professor likely pays their travels. In galar, there is a flying uber service called corvinight taxi . Planes are likely as expensive as they are in real life.
 
But most travels by plane are done to do a research to the professor. So, he is traveling on business, the professor likely pays their travels.
The amount their flights would cost, keeping in mind the cost of international travel, no one is paying that amount for a bunch of amateur researchers with no experience.

Signed: Someone who started research
 
Many people are saying that it doesnt make sense that Ash´s mom doesnt show up at the stadium, but theres actually a good justification for this. Tickets for world cups of popular sports are expensive , and are sold really fast. Its much more difficult to buy tickets for world events than it is to buy them for a regional league. Goh couldnt watch the finals , so he likely sold his ticket to Chloe or Dawn. Hop went to seat at Sonias side , so Chloe and Dawn could watch together.

I mean.... you would assume the finalists would get VIP tickets to hand out to friends and family... just like usually happens irl for big sporting events.
 
Pretty good first part for this battle. Plenty of stuff going on, some nice animation to go along with it, some good strategies from both Ash and Leon and cameos from the likes of
Iris, Lance, Alain, Sycamore, Mairin, Raihan, Piers, Marnie, those Team Yell guys and Allister. Even Cynthia and Diantha are still here too so that's cool.
yes it is very exicting
 
Now aren’t we quite the contrarian this morning. Not like people have been saying this would happen pretty much since before the Masters 8 even started.
So? What's contrarian about wanting Ash's biggest victory to feel deserved? I don't even like XY, but Pikachu defeating Mega Lucario by itself was a lot more impressive than this. The same thing happened with Dragonite in this series.

Oh well. I don't think he'll win, and this cheap advantage makes that prospect worse. At least he'll have that coming.
 
So? What's contrarian about wanting Ash's biggest victory to feel deserved? I don't even like XY, but Pikachu defeating Mega Lucario by itself was a lot more impressive than this. The same thing happened with Dragonite in this series.

Oh well. I don't think he'll win, and this cheap advantage makes that prospect worse. At least he'll have that coming.
Not feeling deserved? Aside from 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt, Ash actually put in the work to get the other gimmicks. Are you gonna say he doesn’t deserve his win against Kukui because the gods gave him a nuke of a z-move with no explanation? It’s not Ash’s fault that Leon made the proposal. He wants Ash to come at him without holding anything back. That’s something that a Champion battle should be. If anything, it’s the writers finally actually living up to the full potential that they set up for a change.
 
Gimmicks are bound by rules for a reason. I think it's a stretch to say that Ash worked particularly hard for them, anyway. The payoff is disproportionate.

"It's Leon's fault!" doesn't work when discussing a narrative choice made by OLM. As a matter of fact, I do find Leon to be cocky and rather obnoxious in an "endearing" way. But this is Ash's story, not his. Ash took the easy way out by accepting the offer.
 
Remember a couple of eps ago, people complained about Ash beating's Cynthia's Garchomp when it couldn't Mega Evolve, therefore not fighting it at "It's full power". Now when Ash can apply all 3 mechanics to his pokemon therefore using HIS full power, it's now a bad thing cause Leon only uses one. I feel a sort of double standard here
 
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