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Review JNS04: Miraculous Radiance! The Legend of Sinnoh!

Gabo2oo

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See the thing I hate about this series is that one day I'm seeing some of the worst episodes ever and next thing you know they manage to make one of the best special arcs we've had in years. It's like you never know what you're getting.

Anyways, the whole thing was a bless to watch. We got to hear A LOT of Miyazaki's beautiful DP soundtrack again and Brock's re-introduction actually felt pretty natural. I guess it helped that Dawn has been in contact with Ash so much in this series, so the three of them reuniting in Sinnoh by pure chance isn't that hard to swallow. I thought Brock owning a jet was kind of a stretch, but he's already piloted an aircraft and a freaking spaceship so... All in all, it's great to see him graudally progressing as a Doctor, whether it's done on purpose or not.

The Galactic Commanders' goal was also 100% believable and justified. Creating a new plot out of a story arc that already ended is always dangerous, but they found just the right way to do it. Getting Heatran into the mix also connects with Platinum's story in Stark Mountain, so it almost feels like this was an "epilogue" of sorts that was always meant to be.

Edit: Saturn does have a different development after Team Galactic's defeat in the games, but that doesn't make this deviation bad at all. Both are perfectly valid characterizations.



You can tell at times the plot was dragging on (especially some animation sequences involving the Heatran lava monster); but surprisingly, Part 3 actually benefited from this as it made the characters show more personality. I mean details like Dawn staying behind for a couple of seconds to tell Brock to be careful, or Goh slipping through the rocks while everyone else keeps running ahead, that sort of stuff makes everyone feel more "alive" even if it's there just to fill more time.

Another thing I loved is how they knew exactly when and how to use the characters. When Brock stayed to fight Team Galactic I thought the writers were trying to get rid of him, but they actually showed the battle and let him shine by himself. And then when Cynthia came to help, Brock left Croagunk and Blissey with her because only Steelix was needed to advance the plot on the Heatran side of things. I haven't checked the screenplay credits, but I'm sure a less clever or caring writer would've just had Brock recall his Pokémon.

Not to mention, Steelix helps Brock's appearance here not to feel too detached from his Sun & Moon's more OS-based appearence. Like, it would've been too obvious if he only had his Sinnoh Pokémon here. And by the way, Officer Jenny is here too! She doesn't really do anything, but just knowing that the police is working behind the scenes is good for immersion. Again, it makes the whole thing feel more real and believable.



As for Part 4, love this take on Arceus' role, with Cynthia explicitly saying Arceus intervenes for guidance rather than to solve humans' problems all by itself. This shines in contrast to the dumpster fire that was the whole "prayer" thing in the Dialga & Palkia two-parter. I'm sure Arceus not speaking may be off-putting for most because... well it makes no sense because of the movie, but this kinda makes me wish it never spoke to begin with. It's more fitting for a "God" figure IMO.

Cynthia and especially Brock not doing anything during the climax is kinda unfortunate too, but they had enough moments throughout the whole special so I can let it pass. I do wish we'd seen him treating Heatran's injuries or something, though. Also, the backgrounds inside the lava monster were so simple and yet so unique, I can't think of any other times we saw something like it. I'm glad they didn't use CGI for them.

The Legends: Arceus bit at the end was a bit lackluster, the fact we're looking into the past isn't portrayed very well. The color pallete isn't distinct enough and there's barely anything showing the Hisuian lifestyle. Then again, I also have my fair share of problems with that game's artstyle itself.

Who are the real villains? The people who want to bring back their boss from possible torture or the people trying to stop them? Cryus should have come back because it means we STILL have that loose plot thread from DP anime.
There's no loose plot thread. Cyrus got what he wanted, turned on his team and left, that was the end of his arc. Bringing him back would be akin to revealing Hunter J is actually alive or something like that.
 
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CharizardFan7

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There's no loose plot thread. Cyrus got what he wanted, turned on his team and left, that was the end of his arc. Bringing him back would be akin to revealing Hunter J is actually alive or something like that.
Right. Cyrus was just using his team after all for his own ends, he never cared about them.
 

cricketlaxwolvesbandy

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See the thing I hate about this series is that one day I'm seeing some of the worst episodes ever and next thing you know they manage to make one of the best special arcs we've had in years. It's like you never know what you're getting.

Anyways, the whole thing was a bless to watch. We got to hear A LOT of Miyazaki's beautiful DP soundtrack again and Brock's re-introduction actually felt pretty natural. I guess it helped that Dawn has been in contact with Ash so much in this series, so the three of them reuniting in Sinnoh by pure chance isn't that hard to swallow. I thought Brock owning a jet was kind of a stretch, but he's already piloted an aircraft and a freaking spaceship so... All in all, it's great to see him graudally progressing as a Doctor, whether it's done on purpose or not.

The Galactic Commanders' goal was also 100% believable and justified. Creating a new plot out of a story arc that already ended is always dangerous, but they found just the right way to do it. Getting Heatran into the mix also connects with Platinum's story in Stark Mountain, so it almost feels like this was an "epilogue" of sorts that was always meant to be.



You can tell at times the plot was dragging on (especially when involving the Heatran lava monster); but surprisingly, Part 3 actually benefited from this as it made the characters show more personality. I mean details like Dawn stoping by to tell Brock to be careful, or Goh slipping through the rocks, that sort of stuff makes everyone feel more "alive" even if it's there just to fill more time.

Another thing I loved is how they knew exactly when and how to use the characters. When Brock stayed to fight Team Galactic I thought the writers were trying to get rid of him, but they actually showed the battle and let him shine by himself. And then when Cynthia came to help, Brock left Croagunk and Blissey with her because only Steelix was needed to advance the plot on the Heatran side of things. I haven't checked the screenplay credits, but I'm sure a less clever or caring writer would've just had Brock recall his Pokémon.

Not to mention, Steelix helps Brock's appearance here not to feel too detached from his Sun & Moon's more OS-based appearence. Like, it would've been too obvious if he only had his Sinnoh Pokémon here. And by the way, Officer Jenny is here too! She doesn't really do anything, but just knowing that the police is working behind the scenes is good for immersion. Again, it makes the whole thing feel more real and believable.



As for Part 4, love this take on Arceus' role, with Cynthia explicitly saying Arceus intervenes for guidance rather than to solve humans' problems all by itself. This shines in contrast to the dumpster fire that was the whole "prayer" thing in the Dialga & Palkia two-parter. I'm sure Arceus not speaking may be off-putting after having watched the movie, but this kinda makes me wish it never spoke to begin with. It's more fitting for a "God" figure IMO.

Cynthia and especially Brock not doing anything during the climax is kinda unfortunate too, but they had enough moments throughout the whole special so I can let it pass. I do wish we'd seen him treating Heatran's injuries or something, though. Also, the backgrounds inside the lava monster were so simple and yet so unique, I can't think of any other times we saw something like it. I'm glad they didn't use CGI for them.

The Legends: Arceus bit at the end was a bit lackluster, the fact we're looking into the past isn't portrayed very well. The color pallete isn't distinct enough and there's barely anything showing the Hisuian lifestyle. Then again, I also have my fair share of problems with that game's artstyle itself.


There's no loose plot thread. Cyrus got what he wanted, turned on his team and left, that was the end of his arc. Bringing him back would be akin to revealing Hunter J is actually alive or something like that.
I only heard you say Ashs name once. How was his behavior this special?
 

Gabo2oo

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I only heard you say Ashs name once. How was his behavior this special?
Overall, I feel like he didn't stand out any more than the other characters, which is good for a special like this IMO. But he did improvise an attack strategy to rescue Heatran that probably no one else would've come up with, so his moments to shine were very in-character. He's also fittingly aware of what's going on here, i.e. he's quick to fill Goh in with the details about his Sinnoh journey, he and Dawn draw conclusions about what they've already learnt about Arceus and the Lake Trio, etc.

Honestly the more I reflect on this special the more I like it. Not surprised it was written by Tomioka.
 
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ManUtd22

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Honestly, between these specials and Pokemon Masters, I now feel REALLY bad for the Team Galactic Commanders. They care so much about Cyrus, but since he literally doesn't believe in emotions, he doesn't give a crap about them. I wish they'd just move on from him, at least in the anime. I know they're villains, but they deserve so much better.


I want to see them been killed or attacked by police to learn there leasson. They shpuld learn there lesson after dialga palkia event in pokemon diamond and pearl season.

I thought that saturn learnt his lesson when he stopped mars from going with cyrus when he hold her hand. I do love Mars Commander and the story of team galatic was great but they never learnt there lesson at all
 

DarkraiKnight

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I want to see them been killed or attacked by police to learn there leasson. They shpuld learn there lesson after dialga palkia event in pokemon diamond and pearl season.

I thought that saturn learnt his lesson when he stopped mars from going with cyrus when he hold her hand. I do love Mars Commander and the story of team galatic was great but they never learnt there lesson at all
Um…okay, then…
 

magicknight94

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Greatest comeback ever.
Ash flipping his hat
5tzvIEz.jpeg
 

Kairyu

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Jesus fucking christ... I haven't been that excited watching PokeAni in years... last thing that even comes close to this level was probably the Kukui fight at the end of Alola.

First off, big thanks to the holy trinity of Asada/Iwane/Tomioka. Those guys knocked it out of the park with this arc. It was nice hearing some of the old Miyazaki songs, but not to be forgotten also is Yuki Hayashi: the new music he composed a few months ago really made a difference setting the dramatic tone of most of the key action scenes. And lastly, thank you Jeff Bezos! Without Amazon it's doubtful this would've been made, unironically.

On to the episodes themselves. Probably the best thing is that nobody got shafted. Everyone got to take fair part in vanquishing the threat. Even friggin Steelix got into the action! I also loved the reference to the end of AG and the episode where Joy fought Ash, when Blissey went from looking happy to getting that battle-ready look on its eyes and subsequently punched Purugly into another dimension.

Moreover, Heatran finally got some redemption after being shafted for so long. It's such a powerful and cool Pokemon, so it being a punchball in the Arceus move and only having that forgettable DP ranger episode to its name have always been bugging me. Finally it got the role and screentime it deserved.

Another thing I liked is how Brock was portrayed, especially in episode 3. No longer was he in the background like an irrelevant third-wheel. No, he took off his shirt and took the lead like a big alpha. Utilized three of his signature mons to their full potential in warding off the Galaxy admins and delaying Heatran's advance. So damn great.

Another good thing is they didn't repeat the anti-climax that happened in the previous DP special just a few weeks ago, where everything was resolved in such a disappointing manner (that time with the power of friendship). I thought after Arceus appeared it'd do some moves and the final plot would be resolved - but it simply assisted and let the protagonists do the real work, so thank god for that!

I also can't help but wonder if that final plea to Arceus from the Galactic admins about Cyrus is a hint to a follow up of these specials...?

Overall an incredible special that had everything. I doubt anything can top this in JN until we get to the end and the final PWC fights.
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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Moreover, Heatran finally got some redemption after being shafted for so long. It's such a powerful and cool Pokemon, so it being a punchball in the Arceus move and only having that forgettable DP ranger episode to its name have always been bugging me. Finally it got the role and screentime it deserved.
Not to mention just randomly seeing one entering the Sinnoh League in the background as if it was no big deal whatsoever.
 

marshiyanmisuta

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Some notes I take while watching it:

Compared to other three storylines she returned, Hikari seems most in-character in these episodes. Probably because she's around people she already know, instead of fish-out-if-water situations in the previous stories.

I don't think Saturn's lack of redemption is bad. But at the end of Team Galaxy finale, Saturn seem to believe that Cyrus is gone for good, since the universe he tried to create supposed to be destroyed. That's why he stopped Mars from going after him in the first place. Here they all seek Cyrus, seeming to believe that Cyrus is still alive and his universe is still existing in someplace. My theory: I think they're simply in denial and Cyrus is still dead. That's why Arceus ignored their wish, as it was a fool's errand.

This is first time that Heatran felt like an actual legendary pokémon. Still, it was due to Fire Plate's power up more than its own powers. Still cool though.
 

vivian20

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I really liked this special. It seens that Mars and Jupiter somehow convinced Saturn that Cyrus is still alive, so they try to find him. But Cyrus is likely dead.

I think its odd that Arceus doesnt speak here, but its just because his telepathy wasnt voiced. Maybe they couldnt bring back his voice actor. He still clearly used telepathy to talk to the lake trio. Arceus is likely losing his patience with humans .He just had to show up to fix problems caused by humans in the dialga and palkia special, and now he had to show up to support Ash and his friends again. I can see arceus talking to the lake trio something like " Remember the time when ash just fixed legendary problems on his own? Now i have to show up to help him! Come on, I just want to sleep for 5 centuries!"
 

Queen Cynthia

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I'm so happy now that I finally managed to watch the subbed episode!

This four-episode special reminded us once again, why Ash, Dawn and Brock are simply a dream team, why Team Galactic are the most interesting villains, why Sinnoh has been and probably always will be the best region, why Sinnoh Pokemon are the most epic ones and why Her Majesty Cynthia undoubtedly is the true, greatest and most wonderful Champion. The magic and dignity she adds to every episode she's in is just beyond words. I'll kneel down before her :notworthy:

Oh by the way, I can understand why some guys might feel sorry for the Team Galactic commanders. But let's not forget, it's not that they just wanted to see Cyrus one last time. No, it was clearly stated they intended to bring him back because they were still dreaming about creating their own, "ideal" world. So, no, I don't feel sorry for them because they apparently haven't changed one bit and thus, Arceus' decision was perfectly right.

The only thing I couldn't quite explain was how that Whirlpool-Thunderbolt combination was supposed to work and how an ordinary Snipe Shot can go all the way through the lava monster? Were these moves powered up by Arceus' energy surrounding them or how could they have worked they way they did in the first place? And how could our heroes survive inside the lava monster when the water dome was just outside but not inside? We probably have to accept these things as way of Arceus supporting them. Now that's an interesting question: Can you call that "deus ex macchina"? Pun intended :LOL:


To sum it up in one line: A wonderful, if not the best special so far! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!
 
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