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Kabu's Battle Training - Pokémon Horizons Episode 20 Review - It's Kabu Time

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Collage of screenshots from this episode, showing Kabu with Liko, Roy, and their Pokémon; Kaby on his own; Kabu's Litwick without a flame; and Centiskorch
It’s finally nice to actually see a Galarian Gym in full! Since Ash didn’t focus much on Gyms in favor of the World Coronation Series in Pokémon Journeys, Galarian Gym Leaders have been largely brushed off to the side up to this point. Kabu hadn't made any appearance in the previous series, so for him to have this entire episode of Pokémon Horizons as a spotlight dedicated to him, his Gym Test, and his Gym Trainer was very nice to see! It’s finally time Galar got the respect it deserved.

In Galar, Gym Leaders are like celebrities, so it’s nice to see that sort of vibe when Kabu was in the Battle Cafe. He’s still the same passionate and wise character like he was in the game. He gave a lot of advice that hopefully will be useful for future development - especially Liko’s. I do like how he sees their potential and does his best to bring it out. He sent out his Centiskorch, who’s too overpowered for rookie trainers like Liko and Roy, and I’m glad that he didn’t hold back. That would defeat the purpose of the wisdom he implemented onto Liko.

Liko’s major flaw as a character is that she’s perhaps too kind and considerate. While those are good traits, they are also weaknesses in a way, as holding back may let opportunities slip away. I’ve held back many things in the past out of consideration for others, but as I got older I then realized all the missed opportunities I could’ve had if I wasn’t going out of my way for them to the point of putting everyone above my own needs. In this case, Liko being too considerate for Wakaba caused her to be upset and for Sprigatito to get annoyed. Consideration is a double-edged sword in a way. While it’s nice to have, it can hurt others. I’m glad that Liko learned how it could hurt others, and how selfish it can be from a different perspective. This can open up an interesting path of development for Liko, as she has to learn that being too nice on a battlefield isn’t always right, and showing compassion isn’t always a good thing. I’m also glad that she actually contemplated on her actions and Kabu’s words at the end of the episode; like her, it makes me wonder what sort of Trainer she will become.

Roy is his usual self in this episode. However, I do notice that he was positioned here as Liko’s opposite. While he is kind, he’s not holding back on Fuecoco. While Fuecoco is down, Roy’s doing all he can to encourage and support his crocodile and, in turn, that’s what caused Fuecoco to learn Flamethrower. However, I do wish that Roy gets an opponent on his level soon and not get jobbed by stronger opponents. He’s essentially bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but Wakaba is the first instance of a Gym Trainer in a Galar-focused episode. While she’s a Gym Trainer apprentice, it’s nice to see the system of Gym Trainers be implemented in the anime. When was the last time we had Gym Trainers mentioned in a past series? Wakaba is a girl who admires Kabu and wants to be a Gym Trainer out of admiration. I do feel bad for her though because she’s essentially fodder in this episode for Liko to be nice to, with how she was just sitting there and not helping out in the first part of the double battle. I get why she just stood there though, because it was showing how she’s still inexperienced in a way. It was super nice seeing Rolycoly spinning around like a top, and I wish there was more action.

I do want to see Liko and Roy grow after this battle. I’m sure they will accumulate everything they have acquired throughout this journey to become the best versions of themselves in the future. A few years from now, I’m sure that we won’t recognize the flawed children they once were. Next time, they're heading to the Galar Mine to find Rayquaza after hearing Kabu's anecdote. What are your thoughts on this episode?


Bulbanews Writer
That literally didn't happen, though.
It might as well have happened, though! IIRC, we got whole episodes where Liko and Roy were doing battle training and coming up with battle strategies, and then in this episode they go right back to spamming Leafage/Ember, and then they come up with battle strategies all over again.

My memory of the past episodes is probably really hazy though, but it sure does feel like they're restarting their training every time there's an important battle episode!
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