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Review PE01: The Champion

Ghost Diplocaulus

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This was okay. It's interesting to see Leon's perspective regarding the Darkest Day aftermath, but I do feel like it was dragged on a bit more than necessary. That said, there are some really nice moments here such as seeing all the Pokemon battle Eternatus, and I enjoyed that moment near the end with Charizard encouraging Leon. That was very sweet, and I hope we get more moments like that between the characters and their Pokemon in future episodes.

Hop with Cinderace! Good combination if you ask me!
imo, Cinderace going to Hop is the best fit. Not only does it reference his name due to being a rabbit and all (rabbits hop after all), but due to how much Hop idolizes his brother it makes perfect sense that he'd pick the Fire-type Starter to be his partner to match Leon's Charizard.
 

NealIRC

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Hop with Cinderace! Good combination if you ask me!
But that would put Leon with a Rillaboom. Which makes him with a Rhyperior. If you ask me, the ideal Leon should have a Mr. Rime, over a Seismitoad or Rhyperior. Just cuz Mr. Rime is a Galar pokemon.
 

Rainbow-Rain

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NealIRC

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Counter point.

Leon with Rillaboom is actually Leon at his strongest. And it's a more balanced team than with Inteleon or Cinderace

https://twitter.com/PokeliYT/status/1435992881744039941?s=19
Yea, it looks like that chart is going by bst, and Rhyperior has the highest bst between Mr. Rime and Seismitoad. Though I still vote for Mr. Rime cuz he has the highest bst without having a 4x weakness. You're right that his team is least balanced if he has a Cinderace. Imo, Hop deserves a Rillaboom the most.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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Yea, it looks like that chart is going by bst, and Rhyperior has the highest bst between Mr. Rime and Seismitoad. Though I still vote for Mr. Rime cuz he has the highest bst without having a 4x weakness. You're right that his team is least balanced if he has a Cinderace. Imo, Hop deserves a Rillaboom the most.
Mr. Rime imo doesn't really fit Leon that well, imo. I dunno, Leon's team seems to have something of a medieval theme going to it: Aegislash obviously represents a knight's sword while Dragapult, Haxorus, and Charizard are the dragons you'd see in any medieval story. Seismitoad and Rhyperior both would add to the theme by standing in for just about any kind of unusual monster an adventuring knight might face (perhaps they could be seen as ogres or trolls to a certain extent), but Mr. Rime destroys that theme. Granted, the Galar Starter does ruin the theme too, but at least it has the excuse that it wasn't originally part of Leon's team.

...also, I know this is purely subjective, but I feel like Rillaboom on Leon also gives him by far the most aesthetically intimidating and imposing team, which imo fits his image of an unbeatable Champion the most: Rillaboom is the largest Galar Starter, and Rypherior similarly towers over Seismitoad and Mr. Rime. And its Solid Rock Ability makes the x4 weaknesses less of an issue anyway.
 

0cerge

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But then they… didn’t give him an interior monologue, or even any dialogue for the most part, thereby completely fumbling the novel solution they’d just set up. To me, that feels even more disappointing than if this episode had fallen in line with my low expectations of just retreading the basic scene directly.
Well, it was a literally "show, don't tell" episode.
 

Emmy

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2. Shouldn't the voice actors have a British accent?
Putting aside the fact that American attempts at British accents are always terrible, I think it’s a bit late in the day to be giving accents to Regions in Pokémon anime as they didn’t really do that sort of thing in the mainline series or even other shorts. :unsure:
 

Esserise

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Well, it was a literally "show, don't tell" episode.

yeah but here's the thing people get wrong about that adage

It's not meant to say you should never "tell" something in a story. What it means is that usually, you can communicate an idea more effectively by demonstrating it and its effects visually rather than explaining them directly. i.e. if a character is feeling sad, show that through their behavior instead of having them blurt out "I'm sad."

But that doesn't mean concepts like exposition and interior thought process don't have a place in storytelling. The latter especially can open up entirely new dimensions of a character's perspective. Everyone has thoughts constantly buzzing in their heads, and we don't verbalize everything we think of, so the tension between what we think versus what we do and say can be compelling, as can the nature of which thoughts we choose to divulge or withhold, as that is a conscious curation of the self that we choose to portray to the world. With animation in particular, it's more feasible to enter a character's head like this than it would be in live-action or a video game, because the narration of an interior monologue can run in parallel with images of the character not saying those thoughts, or making facial/body expressions which complement those thoughts. It's an advantage of the medium.

So yes, it is good that the episode doesn't show Leon sitting there muttering something like, "I'm feeling uncertain about my future, Charizard." Instead, he looks down while Charizard shoots him a glance and gives him a hug, which restores some of his composure. But that's just basic storytelling standards, or indeed, an application of "show, don't tell." Without any kind of articulation of Leon's thoughts, all I gather from this is a vague sense of self-doubt and frustration over what happened with Eternatus. We could be seizing this rare, opportune moment to get inside his head, where he has to reflect and be honest with himself, but instead, we're left just watching him gurn pensively, and that's simply not very interesting.
 

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Putting aside the fact that American attempts at British accents are always terrible, I think it’s a bit late in the day to be giving accents to Regions in Pokémon anime as they didn’t really do that sort of thing in the mainline series or even other shorts. :unsure:
They did try to do it in Masters EX, with... mixed results.
 

PaperSplash

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Goldfarb doing amazing music? Now I have to check this out.
I can still tell it's him, but it's amazing how much of a difference in perception it makes when he's the original composer and doesn't have to live in someone else's shadow. Along with actually being able to do game remixes and leave in bits of silence, of course.

This series is a big opportunity for Goldfarb to start to turn around his reputation in the fandom; I'm being completely sincere when I say that. And I've seen nothing but praise from Japanese fans, the vast majority of which are undoubtedly hearing his compositions for the first time.
 

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Disappointed that the protagonist doesn't talk. I wonder if they will make an exception for Green/Blue though since I remember seeing her in the trailer. But would that mean they don't count her as a protagonist? But then again she was never the unused female protagonist like everyone thought (since that character looked completely different and was removed in the Capsule Monster days, the girl in the black dress was just made for the guidebook) but isn't she supposed to be the same girl as the FRLG female protagonist?

Leon is very similar to his brother in this anime since they both experience some kind of anxiety when defeated by others (Bede and the protagonist). It's almost like they both have some kind of inferiority complex. Funny how back in the day the player's opponents always had the opposite problem (Gen 1-2 rivals and agruably Brendan too if you played as a girl) since they were rude and confident. It's like they are almost recognizing that the protagonists are becoming more and more like Mary Sues lol.

Actually this episode kind of mirrors the one with Green (the rival) from Generation. Since it focuses on his superiority complex in a similar way that this episode focused on Leon's inferiority complex. Then they both get defeated by the protagonist. Coincidence?

(Interesting symbolism that the protagonist had a Substitute doll on his bag, since that might be how Leon felt?)
 

Yash

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I can still tell it's him, but it's amazing how much of a difference in perception it makes when he's the original composer and doesn't have to live in someone else's shadow. Along with actually being able to do game remixes and leave in bits of silence, of course.

This series is a big opportunity for Goldfarb to start to turn around his reputation in the fandom; I'm being completely sincere when I say that. And I've seen nothing but praise from Japanese fans, the vast majority of which are undoubtedly hearing his compositions for the first time.

Wait, the Japanese version uses his music too?
Seems that way. (quick edit: just found the Japanese version online and yes, it's the same OST) Really interesting development. I'd rather they let him score some projects originally and keep the Japanese OST in the main series.

I didn't offer any substantial commentary on this short lol but let me just say I actually really love the show, don't tell approach they took here. It's a very somber piece for Pokemon, and does a lot of what I'd want from any kind of adaptation by fleshing out the characters. The game storyline is painted in broad strokes but all the characterizations are extremely shallow, so seeing Leon having to deal with the fallout and even trauma of Darkest Day is some really fresh territory for the series.

And of course, the animation was incredible. Can't wait to see more from this, I didn't care for Generations much (the shorts felt too... short to be meaningful).
 

PaperSplash

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I'd rather they let him score some projects originally and keep the Japanese OST in the main series.
That seems like a good compromise, yeah. Everyone gets the same soundtracks worldwide and no one gets put out of a job.
I didn't offer any substantial commentary on this short lol but let me just say I actually really love the show, don't tell approach they took here. It's a very somber piece for Pokemon, and does a lot of what I'd want from any kind of adaptation by fleshing out the characters. The game storyline is painted in broad strokes but all the characterizations are extremely shallow, so seeing Leon having to deal with the fallout and even trauma of Darkest Day is some really fresh territory for the series.

And of course, the animation was incredible. Can't wait to see more from this, I didn't care for Generations much (the shorts felt too... short to be meaningful).
While I feel like this particular short still could have been longer and more in depth (though like we both said, the source material doesn't really help matters) I agree that the lack of dialogue wasn't a bad thing. On the contrary, I feel like if they had Leon narrate the short or do a monologue or something it would have felt very cheap, and this is coming from someone who doesn't have the best opinion of the short as it is now.
 

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I actually didn't mind seeing the Darkest Day plot used again...especially since I felt more from watching it during this 8 minute short than I did during the 4 episode arc it got in Journeys :rolleyes:

I really appreciated getting to see Leon's feelings after the fact. I've always expected these shorts to take a more mature approach than the core anime, and this was definitely a great example of that. It was cool how much you were able to interpret without very much being said at all.

That being said, I would've liked a little more dialogue. Perhaps it was just because a majority of the episode was dominated by a major battle, but I still would've liked to hear more from the characters. It was a little weird for this big battle to be going on without much from the characters, even just in terms of them commanding their Pokémon. I kept waiting for dialogue that never came.

Overall, it was an enjoyable short. I don't think I'm going to enjoy Evolutions quite as much as I did Twilight Wings, but these shorts are always a fun little watch.
 
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