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Review PE03: The Visionary

Momentum

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I was so excited for the Kalos episode, but as good as it was, it felt incredibly short and wish it had just a few more minutes.
 

PaperSplash

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I'll be honest. That... wasn't great. Decent concept; terrible execution. Felt very rushed, to say the least.

And Lysandre's voice... I know the man behind it is very talented, but the direction he was given just didn't do it for me. It only improved when he started shouting, but that was very brief. It still left a lot to be desired, and again, I'm putting that blame more on the direction than the voice actor.
 

RetroPokeFan

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Yeah, gotta agree with PaperSplash. A pretty rushed episode that did nothing much for me and again the voice direction lets the main star down (this time the very talented Adin Rudd).
 
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Esserise

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Well, that was certainly a thing. Easily my least favourite of the Evolutions series so far.

Yep. :confused_emoji:

A shame too, because I'm (unpopularly) a big fan of Lysandre/Team Flare. I do like the bit at the tail end and how it sort of encapsulates Lysandre's descent into despair by showing a point in his life where he had more hope and would have perhaps been more receptive to Diantha's way of thinking. That all works really well with the themes of X & Y, but it's a small glimmer of greatness in an otherwise very perfunctory recreation of the story climax. (Also, the Calem vs. Lysandre battle here suuuuuucked. After last episode's kinetic visual feast of Necrozma vs. Lunala, we just get Xerneas OHKOing Mega Gyarados? Relatedly, I don't really care about seeing Flare grunts evacuating the base - overall it feels like this episode's runtime wasn't managed very well.)

It's interesting to compare this with Lysandre's episode of Generations. Instead of depicting the actual climax, that episode decided to devote more time to the pretext leading up to it, and even depicted a few scenes that weren't rooted directly in the games, giving us a better look at Lysandre's public persona and his reputation as an inventor and philanthropist.
 

SammyW27

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Jeez, what is with these shorts not showing PCs faces???

Still always up for alternate takes on the villains. Plus, it was a treat seeing Serena. Bonus points for letting more than 2 people talk and having an ending this time.
 

Lightning Flame Blast

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What’s the point of hiding Calem’s face if they’re gonna show Serena’s? They are functionally the same character.

I agree with the rest here. The other two shorts weren’t groundbreaking, but they at least had amazing visuals and some nice translations into the fully animated media. This one has barely any action to distract you from the sloppy and rushed storytelling and really doesn’t give us anything new beyond fleshing out Lysandre’s breakdown.

Come to think of it, didn’t Generations tackle the exact same plot and POV?
 

Silktree

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Thanks for reminding me why I don't replay Y, OLM. That one has a slightly more sensible climax, though.
 

nickdt

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What a boring episode.

And those animations - did a child make them?
 

PaperSplash

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It's interesting to compare this with Lysandre's episode of Generations. Instead of depicting the actual climax, that episode decided to devote more time to the pretext leading up to it, and even depicted a few scenes that weren't rooted directly in the games, giving us a better look at Lysandre's public persona and his reputation as an inventor and philanthropist.
The Generations one I think was more about his CEO duties and prepping up his plan which honestly was much better than this.
I wasn't the biggest fan of Generations either, but I just rewatched that episode and it feels like a masterpiece in comparison, which really says something.
What’s the point of hiding Calem’s face if they’re gonna show Serena’s? They are functionally the same character.
Because she's not the playable Serena, you see, so it makes a total difference.
/sarcasm but it does seem like a deliberate artistic decision for what it's worth; they did it in Generations too.
Darn, its the X Lysandre and the whole eternal life thing. The Y Lysandre who just casually wants to commit mass genocide is much better.
Thanks for reminding me why I don't replay Y, OLM. That one has a slightly more sensible climax, though.
Eh, premise-wise I disagree. Exploring the ramifications of attempting to grant people eternal life against their will feels much more interesting on paper than a generic "kill 'em all" plot. But with the way Pokémon is usually written, I agree it's better equipped to handle the latter.
 

Esserise

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Darn, its the X Lysandre and the whole eternal life thing. The Y Lysandre who just casually wants to commit mass genocide is much better.

Eh, premise-wise I disagree. Exploring the ramifications of attempting to grant people eternal life against their will feels much more interesting on paper than a generic "kill 'em all" plot. But with the way Pokémon is usually written, I agree it's better equipped to handle the latter.

Technically speaking, there's not even really a difference in terms of the core character, it only changes a couple of small incidental details. Lysandre's overall goal in both games is the same - to use the ultimate weapon to wipe out the entire population of the world except for Team Flare. The only thing that differs depending on the version is a) what he says to Diantha's at the café earlier in the game, and b) what he threatens to do to the protagonists after being defeated.

And in those regards I personally think X is superior. Y's version of the café scene has Lysandre use the quote "I would end the world in an instant so that beauty never fades," which is just utter and complete self-contradictory lunacy on every level, whereas the dialogue in X, while admittedly flowery, makes a lot more sense as a hypothetical counterpoint to what Diantha is saying about being willing to embrace change. And then for the post-climax diatribe I think it makes more sense to invoke the weapon's original purpose of granting life and to threaten to turn that against the protagonists, because by that point we've seen that eternal life has left AZ as a broken shell of a man. Thematically, that's what he's about to impose on the protagonists, which makes AZ just that bit more relevant than if Lysandre were just going to simply kill you. I don't think it's terribly crucial to dwell on the implications after the fact, though, because obviously he's going to fail either way and the protagonists will remain both alive and mortal.
 

Twilight-Kun

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At least it was honest to the games

Rushed, nonsensical, and gorgeous

Why did firing the weapon - with enough of an impact to be seen from space - do absolutely nothing?

Also why was Serena dressed like a protagonist (wearing her hat) despite there being a taboo of showing the protagonist's faces?
#SerenaPrivilege #CalemRightsMatter
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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Yeah, I'm gonna preach to the choir here. This was easily the weakest Evolutions short so far, as even the animation took a very noticable tumble, not to mention that the "battle" between Xerneas and Mega Gyarados was anticlimactic, which is hugely disappointing considering how the Lunala vs Necrozma clash last episode was so action-packed instead of one fighter just folding to the other. I guess this battle was done that way to show that Legendaries outclass even Mega Evolutions in terms of lore, but I don't think that means it should have been an OHKO either.

Anyway, this episode reminds me of how sad it is that XY never got a third version because I think the story would have greatly benefitted from one (i.e. Lysandre captures and wants to use both Xerneas and Yveltal, the former to preserve what he personally considers to be beautiful and the latter to destroy the "ugly" things he doesn't like of the world)
 

Silktree

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The reason why I think that the Y climax makes more sense is that Lysandre intends to wipe out Pokemon and most people in both versions, and the ultimate weapon certainly doesn't seem to give anyone eternal life even in X. So it's just meaningless drivel outside of the AZ story, but that happened long ago and probably involved both Xerneas and Yveltal.
 
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