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Review PE05: The Rival

nickdt

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One of Barry's primary traits is his arrogance. The prideful Piplup fits him well enough.

Agreed, although there is something to say about both arguments.

If we take his primary trait being his arrogance, Piplup is the better choice
If we take his impatient traier, Infernape and its battle style is the better choice.
 

Emmy

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If it were up to me, I would have picked Turtwig as that would create an interesting foil to put the impatient energetic trainer with the slow turtle which could have fed into why he lost to Jupiter. Then when Barry is more experienced and fighting his father, show him being calmer and more in-synch with Torterra's fighting style which allows them to overcome the challenge. :unsure:
 

Sakuraa

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No surprise that the Sinnoh episode would be the best so far. Of course it's an easy accomplishment when you're focusing on the best rival ever :bulbaLove: Seriously, I loved everything about this. Well, I didn't like how Barry started with Empoleon in the Spear Pillar battle (c'mon we all know his lead is Munchlax), but aside from that I adored this episode.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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IMO, Lucas is the canonical Sinnoh protagonist. This short at least seems to agree. And to me, Barry doesn't look right without an Empoleon.
I don't think there's such a thing as a "canonical" protagonist in any of the games bar the original RBY and maybe GS. Pokemon media constantly flip-flops between protagonists after all.

Onto the episode itself, it was fairly cute, though I do agree that it suffered pretty badly from coming after the Unova one, which is infinitely better. It's still not nearly as disappointing as the Kalos episode, at least. Barry not showing his usual energetic personality was also jarring.
 

Alola

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Ah, Barry - my favorite Rival in the Pokémon games. I just love the dynamic he has with the player character, from being childhood friends with super star parents, the light and dark coloring between designs, the hot and reserved personalities, etc. He actually feels like someone you know and have known for a large chunk of your lifetime. Very competitive but not a complete jerk while he pushes you to get stronger together. I could go on, but I digress; I'm just happy he has featured media outside the anime. However, I do think it's interesting that the topic of Barry's partner Pokémon has come up. I've always associated Barry with Turtwig or Chimchar. Turtwig largely for the same reasons @Timaeus mentioned - I always found it a fascinating foil that the impatient and hasty Sinnoh rival has to learn to work together with Sinnoh's slowest Starter. In my head cannon whenever I play, Barry initially tries to have Turtwig maneuver with speed akin to Ash's and Gardenia's Turtwig - make his Turtwig march to his beat rather than the other way around. While it works at first, as it evolves and becomes heavier, Barry has to learn to cope with and empower his most trusted partner's unique physiology while also revaluating what it means to truly be a strong and authentic Trainer; it's even more rewarding in Platinum playthroughs where he initially champions "attacking quickly without getting to hit" but then shifts to the more patient and understanding perspective he gains by Spear Pillar. Not too many rivals have such a unique contrast with their potential Starter Pokémon.

There's also the fact that I use Piplup for my non-Nuzlocke playthroughs as I absolutely love the species (before Rowlet and Scorbunny, its line was my favorite). So by that virtue, Barry always got Turtwig whenever we interacted, haha. And if we look at the Platinum Battle Frontier art...
Sinnoh_Battle_Frontier_Brain_artwork.png


Anyone else have fond memories of the Tag Battle of Best Friends, featuring you, Barry, Flint, and Volkner? No? Just me? Well okay then.

On the other hand, Chimchar fits Barry's overt personality to a T, initially anyway. Orange coloring? Check. Hyperactive temperament? Check. Lanky build? Check. Quick, agile, and powerful? Check, check, check. And in doing so Dawn gets Piplup, which the anime pretty much codified as the sensible pairing. Piplup for Barry on the other hand never made much sense to me. I can see the connection of pride, but Barry loses that throughout the game while Empoleon maintains it (by slashing anyone to pieces it feels slights it); and while Barry can be prideful, it isn't one of his most defining personality traits. I feel the overt similarities of the Chimchar line or the stark contrast tied with patient growth via the Turtwig line are more fitting for our favorite blonde knucklehead.

So as for the short itself, I have mixed feelings. I think the animation was great - the detail in the backgrounds and the Pokémon (like Staraptor's thigh feathers or Milotic's Dragon Pulse) were great; I really liked how Close Combat was depicted, as well as Purugly's Fury Swipes for that matter. And of course, seeing Piplup's entire evolution line animated was enjoyable. Framing the narrative around Barry and his dad was a great choice too; his "DADDY?!" comment is still one of my favorite moments from the Pokémon games due to how endearing and funny it is. I also liked it as it's a clear reference to Barry's development in Platinum, which gives the connection of his motivation of constantly trying to prove himself with that of his father (whereas in DP/BDSP, he's just kind of there with general motivations as a rival). That said, I did have some misgivings too. As several people stated, the battles felt mostly lethargic as everything was shown to be settled with just one move; I am still waiting for something akin to the Lunala fight...guess I will still have to wait. I also wished Barry's feisty nature would have been portrayed in the Lake and Oreburgh segments; he was pretty calm and serious from the jump, which is not what he's known for. And there were no mentions of fining anywhere! Blasphemy! I should fine the studio... I know we usually use these shorts as opportunities to call out the main anime, but I have to give it to Barry's DP saga's portrayal. Lastly, his voice - the voice actor was good, but it just didn't fit for me; it was less of Barry as a kid or pre-teen, and more like Barry was a teenager/young adult.

That aside, I'm enjoying the series and look forward to our time with May and Zinnia in a couple weeks!
 

FelipePR

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Because Barry is impatient (well, except for this episode) and Infernape is agile. But above all, it's hard to imagine Dawn without Piplup
One of Barry's primary traits is his arrogance. The prideful Piplup fits him well enough.

This is my biggest problem with the short, Barry doesn't seem either arrogant, impatient or feisty in this animation. For most of the video, he appears to be smearing his own pants, until he finally manages to get over his opponents.

In my view, Barry is a person who, in a way, tries to hide his feelings from others and from himself, so he is always in a hurry and never wants to hear and discuss anything. In this short, he's all sentimental.

The only thing I liked was Barry's obsession with defeating his father, Palmer, the fact that I believe is quite implicit in games. But, unfortunately, they didn't manage to build a good narrative around it, despite some good ideas.

Likewise, the animation, both of the battles and of the characters, except Jupiter I suppose, leaves something to be desired in relation to the other episodes.
 
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R1ke

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It was alright, liked that Palmer was more prominent here (in the games he wasn't really mentioned till the postgame). But they could've shown the two more, maybe outside of battle? Like we know Barry wants to impress him but a lot of this is what we've already seen in the games. I did enjoy seeing the Sinnoh journey from the his POV though. They could've shown his more hyperactive side, particularly early on as well. I'm fine with him being calm against Palmer, but it would've been nice to have more contrast there.
 

Nicolas721

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Cool episode. Instead of seeing Cyrus monologating while Dialga and Palkia look cool we got a nice hindsight on Barry's progress throughout the adventure framed around his battles with Jupiter and Palmer.

But yeah, I have to agree that Barry was toned down. Maybe it was to make him more relatable?
 

RK9

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My least favorite by a long mile. Battles were terrible and it feels like a rehash of the Green short we got for Generations, just with Palmer at the end of it instead of Red. Add to that that it adds nothing really interesting or cool to watch and it's a big misser for me.

Jupiter at least was pretty cool though.
 

PaperSplash

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I have to agree with other users that Barry didn't really feel much like... Barry here. I know the main anime played up his hyperactivity by a lot, but like another user said, this just seems too far in the other direction.

Another thing I noticed is that this episode seemed to have a rather small budget compared to the others. Most egregiously, Cyrus and Mars, plus almost everyone in the Battle Tower lobby at the beginning, didn't vocalize one bit and barely moved at all to the point where they felt like props or statues. I can't even comment on the voice acting because there was so little of it. Jupiter's voice and portrayal were decent, I suppose.
 
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