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No. No it isn't. It's hollow, unearned shite, kid.
... which is such a damn shame because honestly, I think the whole war story is super cool. Not because "lol Pokémon is so dark now!" but like, the tone of it is very much like a fairy tale in a children's book. It's a big, mythic event with fantastical elements, which totally fits a region like Kalos - a very beautiful, historic region which finds itself haunted by its blood-soaked past. And I think it was a fairly neat idea for the games to have the villains seeking the power of this ancient man-made artefact rather than a Legendary Pokémon (though of course they would, both figuratively and literally, shove Xerneas/Yveltal in there anyway).
Which is all to say, how do you take such a great concept, centralize it around one equally mythic character, and then completely and utterly drop the ball with that character by doing nothing with him!? That's the thing, is we're usually supposed to learn something from our storybook characters. Whereas what I learn from AZ is that my relentless, impulsive slaughter of millions of people and Pokémon is totally forgivable as long as I eventually realize that Pokémon battling is pretty swell.
One thing I did note though was that this episode more directly implies that Floette was forcibly taken from AZ (though it's still somewhat vague, even here). That's something that Junichi Masuda only elaborated on in a post-XY interview, that Floette had been a gift from AZ's mother and was taken from him by soldiers in order to aid in the war effort. In the games, the only sense of that you get is if you read the documents in Lysandre's library, but what's said there is that "the war grew so violent and ugly, the king was forced to send his own beloved Pokémon into the battle," which is ambiguous. It could mean that he pressured by soldiers or that he did it himself because he didn't see any other option in the circumstances (which is how I'd first taken it to mean).
RIP Xerneas, you shall be known as the forgotten Cover Legendary who couldn't even get an appearance over Heatran.
I'm pretty let down by this episode, I felt this was a great chance to really go into the lore of the Great War and make AZ a stronger and more likeable character, but it's just a repeat of events we've already seen and adds nothing to either. Hell, I think both scenes play out almost word for word, just with the little kid thrown in there to give a bit of a segue into the retelling of the war story. The whole episode just felt pointless in the scheme of things, and the only thing I can give it is that it animated those scenes.
Also, what did AZ do in this episode to makes this his 'redemption'? I didn't see any regret from this character, nothing about him made it worth Floette coming back, it just seemed like they were going for a emotional climax without giving it the proper emotional weight. It really just feels forced, and the fact that this episode felt so phoned in doesn't help its tone with me. This was really a disappointing end to this subseries, and one that didn't have to be so lackluster either.
I honestly thought Floette's return was better animated in the game itself than here. What a letdown for a finale.
Also, is it just me or the lady's voice was poorly recorded? ...Maybe the actress was whispering her lines or something, but I'm pretty sure she sounds different than the rest of the characters.
Wow, AZ's story was dumber than I remember, lol. I don't think adding new content is completely necessary all the time, since I'd be fine with re-enactments of beloved scenes. But AZ's story, and this part in the game, needed to be expanded upon. We basically just got the scraps of a game's story, which was already scraps of a bigger story.
And it's a shame they went for the shoddy, ugly, scratchy look for the story. I get that it's a stylistic choice, but it's so bad to look at.
Words cannot describe how much I hate XY's finale. This short changed absolutely nothing of note and left a sour taste in my mouth about Generations as a whole. I will try to remember the good parts (really just the Eusine episode and a few little things), but this isn't helping.
Why did the writers choose to reiterate Kalos' mediocre story instead of expanding and explaining things that the game didn't do? This just goes to show how little Game Freak and the Pokémon Company thinks of the Kalos region and its elements as a whole.
I just hope this finally leads to an Eternal Flower Floette distribution as a tie-in. Regardless, I just wish an attempt were made to give Kalos a chance to improve instead of letting Game Freak throw out their mistakes instead of fixing them. I'm disappointed that generations didn't attempt to do so.
Having not played X or Y... Man AZ is a little shit isn't he? Redeemed my fat arse. Not to mention that if I hadn't come and read all of your commentary I wouldn't have had a clue as to what was/is going on. Really a lame way to end a pretty fun series.
In terms of storytelling, game and anime are two total different medium that works in completely distinct manner and methods. That's why for an anime adaption of a game, there always require the Game and Story Segregation and many other alternations and add-ons before the game story is workable on TV-screen.
As I am a firm believer of Pokemon game was merely the "bare bone" of Pokemon-centered stuffs in the PokeUniverse, showing the game story plot and scenes word by word verbatim literally without changing nor adding anything is absolutely the worst idea. Especially just recently I am replaying the old Pokemon games, and when I focus my eyes on the story, I just notice how "basic" the game plot they were where they are merely just Excuse Plot to get the player out of their home town and battle some trainers on the road. Really, it is not that "complicated" as many fans deemed to be.
That's why, this final PG episode bored me out. Although I always hoped for a faithful anime adaption of the game, but I'm not hoping for 100% faithfulness. For anime adaption of a RPG game, I'm always hoping for at most only 70% faithfulness, where the 30% unfaithfulness consists of 5% Game mechanics elimination + 5% Game map geographic scale portrayal correction + 10% Freedom characterization + 10% Story plot alternation.
This is probably the only PG episode I don't have any positive comment to say about it at all.
Man, they dropped the ball with Kalos part of Generations, didn't they?
I don't know if it's because it's more recent, the Gen 6 storylines just didn't work with Generation's format, or if because Kalos' story wasn't very good to begin with, but man these were underwhelming...
It's almost like OLM gave up at the last minute...
I would have liked it if they had told the story from Floette's point of view. Like, her first becoming friends with AZ, getting taken to war, dying, awakening in confusion, witnessing the horrible deaths AZ caused with the Ultimate Weapon and deciding to leave him... They also could have given hints that Floette traveled all over the world, barely missing AZ sometimes, maybe hiding in that big tree AZ gifted to Hoenn, and watching from afar his good deeds, and finally deciding to forgive him. There's so much they could have done to retell AZ and Floette's story in a different light. Wasted opportunity, I guess.