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Rivals in the Dark Night - Pokémon Horizons Episode 25 Review - The Grand Finale of the First Chapter

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A collage of screenshots, showing the Explorers; Liko and Roy facing off against Zirc and Onia; Charizard battling Ceruledge; and Zirc and Onia looking up as Amethio while he stands on the broken castle tower
Wow, they went all out for the grand finale of the first chapter of Pokémon Horizons. Everything’s so action-packed, fast-paced and there are some satisfactory conclusions mixed in as well. Nothing feels too rushed, and the build up for future events is present as well. I cannot decide which episode of the Liko and Roy’s Departure chapter was the best, but I cannot deny that this episode was amazing.

Right from the get-go in this episode, everyone’s moving around and battling. Friede gets a battle, Liko and Roy get a battle, and Sango and Onyx get some time in the spotlight. I can’t believe OLM actually had the guts to fit everything into one episode without the need to gloss over important details like what they did with Episode 23. The Friede vs. Amethio battle finally got a conclusion after four rounds of teasing around. Friede was basically holding back all this time, because he’s clearly a very strong and strategic battler. He initially looked as if he was going to lose to Amethio, but then he broke out the Tera Orb and had Charizard terastalize to a Dark Tera type to get the type advantage, nullifying the Psychic type attacks Ceruledge was using and dealing super-effective damage against the part Ghost-type Pokémon using Tera Blast. It’s weird how they were able to terastalize when they're currently in Galar, but I think having Terapagos nearby might be the biggest reason for that.

Speaking of battles, Liko and Roy battle Amethio’s goons once again, and Liko finally gets an on-screen win against Onia. She should’ve gotten that on-screen win back in Episode 5—THAT WAS TWENTY EPISODES AGO! It’s too bad that they could only knock out Golduck though, as the battle against Zirc’s Rhydon was effectively postponed due to Sango and Onyx’s arrival. Had they stayed a bit longer, Roy could’ve gotten his first win against Zirc too. Oh well, at least the kids are finally improving. Also, I’m surprised that Liko knows how to use a Pokéball as she finally returned Hatenna back to her Pokéball, four episodes after her capture.

Sango and Onyx are very formidable enemies. They were not clowning around at all, despite them getting beaten by Captain Pikachu of all Pokémon. As seen back in Episode 22, and now in this episode as well, Cap shows that even if Friede isn’t with him, he can still move around and battle independently. Onyx meanwhile shows that he does not care about the safety of wild Pokémon, with so many of the Pokémon around the castle being hurt by Garganacl’s Salt Cure. As an interesting bit of trivia, his Garganacl is also the first Pokémon to be seen using Wide Guard in the anime. In contrast to Sango, Onyx is very composed and only lashed out at her when she was getting reckless. Sango on the other hand is a gremlin. She can be very impatient and hot-tempered. The faces she make easily stole the show, especially when she was yelling at Captain Pikachu—they share the same voice actress, so it’s basically Ikue Otani screaming at herself. The fact that she makes her Glalie use Self-Destruct was clearly something I wasn’t expecting, and I commend the writers for being a bit creative with the move choices for the villains’ Pokémon.

Diana on Arcanine
Other than the amazing action scenes, a lot of world building is also implemented here, with Diana revealing three important things in this episode:
  1. Diana is shown to have Lucius’s diary and an ancient belt in her possession, most likely belonging to Lucius.
  2. She reveals that the Explorers were once Lucius’s companions, meaning he had human companions during his travels. If Terapagos was angry at Amethio, that means the Explorers had betrayed him or they turned over a bad leaf later on? This really intrigues me.
  3. She reveals the identities of the remaining Hero Pokémon. Lucius companions are: the black Rayquaza, Arboliva, Galarian Moltres, Lapras, Kleavor, and Entei. These are very interesting choices, especially Kleavor. How will Kleavor and Hisuian Pokémon be implemented into the story? Will they implement what the Teal Mask DLC introduced to the universe, and have it so that the Hisuian Pokémon aren’t extinct but off in distant lands to preserve their species? I’m very curious to see how the last three Hero Pokémon will be introduced, and which regions each will be found in.
The way everything played out here really makes me hyped for the next chapter in the Rising Volt Tacklers’ adventure. I want to unravel these mysteries as much as they do! I’m super excited for what future episodes will show! What are your thoughts on the grande finale of the first chapter?


Bulbanews Writer
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