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Review S15 EP04: Ash Versus the Champion!

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BW52 - Ash Versus the Champion!http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/BW052

While on their way to the Driftveil Drawbridge, Ash and his friends come across a festival with performers, dancers and stalls, as well as Trip! Trip refuses to battle Ash and tells him that he's waiting for the Champion, Alder, to arrive. After spotting the Champion in trouble with an Officer Jenny, will he accept both Ash's and Trip's challenge? Do either of them have any chance of winning?
 
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So Alder called Ash, Ashton and Trip, Tristan.

Nice nicknames for the dub in my opinion.
 
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Whoo, first episode I've watched in months.

Thoughts-

-Trip was a boring prick. No surprise there.

-Alder was entertaining, though the whole gag with getting people's names wrong is really stale. He's also a fail Champion, poor Bouffalant XD.

-"Do you guys have a stomachache or something?" made me laugh harder than it should have.

-Gigalith is a rock, how can a nail get stuck in its foot?

Also, when I saw Trip's flashback all I could think of was this.
 
Bright Days
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Ashton and Triston that was hilarious, I commend TPCi those were clever name choices and they feel so "new" so to speak, I'm so used to the weird names or very bland typical names of characters of the day in Pokemon that I did not expect for them to be called that. I expected a 1 and a 1/2 man reference or the Buttefree Effect.
 
Gonna be a tl;dr Master!
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Tristan will always make me think of Yu-Gi-Oh! for obvious reasons. Connecting Trip to that is hilariously unfitting but still amusing. Then again, I always figured Trip WAS kind of a dumbass for thinking his regional Champion who is known for traveling everywhere, undoubtedly having met a lot of people in his life, and probably meeting TONS of kids just like Trip and giving them the exact same spiel, would really remember some generic words of encouragement when being in each other's company for less than a day. And that's not taking into account that Alder's a derp with an incredibly short memory span to begin with. It was nice for a change to see Trip actually emote (though his voice seemed a lot lower than I remember it being; it's like McGonnigal is REALLY trying his best to sound like Barry impersonating Paul which is hilarious in its own right), though exiting stage right in the middle of the episode was a disappointment. We're not even going to see how or if this affects Trip long-term until Donamite begins in Japan (though losing against Bianca of all people suggests, optimistically, that continuity will be taken into account), which is a while for us States-side.

Though this deep talk of what everyone would do should they achieve their goals was very nice to have... I only wish Paul was still around to be part of that sort of discussion, since we never ever learned what really drove him to be a trainer in DP and now that makes me wish we had something like that in DP. Trip's "beliefs", as they were, pretty much mirror the early-era Paul... only the source of Trip's obsession for strength is a lot less deep than Paul's. So, in essence, Trip IS still Paul-Lite, which should hopefully change when he next appears. This episode opened up some interesting possibilities, but it wasn't completely utilized to its full advantage imo.

Alder single-handedly stole the show, though. Even though his routine is essentially Brock's, it's a lot more funny seeing a much older man with a very high status be driven by his hormones, shamelessly so, and if that were taken out of the equation... then yes, I can see where people are seeing that Alder is the kind of adult Ash would grow up to be. He definitely stands out from the Champions we've seen in the past, and it's fun to see how not EVERYONE worships the ground he walks on due to his irresponsible behavior, and people mentioning that Alder can actually get away with it due to being Unova's Champion gives some neat insight on how these highly-esteemed figures of society can be. Plus, more talk of the Champion's League was neat... but yet another reason I wish Paul was still there somehow since that tournament concept sort of originated in DP, and I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I want to see the anime portray Ash in that competition one day, along with Paul (but not Trip) and all the E4s and Champions he met in the entire series. Though... the way Ash behaves in this series, in addition to his team sucking ass in BW, makes me feel that Ash qualifying for a high-end tournament like that would be inappropriate.

I always said I see the regional Leagues like our equivalent of the Super Bowl. The Champion's League must be like an extension of the Super Bowl finals, right? (though these analogies would dictate that Ash should not still be 10, but that's beside the point)

Overall, it was a fun episode. Some areas could have been done better, but Alder's presence alone makes it for me. It'll be great if we saw him again, though hopefully not through some highly improbable means (like certain bullshit results of the Unova League).

Also: Ash versus the Champion!? Really? I'm beginning to think it's not a coincidence anymore that the lamest, blandest episode titles happen to be episodes that Trip appears in. The titles are as basic as he is.
 
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I hereby declare Alder the best Pokemon Champion ever. "I'm sure Gigalith will stop before it hits me!" Hah. Oh, poor Trista- poor Trip, though. That bit where Trip was dorking out over Alder when he first showed up was adorable, though.
 
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I'm not too surprised the anime changed Alder, but it is a bit sad at the same time. I do like him but still in the games Alder's first Pokemon passed away from being sick and the reasons he travels is due to depression or something of that nature. I would have loved to see something like that covered in the anime, and his Pokemon's death really really affected him a lot and changed him and his life, one of the reasons I find him to be such an interesting champion. I guess beggars can't be chosers, but I got more of an emotional feel for Alder in game then him in the anime.
 
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I would have loved to see something like that covered in the anime, and his Pokemon's death really really affected him a lot and changed him and his life, one of the reasons I find him to be such an interesting champion.
So would I. But hey, kids' show. What can you do?

That being said, what Alder said about people and Pokémon being with each other sounds like something Team Plasma would've shot down immediately. Too bad they're not here yet.
 
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I'm not too surprised the anime changed Alder, but it is a bit sad at the same time. I do like him but still in the games Alder's first Pokemon passed away from being sick and the reasons he travels is due to depression or something of that nature. I would have loved to see something like that covered in the anime, and his Pokemon's death really really affected him a lot and changed him and his life, one of the reasons I find him to be such an interesting champion. I guess beggars can't be chosers, but I got more of an emotional feel for Alder in game then him in the anime.
Maybe he's trying to move on and be more upbeat. Like he was goofy before his starter died but after it kicked the bucket, he traveled and decided to try be like he use to as though his old friend never left him.
 
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I think we'll see a more mature side to Alder. Anyway, really solid ep. Quite a few moments where I laughed out loud, and Alder's relationship with his Bouffalant was pretty damn cute. Kinda surprised that Alder hasn't returned since this ep.

But it's time we address the darker side of this episode. Yes, I was taken back as well when pokemon openly encouraged needless violence by having children hit Sandile with hammers.


It's sickening.:I
 
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Ash: Pikachu, use Thunderbolt.
Iris: They are starting with Pikachu's best move.

BEST move? Ugh... What a kid.
 

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If only some way this episode could have included Stephan and had Alder get his name correct every single time.

I thought it was a fairly boring episode, sure it introduces an interesting character quirk with Alder, but it fell short at giving real character development to Trip and didn't do a good job of expanding on Ash/Iris/Cilan's motivation, just repeating their generic goals is far less than what this episode should have shown. Ash in particular was odd - the way he described his goal seems very different than the buildup in the past 700 episodes would suggest his answer would be, he's never been motivated just to be the strongest, and I don't think that he would or the writers should equate 'strong' with 'master' - mastery suggests deeper understanding, and an answer more like 'I want to know everything there is about Pokemon'. It's supposed to be a point of difference from Ash to Trip, but they ended up having the same goal with the same way of achieving it.

Another oddity was Ash being aware of Alder in the first place - he wasn't aware of Cynthia or Lance, and if I remember right he heard about both Steven and Wallace on screen before actually meeting them. I'd have restructured the order of this episode to let that occur, it's one of those times I'd have actually liked an Iris 'you're such a kid' explanation of someone. Start the episode with everyone looking around at the stalls and then straight to the scene of Alder hitting on Jenny, have them meet up there, then have Ash realise the significance of Alder, walk around and run into Trip as a group and have Trip freak out that Ash was with Alder like it was nothing. Would have also been good for Ash and Alder to start competitive eating with each other, that's another of Ash's traits that seems to have been forgotten in this episode.
 
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why does Ash keep treating Trip kindly as a friend while Trip keep on insulting him whenever they met ???
I remember back then when Ash used to start a fight with anyone who mistreat him..
 
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Easily one of my favourite Best Wishes episodes so far, even Trip's miserable attitude and the silly name gags weren't enough to damper things. Alder is now my favourite champion by far, he's much more likeable and entertaining than the ones before him, and he proves you don't need to lose your personality to achieve your dreams. I love his relationship with his Bouffalant, it definitely reminds me of Ash & Pikachu.

It's also nice to know Gigalith is capable of showing emotion, unlike its pre-evolved forms.
 
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Tristan and Ashton sounds like they are completely different names, I agree, which makes gag work slighlty more. But Santaro's similiarity to surname Santoro made the gag slightly more hilarious in a Fridge Brilliance way, as Alder is likely at least partially a Native American.

Two things I didn't notice when watching the raw:
1-Trip's OMG face when noticing Alder IS just as good as Ursula's WTF faces, but still doesn't beat Paul's.
2-Trip and Ash's bickering while trying to get a fight with Alder was pretty nice actually. Shame, we already have Iris and Georgia for that kind of stuff.

As for dub: I really like Alder and Bouffalant's dub voices, they really give more of a dysfunctional old married couple feel for the two. Afro doesn't help either.

Ash: Pikachu, use Thunderbolt.
Iris: They are starting with Pikachu's best move.

BEST move? Ugh... What a kid.
Well, in the dub of DP026 Brock says:

"And to think, Thunderbolt is the move that made Pikachu famous." So I don't see much problem here. Sure, we know better, but Iris doesn't. :p.
It's supposed to be a point of difference from Ash to Trip, but they ended up having the same goal with the same way of achieving it.
Even though I agree, I really liked this, both in dub and raw, as this gives a much needed parallel between Trip and Ash. Is it a pretty lame one that ignores the continuity? Of course, but at least it's something. Shame though, "to become as strong as I can" is kinda sorta every shonen character's goal, ever; in addition to being the goal of every character in this show ever.
(though his voice seemed a lot lower than I remember it being; it's like McGonnigal is REALLY trying his best to sound like Barry impersonating Paul which is hilarious in its own right),
I love you, forever.
 
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Haha that reminded me of the episode "Primeape goes bananas!" when Brock thought that Primeape was afraid and was only acting out of fear. So, he goes up to it puts his arm around him and says "Give me a smile buddy!" then Primeape beats him up and tosses him into a rock (or tree can't remember).

Anyway seeing that made me laugh just as hard a great scene from the episode for sure!
 
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I already said basically everything I think about this episode when it first aired in Japan, so there's no need to start ranting again.
You surely know my opinion about Alder but let me just summarize it again in short: Alder is an absolutely ridiculous character, a forgetful jerk and a so-called "champion" whose irresponsible and totally unworthy behavior should actually make it impossible for him to bear that glorious title in the first place. He's a complete failure and him being given such an honor is a sign of utmost disrespect for the true Champions like Lance, Steven, Wallace and above all Cynthia.

Speaking of Cynthia, oh God, I simply can't hold myself back if I compare HER, the wonderful angel, with him, one of he greatest clowns and most pathetic characters that have ever appeared on the show.
-Cynthia radiates grace, solemnity, superiority and wisdom, Alder is just a ridiculous "something" that happens to carry around some PokeBalls with "it".
-Whenever Cynthia speaks, walks or acts, no matter what she does, you always get the feeling that a wonderful angel has been sent directly from heaven to earth, but when you look at Alder, you get the impression that he's an unhygienic bum who's about to open another can of beer right away.
-Cynthia is without any doubt the strongest Master in the world, while Alder qualifies for a gym leader at best.
To be continued...

Anyways, I'm so glad that we got Cynthia! I don't care what the rest of the Anime does and if it's going downhill slowly but surely. Today's episode once again reminded me that compared to Cynthia nothing else matters!
"A trainer who's strong, a trainer who's a Champion" Trip, I know exactly who you're looking for. It's a pity that the writers didn't have him mention Cynthia by name although it was all too clear who he was talking about.

And last but not least, let me mention my favorite scene:
Cynthia and BW-Jenny have the same voice actor (Emily Jenness), so at the beginning when Jenny was scolding Alder because of his stupid, childish behavior, it was like Cynthia herself was sweeping the floor with that jerk. Perfect, simply perfect scene and Jenny's final words totally hit the nail on the head: "And to think that he calls himself the Champion of the Unova region"
Priceless! I couldn't have said it better myself. Totally sums up what I think of that guy...
 
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I already said basically everything I think about this episode when it first aired in Japan, so there's no need to start ranting again.
You surely know my opinion about Alder but let me just summarize it again in short: Alder is an absolutely ridiculous character, a forgetful jerk and a so-called "champion" whose irresponsible and totally unworthy behavior should actually make it impossible for him to bear that glorious title in the first place. He's a complete failure and him being given such an honor is a sign of utmost disrespect for the true Champions like Lance, Steven, Wallace and above all Cynthia.

Speaking of Cynthia, oh God, I simply can't hold myself back if I compare HER, the wonderful angel, with him, one of he greatest clowns and most pathetic characters that have ever appeared on the show.
-Cynthia radiates grace, solemnity, superiority and wisdom, Alder is just a ridiculous "something" that happens to carry around some PokeBalls with "it".
-Whenever Cynthia speaks, walks or acts, no matter what she does, you always get the feeling that a wonderful angel has been sent directly from heaven to earth, but when you look at Alder, you get the impression that he's an unhygienic bum who's about to open another can of beer right away.
-Cynthia is without any doubt the strongest Master in the world, while Alder qualifies for a gym leader at best.
To be continued...

Anyways, I'm so glad that we got Cynthia! I don't care what the rest of the Anime does and if it's going downhill slowly but surely. Today's episode once again reminded me that compared to Cynthia nothing else matters!
"A trainer who's strong, a trainer who's a Champion" Trip, I know exactly who you're looking for. It's a pity that the writers didn't have him mention Cynthia by name although it was all too clear who he was talking about.

And last but not least, let me mention my favorite scene:
Cynthia and BW-Jenny have the same voice actor (Emily Jenness), so at the beginning when Jenny was scolding Alder because of his stupid, childish behavior, it was like Cynthia herself was sweeping the floor with that jerk. Perfect, simply perfect scene and Jenny's final words totally hit the nail on the head: "And to think that he calls himself the Champion of the Unova region"
Priceless! I couldn't have said it better myself. Totally sums up what I think of that guy...
We didn't even see Alder battle seriously yet he could very well be stronger than Cynthia for all we know he is the champion and all so settle down killer.
 
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We didn't even see Alder battle seriously yet he could very well be stronger than Cynthia for all we know he is the champion and all so settle down killer.
No, no, wait! He's "Champion" simply because the writers gave him that title and not because he showed us that he really deserves it like Cynthia did in her many battles against the E4 members.
Sure, I can't prove it but common sense and analytical thinking tells me that his ridiculous, unworthy behavior on the one hand and him being champion on the other don't fit together at all. You're saying that we haven't seen him battle seriously but I tell you that there's no need for that because the way somebody behaves always reflects his attitude towards something, too. So if a so-called "champion" gets bossed around by Officer Jenny, if he dates women like a little kid, if apparently not even his own Pokemon have respect for him and if, above all, he dozes off during a battle although battling should be a Champion's most important duty, then tell me, do you really think this guy can battle seriously or be stronger than Cynthia, the epitome of perfection?
And finally, the following line by him made it all too clear. "What will you do after you've reached your goal?" This indicates that Alder has become complacent and lazy. Would you like to know what the real Champion Cynthia would say to him? "A true Master knows that they will never reach their goal completely. All your life is a constant journey and even a Champion always strives to grow, both physically and mentally."

Again, just because Alder is labelled Champion doesn't mean that he really is one. Granted that the writers hadn't given him that title for free so to speak but that he had to fight for it fair and square, I guarantee you that he wouldn't even have made it into the Unova League with that kind of childish behavior and carefree attitude towards battling. So, what I want to say is that the whole conception of Alder's character is fundamentally flawed and inconsistent.
 
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