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REVIEW: S15 EP29: Evolution by Fire!

garrison-san

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BW077 - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia

Ash and friends witness a double battle at a local Battle Club, and are surprised at the revelation that the winning trainer was Tepig's original trainer, who abandoned him a long time ago due to his belief that the Fire Pig pokemon had little talent for battling. Determined to prove the worth of his little friend, Ash accepts the trainer's challenge for a double battle. Can Tepig prove his former trainer to be wrong in his judgement?
 

Kouzan

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I just wanted to punch Shamus is the face that whole episode. Poor Tepig.

And ERMAHGERD Tepig evolved into Pignite and learned Flame Pledge.

Overall a good , emotionally filled episode. Iris was definitely the strongest character this time and her lines were delivered very well. Eileen Stevens did great and really put the emotion on her parts. I think TPCI did a good job dubbing this one. I really liked Cilan's judgment scene.
 

Moe

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Shamus' voice didn't sound quite as creepy as it should have - but otherwise seemed to have been done well. Snivy's voice on the other hand was bad, it just doesn't have the variety needed for the longer scenes, Tepig fares a bit better - especially because of the oinks - perhaps Snivy should have had a slight hiss to its voice or something. I don't mind Pignite's voice for similar reasons, and for once Heatmor was a Pokemon début where the name was pronounced as I expected it to be!

Something that stood out to me was how in the flashbacks Tepig's rope was tied around its neck rather than its snout/mouth, which is a very odd lack of continuity, unless we're supposed to think that it somehow got really tightly tied around there while it was trying to escape from the rope. The tying around the mouth makes Shamus appear far worse as a person than simply tying around its neck does - there's a big difference between essentially a leash and something that prevents a Pokemon from eating, and that takes away from the premise of the episode imo.

Ash was humorously out of depth talking formally to the court, seemed to be a lot of strange word choices in the legal terms being used, I'd guess that they just translated fairly literally.

I do wish Snivy got to do a bit more fighting in the battle - the moves it has available aren't that good and it would have been nice to see it land a few more attacks so that they were somewhat weakened before Pignite finished them off. It would also be nice if Pignite's ability was shown off - either one of the options would be good - Thick Fat would have helped show its ability to have withstood the attacks or Blaze being active would have made the win in the end a bit more balanced - because in the end Pignite still defeated its fully evolved counterpart and a Heatmor in two shots, which is kinda unbelievable.

The other thing I found interesting was the contest-like nature of Shamus' battling - Cilan mentioning combinations certainly helped that impression.

Overall though, it's nice to see attention being paid to some of the backstory of Ash's Pokemon - Snivy deserves an episode as well.
 

Karisse

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Well, ignoring the usual "type disadvantages don't matter" shenanigans and Iris's annoying dub voice, I guess this was a pretty good episode overall. It did bother me how Iris butted in so much, though.

Glad to see one of the starters finally evolved, especially considering who he was up against. But gosh, Bianca had an Emboar when Ash still had Tepig. Sheesh. I kinda wish Snivy had evolved, too, but....eh, oh well.

One thing about this episode bothers me, though....who came up with the idea to make Fire Pledge sound like a machine gun?
 

martianmister

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Something that stood out to me was how in the flashbacks Tepig's rope was tied around its neck rather than its snout/mouth, which is a very odd lack of continuity, unless we're supposed to think that it somehow got really tightly tied around there while it was trying to escape from the rope. The tying around the mouth makes Shamus appear far worse as a person than simply tying around its neck does - there's a big difference between essentially a leash and something that prevents a Pokemon from eating, and that takes away from the premise of the episode imo.
From BW004:


 

Moe

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So it is consistent in being inconsistent? The episode is based around feeling bad for Tepig and find Shamus to be a terrible person because of how we first saw Tepig,
But those images show that not only did he tie it around Tepig's neck, but it came loose when it ran away?

Cilan's Judge Connoisseur skills are rather poor.
 

CynthiaLover

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One of the better episodes I've seen lately. I've been rather put-down by the anime's poor writing lately that I've skipped a number of episodes. However, this was one of those episodes that I felt was important to watch.

Poor Tepig. I felt so sorry for the little guy. Shamus was almost totally soulless. Tepig hasn't had it easy since Shamus gave him the boot, but it was even worse when that creepy-eyed fire bully just crushed him like that with the truth behind the fake sob story. I thought Paul could be cruel, but at least his cruelty was short and to the point, not masking it to make it even worse when the situation was already tense enough. I felt like ringing his neck after he crushed poor Tepig's spirit like that, on top of his pre-demonstrated nastiness.

I was so happy and proud of Snivy. This was one of her major moments. She stood strong, helping Tepig light his path. Her courage and determination, as well as her confidence in Tepig to stay and watch the end of the battle was so moving. Since she had a similar incident in her past, it was wonderful to see her using her own experience to give Tepig the courage needed to fight back. She really is something else. Though how did a simple Fury Swipes erase Attract so easily? That was an... interesting way of removing the effects of Attract. I wish she would evolve soon, maybe get a little payback on Trip's overgrown garden hose, and give Ash a chance to wipe that smug look off his face... Sorry... got sidetracked.

I have to say, Pignite packed a massive punch today. With the support of Ash and Snivy, he erupted into a fiery fighter. He sure toasted Emboar and Heatmor, as well as gave Shamus a blast to the head. Extra crispy jerk, anyone? And, is it just me, or does Fire Pledge look a lot like Fire Tower from the Megaman Battle Network/NT Warrior series?

Iris was difficult to swallow today, but she was more bearable than usual. Probably because she was on Ash's side, and not nit-picking him over everything. The puss she had on her face when Judge Cilan told her to be quiet was a good laugh. Though her constant butting in was getting tiresome, she was, at least, fighting on the right side this time.

Cilan's judging session was priceless. Worth a good laugh. Where did he get that wig? Though, despite that, he didn't do too good of a job in that department. Cilan... don't quit your day job.

Overall, one of the better episodes. Writing was pretty good, Ash made it out on top despite overly-powerful opponents, and Tepig evolved into Pignite, BBQing Emboar, Heatmor, and that soulless, cruel Shamus.
 

GibleKidd

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My only real con is it felt like Iris and Cilan kept hogging the spotlight. I understand Tepig is their friend as well and they want to stick up for him.. but it was like they played a bigger part in this episode than they should have.

Snivy made this episode for me. I really like her as a kind of 'big sister' figure to Tepig. Her sacrifices throughout the battle and her firm cheering to get his head in the game was awesome. Pignite's evolution was done well. All in all a pretty good episode. Snivy and Pignite FTW!
 

Karamazov

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But those images show that not only did he tie it around Tepig's neck, but it came loose when it ran away?
I think what really happened was that Tepig tried to push the rope over his head, but it got stuck on his snout. If he hadn't got the rope off his face and then started running, it might have tightened the rope around his snout. It's sort of confusing and I'm probably not explaining it well, but I've seen it happen tons of times before with my dogs. (They really hate their leashes.)

On a non-pig-related note, we finally get back to a Battle Club. It's good to see one after so long, since I really liked the concept. Up until now, it seemed like they dropped off the face of Unova.
 

Gengarzilla

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Did anybody catch Oshawott sleeping during Cilan's Judgement Time? Even at a time like this he is still a funny guy...
 

garrison-san

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I believe that Tepig getting the rope caught around his snout was always implied to be an accidental side-effect of his breaking loose in a frenzy. The idea of Shamus deliberately setting him up to suffer a slow death from starvation, purely out of spite, would be...just a little too dark for this series, I think.

On another note, what kind of voice did the dub give Pignite? Is it the same screechy seagull-esque cry they gave Bianca's Pignite?
 

Chiplet

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I love this episode. It's so great.

I'm not planning on posting a long review like I did when it aired in Japan, but I can say that everyone was great in this episode, and those who were standing out to me were Iris, Snivy, Tepig/Pignite and Shamus.

I don't get why there is so much hatred against Iris. Regardless of what she do, it's always just wrong, apparently. I didn't she was ''butting in'' at all. I just thought she was made to be a really caring Trainer who just couldn't stand seeing a Pokémon being abandoned in that horrible way. It wasn't even her Pokémon, but still it seemed like Tepig belonged to her due to her pretty much going into it more than Ash did. I think that's admirable, if anything. That's the way every Trainer should be like.

Shamus had a great voice, loved it. He's a great character, and I'd love for him to be a reoccuring character.

The music was... disappointing. :/
It just felt so much more alive and wild in the original episode, where the music was absolutely amazing. I especially love Best Wishes' ''B/W Ending Theme Remix'', but that was naturally removed here. Ugh...

Snivy is incredible, and Pignite felt really compelling. Not much more to say. Except for Cilan being hilarious as usual. It was an awesome episode overall, it really made me start liking Pignite as a Pokémon
 

DracoMan

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Um..."Judge Connoisseur"? Puh-leeeeeze. Law & Order this ain't. At least Iris made it an entire episode without calling Ash a kid, but maybe it was she was saving her wrath for what's-his-face. (Is it spelled "Shamus" or "Seamus"? I know I've seen the second one used.)

Yes, this ep and the one that intro'd Tepig borrowed heavily from "Charmander, the Stray Pokemon," but at least this had a little more of what's known as "Show, don't tell" with regards to Jerkface's assholery towards Tepig. (Keep in mind that we never saw how Damian treated Charmander before abandoning him; we only heard him insult Little C and brag about deep-sixing him.) Not as much as with Paul and Chimchar, but enough to make Jerkface thoroughly contemptible. And both he and Damian turned out to be whiny little bitches at the end. There's probably a lesson in there about people who put on big shows of fake personal strength but turn out to be empty inside, or something.
 

p96822

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I give this episode an 8/10
It had good voice acting from Iris, Clian, Tepig, and Snivy
The plot was good
I love fire plegh
I love the jokes in the episode
And the ending was great
 

Torterra Trainer

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I liked how not only were Cilan and Iris getting into Tepig's battle, but Pikachu as well was really pumped to see Tepig and Snivy crush the "fire warriors." I really wished maybe Snivy would have evolved alongside Tepig, but perhaps that would have taken the spotlight on Tepig's solo evolution. I wonder when Snivy and Oshawott will evolve. For any of the starters, Snivy seems to be the one that's been on the cusp of evolving for the longest.

Shamus was a total creep. I'm so glad Pignite fried him at the end and saw through his lying eyes. I wonder if we'll see a lot more of him in the future?
 

Queen Cynthia

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A very good episode that combined everything we're used to and like about this show: action, drama, willpower, determination, heroism and a very mature lesson that could be learned in the end.

There is only one thing I don't get. Some of you already mentioned the inconsistencies concerning the rope around Tepig's snout. I'm convinced that it got tied around his mouth accidentally when he was trying to free himself as can be seen in the screenshot from BW004.
However, I must say that, in this case, it would be rather bad writing. You see, if Shamus "only" tied Tepig to that wooden stake, then a Fire-Pokemon could have freed himself effortlessly by just turning around and using a fire-type move to burn the rope. It's as easy as ABC if you ask me. So, writers, don't get me wrong but where was your sense of logic in that scene?

As for the rest of the episode, I especially loved Snivy cheering up Tepig, her courage and almost heroic commitment when protecting her battling partner from the double attack and last but not least, Ash's determination to prove that so-called trainer wrong. It reminds me of the good old days of Sinnoh when we had plenty of these stories and so, watching this episode almost felt like a journey into the past. Great!

Moe said:
It would also be nice if Pignite's ability was shown off - either one of the options would be good - Thick Fat would have helped show its ability to have withstood the attacks or Blaze being active would have made the win in the end a bit more balanced - because in the end Pignite still defeated its fully evolved counterpart and a Heatmor in two shots, which is kinda unbelievable.
You're right and still, I can't agree with you completely.
Sure, all fire-type starters have Blaze but over the years this ability has become associated with Chimchar/Monferno/Infernape so much that I think the whole fandom would revolt or at least protest if the writer officially gave it to another Pokemon, too. I dare say Blaze is a Chimchar only-thing (almost like a copyright) and so inextricably linked with him and his background story that I wouldn't want to see it on another Pokemon.

To sum it all up: A really awesome episode and something that I guess we've all been waiting for.
 
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Trainer Gabriel

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It seems this episode confirmed that Snivy was once owned by a trainer who abandoned her - I of course didn't catch that watching the original version since I know little Japanese, but I now I know myself.
 

Moe

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I dare say Blaze is a Chimchar only-thing (almost like a copyright) and so inextricably linked with him and his background story that I wouldn't want to see it on another Pokemon.
That's part of the reason I'd have wanted to see another of Ash's Pokemon have Blaze - to show it not cause a Pokemon to go berserk. I suppose Ash having a vision of how Chimchar first activated it when it happened for Pignite would be too much to ask for, but some awareness of the ability's power would help show Ash can learn things about Pokemon from starting fresh every region.

In the context of the storyline for this episode, perhaps Tepig's Blaze never activated under Shamus, because Tepig was never assured to the degree he is by Ash, so didn't have the same amount of fight in him as he was about to faint. It would fit with the general idea that Ash has a natural ability to get more out of 'weaker' Pokemon that seems to be one of the few constants remaining in the show.

I suppose they demonstrated something similar without using Blaze, by Shamus even commenting that Ash trained Pignite well, but so Blaze isn't overshadowed by the Chimchar storyline, I'd have liked to see it activate here.

Otherwise, give him Thick Fat and use it to make Cilan panic about the food he makes.
 

BladeLight52

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I honestly thought that the dub of this episode was atrocious. 6 pieces of music were kept. After the Title screen, it was all dub music up until Tepig starts to evolve. I did not get enough tension vibe in the English dub as I did in the original japanese version.
 
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