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REVIEW: S16 EP01: Beauties Battling for Pride and Prestige!

garrison-san

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BW098 - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia

Ash and friends arrive in Vertress City, where they run into a snobby opera troupe who sneer at Ash's Snivy and Iris's Emolga for their lack of elegance. Determined to fight for her pokemon's pride, Iris inists that they infiltrate the (all-female) opera school in order to confront the troupe.
 

Eitarou

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Why are they adding "ette" to their Pokemon's names? I mean, it kind of makes sense for Pikachu and Pansage...but why? It's already established that the Pokemon are girls.

Also, Ash's female voice was far too convincing....

Cilan's? Not so much. (Which makes more sense)
 

DracoMan

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Ashley's back. But not blond.

Did anyone else think the word "attractive" got thrown around a bit too much? At least they weren't quite as bad as Mr. "Remarkable!" Sukizo.

Those girls need a new security guard. Not to mention the ability to recognize the voice of a girl they had just met. (To be fair, everyone on this show has that problem.) And is it just me, or did girl Cilan sould a lot like James used to when he crossdressed? (Back when Eric Stuart voiced him, of course.)
 

Moe

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Not to mention the ability to recognize the voice of a girl they had just met.
I'd made the assumption that's what the whispering after their introductions was about - the connection with Ash/Cilan seemed to only come later, but I certainly got the impression they recognised Iris or the Pokemon.

I liked the episode a lot, my favourite line was from Cilan in response to Ash saying he couldn't look at himself in the mirror again - 'Hush, you never do'. They all seemed to do a good job of the voices and I really like that the episode wasn't trying to teach the moral lesson over focusing on beauty, and instead was just revenge for Iris/Snivy, which is nice.

Some of those 'ette' names really didn't work - perhaps they could have just done different names that would have better suited, or at least just dropped the last letters to get Snivette and Emolgette, which would have sounded at least vaguely normal.

It would have been nice though if somehow the episode could have worked in a use of Attract without totally destroying their cover. Perhaps just suggesting that their charm was so much it worked on female Pokemon as well?
 

Karisse

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This episode was...the most hilarious filler I've seen in a while. Ash and Cilan were hilarious as girls and "Ashley's" outfit was cute, too, and the whole "snooty rich girl" thing made it even funnier, especially when Iris did that "hand below chin" laugh. The battles were amusing as well, especially the "double mud" part.

My only beef is something Moe mentioned; the addition of "ette" on the end of all the Pokémon's names, even in ways that didn't really make sense. But oh well, that doesn't stop me from liking the episode. XD
 

Kaljinyu

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Okay, Season 16, the League season of Gen 5! Let's kick it off!

We open to Cynthia's summer villa again. Ash and the rest are all still there. Wow, she put them up indefinitely until it was time to head out to the Unova League? What a combination of curiously strong generosity and fabulously obscene wealth.

Anyway, obviously it's time to head out to the Unova League, this season wouldn't have started if it wasn't. What was that big finale battle with Team Rocket for if it finally wasn't time? Pokémon Direct finally announced the location of the Unova League, in Vertress City. You won't find it in any of the games, not yet anyway. But if you really must find it, apparently it's somewhere around Opelucid City, so check around there and you'll be in where Vertress City is supposed to be. But Iris has a special request. Can they pop over to the Village Of Dragons on their way to Vertress? Looks like we're finally gonna get into Iris's story. I mean, more than we have, it's mostly been mentionings of her past here and there, we haven't really heard much on progress with this Dragon Master thing. Anyway, everyone agrees, they'll stop by Dragon Village. Our heroes head out. It's time to wrap this puppy up!

Then the intro. The one with the flying arrows and stuff. I'd heard stuff about this, but seeing as I avoid spoilers and unofficial releases, this is the first I'm actually seeing of any part of it. I liked all the retro Pokémon cameos, it kinda smacked of the original Pokémon intro with the running alongside the Arcanine and stuff.

Mid-hike they stop to have a picnic, as Ash's traveling group is wont to do. Jarvis left them food this time. And the adventure of the week kicks off with Oshawott being a jerk and stealing all of Pignite's Poffin/dog food/little Pokékibbles and stuff. Totally unprovoked too! Oshawott must've suddenly become a jerk or something because it normally takes something to trigger him when he does something like that. I guess Meloetta's departure left him frustrated. And Ash, as usual, does a crap job of mediating his Pokémon. I could see if both or even one of those Pokémon were someone else's and Ash didn't wanna overstep his boundaries, but those are both his Pokémon and all he has to say his "Hey! You... y'all stop it..." He doesn't even once acknowledge the fact that Oshawott is the one who started it and does nothing to correct this behavior. Normally when a Pokémon acts out it's because they won't listen to the Trainer due ot a lack of trust/loyalty. But somehow this struggle disappears in a battle. Probably because he and his Pokémon take those seriously.

Anyway, thanks to Oshawott, Emolga gets Hydro Pumped into the distance, blasting off into a cliff face and is found by three catty chicks in fancy garb: The Flower Troupe... Girls. Moira, Cher, and... uhhh... the one with the Lilligant. At first glance, before they introduced themselves, I thought Cher was a dude. Reminds me of Zoey from Diamond/Pearl, and her not-so-feminine interpretation of elegance. Anyway, the Troupe insults our Twerps, and then peels out in their Flower Troupe Party Wagon. Ash and the gang are none too pleased at what those ladies said to them, but Iris is particularly irate. She pursues, with Ash and Cilan in tow. They learn who this Flower Troupe is, and where their headquarters is. A special building where no boys are allowed.

Seasoned vets of the show know that this is the part where Ash dresses like a girl again.

And those vets would be right to believe in that! Because Iris hatches a plan to infiltrate the Team Flower base. Ash, once again, becomes Ashley! And Cilan dresses up too so he can get in. Let's do a count, has Cilan crossdressed more than Ash this Gen, or not? And Pikachu dressed up too, it is true that lady Pikachus have heart-shaped tails. I don't remember the last time Pikachu altered his tail to look like a girl. Cilan jumps straight into character, adopting a high pitched falsetto. Ash is reluctant to do a voice at first. Listen to Cilan's range! Who says Griffith can't emote?!! They never shoulda fired him as Sonic!!! And maybe it's just my contrary perception, but despite Ash being voiced by a woman, he sounds exactly like a boy trying poorly to emulate a girl's voice, which is the intention, I think. Might be because I'm looking at Ash's face as he says these things.

Our heroes introduce their Pokémon, although didn't the Flower Troupe see these exact Pokémon just an hour ago? They're not suspicious? Then again with so many Trainers in the world looking identical and having similar Pokémon types, it's probably understandable. How many fat Hikers have you met that train Geodudes? Probably a million. Anyway the Troupe suggests that our heroes tack on "ette" to the ends of their Pokémon's names because that's prettier sounding. At first I thought they just meant that Ash should call Pikachu "Pikachu-ette". But soon it spread.

Iris asks to watch and learn from the Troupe, and they get invited in to a studio session. The Pokémon all mix and mingle and they decide to train/battle together, as people with Pokémon often do. First test of Flower Troupe elegance, the High Beam walk. The visiting Pokémon try it out and pull it off with aplomb. Ash laments his situation and says that he can't look himself in the mirror like this. Then Cilan says Ash never looks in the mirror?

Never? Never looks in the mirror? I coulda swore he looked in a mirror at least a couple times in this Gen, can we do a re-check? He must've looked at the Reveal Glass in the last few episodes, right?

Ash finally speaks in falsetto and addresses Snivy and Emolga on the beam at Snivy-ette and Emolga-ette. At this point I was like "Wait, Ash has to address ALL of his Pokémon with the 'ette' suffix?" Then after the commercial break, we came back to find that the Flower Troupe was now also using "ette" to address THEIR Pokémon. They weren't before. So now all of a sudden everyone's saying "ette".

The Flower Troupe decides to raise the stakes by opening a mud pit under the high beam, and they decide that a High Beam Battle will be held. Two Pokémon walk on it and battle, trying to knock the other off whilst maintaining their balance. The loser falls and is covered in mud like rocks in some mud which is very unpretty and not graceful or anything. Cilan and Pansage don't do so hot. Ash and Snivy, as well as Iris and Emolga, win their battles. But when Moira's Cinccino is knocked into the mud, she uses her body's natural oils to slough it off. As long as she makes those oils, she cannot be dirtied. For some reason this really angers Iris.

But the mud fighting isn't over yet! Now they're gonna have regular ol' knock-down & drag-out Pokémon battles! With one twist. The arena is surrounded by mud and the losing Pokémon not only gets thrown into the mud, but the Trainer must also subject herself to the soiling of the mud.

Yeesh, the combination of a mean girls' club and haze-like mud humiliation makes this seem almost like some kind of fetish dungeon. In all the uncomfortable ways. Also, with their focus on beauty and pageantry, I really thought the Flower Troupe would be coordinators, not regular battlers.

Iris battles Cher and her Roserade. It's pretty touch and go, and Emolga almost falls into the mud. But then Emolga, as Emolgas can be found doing in the brush, glides through the air. Emolgas can fly, didn't they know? Moira is very upset at this, at how Emolga did NOT get covered in mud. Iris lashes out at Moira saying that it's sweet justice for Cinccino's body oil. Iris seems to be REALLY upset at this mud, and at Cinccino being clean. What's wrong with Cinccino having body cleansing oil? Iris and Emolga beat Cher and her Roserade. Cilan and Pansage, once again, do really poorly. Pansage uses Dig and gets covered in mud before the match is even over. Cilan and Pansage are knocked into the mud. Now it's time for Ash and Snivy to face Moira and her Cinccino. But then Iris steps in and says "Let me battle with Snivy".

Hold the phone, Dora. You HAD your battle! We're gonna get to your story, we're already headed to the Dragon Village, how much thunder must you steal?!! And it would be one thing to ask to battle again with your own Pokémon, but you're asking to borrow Ash's Pokémon, who you didn't train or anything! Like you've known it all Gen long or something! You can't just take someone's Pokémon and expect to be battle-compatible with it!

But Ash, who doesn't give a crap about this Flower Girl stuff anyway, says fine, go ahead, use Snivy. There's a reason she picked Snivy though. So she could buffet Cinccino with Leaf Storm. Then, Iris has Snivy knock Cinccino and Moira into the soup. But lo, Cinccino can't shake the mud off of her! What gives? That was what Leaf Storm was for. Snivy blotted off all the oil and then knocked Cinccino into the mud before she could make more. Moira asks if that's scientifically possible. Leaves can absorb oil, right? What Type is Oil-Type?

Iris laughs in the face of the ones who berated her and her Pokémon, and then the boss/teacher or something, Ms. Chandler, walks in and says that our girls did very well battling the Flower Troupe. They ask if Ash and the gang will stay and join the opera theatre. But Ashley has had her episode, it's time to get out of here.

Y'know, with Iris's point proven, Ash should've just said "I'm a boy lolz" if he wanted to get out of being headhunted. Anyway, our heroes give back the rented dresses and get a return on their deposits. Not Cilan, I'm assuming, his was thoroughly ruined. Ash suggests that Cilan should've kept the dress, for it was really his style. Which is not far off, if I remember correctly Cilan's done a considerable amount of crossdressing in Black/White. If that's what Ash was implying.
 

Ampharos King

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Why are they adding "ette" to their Pokemon's names? I mean, it kind of makes sense for Pikachu and Pansage...but why? It's already established that the Pokemon are girls.
In the Japanese version of this episode, the characters used the "-chan" honorific at the end of their pokemon's names (i.e. "Pikachu-chan") to highlight their alleged femininity and cuteness. Obviously the honorific can't be used for the English version, so the dub decided to translate the suffix as "-ette," which fulfills a similar purpose when describing nouns in the English language. The dub also needed to match the syllables of the characters' mouth movements.
 

AJW12777

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I actually found this episode really enjoyable, and Iris somewhat likeable in as well.
Though most of the ep was "FOR EMOLGA'S HONOR!!!!!!"

Though Cilan should never ever quit his day job, He also "insert past tense of bring here" some much needed hilarity.

Though I WILL say, I actually expected Pikachu to do something other than take a female end to his tail.
 

Pokémon Master Ash

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The Intro:

It was pretty good. Nice way to start off the season.

The Plot:

It was hilarious. Episode was good. Found myself laughing.

The Voice Acting:

- Moria sounds like she's voiced by Bella Hudson.

- Mona sounds like...Lisa Ortiz...using the voice she uses for every character. So much for 4Kids being the only one to overuse Lisa Ortiz consistently. :rolleyes:

- Cher's VA is just TERRIBLE. Sounds like a man acting as a woman.

- Some standard hillbilly lady character. So much for 4Kids being the only one to give characters accents. :rolleyes:

- Everyone else was good in this episode.

Total Score: 80/100
 
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Serperiority

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It was an okay episode. It was nice to see Ashley back, but not as a blonde as I expected.

There were a lot of things to like about this episode, but I like Iris's determination and Snivy's smugness the most.

​2,100th post!
 

Karamazov

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I'm confused as to what Iris was planning to accomplish before they got inside the mansion. Her plan looked like this:

1. Dress the guys up as girls
2. Sneak into Moira's house
3. Model with them
4. ???
5. They have taught the mean girls a lesson!
 

fidjnr

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The Intro:

It was pretty good. Nice way to start off the season.

The Plot:

It was hilarious. Episode was good. Found myself laughing.

The Voice Acting:

- Moria sounds like she voiced by Bella Hudson.

- Mona sounds like...Lisa Ortiz...using the voice she uses for every character. So much for 4Kids being the only one to overuse Lisa Ortiz consistently. :rolleyes:

- Cher's VA is just TERRIBLE. Sounds like a man acting as a woman.

- Some standard hillbilly lady character. So much for 4Kids being the only one to give characters accents. :rolleyes:

- Everyone else was good in this episode.

Total Score: 80/100
the start of the tradition which is now 16 years old
 

Pokémon Master Ash

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The Intro:

It was pretty good. Nice way to start off the season.

The Plot:

It was hilarious. Episode was good. Found myself laughing.

The Voice Acting:

- Moria sounds like she voiced by Bella Hudson.

- Mona sounds like...Lisa Ortiz...using the voice she uses for every character. So much for 4Kids being the only one to overuse Lisa Ortiz consistently. :rolleyes:

- Cher's VA is just TERRIBLE. Sounds like a man acting as a woman.

- Some standard hillbilly lady character. So much for 4Kids being the only one to give characters accents. :rolleyes:

- Everyone else was good in this episode.

Total Score: 80/100
the start of the tradition which is now 16 years old
Indeed.
 

Zexy

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I just watched the ep. Being the first Season 16 ep, I was psyched to see it and all, even though I have watched it already in Japanese. Still, I liked this episode quite much back then, so I was expecting to be great, even on second watch.
They did quite a good job with Cynthia's Villa leaving (They made it a highlight of a season's beggining...)
As for the rest of the episode, I think that the Japanese one was better. It may be due to second watching, but I don't think so
Reasons: the "-chan" thing just worked better than the "-ette" thing. That Pikachu-chan line back then was really hilarious. They made it too cold at the dub. Also, the Jap voice actors did a better job with the female voices than the male ones.

Overall, it was still a nice episode (intorduced a season at the beggining, and was a certainly not boring filler for the main part)
8/10 (compared to what came before and what comes next...)
 

Karamazov

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I don't see why the dub couldn't have used the prefix "Miss" instead of "-ette." Same amount of syllables, and it was would have been less awkward to use.
 

Sweet Veil

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Anyway, let's get to work on this review.

This episode was a wicked, I really thought it was something awesome.

Dialogue was amazing! I did not expect the dub dialogue to be so good, the use of words and phrases in the script came off as so well done. No awkward phrases, wording, or unrealistic speak at all. All the cliche, "Yay Friends!", "Yay Pokemon!", "Yay League!" stuff was dealt with at the beginning of the episode and that allowed for a ridiculously colorful pallet of words and phrases that were so refreshing to the ears. TPCi gets props on their job on not making the dialogue too repetitive too, no "Without batting an eyelash!" or "This is no time for them to be fighting!"-type phrases at all. The only redundant word in the script was the constant use of "unattractive" but that's perfectly fine since it's very much relevant to Moira's uppercrust nature. Otherwise we got use of very vivid and non-commonly-used words and I loved it.

Pignite roasting Oshawott during their little spat was amusing, how ironic is it the pig is the slowest eater? Liked seeing Cinccino, it has a nice design and is a rodent as well as two uncommonly seen Pokemon in Roserade and Lilligant. Moira thinking Snivy was Iris's Pokemon at the beginning of the episode was just so choice, I know I'm probably making a mountain out of a molehill but that seems like a real life occurrence that could happen. I just love how Iris was so nonchalant toward anything girly, especially when you consider how Dawn and Misty both valued their looks heavily. Though May did to an extent it wasn't emphasized as nearly as much with the former two.

Ash's female voice was too convincing! Sarah Natochenny is pretty good when she's doing a feminine voice like that, too bad she doesn't voice a female recurring character because I really liked her voice. Why wasn't she that good when she voiced Solidad? I've become so used to hearing the same set of 4kids, FUNI, Viz, VAs that circulate throughout the American Dub industry that hearing something different was really nice. This is why younger and talented VAs should be hired for anime dubbing more often. Speaking of which, Moira and her gang just had such flawless voices. Jason Griffith's female voice, that guy did a good job I have to admit. Dub music that played when Emolga gained the upper hand against Roserade was good, probably one of my favorite pieces of dub music, it also played when Elesa's Emolga battled Ash's Palpitoad and it really is a nice piece of quality music imo. Like some effort was put into it.

Pikachu and Pansage crossdressed was funny, Iris's hair was amazing. Didn't have a probably with the use of "ette" as everyone else did, I actually thought the overly femininity of it coupled with the fact that Moira and her clique had very stuck-up demeanor made it very fitting compared to something like "Miss." Cilan's small snark at Ash about him never looking in the mirror was amusing and I liked his costume.

I thought when Moira and Minana whispered they at least knew that Iris was indeed the girl they had insulted earlier. Ashley and Cilanoir XD

The balance beam matches were magnificent, again the art of walking on a balance beam is pretty feminine itself due to the fact it takes grace and finesse. It fell right in perfectly with the whole ladylike motif of the episode. Snivy pulling a judo throw and tossing Cinccino into the mud like that was pretty cool. For some reason I really liked how the Pokedex info was actually relevant and helpful this episode. It reminds me so much of Pokemon Adventures in which the Pokedex is treated like a very rare and very useful item that could decide the fate of the battle, the fact it told the gang about Cinccino's fur's special oil and Iris playing on that later on with Leaf Storm to wipe it away was anything short of innovative and was nice to see.

Battle-wise the battles didn't have much strategy, unless you count Emolga's use of gliding and Snivy's Leaf Storm-wiping strategy.(I do but your YYMV.) That doesn't matter since the battles were more about entertaining and revenge and not the central end-all be-all of the episode like a Gym Battle episode. Here's another point I have, I've noticed that recently in Pokemon the ability to fly is treated as very prestigious, like it's something very useful in battle now in recent series. Emolga's gliding apparently made all the difference in her battles. I dunno, Zoey said Togekiss's ability to fly made it an extremely tough opponent
....and Dragonite's ability of flight might have given Iris the edge to beat Drayden but Dragonite was against that.

Felt kinda bad for Pansage, thing looked like he was about to kill himself due to being dressed as a female which is kinda weird because he had no problem dressing up as Elesa's Emolga, guess the whole situation difference made it more stressful. Snivy and Emolga both got much-needed wins.

Kinda disappointed Moira didn't call Iris a beast like she did in the Japanese version :p The noblewoman's laughs were much better in Japanese as well, at least Emolga's got retained due to her sticking to her Japanese voice. "EmomomomomomoEeeeemomomo!"

Anyway wrapping up this huge tl;dr review, this is why I have an obsession like Iris so much. She was a true beast this episode, she found herself a cause, clung to it like a fucking maniac, and only was happy and felt accomplished when a punishment she deemed satisfactory was delivered and puts up with no one talking shit about her Pokemon, her friends' Pokemon, or bullying others.(Tepig/Shamus situation comes to mind.) Cilan, Ash, Brock, Max, Misty, or Dawn would have probably let it go easily but not Iris, Dawn wasn't even that bothered by Marilyn's comments about Piplup, she dropped it fast. There's just a certain "aggressiveness" or "meanness"(In a good way! :p) in her character that makes her so convincing and realistic. Ash and Cilan wanting to get the hell outta there when it was all said and done was great :3 This is definitely an episode that reminds you Pokemon is a kids' show and makes you feel good due to the sheer amount of entertainment value, I'll probably watch this again often and the best BW comedic filler since the Litwick episode.


Oh, Pokemon Anime, you slay me. XD
 
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UnovaCastaway

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Lilligant-ette made absolutely no sense because it's an all-female species without a male counterpart.

I loved Cilan's girl voice, though!
 

GibleKidd

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I enjoyed it. Can't remember the last time "Ashley" made an appearance..haha

I didn't understand how the balance beam challenge in any way demonstrated beauty..but whatever. I was expecting some contest-like challenges. The word unattractive was used a little too much, too.

Snivy was awesome and I liked Iris battling with her. Some girl bonding time lol I think Snivy enjoyed knocking those girls down a peg as much as Iris. Seeing Ash be so uncomfortable cross-dressing is hilarious every time. Good comedic episode to start the series off.
 

Likeitornot.

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I'm confused as to what Iris was planning to accomplish before they got inside the mansion. Her plan looked like this:

1. Dress the guys up as girls
2. Sneak into Moira's house
3. Model with them
4. ???
5. They have taught the mean girls a lesson!
I think Iris intended to sneak with the other two into the troupe's HQ in order to have a truly satisfying revenge, by defeating the ladies in an area of their own expertise. That's just my reckoning on it, though.

Also, any excuse for crossdressing fanservice, wah-hey!
 

Karamazov

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That makes sense, sort of but not really. It makes sense in that a kid like Iris would have thought of it. But what would she have done if the people who have been training twice as long as her (I assume), and are masters at their art defeated her?
 
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