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REVIEW: S17 EP12: To Catch a Pokémon Smuggler!

Sakuraa

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I really liked this episode and found it quite entertaining. What really made this episode great was the amount of teamwork between the group here.

First of all, I really loved Clemont in this episode, (I mean, I love him in every episode, but I really liked him here). I liked how Clemont picked up Bonnie and moved her out of the way of the poacher's truck in the beginning of this episode, so cute. I also liked how his invention was once again useful for the most part and helped in tracking down Dolan. Then he had the idea of using Chespin to wear the Spewpa suit to lure Dolan to them. So I thought he had a lot of contribution here. But what the hell Clemont? Why did you possibly think Ash could pass for a Spewpa? Also, this kid seriously needs more exercise. First he fell and then he sounded like he was dying during the scene where they were following Fletchling.

I thought Serena was great today. We really saw her take somewhat of a leadership role in coming up with most of the plan to catch Dolan. I like how she supplied the group with the Spewpa costumes, although I also wonder why she owns them, but whatever. But it is interesting that she seems to be good at costume design. Hopefully, we’ll see more of this in the future. She’s even the one who suggested for Ash to use Fletchling to search for Dolan’s hideout. So Serena gets a an A+ from me today!

Then we had Ash who was the one to battle Dolan in the end. Although he was defeated with Vivillion's assistance, I thought Ash did great. Once again, I really liked the teamwork of this group. If only Dedenne would have actually been big enough to cosplay as Spewpa, then the whole group would have somewhat contributed (Seeing as Dedenne isn’t really hers). But regardless, I still loved Bonnie here, since they at least tried. And I love Bonnie regardless. I also thought it was funny that Ash continued that Spewpa act for the entire time he was in the costume.

Ash’s evolution explanation. That was funny. But seriously, after seeing so many evolutions in his time, you’d think he’d be able to do it better than that. I also found it odd that Bonnie had never seen a Pokemon evolve before, especially since Clemont has two evolved Pokemon. Now I know they could have just evolved when she wasn’t around, Clemont could have captured them in their current state, or any other number of factors. But I dunno. I just thought she would have seen an evolution before.

My gosh. Diggersby's voice. It sounds like some sort of stereotypical old style Texas cowboy. Weird.

So overall, a nice episode with some great teamwork. Ash may have been the hero in the end, but the interactions and effort from the Serena and Clemont really made this episode for me. And I still love Bonnie! 9/10.
 
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PiccoloX

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There will be enough posts regarding the main characters, so I'll just point out the elephant in the room...

So, how was the Smugler a "bad guy"? I get that he had a cliche minor-villain attitude, but why did his actions, regardless of the reason, warrant his arrest? He was taking Pokemon from the wild to trade away later. Would it have been any different if he used pokeballs instead of a net? Is raising them in kennel cages any worse than having them fight other Pokemon? The evolution time from when he captured them as Scatterbug was not long, so it's not like he'd have kept them caged for long.

Really thought the show was grasping at straws with this character concept. Giving someone an idiotic grin and a desire for wealth DOES NOT mean they belong in jail. Heck, half the people I work with would be felons. lol

And don't say "He probably did worse to capture them, which is why he was being chased." That's not a viable excuse because every character immediately spoke out about despicable this Smuggler was without needing a viable reason. This episode showed how short sighted all the characters can be to judge someone they didn't even know so harshly despite the reason being that they used a different capture method than they do.

Kids, if someone accidentally almost hog-ties you, don't blindly trust them. It's obvious their own judgement is a bit impaired. What are the requirements for a law official in this world, a birth certificate and a large family photo? Is there any police training involved or does it come with the skirt?




"Officer" Jenny 3/10
Like all her sisters she proves inept at her job and despite the effort only amounts to being someone on sight who can radio for someone else to clean up the mess. Her only notable quality is moving the plot along in yet another filler episode between gym battles. Honestly, nobody in this family deserves a badge.
I'm being lenient with the points here because she might have done something if the Smuggler hadn't been knocked out in the end, but these are only pity points for a blue skirt that's generally more useless than a pink skirt.

Ash, Bonny and Clement 9/10, only losing a point for their automatic judgement of the Smuggler. Clements plot-convenient inventions proved very useful before very explosive. As for Bonny, you can only really judge her by knocking points off a 10/10.
Ash would be less than 9/10, but that Spewpa costume... That was pretty funny. Haven't really liked his character before this season, but he did have a creative plan in Froaky relaying hand signals to communicate. It also showed Froaky's stealthiness and Ash's ability to creatively think the situation through. Well, not all the way through... It comes and goes. lol

This seasons generic female... I mean, Serena. Meh, pushing a hard 5/10 just for making the costume. Faded into the background otherwise. I guess you could say her role in the shows only about as useful as Clements convenient inventions, and the mystery of her past does raise a brow, but I just don't care for her character in general.
 
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Team Gaara

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When we last left off, Ash never ate…

So we start off with a Diggersby tho, so that’s already a plus for this episode. It’s here where I start to wonder; why does Ash always want to get involved with criminal activity (as in, catching the baddies)? This is not his job, why can’t he just let Officer Jenny handle it? I get that it’s just his personality to help, and I’ve always liked that about him being willing to go against adults that are actually threats, but this isn’t like your normal travelling group; there is a child this time. Ash should really think about jumping into the action so quickly like that. I suppose it’s all good though, since it actually probably does more good for Bonnie than harm.

I’d like to note that it’s pretty sad that even Serena can beat Clemont in running. He’s really going to have to get more athletic as this series goes on.

Officer Jenny just lassoed Ash? By the hand? That was incredibly badass. I also love that Ash resisted as well as proclaiming his innocence, it seems like something Ash in OS would do. And I just can’t ignore that Wiggytuff is still ubers creepy this season. Why is it just staring at is like that?

So Scatterbug and Spewpa, the Pixel Pokémon, are really cute. I really find these early worm Pokémon adorable. They also sports the fastest evolution I have ever seen. And speaking of new records, Ash’s explanation for evolution had to have been the funniest I’ve ever heard! Sorry Clemont, Ash’s was WAY better, but Clemont gets points for having an adorable Raichu in his explanation.

As of now, I’m keeping tabs on useful things Serena manages to do for the group. Map to find a Pokémon Center? Check. Idea to catch Mr. Diggersby? Check. She was doing good up until she just had to them immediately afterwards worry that it was a bad idea to put Spewpa at risk. It was your damn idea Serena; why suggest it in the first place? Not only that, she once again had to bring up fashion, but I’ll let it slide because it proved useful to the group. Why she has these Spewpa costumes in the first place (unless she just made them at light speed at that moment) and why anyone thought that Ash should be the one to wear it is beyond me, but whatever. And this is just me, but it also bothered me when as soon as her plan worked, she was quick to be all proud about it when she had just said it was probably dangerous. So far today, Serena’s about 50:50. Really like that she’s getting involved, but she still manages to do something annoying in the process.

Speaking of awesome contributions, Clemont has again provided us with a device that can help and didn’t explode within the first five minutes. But he really should let go of his devices when they start to static. I feel like that isn’t good for the hand, just a hunch.
But it’s all good because it actually gets them to where they need to be.

Before we get into the battle, let's talk about this net-trap here. Now remember how Serena was being all useful earlier? This would have been a great time to use Fennekin to burn the net so they could get free. I would have loved for that to happen; it would have been a great addition to the use she was already providing and would have been a huge boost to her character, in my opinion! Why does she not use it?!

The battle between Ash and my man Diggersby tho was really good. I wish they’d stop having that family use Mud Shot, thought. Not only is it unfitting, but it just gets repetitive when Clemont’s Bunnelby makes use of it and his evolved form just uses the same, weak move. Thankfully, we got to see some ear-arm action.

How the hell did Swepa knock down Diggersby tho? Like, seriously? It was awesome, but at the same time, pretty unusual. On the bright side, it did let him evolve and I love Elegant Vivillion.

So Diggersby and Mr. Diggersby fall at the…pixels of Vivillion and Jenny comes back to lasso him. And it seems that all the Scatterbug evolved while in captivity…and again…right here. Maybe they don’t need to battle for experience and just need to wait like, two days and run in a circle.

Overall, a nice episode. Serena contributed, which was good. Ash was both comedic and awesome. Bonnie and Dedenne didn’t do much, but did provide me with a laugh here and there. Clemont also proved useful, as did Chespin, even though I didn’t really talk about him. All in all, a very good group effort here, so I’ll give it a 9/10.
 

Beth Pavell

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It was an okay episode. I can remember worse, certainly, and I suppose better to get Diggersby out of the way sooner rather than late. Just a few too my contrivances here though - Officer Jenny as the only local officer, fine, so much so established. But why does a net suddenly stop our heroes? They've destroyed nets with all manner of unlikely attacks before. And Froakie can't dodge in mid-air? I agree, but it's a bit strange considering how gravity has been ignored in battles many many times before.

Still, the quieter nature of XY shows up again, and I think this episode is easier to watch because of it
 

EvilChameleon

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Froakie is the clear star of this episode, especially because of the zeal with which he went about the spy mission. I especially loved "give me this sign" if everything is all clear.
 

Yash

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It was kind of hard to take Dolan seriously because his goofy design, and also the name he shares with a meme. I did like Diggersby's voice though, he sounded like Tigger.

This was actually one of the better episodes music-wise this season, it kept 7 pieces. And most of the music kept wasn't battle music either, like the route theme that always plays whenever Clemont is explaining a new invention of his. Hopefully they'll start keeping more in the future because the ratio has been really pathetic in XY so far.
 

Queen Cynthia

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The episode was OK, although it was nothing extraordinary. Spewpa are not the most exciting Pokemon in my eyes, but well, I guess it just had to get its Anime debut today.
Also, I think the concept of Pokemon smugglers should have been better and more elaborated. We all know how fascinating a character Hunter J was, but this guy here couldn't really be taken seriously, mainly because of his goofy design and behavior. Why not introduce somebody like Hunter J in Kalos, too?

And guys, tell me: Where does this fascination for Clemont come from? His getting tired while running and his lame inventions that blow up every single time are getting so predictable and boring... I can't see it anymore! Though I can't get rid of the feeling that we'll still have to see that many many times until the very end of Kalos :(
I think when it comes to new characters, Kalos is a step backwards: Bonnie is childish, Clemont is pretty much useless and Serena...well she's just there.

Anyways,a decent episode with some good scenes and battles
 

투 애니원

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The episode was OK, although it was nothing extraordinary. Spewpa are not the most exciting Pokemon in my eyes, but well, I guess it just had to get its Anime debut today.
Also, I think the concept of Pokemon smugglers should have been better and more elaborated. We all know how fascinating a character Hunter J was, but this guy here couldn't really be taken seriously, mainly because of his goofy design and behavior. Why not introduce somebody like Hunter J in Kalos, too?

And guys, tell me: Where does this fascination for Clemont come from? His getting tired while running and his lame inventions that blow up every single time are getting so predictable and boring... I can't see it anymore! Though I can't get rid of the feeling that we'll still have to see that many many times until the very end of Kalos :(
I think when it comes to new characters, Kalos is a step backwards: Bonnie is childish, Clemont is pretty much useless and Serena...well she's just there.

Anyways,a decent episode with some good scenes and battles
Thats because Bonnie is a child (plus she is actually really mature for her age)...and are you forgetting about Clemont's inventions especially the one that helped with Ash's gym battle?
 

garrison-san

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General discussion about specific characters would be best taken to their respective threads in Characters and Discussion. Click here for Bonnie and here for Clemont.

I suppose better to get Diggersby out of the way sooner rather than late.
How dare you.
 
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fawfulmark2

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The Hunter gave Me Serious Wario Vibes....which I really kinda liked. There were aspects of the ep that I assume got lost in translation(the Hunter's crime was apparently auctioning Pokemon but the entire cast made it sound like he was committing murder :/). As Someone who is still new to gen 6, seeing this gen's bug family line was pretty neat....even if I think ScatterBug is probably the laziest English name for a poke since LickyLicky. This also(I think?) was the first Rocket-less episode to date in this series, IIRC, which also was a little interesting since the last one had more of a Meowth focus and all(that was kinda squandered by the backstab, but I DIGRESS!) 2 things I kinda consider downers for the ep were the fact that Ash wasn't able to beat the Hunter's Diggersby, which is slowly giving me memories of stuff from the BW days like Ash losing a battle that would have forced him to retire as a trainer.....also because of the water Pokemon he used like it was here(please don't repeat the "Ash loses practically everything except gym battles" trend writers!!) Also the way that Vivillon was befriending Ash led to the idea that Ash would befriend and catch it kinda like what happened with Clemont and Chespin...yeah that didn't happen.

So yeah, I consider the weakest of the eps I've seen so far (with the second ep being my favorite), though the Wario-esque hunter and Ash dressing up as a Spewpa in vain to fool the hunter were still fun parts.
 

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I laughed out loud when I realized that some people would use this just to get all Vivillion patterns. I, uh, probably shouldn't have.

Also I had a huge "WTF?" moment: Ash said he didn't recognize Scatterbug, but he knew what a Vivillion was. Later, he also had to scan Spewpa. What the...
So, how was the Smugler a "bad guy"? I get that he had a cliche minor-villain attitude, but why did his actions, regardless of the reason, warrant his arrest? He was taking Pokemon from the wild to trade away later. Would it have been any different if he used pokeballs instead of a net? Is raising them in kennel cages any worse than having them fight other Pokemon? The evolution time from when he captured them as Scatterbug was not long, so it's not like he'd have kept them caged for long.
I'm, uh, guessing you missed the part where they mentioned he sold them online? Which is illegal? And raising them in kennel cages is worse then having them battle each other - if I recall correctly, Pokemon like battling, and it's exercise for them too, rather then just keeping them locked up - using a real world example, a dog you take for walks would be more fit then a dog you just kept in its cage all day.
 

Yash

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Also I had a huge "WTF?" moment: Ash said he didn't recognize Scatterbug, but he knew what a Vivillion was. Later, he also had to scan Spewpa. What the...
That's because Viola used a Vivillon in his battle against her. They reference it in the episode too.
 

Bland Mango

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Bonnie continues to annoy, I really really hate her, come back May and Max all is forgiven!
Also the joke about Clemonts inventions blowing up for no apparent reason is wearing thin.

I agree with some of the above that using a net instead of a Poke Ball seems to take you from Pokemon Trainer to hardened criminal for some reason.

Also not sure why only 6 Vivillon showed up, didn't see the Marine one, my favourite.
 

PiccoloX

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So, how was the Smugler a "bad guy"? I get that he had a cliche minor-villain attitude, but why did his actions, regardless of the reason, warrant his arrest? He was taking Pokemon from the wild to trade away later. Would it have been any different if he used pokeballs instead of a net? Is raising them in kennel cages any worse than having them fight other Pokemon? The evolution time from when he captured them as Scatterbug was not long, so it's not like he'd have kept them caged for long.
I'm, uh, guessing you missed the part where they mentioned he sold them online? Which is illegal? And raising them in kennel cages is worse then having them battle each other - if I recall correctly, Pokemon like battling, and it's exercise for them too, rather then just keeping them locked up - using a real world example, a dog you take for walks would be more fit then a dog you just kept in its cage all day.
Selling Pokemon isn't illegal. It's no more illegal than trading one Pokemon for another. And don't forget the Pokemon in the game you either purchase or gamble for, like Porygon. Also, to say that Pokemon like battling is to deny the Pokemon in the anime and games who didn't like battling, were wild or just didn't care. Snorelax, for example, don't care about battling. There's a handful of lazy and even more peaceful Pokemon who don't want to battle, wether it's against their wild nature or would require more effort than they care to spend.

A good example of both Good/Evil as well as a Pokemon who obviously didn't want to battle, look at how Ash treated Helioptile when he first met it.
 

Erdrick

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So, how was the Smugler a "bad guy"? I get that he had a cliche minor-villain attitude, but why did his actions, regardless of the reason, warrant his arrest? He was taking Pokemon from the wild to trade away later. Would it have been any different if he used pokeballs instead of a net? Is raising them in kennel cages any worse than having them fight other Pokemon? The evolution time from when he captured them as Scatterbug was not long, so it's not like he'd have kept them caged for long.
I'm, uh, guessing you missed the part where they mentioned he sold them online? Which is illegal? And raising them in kennel cages is worse then having them battle each other - if I recall correctly, Pokemon like battling, and it's exercise for them too, rather then just keeping them locked up - using a real world example, a dog you take for walks would be more fit then a dog you just kept in its cage all day.
Selling Pokemon isn't illegal. It's no more illegal than trading one Pokemon for another. And don't forget the Pokemon in the game you either purchase or gamble for, like Porygon. Also, to say that Pokemon like battling is to deny the Pokemon in the anime and games who didn't like battling, were wild or just didn't care. Snorelax, for example, don't care about battling. There's a handful of lazy and even more peaceful Pokemon who don't want to battle, wether it's against their wild nature or would require more effort than they care to spend.

A good example of both Good/Evil as well as a Pokemon who obviously didn't want to battle, look at how Ash treated Helioptile when he first met it.
You have me there, I'll admit. (Never mind that Porygon don't have needs like regular Pokemon...) Of course, you have to look at what his title is: a smuggler. He isn't putting Pokemon in a Ball, which would appear to be a Virtual Reality equivalent of whatever habitat the Pokemon would naturally be in (if I recall correctly) - he's trapping them in cages, forcing them to evolve, then selling them on the black market for collectors, who will probably continue to treat them that way. If he was catching them in Poke Balls - again, something that was made for the Pokemon - rather then with cages/nets, and sold them as, say, pets (I'm guessing that's the Magikarp Salesman's angle), then he wouldn't be the villain. Before you bring up Porygon, I would like to point out that Team Rocket (the owner of the Rocket Game Corner) was a mob (or maybe a mafia, I can't recall at the moment), so having them give Porygon or whatever for cash (coins) isn't exactly below them. And before you bring up the topic of trading again, I'd like to point out that it both isn't something that we can exactly relate to and that the Pokemon don't exactly like it either, having their happiness reset to the base whenever you trade.

I also brought up the "battles" because you did, and I said it was exercise. Keeping them locked up wouldn't have them exercise. Even the Pokemon who didn't like battling would get exercise (or be lazy, like Snorlax).
 

Alola

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So, how was the Smugler a "bad guy"? I get that he had a cliche minor-villain attitude, but why did his actions, regardless of the reason, warrant his arrest? He was taking Pokemon from the wild to trade away later. Would it have been any different if he used pokeballs instead of a net? Is raising them in kennel cages any worse than having them fight other Pokemon? The evolution time from when he captured them as Scatterbug was not long, so it's not like he'd have kept them caged for long.
I'm, uh, guessing you missed the part where they mentioned he sold them online? Which is illegal? And raising them in kennel cages is worse then having them battle each other - if I recall correctly, Pokemon like battling, and it's exercise for them too, rather then just keeping them locked up - using a real world example, a dog you take for walks would be more fit then a dog you just kept in its cage all day.
Selling Pokemon isn't illegal. It's no more illegal than trading one Pokemon for another. And don't forget the Pokemon in the game you either purchase or gamble for, like Porygon. Also, to say that Pokemon like battling is to deny the Pokemon in the anime and games who didn't like battling, were wild or just didn't care. Snorelax, for example, don't care about battling. There's a handful of lazy and even more peaceful Pokemon who don't want to battle, wether it's against their wild nature or would require more effort than they care to spend.

A good example of both Good/Evil as well as a Pokemon who obviously didn't want to battle, look at how Ash treated Helioptile when he first met it.
You have me there, I'll admit. (Never mind that Porygon don't have needs like regular Pokemon...) Of course, you have to look at what his title is: a smuggler. He isn't putting Pokemon in a Ball, which would appear to be a Virtual Reality equivalent of whatever habitat the Pokemon would naturally be in (if I recall correctly) - he's trapping them in cages, forcing them to evolve, then selling them on the black market for collectors, who will probably continue to treat them that way. If he was catching them in Poke Balls - again, something that was made for the Pokemon - rather then with cages/nets, and sold them as, say, pets (I'm guessing that's the Magikarp Salesman's angle), then he wouldn't be the villain. Before you bring up Porygon, I would like to point out that Team Rocket (the owner of the Rocket Game Corner) was a mob (or maybe a mafia, I can't recall at the moment), so having them give Porygon or whatever for cash (coins) isn't exactly below them. And before you bring up the topic of trading again, I'd like to point out that it both isn't something that we can exactly relate to and that the Pokemon don't exactly like it either, having their happiness reset to the base whenever you trade.

I also brought up the "battles" because you did, and I said it was exercise. Keeping them locked up wouldn't have them exercise. Even the Pokemon who didn't like battling would get exercise (or be lazy, like Snorlax).

Sooooooo...what of the trainers that catch Pokemon and leave them in their Pokeballs for days, weeks, months, etc on end? Or the good trainers like us who store them in PCs never to see daylight again, just capturing them for the sake of collection? Is that really any better? (Cue whole N mentality/Way of life~). And Pokeballs are not virtual realities. They are just spheres of space a Pokesmon literally sits in (the most recent example of this is Iris's Dragonite).

Oh, and an example to my point. Remember Mira guys? From early DP? The girl who potentially was going to leave her Sandshrew locked down in the bottom of a lake inside its Pokeball? (If not for gang and co). Is this really any different?
 
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PiccoloX

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The bottom line is that, regardless of how idiotic and hypocritical, this "Smuggler" broke the law. It wasn't a law broken that wasn't mentioned in the anime, the law broken was simply that he captured Pokemon in a different way. Again, idiotic and hypocritical, but still a law to these hypocritical idiots. But really, in a world where Officer Jenny is an officer of the law, could you expect any better?

Did the "good guys " know the conditions the Pokemon were being held in? No. Did they know he was selling to bad people? No. The only thing they knew is that he didn't use Pokeballs and sold them instead of trading them. This and this alone was all it took to convince the "good guys" that the Smuggler was a "bad guy" and deserved to be arrested.
 
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Beth Pavell

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"Smuggler" suggests to me that the crime here is in how he's selling pokémon, and who to. As a real life example, take tortoises. They can be bred and sold in captivity, but it's illegal (At least in the UK) to import wild tortoises.
 
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