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Gym battles have made for some of my favorite eps when done correctly, and this one didn't disappoint.
Ash used his brains in choosing a Pokémon that not only resists Fairy attacks, but also knew Steel Wing. For a while, I thought he was being a dumbass for repeatedly using Flame Charge with Trick Room in effect, until the Trick Room wore off and I realized that he was thinking ahead. His strategy with Hawlucha was classic outside-the-box Ash.
I wonder who's better at communicating with Pokémon--Valerie, who knows Poke-speak; or Ash, who doesn't need the translation to know what his Pokémon are thinking.
For just a 2 on 2, I thought this was a pretty good battle. It certainly had the most surprises imo.
Well, Valerie sure knows how to make an entrance. Lol. Can’t say the same about the Furisode girls since they just seemed to appear in that gym out of nowhere. And what the hell Valerie, you want to be a Pokemon? Hm, my knowledge of that along with my hype for Super Mystery Dungeon makes me feel some type of way Anyway, moving on to the actual battle, Fletchinder vs. Sylveon was pretty nice. I find it totally hilarious how Ash actually commanded Peck here when he didn't in the previous gyms Fletchinder was in where it would have been Super Effective. Regardless, seeing Sylveon spinning Fletchinder around with its feelers and trap him in a tornado of Fairy Wind was pretty cool. I also liked how Fletchinder used Flame Charge to burn the feelers and land a hit. I thought it was really interesting how the Furisode Girls were so shocked over Sylveon's loss and were reluctant to announce it with Valerie actually having to tell Callie to do it. I didn't expect that.
Fletchinder vs. Spritzee was certainly interesting. I thought Ash literally forgot what Trick Room did and thought using Flame Charge over and over would eventually speed him up. I never guessed he was preparing to attack for when the Trick Room ended. The only thing that bothered me with that was Fletchinder getting hit by and knocked out by Moonblast immediately after. With all the speed boosts I would have expected him to be fast enough to dodge any and everything Spritzee threw at him. Oh, well. At least he did great otherwise.
Hawlucha vs. Spritzee was probably the most surprising match imo. First of all, let me just say that I loved how Hawlucha started posing after he was sent out. Something I really liked was how Ash told Halwucha that the Trick Room was his “ring” for that battle to give him something to relate to. Wow, Ash can still understand his Pokemon? Eh, I guess it always varies anyway. I never expected Hawlucha to show off a new move here. Especially X-Scissor of all things. I do find it a bit funny, that his 4th move also isn't very effective on Fairy-types. I loved how Ash used Spritzee's Gyro Ball to give Hawlucha some speed to not only break through her attack with X-Scissor, but also to break the Trick Room. And damn I LOVED Valerie's expression when the Trick Room broke. Hawlucha's following pose was cool too. Damn, dat High Jump Kick to the face was bad-ass. And then Hawlucha does even more cool poses after the battle ends
A few other things I liked in this episode were Sawyer constantly taking notes during the gym battle and, once again, the Furisode Girls reactions during the battle and afterward. I especially liked how Callie looked almost sad over Valerie having to give Ash the badge. And lol at Sawyer asking if Pikachu gives him advice during battles.
Overall, I thought this was an okay gym match and episode. I definitely liked it more than the last gym battle. 8/10.
Just as I thought it would be.
Valerie isn't really strong. She obviosuly loves to pose and most of what she does is just a huge show. Also, I was really surprised to see Ash being so dominant and superior to a gym leader. That's something we haven't seen in a while, have we?
The battle itself was o.k. but I actually never doubted that Ash might lose that and I expected better from Valerie.
Well, this is your sixth badge, Ash. Time to start thinking about the league, I guess!
Something else about this ep that crossed my mind--TR wasn't in this ep, and I don't think they were in the last one either. And I didn't even care. I'm glad TPTB are no longer shoehorning them into every single ep. (I know they stopped doing that in BW, but it bears mentioning again because of how nice it is to just focus on what Ash is doing from time to time.)
Valerie is now my favorite gym leader and her gym has the nicest design imo. This was a really good episode for me not only because I got to see Valerie's gym, but also because of the way Ash battled.
Whenever I see him battle like that I can't help but be glad to see the return of Battle Frontier/DP Ash who would actually battle with strategy and not just try powerhouse his way through everything. I admit when he was using Flame Charge over and over I thought to myself "why is he being so stupid, he seriously must know better" and of course he proved me wrong. Seeing Ash battle like this and with the visuals in XY being so good, it makes me love the series more and more.