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REVIEW: SM103: A Passionate Heart That Can Smash Even Rock! Lychee and Takeshi!!

A soldier of kindness
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The thing is clear now: the anime doesn't want continuity to be significant anymore. Brock's Sudowoodo and Chansey in one episode would have been too much of a DP nod.
Shaymin is in the latest preview for the next batch of episodes... I doubt they care about whether they nod DP or not.


Kanto just relates more to the current series and for marketing purposes with the most recent games released.
 
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Well, this talk about continuity sure escalated quickly...

Back to the topic, this episode made it fill like the writers were thinking "let's have a Brock adventure that we make up as we go". We start with the Alola and the Kanto gangs having lunch, then we jump to Brock being like "let's visit Akala cause there butiful woman there", then we get to Kiawe's farm where meaningless stuff happens, we get a short montage of Brock searching for a "fated" meeting, Olivia appears, she and Brock-ster have a battle, the TRio ruin everything (what a twist!), the Rock lovers "defeat" them by proclaiming their love for each other in a Z-move and all this stuff leads to (drum roll please)... Brock and Misty leaving (insert cricket noise).

I really enjoyed the premise of the episode, with our flamboyant Rock-type doctor finally finding a possible match in our clumsy Rock-type queen. But execution wise, it leaves a lot to be desired. The only things I really liked and/or loved were seeing the UG Poké Rides being used for something other than Ultra Guardians business, Brock getting a new Pokémon (thou they could have handled it better), the battle between Brock and Olivia (at least before Team Rocket came in to ruin something good for the gazillionth time) and Sudowoodo's return.

But other than those, the rest of the episode felt like a whole lot of nothing happened. Like it was a non-adventure (or nonventure if you will). The Brock/Olivia romance (while at the very least implied to be mutual) felt like disregard for Chekhov's gun (since in the end it amounts to absolutely nothing), Team Rocket was annoying and redundant (to the point that the gangs acknowledged that), the Hikers and Brock's interest in cute women being turned up to 11 are more examples of Sun & Moon going way to overboard with their gags and the lack of Pokémon owned by Brock and Misty being shown unless they're for the OG series (with Sudowoodo's exception) and (overall) the lack of an impact the original gang had on Ash's classmates' development just show how the writers are somehow either incapable of NOT wasting potential or good "pervious companions return" story arcs being a foreign concept to them. I mean, look at past "pervious companions return" story arcs. When May came back in DP, she served a purpose to the story and the character development of Dawn, by supporting her, inspiring her and, in the end, helping her get out of her depression. When Dawn came back in BW she had somewhat of an impact on the story (albeit a very minor one) by 1) bonding with Meloetta, thus making her in turn open up to more people and 2) inspiring Iris to strive to bond with her disobedient Dragonite (even thou Cinthia had more of an impact on that story). And when Misty and Tracy came bac way bac in AG... I have no idea what happened (since I haven't watched the Advanced Generations series), but I'm sure they handled it way better than SM did.

Now, if I've learned anything from a certain section of defenders of bad movies from a certain sci-fi fanbase from a galaxy far, far away, is that if you say a story (or an aspect of the story) is bad, but you don't provide an alternative then you're an idiot/hypocrite/blind hater or a whole other batch of colorful insults. So, here's how I think the episode could have been better (while keeping the premise): while having the lunch at the start of the episode, when Kiawe was mentioning that his farm is known for having the best cheese in Alola, have Misty get intrigued by the statement (instead of having Brock go into "crazy love" mode) and have her wonder what it feels like to be on a farm or whether that statement is really true, prompting Ash's classmates to praise it and (especially) its Moomoo Milk Ice Cream, motivating the OG gang to visit Kiawe's farm on Akala. Once they get there and have their fun, they hear Pokémon cries in the woods not that far from the farm. Once they go there to investigate, they find Olivia (together with a bunch of scared wild Pokémon), leading to Brock having the "moment" and Misty pinching his ear to bring him back to reality, since they are facing an issue. Then the whole Kangaskhan stuff from the episode happens (except not in Kiawe's barn, since I still don't understand what Kangaskhan was doing there in the first palce), which leads to Olivia being impressed, Misty and Brock introduce themselves, Olivia offers to give them a tour of the surroundings, ending with the Wela Volcano. Then most of the stuff from the episode (aka. Brock challenging Olivia to a battle) happens just like in the episode (except Team Rocket doesn't come in to ruin it) and we either have Olivia win (since she's supposed to be a Kahuna and all that) or have a tie between them. They then participate in the festivities around the volcano and we end the episode with the gang going back to Melemele (I should also mention that I wouldn't constrain Brock and Misty's return to just 2 episodes, since, as you can see, it's not enough time to make that reunion meaningful or impactful. I would also save the Continental Crush.. of LOVE for Brock and Misty's departure episode, where Olivia would also tell Brock that once he's done with his studies of becoming a Pokémon Doctor, he's welcome to come to Akala and visit her anytime, since it would be a better closure to the whole Brock/Olivia romance than dropping it entirely).

Anyways, if I were to summarize this story arc (that is this episode and the previous one) in a few words, this is what I'd call it: overglorified filler. As I said before, previous returns had an impact on the characters and/or plot moving forward. Unlike Best Wishes, Sun & Moon had a reason to bring back Brock and Misty, but unfortunately, the only reason they did it was for pure nostalgia, since they have no impact on the story, no impact on the characters and their 2 episodes where at best harmless nonventures. Originally, with Young Justice: Outsiders and Smash Bros. keeping me busy, I forgot this episode was even a thing, but now that I've seen the episode, I'm glad I watched it after I was done with that other stuff (especially since I got the chance to see this thread and learn that I should lower my expectations). All in all, looks like the writers of this series still don't know how the make a meaningful reunion with the past companions.

Side note: Since I haven't watched that many episodes form the original series, this 2-parter and the Alola in Kanto 2-parter where my formal introduction to Misty's character. And now that I've seen her and her interactions with Ash (aka. saying that he got her badge out of pity, basically insulting his skill as a trainer) and Brock (aka. pinching his ear when he and Olivia were having an obviously mutual romantic moment), I really feel like she's nothing more than a (pardon the word, but this is the best way I can describe her) bitch. Seriously, to me Iris is by far a better character than this Misty (yeah, I went there).

Edit: Something I forgot to mention about what I would change if I were to write this episode is that during the Kanghaskan scene, after Comfey used Aromatherapy to calm the angry mother, Brock would then send out Chansey so she could help with the injured baby by using a healing move on its leg (since she could have easily been used alongside Comfey considering the situation, had the writers cared about anything other than OG series nostalgia when it came to Misty and Brock's party (Sudowoodo being an exception to that rule))
 
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I didn't watch the episode yet...But I think that maybe Misty and Brock will return after the end of the Sun and Moon's series. Maybe in a side story in which Lana travels to Kanto to have a battle against Misty. Dewpier goes to Kanto too and fall in love with Misty and maybe she'll catch it. It would be amazing to give her a new team addition after Azurill and this catch would be a great step forward for Misty because she overcome the fear of bug type Pokémon. What do you think?

I'm italian, excuse me for my mistakes xD
 
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Sorry Brock, she's too old for you.

This was better than I was expecting although it was almost purely a Brock episode - everyone else was just sort of there. I liked the G Gundam stuff (I'm a huge G Gundam fanboy) and the best pals scene at the end, but I wish they had included less fillery stuff so we could have had an actual complete battle. A lot better than the previous episode but a letdown compared to the Cerulean Gym episode which might be my favorite from SM.

Huge spoilers for G Gundam, don't watch if you don't want to know how it ends:
 
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I'd like to see them again in the league and then in a special where Lana battles Misty.

Side note: Since I haven't watched that many episodes form the original series, this 2-parter and the Alola in Kanto 2-parter where my formal introduction to Misty's character. And now that I've seen her and her interactions with Ash (aka. saying that he got her badge out of pity, basically insulting his skill as a trainer) and Brock (aka. pinching his ear when he and Olivia were having an obviously mutual romantic moment), I really feel like she's nothing more than a (pardon the word, but this is the best way I can describe her) bitch. Seriously, to me Iris is by far a better character than this Misty (yeah, I went there).
That's a very informed opinion. Also, Misty dragged Brock right after he met Olivia; they had no chance to bond at that point. Their real bonding happened when they faced Team Rocket.
 
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The romantic plotline wasn't resolved? And Ash didn't interact with Misty and Brock? What the...I never thought I would postpone watching an episode with Misty on it. :confused:
 
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That's a very informed opinion. Also, Misty dragged Brock right after he met Olivia; they had no chance to bond at that point. Their real bonding happened when they faced Team Rocket.
Well I'm sorry I couldn't be bothered to watch the entire OG series in order to comment on Misty's characterization in Sun & Moon, didn't know that was a requirement. I mean, it's not like I was talking about my impressions on how she was portrayed in SM on a thread about a SM episode/arc in which she appears. If you feel like there's a lack of info on my comment about her, maybe that's because Sun & Moon fails to provide anything on Misty that's meaningful (not to mention they don't show any growth in her character since the last time she appeared).

As for the Misty dragging Brock away from Olivia moment, you can clearly see the Olivia was at the very least flattered by Brock's advances, as evidenced by the fact that she was blushing the entire time. Then Misty had to be like "How dare you find a woman that enjoys the way you flirt with her and could potentially like you!" and drag him by the ear, trying to ruin Brock's moment with Olivia and taking even more time away from the focus of the episode.
 
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Nice to see a Gundam reference in Pokemon, at least with something like doing a parody of the final battle against the Dark Gundam (Devil Gundam in Japan). . Currently I am watching G Gundam again on Crunchyroll in the subbed version only (Which is my personal preference as I have some dislike towards the Gundam names that were changed in the English Dub like God Gundam which was changed into Burning Gundam).

On the good side, nice to see Brock getting a Comfey and therefore a new Pokemon for Gen. VII. Also for the Brock and Olivia scene my opinion is despite the brief similarity they do with the Domon/Rain scene from the G Gundam reference it is obvious they are not a couple since this was just a one-time thing.
 
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I've finally watched the episode. I took my time to wait before watching this one because the reviews didn't seem to care much for it.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this episode, honestly. It worked really well to show how much Takeshi has improved as a Pokemon doctor and also why he's such a great trainer as a former gym leader.

Whenever I watch episodes of the original trio being involved, it really does make me miss them very much.

"I was wondering what he was studying the entire time on the plane..." Kasumi whispered more to herself than to anyone else. This line is great. Its also a call back to the original series when Takeshi had a book that he used to write notes about all the different Joy's and Jenny's that they'd met. Its no shock that he would now have looked into Alola to see what beautiful women lie there and where they reside, much like Oak did with his pokedex.

There's so much dynamic to the character of Takeshi. There's this mature older brotherly/slightly father-ish side to him that comes from how he used to care for his brothers and sisters when his parents left him to fend on his own. There's the breeder/doctor side that is able to calm Pokemon, analyze a situation, and map out a solution within moments. He's smart and as Kasumi said, "He's reliable."

And then Takeshi has his love for woman side which brings out his desperate need for love. Interestingly, all three of these sides to him has developed over time to become even greater. If people remember correctly from the OG series, Takeshi started off a bit shy towards girls, having obvious crushes (Kasumi noticing and telling him to go for it) then when he finally listened to Kasumi, he went all out in ways that Kasumi obviously did not expect.

In some ways, I find it funny that it was Kasumi's urging him that influenced him to become who he is. Check the Bulbasaur debut catching episode for reference.

One of the best things about this episode is Kiawe. He's the best wingman ever. The way he talks about Takeshi to Lychee is the perfect way for a bro to introduce a bro to a friend who loves rock types and for battling.

Kasumi's trust in Satoshi and Takeshi was brilliantly shown in both these past two episodes. She never has any doubt of what they're capable of. This was encapsulated perfectly with the previous epi's battle then with Brock taking care of the Kanghaskan (spelling?).

On a side note: the baby Kanghaskan looks very similar to Cubone. Is it possible that Cubone is a non fully developed Kanghaskan who's mother was killed? Because it was no longer protected by its mother, it had to learn to fight, using the remains of its mother. Its my theory at least.

The battle between Lychee and Takeshi was fantastic. I know that many people were upset that the battle did not show who won, but I prefer they didn't. As the first gym leader of the Kanto region in the games (and arguably the hardest if you're playing Yellow or you choose Charmander as your starter), Takeshi is meant to be shown as strong. Likewise, Lychee as Island Queen is supposed to be strong and since neither are Elite Four, I don't want either to be shown as stronger than the other. Their battle was intense and I imagine that seeing that for the class would be exciting.

Something I live for in Sun and Moon is the animation choices. When the healing Pokemon sends it scent towards Kanghaskan, I love that it sniffs the air similarly to how any animal would respond. More so than any other generation, Sun and Moon makes the Pokemon appear more lifelike and animal-like. I also like that Takeshi didn't just spray the leg and magically, the swelling went down as they've done in some other series.

The final scene between the original trio though was my favorite part. Satoshi reaffirms his hopes of what he plans to do and how he wants to be a Pokemon master by becoming friends and learning more about them.

Kasumi and Takeshi's response: "You don't have to tell us that. We know you." Kasumi's reaffirms her dream to make the Hanada Gym the greatest gym by her becoming the greatest water Pokemon trainer and that Satoshi can "battle her anytime." In many ways, she knows that she can only gauge how much better she becomes by battling against him and finding ways around electric attacks.

I look forward to them coming back later in this series.
 
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Positive-me agrees whole heartedly with the above post by @NeoMiniTails. I especially enjoyed all the Kasumi/Takeshi moments & the end scene at the fireworks. The-other-me feels that this was a wasted opportunity where they could have shown Kasumi & Takeshi interacting more with the group/Satoshi/TRio, instead of just filling the episodes with... pointless stuff happening.

Also, do we know how old Takeshi is meant to be? I always thought he was a teenager, so the inconclusive ending with Lychee (who is clearly a grown woman at least in her 20s) leaves me feeling a little squick.

P.S. Anything your ship does, my ship did first...


 
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Positive-me agrees whole heartedly with the above post by @NeoMiniTails. I especially enjoyed all the Kasumi/Takeshi moments & the end scene at the fireworks. The-other-me feels that this was a wasted opportunity where they could have shown Kasumi & Takeshi interacting more with the group/Satoshi/TRio, instead of just filling the episodes with... pointless stuff happening.

Also, do we know how old Takeshi is meant to be? I always thought he was a teenager, so the inconclusive ending with Lychee (who is clearly a grown woman at least in her 20s) leaves me feeling a little squick.

P.S. Anything your ship does, my ship did first...


I completely agree with you. I wish it was more time with the cast and the trio spending time with one another. I also feel like they could've given them more time with a few more episodes to allow them to not only interact in fun ways but also to make their appearance have a little more meaning.

As for the Lychee and Takeshi ship, it would bother me more if this were an American cartoon however in Japan, the legal marrying age is 16 so its kinda normal.

Also, Lychee seems more shocked and flattered than in love... Its a nice start to what I'm sure Sun and Moon will develop as the series continues.
 
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As for the Lychee and Takeshi ship, it would bother me more if this were an American cartoon however in Japan, the legal marrying age is 16 so its kinda normal.
Except Brock is 15 and Olivia is at least 26 since she's desperate for a boyfriend before she gets too old
 
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