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REVIEW: SM133: Bird Battle! Brave Bird VS God Bird!!

DarkraiKnight

Master of the Shadows
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Alright, I finally watched the episode, and I’ve got to say: it’s not as bad as I said in my previous comment.

Don’t get me wrong; I still consider it one of the worst, because it managed to be needlessly cruel towards Hau, soil Rowlet’s reputation (and I love that bird), and screw over any chance of Ash’s potential win in Alola being legit in the eyes of many fans. However, there are a few positives.

For starters, I like that Rowlet managed to turn Feather Dance into a pseudo-Substitute. If last episode was any indication, it wasn’t getting anywhere with the traditional method, and as a Pokémon that’s commonly been depicted as an “oddball,” having its own unique style of Feather Dance is quite fitting (or maybe this is how alone Rowlet use Feather Dance; I dunno).

Now for the whole sleeping/fakeout fiasco. Frankly, I gotta say that I’m disappointed they went this route. If they’d just copied what happened between Infernape and Electivire back in Sinnoh, everything would’ve been fine, but instead they not only vindicated people who don’t consider Ash’s potential win in Alola a “real” win, they made it look like Rowlet hadn’t grown at all, even with all of its efforts. Not only that, but it was just mean-spirited towards Hau, who was already shafted in this show.

That being said, I do appreciate that aside from the wacky reactions to Rowlet being asleep, this wasn’t played as a joke. Ash went up to Rowlet and told it to wake up, and then he even apologized to Hau about the whole thing. He knew what happened wasn’t appropriate, and didn’t just brush it aside. I like that.

Another thing I like was how Ash was visibly disappointed after “losing” to Hau, unlike how he was after losing to Alain back in Kalos. I get that they were trying to contrast Ash’s easygoing personality with Alain’s “I must win at all costs” personality, but it was still off-putting to me.

Also, no problems with Kiawe vs. Sophocles so far. We’ll see how that pans out next week, though.

All-in-all, I found this episode better after watching it than I did based on only the fan reaction - but the fan reaction itself proves that there were serious problems with it. I’ll give it a 5.5/10, which might honestly be more than it deserves.

As a small aside, it’s really a shame how Ash’s first “canon” League victory might go down in history as just another one of Pokémon’s recent controversies rather than a sacred moment. Frankly, all the recent negativity surrounding the games and the anime has been making me feel legitimately tired, and from the looks of things, Gen 8’s only going to add more fuel to the fire.

Unless things change for the better, and soon...I might not be a Pokémon fan for much longer. I guess I’ll just have to hope for the best.
 

GalacticRonpa

超高校級に忘れっぽい残念子さん
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I’ve been wondering this since the league started but, is the Alola League even being broadcast outside of Alola? Heck, did Kukui even get permission from Mr. Goodshow to create this league in the first place?
That guy hasn't been seen since DP. I doubt the writers remember him by this point.
 

Gabo2oo

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That guy hasn't been seen since DP. I doubt the writers remember him by this point.
It could mean Mr. Goodshow only works in Japan-based regions. BW was deliberately made to distance the way each region works from the others from that point onwards.
 

MegaGreninga

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Will be amazing if Kiawi loose the battle in my opinion But I know it’s not possible
 

dark_type_gymleader

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They did my poor boy Hau dirty :(

I do wanted Satoshi and Mokuroh to win... but not like this. All the battles I actually looked forward in this League so far, have been very dissapointing (eg. Musashi vs Kojiro, Lillie vs Gladio). Funnily the ones I wanted to skip (I didn't really care about Mamane) have been nice. Haha. Sorry round boy.
Also, I wouldn't mind having Kaki/Kiawe as the Champion given as he has been a consistent strong trainer since the beggining. Sadly that won't happen, given as he will lose against Gladion because plot reasons.

I really hope the writers redeem themselves with the upcoming battles. And please no more battling for Mokuroh for the remaining League matches . Haha
 

Diamond & Pearl

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If one asks why Nanu didn't know that Mokuroh was sleeping whereas Hala did, the only thing I can come up with is experience; the same Hala's Hariteyama 'defeated' Mokuroh due to the latter suddenly falling asleep. Which is exactly why he should not have allowed the match to continue. Double standards, talk about being a hypocrite (although Satoshi himself decided to let Mokuroh forfait, but still, it's a problem since day 1 and Satoshi has clearly not worked on it)...
 

Gard81

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Yeah, poor Hau was screwed over here big time (by his own grandfather too, ouch). I feel sorry for him and I am, at best, indifferent to him. The only things keeping me from being mad at Ash is because: 1) even he recognized how stupid the whole thing was and 2) he will eventually lose the league anyway, so he can share the disappointment with Hau.
Also, if you're gonna make Feather Dance act like Substitute, then why not just use Substitute, instead? It's not even remotely close to what the move dance or even how feathers work. And how did feathers help Rowlet get unstuck? Were its feet also made of feathers?
 
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UxieLover1994

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I'm aware that I'm one day late.

This would actually be the first time the writers decided to screw someone other than Ash in a league for nonsensical reasons. No attacks should put an opposing Pokémon to sleep in general, and Rowlet dozing off would be viewed as disobedient, if we were to follow the games' logic (and the anime doesn't). Hau should've won this round, but the anime's writers obviously want Gladion or Guzma to beat Ash.

Of course, this was a morton's fork anyway. Hau winning still would've caused major upset, but this episode confirms that Ash winning by deus ex machina, is just as controversial.
 

P_S_B

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PkmnTrainerV

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It's about time Ash became a dream-crusher, dude has suffered too long.
He has never suffered so badly. Even his loss at Kanto was his own fault to an extent, if he had bothered to train Charizard. There’s literally nothing Hau could’ve done to win.
 

Pulsaro23

Charizard Enthusiast (Burn Like My Power)
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Oof! Just... oof! This episode just made me resent Rowlet as a species! I disliked it and its gags up until now, but this episode just made me hate it with every fibre of my being! This has to be, hands down, the worst Pokémon Ash has owned in the history of the anime! Rowlet's nothing more than a terrible gag Pokémon whose gag just won't die! And before someone says "Oh, but Oshawott was a terrible gag Pokémon as well", at least Oshawott got better as the series went on and he eventually stopped sending others to fight in his place and he actually took his rivalries with other Pokémon seriously! Rowlet, on the other hand, despite making it seem like it had a strong and passionate rivalry with Decidueye (which I already found to be stupid, not only because of the fact that it was treated like a hyperbolic joke, but also because Rowlet reverted back to its old, sleepy, useless self as soon as Hau was out of the picture), was still shown to not care enough for its battle with it (or any battle, to the point that it fell asleep during its training for that battle and during the actual match!

This one moment just ruins so much: it makes Rowlet look like a never-ending joke, it makes Ash look like an incompetent trainer and it makes this league look like nothing more than a carnival full of clowns, incompetents and/or idiots (with very few exceptions) and if this is what they wanted the Alola League to feel like, than maybe they shouldn't have had one to begin with!
 

BigDocFan

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Would have preferred a Dartrix vs Decidueye battle or even a Decidueye vs Decidueye then Rowet vs Decidueye, but no, Rowlet had to remain unevolved
 

Clemontic

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They couldn't have Satoshi lose, the biggest set up for the Alola Leauge is for Satoshi to fight Guzma in hopes to defeat him and stop him from ruining everyone's fun. If Satoshi lost this fight, then that entire build up to Satoshi vs Guzma would have been a huge waste of time.

Hau crying was sad, but he was not robbed of a win, also it was Kuchinashi's fault for not checking to see if Mokuroh actually had fainted.

And besides, you'll notice Satoshi felt bad about his Mokuroh falling asleep and that it caused Hau's win celebration to be all for nothing.
 
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