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REVIEW: SM134: Everyone's Fully Powered! The Road to the Semifinals!!

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There was some decent animation in this episode compared to the previous ones. Still no 3D backgrounds but they did simulate some camera rotation with panoramic 2D.

Something like this is kind of a big blunder in my opinion, though:
Whoa! Is that an actual frame from the episode? How did you even find it?
 
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How is it that the league battles involving the main antagonist are the most exciting to watch? The one before it was just...ok. The only things I dislike here are (as always) how Z-Moves are portrayed. They treat them like regular moves only with a speech attached to them.
 
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This epsiode's reputation didn’t disappoint... I didn’t expect to see one of the most ruthless Pokémon battles in the Sun/Moon series, but here are we...

Guzma did everything by the rules, but in the most brutal way possible. The entire thing was designed to send chills down your spine. My prior notion that Poison Jab looked like surgery... they took that to the extreme. Primarina was literally hidden for one shot while Golisopod's clawed away at her. Someone here mentioned hearing "Suiren" throughout the Battle, and I heard that too, making the thing more horrifying....

When I said I wanted Guzma curbstomping Lana I didn’t know it’s going to happen in such a literal and horrifying way.

10/10 For one of the most gruesome battles in recent history
 
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SwadloonBoy’s weekly recap~

  • Kaki vs. Sophocles...rooting for Kiawe just because it would make more sense as he’s been built up as the superior battler, but I honestly don’t care how this battle goes tbh...whoever wins is doomed to lose in the next round anyways
  • Meltan spinning its head around has to be building up to an appearance by Melmetal, yeah?? It’s the only 7th gen mon yet to show up in the show...
  • I love String Shot and Flamethrower being portrayed as moves of a similar caliber lol <3
  • Kaki won....yay, congrats for him....now on to Lana’s match please :3
  • omg Sophocles’ parents!! I love his mom
  • time for Lana vs. Guzma, the match which is very likely to make me enraged if they don’t show Lana’s character the proper respect by portraying her as a competent trainer...
  • Golisopod really came for Primarina’s vocal chords.....that should be a one-way ticket to disqualification nation in my books
  • I hate when the anime does this around league time.....a stupidly OP trainer comes around and is SUCH a great battler that even formerly competent trainers like Lana just get absolutely railroaded by them...like, this usually happens to Ash, but I’m somehow even more annoyed watching it happen to Lana :((
  • yasss Queen at least get a Z-move in there before u lose <3
  • never heard of a move called Liquidation....which leads me to believe it’s just a move that Guzma made up in order to cheat his way to victory....smh, dequalify this clown, Lychee!!
  • ...if only :(
  • Guzma should be retroactively disqualified for not shaking Lana’s hand after the battle >:/
  • don’t really care who wins between Kaki and Gladio, but narratively speaking, Kaki is toast :p
  • Ash BETTER avenge Lana and DESTROY Guzma or he has no right to call himself her friend >:| (bonus points if he lends Primarina from Lana as part of his victory)
- as for next week, Hoshi falling in love with Gladio has potential to be totes hilar, but Kaki needs to stop being so weirdly overprotective of her!!!!!!
 
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never heard of a move called Liquidation....which leads me to believe it’s just a move that Guzma made up in order to cheat his way to victory....smh, dequalify this clown, Lychee!!
Guzma also had Golisopod use it during his debut episode. And yes. It's a real move, one introduced in Generation VII. It's a physical Water move with a chance to lower the opponent's Defense.
 
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Golisopod really came for Primarina’s vocal chords.....that should be a one-way ticket to disqualification nation in my books
Disabling moves is a perfectly legal thing in battles in games, as well as the anime. Brutal on screen, yes, but nothing wrong with it as a strategy when your opponent's best move is a singing one.

never heard of a move called Liquidation....which leads me to believe it’s just a move that Guzma made up in order to cheat his way to victory....smh, dequalify this clown, Lychee!!

Even if it were not an actual move improvised moves are perfectly legal. If they weren’t Ash would be disqualified in every league at least thrice.

Guzma should be retroactively disqualified for not shaking Lana’s hand after the battle >:/
It’s not a compulsion, just common courtesy.
 
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Unpopular Opinion.

I wasn't very fond of this episode as the battles were quite weak for me, as well as the animation:

Kiawe vs Sophocles held an interesting start in the last episode, but I was disappointed in the strategy I saw here, namely with Sophocles. Dude has a whopping 145 Special Attack stat-bearing, super-effective Electric move wielding, rail-gun beetle that only mostly spewed out String Shots, attacked with a doubly ineffective Signal Beam, and never once did use Zap Cannon a second time (despite how well it worked the first). You may argue "Well, the String Shot usage was part of he plan to immobilize Charizard." And if the screenplay accurately reflected that, I wouldn't be bothered-but the sub-par immobilization eventually disappeared as did the paralysis from earlier in the episode, rendering the whole thing moot; it would have been much more substantial, in my opinion, to see how Kiawe responded to battling while being barely able to move, something he isn't accustomed to; this also would have been a great way to highlight Sophocle's main battling style. Speaking of Kiawe, not going for Inferno Overdrive was clearly a "we haven't used his other Z-Crystal yet, so let's do so now" and quite sad; and that animation pales in comparison to the game's Supersonic Skystrike. So, too, was teaching Vikavolt Wild Charge (off-screen, like all of Sophocles's Pokemon's moves, literally); they only did that to have a grandiose head-to-head collision at the end (which, for me, wasn't too exciting and instead just...dull). Kudos though to Sophocles, as he's come some ways compared to how he viewed battling in the beginning of the series; if only Lillie and Mallow had similar developments with their own battling skills.

Lana vs. Guzma. Let's start with Lana, who frustrated me for being so out of character with her battling style. Her opponent is a no-nonsense, primarily close-range combatant (who she has had the advantage of watching before) up against her primarily long-range attacking diva of the battlefield. When Sparkling Aria goes awry, what does she immediately do? No friends, it isn't attack from a distance with either Surf or Icy Wind; instead, it's charge head first and feed her beloved partner straight to Guzma for a sea lion buffet. Predictably, Primarina can't get away and gets punished harshly for it; the whole thing is jarring as Lana literally did the opposite against Mallow, who also had a close-quarters Pokemon (with a type advantage too, mind you). Rather than have Primarina get up close during that fight, she kept Tsareena the hell away with Sparkling Aria and Icy Wind. I thought those tactics would be repeated here, but they weren't; I was especially disappointed Lana barely used Surf, a wide-range area move that would have reduced Guzma's reactionary steamrolling. We're just going to use it once, to counter an ineffective Pin Missile, but attack a couple times with Aqua Jet? That's neat she had enough forethought to be aware of First Impression, but that's where any sense of common sense ended.

I'm not saying Primarina had to win (and we all know it wouldn't happen anyway), but its battle should not have been so unceremonious-even it's Z-Move was rendered obsolete by a normal move! Writers, where's the nuance in that? You want to know what I would have done? I would have animated Primarina readying the Z-Move (with Guzma smiling to himself), clearly struggling to focus long enough to execute it, only for the move to fail as Primaina submits to the effects of the poison and the beatings it endured; as such, the Oceanic Opretta bursts into a huge downpour of water, giving us the same, powerful, incapacitated Primarina scene we got. I think that would have been a more dignified end, rather than just undermining the effect of Z-Moves so blatantly (does Liquidation even reach that far?); that'a cheap way to showcase Guzma's strength in my opinion. On the first watch, I was too impacted by Guzma's cruel battling to notice Lana's glaring errors, but they became clearer upon a re-watch. Speaking of which,

Guzma was in top form again, showing everyone how pragmatic battling is really done. Like Illima before him, he took advantage of his opponent's short comings and targeted their over-crippling specializations (in this case, Primarina's sluggish movement on land as well as its voice dependency, respectively). Throat Chop was deviously brutal and, while violent (hearing Primaina cough and gasp like that was painful, but a great writing choice), wickedly smart; he removed his opponent's main source of attack in a perfectly legal way. And speaking of legality, he didn't break any rules when fighting! This is something we don't get enough in this series, the brutality of Pokemon battling, which made the exchange all the more potent. And I was very impressed with how both Lana and Kiawe acknowledged it as such (another example of their battle prowess in contrast to their friends) in spite of everyone else's (barring Ash; have an inkling of depth, would you?) indignation regarding Guzma. Good job Lana; guess I'm not completely upset with you.

Then we have the animation, which had...an embarrassing amount of stills. Kiawe vs. Sophocles was very sluggish with the aerial portion, while we got the gang's Pokemon scene 5 times-5! And Team Skull's groups scenes were reused three (barring an expression change for Plumeria) times. I mean, wow; oh, and at one point Primarina was bald. Say what you will about XY(Z), but their animation was on point and greatly contributed to an episode's fluidity; I wish the same could be said for here.

Here's hoping next week's episode features competent battling from Kiawe, and that he makes Gladion sweat a bit before being inevitably defeated.
 
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Kiawe vs Sophocles held an interesting start in the last episode, but I was disappointed in the strategy I saw here, namely with Sophocles. Dude has a whopping 145 Special Attack stat-bearing, super-effective Electric move wielding, rail-gun beetle that only mostly spewed out String Shots, attacked with a doubly ineffective Signal Beam, and never once did use Zap Cannon a second time (despite how well it worked the first). You may argue "Well, the String Shot usage was part of he plan to immobilize Charizard." And if the screenplay accurately reflected that, I wouldn't be bothered-but the sub-par immobilization eventually disappeared as did the paralysis from earlier in the episode, rendering the whole thing moot; it would have been much more substantial, in my opinion, to see how Kiawe responded to battling while being barely able to move, something he isn't accustomed to; this also would have been a great way to highlight Sophocle's main battling style. Speaking of Kiawe, not going for Inferno Overdrive was clearly a "we haven't used his other Z-Crystal yet, so let's do so now" and quite sad; and that animation pales in comparison to the game's Supersonic Skystrike. So, too, was teaching Vikavolt Wild Charge (off-screen, like all of Sophocles's Pokemon's moves, literally); they only did that to have a grandiose head-to-head collision at the end (which, for me, wasn't too exciting and instead just...dull). Kudos though to Sophocles, as he's come some ways compared to how he viewed battling in the beginning of the series; if only Lillie and Mallow had similar developments with their own battling skills.
One thing which annoyed me with this battle was: Kiawe knows Soph is trying left and right to incapacitate Charizard and attack it close range. What does he do? Use a close range physical Fire Punch again and again. I first thought that was happening because Charizard didn’t know Flamethrower, but I sighed when Charizard used Flamethrower to counter string shot. Kiawe, you had the perfect move to counter Vikavolt's plans and you went with Fire Punch?
 
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Dude has a whopping 145 Special Attack stat-bearing
The moment you wrote this, your argument lost a whole lot of points. You should not try to compare the games and the anime at that kind of level. Overall, your whole opinion was digging too deep and being overly nitpicky in my eyes.
 
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The moment you wrote this, your argument lost a whole lot of points. You should not try to compare the games and the anime at that kind of level. Overall, your whole opinion was digging too deep and being overly nitpicky in my eyes.
Actually no, their arguments is perfectly valid because even if stats don’t necessarily translate into the anime, the main gripe was that string shot is massively ineffective when compared to Electric moves, which is something true in the anime. You're literally using a tangential, less than one third of a sentence remark to discredit a well written argument which doesn’t even focus much on the stats. If you read the post, those three words are literally the only game reference in the entire paragraph.

Those arguments are not at all "digging too deep": seriously, complaining when 'smart' Sophocles uses a 4x ineffective move instead of a massively powerful SE attack is digging too deep? The paralysis and immobilisation of Charizard wasn’t even something major late in the battle, so even the "Soph had a strategy" justification feels weak.

That wasn’t even """nitpicky""". Most of the complaints were on your face in the battle.
 
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Actually no, their arguments is perfectly valid because even if stats don’t necessarily translate into the anime, the main gripe was that string shot is massively ineffective when compared to Electric moves, which is something true in the anime. You're literally using a tangential, less than one third of a sentence remark to discredit a well written argument which doesn’t even focus much on the stats.
I didn't say it was invalid. I said it lost a lot of points. Don't put words in my mouth.
Those arguments are not at all "digging too deep": seriously, complaining when 'smart' Sophocles uses a 4x ineffective move instead of a massively powerful SE attack is digging too deep? The paralysis and immobilisation of Charizard wasn’t even something major late in the battle, so even the "Soph had a strategy" justification feels weak.
He tried to slow it down with String Shot, and as soon as he had done so, he followed up with a strong Electric move. I'd call that a strategy.
 
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I didn't say it was invalid. I said it lost a lot of points. Don't put words in my mouth.
I never put words in your mouth. I just said that the argument had nothing wrong with it and is perfectly valid in my opinion (I never say you think it was invalid, it’s just that the reasoning for discrediting (or reducing points) is really weak. The essence of Alola's argument doesn’t warrant losing points because just because they pointed out that Vikavolt has great offences.

He tried to slow it down, and as soon as he had done so, he followed up with an Electric move. I'd call that a strategy.
Most of it felt useless once Charizard began burning the strings down. And the original post you quoted also addresses it.
 
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I never put words in your mouth. I just said that the argument had nothing wrong with it and is perfectly valid in my opinion (I never say you think it was invalid, it’s just that the reasoning for discrediting (or reducing points) is really weak. The essence of Alola's argument doesn’t warrant losing points because just because they pointed out that Vikavolt has great offences.


Most of it felt useless once Charizard began burning the strings down. And the original post you quoted also addresses it.
Fine. I just liked this episode a lot, even besides the positive contrast to the previous one, and got a little triggered by @Alola's unpopular opinion.
 
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Dude has a whopping 145 Special Attack stat-bearing, super-effective Electric move wielding, rail-gun beetle that only mostly spewed out String Shots, attacked with a doubly ineffective Signal Beam, and never once did use Zap Cannon a second time (despite how well it worked the first).
I mean, this would have made more sense if they had stablished how inaccurate and avoidable Zap Cannon can be. It needs charging and it’s just one single strike that needs previous aiming, unlike String Shot or Signal Beam’s rapid fire/continuous stream possibilities. Besides, getting close with Wild Charge too often was risky considering that Charizard’s a close range fighter.
 
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