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REVIEW: SM135: The Semifinals! Kaki VS Glazio!!

Alola

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This was actually a great episode. I love the battle between Kiawe and Gladion, and I just like that you can feel this mutual respect between each other.
I thought so too. The earlier moments with Mimo and Kiawe being a doting brother were rather sweet in my opinion; the dynamic between being older brothers for Gladion and Kiawe was also appreciated. It makes me wish I saw these two interact more prior to this fight.

Speaking of the fight, wow-great animation, a nice selection of OST, and overall good pacing (although Marowak could have done more; where is the endurance it displayed against the repeated super-effective hits it took from the Greedy Rapooh?). This is my favorite Alola League episode to date. And kudos to Plumeria for having the forethought to know what's coming; I'm looking forward to seeing Golisopod go down.
 

TheAerialAcer

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(although Marowak could have done more; where is the endurance it displayed against the repeated super-effective hits it took from the Greedy Rapooh?)
Maybe Kiawe forgot to bring it to Nurse Joy after the battle against Acerola. :wynaut:
 

Sakuraa

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I also didn't like it at first, but then you have to remember both Counter and Outrage are huge risks, due to how the former can be easily avoided if the opponent predicts it, and the latter can leave the Pokemon confused and open to attacks. It makes sense that Gladion would want to play it safe and only use Stone Edge for most of the battle.

Edit: The situation with Lycanroc also reminds me of Sawyer's Slaking, where it took an X-scissor, a High Jump Kick and NINE Karate chops before he healed with Slack Off, and then knocked out Hawlucha in one hit with a Counter that he should've easily brushed off due to fighting type moves not being effective against flying types.
Like I said, I fully understand why he did it and I get the extra points you made, but personally I still found that part of the battle a bit boring because of it. I feel like I would have preferred to see a new move here over spamming just one because the others wouldn't have done anything. Or at the very least if they would cut back on the stock footage :/
 

TheAerialAcer

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I laughed out loud when Olivia fell. Haha, some gags can be funny if they aren’t shoved down your throat every episode. Also, everytime I hear stufful go “noo noo” my heart just melts. It’s the cutest thing :bulbaLove:
 

Queen Cynthia

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A very thrilling and intense episode indeed! One of the best battles of the Alola League so far.

My only complaint is that the first part could have been shortened so that Marowak could have been given more time to battle. I've got the habit of analyzing each battle very exactly and I'm pretty sure Marowak could have stood his ground against Lugarugan if Kaki had used its Iron Head better. First, try to avoid being hit by using super quick Flare Blitz and dodging the attack, then quickly attack Lugarugan from behind with Iron Head. Also, I'm pretty much convinced Iron Head could have been used in a defensive manner, too. Attack from another angle and smash into the rocks directly. Depending on how strong our Pokemon is, you will not only smash your opponent's Stone Edge but also land a super-effective hit immediately afterwards. Also, Marowak's bone has often been shown to be an effective weapon to break through other attcks. So why not use it, too?
But well, these are theoretical thoughts... I just wanted to show how Marowak could have had a chance to defeat Lugarugan.

The second part of the battle, Lugarugan vs. Bakugames, sure was the highlight of this week's episode. So intense and action-packed, I enjoyed every second of it!
I'm just afraid that Bakugames has already taken too much damage to go on much longer against a fully recovered Silvally.

Really looking forward to next week and to Ash's battle in particular!!
 

BraixenFennekin

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Well, Gladion's Lycanroc was defeated by Kiawe's Turtonator. Who will win in the next episode?
I give this episode a B.
 

Pulsaro23

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Gladion's interactions with Mimo were pretty sweet and the way he saw Lillie in her was also adorable. And the idea of exploring the rivalry between two brothers who both happen to have younger sisters that they care about is intriguing and could provide some good character interactions. Though I can't help but feel like it would've worked better if they would've started to explore it earlier in the series. Maybe if the classmates wouldn't have been pushed so far into the background during most of the Aether arc or if Gladion would've had more appearances and more interaction with people other than Ash, Lillie and Lusamine.

The match between Gladion and Kiawe was also pretty enjoyable. The first battle between Marowak and Lycanroc was off to a great start. The way strategies used by the opponents, the outstanding way it was animated. Truly an incredible battle... is what I would say if it wasn't just below 2 minutes long! Why? Why did it have to be this short? These are the semi-finals! And they're just 2v2! You'd think the anime's staff would have more than enough time to properly showcase 2-3 Pokémon's A game skills and peak battling abilities. But nope, as soon as the battle got intense and intense, Marowak gets knocked out. Why? Did they not have enough time for a proper battle between those two? Then why couldn't they shorten the TRio scene, or cut the Bewear one or shorten the battle with Turtonator? Speaking of, while I did like the Turtonator vs Lycanroc, it felt like it dragged on for far too long. Lycanroc, besides the fact that it already took a super effective Iron Head to the back, also managed to withstand a Dragon Tail, a Shell Trap and a Flamethrower, before finally being knocked out by two consecutive, powerful, super effective Focus Blasts? I know that they've established Gladion's Lycanroc to be very strong (to the point that it never fainted in a battle prior to this episode), but this is a little too much. And they even reused the same shot of Outrage-d Lycanroc about to punch Turtonator two times, as well as the exact same shot of Kiawe flexing his muscles followed by Turtonator firing Focus Blast two times! Is that padding? It slightly felt like padding (not as bad as last week's episode, but still.

Overall, I did enjoy the episode (mostly because it focused on two of my favourite characters in this series and it featured an incredibly and surprisingly well-animated battle, as well as some of the character interactions between Kiawe, Gladion Lillie and Mimo), but it definitely had a couple of glaring problems that I couldn't ignore.

Also, the fact that Team Rocket's grand evil plan is to steal all the Pokémon at the league really makes me fear that this might actually be true. I swear to God, if that "leak" turns out to be real, I will scream. And also, I'm really afraid of what they're gonna do with Guzma's character. They've done a great job showing how strong and ruthless he can be, but if it turns out the only reason Guzma was undefeatable was because he would run away from/forfeit matches due to Emergency Exit, then that would be a disservice to his character and past in the games.
 

Rath

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but if it turns out the only reason Guzma was undefeatable was because he would run away from/forfeit matches due to Emergency Exit, then that would be a disservice to his character and past in the games.

That's Guzma in a nutshell. You're supposed to view him as a pathetic ruffian who can't handle losing. That's also why Golisopod is his signature Pokemon; they both look tough and intimidating, but deep down, they're still the same cowards they always were.

This isn't coming out nowhere either; it's the exact same thing Guzma did in his last battle against Ash. Pretend that Golisopod simply lost interest and walk away before he loses.
 
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Pulsaro23

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That's Guzma in a nutshell. You're supposed to view him as a pathetic ruffian who can't handle losing.
While I won't deny the he's not the best at handling a loss, he's far more than a simple pathetic ruffian. If you play through Sun and Moon's postgame (or just read Guzma's Bulbapedia article), you learn that he used to be a very strong and powerful trainer (as evidenced by his trophies), however, be it because of his failure at becoming a Trail Captain or because he might've failed his island challenge, as well as the way his father may have treated him, has lead to him being seen as a loser, with no one (or, at least, no adults) recognizing his strength and becoming somewhat of an outcast (which could explain why he can't handle a loss). The whole reason he even follows Lusamine in the games is because "she's the only adult who ever seemed to see how strong he was". His backstory and character are deeper and extend beyond him being just a loser.
 

Twilight-Kun

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How did Lycanroc dodge Turtonator’s shell trap while in “outrage status”? This Pokémon is OP. Kinda weird to see it faint though, as that’s something we’ve never seen before. I like the action and camera angles in this episode. It reminded me of past league battles. While Marowak did go down pretty fast, it makes sense as to why. And I’m also glad to see Turtonator being badass again. I love that oversized fire tortoise :lapras:
Marowak got juggled by Stone Edge, then put itself in range to get hit by Stone Edge after landing Iron Head - there's no "why?" about it

If you wanna ask "Why did that happen?" you should direct your attention to the fact Turtonator magically learned Focus Blast long after it should've gone down to Outrage, much like Rowlet vs Decidueye
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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While I won't deny the he's not the best at handling a loss, he's far more than a simple pathetic ruffian. If you play through Sun and Moon's postgame (or just read Guzma's Bulbapedia article), you learn that he used to be a very strong and powerful trainer (as evidenced by his trophies), however, be it because of his failure at becoming a Trail Captain or because he might've failed his island challenge, as well as the way his father may have treated him, has lead to him being seen as a loser, with no one (or, at least, no adults) recognizing his strength and becoming somewhat of an outcast (which could explain why he can't handle a loss). The whole reason he even follows Lusamine in the games is because "she's the only adult who ever seemed to see how strong he was". His backstory and character are deeper and extend beyond him being just a loser.
Games=/=Anime automatically.
 

Pulsaro23

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Games=/=Anime automatically.
You know, I'm starting to get tired of the whole "the anime's different from the games" argument. Yes, the anime has taken more than a few liberties when it comes to adapting game content (since adapting certain things, such as the turn-based battle mechanics would make it feel monotonous and artificial), but it is still an adaptation of the games and incorporates/adapts a lot of content and mechanics from them. And to strip Guzma of his tragic backstory and have him be nothing more than a pathetic loser who would rather run away than face a loss for no reason would not only be a very poor adaptation, it would be an insult and disservice to Guzma's character and his story.
 

KrspaceT

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You know, I'm starting to get tired of the whole "the anime's different from the games" argument. Yes, the anime has taken more than a few liberties when it comes to adapting game content (since adapting certain things, such as the turn-based battle mechanics would make it feel monotonous and artificial), but it is still an adaptation of the games and incorporates/adapts a lot of content and mechanics from them. And to strip Guzma of his tragic backstory and have him be nothing more than a pathetic loser who would rather run away than face a loss for no reason would not only be a very poor adaptation, it would be an insult and disservice to Guzma's character and his story.
I'd prefer to keep the argument for more...serious differences, like league differences and how the Oak ranch is not the PC, but that's semantics.
 

Nicolas721

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2vs2 in the league semifinals...sigh...That doesn't bode well for the semifinals or the Masked Royal battle.

The scenes at the beginning were nice, they show how much potential league interactions have. Could do without that Bewear scene though, we learned nothing from it.

The battle is a bit inferior to those seen in the last episode in my opinion, because if you'd exchange them with any character the battle would have gone more or less the same, and the tension that was established early in the episode wasn't used much. But it's still decent, I liked the strategies shown and the quick pacing enough that I don't mind some of the results. Hopefully it will have a decent ending.

7/10
 

Rath

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2vs2 in the league semifinals...sigh...That doesn't bode well for the semifinals or the Masked Royal battle

Haven't the rounds been based on the contestant with the lowest number of Pokemon on hand?

Round 1: Lillie and James both only have one Pokemon. Matches are 1v1.

Round 2: James is still in it, so 1v1 again.

Round 3: 2v2s. Since Kiawe has 3 Pokemon, Gladion has 4, and Ash has 5, this means Guzma is the one with only 2 Pokemon.

If by some miracle Kiawe wins, we'd get a 3v3 final. But in the far more likely scenario of Gladion winning, the final would be a 4v4.

As for the Masked Royal battle, the only Pokemon we know Kukui has are Incineroar and Braviary. But he tends to only use one of them based on which persona he's in. He doesn't like to use Incineroar as Kukui because it'd expose him as the Masked Royal, and vice-versa for Braviary as the Masked Royal.
 

KrspaceT

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Haven't the rounds been based on the contestant with the lowest number of Pokemon on hand?

Round 1: Lillie and James both only have one Pokemon. Matches are 1v1.

Round 2: James is still in it, so 1v1 again.

Round 3: 2v2s. Since Kiawe has 3 Pokemon, Gladion has 4, and Ash has 5, this means Guzma is the one with only 2 Pokemon.

If by some miracle Kiawe wins, we'd get a 3v3 final. But in the far more likely scenario of Gladion winning, the final would be a 4v4.

As for the Masked Royal battle, the only Pokemon we know Kukui has are Incineroar and Braviary. But he tends to only use one of them based on which persona he's in. He doesn't like to use Incineroar as Kukui because it'd expose him as the Masked Royal, and vice-versa for Braviary as the Masked Royal.
Well you do have other Lycanroc forms, Magnezone, Snorlax, Alola Ninetales.....let alone any new mons they might give him.
 

Lightning Flame Blast

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That's Guzma in a nutshell. You're supposed to view him as a pathetic ruffian who can't handle losing. That's also why Golisopod is his signature Pokemon; they both look tough and intimidating, but deep down, they're still the same cowards they always were.
While that surely seems that way in the games, I feel like that really undermines the anime version. I agree that he is likely a sore loser, but all of the sudden everyone is treating him like Emergency Exit is what happens every single time he battles, which Guzma’s performance in the league disproves.
 
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