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REVIEW: SM139: Birth! The Alola Champion!!

Nicolas721

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Zoroark vs Pikachu was okay. I liked the fast paced start, and while the Z-move clash could have become a classic Fujisaku moment, that was thankfully adverted by making Pikachu lose too.

I could do without the dog montage. I understand animation is expensive but they could have done a flashback of Ash's Alola adventures when he was holding the trophy (flashbacks of his past adventures would have been too much to ask, and they would have to be reanimated in the new style anyway).

Lycanroc vs Lycanroc was fine too. It lasted what it had to last and was more memorable compared to their previous fights, even if some moves were overused.

As for the result, well, I'll be very pleased and excited if they use this as an excuse to send Ash to Galar or to the multiple regions in some kind of champions-only bigger challenge. But I won't be mad if they leave it at a small triumph like the Orange League or the Battle Frontier, as the poor guy hadn't won any battle-related challenge or tournament since the Hearthome Tag Battle.
 

Gligarman

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If I had know this was going to make headlines I would have stayed off Twitter. It got spoiled for me literally minutes before I saw the episode. But at the same time it’s refreshing to see so many fans and even former fans united for a joyous occasion since there had been so much negativity as of late. Also as someone who’s been watching the series since Kanto, this will go down as one of the greatest moments in the show’s run. We earned this.
 

prog rocker

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Heh, I guess I should do what I told my sister I would do if Ash ever won a League and watch the anime from the start now. I guess an Emboar learned Fly yesterday or something since what I thought was impossible happened.

I think I'm happy now.
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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Heh, I guess I should do what I told my sister I would do if Ash ever won a League and watch the anime from the start now. I guess an Emboar learned Fly yesterday or something since what I thought was impossible happened.

I think I'm happy now.
Kinda reminds me of something: Finland usually fares really unwell in the Eurovision Song Contest, so there were jokes likes "There will be snow in Hell before Finland wins the Eurovision". But in 2006, Finland finally won the contest, and by a landslide, nonetheless. All those jokes became invalid practically in an instant. Either that, or you can ski in Hell now.
 

prog rocker

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Kinda reminds me of something: Finland usually fares really unwell in the Eurovision Song Contest, so there were jokes likes "There will be snow in Hell before Finland wins the Eurovision". But in 2006, Finland finally won the contest, and by a landslide, nonetheless. All those jokes became invalid practically in an instant. Either that, or you can ski in Hell now.
And with a metal song, even.
 

Pulsaro23

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So, finally got the chance to watch the entire episode with subs. Took a while, but here's my review of this episode:

The battle between Pikachu and Zoroark was surprisingly well animated (which makes it kind of jarring compared to the rest of the episode), though Zoroark using only two moves did get boring pretty fast. Zoroark's Never-Ending Nightmare was unique and pretty faithful to its in-game appearance and Ash using Breakneck Blitz to overcome it was a welcomed surprise and a pretty creative way of using Z-moves in order to counter another one (which, in a way, reminded me of Chrono Trigger and how some of the earlier Techs in it are still viable even in the latter portions of the game). Except, this time, it didn't outright negate the opposing Z-move and the Pokémon actually took damage from it for a change. Overall, a great battle with a competent use of Z-moves, with its biggest drawback being that its about 3 minutes long.

As for the Lycanroc match, it was... underwhelming. A lot of reused and/or dull animations, moves getting spammed almost constantly (specifically Stone Edge), overusing the idea of "Lycanroc is down, but pushes on and gets back up" and the use of still shots (in the final match of a Pokémon League, of all places) all made this battle lackluster. It was nice to see some strategy be used during this match (including bizarre ones, like Lycanroc biting its own hand while confused in order to get rid of the confusion) and Ash wining by cleverly using Counter, a move he hasn't used in forever, at the right time was a far more respectable way for Ash to win, compared to Fujisaku's usual plot contrivance/Ashpull/Deus Ex Machina-style. It was still below average, but a big step-up from his usual battles.

And then there's also the reactions and interactions between the characters. Some of them were pretty cool and even endearing, like Ash's stunned reaction to finally winning a league or Gladion's Lycanroc petting Ash's Lycanroc after winning. Others were weird and came out of nowhere, like Ash and Gladion bursting out laughing for no reason and everyone having a vacant smile during that whole scene (except for Lusamine's reaction, which was supposed to hint at this being a sign of Gladion's growth as a character, I guess?). And others were downright lackluster, like Delia and Oak's emotionlessly smiley reaction to Ash finally winning a league after journeying through 7 regions or Pikachu just sniffing the champion's trophy followed by him giving a somewhat confused smile and Ash responding with "I guess you wouldn't get it" (which was just... :bulbaFacepalm: sigh... Remember when Pokémon were shown to be just as smart and understanding as humans? I 'member....).

So, in short, while this was the best battle that Fujisaku has ever written, it was still mediocre and definitely subpar compared to other league finales, with the episode overall being somewhat of a mixed bag, as it manages to be great in some places, while also failing to be so in others.

Also, since it would be very foolish of me to not talk about it, considering that it even made international news headlines, while I appreciate the fact Ash finally won a Pokémon League, I do wish that it would've been under better circumstances. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that he won, but it doesn't mean that this league was all sunshine and rainbows. The ends don't justify the means and the fact that this league was mostly 1v1s (with the exception of the two 2v2s in the semi-finals and the 3v3 finals) or the fact that some battles were done in a sloppy manner or the fact that a good portion of the people who participated in it where joke characters, rookies or characters who had no business participating in it (with Kiawe, Gladion and Guzma being the only powerful trainers who could credibly pose a challenge) really take away from the impressiveness of this win. Not to mention that the win lacked any grandness. It didn't have that feeling of it being a grand achievement and the result and culmination of his hard work and training throughout his journey. That's not to say that this isn't an official league or that this isn't an official league win for Ash or that people shouldn't be allowed to enjoy it or some other nonsense. But it doesn't improve the overall league or change the way it was executed.
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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dman_dustin

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Gotta love it when every news outlets report stuff without even proper research.
Which is weird when you consider, anyone who has paid attention to the Alola league in the slightest would know the words "Champion" more so than "Master"

Which makes me think these people were fans of the show when they were younger and then just stopped watching.

Because anyone who doesn't know anything about Pokemon, I think would have used "Champion" over "Master" since I'm pretty sure Champion is the default title of the winner of a tournament, and anyone who doesn't know Pokemon I think would at least do their research enough to realize he just became Alola's first champion.

I mean at the very least "Finally Ash has won a major league tournament after 20 years" would've made more sense than "Master" so I think only people who know of Ash's goal would come to the weird conclusion of Ash becoming a "Pokemon Master."
 

Kurolegacy

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Which is weird when you consider, anyone who has paid attention to the Alola league in the slightest would know the words "Champion" more so than "Master"

Which makes me think these people were fans of the show when they were younger and then just stopped watching.

Because anyone who doesn't know anything about Pokemon, I think would have used "Champion" over "Master" since I'm pretty sure Champion is the default title of the winner of a tournament, and anyone who doesn't know Pokemon I think would at least do their research enough to realize he just became Alola's first champion.

I mean at the very least "Finally Ash has won a major league tournament after 20 years" would've made more sense than "Master" so I think only people who know of Ash's goal would come to the weird conclusion of Ash becoming a "Pokemon Master."
You’re expecting too much of casuals. Sure it’s a franchise milestone but it’s coming from people who would probably be calling the series Pokéman if they weren’t reading it off of a teleprompter.
 

Poke Trey

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Even as a Dub fan of the anime..... I couldn't avoid any of this, it was everywhere!! Anyway, I'm just glad that Ash freaking did it! Gen 8 will be 8 interesting for sure.
 

Greninjaman

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Now they have to not have Ash win every league from this point on since that is just as repetitive and boring.
 
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