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REVIEW: SS008: Don't Lose, Pochama! The Drift Ice Race in the Sinnoh Region!!

Joe Crammond
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Team Rocket were annoying as usual with the race, their attempt to catch all the Pokemon meant the race ended up being cancelled
 
The Eeveelution who says "Rawr!"
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Call me whatever you want, but with these kinds of Rocket schemes (interrupting a competition to steal the participating Pokémon) were so rare in Alola, that it actually feels kinda refreshing to me to see them doing it again. Especially without the possibility of Bewear showing up to grab them away mid-scheme.
 
Joe Crammond
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I'm going to make a dub name prediction for Misaki and think they'll call her Velma
 
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I actually loved the punchline at the end episode, with Psyduck becoming the new rival for Piplulp and Croagunk. It's like the entire episode was setting it up and it did a good job at that,
 
Bright Days
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Pleasant episode for me, I enjoyed it for what it was. It falls right into the "COTD has a problem, TR curbstomp" style but so far this is only like the second instance of that so it's not too horrid for me yet. Plus despite me not being super invested in the conflict I still was entertained for 22-minutes and that's a job well done in my book. I actually don't mind the rental Pokemon, something is lost by us missing out on permanent captures but it at least gives these TR showdowns a fresh feel. Not sure if I mentioned but I really do like the art/animation for their motto this series. I was happy to see Tunbear again in the anime, same for Tamanta and Gregguru since it feels like ages since we've seen some of these species. I was glad seeing Go casually working for Tamanta in the background because it's cool seeing a character visibly progressing throughout their goal regularly and it is new. The more time I've given it the more I realize I do appreciate the writers innovating with this character and giving us something we've never seen before. Like Satoshi battles, Go takes a main second aspect of Pokemon "capturing."

Really want more of Tamanta, it was a bro, it's a Pokemon with zero focus in the series period, and it was cool seeing Go command it and actually help out against TR this time (certainly better than Strike/Hibunny in his first battle so it could be seen as improvement.) Maybe I'm biased but I enjoyed Go, despite him being in the background he casually shined in his own way. His work with Hibunny to get Tamanta to come to the surface by kicking a rock and then catching it earning praise from that audience of people was actually pretty cute. On top of it, again, it intervened to help Pikachu and he seemed proud of it and anxious to enter it in the race which helps let you know he does actually care about these Pokemon. These were two of the things I wanted, more "tricks" (using the rock) and an evolution of how he gets these Pokemon and his appreciation for them. It also highlights how much better Hibunny and he work as a team. Really liked how Hibunny kicked Tunbear out of its Thrash and into the water, saving the boat. Lots of casually "cool" scenes for Go, really took charge in many scenes quite befitting of his co-protagonist title and role.

Seeing Gregguru and Pochama without their iconic trainers from the Shinou saga was somewhat nostalgic. I really enjoyed both a lot, it also showed that Hibunny isn't necessarily as similar to Pochama as I thought. The Pochama being childish like Hikari's was cute and the Gregguru being not-mellow like Takeshi's but a smug, jerk was great too. I think I just enjoyed aesthetically seeing these two Pokemon again period. The ending with an iconic Kasumi Pokemon (Koduck) potentially joining the fray and Misaki repeating the same pattern was actually pretty funny. Wonder if a throwback to Kasumi was the intention with that scene? But yeah, fun episode for me.
 
ロケット団よ永遠
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Despite of oft repeated claim "Team Rocket would save this episode," they were the worst part of this episode to me.
I wonder what you feel the episode would have gained by not having the trio in it...? Because the way I see it the Rocket-Dan not being there would have just meant the race would have been dragged out more than it needed to be but would have still ended in the same way; Misaki would have fallen from, I dunno, slipping on a banana peel or something, and then a random race Pokémon would have crossed the finish line while Pochama and Gureggru rush to save their Trainer.

The way the current episode forces Gou to battle with his newly caught Tamanta is much more interesting to me.
 
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マーシャンミスター
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I wonder what you feel the episode would have gained by not having the trio in it...?
I wouldn't say that episode would gain anything positive by removing their appearance. But they were still the least entertaining part of the episode to me.
 

Jez

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It is hard to me to say that but I have really disliked their role in this episode. It was the best way to directly show a very unsympathetic image of them for the new viewers
 
Bright Days
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I will say episodes like this remind me that Team Rocket are villains, they have to rental minion Pokémon (certainly stolen?) and they almost send a woman careening to a deathly fall by attacking a boat and completely ruin the competition. I wonder if they’re aiming to portray them as a bit more villainous compared to the humanizing they received previous series. Less appearances also means more of a “threat” factor?
 

Jez

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About the Team Rocket Trio, in the future episodes I hope that they will not always do exactly the same thing that in their two first appearance in this serie:.... they arrive in one of their vehicle (submarine, Meowth ballon, mécha etc ...) they say the motto always with the same animation, receive the gacha, place the coin of Meowth there, receive 2 new pokemon: they fight, lose, get angry, fight harder and ... they are blasting off again
 
Shiny hunter
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I will say episodes like this remind me that Team Rocket are villains, they have to rental minion Pokémon (certainly stolen?) and they almost send a woman careening to a deathly fall by attacking a boat and completely ruin the competition. I wonder if they’re aiming to portray them as a bit more villainous compared to the humanizing they received previous series. Less appearances also means more of a “threat” factor?
This was the debut of writer Michihiro Tsuchiya, so he's probably still figuring out how to best deal with incorporating Team Rocket and their generally more deep characterization. Much like Junichi Fujisaku eventually improved his ability to write battles I'm sure that Mr. Tsuchiya will improve in writing Team Rocket if they appear in future episodes of his.
 
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Guess climate change exists in the Pokemon World too, considering half of Kissaki City is now underwater.

But man, I am not enjoying this series at all at the moment. Not only is Go's almost 100% one-throw catch rate really annoying, but it feels like no-one is actually doing anything major. Satoshi still has no real goal for this series, and I really wish he would just do something... anything instead of just reacting to what's going on around him.

This episode was pure filler, but it felt like boring middle-of-the-series-padding filler. This isn't the kind of episode that needs to be near the beginning of a new series. Even Team Rocket's appearance was by the numbers... and how come they're suddenly travelling the world now too?!

Also, Satoshi, there's no point wearing a padded winter coat if you're just going to wear shorts.
 
At least you tried...
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Also, Satoshi, there's no point wearing a padded winter coat if you're just going to wear shorts.
I can only assume all the attacks he's taken over the years has made Ash practically immune to certain elements and he's just wearing the coat as a fashion statement.
He also slept through getting shocked earlier this series...
 
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Back in the days of DPPt, whenever Piplup was in it, an episode was bound to be funny. And this week's episode was no different. Really a nice, funny and entertaining plot! Plus they returned to Sinnoh, which per se is fantastic because it's the home of a certain Champion :notworthy: ;)

But let's go more into detail:
Misaki wasn't the typical or boring COTD because her antics of constantly dropping her glasses kind of made her a likeable character.

Also, the rivalry between Piplup and Croagunk was done pretty well. The puchline that another rival would join their teams sure topped off the episode and was done very cleverly in my eyes.

So, the writers have decided to give TRio randomly selected Pokemon whenever they appear? An unexpected, yet interesting aspect if you ask me, because you never know what Pokemon will be next and, although we know they'll be defeated eventually, we at least won't be able to predict what the battle will look like.

The secene I liked best was Piplup and Croagunk waddling home while holding hands at the end of the episode. That kind of looked strange and funny at the same time.

To sum it up, a nice and entertaining episode which I enjoyed watching very much.
 
Uncertainty
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Team Rocket were annoying as usual with the race, their attempt to catch all the Pokemon meant the race ended up being cancelled
Well, the race was bound to have no winner for Piplup and Croagunk to get past their rivalry (unless they'd lost to Pikachu/Mantyke, which would have been cheap). You could tell that they were about to tie, anyway. Also, Misaki-chan didn't even want them to compete.

Wonder if a throwback to Kasumi was the intention with that scene? But yeah, fun episode for me.
It's the second "random" Psyduck we've seen (the first one appeared during Go's introduction in episode 2). It probably isn't the last one, either. Unlike Piplup, the two Psyduck didn't stay long enough to imitate the classic one.
 
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tbh, Psyduck appearing isn't that weird if you think about it, since its Masuda's favorite Pokemon.
 
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tbh, Psyduck appearing isn't that weird if you think about it, since its Masuda's favorite Pokemon.
Why would it being Masuda's favorite Pokemon influence its appearance here?

If anything, I'd wager that Psyduck appeared because: a) it's a popular Kanto Pokemon, b) it's a Water type and fit the theme of this episode, c) there's a Psyduck that appears in Snowpoint City in the games. Probably all of these were factors tbh.
 
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Oddly malicious of Team Rocket to attack a ship merely for Pikachu shocking them. What happened to the Team Rocket with standards?

Mantyke helping Pikachu was cute though.
 
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マーシャンミスター
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Oddly malicious of Team Rocket to attack a ship merely for Pikachu shocking them. What happened to the Team Rocket with standards?
Standards? At one episode they tortured an old man and put a bomb in a lake full of pokémon. Not to mention how much abuse they gave to children and pokémon.
 
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