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Review The Sun and Moon Series Review Thread

A Wild Luxray

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After 3 years and SM146 is behind us, Ash has given his final farewells to his classmates and parent figures. Ash is on his way home now, leaving Alola with the honor of being the first Alolan Champion. The Sun and Moon series is officially over. Now that we've reached the end, what do you have to say about the series in general? Its time to review the Sun and Moon anime series!
 
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RetroPokeFan

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So...

Sun & Moon eh?


It was good.

Do I love the series as a whole? No.
Do I hate the series as a whole? No.

To me the series is basically like Marmite. I grab it out of the closet, bring some of it out onto the plate and then get a taste of it. In some cases it'll taste pretty nice and when it tastes nice, it tastes like no stinkin tomorrow too especially if it's an extremely good one.

The animation (though it did decline a bit towards the end) was super-good (highlights include basically any episode that has the Nakano or Iwane name on it), the characters were enjoyable (for the most part, Mallow I'm just kind of eh on. She's good but sometimes she feels like she's just there) and we got some good moments.

However there were various cases where I would spit it out and ask why I'm even having any of this especially with bad episodes. Episodes like anything to do with Rotom, the disappointing Pikachu/Mimikyu rematch, most of the Ultra Guardian stuff and even the overload of comedic faces.

Yet at the same time it didn't make me want to drop the show entirely like staring at the very first poster made me consider. In fact little ol' me is sort of glad to have actually stayed on throughout the whole 4 year run of the show.

So at the end of the day the Sun & Moon series was good. It was just decently
127564


And here's a short list of all the episodes I liked and which ones I despised:

View: https://twitter.com/poke_retro/status/1188839323082416129?s=21
 

PokeMasterLA

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I am sad to see the Sun and Moon series come to an end, there will always be a special place in my heart for Alola. As someone that grew up watching the original series back in the late 90s, one would assume for me to be a "genwunner". But believe it or not, I never played the original Red/Blue games. Growing up, my parents were going through some rough times, and didn't have the luxury of buying me a Gameboy. Now that I am older and have a job, I purchased a Nintendo 3DS thus making Pokemon Sun and Ultra Moon the first official Pokemon games I own.

Pokemon The Series: Sun and Moon is also the first series (since the OS) that I kept up with every episode as they premiered (instead of catching up on Netflix/Hulu), and it was always exciting to see what the next episode was about. Of course like any other Pokemon series, it had several flaws, but overall it was very enjoyable to watch.

One major thing that I loved about Sun and Moon is that most of Ash's Pokemon (with the exception of Meltan) had a purpose or goal they wanted to achieve, and formed some sort of rivalry with another trainer's much stronger Pokemon. Whereas in previous seasons, most (not all) of Ash's Pokemon are mostly just there to help Ash fulfill his goals.

Ash's Rockruff>Lycanroc vs Gladion's Lycanroc

Ash's Litten>Torracat vs Kukui's Inciniroar,

Ashs's Rowlet vs Hau's Dartrix >Decidueye.

Ash's Pikachu vs Tapu Koko

The best part is that they all had their chance to face and defeat their respective rivals in the Alola League, causing Ash to win and become champion. So winning the Alola Leauge meant a big deal to not just Ash, but his Pokemon as well.
 
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marshiyanmisuta

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How many different threads we need to discuss SM? It's getting ridiculous.
 

Nicolas721

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My opinion was more on the "mixed bag" side, but after remembering all of its key moments I found out that there were a lot of great and heartwarming ones, so I'm more on the "good" side. It still did a lot of mistakes that the writers will hopefully learn from if they want to do these kind of stories again.

Positives
+The episodes were for the most part charming and memorable.
+COtDs were ditched for the most part, allowing more character-focused narratives and episodes focusing on everyone as a group.
+Misty and Brock came back!
+The writers were more open to handle death, grief and marriage. They were very good attempts for a first time handling those.
+Island Kahunas as well as most secondary characters had great characterization and were fun to watch.
+Nebby Arc and League Arc were great, I hope future plots similar to those attempt to reach that level of characterization.
+All companions had families and a world surrounding them, instead of just one relative with a vague occupation.

Positive/Negative
+/- The humor. It started off pretty smart and subversive, but became more childish as time went on.
+/- The battles. A few ones were great, but many abused from Z-moves being evaded or forced to crash with other Z-move so they lost their impact.
+/-Team Rocket worked nicely as separate protagonists from the group of their own stories and had very cool dynamics with their new Pokemon. However, some episodes could've been better as they wanted to be a strange mix of sentimentality and humor, and their absences were very long sometimes.
+/-Professor Kukui had a very cool concept behind him and a very good final battle with Ash, but he should have had more clear motivations and explanations about why did he do some things that way and more battles with Ash.
+/- Ash's personality. It was nice to see him being more reactive to stuff and recognizing what he liked of Alola, but there were other times were he just acted too immature and excited.

Negatives
-The way Ash's goal and many secondary plots were handled. They had no clear direction and were just brought up whenever the writers needed them. As a result, many narratives had rushed or disappointing endings. Special mention to the companions which received Z-rings, evolutions and moves out of nowhere. Part of that was because of a desire to return to the status quo as quickly as possible.
-The Ultra Guardian episodes. Most were filled with randomness and plot contrivances, they should have been more character focused like the Celesteela one.
-The school sucked, the activities were things one would do at preschool and it doesn't feel at all that one could become stronger by going there. No doubt why Ash dropped it.
-Character dynamics and friendships within the main cast were very one-note. Even the ones that existed (Ash/Lillie, Ash/Kiawe, Kiawe/Sophocles and Lana/Mallow) weren't truly a constant in most episodes.
-Rivals didn't appear enough, which is sad because their personalities were decent.
-The ending was rushed.
 
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Islander Princess

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I've been waiting until the end of the series to really sit down and think about how I felt. I do feel like, for the most part, my feelings on the series remained pretty consistent throughout its run. I'm going to break it down into positives, negatives, and neutrals.

Positives
-It was a lighter, more humor driven series. I really prefer the anime when it's making me laugh. SM was heavy handed with the super expressive faces and amusing reactions, and I feel like it had some pretty good humor/lines throughout.

-The family themes! This was very sweet and definitely different from other series before it. It was nice to see characters with actual families, and even have them appear in multiple episodes.

-The emotional buildup. I always enjoyed it, but it didn't really hit me until the very end of the show just how powerful it really was. I said it in the final episode review thread, but no departure episode in this series has made me cry since OS. This one did...hard. The buildup was just subtle enough where you could appreciate it throughout the show, but until the end, the full impact really doesn't hit you.

-More serious/relatable themes. In SM alone, we had death, marriage, moving away, cheating in school, etc. Heck, we even got a pregnancy in the end. I really appreciate these as an adult viewer, but I also think it's really important that these are presented to kids as well. The show handled them wonderfully; they were clear cut for older viewers and age appropriate for younger viewers.

-The companion group. It was a breath of fresh air to see a group of characters who all had a close relationship with one another, who all had different personalities, and had real cohesion as a group. It was also nice that they didn't always have to all be together in every single episode. They were able to maintain that chemistry, even in smaller groups.

-Brock and Misty. Yes, they get their own bullet point. I've lost track of how many times I've watched those four episodes. They were just such a joy to watch, and a serious testament as to why former characters should be brought back more often! Bonus points for additional continuity, such as seeing some of Ash's former Pokemon. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff.

Negatives
-The ball was badly dropped on the Island Trials. This was something that annoyed me from the beginning of the series. The trials were probably my favorite aspect of the SM games, because they were so different, and the anime basically did nothing with them. As a result, the Grand Trials usually just ended up feeling really random and disjointed, with no real lead up to them. This is really the major thing I was unhappy with in SM.

-Ultra Guardians episodes. Some were okay, but for the most part, these for me were the weakest episodes of SM. They tended to be pretty dull, and honestly, the whole idea of the Ultra Guardians just seemed kind of forced.

Neutrals
-The Mohn arc. I'm neutral on this for now because I don't actually know if it'll be addressed in the future. I'm not really thrilled they didn't wrap it up in SM proper, especially since it did have some pretty interesting components to it. It had a satisfying enough conclusion for now, I suppose, but I'd rather it not stay like that forever. If they do decide to conclude it in the future, I'd probably consider it a positive. If they just flat out ignore it and leave it unresolved in canon, then it's a negative.

-Character development. I don't think it was outright terrible like a lot of fans do. Honestly, I think they did much better here than they did with the past two series. But was it perfect? No. Were there characters who got developed more than others? Yes. Do I think that's fair? No. But I do like the development we did get...just wish we could've gotten more on some of the characters who weren't as well developed.

-The amount of Pokemon on the cast. I would've liked a couple more. I understand why each character didn't have a full team (that would've been crazy) but I hate that Mallow and Lillie only had one Pokemon each (I don't really count Shaymin or Magearna since they came in towards the very end and didn't really do much). I think giving each character at least three Pokemon wouldn't have hurt anything. But I did like the Pokemon we did have. There were none who were terribly annoying or unbearable, which was becoming an unfortunate trend.

Overall Thoughts
Honestly, SM really got me passionate about the show again. I have watched every single series, but, for the first time ever, stopped watching in the middle of XY. I reluctantly picked it back up during XYZ, just because I did miss watching the anime, but it felt like a chore every week. Once SM rolled around, I genuinely looked forward to watching a new episode every week, finding out what would happen next, etc. It was such a stark contrast to the last three years for me. At the beginning of the series, I put it in my top 3, behind OS and AG. Now? I honestly think it might have surpassed AG, and it comes much closer to OS than I ever thought it would.
 
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