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REVIEW: XY038: Ohrot of the Crawling Forest!

The Lunatic Is On The Grass
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Ok so Froakie learns Cut? Which all the moveset are completed for now until it evolves into Frogadier.
The real question is why the title card shows Clemmont focuses on the episode? It didn't give much contribution than Ash you know
 

Moe

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Really great episode - ticks pretty much every box for what I want to see - actual training, character development for Pokemon, combination moves (!!!), Ash injuring himself and Sudowoodo.

I keep getting more impressed by Hawlucha's design and personality - a really nice capture for Ash. Froakie and Hawlucha's little argument at the start didn't seem as petty like a lot of Pokemon 'fights' seem to be, and it makes sense for their characters to need to build up that level of respect first - though Hawlucha seemed to fairly early on show a respect for Froakie's strength - helped by how expressive Hawlucha is.

I like that Ash's thoughts in planning that combination move turned to battling Wobbuffet, about time he started planning for something that must happen to him near daily. That Ash is thinking of combination moves again is great - so I hope that he now figures out some more of them for use in regular battles. I hope they are back in his arsenal for good, and this isn't just a one off use of them for bonding.

The side plot involving Ash being dragged away by a tree to get tree-shaped Pokemon down from a tree was interesting enough - the scene with Hawlucha giving Ash's hat back was particularly good. I wish Pikachu didn't always need to be the one saving the day - considering they are rock types, why not give Flechinder a cameo to burn the net down?

The episode did seem to highlight what a bad job is generally done with the concept of Ghost types - when they aren't just invisible balls of gas like Gastly that can get a typical 'Ghost' storyline. You know what would help that - a Dark type, perhaps like a certain evolved frog-like water type...
 
Star Twinkle Hype!
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It's been some time since we've seen combination attacks, hasn't it? So Super Flying Cut is more than welcome.

Gotta love that the first thing Ash does when he wakes up is whip out his Pokédex. Not that it's a bad idea to find out what the heck just abducted you, but priorities, Ash, priorities!

The side plot involving Ash being dragged away by a tree to get tree-shaped Pokemon down from a tree was interesting enough - the scene with Hawlucha giving Ash's hat back was particularly good. I wish Pikachu didn't always need to be the one saving the day - considering they are rock types, why not give Flechinder a cameo to burn the net down?
Plot convenience? Seriously, I was thinking "Fletchinder could help you out here" when Ash was trying to escape Trevenant.

Ash, we went over the whole Ghost-type immunities earlier in the--oh, you're going somewhere with this. Never mind, then.

Was kinda hoping Trevenant would be the one to send the Rockets flying.

Still, this was a neat little episode. Lovely to see a fistbump of respect at the end. Quite the contrast to the forced one near the beginning.
 
Cute bunny baby
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Wow, I really liked the premise of this episode.

The way Froakie learned cut was pretty cool. I also liked the reference to Froakie saving Pikachu in the first episode. I wonder if this will be a reoccurring thing.

I found it funny how Hawlucha seemed to demand a fist bump from Froakie before the battle could start. And I liked how Froakie had to look back to Ash for an answer. OMG Bonnie acting a referee again! I thought it would never happen. I love how Bunnelby held his own against Hawlucha. Sucks that he got knocked out, but I did like how Froakie's dodge caused Chespin to attack his own teammate.

Froakie and Hawlucha's personality clashes were fun to see. And I'm getting pretty sick and tired of Chespin eating all the group's Poke Puffs. And then Ash gets kidnapped out of nowhere.

Wow, Pikachu uses his sense of smell to locate Ash. That was unexpected. I did like how Hawlucha and Froakie decided to work together to find Ash, but it did seemed a bit rushed. I will say this though, Hawlucha was pretty...cute in this episode. I liked the scene when he put Ash's hat back on.

And Hawlucha's lack of non-fighting type moves comes to bite him in the butt. Seriously, he needs a non fighting move if he ever plans on fighting a ghost type in the future. And what was up with Ash? He knew High Jump Kick wouldn't work of Trevenant, yet he commands a Flying Press (fighting) and Cut (normal) combo on Trevenant a few minutes later. Why?

The TR battle was cool. It seems that Ash wanted Hawlucha's failed attack to act as a distraction while Froakie did the real damage against Pumkaboo. Nice strategy. The Flying Press Cut combo was pretty good against Inkay. Nice to see the victory fist bump, but Hawucha's tendency to pose all the time is getting pretty...annoying.

So overall, a really great episode. 9.7/10.
 
bₗₐcₖ cₐₜ, bₐd ₗᵤcₖ
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Our journey continues with the gang still on their way to Shalour City. Ash finally gets started on that training he mentioned earlier, causing the split with Korrina. This episode was great for several reasons:

First things first. The interactions and character development. Splendid! It’s been a while since we’ve seen the group’s Pokémon all interacting (sans the regional bird of course), and when it happens it does wonders for the human protagonists as well. Clemont requesting a double battle with Ash was refreshing as that’s a rare feat done within the group itself. I like how they are each other’s battle partners (even if it is more to Ash’s benefit). Also, Ash stepping up and reprimanding his Pokémon for their bitterness and lack of teamwork shows a certain level of desired maturity. You go Ash, show your team who’s in charge. Haven’t seen stuff like this since DP. Serena pulls off her obligatory baking riff, this time being prepared for any Mon (cough Chespin cough) that dares to eat it without permission. She also reminds us how anything ghost related scares her stiff. And Bonnie is well…Bonnie (Sugoi!).

Froakie and Hawlucha’s squabbles clearly illustrate the two Pokémon’s very distinct battle preferences: while Froakie prefers evasion and direct/counterstrikes, Hawlucha prefers to flaunt its machismo while striking back. With. Emphasis. Both Pokémon refuse to accept the other’s methods (and while we’re at it, this isn’t the first time Froakie has been unimpressed with Hawlucha), which soon grows into general contempt for each other (goodness, it’s a good thing Froakie didn’t meet Dawn’s Togekiss). I loved how their animosity towards each other wasn’t some petty issue like we’ve seen in past Pokémon fights. In fact, they wouldn’t even have reconciled if they didn't decide to put away their differences for the sake of Ash’s safety (which says a lot about their love for their trainer). Regardless, we got great character development, screen time and animation from these two and I hope to see more.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang’s Pokémon were in the background (as usual). However it was nice to see Chespin and Fennekin do their part in cutting the vines, with Fennekin finally pulling of its elusive Scratch move. It also appears that Chespin still has its trait of gluttony for Poke Puffs and no one still does nothing to reprimand it. Seriously, where is Dawn’s Pachirisu and/or Mamoswine when you need them? One night in the alley with them will have Chespin baking everyone Poke Puffs instead. Fletchinder really should have been in this episode too, rather than being stuffed head first under the bus. It could have at least battled Trevenant, if not save Sudowoodo and Bonsly.

I guess I should include the part with Trevenant here since it was an interaction. You know, the usual COTD Pokémon who needs help with an issue. Rather than simply asking Ash, and to an extent his Pokémon, for help, Trevenant decides to take the barbaric route and use its awesome powers of forest manipulation to keep everyone else at bay while it kidnaps Ash. Because asking would be too easy. Eventually Froakster and Luchadore catch up to it, with a rather sweet scene of Hawlucha returning its trainers hat, only to have the writers painfully remind everyone how Fighting type moves are ineffective on Ghost types. Now this made me smile for three reasons:

1. The writers remembered game logic!
2. We get even more development with Hawlucha who clearly has never battled Ghost type Pokémon before. So not only was this a learning experience or refresher for the viewer, but for Ash’s newcomer as well.
3. This really made an example out of Hawlucha’s lack of coverage while also promoting its strengths. Clearly, Hawlucha is a short ranged, physical attacker. As of now, it simply doesn’t do long range moves or Ghost types. Which is okay! Because that is what a party is for rather than having every Mon being able to battle any opponent as the show has been doing lately.


Trevenant eventually had its case heard and its friends were rescued. We also got to see several cool moves today, with notable mention going to Froakie’s Cut and Trevenant’s Wood Hammer. It really is a Pokémon that cares for its forest, and all that inhabit it, after all. And the classic electricity-nullifying-fish-net made a cameo since like, forever.

Finally the battles. The double battle was well done. As I don’t count Team Rocket battles, this was the first one we’ve had in XY and I was curious to see how positioning and movement would be carried out as colored backgrounds for moves no longer exist. And it was great! Froakie hopping around the field like a champ while Hawlucha duked it out with Bunnelby was so fluid. Also, props to the Bunnelmeister as it showed once again how competent it is at battling. Chespin also did a decent job too (even though it contributed to its partner’s defeat).

The Team Rocket battle was okay. Once again the Ghost immunity was covered, with Jesse of all people pointing out such a basic element of Pokémon. The whole Super Flying Cut was silly to me in all honesty. It was just Froakie simply delivering a Cut, with Hawlucha following up with its Flying Press…a succession of moves…something we’ve seen many times in double battles. In fact, the whole concept was silly. What better way than to make two Pokémon who strongly dislike each other get along? Force them to use a “combination move” of course (I’ll make a mental note for my Pokémon at the Daycare). It was also kind of impractical seeing as how double battles are an endangered species in the anime, thus the probability of the move making a reappearance is pretty low. Regardless it got the job done, and the day was saved. All in all, this was a very nice episode with no dull moments. I hope XY continue this trend.

Overall, 8.9/10.

Pros
+Character Interactions/Development
+Froakie and Hawlucha battling/fighting/bonding
+Trevenant
Cons
-No Fletchinder
-Super Flying Cut, What?
 
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