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REVIEW: XY052: Ninja Arts Showdown! Gekogashira VS Gamenodes!!

Sakuraa

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I think this was a pretty good one.

I always like seeing Ash take the time to do some training, but I just don’t like how recently he only chooses like one or two to train rather than having them all together. I hope he start doing that in the future, and maybe train with Clemont as well since he hasn't done that in a while either. Moving on, I really like how Dedenne usually seems to be the one notice things and point them out to the group.

I really wish that Shiftry guy (Saizo, I think?) would have had an actual Shiftry as opposed to that abomination of a Pokemon he did have. I didn't expect Froakie to take the initiative and try to attack the other dude’s Pokemon. Adding to the list of unexpected things, I sure as hell was surprised to see Sanpei use a ninja tactic to get away. I thought they’d stay and try to fight, but I guess he knows his limits.

Am I the only found Clemont’s invention just plain odd. Not only the fact that his was the only one not smiling for whatever reason, but that he had one of Sanpei specifically made. Lol’d at TR starting their motto before even seeing that the figures were robots. Loved seeing it blow up on them.

Aw, Bonnie and Dedenne said “ne” together. Hm, I surprised they didn’t make a gag of that earlier. Anyway, during that scene when Clemont and Serena fell and were saved by the frogs, they actually made Greninja look…cute-ish. Wow, Froakie was the only one to stay behind to make sure Clemont got back up the mountain safely.

Okay so I’m pretty sure this scroll delivering thing was a test for Sanpei. And if that was the case, why was Ash able to help him in battling Saizo? That seems totally odd to me, unless Saizo said it was okay (which I don’t know yet). Froakie’s evolution was so awesome and the battle against Barbaracle was great. I love the way he uses Aerial Ace, which defiantly gives him a way to stand out from the others who use it. But again, I just found it so weird Ash put in all the work to defeat Saizo while Sanpei just watched. Eh, well anyways, the final scene with Bonnie was cute.

Anyway, overall a pretty nice episode the only things I disliked were TR and everything I already mentioned with Ash taking Sanpei’s place in the battle. Otherwise it was good. 8/10.
 

Alola

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This episode didn't really do it for me. I thought the whole concept of Sanpei delivering the scroll while simultaneously evading his master to be really bland. What was the point? What character development did we achieve? And now that he has reached his dream of owning a Greninja, what purpose does he have in the anime? To be the occasional COTD with an overtly stereotypical task at hand? They couldn't even let him have that, as Ash was the hero of the day (and shame on Sanpei; I really expected him to deny Ash's help as this was a task specifically for him).

It was nice that Froakie evolved and what not, but I feel like his evolution was severely undermined (it's hard to appreciate Frogadier when its more awesome evolution is around). In fact, I hope the next XY evolution isn't some result of being brutally beaten in battle, then voila la evolution. I really liked what they did with Ash's Swadloon upon becoming a Leavanny; focusing on the said evolution and its new aspects for the episode, rather than rushing the evolution in the battle at the end.

Aerial Ace was pretty cool, and unique in its execution. Team Rocket was funny with their initial appearances in the episode, thus I did not appreciate that shoehorned send off they received. Overall, the episode was really underwhelming. The only highlight, in my opinion, was seeing what a Greninja looks like with its tongue extended.
 

dman_dustin

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This episode didn't really do it for me. I thought the whole concept of Sanpei delivering the scroll while simultaneously evading his master to be really bland. What was the point? What character development did we achieve? They couldn't even let him have that, as Ash was the hero of the day (and shame on Sanpei; I really expected him to deny Ash's help as this was a task specifically for him).
I think the WHOLE entire point of the story was that Sanpei had friends that would help him, and that Sanpei did not have to do things alone. Which is why I believe Shaizo smiled when Ash said that he would be there for Sanpei and help him out and didn't have to do it alone (although I assume that's what Ash said at the end that resulting in a quick smile from "Shaizo" before returning back into the "fake villain."

That being said I sort of agree and disagree here. I disagree with your reason, of why Sanpei took a back seat and therefore the episode failed.

To me the episode...well it didn't fail it's just I don't know why this couldn't have REVOLVED around Ash and Froakie, and then ultimately have the story being about THAT.

That is why I was disappointed in the episode preview, because I kept wondering WHY of all reasons would the writers have Froakie evolving during a story that revolved around Sanpei, when it SHOULD have been about Ash and Froakie, which is why I'm not too upset about Ash being a hero in this one.

And now that he has reached his dream of owning a Greninja, what purpose does he have in the anime? To be the occasional COTD with an overtly stereotypical task at hand?
I think it's simple, to be there for when Ash's Froakie ultimately evolves into Greninja, a mentor since Sanpei should know about the species more than Ash does so as a mentor of sorts.

It was nice that Froakie evolved and what not, but I feel like his evolution was severely undermined (it's hard to appreciate Frogadier when its more awesome evolution is around). In fact, I hope the next XY evolution isn't some result of being brutally beaten in battle, then voila la evolution. I really liked what they did with Ash's Swadloon upon becoming a Leavanny; focusing on the said evolution and its new aspects for the episode, rather than rushing the evolution in the battle at the end.
The reason why they could do that is because the writers or rather the executive producers didn't give two shits about Swadloon which is WHY it could evolve so early in the episode.

However with other Pokemon it might be more necessary to showcase the Pokemon for as long as possible before evolving. I sort of understand and agree with that choice, but I disagree with how they handle them. Usually a Pokemon evolves at the end, and then the following episode has NOTHING to do with said Pokemon. However it would be nice if the writers that were forced to evolve a Pokemon at the end of the episode would include it as a major Pokemon to be used in the following episode.

==================

Now as for Team Rocket. Look I admit I laughed when Jessie kicked the cardboard replicas of the gang and then it blew up, so they were the victims of Clemont's inventions. But their later appearance was REALLY uncalled for, even if they had a semi hilarious motto.

I remember Best Wishes, the one thing Best Wishes did that NO series has EVER done, is actually NOT use Team Rocket as much. But now Team Rocket are now shoehorned into every episode, for little purpose than because I guess some fans were not happy with them being "serious" and having a "plot" so thank you certain complaining fans for that. Hope you enjoy the pointless shoehorning of them being in every episode.

Some fillers are okay because it's formulaic, but for God's sakes can we PLEASE not have senseless Team Rocket appearances in actual important story episodes. Gee I can't wait to see how Team Rocket will screw up the Gym with Ramos, or especially the eventual gym battle with Clemont.

Team Rocket ARE NOT necessary at all to be shoved in the episodes EVERY SINGLE TIME. What happened to the way Best Wishes did it? I realize no one really liked that series, but at least they did Team Rocket appearances, right, in that THEY did not have to be in every episode.

I realize this is getting off track, but I'm making a point, now I was fine with humorous moment in the beginning of the episode, where they just got destroyed by Clemont's cardboard, but it was uncalled for when they showed up at the end.

But hey I suppose they were semi relevant, to show that the Shiftry Mask Trainer wasn't evil I guess, but still unnecessary.
 

R!ck

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Frogadier! Yay! :-D this is my favorite episode of the XY saga so far and probably of the entire anime! Pokémon XY: you're doing it right! 10/10
 

Pokemaster97

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Now as for Team Rocket. Look I admit I laughed when Jessie kicked the cardboard replicas of the gang and then it blew up, so they were the victims of Clemont's inventions. But their later appearance was REALLY uncalled for, even if they had a semi hilarious motto.

I remember Best Wishes, the one thing Best Wishes did that NO series has EVER done, is actually NOT use Team Rocket as much. But now Team Rocket are now shoehorned into every episode, for little purpose than because I guess some fans were not happy with them being "serious" and having a "plot" so thank you certain complaining fans for that. Hope you enjoy the pointless shoehorning of them being in every episode.

Some fillers are okay because it's formulaic, but for God's sakes can we PLEASE not have senseless Team Rocket appearances in actual important story episodes. Gee I can't wait to see how Team Rocket will screw up the Gym with Ramos, or especially the eventual gym battle with Clemont.

Team Rocket ARE NOT necessary at all to be shoved in the episodes EVERY SINGLE TIME. What happened to the way Best Wishes did it? I realize no one really liked that series, but at least they did Team Rocket appearances, right, in that THEY did not have to be in every episode.

I realize this is getting off track, but I'm making a point, now I was fine with humorous moment in the beginning of the episode, where they just got destroyed by Clemont's cardboard, but it was uncalled for when they showed up at the end.

But hey I suppose they were semi relevant, to show that the Shiftry Mask Trainer wasn't evil I guess, but still unnecessary.
Don't start a Team Rocket discussion in this thread. This is for reviewing the episode itself. We have separate threads dedicated to analyzing characters.
 

PTOldMan

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Nice episode. I really liked the Team Rocket't motto. It was oddly hilarious. Was it intentionally performed/written that way to address and play with the fact that they are using recycled animation?
 

Dogasu

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I think this episode would have worked a lot better as a two-parter.

I really liked the little animation details in this. Like how the tree branch that Gamenodeath spawned onto bended under its weight in the beginning of the episode. Or how Citron rushed over to protect Eureka when the group of Zubat attacked in the cave. Or Sonansu flailing its arms wildly when it jumped forward to attack. These were all little things but they really helped make the episode come alive.

Did V (Volt) sound too loud to anyone else during that big battle at the end? When I watched the episode on Hulu the insert song practically drowned out the voices and sound effects. I can't remember the last time the sound mix was so bad in the Japanese version.

Also, ugh, that obviously Japanese temple at the top of that mountain having Tajirian on it...UGH.

Re: The Rocket trio battle at the end.

It wasn't pointless at all because it helped develop Sanzo's character. The Rocket trio comes in to kidnap Pikachu and Sanzo turns on them. "These are my prey," he tells them. Musashi argues that they're just there for Pikachu, not the scroll, and that this doesn't concern them. He helps blast them off anyway. When that battle's over, someone - either Satoshi or Sanpei, I forget - asks why he helped them out just now. Sanzo replies that he has no obligation to tell them.

This whole scene is important because it shows just what kind of person Sanzo is. He wanted to test Sanpei, but he wanted to do it on *his* terms; standing back and letting a trio of strangers go after his friend's Pikachu could have jeopardized everything. What if Sanpei had gotten hurt on his watch? The Rocket-Dan battle in the second half of the episode shows that Sanzo is a tough yet very caring teacher, and cutting out the Rocket-Dan's battle and making the Gamenodeath / frogs battle longer wouldn't have done that.

Hilbert said:
Aerial Ace was pretty cool, and unique in its execution.
In case you didn't know, Aerial Ace, which is tsubame gaeshi in Japanese, is based on a sword technique made famous by Sasaki Kojirou. Having that move featured in an episode all about ninja arts is no accident.
 

Moe

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I've seen a few people mention it previously with other episodes, but Ash really has thrown away any of his previous attempts at sticking to battle rules - three Pokemon against one at several stages here. I suppose that did help in the end to further the point of how much strength Froakie gained in evolving at that time, but I don't like seeing Ash gang up on one Pokemon, no matter the trainer - as the Pokemon aren't the ones to blame for their trainer's actions. Not really a judgement on its merits in this episode - I'll need to see the dub to complain about that, just something I don't like in general of late.

If Bonnie was saying what I thought she was at the end - wanting Frogadier to unevolve and then evolve again for her to be able to see it, that's brilliant. Though considering mega evolutions essentially do just that, it's a lot more of a reasonable question than it used to be.

I'm impressed by Team Rocket here - especially being able to integrate Clemont's invention explosion gag into things. I wish I could understand what was going on with those mottos - but even without being able to, they just feel like they have all their personality back. Not sure it's the smartest thing to start running towards a guy with a large sword with only claws, but nice to see Meowth doing his own dirty work.

I'm glad this episode wasn't what I'd thought based on Sanpei appearing again - just another repeat of the previous episode and just having Froakie do some more training, it ended up being a good return for a character while being very different from the last. I liked it.
 

Alola

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I think this episode would have worked a lot better as a two-parter.

I really liked the little animation details in this. Like how the tree branch that Gamenodeath spawned onto bended under its weight in the beginning of the episode. Or how Citron rushed over to protect Eureka when the group of Zubat attacked in the cave. Or Sonansu flailing its arms wildly when it jumped forward to attack. These were all little things but they really helped make the episode come alive.

Did V (Volt) sound too loud to anyone else during that big battle at the end? When I watched the episode on Hulu the insert song practically drowned out the voices and sound effects. I can't remember the last time the sound mix was so bad in the Japanese version.

Also, ugh, that obviously Japanese temple at the top of that mountain having Tajirian on it...UGH.

Re: The Rocket trio battle at the end.

It wasn't pointless at all because it helped develop Sanzo's character. The Rocket trio comes in to kidnap Pikachu and Sanzo turns on them. "These are my prey," he tells them. Musashi argues that they're just there for Pikachu, not the scroll, and that this doesn't concern them. He helps blast them off anyway. When that battle's over, someone - either Satoshi or Sanpei, I forget - asks why he helped them out just now. Sanzo replies that he has no obligation to tell them.

This whole scene is important because it shows just what kind of person Sanzo is. He wanted to test Sanpei, but he wanted to do it on *his* terms; standing back and letting a trio of strangers go after his friend's Pikachu could have jeopardized everything. What if Sanpei had gotten hurt on his watch? The Rocket-Dan battle in the second half of the episode shows that Sanzo is a tough yet very caring teacher, and cutting out the Rocket-Dan's battle and making the Gamenodeath / frogs battle longer wouldn't have done that.

Hilbert said:
Aerial Ace was pretty cool, and unique in its execution.
In case you didn't know, Aerial Ace, which is tsubame gaeshi in Japanese, is based on a sword technique made famous by Sasaki Kojirou. Having that move featured in an episode all about ninja arts is no accident.
Oh I do know; I look up every attack's name and origin in my spare time. However, this is first time the move has been portrayed this way rather than a speeded tackle/slash with or without light streamers. Thus the move execution is still unique.
 

dman_dustin

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Re: The Rocket trio battle at the end.

It wasn't pointless at all because it helped develop Sanzo's character. The Rocket trio comes in to kidnap Pikachu and Sanzo turns on them. "These are my prey," he tells them. Musashi argues that they're just there for Pikachu, not the scroll, and that this doesn't concern them. He helps blast them off anyway. When that battle's over, someone - either Satoshi or Sanpei, I forget - asks why he helped them out just now. Sanzo replies that he has no obligation to tell them.

This whole scene is important because it shows just what kind of person Sanzo is. He wanted to test Sanpei, but he wanted to do it on *his* terms; standing back and letting a trio of strangers go after his friend's Pikachu could have jeopardized everything. What if Sanpei had gotten hurt on his watch? The Rocket-Dan battle in the second half of the episode shows that Sanzo is a tough yet very caring teacher, and cutting out the Rocket-Dan's battle and making the Gamenodeath / frogs battle longer wouldn't have done that.
Except a strong explosion by the Pokemon's attacks causing a giant boulder towards Sanpei's character would have served the same purpose.

I mean it's easy to explain away Team Rocket, but it would probably mean more if Sanpei was ACTUALLY in danger rather than just assuming Team Rocket was going to hurt Sanpei.

Having Ash or especially Sanpei take care of Team Rocket themselves probably would have been more beneficial to the "test".

But Sanzo butted in right after the motto, on top of the fact ONLY Pikachu was being targeted. It would've been easy for a teacher to step back and see how Ash and Sanpei would have handled and only interfere in the teacher thought they were in actual trouble.

Though I suppose if Sanzo had actually being a villain it could explain why he butted in so quickly about being annoyed by Team Rocket interrupting him and his "target" but that wasn't actually the case, so Sanzo could only pretend to be "annoyed" by the interruption of Team Rocket, which I said wasn't necessary.

Like I said if your thoughts on this WERE accurate, the writers could've written it so Barbacle hit the ground hard and a giant rock headed towards Sanpei, and had Barbacle smash it up, and if need be, explain while smiling at Ash and Sanpei he stopped the rock to show off Barbacle's power to intimidate them since Greninja, Pikachu and Froakie combined weren't much of a match for Barbacle.
 

Dogasu

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The Rocket trio is far more interesting than a falling boulder.
 

Gabo2oo

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Not only they're overusing the song, but that Volt instert was way, way too loud, you can't even hear the Pokédex. I believe it's even louder than what it sounded like as an opening theme, so I hope it gets corrected because I believe this was too much for not being an error.

Team Rocket had a low start in XY, but they are definetly back on track as interesting characters now. I love how Clemont's invention just didn't blasted them off, they know their running gags.
 

JacobYBM

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Yeah, the mix was messed up. I wonder if the decision was made at the last minute to use it? Normally the series doesn't have mixing problems so much as it does animation errors. :lol:
 

Dogasu

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One of the problems is that they seem to have banned themselves from using insert songs from anything before XY. So right now it's either Volt or any of the two ending themes. They did the same thing with Best Wishes!.

Also, Masafumi Mima's working on like 50 different series at the moment and his Twitter feed makes it sound like he has a loooot of late nights. I wouldn't be surprised if the mix for this episode was one of those 3:00 in the morning jobs.
 

Garren

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Dissapointing they won't dig into the huge backlog of songs to use, but then again it was sort of weird back in DP5 where they used Advanced Adventure as an insert.
 

JacobYBM

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One of the problems is that they seem to have banned themselves from using insert songs from anything before XY. So right now it's either Volt or any of the two ending themes. They did the same thing with Best Wishes!.

Also, Masafumi Mima's working on like 50 different series at the moment and his Twitter feed makes it sound like he has a loooot of late nights. I wouldn't be surprised if the mix for this episode was one of those 3:00 in the morning jobs.
My guess is that they are contractually obligated to only use Volt and Mega Volt. Perhaps those songs are currently in a period of their contracts where it doesn't cost extra to use them as insert songs? I do wish we could use some of the older songs, though, especially Type: Wild. I don't suppose anyone has asked Mima to clarify what is available to use now?

I wouldn't be surprised if Mima is staying up late, especially given how many series are currently in production (173 this year alone). Add in most of those shows have wildly short production schedules and I'd be willing to bet he's supremely stretched thin.
 

Reila Nimu

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Froakie's evolution sequence reminded me of Monferno evolving into Infernape back in DP. It was pretty cool :)

I think the choice of song was very poor, though. Not only the opening song is kinda bad, but I am tired of listening it every other episode.
 
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