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Review XY131: Kalos League Victory! Satoshi's Ultimate Match!!

Son of Two Deities
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Oh look, a drug the writers are addicted to called "status quo".

You think after every loss (and no, the Orange Islands don't count since it wasn't in the same region from Red/Blue/Yellow and was there just to fill in for time until Gold and Silver came out), Ash would've gotten depressed. I know I would since I hate losing.

Oh well, he'll always have May and Sabrina to cheer him up.
 
Pikachu's Global Adventure
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My full review as I am kept all night:

Right off the bat, we are given the rest of the Charizard vs Pikachu fight and it predictably ends with Pikachu losing to Charizard. Ash calls in Goodra and starts Rain Dance. This is an epic battleground of soaking rain, and Goodra puts up a good fight against Bisharp despite the type disadvantage, though it got hit by Guillotine. Bisharp is so weakened that Greninja makes short work of it without getting a scratch. And finally its Charizard vs Greninja. Already Greninja shows that it can push Charizard backwards, and it isn't stopping anytime soon. Even when fully evolved, the two are titans to be reckoned.

But here's where the episode went into an Evangelion 2.0 scenario. A tape recorder that began skipping out of order. The music of XY&Z starts way too early and ends way too soon. This is where the battle was at its most intense, but it's also felt like the match was not reaching its climax. Like something cataclysmic is about to happen. The Shuriken Disc was not build up, only seems to be a preview that spooks Alain, and there was no XY&Z music accompanying it. That's when you realize just how close the battle really is.

And that's when it comes to the aftermath. Everything felt wrong. I mean everything. It's strange, almost alien. Even when considering status quo, it's bizarre. The build-up and the tension were all there, but the result felt like a Twilight Zone episode. Something that was not meant to happen. Even Alain holding a trophy felt artificial, like it was a trinket instead of a grand reward. And that's when Lysandre made his move. That's when I realize the whole match was a red herring.

Lysandre was wicked here. Truly evil. And that Z2's brainwashing felt even more disturbing with Alain winning the League. If it was Ash, we would have something to celebrate before Team Flare strikes. But with Alain, it felt completely artificial from beginning to end.

And oh boy, the destruction. This makes the Ultimate Weapon look like a child's toy because this is the type of destruction that folks could only dream of in mature anime. The vines actually destroyed the League conference and Lumoise is completely engulfed. When you consider the champion, you realized that Alain winning the championship is a curse. Because how would the residents react to the news that their new champion was responsible for this mess.

All I can say is, the story here is not over. Ash and Alain still have some unfinished business to settle once this is all done. Particularly on "Alain, how could you be so stupid." Also the fact that Alain has virtually disgraced the name champion and made Ash look good in the process.
 
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The fans watching the live stream are bashing the anime as well because of Ash's loss. This might go into Never Live it Down territory.
 
Pikachu's Global Adventure
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The fans watching the live stream are bashing the anime as well because of Ash's loss. This might go into Never Live it Down territory.
I am ensuring that Alain will Never Live it Down that he helped Team Flare. What a champion he is. It should be a meme to itself.
 
That's the way it is.
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I just came here to read the comments.
I expected extreme salt from here, and the stream last night. :p
Battle's animation was good, though I can see why so many people are ready to walk up to Pokemon's studios, and straight up murder them.
Alain is practically a Mary Sue, it's quite surprised to see he almost lost.

5/10 -1 cause still no Sonans 4/10
 
追放されたバカ
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Dreadful end to a dreadful League.

To recap, the writers have:

- ignored all the usual callbacks to Oak and Ash's mum, League traditions
- avoided bringing in or even referencing any of Ash's old Pokemon
- skipped through not just the preliminaries, but basically everything before the semifinals
- written as though there were basically three people in the whole League: Ash, Sawyer and Alain. No surprising opponents. Not that they showed us any of the fights, bar Sawyer vs Tierno.
- used essentially no tactical switching, lots of stupid decision-making; basically stupid battle writing throughout

Then they gave the victory spot to Alain's Charizard. The Charizard they've been constantly hyping by having it take on super-powerful opponents and always win. Do they not think we'll ever get bored of seeing it plot-armour its way through battles? It wasn't even like they made it into a particularly good fight, it won with an attack that shouldn't really be that effective, and there was no drama to the thing, no sense of strategies or counter-strategies forming. Very disappointing when the first half of this match was going so well. I don't care whether Ash wins, I care about whether the story is satisfying, and this isn't.

Worst of all, that might be the note that the Pokemon Leagues closes on. Forever. Sun and Moon don't have a League, so it's likely we'll see a corresponding shift in the anime. So the note for posterity is that: an overpowered character winning for the nth time in a row in a sub-par battle, in the most-rushed League arc of all.
The writers are not in charge of the entire production. You can't place the blame on them when they don't plot the overall storyline or see episodes through production past their scripts. You'll blame Fujita Shinzou for not including a shot of Hanako or Orchid, rather than the Storyboard Artist & Episode Director Iijima Masakatsu or Series Director Yajima Tetsuo? That's terribly ill-researched criticism.

Not referencing Satoshi's old Pokemon is something the franchise always does. Tossing them in would have been an ill-use of drawings and time that could otherwise be spent on a select few Pokemon to increase the quality of the battles by relying on a greater amount of BANK animation.

The preliminaries were skipped because they would be a waste of drawings. There's no storyline with those characters, there's little in the way of available BANK animation, and the drawings spent on them could instead be given to the important episodes, like Episode #35 and #37-38.

For me the worst disappointment is that Ookido and Mama-san were not watching, but that dude from the wetlands was?!
Audiences would know the guy from the wetlands from his three prior appearances. Mama-san hasn't shown up in forever (and would require explanation) and Orchid would just be a waste of money for an episode already stretched thin on drawings and key animators.
 
Fluffy!
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I believe people just say "writers" because it's quicker and easier than always saying "the production team" or "all the people involved in writing and overseeing the episodes". I don't think anyone here actually believes the writers alone are responsible for the episodes we get.
 
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You're right. He reached the finals and finished as a runner-up. He never made that far in a League Conference before.
That's right. And moreover, after re-watching the episode again, the title card segment focuses on Ash for this one, and the page doesn't have it at all.
 
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You're right. He reached the finals and finished as a runner-up. He never made that far in a League Conference before.
True, But WHY STOP T-H-E-R-E?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?! WHY NOT LET HIM WIN; AND THEN LOSE TO THE ELITE 4 AND THEN HE'LL BE ABLE TO WIN THE LEAGUE AND STILL CAN MOVE ONTO THE NEXT REGION?!!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
 
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