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All Hail the Ice Battlefield! (923)

Pikachu52

Well-Known Member
Okay, another Greninja spam episode. This is third episode in a row to be focused on Ash-Greninja. It also I think is the first time at least since I think Hoenn, that Ash has lost a second Gym battle. Normally he has to rematch at least one Gym leader to earn a badge, usually early on. Brawley in AG, Lennora in BW and now Wulfric as well as Viola in XY - Not a great look out for his supposedly strongest team ever. The first thought I had was, exactly how did Sawyer beat Wulfric, assuming that he did. Avalugg was capable of taking out Hawlutcha, Talonflame and Greninja. Sawyer's the kid who lost his Bagon in one hit to Valerie's Spritzee. Now he's supposedly having fiery battles and beating a Pokémon that managed to knock out Hawlutcha and Talonflame without taking much damage itself, and can heal itself from hail. What's worse is that he's not only managed to get 8 badges before Ash, he's got a badge Ash failed to get. This turn around in strength is unbelievable even in Pokémon terms, something which even translates into the episode - Ash looks at Sawyer when he says he wants to win almost as if he doesn't wish to seem inferior. Second thought; again with the Greninja Spamming. This episode was again focused on Greninja, it getting the longest battle, doing the most damage to Avalugg just to prove it's a badass despite loosing and for some reason having the worst injury (as if Talonflame didn't just have a load of snow dumped on it, twice). Why not use Pikachu instead of Greninja. He's fast and can use Iron tail, a super effective move on an ice type. And he hasn't battled in a gym since Clemont over a season ago. There was no real need to use Greninja at all, though granted Noivern would be the wrong choice for an Ice type gym. And it's sad to see that in the wake of the Ash-Greninja, either deliberately or accidentally the writers have diminished Pikachu and Ash's bond. The two barely interact during the battle and Ash walks out on him after saying sorry to Greninja. That's really sad.
A few other things are noteworthy about this episode too. Wulfric's character is somewhat underdeveloped - Gym leaders often get an introductory episode or part of an episode devoted to them before a battle, but not so this time. The battle begins literally moments after Ash meets Wulfric and he's not in any scene outside the gym. His opening dialogue is also almost verbatim from the games. The episode also marks another non-appearance by Team Rocket. They haven't been in an episode since "Championing a research battle" and even then they only played a small part. In Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh they would have been spying on Ash, listening to Mouth's boss fantasy about the leader's Pokémon, bursting into the gym to steal the leaders Pokémon or at least doing something random so the episode isn't entirely Ash failing to win a badge. It's also a heavily emotive episode, Ash showing some self-doubt unfortunately over Greninja's loss. While he's battled depressive feelings before, namely after loosing to Ritchie and that devastating battle to Paul they had more complexity to them than, I wasn't strong enough for my Greninja. Also noteworthy is Ash handing Serena his coat because he was feeling "fiery for the gym battle." Ash is a 10 year old Pokémon trainer who likes to battle, not Indiana Jones. That brief scene almost resembles the tired trope in American Action movies of dominate, hyper-masculine heroes making a prideful gesture to impress a female character before doing something daring. It was out of character and not something we would have seen in BW, or DP or any previous series.

8/10
 
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Gojira97

Member
I'm really digging these Greninja focused episodes. It's not surprising though since Greninja is my #1 favorite Gen 6 Pokemon. Hopefully Ash brings Greninja with him to Alola. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING!!! :D
 

Pikachu52

Well-Known Member
Hopefully Ash brings Greninja with him to Alola. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING!!! :D

It would be against the trend of the last 3 generations. Since Hoenn Ash has only taken Pikachu to a new region, with the slight exception of Aipom (who got traded to Dawn in the end).
 

Mega Altaria

☆~Shiny hunter▢~
Watched it a while back and I expected Ash to do better because Greninja was KOed so early. I'd also expected a better Synchro moment but I didn't get quite what I needed too. But at least I liked Sawyer's appearance though.
 

Soaring Pikachu

Cool Trainer
The episode also marks another non-appearance by Team Rocket.
As a person who likes both Ash and Team Rocket, I am secretly hoping that they jump Ash in the start of the next episode as punishment for leaving Pikachu behind. Well maybe that would be a little too harsh?

I thought the battle was fine, except Ash going all emo after a loss feels a little out of place. He has lost battles by a much larger margin then what we saw. It would be nice if Ash and Greninja could come up with a fusion dance routine like in DBZ but I guess I should not get my hopes up. They are not fusing but some kind of build up to the transformation would be interesting to watch.
 
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Sitar

New Member
Overall one of the strangest battles. Avalugg was shown to be almost invincible beast here... yet in rematch he gets stomped relatively easily. On the other hand Abomasnow who was KOed quickly by Hawlucha looked like Wulfric strongest pokemon in second match. Hmm
 

the1stpkmnfan

Your Big Buff Bro
Good episode, and I love the design of the Snowbelle Gym. The hail added nice atmosphere as well.

I wasn't thrilled on Wulfric voice, but I'm not gonna make a big deal over it.
 

Alloutℯ

Banned
Well, first things first, I'm surprised that Bonnie named the Ash-Greninja transformation. Weird how Ash decided to take off his coat when entering the freezing cold Gym. I guess he figured the battle intensity would keep him arm. But that was pretty rude of him to just shove the coat at Serena.
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
Avalugg and Greninja should've tied and as a result Ash passes out as Wulfric sent out his final Pokemon.

Had they tied, there would have been no reason for Ash to faint or for Wulfric to send out his final Pokémon

Wulfric is the final gym leader and much older/experienced than Ash. Gym leaders going close to all-out can be pretty epic. Just ask Volkner (E4 material) or Wallace (becomes Champion).

It would have been cool if we had gotten to see an Ash/Wallace battle in the anime

I'm pretty sure that was a hiccup from the animators. The lack of it doesn't really mean anything. All official battles have "narrative importance" and do not justify a VS screen.

Only TR never has one because...they cheat.

Too bad they totally dropped them in the SM series except for Grand Trials

Good episode despite the loss but I kind of expected him to lose due to the other Abomasnow episode and because it is the final gym. 8/10 for a good effort.

Actually, Ash had never lost a final gym before so I'm not sure why that would be a reason. I agree with the first reason

It also I think is the first time at least since I think Hoenn, that Ash has lost a second Gym battle.

Actually since Kanto, when he lost to half the Gym leaders.
Johto and Hoenn were both also only one each as Sinnoh and Unova were
Whitney
Brawly
Roark
Lenora
Gym leaders often get an introductory episode or part of an episode devoted to them before a battle, but not so this time.

While this may be the case, I think it's more the case that the writers want each gym leader to show up in at least two episodes (every gym leader has since Chuck in Johto) and for most gym leaders that second episode is their intro episode. In this case, it was the rematch
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
The first Eisetsu Gym match commenced here, and while I was pleased with the way that Satoshi's Luchabull defeated Urup's Yukinooh, I didn't exactly get why we had to see Urup's Crebase sweep Luchabull, Fiarrow, and Gekkouga. That was overkill.
 
Wulfric is a pretty cool dude. I don't think he unfolded his arms at all during his battle. He has a very final boss air to him, I can respect that. I loved how tough his Avalugg was. And of course Ash would suffer at the Snowbelle Gym since only his Talonflame had an actual advantage. Greninja was resistant to Ice moves, but not strong against Ice types.
 

KyogreThunder

Call of Fate
A meh episode. I liked seeing both Abomasnow and Avalugg activate their Abilities, but the Gym battle was too one-sided. I wish Ash was able to beat two of Wulfric's Pokemon, before losing to Avalugg. I liked seeing Ash apologize to Greninja and leaving to Winding Woods alone after his loss.
6/10
 
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