After The Pokemon series was moved to Disney XD, which is not included in my Cable TV package, the series lost my viewership, but after seeing it on Netflix, which I do have, I am now beginning to watch it. I am off on Vacation this whole month so I have enough time to binge it all before I go back to work in May. So I will be giving my OPINIONS and ratings as an avid Pokemon fan from the 90s.
For this episode, It was a great smooth start. The fast forwarding explained the transition into this region without dragging it out, which was smart from a marketing point of view. A lot of series programs lose viewership because continuity is hard to follow and jumping into it makes it hard for viewers without knowing backstories introduced in earlier seasons.
Pokemon does a great job at rebooting its stories while still continuing the original storyline. This is good for new viewers (kids especially jumping into the Pokenon bandwagon) to get involved.
I personally LOVE the XY series seasons because it played to a more mature viewership, which I make a part of. The new animation style and childish personality traits given to the characters this season was a bit drastic for me but I am now used to it. Humor plays a huge part in this season which I think is great. I found myself chuckling through a few parts of the episode, which means the funny is thoughtful and not obnoxious.
Tapu Koko's importance introduced here was well done. As the guardian of Melemele island, his ambitions are well placed in Ash, keeping him in Alola. That's a great reason in itself for him to stay. The Pokemon school is the other main story.
Z-Moves are unveiled in epic form. Kiawe and Turtonator did THAT! And his hint a rivalry with Ash is newly done. He isn't going to be a "Paul" from the Diamond and Pearl series, or "Trip" from the Black and White series, which is nice. A friend and foe in one makes things interesting. Team Skull, not so much. The court jester evil organizational villains are best left to Team Rocket. The regional villains should be kept cunning and ruthless, someone to really worry about.
The new regional Pokemon were displayed accordingly, not giving too much away that it overwhelmed us, but enough to want us searching for more of them. I play both Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Moon so I am very aware of each Pokemon's functions as a species and how it can play in the anime. Bewear's was not too shabby, giving that sense of "gentle giant" to the anime a new take on a new character.
Character analyzation time:
Mallow: she, to me, makes as one of the most sure characters of all. She exudes confidence and makes herself more of the leader type role of the gang. Also very informational. I like her the third best of the gang.
Sophocles: I find him as the know-it-all of the gang, or at least he thinks he is. Clemont from the XY series did the inventor thing better if you ask me but I like some traits he brings to the table. He is a little thick in weight and I think it is a great nod to many fans, that pokemon trainers come in all shapes and sizes (am I overkilling the review here?). He is however my least favorite of the gang, but I still like him for the most part which means I like the whole gang.
Kiawe: The stoic serious driven trainer plays his part well. Clearly the strongest out of the five original student of Prof. Kukui's class in pokemon School, he gives Ash a run for his money, and his might showcased accordingly against Team Skull. He plays as my third to least best of the gang.
Lana: She is my second to least best of the gang. I did not get a good read on her. Popplio makes me peak some interest in her however.
Lillie: My most favorite goes to Lillie. I see so much character growth potential in here. Already with showing that she has the inability to touch Pokemon means a see some relationship activity at work coming up.
Prof. Kukui: Not in the gang for me. But I have to say, he does not really interest me as one of the professors. Oak still wins the best Professor of all because he DOES have the best personality, with poetry and all. I hope they build him up well as they did in the games using Prof. Burnet and The Masked Royal.
Ash: Last but not least, my second fave character of the gang. He is definitely rebooted from the XY series but I do not mind that. He is able to admit he needs to learn and humbles himself to Pokemon School. It is a bold mature move on his part.
I give this entire episode a 7.3/10