Okay, first things first. I'm still skeptical of this series' structure and the artdirection chosen for Ash's face (I literally have no qualms with all other designs except Ash's face..). I don't know how I feel about the school setting just yet. But.
The first episode was nice, while I was expecting to be completely frustrated with it based on previews and summaries. I'll just bulletpoint through it for a bit:
All those little hints to Ash's pokémon were pretty cool:
- Ash mentioning his Tauros.
- Ash dropping off five pokémon at Oak's before transit = acknowledgment of his pre-XY critters since he went home with just three and Pikachu.
- A Primeape being cool like that.
- A Boldore cruising in the school.
- The Ride Charizard just thought it was an okay time to take a NAP during that heated battle..
- DAT EGG CAME TOTALLY OUT OF LEFT FIELD! Really, I got GS-ball feels. I wanna know what it is! Maybe a OG-Vulpix, since Lillie had a pure white Egg, which may be A-Vulpix ready to hatch?
- The battle with Team Skull.. Why give them NINE Pokémon if they could've done this with three? No? They just have to slay more Salandit for no reason? Ash is never getting one now.. T.T
- I liked how Tapu Koko kept testing Ash, though it was a bit random in my eyes: "Lets see what this kid does when faced with a Bewear, he runs away.. Oh.. Still worthy!"
- I liked the pacing of the introduction of the group. Lana cameo in the beginning, then transition to the general area introduction and why Ash is there (loved the little fastforward/rewind-bit), then cameo of Kiawe on Charizard, and then he runs into the school, introduce the group briefly, get a little bit of character exposé on Lillie, then Mallow takes the lead (literally), which then leads back to the plot that was set-up with the egg and Salomon Oak and Delilah. Then we get Kukui's introduction And then we get Kiawe and the exposition of Team Skull and Z-moves. Sure, Sophocles
is getting the short end here, but this was a lot cramped into roughly fifteen minutes.
Which is why I'm still critical of the series structure with the school. This was the first episode and a lot had to be established: Motive, Region, Characters, Plot Set-up since it's different then Ash just going to a region and get badges. Now that those things have been established, I wonder how the rest of this structure will function in terms of density per episode.
- Okay, I'm liking the artstyle on everything except Ash. The way they chose to let Ash wander onto the racetrack, with the Tauros incoming on his blind side, was awesome. It's just a shame that I really am still not feeling Ash's design who for the most part is front and center in this episode.
- There was one moment where I liked Ash's current design: The moment he ran out of the courtyard when Team Skull showed up and talks back to Team Skull. I don't know what it was, but there was some more starkness to the art in that particular shot.
The flashback scene with Ash & his Mom rushing to leave for Alola, even depositing his Pokemon's with Prof. Oak in a rush, was funny. Also Prof. Oak handed them an Egg for delivery in Alola.
I'm guessing the Egg might be an OG-Vulpix. Lillie was seen holding a pure-white Egg in the opening, so the reason may be to compare the two Eggs and the Vulpix that spawn from them. But I got major GS-ball feels.. which is a nice thing to have.
I was slain.
RIP Phanpy SM Best series.
I wouldn't say that just yet. This episode was packed because it needs to introduce quite a lot. I want to know if it is still this packed once we hit episode SM5, I actually kind of doubt it.
This was EPIC! So refreshing, funny, and Alola in the anime simply looks gorgeous and fun. I loved every moment of this, can't wait for subs to understand what they said but other than that 10/10 episodes. I really got a feel of wonder while watching this.
Refreshing? Yes, surely I'd agree to that, even in a positive sense. "EPIC!", not entirely sure about that. There were things that I liked, but it wasn't as epic as Ash saving Pikachu from a fall from the Lumios Tower.
"Stupid childish Artstyle" + Picture of growling Charizard and Kiawe.
I honestly have no problems with the artstyle in general, it's just the redesign of Ash that's troubling
I don't recall if they've ever introduced so many new pokemon at the start of a generation in a single episode before, really added to the excited feel!
Were there that many? Pyukumuku, Popplio, Bruxish, Litten, Grubbin, Tapu Koko, Bewear, Bounsweet, Togedemaru, Turtonator, Salandit and Yungoos, from the top of my head. Did I miss any?