This is so much better than Ash vs Cynthia already, the battle is going great so far! If it keeps this up it might be a top 5, even top 3/2 battle as a whole.
Seeing Dawn and Chloe cheering on Ash was cute
TRio Ash’s biggest fans
Corphish, Kingler, Buizel and Oshawott are happy
Allister, M8, and Marnie cameos
Animation was sick, the zoom up shot of Cinderace reminding me of the XY days
Inteleon vs Gengar was excellent! I love seeing Inteleon using Countershield and Gengar countering it by using Will-O-Wisp!
GMAX Gengar using Max Ooze was great and I liked how it KOed Inteleon. Inteleon’s finger guns and how it dodger attacks with its slender build was great.
Mr. Rime tap dancing! Seeing it freeze the Sludge Bomb and Gengar was great, and seeing Cursed Body activate was great too. Liked how Gengar was KOed with Psychic Terrain plus Expanding Force. Also Mr Rime ice skating!!!!
No GMAX Inteleon
Dawn and Chloe being the only one at the stadium and not Ash’s own mom is WTF. Brock, Misty, and especially Serena have to show up physically. This is my major complaint.
Wholeheartedly agreed, just watched the battle and this was absolutely fantastic. The fact Ash is intelligent enough to switch Pikachu, his ace in the hole against Cinderace, an already unpredictable Pokemon with an extremely dangerous ability, goes to show how he's taking this seriously rather than betting on improvisation alone, and how Leon takes notice of that and saves Cinderace for later. The animation felt very fluid, with no clunky parts from what I've seen, and especially Inteleon vs Gengar was absolutely fantastic to watch unfold, everything felt so great about it. Preview for 130 also has consistently great animation from what I've seen, such as Lucario's Bullet Punches and Sirfetch'd vs Mr. Rime.
And the choreography is one of the best in the anime in years, already better than Ash vs Cynthia for sure, no unnecessary moves were done here, everything from Pikachu's Thunderbolt clash with Cinderace's Scorching Sands to the pure awesomeness that was Inteleon vs Gengar felt smooth as hell, Inteleon using his tail to block an incoming Shadow Ball, Gengar hiding in the ground with his underused ability to phase through surfaces, and Ash's actual logical loss of Gengar due to the overconfidence in Cursed Body, which is something he was hoping to be a deciding card in turning the tides against Mr. Rime.
There were no questionable or debatable "Ash lets Dragonite in the battlefield." or "Cynthia D-Maxes Togekiss" moments were, everything felt like a solid strategy, and played right in the core personalities of both characters, from Ash's still-in-development surpassing of his overconfidence in turning the ties with some ace in the hole like Cursed Body, which caused him to lose Gengar, to Leon's constant top-tier strategies that ranged from legitimate game strategies like Psychic Terrain + Expanding Terrain, and Libero, to crazier anime strategies like Counter Shield, thus allowing the battle to feel like a perfect mix of both anime and games that was unseen in this
magnitude ever since Ash vs Paul in the Sinnoh League.
I have made it very clear that Inteleon vs Gengar was my favorite part of the episode, and I will explain why. So, for one, the battling style of both Pokemon are, like Cinderace vs Pikachu, perfected to a T, you can see that he abuses a lot of his phasing and flight, but that when under pressure and unable of levitating, he's forced to be in a scenario that he's not used too much to, relying on relatively clumsy jumps and dodges when facing Inteleon's Counter Shield initially, while Inteleon is agile, strong, and powerful, yet you can see that he's not tanky at all, which takes into consideration how the Pokemon in the games actually battles, Inteleon was barely hit through the battle, and different of Ash vs Drasna, this time it made sense because it was clear from his battling style and Leon's calls that he wasn't tanky, and how the finishing blow was a surprise attack.
I love everything in this battle, from Inteleon's amazingly animated moves that hit the correct in-between of fast, fluid, and strong, to the evident buff in animation quality once Gengar G-Maxed, leading to Inteleon also benefits from it, in ways that make, once again, the choreography and writing of this battle prove themselves to be top-tier for pokemon once again when you see that every move Inteleon makes is calculated in order to avoid an incoming move from Gengar before it even starts coming and that it turns a sick counter spin into an opportunity to shoot Gengar with a Dark Pulse that could have sealed the battle.
I also have no problems with Ash using 3 gimmicks here while Leon only gets to use G-Max Charizard, Ash has proven himself to be this powerful and skilled trainer that beat the second and third strongest trainers in the Masters 8 in fair battles with an equal amount of gimmicks being used, if Leon, the strongest trainer in the world, is hyped up by him to the point of allowing him to go all-out like that, then I'm sure as hell accepting it rather go on about it being potentially unfair. Ash isn't fighting blindly here, he's using these gimmicks with proper strategy, timing, and calculation to them, and I'm loving every moment of it.
Simply a 10/10 battle so far, already infinitely better than Ash vs Cynthia's first part, which was already great, and things are only looking better and better with the preview for 130, Sirfetch'd vs Mr. Rime looks extremely fluid, and we can see more strategy involving abilities being employed by Dragapult's potential Cursed Body blocking Mega Lucario's Bullet Punch, which could lead into a very interesting scenario of Ash paying the price for not thinking properly some of the movesets for his Pokemon like Leon does, and being stuck with his own unpredictability in order to beat Dragapult without hitting it directly, assuming Leon also has some way of trapping Lucario in the matchup of course. If the battle continues as great as it is, it has great chances of surpassing Vs Sawyer for me.