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Olivia's Grand Trial! The Hardest Pokémon Match Ever!! (979)

Navin

MALDREAD
Mal's Review - Sun&Moon Edition

More double battles pls


Pros:

* Pretty battlefield

* Olivia is changing the battle format for a more tough battle

* Solid double battle, especially this early in the series

* Lycanroc with the magnet climb...and Rockruff with the save

* Redirection of the Magnet Bombs

* Outplaying the Continental Crush

* Rowlet getting a KO


Cons:

* Could have been a bit more faster-paced


Thoughts:

* That was unexpected by Rockruff

* Damn...shouldn't that be a draw? Rockruff literally fell two seconds later...

* Ash sure loves having a bird in double battles

* Hopefully Rowlet and Rockruff will be even more badass when evolved


One of my favorite battles so far this series. Wish it could be a bit more faster-paced or as 'dynamic' as some of the XY battles, but still entertaining to watch.

7.5/10


Last ten episodes ratings: 3/4.5/7.5/3/5.5/3/5/4/5.5/6
Average of episodes 21-30: 4.65/10
Average of episodes 11-20: 4.95/10
Average of episodes 1-10: 6.6/10
 

LaironBlack

Evil Force
The Kahunas seem too weak, although maybe Olivia gets revenge later... After a slightly weak showing though. The self-damage from Ash's side was interesting, but it just makes the opponent seem less capable of being dangerous themselves!!
 

TheWanderingMist

Paladin of the Snow Queen
The Kahunas seem too weak, although maybe Olivia gets revenge later... After a slightly weak showing though. The self-damage from Ash's side was interesting, but it just makes the opponent seem less capable of being dangerous themselves!!

Gotta remember Kahunas may say they're going all-out, but they're the E4 in-game, so they might be stretching the truth a bit.
 

Zoruagible

Lover of underrated characters
Rowlet deserves all the suffering he experiences for being such a battle hog. Seeing something you hate get hurt, now that is comedy.
It's stupid how the Kahunas are the most powerful trainers in Alola.... yet Ash hasn't lost to a single one. Hopefully Nanu kicks his *** without even trying, that would be funny. What's the harm in letting him stay on another island for a few episodes? They need coverage too, Akala was barely 25% covered.
7/10
 

Ryu Taylor

Unwavering beliefs. Richter Taylor is my name now.
Sheesh, is Rockruff contracting rabies or what? All that's missing is the foamy mouth. I know it was said that he's getting ready to evolve, but in the real world, that's the behavior of a dog with rabies or worse (any vets in here feel free to correct me).

Best battle of SM thus far right here. Holy ****. Really makes a great case for how much better this saga looks and moves than the XY saga (which itself looked and moved great, but let's face it: it's been outclassed).

Okay, I hope this is the last we see of the klutzy Olivia running joke that was never funny.

Could've done without the G6 Gym Theme. But oh damn it all, that one track over that scene of Rockruff using Bite on Lycanroc would've been perfect for the finishing blow that won Ash the match. Where it actually was was too soon. I hate it when Mima does this. It's almost worse than a flat-out unfitting track being used. But I'm happy the rest of the music (whether it be of dub or sub origin) was well-placed. But the battle looked better than it sounded, anyway, so what does it truly matter?

The Akala Island arc sure kept its best for next-to-last. This was amazing.

(By the way, most meaningless observation ever, but was Masaya Onishi taking cues from MLPFiM or something?? Because there were quite a lot of shots of Rockruff's butt in this episode. Not complaining nor am I praising; just noticing a weird borderline-FFX cinematographic quirk.)
 

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
Well, that was a pretty good battle. It goes to show that this series can be good, when it decides to get serious, now they just have to decide to be serious more often, and we'll be a whole lot better off. That sequence with Rowlet and Rockruff in aerial combat with the Mini-Noses was great. Very fun and the best part of the episode. Still bitter about last week's reveal that Ash won't be doing all of the trials, but at least they followed up that horrible mistake with a decent episode.

Best battle of SM thus far right here. Holy ****. Really makes a great case for how much better this saga looks and moves than the XY saga (which itself looked and moved great, but let's face it: it's been outclassed).

I still can't get past the goofy animation myself. The Pokémon battles do look great, but then I see Ash's face and the visuals are ruined for me. So I'd say X and Y was better in terms of visuals myself.
 

Rajas

Well-Known Member
Happy to see a battle after so long, they are so few and far in between sigh. Little notes to make on the episode itself, Rowlett battles so much that it's sort of ridiculous he hasn't evolved as yet in the Japanese anime as yet, probably the most used in battle bar Pikachu, Rock Slide climb was a nice call back and Ash slamming his fist into the ground as well like Alain when using Blasto Burn! Also impressive that Ash recalled Gladion using his Zmove to help him evade it (shows his intelligence in battle even if he's a clown otherwise). Wish we'd have way more episodes like this but alas none is coming for a long while.
 

mehmeh1

I can do anything
Happy to see a battle after so long, they are so few and far in between sigh. Little notes to make on the episode itself, Rowlett battles so much that it's sort of ridiculous he hasn't evolved as yet in the Japanese anime as yet, probably the most used in battle bar Pikachu, Rock Slide climb was a nice call back and Ash slamming his fist into the ground as well like Alain when using Blasto Burn! Also impressive that Ash recalled Gladion using his Zmove to help him evade it (shows his intelligence in battle even if he's a clown otherwise). Wish we'd have way more episodes like this but alas none is coming for a long while.

but...these were 4 episodes with battles in a row (34 even going as far as to have 3 battles, even though 1 was unconcluded)
 

Zoruagible

Lover of underrated characters
but...these were 4 episodes with battles in a row (34 even going as far as to have 3 battles, even though 1 was unconcluded)

He has a point.
There are a lot of episodes where no battles happen, and the TRio are often the only source. When they aren't around, no battles happen at all period.
 

Vipsoccermaster

Well-Known Member
Good episode of the second grand trial battle. Poor Rowlet getting knocked out by its team mate, Rockruff. Clearly Rockruff is going to evolve soon due to its aggressiveness and wanting to be more independent. If Ash lost, then development can improve, but not the main island challenge. Since Ash won the Rockium Z, the island challenge can go on as well as the story.

Just one more episode of the Akala Island arc and then it's back to Melemele Island for the dub.
 

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
He has a point.
There are a lot of episodes where no battles happen, and the TRio are often the only source. When they aren't around, no battles happen at all period.

And Team Rocket isn't even a reliable source anymore with their current appearance rate. We really do need more battles in this series.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
He has a point.
There are a lot of episodes where no battles happen, and the TRio are often the only source. When they aren't around, no battles happen at all period.

In fairness that was the case for most series beforehand, just they spammed TRio a lot more to try and cover it up. TRio also interrupted a lot of battles in previous series, they've only done that once in SM so far.
 

Rajas

Well-Known Member
but...these were 4 episodes with battles in a row (34 even going as far as to have 3 battles, even though 1 was unconcluded)

I should rephrase, a proper battle with Ash going up against another trainer that felt like there was meaning to it. It's not really a big complaint where it turns me off or anything as I generally like SM a lot, just knowing that the Grand trials are currently our only source of a gym level battle is a bit underwhelming because even the trials are not always major battles but other activities with a totem battle at the end. For example after this episode till the current one, there's not another big fight apart from the exhibition matches against Brock/Misty which is nearly two months away in dub. Just feels a bit long tbh.
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
I think this is only the second time I can remember Ash winning a double battle with only one Pokémon remaining (Tepig and Snivy against Emboar and Heatmor)
 

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
In fairness that was the case for most series beforehand, just they spammed TRio a lot more to try and cover it up. TRio also interrupted a lot of battles in previous series, they've only done that once in SM so far.

At least it was something though. Team Rocket battles may not be the highest form of entertainment, but at least they gave us some much needed action.

I should rephrase, a proper battle with Ash going up against another trainer that felt like there was meaning to it. It's not really a big complaint where it turns me off or anything as I generally like SM a lot, just knowing that the Grand trials are currently our only source of a gym level battle is a bit underwhelming because even the trials are not always major battles but other activities with a totem battle at the end. For example after this episode till the current one, there's not another big fight apart from the exhibition matches against Brock/Misty which is nearly two months away in dub. Just feels a bit long tbh.

Wow, is it really that bad?
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
At least it was something though. Team Rocket battles may not be the highest form of entertainment, but at least they gave us some much needed action.

Some of the TR battles are extremely repetitive and dull due to how one sided they are though (basically both sides spam a couple of attacks and only the twerps' usually work, that's a well written battle for you? Especially done the same way in dozens and dozens of episodes?) and placed into the plot in a manner of cutting it off and excusing the writers taking a lazy way out without a proper resolution. I'd rather they just limit the TR face-offs to the ones they can flow properly into the plot and put proper entertainment value into, and otherwise focus on more innovative plots and payoffs.

Characters like Sophocles and Lillie aren't really battlers anyway, so they suit not having a token battle or TR curb stomp as the resolution to all of their episodes, instead focusing on their actual niches and personalities. I'd take mundane but well written development, over blandly written action for the sake of action.
 
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Sceptile Leaf Blade

Nighttime Guardian
I really prefer how SM does it over XY. XY had plenty of Team Rocket battles but they were always the same, and almost never more than bank animation just fit together, I'm pretty sure they didn't even make any new drawings for plenty of those fights, maybe apart from some backgrounds and the Team Rocket robot of the day. I'd rather get something a bit more personal and varied. XY had good gym battles but most other battles were abysmal, and most of the other episodes were very forgettable, focusing entirely on a CotD or PotD that we forget about again by the end of the episode. Aside from the Dugtrio episode, the Morelull episode, and the baseball episode we haven't really had an episode purely focused on a CotD/PotD yet in SM. There has always been some development for at least someone in the main cast or some kind of plot buildup. SM is probably my favourite season of Pokémon so far.
 
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Rajas

Well-Known Member
At least it was something though. Team Rocket battles may not be the highest form of entertainment, but at least they gave us some much needed action.



Wow, is it really that bad?

Again, this is just how it feels to me, while I appreciate the story especially revolving around Lillie or Ash, I'd like to see some battles here and there or in general some more episode where Ash uses his time to try and attain his goal whether it's battling or training his Pokemon. I kind of feel for the strength they showed so far, we've not really seen them train to attain it. Rowlett for example is quite strong yet we mostly see him asleep or eating. I know I may seem quite picky with this but it's just something that nags me slightly.
 

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
Some of the TR battles are extremely repetitive and dull due to how one sided they are though (basically both sides spam a couple of attacks and only the twerps' usually work, that's a well written battle for you? Especially done the same way in dozens and dozens of episodes?) and placed into the plot in a manner of cutting it off and excusing the writers taking a lazy way out without a proper resolution. I'd rather they just limit the TR face-offs to the ones they can flow properly into the plot and put proper entertainment value into, and otherwise focus on more innovative plots and payoffs.

Characters like Sophocles and Lillie aren't really battlers anyway, so they suit not having a token battle or TR curb stomp as the resolution to all of their episodes, instead focusing on their actual niches and personalities. I'd take mundane but well written development, over blandly written action for the sake of action.

One of my biggest issues with Sun and Moon right now is that so many of episodes seem to lack any type of real plot or climax. Instead of having episodes where a problem is introduced and needs to solved, culminating in some form of excitement/action, what we get now is just random scenarios of life, with no real plot or climax attached to them. As repetitive as Team Rocket may have been, at least they always made sure the episode had a climax.

Not to mention, there have been several episodes in Sun and Moon that just demanded that Team Rocket show up, and they haven't. Chief among them was that episode where everyone swapped Pokémon for a day. Like most other episodes, it lacked any form of excitement or climax. It was simply let's see what happens when everyone changes Pokémon. Lillie got a character moment, but a very un-exciting one. Team Rocket could have been very easily fit into the episode by having them take advantage of Lillie's trouble with Pikachu to try to steal it. And in an attempt to save Pikachu all by herself is when Lillie could have first touched Pikachu. It would have been a much more exciting episode with that, and Lillie's character developing moment would have felt so much more valuable.

Aside from the Dugtrio episode, the Morelull episode, and the baseball episode we haven't really had an episode purely focused on a CotD/PotD yet in SM. There has always been some development for at least someone in the main cast or some kind of plot buildup. SM is probably my favourite season of Pokémon so far.

Honestly, I think that this is the reason for why Sun and Moon has such bad episodes in my opinion. With a different character of the week every episode, the episode could always have a clear problem to solve for said character, which leads to a plot. In Sun and Moon, without these sort of episodes, nothing of interest happens most of the time. Maybe one of the main characters gets some development, but it's not in any meaningful or exciting way, and that's just not that entertaining to watch.

Again, this is just how it feels to me, while I appreciate the story especially revolving around Lillie or Ash, I'd like to see some battles here and there or in general some more episode where Ash uses his time to try and attain his goal whether it's battling or training his Pokemon. I kind of feel for the strength they showed so far, we've not really seen them train to attain it. Rowlett for example is quite strong yet we mostly see him asleep or eating. I know I may seem quite picky with this but it's just something that nags me slightly.

Trust me, I'm with you on that.
 

Sceptile Leaf Blade

Nighttime Guardian
One of my biggest issues with Sun and Moon right now is that so many of episodes seem to lack any type of real plot or climax. Instead of having episodes where a problem is introduced and needs to solved, culminating in some form of excitement/action, what we get now is just random scenarios of life, with no real plot or climax attached to them. As repetitive as Team Rocket may have been, at least they always made sure the episode had a climax.

Not to mention, there have been several episodes in Sun and Moon that just demanded that Team Rocket show up, and they haven't. Chief among them was that episode where everyone swapped Pokémon for a day. Like most other episodes, it lacked any form of excitement or climax. It was simply let's see what happens when everyone changes Pokémon. Lillie got a character moment, but a very un-exciting one. Team Rocket could have been very easily fit into the episode by having them take advantage of Lillie's trouble with Pikachu to try to steal it. And in an attempt to save Pikachu all by herself is when Lillie could have first touched Pikachu. It would have been a much more exciting episode with that, and Lillie's character developing moment would have felt so much more valuable.

I respectfully disagree. They already had Lillie learning to touch her Vulpix through a Team Rocket interference. Repeating the same plot with Pikachu would have been repetitive. In this way there is actual development for Lillie. With Vulpix she was forced into it out of desperation, but with Pikachu she conquered her fear in a happy moment, outside of desperation, and then a few episodes later in the Stoutland episode she actually consciously conquers her fear and manages to touch Stoutland without any kind of 'forgetting about her fear in the moment'. There is development there in learning how to touch pokémon, and truly conquering that fear is perhaps Lillie's greatest goal in this series.

Honestly, I think that this is the reason for why Sun and Moon has such bad episodes in my opinion. With a different character of the week every episode, the episode could always have a clear problem to solve for said character, which leads to a plot. In Sun and Moon, without these sort of episodes, nothing of interest happens most of the time. Maybe one of the main characters gets some development, but it's not in any meaningful or exciting way, and that's just not that entertaining to watch.

I also disagree here. Sun and Moon has proven that it can build plots without different characters of the week to develop its main characters. What CotW/PotW lack is personal investment. I don't have any reason to care about this guy with his Alolan Dugtrio, I don't know him and I know that we'll never see him again after this episode, so it gives me very little reason to actually get invested in that episode or in the problems the guy has with his Dugtrio.
 
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