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

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
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.

It's kind of a give and take sort of thing. I can agree that it is better development for Lillie, but it's just not as exciting or interesting to watch, and at this point I think more excitement could go a long way for this series.

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.

We may not care about the character as much, but the plots are much more interesting. Through the character of the week strategy they can introduce and fully resolve a plot within one episode, which makes any given episode more entertaining. Without it, we get things like the Stoutland episode we had a few weeks back, with no plot or climax to speak of. The episode simply consisted of everyone searching for treasure in a completely normal and non-interesting factor. There was no excitement, no problem to be solved, no plot. It was just kind of there, and otherwise completely worthless. With a few simple tweaks, the episode could have been about some treasure hunter and their Stoutland, looking for a legendary treasure, and teaching the main cast about Stounland along the way. Everything that was accomplished in the actual episode could have been accomplished here, but there could have also been an actual plot. Throw in either Team Rocket trying to steal the treasure or some sort of guardian of the treasure and you'd get an actual climax.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
The thing is stuff like Team Rocket may be more superficially climatic, but the writers barely make their face-offs creative or challenging anymore, stock footage of trainers calling their Pokemon's signature move, 'Dodge', then blast off (and now Bewear). It's taken to the point it's nearly interchangeable with each episode. What good does it actually do for the protagonist besides make them a boring invincible hero for two minutes?

I remember the previous series spamming them like crazy over a creative resolution that could have developed the character in question better. Take the Serena cross dressing episode, they could have gone many ways with that, Serena learning to battle better, the ruse going out of control and showing a more flawed side to her that didn't think things through, loads of stuff that could have made her role rather sympathetic and dynamic, but no, Team Rocket interrupted, the same predictable curb stomp occurs and the plot is just forgotten about. Sure it was maybe more actionized, but in actuality, far more bland and repetitive with far less favours for the limelighted character.

I appreciate SM having episodes where they just take the laid back route and let the characters' stories go all the way through, instead of formula putting the plot on 'auto pilot', especially since if anything it's the less expected route and can go many ways, which itself is an excitement. Mallow is the only character that keeps having all her episodes interrupted by the classic formula, and if anything it's made her the least developed of the cast.
 
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Sceptile Leaf Blade

Nighttime Guardian
It's kind of a give and take sort of thing. I can agree that it is better development for Lillie, but it's just not as exciting or interesting to watch, and at this point I think more excitement could go a long way for this series.



We may not care about the character as much, but the plots are much more interesting. Through the character of the week strategy they can introduce and fully resolve a plot within one episode, which makes any given episode more entertaining. Without it, we get things like the Stoutland episode we had a few weeks back, with no plot or climax to speak of. The episode simply consisted of everyone searching for treasure in a completely normal and non-interesting factor. There was no excitement, no problem to be solved, no plot. It was just kind of there, and otherwise completely worthless. With a few simple tweaks, the episode could have been about some treasure hunter and their Stoutland, looking for a legendary treasure, and teaching the main cast about Stounland along the way. Everything that was accomplished in the actual episode could have been accomplished here, but there could have also been an actual plot. Throw in either Team Rocket trying to steal the treasure or some sort of guardian of the treasure and you'd get an actual climax.

I think you're criticising SM for not being something it's not trying to be. Pokémon Sun and Moon is not trying to be an episodic action series, it's a series focused on comedy and overarching character development of the main cast. It doesn't thrive on its action, it thrives on its comedy and character interactions. The episodes aren't meant to be seen in isolation, the character development is much broader than that. The Stoutland episode was there to develop Lillie and Lana. Lana obtained her Z-Ring thanks to her perseverance in going with the difficult Stoutland and not taking the easy route, and she got rewarded for that, and Lillie developed in her goal of being able to touch pokémon. That is development significant in the overall story.

In the end, it's a matter of what kind of series you prefer, and that's just personal. I prefer the comedy and larger character development for characters we actually get the time to care about over Team Rocket jobbing a hundred times with their robot of the day in repeated bank animation and then being blasted off by Pikachu's Thunderbolt for the sake of a 'climax'. I don't even really see that as a climax if it happens every episode in almost the same formulaic manner.
 

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
The thing is stuff like Team Rocket may be more superficially climatic, but the writers barely make their face-offs creative or challenging anymore, stock footage of trainers calling their Pokemon's signature move, 'Dodge', then blast off (and now Bewear). It's taken to the point it's nearly interchangeable with each episode. What good does it actually do for the protagonist besides make them a boring invincible hero for two minutes?

I remember the previous series spamming them like crazy over a creative resolution that could have developed the character in question better. Take the Serena cross dressing episode, they could have gone many ways with that, Serena learning to battle better, the ruse going out of control and showing a more flawed side to her that didn't think things through, loads of stuff that could have made her role rather sympathetic and dynamic, but no, Team Rocket interrupted, the same predictable curb stomp occurs and the plot is just forgotten about. Sure it was maybe more actionized, but in actuality, far more bland and repetitive with far less favours for the limelighted character.

I appreciate SM having episodes where they just take the laid back route and let the characters' stories go all the way through, instead of formula putting the plot on 'auto pilot', especially since if anything it's the less expected route and can go many ways, which itself is an excitement. Mallow is the only character that keeps having all her episodes interrupted by the classic formula, and if anything it's made her the least developed of the cast.

That's more a problem with the writing in the recent series, but look to Sinnoh and earlier, and I would say they did just fine with the way they handled Team Rocket climaxes. And, to be fair, I'm not saying every episode should have a Team Rocket climax (though I do think Team Rocket should at least appear shortly in every episode), I'm just saying they should have a climax and resolution of some kind, which more often than not has meant Team Rocket in the past. For example, I never liked Black and White that much, up until now it's always been my least favorite series, but at least most episodes actually felt like something happened of some sort of importance, and almost all those happened without Team Rocket. That's why I've officially decided that I like Sun and Moon less than Black and White.

I think you're criticising SM for not being something it's not trying to be. Pokémon Sun and Moon is not trying to be an episodic action series, it's a series focused on comedy and overarching character development of the main cast. It doesn't thrive on its action, it thrives on its comedy and character interactions. The episodes aren't meant to be seen in isolation, the character development is much broader than that. The Stoutland episode was there to develop Lillie and Lana. Lana obtained her Z-Ring thanks to her perseverance in going with the difficult Stoutland and not taking the easy route, and she got rewarded for that, and Lillie developed in her goal of being able to touch pokémon. That is development significant in the overall story.

In the end, it's a matter of what kind of series you prefer, and that's just personal. I prefer the comedy and larger character development for characters we actually get the time to care about over Team Rocket jobbing a hundred times with their robot of the day in repeated bank animation and then being blasted off by Pikachu's Thunderbolt for the sake of a 'climax'. I don't even really see that as a climax if it happens every episode in almost the same formulaic manner.

I'm judging it by the standard presented by the rest of the show. Let's face it, Pokemon has never been the best written or thought-out show on TV, but it was what it was, and I liked it. Now they suddenly go and completely change their focus, and it just doesn't work the same. I don't care if this is what they're trying to do, because what they're trying to do is make the show worse, as far as I am concerned. They removed elements that made the show entertaining, and replaced it with bad comedy and what really amounts to only the slightest bit of character development. It just wasn't a good trade-off. A TV show is supposed to tell a story to entertain, and these mostly plotless episodes just don't cut it.

Since you brought up the fact that comedy is one of their current focuses, I would even argue that the comedy isn't that much more emphasized now than it ever has been before. There's the goofy animation and the ridiculous facial expressions, but the jokes they make really aren't any different from other series. So there really is no gain in that department even if you do watch Pokemon for the comedy.

EDIT: To add to what I said already, I just want to say that you are indeed right when you said it comes down to what you like. But there's also the fact that there's nothing mutually exclusive about the factors we each seem to like. There's no reason they couldn't do an episodic show with each episode having its own plot while also throwing good amounts of comedy and character development. If anything, I would say that's what they should strive to do. After thinking about it some, I realized that some of my favorite episodes in the entire show are the ones that do just that already. The fact that we're having this debate means that some factors were favored over others, where they should have been all considered equally.
 
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LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
, Rowlet was the true star here.



the MVP imo was still Rowlet



Rowlet--who had been the MVP of Ash's team during that battle--.



Rowlet was the real MVP though.

This is the first gym battle (or equivalent -- in this case, trial) I can remember where the fandom can agree that the star wasn't the Pokémon who knocked out the gym leader (Kahuna) final Pokémon.

I do recall some people saying Staravia starred against Maylene, but that's a whole nother situation because Ash did not even win that battle, so there wasn't even the typical "final knockout" option.

To add to this, I have to say that I'm surprised there haven't been more debates this saga about starring and who should be starring and counting how many times certain Pokémon have been starring etc.

That was all this forum ever did during gym battles the last two generations, most notably 1rkhachatryan

Well the ending was pretty anti climactic tbh. I'll forgive Lycanroc going down fast since he was tired but Rowlet's fainting was handled terribly, I mean it wenters down to a head butt pretty much, Rockruff didn't even use a move.

Rockruff used Rock Throw

Take that you stupid owl, lmao.
Rockruff winning it all makes this battle a bit better, but Ash still should have lost here. If he comes out of this series only having lost to Team Rocket and Gladion I will be very disappointed.

Wow, you just cannot be pleased can you? This whole saga you've been saying you hate SM and you wish Ash was more like XY Glory Season Ash. Now Ash is having Glory Season and you're still pissed?

I went back to watch it and I don't see the need for timing. Lycanroc throws the giant rock then they just hover there for a while. They could have easily dodged without having to wait. I will give credit for ensuring that Rowlet was at the right spot for it to happen, but it wasn't a timing strategy.

Even then, it just shows how easy you can avoid them. Them waiting til it's pretty close to hit and still being able to dodge just means that they could have easily dodged any time before with 0 risk. Still depowering the z-move

The reason for the timing was for Continental Crush to destroy Stealth Rock. If they had dodged early, Lycanroc would have just redirected Continental Crush towards them, and it wouldn't have destroyed Stealth Rock

It's twerking.

Are you just trying to play dense or what? If you're actually serious and you think that any kind of butt shaking is twerking............just wow. The best advice I can give you at that point, dude, is for you to look up videos. Unbelievable. Truly an inconceivable amount of insolence in your obsession with remaining ignorant on a subject. What a rude way for you to respond to a thought-out three-sentence thought with a two-word sentence as if to say "I'm so right and you're so wrong that all I have to do is say one sentence dismissively towards you." Grow up. You really think if I shake my butt to the left and then shake it to the right 2 seconds later and keep up this slow arhythmic pace this is twerking? It's just moving my butt

Rowlett battles so much that it's sort of ridiculous he hasn't evolved as yet in the Japanese anime as yet

He wouldn't fit in the backpack if he evolved, just as Axew wouldn't fit in the hair

--------

I want to conclude my post by weighing in on the epic three-way debate among DatsRight, Sceptile Leaf Blade, and Bguy7.

I am squarely with DatsRight and Sceptile here. Team Rocket are pure trash, repetitive, and boring, and the anime has been all the better for it since BW when they stopped appearing in every episode. I hope they leave for good at some point. I know that may seem impossible, but I disagree. I agree Ash will never leave, but Team Rocket could feasibly leave after Generation X or Generation XI or something. Remember, there was once a time when we thought Brock would never leave. I was originally SO excited when I heard Team Rocket beat Ash in SM012, as it would have been the first time since the Meloetta two-parter that I would have cared about them. Then I actually saw the episode and that ended up being pure trash as well since they didn't even win the battle. SM's one opportunity to redeem TR was wasted.

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.

Not to mention that in the Dugtrio episode, Rotom gained its voice sampling feature which was later used, so that wasn't even a filler

It's kind of a give and take sort of thing. I can agree that it is better development for Lillie, but it's just not as exciting or interesting to watch, and at this point I think more excitement could go a long way for this series.



We may not care about the character as much, but the plots are much more interesting. Through the character of the week strategy they can introduce and fully resolve a plot within one episode, which makes any given episode more entertaining. Without it, we get things like the Stoutland episode we had a few weeks back, with no plot or climax to speak of. The episode simply consisted of everyone searching for treasure in a completely normal and non-interesting factor. There was no excitement, no problem to be solved, no plot. It was just kind of there, and otherwise completely worthless. With a few simple tweaks, the episode could have been about some treasure hunter and their Stoutland, looking for a legendary treasure, and teaching the main cast about Stounland along the way. Everything that was accomplished in the actual episode could have been accomplished here, but there could have also been an actual plot. Throw in either Team Rocket trying to steal the treasure or some sort of guardian of the treasure and you'd get an actual climax.

I'm just not sure how you think there wasn't a climax when we got 3 separate climaxes -- Stoutland vs. Garbodor, the reveal that Lana got a Z-ring (which was MINDblowing to me, as I thought only Ash and Kiawe would ever get them, truly a moment I'll never forget) and Lillie touching Stoutland. Let's say there was a TR or COTD climax as you wanted. It would have been unmemorable and would have had no long term impact of any of our characters! In the situation we actually had, all 3 climaxes had a permanent lasting impact on our main characters, making a truly memorable episode I'll never forget :)

The thing is stuff like Team Rocket may be more superficially climatic.

The word is actually climactic :) climatic refers to climate, but climactic refers to climax

I agree with everything you said in the post :)
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
That's more a problem with the writing in the recent series, but look to Sinnoh and earlier, and I would say they did just fine with the way they handled Team Rocket climaxes. And, to be fair, I'm not saying every episode should have a Team Rocket climax (though I do think Team Rocket should at least appear shortly in every episode), I'm just saying they should have a climax and resolution of some kind, which more often than not has meant Team Rocket in the past. For example, I never liked Black and White that much, up until now it's always been my least favorite series, but at least most episodes actually felt like something happened of some sort of importance, and almost all those happened without Team Rocket. That's why I've officially decided that I like Sun and Moon less than Black and White.

I find it ironic you think that because BW if anything had the better compromise, limiting Team Rocket's appearances to meaningful face-offs and otherwise focusing on the twerps' development. Team Rocket were relevant to the story and a legitimate challenge in early BW (and not just in 'fighting well but still losing easily by fluke' like in whenever they are in XY and SM, they were effective and the twerps had entertaining battles with them, they made them look strong in a way that wasn't cheap and superficial, which if anything BW Ash needed then) while in late BW, while comical again, they tended to put the same effort as 'classic' TR episodes, with creative funny face offs with the twerps that made for a flowing plot (even some very late ones like 'Team Rocket's Shocking Recruit'). Otherwise when they weren't interested in TR they could just focus on the twerps' individual limelight, which if anything I think helped flesh them out and make them feel less like one note reactors to TR, while making sure the latter didn't get stale, even when they reverted to normal formula.

XY downplayed that balance, limiting twerp exclusive episodes and using TR or some other jobber as a cheap fix for endless episodes, which I think brought down development and interest a lot, especially since some were of the dullest in the entire show, which affected how interesting and accomplished the twerps were too. There were SOME good ones, but among a heap of duds. They would have been better limiting like BW so the better ones would have stood out better and the twerps could have got more full development.

I would argue that yes, it would be different if the writers put the same effort into TR face-offs like they did in BW and OS, I'd LOVE to see that happen, but the sad fact is that, for whatever reason, they don't, in some cases it almost looks like they point blank REFUSE to make face-offs with non-main arc opponents eventful (the twerps have good personalities in SM, but still act automated whenever TR appear), so at this point in time it's probably best they downplay them, and focus on stuff the writers can be bothered to put depth into more right now.

Take Mallow, she's the only character that's had a TR battle forced into all her limelight episodes, and it's not really done her a lick of development since both were curb stomps through plot armour and she doesn't even have much of a chemistry with the TRio. People still think her Steenee's dull since her only accomplishment so far is smacking Meowth and Rowlet while they're not fighting back instead of much that gives insight to Mallow's agenda. Mallow if anything would have benefitted more from a more character relevant dilemma, no matter how mundane, instead of being shoved into another dull 'enforced to be one-sided' battle with a jobber villain.
 
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Thumbs2

Well-Known Member
This is the first gym battle (or equivalent -- in this case, trial) I can remember where the fandom can agree that the star wasn't the Pokémon who knocked out the gym leader (Kahuna) final Pokémon.

I do recall some people saying Staravia starred against Maylene, but that's a whole nother situation because Ash did not even win that battle, so there wasn't even the typical "final knockout" option.
Chimchar vs Byron? Swadloon vs Burgh? Pikachu vs Falkner I think as well.
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
Chimchar vs Byron? Swadloon vs Burgh? Pikachu vs Falkner I think as well.

I don't think there's fandomwide agreement on those
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
I kind of wondered why the Stealth Rock strategy was even used by Lychee here since Mokuroh ended up flying to avoid them with little trouble. Iwanko versus Lugarugan was my favorite part of the battle, but Iwanko striking Mokuroh was disappointing. Iwanko should've been scolded harshly for that.
 

Sceptile Leaf Blade

Nighttime Guardian
This episode just came out in Dutch on Pokémon TV, and one thing I didn't notice before in this episode is that Ash did not join Olivia in the Ruins of Life like he did with Hala at the Ruins of Conflict. I'm not quite sure what's up with that actually.
 

AuraChannelerChris

"Tis an honor to be recognized."
So Rockruff behaves like an angry dog with rabies and not even once is he called out on his rash actions (and all he gets is...the twerking AKA butt shaking memory with Ash) because Ash and the others mistake his fire friendly bites as "excitement" to fight. Rowlet didn't deserve to be so left out despite the fact he did way too much in this battle.

Lillie: This is going to be the first Grand Trial I watch!

To this day, I find it REAL strange there wasn't any sort of public when Ash fought Hala. Does no one live in that village of his? Is his Grand Trial not that big a deal?

Stealth Rock doesn't work that way! The anime had already showed how the moved worked way back with Roark, so why did it feel the need to dramatically change the move?

And Ash's team's ridiculous resilience and extreme power in really small moves keep going places. No matter how hard they're hit, they will keep moving around (unless a simple non-move bite takes them out).
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
Roark? This is 3 generations later dude. almost half the history of the franchise
 

AuraChannelerChris

"Tis an honor to be recognized."
Roark? This is 3 generations later dude. almost half the history of the franchise

Next gen, Thunderbolt will be called from the clouds instead of Pikachu.
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan

Leonhart

Imagineer
As far as Rock-type specialists in the anime go, I liked Lychee here so much more than Hyouta since Lychee wasn't just some generic miner who loved digging for fossils. She had a personality for one thing, which I appreciated.
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
The fact that @Leonhart made a recent post in this thread made this come back near the top of the list, which made me go through this thread again, and LOL at what I said about @AuraChannelerChris two posts above this one, which I still agree with myself on, haha
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
This was a very cool episode, here, rockruff began to show it potential
I think this was definitely the best of the 4 Grand trials, and is comparable to some of the best gym matches in history
 
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