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Popplio, Brionne and the An-chor-gry Dhelmise! (983)


I'd say Mallow suffers from the no-starter syndrome, but then Kiawe has managed to be more entertaining than her without a starter sooo....maybe they just don't care?

Sceptile Leaf Blade

Nighttime Guardian
On the upside, Supernatural Bewear strikes again. Seriously, what is that thing made of? :p

I am completely convinced by now that Bewear is actually a Mew which somehow learned to use its powers while in a transformed state.

I'd say Mallow suffers from the no-starter syndrome, but then Kiawe has managed to be more entertaining than her without a starter sooo....maybe they just don't care?

I think Mallow's primary problem is that her personality doesn't really stand out, it's a bit bland. Kiawe has the whole "overly serious guy" thing going on which they can use for quite a couple of gags, although he hardly gets any development either. Lillie has her no-touching pokémon problems which they can both develop slowly over time, and use for gags. Lana has her "Beware the nice ones" trope running strongly, she's pretty much the sky kid that can surprise everyone with super-determination and super-skill if triggered, which is pretty cool. And Sophocles has his anxiety issues which they occasionally develop, although they don't really seem to know exactly yet how to do gags with him aside from him being the fat kid. They just haven't really figured out how to make Mallow funny yet.
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Well-Known Member
Mallow has sort of an excitable 'speaks her mind' personality, but the problem is that often doesn't elevate much beyond a more lucid version of Ash, who she's nearly always with. The previous episode established something of a temperament in her, but the problem is they sort of cut off her dilemma rather than having her solve it, compared to this episode where the climax merged with Lana's role and goals.

Steenee is pretty bland as well, she's pretty much just a chirpy Pokemon with a hidden aggressive side, almost any hero Pokemon's base personality. Bounsweet didn't really stand out either, though there was at least some character from it's small ridiculous design, while Steenee is pretty much just 'the girl Pokemon'. I feel like they could be putting more into how her skills and character assist Mallow, we've got one episodic quest involving her Sweet Scent plus a couple dumbed down TR curb stomps and not much else. Actually probably the nearest to her sticking out was the brief time she was with Sophociles than Mallow.

Turtonator doesn't get a whole lot of spotlight and character either for example, but what it has does contribute well to Kaiwe's plots and character. Kaiwe is a battler and specialises in brute strength (and sometimes has a one track mind with it towards more subtle activities as well) and Turtonator compliments that very well, especially in comic relief moments and their limelight episode a while ago. Not to mention Kaiwe has got a second Pokemon whose character is helping boost their development.

I could argue even Popplio here isn't MUCH beyond the level of Steenee's character, but how it is used works well with Lana, and while having only a couple abilities established, we've seen how they are pivotal to what Lana wants to do, and development and training put into improving them, while Steenee just conveniently evolved with zero build up or proactivity. Popplio has also been allowed to interact more depth fully with the other Pokemon.
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I like the way Hydro Vortex was used in the Performance and how it seemed to make Lana more determined to master it. Besides Hydro Vortex and Lana being able to successfully use it at the end, I did like the little relationship Popplio built with Brionne and Lana with I’a.

The other thing I did notice is that Dhelmise is a beast! That Pokemon was big, holding the boat that Ash, Lana, and others were on, and Dhelmise KO’d Brionne with one hit! The couple things I found hilarious were Bewear’s gag (thought it would get old by now, but they manage to find different ways to make it humorous), and Dhelmise dragging the Bruxish sub away at the very end.

I did like this episode though and was happy for Lana. Mallow unfortunately, was yet again a 3rd wheel here, but that was obviously to be expected.

uber gon

Accept Change
Figured Dhelmise would stick to the shallows. Being Grass/Ghost.


Bewear is the most powerful being in the universe.
Uh-oh. That one scene where Lana and Popplio are focusing right before the Z-Move reminds me an awful lot of the XYZ theme song. inb4 Popplio evolves to Primarina, gets taken down by Kiawe's Charizard, and released for no good reason.

But seriously, I liked this episode more than most of the other focus episodes, I kinda wish that we could've seen Popplio perform the Z-Motion (which would've been cute). I also firmly believe that the Seafolk will return either as a method/reason for getting to UlaUla or in Seafolk Village, with a Primarina a la Sanpei, or something, and when they return, that's when Popplio is going to evolve and get a new form that looks exactly like its trainer .

7.8/10 too much water.

Just kidding. I give this episode 8.5 out of 10 just for the sheer comedic sake of Bewear appearing at the windows, the return of the classic TR sub (albeit with a new paint job, which is disappointing because nothing beats the Magikarp Sub and their balloon, which we haven't really seen this series besides a few episodes), a new Z-Move debuting, and, most importantly...



I liked how Ia had her Oshamari create some balloons to help Suiren's Ashimari practice its own balloons, and Kanoa was a decent one-time character, too. The treasure hunting scenes made me realize just how enormous Dadarin can be, and I enjoyed the Rocket-dan's new Hagigishiri submarine. Kiteruguma saving them even underwater was hilarious.


Well-Known Member
Ash appearing was because he's the main characters and thus needs to be in every episode, even if he wasn't the main focus of said episode.

Ash was barely in the previous episode, or most of the Team Rocket spotlight episodes (though that's always been the case). It would be neat if they experimented more with episodes with Ash out of the picture, especially since this series' premise could work with it (unlike previous ones where the companions were all attached to one another due to the travelling format). We've had episodes some of the other students haven't appeared at all (Sophociles, Lillie and Kaiwe made no appearance in this one).

Don't get me wrong I like SM Ash both as the star and supporting character in episodes, but I'd like some the rest of the cast got full limelight.
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Well-Known Member
I liked this episode and I like that we've now had a couple of instances of Pokemon being mentored by their evolutions, it's a really nice way of encouraging growth. I hope we see more of that.


"I..I..Iron Tail, Pikachu."
Ash appearing was because he's the main characters and thus needs to be in every episode, even if he wasn't the main focus of said episode.

Honestly, they should have just shown him practicing at home and not involve him or Mallow in Lana's thing. They did nothing at all.

Satomine Night

The Power of Z!
Honestly, they should have just shown him practicing at home and not involve him or Mallow in Lana's thing. They did nothing at all.
Ash's presence can be explained by him being the protagonist, and thus he is obligated to be involved in every single event possible, even those where he contributes absolutely nothing except a futile attempt to knock off Dhelmise's anchor with Pikachu's Thunderbolt. Mallow's presence is a little iffier, but I suppose can be explained by her apparently being required to be involved in as many events as possible as part of her (apparent) job.

Otherwise, I don't know why they were in this episode, either.
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Well-Known Member
Honestly, they should have just shown him practicing at home and not involve him or Mallow in Lana's thing. They did nothing at all.

Yeah, while I think it would've been better if they had Ash practice instead of doing nothing it would still take time away from Lana, in fact, it would've probably taken more time from Lana, but what would Mallow do, not appear? Just being their is pretty much all she has going for her besides a few lackluster episodes that don't really expand on her character at all, don't take it away from Mallow it's all she's got without it she would be worse than DP Brock/Bonnie/Max, still would have more than Tracey though.


I like to think of Mallow as the glue of the group, the one who takes an interest in everyone and is friendly with them all.
because the writers aren't doing much else with her

Ash needs to seriously take a step back from episodes. I'm more disappointed now that he mastered Rockium-Z off screen back in SM038. Would have loved for him to work together with Lycanroc-preorder form to overcome evolution and controlling that new power over a series of episodes. They could have shown a quick clip with him showing us what he's doing while focusing more on Lana but nah, gotta advertise Lycanroc-preorder form.


Mal's Review - Sun&Moon Edition

Here I thought Lana wouldn't get any focus..


* Idealistic romance

* That's one badass submarine

* That's one strong anchor


* Like many SM episodes, it executes well on a simple premise, but isn't going to be anything to remember


* ..do they not have diving suits?


Last ten episodes ratings: 3/5/4/5.5/6/7.5/8/3/6/4 (including this episode)
Average of episodes 31-40: 5.2/10
Average of episodes 21-30: 4.65/10
Average of episodes 11-20: 4.95/10
Average of episodes 1-10: 6.6/10

Soaring Pikachu

Cool Trainer
I thought this was going to be a boring one but was pleasantly surprised. Water pokemon practicing with Bubble vs bubble, I am ok with some training. Its nice to see a pro treasure hunter using the deep sea bubble idea and making it work without drowning. Even though it is only an anchor, I thought the anchor pokemon was kind of cool for some reason. After all of this time, Meowths ability to talk still comes in handy. I wonder if the Boss of Team Rocket realizes just how rare of a pokemon Meowth is for them.

By the end of the adventure, Popplio is able to overpower the anchor pokemon and the student has almost become a master. I liked this episode.


Lover of underrated characters
One of the worser SM episodes. It was pretty boring save for the TRio, and Ash barely did anything all he did was say a few lines. The TRio and Bewear were the only good parts like usual.
Dhelmise was awesome, but would have been better saved for Acerola. She has nothing to show off now if she does make an appearance.... hope she does, she's way better than Lana.
At least I won't have to suffer seeing Primarina on the main cast, those guys will be back and show it off. It's the Braixen situation.

I wish the TRio would go back to their Basculin sub if they want to change it again, that was an awesome sub design... Bruxish is just terrible.

Ryu Taylor

Unwavering beliefs. Richter Taylor is my name now.
I've been looking forward to this one since its Japanese airing. Honestly, Popplio is adorable, and Brionne is both adorable and pretty. So I was happy to see that they were the stars of the episode. And Popplio can finally use a Z-Move now, putting Lana's Z-Ring to good use.

"How do you search the bottom of the ocean?" asks Ash, someone who's been in many a diving vehicle. That was funny in a forgetting-about-past-experiences kind of way. Also, Rosie Reyes, who normally has a serious problem with underacting so much so that she sounds like she could belong to the JP cast, did very good in this episode. For once, she actually did something more than underact: she actually acted. I hope she can keep that up.

I heard that atrocious "Pose!" song (which is indeed bad, but there are worse JP songs) was used in the JP episode, so I'm glad that's gone. And as I'm currently playing Ultra Sun (as of this post), I find it beneficial that there's only one JP track in it, as I don't have to hear the truly good G7 tracks get ****ed up by a has-been. The M20 dub soundtrack sorely outclasses the TV dub music, so I'm just going to remove it from the equation and discuss the episode's music on its own merits. It was great hearing Popplio's theme gain such promincence. Brionne's theme was as lovely as the Pokemon herself. And while the Z-Move Theme had been heard before, it once again belonged. That is how to properly re-use music cues.

After last week's borefest, this was a much-needed episode. Because hey, **** actually happened in this one, and it was great to see.