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Pruning a Passel of Pals!! (546)

I was hoping for Paul to say something else about Ash competing in the brief time he was on screen.

Mrs. Oreo

It was fun seeing Dawn, May and Zoey having a sleepover, plus Ash seeing Azelf in the lake was interesting. Jessie becoming a reporter was cool and I was impressed by Ash's battle against the Lanturn guy.
This episode was good. Found it a little odd that the Dawn and co. could hear Ash fall off his bed, though. It surprised me that Ash got to see an Azelf as well as the mentioning of Mesprit and Uxie.


There were some good battle scenes. I liked the Pikachu/Ash reflective scene; we haven't had one of those in a while. I also thought those hotel scenes were neat. It was good seeing the "gang" in a specific place and not with a generic "outdoors" or "stadium" background.

Mrs. Oreo

This Wallace Cup Contest suited Ash and Buizel well + my favorite moment was when Azelf appeared out of Lake Valor.

Which is ironic in a way cuz Buizel wasn't that interested in contests when he was on Dawn's team and Ash himself didn't care too much about them either. But seeing them enter this one was still cool. :]
There were some good battle scenes. I liked the Pikachu/Ash reflective scene; we haven't had one of those in a while.

Their scenes felt intrusive, though. Like, I know it was set up to get Ash to see Azelf, but it seemed to cut into Dawn's screen-time, which she needed. :/


I appreciated that Satoshi caught a glimpse of Agnome in Lake Risshi, and seeing Musashi become an interviewer was amusing since she had nothing better to do. Hikari's Mimirol versus a Hoeruko was good since we hardly ever see Hoeruko in general, and Kaito versus Satoshi was thrilling as well, even though Buoysel lost. I loved the pacing in this episode.


I call you honey
I was happy that Zoey realized it was a mistake to think people couldn't do both Gyms and Contests at the same time. She's changed. I liked how Paul watched Ash's appeal on TV at the Pokemon Center.


Shinji's cameo was amusing in the sense that he didn't say much, yet his facial expression seemed bewildered when he witnessed Satoshi's efforts. I kind of wish Shinji had brought this up the next time he showed up in the saga.


Alola Shill
Ash seeing Azelf and the Lake Guardians being discussed was a great, interesting start. Snowpoint being mentioned because May went there to evolve Eevee and it being revealed Zoe is from there is a big example of how DP’s narrative just feels so thorough and planned, because it’s far from the first time something has been set up like this (Reggie’s badges and symbols being a previous example). There’s a level of intentionality that’s very apparent throughout and it makes the experience so rewarding when you eventually get the payoff. It’s the only Pokémon series to feel that way to me, and that’s a big praise.

On the actual Contest part, it felt good to see Dawn fully getting her grove back and being so adept with Buneary. Ice Aqua Jet was absolutely crazy, even Paul was like the madlad actually did it! Ash not winning didn’t even matter because that combo was just so good even Jessie had to praise him for that. IAJ and Countershield are my favorites of his combo moves; we love to see it.
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