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Thoughts on the Poni Arc?

Agustin Gomez

TheShiningBald
Shame we didn't see a Totem Pokemon, but overall it was cool. Wanted Ash to get the Flying Z instead of Kiawe but meh. Would have liked to see some more team skull or even some z-ring progess but we have Meltan in exchange... Is it a fair trade?
 

ash&charizardfan

Humans are tools
It was good, every character except lillie got something out of this arc, the minor problems with this arc was ash should have gotten one capture atleast and should have challenged any one of totem pokemon, also the kahuna battle was underwhelming, all in all it was a better arc and better than last two islands ula ula and akala. Hapu was fine as a character but olivia and acerola were much better as individual characters.
 

nuzamaki90

Well-Known Member
Being completely honest it was pretty meh. A 5/10 on a rating scale. It’s no doubt the weakest out of all the three island arcs but that’s not to say it wasn’t completely bad.

To start things off, the introduction episode was pretty boring. Really, all that happened was the kids setting camp and meeting Hapu. There was that split blink and you miss it Team Skull foreshadowing which went no where during the entire Poni arc which means its something the writers are keeping for later. I didn’t really like Hapu’s characterization as opposed to the games where she’s my favorite Kahuna. Here she’s overly strict, a loner, and callous. Her drive to become a Kahuna is also completely different from the games, and they even took out her crush/friendship with Lillie. What a letdown.

Then there’s the Ash VS Gladion episode which was also pretty boring. You could really tell it was Gladion’s story because Lillie felt more like a side note throughout this entire arc. She didn’t really do anything and even after hearing about Fini’s Powers she kind of just brushed it off. The battle was also very mediocre and I don’t like at all how weak all the moves looked, especially the Z-Moves.

The evolution episode was bad. There wasn’t a balance between screen time and the evolutions really just happened. I wish they would’ve used Sophocles’ motivation to evolve Charjabug as development for his goal, whatever it is, instead of just doing it because. Lana’s training was off screen so we are left to assume Popplio spending the night making bubbles allowed it to evolve for some reason.

Kiawe’s Trial episode was weird. On one hand, it definitely should’ve been Ash doing the trial, but it was cool Kiawe finally got some action after a long time. What was strange was how they made it a big deal of him remembering Charizard knew Aerial Ace, instead of you know, just having it learn it. Then he gets the Flying Z-Crystal when Kahili literally appears two episodes later. It wasn’t a bad episode but it wasn’t really good either.

Mallow’s definitely takes the cake, though. Even though it felt completely random and kind of forced, best girl gets one of the best episodes of SM. And a Shaymin to hang with for a little while. Neat.

Grand Trial was the worst episode of the whole arc. Already ranted about it in the episode thread.

Overall, meh. Everyone had their moments, some better than others. The battles are still bad, the animation quality is still inconsistent, Lillie is still standing around enjoying the ride, same ole SM.
 

MidnightMelody

Hopeful for Gen 8
Wait I thought Kiwae had done the challenge of the islands already so why would he have done one here?
 

Twilight-Kun

Pokemon World Champion
Rushed evolutions? Check

Poor characterization done too little too late? Check

Local pokémon kidnapped by a main character? Check

Lackluster battle with no rhyme or reason? Check

Ash gets made into a mockery of himself? Check

One good episode for a background character? Check

Classmates' pokémon get all the good animation in scenes that don't matter, shafting the quality of animation for everyone else? Check


Probably the single lowest point in SM's run, which is frustrating
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
I didn’t really like Hapu’s characterization as opposed to the games where she’s my favorite Kahuna. Here she’s overly strict, a loner, and callous. Her drive to become a Kahuna is also completely different from the games, and they even took out her crush/friendship with Lillie. What a letdown.
All of Lillie's game chemistries seem to be getting overlooked in the anime (if replaced for okay anime-exclusive ones).

I think Hapu's problem is mainly early on, she's kind of erratic. They play her off as having a dangerous hubris, one that quickly jumps to conclusions and violently harasses people she thinks are 'crossing' her. She acknowledges this mistake at times but it never sticks, and afterwards she's just sort of randomly tamer. One could argue the Grand Trial was to culminate this, but it's blatantly on more friendly terms despite her cocksure attitude there.

I feel this could have been easily fixed with the structure of her second appearance, having Ash annoy her to start off and then the incident with the shard stuck in Mudsdale's foot happening as a result of chasing him. Him saving her would have humbled her and solidified to her he was a well meaning guy. Having her still antagonise her AFTER he saved her makes her seem like an ungrateful brat who still needed to be taken down a peg.
 
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nuzamaki90

Well-Known Member
I feel this could have been easily fixed with the structure of her second appearance, having Ash annoy her to start off and then the incident with the shard stuck in Mudsdale's foot happening as a result of chasing him. Him saving her would have humbled her and solidified to her he was a well meaning guy. Having her still antagonise her AFTER he saved her makes her seem like an ungrateful brat who still needed to be taken down a peg.
Exactly. She’s kind of just a jerk towards him for no reason, when in the games she’s like your friendly neighborhood Kahuna. And the way they kept mentioning how she’s supposed to be this experienced and strong trainer yet all we see is her beat Pikachu in a one sided match and the Skull grunts, boosted her ego and not in a good way.

I hope she returns and they do a 180 on her character. Especially now that she’s acknowledged she finally has friends.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
Exactly. She’s kind of just a jerk towards him for no reason, when in the games she’s like your friendly neighborhood Kahuna. And the way they kept mentioning how she’s supposed to be this experienced and strong trainer yet all we see is her beat Pikachu in a one sided match and the Skull grunts, boosted her ego and not in a good way.

I hope she returns and they do a 180 on her character. Especially now that she’s acknowledged she finally has friends.
I don't mind her having ego/insecurity problems, especially since we're a bit low on complex female characters with enormous personality flaws right now, I just think they needed a tighter direction in terms of a proper character arc. It felt like they kinda shoved it under a rug, not quite knowing what to do with her.
 
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Of course you cant compare Grand Trials and Gym battles. But I think Ash showed a lot more creativity in the gyms than the Grand Trials. And that is the kind of thing I missed here. SM loves to re-use old strategies: meteor rock climb in Olivia's GT, Using water to shock types that arent effective (Brock vs Ash).
 

DuquÊ?

Too lazy to pick a pic
Word.

The battle itself was about what I was expecting, but I think the arc as a whole wasn't. It's supposedly Ash's final challenge before the league, so it should be a more personal arc for him than for the other characters, specially dealing with Hapu's development. While that doesn't stop other characters of have their plots (namely Gladion, Kiawe and Mallow as the relevant ones to the arc), that kinda took the worth of the grand trial as Ash's moment, it was the less interesting point of a barely interesting arc.

I'll say again, Ula Ula felt more as an final arc for Ash thanks to the decision of focus mainly about him, his pokemon, Nanu and Acerola.
 
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blizzardblaze

Comp. Battler Who loves The Anime
agreed. the creative battle strategies and effort put into the battles themselves are very minimal this series - what was the point of even introducing golurk if there wasn't even going to be a 3V3 or at least a 2V2? they could have at least maybe made this a two parter episode, if they felt like it, but the finish to this arc is just really underwhelming after the notable increase in quality the past few episodes.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
I have to say the island arcs for this series feel like they're less focused on the goal and battle focus specifically and more on being character driven as a result of it. Nearly all of Ash's Grand Trials from Akala to Poni feel like they're more to finalise a character's development, be it Ash or someone else's. They do TRY to get in an okay battle to some degree but it feels like story progression is more primary than in say XY or DP.

Kiawe's two episodes in Akala and Poni are also very action centric and demonstrate team progression but they also focus very heavily on building on character dynamics. Getting Shell Smash, Marowak and Flyium Z feel more like compliments to such development rather than the ends, with Kiawe having a more versatile battle style, Turtonator getting a new foil and Charizard being un-retired as a proper team member.
 
The Island Challenge relied to much on the Tapu's.
Tapu-Koko giving Ash his Z-ring
Tapu-Lele helping Rockruff evolve
Tapu-Bulu helping to train Lycanrock
Tapu Fini is the only Tapu that didnt help Ash.
The feeling of exploring the Islands didnt feel right. The Island arcs where rushed. In fact, each episode of Akala,Ulu-Ulu and Poni had some kind of plot. It didnt help that they stayed at the same place while the Islands are so "big".
 

lolipiece

All smiles
Staff member
Moderator
The Island Challenge relied to much on the Tapu's.
How? The island challenge and the tapu are both incredibly important to Alola's culture. It only makes sense to blend them together.

Heck, the entire point of the island challenge is to visit each island, so of course Ash and co. are going to meet each island's guardian.

Tapu-Koko giving Ash his Z-ring
Literally taken from the games. Not sure what the issue is.

Ash wasn't even doing the trials when he got his Z-Ring.

Tapu-Lele helping Rockruff evolve
That's the only thing it did in that arc.

Tapu-Bulu helping to train Lycanrock
It's not every day you get trained by a Legendary...

Tapu Fini is the only Tapu that didnt help Ash.
It indirectly helped Torracat learn Fire Blast.

It didnt help that they stayed at the same place while the Islands are so "big".
Nearly, if not all, every episode of those arcs featured Ash and whoever joined him at the time traveling to a new area. While I do wish certain places could've been shown (which doesn't really matter much, since they're not against re-visiting islands), it's not like they visited one place and never moved.

Also, why are the tapu being involved a bad thing? Would you rather they sit around doing nothing of contribution to the overall story like they did in the games?
 
How? The island challenge and the tapu are both incredibly important to Alola's culture. It only makes sense to blend them together.

Heck, the entire point of the island challenge is to visit each island, so of course Ash and co. are going to meet each island's guardian.



Literally taken from the games. Not sure what the issue is.

Ash wasn't even doing the trials when he got his Z-Ring.



That's the only thing it did in that arc.



It's not every day you get trained by a Legendary...



It indirectly helped Torracat learn Fire Blast.



Nearly, if not all, every episode of those arcs featured Ash and whoever joined him at the time traveling to a new area. While I do wish certain places could've been shown (which doesn't really matter much, since they're not against re-visiting islands), it's not like they visited one place and never moved.

Also, why are the tapu being involved a bad thing? Would you rather they sit around doing nothing of contribution to the overall story like they did in the games?
No, it let me feel like Ash his Alola team did not much to earn new moves of evolutions.
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
I bookmarked this thread to come back to once I had watched the arc so that I could read other people's impressions and provide my own.

I definitely thought it was the best of the 3 island arcs despite the trash finale. All characters got focus, and it was just the right length. (Ula'Ula was too short)

Great points from this arc:
-First time Ash loses to 2 straight gym-leader-equivalents since Lt. Surge and Sabrina
-Plumeria debut
-great Lycanroc showdown
-Lana and Sophocles becoming the first two main characters to evolve Pokémon in the same episode without one of them being named Jessie
-Kiawe episode
-Mallow getting focus in Kiawe's episode and the next episode
-Hapu dramatically saying "he's alive"

Trash points from this arc:
-the grand trial

Both Lana and Sophocles evolved their starters and the former even got another Z-Crystal but this episode didn't treat them equally in terms of screen time so it would be better if they made two episodes for this.
I think it's better for things to feel rushed than for things to feel like they're dragging with a bunch of dead air.

wouldn't that technically count as the last episode of the Poni arc?
no

Wait I thought Kiwae had done the challenge of the islands already so why would he have done one here?
No, he's only done Olivia's Grand Trial

Tapu-Lele helping Rockruff evolve
This happened after Olivia's Grand Trial, so it has nothing to do with the Island Challenge.
 
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