Episode 115: More Dark than Bite

Here it is, episode 115!

Ash’s seventh Tenno gym battle here. Not only does the fate of his next gym badge hinge on this battle, but also the direction of Blake’s future. Facing powerful Pokémon that thrive in the dark, Ash’s only hope is to bring a little light.

Also, the Tenno Pokédex, Character Guide, and Tenno League pages have been updated accordingly.

Episode 114 Review

To tell the truth, I don’t think I have too much to say about this episode. It was an episode written out of necessity in order to explore the sibling dynamic between Astrid and Blake, as well as showing off the unique gimmick of Yin-Yang-Xing’s “fusion” evolution. Blake giving up on gym battles in favor of his astrophysics career was actually loosely inspired by my own personal life, as most of my time these days goes towards studying astrophysics in college, leaving me little time to do things I enjoy, such as writing this story. You could say this episode was me convincing myself to keep on working on my personal projects.

On the topic of the goal versus passion debate, there was Ash’s statement about gym battles. Personally, I have not been a fan of Ash dropping gym battles as his main focus. Alola was extremely lacking, even with trials attempting to (poorly) replace gyms, and Journeys, so far, just feels pointless with no concrete backbone provided by gyms (Disclaimer: I haven’t caught up to where Netflix currently has the Journeys dub). Ash’s statements regarding gym battles where my way of throwing some commentary towards the current state of the show, while also providing a reason for why he’s back to gyms in my series. Ash not having fun without gyms is the equivalent of me not having fun watching the show without gyms.

Episode 114: Quibbling Rivalry

Here’s the next episode of Pokémon Cosmic Quest!

Ash, Brock, and Brenda finally arrive in Penum City for Ash’s next gym battle, as requested by Astrid. However, once there, they find that the gym leader isn’t interested in gym battles anymore. Can Ash inspire the gym leader to change his mind?

Also, the Pokédex and Tenno League pages have been updated accordingly.

Live Streaming the Defeat of Calamity Ganon with a Tree Branch

Team Rocket Takeover III Stamp Slanted

Wobbuffet: Wobbuffet! [Sets up live stream on Jessie’s Breath of the Wild account]

Defeating Calamity Ganon With Only a Tree Branch

Wobbuffet: Wobbuffet!

[Jessie, James, and Meowth suddenly appear after being kidnapped]

Jessie: Hey! Get off my account! I was already lost as it was!

Wobbuffet: Wobbbuffet!

Meowth: [With utter disbelief] Um… Jessie… you might want to see what Wobbuffet just did…

Jessie: [Looks and exclaims with shock] What!? You just beat the final boss using only a stick!?

James: I can’t believe we missed that! I didn’t even know that was possible!

Wobbuffet: Wobbuffet!

Episodes 111 and 112 Review

Having Ash battle Ryu in an all-out dragon fight was an idea I’ve had for a very long time. It was first inspired some time after Ash captured Goomy in Kalos. It was then that I realized that him using a team of his previously captured Dragon-Types would make for a fun battle with Ryu, not to mention a challenge that Ryu would gladly accept. Since then, the only Dragon-Type that Ash had obtained was Naganadel, but I unfortunately could not justify Ash somehow contacting Naganadel in a different dimension and bringing it here just for this battle, so I had to settle for using Charizard as the fifth dragon. I didn’t think anyone would particularly mind an excuse to bring Charizard back anyways.

This battle’s primary purpose was to put Ash and Ryu’s rivalry back on track. Admittedly, in my attempt to not over-use Ryu, I’ve probably been under-using for a while, and therefore the rivalry hasn’t been all that well-defined. This battle marks the turning point where the rivalry gets serious again, and starts to receive the focus it deserves. As you might have gathered from Ryu’s speech at the end, the relationship between Ash and Ryu is suddenly a lot more complex than it was before.

Another goal with this battle was simply to provide one of the most memorable battles I could. If this were in the real show, I’d want it to rank among the most memorable battles of all time, such as Ash against Gary in the Johto League, or either of Ash and Paul’s full battles. Not only that, but full six-on-six battles are a big deal, and I didn’t want to waste the opportunity. As such, I went all-out in the scripting and choreography of the fight. I wanted you to really be able to see the battle play out in your head. You might have noticed that once I got to the Charizard vs. Dragonite fight, I took things to a whole new level, adopting a completely different way of writing the battle. This was done in order to express how intense and dramatic, yet also majestic and thrilling, the fight was.

As far Heala/Curemodo’s part goes, I feel like it was only natural to have it evolve here. The main reason I even gave Ash a Heala to begin with was to fuel his rivalry with Ryu. Heala’s personal rivalry with Jangmo-o furthered this goal. As such, Heala was written as the central figure in this battle, which I suppose is only natural, given that aside from Pikachu, it was the only Pokémon Ash used that was on his current team. Despite that, I still worked hard to make sure that all of Ash’s other Pokémon other got their chance to shine in one way or another. After all, what’s the fun in bringing back an old favorite, if it doesn’t do anything meaningful?

I truly hope you all enjoyed these episodes, as they most certainly rank among the greatest Cosmic Quest episodes of all time, if you ask me. I would even dare to say that they could potentially rank among the best Pokémon episodes of all time, were they animated. Is that too much hubris? What ever.

Episode 112: Fighting Dragons with Dragons

The conclusion of the epic two-part battle is here!

Ash and Ryu. Heala and Hakamo-o. It’s a true battle of rivals. Heala, wanting nothing more than to defeat its rival and help Ash to defeat his, battles its absolute hardest, but is its hardest enough? Ash and Ryu’s battle of the dragons concludes!

The Tenno Pokédex and Character Guide pages have been updated accordingly.

Also, the review of Episode 111 will be delayed, so that both it and 112 can be discussed at the same time.

Episode 111: Time of a Rival

Fresh off the press, episode 111 is here!

When Ash encounters Ryu once again, the traditional exchange ensues, but this time Ash decides to do something about it, and challenges Ryu to a battle of the dragons, using Dragon-Type Pokémon he’s caught throughout his journeys. And so begins an epic battle of dragons for the ages. Ash and Ryu’s rivalry gets taken to the next level!

Also, the Character Guide has been updated accordingly.

Episode 109 Review

Writing a tie-in episode for a new generation is definitely a challenge. It was hard for my Sun and Moon special, it was hard here. The problem is, I just don’t know enough to write coherent story from. For tie-ins for third versions and remakes, we already know most of what’s going on in those games, but for a new generation, all we know is what’s revealed in pre-release. I would have liked to include either character from Galar, Pokémon from Galar, or even the region itself a lot more in the episode, but we just didn’t know enough about any of those things. In an ideal world, I would have done some sort of episode featuring Pokémon like Zacian, Zamazenta, or Eternatus or characters like Leon, Rose, or Hop. The problem with that we barely knew anything about those Pokémon and characters, assuming we even knew they existed. So, in the end, I decided a plot centered around Dyanamax would be the best bet, as we knew quite a bit about it already. From there, I decided a Kaiju movie-like plot would be the best way to utilize the gigantic Pokémon. The good news is that everything seemed to work. I didn’t have to retcon anything in the episode due to a misunderstanding of the mechanic or a bad guess on my part.

As I said above, this episode was meant to emulate Kaiju movies, a genre of movies from  Japan where giant monsters attack humanity. The most famous of these is Godzilla. Gigantamax Charizard was selected to play the role of Godzilla for obvious reasons. Bringing in another giant Pokémon to battle the first is also a fixture of Kaiju movies.

Also, I may have said that I had to make no retcons, but that’s only for now. There is one major possible problem. I wrote this episode with the assumption that Ash will eventually gain the ability to Dynamax his Pokémon. Given that Dynamaxing is such a prevalent feature in Galar, and practically required to challenge its gyms, I figured Ash gaining this ability was a given. However, the Galar anime is looking extremely odd, and as far as I can tell (as I’m waiting for the dub to watch it) Ash is not partaking in the Galar League, meaning he is not necessitated to be able to Dynamax. The other assumption I made is that Pikachu is able to Gigantamax. This seemed like relatively safe bet, as it is implied that Gigantamax Pikachu is the same Pikachu from Let’s Go Pikachu, and in turn, the Let’s Go Pikachu was based on Ash’s Pikachu.

Sword and Shield Special, Episode 109: Mad Dynamax

It is the eve of Sword and Shield’s release, so what better way to celebrate than with a special tie-in episode of Cosmic Quest? Read it here.

An experiment has gone horribly wrong, and now a skyscraper-sized Pokémon is marching toward the Tenno Region, ready to destroy everything in its path. It’s up to Ash, Brock, and Brenda to stop this monstrous Pokémon from going on a never-ending rampage. They will be Tenno’s sword and its shield.

Also, the Tennoan Form page has been updated accordingly.

 

With the release of not only new games, but a new generation, exciting times are upon us. Expect this to be my last episode for the next month or two, as I will first be taking a break to play Shield, and then it will be winter break. However, in the next few weeks you can expect to see a post pop up here that will detail all the ways in which this website, and the Cosmic Quest Project in general, will change in order to be brought up to date with this new generation. Expect a lot of changes. Stay tuned.

Team Rocket Movie Review

The idea for the Team Rocket movie first came to me nearly a year ago. I was contemplating Team Rocket (of which, as you might know, I am a big fan), and it occurred to me that they really do deserve their own movie. There was just so much potential. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was something I needed to make happen. The earliest concept was simply that I wanted them to “blast off for real” in the climax, and I worked from there. I decided to work in a plot I had initially earmarked for a future multi-episode Team Rocket arc. The plot have would Jessie, James, and Meowth attempting to impress Giovanni, and get serious like in Unova again. This would come with a joke that putting the black uniforms and taking them off works like a switch for Team Rocket, changing their personalities back and forth between silly and serious.

As an aside, I would like to explain that while there was many things I didn’t like about the show during Unova, it was the portrayal of Team Rocket that irked me the most. The entire purpose of Team Rocket was that they were this absurd, larger than life group who self-identify as evil, and yet fail miserably at it. Unova Team Rocket spat in the face of everything they were. The change made to Team Rocket would be equivalent to Ash suddenly deciding he no longer wanted to be a Pokémon Trainer and abandoning Pikachu. Obviously no one would be happy if that happened to Ash, so why should we be happy with Team Rocket’s change?

That being explained, I decided that if I wanted to write a piece that really dug into Team Rocket’s character and identity, I should focus on explaining why Unova’s change was wrong. I decided to focus the movie on demonstrating why a change for the more serious may seem good, but is actually disgraceful. With this concept solidified, the rest of the movie kind of just fell into place. I decided early on that I wanted a “celebrity” Team Rocket member as a main character, and settled on Pierce, as the sudden cancellation of Unova’s Rocket vs. Plasma arc left him as a complete enigma that people wanted to see more of. With that decided, I also realized that the story of the Meteonite was left unfinished and full of potential.

For another aside, for those who don’t know, Unova was originally set to have a pair of episodes called Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma (Part 1 and 2). They would have served as a finale of the Unova’s Team Rocket story arc up to that point. In an unfortunate twist of fate, these episodes were set to air right around the same time a major earthquake hit Japan. Due to the large-scale destruction of a city depicted in the episodes, it was decided it would be in poor taste to air the episodes so close to such a destructive disaster. The episodes were never aired, and later retconned as non-canon. this left several story plots unresolved, most notably, the Meteonite, a mysterious rock collected by Team Rocket in an earlier episode. Due to summaries and previews of these episodes, we know that the Meteonite’s purpose was to act as a replacement for the Sun after a volcanic eruption blocked it. And so The Team Rocket movie became a conclusion of sorts to Team Rocket’s uncompleted mission in Unova.

Another major aspect of the movie was its music. I decided that having musical numbers would perfectly drive in the ridiculous personalities of Team Rocket. In the beginning the only song I really had available to me was Double Trouble. But my brother, being musically inclined, had recently expressed an interest in creating some original music for Sol Version. I realized that it would be great if he could make an original song for the movie, and so, Blasting Off Again was added to the soundtrack. That was going to be it. If I could have a third song, I would, but there just weren’t any options. I could do Team Rocket Forever, but only a small portion of that song was ever translated to English. But late in the development of the movie, I realized that creating a full translation of the song wouldn’t be all that difficult, and so my unofficial fan-dub of Team Rocket Forever became the final addition to the soundtrack.

For those who don’t know, Team Rocket Forever was a song first released for a CD in Japan. Portions of it were later put into the show, leading to the dub to have a semi-translation of a small portion of it (You know us as Team Rocket, and we fight for what is wrong…). Since this portion of the song was translated out of context from the rest of the song, it isn’t so much of a translation as it is a completely separate song set to the same background music. When doing my translation, I incorporated this semi-translation with my own translations and reinterpretations to create what I am referring to as a semi-dub of the song. Perhaps I’ll make a post later explaining how I translated it in detail.

In the end, I was incredibly pleased with the result of the Team Rocket Movie. It might just be one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written. It demonstrated everything I love about Team Rocket, and put it in a great story. It is a piece that demonstrates everything I love about the group, while also further developing their characters.