This episode is of note because it was the longest episode written for Cosmic Quest so far. Most episodes average between 4,000-5,000 words, with some of the lager episodes, normally the specials, having a word count in the low 6,000s. This episode had nearly 7,000 words. It could have been split into two small episodes if I wanted. The reason it was so long is because I had to cram in three independent battles with two Pokémon each plus a battle against Team Rocket. That’s a whole lot, but I couldn’t cut any of it out, as all three battles had some sort of importance to them. Brock and James was James’ Astro Camp finale, to which he has been so dedicated, as well as a rare chance for Brock to battle. Brenda and Michelle’s was the true beginning of the next part of Brenda’s story arc. And Ash and Braydon’s battle was the start of their rivalry, which will continue on into the future, as well as Elgyem’s finale.
The anime 20th Anniversary is only a week out, so I thought a cool way to celebrate would be to go through as many categories as I can think of and rank my favorite aspects of the anime. This will be a long post, so let’s get started.
Island of the Giant Pokémon: I love this episode so much. The obvious reason is the sequence where we actually get to see (well, technically read) Pokémon talk for the first and only time. The likely reason that this happened was because it was still so early on in the series that the writers didn’t know if they could get away with just having a group of Pokémon with no humans to interpret what they’re saying. We all know from modern episodes that they were wrong, and that an episode with a group of Pokémon and no humans works just fine. That being said, it was still incredibly fun to have this one time to actually see what Pokémon are saying directly, instead of just having to figure it out based on context. This translation of the Pokémon’s words also gave us an analysis into the mindset of Pokémon like Ekans and Koffing who have evil masters, and yet don’t find themselves to be evil. The one other thing that I love about this episode was the “supernatural” aspect to it. Even if the giant Pokémon turned out to be just robots, we went the entire episode thinking they were real, creating one of the more unique scenarios in the entire series.
Honorable Mentions: Pokémon I Chose You!, Charizard Chills, and Battling the Enemy Within
As always, I like to make myself desktop backgrounds to commemorate special events, and as always, I’ll share it with you. This background depicts a scene containing all of the most influential characters from seven generations and 20 years of the show, all in one place for the first time. One important thing to note is that it contains your first look at the official character artwork for Brenda.
This background has been added to the Bonus Content page. For instructions on how to get this background for yourself, as well as several others, see that page.
Normally it seems like the pattern goes Ash catches a new Pokémon in one episode, the next episode might feature a cameo of that Pokémon, but little else, and then the second episode after it’s caught it gets some sort of character building episode focused around it. That would have been the intended pattern here, but between Ash and James’ gym battles with Halley, the trip back to Tenno Minor, Brenda’s contest, and the Sun and Moon special, this was the earliest I was able to manage fitting in Arborrior’s episode. To make things worse, while it’s only been nine episodes since Arborrior was first captured, due to how slowly I’ve been writing episodes lately, it’s been eight months since then (Wow…I didn’t realize until literally just now when I went and checked that it’s been that long. Oops…). Whatever though, better late than never. Whether too late or not, Arborrior has finally gotten a real introduction beyond its premiere episode.
Sun and Moon is beaten and Winter Break is over, so episode 69 is here!
One morning while camping, Ash and Brock stumble across a group of Pokémon being bullied. With its strong sense of justice and desire to protect the weak, Arborrior jumps in to stop the bullies. However, things get more complicated than they seem when Team Rocket enters the fray.
I sure do hope that you guys all remembered Michelle. I admit that it’s a possibility that it’s been too long since she last appeared. Oh well, no big deal. A major purpose in this episode was not only to bring Michelle back, but to give a solid start to her story arc. What that story is, I won’t tell yet. Speaking of coordinators, this episode also introduced a new one in the form of Damien. I pretty much created him purely to be the person that Michelle would least want to be stuck on a team with. She’s a young girl who’s big on gossip and cute boys, while Damien is far from talkative or cute. Even his choice of Pokémon reflected his more creepy personality and looks.
The other major part of this episode was James competing to earn a gym badge for the first time. Now it becomes apparent that his battle with Halley was more than a one-off occurrence. My goal is to use this new aspect of James as way to diversify his appearances, the same way Jessie is used in Pokémon Contests. Now we’ll be able to see James in situations beyond just failing to steal other people’s Pokémon. Unfortunately I was not able to give much focus to James’ battle at all. In fact, much of this episode probably seemed pretty rushed. To be completely honest, my original plan was for this contest to last two episodes, but due to certain reasons that I won’t yet disclose, I needed to shorten it into one episode. And as the next episode will no longer take place in Horizoport City, it was now or never for James to face the Horizoport Gym.