Episode 108 Review

This episode was all about showing off Brenda’s new style and justifying the shift in her way of training and performing. As I said in the previous episode’s review, Damien worked as a convenient foil for Brenda’s style of transformation, and that continue to play a part in their rivalry in this episode. I had Brenda come in first place in the Appeal Stage, a rare feat for a main character, to make it abundantly clear that this new style was working well for her. Of course, her battle in the final round couldn’t be as clear-cut, or there would be no drama, but I tried to write the battle in such a way that she would have never won that battle had she not been focusing on  transformations, primarily in the way that she transformed Wispirit’s confusion into an advantage. Damien using an Ayssoul to battle Brenda’s Wispirit was also a calculated move. It further emphasized the opposite nature of the two. While they both used Ghost-Type Pokémon with the same signature move, Brenda was using a more whimsical and cute Fire-Type, while Damien was using an eerie and creepy Water-Type. The two Pokémon were complete opposites, despite their similarities.

Also of note is the  recurring transpiration gag. Originally, I had only planned for it to come up in Jessie’s failed appeal, but I had several people mention how they were looking forward to seeing where the joke went, so I decided to get a little more use out of the gag.

Episode 108: The More they Stay the Same

Brenda’s next contest is finally here! Read it now!

The Starnight Contest begins, and right from the start it’s a battle between Brenda’s new style of transformation and change against Damien’s style of unnerving spookiness. Which style will prove triumphant? And why is Jessie so obsessed with plants?

The Pokédex page has been updated accordingly, and Damien has been added to the Character Guide.

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.

The Super Smash Bros Ultimate Team Rocket DLC Pack

If you’re a fan of the Pokémon Anime and of Smash Bros, then the Team Rocket DLC Pack is for you! This free* DLC package comes with not one, but two new fighters, Jessie and James of Team Rocket, fresh off of their appearance in The Team Rocket Movie. In addition, it includes a new stage based on their famous balloon. Team Rocket blasts off at the speed of light, surrender now or prepare to fight!

Smash Bros - Jessie.png

Smash Bros - James.png

Team Rocket

To get this free* DLC for yourself, all you have to do is enter three download codes. Go to the Shared Content section of the Online hub and search for the following codes:
Jessie: 7C01NT6H
James: 46Q468Y1
Team Rocket’s Balloon: D57Q5QSR

And if you want some more original Smash Bros content, be sure to check this post out, detailing the various stages I have available for use. Even if you’ve seen the post before, many of them have been updated, and two new ones have been added.

 

*Disclaimer: While the characters themselves are free, in order to properly use them, you have to first buy the $0.75 Team Rocket Grunt Mii Costume DLC. In addition, a paid subscription to the Nintendo Online Service is required to download this DLC.

The Team Rocket Movie

Are you prepared for trouble? Well, you better make it double! The biggest summer blockbuster of the year has finally been released! Read it here!

Team Rocket Movie Poster

Just as our favorite villains are contemplating their lives, Giovanni calls to assign them one of their most important assignments yet. After their partner in the mission, Pierce, ridicules their incompetence, Jessie, James, and Meowth decide that it’s time to turn over a new leaf and get serious. But when they learn of world-threatening scheme, this “new and improved” Team Rocket must reassess their lives and core values. Includes the Meowth Short “Meowth and the Treasure of the Ancients.”

This movie is a musical with three songs, including a fan-made “dub” of a previously Japanese-only song, and a completely original song. Check out the Cosmic Quest Youtube channel for a playlist of these songs so you can listen along while you read. Author notes in the story will tell you when to play each song.

In addition, a new background based on the movie poster has been added to the Bonus Content page.

Team Rocket Movie Background

Also, the Pokédex page has been updated accordingly.

Episode 103 Review

The heroes and the villains switching places. It’s a fun little idea I had a while aback. I thought it would be interesting to see what things would be like if Ash and friends were the ones who had to steal from Team Rocket. My original idea went a little further in the concept and had the episode feature Team Rocket as the main characters attempting to help a random character of the week, while “Team Twerp” kept coming in and interrupting things. It would basically be your typical episode, but with the roles reversed. When it came time to write the episode, I decided that I should keep the focus on Ash and friends, or else it would be too difficult to justify them acting “evil.” By keeping the focus on Ash, Brock, and Brenda, I was able to better show their struggle to adapting to becoming thieves, and how bad they are simply because the only example they have to go off of is Team Rocket’s. Meanwhile, since it isn’t out of character for Jessie, James, and Meowth to do some good when it benefits them, they didn’t need quite as much focus as the twerps.

It’s All Connected… and a Word on The Team Rocket Movie

We have officially entered May, the month that will see the release of Detective Pikachu. In only a week and two days, this ground-breaking film will at long last be a reality. To celebrate, I made a second Detective Pikachu desktop background:

Detective Pikachu Background 2

It’s all connected, the only question is how. Find out in Cosmic Quest’s upcoming Detective Pikachu special!

 

Also, as you may know, the lack of new episodes over the past month have been due to me writing The Team Rocket Movie. I wanted to officially state that in order to make this movie as enjoyable as possible, I am delaying its release. Instead of coming before the Detective Pikachu special, it will come some time after. Hopefully not too long. Trust me, the wait will be worth it.