This episode marks the first step in the next phase of Brenda’s journey. She’s dealt with her training issues and her friendship problems with Michelle, so now it’s time for her to truly figure out what she wants to do with her Pokémon Coordinator career. With her next contest right around the corner, it was only apt to place this here. I brought in Blaise pretty much purely because I thought it was time to introduce the next member of the Elite Four. Her having an Infearno helped me to forge a connection between her and Brenda. Her interest in contests is something that would be somewhat of a fabrication for the show, as my original character concept for her had nothing to do with them, but the changes I made still worked alongside her original concept.
I chose to focus on the move Rain of Terror because it felt like something that could be changed into many different variants, thus allowing it to be a blank slate upon which Brenda can inscribe her new style. Also, it’s a pretty powerful Ghost-Type move, allowing for Wispirit to become a better battler.
This was a wide variety of responses, and there was no clear winner, so let’s say that these were all some of the best episodes in Cosmic Quest!
Now, what about me? What is my favorite episode of Cosmic Quest? The answer is too complex for me to just give one episode and be done. Instead, let’s analyze all of my favorites, many of which appeared in the above list. To do this, I will be separating episodes into categories, and then deciding what my favorite from each category is.
I discussed this a little in my last review, but as I wrote the fight scenes between Brenda and Michelle, I realized that I was making the fighting much more intense than originally planed, and, as a result, was making Michelle seem like much more of an actual selfish jerk than I had originally planned. Because of this, I’m a little afraid the resolution at the end of the episode might have seem a little too forced or contrived for some people. It would have worked just fine the way I originally planned it, but the way it turned out, not as much. I still think it worked fine, but I wouldn’t blame someone for disagreeing. That being said, I considered, as a measure to fix this, holding off until a later to have Brenda and Michelle make up, and let some time pass, but I decided that if I did that, it would almost seem more forced, and the valuable context provided by this episode would be essentially lost by that point.
One other thing I wanted to talk about is the new Pokémon introduced in this episode, Radeon, the Light-Type Eeveelution. I’ve been holding off on revealing this Pokémon for quite some time now. I know that many would release their custom Eevee evolution as soon as possible, but that’s exactly the reason I wanted to wait. In the early stages of Cosmic Quest, I felt that would be too stereotypical to release a new evolution of Eevee, given how common they are when it comes to fan-made Pokémon. Now that I’m most of the way through Cosmic Quest and have more than established myself, I finally decided it was time to reveal this Pokémon. For those who didn’t realize, I actually foreshadowed this Pokémon way back when Michelle’s Eevee was first shown. In addition to emphasizing the fact that Michelle and Eevee seemed to be focusing on the now Light-Type move Swift, Brenda’s Pokédex stated that Eevee had nine evolutions instead of the actual eight. I don’t know if anyone caught this or not, but I didn’t get any reviews, comments, or messages suggesting that anyone did. But seeing how popular Eevee and its evolutions are, I hope that you like mine.
As tensions continue to rise between Brenda and Michelle, they both participate in the Cosm Pokémon Contest. Is a competition what they need to mend their relationship? Or will it just make things worse?
Also, the Pokédex and Character Guide pages have been updated accordingly.
The schism between Michelle and Brenda is something I’ve been building up for since Michelle’s introduction. Brenda and Michelle may have been best friends, but there has always been tension. I wouldn’t go as far as to call Michelle completely self-centered, but she certainly has some minor selfish tendencies. Add to that the jealousy that would be natural to someone in her position, and she was just a ticking time bomb, waiting to go off. On the surface, it looks like Michelle is just being a complete and utter selfish jerk, but I like to think she’s not completely to blame either. She has had to put up with Brenda’s “luck and talent” all her life, and she hasn’t been a part of Brenda’s life for the past year, so she really doesn’t realize how much Brenda has changed. I’m not saying I would condone Michelle’s behavior, but I don’t think it’s quite as messed up as it might seem on the surface.
Ash, Brock, and Brenda arrive to Cosm City with enough extra time to spend having some fun before things get serious for Brenda. But when Michelle spots them having fun instead of training, she assumes the worst. Is the friendship of Brenda and Michelle at its end?
Yuni Oha: Hey! You’re not allowed-! Stop! No! What are you doing!? AHHHHHHH!
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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.
I’m sure it’s obvious at this point, but the over-arching story of Professor Pine’s Astro Camp is the story of Ash and Elgyem. While the last episode focused more on Ash having to gain Elgyem’s trust, this episode was Ash gaining its friendship, and helping it to overcome its issues. Elgyem wasn’t timid simply because it was born that way, it went through a traumatic experience in its life, and this episode was all about exploring and paralleling that experience, which would eventually lead to Elgyem overcoming its fears.
Another aspect of this episode was the subplot with Brenda and Michelle. For now I can say is that it is obvious that something is brewing. Now if you had the feeling that this episode felt incomplete as far as their story goes, you would be right, but remember, we’re in the middle of a multi-episode arc, so things aren’t quite done yet.
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.