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.
Took a little longer than I hoped, but here’s episode 67.
Brenda and Will enter the Horizoport Tag Contest, but their not the only ones. Brenda’s friend Michelle has also appeared. Meanwhile, James has an important choice to make.
Also, the Pokédex has been updated accordingly and Michelle has been added to the character guide.
As I explained before, the point of this episode and the previous one where really all about giving more character to the fairly bland Brenda. I think it worked out well enough. I will say though, coming up with Contest combinations is hard work. I think it’s very fun, and definitely a change in pace from the rest of the series, but it can be hard to come up with something creative and believable. Sometimes the show would just tap out on that realistic criteria, and just have two random attacks collide to make fireworks or sparkles. I am going to try to avoid doing that the best I can. You can of course expect to see Michelle in future episodes.
Check out episode 24 here.
Brenda’s second Contest is here. Now she’s up against Jessie and her childhood friend. The two have promised to make it to the finals, but will they? And if they do, how will the friend vs. friend battle go?
Michelle is Brenda’s rival, and meant to be the opposite of Will. Where Will was practically an expert, and always cool, clam, and collected, Michelle was still new, learning the ropes, and nervous. One thing this episode really brought up was Brenda’s lack of practicing. She went in to her first Contest virtually unaware of how they worked, and surprising everyone, so obviously she didn’t practice before that, and yet she did great. That’s really going to become one of Brenda’s character traits, she has a natural talent, and a stubborn reluctance to train. An interesting fact about this episode’s production is Michelle’s name. A silly project I had to do for school required me to write a family member into a story. Michelle is actually the name of one of my cousins. Michelle in the story was extremely loosely based off of my cousin.