My Anime Favorites

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.

Favorite Episode
Image result for island of the giant pokemonIsland 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

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Episode 72 Review

First off, remember that Cosmic Chronicles Review I promised last time? Sorry about that, I’ve been too busy to get around to it. Hopefully I’ll have it up within the next two days.

As you are well aware by now, this episode was the first of a multi-episode space camp arc. I was inspired to write these episodes by the fact that it seems like almost every region has its own summer camp arc of some kind, such the ones seen in the Sinnoh episode Camping it Up, or the Kalos episode Summer of Discovery. However, this being the Tenno Region, obviously that summer camp had to be a space camp instead. And on that train of thought, what better way to start off a space camp experience than actually travelling into outer space? That’s pretty much the origin of the episode’s plot.

Speaking of the Cosmic Chronicles from earlier, another important factor of this episode was the introduction of the character Braydon to Cosmic Quest. If you haven’t read the Cosmic Chronicles (which you really should), then you should know that Braydon first appeared in Chapter 2 of the Cosmic Chronicles. Braydon originates as the rival in Luna, Terra, and Sol Versions. As such, he is automatically linked to the character Brandon from Cosmic Chronicles, as he is the main playable character, so it was natural to introduce him there. But like other rivals from the game, such as Gary, Barry, and Bianca, it made sense to also introduce him to Cosmic Quest as a rival for Ash. As Braydon came from Launch Town, the space camp arc seemed like the perfect way to bring him into Cosmic Quest, and since the episode of Cosmic Chronicles took place immediately before this episode, it was the perfect way to make a connection between the two series. Braydon is actually the first major connection to be made.

Episode 60 Review

Safari Zones (and variants thereof) seem to pretty much be ignored in the anime, with the exception the episode in Kanto (which was banned). Hoenn’s Safari Zone was completely ignored while the Great Marsh in Sinnoh was used simply as the location for a random episode, the fact that it was used for Safari Games was never addressed. As Cosmic Quest is the main way to show off my ideas from Luna, Terra, and Sol, I didn’t want to leave the Park Zone out. Speaking of the Safari Zone in the anime, just as I did previously with the Porygon episode, this episode featured a joke where Ash forgot about the events that took place during a banned episode, reflecting the fact that most English viewers would have no idea what they’re talking about. Another joke this episode made was Ash failing to catch a Dunsparce. For some reason it would appear that whenever Ash tries and fails to capture a Pokémon that it’s a Dunsparce. This has been seen twice now, once in the Unova episode The Path that Leads to Goodbye and again in the Kalos episode Under the Pledging Tree. I figured if I was going to have Ash fail to capture a Pokémon, that I might as well continue the joke and make it a Dunsparce as well.

An interesting fact about this episode, and the Pokémon featured in it, is its origin. Traineed and Arborrior are actually two of some of my very earliest Pokémon (alongside “Megachu,” Delphin, and Ivine). As a child when I created these Pokémon, I would play make believe with my friends using them. One scenario that I always reused was that the person I’m playing with would be training by attacking a tree, and out of that tree a group of Traineed (back then given the uninspired name of Seedona) would fall. One of these feisty Pokémon  would challenge the trainer and end up finding a Leaf Stone (the original evolution method that I recently changed) and evolve into Arborrior (known as Treeona back then). This event would always occur before the trainer fights a Grass-Type gym (this was in a proto-region I created before Tenno). Wanting to give the trainer a Pokémon that is good against Grass-Types, I would have the captured Arborrior know Fire Punch. I took this original scenario and transformed it into this episode. If I had been able to write a longer episode, then there would have been one final battle between Arborrior and Breloom, representing the battle against the Grass gym leader.

Finally, I want to take this chance to give my opinion on Safari Zones. I’ve seen a lot of people complain about the Safari Zone and how annoying it is. I personally cannot agree with this at all. Not only do I not think it’s too difficult, but I think it’s a great thing to have. It is an area that completely changes all of the conventions about capturing Pokémon, leading to a completely unique experience found nowhere else. It adds variety to the game, and I really don’t know how that can be a bad thing. I personally hope strongly that Sun and Moon sees the return of the Safari Zone, and I don’t mean excuses like the Friend Safari or that pale imitation we see in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. I want an actual Safari Zone with an actual Safari Game.

Episode 59 Review

First off, let me admit what I see as a major flaw of this episode, and my Wallace Cup arc as a whole. When Dawn won the Wallace Cup in Sinnoh, she only had one ribbon at the time, and I always felt like it was odd for a coordinator with only one ribbon to be winning a tournament that attracts the best coordinators from around the world. It just seemed too forced to me. Sadly, that’s exactly what I had happen to Brenda. Of course, I didn’t do this for no reason at all, Brenda’s current character arc needed to happen sooner rather than later, and the Wallace Cup was the perfect place to resolve that arc. I did try to justify the win by having it shown how much Brenda can accomplish when she combines her natural talent with intense training, but I’m not sure that would satisfy me if I were simply a viewer. Anyways, on the topic of the battles, there was actually a little bit of symbolism for me behind Brenda and Dawn’s battle. Personally, I never much liked that Dawn’s Piplup never evolved. I know that Ash often doesn’t evolve his Pokémon, but the Sinnoh Region was different, as he actually ended up evolving most of them. It was a little annoying to have Piplup not evolve in contrast (That being said, I must admit that a lot of this resentment towards it not evolving stems from the fact that Piplup always annoyed me, and I would guess a Prinplup and Empoleon would be less annoying). So having Kappaqua evolve in a battle against Piplup was a bit of a reference to what I think should have happened to Piplup.

Episode 58 Review

A big reason for the initial battle between May and Ash was two-fold. One was that I found it to be an extreme shame that when Ash participated in Sinnoh’s Wallace Cup that he lost to an entirely random coordinator instead of someone important, which was not the way the main character of the show should be kicked out of a tournament. The other, and more important reason, was it was an excuse to have May beat Ash. Now don’t get me wrong, as far as trainers go, Ash is without a doubt better than May and would defeat her in a standard battle any day. My problem comes from the fact that the last battle they had was a Contest Battle and that it ended in a tie. It may have been a good way to say goodbye to May, but it made no sense. This was Ash’s first time ever entering a contest and he was battling a coordinator who made it high in the rankings of not one, but two Grand Festivals. There’s no way Ash should have been able to tie with May in a contest battle, and doing so only served to make May seem worse than she is. So this battle was her chance to redeem herself. Now I set it up specifically so that Ash lost because it was a contest battle, as he lost due to points, not his Pokémon getting knocked out. Also of note in that battle was the revival of the Counter Shield. I thought it would be a fun little throwback to have, since it borrowed so heavily from contests to begin with so it could easily fit into one. Dawn being back provided the perfect excuse to remind Ash that he used to have this strategy.

The only other thing of serious note in this episode was the completely random Rowlet cameo. As this episode came out on the day news about Rowlet and the other starters first came out, it only seemed right to fit in a cameo appearance. Originally it was another Pokemon, but as soon as I saw this news I went to change it to one of the new Pokémon. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I feel like I have to be one of the first, if not the first story to include an Alola Pokémon. I do admit though, it might be considered a bit of a tease, because I currently do not plan to feature any other Alola Pokémon until the release of Sun and Moon, as we won’t have any serious information on them such as movesets or Pokédex descriptions until then. So sorry about that.

Episode 56 Review

I’m sure just Dawn returning would have been fine, but I wanted to go all out, so I brought back not only May, but Max as well. Max returning is something I felt very strongly about. For no real reason at all he was left out the Wallace Cup episodes in Sinnoh, and that was extremely disappointing. There was no reason not to bring him back. Since he’s always with May, it’s not like it would cause any problems having him with her. So bringing Max back was the first thing I decided after deciding to bring back May. Now this being their first appearance since the release of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, obviously that would have to have an impact on them. May’s redesign being the most important impact (in case you didn’t notice, the new clothes I describe May wearing are those of her Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire counterpart). This is analogous to how May wore her outfit from Emerald in her return during Sinnoh. Giving Max the PokéNav Plus, complete with DexNav was the other major thing. I also considered giving Max new clothes, but as he has no direct in-game counterpart I had no basis to go off of, so I didn’t worry about it. One last thing to mention was I chose the plot of a fake restaurant to specifically tie into May and Max’s personalities. It provides not only the best opportunity to showcase May’s passion for food, but also gave the two siblings something to bicker over.

Episode 55 Review

I don’t know if it was obvious beforehand or not, but the Wallace Cup really is just an excuse to bring in old characters. Just as May came to Sinnoh’s, it would stand to reason that Dawn would come to Tenno’s. Having Dawn come in to help Brenda out of her self-pity was something I’ve been planning for a while now. The problems Brenda faces really are the exact opposite of what Dawn faced, as Dawn’s problems were working to hard on her combinations so that her Pokémon were lost in them, and thinking so much about contests that she would psych herself out, while Brenda does the opposite and doesn’t work or think ahead at all. With these two completely different problems, the two characters seemed to compliment each other well. The idea to have Brenda and Dawn meet each other without knowing they have mutual friends was a last minute bit of inspiration for the episode actually, and I must say, I am proud of how that ended up turning out. Now, I should mention that having the Wallace Cup does pose a minor continuity issue. In the Wallace Cup episodes in Sinnoh, it was referred to as this year’s Wallace Cup, inferring that the Wallace Cup is a yearly event. As Ash was 10 in Sinnoh and is still 10 here, a year has yet to pass technically. However, this exact same continuity issue was already made during Unova when Dawn returned. At one point she claimed she went off to Johto to partake in a Wallace Cup there. So either there is more than one Wallace Cup a year, or…well…time just doesn’t make sense in the world of Pokémon, but you already knew that, didn’t you?