Episode 70 Review

I remember way back in a review of one of my episodes that I made promise that I would try to use Brock better in my series than he was used during the later half of his run in the show. It may be nearly 70 episodes later, but I like to think that I am now fulfilling my promise. I completely admit that I let Brock drift to the side and haven’t given him anywhere near the focus he deserves. For real this time, I promise that that will change now. The concept of this episode is something that I’ve been toying around with for quite a while now. I realized that if I were to redefine Brock’s goals just a little bit, and gave him some sort of equivalent to a trainer earning badges or coordinator ribbons, that he could be written in a much better way. Of course, that left me with the question of what that should be. How does a Pokémon doctor-in-training go about having physical representations of his progress akin to a badge? Obviously it couldn’t be any sort of competitive nature, as being a doctor should be anything but competitive. But without competition, where would the drama come from? I even considered just forgetting the doctor stuff and having Brock enter Pokemon breeding contests, something akin to real-world dog shows, but decided in the end that that would just be backwards progress for Brock. I needed something that would progress him towards his current goal of being a Pokémon doctor. Finally I settled on what you see in this episode. The curing of previously-incurable ailments to earn a medical degree without the normal schooling. One thing that works quite well about it is that it helps me justify taking Brock out of medical school and putting him back in the field. My previous excuse was tenuous at best. Speaking of, that was the other big purpose of this episode, fully justifying why Brock’s time isn’t better spent in medical school. It was all designed to prove that he gets just as valuable experience, if not more, traveling around the world with Ash. We’re entering a new age with Brock here, and hopefully it’s a change for the better.

One other topic I want to address quickly is Team Rocket’s appearance in this episode. In case you didn’t understand the blatant joke, the entire scene was making fun of the fact that it’s essentially a rule that Team Rocket has to appear at least once in every episode (unless said episode takes place in Unova, which is a major part of the reason why Unova was my least favorite series). The reason I made this joke is because when trying to figure out how to work Team Rocket into this episode, I realized that I was literally just shoehorning them in like people often complain about. Personally, I want to see them every episode, even if they are shoehorned in, but I decided that this would be the perfect time to use Team Rocket’s outrageous personality and ability to break the fourth wall to make light of the scenario.

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 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?

Episode 30 Review

First I brought back Jigglypuff, now I brought back Biff and Cassidy (Oops, I meant Butch). Butch and Cassidy brought a lot to show back when they appeared. By being rivals to Jessie, James, and Meowth, they brought out sides of them we normally wouldn’t see. In addition, they gave us a look at Team Rocket beyond the normal three. Unlike Jigglypuff, they actually managed to make it up into Sinnoh. Sadly, Unova came and completely ignored everything from Pokémon’s history, including these two. I felt like they deserved to return. Two interesting things to note about this episode was their Pokémon. Cassidy has always been shown to have Houndour as her primary Pokémon. In one scene, I showed her having a Houndoom. I figured that after all this time, it probably should have happened. The other thing is their Charizard and Aggron. These are the same Pokémon seen in the Battle Frontier episode Grating Spaces, where Jessie and James got them delivered to them by the Team Rocket Delibird by accident. At the end of the episode, it told them, that those Pokémon were actually meant for Butch and Cassidy. I figured that they should have those Pokémon, so why not use them?

Episode 26 Review

Finally I got around to writing a Brock-based episode just like I promised. I actually really liked this episode. It said such a great balance of comedy and emotion. When I first came up with this episode, it actually had nothing to do with the old love of Brock. It was simply Brock attending a Nurse Joy convention. After a while of thinking it over, I realized that that didn’t provide too much story opportunity, so I decided to add something. I actually combined it with another episode idea, which was about Brock meeting up with his first love. I just made that girl a Nurse Joy, and suddenly I have great story potential. In a way, you could say that this episode explains why Brock is so infatuated with Nurse Joy. One little joke I threw in was Brock not being attracted to the Nurse Joys of Unova and Kalos. I’ve always joked that those Nurse Joys must be impostors, so Brock would never love them.

Episode 11 Review

The first gym battle has finally arrived. When I initially planned for this series, I only planned up to this episode, so from this point on, I’m winging it. Crate is of course a Rock-Type Gym Leader, like Brock, Roxanne, and Roark before him. I always liked the tradition of having a Rock-Type Gym Leader as the first, and I’m disappointed to see them fall away from that in Unova and Kalos (especially with Kalos being the first region to have a Rock-Type leader who isn’t the first one). Similar to how Crate has his meteorite hunter profession, all of the Tenno Gym Leaders will have a space-based or related side job/inspiration.

Episode 8 Review

While we’ve all known that Brenda wanted to be a coordinator since episode one, it’s not until this episode that she tells Ash and Brock. The beginning of this episode saw the evolution of Chrysalux into Glitterfly, continuing the trend of the “Basic Bug” evolving quickly, and just in time for the Contest too. This episode also was Jessie’s return to Pokémon Contests, just like she did back in Hoenn and Sinnoh. This time around she takes on the name Princess Jessileia, which is meant to be an obvious reference to my favorite movies, Star Wars (as in Princess Leia). I chose to have Will use Cryogonal as his choice for the first round because I wanted to use either a Kalos or Unova Pokémon, since neither of the two has ever been seen in Pokémon Contests.

One important thing to address. In the previous episode, there was a Character named Jillian. In this episode, there is a character named Gillian. That was my mistake. I made the first one forgetting that I already had that name set aside for Pokémon Contest MC/Host. I could not think of any other names that ended with -ian like Lillian, Vivian, and Marian, so I just changed the spelling a little bit. Sorry.