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Preview HZ010: With Nemo and Colza

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If Liko doesn't do the gym challenge after this episode then they are just being cruel lol.

I don't care about Nemona but if Arven and Professor Sada shows up later then I'm happy.

I think Penny could have some interesting interactions with Liko since she is kind of an extreme introvert which is something Liko can relate to. If Liko doesn't do the gym challenge I could accept the Team Star route as an alternative just because she is so similar to Penny.
I still don't understand why people call Liko an introvert. She's a shy girl, but that isn't really the same thing as being introverted. Penny comes off more introverted by comparison.

I don't really see Liko doing the Team Star route either. I do hope that the series tackles all three storylines from the games, but it would feel pretty weird for Liko to get involved with Team Star when she doesn't even go to either Academies from Paldea like the player character does. Plus, given that you have to battle through multiple Team Star grunts before getting to the boss, I don't see Liko doing that as her goal or as a side goal either.
 
It strikes me as more of a Roy thing, given his ultimate goal is to be strong enough to challenge what I can assume is that shiny Rayquaza
Personally, given Roy’s goal, I think that the Path of Legends would be more up his alley since it’d allow him to battle the powerful Titan Pokémon.
 
Summary courtesy of Dephender at Serebii

Alex takes Liko and Roy to visit Colza, the Gym Leader of Bowl Town, but it turns out his Gym is closed. But as Liko and Roy are at their wit's end now that they weren't able to meet him, the Champion Rank Trainer Nemo approaches them and takes them to Colza's atelier.
 
Nice to see confirmation that they’re keeping Nemona at her game strength level as a Champion ranked trainer rather than weakening her like they did to Hop by having him at his pre-game status at what was endgame time.

I mean, at least with Hop it made kinda sense, since its possible he didn't'/had just started his journey, which could also be the reason he didn't participate in the PWC just yet, cuz he might have missed the entry date.
 
I mean, at least with Hop it made kinda sense, since its possible he didn't'/had just started his journey, which could also be the reason he didn't participate in the PWC just yet, cuz he might have missed the entry date.
Even so, it’s a pretty messed up thing to do with the character who was the PC’s main rival and kinda insult to injury considering that they replaced him with Go in the Darkest Day storyline and turned Galar into an afterthought. The writers just mistreated everything Galar that wasn’t Leon, Raihan to a lesser degree and Sonia.
 
Even so, it’s a pretty messed up thing to do with the character who was the PC’s main rival and kinda insult to injury considering that they replaced him with Go in the Darkest Day storyline and turned Galar into an afterthought. The writers just mistreated everything Galar that wasn’t Leon, Raihan to a lesser degree and Sonia.
Honestly, I don't mind that Goh replaced Hop in the Darkest Day storyline. Not only because I like Goh, but also because it was way too late to do his storyline any justice by that point. They could have made him take part in the PWC and be a rival to Ash, but I'm not sure how well replacing the Galar Gym Challenge with the PWC would have worked in terms of Hop's storyline, especially when Bede seemingly doesn't exist within the anime for some reason. Introducing Hop just for the Darkest Day storyline would have felt tacked on, would have made the lack of setup for the arc even more apparent and wouldn't have carried the same kind of weight as it did in the games. Hop becoming one of the two new heroes of Galar was kind of important and it wouldn't have worked without his development building up to that moment. It's the same reason why Sonia becoming the new Galar region Professor didn't feel as noteworthy in Journeys as it did in the games. Seeing her become more invested in learning about the history of Galar and Legendary Pokemon over the course of the storyline made the twist more satisfying.

That being said, I still don't understand why they bothered to include Hop so late into Journeys. Yeah, it makes sense that he'd watch Leon's Master Class battles and I think Sonia mentioned Leon's little brother in an earlier episode, but if he wasn't going to appear until near the end of series, not have any kind of development or even any on-screen interactions with Leon, then what was even the point? He got the Hau treatment and arguably even worse since at least Hau had a role in SM, even if it was pretty minimal at best.

I am glad that Nemona is going to stay as a Champion ranked trainer. A part of me thought that she would be treated as a rookie trainer instead for some reason, but I'm glad that isn't the case. I don't know if I could see either Liko or Roy getting into Gym battles for different reasons, but it would make sense for Nemona to introduce that goal to new trainers at least.
 
I feel like they considered Hop as a PWC entry early on (Hence the namedropping from Sonia), but ultimately decided against it.

Like... Ash, Hop and Raihan both want to defeat Leon. So it wouldn't have felt right if out of the 3, only Ash would have made it to the Masters Eight, meaning either Hop or Raihan made it in, with one of them being knocked out by Ash as the last entry. But then, the Masters Eight would have been different as well, since it wouldn't have felt right if Ash not being the one knocking Raihan/Hop out... and Alain wouldn't have been in the Masters Eight either. Which meant Leon was probably gonna fight either Diantha, Cynthia, Iris or Steven early on, it most likely being Steven. We would still get Cynthia vs Iris. But Ash and Hop would most likely face Lance and Diantha and knock them out, then to face eachother in the semi's (Leaving Leon and Cynthia to fight as well), but then you can make the argument, of Leon is knocked out third and second placed opponent, how Ash can realistically beat him.

So ultimately, i feel like story wise, it was for the better to leave Hop out of the PWC. Now... they could have introduced Hop earlier, arguing that he didn't join the PWC, opting to do the Gym Challenge instead because he is just a rookie trainer and Leon inspired him to surpass him at one point. They could even have debuted Thwackey via Hop (Without revealing why he choose Grookey, but they could have revealed it during the Masters Eight matches after Leon vs Alain).
 
Summary courtesy of Dephender at Serebii

Alex takes Liko and Roy to visit Colza, the Gym Leader of Bowl Town, but it turns out his Gym is closed. But as Liko and Roy are at their wit's end now that they weren't able to meet him, the Champion Rank Trainer Nemo approaches them and takes them to Colza's atelier.
This makes me even more excited for this episode!
 
Honestly, I don't mind that Goh replaced Hop in the Darkest Day storyline. Not only because I like Goh, but also because it was way too late to do his storyline any justice by that point. They could have made him take part in the PWC and be a rival to Ash, but I'm not sure how well replacing the Galar Gym Challenge with the PWC would have worked in terms of Hop's storyline, especially when Bede seemingly doesn't exist within the anime for some reason. Introducing Hop just for the Darkest Day storyline would have felt tacked on, would have made the lack of setup for the arc even more apparent and wouldn't have carried the same kind of weight as it did in the games. Hop becoming one of the two new heroes of Galar was kind of important and it wouldn't have worked without his development building up to that moment. It's the same reason why Sonia becoming the new Galar region Professor didn't feel as noteworthy in Journeys as it did in the games. Seeing her become more invested in learning about the history of Galar and Legendary Pokemon over the course of the storyline made the twist more satisfying.

That being said, I still don't understand why they bothered to include Hop so late into Journeys. Yeah, it makes sense that he'd watch Leon's Master Class battles and I think Sonia mentioned Leon's little brother in an earlier episode, but if he wasn't going to appear until near the end of series, not have any kind of development or even any on-screen interactions with Leon, then what was even the point? He got the Hau treatment and arguably even worse since at least Hau had a role in SM, even if it was pretty minimal at best.

I am glad that Nemona is going to stay as a Champion ranked trainer. A part of me thought that she would be treated as a rookie trainer instead for some reason, but I'm glad that isn't the case. I don't know if I could see either Liko or Roy getting into Gym battles for different reasons, but it would make sense for Nemona to introduce that goal to new trainers at least.
Really that just goes to show just how badly they botched the entire Darkest Day storyline and Galar as a whole by not only placing it so early on in the series but speed running the entire thing. Had they allowed it time to breath and introduced Hop early on, possibly at the time we saw Leon’s match with Lance, it could have worked by having Hop act as a recurring rival for Ash, also aiming Leon, culminating in the Darkest Day by around the halfway mark.

I didn’t really like Go taking Hop’s spot in it because, in retrospect for the entirety of the Journeys series, beyond Raboot evolving, it really did nothing for his story. Eternatus’ capture isn’t even acknowledged until the PWC finals, with Suicune’s capture serving as the catalyst for Professor Oak to recommend Project Mew to him and the Darkest Day offers no actual character development for Go unlike how it was the peak of Hop’s development, becoming one of the new heroes of Galar. The entire thing just didn’t feel like it was worth the trade, feeling hollow and just further made the entire thing feel like an afterthought to Journeys as a whole unlike the previous games’ stories that played out in their respective series.
 
Really that just goes to show just how badly they botched the entire Darkest Day storyline and Galar as a whole by not only placing it so early on in the series but speed running the entire thing. Had they allowed it time to breath and introduced Hop early on, possibly at the time we saw Leon’s match with Lance, it could have worked by having Hop act as a recurring rival for Ash, also aiming Leon, culminating in the Darkest Day by around the halfway mark.
I agree that they rushed through the Darkest Day arc, especially when they had little setup for it, but I still don't know if I could have seen them making Hop into a rival for Ash. Like I said before, I don't know how replacing the Galar Gym Challenge with the PWC would have worked out for Hop's storyline. They also really weren't interested in giving Ash a rival or even giving the PWC more consistent focus. Most of Ash's battles prior to the Ultra Class were on and off-screen matches against one shot characters. Maybe it could have worked if they spent time fleshing out Hop's character before jumping into the Darkest Day arc, but given how fast paced Journeys was, I don't think that would have worked.

I didn’t really like Go taking Hop’s spot in it because, in retrospect for the entirety of the Journeys series, beyond Raboot evolving, it really did nothing for his story. Eternatus’ capture isn’t even acknowledged until the PWC finals, with Suicune’s capture serving as the catalyst for Professor Oak to recommend Project Mew to him and the Darkest Day offers no actual character development for Go unlike how it was the peak of Hop’s development, becoming one of the new heroes of Galar. The entire thing just didn’t feel like it was worth the trade, feeling hollow and just further made the entire thing feel like an afterthought to Journeys as a whole unlike the previous games’ stories that played out in their respective series.
While I don't mind that Eternatus' capture wasn't acknowledge for so long, having that be the catalyst for Goh to start Project Mew could have helped since they might have been able to start that goal a bit earlier than they did. I liked how Raboot evolved since it did show how Goh was still better able to understand its feelings than when it was a Scorbunny. I can understand how it doesn't feel like it was worth the trade, but without the proper buildup, something that I don't think Journeys was interested in doing in general for this arc, throwing in Hop for the Darkest Day arc wouldn't have worked either. Despite the lack of buildup, I thought that the arc was still pretty fun, solid and left me wishing that Journeys was a traditional series set in Galar, or at least that they would spend more time in Galar.
 
Now that we know that Liko's father wants her to stay home, my guess is that he'll let her travel if she can beat Brassius. I don't see her winning, but maybe her efforts will convince him to let her go anyways.
 
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