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Review JN135: Pokémon! I'm Glad I Got to Meet You!

I feel if the comics are required to be emotionally invested in relationships (like Lucario/Cinderace being the most prominent example) I think it should be a part of the episode. The criticism towards this particular comic might be misplaced from my part, I admit, but the concept being used to show things that should be in the show, and kind of being a further excuse to not show bonds in the actual show still stands.
Yeah, I understand the frustrations that people have had with some of the past comics (though it still feels weird to blame the comic themselves). It just felt really jarring seeing the same complaint here too, despite this episode's comic being mostly inconsequential in regards to the episode itself.

I may be an exception here, but I don't mind the smaller congratulations compared to a bigger party. Ash is already on the move towards his next objective, and the episode was dedicated to setting up his and Goh's departure. There was really no time or necessarily even need for a bigger celebration.
I mean, I'm guessing that's precisely the issue that people are having with this episode: the fact that there's seemingly no time and need to celebrate Ash's victory, even though it really feels like there should.

Ash is already in Kanto, so there's no need for him to rush back home. He doesn't have a clear destination in mind yet either, so no reason for him to rush back out too. As for the "need", this is definitely Ash's biggest accomplishment thus far, so I feel like that warrants at least some sort of celebration, beyond whatever they just did in this episode. Putting aside the ghost town that Pallet Town has become, the entirety of Alola was proud of their local Champion representing their region in the Masters Eight, so I'm sure they'd throw a celebration for him if he ever returned. Not to mention that in terms of numbers, that's where most of his friends already are, so a celebration there would naturally be huge.

The only way I can see this making sense is if Ash learned about Paldea off-screen and is immediately rushing to go there. Otherwise, I agree with most of the other peeps here that the lack of a proper celebration for Ash's victory feels kinda disappointing.
 
Well, that was as average as expected.

  • It was nice to see Ash meeting with its Pokemon, through we should have gotten at least a hint of what is he going to do next and more importantly how he actually feels about this situation. Ash was just boring this episode.
  • This is the second series in a row Ash blalantly quits a job he was given (being a "research assistant") just because he won a battle tournament. Insert Doofensmirtz meme here. Though this time his friend is doing the same too!
  • Goh's Abra story had a warm and cute Poketoons vibe to it, but then it ended without a conclusion, making it feel like filler.
  • Chloe was in this episode.
  • The disagreement between Ash and Goh made sense and had potential, but it was solved very underwhelmingly by them just staring at some Butterfree. I get the subtext of evolution and that they are Japanese boys, but something more sincere would have been more impactful.
 
Guess I’m the only one that didn’t really care that there wasn’t a big amazing party with people telling Ash how great he was in a big circle jerk for 20 minutes, the episode was about him and Goh and that’s where the focus remained as it should be.

With the stupid exception of Tracey AGAIN, everyone at Pallet that matters the most to Ash was there. Oak, Delia and his Pokémon and that’s enough. Ash doesn’t rest on his laurels and never had a big party for his achievements after Kanto, not for the Orange League not for the Johto League not for the Battle Frontier, not for the Alola League and not for the PWC, he’s to busy focusing on the next thing.

Maybe I’m just more lenient because of this series’ VERY obvious production issues but considering they showed all of Ash’s family, companions, rivals, Pokémon (owned AND released) watching the biggest match of his life and through the M8 arc in general, I think it’s fair enough to cut them a little slack that they didn’t have some big fanfic party where characters like May would’ve unsatisfingly been in the background not having any dialogue anyway (which people absolutely would’ve still complained about)
 
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Guess I’m the only one that didn’t really care that there wasn’t a big amazing party with people telling Ash how great he was in a big circle jerk for 20 minutes, the episode was about him and Goh and that’s where the focus remained as it should be.

With the stupid exception of Tracey AGAIN, everyone at Pallet that matters the most to Ash was there. Oak, Delia and his Pokémon and that’s enough. Ash doesn’t rest on his laurels and never had a big party for his achievements after Kanto, not for the Orange League not for the Johto League not for the Battle Frontier, not for the Alola League and not for the PWC, he’s to busy focusing on the next thing.

Maybe I’m just more lenient because of this series’ VERY obvious production issues but considering they showed all of Ash’s family, companions, rivals, Pokémon (owned AND released) watching the biggest match of his life and through the M8 arc in general, I think it’s fair enough to cut them a little slack that they didn’t have some big fanfic party where characters like May would’ve unsatisfingly been in the background not having any dialogue anyway (which people absolutely would’ve still complained about)
I would say that the idea of Ash making top 8 in a 10,000 person tournament, on top of winning it, is already fanfictiony enough. Seeing all of Ash’s friends together in one episode has not been done since The Right Place and the Right Mime, and they were all there in the flesh in that episode, complete with speaking roles and full animation. I understand that there are a lot more main characters now than back then, but it doesn’t excuse that we only see them for a couple of seconds as still images. Plus the fact that Ash is unaware that they are all watching except for Dawn and Chloe. It takes a lot of weight off of their appearances in my opinion, and an in-person party would fix that problem. Because they would be forced to interact with Ash. Even if May was silent, they could have her give Ash a high five or something.

If you told me the show was going to go in this direction right after Sun & Moon ended, I wouldn’t have believed you at all. Having Ash win almost all of his PWC battles, including against champions, has set too high of a bar compared to earlier accomplishments in the anime’s history, and I don’t think it’s unfair to expect something more for something no one expected to happen three years ago. This is also the cornerstone of what Journeys has done with its fanbase; setting up high expectations and end with disappointment. Goh catches legendaries at the expense of one or two Pokéballs. Chloe gets an interesting hook of not liking Pokémon and trying to figure out her goal, only to become a walking Eeveelution advertisement. Main characters come back from all over the show’s history, but never get to all meet each other. Journeys didn’t promise us anything, but it sure threw ideas on a silver platter. It’s too bad that the ideas didn’t taste good to me.
 
Plus Ash and Serena literally only seeing each other for 30 seconds, hyping you up for another reunion, and then they don’t see each other again in JN (and probably Gen 9)
I don't think it was necessarily hyping up another reunion. The episode was dedicated to Serena and Chloe's interactions, and Ash met her for just as long as it was necessary. And I personally think the ending was quality over quantity. It was a short and sweet reunion that didn't steal too much time away from the main plot of the episode.
 
This is also the cornerstone of what Journeys has done with its fanbase; setting up high expectations and end with disappointment.
The staff putting they’re all into the Ash vs Leon battle, throwing everything and the kitchen sink because it was the proverbial climax of the show ending on one of the best recieved episodes in the shows history, immediately invalidated because there wasn’t some big grand after party and is now a example of “high expectations/disappointing payoff” certainly is one way to look at it I guess.

I don’t know what there is to even “expect more” from, the actual climax (the most important part) of the series was well handled, the falling action afterwards matters significantly less so imo

I just think people underestimate what a logistical nightmare itd be to have 20 plus characters all in one episode was various seiiyus of availability that it’s probably just more easier to have a quick get together with his immediate family before heading off. I’m not saying it would’ve been bad to have a reunion celebration party I just never once expected it nor am I disappointed they weren’t able to so I don’t find anything really wrong with what we got
 
I don't think it was necessarily hyping up another reunion. The episode was dedicated to Serena and Chloe's interactions, and Ash met her for just as long as it was necessary. And I personally think the ending was quality over quantity. It was a short and sweet reunion that didn't steal too much time away from the main plot of the episode.
Meeting her for only 30 seconds while he’s allowed to spend a whole episode with literally every other companion he’s met in person in JN is criminal and incredibly suspicious, but I know exactly why they did it.
 
The staff putting they’re all into the Ash vs Leon battle, throwing everything and the kitchen sink because it was the proverbial climax of the show ending on one of the best recieved episodes in the shows history, immediately invalidated because there wasn’t some big grand after party and is now a example of “high expectations/disappointing payoff” certainly is one way to look at it I guess.

I don’t know what there is to even “expect more” from, the actual climax (the most important part) of the series was well handled, the falling action afterwards matters significantly less so imo

I just think people underestimate what a logistical nightmare itd be to have 20 plus characters all in one episode was various seiiyus of availability that it’s probably just more easier to have a quick get together with his immediate family before heading off. I’m not saying it would’ve been bad to have a reunion celebration party I just never once expected it nor am I disappointed they weren’t able to so I don’t find anything really wrong with what we got
The staff certainly put a lot of effort into the Ash vs. Leon battle, but I wouldn't say they threw everything and the kitchen sink into it. It's not that the battle is "immediately invalidated" (which I never said) because there wasn't a party afterwards, it's moreso that the result of Ash vs. Leon had no barring on the plot afterwards. If Leon won, Leon would receive the trophy, and the scene at Pallet Town with Oak, Delia, and Ash's Pokemon would still happen as-is. The only difference is that Ash wouldn't be holding a trophy. In fact, Ash could've lost to Steven in round one, and the Pallet Town scene in JN135 would still be the same. It makes it feel like Ash winning the PWC feels inconsequential, and is not mandatory to move his character into a new direction. This frustrates me because Journeys promised such an ambitious concept, with ambitious ideas, yet is too scared to over commit to anything. If Ash won such a monumental tournament, we should be seeing the falling actions of that, but there's nothing indicating what he got out of the experience outside of a trophy. If journeys was just a Galar-only series and didn't feature many returning characters, then I would not be expecting a celebration party that embodies Ash's entire journey. However, we got a series that did indeed show a lot of Ash's friends, with speaking roles on top of that. It feels like a dog treat with a string attached to it, it's right in front of us and makes us happy, but it gets pulled away from us just as easily.

There's also the precedent that Journeys already had a celebration party, for Lillie's character arc. JN111 was the climax of Lillie's character arc and everything she went through. From being too afraid of Ultra Beasts and not getting along with her family, to now being reunited with Mohn and having a Nihilego join Gladion's team, it felt like Lillie had a complete character arc that was resolved within one episode. That could have been it and we could have not seen Lillie again after that episode, outside of her cameos in the Masters Eight. However, the very next episode was a celebration party for Lillie's family being reunited and returning home. Since Ash is one of Lillie's friends, he tagged along and came with her family back to Alola to celebrate with everyone else. JN112 also featured multiple voiced characters, like Hala and Faba, as well as in-person cameos from characters like Hau and Guzma. JN112 put in serious money on getting a bunch of characters voiced that didn't need to actually be voiced. There's also the fact that JN112 touches on Ash's Alola Champion status, and how he has a bunch of fans cheering for him in the Battle Royale, showing that Ash winning the Alola league did have an effect on the show's universe.

A lot of the hype for JN132 also came from people who hadn't watched the show in years, because mainstream websites like BBC News published articles highlighting the news. If you are a long time fan of the show, and remember scenes like Ash losing to people like Ritchie, Harrison, or Alain, but haven't watched in years, then just seeing Ash win such a big milestone can feel extremely validating. Another example of this publicity is how many people posted in the JN132 review thread on r/anime, compared to the review threads of previous episodes (JN131, JN130, JN129). This doesn't take away from us long-time fans also loving Ash's victory in JN132, I also loved the episode myself and cried when all of Ash's Pokémon appeared. However, the fact of the matter is that a lot of these people who only watched JN132 aren't aware of other problems within Journeys. They are probably not aware that JN132 is the only physical appearance of Misty, May, Max, and Cilan in Pokémon Journeys. They are not aware of the rest of Ash's Journeys team, since the episode only focuses on Pikachu. They are not aware of how Ash was on a gigantic winning streak, having not lost to a single person since his unofficial loss to Rinto. The public reception to JN132 is amazing, but it is not indicative of the overall quality of Pokémon Journeys. The reception of one episode should not determine how I feel about the entire saga, and I sadly feel like Journeys is the worst part of the Pokémon Anime for multiple reasons. Reasons that aren't prevalent in the episode itself, like Goh catching Pokemon easily, Team Rocket's gatcha, Chloe's complete character transformation into marking Eevee, and other examples. For the climax of Ash's overall story and his PWC run, JN132 is fantastic. But it is not "the proverbial climax of the show" itself, because it ignores other aspects of it. It is also disrespectful to Goh's Project Mew arc, for not considering it to be a proverbial climax in its own right.

I also don't buy the whole excuse that it would be a logistical nightmare to hire multiple actors for one episode. As I have previously mentioned, JN112 has a bunch of VAs available to voice a lot of Sun & Moon characters that we haven't seen since the series ended, for one episode. There's also the scene in JN132 with all of Ash's Pokémon. I'm not sure why no one really mentions this, but most of those Pokémon were voiced in that one scene. Pokémon like Lapras, Bayleaf, Gible, Oshawott, Pignite, and Melmetal, all had to get their voice actors available just to record a sound for each and every one of them. According to Bulbapedia, the actors for Bayleaf (Mika Kanai), Gible (Daisuke Sakaguchi), Oshawott (Misato Fukuen), and Pignite (Wasabi Mizuta) don't actively work on the show that often, so they had to be brought in for JN114 and JN132. There's also other aspects, like how Brock's VA (Yūji Ueda) is the same voice that narrates the Masters Eight, how Lillie's VA (Kei Shindō) also voices Cynthia's Roserade, and how Cynthia and Diantha were still allowed to watch in-person and have voiced roles.

They can clearly afford the actors if they want to, it just seems to me more like if they think the effort is worth the payoff. It doesn't take much from the budget to draw all of Ash's friends in still images, and to me, it's indicative that OLM thinks that the still images are satisfactory enough. Voicing all of the characters would take a lot more of the budget, but in my opinion, that would speak volumes on how the producers know how important these characters truly are to us. By paying a lot of money to give these characters voices, it's indicative that the producers think these characters are worth the money they invest into them. Instead, the silent cameos don't show us the soul of the characters as much, reflecting how they aren't worth the money to the producers. While I am grateful that we saw Ash's friends watching at all, to say I am completely satisfied with it is not true. The budget clearly went into the battle instead, as it should, since Ash vs. Leon is the core of JN132. But that's why having Ash's friends as souless two second shots isn't really satisfying to me. A party would give purpose to these shots, and pouring money into the VAs of these characters would show how much of a priority they are to the producers. Clearly, Ash's friends are not a priority after all. It is what it is, but it also makes me wonder what the point of reestablishing them is if that's the last time we're going to see a lot of them for a while. There's nothing in Journeys that tells newer viewers who characters like Misty or May are, and why they were important enough to be shown watching Ash vs. Leon. It's purely for long-time fans, and newer fans are given no reason to care about some of Ash's friends. That's why the two second shots bother me, and why a party could fix these problems.

In fact, I will even compare this whole thing to a real life example. I have a brother who plays competitive Smash Bros., who goes by the tag of Dynomyte and mains Yoshi. We went to a tournament back in April called Genesis 8, and Dynomyte eventually had to face off against one of France's top three players in bracket. Funnily enough, it was a player with the tag Leon, and he mains Lucina, which is a horrible matchup for Yoshi due to Lucina's sword outranging Yoshi. Dynomyte is an unranked Southern California Smash player, while Leon is one of the best players in all of France, so Dynomyte was expected to lose hard in this matchup. However, against all odds, Dynomyte actually came out on top and defeated Leon. A lot of people from Southern California Smash were watching in person, but some people who weren't there in person were also watching the stream. I bring this up because, when Dynomyte won, so many people walked up to us the rest of the weekend just to congratulate him. Everyone was saying how proud they were of Dynomyte, and even top players in the tournament started taking more notice of him. Other Yoshi mains would walk up to him and say how they wanted to be just like him. It really warmed my heart. Even months after Genesis 8 ended, people still walk up to my brother at local tournaments and go like "how's the Leon slayer doing?", or "didn't you win that big upset at that tournament a while ago?'. When a win sticks in people's minds, it doesn't get let go right after its over. People don't just watch something unfold and not text or call a congratulations afterwards. People like to celebrate and remember victories, they celebrate the positive exposure they get for one of their local talents, they make sure the winner of that upset gets the appreciation they deserve. So to see Pokémon Journeys tease us all of Ash's friends watching him win something similar in scale, yet have no acknowledgement afterwards, stings a lot when I know it can happen in real life. It just takes immersion of the show away from me.

Lastly, I will just say at this point that maybe we should agree to disagree. You have valid reasons for thinking your way, I have valid reasons for thinking my way, and neither of us are correct. With that said, I hope I made my points crystal clear at this point.
 
It’s a half glass full/empty situation at the end of the day, I don’t dislike JN, and am just satisfied with what we got regarding character cameos and honoring Ash’s history, so I personally didn’t need a big celebration to validate it after the fact. Some disagree and that’s just how it is
 
Simple: to avoid bringing up Amourshipping and/or the kiss.
I doubt that's the case. Serena's interactions in the episode were mostly focused on Chloe, so her lack of interactions with Ash were because they wanted to focus on her and Chloe instead.
 
Guess I’m the only one that didn’t really care that there wasn’t a big amazing party with people telling Ash how great he was in a big circle jerk for 20 minutes, the episode was about him and Goh and that’s where the focus remained as it should be.

With the stupid exception of Tracey AGAIN, everyone at Pallet that matters the most to Ash was there. Oak, Delia and his Pokémon and that’s enough. Ash doesn’t rest on his laurels and never had a big party for his achievements after Kanto, not for the Orange League not for the Johto League not for the Battle Frontier, not for the Alola League and not for the PWC, he’s to busy focusing on the next thing.

Maybe I’m just more lenient because of this series’ VERY obvious production issues but considering they showed all of Ash’s family, companions, rivals, Pokémon (owned AND released) watching the biggest match of his life and through the M8 arc in general, I think it’s fair enough to cut them a little slack that they didn’t have some big fanfic party where characters like May would’ve unsatisfingly been in the background not having any dialogue anyway (which people absolutely would’ve still complained about)

I think it's got more to do with world-building and a cohesive setting rather than fanservice or wanting to see specific old characters (for me at least). If there was a crowd rooting for Ash when he first left Pallet Town, and another after his first League, then the show's indicating he has neighbours that care about him to certain extent. So it wouldn't hurt to just have a couple of shots for them celebrating when he makes such a big accomplishment instead of forgetting them altogether.
 
I think it's got more to do with world-building and a cohesive setting rather than fanservice or wanting to see specific old characters (for me at least). If there was a crowd rooting for Ash when he first left Pallet Town, and another after his first League, then the show's indicating he has neighbours that care about him to certain extent. So it wouldn't hurt to just have a couple of shots for them celebrating when he makes such a big accomplishment instead of forgetting them altogether.
It would have been funny to see those random Ash supporters again. We saw them when Ash left Pallet Town, and they watched Ash’s first match in the Indigo League at Oak’s lab. But did we saw them again afterwards? I don’t know anymore. Maybe they were also present at Ash’s party after the league? But now they are completely forgotten.
 
Some disagree and that’s just how it is

The staff putting they’re all into the Ash vs Leon battle, throwing everything and the kitchen sink because it was the proverbial climax of the show ending on one of the best recieved episodes in the shows history, immediately invalidated because there wasn’t some big grand after party and is now a example of “high expectations/disappointing payoff” certainly is one way to look at it I guess.
Disagreeing with someone is one thing. But accusing them of invalidating the climax of a 25 year show is another. I think it is a misrepresentation of people's opinions assumes assumes bad intent. Disagreeing with a narrative choice doesn’t invalidate an unrelated narrative choice.
The fact that Ash vs Leon and the Masters 8 was good in a vacuum doesn’t change the fact that the lead up and aftermath had major issues, specially since it is meant to be Ash's last go at this. The fact that I do not like that narrative choice doesn’t mean I'm invalidating the series climax and the finale in particular.
 
Disagreeing with someone is one thing. But accusing them of invalidating the climax of a 25 year show is another. I think it is a misrepresentation of people's opinions assumes assumes bad intent. Disagreeing with a narrative choice doesn’t invalidate an unrelated narrative choice.
The fact that Ash vs Leon and the Masters 8 was good in a vacuum doesn’t change the fact that the lead up and aftermath had major issues, specially since it is meant to be Ash's last go at this. The fact that I do not like that narrative choice doesn’t mean I'm invalidating the series climax and the finale in particular.
Exactly, thank you. Also, now that we know the 11 Ash episodes exist, we could get the Ash’s friends interactions that I was hoping would happen at the end of Journeys. We have the best of both worlds now, so I feel much better about all of this then when I initially made those posts. It still doesn’t change my disappointment with how Journeys itself ended though. We were never promised Ash’s exit as the main character or epilogue episodes. Everyone assumed that Ash was going straight to Paldea instead, and when you look at it like that, my points about Journey’s ending still feel valid to me.
 
Please note: The thread is from 2 years ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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