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Orla and the Poké Ball Artisan - Pokémon Horizons Episode 29 Review - Finally it's Orla's time to shine

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A collage of screenshots from this episode, showing Orla and Khana; Riko talking to Orla; Roy and Fuecoco being chased by a Galarian Weezing; and Khana watching the team fly off on the Brave Asagi
I always welcome an episode that gives us more insight into the character's backstory. It’s super wonderful to learn more about the Rising Volt Tacklers. This time, it’s Orla’s turn in the spotlight. She’s the mechanic of the team, and also the most needed person on the ship, a very talented engineer who knows how to fix practically everything. So, what happens when she meets a fellow female engineer who needs her help? That’s what this week's episode of Pokémon Horizons. is all about.

Excluding Liko and Roy, Orla is the fourth person of the Rising Volt Tacklers to have her backstory revealed. We just need Dot and Ludlow’s stories now. We previously had a glimpse of Orla’s past through her connection with Friede, who also happens to be her childhood friend. Orla is Kantonian, but moved to Hoenn in her childhood. While she got a job at a shipyard and enjoyed her work, she wasn’t sure if it was what she really wanted to do in life. The fire in her heart only started igniting once Friede asked her to build an airship from Ludlow’s fishing boat, as we saw in Episode 18. In this week's episode, we get to see more of Orla’s side of that conversation, and her feelings about that offer, with Orla stating that it helped her realize that this was what she wanted to do. It’s always nice to read stories about people trying to find their true purpose in life, and this is essentially Orla’s story.

It was clear from watching this episode just how much Orla likes machinery of any kind, and how knowledgeable she is about how each part works. When stumbling upon Khana’s Poké Ball factory, she essentially acts as her mentor to teach her how each part of her factory works. I did like that she instantly knew exactly what each of the parts were and how to utilize them; she even got Khana’s partner Magby helping out. Just seeing two female engineers bonding over machinery is a nice feeling, and I really liked seeing this friendship budding.

Khana is a really cute character. She's essentially a Poké Ball otaku, but some of her creations are absolutely useless. Who the heck needs Bomb Balls if they’re just going to explode on you? I did like the fact that even though there is a Poké Ball factory in Kalos, that doesn’t stop her from having her own factory in Galar with her own creations. The fact that she designs everything on her own is an amazing feat in itself. As a creative myself, I understand that passion. Despite her geekiness when it comes to Poké Balls, she has no idea what the Ancient Pokéball is, though of course she’s totally fascinated with its design. I think that’s a good decision on the writer's part, because it does emphasize just how mysterious these balls really are. In addition to her cute appearance, Khana is voiced by Saki Fujita. She’s previously voiced several Pokémon anime characters in past series, like Anthea is several episodes during Black & White, Lyn in the episode A Jolting Switcheroo! during XY, and Pikarla in Sun & Moon. Fujita is best known however for being the original voice for the iconic vocaloid Hatsune Miku. Having her guest again for another character makes me wonder why they haven’t casted her for a major role yet; she’s super talented. At least we've been hearing her voice a lot lately with the songs from Project VOLTAGE!

In terms of our main duo, Liko and Roy had their fair share of spotlight this episode. Liko was worried about whether Orla would be leaving the group, but I did feel as if these fears were a bit unnecessary. I know that she’s still a kid, but she should know that Orla is a necessary presence in the airship. Liko was the one who had asked about Orla’s past while Roy was testing out the prototype balls before starting the conflict of the second half of the episode. I did like that Liko figured out Galarian Weezing’s type before scanning it on her Pokédex and learned its actual typing. She’s certainly being written a lot smarter here than she was in the previous episode.

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I could complain about Friede and Captain Pikachu saving the day again, but at this point I think I'm going to just have to give up on that. It’s essentially a recurring element now, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Whatever the episode, Friede will always swoop in and save the day. He’ll always be the hand-holding gameplay for Liko and Roy. At least he did something cool this time, and showed off his knowledge of Galarian Weezing and their love for smoke. Considering he's supposed to be a Pokemon Professor, we really should be seeing that side of him more often during the episodes than we do, rather than just in the seminar segments at the end.

My only gripe for this episode was Liko and Roy not asking Khana about her knowledge about the Hisui region as she knew about the balls from back then. It was such an obvious missed opportunity to give the team some clues about Kleavor, regardless of how small they might have been! Other than that, this episode was enjoyable. Khana was a nice character of the day and it was nice seeing her similarities with Orla in terms of love for engineering and machines. So, what are your thoughts about this episode?


Bulbanews Writer
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