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Review SM003: Hello, Roto, I'm the Rotom Pokédex, Roto!

It seems to me that Iwane did the new BANK animation for the Rocket Gang's role call in a semi-gekiga style, relying heavily on pencil-esque lines and marks to give a rough look for the drawings. It looks really cool and obviously a callback to older animated works, like Ashita no Jou. I swear the actual walk cycles were harkening back to realist animators like Okiura and Iso, too. Very good stuff.

Musashi's obviously supposed to have a fugly character design, but I definitely felt like Iwane was injecting some sexiness into his drawings. These in particular are stunningly gorgeous.
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So-so Ash & Co. episode, great TR episode. Though like I posted in another thread the redisign hit J&J really hard, can't say I'm a fan.

Mimikyu seems quite powerful, that could make for some good battles if/when they catch it.
Edit: She caught it!

In my head, Kojiro gained a bunch of weight before going to the Aloha region. He and Musashi did not realize how much they physically changed because of the daily feast Sakaki provided due to their adventures in Kalos. Secretly, Bewear remembers Kojiro from years ago... when he vacationed there as a child, and he and his growlithe protected him so now, Bewear feels that kidnapping his obviously traumatized Kojiro (assumed by his physical change) is his best way to thank him.

I think this sounds pretty accurate.

Please write a fic about this.
 
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Eh, wasn't too into this episode.

Just like episode 1, the plot was all over the place. First Ash gets his dex working, then he goes out to catch Pokemon, TR interact with Mimikyu for a while, Pikachu battles Mimikyu, TR get randomly taken away by a Bewear, and then the gang just goes back to looking for Pokemon. Rotom Dex was nice and all, but I feel like he didn't get all that much focus in the second half of the episode. I do like that they showed off his picture taking ability.

Also, TR's designs are horrible. They look even uglier than before.

So yeah, not too pleased with this one. 3/10.
 
That Rotom Pokédex basically stole this one for me, I absolutely loved that little gadget and got a real kick out of it interacting with Samson.
 
So-so Ash & Co. episode, great TR episode. Though like I posted in another thread the redisign hit J&J really hard, can't say I'm a fan.

Mimikyu seems quite powerful, that could make for some good battles if/when they catch it.




Please write a fic about this.

Haha maybe I will write a fic about that. I haven't written anything in awhile so it might be a good introduction back into writing. lol.

Outside of their designs, I did think it was a very good TR episode. I also love that the anime made sure that both TRio and Ash introduced what they do to new fans. lol... in the beginning, one of them says, "We do it all for Sakaki..." or something of that nature.

Something cool that they brought from OS is Meowth's desire to take Persian's place which he says in the beginning also. It was a nice throwback moment.
 
Totally called Mimikyu attacking Pikachu outside of TR's influence. Furthermore, the battle animation was great-still felt like I was watching XY.

Secondly, I like the Rotomdex much more than I thought I would. It's a pretty amusing character and provides decent comedy-relief. And for a Pokemon School, Ash (and his classmates for that matter) don't seem to be learning much.
 
All the human characters other than Ash/Satoshi and Team Rocket look good and fit their game designs. The Pokemon all look more or less the same as they did in X&Y just with a bit of a softer color and lining to them. So I don't understand why they had to make Ash and the Rocket duo look so disgustingly bad. It just eats at me. My only hope is they tone down the wonky designs slowly over the course of the series and find a happy medium between the current style and the previous designs.

Anyway, the episode was decent and I'd be lying if I didn't say I got enjoyment out of it. I guess at the end of the day that's all I can expect out of the Pokemon anime but it still feels like they need to improve a lot of areas. Team Rocket, design aside, has a new motto which is nice. I didn't actually even consider Jessie/Musashi catching a Mimikyu at all. Despite it being so obvious. Mimikyu is an interesting character for sure. I hope James/Kojiro catches a new Pokemon soon since it seems it's now Jessie 2 and James 0. Was kind of neat seeing them use a Luxury Ball too.

My complaint from the first 2 episodes still stands. Most of the characters just feel like they're there. They aren't really interacting much and are just reacting. That's problematic for me. By episode 3 in X&Y I already felt a stronger friendship between Ash and Clement/Bonnie (Serena not being there yet either). Thing is, most of these trial captains in the game are very likable and have nice quirks/personalities and I feel like the anime has only really touched on Kiawe at his best.

One MAJOR complaint though: I kid you not, Ash ordered Pikachu to use THUNDER SHOCK in this episode. Yes, THUNDER SHOCK. Um, what? Either the writers screwed up big time or they dropped Electro Ball (we saw him use Iron Tail already I believe) for the most basic of attacks that makes no sense.

One last thing though, on the positive side. If Team Rocket getting randomly carried away by Bewear instead of blasting off is the new gag, I'm okay with that. I found that really hilarious honestly. Also, the Rotem Pokedex is not as bad as I thought it'd be. I kind of like the guy in the anime and games.
 
> Ash recognised Rotom straight away, but you know, reboot and all
> RotomDex is essentially a sentient flying camera, which makes it a voyeur's dream
> If I was RotomDex I'd be scared too if Sophocles offered to stick his screwdriver in me
> Apparently Mimikyu has a pretty powerful hallucinogenic under its cloth. Or it's just bad body oder.
> RotomDex telling the gang what typing Pokemon have better be a consistent thing
> Bewear is surprisingly stealthy for, well, being a bear, which makes it all the more terrifying
> Alola!Oak with a Mawile face was the creepiest part of this episode

So the undoubted star of this episode was Mimikyu. I don't recall many debuts as powerful as that one was. The sound effects as it moved, the way it just casually snaps its own neck, the noises it made, and the Dex entry ("A scholar looked under its cloth and died from shock" - wonder if they'll keep that in the dub?) all contributed to showing off what a creepy bugger Mimikyu actually is. Now it's a part of Team Rocket it's going to show up more often and I'm totally okay with that.

It was also cool that while RotomDex had a prominent part the episode wasn't about it so much as Team Rocket and Mimikyu. It slipped into the cast quite seamlessly, having just enough presence without being overbearing. I saw a lot of people elsewhere thought it was annoying but I found it to be endearing. It being around comes with two major perks as well: 1) it tells the gang Pokemon typing, so there'll be no more misunderstandings (no electric attacks on secret ground types, for example) and 2) it'll examine Pokemon without Ash telling it to, so we'll get less instances of Ash deciding to scan Pokemon he's already seen - Rotom will do it unprompted for the viewer's benefit.

Just like episode 1, the plot was all over the place. First Ash gets his dex working, then he goes out to catch Pokemon, TR interact with Mimikyu for a while, Pikachu battles Mimikyu, TR get randomly taken away by a Bewear, and then the gang just goes back to looking for Pokemon.

I don't know about "all over the place". Ash gets the dex then goes to school as normal. Kukui sends them out for some field work to make use of the dex. They get distracted from their field work by Team Rocket then when that's over they return to their field work. So it seems pretty consistent to me.

My complaint from the first 2 episodes still stands. Most of the characters just feel like they're there. They aren't really interacting much and are just reacting. That's problematic for me. By episode 3 in X&Y I already felt a stronger friendship between Ash and Clement/Bonnie (Serena not being there yet either). Thing is, most of these trial captains in the game are very likable and have nice quirks/personalities and I feel like the anime has only really touched on Kiawe at his best.

Normally I'd agree with this but this was a Team Rocket episode more than an Ash-tachi episode, and the moments Ash and co. were in they were understandably distracted by other things. Since we seem to have a Lana episode and a Sophocles episode coming up I'm not too worried about it at this stage either.

One MAJOR complaint though: I kid you not, Ash ordered Pikachu to use THUNDER SHOCK in this episode. Yes, THUNDER SHOCK. Um, what? Either the writers screwed up big time or they dropped Electro Ball (we saw him use Iron Tail already I believe) for the most basic of attacks that makes no sense.

Did you mean to post this in the EP004 thread by any chance? Because Pikachu used Electro Ball twice in this episode, and the only other move he used was Iron Tail (not counting when he electrocuted Ash and Kukui at the start).
 
> Ash recognised Rotom straight away, but you know, reboot and all
> RotomDex is essentially a sentient flying camera, which makes it a voyeur's dream
> If I was RotomDex I'd be scared too if Sophocles offered to stick his screwdriver in me
> Apparently Mimikyu has a pretty powerful hallucinogenic under its cloth. Or it's just bad body oder.
> RotomDex telling the gang what typing Pokemon have better be a consistent thing
> Bewear is surprisingly stealthy for, well, being a bear, which makes it all the more terrifying
> Alola!Oak with a Mawile face was the creepiest part of this episode

From what I can tell, Meowth suffered a near-death experience. What other fantasy starts off with Meowth going into the light of a dark tunnel and experiencing of his equivalent of heaven (and later hell)? After all, it said was by Rotom Dex that a scholar virtually died of shock when he got a good look at Mimikyu's true form. Meowth getting a brief glimpse is enough to knock him unconscious and nearly die as a result.
 
Did you mean to post this in the EP004 thread by any chance? Because Pikachu used Electro Ball twice in this episode, and the only other move he used was Iron Tail (not counting when he electrocuted Ash and Kukui at the start).

Yes, you're right. He did use Electro Ball this episode. The moment was in episode 4 when Ash was trying to catch Grubbin. He told Pikachu to aim for the hole and use Denkishock on it when it comes up, which is supposed to be the Japanese attack name for Thundershock. Actually, the way he pronounced it makes me question whether it was that move now. Or if the intention was just "Aim your electric shock at the hole" and not an actual attack. Who knows, but it was a bit jarring.

From what I can tell, Meowth suffered a near-death experience. What other fantasy starts off with Meowth going into the light of a dark tunnel and experiencing of his equivalent of heaven (and later hell)? After all, it said was by Rotom Dex that a scholar virtually died of shock when he got a good look at Mimikyu's true form. Meowth getting a brief glimpse is enough to knock him unconscious and nearly die as a result.

Well Mikyu's official lore states: "It is believed that seeing its true form will cause a mysterious illness."

"Mysterious illness" can allude to many things but death is definitely a possibility there. They sort of kind of toned it down for the anime but the implications are there. They sort of kind of alluded to Bounsweet being swallowed by Pokemon as well, another disturbing fact we were given this gen.
 
Yes, you're right. He did use Electro Ball this episode. The moment was in episode 4 when Ash was trying to catch Grubbin. He told Pikachu to aim for the hole and use Denkishock on it when it comes up, which is supposed to be the Japanese attack name for Thundershock. Actually, the way he pronounced it makes me question whether it was that move now. Or if the intention was just "Aim your electric shock at the hole" and not an actual attack. Who knows, but it was a bit jarring.

Ah, okay. I haven't seen the fourth episode yet. It'd be a hell of a mistake if it was meant to be Thundershock since we haven't seen that move in, what, nearly 20 years?
 
The tail pulling and Bewear carrying away TR sold me on the Anime. Its too kid friendly and heavy handed after XY, but this show is doing wonders with the animation, even if the artstyle is a bit too simple for my liking, and I liked how there seems to be a day to day feel to the show, more slice of life. I hope to god its not because these were two one hour specials, I want more of it. I love the Mimikyu wants to kill Pikachu angle.
 
Wasn't too surprising that Jessie got Mimikyu. This was kind of foreseen by fans for a while.
 
Yes, you're right. He did use Electro Ball this episode. The moment was in episode 4 when Ash was trying to catch Grubbin. He told Pikachu to aim for the hole and use Denkishock on it when it comes up, which is supposed to be the Japanese attack name for Thundershock. Actually, the way he pronounced it makes me question whether it was that move now. Or if the intention was just "Aim your electric shock at the hole" and not an actual attack. Who knows, but it was a bit jarring.

He didn't command him to use Thundershock. He said "denkou sekka" which is Quick Attack
 
That image of Sakaki is scary af.
(Though I kind of prefer him as a potential threat than when he does something and proves how ineffective his gang actually are...)
 
This and SM004 were waaay better than the premiere.

I think mostly because of Team Rocket, because they fit the story of SM so well. They better feature TR in every episode from now on, because they (and RotomDex) made the episodes good.

Bewear carrying TR is now my favorite running gag ever. Love its cry, too.

Also, I had no idea there were people thinking that Mimikyu's personality was off. I think it's on point with what the game developers intended (it's a ghost type after all). Can't wait for its interactions with Jessie.

Already missing Gourgeist and Inkay ;-;
 
This was a great episode!

PROS:
-Mimikyu having a unique personality that fits for TR. I think it should be great for the future with Pikachu and Mimikyu having a rivalry.

-Bewear stalling the stock blast off animation. Keep picking em' up, but please, not when they're losing. That could potentially get annoying.

-Rotom Pokedex saying the typing of Pokémon is a good thing they added in there. It may be useful in competitions.

-Jessie's new design is a hit and miss for me. I like that she looks more menacing and sinister with the look, but she just looks so different when you compare it to her looks during the original series. Even past series, with newer animation still made the designs closer. James's design is fine with me, since his hair is relaxed. Fits in with the general feel of the region. Meowth and Wobbuffet look about the same.

-Team Rocket got loads of screen time on an episode not even focusing on them. They felt like the spotlight of this episode in my opinion.

-Meowth's fantasy was rather pleasant to see in this episode. They must've took inspiration from Tumblr when making that scene.

-Mimikyu got more personality then Pumpkaboo in 40 episodes.

CONS:
-Gourgeist and Inkay being sent back to HQ. I wonder where they are along with the eight other Pokémon.

THOUGHTS:
-Will Rotom fight with Ash in battles?
Only time will tell.

Overall Score: 8.5/10
 
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