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Review SM134: Everyone's Fully Powered! The Road to the Semifinals!!

Okay, so.

Charizard vs Vikavolt ended the way it should. I like how he’s powerful enough to burn through the Z-move and withstand all those head on attacks. Wild Charge vs Supersonic Skystrike looked amazing. Though again... Sophocles must either have a TM collection back home or he’s the most efficient trainer ever to teach his pokemon so many moves in so little time (but then again, Sawyer’s Slurpuff had a completely different moveset whenever it battled)

Guzma was amazing, as usual. The guy’s so ruthless and sadistic and he knows how to exploit that. I had the unnerving feeling that Golisopod was purposefully using weak Poison Jabs so that torture session would last longer.

I wanted Primarina beaten, but goddamn, was this painful to look at. The poor thing could barely crawl in panic as it was stabbed left and right. Kudos for the Surf + Icy Wind combo, though. It might have turned the battle around if Golisopod didn’t have such a strong counter in Liquidation.

On a side note, Oceanic Operetta has to be the blandest Z-move in the anime. It’s one of the most gorgeous ones in the game, yet here it’s just a generic big bubble that even Popplio could create back then.
last week poke problem had 4 choices about the outcome of the battle this week same thing
I'm sensing a pattern in the aloha league
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So much so that not only did they not have Primarina’s eyes become swirls when it went down as to emphasize the seriousness but they also had Lana reflected in the water and not recall her even though she was down. This is how you do a powerful scene. You’d almost think you were in a completely different series compared to last week.
A rare acknowledgement from the writers in regards to typing, as Poison beats Fairy... provided that Golisopid did attack Primarina with Poison Jab.

Ash vs. Guzma can go either way, given many past episodes show that anyone commanding their Pokémon to fight dirty is irredeemably evil, and should be arrested, yet double standard is in play, as Ash can dirty, but will be treated in the right. On one hand, Ash wins (legally or through another deus ex machina), showcasing that it's wrong to fight dirty. Or Guzma wins, reinforcing the status quo but providing justice for Hau's loss by SOS Rest.

I'm not seeing Guzma's hidden heart of gold being adapted here, implying he and Team Skull will end up in jail by Officer Jenny like all villain team leaders in the past apart from Giovanni (still active), Cyrus (trapped in an alternate dimension) and Lysandre (deceased).

This episode plays out much better than the last one, I'll say.
I wonder
Ash vs Guzma is two parter episode
Rewatching the Lana vs. Guzma fight, Primarina's pained expressions and voice honestly make me tear up a little, especially as a Primarina fan.

Here's hoping Laurie Hymes can echo that performance in the dub

I wonder
Ash vs Guzma is two parter episode

The battle will start in SM136 and continue in SM137, I think that's all we're getting
Also Shaymin used a move.

....I don't get the Lana hate, but yeesh....

So, in the perspective of BlueAngelShipping, does this fight and the one after it set up the old 'Stuffed in the Fridge' trope in a G-Rated, not actually stuffing Lana in a fridge sort of way.
How did they go from one of the worst league battles in the series... to one of the BEST?

The strategies Sophocles had during the battle against Kiawe by using String Shot in the air, and how each side showed many of their character's strengths came to play with Sophocle's brainpower vs. Kiawe's rawpower was great, and if it wasn't for the episode titles I genuinely wouldn't have been able to tell who won because of how even it was. Vikavolt still trying to rise even after taking a Z-Move to the face just shows how much more character it's gotten outside of being a walking jelly bean. If only Ash could get League battles consistently this good

Lana vs. Guzma was brutal and tense not just in the fact that her Primarina got knocked down by the same exact team that caused it and Lana to meet, but how it still managed to fight just as effective even taking over 20 Poison Jabs. Guzma's brief look of fear after being outplayed by Lana showed that even a character as strong as him could still be intimidated, which only reflects even more on his Pokemon. Also lol at yet another Z-Move doing absolutely nothing in this series

Now this is more like it! After last weeks episode I needed something much better or my hope levels for the remainder of this league was gonna hit absolute zero. I thought Kiawe vs Sophocles was alright, but of course the real gem in this episode was Guzma vs Lana. The sinister side of me enjoyed the brutality that Guzma and Golisopod demonstrated! The icing on the cake was the end of the battle when Liquidation was used to cut Oceanic Operetta in half almost as if Guzma was saying: "Screw your Z-moves". This is currently my favorite Alola League episode now.
This was so refreshing after last week's screw up by Fujisaku. Kiawe and Sophocles battle was pretty good. Lana and Guzma's was just horrific though. Guzma is the most brutal trainer we have ever seen and he will not stop until he ends Kukui's dream. Serious battles like these are what I look forward to in the leagues. Not Rowlet falling asleep mid battle and a fakeout loss.

Great episode!
This was so refreshing after last week's screw up by Fujisaku. Kiawe and Sophocles battle was pretty good. Lana and Guzma's was just horrific though. Guzma is the most brutal trainer we have ever seen and he will not stop until he ends Kukui's dream. Serious battles like these are what I look forward to in the leagues. Not Rowlet falling asleep mid battle and a fakeout loss.

Great episode!

Agreed, I'm glad that Guzma is competing as he has to be one of the more brutal battlers we've ever had in a league
but how it still managed to fight just as effective even taking over 20 Poison Jabs.
Knowing Guzma and Golisopod, I'd say that they intentionally held back on the physical power of the Jab, instead letting the Poison typing extending the torment against a Fairy type. It wouldn't be out of character for them to torture one of Kukui's students.
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The way how Charizard broke out of the Z-Move so quickly can't help but make me think that the writer of this episode looked at the way how Fujisaku ended the last episode, was all like "Oh, no, no, nooo, I'm not going to do this your way!" and wrote a much more believable scenario for Kiawe to win than what Fujisaku would have written.
Now I'm really looking forward to Ash vs Guzma. His other two opponents up to this point were minor characters, but now it's a battle between the protagonist and the main antagonist of this arc.
Someone on YouTube said this, and I agree; you could say that Primarina had died here, and it would be completely believable. Listen, if Ash loses against Gladion, then fine. Whatever. All I want is for Ash to beat Guzma into the ground after he utterly destroyed this poor Pokémon.

Edit: Two things;

1) I’d just like to say that the writer for this episode, Masahiro Okubo, had only written 3 Pokemon episodes before this, starting with the Kahili episode.

2) I think that the quality of the league is only going to go up from here, as this episode signified that this league isn’t fun and games anymore, and the remaining battles are going to get way more serious. It also helps that we’re past 1v1s now. Hopefully I don’t eat my words when episode 138 rolls around.
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This episode also showed off the characters really well (specifically Lana & Guzma). I like how Guzma was the ruthless, unbeatable, “never in any real trouble”-type trainer, while still having Lana put up a little bit of a fight and not making her a complete pushover. I was afraid that Golisopod would kind of just OHKO Primarina and delete all of Lana’s skill and build-up to this point, but Primarina still did an admirable job. As someone who liked last week’s episode, I have to say, this episode was way better than the latter. Good job Ōkubo!

p.s. love you guzma, but I hope ash utterly destroys you:lapras:
I swear Guzma escaped from the XY&Z-verse and got stuck in SuMo. It's the only way to explain why he's the most serious, competent and intense battler in the whole region.
Hey, don’t diss my boys Gladion and Kiawe like that. If this was in a more “standard” league, I could see both of them getting to the quarterfinals, maybe even the semis.
I feel like all the semifinalists right now, actually seem like semifinalists. It also seems as though the semis will be at least 2v2 (hopefully 3v3), so I think this might actually feel more like previous league tournaments from this point on. Looking forward to what’s in store for us these following weeks.

I don’t know if anybody said this yet, but in this shot, Primarina’s “hair” is missing.

Also, this is the creepiest Machop I’ve ever seen:lapras:
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