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The Lonely Hatenna - Pokémon Horizons Episode 21 Review - Liko catches her second Pokémon!

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A collage of screenshots from this episode, showing various scenes of Hatenna and Sprigatito together, Hatenna on its own, and Liko with Hatenna riding on its shoulder.
This week's episode of Pokémon Horizons was cute and sweet. Liko finally catches her second Pokémon in Hatenna, after forming a bond with her by understanding her emotional distress. It wasn’t exactly the perfect episode, but I still enjoyed it overall.

I did find it a bit amusing how, in the beginning of the episode, Liko mentions to Ann that she wasn’t interested in getting a second Pokémon. Then throughout the episode, the Hatenna came and ruined her entire career, causing her to catch it; it’s less aggressive than how I worded it, trust me. Anyways, Ann got her own second Pokémon in Sandshrew. All these rookie trainers are getting their second Pokémon, and it makes me wonder if Dot will get a second one herself. Will the other members of the Rising Volt Tacklers get a second or third Pokémon at some point in the future as well? I’d love to see their teams expanding!

While it was nice seeing Liko getting through to Hatenna and forming a bond with her, I do wish that it didn’t drag until the last quarter of the episode, as most of the episode ended up consisting of the kids trying to find Hatenna as she roamed around the Brave Asagi. I do get that it’s a Liko focused episode, and that the searching is for Liko to understand Hatenna’s feelings, but I do wish it was handled a bit bette. That’s just a minor nitpick on my part though.

Liko realizing that she wants to be a Trainer who understands Pokémon’s feelings might be perfect for her, as she’s not particularly focused on battling in the same way that Ash was in the original series. This was on display in the previous episode, where Liko's kindness was both a strength and a flaw, and that she made light of Sprigatito’s feelings when she had forfeited the match. Hopefully she won’t make the same mistakes as she did last episode, and keeps going forward with her compassion for others. Though, it does make me wonder what this will establish for her. Will she have her own specific goal in the future?

Hatenna is established as a shy Pokémon throughout this episode. She had a hard time getting used to the other Pokémon, and got startled by the humans’ loud voices. It makes sense that she would feel most comfortable with the nicest person on the airship, namely Liko. What I liked about Hatenna was the fact that she likes being in Liko’s hoodie. That was so cute!

Amethio, Zirc and Onia
Sprigatito was actually the one who persuaded Hatenna to join Liko, which I thought was a bit surprising. Back around Episode 9, Sprigatito demonstrated that it had a jealous side initially responded to the attention Liko gave to Alex’s Fidough. Even in this episode, Liko requested Sprigatito to not get jealous over Hatenna, and it never did get jealous at all. Seeing how Sprigatito noticed Liko’s expression when she was releasing Hatenna back into the wild, I think that the cat might play a big role in toughening up Liko. If Liko holds back, Sprigatito will be the one to push forward. If Liko hesitates, Sprigatito will be the one to make the first move. I think that dynamic between trainer and Pokémon will be an interesting one to see.

Aside from Mollie and Friede, everyone else in the Rising Volt Tacklers wasn’t really active this episode, but they did have their nice share of screen time. Orla in particular was rather short-tempered, snapping at both Mollie and Murdock. Murdock meanwhile was happy to have a conversation with Dot, even if it’s brief. Roy as usual was Liko’s biggest hype boy and I loved it. Dot was active in helping Liko search for Hatenna, so she was seen outside of her room for most of the episode. Ludlow was just Ludlow with his words of wisdom. It was nice seeing them harmonious in a way. Even the Pokémon had their moment of screen time. Alcremie trying to offer Hatenna some food was easily the cutest thing ever. Since Sprigatito and Rockruff get along so well, I wonder if we'll see Hatenna and Alcremie getting along in the same way in future episodes.

With the episode concluding with the return of Amethio and his subordinates Zurc and Onia, it makes me wonder what will happen at the Galar Mine. Will they find the Black Rayquaza? What will happen when Amethio confronts the Rising Volt Tacklers? What are your thoughts on this episode? I can’t wait for the next one!


Bulbanews Writer
I do wish that it didn’t drag until the last quarter of the episode
I feel like in general, this Pokémon show has tragically slow pacing, and has a tendency to overdramatize the most trivial situations, like: "oh Hatenna's missing" cue requiem music

The overemphasizing of not-so-dramatic scenes does create a certain unusual vibe, though not necessarily in a bad way. Maybe the scenes of the kids trying to find Hatenna might have just been for the amusement factor? Though I'd agree that they're really not that amusing.

Also ig Liko's gonna be a Pokémon psychologist now ‍⚕️⚕️⚕️
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