Suggested by Destroyer Grand Fisher was one of Ichigo’s first opponents and certainly a very personal one. His stats are good but ultimately he’s not ready to take on Ash’s gauntlet of powerful Pokemon. Greninja, Charizard, Lucario, and Pikachu should be enough to make short work out of this guy. Ash’s Pokemon have consistently shown themselves to be some of the strongest in the verse and dealing with multiple at a time like this is no easy feat. Ash wins.
It goes without saying that this will have spoilers for the currently ongoing World Coronation Series in the Pokemon anime. If you haven’t gotten caught up yet then you’ll want to skip this one. I’m going to be talking in depth about the biggest tragedy since Ash vs Alain back in the Kalos league where Ash should have absolutely taken the win but in losing it made this fight impossible to buy into.
It’s time for a quick discussion on why Alain should have defeated Leon. Right now for context the Pokemon anime is currently in the middle of the World Coronation saga. Easily the most epic tournament since the Johto league. It consists of the top 8 trainers in the entire planet. That’s right, Ash has now made it to truly elite company as it should be. I always thought he had more potential than constantly losing in every league. (Sure, he beat some kids in Aloha but nobody counts that) Well, now is his chance to win it all. It’s been a pretty hype adventure all around but nothing’s going to top this part of the arc.
That said, as soon as the brackets came out, I think we all had a sneaking suspicion on what was going to happen to Alain. I can’t say that I’m crazy about the matchups at all since it takes away a lot of potential. The first round battles were Alain vs Leon, Ash vs Steven, Iris vs Cynthia, and Lance vs Diantha. It’s fair to say that you already suspect who will win in most of these battles but that’s fine since usually you can piece it together really quickly based on the narrative. That’s why everyone was dismayed at Alain having to go up against Leon. Leon is the #1 ranked fighter and so it is extremely likely that he will be fighting Ash in the finals. (Ash better make it there this time!)
So Leon is no slouch in combat and I definitely want to underscore that before getting into this. He is #1 for a reason and at least within his region he is seen as unstoppable. If I were to rank the Top 8 fighters in terms of power, he would be pretty high.
1. Prime Ash
2. Kalos Ash
4. Current Ash
5. Johto Ash
8. Sinnoh Ash
9. Hoenn Ash
11. Kanto Ash
15th “I only need Pikachu!” Ash
So Leon is the 3rd strongest fighter in this current competition and I dare say he should give the other two a spectacular fight. This guy really knows how to rumble and he has a lot of experience. I would still go to Alain winning this one. Not only has he taken down numerous mega level Pokemon in the past but he’s always shown an excellent level of tactical awareness. Just look at his fight with Ash back in Kalos. Now, it is impressive that he happens to now have been in 2 of the most controversial Pokemon battles of all time on both the winning and losing end. It shows that Alain is always in the mix and everyone is invested in the guy.
That’s why it just doesn’t make sense for him to have been done so dirty here. To recap the fight, Alain immediately called his Charizard back to his Pokeball when Leon took out his. What? Does Alain really think his would lose in a battle of skill? Alain’s Charizard is canonically the strongest in the verse, just look at his feats in all of the previous battles. His Charizard is absolutely insane and even has thunder type abilities. He would not be losing this battle so just trust in your starter.
Instead Alain brings out some jellyfish that immediately gets one shotted as if this is One Punch Man and just wasted a turn. Reminded me of Goodra choking in the Kalos finals for Ash. If Ash somehow loses to Leon I’ll definitely be watching closely to see which Pokemon to blame this time.
All right, so Alain is effectively fighting 3 vs 2. Now the next issue comes down to earlier in the fight. Both of them use their grass type Pokemon and I was actually completely cool with this one. It was a really nice fight with a lot of back and forth. Nothing to really dislike here and both trainers showed their expertise and why they are ready to fight at this level. It was a great fight and while Alain was on the losing end, that’s cool. If the whole fight was like this I probably wouldn’t have had much complaints…..but if we look at this a little deeper than Alain should have won the first fight as well.
What you have to realize is that Leon’s Pokemon used his gigantomax…and did absolutely nothing with it. He was too large and too slow so Alain’s guy was running rings around him. How did this suddenly get flipped when it wore off? Unless you’re telling me that Gigantomax actually just makes you weaker then I’ve got some big questions here. So yeah I was cool with it because it was a good back and forth fight but this is definitely one that Alain should have won as well.
Still the biggest issue is with the Charizard battle. So long story short, Leon wins without his Charizard even having to use his gigantomax. His base form beats Alain’s mega mode with a single good shot. There are numerous things to point out here about how that’s crazy. You’re really telling me that Leon’s base Charizard is that powerful when Ash already pushed him to have to Gigantomax in their fight? The power scaling is shot to pieces at this point and it just doesn’t add up. I’m all for giving Ash hype because he’s great but the gap in power cannot be that huge. There’s just no way.
Alain’s Charizard is shown to be significantly weaker in this fight with almost no durability at all. He’s a glass cannon that shatters after being hit. That doesn’t track though, not at all. Alain’s Charizard is still very experienced and has been through his share of fights. I can accept him losing in a hard fought battle to Leon’s Charizard as both were at around full strength but not after he mega evolves. Leon should only be able to possibly win if he does the Gigantomax but not in base mode.
Also, in the games you can only Gigantomax once per battle. I don’t know if the anime follows the same rules but if it does that explains why they had Leon win in base. Because if that were the case then he couldn’t transform and by all accounts Alain should have absolutely clobbered him here. You can’t underestimate how incredible the stat boosts are by mega evolving. It makes you a whole new beast in combat and it’s still my favorite mechanic for that reason. Forget Gigantomax and Z moves, Mega evolution is still the most powerful form of combat.
On a narrative level I’m also surprised we didn’t get to see a mega vs gigantomax fight here. It would have made a lot of sense and a big part of the hype in the tournament is seeing all of these different gameplay mechanics and strategies going up against each other. It felt like the fight was just way too rushed and should have absolutely been given a grander feel. Again, I do think Alain is stronger than Leon and should have won their fight but I at least could have accepted his loss a little easier if it was a really hard fought battle. Leon also absolutely had to transform his Charizard because otherwise I can’t buy a mega losing to a non mega. Additionally Leon didn’t even need to use his third Pokemon which was like extra disrespect being thrown in.
I suspect that Alain was dumpstered here as an apology of sorts for having him beat Ash in Kalos. There was a lot of deserved backlash for doing that but in trying to correct this they went too far in the other way. Like it or not, he beat Ash that time so he doesn’t just lose that strength overnight. In theory he should be even stronger now than he was then and should have had a fight to show that. It was a rough start for the tournament but of course I’m still hyped to see how the rest of the battles go out. With Alain out of the picture I’m riding with Ash all the way. In terms of how I would like the matches to go, ignoring who will likely win each set, I’d like Ash, Cynthia, and Lance to advance as well. Then we’ll see how the second round goes. Who knows, maybe they can throw Tobias in as the secret champion to go up against.
Maybe Alain will get another fight someday but this feels like it’s probably it for him. It’s hard to picture the anime doing another world championship ever again as this is usually more of a one time deal. If they do a second year like Beyblade to defend the title or something that’d be awesome though. This time I’d like to see more of the big shots appearing though like Gary, Paul, Ritchie, and the whole gang. Instead of an 8 man bracket, make it a traditional 32 character tournament. It makes for a lot more interesting theories and analysis on how the tournament will go down since there are so many more variables.
Check out this cool fan edit in the twitter link below which has a much better structure on how the fight should have gone. Again, if Alain was going to lose then it should have been after pulling out all of the stops like this. The Charizard vs Charizard fight was what everyone came to see after all.
So, what do you think? Was Alain losing to Leon acceptable? How about the way he lost? Mega losing to base and Leon not even needing a third Pokemon? You know my thoughts on this and I’ll be ready with more Pokemon editorials as needed although I don’t think there is any that would warrant a big post on this unless Ash somehow loses…..he better not!
Mewtwo is pretty fortunate to not only get multiple movies/specials but even a remake. Then the remake also getting its own manga adaption is pretty interesting. Naturally it’s very close to the original story but it’s an adventure that holds up and it was executed well. The art is solid and Mewtwo makes for a good villain so at the end of the day you’ve got a good adventure here. It certainly goes by in a flash.
The manga opens up by introducing us to Mewtwo, the most powerful Pokemon in the known world. He was created as a clone of Mew and modified to be even more powerful than the original. Mewtwo didn’t understand why a powerful being such as himself should work for humans so he escaped and built a fortress. In order to truly test the limits of his abilities he decided to send invites to the world’s best trainers. This would solve the question once and for all of who was stronger, Pokemon or their trainers.
Naturally Ash and friends are invited to this. Ash has definitely earned this privilege since he has been defeating Gym Leaders left and right. Not to mention that the volume opens up with him beating someone in a Pokemon battle so we see his skills firsthand. That said, Ash isn’t thrilled when he learns that Mewtwo doesn’t just want a good fight but global domination as well. Can Ash really take Mewtwo down or will he have finally met his match?
The manga has to move fast to adapt everything of course so some areas are glossed over. That said, I feel like the movie may have done this as well. The whole crossing the ocean part is basically skipped as the manga takes you to the heroes arriving there right away. I’m pretty fine with that since the battles are the most important part but it’s also why I say the more volumes you have for an adaption the better since you get to dwell on everything more. I would call this a very solid adaption though as you hit all of the major beats of the story.
While I wouldn’t say the artwork is top tier it’s better than a lot of the other quick one shots. For example I prefer it to the Heatran arc. Some of the shots in the manga really stand out as well like Ash’s punch against Mewtwo. It was drawn really well and you could definitely feel the impact of the blow. It’s always good to see Ash right there on the front lines trying to defend the Pokemon. It’s only fitting that he would be chosen to represent the real Pokemon.
As for the battles with the clones, I suppose Mewtwo was ultimately right that cloned Pokemon are more powerful. They all won their battles rather easily. Mewtwo mentions turning off their abilities later so perhaps the clones have built in augmentations like psychic abilities that can be turned off? It’s hard to say precisely what the abilities do but at the end of the day the clones are definitely stronger than the originals by a wide enough margin where it doesn’t seem possible for an original to beat the clone.
That helps support why I believe Mewtwo to be stronger than Mew. They have a good fight here but Mew spends a lot of it just running away and dodging. Mewtwo is the one on the attack the whole time. I also find Mewtwo to be one of the most interesting Pokemon fighters. The fact that he won’t just sit back and allow the humans to control him is definitely a big deal. He has his own honor code and sense of justice so he isn’t going to just roll over and allow himself to be beaten. His ability to talk also allows him to explain his case a lot better than most could.
Outside of the main plot you’ve got Team Rocket of course but their plot is absolutely tiny. They barely have any real relevance to the story so there’s not much to say about them. Even Misty and Brock don’t get to do much here. Brock mostly just embarrasses himself while Misty looks good but isn’t really here to battle in the first place. The other trainers who were invited to the island don’t get to do much aside from be quickly defeated. Their Pokemon do look strong of course, just not strong enough to tackle Mewtwo.
This was back when Legendary Pokemon really lived up to their name. There was a huge gap between someone like Mewtwo and even the strongest of ordinary Pokemon like Dragonite. It just made a lot of sense even if it’s almost inevitable that someday the Legendary Pokemon would not be able to keep up and got power scaled straight out of there. The writing is solid and the adventure is pretty fun. As the story is only volume there isn’t a ton more to say about it. I guess as a miscellaneous note I do think this was Giovanni’s worst appearance in some ways. Mainly because he had a great situation going for him with Mewtwo as a willing worker and then he blew it by calling Mewtwo a tool and mocking him. What happened to subtlety? I know Giovanni has a ton of confidence but it felt a little out of character for him to antagonize Mewtwo like that. I feel like he had to know that this would not end well.
Overall, Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is a pretty fun remake. I still say the original story beats the remake but I suppose in manga format it’s super close. One thing that i do think looks cooler is Mewtwo’s new armor with the spikes. It’s a much busier design but it’s one that works well. The armor is something that would quickly put fear into any Pokemon trying to deal with this guy and it looks one of a kind so you know that an ordinary Pokemon would not be wearing it. I suppose soon will be the manga for the new Jungle film. We’ll see how that one holds up in the end. Whether you’ve seen the Mewteo story already or not I would recommend checking the manga out. It’s a pretty faithful adaption and the story’s a lot of fun.
Tyson and Ash are both pretty intense main characters who are always ready to take things to the next level. Ash may not win tournaments very often but at least he is always in the running which is the important part. He doesn’t go down very easily and his Pikachu always brings his A game. Tyson’s mastered the game of Beyblade but his beast just won’t be able to handle Ash’s Pikachu. The difference in their respective abilities is really going to cost him here. Then you have to account for the fact that Ash has tons and tons of Pokemon at his disposal. Ash wins.
Suggested by Anonymous This is a pretty tough one. Vent does have a lot of abilities up his sleeve to be sure, but I don’t think they are at a high enough level for him to stop all of Ash’s Pokémon. Pikachu and Sceptile in particular will be tough to deal with due to their speed. This is one case where Ash’s sheer numbers will be what carries him to victory. Vent’s various form shifts just won’t be able to keep up and he doesn’t have the stamina to stay in the game long enough. Ash wins.
Time to look at another Pokemon one shot manga. This one’s a lot more recent than the Giratina one I checked out last time. It’s also a lot thinner as this is basically a mini manga so it goes by in a flash. That being said, it’s actually considerably better and one of the best one shot Pokemon manga that I’ve read. Surprisingly it beats Giratina in every aspect. I also have to give this volume some kudos in the art. The simple style actually ended up working really well for the fights.
The volume starts off with Ash running into town and bumping into the mayor’s daughter. The two of them head over to the nearby lab and put on some VR goggles so they can learn about Zeraora’s origin. It seems like the Pokemon was born out of a thunder storm and then he decided to protect all the nearby Pokemon. Unfortunately poachers show up so Zeraora has to stay sharp and keep on fighting. It feels like people are always trying to fight this guy. You can see how the volume is pretty short though because the whole volume is basically the professor showing them the story and then they go home. Interestingly the manga ends with a preview which basically recaps the first few pages almost word for word but with a few changes.
Back to the volume though, Zeraora is a fun Pokemon. He clearly loves to fight as seen by his smirk after being attacked. I’m also glad to see him actually take a hit and keep on going. It’s always sad when a Legendary Pokemon gets wrecked by random poachers or gets caught in a cage. None of that was happening to Zeraora. He took down all challengers and I dare say that he had the upper hand against Lugia as well. That fight was the highlight of the volume, but admittedly it was Zeraora’s fault. Lugia just came in to get rid of the fire. Zeraora blamed him for not coming sooner, but that’s hardly Lugia’s fault. The Pokemon can’t be everywhere and at least he saved some people.
It would have not been good if Elekid had perished, but fortunately the manga didn’t go down that route. That would have gotten a bit dicey if you ask me. With Elekid safe then we could really enjoy the fight. This is where I have to go back and talk about the art. The fights are very smooth here. It actually seems like a similar style to Bleach where you feel the impact beyond every hit. The characters may look a bit chibi at times, but it’s worth it for the action scenes. It’s really going for the opposite of Pokemon Adventures. That series has a ton of detail and epic fights. It works really well, but the same can be said for the flip side where this one is really focusing on the hits. This doesn’t feel like a cash-in level of art, but that of a real title.
If there are any negatives here it’s just in how short the volume is. Hopefully the going price would be a little lower to compensate. So long as that is the case then there are really no negatives to be found here. The manga has a direct plot and goes about it with no delays or distractions. You don’t need to stretch out the volume just to pad out the pages. This one just gets right down to business and it’s also probably Lugia’s best showing. It may be a little sad that we don’t get to see Ash fight, but he got his match in the actual movie. This is really Zeraora’s time to impress us and he was quite impressive. I’d take him over quite a few Legendaries. He may not be as intimidating as some of them, but his speed and power are still forces to be reckoned with.
Overall, If this had been the plot of the actual movie then things would have been quite different. This would make for an excellent TV special so I hope it is animated in some way or form. If you watched the movie then this is a must read to really see more of Zeraora’s character. He may be a little too quick to jump into a fight and doesn’t have the cool head that you’d want your ally to have, but his heart’s in the right place. At least he’s actively protecting Pokemon from poachers since the Officer Jenny’s of the world don’t seem to be around when you need them. It’s still really something to see how many poachers exist in the Pokemon world. Throw in Team Rocket and all the other teams and the world is actually quite dangerous. Hopefully Ash and friends are ready for them, but with Pikachu at his side I suppose I don’t even need to wonder. I hope that whoever the artist of this was gets another chance at more Pokemon manga in the future.
Suggested by iKnowledge Hestia is a mermaid and a pretty tough one at that. Her health bar is fairly high compared to most of the fighters in her verse. That being said, Ash has quite a few Pokemon with the type advantage over her. Even just his Pikachu should be enough to claim the victory in this round. Pikachu is exceptionally fast and strong, there are few things that can stop him once he’s on a roll. Ash wins.
It’s time to look at the latest Pokemon film. This one is the follow up to the last adventure which was a reboot of the series. That one was the worst Pokemon film to date though which limited my excitement for this one. Furthering that was the fact that the promotion for this film was about how it would be an ensemble cast this time so it wouldn’t just be Ash stealing the show. That’s definitely not what I was hoping to hear at this point. It is unfortunately another weak Pokemon installment, but still an improvement over the last one. Put it this way, as a film it is decently good, it’s just not up to the usual Pokemon standard.
The film revolves around a few characters as I mentioned. One of the main ones is a girl named Risa. She doesn’t have any Pokemon, but is asked to catch one by her sickly brother. Heroically Risa decides to go catch one, but she gets bad advice from the local liar Callahan which causes her to waste a lot of time. Fortunately she runs into Ash who just finished saving a little girl named Margo. Ash shows her how to catch the Pokemon, but now they have bigger problems. The flame lighting the village has disappeared and without it Lugia won’t know to show up and save the village with another year of wind. Ash and friends must unite to fix this situation but can they do it?
Right away you’ll feel a little bad for the village here since it must be rough living on the edge like this every year. If Lugia doesn’t show up even once then it seems like everyone in the village will die. That just doesn’t seem like the most enjoyable living situation. You’d think Lugia could improve the town a bit or maybe give them wind for multiple years at a time. It’s also been so many years that you’d think he could find the village from memory. Ah well, either way Ash and the others have got this.
The film goes out of its way to show you how mean the villagers are early on though. For example, we have the bullies who try beating up Margo. They would have seriously attacked her if Ash hadn’t stepped in which is pretty crazy. Then you have the old lady who doesn’t like Pokemon and is constantly trying to shoo them away. She has a backstory which explains this of course, but it doesn’t help her current disposition all that much. The backstory was also a little too dark. No reason a Pokemon had to die there. It’s like the film is trying to bump off a Pokemon in each of the new films. As we are only two installments into the series it is hard to tell so far though. We’ll know more as the series goes on. Needless to say, the old lady wasn’t all that good.
Then we have Callahan. His whole gimmick is that he’s always lying which is pretty dicey. A lot of fun characters have been invented this way of course, but to effectively pull off this cliche the character has to be quick on his/her feet. Look at Hercule or King. Both characters work so well because they do a good job of hiding their lies. This guy doesn’t even try. Part of the reason for this of course is that we need to wrap up the plot before the end of the movie so it has to go wrong almost immediately as opposed to dragging it out for the entire series. Ultimately Callahan does end up getting past his lying ways, but he sure put a lot of people in danger in the meantime.
Then we have the scientist. His problem is that the film makes him way too timid. Not only does he have a hard time speaking in public, he can’t even talk to an old lady without shaking in fear and crumpling to the ground. The former is realistic while the latter is just trying too hard to be funny. Even during his big speech at the end where he finally mans up the character ends up getting scared. That’s not how you finish a character arc. That just cements the fact that the character’s arc didn’t have a good ending. He finished as he started. The worst part for him was when he put in the wrong tape during the presentation though. At the very least he should be good with the technology. That should be the one area where he is confident and knows what to do even if he panics for the rest. Otherwise he really doesn’t have any business being one of the professionals.
So those supporting characters didn’t work so well. Lets talk about the ones that were good. I did like Risa. She did a good job of helping out and taking charge when necessary. She got past her leg injury to help in the climax as well. Even after being tricked by Callahan she was nice enough not to rat him out. Then we’ve got the new Pokemon Zeraora. He’s a pretty cool electric type. He reminds me a bit of Manectric. This guy is pretty strong and fast. It is a bit dicey with how he just starts trying to fight Ash and co. at the end though. I feel like the situation should have been pretty obvious to him by that point. Nearly destroying a bunch of innocent Pokemon in the process would have been quite a blow s well.
He does give us a great fight scene/2 where he shows off his speed. Speed is very important for a fighter and Zeraora uses it quite well. It’s a shame that he is weakened for most of the film though so we can’t see his upper limits. I’d say that he seems to be a match for the Pesudo legendaries but based on this he probably wouldn’t beat the main ones. Still, I like the design and I look forward to seeing him in Pokemon Go at some point.
Ash looks great here. This is easily one of his best appearances to date. His opening scene has him catch a projectile that almost hit a kid. He then stops some poachers from getting another Pokemon. While this version of Ash may be early on his journey he carries himself as a seasoned veteran. Truly this is the Ash that you want to see in a film like this. He’s basically perfect and this is one of his best appearances to date. He steals any scene that he is in. You also get the feeling that there are very few who can beat him in a Pokemon battle in this universe.
The animation looks pretty good. It’s much better than the art direction we got for Sun and Moon, but not nearly as good as Kalos so it’s somewhere in the middle there. It seems to be trying to look more mainstream if I had to try and put the look into words. It does excel when the fight scenes start though. The battles with Zeraora are quite excellent. That’s why it’s a shame that we don’t get much action in this film. There are only a few quick skirmishes. The rest of the film is more about the dialogue which is fine, but the characters aren’t quite interesting enough to make that as exciting as a good fight. The soundtrack is also not that inspired for the most part. We get a good song or two, but most of the ost is a bit flat.
There’s also one scene where everyone looks bad. It’s borderline a plot hole. After Ash stops the poachers they decide to run and the mayor says to just let them get away. Why? These guys are breaking the law and if you let them gt away they’ll hunt more and more Pokemon. I didn’t agree with the decision at all. The worst part is that the poachers do not appear again so they really did get off without any repercussions. It just wasn’t a well written scene at all.
Overall, The Power of Us is an ambitious concept but one that did not work. I think if you want to do a big ensemble cast like this then they have to all be new characters. Don’t have Ash in it at all. Make it a very unique Pokemon spinoff that takes place as its own thing. Alternately, they should all be characters we are familiar with like Misty and Dawn. You can’t mix and match like this because then the new characters just seem like they are stealing away Ash’s screen time and that’s one thing that you don’t want to see happen. All in all, I’d still recommend this film but only if you’ve already seen the others. If not, I’d suggest checking out the original movie or Destiny Deoxys instead. Those really help define what a Pokemon movie should be.
Suggested by Destroyer Ash has caught many different Pokemon over the years. He has so many at this point that he could hold his own against some duelists when it comes to sheer numbers. Several of his Pokemon could probably take down Kenshin one on one so throwing them all in there is overkill. Kenshin will put up an admirable defense, but you simply can’t guard against that many opponents. Ash wins.
Suggested by Sonic Lightning is one of the strongest Final Fantasy protagonists, probably only Cloud can really match her. While Ash sometimes coasts by because of his massive advantage in numbers, that won’t work quite as well against Lightning and her Odin. Odin would do a good job of handling many of Ash’s Pokémon while Lightning goes after the heavy hitters. I don’t think Ash is quite prepared to defeat an enemy like this. Lightning wins.