Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Pokemon Talent Showdown Review


Time for another Pokemon adventure. Ash and friends were minding their own business when they notice a big crowd of people gathering around. It turns out that a big talent show is occurring nearby and Gary is even participating in it. Ash isn’t a big fan of contests, but Gary eggs him on and continues to insult Ash until the main character decides to bluff his way through it and claims that he already has a great act in mind. Can Ash think of an act that will actually defeat Gary’s or is it time for a slice of crispy, humble pie?

This adventure is a lot of fun because having Gary in the story is always great. I recently went back to check out most of his best moments and it’s easy to see why he’s such a fan favorite. The book does him justice as well since he actually had the slight upper hand against Ash. As Ash referenced, it’s a little odd for Gary to be so arrogant after Ash upstaged him in the tournament, but this is the fan favorite portrayal of Gary after all so I guess it’s to be expected. Either way I hadn’t been expecting a rematch between the two of them so that was really awesome.

The actual talent show wasn’t bad either. I felt a little bad for Ash since he apparently can’t sing or even play any instrument so he was given the smallest role. Still, Misty and Brock did help him out by coming up with their show so that was nice. I’d definitely assume that Gary is a better singer than Brock, but it’s nice to see that the Pokemon characters have such musical talent. The ending is a little cheesy though as the owner stated that this contest wouldn’t be about battling and just sportsmanship, but then Ash saves the day and he flips on that statement. I suppose having your life saved is a decent reason to quickly change up the results, but it still felt like Ash didn’t really earn his win. I guess that part could be pretty nostalgic to the original season as well though.

This book probably had the most action out of all the Pokemon books I’ve read so far so as you can imagine it is also my favorite one. Pokemon action is just a blast to watch and I definitely picture the fights in my head as they go. I forgot that Gary had a Charizard or if they just made it up for this adventure but that’s certainly interesting. It’s a little disappointing that Charizard was losing to Alakazam, but psychic types are some of the only ones who can give him a real fight so I can live with it. The stakes were definitely pretty high. I think Alakazam could definitely beat Psyduck though. Psyduck’s confusion certainly is great, but it takes forever to use and no opponent should actually just stand there and wait to be attacked. Gary’s confidence let this happen, but it wouldn’t be viable on most opponents.

Ash also fought another performer earlier as she thought he stole her Seel so she retaliated by trying to beat him up. I guess she was determined to get the truth out of him, but beating Ash in a Pokemon fight is no easy task. I think Ash is a little too quick to return his Pokemon during the battles here, but when you have Pikachu at the ready I suppose it’s no big deal. I also didn’t mind that the battles got more screen time than the actual show because that part was certainly more exciting for me.

As always the pacing is really great for the book. Since it’s so short everything has to happen quite rapidly which always makes for great results. Ash really can’t catch a break as a result, but it also shows how he is able to think on his feet. There’s never a dull moment and so you’ll be engaged from cover to cover. It certainly won’t take you long to finish this book anyway so it works out well.

Overall, This was a really good Pokemon story. All of the characters were itching for a fight and Ash was always ready to oblige. He may not have won all of his matches instantly but at least he reacted right away and acted reasonably experienced. I’d love to see an old school Pokemon movie that takes place around here where Ash just takes on trainers. It would be a lot of fun and I miss his old school lineup of Pigeot, Charizard, Snorlax, and the others. It was just a very balanced team even if Bulbasaur and Squirtle may hold the team back in attack power since they’re still in their first forms. They really haven’t been looking good in these books so far but maybe that’ll change soon. Charizard and Pikachu have really been doing all of the work. If you haven’t checked this story out yet, then you should definitely change that ASAP.

Overall 8/10

Battles, Gary Battles, Oolong Battles

Gary vs Oolong


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Gary is back and he’s the kind of character that you don’t want to mess with. Oolong can talk a good game, but he’s really outmatched this time. Gary has the superior Pokemon by his side and he’s also a better person at heart. Oolong’s shapeshifting abilities won’t be enough to counter Gary’s experience and cutting edge lab coat. Gary wins.

Battles, Gary Battles, Hange Battles

Hange vs Gary


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Gary isn’t the type of fighter who would lose to just about anyone. He constantly beat Ash at his own game and Gary won extra badges in the Kanto region. That doesn’t just take heart and commitment…that takes guts! Hange doesn’t have that same strength of character and she would be quickly overwhelmed by his abilities. Gary wins.

Battles, Gary Battles, Jack Sparrow Battles

Gary vs Jack Sparrow


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Jack Sparrow is a pirate, but he’s no match for such a skilled Pokemon Trainer! Gary has caught many pokemon and he always knows how to win a battle. One shot from his Electivire should be enough to end this round. Jack Sparrow’s never faced such a powerful foe and he would be quickly overwhelmed by the power. Gary wins.

Battles, Gary Battles, One Above All Battles

Gary vs One Above All


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The One Above All is a being of immense power and there’s not really anyone who can give him a challenge. Still, this is Gary Oak that we’re talking about. Gary has many pokemon at his disposal and he’s a very well rounded fighter. The One Above All couldn’t beat Gary in a fist fight and he definitely couldn’t take on his pokemon. Gary wins.

Ash Battles, Battles, Gary Battles

Gary vs Ash


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Ash and Gary will forever be known as one of the greatest match ups in anime history. These guys never give an inch to the opponent and fight as if their lives depend on it! Gary has some extremely impressive pokemon like Nidoking/Nidoqueen, Umbreon, and Electivire. Electivire actually defeated Pikachu who is known as one of the strongest pokemon of all time! I’m not sure if I really buy that, but it was definitely an impressive feat. Ash has his Charizard, Sceptile, and Pikachu to counter this. Those are definitely his heavyweights and they can take on many opponents. In the end it comes down to the old quantity vs quality debate. (With the exception of the 3 pokemon that I mentioned) I think Ash will be able to pull ahead, but it will be a Very close battle. One that would keep on going until the very end! Ash wins.
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