BW Fan Opinion Chronicles: BW 039 - BW 042
by, 5th June 2012 at 02:05 AM (3533 Views)
“Club (Don) Battle Arc”
Oh boy, here it is… the Club Battle episodes. This is the most infamous moment in the season to date, and if you want to know why, you will find out later. This is also the last time I am going to put the opinions in a long list. Instead of starting a new format immediately, I decided to apply the old format one last time. Anyway, with this done, we shall see some possible predictions, assumptions, strange ideas and observations in these episodes. Ready? Let’s go.
● Overall: A great episode, thanks to the colourful cast and great interactions among the main characters and rivals. Problems include the uninspired battles (to some) and too many characters involved at once for everyone to have sufficient screen time. The Club Battle arc shows signs of promise, and fans can't wait for the next episode.
● Most: The first half of the episode when the characters are reunited and interact with each other is very fun to watch. Highlights include Burgundy unnerving Cilan, Stephan's name being pronounced wrong, Bianca going nuts over Luke's Zorua and Georgia being snobby. Basically, the rivals are the best part of this series.
● The future battles are promising, because it involves Cilan vs Trip, Bianca vs Stephan and Iris vs Jimmy Ray. While there will be a battle between Ash and Georgia, it is not as anticipated because of a leaked comic showing its outcome.
● Few: It is odd that the filler characters for the tournament are relatively fleshed out compared to the past filler characters. Indeed, some fans even take a liking to those characters like Dino and Antonio.
● Few: The characters being located at Nimbasa Town instead of Nimbasa City felt like a tease. A fan is confounded that Elesa didn't appear, despite a rumour.
● Two: Hope that future battles in this arc are longer.
● One: Hopes that there will be Triple Battles later on, because each trainer registers three Pokémon. Another hopes that there won't be, because there's so much going on.
● One: Likes that the battles at the Club Battle are one-on-one, because it is simpler to understand. A fan replies that one-on-ones are not a good representation of their strength and doesn't showcase the synergy within their team.
● Dogasu: Disappointed that Don Battle is renamed Club Battle in the dub, because the former implies that Don George has a narcissistic side, due to the statues of him present in the stadium, so the name change dampened this trait.
● Karamazov: "This is the sign-up sheet. I can't read Pokémonese, but I'm pretty sure it states that, in order to enter, you must set your Pokeballs on fire".
● The battle between Ash and Burgundy is good. Highlights include surprise at Ash choosing Palpitoad and the exchange of attacks between it and Stoutland, especially the latter's bait and switch involving Thunder Fang and Ice Fang.
● Some: Ash needing to be stripped is an interesting sight. A fan is tired of seeing Ash stripping in public. Another fan jokes that it gives the shipping community "fresh meat", figuratively and metaphorically.
● Few: Ash's reaction to Trip's indifference is funny.
● Two: Hopes that Ash's Snivy will evolve during this arc.
● Two: Bugged that Pikachu got the third spot on Ash's roster, because Ash could've developed his other Pokémon.
● Ample: Like that Palpitoad received some screen time, and how it proves to be a powerful Pokémon.
● Two: Didn't like how Palpitoad didn't have the personality it showed when it first appeared.
● Chatsy: Believes that Palpitoad is happier and friendlier because it doesn't have to worry about its old territory after capture, meaning it doesn't need to feed its entire tadpole offspring, and its wife is possibly fat, unless its wife is Stunfisk, in which they only got away from their tadpole offspring.
● Many: Iris and Georgia's rivalry is better this time, because it is funny and the antagonism and chemistry are great.
● Ample: The part where Iris imitates Georgia with Luke's Zorua is hilarious. However, a fan felt that less is more, so the extra times made Iris and Zorua look unnecessarily rude.
● Few: The scene between Iris and Jimmy Ray is hilarious.
● One: It felt like Iris and Zorua bonded, so it will be hard to care for them if they don't wind up together.
● One: The rivalry between Iris and Georgia felt hollow.
● One: Loves the way Iris commented on how great her hair was.
● Ample: Cilan's reaction to Burgundy eyeing him up as her opponent is funny.
● One: Points out that Cilan is nicer to Burgundy in the dub compared to the sub, where he calls her "arrogant" in the latter, and "angry" in the former.
● Ample: Trip's is still underwhelming as a rival, because of the lack of interactions and he's seen as a boring character. A few others mention that the rivalry is supposed to be different from the others.
● Few: Trip is expected to be the victor in the battle between him and Cilan in the next episode.
● One: The relationship between Ash and Trip would develop after seeing each other battle a powerful opponent.
● Bianca is largely enjoyable like before. Her antics include the running gag of her knocking Ash into a body of water, her ditziness and her fascination with Luke's Zorua.
● Burgundy is still a fun character, with a good mix of calmness, "gutsiness", Cilan hatred and French word usage. Moments include her disappointment when she didn't get to face Cilan and caring for her Stoutland. Two fans wish her parts would last longer. A fan likes how she is more competent in battle.
● Some: Like Burgundy's inaccurate French in the dub. However, some, like Dogasu, do not (though Fantina was worse). They feel as though she speaks French for the sake of speaking it (14/25 of her lines are a mix of French and English), alienating those unfamiliar with French.
● Few: Point out how Burgundy has a lot of "premium brands", although Stoutland is more justified since it was raised from a Lillipup. Still, the "premium brand" is great to some.
● Few: Would love to see Burgundy beat Cilan one day, mainly for her reaction to it. A fan predicts that Cilan would give her the best reaction and response, which is to congratulate her and be happy for her. Another fan predicts that Burgundy will feel empty if she defeats Cilan.
● One: Hopes that Burgundy stays around later to heckle Cilan from the sidelines.
● One: Dislikes Burgundy's overuse of French words.
● Georgia is a much more entertaining character from her last appearance, because she is given more legit interactions like her response to Iris' kid calling catchphrase.
● Few: The episode felt like a Georgia-focused one. A fan felt that because they won't battle in the future, their interactions don’t need to be focused on too much (another guesses that them not battling is possibly the reason they needed the interactions).
● garrison-san: "I actually thought that Langley's [Georgia] victory was a proper stroke of genius. Oh sure, it was an incredibly cheap and hollow victory, but I think that was kind of the point. It just made Langley seem all the more deliciously full of herself when she was crowing to Iris about her win, when all it had come down to was a complete and utter fluke".
● The battle between Beartic and Joltik is unconventional, because of Beartic's victory (it crushed Joltik under its own weight). Some didn't like it because it is cheap.
● Few: The running gag of Stephan's name being mispronounced is amusing.
● Three: Stephan is awesome.
● Two: Felt like Stephan was cast aside because he had less screen time and not much personality.
● One: Warms up to Luke, because of his funny quirks, like aiming his camera around his opponent.
● One: Luke's comment on Bianca "She must take great vitamins" is great because it is another way of describing her unnaturally wild behaviour.
● All: Jimmy Ray (Watchog guy) is one of the more interesting characters because he is creepy and funny. Fans are looking forward to seeing more of him, like in the battle between him and Iris, and hope that he is a recurring character. He was such a big bit that he got his own fanclub shortly.
● One: Associates Jimmy Ray with the "knicker guy" (Nicolai the Knickerbocker) in Hoenn who also dresses up as Mudkip and then a Zangoose.
● One: Dino having a Deerling is hilarious, because both trainer and Pokémon look mismatched.
● Some: Feel sorry for the Joltik trainer (Sylvester) and/or his Joltik got squished.
● Overall: This episode of the Club Battle has several great moments and some blunders. Great moments are: better battles than the last episode, the rivals other than Trip are great, Georgia, Bianca and Zorua's fun interactions, and Stephan's name mispronunciation. Moments that disappoint include Ash and Trip's rivalry, the overuse of some running gags, and the lack of Jimmy Ray.
● Two: Dislike the cliffhangers in the Club Battle episodes so far.
● Two: The scenes in between battles are great, as the characters got to interact with each other, like Ash & friends having dinner with Stephan and Bianca.
● Shinneth: "The problem with BW's gags is that they're being used way too often with a short frame of time. They're abused to the point that they no longer become funny and instead become a chore to watch because somehow the writers suddenly have no concept of moderation. In general, their writing suffers from a lack of moderation. Everything they do in BW is always far off on one end of the spectrum or the other. Those kinds of extremes, when used as often as they are here, can become grating and pointless even though they initially started out as legitimately funny gags."
● One: Felt that the tournament was designed just so Ash and Iris could have their first real battle.
● The Ash vs Georgia battle has been shown to be compelling thus far. For those who didn't see the outcome of Ash vs Georgia, they look forward to seeing it (there was a comic that leaked the outcome of the match).
● Few: The eating competition between Ash and Stephan is fun to watch, especially Ash's gluttony.
● Few: Iris and Georgia's rivalry is great.
● One: Felt that Iris hogged the spotlight when it could’ve been spent on other more “fun” characters.
● Many: Emolga suddenly being obedient seemed unbelievable, and that detracted from the quality of the episode. A few fans reason that this is because Emolga will only handle an opponent that it can handle or when the opponent piques her interest. One fan believes that there should be an explanation for this change, such as bribery.
● Ample: The battle between Cilan and Trip is great. There are a few who found the battle boring and its purpose pointless.
● Some: Love Cilan for defeating Trip, the supposedly boring, invincible rival, despite being at a type disadvantage.
● One: Cilan's victory is unexpected. During the preview stages, more people were surprised that Cilan would win.
● Few: Praise Dwebble for being strong, as Shell Smash meant that something will be taking a real hit when it's used.
● Three: Observe that Dwebble learns Rock Slide off-screen, which felt contrived, and believe other Pokemon are more deserving of new moves.
● Two: Dwebble fixing its rock is cute. A fan hoped that its broken shell could be a future plot point.
● Ampharos King: "Dwebble and Gurdurr's battle was indeed the main highlight of this episode. I will not deny that much. What I love about the execution of this battle is that it could have went either way. Gurdurr was not as weak an opponent that Dwebble could have easily defeated it. Dwebble was able to avoid the bulk of Gurdurr's attacks, and Gurdurr was also able to fight back as well. I assumed there was going to be a struggle for Cilan to triumph over Trip. Again, this battle could have went either way. Believe me, the writers really had to pull out the stops for Dwebble, such as giving it a brand new move so it can battle against and defeat the semi-evolved pokemon."
● The lack of development of Ash and Trip's rivalry is disappointing. A fan understands that the writers were given nine characters to develop, so they couldn't focus on all of them, and they instead chose to focus on the other rivals instead.
● Trip, as usual, isn't treated well by fans. He wasn't compelling, adding anything to the plot and didn't have a reason to exist as a rival (one fan wants him to "die in a hole").
● Some: Trip losing a battle felt great, as he hadn't lost any onscreen battles before that. However, his apathetic reaction to it lessened the impact, as his rivalry with Ash still remained stagnant. A fan thought of a scenario where Cilan loads a rifle and fired it psychotically in response to Trip's "poor taste".
● Three: Disappointed that Trip left at the end of this episode after losing to Cilan.
● One: Felt that the writers didn't handle the Cilan-Ash-Trip rivalry part well. Basically, because Cilan beats Trip while Ash beats Cilan in a battle, it could have enhanced their rivalry. Another fan thought that the one-on-one battle made it hard to do much about the situation.
● Ample: The battle between Stephan and Bianca is great.
● Stephan's name mispronunciation is still funny to a few, but at this point some grew tired of it. Still, the fact that even the announcer got his name wrong is amusing.
● Three: The Stephan vs Bianca battle felt short.
● Georgia continues to be very entertaining. This is mainly because of her wild interactions with Bianca and Zorua (like Bianca mistaking Zorua for Georgia) and her rivalry with Iris, but also because she is shown to be a capable battler.
● One: Wonders if Georgia and Bianca will become best friends by the end of the tournament.
● Two: The way Pawniard handles Snivy's Leaf Storm creatively means that it can be in Contests too.
● Bianca's antics and actions are very enjoyable in this episode, especially her pursuit of Zorua.
● Few: While Bianca is great, she felt like the most incompetent rival in the show, having lost too fast to Stephan. A fan believes that there likely won't be "KAMITSURE BEL GROWTH DRAMA".
● One: Feels sorry for Bianca when she had to confront a powerful Pokémon (Zebstrika) in battle, as she gave her all but got nothing in return.
● Burgundy is very entertaining like always, her zany antics making her even more enjoyable, especially her sadistic hatred of Cilan and taking every possible chance to discourage him.
● Zorua and her antics, at this point, received different feedback. Some still love it, but others felt that it was already overdone and not exciting anymore. One fan hopes the joke isn't being overdone.
● Many: Disappointed that Jimmy Ray didn't receive an appearance in this episode, as he was shown to be such a likeable character in the last episode. It felt that his unique design went to waste. They hope that he will make a reappearance soon.
● One: Jimmy Ray could possibly appear similar to how Conway did, creeping behind Iris to say goodbye after the tournament is over.
● Overall: The episode is enjoyable, with good battles and great character interaction. There were a few things that some fans were peeved at, like how the running gags were still overused, and especially Emolga not having a problem with obeying Iris.
● Some: The running gags used in this episode are starting to become dull, like Bianca's obsession with Zorua and Stephan's name being mispronounced.
● Three: The episode felt rushed. It felt like as if the writers got tired of writing the arc and needed to rush the rest of it.
● Some: As the Ash vs Georgia battle was presented as a cliffhanger last episode, the battle was believed to have an exciting and longer end, thus the conclusion felt unsatisfactory due to how short it lasted, and how brief and anticlimactic it was.
● One: Finds it funny when Ash told Cilan that he made the best Pokémon food, as it meant that Brock felt very sad somewhere out there. A lot liked this comment.
● Many: Snivy is a lot more appealing, as it shows some lovable personality, like smiling when it won and whipping Burgundy.
● Three: Expect the Palpitoad vs Darumaka battle to be short. A fan believes that due to this, there is no point in leaving a cliffhanger for that battle.
● Iris' victory over Stephan received mixed opinions. Some enjoy the battle because it is a well thought-out battle with strategy and luck involved, like how Static's effect and Close Combat's drawback are taken advantage of. However, some others are bothered by Emolga suddenly being obedient and willing to battle, as it showed character dissonance. A fan thought that there is a lack of strategy involved as nothing new or creative was shown, compared to the Cilan vs Luke battle.
● One: Iris is boring and unnecessary because everything had been working for her magically without struggle or previous effort.
● One: Felt that there should be an extra episode before the tournament to show how Iris got Emolga to obey her.
● Ample: Emolga suddenly becoming obedient and willing to battle for Iris made its battle with Sawk less enjoyable. A few argue that Emolga was never disobedient in the first place, just independent, has a liking for Iris and only battle if she knows that the matchup is in her favour.
● Two: Believe that there is foreshadowing involved when Stephan called out Iris for not having a Flying-type attack on Emolga.
● Many: The battle between Cilan and Luke is quite enjoyable, as it shows great strategy on both sides (like Larvesta's jetpack maneuver), both characters show personality, and it involves the battle between two unique Pokémon.
● Ample: Love Cilan for his antics, including his spazzing over Ash's victory, bowing and winking at Luke before the match and commenting on the tastes during battle.
● Ample: Love Cilan's amazing and enjoyable poses.
● Some: Annoyed at how talkative Cilan was during battle. Fans are glad that he lost because of how talkative he was during his battle with Luke, as he deserved it.
● Few: Dislike how Cilan got too much screen time being sparkly when it could've been used for more battling time. A fan felt that overusing Cilan's quirks will dry up his character too quickly. Another fan jokes that the job of a Connoisseur is to chew up screen time when they appear on-screen.
● Few: Cringes when Cilan lost to Luke badly because he wasn't paying attention. It is a joke among fans that Stunfisk purposefully threw the match to allow Luke to win and to mess around with Cilan, or that Cilan was too nice.
● Few: The Cilan vs Luke battle felt rushed.
● One: Cilan and Luke smiling at each other after Ash told both of them to do their best in battle is really cute.
● Some: Stunfisk "flying" in the air is strange yet awesome.
● Three: Disappointed that there isn't enough Stunfisk screen time, despite being excited about Stunfisk battling. It didn't help that commentary is made after every exchange of attacks.
● Ample: Bianca's Zorua obsession got annoying at this point. A fan felt that it was stale since the first episode. Despite that, a few still find Bianca lovable.
● Bianca’s moments with Georgia are awesome, as it had been endearing enough to manifest a ship between the both of them, Jokeshipping. There is interest in both of them interacting again in the future.
● Two: Hope that Bianca and Luke would never come together again after this arc. A fan declares that if they do, he will have to "purchase some power tools", because Bianca's antics with Zorua got tiring.
● Many: Georgia continues to be an entertaining character, mainly for her great interaction with many characters, like with Bianca and Burgundy.
● One: Didn't like Georgia's sore loser attitude, where she doesn't count her loss against Ash because he didn't use a Dragon-type to defeat her.
● Ample: Got fed up with Stephan's name being mispronounced.
● Some: Stephan is awesome, because he had shown himself to be a formidable opponent due to the way he trained his Sawk, as well as his great battle against Iris.
● Ample: Love Sawk because it is a great and manly Pokémon, as it has a great flashback training montage (it explains how it can deflect Attract) and cool mannerisms (like its muscular appearance after bulking up).
● Many: As usual, Burgundy is enjoyable, with her ongoing grudge against Cilan and being insane.
● Three: Burgundy's overuse of French in the dub is annoying.
● Three: Luke is a lot more appealing this time, as he was given some catchphrases that are movie-related (like using his clapper to command his Pokémon's attacks) and some quirks. It helps that he knows how to battle.
● One: Hopes to see Luke again, and probably his fully-evolved Volcarona.
● Few: Disappointed that Antonio lost, as he was a promising character.
● Overall: This is the most controversial and unfavourable episode of this arc. The main reason for the dissatisfaction is Iris, as the lack of on-screen training made her victories seem hollow, especially the battle between Axew and Golett. Some fans consider their time wasted after watching this arc. However, there are some people who still enjoyed this episode for the characters, the battles (even Iris') and Cilan's parts.
● Ample: Glad that the Club Battle arc is over, due to the overall poor execution and the overuse of the running gags. A fan felt that this arc had ruined his enjoyment of the series forever.
● Ampharos King: "While many favor multi-dimensional characters interacting with others in unique and interesting ways, there is a big drawback if this is simultaneously taking place during a competition. Certain battles in this tournament resolved faster than they should have because there was a limit to how much they can showcase in each episode. In other words, the writers sacrificed lengthening certain battles, such as Axew VS Golett or Minccino VS Zebstrika, in order to spend a greater amount of time focusing on these character interactions. One could argue for better paced battles and also for more character interaction. Unfortunately, it does not work this way: it's a two-way street here."
● Masurao: "I still find it kind of ridiculous that this entire tournament was just used as a vehicle to get Ash, and Iris to battle seriously. I mean all they really have to do is ask the other to battle while they are taking a break during their travels or something."
● The Ash vs Iris battle is controversial among fans. The battle was enjoyable to some, due to the intensity of the battle, though a few found it rushed and bland. The main reason is that several fans felt that Ash deserved victory more than Iris. However, fans generally understood that the type matchup and power level for this battle is justified (Ground beats Electric), and that none of Pikachu's moves are effective against Excadrill, and that Ash winning the battle would've been unrealistic, although Ash has managed to overcome type disadvantage in the past (a few wouldn't mind a deus ex machina in Ash's favour in this battle). Still, some fans praised Ash for doing well in battle despite his loss.
● Ash is no better to the fans, as he had his moments of stupidity during the match, like commanding Pikachu to use Thunderbolt on a Ground-type. Some didn't like the manner in which he was defeated.
● Few: Felt that the writers could've changed up the dynamics between Ash and Iris during their battle, by making Ash the victor or having Iris respect Ash more.
● Few: This could foreshadowing for Ash's eighth gym battle.
● Two: Ash could've picked Palpitoad in the Finals if he knew Iris was going to use Excadrill.
● Three: Guesses that as a result of Pikachu's loss, Ash would teach it a move to combat Ground or Steel-types.
● Two: Like Pikachu's spinning Iron Tail technique, as it is a possible sign of Ash returning to his old battling roots.
● Many: Iris isn't well-liked in this arc because things went in her favour, like winning the tournament, without her putting any effort onscreen. Some fans now hate her because of the mishandling of the character. Things like her winning the battle with a Pokémon who suddenly learned a very powerful move during battle and Emolga being OK with obeying her rubs several fans the wrong way. After all, according to a fan: "Nobody likes a real person who gets lucky all the time and things always seem to go their way, so why would we like a character that has the same thing happen to her?". There won't be any character development to make her more interesting, and the thought of her being allowed to call Ash a kid again is irksome. There are some fans that are glad that Iris won, however, as that proves that she's a credible trainer.
● The Iris vs Luke battle is also very controversial, as Iris' comeback felt forced and undeserving. This is because Axew, a Pokémon that didn't receive enough training, learned a very powerful move during battle (considered a deus ex machina) to overcome its opponent.
● Ample: Iris should've lost one of the two battles, especially against Luke.
● Few: Believe that Iris should be handled differently in the tournament in terms of character development, like losing at one point in the tournament, or having her comeuppance as a result of acting tough and bragging. It would also be better if her Pokémon received prior development to justify their changes during the arc.
● Few: Hope that Iris will stop calling Ash a kid again in the future.
● Ample: Axew suddenly learning Outrage in the middle of battle is unbelievable and not justified. This is because it was shown to be a young Pokémon with little skill. Suddenly learning a move that is known to be used by strong Pokémon without any buildup and suddenly winning with it made it tripe, even though there were situations when a Pokémon learnt a new move during battle. Still, some fans don't mind this. It would be more realistic if the move learned is a less powerful move, like Dragon Claw or Dual Chop. Some fans hope that the side-effect of Outrage (Axew's not being able to control itself when using it) will be explored and resolved in a future episode, or that there is development in mastering Outrage. A fan felt that everyone went into too much detail about Axew learning Outrage, as he believes that kids might find it making a comeback with a newly learnt move entertaining.
● Few: The Axew vs Golett battle is hilarious, like how Golett was doing nothing when Axew used Scratch in vain, and how Gyro Ball's chasing speed is slow.
● Most: Cilan's parts are very amusing, especially his "connoisseur battle" against Burgundy (resembling a Team Rocket motto is a big plus). It is also enjoyable because it caused Burgundy to start warming up to Cilan. Some consider them the best part of this episode.
● Some: Love the sinister scenes involving Team Rocket despite being short. Their appearance after a long time is refreshing. One great part is them on the Ferris Wheel.
● Few: Georgia's trauma due to Axew's Outrage and general knowledge of Dragon-types make her more interesting, and those are hopefully touched on later. Her comment about Iris not using Axew in the finals is also interesting.
● Three: Bianca is not as annoying like in past episodes, thanks to her obsession being downplayed due to her finally getting Zorua, and that she did something useful (helping Luke).
● Two: Glad that Luke got into the action more, although at this point it probably doesn't matter since he might not appear again. It didn't help that the direction of his character wasn't defined.
The main reason I am quite reluctant to do these is the excess negativity in the opinions, especially in the end. I am glad I got them covered, because it meant that I have surpassed a part of this challenge in writing the Fan Opinion Chronicles. Next time, I will be applying a newer and shorter format for the Fan Opinion Chronicles series. If you liked the old format, I am sorry to say that it won’t be used anymore, as I would like a change of this series for the better (people usually don’t read long stuff). I haven't decided how the new format should look like yet, because I needed to take a REAL break from doing these. I hope you enjoyed reading these.
Thanks for reading.
Special thanks to: @Iteru; @Tsutarja; @Kakuna Matata;
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