Iris as Gym leader is unexpected but perfect - about the best thing to happen to her character, albeit with no build up or anything at all - even the battle didn't really prove her being anywhere near ready. Seems odd though that we started the series with Cilan leaving a Gym and will end it with Iris becoming one. What's her excuse for continuing on travelling with Ash though?
Up until the last few moments my thoughts were going to be, 'great episode, ruined by the battle at the end' - but I'm okay with it all now. I really enjoyed the start of the episode and it's nice to see that side of Iris finally - if we'd had more of this and earlier I think my opinion of her character wouldn't be anywhere near as negative as it is now. Especially her remorse over working Fraxure too hard, though as I've complained about more than enough recently, it's all well and good to be nice and apologetic afterwards but it never changes how they respond in the first place. It would certainly have been a better way of contextualising her relationship with Excadrill rather than the random disobedience.
The battle was annoying, I'd complain about it being rushed, but I was happy for it to be over quickly. A double KO against a Haxorus is way over the power that Excadrill should have and a bad ending for that build up. I was overjoyed to see Dragonite go down, but I'd have rathered it go the other way.
Still all of the episode is overshadowed by the end. I think it's the right path to write her off - hopefully we get a Cress episode with him helping Iris with getting used to being a Gym leader, as well as some development for Cilan as he thinks about his own position. I've expected for a while that Iris will leave and Cilan will go through to the next generation, I think this episode confirms it.
Kairyu losing. He learned Focus Blast with the intent of attacking from a distance which was utilized this episode against Ononokusu's Rock Smash and the writers hyped the match as being a "Revenge" battle. It makes sense Doryuuzu would tie to show Iris and Doryuuzu's growth and renewed bond. Shaga isn't an Elite Four member or Shirona and her invincible Shark monstrosity, his Pokemon are very much beatable.
It confirms nothing. True Iris most likely will leave, I really don't think it's set in stone that Dento is secured for a spot in the next region since it said not a thing about Dento. Seems more like wishful thinking.Still all of the episode is overshadowed by the end. I think it's the right path to write her off - hopefully we get a Cress episode with him helping Iris with getting used to being a Gym leader, as well as some development for Cilan as he thinks about his own position. I've expected for a while that Iris will leave and Cilan will go through to the next generation, I think this episode confirms it.
Last edited by Druddigon; 8th November 2012 at 06:31 AM.
Iris being wanted as a Gym leader was expected, but I was surprised when Dragonite was actually the second match and not the first. Iris seemingly not having many friends could now explain why she was following Ash around as well.
At any rate, Excadrill got to prove itself and then Dragonite lost. Iris lost overall, but Excadrill tying with Haxorous was pretty predicatable.
Last edited by Masurao; 8th November 2012 at 06:36 AM.
All in all a pretty good episode. The further exploration of Iris's past was definitely welcome, and it was really interesting to see Iris not fitting in as a child.
As for the battle itself, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting a little more. Personally, I think restricting it to less than half an episode was just not particularly satisfying. The tie between Doryuzu and Ononokusu, although it made sense, was just waaaay too rushed. It honestly just was a blink-and-you-miss-it battle. Kairyu and Crimgan was much better done, with both able to show off their strength well without making it feel skewed to either too unfairly.
The ending, although not exactly unexpected, was a good conclusion. It's a good reminder that although Iris HAS proven herself as a trainer through her growth in the series, she's still got a bit to go before her goals are truly reached.
Probably, but getting an episode this far out (presumably) from the end of the region to lay out Iris' future seems strange if they were both going to leave at the same time.It confirms nothing. True Iris most likely will leave, I really don't think it's set in stone that Dento is secured for a spot in the next region since it said not a thing about Dento. Seems more like wishful thinking.
Kairyu got more focus due to it being a Dragon and Iris striving to be a Dragon Master, oh well at least Doryuuzu accomplished more than Kairyu did with a tie. Shaga really really started to go all out against Kairyu with Crimgan, the mood seemed to change.
Speaking of Iris possibly becoming a Gym Leader, this reminds me of Ibuki from Jouto. She appeared with her Miniryu in her debut if I remember correctly, but she had two rather strong Pokemon despite her signature Pokemon not being evolved. This sorta likens it to Iris in a way, she has two strong Pokemon and an unevolved signature Pokemon.
As expected, this turned out to be a very short gym battle, but I am still surprised and upset that Excadrill got a f'ing tie against Drayden's Haxorus. With the exception of him learning Focus Blast and being more in synch with Iris, Excadrill did not really improve over the course of this series. Very little has been suggested that Iris's Excadrill is particularly more powerful than any of the other pokemon on the main cast, and Excadrill has lost numerous times as well; most notably against Montgomery's Throh. Excadrill tied against Georgia's Beartic after it lost once, although Beartic's strength was more around Excadrill's level. Excadrill also barely won his battle against Burgundy's Dewott back at the Clubsplosion.
Meanwhile, Haxorus had been established as Drayden's most powerful and signature pokemon in the anime, had enough durability to resist Excadrill's Drill Run attack during their first battle (which is ironically the attack that Excadrill used to win here), and completely annihilated Excadrill with just one attack. Haxorus was the type of opponent that one could not have defeated with just power alone, and realistically it would have taken more than one of Iris's pokemon to win against it. It was a shame that Haxorus had been taken down so easily here by a pokemon that barely improved in this series. I felt that Haxorus should have overpowered Excadrill at the end, but once again Iris seems to get the glory treatment here.
Although I was glad that Dragonite lost to Druddigon, I'm a little upset that this wasn't the first battle of the match, considering the flashback in BW036, as well as the flashback in this episode, focused more on Iris's relationship with Excadrill than on anything else. Meanwhile, Iris just "got" Dragonite, and she never had as much interaction with this pokemon. I felt that Druddigon's victory over Dragonite should have resolved first, and then Iris would eventually surprise Drayden by having her Excadrill tie with Haxorus. The writers have established that Drayden wants Iris to be his successor as the Opelucid City Gym Leader, but Iris didn't really match up to his expectations since she lost one battle after just getting a tie against Drayden's strongest pokemon.
If only the writers decided to put the flashbacks in their own separate episode, have Iris interact with that Fraxure a little bit more, and then spend another episode with an actual gym battle (preferably a 3-on-3) in which the battles don't resolve in one or two minutes. Once again, the writers fall short of my expectations during this episode too. Overall, this was a below-average episode.
Last edited by Ampharos King; 8th November 2012 at 08:31 AM.
It was Dual Chop's anime debut, by the way... Onondo's voice was so cute.