Is it just me or was that Metapod insanely mobile? I'd have mashed the B button if my Metapod could move like that.
I don't like the evolution animations for it - I much preferred how that was handled in the past by the cocoon being created with the string shot and then hatching from it - sure that makes the mid battle dramatic evolution a bit harder, but it seems more natural. The animations certainly look fancy, but not every evolution should just be glow.
Regardless, really great episode. Da is on a roll - hopefully this is the tone they take into XY.
This was an enjoyable episode, I actually felt like the emotion in this episode and all the bonding scenes are what did it for me. The music and scoring it also commendable in its own right. The concept of Migration Island - an island that is the gathering place for migrating Pokemon like Swanna, Butterfree and Tyltalis(And its pre-evolution.) was a nice real-world reference. Inclusion of more migrating bird and butterfly Pokemon like Agehunt would have been nice. Though I'm happy with what I got because generally real life references in Pokemon and treating them like animals in those regards are far and few between.
The Caterpie was quite adorable, its voice-acting and general mannerisms were refreshing with it being lazy as well as gluttonous. A sharp difference from Satoshi's old Caterpie since it was portrayed as being a Pokemon with low confidence and occasionally crying. I liked how Hahakomori appeared since he is a Bug-type too and Pokemon species known for parental actions and naturally playing a role in Caterpie's growth felt more than fitting. I noticed how at the beginning Satoshi was gung-ho on making the Caterpie evolve by battle training but changed up his methods and simply tried to evolve it by gradual light training and bonding. The scene with the Ringuma felt like a breakthrough scene where the Caterpie has come nice amount in strength where its willing to take on a significantly larger Pokemon. It's a nice highlight of Satoshi's caring fashion and the small flashback moment and allusions were a nice way of reinstating the love he's kept for Butterfree even after all this time.
It's amazing how the drawing looked so on point at some moments and so atrocious at others. Mainly at the end of the episode with Team Rocket, Psybeam and Butterfree's flapping wings with Pikachu jumping on its back for examples. The animation for Trancell's evolution was beautiful but the Butterfree evolution animation felt like step down in effort. Looking at the Cocoon's evolution animation you can see the physical change so vividly and beautifully, shame that the bland episode had such beautiful animation and the entertaining one gets the opposite.
Speaking of Team Rocket they were largely unneeded once again, their roles could have easily have been filled by a wild Pokemon of the day like earlier in the episode with Ringuma. I honestly do think the writers are going to put them in every episode again unfortunately. Pretty cool to see the newly-evolved Butterfree could use Psybeam and Confusion and seeing Satoshi commanding it despite not owning it officially, demonstrating the connection they had.
Migration Island certainly seemed....empty...as if Satoshi-tachi had the whole place as their own private island the whole week they were there. Never realized how mobile a cocoon Pokemon could be. Shame the String Shot rendition of Caterpie evolving couldn't be worked into here, it feels more natural and truly makes it feel more like a unique event and milestone. The final scene with Satoshi shedding tears because he likely remembered his own Butterfree was actually a heart string puller and the trumpet music tied the scene together well. We rarely see this kid cry or show and overly out there emotions so that was refreshing.
The animation was mundane but the episode was great. It showed Satoshi as a good trainer outside of actual combat and battle more so in the regard of how much he's willing to invest his time in another Pokemon and how much he loves them in-general. He got into the element of it all with Caterpie and helped it evolve into a Butterfree, we saw him doing it one step at a time, day by day, minute by minute gradually even with its lazy attitude. His considerate nature shined well in this episode.
So why didn't Satoshi send out his Lizardon to help him chase the Rocket trio?
Y'know, if this was boring Best Wishes! Rocket trio, they would have been applauded for being so villainous and actually trying to kill the protagonist by jumping on Satoshi's head until he fell off their hot air balloon. But here? No one seems to care. I find that very interesting.
Finally, it must be nice for Satoshi and his friends to have the luxury of just dropping whatever the hell it is they're doing for a week to help some random pokemon.