REVIEW: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

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    Default S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    BW099 - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia

    Ash and Cilan are challenged to a tag battle by a couple of brothers who are prone to bickering.

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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    And to think, I actually watch the clock to make sure I don't miss any episodes. So much for this half-hour of my life...

    I think Tweedledee and Tweedledum might've set a new record for getting on my nerves the quickest (rivaling Riolu Boy from after the Junior Cup). Seriously, did they have to recite that stupid mantra before launching every [EFF!]ing attack? I'd love to see them try that against more serious opponents and get their butts handed to them because they spent too much time chewing the scenery to bother fighting. It's a shame, too, because their combos were actually pretty cool. Such a waste...

    Speaking of people who get on my nerves, Iris was a lot more tolerable than she's been, partially because she was channeling my sarcasm and partly because her "What a kid" line suddenly seems less annoying. At least she limits its use to once per episode.

    And with the ep's main battle over within the first few minutes, the rest of the ep felt...empty. Nothing climactic.
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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    That episode in a word - cringe. It's a shame that one of the very few episodes that has dealt with Cilan's Connoisseur role doesn't really touch on his strengths until the last moment on seeing the Swanna and Palpitoad.

    It's baffling to me that an episode centred on combination moves happens so soon after Dawn left. It certainly didn't do enough for Cilan to justify spending a whole episode on it from the Connoisseur perspective.

    One positive is that the cringeworthiness of the rest of the episode has the side effect of making Iris very enjoyable here.

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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    I spent a goodly amount of time during commercial breaks and after the episode looking up Pokémon moves to dream up my own Battle Combo Moves. And I agree, this episode really would've benefited from Dawn's presence, what with the Ice Jet and the being a Coordinator, Diamond & Pearl featured a lot of move tricks like this.

    We open with Ash, Iris, and Cilan continuing their journey. Just then, a Drilbur pops out of the ground. At first I thought this was gonna be an Iris episode focusing on some kind of adventure or something with her Excadrill. But nope! It was also about that Braviary overhead. Just then, twins Soren and Rocko, AKA The Brothers Paradox, Air and Ground masters respectively, show up and introduce themselves and their two Pokémon. This episode's about tag battling! Pretty interesting! I mean, it kept my attention...

    I know Soren is probably named Soren because "Soren" sounds like "soarin'", but for you Fire Emblem fans out there, there's a guy named Soren who's also a Wind Mage. Eh? Ehhh?

    After the intro, Soren and Rocko continue to present themselves as the two best brothers. Our heroes assume this means that they've won the Unova League. Soren (I think, them being twins I'm having trouble remembering who was speaking at what time, I don't exactly have their outfits in mind while trying to remember the episode) says yes, they HAVE beaten the Unova League! Then he immediately takes it back. Wow, he didn't even try to lie, he was gonna, but then he panicked at the last second. Truth is, they haven't even tried to enter the Unova League. Why? Because the Unova League has made no provision for Tag Team Battling, which is their style of Pokécombat.

    Personally, in this day and age where there are so many ways to put your Pokémon to the battling test, I really think their should be something for tag battlers like these guys. It's now a widely varying world of invention, the various Pokémon Leagues need to get with the picture if they mean to be the ultimate proving ground for your Pokémon skill. If not the League, then there should at least be one venue for each kind of battler. One-on-one battlers have the Pokémon Leagues, Coordinators have the Grand Festival, let's continue with that.

    Anyway, these guys claim to be the best tag battlers in Unova. In fact, they say they beat Ingo and Emmet. When they said that, I suddenly took them seriously. Wow, that's genuine skill there, no scrappy upstarts be these. They said it was their ultimate dream battle. In that it had only happened in their dreams.

    Suddenly I stopped taking them so seriously.

    But let's see how they do! The Land To Air Twins challenge our heroes to a battle. Ash must now pick a partner. But who? Iris or Cilan? Iris says Cilan should be the one because he has brothers and having brothers gives him the insight to beat these kids. After learning that Cilan is 1/3rd the Gym Leader of the Striaton Gym with his brothers Chili and Cress, the Twins say that as a gym leader Cilan is the obvious choice. Because Cilan is the only gym leader there, Iris isn't a gym leader.

    When the battle starts, they open with a move you won't find on Bulbapedia. I believe it was called "Drill Wing". Our heroes are confused as to what that could be. It's what the Twins call a Battle Combo Move. It's when two or more Pokémon do the same move at once and you combine the names of the moves into one new super move. Drill Wing is a combination between Drill Claw and Steel Wing.

    As I've mentioned before, I instantly hit the records to see what could be conceived of. If you combined Nasty Plot with Sweet Scent, would you get Nasty Scent? I spent a lot of time looking for matching terms.

    Anyway, so did Ash and Cilan, because they retaliated with their own Battle Combo Moves. First, Pansage used Bullet Seed while being carried by Unfezant. So I guess that was Fly + Bullet Seed? Fly Seed? The Twins threw out Brave Bird + Dig which made Brave Dig, which is their best move, I think. Ash and Cilan used Dig + Quick Attack, which Ash likes to call Dig Quick. Cilan, who's just a little more... on the ball than Ash, said "Wouldn't Quick Dig be a little more... of a term that makes sense?" But suddenly I find myself preferring Dig Quick.

    Iris said with the introduction of Battle Combo Moves, this got interesting. I agree. The twins called out Aerial Claw, which was Aerial Ace + Steel Claw, and Ash/Cilan finished it with SolarBeam, while Unfezant carried Pansage. I guess that's Flybeam. It's like Psybeam. Ash and Cilan win!

    The Twins Soren and Rocko argue over which one of them cost the other the match. But it's a short argument resolved almost instantly by Cilan. It doesn't balloon into a conflict that's the focus of the episode where the brothers have to understand the power of brotherly love and come back together. Which was cool, I wanted them to maintain their synchronicity so we could do other things in the episode. Like have Cilan quote verse. Let Solrock's light shine upon the lost Mareep. As it says in the Good Book.

    After Who's That Pokémon (Braviary), Cilan holds Evaluation Time. And his verdict? Soren and Rocko are using the wrong Pokémon! They should catch two different ones and use those instead! But what about stuff like the bonds of friendship and all that? Doesn't that overcome type advantage? What kind of grim thing is that to say? "Your Pokémon partner is bad, pick another one." That's something Burgundy would say! Think of Pansage, if one day Cilan found that he and Pansage weren't the ultimate Pokémon and Trainer combo, would Cilan just stick him in a PC and let him rot? Cold, man...

    Anyway, Cilan says they need Water-type Pokémon to fill the gap between Flying-type and Ground-type focus that they cover. So, he holds Fishing Time too. Ash and Iris get in on it kinda as well. And the Twins? They think it's awesome that Cilan is a gym leader, a Pokémon connoisseur, and a fishing connoisseur. They now respect him deeply. They all go to a nearby stream and start fishing for the Pokémon that will bogart Braviary and Drilbur's spot at the dinner table. They find two Frillish. That's cool right? Water & Ghost? Unfortunately, the Twins fail to leave even a dent in them. The Frillish make quick work of their Pokémon and go back underwater. The Twins argue about whose fault that was, but thanks to the esteem the Twins hold him in, Cilan is able to dispel this tiff as quickly as he did last time and they're all friends again. Besides, look! A Buizel and a Corphish!

    Are they still in Old Pokémon territory? I thought that was just around the place Cynthia lived. But I guess they couldn't have gotten far.

    Anyway, the Twins try Aerial Claw. It hits. Then they throw their Pokéballs. Everyone waits on the edge of their seats. Oh no! The Pokémon broke free! Gah, that's frustrating even when I'm watching someone else try it. They throw a Drill Wing at them. It hits. They throw the Balls again. And they lock up! Drill Wing worked. It took two hits. But if they were only gonna have it take two hits, why not just have it take one hit? The whole not getting captured thing didn't seem like it had much point. But with two new Pokémon added to the Twins' arsenal, they show their thanks and appreciation for Cilan's sage advice and show off the new moves they came up with mere moments after catching those Pokémon. Soren shows off Brave Jet, which is Brave Bird + Aqua Jet, and Rocko shows off Bubble... Run... which is Drill Run + Bubblebeam. They dreamt up AND taught their Pokémon those moves in, like minutes. Maybe I was wrong to stop taking them seriously.

    As our heroes walk off at the closing of the day, Cilan sees a Swanna and a Palpitoad in the stream. He then realizes he coulda had a V8. Also, he realizes that if he had gotten the Swanna for Soren and the Palpitoad for Rocko, that would've been a much better combination for them. But then they would have almost no need for Braviary and Drilbur! Does Cilan wanna completely take them out of the picture?!! Ash and Iris say "Oh well, they're the sidest of side characters, we'll never see them again" and they all continue their march, most likely to the next Pokémon Center.

    This would've made a really neat Dawn episode, lemme just say again.

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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    I did not really like this episode it was Kind Of Bland and made Me Uninterested.A 6 out of 10

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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    This episode was actually pretty cool.

    The combo of moves and their names.....kinda made me think of the Marvel vs Capcom 1 and MSHxSF games. Ash and Cilan getting in on the action was pretty sweet as well.

    Though their sayings got REALLY old REALLY fast, the episode for the most part was pretty fun.
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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    This episode didn't meet my expectations. Those two brothers were indeed cheesey, reciting that almost TR-esque motto constantly. I also was amazed by how fast they came up with those Water combos.

    Iris was great this time, and Cilan was over the top with his fishing explanation, in a good way.

    Was Ash being boneheaded when he looked up the Corphish and Buizel in the Dex, or was he showing the brothers because they were surprised to hook them?

    It was great seeing Braviary in an episode, though.

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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    A direct and generic copy of "The Champ Twins!" from the Sinnoh arc, only with different Pokemon used by the trainers.

    Forgettable episode. XD.

    5/10
    Last edited by Pokémon Master Ash; 9th February 2013 at 10:44 PM.
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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    Actually Yes, Forgettable, 5/10.

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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    The 2 brothers were incredibly irritating but i think i understood the purpose of this episode. I think it was to educate newer viewers (ones that started watching during Unova) about tag battles and combination moves. I cant recall combination moves used in the Unova episodes until now despite being used alot in previous series of the anime(especially for competition battles) and as far as im aware the only other time a tag battle was shown in the anime in the unova eps was the subway masters episode.

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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    I feel like these guys would make excellent coordinators. But, you know, don't pay my opinion any mind.

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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    Quote Originally Posted by NoodleChefKyle View Post
    I feel like these guys would make excellent coordinators. But, you know, don't pay my opinion any mind.
    No problem. I respect that opinion. It actually sounds like a good idea. :)

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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    Episode was pretty mediocre TBH. Liked seeing Drilbur and Braviary in an episode because we haven't seen much of the former and the latter is the best designed Unova bird imo. It was cool to see Cilan get some focus, of all the episodes where he uses his Connoisseur talents to help the character of the day I definitely thought this one was middle road. Much better than the Nursery and Fishing/Detective episodes, which were cringe-worthless most of the time, not as fun as the Chili episode. Pretty meh, then again I might not be an accurate judge of the entertainment value of this episode since I don't love Cilan's dialogue-heavy, food-y talk like everyone else does. I just can't be entertained consistently by Cilan constantly talking about, in long intervals of time, the "aroma" this and the "spice" that. Though if I did find one line in this rather lukewarm episode entertaining, it was in the Japanese version where Cilan says something along the lines of, "Connecting the two worlds that are the Earth and Sky through a thin line, fishing produces a flavor of new encounters and truly is an unbelievable, fantastic, and passionate story of boy meets girl!"

    Battle was okay, imo. You would think an aerial battle would be more interesting, true the combination moves were nice however. Cilan and Ash's side of the battle suffered from being pretty meh, did they really have to copy the siblings' Brave Dig as their only combination move? There is no way Pansage and Unfezant should have knocked out Braviary with just a Quick Attack and Solar Beam, not after all of the moves from the Sky and Earth siblings that kept connecting, especially Pansage who is rocked heavily by Flying-type moves. I loved seeing Braviary's Brave Bird however, animation looked stunning. I also thought Soren wagging his finger at Cilan and saying, "Here's the brave part." was amusing. Dialogue got utterly repetitive with Cilan and Ash spitting out generic lines left and right and obvious phrases, "This is no time to fight!" and "It's Metal Claw and Aerial Ace! That's why they call it Aerial Claw!" and I'm all "Ya think?!"

    Soren and Rocko, I get it because Rock = Ground and Soren = Soaring. The Sky and Earth siblings' constant spiels before each attack grew tiring, even though I thought the background for some of the scenes looked nice and one-ups TR's motto backgrounds. I enjoyed their "Super Duper Older Bro!" title for Cilan and how they each had a defined characteristic in the form of the Sky and Earth. I really liked the bros' designs too, props to that for just being C(s)OTD. Even though their hair is obviously based off Drilbur and Braviary, I also thought their hair was similar to Mako and Bolin's. Did not care for the generic-ness that was them not being able to get along thus leading to them getting into small scraps, of course to drive home the fact that they need to work together Frillish duo expelled Braviary and Drilbur rather quickly. Cool to see them catch a Corphish and Buizel, I really liked Soren's Jet Brave.

    Yeah, overall this episode just didn't do it for me. It had some small factors that stuck out but I couldn't be bothered to care half the time, mainly due to the constant live-action walls-of-text produced by the bros and Cilan. I just don't understand what's so entertaining about watching foody enthusiasm pour from him for drab periods of time, it's like watching Brock flirt with a girl every episode only cranked up to eleven.
    Last edited by Bubble Frog; 10th February 2013 at 02:25 PM.

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    Don
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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    I wondered when we were going to see people who admire Cilan for his talents and I love that Cilan gets embarrassed when it's a bit much (being called a "Super duper big bro."). I never get tired of seeing Ash and Cilan battling together, the two adapt so well with one another that even if they lose there's no problems regarding their battle style and such.

    I liked that a better alternative to the situation popped up at the last minute as shows Cilan's resolve isn't always perfect. Speaking of which; episodes featuring Cilan using his Pokémon Connoisseur skills to help out are always welcomed as we don't see much of them. Overall a nice episode, Soren's and Rocko's admiration towards Cilan made this episode for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by SonGoku View Post
    A direct and generic copy of "The Champ Twins!" from the Sinnoh arc, only with different Pokemon used by the trainers.
    Don't see how this is a copy of "The Champ Twins!" the only similarities is they feature a tag battle against two brothers. Yeah we had arguing between partners, except it was brief when it happened and it was done with characters of the day.
    Last edited by Don; 10th February 2013 at 01:15 PM.
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    Default Re: S16 EP02 "A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    I don't see how this is a copy of "The Champ Twins!" the only similarities is they feature a tag battle against two brothers and that's all. Yeah we had arguing between the partners, except it was brief the two times it happened and it was between the characters of the day.
    I mean in terms of character design, plot, etc. It seems rehashed in that light. Not a bad episode to me, but not a particularly good one either.

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