Top 20 Pokémon Episodes - PART 2 - S10-19

lennonluiz0907 Mar 31st, 2018 142 Never
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  1. As time passes, things change. Unlike Seasons 1 through 9, it's really easy to see the period i chose as more experimental, a time of change. Seasons 10 through 19, or Generations 4 through 6, started some interesting trends. For instance, Gen 4 had some incredibly daring plotlines that back then were almost too crazy to put in any children's cartoon ever. Gen 5 attempted a complete reboot of the series, and Gen 6 was like the combination of every good thing from Gens 4 and 5 plus an insane animation budget and much else.
  3. If i'm gonna say this right now, i can easily say that this list was harder to make than the previous one. And it is pretty much exclusively because the content is BETTER. Yeah, bite me. And it's not just leveraged by the legendary Kalos(Gen 6) Anime either. So you can bet this list will have higher standards than the previous one! I also think far more of these are watchable in standalone, but maybe that's just me. And don't go straight to watch like the top 3, that won't work!
  5. Anyways, let's move straight on to the list!
  7. 20. Ep. 904 - Party Dancecapades!
  9. *insert disk scratch sound effect here*
  11. Yeah, this is probably the weirdest choice on this list, which is probably why it's just #20. But honestly, this episode served its purpose PERFECTLY. I never thought i'd like it when an episode intentionally pissed me off. But holy crap they did so in a really hilarious anti-hype way that made me laugh at how pissed off i was. It's not like, say, the plot armor they decided to put on a certain someone in the Kalos League in order for Ash to lose the Finals(when in reality it would probably incur in an even more powerful plot moment further down the line for him to win instead, but that's just me :/).
  13. Anyways, tangent over. This episode is awesome. That one isn't.
  15. The main reason this episode is known is because of its ties to Amourshipping(Ash x Serena, basically the ultimate Pokéship, impossible to avoid, actually canon, i ship it), or, more accurately, how it served as the ultimate troll to everyone who supported it and followed the pre-launch hype train. The fact is that this was meant to be a dance party with a pre-set date, and Serena was forced not to go with Ash because since it is Pokémon Showcase related, the Pokémon's wishes kinda come first and her Eevee was incredibly shy back then and only felt comfortable with Clemont's Bunnelby. So it's time for best rival- Er, i mean Miette, Serena's rival who also had a crush on Ash to swoop in and take the plunge instead! But instead of building up conflict, the episode quickly changed gears. It went ahead to show both that Miette wasn't exactly crush material and was kinda taking Ash for granted(and, in a reference to Showdown at the Shalour Gym, also showed that Ash is utterly shit at dancing in one of the funniest scenes i've ever seen), while, even by though she was dying inside and insanely jealous, Serena still tried to make the almost as shit at dancing Clemont have fun and feel comfortable in an environment he clearly didn't fit in, patiently teaching him the basics and everything. It really highlights her humble and giving nature above everything else, and in a way, hypes up the fact that the future does in fact hold something more for her. Besides that, there's Jessie and James, who also came in to the party as a pair, and... Oh my god. James in this episode. Legit one of the most hilarious things i've seen in my life. He just seemed so depressed throughout the whole thing, asking himself how the hell he got there... And Jessie is, well, Jessie. Then there was the pair switch scene, and right when Ash and Serena were about to dance together finally the music stopped... You guys are evil. Then there was the tag battle segment, which is pretty good(it has the funniest James moments tho), and her Eevee finally evolves into Sylveon in it so that's pretty good. Honestly though it was the first half that solidified this episode in the history books. Holy shit.
  17. Highlight: The dancing scene.
  19. Anyways, this segment was too long. It's probably because i was trying to justify me liking an episode the writers were legit spammed on Twitter over.
  21. Also, in this, Bonnie was humming a song that you might certainly recognize in it. Yes, this is the episode in which Squishy's Song first appeared.
  23. 19. Ep. 836 - The Cave of Mirrors!
  25. This episode is probably what the writing staff came up with when they were just plain high. And honestly, it's PERFECT as that. In it, the main group is led to Reflection Cave, which is famous for its mirror-like crystals. But then Ash gets lost from the rest of the group, and then suddenly a portal appears in one of the mirrors. On the other side, there's another Ash, and he sees Ash's Pikachu and thinks it's his, and gets it from across the portal. Then the normal world's Ash quickly jumps in after him, only to see that he's in an entirely new universe parallel to his. In it, while real Serena is always a kind and gentle girl with a usually very caring nature but with some personal issues, lack of pokémon training and a slight crush on Ash, mirror Serena is smug, overconfident, very powerful and always throws shade on Mirror Ash for being a baby(sounds familiar). While real Ash is, well, Ash, mirror Ash is weak, pathetic, has no self-confidence and cries a lot. While real Clemont is a science nerd who can't run at all, and always has a beautiful invention to solve any situation and no-one besides Ash gives him much credit at all(plus all of his inventions blow up), mirror Clemont instead is the best runner of the team, has a confusing magic spell for every situation, everyone adores him and his spells *always work*. There's also Mirror Team Rocket, who are just straight-up heroes of justice. Lol. With a concept like that, the episode just straight up can't fail.
  27. Highlight: The scene that alternates between real Clemont and mirror Clemont. It's utter genius.
  29. 18. Ep. 866 - The Moment of Lumiose Truth!
  31. Oh yeah, this is easily my new favorite Gym Leader battle episode ever made. Electric Shock Showdown fans b salty. This is honestly one of the most hype things i've seen. The fact that Ash's companion was not just a Gym Leader, but also a fairly late one makes it very interesting and climactic when it finally happens. We not only knew Clemont for a very long time already, but they straight up had him leave for like 10 episodes just to train for this face-off between him and Ash for the gym badge. The battle itself it also amazing, but honestly i personally don't watch Pokémon for the battles(whoa whoa holy shit), but for context. For the characters, for the interactions. I love battles that are symbolic. It's why i liked so much battles like Final Ash vs Brandon, Ash vs Gary, etc. And this is a very powerful battle, as nobody was letting up for even a second. Also Goodra is awesome.
  33. Highlight: That final Bide. Holy shit. *refer to my profile pic*
  35. 17. Ep. 853/862 - Facing The Grand Design!/A Fork in the Road! A Parting of the Ways!
  37. This is a tie between two episodes that did basically the same thing, but in equally beautiful ways. They're notably Team Rocket focused, even more so A Fork in the Road, one of them focused on James and his Inkay, and the other focused on Jessie and her Wobbuffet.
  39. Facing the Grand Design is the episode that marks the return of the Alien Malamar, a villain from a previous episode, as it, united with two others, tries to make an ultimate superweapon to turn the planet into a suitable home for them. While the episode does start off focused on the main gang, the focus slowly shifts in towards James, as Inkay would get more and more pissed and out of control as time passed and everyone but James would think that it's being mind-controlled, leading to insane conflict. Until finally, it was revealed that Inkay was really pissed off at the Malamar for trying to destroy the world and was adamant to protect it no matter what, and then it runs off to a colony of well-aligned Inkay and Malamar(plus a lot of other species that lived with them) to coax them into putting their lives on the line to protect the world from the ones who wanted to destroy it. Once the world was saved, James noticed Inkay was really happy with the others and tried to leave it behind, but Inkay ran after him, and screamed that it wanted to go with him, no matter what, prompting him to cry like a kid. Truly amazing. And easily one of the best James episodes ever.
  41. A Fork in the Road is more, let's just say, classic styled. I call it Pikachu's Goodbye... but not shit. *shots fired*
  42. In it, Jessie and Wobbuffet end up separated from the rest of the team, and are attacked by a wild Gloom, getting high exposure to Stun Spore. Then she gets saved by a doctor, and she immediately falls in love with him. She takes on a different identity, and starts to live with him. And Wobbuffet also finds the love of his life, a female Wobbuffet, who, due to the fact that she does live with several Wynaut, is probs a single mother. Anyways, she becomes an assistant of the doctor who saved her life, applying what she learned in nursing school, but there was a very powerful Pokémon Hunter on the loose, and it obliterated both James's Inkay and Meowth. Then Jessie, after discovering that, sees that the doctor she likes so much secretly had a massive crush on a tsundere(welp, here we go again) and finally decided to show his true feelings, and she instead of getting pissed off, she just leaves, and says goodbye to Wobbuffet, who was living a truly happy life with a new family. But she alone wasn't able to do anything. That was when Wobbuffet came back, saying he would stick together with the team until the very end, and helped finally fend the hunter off.
  44. Highlight: In both of them, the ending. It really shows how close Team Rocket are with their respective Pokémon.
  46. 16. Ep. 540 - Pika and Goliath!
  48. FINALLY, an episode from Diamond and Pearl so i can speak about how amazing and underrated it is! While XY is pretty much the undisputed champion of Anime Generations and i kinda agree with such a statement, Diamond and Pearl is utterly incredible, specially S11 and S13! They're almost up there with XY's S17, S18 and S19 in quality IMO! The OPs are great(okay maybe except the second one and the first version of the third one), the episodes are great, the characters are AMAZING(Specially Dawn, but that comes later), and there's so much more! But this episode is focused on Ash's bond with his Pikachu, so let's go down with it.
  50. It starts with Pikachu finding a smug-ass Pichu, who turns out to belong to Sho, who has a Pichu and a Raichu, and wants to trade one of his Pokémon for his Pikachu so he can have the full line. Obviously Ash refuses, but then Sho challenges Pikachu to a fight with Raichu. And... holy shit. He obliterated Pikachu. And even by though it was pretty much down, Raichu pinned Pikachu down with his tail and fired a point-blank Hyper Beam, leaving Pikachu badly hurt. Like, it pretty much got the closest to dying you could ever see a Pokémon ever outside of a movie.
  52. Knowing Raichu could learn more powerful moves, and was generally stronger and more durable, Ash picked up a Thunderstone from his backpack, which turned out to be the exact same Thunderstone he offered Pikachu in Electric Shock Showdown(YES. They went there.) and placed it on the desk next to the bed Pikachu was lying in. In the morning both of them were gone. It turns out Team Rocket stole the Thunderstone so Pikachu couldn't even dream of attempting to evolve and Pikachu was training outside for a rematch.
  54. And then, filled with newfound determination, Ash stepped forward.
  56. Highlight: the rematch. the crazy battling strategy Ash pulled off here, combining moves left and right, moving along strategically and trying to overpower Raichu was absolutely nuts and very gratifying to watch. It was great to see it fall in defeat. He even found a solution for the pin down + hyper beam strat, which is incredible! *refer to my profile pic, again*
  58. 15. Ep. 852 - A Race for Home!
  60. Okay, now that i've gotten you guys all used to the format, it's time for straight-up fangirling. Can i just say, Serena is awesome. Even by though she is, in many points, a thoroughly flawed character and is pretty easy to hate, i personally think her flaws are her greatest strength. Because every part of her character was a setup for improvement. Her crush on Ash was a setup for improvement. Her lack of an initial goal was a setup for improvement. The fact she was highly reliant on others in order to gain momentum on her own life was a setup for improvement. And, as we see in here, her horrible relationship with her mother was a setup for improvement.
  62. In it, Serena had just discovered her true dream of becoming a Pokémon Performer. Or rather, to become Kalos Queen, who is basically the champion of performers. Gotta aim high. Anyways, in it she meets her mother, Grace, who has tried for the longest time to make her a homegrown Rhyhorn racer, and was a bit too... let's just say, forceful with that. Which is sorta understandable since Grace was a killer Rhyhorn racer, like basically the best in the region.
  64. Also since i'm pretty much a hardcore Amourshipper i pretty much forced myself to do this. A couple episodes back, Serena taught Ash how to do Rhyhorn racing, even by though it's meant to be tough and only after you've practiced riding other Pokémon. It's basically going in a double diamond skiing course right off the bat. If you got that reference you're a god in my eyes. In this episode, Ash told Grace he could ride Rhyhorn, but he never knew of any lower level play. Grace reacted appropriately, and Serena immediately went on the offensive saying that it was his idea, and then... He said something along the lines of "It's all thanks to the fact i have such a wonderful teacher."
  66. DAAAAMN! That was so bloody suave it shocked even the audience so you can only imagine how flustered Serena was after that.
  68. Anyways, since this segment is too long let's get by quickly. Serena avoided her mother throughout the entire episode, and was practicing her showcase techniques in secret. In true soap opera fashion, Grace found her practicing in secret, and decided to have her prove herself.
  70. Highlight: The race. I don't care what you think, the ending of this episode is bloody perfect. It basically tells you that it's okay to go against the norm and follow your dreams. And that no-one should see themselves having the right stop you from following them. And the race itself was beautiful and climactic. Even if this episode doesn't seem like much out the bat, it has a power that few others have. It incites determination. It makes you want to go out and follow your dreams. And that's only #15!
  72. 14. Ep. 643/Ep. 912 - A Grand Fight for Winning!/Performing a Pathway to the Future!
  74. Both of these episodes are practically identical imo. While they did go about the same issue in different ways, they pretty much have the same strong points and pitfalls, and thus, pretty much have to be talked about simultaneously. And yeah, it's a pretty tall order to talk about both simultaneously since they're both amazing and have so much shit to unpack. Both of them are the finales of Dawn and Serena's contest/showcase arcs, serving as the final episode of the Grand Festival and the Showcase Master Class, respectively. Both of them have the main characters taking on the people that helped them be where they are now, those being Zoey and Aria, respectively.
  76. In Performing a Pathway to the Future the episode isn't entirely focused on the finals, as it also tackles the semifinals, between her, Shauna and Jessie. And Serena's performance was great there, although i will admit pulling off a one-hand handstand is pretty much asking for trouble. So i'm glad she *only* got her wrist somewhat bruised and didn't compromise her entire performance. (wtf is she spiderman or smth XD)
  78. I also love that after the end, every single one of her rivals talk about how they are banking their hopes on her. They all broke down at Serena's knees at separate points, and it was really bittersweet to see them go down one by one. Also the scene in which big-shot judge and mentor Palermo enters Serena's room, noticing the bruise in her arm, and saying that she should forfeit the match, only to get one of my favorite Serena moments ever. In what i can only call a homage to the scene in which she got her legs bruised in the forest when she was really young back in summer camp and Ash picked her up, she said that she wouldn't give up until the very end. Just like Ash told her back then. Not to give up. (which was basically the reason she never forgot him since then)
  80. Anyways, now for the finals, and both of the episodes did the exact same thing in relation to that. They made sure the protag pulled out all of the stops. They made sure they used EVERYTHING they learned in the fight. In Dawn's case, she used several combinations she planned on her own and kept a secret, like the Aura Whirlpool, and always tried to overturn the bad situations she was in. Even by though she herself admitted that she was nowhere near Zoey's level, she still gave it all she got, and with a final surprise combo, funnily called the Rocket Formation, she basically lost by a hair. Now for Serena, she used EVERYTHING she learned in all of her performances. There were references to past performances, references to straight up a Japanese ED(thanks Bulbapedia) and it was basically perfect. She still lost tho.
  82. Yeah, that's kind of the problem with the episodes, both of them. Not so much the first one(although Dawn never being able to win against Zoey was kind of a letdown), but mostly the second one(as she not only lost, but by a MASSIVE margin). It kinda did feel forced for them to lose in the first place. While i do understand the way they tried to spin it for both of them, it still kinda stung to see what happened.
  84. I do really like the ending for A Grand Fight for Winning. I didn't talk about it that much so it does make it seem weird that both of them are tied for this spot, but honestly it was the ending that solidified it this high up. With Dawn making a beautiful speech about how she felt about the whole thing(and then closing off with "i'm sorry, was this too sappy?", which kinda just made me want to hug her), and finally talking to all of her pokémon and talking about how she's thankful to all of them... it was a really beautiful moment for her that i don't see being that talked about.
  86. So yeah, both of the episodes were great and did bring good closure to both of them. This is too long so no highlight.
  88. 13. Ep. 594 - A Pyramiding Rage!
  90. It's finally time to talk about the Sinnoh(gen 4) anime in full and all of its amazing things. I love how it didn't pull any stops when it came to its storytelling. While yeah, after Kalos(gen 6), its achievements are kinda taken for granted, one thing that certainly isn't is Paul, and how incredible of a rival it was for Ash. He was pretty much a character who didn't care about Pokémon and only accepted the ones that were the strongest, knew the most moves out of the gate, etc. He just straight up built the best team and the rest could fuck right off. Also, since his Chimchar had a ridiculously powerful version of Blaze that only triggered on extremely tense situations, he pretty much commanded his Pokémon to attack it until he was at the brink of... fuck me, Chimchar suffered a lot in his hands. Yet still, the Anime, in a stroke of genius and a noble and respectable decision, didn't paint Paul in an evil light. He was just misguided. Enraged. He didn't know *why* he should care to be compassionate with his Pokémon, why he should control himself, and that's because he never got punished over his warped ideology. He swept Gym Leaders with perfect victories.
  92. This was the day we finally saw Paul crumble for what he truly was. By facing off against the person who caused his older brother to quit Pokémon training. The strongest trainer of the Battle Frontier, Pyramid King Brandon. In a full 6 on 6 battle, which pretty much means Brandon will use the Regis.
  94. In it, Paul remembers when his brother Reggie fought against Brandon. Back then Paul was just starting as a Pokémon trainer with his Turtwig. He saw as, in front of his eyes, Reggie, who had all gym badges from all regions and had all other frontier symbols, got obliterated by him. 6-0. And in the end, Brandon badly scolded Reggie, asking him things like "IS THIS YOUR TRUE STRENGTH?" This was kinda enlightening for Reggie, who discovered that battling wasn't *really* his true strength at all. But that destroyed Paul. He was enraged by his brother's "cowardly" action, and decided to show the world his true strength and do what Reggie failed to do. No matter what.
  96. The battle itself was just as disheartening. No matter what strat Paul came up with, Brandon countered all of them and kept a perfect sweep by just switching back and forth between the Regis. When his last Pokémon came up, that being Magmar, suddenly the background music went through an overhaul and became incredibly melancholy. He couldn't do anything, and only got more and more angry. Until he finally lost for good. Just like Reggie did. This episode is the kind that only comes once in a lifetime. And it's something we need to appreciate. Also this episode had Zoey and Team Rocket idc
  98. 12. Ep. 920 - Seeing the Forest for the Trees!
  100. Well then now it's time. We're getting into the big leagues now.
  102. This episode is beautiful. No other word can really explain it. This is the episode after Ash's *embarassing* loss against Wulfric. While sure, Ash did get knocked down by other losses in the past, like, say, his massive loss against Paul at Lake Acuity, this was far more well-handled in relation to writing and plot, and he didn't recover on a snap of Rocket fingers. He thought he had failed his Pokémon and specially his Greninja, who got crazy hurt in the fight and took a while to recover, and runs away from the Pokémon center, into the frigid Winding Woods. And, right after recovering, so did Greninja. As soon as she could, Serena went immediately after Ash, and quickly found him. Sitting in a rotten trunk of wood, alone, with nothing but a couple of wild forest Pokémon... scared of him.
  104. And then it happens. Easily the highlight of the episode. I guess i need to give further context to show why this scene is so emotional, and honestly if i didn't elaborate this now it would be harder to do so later. Serena's crush on Ash was always because of his inner strength. He never gave up and never abandoned hope, even in the worst of times. She saw in him a great and strong role model, and most of her development as a character was because seeing Ash made her realize how much of a wreck her life really was before joining the party. So you can see why she's so distraught at Ash for taking this loss so hard.
  106. ...she talks to him that he can always trust in her, to unwind, to speak his mind. She tried to help him as best as she could. It was the first time i actually saw her take any sort of initiative in relation to this. And finally said that she knew how he felt, after all she did really feel what it's like to fail her pokémon before. But Ash screams "NO! You DON'T know how this feels!". But... with tears in her eyes, she talks about how the Ash she knew had taught her so much, didn't give up no matter what, always got up from any problem, and screams "What did you do to the real Ash?" before running away crying.
  108. Shortly after, a blizzard begins. Serena comes back alone, and extremely pissed. But even still, shortly after, she decides to leave again, this time with the rest of the team, to save Ash from the intense cold. But the blizzard intensifies and both the team and Ash have to find shelter(it's at this point in which Ash finally finds Greninja). While Ash tries to save the forest Pokémon from the cold(and try to make them not scared of him after what happened back there), he remembers back when, as a kid, he gave some wild Pokémon shelter from the rain. Finally, as he was trying to save some Spewpa from a collapsing tree near a cliff, and one of them fell down, Ash finally masters the Bond Phenomenon and Ash-Greninja's Complete form in order to save it. Finally, after that, the party's reunited, Ash tells Serena that it was her words that got him out of the pit, and goes determinedly to face off against Wulfric again.
  110. 11. Ep. 914 - Battling at Full Volume!
  112. And now for something completely different. This episode is the source of both my last two profile pics btw. You can probably see my opinion about it just by taking that into consideration.
  114. Anyways, after something as heartbreaking and emotional as #12, it's probably great to unwind with one of the downright funniest and most ingenious episodes ever written. In it, Ash was training with his Greninja in what looks like a shallow river, and ended up getting very wet. And it was mommy Serena to the rescue, scolding him and saying that he'd get sick like that, and throwing him a towel. Ash wasn't worried one bit, but you know what happens when your mom tells you to be careful otherwise something bad will happen.
  116. The next morning, Ash fell with a massive fever. Knew it.
  118. But he did not just fall ill in a conventional way. He got up, with a low speech and sweating and blushing heavily, walked for a bit, collapsed into Serena(*precisely on the chest*), she blushes really hard, and then, with the power he had, got up just slightly while holding her by the hands, and said, in these exact words...
  119. "Now's our chance... I... I... I... ... I..."
  120. She blushes even harder and closes her eyes, shaking, knowing what comes next. The screen even goes full on love pink.
  121. "...Iron Tail... Pikachu..."
  122. And /then/ he faints.
  124. Welcome back, troll writers. I love you too.
  126. Anyways, now that that's out of the way, for the actual episode. While Clemont and Bonnie go to town for medicine, a trainer called Jimmy and his Pikachu Spike appears, and he loves loud rock and strong Pikachu. Since Ash was sick and sleeping, Serena comes out and tells him to keep it down, but then realizes what was actually happening. He was challenging Ash for a battle. And we all know what Ash would do in this situation. He would fight, even by though he couldn't even stand up. Worried Jimmy probably wouldn't take no he's freaking sick for an answer(which is kinda dumb tbh but i can see Serena thinking that) she instead sees Ash's clothes lying next to him in the tent he was sleeping in. Or at least i hope he was sleeping because she came out wearing them. So yeah, she changed right there.
  128. This episode takes crazy turn after crazy turn. First off, Jimmy's Pikachu is nuts. It knows Thunder Punch and Dig, besides the obvious Quick Attack and Thunderbolt. Clemont and Bonnie came back, and asked wtf was going on. Serena screamed and blushed, trying to hide her secret. She somehow managed to keep the secret alive. And that's when she remembers how Pikachu defeated Bunnelby back in The Moment of Lumiose Truth(countering Dig with an Iron Tail to the ground, which shatters it and leaves the Pokémon vulnerable) and starts to turn the battle around. But then, Team Rocket interrupts it... in the funniest way imaginable. A crazy musical motto, with a nuts and oh-so-japan motif in order to counter Jimmy's hard rock. And then asked wtf was going on. Serena's busted, both Pikachu are stolen and Ash somehow recovers in mere minutes, even by though Clemont estimated a day of bedrest for him. Because of course he does. Serena shows her true identity, Ash saves the day and his battle never happens because he's hungry(dammit). Jimmy falls for Serena(then again who can resist this face?(link here)) and the episode ends.
  130. Highlight: The Amourshipping scene. I don't care, it was perfect. XD
  132. 10. Ep. 784/907 - The Island of Illusions!/A Watershed Moment!
  134. These two are my personal favorite filler episodes in this countdown. While personally i don't think any one of them hit Snow Way Out tier, these are still great and highly emotional(if not highly underrated). Although i sadly wasn't able to pick a favorite between the two. Also, that episode number ain't tricking you - The Island of Illusions is, in fact, an episode from the infamous Gen 5 Anime. It's kinda funny that the first episode of Gen 5 to make it on the list made it this bloody high, but honestly it's great to see that Gen 5's storytelling doesn't *entirely* suck. Heh.
  136. Anyways, The Island of Illusions is an episode of the infamous Decolora Islands arc(basically Orange Islands... but lame), so it starts off as the Unova squad approaching a famous island for having interesting hauntings. Seeing a massive shadow before arriving there, they are certainly interested, and discovered that there are actually two islands there, and the second one is basically locked up to all outer access. But because of tide magic they were able to access it, and get another massive pokémon chase them, this time a Heatmor. All the while a caped elderly woman tails behind the team. Then finally they find an abandoned Pokémon Center. But weirdly, it has a Nurse Joy, but not an Audino. Oh wait, now it has an Audino, but no Nurse Joy? It's pretty clear that they're illusions, but Ash, in true troll fashion, makes it switch forms like a million times, poor thing. It's almost like it was intentional or something. But that's when things go crazy. The caped woman turned out to be a Nurse Joy, or rather a retired Joy from around a decade past. And that's when the fake Joy starts to cry. She asks why she was left alone, why she was abandoned. That's when things finally clear up. the fake Joy is actually a Zoroark who was always incredibly close to the real one back when the center wasn't out of commision, and back then it was a Zorua. Once it went out to train and ended up evolving, but then as it came back the center was abandoned. After some time, Zoroark decided to start to take care of the other wild pokémon on the island pretending to be a Nurse Joy, and fend off any intruders that might hurt it, explaining all the crazy illusions that were sighted in recent times. This episode surprisingly takes itself *very* seriously, and doesn't in any way undersell its conflict or neuter its own impact. It's a rare gem amongst episodes from Unova.
  138. Highlight: The resolution. It's really heartwarming to see that the retired Joy and Zoroark decided to keep working together, protecting the wild pokémon of the island.
  140. Now for A Watershed Moment, and i'm gonna be honest, this was NOT the episode i expected to be my favorite Kalos filler episode, specially with high competition from the previous entry. And honestly, the concept seems kinda clichéd and overdone when you get deep into it. The party's going through a barren wasteland, and are noticeably thirsty. They come across a weird robot, who seems to be attempting to plant something in this dry, long lost soil. Suddenly, a Chesnaught comes and attacks the party. He seems to be protecting the robot. That's when the team comes across an abandoned laboratory, and there they find a young kid who tries to stop them from doing whatever they're doing. That's when they finally discover the true story behind this place. It was, say it with me, a lush green paradise with flowing water in the past. But now it was no more. And his grandfather dedicated his entire life towards trying to recover it from its degrading state. Sadly, he passed away, and whatever signs of life remained were lost forever. With an already surprisingly heavy backstory, the team finally acquaints themselves with the family's Chesnaught and robot(it's called Robon btw), and try to help them as well as they could. Clemont repairs the robot's recharging station, and decides to try and check whether or not the soil is useable in the state it is, so time for an invention! It actually works, but it says that the soil is not appropriate for use, for everyone's disarray. But then, for the next theory, Clemont proposes everyone to check whether or not there is a water flow under the soil. There is, but a massive rock blocked the water route to above ground. So, if it was removed, the wasteland would have flowing water, which could save it. However, here comes Team Rocket, to try and capture Chesnaught. And, after a strong fight, both James's Inkay and Jessie's Gourgeist attack Chesnaught at the same time. With a beautiful flashback, to back when his inventor told him they were the only hope of that dying land, Robon immediately steps forward and takes the hit, breaking down completely.
  142. Highlight: I love the moment Clemont stepped in. His quote, "The progress of Science stops when you give up", really does show the great development that he went through, and the fact Clemont repeated that after Robon was destroyed and did his best to repair it was straight-up incredible.
  144. It's like this episode was getting me comfortable for worse shit to come. Both of these.
  146. 9. Ep. 799 - The Dream Continues!
  148. Yet another Unova episode! Although counting this episode as an Unova episode is kinda cheating as it is sort of the Post-finale(serving as post-finale to the alright Best Wishes Till we Meet Again!), kinda like Hoenn Alone. But still, this episode is surprisingly good. It's, for the first time basically ever, an episode fully dedicated to Ash, his ambitions, his memories and how he wants to tackle the future. If i'd say this right now, this episode hyped up Kalos like hell, as him demonstrating his strength and what he truly learned from all these generations of traveling. If Unova Ash was garbo, they did a fine job hyping up that, well Kalos Ash wouldn't be.
  150. Honestly, this episode is more of a homage than anything. In most of it Ash is wearing his original pajamas, he reflects on all of his past companions and is reunited with all his Pokémon, Ash's room turns out to have a plethora of easter eggs on it, including the Orange League trophy, the Soothe Bells he won from the Tag Battle Contest in Sinnoh, etc and even Wobbuffet comes back!
  152. I truly love the crazy amount of respect this episode gives to long-time fans(or just downright insane binge-watchers like me, lol), as it's something that is so rare in the anime, ever. I really don't need to pull anything else out of my hat, this is enough to solidify this episode this high up on the list. Either that or i just like my ego to be stroked, idk.
  154. Highlight: All the attention to detail across the entire episode. There was a lot of it.
  156. Also, at least in the original version, this episode ended with a beautiful pic of all of Ash's pokémon from all gens. In the international version this was sadly cut but apparently the official Twitter or something posted it just after that.
  158. 8. Ep. 801 - Lumiose City Pursuit!
  160. Honestly, leaving a good first impression should always be the priority of the writers. An ultra hype episode from extremely early on that can easily match up with episodes from far later on, with all established characters and everything is the perfect tool to hype up a series. But that is HARD, as this is the first time this ever happened(at least to this extent), which only serves to increase its strength as an episode.
  162. Anyways, speaking of Kalos Ash, this episode is AMAZING at demonstrating the "new and improved" Ash that we all wanted to see for so long. It introduces us to Professor Sycamore and his Garchomp(who i just realized happens to be a girl, well damn), who are notable recurring characters that will have a great impact on the future of the anime as a whole, but now we're just getting to know them and so is Team Rocket. Learning from Professor Sycamore that Garchomp can Mega-Evolve, Team Rocket now wants to get their grubby hands on Garchomp.
  164. And they do so by putting a collar with a device on its neck, which makes it go on a massive rampage, and start to destroy the entirety of Lumiose City.
  166. ...meanwhile, in a far more peaceful town, Serena is being forced to do Rhyhorn Training. She gets bent.
  168. Back to the chaos, while Officer Jenny evacuated the area and the Kalos Team(minus Serena, she's still busy trying to fix her nose back in Vaniville Town, ouch) is trying to figure out what to do, Garchomp starts to climb Prism Tower, just in time for the climax. Ash tries to climb it, but the rampaging Garchomp block Clemont and Bonnie from trying to go help him. Only Ash remains.
  170. A news helicopter starts to film the action, and Ash's courageous act makes it into TV, as he tries to save Garchomp, as hard as it was, as they climbed to the top of the tower, and Garchomp kept firing Hyper Beam after Hyper Beam at him. But yet still, he keeps going. He approaches it with all his might... until he and Pikachu finally free it of the collar, with the entirety of Kalos watching. Including Serena and Grace. But the tower was highly damaged and his Pikachu is sent towards the ground. Without hesitation, Ash jumps as well, knowing full well of the risks. Everyone is in complete shock and awe. Even Serena gasped in horror. And out of nowhere, Mega Blaziken Ex-machina saves Ash from his certain doom and... wow. This is still, to this day, one of my favorite scenes in all of Pokémon. It looks like something straight out of a movie. Easily the highlight of the episode.
  172. ...meanwhile, in a still more peaceful town, Serena was getting ready. She wanted to meet the person she saw on TV. She thought he was... familiar.
  174. 7. Ep. 758 - Drayden Versus Iris: Past, Present and Future!
  176. Hm... It's probably me being me, but i kinda feel bad for not talking much about Unova in general. While sure, it did get some pretty damn high entries so i guess i gave it a fair shot, this is the last you're seeing of it. Anyways, Iris is certainly a character that, justifiably, gets a massive bad rep. While i personally don't hate her guts like everyone else, i do think that her running gag was quite annoying, and beyond that, she felt like the writers were a little too overly reliant on Misty for a basis of all their female characters in this one. However, i do believe that she did pull off many things better than Misty did(like actually having a rival, actually working towards her goal in significant ways, actually meriting the tomboy archetype people unfairly associate with Misty). Most importantly of all, her character arc wasn't utterly wasted or abandoned like everyone else's, which is by far my biggest complaint of Unova(Georgia never got a real match with Iris, Cilan never touched improving himself as a Pokémon Connoisseur ever again and neither did Burgundy, blah blah blah).
  178. Instead, she got an episode that gave her innermost conflicts closure. And it was amazing. Again, this is my favorite episode from Unova. Nonetheless, back when she was really young, she befriended, caught and trained a Drilbur from the outskirts of the Village of Dragons. However, after training it for a very long time, she challenged the famous Dragon-type trainer and Gym Leader Drayden to a one on one battle, her now evolved Excadrill versus his Haxorus. Excadrill got bent. It didn't even listen to Iris again for YEARS after that horrid battle.
  180. With this defeat *sorta* behind her(but not really, she didn't recover basically ever) Iris left her village to go to Opelucid Academy, which was cited as the most famous school in the entirety of Unova, particularly the Dragon Trainer's Division, to learn about the dragon types that her village cherishes so much. But she struggled a lot there too. She was that kind of crazy girl that would climb up trees for fun, couldn't stay still and was far more interested in connecting with Pokémon themselves instead of studying(wait... IS THIS A JAB AT TRADITIONAL SCHOOLING? Like, holy crap, they threw shade on the "best school in town" archetype! That's incredible!), and she couldn't make any friends there. While she started off alright, soon she started to lose all enthusiasm, and would climb up the radio tower, which is "basically the Eiffel Tower before Lumiose Tower existed" almost every day to try and find her home from there, calling it her happy place. Those were awful times for her. She didn't last very long there and dropped out in secret.
  182. After joining the team, she always tried to avoid Opelucid City no matter what. She didn't want to come back. But after the episode before this, "A Village Homecoming!", it's revealed that Drayden(who's not only all of what i said but also the President of Opelucid Academy in the anime, fuck) actually kept close tabs on her, and now Iris couldn't just avoid the ghosts of her past anymore. I know that's a long segment for a damn intro but i really need to reinforce the fact that this episode is *EXTREMELY* important and has a lot of backstory weight to it.
  184. In this episode, the Unova gang makes it to Opelucid City, and, as soon as she notices it, she calls her Axew and tells it that she'll show it her something great. She immediately climbs the radio tower, almost effortlessly. Quickly, a group of people gather around the tower, and Officer Jenny starts to tell her to get out of the top of the tower. Then, she recognizes Iris, and basically says "Oh no, not you again", which confuses the rest of the team. After that, the woman who took care of Iris while she was in the academy recognized her too, and Drayden also found her, and said that he will fight her again later that day. That was when the team went to the Academy and Iris elaborated on why she left, why she didn't want to come back(after all, she supposedly left in secret, to never look into anyone's eyes again). With a nostalgic trip down memory lane, she finally moved on towards the battle.
  186. It was a great fight, and she did her best, even defeating Drayden's Haxorus, but she still couldn't win. However, in a surprising twist, apparently Drayden *allowed* Iris to leave because he knew that it was being a horrible experience for her, and that she should learn it all in her own pace. And, now knowing just how much of a fine trainer she became, she offered him the chance of becoming the successor of the Opelucid Gym.
  188. This episode gave great closure to Iris's character, and honestly, it's kinda shitty that she didn't just leave the party right there, because it would probably be an amazing place to end it all, no regrets.
  190. Highlight: The backstory, and how she finally found it in herself to move on from that trauma. It's great to see that Iris's story was actually pretty well thought through, specially in comparison to everything else in Unova.
  192. 6. Ep. 527 - Team Shocker!
  194. From traumatic experience to traumatic experience, i guess it's time to talk some serious talk about Dawn.
  196. I LOVE DAWN. A lot. As a character, and as a person too. She's the perfect model of a carefree, fun-loving, doesn't take life that seriously person that i love, both irl and in a character. She can get herself *really* worked up over her hair(even more than other female companions, i mean, probably because of the Plusle and Minun trauma) and does have other problems, but nobody's perfect.
  198. I guess that, with the personal connection i have with her, this probably stung far harder than normal. So, a couple episodes back, after Dawn got her first contest win and ribbon, she got knocked out in the Hearthome Contest straight at round 1, with pretty much no explanation other than "the plot demanded it". She got hit hard and left crying like a little kid, but recovered rather quickly, because she's peppy and persistent and it isn't like her to get knocked out with such a trifle. right?
  200. Now, for this episode, which takes place at the Solaceon Contest. Dawn's been practicing her Ambipom's Swift Breakdance, which would be her star(kek) move for round 1 of the contest. Meanwhile, Ash has been training his Turtwig to learn Energy Ball, with the help of Kenny, who they met in the previous episode. He's basically Dawn's childhood friend who may or may not have a crush on her, and the one that lost to Dawn in the finals of a previous contest.
  202. When the actual contest comes, we see both Kenny and Jessie's surprisingly good round 1 performances, then we go for Dawn. And it's... weird. It's not hard to see there was *something* wrong with it. Instead of using the original "upward spiral" version of Swift Breakdance, she commanded it to go full power, and a ludicrously huge barrage of stars flooded the arena. The judges don't say a word, they just tilt their heads forward as if to try and see wtf was actually happening. And so was everyone. Then the performance just ends.
  204. ...there's the always repeating cycle of the party trying to cheer her up for the reveal, but this time things aren't going so well. She tries to cheer herself and Ambipom up, but Dawn tells her not to worry... She didn't pass.
  206. A very awkward silence fills the room, but unlike last time, she turns around and puts on a brave face, saying that she will cheer for Kenny on the second round. Jessie also passed, and said some really mean shit to Dawn just like last time. That's when Ash notices her clenching her left fist really hard, and it was clear he saw through her façade almost immediately. She was in immense pain. But he leaves her alone, he knows she's powerful and she recovers from any setback, right?
  208. ...
  210. In a surprising and honestly absolutely uncalled for series of events, Kenny's Prinplup gets shredded by Jessie's Dustox, and she gets her first ribbon. Considering the fact Jessie had a complete losing streak in Hoenn, that's a surprisng twist, and it sets her up for a pretty strong winning streak throughout the later seasons, even making it into the top 4 of the Grand Festival. But that's not what's important.
  212. ...When Kenny says he'll meet her in the next contest, she said there will be no "next contest". She runs to her room, with nothing but nightmares and happy thoughts in shards all over the floor. She runs to bed, and clenches the contest ribbon her mother gave to her, her lucky charm. She tried her best, but she didn't have it in her. She failed everyone. She cries herself to sleep, and... the next day, she doesn't appear from out of her room. The party's worried, but they thought she just overslept or something. Oh no. No no nonononono, they're NOT doing this.
  214. It turns out yes they are. She was wide awake. But she couldn't find it in herself to get up. Now i'm getting goosebumps, please do something! Then, out of nowhere, Zoey bursts into her room and forces her to get up. Oh thank god. She immediately calls Dawn for a contest battle, and tells exactly what she was doing wrong(Ambipom couldn't be seen while he was attacking, basically making the presentation a total mess), and tells that, with dedication and time, she will get better soon. Having recovered... somewhat, the team moves on... but in an ambiguous mood. As it turns out, Dawn was no longer the same after this day.
  216. This episode had ripple effects on her personality that lasted all the way until... honestly, i don't really know where to pinpoint, although i'd say it's probably somewhere after her fourth ribbon, which is like 70 episodes later.
  218. Highlight: Easily the fact that they took this so seriously. This was completely uncalled for as an episode concept, and it made me have an unwavering and total respect for the Sinnoh anime. Even still, this isn't my favorite Sinnoh episode.
  220. 5. Ep. 539 - Crossing Paths
  222. ...well then that's awkward. This episode is highly reminiscent of Bye Bye Butterfree. Conceptually it's very similar and in execution it's very similar too. Even Bulbapedia agrees with that.
  224. ...
  226. I've actually seen this appear in a video about emotional Pokémon moments before, and he did also say that he felt like it was even more emotional and even more powerful than Bye Bye Butterfree, so...
  228. The reason i probably like this episode more is because it skips the entire clichéd "try to impress your love" fiasco(honestly, the Anime's handling of Pokémon love has been usually a piece of shit, and with people it hasn't been much better) and have them fall in love immediately, so they could instead move on towards more deep and honestly interesting conflicts.
  230. Now that i finished attempting to justify myself, let's talk about this episode. In it, Jessie is practicing for her next contest, and possibly her next win, with Dustox, the one who won with her back, well, at Team Shocker. Then Dustox just kinda runs away. It turns out it went to the lake nearby, and there was another Dustox, which just happened to be a shiny, in there. It was love at first sight for both.
  232. Then she sees the Dustox's trainer, who's called Austin. And... uh... She doesn't quite fall in love at first sight like at A Fork in the Road, but she clearly took a shine to him. And that's because he reminded her of someone she knew back at when she was way younger, who was called... Astin. Yeah, time to get confused. They were great friends, but she had an audition for a theater, while he was leaving town to become a coordinator. In order for them to follow their own dreams, they parted ways. However, Jessie failed her audition, and she never quite got anywhere in life, so she seems to deeply regret her decision and wonder how things would have been otherwise.
  234. That's when a massive storm starts, and lightning strikes a tree near her, causing it to start falling, but Dustox saves her. She, however got knocked out. Anyways, every full moon, the Dustox fly over Mt. Coronet in a beautiful arc. Y'know, kinda like the Butterfree Festival. However, they use the reflection of the moon on the lake to guide themselves, as it's a thoroughly beautiful view. And the lake is rather unstable, as it's pretty much surrounded by rather thin edges. So, due to the storm, the lake started to flood out. Austin, the main gang and even Nurse Joy all go to try and impede the water from flowing out, and once they get there Team Rocket turns out to be there too. Jessie's determined to let her Dustox be happy, and that means putting everything into saving the crossing. The team managed to stop the overflow, but... It was too late. Now the lake was too shallow. After several failed attempts and ideas, Austin's Dustox lifts just about all of the leaked water of the lake with Confusion, and Jessie's Dustox guides it back into the lake with Whirlwind, filling it back completely.
  236. And that's when the goodbye finally happens. Dustox wants to stay with Jessie, but she knows what's good for her. To not be afraid of taking the plunge in a decision like that. After all, Dustox would probably regret letting this opportunity go for the rest of its life. Wow, this episode is already so good! The only way it could get any better would be with a tale of tragic childhood love on top. oh fuck, i jinxed myself didn't i
  238. That's when the final flashback comes in. And now the truth about Jessie's past comes clean. She is still, to this day, deeply wounded by this story. She had a massive crush on Astin, but never got to speak up. On that day, after he left, she started to cry and run after the van he left in... until she finally tripped. She never got to say anything. Back to the present day, Dustox still refuses to leave. Then... she picked up Dustox's pokéball... threw it to the ground... and shattered it with her feet. She starts to cry, and starts yelling at it to go, to leave. For its own sake. And as it finally leaves, she wipes her tears, as we flash back to Jessie and her Dustox, all the way back since it was a Wurmple, and finishing off at them posing with the ribbon they earned in Team Shocker. And finally, she says... "Dustox, my dearest. Go fall in love! And do it with all your heart! For both of us!"
  240. What a fitting way to end this. While sadly Jessie never got her own happy ending, it's great to see that the anime finally decided to dedicate itself to giving her some well-deserved time in the spotlight, and what a time it was.
  242. Highlight: The way the ending alternated between the flashback and the goodbye.
  244. 4. Ep. 931 to 935 - Team Flare Arc
  246. Honestly, i don't know what to say. I really didn't want to do something as crazy as have FIVE episodes sharing a spot, but i also didn't want to just choose one, because i kinda felt like i'd be cheating the other four since every single one has powerful moments, hype moments, and/or incredibly sad moments. While i did really like the Team Galactic arc and the others were alright, this was absolutely unbelievable.
  248. This starts off right after the admittedly pretty stupid conclusion to the Kalos League. This is an interesting concept, as it even reminds me a bit of the ending of the Black and White games, with Team Plasma overhauling the Elite 4 and everything.
  250. The first episode, A Towering Takeover has the entirety of Lumiose City covered with massive vines the size of buildings, because one of the Zygarde Cores is being controlled by Team Flare, and their weapon that uses Mega Evolution energy. It quickly absorbed all of the cells around it, and turned into its serpent-like 50% form, and started destroying the city. Meanwhile, the other core, which traveled around with Bonnie ever since the beginning of XYZ and was incredibly close with her by then(with the *beautiful* name of Squishy), quickly ran in the direction of the other core, which was at the top of Lumiose Tower, which, while everyone was out, seemingly was transformed into a Team Flare base. Since Malva, the reporter that had Team Rocket as her crew to film the Kalos League, just tailed away because she was in cahoots with Team Flare too(Oops), Team Rocket decided to, in a surprisng twist of fate, take over, and start to film the entire thing live. Several important characters start to appear, like Champion Diantha, Professor Sycamore, Blaziken Mask(the one who rescued Ash in Lumiose City Pursuit) and all of them try to evacuate the town and save the people in danger, and also fight off the Team Flare Admins all over town. Meanwhile, Ash gets surrounded by Team Flare, and is attacked with Confuse Ray, which causes him to black out. Meanwhile, Squishy, now in its dog-like 10% form tries to communicate with the other core(let's just call it Z2 from now on, that's the name Team Flare gives to it). But it gets bent. Bonnie feels Squishy's pain, but then it finally transforms again, into its 50% form. As Ash regains consciousness, he finds himself restrained at the top of Lumiose Tower, with Lysandre and Alain also there. That's when it comes - Alain was *also* in cahoots with the bad guys. Does that mean he will be disclassified from the league? Of course not, let's move on.
  252. The second episode, Coming Apart at the Dreams explains Lysandre's true plans, as he wants the Zygarde to obliterate all of those who aren't chosen. And he will control Squishy too, just like he did Z2. Meanwhile, the two Zygarde are battling across Lumiose City. Alain's close friend and companion Mairin fears for her Chespin(called Chespie, how cute), which was apparently in a coma for an unspecifiedly long amount of time and being held in Lysandre Labs, now that she knows that they're evil and might be doing something horrible with it. Meanwhile, Alain discovers that all the energy he gathered, all that he did was for this, and that it was his fault that the world was at risk. He truly didn't know. In this moment, we actually get the truth behind him. In the past, he was told by Lysandre that to save the world you've gotta be strong. It's this phrase that got him to become what he is now. A trainer able of battling with Legendaries and even defeating members of the Elite 4, besides also winning the Kalos League, obviously. Now he knows what he meant by saving the world. Saving the world by cleaning it of all inferior life. He basically unwillingly placed a neonazi overlord in the seat of power. Shattered, he starts to lose it. The only reason he started working with Lysandre to begin with was so Chespie would finally get well. Meanwhile, Mairin, together with Serena and Prof. Sycamore go to Lysandre labs, together with a disguised Team Rocket. Bonnie tries to approach Squishy in the heat of the battle... but it was too late, as the Mega Evolution Laser hit it and finally, it goes red. All hope seemed lost. Then, Lysandre tries to hit Ash with the same laser but... it fails. And Ash undergoes through the Bond Phenomenon, and Greninja turns into Ash-Greninja. With this insane power, both of them break their cuffs. Seeing this, Alain commands his Charizard to break the others free as well. With that, Lysandre finally decides to battle the two himself, with his Pyroar and Shiny Mega Gyarados. Meanwhile, Clemont tries to enter Lumiose Tower, as it has become a Team Flare base of operations by then.
  254. The third episode, The Right Hero for the Right Job, is even more intense. During its entire duration, Ash and Alain are battling against Lysandre, which turns out to be incredibly powerful, and is straight sweeping Ash's team. Meanwhile, a distraught Bonnie is trying to save Squishy from the mind control. Clemont managed to enter Lumiose Tower, and knocked out the grunts that were inside. It and his Clembot, his gym leader replacement robot who's also awesome af, everyone loves it, start to mess with the mind control laser's control center, so they can free Zygarde from it, but then Xerosic, Team Flare's lead scientist comes in and they are forced to fight. Meanwhile, in Team Rocket's helicopter, one of the Team Admins start to fight with them. Then, out of nowhere, comes STEVEN STONE! Y'know, the Champion from all the way back at Hoenn. He even has a Shiny Mega Metagross with him. Holy shit. Now at the base, everyone infiltrates it, as Steven fends off all of the grunts. Then, while inside, they get attacked by yet another admin. But this time, Team Rocket reveals themselves and send out their pokémon to fight her, and the rest kept on. Meanwhile, while Ash and Alain were fighting, Malva suddenly jumps in and starts to fight alongside them! She talks about how if young kids like them are working so hard to protect this world, then so should them, to be role models. To show that this world is still worth fighting for, even if it's so filled with hatred and sadness. Finally, Serena is cornered by a bunch of Team Flare grunts, and only Sycamore and Mairin remained, and they found Chespie, still sick. Steven finally appears, and levitate the grunts with Psychic, saving Serena. Okay, now for the sads. This episode has them. Bonnie, with the help of Blaziken Mask, finally reach Squishy, and she tries to talk with it. She's immediately attacked, but is saved. ...seeing this, she lost all hope. She, while crying, started to sing Squishy's song. One that was omnipresent ever since she hummed it a couple episodes back. Even in the dub which has a sucky-ass ost not gonna lie, this scene was perfect. It started off with no background music, but as her song developed and she started to get up, and more confident that she could still save Squishy, the background developed, as the song started to get more and more heartwarming. But still, it seemed it was too late, as it launched a Dragon Pulse in her... but it missed. It knocked out part of a building next to her, and rubble from it was gonna fall on her, but then... Squishy saves her. And then finally transforms back into its cell form. This scene was beautiful, but this episode STILL ISN'T OVER! Clemont finally managed to beat Xerosic, and got him out of Lumiose Tower. That's when Clembot finally discovered how to turn the machine off... but... if he did it... He'd basically die. His memory would be wiped, so there would be no going back. Clemont tried to force a shutdown, but he couldn't do it. That's when, in a beautiful scene, Clembot says that, as a gym leader, Clemont should consider the fact that there were so many more lives at risk right now. He should consider the needs of the many instead of just his own. Still crying, Clemont finally does it, and Clembot goes down. But Z2 is saved. After that, Ash is down to only his Greninja and Pikachu, but still he keeps on. They keep on. For Kalos's future.
  256. The fourth episode, Rocking Kalos Defenses, Mega Gyarados finally goes down. Lysandre said that his plans would still come into fruition, and throws himself off the tower, to the shock of everyone. Serena calls Ash to tell him that their side also had a victory, as Chespie was safe, and tells him to check on Clemont. Team Rocket finally overpowered the Flare Admins. Both Zygarde were appeased. It seems like everything was finally fine. But that's when the gang goes to check on the Giant Rock, hiding at the deepest part of Lysandre Labs. As it turns out the Giant Rock was actually a key point in several of the Mega Evolution Specials, and Chespie was in a coma because it had absorbed its power. So, since they were both in the same room, the Giant Rock went red and quickly absorbed Chespie, which caused it to transform and destroy the entire lab. Lysandre's true plans were finally set in motion. The Giant Rock takes a Zygarde-like form, and starts to move. Towards the Anistar City Sundial. The gang escapes in a helicopter. As it turns out, since the Sundial turned out to have great hidden power(Mega Evolution Energy basically), if both of them collided, the entire world would be wiped out of all existence. Olympia, the Anistar City Gym Leader who can also see the future, also noticed what was happening. Ash notices Clemont grieving over Clembot. He asks if there's a way to repair him, and he said he'll try his best. But now's not time for grieving! Serena finally calls the two plus Alain to tell them that the world was about to end. Meanwhile, Bonnie tries to befriend Z2 in the same way she did with Squishy. Serena, Steven and Sycamore try to stop the Rock alone, but they get quickly overpowered. Then, in another helicopter, Ash, Alain, Malva, Clemont and Blaziken Mask save them and their pokémon. Ash and Ash-Greninja manage to detect where Chespie is located deep within the Rock, and Ash commands Ash-Greninja to throw a Water Shuriken on the rock to save it. Then everyone tries to attack this place together, in order to save Chespie... but they all fail, and are all caught by the vines. But then suddenly a massive attack lands on the spot! It turns out it's actually from all of the Kalos Gym Leaders plus Diantha! But the attack didn't have much effect. Holy crap everyone's here. Anyways, after that, they all make a new plan, and Team Rocket is filming as the Kalos Defense Force is ready to fight and save the world.
  258. The fifth and last episode, Forming a More Perfect Union, is the hypest thing ever. The plan is to Ash and Alain get as close as possible to the Giant Rock's core, and thus he would have to walk all the way to the top, across the vines. What follows is a ridiculously powerful and climactic scene in which every single person in the defense team(besides Serena, she's with Bonnie and Mairin) protects them as they move ahead, but get taken down one by one. First were Valerie and Olympia, then was Korrina, then Ramos, then Viola and Grant, then Wulfric, then Malva and Sycamore, then Clemont, then Team freaking Rocket, then Diantha, Steven and Blaziken Mask. Finally, Ash and Alain make it to the core, and try to break it open, with everyone screaming "Let's go!" What a great scene. They manage to break it out of sheer determination, but it still isn't over as they have to get Chespie out. With several crystals blocking the path and trying to impale the ones who are inside, Pikachu, Ash-Greninja and Mega Charizard X keep everything alright as Alain finally jumps to save Chespie. Outside, Serena was trying to protect both Bonnie and Mairin, but she was finally getting overpowered, and right as they were almost hit, the Rock stops working. Mairin hugs her Chespie, and everyone launches an incredibly powerful attack together, knocking the Rock down. But then it turns out it's still alive, somehow! And so is Lysandre, who shows up besides the recovered Rock, and it seems he's controlling it with a bracelet. He commands the Rock to attack, and Valerie's Spritzee protects everyone with Light Screen. Even still, the attack was immensely powerful, and everyone was hurt. That's when Blaziken Mask's mask comes out, revealing to be Meyer, Clemont and Bonnie's father. Somehow still up, the defense force tried to come up with a plan to stop Lysandre. That's when Z2 realised how great humans and their pokémon truly are. They are weak, but they still fight anyways. No matter what. They never give up until the bitter end to protect the world the Zygarde are supposed to defend. That's when both Zygarde started to glow and gathered cells from all over the planet. They together formed Zygarde Complete Forme, which was able to fight against the Giant Rock, but not before saying a beautiful speech about how the world belongs to those who protected it until the bitter end. While it did so, Ash and Alain attacked Lysandre, in order to break his device and stop his plan for good. Then finally, Zygarde finishes the Rock and Lysandre with Core Enforcer. Then the cores leave, but not before giving a heartfelt farewell to Bonnie and Chespie. Then finally the sun rises up, and the hypest, most powerful, most beautiful and most well-done episodic arc ever made. Pretty easy to see how i can't choose one out of them.
  260. Highlight: Clembot's death. I still can't believe this episode was actually allowed to air.
  262. 3. Ep. 859 - A Showcase Debut!
  266. Just wow. I actually don't believe they did it. They somehow managed to *one-up Team Shocker*. It's probably because this episode is not *just* sad, but i'm jumping the gun here.
  268. Anyways, this episode was just a bit after A Race For Home, so, as the title implies, after getting her mother and everyone else's blessings and training a lot to kickstart her own dream, she finally gets into it. Her first showcase.
  270. Shauna, who was the one who gave her the inspiration to start her own showcase career, was also there. She wasn't a newbie like her, but Serena still had the spark inside to make this a fun time and do whatever she could do.
  272. ...I guess i have to do this.
  274. Both May and Dawn lost their first contests. It's a rather obvious conclusion to take from a *first try*. You won't be able to win against more experienced people in a *first try*. You won't know everything in a *first try*. The thing is, they failed *because it was their first try*. Their Pokémon weren't strong enough, their techiques weren't anywhere near perfected and they had much to learn. With that, it's obvious they will recover quickly, because it's a pretty easy to digest concept for any fledgling trainer and anyone who's starting up. May did get rather worked up in the heat of the moment, but recovered quickly. Dawn recovered even quicker because she still couldn't even believe she got past the Appeals.
  276. That's probably why this episode hurts doubly so. The Pokémon Showcase is divided in two parts - the Themed Performance and the Freestyle Performance. And, in an ironic twist of fate, this themed performance is based on Pokémon Styling. And that's the problem. Until like 20 episodes back she couldn't even stand the thought of, pardon the thought, soiling her clothes. So you can guess she won't exactly have the mental maturity to nail something like styling. Yeah, she's pretty much doomed.
  278. Yet, at the same time, the episode followed suit, just keeping the notable possibility of her failing at bay, and kept giving her plot-bound reason after reason to nail this and move on to personally face-off against Shauna, who passed with no trouble. She placed in every one of her experiences in that outfit. It was highly reminiscent of her style.
  280. And yet... i don't think anyone expected her to fail like that. In the perfect and yet so tragic metaphor for her personal failures, when she comes out into the runway, with a beautifully dressed Fennekin, everyone is cheering her on... and then Fennekin trips. Not just trips, but trips in her own overly long ribbon, pretty much stating her ultimate failure. It was *all her fault*. No getting around that. It was no lack of experience, it was no lack of power. It was lack of *maturity*. She focused on beauty first, and forgot to make her design, for the lack of a better word, humane. This is probably why this loss hurt so much to see. Yet still, as she saw this horrid failure, and noticed her mistake, she immediately went to hug her Fennekin, in an unbelievably emotional scene. This is something that even the manliest of manly men would cry manly tears over. So the fact that Serena seemed to take this so well, even when Shauna eventually won in the end... okay, i'll admit it i didn't notice it at first watch but yeah it seemed fake. Just like Dawn putting on a brave face for everyone to hide her true pain.
  282. ...but the fact i didn't notice how much this affected her probably made the ending even more heartbreaking.
  284. Highlight: ...oh my god. The harbor scene. No... i can't do it! Ugh, okay... So... The next scene happens at a dock near the ocean at night. Not just at night, but just before sunrise. So basically like 5 AM. Basically confirms Serena got jack shit for sleep. At least that means she has no risk of making me have traumatic oversleeping flashbacks. And, even with Pancham and Fennekin trying to cheer her up... reminiscing just how bad her failure truly was, she finally breaks. But then... she looks ahead. She knows what happened and why it happened. She was the problem. And that's why... That morning, she changed. Both metaphorically and literally. She places her hair above her shoulder, picks up a scissor and cuts her hair by the ocean, as the sun rises. That was the day the line was crossed, as people around the world cried over a haircut. Just goes to show that the XY anime ain't fucking around.
  286. Also she put on a completely new outfit. Complete with the blue ribbon she got from Ash back in the previous episode. d'awwwww!
  288. 2. Ep. 654/655/656/657 - The last 4 episodes of the Sinnoh Anime
  290. This segment won't be as long as the Team Flare arc, i promise. And that's because, unlike there, in which i pretty much forced myself to prove why i love all of the episodes equally and i couldn't pick just one, here, it's different. It's like every one of the four make a bigger picture, as they all represent the same thing - The finale of Classic Ash, the still in the party Brock and the lovely Dawn, and all of their converging storylines.
  292. Battling a Thaw in Relations is the final and easily the best episode out of the final Ash vs Paul trilogy. It has Ash finally overcome Paul's ridiculously powerful Drapion, and he finally sends out Electivire. Electivire takes out Ash's powerful Gliscor and even Pikachu. That's when Infernape, which was *poisoned* and had already fought and defeated both an Aggron and a Ninjask, finally came to the battlefield, only to get bodied as well and collapse almost immediately with a point-blank Thunder attack. Paul taunts Infernape, for he expected it to have gotten stronger since all the way back... And that's when it gets up. With its eyes glowing red, and its fighting will reinvigorated by the will to prove itself and its strength. The sheer power it emanated destroyed the ground around it. Blaze was activated. And Infernape turns the battle into an unlikely win. Easily my favorite battle episode of all time, as it was both great and had amazing emotional value to it. It was not just a battle for a win(which is the reason why this made it but Mission: Defeat Your Rival aka final Ash vs Trip and A Riveting Rivalry aka final Ash vs Sawyer part 2 didn't), it was a battle for ideals. And Ash and Infernape, who both grew so much since they started their respective journeys, proved they were in the right. And Paul noticed that too.
  294. Highlight: Well, Infernape, obviously.
  296. The Semi-Final Frontier is an entirely different ball game from the previous one. Instead of battling Paul, Ash is now pitted against a legend. Someone who literally swept all eight gym leaders and every single one of the Sinnoh League opponents he had with just his lead. And oh yeah, it was a *DARKRAI*. A pokémon that, in the irl metagame was literally the scariest pokémon in existence, as it could effortlessly put any and all pokémon to sleep with Dark Void and then obliterate them with powerful STAB or Dream Eater + Bad Dreams, which is like passive Nightmare. When Ash actually got to fight it, yeah, things started off badly. Ash tried everything he could - He used his Sleep Talk + Megahorn Heracross from back at his fight with Nando, he used Brick Break Gible, he used... Torkoal... for reasons... And yet still, even by though a Heracross Megahorn should theoretically kill Darkrai twice over(specially if it was carrying Guts), it still stood. That's when Sceptile came in, and after a ludicrously hard battle, comes out on top, to the fanfare of absolutely everyone, who stood in disbelief as it cut Darkrai's legendary sweep streak. But no fanfares just yet, because he has another legendary. Yeah, gotta ask how the fuck someone just randomly gets two legendaries. With Pokéballs. Then again Brandon does kinda have three, so fuck me. His Latios quickly destroys Sceptile, and then Swellow. He was down to his last Pokémon, while this fuck Tobias had five, and his Latios was still unscathed. He sends out Pikachu, then flips his hat, just like he did when he started his journey. He knew it was over, but you can't go down without a fight. And what ensues is the most insane one-on-one fight ever put forth. It's an incredibly long 6 or so minute struggle, with attacks being exchanged back and forth and ludicrous strats, but due to Light Screen, Pikachu couldn't get much damage in, and Latios flings it to the sky and tries to finish it off with Luster Purge. Then, unbelievably, Pikachu used Volt Tackle through Luster Purge, even by though it was an incredibly powerful attack that finished off the rest of his pokémon in one shot. With this insane collision, both were down. Pikachu managed to *draw with Latios*. Yet, only knocking down two of his Pokémon, Ash lost, getting only a top 4 title, and... Tobias swept the finalist with only Darkrai. This episode served as the perfect finale for Ash, as he both saw how truly strong he was, getting such a dent in and the respect of a trainer that simply swept aside all challengers without saying a word, but still saw just the fact that there will always be someone that's so much stronger.
  298. Highlight: Pikachu Vs Latios. No contest.
  300. The Brockster Is In is an episode that is *horrendously underrated*. It's probably because people were still pissed off at the previous one, and i guess i don't blame them. But since i love to see characters face challenges bigger than themselves and break, lose hope, to see what truly makes them tick and see how they overcome their own fears and problems(i like that because otherwise we'd take the characters and their generally positive mood for granted). After Brock being, for almost 700 episodes, this funny but reliable person that always had the power to overcome basically anything, he finally found a challenge he couldn't beat. In this case, a sick Pokémon he couldn't help. With this, Brock finally started to find himself in an internal crisis. After seeing the insanity that was the Sinnoh League, he was already questioning how he'd live his own future, but the fact that he finally found a case that his knowledge couldn't overcome, that being a badly poisoned Pichu, in a ship that was running with no medicine(or rather, was, but Team Rocket ate everything but the very last Pecha Berry, fuck you). There were several other injured pokémon in there, but since they weren't as exposed, a mix of grinded lava cookies made them recover, but Pichu didn't recover no matter what. That's when, after connecting with Nurse Joy from the Pokémon Center, Brock promises to do everything she could. It went back and forth from the brink of death several times, and things only kept getting worse. When Pichu finally refuses entirely to eat, even from a baby bottle, that's when the team finally thinks Pichu gave up entirely. It was over. Then, from sheer sadness, Brock's Happiny evolves into a Chansey. And learns Soft-Boiled, allowing Chansey to heal Pichu almost completely. It was thanks to him that the pokémon were saved from their certain doom. When Nurse Joy finally arrives, she not only thanks Brock, but she says he'll turn into a great doctor. Dawn tells him that he'll get to spend his whole life with Joy and he gets obviously flustered, but then he actually starts to consider this idea. This is the perfect episode to give Brock an interesting moment of not only personal development, but also a very climactic and powerful episode, as the last time sickness was taken this seriously was back at the Ralts episode in Hoenn, and you know how much i love that one too.
  302. Highlight: The immense looming risk this episode had.
  304. Memories are Made of Bliss is the episode that wraps it all up quite nicely. After the episode that gave Ash closure, and the one that gave Brock closure, there had to be an episode that gave Dawn some personal closure as well. And while you could easily consider A Grand Fight for Winning to be that one, i still think this one is the perfect conclusion to it all, if only for its great attention to detail and nuances in its storytelling. Like, the episode starts with Dawn opening her window with a smile just like in the first episode, it's great. It represents a new beginning, right off the gate. While the party was spending their last day in Dawn's home, she discovers that Buneary was called to become a model, and that she sadly can't go to Kanto with the group. This gets Piplup really upset. It immediately attacks the group with Whirlpool and runs away. Togekiss and Staraptor both go after Piplup, with Pikachu riding Staraptor. Once they reach it, Piplup attacks again, but Pikachu finally catches up. Piplup tries to run away, but bumps into Togekiss. That's when he finally starts to cry. He doesn't want this to end. He's afraid. He feels lonely. Pikachu asks Staraptor to find Ash, and tries to reason with Piplup, but... he just keeps crying, and feebly attacking. His panic is contagious. Pikachu sees this and can't hold it either, and starts crying as well. Togekiss tries to comfort them, but Team Rocket invades the scene, pretending to care, and then catches all of them. Finally, Ash and the gang catches up to them and sends Team Rocket blasting off. That's when Dawn finally comes out and says the truth. She was just trying to keep a brave face, because she was destroyed too by the fact that she won't see the others for so long, that their times together will be cut short this suddenly. She tells him that he's a big boy and can take it, and he finally stops crying. Now, the team sees Flint and his Infernape battle against Cynthia and Garchomp, with the full version of the S13 OP playing in the background. A beautiful fight, but Flint loses. That's when the three finally state their true dreams from then on. To become a Pokémon Master. To become a Top Coordinator. And, at the end, Brock decided he'll indeed become a Pokémon Doctor. Finally, at the port, the group exchanges their final goodbye. And, after the ship started to leave dock, Dawn finally started to tear up. But then, Ash screamed from the ship, "No need to worry!" and her frown turns into a beautiful smile(the fact she held her tears back because of Ash is easily one of her biggest and most overlooked development moments as, after Team Shocker, she usually cried and lost hope over the stupidest shit because of her lack of self-confidence), as her and Piplup wave to them, and thank them for all that they learned together. Then, finally, at Kanto, Ash and Brock exchange their final farewells.
  306. Highlight: The final farewell. Obviously.
  309. Okay then, now that i'm finally nearing the end of this crazy, CRAZY list, i now want to say that, again, these episodes were all amazing.
  310. Sure, they weren't perfect, but the fact that episodes that i loved so much and made such massive segments over happened even since the beginning means that i probably like them more than the ones from the previous one. I mean, i probably induced ties so i could talk in-depth about episodes like The Cave of Mirrors and Party Dancecapades, which, if i didn't use the ties, wouldn't even make it to the honorable mentions, even by though i utterly adored them and wanted to defend them to the end.
  311. So, as you can guess, i love the Honorable Mentions too. I actually had a lot of trouble separating just five.
  314. HM01 goes to Beyond the Rainbow. This is probably the episode that anyone who knows anything about Pokémon XY might be asking whether or not it's on the list, and some might even expect this to be number 1. Kinda like Bye Bye Butterfree. Personally, kinda like Bye Bye Butterfree, i thought this episode(the double as a whole, not just this one) started off alright, if not kinda clichéd(with the whole Florges isn't really evil, she's just misunderstood thing), but had a great and really emotional ending. I do, however, think that this episode could have come later and we should probably have gotten more of Goodra.
  316. HM02 goes to Twice Smitten, Once Shy. This is an episode that i always loved, and it kinda hurts to see it get pushed so low. It's a pretty perfect mix between running gag funny bliss(it was the episode that kickstarted Dawn's whole thing with her hair) and interestingly foreshadowing Dawn's future conflicts as a coordinator, as the fact that she was unable to handle Pachirisu's hyperactive nature and decided to release it because she was sorry for all the troubles that it caused was surprisingly emotional. The Pachirisu wants to stay with Jessie fakeout was pretty funny too.
  318. HM03 goes to Malice in Wonderland and Dream a Little Dream from Me. These episodes from Sinnoh and Kalos respectively were basically what came from the writers' scripts when they were high. And they nailed it. These episodes are both filled with mindfuck, insane concepts, funny shit and sometimes straight-up sound like fanfiction. Like, Ash's Pikachu facing against a legendary and winning? Never happened before. Pokémon talking? Never happened before either.
  320. HM04 goes to The Lonely Deino. Yeah, i gave too little credit to Pokémon BW and Iris tbh. This is another great episode for her, and honestly the only reason it didn't make it into the list was the ending. Iris totally should have kept Deino, it would have made for a great arc for her and its possibility of evolving would probably make her still have a point past Drayden. But since his trainer just kinda returned late, this episode ended up feeling like a weaker True Blue Swablu instead of a great personal development episode for her.
  322. HM05 goes to Under the Pledging Tree. This one is obvious. It's the "first date" episode between Ash and Serena. Filled with funny moments(pouting Serena's so cute lol) and a great episode all-around. While Ash kinda gave her the cold shoulder throughout the whole thing, the fact that, at the end, she still cared to help him as best as she could with his problems and got rewarded for it in the most adorable way imaginable(with a blue ribbon... the one that was in Serena's post-haircut outfit) made for a great ending.
  328. So, it's time. Time to get serious. Which episode managed to earn the prestigious spot of number 1? And, most importantly, is it my new favorite episode of all time? Well... Let's talk about this. An episode that, just like before, i consider to be a piece of art. An episode that served its purpose perfectly, and that, to this day, the fanbase still hasn't recovered from. An episode that pulled all the stops to become basically perfect. This entry is a thank you. Because, just like number 1 from part 1, this episode was only this great because the writers *cared so much* to make this episode what it was, and with just a little less effort, it would have crashed and burned. No need to further the hype, number 1 is...
  331. 1. Ep. 939 - Till We Compete Again!
  333. Heh. Heh heh heh. I can't believe i'm doing this. I really can't.
  335. So, this episode is the finale of Pokémon XYZ. If you haven't been living under a rock since late 2016, you probably know the ludicrous hype that surrounded Pokémon XYZ ever since it started. I've already discussed the "Kalos hype wars" and how it destroyed(see #20 and even #14.2) and salvaged(see #11) episodes under its own iron will, but this episode, when it happened, the world suddenly stopped. It was certainly a great time to be a fan of the anime.
  337. Anyways, let's go. First off, we have the Kalos team talking to Professor Oak and Ash's mother Delia... Why Oak is in Delia's house and not at the lab is not of anyone's concern. :P
  338. Like usual, he talks about his return to Kanto that afternoon, and Delia thanks the team for taking care so well of Ash. Meanwhile, Bonnie is not exactly thrilled, but doesn't speak up.
  340. Then the party has one final lunch together, and Bonnie doesn't eat. She, in a clever reference to several previous episodes, said that she probably overindulged in sweets and wasn't hungry, which the party believes in(after all she is a kid, it's something you'd expect someone like her to do), but we know that not to be true.
  342. Team Rocket shows its final product to Giovanni, which is a video that was edited perfectly to make it seem like Team Rocket singlehandedly took down Team Flare. I guess he doesn't like TV because the very same trio broadcasted the real story live from beginning to end. Anyways, Giovanni calls Team Rocket back to Kanto and that's that.
  344. Now, the team gives their final goodbyes to Alain, Mairin and Prof. Sycamore. Now that they're working together again, they all decided to start anew, as researchers of Mega Evolution and the energy associated with them. Alain even gave up his Charizardite X and Key Stone as evidence for the chase against Team Flare, so he can find them on his own(Yeah, it was Lysandre who made it so Charizard could mega-evolve in the first place. Don't want to get into the implications of that). It's a great way to finish off their tribulated arc and to set up a further Season Special that did indeed happen, and the fact that they actually got personal closure already makes this better than several rivals of the past. Which is something that, again, is a respectable decision by the writers.
  346. And finally, we're at the airport. In it, the pokémon are giving their proper goodbyes. The former rivals that always messed with eachother Chespin and Pancham had a cute exchange, Bunnelby and Sylveon exchanged a really heartfelt goodbye since they were always close, etc. Meanwhile, Bonnie was only getting worse. Nice attention to detail by making her face get gradually more and more sad. But she didn't break. The one that suddenly did was Dedenne. And it ran away. The entire party flipped the airport upside down to find it, but couldn't. This scene is highly reminiscent of Memories are Made of Bliss, but somehow it manages to be even better. Why? Because when everyone finally understands where Dedenne is hiding, but it still refuses to come out, Bonnie suddenly makes a beautiful speech. I don't think i need to explain that the key word of Pokémon XY/XYZ is *Dream*. And that moment, Bonnie, holding back her tears and how sad she really is to see everyone go, starts to talk about how Dedenne isn't the only one who's feeling this way, and that she, just like me and most of the viewers, wanted the team to keep together forever. But they are parting ways because they have to follow their own dreams. And that's great, because it's what makes them happy. What motivates them. Just like how she wants to become a trainer one day with Dedenne as her partner... Then finally, she says that she'll beat Serena in a Pokémon Showcase, get the Voltage Badge from her brother and beat Ash in a Pokémon battle. That is their true dream. And with that, Dedenne finally jumps back in Bonnie's arms. This is even more incredible than Dawn's speech to Piplup, for obvious reasons.
  348. Anyways, now we have to give our goodbyes to Serena. Let's just get this out of the way right now. Two episodes before, Serena got a great episode on finding her own future goals, and what she was still missing. In it, after having one final talk with Palermo and battling for the first and last time with Ash, she finally settled on going on her own personal journey into Hoenn. The fact that she overcame her own original desires in order to find herself, and instead of needing driving forces to get anywhere she wanted to *be* the driving force for people who need it, the person who makes others smile and happy, the one that guides others was incredible and her final step towards her own perfect ending, but yet... It felt somewhat incomplete. No points for guessing why.
  350. Yeah, the fact that the elephant in the room was being basically ignored the entire time reminds me a lot of Sweet Baby James. Except that, instead of being the imminence of a traumatic failure in hiding the truth, it felt like Serena wasn't being truly sincere. Even by though she was technically taking following her own dreams above "stalking Ash", it did NOT change her feelings for him. That episode did make this abundantly clear, so there just *had to be* some closure for that. Right?
  352. Yet, if you really think about it, the answer is no. They could easily circumvent the entire issue and try to retcon it. They could easily give a fake answer and abandon the issue. They could have her be so enthralled in her dream that she simply forgets about Ash. Why is that? Because that's what happened before. Both with Ash x Misty and Dawn x Kenny, the ships, although they indeed were at least *somewhat* canon at one point and were reinforced in several scenes throughout their respective series, died and had no final impact in the storyline because the anime's format didn't support giving their relationship proper closure.
  354. So, when we got her final speech, nothing got us ready for it. She finally stated the truth. The real reason she wanted to become better, stronger, and to go out there, to make people smile... Was because that's exactly what Ash did to her when she needed it the most. He was the main reason she was where she was now, and her ultimate role model. The person she wants to be. Her goal, her dream. And then, finished it off by saying that if they ever meet in the future, "you can bet i'll be stronger and more attractive by then", winking. Yeah, okay, that was pretty sweet. At least they cared to give her *somewhat* of a confession to him, that's already better than before and...
  355. ...
  356. As she went down the escalator for her trip, she suddenly realized there was *something* missing. Then she turns back, and says "One more thing!", before running back up through the escalator. And, in something just about nobody saw coming, and a move that still shocks people to this day on how daring it was, she... AHHHH SHE DID IT! SHE DID IT! SHE... SHE KISSED HIM! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! *refer to my profile pic*
  358. I know for sure that she'd probably regret it if she let it for later, and you can bet this episode probably wouldn't be the same, but still. It was both utterly beautiful and completely uncalled for. And, after that, blushing, she thanks him one last time before leaving. For all what he did. (i just wished this wasn't met with such *ridiculous* fanfare that it's almost impossible to avoid spoilers on this episode. I WISH THE SPOILER FLOW WOULD JUST STAAAHP)
  360. Then, in order to give Clemont his own time to shine, since Ash was next to leave, he asked for one final battle... Pikachu versus Bunnelby. The very same as the first battle ever shown in the Kalos Anime. And then, Ash finally leaves, with the winner kept a secret.
  362. And finally, to close this episode for good, a great and incredibly long but emotional series of flashbacks make us reminisce in all of the great character moments that each and every single one of the characters had. While a remix the classic Pokémon Red and Blue menu screen theme played, Serena, now in Hoenn, in one of the greatest shots to ever air in the anime to date(fuck me that's profile pic worthy), reminisces on her adventure, and so do Clemont and Bonnie, trying to make their next invention. Then, finally, as, in both versions, an instrumental of the *previous OP themes, in their *full versions** played in the background, Ash remembers his adventures in Kalos. All of his gym leader and Kalos League battles, and... some slightly more peculiar choices. Like... Serena treating his foot wound in one of the XY Summer Camp episodes, and, more importantly, the I-I-I-I-Iron Tail scene from Battling at Full Volume(although he should have been highly delirious and basically unconscious by it so the fact he was basically confirmed to be aware of what he was doing only makes that scene even funnier). Guess he did feel something after all. Right?
  364. ...And then, as the episode ends on the starry night above Ash's house, "And to our own ways" lights the sky, marking the end of the greatest series of the Pokémon anime to date. But not to forget, Ash's house was surrounded by Baby's-Breath flowers, which, in the language of flowers, symbolize innocence, purity, and... Eternal love? Ooooh!
  366. The only problem with this episode is that, sadly, that's it. You can make jokes about how the flashbacks were handled, or because of the flowers joke, or idek, but the fact still remains. They're gone. And, due to a high tier of ambiguity left in the episode, it's hard to see whether things will actually go through. Ash and Serena won't forget eachother for sure as this is not something that just *happens* in the anime, but they probably won't see eachother again, she probably won't have any feelings for him anymore, and he'll probably just have someone else have a crush on him... nothing will come out of this. It's over.
  368. wait.
  370. wait, what? Are you telling me there's...
  372. There's an interview with the director of XY that sheds some light onto this?
  374. "The kiss scene is indeed meant to be Serena kissing Satoshi, and his reaction to it is surprised awe, any ambiguity the scene has is so they could get it on TV in the first place. Likewise, you're meant to hope and assume the two of them are going to become a couple later." - Tetsuo Yajima, Storyboard Director
  376. ...first of all, kudos. I guess i didn't give this the praise that it deserved, but putting this in a children's cartoon in Japan was *really* treading on thin ice, and the fact that it had to be handled in such a difficult way really goes to show, again, how they went all out on making this episode and Pokémon XY/XYZ so great.
  381. anyways, that's it for my top 20 pokémon episodes from Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos. Considering this is far longer than the previous one, i thank you for watching this through. I really wanted to make this as best as i could, so as to show my true appreciation for such a great series. And... that's all she wrote.
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