Sadly this episode disappoints me slightly. I love Lenora but this battle was just too quick.
Saturday 8:30 AM on Cartoon NetworkIn Season
Goodbye Apron, we'll miss you.
It's too bad Ash lost, though not surprising.
Ash: Why isn't Ember working?
Me: Gee, Ash. I don't know...maybe it has something to do with Ember being one of the weakest fire-type moves?
I think this is the first time we've seen a Roar/Mean Look combo in the anime, isn't it?
@ the last post: On the subject of Ash losing to Normal-type Gym Leaders, don't forget that he also lost an unofficial battle against Norman at the beginning of the Hoenn saga.
|^ we did, in that Entei episode back in the Johto region. some kid wanted to catch Entei, and it used Roar on the kid's Pokemon. anyways, I'm really liking the new episodes. so many parallels though. Iris being the tomboyish girl who bags on Ash, totally Misty. and Cilan with his distinct eyes and helpful cooking. and most recently, Ash losing to a Normal-type Gym Leader as he did with Whitney. although I wasn't expecting that. the new TR is a bit too odd to see.... but I like it nonetheless.|
Whitney, you knew about how much trouble that Miltank was when you battled it in the game. I think the whole "gym leader can switch" rule didn't really work in Ash's favor seeing as how Lillipup used Roar, forced Oshawott out (what if Oshawott wasn't the one who was forced to come out?), switched to Watchog, and Mean Looked.
Ash got destroyed ...again. Atleast he gets a rematch. They need to spend more time on the battle and less than blabbing. The battle went too quickly. I liked how Lenora put Ash in his place.
Lillipup was so cute. Too bad it gets ugly.
This episode didn't feel right, probably because how stupid Ash and Oshawott were acting. Ash has seen Roar and Mean Look before, they could still have Lenora/Iris/Cilan explain what it does without making it look like Ash has forgotten about those moves (they do it with all the attacks anyway so why make Ash look stupid?). As for Oshawott, I don't see why it should care if it was battling first or second, if it gets chosen to participate in a battle it should be battle ready throughout that whole battle which in other battles it usually is. As I have complained about in Ash's battle with Trip, making Ash and his Pokemon look incompetent doesn't make the trainer they're battling look more threatening, just lucky that they apparently caught Ash on a bad day. Worst part is that they didn't need to make Ash to look incompetent against Lenora as Ash lost mostly due to being thrown off by the Roar + Mean Look combo and Lenora's Pokemon being fast. However, because they did make look Ash look like he had never battled before, I don't consider Lenora any greater of a threat then I did before. Also what was with Ash's "strategy" (I complained about that below so no need to repeat myself)?
Well anyway Ash is finally having his Gym Battle with Lenora but first has to go through a "choose a book test" which Lenora uses on all trainers who challenge her to get an idea on how they'll battle. Having examined Ash predicting he'll be easy to predict, they get to the Gym and start the battle. However Lenora uses a Roar + Mean Look combo which throws Ash off his game and he starts to struggle to win his 2nd badge. Can Ash defeat Lenora and win his 2nd badge? What other tricks does Lenora have up her edited out apron to hinder Ash further? Will Team Rocket's mission to get the meteorite be successful? And will I ever start referring Cilan to his first name again? While the last one you'll need to check the next episode's review overview, the others are answered just below:
Booking The Challenger:
Lenora and Hawes lead Ash & co. through the library of the Nacrene Museum to where the Gym's battlefield is for Ash's Gym Battle and they ask her where it is and she says they'll see soon enough. Hawes places his hand on a scanner which opens a door he says is generally closed to the public which has... more shelves of books! Ash & co. look around as Lenora tells them they keep rare books here which you need permission from them to use and Hawes said it's the finest collection in the whole Unova region and you can learn everything about Unova here. Cilan sees a shelf filled with books about Pokemon Connoisseurs and Lenora tells him Pokemon Connoisseurs started from the Unova region and asks if he's interested. Cilan explains he's on a journey to become a Pokemon Connoisseur and Lenora wishes him the best if luck (I'm going to assume now Cilan will be here instead of watching Ash's Gym Battle meaning that Iris also will probably get distracted by something). Lenora walks over to Ash and Iris who are still looking around and slaps Ash on the back telling him he'll probably want to look up information about the Unova region before their Gym Battle. Ash tells Lenora that he's just there for a Gym Battle but she tells him that the only people that are allowed to use the Nacrene Library are researchers and Gym Challengers and goes over to a bookshelf and taps on a book she says he might be interested in. Ash says he didn't come to Nacrene City to read (come on Ash, can't you tell a book trigger for a secret passage when you see one?) but Iris tells him she could think of worse things than reading and Cilan tells him this could be part of his Gym Battle and Lenora is testing him. Ash contemplates on the fact that he may have to read (gasps!) to get his Gym Battle and finally starts screaming (good job Lenora, you broke him!) saying he'll read any books to get his Gym Battle and pulls out the book Lenora showed him and, wonders of wonders, the bookshelf lifts up revealing stairs leading down!
Ash: What's down there?
Comment: A bowling alley. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS DOWN THERE!
Lenora: Ash, it's the battlefield of course.
Hawes: Tell me dear, don't you think this young challenger is quite direct?
Lenora: I sure do.
Comment: Did they just call Ash simple-minded?
Lenora explains that "Connoisseur boy" was right and she's been testing Ash as soon as he stepped inot the library saying that whenever she asked a challenger to pick a book that 9 times out of 10 they pick a book they're most interested in (makes sense). Lenora then says that she showed these trainers the quickest way to her Gym which was the same book she told Ash to look at... and yet they choose to ignore her... (WHY? SHE'S THE GYM LEADER! If she tells you to look at a certain book you don't say "thanks but no thanks, I rather look at a book about Pokeblocks", YOU AT LEAST PULL THE BOOK SHE SHOWED TO YOU FIRST!). "Connoisseur boy" (yes, I will be calling him this throughout this episode ) asks why Lenora does this and she tells him that challengers read too much into what she says so they pick a book their interested in or the thinnest book they can find to read through it quickly to get to their gym battle. Lenora then says by how a trainer reacts she can generally tell how they'll be like. Iris asks what she could tell about Ash and she says that "What you see is what you get" (so he's 90s Kid? (wonder how many of you are going to get that)) and Ash is aggressive and is interested to see him on the battlefield with Hawes adding in Ash would be fairly easy to predict. Iris says they got "Ash's number" and he yells out he'll show them saying they can examine all they want and Lenora says she likes his spirit and they all head to the battlefield.
Once downstairs they're finally in the Gym and Ash runs out to the middle of the battlefield ready to get the battle started but Lenora asks Ash doesn't he want to study what type of Gym Leader she such as what Pokemon she plans on using sending out her Watchog. Ash says he thought Lenora would use Watchog as she then sends out her Lillipup and Iris exclaims it's cute running up to it and starts petting it which it then jumps on her and starts licking her. Pikachu runs down Ash's shoulder to look at Lillipup as Ash scans it with his Pokedex and Lenora tells him those are her Pokemon with Ash stating their both Normal-types with Hawes adding in their both excellent Pokemon which listen to Lenora's commands and help out with the Nacrene Museum's security. Lillipup goes over to Ash who picks it up and it starts licking him as Lenora says Normal-types are perfect for Gym Battles as they don't have "limitations" that elemental Pokemon have (Um, what limitations are you talking about? If you're referring to weaknesses then the Fighting-types say hi!) and thus leaves her flexible to any strategies a challenger might use. "Connoisseur boy" compliments Lenora saying she must have lots of confidence showing her Pokemon to Ash and saying a poem about how she tests challengers and uses Pokemon with no "overwhelming properties" is a perfect battle recipe. Lenora thanks "Connoisseur boy" (her words not mine) and asks Hawes to explain the rules: 2 vs. 2, both trainers can switch out their Pokemon. For some reason Ash acts completely surprised about this (the Gym Leader being allowed to switch her Pokemon is different but other than that nothing seems odd) and "Connoisseur boy" says that each Gym has their own set of rules reflecting the Gym Leaders style (we and Ash already knows). Lenora says she'll be using Lillipup first and Ash decides what Pokemon he's going to use telling Iris and "Connoisseur boy" to look after Pikachu and Lenora recalls her Watchog telling Ash they'll start the Gym Battle.
Not Like They Needed To Be Thrown Off Balanced:
With Hawes judging the battle, Lenora sends out Lillipup which immidietly put on its battle face which surprises Iris and "Connoisseur boy" and Ash sends out Tepig who Iris and "Connoisseur boy" also says is ready to battle, wanting Ash's trust. Tepig tries to use an Ember but Lillipup uses Roar which recalls Tepig and sends out Oshawott who... looks completely stoned, but quickly realizes that it's been sent into battle. Ash is stunned and Lenora says that Ash must have never had Roared used on him before (which he hasn't but he has seen Pokemon use Roar before) and says that it forces the opponent to switch out their Pokemon and she then switches her Lillipup for Watchog. Oshawott looks unsure at Watchog and Ash tries to switch Oshawott but Watchog uses Mean Look which has Oshawott now stuck in the battle... yet Ash still tries to recall it and acts confused having Lenora explain to him what Mean Look does (Ash, you have no excuse here, you've had Mean Look used on your Pokemon before, and only in important battle no less!). Iris says she never seen that combo used before and "Connoisseur boy" says it's a "psychological attack" as we hear in Ash's head his original plans:
Ash: I was going to have Tepig use Ember to throw them off guard...
Comment: Why would that throw them off guard? Lenora's a Gym Leader, I'm sure she's seen worse attacks then Ember which probably didn't phase her.
Ash: ... and then have Oshawott finish it off with Razor Shell...
Comment: Okay, in order for you to do that you would have to switch out to Oshawott which would probably give them enough time to recover and prepare for it. Plus I doubt Ember + Razor Shell was going to knock them out so where is the rest of your plan?
Ash: ... now I can't use the combination I wanted...
Comment: Good, it was a bad combination anyway because this isn't a Double Battle!
Lenora taunts Ash saying Ash is off balanced and "Connoisseur boy" says Lenora keeps on testing Ash and if he gets caught off guard this early then he's in trouble. Lenora tells Ash he has to battle with Oshawott and Ash tells Oshawott that it's up early and for some reason it doesn't look like it wants to battle which is something Iris catches and "Connoisseur boy" says Oshawott is probably upset it isn't battling when it thought it was (funny, last time I checked it was the trainer who decided when the Pokemon was going to battle not the Pokemon itself. Plus this is a bit out of character for Oshawott as it always sends itself out whenever a battle is about to start in the mood to battle, what makes this battle different from those?). Ash tells Oshawott to use Water Gun and it does so very lazily and Watchog easily dodges it and does a Low Kick flipping it into the air and letting it fall back to the ground (GOOD! Teach that little punk a lesson!) and Iris and "Connoisseur boy" comment on how fast Watchog is. Ash asks if Oshawott is alright and it picks itself up with a wicked look on its face while laughing and finally decides to get into the battle (too late, I'm rooting for Watchog to teach you a lesson) with Ash saying it's payback time. Lenora says that's the kind of spirit she likes and Watchog does a Thunder which Oshawott deflects with its Scalchop which surprises Watchog and Lenora who says she's impressed. Ash tells Oshawott to attack which it starts running toward Watchog (um, Ash, mind telling Oshawott what attack you want it to use?) which Lenora tells to do a Low Kick but Ash says that's what they've been waiting for and Ash tells Oshawott to jump over Watchog and use a Water Gun which sends Watchog flying back. Oshawott uses a Razor Shell but Lenora tells Watchog to knock Oshawott away with its tail but when both attacks hit it instead knocks Oshawott's Scalchop away and Watchog hits Oshawott with a Thunder knocking it out. Hawes declares Lenora the winner and Ash returns Oshawott saying he planned on finishing things off with Razor Shell (apparently Ash has confused Razor Shell with a OHKO move) and Iris says things were going so well but "Connoisseur boy" says that though Oshawott was doing good Lenora knew what they were planning and so got rid of Oshawott's Scalchop (though from where I'm sitting it sound like that happened more on accident).
Lenora recalls Watchog and sends out Lillipup and Ash sends out Tepig which Iris says still has a lot of spirit (well its battle was cut short) but "Connoisseur boy" says that Tepig is going to have to carry on after Oshawott and Lenora isn't going to let up as Ash tells Tepig to use Tackle. Lillipup quickly dodges Tepig's Tackle and hits with a Shadow Ball but Tepig is still battle ready and uses an Ember but Lillipup runs through it with a Take Down which confuses Ash as it hits Tepig knocking it out making Lenora the winner of the Gym Battle. Ash goes to check Tepig who is feeling down on losing but Ash tells it losing was his fault (which I can't argue with, I don't know what is wrong with them but it feels like Ash and especially Oshawott were having an off day) and thanks Lenora for the battle who tells him to re-challenge her at any time.
10 Seconds Or Less And The Meteorite Is For Free:
Iris asks why is Ash acting depressed and he says how can't he as nothing in that battle went the way he expected and "Connoisseur boy" says Lenora using Roar was painful with Ash adding in that Mean Look trapping Oshawott didn't help. Iris says anyone would have been thrown off by this and "Connoisseur boy" says there is much to be learned and Ash should be more like Lenora and be able to adapt to what a battle brings (hey, remember the times when Ash was a brilliant at adapting to battles? Well the writers sure don't!) and train his Pokemon on their power and speed. When Iris and Pikachu adds in on the hammering Ash yells out and flails (surprised he didn't drop the egg) and says he knows that and he isn't done by a long shot saying now that he battled Lenora he won't let his defeat count for nothing and the healing alarm goes off. Nurse Joy and Audino bring out Tepig and Oshawott and seeing them ready to battle Ash tells them it's time for training and Nurse Joy tells him they should go to the Battle Club.
Ash: Pokemon Battle Club? Wouldn't that be really good for special training?
Comment: Yes, that's why Nurse Joy said it!
Iris and "Connoisseur boy" says that going to a battle specialist would probably be very helpful for training and Nurse Joy adds in that Don George could probably help train Ash to battle Lenora.
Switching from Character Derailment to Character Development, we go to the R Plot where outside in a van James said he had taken control of all of Nacrene Museum's security system while Jessie and Meowth are inside with the fake meteorite. Jessie uses infrared goggles to see the security lasers and also to find the real meteorite and tells James to turn off the security and he says he'll give them 20 seconds (why? I thought you had complete control and it doesn't look like anyone's there) and Meowth says they'll only need 10. James turns off the security lasers and Jessie and Meowth get to work by sliding the metal box across the floor, opens it up, Jessie grabs the fake meteorite and jumps, Meowth opens the case, Jessie swaps the meteorites, Meowth puts the case back on, and Jessie places the real meteorite in the metal box (kind of elaborate don't you think?). The security lasers turn back on and Jessie and Meowth rejoin James in the van with Jessie saying "mission complete" and Meowth saying they're one step closer to the meteorite and drive off (hey, whatever happened to Peirce telling them "the meteorite isn't their main target?).
Next morning Ash & co. go to the Battle Club where they meet the Don George there (Ash for some reason states he looks like the other Don Georges which we all know as the Don George in Luxuria Town showed us the Don George family picture) and Don George asks how can he help them and Ash explains his battle against Lenora the previous day. Don George is familiar with Lenora's Roar + Mean Look combo and "Connoisseur boy" says that if Ash could have his Pokemon match the speed of Lenora's he might be able to defeat her and Don George says he knows exactly what they're looking for and his eyes lights on fire and tells Ash to get ready for hard training. Ash says he'll do whatever it takes and Don George warns him that his special training isn't for the faint of heart and leads him through a door with light beaming out it.