"New Places... Familiar Faces!" Airdate: 20 April 2013 [USA]
Ash&co return to Nuvema Town and ponder the immediate future now that Ash has completed his goal of competing in the Unova League. They meet a girl named Nanette, who is just starting off on her own Pokémon journey. Team Rocket shows up. Things get back to normal.
So I loved Nanette in Japanese but she just bothers me in the dub idk. Maybe I'm just not used to the dub actually because everyone kind of bothers me. The dialogue seems really stilted and yeah idk man I don't usually watch the dub.
It's still adorable that Nanette tries to command Tepig to use Thunderbolt. And I love Ash in a mentor position, have I ever mentioned? It makes me happy. So does the theme song. And Unfezant. And Ash using two Pokémon and having them work together. AND TEAM ROCKET BLASTING OFF. Guys. Just. Aaaaa.
I hope Ash&Co meet up with Nanette again. <3 I do like her.
And oh hey it's N. And I just laughed my ass off at the narrator's dramatic whisper of "stay tuned".
A good start to what should be an exciting season. My only minor nitpick is they didn't include a new opening to boot. That was slightly disappointing.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode. Nanette reminded me so much of Bianca, even going as far as choosing Tepig for her starter. I found her to be quite endearing throughout the episode. Watching Ash mentor her was probably my favorite part of the episode though. He just seemed so much more mature teaching her how to battle and telling her to be more sure of herself and just go for it. Don't over think things. Wise words coming from Ash. If only he was so wise throughout Unova earlier.
Speaking of Unova throughout, it was kind of refreshing seeing the old Team Rocket back again. I always said I preferred their darker antics, but seeing them back in old fashion again and even blasting off at the end was pretty nice. Another bonus, they actually have Pokémon that aren't half bad. I do have a problem with this though. They caught them off-screen and right now they come off as completely tasteless. There's no real personality to them, they just seem awfully dull. For example, when James sent out Amoonguss, I was expecting it to body slam James. Sadly, that didn't happen. I'm not expecting anything to happen, but I hope Team Rocket gets some serious character development and attention soon, because they haven't had any at all this entire season.
Also, loved seeing the writers give some love to Unfezant again since the League. Also, Pikachu seems to have gotten its normal boost in power at this time of the season while Ash has gotten more competent. It's good to feel like there's actual progress happening again.
Can't wait to see more of N. I literally cheered at the end when he showed up. Heh.
It's good to see Team Rocket back, and also back to their failures again. However, they seem kind of dull now. Jessie and James seem just so nonchalant about everything. Also, they didn't "technically" blast off like old times. I miss hearing their famous "Look's like we're blasting off again." I was though surprised to hear them recite their original motto again. Brings back so many memories. I also can't wait to see N finally. I think I'll enjoy this arc.