View Full Version : Weekly Animé Discussion #373: Gaining Groudon

October 15th, 2005, 8:31 AM
Comment on and discuss todays KWB episode, #373: Gaining Groudon

October 15th, 2005, 9:34 AM
My mental notes:

--Okay, here we go!
--"Unbeatable"'s not THAT bad...
--Is it me or does Brock sound older?
--"Ash, I think you'd better listen to what they have to say!
::Mightyenas growl::
Max: THAT'S why!
--Maxie reminds me of a slightly higher pitched Jafar...
--Score one for Fierce Deity Pikachu!
--Can't put my finger on who Archie sounds like...
--Meanwhile, with Team Rocket...
--Kyorge sounds more like a lion...
--Shiny Gyarados to the rescue!
--Tranier's Choice time...vs. Plusle and Minun you say? That would be Mudkip!
--Yeah! I was right!
--So now TR's trying to take Kyorge...
--Funny how Wobbufett found the right button...
--Yay! Lance is here!
--more Fierce Deity Pikachu...
--Cliffhanger! I can't wait for next Saturday!

October 15th, 2005, 9:59 AM
Here we are, the end of the road: The Team Aqua/Magma canonized finale. Interesting that for three years, the writers have scarcely written Aqua and Magma yet maintained their presence throughout the seasons. Season Six did a lovely nod to them with the plethora of episodes (with a Magma episode as the real season finale, I believe, the Slateport Museum episode), while Season Seven had two-three, granted they were excellent episodes but paucity doesn’t help the cause or legitimacy. And with Season Eight just beginning, here we are, the end of a saga that lasted for three years, let’s take a look.

Introduction: A recap of the non filler segment of last episode with narration. No loss. And at least the title isn't “Standing your Groudon.”

Found and Lost: The twerps’ dumb luck to be rescued quickly turned as they landed on a submarine which turns out to be one of Team Magma’s, which is interesting as it is perfunctory as the land based organization would be more of the air assault variety with their VTOL helicopter and avoid the sea they loathe so. And once again, the twerps end up being immersed in trouble by their own passiveness (and the writers’ lack of definition of the Trainers as crime fighters, misc Trainers or blank comes to mind) and once again rolling along with the fluke of merely being there and not being proactive as other formats (Special, games) have been. It’s not the first hint of this, certainly but it’s one of the more surreptitious events in the series with the criminal organization.

And Homura (Personal note, I’ll always call him Harlan since Tabitha is a horrible name, so to avoid the 4Kids/video game issues, I’ll just skip it and stick with the Japanese name) looking as serious as ever as we and the twerps approach Magma’s mobile base (which suspiciously looks like an air carrier), the dark score transitions with the ominous scene punctuating the dread we’re in store for.

Meet the Boss: One item that was unexpected is the twerps meeting the mastermind of Magma: Maxie (voiced by Marc Thompson in his Hansen voice and an interesting choice and actually plays on Maxie’s smarminess rather well.) Unlike the prior Team Rocket and the series going out of its way to avoid Giovanni meeting Ash, the writers pull a 180 and do the reverse. But unlike Giovanni’s arrogant approach, Maxie is more restrained in his and less of a feared image as he forgave Homura’s failure and far more personable than a Boss of an organization would be.

Ash for some reason is acting extra pissy in this scene.

Slip by: During the introductions scene, a female Magma agent slips out of the sub with a close-up and our wondering would be cut short as the agent makes quick work of two Magma grunts (with an censoring impact star) and reveals herself: Izumi of Team Aqua (Same reasons I’m calling her Izumi as I’m calling Homura by his Japanese name). As she enters we see a subdued Kyorge and questions immediately arise. How did Magma captured Kyorge? What about the environment impact of such an action? How did Izumi keep back that hair in that small hood?

Dichotomy of vision: The scene of Maxie’s office carries the right mix of dread, suspense and tension, as Ash and his anger apparently failed to make him realize the danger he and his friends are in as the Mightyena are ready to tear them to shreds while Maxie watches, amused. It is rather embarrassing for the Trainer that Brock had to reel him in (curious if that is Satoshi or 4Kids, as 4Kids has “enhanced” Ash’s obnoxiousness from time to time), as usually muted anger is the right reaction for this. Homura’s indignation for Ash shows nicely in that brief spark before Maxie reins him in and a score to be settled.

The exposition Maxie says in his monologue reveals not only their plans but more to the Magma conspiracy: that they not only want more land for humanity but to also play on the mysticism of the ancient past and cultivate it, (their hunting for the Relicanth cave in AG 02 certainly begins to gel this theory tightly). Once again, the writers reveal that they have a Magma bias but giving the organization more credence with another dimension to their overall goal (with an interesting wording of the mythos of Groudon by Maxie).

And the Indigo Orb dub error in “A Three Team Scheme” correction is revealed with the Blue Orbm, although considering how unoriginal the name is, one wishes 4Kids kept their own name for it, same with Tabitha as he’s acknowledged by his name as the scene ends.

One item that should be addressed: considering the ramifications of Kyorge and Groudon’s capturing (By Aqua), why weren’t we allowed to witness this event and the impact to come? Yes, off camera references happen plenty in the series but such a subtle monumental event (and canon event) in the Hoenn arc should have gotten its own exposure and thus enough to cover an episode on to itself instead of playing on quite useless filler and just skip the writing and tasking of setting up the script for such an event right from the get go, without any impact. They omitted the same thing with Professor Cozmo’s kidnapping in “Fight for the Meteorite” but it wasn’t a glaring omission and didn’t lose the cohesiveness of the script like in this manner.

Unleashed: Kyorge makes fast work of its restraints as Izumi (who in turn reveals her English canon name, Shelly on her COM link) watches on. And the scene plays with a Magma agent almost admiring her handiwork and Kyorge’s might. Izumi muses to the agent that there is more to him that meets the eye before sinking into her trademark bravado and egoism while she barbs that Aqua wants to conquer the world. And a hint of foreshadowing forms with the solo Magma agent.

Dissection: The action heightens as the Blue Orb almost takes on a life of its own and absorbs into the yellow rat (who was rather obnoxious in getting it away from the Magma Mightyena) and takes on the distinct markings of Kyorge and Groudon. The exposition for this at least shall arrive in a timely manner, before the rat’s power (as shown) increases and gets out of control.

Duality: the other side reveals itself as Aqua’s sub (last seen in Season Six’s “On A Wingull and a Prayer”) emerges, along with Aqua’s leader: Archie (whose VA must be Sean Schemmel, Vegeta’s VA and who never voiced a Pokemon episode, while that’s unique; there are better voices for the histrionic Archie than him. Pity.). Archie, unlike Maxie and his second in command, seem to have more of a closer relationship with his subordinate and playing on the theme of success and trust (ironic as the past two operations, Izumi was beaten and humiliated respectively) and like Izumi, plays on the theatrical with the Red Orb.

The agent Izumi addressed begins to tip his hand, with his Dragonite, his voice, and his acknowledgement of the twerps (and the red hair if we look closely) but we don’t dwell on it as Homura intervenes and nearly taps in his rage onto Ash and the fallen Pikachu.

Split second: the VTOL helicopter of Magma’s finally appears as Magma continues to scheme (and another Magma agent has a name: Derrick, beyond Homura and Bannai, of course Maxie, no other Magma agent has a name as the rest are anonymous. It’s interesting to note is all) while Archie plays on his rage as a Gyarados swims to say the twerps with a unique marking on its shell, but the scene is so fast, we can barely glance at it. Team Rocket’s introduction is brief but amusing with Meowth’s jumping into the action.

Cards on the table: Archie’s and Maxie’s exchange played a subtle theme of dichotomy and undulating deceit as both organizations played the honor card while each implanting moles into one another’s bases. But Maxie’s calmness proved him to be the more honorable as Archie not only dissolved into his megalomania but into a stereotypical plot to rule the world instead of the fanaticism and grace of saving the world of Aqua’s original message. The writers with his pronouncements now strip the organization of any redeemable valve into just a mindless shell, the mindless goal, the organization known as Cipher embodies. Tragic.

Team Rocket’s snippets are particular interest with James’ soap opera line and Meowth’s bloodshot eyes and a nice change of pace to the heavy drama playing before them.

Wild Card: Pikachu’s power piques again as the rage nearly destroy the cargo bay (pity Ash wasn’t electrocuted, shifty eyes. Blasted personal notes) and more foreshadowing as the atmosphere heightens with the heartbeat sound in the background and the solo agent reveals himself but the hints to the dramatic irony already reveal itself as it is Lance, Champion of the Elite Four and Pokemon G-Man, and last seen against Team Rocket in the series’ recreation of G/S’s the Lake of Rage subplot back in Season Five. Brock reveals the exposition for new viewers in the following scene but nothing on the Red Gyarados as it was an experiment of Team Rocket or how Lance captured it but at least glad to know the writers haven’t forgotten about the ruby mutant.

The exposition of the Orbs is revealed by Lance and his research as the power overwhelms the user and power still equals size and willpower (as with Pikachu’s rapid melding with it) and foreshadowing is hinting once again, as we’ve seen Archie use the Red Orb extensively.

One good deed goes punished: The Rockets’ sneaky tricks show with a subtle flourish as they used a camouflage canvas, Meowth’s hacking skills, and Wobbuffet’s dumb luck to enter Kyorge’s chamber. We also can’t help but feel a touch of scheudfraude for the Aqua agents with Cacnea’s attack (Cacnea’s Pin Missile quashes them quite thoroughly), as Team Aqua has been piled on the abuse on the Rockets heavily in their previous clash at the Weather Institute in “Unfair Weather Friends”. Although while an electric missile in a tub of water would be enough to incapacitate the Water God, but the sheer size without a mecha’s help is enough to stop Team Rocket in its tracks but the issue is moot as Kyorge’s throwback of the net blast them off but not out of sight.

In between of the Rocket scene, the ominous atmosphere begins to settle in and both Maxie and the twerps being unsure of anything anymore and Archie gloats on in his egotism.

The end of the world: As Kyorge escapes as the narrator sets the next episode with the montage: Groudon, restrained and slumbering, Ash trying to stop Pikachu’s out of control spikes of rage and power as the Blue Orb increases its influence and the showdown begins.

The start of the Magma/Aqua finale is a fanboy treat, playing on correcting the mistakes the writers have done with past criminal organizations (The Rockets) and full of pleasures such Lance’s return (with his Red Gyarados), Homura at his best with his rage, Maxie as the restrained leader playing on building a Golden Age of humanity, while on the negative side, we have Archie in a stereotypical villain role and the writers’ undermining Team Aqua’s function with a basic “conquer the world” shtick and the horrible pacing that came with the omission of the setup with Kyorge’s and Groudon’s respective capture without the impact of such an event. The dub itself was fine, except for Archie’s voice.

8/10. If it had a prior episode setting up the atmosphere then it would be perfect.

Miss Reyna
October 15th, 2005, 8:49 PM
The shows that the Hoenn games and anime has been leading up too. The show that anybody who play the game and watch the show has been waiting for.

I didn't like the dubbed title. Sounds stupid but. Hpp. It could have been worst. Next weeks dubbed title sounds good. It did summarize the eps through in one sentance.

How I would have done this part....

1st part- Showing TA capturing Groudon with TM get stuck with Kyorge. THe show then ends with the natorator going to Ash and co with Team Rocket blasting of the boat.

2nd part- Begins with Ash and co with Team Rocket flying off the boat and landing where they do in today's eps. Then goes throught today's eps.

3rd part- basically the 2nd part which comes on next week. Maybe they could added Rayqazza into the story to end the fight like in Emerald.

As you see. I kinda agree with Dark Weezing here. If they made this a three part one then it would have been perfect.


I wish they had more TA and TM shows but they must have their reasons. Maxie was cool as he was the old but slow and easy kinda of bad guy. Archie was the fast and action bad guy. They did a good job as picking Vegeta’s VA becasue it was right up his alley.

Lance and his red gyrados were cool to see. At least they metion who he was and that was all. May and Max are in for a treat.

I was on the edge of my seat to see what happening. It seemed rushed but it was exciting to see such great gods controling such a little human and pokemon. I like to add that it would have been cool when they did that shot of Groundon at the end of the eps that they did that face shot and Groundon's eyes opened up.

Can't wait till next weeks eps. 9/10

October 16th, 2005, 1:53 PM
It's kinda funny, as I written a fanfic speculating on this two parter around the time of the season premiere. Izumi for her credit is fun as she's so histronic and theatrical (anyone noticed this in "Unfair Weather Friends"? She was a hoot) and Archie, while I never played Sapphire, I shot from the hip about him and I gave him his own muted theatrical, evil supervillain approach. Of course mine is more muted than the anime's large and in charge one but I was glad to know I wasn't completely off the mark.

I'll write a sequel after next week's episode.

(You kinda agree with me? At least that beats none at all. Hehe.)

I have to admit, that would have been a lovely shot if Groudon awakened like that and a bloodshot eye for flourish although I think they were going with more of a slumbering doom kind of thing.

I do have to admit, considering Groudon and Kyorge's glory and sheer might, and their rarity, you'd think this storyline would maybe grace the movie or Special episode type of format to give the Gods a special quality to them, just as they did with Mewtwo. Just feels perfunctory to see them in the series like this, especially how the producers treat most of the Legendaries and give them their own playgrounds to play with.

Just doesn't feel as majestic doesn't it?

Hiroshi Sotomura
October 17th, 2005, 1:44 AM
I'd debate about that. Being an in-game event in Ruby and Sapphire, I'd steer towards thinking it shouldn't be a movie thing considering it's a compulsory part of the game itself where the other legendaries aren't really so.

October 17th, 2005, 4:35 PM
It seemed rushed but it was exciting to see such great gods controling such a little human and pokemon.

Can't wait till next weeks eps. 9/10

Oh, finally someone gets the point of the relationship... I was wondering if anyone besides me noticed it?

So, the Legendary Pokemon are basically the Pokemon equivalent of the Gods in D&D, yes. As for accuracy, I'll just leave it at saying this is one of the better dubbed episodes compared to others I've seen. I was wondering what they'd do with Pikachu going nuts... I expected them to butcher it, but they didn't do too badly there (for 4Kids).

Miss Reyna
October 17th, 2005, 6:36 PM
Sorry Dark Weezing but I have to agree with Tetsuya-san on this one becasue they do appear in the game so they kinda don't deserve a movie. I mean they could get a movie and Groundon or a fake one was in Movie 5. But these two pokemon are a major thing in the game thus they be major in the anime. Mewtwo was a side thing. They metion him on once and was seen anime-wise two times. So the movie was the big thing. If they didn't put Groundon and Kyorge wasn't in the anime then there be a huge chunk missing in the anime story.

Hiroshi Sotomura
October 18th, 2005, 5:14 AM
Actually, to correct you, the fake Groudon was in AG Movie 1 (or Movie 6, whatever). XD

Oh, and it'd be bad if I said the First Movie was not canonical to the Pocket Monsters plot, because it's definitely canon and the events definitely happened (which coincides with Mewtwo Returns).

I'd think that TV Tokyo should've worked on making the Groudon and Kyogre events NOT a two-parter, but a joined episode (and one with as much quality as Mewtwo Returns). Perhaps that would be better, but I'm under the belief 4Kids would:
- Split the episode.
- Not release the episode at all.
The former would be better for a US release. The latter would be bad since it would leave a plothole in Aqua/Magma's disappearance and leave a bunch of mysteries unsolved.

I'm two-sided with this.

October 18th, 2005, 7:48 AM
It's funny on all of you are jumping on this. Heh. I was just musing really but yeah, it's just that we have to see the movies to get the Legendaries really, and given Groudon/Kyorge's God status, it's just feels like a leap that it should be for the big screen. I'm not saying it should have, it just carries that vibe. Although...if the series wasn't so minimal on Aqua/Magma, and covered them enough like the Rockets, maybe then it would feasible. But otherwise, nah, I'm just going one step further.

And it got you thinking, lovely.

On your vision of the joined/splitted thing, Tetsuya, I'm just not sure. The joined/splitted thing wouldn't help the overwhelming script problems, and TV Tokyo is just the middleman. Unless, in this union idea you have, 4Kids would have them animated the much needed initial capture of Aqua/Groudon in the beginning and avoid that wretched exposition, and we've seen 4Kids have clout with OLM (the 4th movie, the 4th intro), so it wouldn't be impossible. The plot hole is quite large, that's a fact, one of the bigger ones in the series yet. But given 4Kids' problems lately (according to Mihara), I doubt that will happen.

Besides, after 4kids' job with the Raikou special and the past several movies (mostly the 5th and 6th), I'd be nervous with them for play with anything longer than 22 minute increments anymore. I didn't think that with Mewtwo Returns but...things has changed.


Crystal Clair
October 18th, 2005, 9:00 AM
I liked this eppie lotz cuz Pika was liek psycho and I thought it would bite Ash like that first eppie back 'round teh time Ash entered Houen.
What I really liked was Shelly! She looks so hot in a Magma costume and her hair is so gorgeous. She looks even hotter when she's standing in front of Lance and well that darnned bandana makes her look terrible. Man, wonder who she'd be compatible with >:3

October 18th, 2005, 9:09 AM
I liked this eppie lotz cuz Pika was liek psycho and I thought it would bite Ash like that first eppie back 'round teh time Ash entered Houen.
What I really liked was Shelly! She looks so hot in a Magma costume and her hair is so gorgeous. She looks even hotter when she's standing in front of Lance and well that darnned bandana makes her look terrible. Man, wonder who she'd be compatible with >:3

Indeed, it's been a long time since we've seen Pikachu act so erratic. It was a treat.

I always thought Izumi would be best with Homura. The opposite attracts with the groups but they have a deep commitment to their goals, and both treat the job seriously but their range is different (Homura with the brutality and seriousness, Izumi with the histronics and dramatics) and would foil each other nicely.

Although the scene with Lance was cute as they began to make googly eyes with each other with their sheer dedication to their goals. Heheh.

I'm such a matchmaker...