This series has seen some high and low points in the 4 weeks since it was released. The first two episodes were fantastic, the third and fourth are simply alright, and the fifth and sixth have the quality that the first two remind me of. However, each of them have their own merits. We’re already a third of the way into the series, and I may do the episodes in batches of 3 or 4 as they’re released.
“The Challenger” begins with one of the best Indigo Plateau remixes I’ve ever heard. The chamber the Elite 4 are introduced in has an almost hallowed appearance. The voices and behavior of the Elite 4 is surprisingly spot on, with Agatha’s raspy voice being my personal favorite. Gary’s dialogue is a little off in some places “The greatest Pokemon Trainer in the world.. that is me!”,but then again, this is coming from the guy that says “Smell you later!” in the original games, so I can look the other way. Unfortunately, we only see a limited amount of each fight through the Elite 4. Alakazam’s counter of Lorelei’s Lapras was fun to watch, but Gengar’s entrance by “leaking” onto the floor from Agatha’s staff is one of the most satisfying things I’ve seen from this series so far. Agatha’s scene also shows how far Gary’s arrogance goes, even insulting his grandfather who helped him start his journey in the first place. The final scenes where Gary is sitting in seclusion in the dark are a bit ominous as Red finally emerges and literally sheds light on the place. Despite what I’ve said so far, you’re probably wondering why I said that the episode is average; it’s mainly because it’s nothing we didn’t already know. Anyone who’s played through the original games knows that Gary conquered the Elite 4 and took a fleeting position as champion.
The story in this episode was altered in several places, possibly to reduce the main character’s role. This is partially due to Gold being the player themself, the viewer. To allow him more actions tied to the plot would possibly impact the viewer. The focus of the series is to show events which happened outside the player’s scope, and this is Lance’s episode to shine. The first instance is Dragonite breaking the secret door with Fire Punch, instead of the player walking in on Lance commanding it to use Hyper Beam. A flashback to Dragonite battling the Red Gyarados is shown before entering the hideout (the second change in the episode). This episode also demonstrates the sheer ignorance of Team Rocket without Giovanni, who have the gall to not only challenge Lance, but to swagger awkwardly as they did so (I have no clue why this scene reminds me of the West Side Story gang). It takes mere seconds for Dragonite to brush all four of them off like a bit of dust. I do have to give Team Rocket’s Pokemon credit for having the guts to stand up to Dragonite without so much as a flinch. Petrel eventually reveals himself, only to be as pathetic as his cronies before him. The third change in the episode is Lance freeing the Electrode from the power chamber (who are some of the most adorable Electrode I’ve seen). The episode finishes with Lance observing the relaxed Gyarados as it disappears into the Lake of Rage. Again, the episode was disappointing to me because it didn’t reveal anything new, unless I were to take the stretch to call this an alternate timeline.
“The Legacy” opens with Silver preparing to challenge the Pokemon League. Silver is stopped by Looker, who is searching for information on Giovanni. From the dialogue where, I don’t believe that Looker is convinced that Silver knows anything, because he promptly mentions the Goldenrod Radio Tower incident. One of the things I enjoyed was the city placed on the plateau, which adds to the majesty of the place as a whole. The music during the flashback has a slightly jazzy feel to it, possibly alluding to crime shows of a similar theme. The scene where a younger Silver is questioning Giovanni seems to show that Giovanni only partially understands his failures. He understands that losing three times to the same trainer makes his leadership questionable, but did he really fail to use his grunts properly? It’s possible he doesn’t understand quality over quantity, especially if the men in Mahogany were anything like grunts under his command. Silver’s independent streak apparently includes an expectation of others to do the same, such as when he leaves his father to his own plans and expects Looker to do his own job. I loved that Looker smiled at the end of this episode, because he’s more lighthearted in the other media he’s portrayed in, and has largely been serious so far in Generations. The episode as a whole is a nice revelation on how Silver and Giovanni think of each other, as well as Looker’s involvement in the Rocket affairs of GSC.
“The Reawakening” begins with Eusine arriving at the Burned Tower to research Suicune. The first person dialogue is interesting, as if he’s recounting a journal. The scene shifts to the time of the burning, where Eusine states that wars were frequent. Three canine creatures are killed in the falling rubble, but Ho-Oh reemerged to revive them as the Legendary Beasts. The locals assumed that the beasts revived themselves, despite clearly seeing Ho-Oh. This could mean that they didn’t understand its full potential as a legendary creature, despite building a tower to revere the legendary bird. Perhaps the Bell Tower was made by a generation far older than the one who witnessed the Brass Tower (the former name of the Burned Tower) burn to the ground? The towers are each 700 years old by the time GSC occur, so it’s entirely possible. Eusine then sees Suicune appear for a brief moment, possibly confirming his beliefs that people are no longer afraid of the beasts, with a glowing orange feather signifying Ho-Oh’s return.