Yesterday, the first two episodes of the series Pokémon Sun and Moon made their first appearance in Japan.
Summary and Review: SM1 – Alola! New Islands, New Pokémon!!
The new season of the anime opened with Ash holidaying in Melemele Island with Pikachu, his mum, and Mr. Mime. Ash is making the most of the good weather and tourist opportunities in Alola, exploring the seas on a PokéRide Sharpedo and racing across the beach with his Pikachu, before accidentally stepping on a Litten’s tail, which burnt Ash’s face with a Fire-type attack. We find out that their trip has served a dual purpose: Professor Oak has asked Ash and Delia Ketchum to deliver a Pokémon Egg to Samson Oak, Professor Oak’s cousin.
Samson Oak is the Principal of the Pokémon School. Ash and Delia take a PokéRide – this time a Tauros – to get there. They get off at a market to buy some fresh fruit, but Ash wanders around and sees a wild Grubbin. He bends down to take a look before the Grubbin pinches Ash’s nose. Furious, Ash chases after the Grubbin, but later finds himself lost in a forest. Meanwhile, Tapu Koko lurks hidden in the forest, watching and interacting with Ash from afar.
Lost, Ash tries to find his way to the school, and comes across a Bewear! The Pokémon reaches out for a hug so Ash approaches it, before Bewear starts knocking down trees. Ash, surprised at Bewear’s strength, runs in the opposite direction towards a fence near a racetrack. Seeing a group of native Alolan Pokémon on the other side of the fence, Ash jumps across to say hello – but little does he realise that trainers are racing on Tauros on the same track!
Ash is trampled by the Tauros, but a trainer comes to his aid, who introduces herself as Lillie. The Riders jump off their Tauros, and reveal themselves to be Ash’s classmates – Mallow, Sophocles, and Lana. Mallow grabs him by the arm and shows him around the school, before Ash bumps into his mum and Samson Oak, and he later meets Professor Kukui, a teacher at the school.
He hears about the wonders of the Pokémon School – with students playing with and learning about Pokémon and battles – as well as the unique culture of Alola, through their Trial Challenges and the island deity Pokémon, and begins to fall in love with the region.
Suddenly, Team Skull appears, ready to take on Kiawe and his Charizard for apparently blocking the road. Kiawe accepts their challenge, but Ash runs to Kiawe’s aid as the two sides battle. Ash sends out Pikachu and Kiawe uses his Turtonator, against a legion of Zubat, Yungoos, and Salandit. Pikachu battles well but it is Kiawe who sends Team Skull and their Pokémon flying, using a Z-Move to defeat all of Team Skull’s Pokémon, leaving Ash amazed at what just happened.
Ash learns that only trainers who complete the Trial Challenges are able to use Z-Moves, only serving to pique his interest even more. He also learns that the orange Pokémon he’s seen dashing around is none other than Tapu Koko, the island deity of Melemele Island.
Later that day, Ash joins his mum for dinner at a restaurant, but his mind can’t help but wander about the busy day he’s had. Out of the corner of his eye, Ash sees a flash of orange – Tapu Koko! – and jumps out of his seat to follow it. He finds himself on a balcony in the city, as Tapu Koko passes a Z-Ring to Ash that he recognises as being similar to Kiawe’s.
The episode concludes with Ash talking to Delia via video call – Delia has gone back to Kanto, with Ash remaining in Alola to study at the school. We learn that Delia was supportive of her son’s choice (as she always is) and Ash (as always) realises that he is late and dashes out of his house, ready for his first day of classes.
What is most striking about the Sun/Moon anime from the first episode is the different tone in the anime. XYZ was applauded for being a more mature take on the Pokémon anime, and there were concerns that Sun/Moon would take a step in the wrong direction, as feared through the new art style.
And it’s true – from the first episode, Sun/Moon is a lot lighter and funnier, with characters appearing a lot more expressive and lighthearted than previous. The colours seem brighter and warmer. These all suit the Alola region, one which is more lighthearted and warm. The art style is easy to get used to after the first few minutes, and again suits the feel of the anime – although it is a change from XYZ, it’s one that seems more appropriate for Alola.
The dynamics between the characters already seem interesting: Mallow has seemingly taking a quick liking to Ash, Lillie’s character reflects hers in the game as she seems hesitant to get too close to Pokémon unless they can trust her, and Kiawe’s fiery personality brings some form of tension, no matter how light. It will be interesting to see how these relationships continue to grow and develop while Ash remains in the Trainers School.
Summary and Review: SM2 – Enter the Guardian Deity Tapu Koko! Let Us Attempt To Master Our Z-Move!!
In-depth summary and review coming soon when an English sub version is out!
Episode 3 and 4 Preview
The first preview of the next two episodes is available. There are some interesting scenes in this preview. Ash is catching a Pokémon, is it Rowlet? Also Pikachu is fighting with a Mimikyu and it looks like Pikachu has been hit with a powerful Ghost-type attack: perhaps Shadow Claw? We can also notice Rowlet using what looks like Leafage and it seems that Rowlet really likes Ash!
You can watch the preview at the official Youtube channel of TV TOKYO.
The upcoming episode titles of the series are:
S&M Episode 3: Good Rotomorning, I am the Rotomdex, Roto!
S&M episode 4 Enter Rowlet! I Got a Pokémon in Alola!!
Both air on November 24 in Japan.
The preview summary for the episodes is as follows:
The second 1-hour special in the new series. Ash receives a new Pokédex from his homeroom teacher Professor Kukui. This revolutionary Pokédex that can speak human language introduces itself as the “Rotom Dex”. Ash went to the forest, wanting to get his first Pokémon in the Alola region, and by pure chance ran into the Grass Quill Pokémon Rowley. While chasing after Rowlet, Ash arrives in a habitat of the Woodpecker Pokémon Pikipek.
Also, a new season means a new intro too! You can watch it below:
While there were fears about the future of the Pokémon anime after previews were aired, it’s fair to say that so far the Sun & Moon anime is warm and lighthearted, fitting of the Alola region. Much like the games, the anime is breathing some fresh air into the long-lasting series, and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here!
Written by Charlie Brown and Kostas.
Edited by bobandbill and Nick Wilde.