On the first week of the month, the animated adaptation of Pokémon Sun and Moon saw its 146th and final episode, bringing the generation to a close and making way for the next. Therefore, there is no month like the current to recapitulate my pertinent posts and to offer up some final thoughts.
- Mimikyu (11/28/16) – Unique setup sweeper/stopper with typing to match
- Fearow (12/19/16) – Drill Running and U-turning bird
- Feraligatr (1/16/17) – Water-type Sheer Force user with Dragon Dance
- Abomasnow (2/13/17) – Hail setter fallen from grace thanks to a certain winter fox
- Chingling (3/13/17) – Some kind of Trick Room setter in Little Cup
- Rapidash (4/10/17) – The one Z-Will-o-Wisp user (alternatively, a recoil-reliant offensive Fire-type that can heal itself)
- Mudsdale (5/8/17) – New Ground-type physical tank
- Archeops (6/5/17) – Airborne powerhouse held back by one of the worst Abilities in the game
- Voltorb (7/3/17) – Rain lead, otherwise budget Elekid
- Starmie (7/31/17) – Speedy but versatile Rapid Spin user
- Pachirisu (8/28/17) – Hero to Trainers who use their favorite Pokémon in battle
- Shroomish (9/25/17) – Grass-type staller with unconventional coverage in Drain Punch
- Pelipper (10/30/17) – The new Rain setter in town
- Pyroar (11/27/17) – Special attacker with unique typing but lacking in Ability usefulness
- Regigigas (1/1/18) – BST titan severely held back by another of the worst Abilities in the game
- Clauncher (1/29/18) – All-around Water-type pivot in Little Cup
- Bronzong (2/26/18) – Levitating Steel-type Trick Room or Stealth Rock setter newly weak to buffed Knock Off
- Bunnelby (3/26/18) – Huge Power user in Little Cup with Swords Dance, priority, and enough coverage to get by
- Azumarill (4/23/18) – Huge Power Aqua Jet and/or Belly Drum user with extra Fairy typing
- Tepig (5/21/18) – Fire-type physical attacker of sorts in Little Cup
- Shiftry (6/18/18) – Part Dark Chlorophyll and/or Defog user with near-equal physical and special prowess
- Charmeleon (7/16/18) – Lower-tier Z-Sunny Day attacker
- Yanma (8/13/18) – Yanmega Lite but with Compound Eyes instead of Tinted Lens
- Dodrio (9/10/18) – Lower-tier menace of a Flying-type attacker with new coverage in Jump Kick
- Dwebble (10/8/18) – Hazard setter and/or Shell Smash user reliant on Sturdy and Berry Juice
- Ducklett (11/5/18) – Water/Flying attacker or Defogger; a middle ground between Mantyke and the recently banned Wingull
- Sentret (12/3/18) – Typical Normal-type in Little Cup with a colorful movepool but lacking in the stats to use it
- Koffing (12/31/18) – Child of an infamous 1.5-weakness tank
- Aron (1/14/19) – Notorious Head Smash user with Sturdeavor or Rock Head at its disposal
- Drapion (2/11/19) – The second-best of three Poison/Dark Pokémon
- Guzzlord (3/11/19) – Mixed attacker with superfluously high HP
- Throh (4/15/19) – Outclassed Fighting-type tank
- Piplup (5/13/19) – Water-type dual-purpose hazard setter and remover in Little Cup
- Rhyhorn and Type: Null (6/10/19)
- Rhyhorn – Non-Sturdy Stealth Rock setter in Little Cup
- Type: Null – The newest Eviolite wall
- Vikavolt (7/15/19) – Special tank/pivot
- Teddiursa (8/12/19) – Quick Feet user blessed in coverage
- Gorebyss and Hitmonlee (9/16/19)
- Gorebyss – One of a handful of Shell Smash users, let alone with access to Baton Pass
- Hitmonlee – Destructive Fighting-type with the choice to boost its power or speed
- Prinplup (10/14/19) – Water-type dual-purpose hazard setter and remover in lower tiers
- Tyranitar and Nidoqueen (11/11/19)
- Tyranitar – Number one sand setter with a long history
- Nidoqueen – Bulky-ish Sheer Force attacker
- Pokémon Sun – My entry into the series, and probably the last time I’ll talk so much about a Pokémon game
- Pokémon Ultra Moon – Less talk, more complaints (not to say that I prefer the first installment)
- Brain Food #2 – A dumb idea I had once: a mega crossover fanfiction starring Lana
- Pokémon Sun and Moon: the Animation – Speaking of Lana, she doesn’t get any better than in this medium
My first post about the animation was prior to episode 120, so I wish to finalize my thoughts on the matter. And yes, just like before, they heavily involve Lana. What can I say? Perhaps my obsession with her is unhealthy.
Lana did lose brutally in the Pokémon League quarterfinals—her Primarina having suffered a merciless beating at the hands(?) of Guzma’s Golisopod and herself having been dismissed as “small fry” by Guzma—but she kept her cool through it all, whereas Mallow and Lillie got angry in her stead. The gist of her belief was this: “He didn’t break any rules. He was simply too strong.” And while my heart of hearts would have liked her to place higher (and face Ash in the League, or at least at some point), I can at least be content that she was the only girl to make top 8.
(i.e. objectively best girl)
On another note, it’s no secret that Lana has a playful side, yet somehow she’s only ever made two puns in the entire series—both as a spectator of Ash’s League battles, and neither appreciated by her classmates. Personally, I love puns, especially when they’re made with such an adorable expression.
…Okay, on to more general talk. After all these generations, Ash has finally become an official League Champion and even got extra credit by defeating Kukui and Tapu Koko. (I wonder what Kukui’s last Pokémon would have been otherwise. Maybe Palossand?) Mimikyu saw its own reflection, leading it to abandon its one-track hatred. Burnet got impregnated. It’s possible that the new animated series, Pokémon 2019, will revisit Alola. (Also, if said series comes out with an episode centered around Manaphy, it’s possible that Lana will be involved.)
I have found opportunities to read the first five volumes. It is an interesting story, starring the penny-pinching delivery boy Sun and the sensible pharmacologist Moon. It presents Kiawe and Mallow as characters who can relate to Sun and Moon respectively, whereas Lana is a more unique sort—by which I mean she’s normally meek but becomes dead serious in battle. Granted, Moon changes personality in the same sort of way when she’s deep in thought. Speaking of Moon, she’s a charming character in her own right, surprisingly being skilled at archery and finding Poison-types to be cute. That’s all I have to comment, except that Kahili golfing with Poké Balls atop a Skarmory has to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
The seventh generation of Pokémon was full of surprises: a change to the whole eight-Gym structure, Alolan forms, Z-Moves, a great cast of characters (especially Lana), a fair share of interesting Pokémon (like Bewear and Mimikyu), surprisingly good music, and—most importantly—the removal of HMs from the series.
However, at this point, I think of modern Pokémon games as experimental steps toward the future (or, to play devil’s advocate, the promise of a future that they abuse to make dough), hence Pokémon X and Y (their first release on the 3DS) ended up being forgettable, while the newest generation is deemed by some to be inexcusable for a triple-A game. In the case of Pokémon Sun and Moon, there was too much hand-holding, the new mechanics were too Kanto-centric, and they discarded the Triple and Rotation Battles that previously lasted from Black/White onward. (Less importantly, they introduced physically oriented Fairy-types bereft of physical Fairy STAB: freaking Koko and Bulu; what a tease.)
In terms of animated series, I actually enjoyed Sun and Moon more than X and Y—and not just because of Lana, but because the full cast of characters and the diversity of the Alola region made everything seem more fun and exciting than I remember how it was in the Kalos region. Thus, another surprise from the seventh generation: seeming to take a drop in visual quality, while instead improving overall.
(Note: I am unfamiliar with any part of the manga except the seventh generation (and vaguely the fifth), so I have no say on that front.)
In the end, even amidst the ebb and flow of the Pokémon series, I will not soon forget this particular generation. Its contributions in Pokémon, mechanics, and characters have at least outweighed those of its predecessor. In particular, Lana has become my new favorite Pokémon Trainer of all time.
À la prochaine! (Until next time!)