Hey guys! Today I’ll be summarizing and reviewing the 15th episode of Pokemon Black and White. Ash, Iris, and Cilan had just arrived to Nacrene City in the previous episode and now Ash is ready to challenge Lenora, the Nacrene City gym leader. Lenora, Hawes, and the trainers go through the museum and are allowed into a restricted room. It turns out to be a library where Lenora recommends that Ash studies about the Unova region. She points at a book and recommends that Ash should “take a peek” at it.
Ash is hesitant to read because he wants to battle, but Iris and Cilan hint that Lenora may be testing him. He pulls the book and that triggers the bookshelf to move, revealing a hidden staircase. The gym leader reveals that it was a test, and that she can get a sense of what the trainer is like by observing what kind of book he or she chooses. She comes to the conclusion that Ash is very straight-forward. They go downstairs and are introduced to the Nacrene City gym.
Before the battle even begins, Lenora reveals the two Pokemon she will be using: Lillipup and Watchog. There is some interaction between Lillipup and the others and the match finally begins after Hawes explains the rules. The battlers agree to a 2-on-2 match. The match begins with Lillipup using Roar on Tepig, forcing it to switch with Ash’s Oshawott. Lenora follows up her move by switching to Watchog and using Mean Look. Our protagonist is visibly shaken up and so is his Pokemon. Watchog’s Low Kick catches Oshawott off-guard, but is able to block the ensuing Thunderbolt with his scallop shell. Oshawott gets in a Water Gun, but loses his shell when he tries to use Razor Shell, and is knocked out by another Thunderbolt. Lenora switches back to Lillipup as Ash sends out Tepig again. Tepig doesn’t last very long, as he is outclassed by Lillipup’s speed and eventually gets knocked out by Take Down.
Ash thanks his Pokemon for the tough match and apologizes for his own shortcomings. He is saddened, but hopeful for his rematch. The trio goes to the Pokemon Center where Iris and Cilan give Ash advice. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is shown to steal the meteorite at the museum. The next morning, our heroes set out to the town’s Battle Club for some training. Don George is there to meet them and is familiar with the situation. He offers to provide rigorous training and the episode ends with the door opening to the Battle Club.
I have played the Pokemon Black and White games and it is nice to be able to see the familiar environments animated. It always helps to match a voice with a face. What happened to the days of old when Pokemon gyms served exclusively as Pokemon gyms? I guess it is pretty cool and convenient. I like the contrast between the gym underground and the museum on top. On bottom, you have a hands-on learning area full of excitement and action; on top, you have a much calmer place of history and knowledge that enriches the Pokemon experience.
I thought the battle was a bit bland and although I agree that moves like Roar and Mean Look are disruptive in the meta-game, their effectiveness was over-emphasized in this situation. I like gym battles to be epic, and I do not find Watchog and Lillipup to be epic battle material. They are like equivalent to Raticate and Bidoof. The defeats are important, especially to kids watching the show. They can relate more to a character like that, rather than a character like Trip (he is strong, but a jerk). Ash always never gives up and is kind to his Pokemon (and others), which are traits that are worth striving for. I really enjoyed the covert ops by Team Rocket. They were always so goofy and lame in the original series, but are portrayed very well in the new series. Basically, I can only say good things about them. Oh, and James is way overdue for his Unova Pokemon. Personally, I love watching training montages and I’m hoping I won’t be disappointed in the next episode.