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Anime Review: Ash’s Gym Battles in Orange League

Review of Ash’s gym battles in the Orange League.

Ah, the Orange League. Some people consider it starting after the Indigo League is over, while some people think that the season began when Ash leaves for the archipelago. (I’m in the latter camp.)

Many events happened in this league, Charizard started to respect Ash, Brock left for the first time, a new friend in Tracy is found, and Lapras is found and then let go.

And of course, the gym battles. That is the reason why you are here, assuming you clicked on this title. (Cries in corner.) No one likes my blog…

Anyway, let’s take a look of how the gym battles went this time. You can read about the indigo gym battles here.

Cissy, leader of Mikan Gym.

So, despite her rather competitive nature, I don’t mind her attitude. apart from that, the concept of using different tasks like shooting a target with water gun was great, given how a lot of Pokémon are not good with battle, you might find some of their talents in competitions like these.

the Team Rocket interferes, but thankfully, they fail to impact the gym battle in any meaningful way. The result is Ash winning after racing along with Lapras. I would have loved to see that, but alas. The lack of hardware got in the way.

Danny, leader of Navel Gym.

While Cissy is outspoken, Danny is quiet compare to her, aside from his charm, which actually caused Misty to get a crush on him, (And Jessie to hate him. Apparently, he’s too positive for her.)

Apart from that, it was a fine gym battle, even though the trio still interfered. Honestly, don’t the writers get bored of writing the same things again and again?

About Misty developing a crush on a gym leader, it won’t be the first time, as we learn next.

Rudy, leader of the Trovita Gym.

Now, the gym battle wasn’t the main focus here. It was Rudy’s crush on Misty.

Here’s an example conversation which the writers may have held among themselves, as they were writing this episode.

Head Writer: Are you mad? Why would you come up with a plot like this? Do you know those crazy fans? They’ll demand our heads!

Normal Writer: But sir, no one will remember this episode if we only did a generic gym leader deal. Now, if we make him come on to the supposed romantic interest, people talk about this for years to come!

HW: Continue like that, and you’ll soon have my position!

So yeah, that pretty much sums up this battle.

Luana, leader of the Kumquat Gym.

First, let’s get this one thing out of the way. I kind of feel sad for Luana. Mostly because she never met her son again, and we never saw Ash and friends meeting him.

Second, I really like how Team Rocket didn’t interfered with this battle, since they were dealt with a day before the battle. This is the only gym battle where they didn’t interfere, since they actually interfered in the final gym battle as well.

This is the first time I saw the tag team battle in the anime. Overall, I have no complains with this one.

Drake, the head leader of Orange League.

Honestly, this has to be the best battle in the anime at this point. Drake presented a great challenge, and Ash matched him on every step. The great commentary was a bonus.

Often, I felt as if I was watching a chess match between these two. Battles like these are very hard to come by in the anime, surprisingly.

Sad that Drake is never shown again, or the Orange League went unacknowledged for most of the time in the anime. But hay, Ash won a league.

So, that concludes the Orange League. Now, few months later, we’ll talk about the Johto League.

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Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

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