Growing up, I never really got super into the Pokemon anime, I played the games and caught the occasional episode, but I didn’t follow it actively or anything. When Sun & Moon started airing the amount of praise on my twitter feed, along with how much I was enjoying the game itself at the time prompted me to check it out, which turned out to be a very good call. I’ve not been keeping up with it (I’ll catch up eventually, honest!) but the show’s been a lot of fun, it’s super energetic and has a real sense of joy to it. One particular episode that sticks out as a highlight is episode 16.
The episode opens with Ash, Lana & Mallow hanging out on the beach watching Popplio blow bubbles. Through a highly contrived sequence of events (Bounsweet sneezes, waking up Rowlet, who flies into Bounsweet and is punted away towards Popplio, knocking both of them into a bubble which then flies into the sea before being sent careening into the sky by an unfortunately timed wave).
What follows is an episode with almost no dialogue, two Pokemon attempt to make their way back to their trainers from the mountains they eventually crash down in. Along the way they manage to recruit the assistance of a less than enthusiastic Litten and tangle with Meowth before eventually reuniting with their distraught friends.
It’s an unusual episode to be sure but it breaks the mold in a way that works. The deliberations of the two Pokemon (presented as crudely drawn thought bubbles) are super charming and the whole episode manages to nail an adventurous tone that I just loved. The whole series is a joy to watch but this one will always be one of my favourites.