Pokemon Sun And Moon Episode 18, Pokemon Sun And Moon

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Wrong Every Time. Today I have just concluded my duties on the summer season’s preview guide, meaning I am treating myself to another fun-filled episode of Pokemon Sun and Moon. I hope you’re all enjoying this journey as much as I am; while I often ramble at exhaustive length about the visual beauty and thematic poignancy of anime’s most ambitious productions, a great deal of anime’s importance to me comes down to how soothing and rewarding it is to settle down with a show as comforting as a good friend or a long, lazy nap.

As someone who watched a great deal of anime growing up, the art form’s fundamental modes of visual and emotional expression feel a bit like home to me. And when you combine that with the artistry and affectionate characterization of a show like Ojamajo Doremi, or Chihayafuru, or Sun and Moon, you end up with productions that aren’t just pleasant to watch, but a genuine source of stability and emotional support. Supporting people through difficult times is one of art’s greatest callings, and I can only hope that joining me on these journeys has given some of you that sense of support, as well. I’m glad you’re all here with me, and eager to get back to the adventure, so let’s dive into another episode of Sun and Moon!

Episode 18

Alright, Mallow’s on duty this time. I’m pretty sure she still hasn’t had her own focus episode, so perhaps her moment has finally come

We get a nice outdoor shot of Aina Cafeteria, which is apparently run by Mallow’s father. As usual, the sprawling blue sky overhead serves as our immediate guide back into the Alolan summer

Aw shit, they’re doing a taste-testing. It’s funny – because the Pokemon franchise conveys conflict through pokemon battles, and raising pokemon for these battles is the narrative of the games, you’d think the Pokemon show would be most fundamentally an action anime. But Sun and Moon is actually far closer to slice of life, and its episodes are mostly constructed around slice of life fundamentals like this – presenting an alluring but ultimately non-threatening activity to share with a group of characters you’ve come to love. Even for people who aren’t necessarily fans of most slice of life shows, the fundamentals of atmosphere, narrative, and character writing that makes those shows appealing are still relevant elsewhere; to be honest, the distinction between “slice of life” and “sitcom” is mostly just a matter of where a show falls in terms of how its jokes are structured and executed

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Bounsweet carrying things on its head will never be any less adorable. And look how proud it is to be doing a good job as a server! MY HEART IS BLEEDING

Seeing all the pokemon raise their noses towards the good smells from the kitchen is making me realize I’d be a terrible pokemon trainer, and would absolutely spoil my pokemon rotten with treats. How can you say no to a friggin’ Pikachu?

And as a final touch, Mallow electrocutes the shit out of her meal. I am afraid

“Mallow’s Cooking Operation!!” Alright Mallow, you’ve gotten your focus episode, now please try not to poison all your friends

Mallow absolutely set her hair on fire cooking this, and it appears she’s made… a potato, broccoli, and carrot stew? Mallow, you really gotta work on your methods

Pokemon is always pretty deliberate about showing pokemon eating “pokemon food” instead of human food. I wonder if that’s more intended to echo the game, or teach young viewers not to share their food with pets

Ah, of course, everyone loves a stew that tastes like electricity running through your teeth

Mallow “added a Thunderbolt” to the stew, which is a delightfully absurd idea.

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It’s not like you can punch a stew and the recipients will taste the punch. I like this whimsical approach to how pokemon attacks work

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Oh my god, Lana just calls Mallow’s dad “Maopapa.” Incredible

Apparently, the recipe for Alolan Stew was lost, but Mallow’s brother, who is of course on a globe-trotting culinary journey, uncovered the secret formula. Someone had a lot of fun with Mallow’s backstory

The secret ingredient is saffron-colored nectar, which Mallow thought she could replace with raw electricity. Brilliant work, Mallow

Mallow’s dad just ruthlessly dunking on her cooking while all her friends cheer. I’m sorry, Mallow

“Rowlett has been entranced by Bounsweet’s pheromones” is certainly one of this production’s stranger subplots

As usual, one of Ash’s signature powers is encouraging his friends to pursue their passions. And so the stage is set for a nectar-hunting expedition

Oh dang, Team Rocket built a pretty impressive secret base. I guess they can be kinda competent as long as they’re not focusing on their main objective

“We’re now finally able to focus on our primary mission!” Oh no

Some excellent cuts for Bounsweet knocking Rowlett away, both impressive in their own way – first a difficult perspective shot for his approach, and then an evocative, abstract interpretation of the punch’s impact

Ash describes Bounsweet as releasing a “sweet smell” that attracts bird pokemon, which is a very fine way to avoid the implication that Bounsweet is making all the other pokemon horny

As usual, a side character’s focus episode is also partially used as an advertisement for their signature pokemon, as Bounsweet’s pokemon-calling powers save the day

And at last, the Oricorio arrives to lead them to the nectar!

These repeated sequences of Bounsweet attempting to lure in the Oricorio are hilarious. Bounsweet’s happy little chirp at the end of each successful lure really sells the gag, and the intentional, ostentatious use of repeated cuts of animation also emphasizes the goofiness of this situation

AND THEN THEY JUST KEEP SPEEDING UP THE FRAMES MORE AND MORE. An excellent gag that plays off something fairly unique to animation – individual cuts of fluid movement are generally distinct enough to be recognizable in repetition, meaning you can create comedy out of the audience’s meta-understanding of the production reusing footage they’ve already used

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Oh no, there’s barely any Bounsweet left

This flame-colored Oricorio earns its own magical girl transformation sequence. Terrific

It is ridiculously on-brand for Team Rocket to not just completely mishear Ash and Mallow’s conversation, but also as a result develop a fiendish plan to steal a harmless flower patch

And Bounsweet gets so mad she evolves right there. Another excellent cut of animation for this evolution, using Tsareena’s graceful and largely humanoid form to once again create a sort of magical girl transformation sequence

Oh wow, Tsareena is strong

That humanoid form also pays dividends in terms of general expressiveness; you can easily parse Tsareena’s fierce pride through their character acting, by virtue of their humanoid face and fully articulated arms

Pikachu attempts to electrocute their defeated, retreating opponents, which I think might be a war crime, but I guess is okay in a pokemon battle

Now Tsareena can carry TWO soup bowls, and is very proud of herself for that

Mallow and Tsareena now having matching “hair” is too adorable

And Done

Excellent work, team – we made soup. It was hard going out there, and for a while I didn’t think we’d succeed, but in the end, soup was made, and soup was good. This was a sturdy Sun and Moon episode on the whole, and though it was very nice to learn more about Mallow’s personality and goals, it was actually the hard-working, long-suffering Bounsweet who stole the show this time. Attempting to track down that rare nectar served as an adorable final act for Bounsweet, and beating the crap out of Team Rocket made for a beautiful introduction for Tsareena. The team grows in strength as their Alolan adventure continues!

This article was made possible by reader support. Thank you all for all that you do.

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