Part 79: Arena Tycoon Greta, Dome Ace Tucker and Salon Maiden AnabelOne, Two, Three
Greta & the Battle Arena
Greta was #2. The personality they went with was basically what the game shows: determined, strong, generally a good trainer. No weird quirks to be found. The team rocket attack was dealt with instantly by...Pikachu using thunderbolt. It was literally just a minute & a half of filler mid-battle and a minute of that was the motto; she didnt even do anything! She doesnt even do anything special at the end, give me something!
I got nothing to talk about here so I'll ramble about the battle, which in the script i have to imagine was just "Snorlax is awesome" for 10 pages. Ash knew going into the battle that she would be using Hariyama & Medicham so he brought his Grovyle (for speed) and...Snorlax. For...defense?
Anyway Greta decimates Grovyle near instantly in that way only the anime can: using your big ol' ham hands to block bullet seed, using grovyle jumping at it to send it crashing into the ceiling with a focus punch because running into a fist at terminal velocity hurts. So in comes Snorlax to carry the entire battle and tanks like 3 sets of arm thrust because you see the belly is so big & soft; there's even a part where snorlax goes tumbling back and bounces around like a ball. They trade back & forth for a while and Snorlax is just eating up all these focus punches & arm thrusts like, again, only the anime can. He wins with a knock out that also freezes because it's Ice Punch.
The Medicham battle is ridiculous because the only thing it does pretty much the entire match is crazy gravity defying flips and focus punch. Like rapid fire focus punches, just slamming it into the thick hide. Shout out to thepart of the fight where Medicham froze it with Ice Punch, Ash ordered it to Rest and then Greta has to break it out of the Ice to actually do any damage. Ash wins this scenario with what he tried to do with Grovyle earlier: he launches snorlax into the air by using Hyper Beam at the ground, then slams into medicham with an air launch body slam, killing it instantly.
As for the Arena itself, they kept it's a Dojo aaaand that's it. She has a ton of students, so this actually would have been a good way to incorporate the facility's gimmick in the game, even! But I suppose it's just as well because they didn't keep the gimmick at all. You might have noticed two things in the battle summary: she used 2 Pokemon and it went until a standard knock out condition was met. For all intents & purposes this was just a better (if more ridiculous) Chuck or Brawly fight. If they wanted to make her a fighting leader they could have given her the 2 she actually uses (Heracross & Breloom) but....They instead set up this as a gimmick:
A wheel! Spin the wheel and that determines if its 1 on 1, 2 on 2 or 3 on 3. 2 minutes prior, Scott established she had a Hariyama & Medicham and oh look he spun a 2 and she used exactly those two pokemon with no other pokemon in her possession seen. Could have at least pretended there would be a shake up is all I'm saying.
Tucker & the Battle Dome
Tucker was #3 and, oh man, could you imagine if 4kids had gotten to this episode? They wouldn't be able to handle themselves with the guy based on Hard Gay. Anyway Tucker is a reasonable show man, he does extravagant entrances, extravagant poses, and everyone in the city comes out to see him. Every time he orders one of his Pokemon he gives everything dramatic and flowery descriptions (BURN WITH YOUR FIERY MIGHT, ARCANINE: FLAMETHROWER; LET YOUR FIRE FLOWERS BLOSSOM, ARCANINE: FIRE BLAST). But generally he's a good sport. In the game & Adventures, he's kind of secretly a sore loser & kind of pompous judging by his dialog, but here he's just generally confident and accepts loss with grace. Also his entrance gave us this mental image and that's always a treat.
So they obviously didn't do the tournament gimmick. Tucker only got one episode, there' sjust no time for that outside of a league (until Best Wishes...)! But they did try to incorporate the "tactics" part of things. They even call out how this all relates to hsi symbol, something they don't do with any other brain. His battle is a double battle where his Swampert (slow, defensive) compliments his Arcanine (fast, strong) and he shows both his Pokemon and allows the challenger to make any changes to their team there & then if they'd like. Ash uses his Swellow & Corphish and does use tactics such as: bubble beam to make steam, using quick attack to lure tucker's pokemon into attacking each other, riding swellow because its a double battle with a flying pokemon and you can't not ride on them.
It probably would have been cute to compare this battle to a contest battle, and have Ash work with May on tactics, but they dont really think of that until Diamond & Pearl.
Anabel & the Battle Tower
Anabel was #6. If you're wondering why the different image, it's because between Spenser & Anabel, the anime changed openings. I didn't really comment on it, but the Advanced & DP animes were pretty cool because the openings constantly updated with new captures, evolutions, releases and in the case of the battle frontier brains they filled in as Ash met them. They kind of stopped that, it's a shame.... The final Advanced opening was very good, it's called SPURT, is sung by Ash's (japanese, obviously) voice actress and is full of wonderful fanservice. Even Butterfree, Pidgeot, Primeape & Larvitar are here and they dont even get a cameo in the battle frontier. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOhHqn47HVk
OH, right, Anabel. So as you can see from Crosspiece's update Anabel doesn't actually have anything going on. Barely any text or mannerisms beyond a silly laugh and recognizing your talent. Charitably, she is "Soft spoken."
So the anime made her a Psychic. And make her use entirely Psychic Pokemon (Alakazam, Metagross & her ace Espeon). Why not! She communicates with pokemon, the plants (happy flowers literally singing) and the stars through telepathy (sorry, sorry "Empathy". She's an Empath) and is able to understand what they're saying/thinking. Her introduction has her talk down an agitated Beedrill & Gyarados and work through their issues.
As you'd expect from an empath, she's a good person. Likes how much Pikachu gest along with Ash, chases off TR, treats everyone to a rest & lunch at her house, helps clean up Ash's tauros, plays with ash in the water, etc.
They also try to play up her supposed androgyny? It's a shocking reveal when it's revealed she's a woman because....??
Why is this even a tower in the anime? They only fight in one room , there's not even any seating, she doesn't live here. Battle Room.
Since the Tower doesn't have a gimmick at all, they instead use Anabel's not-telepathy combined with psychic pokemon being absolute bullshit to fight. Using Psychic to just stop things in its tracks or turn around projectiles at random, too op, please nerf.
She can verbally give commands, but she mostly communicates directly with her Pokemon's minds. Which you wouldn't think would really matter, but it apparently throws people off...supposedly. Just go with it.
Ash's solution to this is use strategy (?!!?), not power which is represented in:
-returning his confused corphish to its pokeball, then immediately sending it back out without actually switching anyone out (?!)
-dodging meteor mash, then jabbing it into the air (where it...stays, because its levitating?) with horn attack
-disrupting Epseon's concentration (thus, unable to communicate with Anabel) by jumping to & disabling the overhanging lights to dodge zap cannon
I wonder what goes on in the battle planning of these episodes sometimes. They can be enjoyable, but so arbitrary to what does/doesn't work.
Anabel also has a crush on Ash. Crushin' hard with those anime wavering eyes and subtle blush marks, as you do. Unlike with Lucy & Brock, this crush is entirely thanks to Ash's own merits. She doesn't confess it, though.
Next up is Brandon. Spoiler, his battle does not involve spending 3 hours climbing a pyramid.