Part 63: Side Notes #18: Leader Differences (Sabrina, Blaine and Giovanni)Side Notes 18: Leader Differences (Sabrina, Blaine and Giovanni)
Oh hey, still three leaders to compare, I guess. Strap in folks.
The Psychic master. In the generation where Psychic is completely broken and dominant. Good fucking luck.
Well this is definitely a change. Well, she changed two Pokemon for an Abra. A useless, useless Abra that does nothing for her, but hey, it gives her a theme. At least her Pokemon have Psychic this time around and she's gotten rid of the strange Bug. The level jump isn't as bad here, but it's still strange why it even happened. Well, good luck taking on a really strong Alakazam, but the others won't give you much trouble.
As for the anime, well, we know all about that. For whatever reason, Sabrina was the fourth Gym Leader Ash faced in the 22nd episode where she was a very powerful Psychic, but she became so obsessed that she shut out all emotions, causing her personality to become a doll that turned other people into dolls. Ash faced against her, but lost horribly and was told by a strange man that Ghost types could defeat the terrifying Psychic overlords (LIES, LIES, LIES), so after a sidetrack to Lavender Town, Ash returned again to face her, but his new Haunter disappeared, so he loses again and has Brock and Misty turned into dolls. Nice.
But the man appears again and he's Sabrina's father! So for the third time, Ash faces her and this time Haunter shows up and causes Sabrina to laugh, breaking the spell, merging her personalities and getting his third pity badge. Yaaaaaaay! This is a very interesting way of adapting certain characters and it shows how to take down Psychic Pokemon: find a way to not! Works every time...
The riddles will leave you hot under your collar. UNLESS YOU HAVE BURN HEAL
So the change here is a removal of a lot of the fluff. I have never had any dfficulty taking out the Growlithe or Ponyta, they're just fodder. Not even very good fodder either! So his team does improve and you should have plenty of ways to deal with it. It's a bit unfortunate that his Yellow team doesn't have Magmar, but, like I've said before, they were more or less ready to release Yellow by the time the anime had reached Blaine, so anything past this point is more or less the same as the game, though Arcanine has been improved a fair amount. When it, you know, completely wrecked me. Aah, good times. The level jump is still a bit strange, didn't need to be quite so big, but it makes these baby games a bit harder I suppose.
Blaine first appeared in the fifty eighth episode of the anime where he's annoyed with how much of a tourist trap Cinnabar Island has become and closed up the Gym. But, by deciphering the riddles laid out by a strange mustachioed gentleman with bad hair, Ash and the gang find the Gym beneath the hotel, IN THE HEART OF THE VOLCANO ITSELF. Ash challenges him, gets his ass kicked and then Team Rocket shows up to try and steal Blaine's Magmar. They fail, but their actions nearly make the volcano erupt, but it's thankfully stopped by Magmar and Charizard. With respect for each other's strength, Charizard listened to Ash for a change and handily won the battle. After Pikachu knocked out the Rhydon. Yes it's THIS episode.
OH MY GOOOOOOOOD, it's the leader of Team Rocket!
So, third time's the charm and this can be a pretty interesting fight. Well, if you ignore how most of his Pokemon have really easy to exploit weaknesses. But still, Yellow gives his Pokemon actual movesets, since they tended to rely on whatever they learned via level up, which can really screw some Pokemon over. And hey, thematic Persian, better then a bloody Rhyhorn. In any case, there's still a level jump, but now it's not so bad, but it does mean the nice steady curve in the Red and Blue is moved a bit too far forward in Yellow. Oh well, still not a hugely dangerous fight if you know what you're doing, whatever the hell that means.
Okay, where to really start? Giovanni appeared in the fifteenth episode in a vaguely antagonistic role, ordering various operations and not giving much of a shit towards the trio we know and... love. Yeah. That word. But he properly appears in the sixty third episode, as the leader of Viridian Gym (OH MY GOOOOOOOOD) when Gary comes to challenge for his eleventh badge. Using his cyber controlled Mewtwo, he utterly annihilates Gary, but when it comes to Ash's time to face the leader, Giovanni has, like, a haircut or something and leaves the Gym to the trio. Woo. He wasn't a big focus of the first movie, but has appeared plenty of times since, but that might be for another time. Let's just say it took until the seven hundred and fifty third episode of the anime for him to finally meet Ash and battle, without any mindwipe shenanigans and whatnot.
And that is all of the Gym Leaders of Kanto. Now we strive for better and stronger opponents.