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Monday, July 11, 2022

Watching the Three Episodes of Pokémon: Hisuian Snow

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Not sure I should be watching this now, but...

A friend of mine just asked what I think of Hisuian Zoroark. And, I mean, I dunno, it's a Normal and Ghost type. Cool typing offensively, and interesting immunities to its own typing defensively. Too bad it's super frail, so its defensive typing doesn't matter much... and since it's only in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, we don't have a good idea of what its actual movepool would be in a real Pokémon game.

Still, since I haven't played Pokémon Legends: Arceus (yet), I don't really know much about it.


Onto the Icy Blue ❄️





The first half of the episode is quite slow, but ultimately a father and kid are talking about a malicious Zoroark that was bullied and mistreated by humans. The father thinks that humans and Pokémon can't co-exist, and it's obvious that disproving that notion will be a theme of the series.

The kid goes into a forest all by himself and encounters a grunting Hisuian Zorua, who uses creepy ghost powers to make the kid laugh out loud before mauling him. I gotta say, the child deserves it. Somehow, the Zorua is so incompetent at mauling the child (I believe his name is Alec) that they end up rolling off a cliff together to end the episode. Pretty bad so far.


Pokémon Hisuian Snow Icy Blue Alec Zorua fall off cliff screaming close-up
It'd be cool if this was a single-episode affair and this was how it ended.
Unfortunately, there are two more episodes, so they're probably not dead. Let's keep watching, then.

Fiery Reflections in Snow 🌨️





Alright, this episode is much longer than the first one. Somehow, Alex isn't dead at the beginning; instead he's in flashback land to the previous episode of what his father was saying. Eventually, he wakes up with Zorua on his face. They safely landed in a bank of snow, though Alec has gotten some kind of bruise and is crying because of it as he looks down a second cliff. The most I'm invested in this story so far is if he's going to fall off this one too and fulfill his destiny of dying off. Unfortunately, he's crawling away from the second cliff and attempts to climb back up the first one with Zorua in tow.

Both Alec and Zorua have scarves, but gloves and hats are too much for them. However, while it's not going to warm them, Zorua finds a magic vegetable which tastes terrible but somehow has restorative properties when you bite into it and have its juices fall out. In return for healing Alec's bruise, Alec wipes Zorua's scarf clean. Somehow, now cleaned up and feeling better, they climb back up the first cliff and reunite with Alec's father. (Initially, he just hears Alec's father screaming “ALEEEEEEEEEEEEEEC!” many times until he finally replies with “FATHER!”)

Alec's father recognises Zorua as in Zoroark's pack, and Zoroark appears before them, all threatening with an aura. It doesn't actually hurt them, but it does douse Father's torch, preventing them from seeing and leaving them stranded in the snowy wilderness. (Though somehow Alec's father relights the torch off-screen and they walk back to camp.)

Episodes 1 and 2 were taking place in a flashback when Alec was a boy; he's now grown up and disembarked a ship to Jubilife Village, which is near the Alabaster Forest, where the original flashback with Zorua took place.

Two Hues 🏔️





The episode starts by older Alec meeting up with his father. Apparently the flashback was only three years ago...or many things happened between the Zoroark incident and when Alec left on his own. Alec looks a lot older.

Alec finds an injured Rufflet outside of the Jubilife Village gate. The villagers have no interest in helping out the Pokémon, though the Galaxy Team seems to have figured out a reason to venture out with Alec out of the village and look into things. Years later, everything is still covered in snow, and Alec still doesn't have a hat or gloves. Dumb kid.

Suddenly, in the forest, there's a big portal up in the sky, and a massive burst of energy falls out from it. Alec bravely (and stupidly) rushes into it, encountering two fat Abomasnow guarding two injured Snover. The Galaxy Team wants Alec to retreat from the Abomasnow, deeming it dangerous, but Alec finds one of those magic healing vegetables and offers to help the Snover. The Abomasnow leave Alec and charge into a feral Garchomp, as Alec goes to the Snover. Despite having the type advantage, Garchomp is way too strong for the two Abomasnow.


Pokémon Hisuian Snow Alpha Garchomp red eyes growls
This Garchomp is the champ of the movie.
Cynthia probably caught its kid or something.


As Garchomp is looming over the humans and the Snover, a Hisuian Zoroark appears to scare it off somehow. I found that part unsatisfying. It's obviously the Hisuian Zorua Alec encountered as a boy, but evolved and grown up. But Zoroark doesn't want to stick around and formally reunite, fleeing the scene as Alec gets more flashbacks. Alec's father reflects on what happened, and thinks that maybe people and Pokémon CAN co-exist. (Called it.) Alec sails away on the boat, and then he howls with a fox mask on like some kind of socially uninhibited furry. And cut to credits.

Well, that sucked and I wasn't missing anything by not having watched it for several weeks. Hisuian Zoroark didn't even ever show up and do anything besides be mystical with purple energy. It obviously wasn't interested in staying on screen. And it didn't seem to even bother with its ability Illusion. (Alternatively, it was so good with Illusion that I didn't know that it was disguised.) If I had to choose what was better Zoroark representation, it'd be Pokémon—Zoroark: Master of Illusions, famous for Zorua disguising itself as furry Dawn. ...Good times. I dunno.



What did you think of this Pokémon mini-series? Did it speak to you more than it did for Ludwig? Are you concerned that Ludwig's preferred direction would've been Alec and Zorua just dying off at the end of the first episode and ending the whole thing there? How would that be possible if that event was a flashback from an older Alec thinking back on it, and older Alec already being shown at that point? Would Ludwig appreciate the series significantly more if he actually played Pokémon Legends: Arceus? Please let him know in the comments section!


The last Pokémon animated stuff Ludwig reacted to was Bidoof's Big Stand.

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