SPOILERS! General Pokémon Anime Discussion

So apparently the second arc will conclude soon. As someone who is not actually watching the series yet (just started airing on my country) I wanted to ask: since it was named after Terapagos, has anything special been revealed about it or its powers?

I know it's a completely different setting from the games but I'm curious.
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

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So apparently the second arc will conclude soon. As someone who is not actually watching the series yet (just started airing on my country) I wanted to ask: since it was named after Terapagos, has anything special been revealed about it or its powers?

I know it's a completely different setting from the games but I'm curious.
Not really. We saw its Terastal form and it using Tera Starstorm once and that's it so far.

The upcoming episodes may show more of it since the next few episodes seem to be a major climax, but nothing was shown about it that we don't already know from the games thus far.
 
With the Legends Z game in 2025, it's pretty obvious this is going to be a long gen. Gen 10 probably won't come out till Fall 2025 at the earliest or even 2026, so Horizons is probably going to last at least 4 years before they change anything. So far the anime has barely covered anything from the Scarlet/Violet games at all, Nemona only showed up for 1 episode, we only saw two Gym leaders, and of course nothing from the DLC or its story besides the legendary turtle. No Team Star, no Arven or Penny, the school from the games is ignored, none of the other Gym leaders or teachers from the games showed up, we probably won't see the DLC rivals or new Elite 4 either, etc.

I'm curious how they'll stretch this out since neither Liko or Roy are doing Gyms. With Ash's series you always had Gyms or the usual fillers to pad out time, this series doesn't do that. At the very least they are featuring most of the new Paldea pokemon in episodes, so we're getting to see the new pokemon animated. Journey's left out a whole bunch of Galar pokemon that still haven't been featured in the anime to this day.
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

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Today, we celebrate a great milestone in Liko's story. What's that, you might ask?

*drumroll*


LIKO'S SPRIGATITO HAS EVOLVED INTO FLORAGATO! WE MOVE!

From a cute little cat to a cool and badass yo-yo cat, truly a symbol of Liko's rising power as she continues to grow into a strong Trainer. I can't wait to see Floragato in action!


We're on a break for next week, and starting April 12th, a new chapter of Horizons begins: Terastal Debut. It will take place in Paldea, with Liko, Roy, and Dot training at the Naranja Academy and learning the power of Terastal.
 

Pikachu315111

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We're on a break for next week, and starting April 12th, a new chapter of Horizons begins: Terastal Debut. It will take place in Paldea, with Liko, Roy, and Dot training at the Naranja Academy and learning the power of Terastal.
In addition Direct Clavell and Geeta are appearing in this episode, so hopefully this will also start pushing the main story along (wait, has their been a main story? I know they're going around getting Lucius' Pokemon and are protecting Terapagos from the Explorers, but those feel just like objectives and not their main mission).
 
In addition Direct Clavell and Geeta are appearing in this episode, so hopefully this will also start pushing the main story along (wait, has their been a main story? I know they're going around getting Lucius' Pokemon and are protecting Terapagos from the Explorers, but those feel just like objectives and not their main mission).
I'm not really aware of them having a definite goal or endgame. Lucius's Pokemon are something to give episode-to-episode connections but I'm not aware of their being a purpose to finding them besides a thread amongst what would otherwise be "Character/Monster of the Day" conflicts.

I contrast this with Ash having some goal like "win the Pokemon League" or Team Rocket having "steal Pikachu" as goals that have a sure "endpoint" they want to reach, and the Explorers seemingly have "Steal Terapagos and Liko" to match. By comparison I don't know if Liko/Roy/TRVT have an end goal where we could say "this would be the conclusion of the story" even as a nebulous one they're not intended to reach.
 
Liko, Roy and Dot battling Gym leaders as a test is cool, even if it's not the traditional badge route. Granted I don't think all 3 will battle all 8, but maybe split them between them all, like Liko battles 3 of them, Roy battles 3, etc.

Ash being around always meant his companions could never take the Gym challenge because the writers probably thought it would be too repetitive to see each Gym leader beaten twice back to back by Ash and the female companion, (and they were right), hence why May and Dawn got Contests, and all the companions after either didn't have active goals or just secondary stuff. But now that Ash is gone, they're free to let other characters finally battle Gym leaders I suppose.

More interesting to see Liko try her hand at battling some of them. It only took 26 years for the anime to let a main girl character battle Gym leaders, but I guess better late than never! LOL, but as I said she'll probably only battle 2-3, while Roy and Dot the others since this is a test for the school and not to actually collect the badges.
 
I think the first arc was stronger than the second, but this one had a better conclusion. A big battle with Rayquaza with multiple Explorers members being involved was far better than Friede conveniently escaping a mine that he was supposedly trapped in. However, I think the Floragato evolution is a bit off for this specific episode. Don’t get me wrong, I think the show has done a great job the past couple of episodes to build up Liko’s character and Sprigatito’s growth, but it’s just that in this specific situation I find the evolution a bit out of the blue. Not the worst of things though. Still, I wonder how long they’ll wait until Fuecoco evolves, or if it ever does. Roy has taken a backseat, especially given Liko’s goals conveniently becoming directly related to Rayquaza, but a school training arc should be right up his alley. Meanwhile, Dot has showcased the most growth, going from never leaving her room to jumping headfirst into battle. No complaints there.

As for the story, I’m more and more expecting Spinel to be the actual big bad by the end of it. Gibeon’s motivations scream misunderstood good guy to me, while they’re continuously portraying Spinel playing the other Explorers members for his own gain. Amethio becoming a good guy by the end of it is clear as day after the cooperation with Friede this week, but I also think that was something that was coming a mile away. As for Gibeon’s Zygarde I’ve no idea outside a potential Z-A tie-in, which if true is giving us some info on how long the show will run.

Anyway, I’m not particularly looking forward to this school arc. I understand that people are excited for the SV characters, but a training arc to obtain Tera isn’t something I’m personally all that excited for. The grand adventure across the world on a flying boat takes a backseat to go to school, and maybe fight some Gym Leaders. I also think it’s more sensible for Roy to be the one doing the battling, but we’ll see what kind of justifications the writers give us whichever direction they go. Even then I’m not expecting any Badges to be acquired. It just doesn’t fit the overarching story with Lucius and Terapagos. Regardless, I’m enjoying Horizons far more than I did Journeys, and that’s a plus in my book.
 
I prefer the anime to not follow the traditional storylines of the games. They already did that with Ash. It also gives them a chance to expound on the possibilities of the Pokémon universe without being restricted to following in-game events.

One big critique I have for the new series though is that their major battles often leave me hanging. They lack good, traditional 1v1 battles that the original series have. Whenever Liko, Roy, or Friede battle the Explorers, some convenient plot device ruins the moment such as:
1. Friede saving Liko and Roy from getting destroyed
2. Rayquaza
3. Friede finding a way to run from the battle instead of fighting because he is too high level for the Explorers
4. One side using Terastallization as a win button
5. Glalie exploding
6. The Explorers leaving because reasons
7. Not related to the Explorers, but Liko quitting the gym battle to not hurt the Gym Trainer's feelings
These are the ones I can remember from the top of my head, but I'm sure there are more. The frequent non-battles of the series has gotten old :/

Although the writers kinda placed themselves in that spot when they decided to have two beginner protagonist travel with an elite trainer. Like what would the power level of the antagonists be? If they are too strong, then there is no point of Liko and Roy fighting them, but if they are too weak, then Friede would just do all the battling and stomp them.

My hope for the new season is that they still commit to the original Lucius plot and use the academy to develop the kids into more competent trainers instead of doing the repititive 8 gyms, Pokémon league plot.
 
Although the writers kinda placed themselves in that spot when they decided to have two beginner protagonist travel with an elite trainer. Like what would the power level of the antagonists be? If they are too strong, then there is no point of Liko and Roy fighting them, but if they are too weak, then Friede would just do all the battling and stomp them.

My hope for the new season is that they still commit to the original Lucius plot and use the academy to develop the kids into more competent trainers instead of doing the repititive 8 gyms, Pokémon league plot.
What gets me about this is that Shonen anime have made this formula more than workable since the 2000's (I would believe other genres did it sooner but as far as other pop-cultural long-runners that Pokemon Fanbase might overlap). Typically what shows like Naruto or MHA (what I watched of the latter) do early on is just... have multiple opponents of different skill levels, or circumstances separating the fights.

The first arc of Naruto is primarily fighting Zabuza, the dude with the mask and giant sword, who goes toe-to-toe with their Elite Instructor and outclasses the titular character's squad such that they are less help fighting and needing protection than staying out of the battle. The wrench thrown in is when Zabuza brings his accomplice to the next fight, meaning Naruto and co. are on their own while their teacher's occupied with the bigger guy.

On the latter point, the Exam has several characters fighting in a lethal-allowed setting in the forest, with the exam setting locking them out from being guarded or saved by Elites even when outside threats like the Arc Villain show up, and the fact that most of the people who would protect or help each other are scattered around means even their peers are a miracle rather than reliable as an out.

What especially gets me is that The Explorers being an organization essentially gives them free reign to do this on the regular. Liko and Roy can and should be cutting their teeth on fighting grunts or the "lesser" members while Friede has to occupy himself with the big wigs they're not ready for. The fact that Pokemon conflicts are typically non-lethal and based on commanding Pokemon who the cannon fodder could be given or simply catch without much commitment means there's no "production logic" reason the two beginners shouldn't be able to fight and win more straight forward battles. In fact they don't even have to win fights specifically to demonstrate improvement: Something like fighting Amethio and, while not winning, wearing his Ceruledge to the point he cuts and runs instead of trying to fight Friede like he could at peak condition.
 
The thing is that those "lesser" members do actually exist. That's what Zir and Conia were there for, but as Amethio was pushed to the sidelines so where they. While the second arc did spend a lot of time developing the main trio none of that involved the Explorers, and so most of the episodes were just your typical old-school episodes the franchise has always done. That's not bad per say, but the first arc with all the build-up with Rayquaza, the pendant, the ancient balls, and the Explorers does mean that you've to follow up on those events, but instead it felt like a different show. As if the writers abandoned the fast-paced progression of the first arc for something more stylistically typical of the franchise. And now we go to school. I hope the endgame is worth it, because the journey there is getting iffier in my opinion.

As for the school arc,
Onyx and Sango are basically donning a Team Rocket disguise, and I don't understand why. Hamber gave Amethio a Tera Orb, so they're clearly not there for that. If they're going to spy on the main trio they don't need to put a disguise to do so. The Explorers have shown time and time again that they don't need childish tricks like these to spy on the Rising Volt Tacklers. I really hope there's a good explanation for this outside of silly names and jokes. Agate being a potential teacher at the school at least interests me though.

Thankfully the new OP and ED both slap.
 
People are pointing out how this scene in the opening, it's all girls besides Roy. Besides Friede who is probably taking a backseat now that they're all in school, Horizons feels like it's being more aimed at girls now than boys. There's 5+ major female characters on the cast, more including Coral/Sango who is also enrolling in the school, while Roy is the only "main" boy.

If you told me a decade ago the first Pokemon anime series without Ash would feature a primarily female cast, I would have never believed it.
 

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Pikachu315111

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People are pointing out how this scene in the opening, it's all girls besides Roy. Besides Friede who is probably taking a backseat now that they're all in school, Horizons feels like it's being more aimed at girls now than boys. There's 5+ major female characters on the cast, more including Coral/Sango who is also enrolling in the school, while Roy is the only "main" boy.

If you told me a decade ago the first Pokemon anime series without Ash would feature a primarily female cast, I would have never believed it.
It's odd Roy is the only boy, where's Arven? Are they saving him for when they actually plunge into SV's plot (I'm going to assume they're going to do an adaptation of it in some form)?

Also, if they're including Penny, does that mean we're also going to have the main cast face off against Team Star
 
Episode: Arven continually put off as the writer's room goes back & forth on if they should just pick one professor to focus on or grab both

e: By Grab Both I more mean, do they make both of them jointly responsible for the issue and also maybe kill both and make both into an AI.

Since otherwise I do think both will be more present than in game (since it's one version of events and you can just have both around) just because I can'ts ee them picking one set of raidons and paradoxes to focus on. But you do need to decide on if one is the one that goes over the line vs the other, or who dies, or if either of them die, etc.
 

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Episode: Arven continually put off as the writer's room goes back & forth on if they should just pick one professor to focus on or grab both

e: By Grab Both I more mean, do they make both of them jointly responsible for the issue and also maybe kill both and make both into an AI.

Since otherwise I do think both will be more present than in game (since it's one version of events and you can just have both around) just because I can'ts ee them picking one set of raidons and paradoxes to focus on. But you do need to decide on if one is the one that goes over the line vs the other, or who dies, or if either of them die, etc.
Well, do note the anime chose Naranja Academy as the anime's version of the Pokemon Academy, which would mean a Scarlet leaning story. Of course, they'd also just want to show off the Future Paradox Pokemon, especially if they're going to have both Professor's present. So, let's play another round "if I were the writer".

So, to set some rules, let's assume they'd want to follow as closely to the game's story: Both Professors work together in Area Zero, they create the Time Machine and start bringing over Paradxo Pokemon, they have Arven, one leaves with Arven leaving the other alone, that Professor grows bitter and crazy, creates an AI duplicate, ends up dying in a conflict between the Version Mascots, weaker Version Mascot flees from Area Zero and lands on beach near Poco Path's Lighthouse.

So, because the anime chose Naranja Academy, sorry Sada fans, I'm going to say she's the Professor that ends up dying.

Sada, whose expertise lies in natural sciences, gets approval to set up a lab in Area Zero to study it. She forms a team of other researchers, one being Professor Turo who has expertise in engineering and computer sciences. And at first they don't get along, especially with Sada more interested in the past while Turo is more focused on the future. Still, they're professionals and study Area Zero for a year, their research leading into the creation of the Tera Orb & control over Teralstallization.

Having accomplished this major achievement, most of the other researchers decide to leave to do work elsewhere, leaving only Sada and Turo. Having appeased the research backers for the time being, Sada refocuses her efforts on unravelling Area Zero's mysteries, especially of the Paradox Pokemon described in Heath's book. Slowly but surely, Sada and Turo start to grow close as they discover, while their goals couldn't be any further apart, both are just as passionate about their research as the other's (and both are a fan of Heath's research). They get into a relationship and soon Sada is pregnant. At this same time their research is coming up empty, Sada wishing she could bring forth the Paradox Pokemon from the past. Turo, now better understanding the Tera Crystal's power thanks to Sada's research, believes he can build a Time Machine. Thus they decide to combine their goals together: utilizing the Tera crystals, they'll build a Time Machine to bring ancient Pokemon forward to the present to create a better future! And it works, they bring forth their first ancient Paradox Pokemon, Koraidon, at the same time as Arven is born. For a while they live happily together, raising Arven and using the Time Machine to bring forth ancient Paradox Pokemon.

However the backers, who are unaware of the Time Machine and Paradox Pokemon, start demanding to see results for their funding. Sada starts feeling pressured and gets completely engulfed by her work with the ancient Paradox Pokemon; getting into fierce arguments with Turo and causing them to neglect Arven. Eventually Turo has enough and takes Arven with him back to civilization, leaving Sada and Koraidon (though he doesn't realize Arven has Koraidon's Poke Ball).

And NOW we change things from the game.

Turo leaves Arven with his parents (Arven's paternal grandparents) and eventually goes back into Area Zero to try and get Sada to see reason. However, by the time he gets back, he find Area Zero crawling with ancient Paradox Pokemon. He finds Sada, except there's two of her now! The real Sada, angry at Turo, explains she used his research to build a double of herself, Sada AI, and tells him to leave. Heartbroken, Turo is about to leave until Sada AI approaches him and asks for help. At the increased rate Sada is bringing forth ancient Paradox Pokemon, they'll overwhelm the barriers of Area Zero and escape all over Paldea which would be disastrous. Sada AI is unable to convince Sada of the danger and is prohibited from adjusting the Time Machine, thus she needs help from Turo.

Turo agrees and Sada AI sneaks him to the Time Machine. But instead of decreasing the rate of ancient Paradox Pokemon being summoned, Turo has grown disgusted of the ancient Paradox Pokemon so instead starts summoning forth future Paradox Pokemon, and the first one he gets is one that can take Koraidon head-on: Miraidon. More and more future Paradox Pokemon swarm out into Area Zero and get into territorial conflicts with the ancient Paradox Pokemon. Sada, confused on what's happening, goes to the Time Machine to see Turo and Sada AI. Furious, Sada commands Koraidon (who has been following her around up till this point) to attack them, but its reluctant to do so. However Turo's Miraidon takes the opportunity to attack Koraidon, causing both Paradox Pokemon to fight. Sada rushes to the Time Machine's control panel and tries readjusting it, however Miraidon ends up tossing Koraidon at her. Sada is crushed and the Time Machine is damaged, Sada's copy of Heath's journal also getting destroyed.

Koraidon flees as Turo recalls Miradon back into its Poke Ball, he tries to escape with Sada AI but Sada AI says she needs to repair the Time Machine. Turo, overcome with grief, decides to dedicate himself to dealing with the ancient Paradox Pokemon by using the future Paradox Pokemon. Meanwhile, Sada AI is able to fix the Time Machine, but now its summoning both ancient and future Paradox Pokemon (at a slow rate, but the overwhelming the barrier problem is still a upcoming issue), and without a copy of Heath's journal (with Sada's destroyed the only one that can be used with the Time Machine is Turo's copy that he left with Arven) the Time Machine can't be stopped. In addition, Sada AI feels a hidden program activate in her incase Sada was ever to die: the Paradise Protection Protocal.

While the protocal is inactive at the moment, she's worried once active she'll be too strong for anyone to go against her. She also needs Turo's journal, but doesn't know where it is, and Turo has gone crazy forming a future Paradox Pokemon army to wage war against the ancient Paradox Pokemon. Sada AI decides all she can do now is bide her time, so forms an ancient Paradox Pokemon army to go against Turo's. During these few years Koraidon is running and hiding, but it's being constantly hunted by Miraidon. Eventually Koraidon, using all its power, breaks through the Area Zero barrier and flies as far as it can into Paldea... but Miraidon has followed it.

AND now we get to the anime proper. Somehow Liko, Roy, & Dot get involved, befriend and help Koraidon, Arven gives them Koraidon's Poke Ball as he wants nothing to do with it much to our heroes confusion, and they go on adventures. Meanwhile, in addition to being hounded by the Explorers, Miradon also appears every so often trying to kill Koraidon (not sure how but they could maybe figure out a way to have the Explorers, probably Amethio, team-up with Miraidon).

Like in the games, Arven once ventured into Area Zero and his Mabosstiff got seriously injured and needs to get the Herba Mystica; which of course Liko, Roy, & Dot help him with. This is when Sada AI gets in contact with them and says she needs their help, but both them and Koriadon need to get stronger in order to do so. Like in the games, after finding the final Herba Mystica, she'll contact them but this time Arven overhears and Sada AI asks if he has his father's journal, which he does and she tells them all to come to the lighthouse lab, much to Arven's irritation.

At the lighthouse lab she tells them she needs them to come to Area Zero with the journal as she can't leave until they do. Now at this point not sure if they'll need to get Penny and Nemona involved, Dot is just as much as a tech wiz as Penny and Liko and Roy should have gone through enough character development that they're both strong battlers now (not to mention they'll also have Arven and Dot). Then again, I can see the story developing where Dot and Liko from a strong friendship with Penny and Nemona, respectively, and bring them along for the extra help. Sada AI would also likely request they come without any adults knowing, so no Friede or the rest of the Rising Volt Tacklers.

Getting into Area Zero, with how I set things up they could do several things now that's there a war between ancient and future Paradox Pokemon going on. One thing they could do is the group getting split up, one continuing their way to Sada (I'd say Liko & Dot (& Nemona); and they'll have Koriadon whose hiding in its Poke Ball) while another are found by Turo (Roy & Arven (& Penny)). And of course Miraidon has also followed them back.

Skipping to meeting Sada AI, she tells them what happened (meanwhile Turo tells the kids he find his version of the story) and that the real Sada is dead. With convincing from Arven, Turo brings the kids reuniting them and agrees to a "truce" with Sada AI to stop the Time Machine once and for all. As they place the journal into the Time Machine, the Paradise Protection Protocal activates and they need to defeat the Sada AI and her team of ancient Paradox Pokemon. But once she's defeated Turo reveals he doesn't want to stop the Time Machine but use it to usher in a future of his design with his army of future Paradox Pokemon. Everyone battles and defeats Turo's initial team, but Miraidon reappears which gives him enough time to find the Poke Ball lockdown security system which locks all unauthorized Pokemon in their Poke Ball. All looks helpless until Sada AI reminds the kids that Koraidon is registered to Sada so can be used. And this is when we get the final Koriadon and Miraidon battle, Liko Terastallizng Koraidon helping it defeat Miraidon.

Completely defeated, Turo breaks down though has come to his senses. However the Time Machine can't be stopped as long as both Sada AI and Turo's Journal are there. Turo decides he wants to fix his mistakes, deciding to do use the Time Machine to travel to the past to try and save Sada; if not in this timeline than another. Koraidon and Miraidon settling their differences and deciding to go with the Professors, Turo and Sada AI take the journal and travel to the past, thanking the children (and telling Arven they're proud of him). And so everyone leaves Area Zero, having saved Paldea (Arven is devastated, but everyone cheers him up).


It's honestly a bit messy, but I think it does cover all the needed plot points while having both Professors (and the AI) and kinds of Paradox Pokemon be present.
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

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Today, another evolution in Horizons:

https://x.com/Alola_Family/status/1796488056817721532

Roy's Wattrel has evolved into Kilowattrel!


This one happened surprisingly quick but another milestone to come!

In any case, all three of Liko, Roy, and Dot have passed their "Basics Test" in their Terastal Course training so far, time will tell what's next for them down the line in their time travelling Paldea.
 

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