YOOO PERFECT EPISODE, Greninja VS Charizard was good stuff as expected but Noivern VS Metang was great as well and even the training between Ash and Clemont was lit, Luxray went in (and they finally used the XY Gym Leader theme again, I’ve always loved its anime version)!!
Rica’s voice acting for super intense for all of the battles, I feel like she tends to be the most into it during Iwane episodes lol.
Greninja having to heal in the Pokemon Center between its battles was the perfect excuse for Ash and Alan to battle with other Pokemon and was also realistic (I feel like usually they’d just have Greninja be okay after the Luxray battle as long as it didn’t get KO’d), everything flowed naturally in this episode.
And the ending was great too, Ash deciding he has to become stronger himself instead of simply training his Pokemon, and started it off with a marathon with all of his Mons, I love the Kalos squad so much.
I’ve never been too invested into Alan’s and Manon’s side of things (not that it’s bad, it’s just me) but seeing Manon get SO happy out of Hari-san moving juuust a tiny bit broke me a little, she’s desperate.
We actually saw some potential foreshadowing for Alan gaining interest in the league, both with him having another Pokemon, and with Ash being all “Why aren’t you aiming for it, it’s so exciting!!”
Also while we didn’t get any real angst from Ash fainting we did see a dream sequence where Greninja leaves him, worst case scenario the opening is simply a depiction of that dream, but tbh it’d make more sense for that to be premonition dream for the future, I mean why would they have Ash have a nightmare like that if everything was simply going to okay afterwards? Most likely he will suffer more in the future despite his grinding and Greninja will realize it’s futile to resist.