First - when watching the beginning of the episode, I got really riled up when I watched the Supaato opening. It always gets me hyper, but for some reason knowing that this episode was, well, this episode sort of made me even more excited. I'd say more about it, but that'd be off topic.
Next, I do agree with the people who said that the music in this episode was overly dramatic. The Elite Four music was awesome, but it seemed really...out of place with the training session, and putting it in the background of a scene with Haarii, of all people, just didn't work for me.
*smacks forehead* HARUKA-BOZU?! That is SO not right. After reaserching honorifics for the past month or so, watching this episode and hearing Haarii call Haruka "bozu" was just so scary. And how come half the male characters in Pocket Monsters call themselves "atashi"?
And the scene with the traditional Japanese Nyasu thingy worries me. It's not that I don't like it - in fact, I LOVED it. But I'm worried about what the dubbers will do to it. With PUSA dubbing the anime now, we don't know how far they're willing to go with editing culture references, but I just hope that they won't cut that scene out entirely. Although I don't see how they could without screwing up the episode.
HAHAHAHAHA~! "Nokutasu gaai!" XDD Sorry, I can't help it. That was just too funny. Although, Haarii does look a lot like a humanoid Nokutasu with long, fluffy purple hair...O__o;
Hmmm. You know what ticked me off about this episode? Haarii's hands were constantly changing size. One minute they're the size of Masato's and the next they're as long as his face. It's really strange, and quite distracting when you only understand 10% of what the characters are saying and have to look at the artwork to understand the story.
Musa-chan? *coughspithackhairball* I know Haarii was just doing that to try to get Musashi on his side so he could convince her to join up with them, but that's just sort of disturbing. And Musashi's older than him. But how does he know Musashi's name? He's heard it, like, once. Then again, it could just seem amazing to me because I'm so bad with names...
The violin music in the beginning of the Haarii Fantasy (I'll rant about why I think it's a fantasy later) was really pretty, although like the music earlier in the episode it was a little overly dramatic. Then again, that was probably the point - to bring out Haarii's...err...emotions about the story. And speaking of the flashback...
"Itadakima~su!" I dunno, that's just my favorite word in Japanese. Anyhow, the little Haarii was so cute. I dunno why, he just was. It fits the character's personality very well. Some little five-year-old who talks to his food and gives it nicknames (Okutan-chan? What the heck?) has gotta be sickeningly adorable.
And...Am I alone in thinking Haarii has attachment issues? I mean, that little piece of Okutanku-shaped candy/food/sushi/seafood/whatever the heck it is was just that, but he went all ballistic when little miss Haruka lookalike took it from him. And man, did she look like Haruka. I thought she was Haruka for a minute. But that's not what I'm talking about here. >__< Anyhow, I thought that was very silly. Haarii's seiyuu must have cracked up when they read their lines for this scene.
That scene might have made a little sense if the girl had been Haruka. But she only looked like Haruka, so why is he so upset about that? It was such a little thing, but you all know Haarii and his super-insanity powers of DOOM! xD Of course, providing that actually happened to Haarii...More about that later, though.
Once the winners were announced, something strange happened. Something really strange.
Haarii said "kuso".
Seriously, that shocked me beyond my wits. In Pocket Monsters, people NEVER cuss. Sure, maybe someone had once or twice before, but it's extrmely rare. No doubt the editors will take that out once it gets into the US, but just the fact that it happened was quite surprising. Haarii getting a privilege means he's truly becoming a main character. BTW, "kuso" isn't that bad of a swear word in Japanese (I think it's the equivalent of the D-word in the US) but it still is out of place in Pocket Monsters.\
Post more later. This post was too long...