I just watched the episode. (Well actually I listened to an English sound clip, and watched the jap episode on mute. I live in Australia, we won't see it for yonks. -_-) I thought it was...bleh. Not bad, not good. Here are meh opinions. And I emphasise opinions.
Maxie: Being a hardcore Maxie fangirl, (XD) I was very interested in finding out how 4kids would portray his voice. After hearing his first few lines, I felt like banging my head on the desk...I found it to be very nasally, and kind of...too nice for an evil boss guy. (Wow, evil boss guy. How educated I am -_-) But after listening to it for the entire episode, I found my views swung around a bit...it did suit him somewhat, and was not as bad as it could have been. One part I didn't quite like was the part where Pikachu grabbed the orb, and Maxie yells at Tabitha, "I want that Pikachu now!!!" He sounded like a whingy brat making demands. Which I actually found amusing after a while. I guess I was more accustomed to listening to the jap voice for Maxie, which is deeper and more throaty. I had been waiting to hear his voice since I first saw his sprite in Ruby Version...I guess It could have been worse, but I wasn't exactly satisfied either.
Archie: When I heard Archie's voice in the episode, I started giggling. I found it hilarious. It was so growly and deep, and didn't seem to suit Archie at all. I didn't like it, the jap voice for Archie is way better, and suits him perfectly. The English voice was over growly, and didn't seem to match the perception I had of Archie. He sounded like a bear roaring. And he gets most of the screen time in the second installment -_-. Dammit. I felt his character seemed rather empty, ya know? I thought it could have been branched out a bit more by something like, AVAST YE SCURVY NAVES!! *waves cutlass* XDDDDD, I can dream, right?
Kyogre and Groudon: They sounded fine, acted fine, looked fine. No complaints here.
Lance: While I am an avid Lance fangirl, (yes shoot me) I was rather surprised by him being the choice of a kind of peacekeeper/lifesaver. I expected someone else to be there, like maybe Steven for example. He would have fit in much better with the plot and actual region. But I guess the choice of Lance had it's appeals, with him being a G-man and all. Steven would have rather been a, WTF are you doing here? kind of character. I guess Lance had more reason. I for one found his voice to be exactly the same as the one from the R-gyarados eps. Maybe a little deeper.
Team Rocket: No real opinion of them, I'm so used to them appearing that I just went, "Bleh, who gives a damn. So they're here. They ain't gunna be able to do anything major," And then they released Kyogre. Well, that was a bit of a shock! But I didn't really find anything wrong with them, so bleh. I liked the thing with the sheet and all. ^_^
Overall Plot: Gaaaahhhh....passable. I just wanted to see Maxie and Archie. Mostly Maxie, . Pikachu being possessed was interesting, yet not at all surprising. The whole thing with being, 'Bonded with the Orb,' was amusing, it sounds like Pikachu and the Orb had a good old heart-to-heart. Word choice could have been improved in that particular part. I did find the part with Shelly breaking into Team Magma's ship quite good, I like her voice actor. She does the Team Aqua Admin, (or tactical commander, whatever) well. The whole thing with the trade was a bit off, there would be heaps of chances for sabotage by either Team with the trading of two huge containers. Not surprising Team Magma tried to. Busted! XD This episode also made me realise just how ridiculous the dub names of 'Maxie' and 'Archie' truly are. It sounds funny to have Harlard and Shelly adressing their bosses by such ...pet-like names. XD
I suppose all in all, this episode was passable. I don't have really high expectations for the second one, nor am I looking forward to hearing a big round of Archie roaring away -_-. But I'll still try and get my claws on it. It's still worth seeing. I do agree though, this would have made a better movie, considering it has two popular legendary pokemon in it. Oh well. Ya get what you're given.
Phew. That was a ton of writing!