Took me several hours to watch the episode since I kept zoning out and had to re-watch it closely. Well it's finally time for the Grand Festival to proceed with the next rounds! I love how things have shaped up recently for the Sinnoh Grand Festival so I had hoped that this episode wasn't an utter disappointment. From the look of things, I can say I'm satisfied with how this whole tournament has been handled so far. Much better that the Hoenn and Kanto Grand Festivals by far. Here we got then. Things started off with the review of Dawn's, Zoey's, Nando's, and Jessie's victories in the previous episode. I thought that was a nice touch since I don't remember much about the previous episode myself and maybe some kids didn't either.
Jessie won her battle at the start of the episode which I found refreshing considering how often she loses her Pokemon Contest battles haha. James seemed really glad Mime Jr. and Carnivine did so well though Jessie got a bit too cocky after the battle when she asked to be given the trophy and was scolded by Fantina haha. After yet another review (like the 50th one) we get the match ups for the semi-finals and as luck would have it, Nando has to fight Zoey while Dawn has to fight Jessie. Seems like a reasonable match up in my opinion, at least the last one since Jessie has battled Dawn before a few times in random battles. We saw a quick clip of Johanna watching the Grand Fesival which I thought was nice of her to do.
The night before the semi-finals it looked like Dawn had a lot of stuff on her mind as she was day-dreaming but Ash and Brock came to wake her up, so to speak. After some inspirational talk from non other than Brock and Ash, Dawn seemed motivated to make it to the Top 2 for the next round. Some weirdo was playing a harp in the middle of the night, though it turned out to be Nando. I liked that the wild Pokemon gathered around him like that though; it shows he has a pleasant aura around him. After a brief conversation with Nando, Zoey appeared because she couldn't sleep. Typical. Although we all know she couldn't sleep without saying goodnight to Dawn lol. As for Team Rocket, it seems they made quite a profit out of Jessie and they went ahead and made more merchandise lol.
The next day, the semi-finals begin. Fantina gives everyone a motivational speech and then the announcer lady goes over the rules for all the dummies out there. The battle finally starts and Zoey sent out her Leafeon and her new Mismagius which seemed to have evolved from her Misdreavus. Then, even though Ash, Brock, and Dawn speculated that Nando would use some sort of song-related Pokemon, he sends out Lopunny along with Kricketune despite the former not being able to use Sing. Weird. Zoey's Leafeon and Mismagius fire the first fusion move with Energy Ball and Thunder Wave and I must admit, it was a cool idea for Zoey to use. It even cost Nando points before it hit! Thankfully, Lopunny High-Jump Kicked the fusion move to the ceiling to avoid getting blasted by the hit. Nice work there Nando; at least he’s smart about things.
Nando's next move left my mouth wide open; Kricketune using Bug Buzz and then Lopunny using the streamers like ribbons while it pranced around like a ballerina; that was awesome! It was like watching a musician and a dancer work in perfect synchronization. The fusion move from earlier came at Kricketune however it managed to blow it up and made a dazzling display of color that cost Zoey more points! Zoey counter-attacked quickly though, coming up with a Double Team chain made up of Mismagius and Leafeon which, like Nando's move, showed off more of that synchronization. Zoey then turned the tables on Lopunny's Blizzard and dazzled everyone with the glow from the attack. I gotta admit though, Zoey has some groovy style underneath her tough exterior.
Nando counter-attacked with a ring of Sing; literally. I loved the special digital effects in Contests for this reason. Zoey's Mismagius then used Lucky Chant to counter Kricketune's Sing which was truly unexpected. It seems like Zoey knows something about music lol. Zoey's Leafeon used Leaf Blade and I was surprised to see it cut through Lopunny's Focus Blast and land a direct hit on Lopunny. Nando then had his Kricketune use X-Scissor while Mismagius used Psywave and I thought they'd clash for sure but Lopunny helped get Kricketune out of there fast. Kricketune and Leafeon clashed a few times and after several more clashes, Nando stepped things up another notch with Silver Wind and Blizzard from Kricketune and Lopunny, repsectively.
The result of Silver Wind and Blizzard was such a beautiful fusion; it created snowflakes all around the arena! I love Nando's creativity. Zoey showed off her own creative side by using Psywave to give her Leafeon some angel-like wings, allowing the Pokemon to fly which isn't normally possible. Fantina loved it and even Dawn seemed to be in awe of Zoey. The battled ended pretty quickly though, just when things were getting serious as the time ran out. Zoey advanced to the next round why was kind of annoying since I wanted Nando to win this round. Nando and Zoey congratulated each other and then Dawn and Zoey had an interesting "telepathic" moment as Dawn headed on towards the stage for her own battle. I just thought that was the moment romantic moment yet haha.
It was then time for the final semi-final battle which would pit Dawn against Jessie though of course, Jessie was disguised as "Jesselina" or whatever her name is in the dub. It seemed like a bad time for this battle though in my opinion since the episode was almost over. Dawn sent out Buneary and Cyndaquil and while the battle began, we saw Johanna once again watching the Grand Festival battle between her daughter and Jessie. After some random hits from both Dawn and Jessie, it seems that Dawn came out on top. I hate that. Not that Dawn won, but that her battle with Jessie was rushed! Jessie did so good in Sinnoh, she deserved a fair fight in her own episode! Jessie seemed mad but at least she was a good sport about it haha. The ending with Dawn and Zoey getting ready to face off was exciting. Overall, this episode didn't disappoint too much, until the end. 9/10, still pretty awesome.