Quote Originally Posted by Gravy
...ugggh. I didn't like this one at all. Seeing Articuno battle and under the command of a trainer just made the bird seem a whole lot less special than its supposed to be. I know its already been discussed to death, but after actually watching the episode, the feeling really hits you like a ton of bricks. Gah, I'm really sorry for whining about it so much, but I just despised the entire concept >_<;
Well on a positive note the match looked essentially to be a draw. Articuno ended up falling down and staying down (though no swirly eye=yay! as I hate those in serious battles) but still throughout it looked like they were essentially equal in strength, or in fact Charizard was somewhat weaker (it seemed it was on the run from attacks a lot more than Articuno was).

Though to stop any words on how Ash didn't deserve the symbol, let's just say he deserves it simply for performing well against a sub legendary (that Articuno looked about a quarter smaller than the Orange Islands or even Johto one) and leave it at that? ^_^

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Anyway, based on the screenshots.

Pros:

1. Ash flying around on Charizard at the start. It was nice to see them spending time together and looking at the size and power of the attacks it was launching as Ash practiced with it really showcased just how strong Charizard has become. And it just looked prettier than the rest of the episode to me.
2. Overheat looked very nice. The little detail with it melting the ice off Charizard's wing was appreciated.
3. Articuno used some good combos and strategies.
4. TR's "crayon drawing" fantasy was funny looking.
5. The new version of Seismic Toss was nice simply because it was different.

Cons:

1. Poor animation and art nearly throughout. Except for the scenery in the beginning of the episode and the Overheat scene everything looked below average. It may be simple to say it had bad animation, but it really effects my enjoyment of a big battle.
2. Charizard looked far too fat and clumsy in most of the scenes, as well as its wings too small in many/all scenes. A common symptom for it when it appears in badly animated episodes.
3. Not using the ample, obvious opportunities to showcase Blaze and/or Blast Burn.
4. A nearly complete lack of originality in Charizard's battle style. Not even a clever use of Fire Spin. Who else loved it in Johto when Charizard actually wrapped up a freaking HYPER BEAM!? ^-^
5. It doesn't look like Ash and Charizard hug even once in the episode... okay maybe it's trivial but I love those scenes. *is sad*