Pokemon Journeys Episodes 13-24 Review


The second batch of episodes of the current season of the Pokémon Anime arrived on Netflix Friday, September 11. After having watched each of the 12 episodes of Pokémon Journeys that were launched, here is a review of them. After each brief review, the episode will be given a letter grade.

F=Completely pointless and low-quality product

D=There was some effort but it was not great

C=An average episode that could be skipped

B=A better-than-average episode that lacks one last aspect to really stand out.

A=A top tier episode that is recommended.

S=An exemplary episode comparable to the best this Anime has to offer.

There will also be a brief statement as to how plot-relevant this episode is, ranging from filler (no event of note that really affects future episodes) to significant (an essential episode to watch in order to understand the story as best as possible).


Do not read any further if you wish to watch the episodes completely blind. Due to the nature of this article, some plot points will have to be discussed, including any changes to the main characters’ parties and the results of battles. If you would like a spoiler-free assessment of these episodes, this series, or the Pokémon anime as a whole, reach out to me on Twitter @PokeWizardCali.

Episode 13: The Climb to Be the Very Best

Location: Wyndon, Galar 

This episode picks up where the previous left off, with Ash and Goh having to act quickly to stop a Gigantamax Drednaw from damaging Wyndon Stadium. Ash’s Dynamax and Pikachu’s Gigantamax debuts were fun to watch, as was his battle against Leon. It went as well as expected given Leon’s champion status, but does set up the World Coronation Series tournament Ash enters very well.

Grade: A; Plot Relevance: Significant

Episode 14: Raid Battle in the Ruins

Location: Desert Resort, Unova

The writers did a fun job depicting the Desert Resort as the scorching location that it appeared to be in the Generation 5 games, forcing Ash and Goh to use their Flying-type Pokemon to reach the ruins. Pikachu, Scorbunny, and Ash provide heavier comic relief than usual (sometimes overkill) throughout this episode. The Golurk raid battle was intense and the first shiny hunter to appear in the anime is a pretty accurate depiction.

Grade: B; Plot Relevance: Noteworthy

Episode 15: A Snow Day for Searching

Location: Vermillion City

This episode introduces  Goh’s family to us, explaining Goh’s expertise in research and technology but also being lonely as a child. We got to see a lot of Pokémon in action, as well as Ash and Goh teaming up to help out a cute Cubone.

Grade: B; Plot Relevance: Noteworthy

Episode 16: A Chilling Curse

Location: Vermillion City

Though the abandoned Pokémon trope has been used several times by now, it felt fresh and interesting enough in this episode. Though Gengar has haunted the Cerise Laboratory for a significant period of time, turns out it was misunderstood. Ash stands up for Gengar and the Ghost-type Pokemon shows just how strong it is, with its eventual capture being unique too.

Grade: S; Plot Relevance: Significant

Episode 17: Kicking it From Here Into Tomorrow

Location: Vermillion City

At first, I was frustrated by Goh’s apathy and lack of understanding as to how Pokemon learn new moves through training. However, he is still a new trainer and this is part of the process whenever new leads are introduced to the anime. Darmanitan’s taunting of Scorbunny’s inability to use Ember sets up the story for the episode, with the Fire rabbit’s efforts resulting in evolution. Raboot does begin its pseudo “Charmeleon phase” but this adds a new dynamic to Goh’s side of this anime.

Grade: A; Plot Relevance: Significant

Episode 18: Destination: Coronation

Location: Vermillion Gym

Ash’s long-awaited return to the Vermillion Gym was a mixed bag. While the Anime does provide some callbacks to Lt. Surge and the Pikachu vs Raichu battle, the introduction of Visquez as his temporary replacement felt like a copout. However, Ash’s first battle in the World Coronation Series doesn’t disappoint, with Gengar joining the fun and Pikachu getting a chance to go 2 for 2 in the Gym where Ash’s first official victory took place.

Grade: B; Plot Relevance: Significant

Episode 19: A Talent for Imitation

Location: Vermillion City

This is the first episode of this batch that didn’t quite live up to the standards of the others. Ditto is adorable and there were laughs abound. However, not having Ash and Goh travel to Unova’s PokeStar Studios for a movie production was a missed opportunity. Furthermore, this episode featured some recycled plots such as from Ditto and the Mysterious Mansion in the Indigo League series. The best part is seeing Team Rocket unwittingly do something good for a change.

Grade: D; Plot Relevance: Filler

Episode 20: Dreams Are Made of These

Location: Vermillion City

Episodes where the main cast gets split up into groups are not usually fan favorites, but they do offer some character development. In this episode, that development is rather minor as it mostly reaffirms Ash and Goh’s passions for battling and catching Pokémon respectively. Goh catches several and Ash competes in another World Coronation Series battle, but this episode is just a bit of fun without standing out too much.

Grade: C; Plot Relevance: Average

Episode 21: Caring for a Mystery

Location: Vermillion City

For a series that is supposed to involve a fair amount of travel, this is becoming a long stretch of episodes without any. The introduction of Ash’s Riolu, who hatches from an Egg Nurse Joy receives from the Sinnoh Region, is interesting. Riolu’s personality draws comparisons to Bulbasaur but perhaps being even more stubborn. Ash’s working Pokémon team of Pikachu, Mr. Mime, Dragonite, Gengar, and Riolu is shaping up to be formidable.

Grade: B; Plot Relevance: Significant

Episode 22: Goodbye, Friend

Location: Littleroot Town, Hoenn

This is where Raboot’s newfound apathetic personality upon evolution reaches a climax. Goh and Ash are tasked to research a Beautifly migration, but Raboot seems to have other ideas. The initial misunderstanding leads to Goh discovering that Raboot befriended some of the local Pokémon and want to help them keep their home despite the invasion of unruly Loudred. Thinking Raboot would be happier with them, he leaves without his trusted partner only for Raboot to find his way back. Again, this episode borrows from some old tropes, but this still felt fresh enough.

Grade: S, Plot Relevance: Significant

Episode 23: Panic in the Park

Location: Cerise Laboratory

Despite being the second-biggest filler episode of this group, this was fun to watch as it dedicated some screentime to Goh’s large collection of Pokémon. Most of them haven’t featured much since their captures, so this is the type of filler fans can get behind. The cliques and personalities of all of the Pokemon are intriguing but things get heated and complicated quickly. Ash and Goh try to help, but ultimately they have to let the Pokémon settle their difference on their own while the humans solve a mystery.

Grade: A, Plot Relevance: Filler

Episode 24: A Little Rocket R and R

Location: Resort Area, Sinnoh

Whenever your boss urges you to go on vacation, it may seem like a good thing at first. As Jessie, James, and Meowth found out though, it meant that Giovanni and Matori wanted them out of the way so their important mission can succeed. Coincidentally, the site of this mission is the same as where Ash and Goh’s next research assignment takes place and the Team Rocket Trio go to relax. A wild Magikarp makes a big splash in this episode, too.

Grade: A, Plot Relevance: Average for now, but hints at significance later.

Overall, these were a good bunch of episodes. Pokémon Journeys certainly feels similar to the Alola Series in mood, but Ash is back to having a more trackable goal while having the freedom to follow a less linear and predictable path than in the games. Goh is starting to find himself a bit more, though I would like to see Chloe (who wasn’t mentioned in the episode reviews for a reason, despite appearing in one episode) utilized more. The other major critiques are the decrease in travel compared to the first 12 episodes and how fixated Ash and Goh can get with their goals at times to their detriment. Ultimately, the good does outweigh the bad. Hopefully, you enjoyed them as much as I did!