Hau, Lillie and Gladion

In a way it feels strange to do all three of these characters together – like, it makes sense to have Hau and Gladion together because they both fit Pokémon’s existing “rival” archetypes, and it makes sense to have Lillie and Gladion together because (uh… SPOILERS, I guess???) they’re family, but the three of them don’t fit together quite as neatly at first glance.  In fact, though, they play off each other in ways that I think are worth talking about.  Hau, Lillie and Gladion all act as foils to one another – Hau’s carefree optimism, Lillie’s self-effacing dutifulness, Gladion’s edgy pragmatism.  All three of them also have certain issues with their parentage (granted, in Lillie and Gladion’s case, it’s the same parent), which is important not just in terms of their own characterisation but because tradition (and, by extension, ancestry and inheritance) is a minor theme of Sun and Moon.  Lillie’s relationship with her mother is also basically what the entire climax of the game turns on.  So let’s talk about these three, their personalities and what happens to them, and see what we can be come up with – starting with Hau.

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Pokémon Moon, Episode 18: In Which I Reluctantly Embrace My Alleged Destiny

Four islands, seven trials, four Kahunas, all behind me.  In the old days, I’m told, that would have basically been it.  I mean, there’s supposed to be a rematch against all four Kahunas up on Mount Lanakila.  As far as I can tell, though, that’s traditionally less about the battles themselves and more about getting absolutely plastered on the beach afterwards.  The after-party for Professor Kukui’s Final Trial is said to have been the stuff of legends, and saw the genesis of three new cocktails, twenty-four herbal hangover remedies, the Alolan form of Grimer, the character of the Masked Royal, and a devastating new Rock-type move that was instantly banned by sixteen different Pokémon Leagues. Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 18: In Which I Reluctantly Embrace My Alleged Destiny”

Pokémon Moon, Episode 4: In Which I Learn, Rapidly And Under Duress, To Ride A Bull

Once he and Captain Ilima have finished explaining Z-moves to me, Professor Kukui suddenly remembers that he has an urgent task that cannot possibly wait: he’s lost Lillie.  Somehow.  I’m still not 100% certain that Lillie isn’t a terrorist, so in the interests of making sure someone is watching her, I agree to help look for her in the northern part of Melemele Island.  This area, route 3, is cordoned off by barricades.   Not for any particular reason, mind you.  Someone appears to have decided that the Pokémon beyond are too strong for civilians to tangle with unless they have an escort – a certified trainer who has completed the island’s trials.  Which… sort of raises the question of how Lillie got through, since she not only hasn’t completed any trials but insists that she’s not actually a trainer at all (which I’m pretty sure is not true; I’m not sure of the legal status of their relationship but for all practical purposes she certainly seems to be Nebby’s trainer).  Evidence that she has secret and subversive abilities continues to mount.  In any case, at Ilima’s command, the barricades open for me, and I am given access to the northern coastal road.

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Pokémon Moon, Episode 1: In Which I Am Rescued From Certain Death By An Island Deity

All I wanted was a goddamn holiday.

“Come to sunny Alola,” the brochures said.  “Let all your cares wash away,” they said.  “Relax on the beach and enjoy the sunset with a glass of cool Pinap juice,” they said.  “Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture,” they said.

The brochures did not mention roads blocked by irritable Tauros, strange waifish girls with dangerous and suicidal cosmic Pokémon, “quests” handed out by mysterious and fickle gods, ritualised duels to please the aforementioned fickle gods, or anything that might be described as a series of “trials.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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