After a long wait, Pokémon Journeys has introduced the plot to Sword and Shield, and with it, the long-anticipated character of Sonia.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1, Part 3 Episode 3 of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, “Toughing it Out!” now streaming on Netflix.
After a long wait, Pokémon Journeys has introduced the plot to Sword and Shield, and with it, a character many fans have been waiting for: Sonia, the granddaughter and assistant to Galar’s Professor Magnolia. Though her appearance in “Toughing it Out!” is brief, Sonia absolutely steals the spotlight with what little time she has in this episode.
English voice actress Brittany Cox perfectly portrays Sonia’s excitable attitude, while also managing to exude her interest in the history of Galar. There were multiple highlights in “Toughing it Out!”, from Leon and Raihan’s duel to Ash catching a Galarian Farfetch’d, but Sonia’s introduction on Galar gives us a taste as to how Journeys will handle the story of the Darkest Day.
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After Ash and Goh spectate the explosive battle between Leon’s Charizard and Raihan’s Duraludon, Ash yells out to Leon that he will be the one to beat him someday. As Ash does this, we get our first view of Chairman Rose in the series, clapping along to both the results of the battle and Ash’s abrupt statement. Chairman Rose ran the Galarian League Tournament in the games, and also endorsed Leon as champion too. It seems he plays a similar role here in regards to the World Coronation Tournament.
Once they walk out of the arena, Ash and Goh become enamored by a giant statue they suppose is modeled after Leon, though doesn’t seem to match Leon’s battle pose. As the two boys bicker, Sonia responds to the idea that her childhood friend Leon could be “the hero.” Ash and Goh overheard Sonia mumbling to herself which sparks Sonia’s true introduction to the series. Here, she explains to the young boys what the statue actually is.
In the games, Sonia works with the protagonist and Hop on researching the legendary Pokémon Zacian, Zamazenta and Eternatus and also discovering the truth behind the Darkest Day incident. The statue Ash and Goh view is a representation of the hero who saved Galar from this Darkest Day with a single sword and shield. Sonia explains that she is both trying to discover where this sword and shield is now and also the mystery behind Dynamaxing. This is rather promising, suggesting the series will introduce the Sword and Shield legendaries at some point.
Aside from introducing the plot, Sonia commands the spotlight simply by how absolutely ecstatic she is to see cute Pokémon. Brittany Cox does a tremendous job showcasing Sonia’s excitement. You really get the sense Sonia treats these Pokémon like adorable baby animals. In the videogames, Sonia’s only Pokémon is a fluffy little Yamper, so seems she has a natural attraction to cuteness.
After Sonia informs the team of Galar’s history, the two later come across a feisty Galarian Farfetch’d. It takes down Goh’s Farfetch’d with ease but Ash decides to jump into battle with Riolu and nabs the victory. With a dream to beat Leon, a new Pokémon by his side, and information on the mysteries of Galar, it seems Journeys is one step closer to Ash not only encountering the region’s legendary Pokémon but winning the World Coronation Tournament too.
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