The Pokemon Journeys Master Class was billed as something very special from the very beginning of the anime, mainly because of the fact that they were going to showcase eight of the best trainers in the entire world. So much so that as the image above shows, they had champions from all the regions be in the final eight, including Ash Ketchum who is the current champion of Alola. As the fights went on, it was going to be curious to see whom Ash would face. The first major challenge was Steven from Hoenn, and now, he’s facing Cynthia.
Of all the former champions he’s met, one could argue he’s on the best terms with Cynthia. They’ve helped one another and battled against each other in the past and Ash definitely respects her ability, so their 6-v-6 fight in the Master Class was certainly going to be something to behold. The first episode of their fight has come out in Japan and the match is living up to expectations, even if it’s twisted the script in various ways.
To the surprise of some, Cynthia isn’t just winning–she’s straight-up dominating so far. By the end of the first episode of the fight, she’s already knocked out three of Ash’s Pokemon using a variety of tactics and skills, not the least of which is using her given right to switch out Pokemon frequently and using better ones to help her in the fight. Just as big a surprise was at the end of the episode, as when Ash started to get the upper hand, she used the Destiny Bond move on Pikachu so when her Pokemon that used it went out, so did Pikachu.
Pikachu in many battles is widely considered Ash’s ace and the Pokemon he relies on the most when in a pinch. Now, he doesn’t have that option anymore and some of his newer Pokemon are going to have to step up to beat Cynthia.
Now, while some watching the episode might be surprised at this current situation, one must remember that Cynthia isn’t just a champion of the Sinnoh league, she’s a long-time champion. She’s been champion ever since Ash first met her, and despite the anime not showing the passage of time for reasons unknown to fans, it’s still clear that she’s been around the block for some time. She’s also had to deal with all sorts of trainers and challengers, and depending on how long you believe the World Coronations Series has been up, you can believe she’s been in this before.
Thus, she knows how to play the game, and thus Ash will have to up his if he wants to get to the finals of the Master Class. You’ll just have to keep watching Pokemon Journeys to see what happens next.