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The Pokémon anime just aired its most ridiculous episode yet

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Baseball brings out the best — and worst — in all of us

pokemon baseball The Pokémon Company

There have been plenty of silly Pokémon episodes throughout the years, but Pokémon Sun and Moon’s latest may best them all. The series’ 28th episode aired in Japan earlier today, and Twitter is having a field day over how weird it was.

The basic plot of the episode, according to fan site Pokémon Go Master’s recap, is that Ash’s Pokémon school in the Alola region is visited by a baseball master. Naturally, this leads to some extremely intense, Pokémon-infused ballgames.

Pokémon Sun and Moon’s new animation style has been polarizing with longtime fans of the Pokémon anime franchise, and the reasons for that are on display throughout this episode. Episode 28 has no interest in playing it straight; as a parody of one of Japan’s biggest sports, this installment’s modus operandi seems to be go big or go home.

That’s why we have dramatic flourishes like wild shading or on-screen text during especially anxious moments:

ash ketchum baseball
Ash gets the baseball anime hero treatment.
The Pokémon Company

This scene goes straight-up Dragon Ball Z with how into the game Ash and Kiwame, one of Alola’s Island Trial Captains, get:

If you’ve ever seen Ash Ketchum pull a weirder or funnier face than these, we need you to show us ASAP:

pokemon sun and moon baseball
What happened to your head, Ash?
The Pokémon Company

The weirdness doesn’t stop there. Seriously: What is happening in this scene, even?

pokemon sun and moon
Samson Oak, what is going on with your head, my dude?
The Pokémon Company

Pikachu gets a chance on the pitcher’s mound, even, showing off as always. We get it, Pikachu: You’re the best Pokémon.

pikachu baseball
Look at that unbreakable stare.
The Pokémon Company

“This is honestly the funniest and best animated episode of the season so far,” wrote user Danny Kazari on Twitter. Based off this clip, we’re super inclined to agree:

Personally, we’re also big fans of Sun and Moon’s jokey tone. This baseball episode is the epitome of what makes it so fun — it doesn’t take itself so seriously. Pokémon is fun; the anime isn’t in the wrong for reminding us of that. (It definitely knows how to get serious when it needs to, anyway.)

Sun and Moon’s first season just started airing stateside on cable channel Disney XD, so it’ll be awhile until we get this episode in English. Stay tuned — we definitely will.