10. Pulling Out The Pokemon Base Pepper
Even for those familiar with Pokemon's most recent run, this episode may not stand out as a top ten contender. But it earns its place by acting as a microcosm of how the anime has evolved and adapted over it's long, long run. Prior to air, Sun & Moon got some serious for flack for a perceived drop in art quality off the back of the gorgeous XY&Z run. Pulling Out The Pokemon Base Pepper shows why that so-called drop helped raise the bar.
It's a filler episode at its finest, and Sun & Moon did filler like no other. Ash & his classmates play Alola's answer to baseball alongside their Pokemon, a character of the day, and later Team Rocket. It is downright hilarious, leaning into each character's broadest traits to milk the comedy. The finest moment comes when Kiawe pitches against Ash, both calling their Z-Moves for over-the-top animation and intense facial expressions.
As this run moved towards being a slice-of-life style comedy, with a wide supporting cast that had easily identifiable and enjoyable roles, this episode came out to show just how well that change worked, how the more loosely drawn animation style benefited the show in it ability to deliver entertaining weekly installments, and later some high-octane battles.