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So Ash's dad came up as a...what exactly? We return to the old Shudo take that he's a good for nothing?
Also Delia might have her Shudo backstory as a restaraunt owner here? Also for once Ash after ICY has an excuse to not use Charizard if it predates the events of meeting Charmander.
On a character level it would probably be versus Paul. Gary was the OG and Drake the OG SUPER achievement but in pure rival and inportance to Ash it may not be possible to top it.
Worse would be versus Cameron. Wven beyond the obvious the battle has a funky tempo to it.
You know, with how Aura's been shown in Journeys, heck even in Riolu's debut episode it is implied that Ash and Pikachu battling together causes aura stuff, do you think the vision might have been real?
Like it wasn't Pikachu's visualization of willpower, but a less refined take on what...
Ash has the benefit of an established set if traits. The game protagonists don't really have that.
To use another example Game Serena could be anyone, but everyone knows who Anime Serena is.
Honestly that helps a ton. Structure is useful