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Bond Phenomenon

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Maintaining composure is a personality trait though. You can be ‘equal’ to someone without being hysterical.
I get this, but I guess I wasn't clear enough about what I was getting at in saying it.

Basically, its not that I want Paul to get hysterical, it's that before the end, Ash doesn't really give him that much to even lose composure over in the first place. Paul pays attention to Ash as far as his tactics and stuff, but Ash doesn't really give him much he has to truly question and grapple with up until finally beating him at the end. Before then, Paul can always be safe and smug in his bubble of "well I kicked your ass, so why do your lowly opinions matter".

Otherwise, if it were about merely Paul's ability to stay calm, Ash would have more genuinely cutting things to say and be more of a serious threat to him earlier on, but Paul simply wouldnt let himself be outwardly bothered. But as it is, it feels like Paul has less reasons to even take him seriously before their final match.

Imo, it warps it to feel like this is really more of a catchup game than a real thing between equals
 
more afraid of you
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Something interesting I just thought of, Greninja seemed like at least somewhat of an attempt to imitate Infernape, but one interesting difference between Chimchar and Froakie, Chimchar worked really hard for its trainer even though they weren't necessarily a perfect match and was extremely loyal until it was released, while Froakie was disobedient and left trainers it thought were too weak or not a good match (similar to how Paul viewed Chimchar). Not necessarily an indication that Froakie's story was poorly done (I do think it wasn't handled as well as Chimchar, but I think almost nothing in the history of the show has been handled that well), but just an interesting difference in the personalities of arguably Ash's best two battlers who were given significant "bond" storylines.

disclaimer: I am not trying to equate Froakie to Paul in any way, just think this is an interesting difference between Chimchar and Froakie
 
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I did sort of notice something similar.

I actually really prefer the nature of why Infernape was something special to start with, too.
Not only is its unusual power initially rooted in trauma, negativity, and desperation, but it's merely a stronger version of what every other Infernape can do, which is a lot easier to buy. It's also obvious why Paul failed to properly harness it, because to him Chimchar came off as just "weak" and "lazy", showing how much he failed to truly "get" Chimchar's circumstances.

(This is another personal reason why I dislike Paul, because dismissing Chimchar's efforts as "well clearly you're just lazy/weak/stupid" despite the fact that he's supposed to be helping, is uncomfortably close to some of my own bad experiences. Tough love and expecting someone to help themself before you help them is one thing. This isn't that thing. This is just straight up lacking empathy.)

I know you said you don't really think it's a bad thing, but my personal explanation for why I don't mind Froakie's attitude in leaving Trainers is because it just isn't quite the same as the other way around. The Pokemon isn't responsible for guiding or coaching the Trainer. It doesn't have to feed or teach or heal the Trainer, its end of the deal is just to fight for them. As long as Froakie doesn't like, decide to leave them for dead in the middle of trouble (something it's pretty safe to imply it would never do), it's not as big of a deal if he's the one that decides to leave.
 
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Ash Greninja wasn't a Christmas gift for neither Ash or Greninja, it was an earned gift for Ash for his hard work. He turned something that was kinda powerful at a high price (Ash's health) into something that could battle hand-to-hand with Megaevolutions without shiny stones and whatever, just with bonds alone. It aligns perfectly with what the anime has pushed since the beginning, you can do almost anything with determination and trust in your partner.

Greninja didn't have much of a personality compared to Ash's previous aces, which is something I think this was done in purpose, because, again, the Ash Greninja arc was about Ash and not about Greninja. Judging him on his backstory alone is very unfair.

Also: "(Trainer) Chesnaught" and "(Trainer) Delphox" could've never existed because there was no game they could promote at the moment and would be redundant marketing for SM. It was a logical decision to use Charizard and Sceptile instead which are more popular and were connected to already released games.
 
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Ash Greninja wasn't a Christmas gift for neither Ash or Greninja, it was an earned gift for Ash for his hard work. He turned something that was kinda powerful at a high price (Ash's health) into something that could battle hand-to-hand with Megaevolutions without shiny stones and whatever, just with bonds alone. It aligns perfectly with what the anime has pushed since the beginning, you can do almost anything with determination and trust in your partner.
This is why I don't exactly hate Ash-Greninja, because you're kind of right. My main issue comes in when actual battles happen and aesthetic + raw power ends up superseding internal consistency and better strategy. Plus my earlier post about why I kinda dislike a "one Pokemon who's always the best fighter" setup.

Although, I think what really gets people is that although it was up to Ash and Greninja to master the form, having the potential in the first place is a stroke of crazy good luck that has nothing to do with bonds, and can come off as contrived as a result. If it weren't for that initial crazy luck, Greninja would just be Greninja no matter how close he and Ash are.

Maybe if the potential wasn't like some inborn thing, and Greninja was deemed worthy of the potential as a reward for his actual deeds and bond with Ash, it'd be more consistent. But even then, that would depend on execution.
 
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Ash Greninja wasn't a Christmas gift for neither Ash or Greninja, it was an earned gift for Ash for his hard work. He turned something that was kinda powerful at a high price (Ash's health) into something that could battle hand-to-hand with Megaevolutions without shiny stones and whatever, just with bonds alone. It aligns perfectly with what the anime has pushed since the beginning, you can do almost anything with determination and trust in your partner.
Are you telling me that somehow Ash was the only trainer in 300+ years to have such an extend of bond with a Pokemon?
 
マーシャンミスター
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Am I wrong? In addition to Ash becoming Greninja-Jesus, he: was heralded as a hero in the second episode for his recklessness at the Prism Tower, was highly respected by his companions almost to the point of religious devotion (hell even his rivals liked him; Sawyer in particular was basically an Ash fanboy), almost defeated a Champion's ace Pokemon with mid diff, played a key role in saving Kalos from Lysandre's scheme, and got second place at the League. Aside from a few battle losses (most of which he eventually made up for in rematches), the kid could do no wrong in that saga. The only bigger snow flake in XY(Z) was Alain.
If you count "being competent enough to has a chance to defeat the champion" as being a "snowflake." He wasn't even that competent. His battle with Sawyer too was very close, and Sawyer supposed to be a newcomer. And I'm pretty sure Bonnie had a "low" opinion of him, at least of his intellectual capabilities.
Are you telling me that somehow Ash was the only trainer in 300+ years to have such an extend of bond with a Pokemon?
But there was no Greninja such as this one.
 
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マーシャンミスター
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That was my point- the form didn’t result from bond alone. A super-special powered Greninja was also involved.
True, both are needed. The show never claimed otherwise, or else we'd have Satopika instead.
 
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True, both are needed. The show never claimed otherwise, or else we'd have Satopika instead.
The post I had originally replied to implied that bond was the only thing required to activate Ash-Greninja and was thus better than Megas which required stones- I wanted to refute that point.
 
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The post I had originally replied to implied that bond was the only thing required to activate Ash-Greninja and was thus better than Megas which required stones- I wanted to refute that point.
Read it again:

He turned something that was kinda powerful at a high price (Ash's health) into something that could battle hand-to-hand with Megaevolutions without shiny stones and whatever, just with bonds alone.
Greninja was obviously unique and special but the story was about how Ash was able to use that uniqueness.
 
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Read it again:



Greninja was obviously unique and special but the story was about how Ash was able to use that uniqueness.
Again, I half-agree. I see pretty easily that this is the intent, but in practice I just don't feel it entirely measures up to like, Ash and Infernape, or certain other examples in general media of a dangerous power being mastered.

From the start, like I've already kinda said, I felt like Infernape's Blaze had more impact just by the fact that it's not an inherently heroic thing of super special destiny or whatever. It's actually kind of tragic at the start. It doesn't actually start out as "Woah, look at this cool guy suddenly doing something even cooler!", it's more like "Someone is selfishly and forcibly trying to exploit a power born of fear and desperation for their own ends.". It's up to Ash to help slowly and painstakingly change the very source of that power with patience and understanding.

If I had to pick a non-Pokemon thing that's most likely popular enough that everyone knows what I'm talking about, it'd have to be Avatar The Last Airbender. Aang's Avatar State is a destiny sort of thing too, but not only does he have to master the Avatar State, him even being the Avatar gets him alienated at the Air Temple and is the reason the Air Temple was targeted and destroyed. On top of that, he's quickly saddled with the knowledge that the world is straight up doomed if he doesn't master it. Perhaps more importantly, he has to handle the fact that the power isn't some perfectly moral, merciful thing. It can easily hurt or kill loved ones and innocent bystanders if he lets it go too far, and he straight up says at one point that he finds his own power scary. But when he's on the cusp of mastering it anyway at the end of Book 2, he's nearly freaking murdered for his efforts. All of this in a kid's show.

So basically, I realize this might come off like I'm just saying that mastering Ash-Greninja should've been way darker and edgier or something, but no, not quite. What I'm really trying to say is:

It doesn't feel the same because there just aren't as many stakes or emotionally compelling things about it. And at least in this particular way, your earlier point about the arc being more about Ash than Greninja might actually be a downside, as it kind of limits the stakes further by centering on Ash so much. (Plus, they can just do whatever they want with his personality by time a new region rolls around anyway)

I realize the Team Flare arc was a thing, but in my case, even though it was pretty nice, it wasn't enough to fix all the Ash-Greninja issues in particular. Plus, Ash ends up just leaving Greninja behind... and it's a noble cause, but this renders it incapable of actually becoming Ash-Greninja anymore anyway, unless Ash comes back.
 
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Megalomaniacal toaster on a keyboard
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Gee, something that requires a bond between trainer and pokémon, and is only temporary

If you're going to bash Ash-Greninja, don't forget to bash Mega Evolution for the exact same reasons, because it also takes time to bond with a pokémon so it can achieve Mega Evolution, and on top of that, you need to find and refine the correct stones
 
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Gee, something that requires a bond between trainer and pokémon, and is only temporary

If you're going to bash Ash-Greninja, don't forget to bash Mega Evolution for the exact same reasons, because it also takes time to bond with a pokémon so it can achieve Mega Evolution, and on top of that, you need to find and refine the correct stones
I don't really hate it, like I said in earlier posts. There are some good/cool things about it. I just think there are things about the execution that could've been better, too.

But, I actually do think normal Mega Evolution would have a bunch of the same flaws if it were still handled in a similar way, since merely swapping Bond Phenomenon for a stone only changes a couple of things.

But the specific case of Korrina needing to master Lucario's Mega, while not absolute perfection, actually does have three things that I liked better.

- I just personally prefer Korrina having a long-standing, solid idea that M. Lucario exists as a goal to strive for, with clearly defined steps. Ash sort of gets this through Olympia's vision, but he's already about to get his seventh badge when he suddenly gets the news of a much rarer, almost unheard of form, which comes off as less organic/natural to me.
-Unstable Lucario is a danger to itself and others, rather than it just being Korrina and Lucario who are taking a risk.
-Even stabilized, it's undeniably strong, but not to the point of being a nigh-unstoppable godly force that only other Megas can handle. If they ended up doing an "It's impossible to win with only normal Pokemon" kind of thing with it, I would've been significantly less okay with it.
 
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If you're going to bash Ash-Greninja, don't forget to bash Mega Evolution for the exact same reasons, because it also takes time to bond with a pokémon so it can achieve Mega Evolution, and on top of that, you need to find and refine the correct stones
You conveniently forgot to mention the fact that any Pokemon from a Mega-evolvable species can Mega Evolve, but Ash's Greninja just happened to be the reincarnation of a 300+ year old hero Greninja.
 
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