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Controversial opinions

Ash is not 10, he hasn't been 10 since the first 10 episodes of OS. People need to stop taking the BW anime as the gospel truth on Ash's age.
Iris and Cilan are actually alright.
M21 (Power of Us/Everyone's Story) should've been set in the main continuity between XY and SM.
Ash is quite a good trainer (except in BW).
Indigo League is overrated. (But still quite good).
No Ash ships make any sense. Ash in the series constantly misunderstands love.
 
I never wanted Ash to win any league. I think most people seem to want him to win, but I really like the concept that its a huge world and there is always someone better. I may not always approve of how he has lost previous leagues, but I never wanted him to actually win one (and no its not because I think the show would end, because I don't). I just think the way this world is portrayed, with battles essentially being the premier competition, that Ash, the way he is portrayed, at his age shouldn't be the best (even though we know in the anime a regional league winner isn't quite the best yet, but still its not like its just some amateur competition, as we see adults competing and a huge variety of trainers - so it is a high level of competition in the Pokemon world's seemingly most popular event). I almost think it would have been better had he finished lower in Kanto so he could keep "improving" his ranking without getting so close to winning but I don't believe they had this type of length of the show in mind back then. But more than anything I wish people wouldn't take the ranking "number" as the indicator of how good a particular team was.

I am annoyed by the idea that the "place" in a league is how people compare Ash's teams and decide one team was better than another, without regard for competition level. The best real world example I can come up with has to do with sports, because sport competition is fairly similar to Pokemon battle competition. Lets say, for example, a young football (soccer) player in Belgium tries to make the national team (currently FIFA's #1 ranked men's team in the world). He is an incredible player, but the competition is so steep that he isn't even close to making the team, lets say he's roughly the 100th best player in the country. Then, lets say he finds out his grandfather was from the Bahamas, so he is eligible to play for the Bahamian national team (currently FIFA's 210th ranked team), so he moves to the Bahamas, and not only makes the team, but is the best player on the team. That is quite a great accomplishment, to play for a national team, but it doesn't make him better than any of the players on the Belgian national team, or even many of the players that were unable to make the Belgian national team. It just means he went somewhere else where the competition wasn't as steep.

Long story short, my point is that yes an Alolan league win would be an accomplishment to be proud of, but it doesn't make Ash such a good trainer that they have to cancel the show, and it doesn't make his Alola team better than any of his previous teams. Alola is clearly not the most competitive league, and it makes perfect sense. Because the region didn't have an established league, or even a popular/common challenge trainers compete in (because in the anime the island challenge is seemingly not even common), it makes sense that the league wouldn't attract top competitors at first. Over time it will probably become more competitive, but probably will never rival some of the other more established locations, because many trainers travel from abroad to train in some of the more established regions due to their history, and to collect badges. From an in-world standpoint, I would think that Sinnoh would probably make sense to be the most competitive, because so much of the history of the nation, just like in the real world professional sports leagues tend to be the most competitive in the countries the sports were established in, but in the anime there are arguments for several of the individual leagues we saw to be considered the most competitive. Obviously each league, even in the same region, wouldn't necessarily present the same level of competition each time it is held, just like sometimes in the Olympics a lesser performance might merit a medal because the competition wasn't as a steep in a particular year, where some years performances that would have previously broken records may not even merit a medal because of the competition level.

So I guess I am a bit frustrated that people are using the Alola league success to discredit former team's of Ash. I also don't like the message if Ash were to win after not taking battling seriously (because battling was clearly not the point in Alola, for pretty much the first time ever), but I really don't mind them saying he's the best trainer in Alola, because he still has strong battle skills and bonds well with his Pokemon, I just don't like how it looks when some of his other teams that seemed to work a lot harder/perform a lot better didn't get such an achievement. I personally think that any of Ash's former teams would defeat this Alola team in a 5v5 (all the Alola team can even do). I also feel that May, Dawn, or Iris would defeat Ash's Alola team in a 5v5. Anyway, I hope Ash doesn't win tomorrow, but if he does I hope people realize that, while it is a great accomplishment, it doesn't mean this is his greatest team, it doesn't mean this team would beat Harrison, Tyson, Brandon, Tobias, Alain, Cynthia, Diantha, or even Cameron, it just means he was able to beat the people that decided to join the first league held in Alola. And it certainly doesn't mean they need to end his story, which even though I'm not a huge fan of Ash, I hope they don't do because I don't want them to throw away 20+ years of history.
 
I never wanted Ash to win any league. I think most people seem to want him to win, but I really like the concept that its a huge world and there is always someone better. I may not always approve of how he has lost previous leagues, but I never wanted him to actually win one (and no its not because I think the show would end, because I don't). I just think the way this world is portrayed, with battles essentially being the premier competition, that Ash, the way he is portrayed, at his age shouldn't be the best (even though we know in the anime a regional league winner isn't quite the best yet, but still its not like its just some amateur competition, as we see adults competing and a huge variety of trainers - so it is a high level of competition in the Pokemon world's seemingly most popular event). I almost think it would have been better had he finished lower in Kanto so he could keep "improving" his ranking without getting so close to winning but I don't believe they had this type of length of the show in mind back then. But more than anything I wish people wouldn't take the ranking "number" as the indicator of how good a particular team was.

I agree that no matter how much Ash does, there would always be someone better. That's the one of the classic Shōnen tropes. But I disagree with the idea of Ash shouldn't win a League because of that. Ash can (and should) win competitions like anyone else. There should not be some impossible barrier with something as regional and local like league tournaments. With dedicated training, strategy and determination, Ash can be the best of his peers. However, that doesn't mean he's the best elsewhere, and they don't have to come to the League to prove it. Gary Oak's battles with Ash at the end of the Orange Islands and the Battle Frontier offers the best way to make Ash face newer challenges without denying accomplishments he did earn. They are unofficial battles but remind Ash that there's more to the journey ahead.

Having the someone better coming into a regional League that Ash worked hard for only reinforces the misconception that Leagues are somehow the final step to becoming a Pokémon Master rather than just a small step to be a Master. It's the reason why so many people get frustrated with League losses. If Ash were to find someone better, he should move into the big pond rather than having the big fish come to his.
 
I agree that no matter how much Ash does, there would always be someone better. That's the one of the classic Shōnen tropes. But I disagree with the idea of Ash shouldn't win a League because of that. Ash can (and should) win competitions like anyone else. There should not be some impossible barrier with something as regional and local like league tournaments. With dedicated training, strategy and determination, Ash can be the best of his peers. However, that doesn't mean he's the best elsewhere, and they don't have to come to the League to prove it. Gary Oak's battles with Ash at the end of the Orange Islands and the Battle Frontier offers the best way to make Ash face newer challenges without denying accomplishments he did earn. They are unofficial battles but remind Ash that there's more to the journey ahead.

Having the someone better coming into a regional League that Ash worked hard for only reinforces the misconception that Leagues are somehow the final step to becoming a Pokémon Master rather than just a small step to be a Master. It's the reason why so many people get frustrated with League losses. If Ash were to find someone better, he should move into the big pond rather than having the big fish come to his.
I don't think there should be an impossible barrier, I just don't think Ash should have won any of the regional leagues, that had sometimes hundreds of incredibly talented trainers. If they would have just started with him doing a little worse, but still showing it as a great accomplishment (because with so many highly motivated trainers, even winning a few times in a league is a huge accomplishment), then I think it wouldn't be as big of a deal that he hadn't won yet. Ash has always been shown as someone with flaws, and although he has a lot of skill, I just don't see him as a guy who should be the best of hundreds of similarity motivated and talented trainers. And someone always being better isn't just some writing trope, it is very much reality of any competition, even for the best if they ever get complacent.

I really get the feeling a lot of people who are mad when Ash doesn't get first out of hundreds, don't really understand or appreciate competition. Someone can be incredibly good at something popular and still not even be in the stratosphere of being the best, even locally. Ash isn't treated as a prodigy for the entirety of a series, so having him be such for 8 weeks at the end of a series doesn't really make sense to me. Implying he should have met all the best trainers during his short journey in a region is also quite unrealistic and silly. When we see hundreds of people at a league, and he knows only a few, but it just so happens that the few he knows are the best ones, that always strikes me the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with him getting beat by someone he doesn't know, that is an extremely realistic reality of stepping up in competition. The league pond isn't a small pond (except maybe the exception of Alola), Ash shouldn't be a Cynthia-level trainer, the way he is portrayed (and that would make a pretty boring show too), so his big pond is stepping into a popular regional league.

Reading how people react to the Alola league win it just appears to me people think it as more like receiving a gift than earning something. To me it still feels a lot more hollow than a win in any of the other leagues (except maybe Indigo) would have felt because there wasn't as much effort put in (in fact, I think it was pretty clear Gladion worked harder, because he was working towards improving nearly every time we saw him), so its more like Ash went into a place where no one cared that much about battling and skated by on his latent skills without much effort. I guess I just wish they hadn't done a league at all, since the series was not really about battling, but whatever, at least SM is almost over.
 
I don't think there should be an impossible barrier, I just don't think Ash should have won any of the regional leagues, that had sometimes hundreds of incredibly talented trainers. If they would have just started with him doing a little worse, but still showing it as a great accomplishment (because with so many highly motivated trainers, even winning a few times in a league is a huge accomplishment), then I think it wouldn't be as big of a deal that he hadn't won yet. Ash has always been shown as someone with flaws, and although he has a lot of skill, I just don't see him as a guy who should be the best of hundreds of similarity motivated and talented trainers. And someone always being better isn't just some writing trope, it is very much reality of any competition, even for the best if they ever get complacent.

I really get the feeling a lot of people who are mad when Ash doesn't get first out of hundreds, don't really understand or appreciate competition. Someone can be incredibly good at something popular and still not even be in the stratosphere of being the best, even locally. Ash isn't treated as a prodigy for the entirety of a series, so having him be such for 8 weeks at the end of a series doesn't really make sense to me. Implying he should have met all the best trainers during his short journey in a region is also quite unrealistic and silly. When we see hundreds of people at a league, and he knows only a few, but it just so happens that the few he knows are the best ones, that always strikes me the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with him getting beat by someone he doesn't know, that is an extremely realistic reality of stepping up in competition. The league pond isn't a small pond (except maybe the exception of Alola), Ash shouldn't be a Cynthia-level trainer, the way he is portrayed (and that would make a pretty boring show too), so his big pond is stepping into a popular regional league.

Reading how people react to the Alola league win it just appears to me people think it as more like receiving a gift than earning something. To me it still feels a lot more hollow than a win in any of the other leagues (except maybe Indigo) would have felt because there wasn't as much effort put in (in fact, I think it was pretty clear Gladion worked harder, because he was working towards improving nearly every time we saw him), so its more like Ash went into a place where no one cared that much about battling and skated by on his latent skills without much effort. I guess I just wish they hadn't done a league at all, since the series was not really about battling, but whatever, at least SM is almost over.

I get what you're saying, and partially agree. But on some level, a regional league victory is starting to make more sense by now, at least in theory.

Ash has been at this for 'years' (floating timeline, but you know what I mean), and at a certain point things start to level out when it comes to how far apart everyone is. You won't be improving by leaps and bounds anymore once you're above a certain skill level, because you already know so much of what you need. Plus, a lot of the other competitors haven't necessarily been battling literally all this time, they could have lives outside of this, families, breaks they took, other things they pursued, etc. Someone being older only implies more skill on the surface, it's not a confirmation.

And while the anime's battle scene seems serious, it doesn't exactly seem direly serious even outside of Alola. A lot of it seems more driven by just fun and personal enjoyment up until you're talking about E4 members and stuff. People like Tobias seem like huge aberrations compared to how other contestants are, which is why Tobias was so jarring to me in the first place.

Plus, effort is not directly proportionate to how well you'll do, it's just a very large factor. It's entirely possible to try really hard at something but still not improve much, if you had a poor approach that whole time. Similarly, some people will just naturally improve faster than others. In the case of Ash himself, even with taking on new teams, Ash himself can use past experiences to train each new set more efficiently than before. While this logic is arguable for Alola, I actually think it still applies perfectly well. This is a more laid back region, and I agree with you on the matter of the team's overall quality... But when you look at it as "In proportion to what effort he did put in", Ash's team still came really far. He still showed an ability to combine his silliness with genuinely helpful advice and guidance, and there were plenty of points where he truly was trying. Basically, he did less... but with that plus all of his experience from before, he was able to get more out of it than past Ashs could've, if they'd applied the same level of effort. The fact that it would work like that for him after all this time makes a decent amount of sense to me, other issues aside.
 
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Wait a second, people hate them???

I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of Sophocles, but I don’t hate him either. Lillie and Kiawe are my favs.

Not much that I've seen, I just haven't been a big fan of SM overall. My complaints are with the execution of the series rather than the cast.
 
I dislike Richie and I don’t hate Cameron. I prefer Cameron over Richie simply because Richie reminds me of that one kid your parents keep comparing you to, whereas Cameron makes you look better and smarter in comparison.

As stupid as Cameron was, at least he’s a decent trainer and he evolved a lot of his Pokémon.
 
He was so clueless about practically everything that I often wonder if he evolved them by accident.

This made me laugh for 5 minutes straight...I’ll admit that when I saw the moment during the league that Cameron thought it was a 5 on 5 battle, that’s when I turned off my laptop and went straight to bed.
 
He was so clueless about practically everything that I often wonder if he evolved them by accident.
Especially when it comes to Hydreigon... I can't help but think that he just got insanely lucky and somehow got the most agreeable Hydreigon ever, because any other Hydreigon should've flipped out and eaten him a long time ago. If Ash could barely handle a Charizard, how the heck did Cameron deal with something like this?
 
I do notice a double standard here. Richie didn’t even win his Pokémon league match with Ash the right way, but he gets a pass and people barely complain about his unfair win (It also helps that Richie was never called out on his cheap victory like Ash and Iris were).

Cameron, despite him being an idiot, wins fair and square (with bad writing and character shilling, to say) without Ash having mishaps before his league. The latter gets bashed more. Why???

Before anyone asks, I dislike both characters, but Richie gets under my skin more because I dislike boring, generic Gary Stu characters (like Tobias) that make Ash look dumb and incompetent. Cameron made Ash look like a Nobel Prize winner XD.

Also, I noticed that some people hate Misty for being a jerk to Ash, but they ignore the fact that Ash was just as rude to Misty as well. Why?
 
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Cameron is a guy whom I could rant about for sooo much... And I have, but I won't now.
I do notice a double standard here. Richie didn’t even win his Pokémon league match with Ash the right way, but he gets a pass and people barely complain about his unfair win (It also helps that Richie was never called out on his cheap victory like Ash and Iris were).

Cameron, despite him being an idiot, wins fair and square (with bad writing and character shilling, to say) without Ash having mishaps before his league. The latter gets bashed more. Why???
Because Ritchie wasn't an idiot, while Cameron was such an epic failure that you begin to question how he even got as far as he did. Not just in the League, but also as a Trainer in general.
Before anyone asks, I dislike both characters, but Richie gets under my skin more because I dislike boring, generic Gary Stu characters (like Tobias) that make Ash look dumb and incompetent. Cameron made Ash look like a Nobel Prize winner XD.
Richie won because back then, Ash was still a beginning Trainer who hadn't taken the proper time to train his disobedient Pokémon. Ash looked dumb in their first battle because that's what he basically was back then. Cameron looked so idiotic that for many, he went beyond comedically idiotic and entered the "annoyingly idiotic" territory. Including me. Ash shouldn't lose to a Trainer who's more stupid than him.
 
Richie didn’t even win his Pokémon league match with Ash the right way, but he gets a pass and people barely complain about his unfair win (It also helps that Richie was never called out on his cheap victory
The match was perfectly fair and square on Ritchie’s hand though, there was literally no fault of his in the scenario. The people to blame were the league organisers for not postponing (or at least even healing the team) the match when their contestant got attacked by a villainous team, Team Rocket, and Ash himself for never bothering to train Charizard. And even if he never intended to train charizard it was always in his party for some reason.

Ritchie himself literally played how he was supposed to in a perfectly fair manner.
 
The match was perfectly fair and square on Ritchie’s hand though, there was literally no fault of his in the scenario. The people to blame were the league organisers for not postponing (or at least even healing the team) the match when their contestant got attacked by a villainous team, Team Rocket, and Ash himself for never bothering to train Charizard. And even if he never intended to train charizard it was always in his party for some reason.

Fair enough, but I have a feeling that if it were Ash or any of his female companions, fans would complain about how they didn’t rightfully earn the victory. I just feel the fanbase gives the main characters way too much of a hard time for their flaws and undeserved wins. I mean, fans complained about Ash earning pity gym badges when the leaders gave it to him.

Ash didn’t want to train Charizard because it was disobedient, arrogant, and stubborn. If I were Ash when I lost the Indigo League, I probably would have released Charizard for being such a jerk.

You’re also right that Richie wasn’t at fault, but I still can’t stand him though XD.
 
Ash didn’t want to train Charizard because it was disobedient, arrogant, and stubborn. If I were Ash when I lost the Indigo League, I probably would have released Charizard for being such a jerk.
"I'll keep using a Pokémon till it is perfectly unproblematic and leave it’s side immediately when it faces issues." is really, really out of character for Ash and not really good ethics-wise imo. It’s literally a trainer's job to work out the kinks in a Pokemon.
 
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