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Controversial opinions

I respectfully disagree. I personally see Paul as a well-built character and the best rival Ash has ever had, who also got a satisfying conclusion.

I can't say I'm too disappointed, since this is pretty much exactly what I was expecting. But the brevity comes off like you don't really want me to try coaxing anything else out of you, so I won't.

But... moving past that, I want to at least follow up on what I mean by punishment, I don't even think he should permanently never train again, I would just suspend him and make him take some kind of course. He is a kid after all. Even if he's a kid with a super punchable face.

And considering he's been a Trainer for a while, there's even the possibility that there was actually more than one "Chimchar" situation, where he released a Pokemon and left lasting mental harm rather than just how his 'typical' releases go. And you can argue against that, sure. But the past possibility or future potential for even a single other hypothetical case like Chimchar makes me very uncomfortable. Even one case was already too much. What if he'd never met anyone able to prove him wrong? What then? How much longer would he go unchecked?
 
Chimchar alone was bad enough that there should've been a real punishment of some kind, regardless of the others. Even with a sports team analogy, you don't look at the kids someone is in charge of looking after and go 'well, only one of them was abused, so this is fine', and you don't just go 'well, you're not in charge of them anymore, so everything you did to them is fine now'

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I mean, Paul came off as this Jerk Sue because others would excuse his behavior. They even had Cynthia, of all characters, disgustingly victim blame Chimchar for Paul's physical and emotional abuse he inflicted on it despite her advising Paul to treat his Pokemon with love and care after he had lost a battle with her.

What also pisses me off is that Brock was so passive about the whole thing when back in the OS days, he actually got angry and was about to whoop Damian's ass for bragging about not only abandoning Charmander, but lying to it and saying that he would return to get it. This whole Tumblr post explains why I (and many other fans) dislike Paul as a character so much.
 
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I wholeheartedly agree with this. I mean, Paul came off as this Jerk Sue because others would excuse his behavior. They even had Cynthia, of all characters, disgustingly victim blame Chimchar for Paul's physical and emotional abuse he inflicted on it despite her advising Paul to treat his Pokemon with love and care after he had lost a battle with her.

What also pisses me off is that Brock was so passive about the whole thing when back in the OS days, he actually got angry and was about to whoop Damian's ass for bragging about not only abandoning Charmander, but lying to it and saying that he would return to get it. This whole Tumblr post explains why I (and many other fans) dislike Paul as a character so much.

Okay, first off, what the hell even is a Jerk Sue? Is it supposed to be a Gary Stu/Mary Sue who's a jerk? If that's the case, what exactly makes you think that Paul is a Gary Stu? He's shown to be strong, true, and he and his Pokémon were always portrayed to be more powerful than Ash and his team. But that doesn't make him a Gary Stu. He's lost a couple of battles (like the ones against Cynthia and Brandon, and even his first battle with Ash ended in a draw (not to mention his Sinnoh League defeat at the hands of Ash)) and competitions (one of them was even against Ash), his abrasive, jerk-like attitude is treated as a flaw that tend to cause problems to others and the reasons why he's so powerful are actually shown and explained in the show itself: besides the fact that he travelled through the regions that Ash previously visited (except for the Orange Islands, as far as we know) and competed in all of their leagues (which he didn't win, btw), he also generally catches only Pokémon that have strong moves, special abilities and/or have the potential to become more powerful, and the Pokémon that meet his standards undergo a harsh and sever training regime that's supposed to bolster their strength. So, basically, he meets none of the criterias of a Gary Stu/Mary Sue.

Second off, I really think that you're blowing Paul's actions out of proportion. He would push his Pokémon to their limits regardless of their feelings and his methods of training were harsh, but it's been shown in the DP series that it's usually his Pokémon that want and ask him to train them this way, so they could become stronger. It's even outright stated in this episode by Paul (and confirmed by Chimchar immediately after) that the reason he was so harsh to it is because it wanted to train like that (also, quick tangent, but what the hell is victim blaming and when did Cynthia do that to Chimchar?). And, besides, it's not like he was literally throwing stones at his Pokémon or lying that he'll come back to them before abandoning them, while also tying a rope around their necks so they wouldn't follow him, which could actually kill them (and your attempt at corelating the latter to Paul's behaviour doesn't work, as he never left his released Pokémon in the middle of a place with deadly conditions, with the false hope that he'll return for them). So I don't see why you're trying to make it out to seem like his behavior is so reprehensible (which, to be fair, some of it actually was and the show even made it clear when that was the case), monstrous and completely unacceptable, since there's far worse things that other trainers have done to their Pokémon. His methods may be somewhat extreme, but they're not illegal or that terrible and extreme, so Brock and Cynthia (and, by the way, Cynthia actually rebuked Paul's behavior in her debut episode and was the one who told him to take his Pokémon to a Pokémon Center, so she wasn't that indulgent, as you make her out to be) didn't really have a reason to scold him, since he was doing his job and his methods brought results, even if they weren't that ethical.

And, as for that tumblr post of yours, the first few paragraphs of it already made my spider-senses tingle. The guy who wrote it misinterprets and misrepresents Paul's backstory, by saying that the reason he's the way he is is that he got angry at his brother for loosing to the clearly undefeatable Brandon, which never happened in the anime. What actually happened is that his brother, who was a very strong trainer back then, challenged the last Frontier Brain that he had to defeat, Brandon, who was also a strong trainer (and strong doesn't mean undefeatable, as the OP makes it seem) and looses. Paul is surprised by this and, after hearing Brandon commenting on Reggie's lack of inner strength, Paul wonders about his own inner strength, which led to him focusing so much on the strength of his Pokémon and explains why he cares so much about power. The OP then goes on a weird tangent about Paul looking angrily at his Turtwig (which, news flash, that just how his eyebrows are drawn; I'm pretty sure that that was supposed to be him wondering/looking determined, rather than being suddenly angry at his Pokémon for no reason), before stating that Paul doesn't respect Reggie, which is a load of $#@%, as Paul is never shown to be trash-talking him (which is what he typically does to those that the doesn't respect) or having a low opinion of his brother. Paul's shown to be talking to him from time to time, he leaves his Pokémon in his care, he usually listens to what his brother has to say... All signs point to him actually respecting him. And don't even get me started on the dude equating people liking Paul, his character and his dynamic with Ash with them being (and I quote) "totally down with abusing living creatures if they were real". Wow, that really changed my opinion and suddenly made me respect him and agree with his point... NOT!! Right off the bat, this tumbler guy manage to spew a bunch of close-minded nonsense that is easily disproven by the show itself, which makes it seem like he's looking more for validation and attention than to actually reason with others and convince people of his opinions. And, personally, I think that maybe, just maybe, he should be taking a long look in the mirror before calling others to disturbing a-holes.

Now, there's nothing wrong with not liking or even downright hating Paul. But your (and that Tumblr guy's) justification and reasoning behind that opinion is just based on misinformation and misinterpretation and just comes off as shallow and even petty to an extent. Reminds me of a post that was bashing Guzma for using "made-up" moves like Liquidation (which is actually a real move and, even if it wasn't, improvised moves are perfectly legal in the anime) and being angry that he didn't get disqualified from the league for that (as well as for not being a nice guy that shows sportsmanship and respect for his competition).
 
Okay, first off, what the hell even is a Jerk Sue? Is it supposed to be a Gary Stu/Mary Sue who's a jerk? If that's the case, what exactly makes you think that Paul is a Gary Stu? He's shown to be strong, true, and he and his Pokémon were always portrayed to be more powerful than Ash and his team. But that doesn't make him a Gary Stu. He's lost a couple of battles (like the ones against Cynthia and Brandon, and even his first battle with Ash ended in a draw (not to mention his Sinnoh League defeat at the hands of Ash)) and competitions (one of them was even against Ash), his abrasive, jerk-like attitude is treated as a flaw that tend to cause problems to others and the reasons why he's so powerful are actually shown and explained in the show itself: besides the fact that he travelled through the regions that Ash previously visited (except for the Orange Islands, as far as we know) and competed in all of their leagues (which he didn't win, btw), he also generally catches only Pokémon that have strong moves, special abilities and/or have the potential to become more powerful, and the Pokémon that meet his standards undergo a harsh and sever training regime that's supposed to bolster their strength. So, basically, he meets none of the criterias of a Gary Stu/Mary Sue.

Second off, I really think that you're blowing Paul's actions out of proportion. He would push his Pokémon to their limits regardless of their feelings and his methods of training were harsh, but it's been shown in the DP series that it's usually his Pokémon that want and ask him to train them this way, so they could become stronger. It's even outright stated in this episode by Paul (and confirmed by Chimchar immediately after) that the reason he was so harsh to it is because it wanted to train like that (also, quick tangent, but what the hell is victim blaming and when did Cynthia do that to Chimchar?). And, besides, it's not like he was literally throwing stones at his Pokémon or lying that he'll come back to them before abandoning them, while also tying a rope around their necks so they wouldn't follow him, which could actually kill them (and your attempt at corelating the latter to Paul's behaviour doesn't work, as he never left his released Pokémon in the middle of a place with deadly conditions, with the false hope that he'll return for them). So I don't see why you're trying to make it out to seem like his behavior is so reprehensible (which, to be fair, some of it actually was and the show even made it clear when that was the case), monstrous and completely unacceptable, since there's far worse things that other trainers have done to their Pokémon. His methods may be somewhat extreme, but they're not illegal or that terrible and extreme, so Brock and Cynthia (and, by the way, Cynthia actually rebuked Paul's behavior in her debut episode and was the one who told him to take his Pokémon to a Pokémon Center, so she wasn't that indulgent, as you make her out to be) didn't really have a reason to scold him, since he was doing his job and his methods brought results, even if they weren't that ethical.

And, as for that tumblr post of yours, the first few paragraphs of it already made my spider-senses tingle. The guy who wrote it misinterprets and misrepresents Paul's backstory, by saying that the reason he's the way he is is that he got angry at his brother for loosing to the clearly undefeatable Brandon, which never happened in the anime. What actually happened is that his brother, who was a very strong trainer back then, challenged the last Frontier Brain that he had to defeat, Brandon, who was also a strong trainer (and strong doesn't mean undefeatable, as the OP makes it seem) and looses. Paul is surprised by this and, after hearing Brandon commenting on Reggie's lack of inner strength, Paul wonders about his own inner strength, which led to him focusing so much on the strength of his Pokémon and explains why he cares so much about power. The OP then goes on a weird tangent about Paul looking angrily at his Turtwig (which, news flash, that just how his eyebrows are drawn; I'm pretty sure that that was supposed to be him wondering/looking determined, rather than being suddenly angry at his Pokémon for no reason), before stating that Paul doesn't respect Reggie, which is a load of $#@%, as Paul is never shown to be trash-talking him (which is what he typically does to those that the doesn't respect) or having a low opinion of his brother. Paul's shown to be talking to him from time to time, he leaves his Pokémon in his care, he usually listens to what his brother has to say... All signs point to him actually respecting him. And don't even get me started on the dude equating people liking Paul, his character and his dynamic with Ash with them being (and I quote) "totally down with abusing living creatures if they were real". Wow, that really changed my opinion and suddenly made me respect him and agree with his point... NOT!! Right off the bat, this tumbler guy manage to spew a bunch of close-minded nonsense that is easily disproven by the show itself, which makes it seem like he's looking more for validation and attention than to actually reason with others and convince people of his opinions. And, personally, I think that maybe, just maybe, he should be taking a long look in the mirror before calling others to disturbing a-holes.

Now, there's nothing wrong with not liking or even downright hating Paul. But your (and that Tumblr guy's) justification and reasoning behind that opinion is just based on misinformation and misinterpretation and just comes off as shallow and even petty to an extent. Reminds me of a post that was bashing Guzma for using "made-up" moves like Liquidation (which is actually a real move and, even if it wasn't, improvised moves are perfectly legal in the anime) and being angry that he didn't get disqualified from the league for that (as well as for not being a nice guy that shows sportsmanship and respect for his competition).

I will agree with you in certain ways, namely:

1: I've grown to dislike all 'Sue' terminology as a whole, since it's far too imprecise and open to interpretation. By time your intent is explained well enough, the term usually becomes unnecessary anyway.

2: The tumblr post really is flawed and kind of excessive in tone, but I still agree with its core sentiment.

However, I will stand by the belief that Paul and Reggie's conflict/resolution/general backstory could've been much better written, as well as the belief that Paul deserved a larger punishment.

Realistically, there's hardly ever really such a thing as someone who's evilly plotting and metaphorically twirling their mustache, thinking they're gonna do abusive things just to be evil. That's not how Paul is either. You don't have to be a supervillain to be abusive to someone else, but that doesn't mean it isn't still a terrible thing that needs to be taken very seriously. There's pretty much always some reason that they think they're in the right. Sometimes they even have a point, it's just that the way they go about it is still unacceptable.

So no matter how much Paul just wanted Chimchar to be strong, and no matter how much Chimchar thought it was for the best, I think it required and justified being harsher on Paul. Chimchar was in many ways the mental equivalent of a child, and child victims excuse and downplay their own abuse all the time. Like I said, most abusive behavior is wrong, but at the same time not a purposeful attempt to be malicious. Children themselves can recognize this on some level, hence their efforts to rationalize it.

It's just that abuse is not excused by good intentions alone, and not sufficiently addressed just because people are sometimes like "wow dude, you're being mean, maybe chill".

And I will not budge on the opinion that Paul's behavior towards Chimchar still constitutes abuse strong enough that the narrative was still way too lenient with him, even if he did get criticism and eventually lose.

So your stuff about 'well other Trainers were worse' just comes off as kind of deflecting, since no one ever said Paul is somehow worse than or directly equal to them. What I'm saying is that Paul's behavior is still serious enough that he gets off too lightly, even if it's not 'as bad'.
 
Farfetch'd (and prolly Sirfetch'd as well) make excellent oven roasts, especially when seasoned with their leeks.

I feel like most Sirfetch'd, having trained hard and become Fighting-type, have become too tough and lean to be good oven roasts.

The secret to overcoming this is to keep them from training for a while and fatten them up.
 
1: I've grown to dislike all 'Sue' terminology as a whole, since it's far too imprecise and open to interpretation. By time your intent is explained well enough, the term usually becomes unnecessary anyway.

I... don't actually agree with this. Mary Sue/Gary Stu have very precise definition with very clear criterias used to see if the word applies to a certain something (or, in this case, someone). People misusing it, either due to a lack of understanding of that word, due to ignorance or due to downright malicious and disingenuous intents (so as to blur the word's meaning and make it easier to portray those who use it in whatever light they want), don't change that.

Kind of like the word "ironic". That word has a clear definition, with it being used to describe a specific situation, but some people misuse it, due to the aforementioned reasons.

2: The tumblr post really is flawed and kind of excessive in tone, but I still agree with its core sentiment.

And what exactly even is that post's core message? That you shouldn't like Paul? 'Cause the title, the conclusion and the comments made at the people who enjoyed Paul's character and defend it (aka. him equating them to "NO FUN ALLOWED guys" (which is kind of ironic) and animal abusers) really makes it seem that way. And even then, the entire post is based on very faulty and easily debunkable information, so even if it had a good intent, that doesn't excuse the poor argumentation, the lack of research, the misinformation presented as fact and somewhat hostility in that post. So, besides it validating your own feelings and personal views, what exactly does that tumblr post have going for it?

However, I will stand by the belief that Paul and Reggie's conflict/resolution/general backstory could've been much better written, as well as the belief that Paul deserved a larger punishment.

Where does this notion that Paul and Reggie have/had a conflict comes from? I'm serious, I don't remember that ever happening or being brought up in the show. The only persons he was disrespectful and outright hostile towards were other people that were within his age range. He was respectful towards elder trainers and he most definitely was respectful towards his own family, so where is this notion coming from?

As for him deserving punishment... well, I'll save that for later.

Realistically, there's hardly ever really such a thing as someone who's evilly plotting and metaphorically twirling their mustache, thinking they're gonna do abusive things just to be evil. That's not how Paul is either. You don't have to be a supervillain to be abusive to someone else, but that doesn't mean it isn't still a terrible thing that needs to be taken very seriously. There's pretty much always some reason that they think they're in the right. Sometimes they even have a point, it's just that the way they go about it is still unacceptable.

So no matter how much Paul just wanted Chimchar to be strong, and no matter how much Chimchar thought it was for the best, I think it required and justified being harsher on Paul. Chimchar was in many ways the mental equivalent of a child, and child victims excuse and downplay their own abuse all the time. Like I said, most abusive behavior is wrong, but at the same time not a purposeful attempt to be malicious. Children themselves can recognize this on some level, hence their efforts to rationalize it.

Now it's later. While I won't deny that what Paul did to Chimchar could constitute abuse in real life, here's a more important question: does it constitute abuse in the Pokémon world?

The anime doesn't take place in our world, it takes place in its own world, with its own set of rules and laws that are different from ours. So you can't just apply the rules and laws within our world and expect things to happen as they do in real life. Who's to say that, in the Pokémon world, Paul's training methods are considered legal, even f they're immoral to a degree? They're considered unethical by many in the show and there've been a lot of characters who didn't agree with his ways of training and raising Pokémon and considered them wrong, but they were never shown to be a criminal-level of wrong, like real-life abuse is (which would also explain why it's not treated as reprehensively as some people expect). And his methods did produce results, as most of his Pokémon were shown to be very strong (which is what a Pokémon Trainer's job is: to train his Pokémon) and those who didn't prove useful to him were generally released back into the wild or given away to younger trainers after their first battle. And, again, it's not like his abusive training was treated as correct or acceptable, by either the show or characters within the show.

Again, this reminds me a lot of that post regarding Guzma, where someone really hated him for being very mean and wanted to see him punished for this... even though him being mean isn't against any kind of rules regarding Pokémon training and battling.

So your stuff about 'well other Trainers were worse' just comes off as kind of deflecting, since no one ever said Paul is somehow worse than or directly equal to them. What I'm saying is that Paul's behavior is still serious enough that he gets off too lightly, even if it's not 'as bad'.

Meanwhile, the person I specifically responded to (which wasn't you, btw) said:
What also pisses me off is that Brock was so passive about the whole thing when back in the OS days, he actually got angry and was about to whoop Damian's ass for bragging about not only abandoning Charmander, but lying to it and saying that he would return to get it
Which is them saying that they're very angry at the fact Brock didn't Paul the same way he treated someone who was doing things worse than him, basically equating the two. So I wasn't trying to deflect anything, but rather make a clear distinction between two, different cases.
 
And what exactly even is that post's core message? That you shouldn't like Paul? 'Cause the title, the conclusion and the comments made at the people who enjoyed Paul's character and defend it (aka. him equating them to "NO FUN ALLOWED guys" (which is kind of ironic) and animal abusers) really makes it seem that way. And even then, the entire post is based on very faulty and easily debunkable information, so even if it had a good intent, that doesn't excuse the poor argumentation, the lack of research, the misinformation presented as fact and somewhat hostility in that post. So, besides it validating your own feelings and personal views, what exactly does that tumblr post have going for it?

I meant 'Core sentiment' as 'Dislike of Paul'. I agree with that much, even if my specific reasoning isn't the same. I already said the post's flawed and excessive in tone, so I wasn't even trying to say that the rest is excused, or that the post has much else going for it.

I... don't actually agree with this. Mary Sue/Gary Stu have very precise definition with very clear criterias used to see if the word applies to a certain something (or, in this case, someone). People misusing it, either due to a lack of understanding of that word, due to ignorance or due to downright malicious and disingenuous intents (so as to blur the word's meaning and make it easier to portray those who use it in whatever light they want), don't change that.

Kind of like the word "ironic". That word has a clear definition, with it being used to describe a specific situation, but some people misuse it, due to the aforementioned reasons.

To me, what you're saying is largely the same issue from a different perspective. Language isn't always fixed in meaning, there's a natural drift to it. In itself, the fact that so many people use and interpret it differently eventually causes people to have multiple different personal criteria and definitions for what a 'Sue' really is. Even the 'official' one was still made by people, after all. Not to mention the further branching when people make 'offshoots' of the term, like Jerk Sue.

So, you're kind of right, but I don't agree with 'precise definition' and 'very clear criteria', because that doesn't automatically mean that's what everyone's really going by. So things end up getting ambiguous and people focus too much debate on what someone meant by the term, which just prolongs the argument.

It would've been easier if I'd simply said that I don't agree that Paul is a Jerk Sue. As it was, I was just trying to give part of the reason why I don't agree that it's the right term for him, not trying to say that my own further reasoning is exactly what you think too.

Where does this notion that Paul and Reggie have/had a conflict comes from? I'm serious, I don't remember that ever happening or being brought up in the show. The only persons he was disrespectful and outright hostile towards were other people that were within his age range. He was respectful towards elder trainers and he most definitely was respectful towards his own family, so where is this notion coming from?

As for him deserving punishment... well, I'll save that for later.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean 'conflict' as 'hostility', I mean in the broader story sense of 'there's a plot-relevant issue that they don't see eye-to-eye on', combined with how I just personally don't like how they did that part. Even without hostility towards Reggie, I still think that how Paul chose to take things comes off as unfair and immature of him, even with your explanation.

Now it's later. While I won't deny that what Paul did to Chimchar could constitute abuse in real life, here's a more important question: does it constitute abuse in the Pokémon world?

Even if it doesn't, I still think it should. I'm not automatically okay with how it all went just because it's 'technically not illegal'. And although I see the Guzma parallels, his situation is different enough that I actually don't agree with the critics there.

Meanwhile, the person I specifically responded to (which wasn't you, btw) said:

Mostly, I'll give you all the stuff following this, since I see how that seems like a direct equation to you, even if I don't necessarily think it is. To me it seems more like 'This level of behavior should also be unacceptable to Brock, even if it isn't the exact same'. I'm not currently trying to argue whether or not feeling that way about Brock is right, it's just what I thought they meant. I acknowledge that it's not the only way it could be interpreted.

But I felt like the 'which wasn't you' you threw in could've been put better. I'm sorry that I replied instead of them, and I see what you were trying to do on this section now, but the way you typed and worded 'which wasn't you' comes off as a little passive-aggressive to me. It gives me the mental image of someone snidely muttering it under their breath. But there's still a good chance that's just me being paranoid/defensive, so I'll just stop here.

Anyway, I won't say anything further about Paul. I respect your right to your opinions.
 
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Why is Paul getting such an attention? I dont get it. I always felt meh towards it, because in my eyes he is a typical "I am bad and I believe my way is the best" type of rival. He isnt anything original in my eyes, same with Alain, Trip heck even Gary.
 
Well as long as Paul is the subject...

Quick question for anyone who cares, why did the dub change this line?
126307

Or it was at least something along these lines.

English version: "I just don't like him."
 
Even if he was, he learned his lesson. His pokémon weren't exactly nice types either, so maybe they wanted to get treated that way?
Paul didn't show any signs of wanting to change his way of training. He just came to respect Ash's methods of training.
 
Well as long as Paul is the subject...

Quick question for anyone who cares, why did the dub change this line?
View attachment 126307
Or it was at least something along these lines.

English version: "I just don't like him."
less harsh? Who knows, sometimes they change the lines, even if it doesnt make any sense and the orginial is fine.
 
Technically, Ash and Paul could actually be seen as parallels to different kinds of real life Pokémon players. Ash is the type of Trainer who just wants to have fun while adventuring, not being overly picky which Pokémon he catches along the way. Paul, meanwhile, is closer to a professional competitive battler, who only keeps and raises the Pokémon with the best potential and is more interested in getting to the top than having an adventure.
 
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