Controversial opinions

At least you tried...
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Honestly, it felt like they made Alain's team at the last minute. Up until his second battle with Ash, we didn't even know if he had any other Pokemon besides his Charizard. Despite being featured throughout the first two years of XY through the Mega Evolution specials, there was no indication that he had more than one Pokemon, let alone a full team. I don't really see how that's much better than Tobias' team. I don't think too many fans remember any of his Pokemon besides Mega Charizard X.

Charizard is my favorite Kanto starter, but even I was getting tired of the blatant Charizard favortisim with Alain's Mega Charizard X. It just became so overpowered all of a sudden and there wasn't an easy justification for it like Tobias's Legendary Pokemon. I can understand being more annoyed with Tobias since he was basically just a roadblock to prevent Ash from winning the Sinnoh League, but Alain just doesn't seem like a significant improvement to me. He's Tobias if he was a supporting character in DP that we were supposed to care about and whatever investment I had in Alain disappeared the moment he defeated ten trainers in a row, including an Elite 4 member.

There was also how Alain won all eight badges he needed for the Kalos League in a seemingly fast manner. Time is really weird in the anime and he would be able to travel around potentially faster than Ash, but he still won his way through the Gyms and Kalos League not because he wanted to win it, but because he wanted to face Ash again in battle. This was seriously frustrating to me not only because of how it made Alain even more broken, but it was also something that they could easily have fixed. They could have had Alain going through some Gyms before meeting Ash. He would need to get his Pokemon to be stronger in order to fight more Mega Pokemon and at least two Kalos Gym Leaders had Mega Pokemon on them, so it wouldn't have been a stretch to just have Alain challenging a few Gyms during his travels. I understand that they wanted Ash to inspire Alain to compete, but it just made their rivalry and Alain's involvement in the Kalos League feel like a last minute addition more than anything else.
Come to think of it, I believe before it was confirmed Alain was in the league some people believed he wouldn't be specifically because of not showing enough other Pokémon for him and how little time there was for him to win the badges.

I've read--not sure if this is confirmed or just a theory--that Alain was OP because he was supposed to be a representative of the older part of the fan base.
If so that makes me, as part of said older part of the fan base, feel guilty by association.
Either way, it's sort of funny that when they decided to give a league roadblock more characterization and buildup it resulted in one of the most hated ones, though a lot of that is the false hype over a win. If the episode's Japanese title had been "Not this time either! We love Lizardon!" the internet probably wouldn't have exploded as badly.
 
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Another thing about Alain (or his Charizard) being powerful: They did show that he was on Elite Four level but not Campion level through thr ME specials. Alain won against Malva after getting through 9 consecutive battles, lost against Siebold, dealt almost no damage to Steven. So even though they showered him with Charizard favoritism, it is still something we know about compared to Tobias who we really know nothing about.
 
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I've said it before but I think Tobias was handled brilliantly in DP. With the Kalos league, everyone really thought Ash would win only to be faced with disappointment when he lost. With the Sinnoh League though, they showed the unbeatable Darkrai right off the bat so we all knew Ash was going to lose to him. What we didn't know was that Ash would defeat that Darkrai and even a Latios to boot. Thus Ash defeats his rival and even further surpasses everyone's expectation of him by holding his own against actual legendaries. No matter how you look at it, the Sinnoh league was a massive triumph and at the end it didn't even feel like Ash had really lost. Tobias didn't even have any usable Pokemon on the field at the end, so it didn't even feel like his Pokemon directly bested Ash's either.

XY subverted expectation in a bad way, DP subverted expectation in a good way.

The writers were clearly forced to make Ash lose when they really wanted him to win. Tobias was a plot device created to give the feeling that Ash won, or at least deserved to win. After all, losing to a hacker doesn't really count, right?
 
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At least you tried...
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The writers were clearly forced to make Ash lose when they really wanted him to win. Tobias was a plot device created to give the feeling that Ash won, or at least deserved to win. After all, losing to a hacker doesn't really count, right?
We learned some interesting behind the scenes stuff from Takeshi Shudo, and I really hope we learn more from some of the others writers at some point. The theory he was going to win Sinnoh but it was shut down by a higher up feels plausible when you look at the Champion's League being introduced and how blatantly DEM Tobias is, but getting confirmation one way or the other would be nice.

I'm still amused by the (probably unintended) interpretation that Tobias is a stand-in for gameshark users.
 
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We learned some interesting behind the scenes stuff from Takeshi Shudo, and I really hope we learn more from some of the others writers at some point. The theory he was going to win Sinnoh but it was shut down by a higher up feels plausible when you look at the Champion's League being introduced and how blatantly DEM Tobias is, but getting confirmation one way or the other would be nice.

I'm still amused by the (probably unintended) interpretation that Tobias is a stand-in for gameshark users.
I always thought Tobias was meant to be a stand-in for the player who goes through the Elite 4 and Champion using Legendaries , especially considering that at that point in the games you would have acquired multiple by that point.
 
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I always thought Tobias was meant to be a stand-in for the player who goes through the Elite 4 and Champion using Legendaries , especially considering that at that point in the games you would have acquired multiple by that point.
Or he might just be a representation of your average hacker who cheats his way through link battles. I'm surprised they didn't give him Spiritomb or Sableye with Wonder Guard instead of Latios.
 
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Or he might just be a representation of your average hacker who cheats his way through link battles. I'm surprised they didn't give him Spiritomb or Sableye with Wonder Guard instead of Latios.
I don't see how he was a representation of that considering that the two Pokemon that he used were fair game at the Sinnoh League. There was even a Heatran at the same tournament so it's not like Tobias was the only trainer using legendaries there.

On this subject I don't think that he was meant to represent anything to begin with. In my book he was just a hastily made character that the writing staff used to make Ash's loss more realistic and less time consuming than having him battle some average trainer in a six on six battle.
 
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There was even a Heatran at the same tournament so it's not like Tobias was the only trainer using legendaries there.
I kinda wish they went somewhere with that guy. You’d think there would at least be people commenting about that trainer and a bunch of others making bets about the winner in a Darkrai vs Heatran scenario.

Instead, he just tripped into the nearest plothole.
 
At least you tried...
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I kinda wish they went somewhere with that guy. You’d think there would at least be people commenting about that trainer and a bunch of others making bets about the winner in a Darkrai vs Heatran scenario.

Instead, he just tripped into the nearest plothole.
I read a theory that whomever put Heatran there didn't realize he was a legendary and just grabbed a random Pokémon.
This was the same series with that one scene where they drew Pikachu both on Ash's shoulder and walking next to him so I wouldn't rule out that sort of error.
 
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I read a theory that whomever put Heatran there didn't realize he was a legendary and just grabbed a random Pokémon.
This was the same series with that one scene where they drew Pikachu both on Ash's shoulder and walking next to him so I wouldn't rule out that sort of error.
I know that errors can happen and the twin Pikachu thing is an example of that (I laughed so much when I saw that scene in the Magnezone filler), but I really think it's a stretch to assume that Heatran was an animation error. I mean even the most underpaid, inexperienced animator couldn't have been that clueless imo.
 
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I read a theory that whomever put Heatran there didn't realize he was a legendary and just grabbed a random Pokémon.
This was the same series with that one scene where they drew Pikachu both on Ash's shoulder and walking next to him so I wouldn't rule out that sort of error.
I mean, Pikachu is a tiny pokemon, and both of the glitch twins were in positions he usually occupies, so it’s understandable... accidentally drawing in a mythological giant lava cockroach into a scene is a bit of a stretch.
 
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I like both Tobias and Alain as the league rivals.
I’m personally neutral towards Tobias (but I love Darkrai so...), but I like Alain, and the Mega Evolution specials were a good way to introduce us to a rival, the evil team and their own plot before merging into the main series.
I think they went overboard with Alain sweeping the league with Charizard though, and I don’t like that it made Alain get a lot of hate. My personal theory is that the writers couldn’t be bothered to come up with a team for Alain till it was absolutely necessary. It could’ve been rectified by completely hiding the fainted Pokémon on the screen or something, but the scenario we got was absolutely unnecessary.

As for the league victory, it could’ve been done better by either having Greninja get a victory beforehand, or have Team Flare interrupt the final match in the middle of Charizard vs Greninja. That could end with the scenario of Ash and Alain ending up with a honorary trophy for their contributions. Returning to Kanto after that wouldn’t be much more weird than the anime's usual assortment of asspulls.

Leaving the result ambiguous would've been better.
 
The Eeveelution who says "Rawr!"
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I’m personally neutral towards Tobias (but I love Darkrai so...), but I like Alain, and the Mega Evolution specials were a good way to introduce us to a rival, the evil team and their own plot before merging into the main series.
I think they went overboard with Alain sweeping the league with Charizard though, and I don’t like that it made Alain get a lot of hate. My personal theory is that the writers couldn’t be bothered to come up with a team for Alain till it was absolutely necessary. It could’ve been rectified by completely hiding the fainted Pokémon on the screen or something, but the scenario we got was absolutely unnecessary.

As for the league victory, it could’ve been done better by either having Greninja get a victory beforehand, or have Team Flare interrupt the final match in the middle of Charizard vs Greninja. That could end with the scenario of Ash and Alain ending up with a honorary trophy for their contributions. Returning to Kanto after that wouldn’t be much more weird than the anime's usual assortment of asspulls.

Leaving the result ambiguous would've been better.
Otherwise, I agree, but I don't think the match itself should have been interrupted. It's better to have some winner to the battle, rather than no winner at all.
 
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Otherwise, I agree, but I don't think the match itself should have been interrupted. It's better to have some winner to the battle, rather than no winner at all.
I personally think no winner would've been the least rage inducing outcome, and having the league itself interrupted would've been entertaining and unprecedented.
 
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Before the episode aired, I was so sure that the Kalos League would be interrupted by Team Flare. I figured that they would have continued the match afterwards with only Charizard vs. Greninja, but not having an outcome at all probably would have gotten people less frustrated. There would have been backlash given how many people wanted Ash to win the Kalos League, but it probably wouldn't have been as intense as it turned out to be.
 
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Otherwise, I agree, but I don't think the match itself should have been interrupted. It's better to have some winner to the battle, rather than no winner at all.
Before the episode aired, I was so sure that the Kalos League would be interrupted by Team Flare. I figured that they would have continued the match afterwards with only Charizard vs. Greninja, but not having an outcome at all probably would have gotten people less frustrated. There would have been backlash given how many people wanted Ash to win the Kalos League, but it probably wouldn't have been as intense as it turned out to be.
How about a tie then? Joint winner is still technically above Top 4 (Sinnoh) and below actual winner (Alola).
 
At least you tried...
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I suspect he lost in Kalos at least partly because they didn't want him skipping a rank (going from top 4 to winner without a runner-up section), but I don't think they anticipated quite how large the backlash ended up being (twitter and social media had taken off even more between BW and XY's ends, plus we already knew he was losing previous ones ahead of time thanks to episode titles) and never considered ways to mitigate it like a tie or interrupting the match.
 
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I suspect he lost in Kalos at least partly because they didn't want him skipping a rank (going from top 4 to winner without a runner-up section), but I don't think they anticipated quite how large the backlash ended up being (twitter and social media had taken off even more between BW and XY's ends, plus we already knew he was losing previous ones ahead of time thanks to episode titles) and never considered ways to mitigate it like a tie or interrupting the match.
I don't think it help that by the end of the match Alain's MC-X didn't looked hurt at all.
 
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