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Controversial opinions

I think Serena is the most overrated companion we’ve got so far. Most of her character is based around on her crush on Ash, which gets rehashed all the way throughout XY. It’s the same thing each time and it got pretty repetitive to me rather quickly. Then when she finally develops as a character, she goes on a contest journey which I think was just done better by Dawn and May. I don’t think she’s a bad character or anything, but imo she shouldn’t be held to the same status as Brock, Misty etc because they were way more entertaining and interesting characters.

She doesn’t have much chemistry with Ash and her romance plot didn’t really go anywhere. Yes she kissed him, but given Ash’s lack of notable reaction (he just said bye serena and nothing else) and the fact that it wasn’t brought up again makes it feel rather pointless. If it is directly brought up in Journeys, then I’ll take the L here. But she’s also lead to shipping bait in that ‘date’ (they are teased to be together but immediately split up) and ‘dancing’ (they never dance with each other despite the buildup) episodes. Like they’re really gonna shove this in our faces all series, but when there’s an episode where this could actually be developed or brought up, it’s avoided. It just feels like the writers shot themselves in the foot by creating a story (Serena and Ash being in a relationship) that they could never complete (because it’s still a kids show). I’d rather they either commit to it or avoid it altogether, not awkwardly hang around in the middle there.
 
Absolutely disagree but regarding this:

But she’s also lead to shipping bait in that ‘date’ (they are teased to be together but immediately split up) and ‘dancing’ (they never dance with each other despite the buildup) episodes. Like they’re really gonna shove this in our faces all series, but when there’s an episode where this could actually be developed or brought up, it’s avoided. It just feels like the writers shot themselves in the foot by creating a story (Serena and Ash being in a relationship) that they could never complete (because it’s still a kids show). I’d rather they either commit to it or avoid it altogether, not awkwardly hang around in the middle there.

It is actually how shoujo works though, all the missed opportunities to build up to that final kiss.
 
Absolutely disagree but regarding this:



It is actually how shoujo works though, all the missed opportunities to build up to that final kiss.
Oh but even then I'm not that invested in that plot anyways. I find shipping, notably between Ash and his companions kinda weird to begin with.
 
I think Serena is the most overrated companion we’ve got so far. Most of her character is based around on her crush on Ash, which gets rehashed all the way throughout XY. It’s the same thing each time and it got pretty repetitive to me rather quickly. Then when she finally develops as a character, she goes on a contest journey which I think was just done better by Dawn and May. I don’t think she’s a bad character or anything, but imo she shouldn’t be held to the same status as Brock, Misty etc because they were way more entertaining and interesting characters.

She doesn’t have much chemistry with Ash and her romance plot didn’t really go anywhere. Yes she kissed him, but given Ash’s lack of notable reaction (he just said bye serena and nothing else) and the fact that it wasn’t brought up again makes it feel rather pointless. If it is directly brought up in Journeys, then I’ll take the L here. But she’s also lead to shipping bait in that ‘date’ (they are teased to be together but immediately split up) and ‘dancing’ (they never dance with each other despite the buildup) episodes. Like they’re really gonna shove this in our faces all series, but when there’s an episode where this could actually be developed or brought up, it’s avoided. It just feels like the writers shot themselves in the foot by creating a story (Serena and Ash being in a relationship) that they could never complete (because it’s still a kids show). I’d rather they either commit to it or avoid it altogether, not awkwardly hang around in the middle there.
Sorry, but this post just struck me the wrong way and it seems you're taking the opinions of annoyingly vocal XY/XYZ-only stans as the default viewpoint about Serena. Calling her character as "only shipping bait" is outright ignorant and sexist. If anything, Brock and Misty are overrated and generally bland, Misty more so whose popularity is primarily fueled by the Genwun/nostalgia/first factor, she didn't do much during her entire time in the main cast and was pretty much stagnant as a character. While Brock did get more in terms of development, considering how many series he's appeared in, that development gets diluted a lot. Neither of them were that interesting in terms of character, they were only popular because of what they represented.

Saying that Serena had no chemistry with Ash is also a bit too shallow. You might want to take into consideration that Ash is a pre-teen and somewhat one-track minded about a lot of things, mostly Pokemon related, but that doesn't mean that he didn't have any chemistry with her (and Ash isn't the only pre-teen boy to be dense, a majority of pre-teen boys tend to be dense in general). On a final note, Ash did react to the kiss. It was very subtle (given how they kept the romance subplot a bit minimal due to the fact that it's a kids show), but there was a definite reaction that you might want to check for yourself.

Serena's character is easily the best developed in the entire anime (especially in terms of characterization), I'll leave this article to do the heavy lifting (no point in just parroting what's written in it).

You may want to base your opinion off your own views instead of what stans shout in forums/message boards. Yes, it is really annoying to see "Greninja returns plz", "Serena return plz", "XY best, Ash mature" etc. type of posts, but that shouldn't damage the actual content itself.
 
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Serena actually has a very decent character development throughout her journey, but it is sadly overshadowed by the controversy surrounding XY series and, obviously, the crush part, which I don't think should be taken badly.

Also for her character development, the crush part was essential, since it was the crush what made her go on a journey with Ash. If it was not for Ash, she would never go against the odds and pursue whatever her goal may be, and probably instead would end up forcing herself to become a Rhyhon rider as her mom wanted her to become. Serena still struggled throughout her journey especially during XY era, aka the first two years. But it was mostly Ash and her interactions with Bonnie and Clemont that made her go through it all, aside from her Pokémon. Thus, complaining about Serena having a crush on Ash and that being her only trait to the series would make me question whether we watched the same series or not.
 
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Since we’re on the topic of XY, I think Clemont’s Chespin isn’t nearly as bad as most think. Yes, he was annoying comic relief, but he was consistently comic relief that you always knew what to expect from. I find that better than how BW made Oshawott and Axew annoying pushovers for most of the time then tried to sell them off as competent and powerful every now and then.
 
Since we’re on the topic of XY, I think Clemont’s Chespin isn’t nearly as bad as most think. Yes, he was annoying comic relief, but he was consistently comic relief that you always knew what to expect from. I find that better than how BW made Oshawott and Axew annoying pushovers for most of the time then tried to sell them off as competent and powerful every now and then.
That brings to my mind one episode where Chespin gets horribly mistreated. Specifically, the episode where Serena caught her Eevee. While the group tries to lure Eevee out with Poké Puffs, Bunnelby notices Eevee taking the bait, but for some reason that still irks me to no end, it lets Eevee go. And then Clemont and Bonnie end up blaming Chespin for eating it, even though it didn't, with Bunnelby looking like "Here we go again, even though it was Bunnelby's fault in the first place! May be my hatred towards Bunnelby as a species in general, but I hated this scene a lot, and also the fact that it led to Eevee/Sylveon becoming buddies with Bunnelby.
 
That brings to my mind one episode where Chespin gets horribly mistreated. Specifically, the episode where Serena caught her Eevee. While the group tries to lure Eevee out with Poké Puffs, Bunnelby notices Eevee taking the bait, but for some reason that still irks me to no end, it lets Eevee go. And then Clemont and Bonnie end up blaming Chespin for eating it, even though it didn't, with Bunnelby looking like "Here we go again, even though it was Bunnelby's fault in the first place! May be my hatred towards Bunnelby as a species in general, but I hated this scene a lot, and also the fact that it led to Eevee/Sylveon becoming buddies with Bunnelby.
Yeah, I agree. Letting Eevee go wasn’t a problem to me (it gained her trust there), but blaming Chespin was a dick move.
 
About Serena again, I’ll admit I got carried away in my last post and could’ve worded things better. I didn’t mean to apply that ‘shipping bait’ comment to her character as a whole, but rather those two episodes I mentioned. Those date and dancing episode felt misleading because they were setting up a lot of amourshipping moments between the two, but not an awful lot of that happened. Hence the ‘baiting’. Though that means I just didn’t like those episodes, rather than her character and I should’ve made that clearer.

I think she’s a fine character and all, but as far as other female companions go, I prefer Dawn, Lillie and Chloe in particular. I find them more interesting overall and I think they have more profound character arcs in general (excluding Chloe for now). Serena’s crush angle didn’t stick the landing with me, even if it made sense for her character. So I think she’s overrated because in my opinion, there are better companions (particularly female ones) than her.
 
About Serena again, I’ll admit I got carried away in my last post and could’ve worded things better. I didn’t mean to apply that ‘shipping bait’ comment to her character as a whole, but rather those two episodes I mentioned. Those date and dancing episode felt misleading because they were setting up a lot of amourshipping moments between the two, but not an awful lot of that happened. Hence the ‘baiting’. Though that means I just didn’t like those episodes, rather than her character and I should’ve made that clearer.

I think she’s a fine character and all, but as far as other female companions go, I prefer Dawn, Lillie and Chloe in particular. I find them more interesting overall and I think they have more profound character arcs in general (excluding Chloe for now). Serena’s crush angle didn’t stick the landing with me, even if it made sense for her character. So I think she’s overrated because in my opinion, there are better companions (particularly female ones) than her.
Also not helping matters is the fact that Serena had actually gotten the least amount of Pokémon out of any female companion to that point, ending the saga with only 3 Pokémon total. Even Iris had 4 Pokémon by the end of Best Wishes, even catching another in a special afterwards.
 
Also not helping matters is the fact that Serena had actually gotten the least amount of Pokémon out of any female companion to that point, ending the saga with only 3 Pokémon total. Even Iris had 4 Pokémon by the end of Best Wishes, even catching another in a special afterwards.

Honestly, I think Serena having fewer Pokemon was a good thing. Given how Showcase didn't involve battling or really seem to require more than using two or three Pokemon at a time, I don't think she really needed a lot of Pokemon. Both May and Dawn needed full teams for their Contests, but Serena having a full team would have most likely resulted in more of her Pokemon getting minimal screentime or being forgettable. Iris had four Pokemon, but I genuinely keep forgetting that her Emogla even exists. Not to mention only two, or three counting Gible, really factor into her goal. Serena possibly could have caught a fourth Pokemon, but with her screentime and goal in mind, I think that three was a good choice.

As far as Serena goes, I think dismissing her as just shipping bait is a bit harsh. To be fair, I can understand why people see her as such. For better or for worse, Serena's crush on Ash is going to make her stand out among fans and the kiss pretty much sealed the deal on that too. However, I think that fans tend to make a bigger deal of that aspect of her character than the show did. There definitely was blatant shipping baits or moments in the show, but I just think it's a bit harsh to dismiss her story and character to just the girl with a crush. Serena's best moments throughout XY had nothing to do with her crush on Ash, but rather on her bonding with her Pokemon and gaining more confidence as a Performer. I absolutely hated Pokemon Showcases, but moments like Serena confronting her mother, the aftermath of her first defeat and bonding with Eevee made it much more tolerable than if I didn't like Serena or didn't find her character moments effective. I can definitely understand finding other female characters more interesting or compelling though. I think I still prefer Serena over all of the SM girls, mainly because they were mostly just okay to overrated to me. I like Chloe, but it's a bit early for me to rank her with the other female leads, especially when she only gets screentime once in awhile. Hopefully that will change now that she's a trainer and caught Eevee.

As for Chespin, it was annoying at times, especially when they had to bring back the love gag for it too, but I don't think it ever became insufferably annoying like Oshawott did for me.
 
Unpopular opinion: Hau wasn't the best handeled character, but he wasn't the worst either (Trevor is a far better contender). My opinion is based on how frustrating it is to see game Rivals getting reduced to being nothing more than hype fodder for anime-only ones. See: Barry v Paul, Bianca v Cameron, Trevor v Alain, Tierno v Sawyer. I really appreciate that Ash got three game Rivals and got a battle with all of them in SM.
 
Unpopular opinion: Hau wasn't the best handeled character, but he wasn't the worst either (Trevor is a far better contender). My opinion is based on how frustrating it is to see game Rivals getting reduced to being nothing more than hype fodder for anime-only ones. See: Barry v Paul, Bianca v Cameron, Trevor v Alain, Tierno v Sawyer. I really appreciate that Ash got three game Rivals and got a battle with all of them in SM.
Gotta agree that it is definitely frustrating the treatment that the game rivals get. After Gary in Johto, it wasn’t until Hau and Gladion in Alola that the game rivals actually face off against Ash in the league. That’s terrible especially when most of them are built up as Ash’s rivals throughout their respective series only to never battle him.
 
My opinion is based on how frustrating it is to see game Rivals getting reduced to being nothing more than hype fodder for anime-only ones.
Pokémon Adventures does it even worse. Rivals and recurring characters who have notable roles in the games are often reduced to side roles to give all the glory to the main characters (unless the main character is directly based on a rival). For example, in Alola, Hop is hardly ever seen and does not get to participate in resolving the conflict, and Lillie's connection with Nebby is severed once it evolves to its final stage and opts to instead connect with a protagonist; and in Galar, Hop's endorsement by Leon from the games is given to one of the two protagonists instead, he doesn't meet the Legendary hero at the beginning of his journey, and overall plays a very minor role in the grand scheme of things.
 
Everyone likes to bash Max for his reaction towards Norman losing to Ash, but I kind of felt bad for him. I mean how would you feel if you had to watch your parents lose competitions?

Now granted Gym leaders have to lose, but it’s implied that Norman doesn’t let his kids watch his battles for this reason.
 
Everyone likes to bash Max for his reaction towards Norman losing to Ash, but I kind of felt bad for him. I mean how would you feel if you had to watch your parents lose competitions?

Now granted Gym leaders have to lose, but it’s implied that Norman doesn’t let his kids watch his battles for this reason.
I actually loved that scene. The way Max idolised his father made it feel authentic, and Ash handled it in a very mature way that managed to resolve the situation. It was an important part for Max's character arc.
 
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