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Controversial opinions

Each to their own, but the appeal of anime for me is seeing things move and interact with one another in a way you don't see in a manga or even a game. Animation can enhance a story by drawing out layers of characterisation that can't be conveyed with dialogue, make action sequences more intense and dynamic, and add personality to a show in a way you can't quite do in other mediums. I'm glad Pokemon has stepped up considerably in this department over the last six years or so.
 
Each to their own, but the appeal of anime for me is seeing things move and interact with one another in a way you don't see in a manga or even a game. Animation can enhance a story by drawing out layers of characterisation that can't be conveyed with dialogue, make action sequences more intense and dynamic, and add personality to a show in a way you can't quite do in other mediums. I'm glad Pokemon has stepped up considerably in this department over the last six years or so.
Has it? Journies seems to do the opposite of what you like.
1. Barely any interaction between Pokémon or main characters.
2. Barely any positive characterization.
3. The show itself is very "tell don't show".
 
I can understand that. While I never really had a problem with how long Brock stayed in the series, the notion that he overstayed his welcome and became too stale is a pretty common opinion among fans. That would make the gag wear out a lot more on people too. I actually liked Croagunk poisoning Brock. It definitely helped that it was a different take on the gag instead of just lazily giving Misty's gag to Max. It was the same basic idea of Brock getting punished for hitting on girls, but having a different setup was funnier and more refreshing to me.
I'd take Takeshi any day over Dent. That guy was so annoying.
 
I don’t really think this is unpopular, given the defence for Brock, but I believe that Cilan was Ash’s worst companion.

I…don’t even know what the point in him was. They mention after their gym-battle together, that Cilan wanted to learn more from Ash, and henceforth wanted to travel with him. For the rest of the series, Cilan just watches Ash compete, and effectively is just the narrator for his fights. He battles a bit, but he developed a tiny amount in the series.

Brock, to me at least, had a sense of being a mentor to Ash, like helping him control the tempo of fights with decisions in the OS, and suggesting ideas to help with his training, whilst still learning himself from Ash. You felt a brotherhood between the two, which is ironic given how any siblings Brock has.
And, apart from that, Brock never does that much, just a useful character with his medical attributes and battling skills. He doesn’t have that much development, but at least when he got it, you felt as though it was making him understand how to be a better breeder/doctor, like with that Miltank episode.
I don’t really recall Cilan ever giving that much advice to Ash, if I’m being honest.

Cilan, is boring to me. It’s of personal taste (no pun intended), but his gag wasn’t really that funny, probably cause there was no pay off, other than Iris being a bit doubtful of the whole situation. It was just bad jokes, related to whatever the scenario was. Brock’s was inconsistent, and relied on the people’s reactions on stopping him (cue Crogunk’s appearance in relation to incoming Posion Jab), but at least it was funny at times. And throughout the series, I loathed how he never really had a challenge in his actual goal. What was his goal? To be a better connoisseur, I think.
It doesn’t help when there’s about two episodes dedicated to that. There’s the one that introduces Burgandy, then the one where he competes to help select a girl’s first Pokemon.
In both scenarios, he flat out stomps the competition, and doesn’t learn anything new - he’s an expert already, being an S-Tier.
Even when he’s a connoisseur in different fields, like cinematography, or being a detective, he’s again too good at the role.
The only time I felt he developed a bit was against Skyla. Even against that woman who wanted to overtake the Straiton Gym, Cilan won with no real problems. I mean, Cilan was the one who gave Trip his first loss, and destroyed my hope for Trip as a rival. Then, he somehow lost to that guy with the Larvesta?
It felt as though Cilan literally was written like a Swiss-Army Knife; whatever the writers needed to explain or require to move the plot, Cilan would inexplicably be able to fit into the role with no issues.
It probably doesn’t help that Cilan has the worst rival in the entire series, being Burgandy of course, who never got close to beating Cilan, battling him a grand total of one time.

So, Cilan never entertained me as he was never put through anything developmental, or anything relating to a challenge. You could say Brock was like that, but at least Brock was given scenarios to train his breeding/doctor skills - raising an egg, Lombre’s evolution, his whole ordeal with the Pewter Gym, etc.
 
Has it? Journies seems to do the opposite of what you like.
1. Barely any interaction between Pokémon or main characters.
2. Barely any positive characterization.
3. The show itself is very "tell don't show".

Sure. Bare in mind, I'm talking strictly animation here, not writing.

I…don’t even know what the point in him was. They mention after their gym-battle together, that Cilan wanted to learn more from Ash, and henceforth wanted to travel with him. For the rest of the series, Cilan just watches Ash compete, and effectively is just the narrator for his fights. He battles a bit, but he developed a tiny amount in the series.

My guess is he was included to round out the group, since he was the total opposite of Iris.

In some respects, he's also an over-correction after Brock. By the end of his run, Brock was simply too inactive in the story and it was clear they'd run out of things for him to do, whereas Cilan was given an interest in everything so he could take an active role in any random episode they thought up.

Problem was, Cilan had no chemistry with Ash whatsoever. Plenty has been said about Brock being boring by the end of DP, but Ash and Brock were bros who'd gone through a lot together. To follow that with Cilan, whose interest in Ash is to observe without actually learning anything from him... it was bound to fall flat. Fortunately, they fixed that with Clement in XY.
 
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I’m surprised so many don’t like Cilan, he wasn’t intended to have much development but his personality carried him through his episodes. He battled a lot in the series through the tournaments and tag teams with Ash like against the subway masters or Bianca. His evaluation time was meant to check the compatibility of Pokémon, etc.

Granted I like Clemont and Kiawe more than him; but I didn’t think Cilan was bad at all. I actually hope he gets a cameo this series like Iris did.
 
I’m surprised so many don’t like Cilan, he wasn’t intended to have much development but his personality carried him through his episodes. He battled a lot in the series through the tournaments and tag teams with Ash like against the subway masters or Bianca. His evaluation time was meant to check the compatibility of Pokémon, etc.

Granted I like Clemont and Kiawe more than him; but I didn’t think Cilan was bad at all. I actually hope he gets a cameo this series like Iris did.
I wouldn’t say I hate him, it’s just he’s the least interesting companion Ash had had, at least in my eyes. Honestly, if they bring him back, they could easily make him more likeable.
 
I don’t really think this is unpopular, given the defence for Brock, but I believe that Cilan was Ash’s worst companion.

I…don’t even know what the point in him was. They mention after their gym-battle together, that Cilan wanted to learn more from Ash, and henceforth wanted to travel with him. For the rest of the series, Cilan just watches Ash compete, and effectively is just the narrator for his fights. He battles a bit, but he developed a tiny amount in the series.

Brock, to me at least, had a sense of being a mentor to Ash, like helping him control the tempo of fights with decisions in the OS, and suggesting ideas to help with his training, whilst still learning himself from Ash. You felt a brotherhood between the two, which is ironic given how any siblings Brock has.
And, apart from that, Brock never does that much, just a useful character with his medical attributes and battling skills. He doesn’t have that much development, but at least when he got it, you felt as though it was making him understand how to be a better breeder/doctor, like with that Miltank episode.
I don’t really recall Cilan ever giving that much advice to Ash, if I’m being honest.

Cilan, is boring to me. It’s of personal taste (no pun intended), but his gag wasn’t really that funny, probably cause there was no pay off, other than Iris being a bit doubtful of the whole situation. It was just bad jokes, related to whatever the scenario was. Brock’s was inconsistent, and relied on the people’s reactions on stopping him (cue Crogunk’s appearance in relation to incoming Posion Jab), but at least it was funny at times. And throughout the series, I loathed how he never really had a challenge in his actual goal. What was his goal? To be a better connoisseur, I think.
It doesn’t help when there’s about two episodes dedicated to that. There’s the one that introduces Burgandy, then the one where he competes to help select a girl’s first Pokemon.
In both scenarios, he flat out stomps the competition, and doesn’t learn anything new - he’s an expert already, being an S-Tier.
Even when he’s a connoisseur in different fields, like cinematography, or being a detective, he’s again too good at the role.
The only time I felt he developed a bit was against Skyla. Even against that woman who wanted to overtake the Straiton Gym, Cilan won with no real problems. I mean, Cilan was the one who gave Trip his first loss, and destroyed my hope for Trip as a rival. Then, he somehow lost to that guy with the Larvesta?
It felt as though Cilan literally was written like a Swiss-Army Knife; whatever the writers needed to explain or require to move the plot, Cilan would inexplicably be able to fit into the role with no issues.
It probably doesn’t help that Cilan has the worst rival in the entire series, being Burgandy of course, who never got close to beating Cilan, battling him a grand total of one time.

So, Cilan never entertained me as he was never put through anything developmental, or anything relating to a challenge. You could say Brock was like that, but at least Brock was given scenarios to train his breeding/doctor skills - raising an egg, Lombre’s evolution, his whole ordeal with the Pewter Gym, etc.
It makes a lot sense that Brock would treat Ash like a younger brother. Most people he's known that are younger than him (pre-going with Ash) ARE his siblings, so he's bound to do the same with Ash.

Other than what you said, my biggest problem with Cilan and to a degree Iris, is that their rivals vanish. They suddenly get over their grudges with 0 development about it. All I can think of as to how it happened, is Burgundy and Georgia decided to travel together and become their own rivals or something. This could make sense since they were seen talking to each other in BW090 and that was their last appearance... (I hope that Bea doesn't go through the same thing)

Also I've just noticed that Cilan is more of a mix of Misty and Brock. Like Misty, he has siblings run the Gym for him. He's also very passionate like Brock.
Too bad it was so surface level...
 
As far as Cilan goes, I thought that he was fine when I first watched BW, but when I rewatched a few years ago, he came off a lot worse than I remembered. Out of the two, I still think that Iris is much worse. Her storyline just always frustrated me with how poorly handled it was from start to finish, she didn't really have much chemistry with Ash and Iris is probably the only companion that I still genuinely dislike. That being said, I would also say that Cilan isn't really much of an improvement from Iris writing wise.

I think Cilan's initial introduction and reason for joining the group worked. Unlike Iris, I actually felt like Ash and Cilan were good friends. They didn't have amazing chemistry compared to most of the other secondary male leads before and afterwards, but I could believe that they were friends, much more than Ash and Iris in any case. But it was clear really fast that they didn't know what to do with Cilan. He was already a top ranked Pokemon Connoisseur, so he didn't really have much to improve upon there, and more importantly, it quickly went from being his goal to being a running gag. It went from being an indication of his skills as a Pokemon Connoisseur to being all about characters getting annoyed at how much he was talking. His rivalry with Burgundy could have been interesting, but like all of the rivals in BW, it just went nowhere. By a certain point, Cilan became more of a gag character than a slightly older and wiser secondary male character.

The fact that Cilan's reason for leaving the cast at the end of BW had nothing to do with his actual goal was extremely telling. They didn't know what to do with his actual goal or even attempted to make it work. As much as I dislike Iris, at least leaving to go challenge Clair made sense with her goal. I think that Cilan is generally still more likable than Iris and he can be entertaining, but he can also be annoying, particularly with his gags and dialogue, and his focus episodes didn't tend to do much to improve him. I wouldn't say that he's the worst companion or even the worse out of the male companions. Cilan was okay. I still would be interested in seeing him appear properly in Journeys, but I'm also not going to be too sad if that doesn't happen.
 
Honestly, I always found Iris to be more interesting to me than Cilan. Largely because I really liked her backstory and when she did get focus episodes, they were a lot more interesting and investing to me than Cilan's. She also felt like she had room for growth and really just suffered from her story being mishandled by the writers.

I don't dislike Cilan, largely because I don't think I've ever genuinely disliked any companion, but between him and Iris, I prefer Iris. Not because or her personality, but because of the potential she has. With Cilan, I honestly can't think of anything that stands out to me about him.
 
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I like Iris myself, which is why i'm so disappointed that, after being absent in both X&Y and the Sun and Moon anime, she only got one episode after returning in Journeys. She's become Unova's champion, is participating in the PWC and has been absent for nearly a decade..but only got one episode dedicated to her. Where as the other returning girls got at least two - Misty's especially returned multiple times and Dawn's returned twice. I understand that Iris isn't the most popular companion, but she got done so dirty. I can only hope that she returns at another point in this series.
 
I think that Iris, while being a very messy character development-wise and being a little of a disaster in that regard, I fell like... they tried with her you know? Not the best, by a long margin, but it definitely could've been worse. Writting problems aside, she's fine to me, personally.

But Cilan on the other hand... Like, I don't think he's pointless, but this guy is just a ''character who exists'' type of character to me. Okay, he's a ''Pokémon Connoiseur''. That's fine and sound interesting. What does he do??? ... crickets

It's funny really: BW ended over what? 10 years ago? And we are yet to hear a solid answer to what being a ''Connoiseur'' means, up to the moment where it almost feels like they left that one to fanon interpretation on purpose, which I for one don't think it's optimal, to say the least. And he already starts the series being a ''S-tier'' one at that. So he already debuts on-screen as one of the best in his career since it's being explicity said it's hard to rank high. So, really? What's left to developt in him? Already excelent at what he does, appearently, know how to cook very well, exceeds in pretty much everything he tries, battles sufficiently okay, is already a full-fleged, well-estabilished gym leader alongside his brothers... What else do we have here? Cuz his mentality/personality is already good enough, so there's no immaterial, personal growth here either.

His jokes and running gags... Well, Pokémon has never been good at not overusing gags to death and sucking the funniness out of it by the third use tops, so it's always been annoying imo. But ofc, taste is taste.

So.. eh? I guess? Dunno, I don't really like the guy, personally speaking. He just.. exists.
 
I think Cilan was probably a more enjoyable battler than Brock, to be honest. Maybe it was because he was given more time to show off his style, (as of having more competitions to appear in) as Brock often got forced into the background of competitive arcs (Hearthome Tag Contest), and I really don’t recall Brock actually battling that many trainers, asides from grunts.

Cilan felt as though he had more of a diverse team, especially with his Crustle, which was really underrated.
You had a fast, offensive Pansage, controlling the field with Rock Tomb and Dig, then a half/half defensive and offensive Crustle with its Rock Defence + Shell Smash combo, and then Stunfisk as a long-range fighter and levitation.

And I know I said his gag of being a connoisseur leaking into everything wasn’t great, but in battle, I suppose it was fun to see his analogies of the situation he’s in. Even his catchphrase of “It’s evaluating time!” was decent.
Maybe it’s cause I like the tactical aspects of competitions, but Cilan was fun in that regard. Hey, he actually might have been better to watch than Ash in B&W…

Brock on the other hand, was just the average fighter. He never got the chance to showcase techniques or strategies like Ash, May or Dawn, and perhaps is the only downside to him.
 
Honestly, I think that the reson Iris was kind of a mess is because there apparently was a disagreement between the writers going on regarding what her arc should be and it just never got resolved: some clearly wanted Iris to be a rookie trainer but with tons of potential, but others wanted her to be an experienced prodigy right off the bat, and that resulted in Iris being handled extremely messily and inconsistently, as she'd constantly flip-flop between being able to instantly diagnose and solve the problems of Dragon-types that weren't hers yet at the same time somehow being completely unable to train her own Dragon-types properly, which is clearly something that doesn't make a shred of sense because it just isn't possible to be both a rookie and experienced on the same thing. They should have honestly just picked a lane with Iris and stuck to it, but if I had been able to have a say, I would have gone for making her a rookie because that feels like it'd give more material to work with as well as more room for growth and character development. Not to mention it'd fit with BW's reboot-ish nature.

Cilan, though? It's hard to even tell what he was supposed to do. Though to be fair, with how cluttered BW generally was plus its tendency to leave A LOT of characters with unfinished and unsatisfactory developments (over a third of Ash's team was wasted, the rivalry with Trip was completely anticlimactic, Virgil never got to battle Ash or at the very least debut Sylveon despite his entire team being made up of the goddang Eevee family, pretty much everything about Team Plasma, etc.), chances are that even if Cilan had been more defined, it wouldn't have made much of a difference with him.
 
I think Cilan was probably a more enjoyable battler than Brock, to be honest. Maybe it was because he was given more time to show off his style, (as of having more competitions to appear in) as Brock often got forced into the background of competitive arcs (Hearthome Tag Contest), and I really don’t recall Brock actually battling that many trainers, asides from grunts.

Cilan felt as though he had more of a diverse team, especially with his Crustle, which was really underrated.
You had a fast, offensive Pansage, controlling the field with Rock Tomb and Dig, then a half/half defensive and offensive Crustle with its Rock Defence + Shell Smash combo, and then Stunfisk as a long-range fighter and levitation.

And I know I said his gag of being a connoisseur leaking into everything wasn’t great, but in battle, I suppose it was fun to see his analogies of the situation he’s in. Even his catchphrase of “It’s evaluating time!” was decent.
Maybe it’s cause I like the tactical aspects of competitions, but Cilan was fun in that regard. Hey, he actually might have been better to watch than Ash in B&W…
I think it helped that Cilan had a smaller team than Brock did originally. That made it a bit easier for his Pokemon to stand out more, although I think his Stunfisk was Cilan's least memorable Pokemon. I didn't mind Cilan's catchphrase or how he evaluated Pokemon. I had more of a problem with how it became a gag that annoyed other characters instead of his goal or an indication of how well he could evaluate Pokemon and their relationships with their trainers.

Brock on the other hand, was just the average fighter. He never got the chance to showcase techniques or strategies like Ash, May or Dawn, and perhaps is the only downside to him.
To be fair, Brock made it clear from his debut that he wasn't interested in battling Pokemon. He could battle well enough given that he was a Gym Leader, but that wasn't what he wanted to do. Ash, May and Dawn are all much more interested in battling and their goals require them to battle frequently, so they would need to come up with unique techniques and strategies. Brock wouldn't really be interested in doing that since it wouldn't connect with his goal or interests.

Honestly, I think that the reson Iris was kind of a mess is because there apparently was a disagreement between the writers going on regarding what her arc should be and it just never got resolved: some clearly wanted Iris to be a rookie trainer but with tons of potential, but others wanted her to be an experienced prodigy right off the bat, and that resulted in Iris being handled extremely messily and inconsistently, as she'd constantly flip-flop between being able to instantly diagnose and solve the problems of Dragon-types that weren't hers yet at the same time somehow being completely unable to train her own Dragon-types properly, which is clearly something that doesn't make a shred of sense because it just isn't possible to be both a rookie and experienced on the same thing. They should have honestly just picked a lane with Iris and stuck to it, but if I had been able to have a say, I would have gone for making her a rookie because that feels like it'd give more material to work with as well as more room for growth and character development. Not to mention it'd fit with BW's reboot-ish nature.
It is especially jarring to see Iris go from being unable to get Axew to learn Dragon Rage and then help another trainer with their Druddigon in the same episode. I know that Axew finally mastered Dragon Rage in that episode, but they went back and forth on what they wanted Iris to be so much throughout the early portion of BW. Making Iris into a rookie with a lot of potential would have made so much more sense. Not only because of having more material to work with, but it seemed like that's what they were setting Iris up as during the early portions of BW. Iris being somehow able to win nearly one hundred battles in a row with Drilbur before she was even old enough to become a trainer doesn't really make sense considering she couldn't get Axew to learn a basic Dragon type move once she was an official trainer.
 
Honestly, I think that the reson Iris was kind of a mess is because there apparently was a disagreement between the writers going on regarding what her arc should be and it just never got resolved: some clearly wanted Iris to be a rookie trainer but with tons of potential, but others wanted her to be an experienced prodigy right off the bat, and that resulted in Iris being handled extremely messily and inconsistently, as she'd constantly flip-flop between being able to instantly diagnose and solve the problems of Dragon-types that weren't hers yet at the same time somehow being completely unable to train her own Dragon-types properly, which is clearly something that doesn't make a shred of sense because it just isn't possible to be both a rookie and experienced on the same thing. They should have honestly just picked a lane with Iris and stuck to it, but if I had been able to have a say, I would have gone for making her a rookie because that feels like it'd give more material to work with as well as more room for growth and character development. Not to mention it'd fit with BW's reboot-ish nature.

To be honest the writing in all of BW was sort of a mess. From Trio changing personalities and becoming seemingly competent at their jobs, to then just being flat-out bad in the following episode, to Kibago's dream of evolving all the way to a Ononokusu (which was dropped pretty fast) and to Satoshi challenging Homika out of the blue for a B2W2 promotion when he was supposed to have battled Shaga all along (as indicated by his badge case containing his badge slot in an early episode). Iris as a character (as well as Dent) are just examples of how unplanned this series seemed as a whole.
 
I remember how intially there was some speculation that Cilan, Chili and Cress were secretly the Shadow Triad (even saw some fanart about this), and while we all know the two groups have no relation nowadays, I can't help but feel that it would have worked so well in developing Cilan.

They could have Cilan learn through Iris that Ash encountered Zekrom when he arrived in Unova, and so Ghetsis ordered him to follow Ash around, which would have been his actual motivation for joining Ash in his travels, while observing Ash is just his cover reason. But over their travels, Cilan would grow a closer friendship with Ash, and he ultimately has to make a choice between his new friends and Team Plasma.
 
I remember how intially there was some speculation that Cilan, Chili and Cress were secretly the Shadow Triad (even saw some fanart about this), and while we all know the two groups have no relation nowadays, I can't help but feel that it would have worked so well in developing Cilan.

They could have Cilan learn through Iris that Ash encountered Zekrom when he arrived in Unova, and so Ghetsis ordered him to follow Ash around, which would have been his actual motivation for joining Ash in his travels, while observing Ash is just his cover reason. But over their travels, Cilan would grow a closer friendship with Ash, and he ultimately has to make a choice between his new friends and Team Plasma.
Sadly everything Team Plasma got thrown down the drain in favor of generic evil plot that makes Team Magma/Aqua plot look like 007's SPECTRE in comparison.

Imagine if Ash and N had genuine ideological conflicts, Ash's entire shtick of befriending and releasing Pokémon if he felt they were happier that way would've been the ultimate middle finger to N's "All Trainer Pokémon Are Abused" and probably made an even more interesting turn of ideas for N.

Also that same idea I had, Cilan slowly growing to like his mask of being the nice Gym Leader that accompanies because Ash is super nice.
 
That's unfair. How could the animation team have predicted a sequel for the upcoming games 2 years in advance? Of course the course of events shaped up as the time goes on. I would have a problem saying Ash's battle to Roxie was "out of the blue". The animation team just thought of implementing new gym leaders in the anime, which makes all the sense, and they implemented three new gym leaders in different ways, Roxine being the one Ash challenged himself for his badge quest.
Also by the time B2W2 came out, the empty slots in the badge cases were just vague oval-shaped indents instead of foretelling the badges trainers needed to get.

Early:
Legend_Badge_slot.png


Late:
20120517111554%21Ash_Unova_Badges.png
 
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