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Controversial opinions

Watching the recent Pokemon short with Lillie and Lunala does anyone feel the anime kind of dropped the ball with SM Lillie? Having Ash bond with Cosmog over Lillie was the first big reg flag that Lillie was losing her plot relevance, but since Lusamine wasn’t evil in the anime and just misguided it made Lillie’s character arc not feel as strong.

Besides that I feel like Lillie just didn’t really do much after the Aether arc ended. She got a Z crystal but it’s the same thing all the SM characters did, and the stuff with Mohn only came up at the tail end of the series and is still unresolved. Her role in the league was so short and forgettable (her match lasted less than a minute and Gladion defeated her in two attacks) that she had the worst performance of any SM character. At least Mallow had a full episode almost even if she didn’t do be very good.

Kind of perplexes me I see so many people consider Lillie one of the best developed characters of the anime when she feels underwhelming compared to her game counterpart.
 
You know, and I say this even as someone who doesn't even truly likes Greninja both as a Pokémon by itself and much less Ash-Greninja: Ash defeating Alain without Greninja being the one to take that Charizard down, or at least being part of it, will definitely hit weird.

It's just that... Greninja wasn't allowed to defeat it due to both ''Ash is not allowed to win'' and ''Charizard is the Invencible Ultimate Supreme God'' syndromes double-teaming in plaguing the narrative at the same time, which was unfortunate for the frog, to say the absolute least. So not having Greninja involved in a possible take down of that dammed Charizard doesn't seems like a good writting move and will really make a lot of people upset.
Absolutely. Greninja should definitely defeat Charizard since it is its destiny. Idk why they didn’t have a rematch after the Flare arc.
 
A good chunk of SM's first year was spent on Lillie's story. It's only fair she took a bit of a backseat for a bit.
But there was 2 years of SM left and other than getting a Z crystal she had very few eps about her. Even the Mohn stuff was mostly Gladion centered besides her awakening Magnearna. Naturally you’d expect Lillie to get more screentime than the rest of the SM cast due to being the lead character in the games but it felt like the writers didn’t know where to take her.

Lillie basically felt like an afterthought for the majority of SM’s run with only 1 year of focus and the last 2 years focused on either everyone else, the Ultra beast arcs or just Ash’s stuff as usual. It’s like she had the opposite problem of Serena in XY, where Serena did very little the first year and got more focus in the last two.
 
So then why didn't they make more B2W2 relevant fillers instead of Decolore? Have Join Avenue, include the Black Skyscraper/White Tree Hollow etc...

From what I can tell is the writers HATED B2W2 SO much that they decided to troll us with Camoron, made a short Team Plasma arc and filled the rest with, well... fillers. That's the only reason I can think of why the latter half of BW was so awful.
Then again, they would have known ahead of time that B2W2 was coming out and they had months to prepare (likely before the announcement of the games). They could have made it their own take on things (unless mandates?).
I don't think it's far to say that the writers hated B2/W2 just because how the latter half of BW went. It's much more likely that they couldn't really adapt B2/W2 due to not having much of B/W's storyline as a foundation. It's also possible that they weren't given enough time to prepare more B2/W2 elements into the series, but there wouldn't be much they could do for its storyline without making more use of B/W in the first place. It's similar to how they couldn't really adapt much of the storyline of G/S/C during Johto since they didn't adapt confronting Giovanni or Team Rocket being disbanded. They can't really do much with Hugh or the two factions of Team Plasma without having the original Team Plasma storyline as the foundation.

As for those locations, I'm not sure if the anime would have done much with them either. As fun as the Black Skyscraper/White Tree Hollow were, I don't know if that would translate well within the anime, mainly because Ash battling nonstop with his Pokemon until he got to the top probably wouldn't be believable given his lackluster BW team.

Watching the recent Pokemon short with Lillie and Lunala does anyone feel the anime kind of dropped the ball with SM Lillie? Having Ash bond with Cosmog over Lillie was the first big reg flag that Lillie was losing her plot relevance, but since Lusamine wasn’t evil in the anime and just misguided it made Lillie’s character arc not feel as strong.

Besides that I feel like Lillie just didn’t really do much after the Aether arc ended. She got a Z crystal but it’s the same thing all the SM characters did, and the stuff with Mohn only came up at the tail end of the series and is still unresolved. Her role in the league was so short and forgettable (her match lasted less than a minute and Gladion defeated her in two attacks) that she had the worst performance of any SM character. At least Mallow had a full episode almost even if she didn’t do be very good.
I always hated how SM handled Lusamine and as a result, Lillie's development during the Aether Foundation arc. Making Lusamine more of a overbearing misguided parent instead of an emotionally abusive mother made the conflict much more typical. I also hated their first argument over how Lusamine evolved her Clefairy. Lillie thought it was much cuter as a Clefairy, but Lusamine was right that Clefairy was her Pokemon and she was well within her rights to make it evolve. It was a really bad first impression of their relationship when Lillie was in the wrong, or at least had a really immature reaction to something her mother did, and I shouldn't be thinking that Lusamine is in the right. You could argue that it showed that Lusamine wasn't factoring in Lillie's feelings or really recognizing them with her decision to evolve Clefable, but it was still her Pokemon and she could evolve it if she wanted to.

Lillie's development in regards to her fear of touching Pokemon generally worked. Her progress felt earned and the episode explaining how she developed that fear was probably her best episode in the series. The way they tried to adapt her development during the Nebby arc really felt more forced or rather trying too hard to mimic her video game counterpart despite how it doesn't really fit. The best example of that is her Z-Powered form. That had a lot of weight in the games because Lillie was trying to overcome her mother's emotional abuse by choosing her own outfit. Since her default outfit in SM doesn't carry that kind of weight, calling her new outfit her Z-Powered Form just loses all of its weight and feels more like a tacked on reference to the games instead of anything meaningful.

Admittedly, I didn't mind the minimal focus Lillie had after the Aether Foundation arc. There were other characters that they needed to focus on and there wasn't much for Lillie to do now that she overcame her fear and reconnected with her mother. The long gap between her episodes probably didn't help matters for her though. I didn't really care much about her using a Z-Move or her desire to find her long lost father, at least compared to her earlier storyline.

Kind of perplexes me I see so many people consider Lillie one of the best developed characters of the anime when she feels underwhelming compared to her game counterpart.
I haven't really seen people say that Lillie is one of the best developed characters of the anime. She's still probably one of the best developed SM characters, but she also doesn't have a lot of competition among the SM cast. Lillie is my favorite SM female lead and second favorite SM cast member, the first being Kiawe, but I agree that she does feel really underwhelming compared to her video game counterpart. I've wondered in the past if SM Lillie's popularity was due to her episodes in the series or due to how popular video game Lillie is.
 
I don't think it's far to say that the writers hated B2/W2 just because how the latter half of BW went. It's much more likely that they couldn't really adapt B2/W2 due to not having much of B/W's storyline as a foundation. It's also possible that they weren't given enough time to prepare more B2/W2 elements into the series, but there wouldn't be much they could do for its storyline without making more use of B/W in the first place. It's similar to how they couldn't really adapt much of the storyline of G/S/C during Johto since they didn't adapt confronting Giovanni or Team Rocket being disbanded. They can't really do much with Hugh or the two factions of Team Plasma without having the original Team Plasma storyline as the foundation.

As for those locations, I'm not sure if the anime would have done much with them either. As fun as the Black Skyscraper/White Tree Hollow were, I don't know if that would translate well within the anime, mainly because Ash battling nonstop with his Pokemon until he got to the top probably wouldn't be believable given his lackluster BW team.
Then Hugh could have lost a Snivy, which then turned out to be Ash's Snivy. Change the Purrloin part to Snivy and have it reflect on him as a trainer more than a vendetta against Team Plasma. They could have made him think that Snivy was stolen by Plasma, but it just turns out Snivy wasn't interested in being with him instead.

Black Skysraper/White Tree Hollow could have been another tournament where Cilan and Iris' rivals got more development instead.

I haven't really seen people say that Lillie is one of the best developed characters of the anime. She's still probably one of the best developed SM characters, but she also doesn't have a lot of competition among the SM cast. Lillie is my favorite SM female lead and second favorite SM cast member, the first being Kiawe, but I agree that she does feel really underwhelming compared to her video game counterpart. I've wondered in the past if SM Lillie's popularity was due to her episodes in the series or due to how popular video game Lillie is.
She's underwhelming also because she never found her dad... again. Her arc ALWAYS feels unfinished because Lusamine's (and in extent Lillie and Gladion's) problems began when Mohn went missing. I hoped the anime would fix that, but it didn't.
 
Then Hugh could have lost a Snivy, which then turned out to be Ash's Snivy. Change the Purrloin part to Snivy and have it reflect on him as a trainer more than a vendetta against Team Plasma. They could have made him think that Snivy was stolen by Plasma, but it just turns out Snivy wasn't interested in being with him instead.

Black Skysraper/White Tree Hollow could have been another tournament where Cilan and Iris' rivals got more development instead.
I'm not sure if that would have been a better way to adapt Hugh. His entire storyline was connected to Team Plasma. By changing that, you basically change his entire character. The anime obviously wasn't against drastically changing B/W characters. BW Bianca is nothing like her video game counterpart and Cheren seemingly had no connection to Bianca in the anime either, but drastically changing characters isn't necessarily a good thing. The idea isn't bad. The twist of Snivy not being interested in Hugh instead of being stolen is an interesting concept, but I just feel like you might as well just have it be a brand new character instead of forcing in Hugh for the role.

Using Black Skyrscraper/White Tree Hollow as another tournament could have worked as a way to incorporate them into the series, but I doubt that Cilan and Iris' rivals would have gotten more development. Both rivals and their respective rivalries went no where fast and I don't think another tournament arc would have helped either of them.

She's underwhelming also because she never found her dad... again. Her arc ALWAYS feels unfinished because Lusamine's (and in extent Lillie and Gladion's) problems began when Mohn went missing. I hoped the anime would fix that, but it didn't.
I don't think that makes SM Lillie underwhelming. They don't really reconnect with Mohn in the games either and that didn't make her arc feel unfinished. Overcoming her mother's abuse, saving her from the Ultra Beast and leaving for Kanto to start her own journey, as well as help her mother recover, made Lillie's arc in Sun/Moon feel complete. They didn't need to tack on Lillie finding her father to finish her development. Her development in US/UM felt more lacking not because she didn't find Mohn, but because they reduced her role, got rid of her climatic confrontation with Lusamine and she just stays in Alola. As much as I like that Lillie didn't leave in a way, that departure really made the ending to Sun/Moon more emotional. Finding Mohn and making their family whole again wouldn't really do much for Lillie within the context of the games or the anime in my opinion. It gave her a goal to work towards after SM, but it doesn't really contribute to how underwhelming she was for me.
 
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As someone who likes Hugh, I just can't see his Pokemon abandoning him. We don't know exactly why Snivy left her trainer but we know why she stayed with Ash; Because he's a kind and compassionate trainer. If the wiki's anything to go by Hugh's passionate for battling and pokemon strength, he considers his team, and you the player, his partners. The reason he hates Team Plasma is because they steal Pokemon, most noticeably his sister's Purrloin, to the point where he can't even trust the old members of Team Plasma. He starts to trust them as you play through the game and at the end he's in Driftveil City, helping them reunite stolen Pokemon with their trainers, showing that he can learn to forgive and that he's a kind and compassionate man, just like Ash. So I just can't see any of his Pokemon leaving his side in such a manner.
 
Lillie is one of the best developed characters in the anime.

She's established as an empathetic character right from the beginning because she's shown to actively want something (to touch Pokemon) but can't get it because of a recognisable and relatable problem (childhood trauma). Rather than sit on the issue, she seeks out ways to overcome it, making her an active agent in the story rather than a passive one waiting for events to happen. Each attempt ends in failure, which makes any progress she makes feel earned and satisfying. Then when she thinks she's resolved the problem, she suffers a set back. And only once she's gotten over that is she in a position to tackle the wider issue of her family and reconcile with her mother.

That reconciliation made more sense in the anime than it did in the games. The anime made an effort to humanise Lusamine by showing her actually caring about her children, whereas in the original SM games she was a total villain who you're told was a good mother once. You root for Lillie in the games because she's freeing herself of her mother's influence and becoming independent, whereas in the anime you root for her so she can have a happy family again and fully move on from her trauma. They're both perfectly good takes on the same character.

Her not having Nebby isn't "dropping the ball". Nebby was the catalyst for entire story in the games, but it didn't need to play that role in the anime, nor did it need to play an active role in Lillie's development. That it stayed with Ash most of the time had no impact on Lillie's arc. I also think it's a bit unfair to criticise her character for not having a lot of focus in the 2nd half of SM, because by that point she'd gone through a complete character arc. Anything afterwards was her finding her feet as a proper trainer, something that didn't need the same amount of focus.
 
This might be somewhat controversial, but I don't believe Pikachu is overexposed in JN. The amount of screentime and use it gets is fine and not that different to at least what I've seen from previous series. Out of the major PWC battles, Pikachu only fought against Visquez, the second time against Bea, and Volkner.

The problem is that none of Ash's other Pokemon get used, so relative to their screentime Pikachu is overexposed. I think the solution is to use Ash's other Pokemon alongside Pikachu like every other series did instead of sidelining him. Sidelining Pikachu would just leave Ash with no Pokemon or boring battles between fully evolved Pokemon with limited movement.
 
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This talk about Ash's team getting shafted just makes me so angry ngl.

Like, JN refuses with all it's might (I'm talking stomping the ground with both feet and screaming-crying level of refusal) to actually developt Ash's team. God it's so frustating. Why can't these Pokémon just have arcs??? Or Idk, just exist on-screen??? Lucario took an over 30 ep break between it's last battle and it's most recent one and wasn't allowed to be used for anything up until now where they are gonna shove an undeserved Mega Evolution that rings super hollow because the narrative didn't care about Lucario up until now. Gengar spent more than a year (a year!!!) without battling and wasn't even allowed a win in the Volkner battle. Sirfetch'd evolved and is yet to battle again. Dragonite fairs a bit better than the rest but it's not that better. And I'm still unsure as to whether or not Dracovish didn't cooked in the sun somewhere down the line.

And wanna know what's worse???? The worst of all?

This is the team Ash is taking against regional Champions???? He's battling Cynthia with these guys??? And Leon??? How do you wanna convince me this team is Champion-level and has a shot in winning if you don't show me their traning, their arcs, their development, their battles???

JN is an absolute trainwreck.
 
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This talk about Ash's team getting shafted just makes me so angry ngl.

Like, JN refuses with all it's might (I'm talking stomping the ground with both feet and screaming-crying level of refusal) to actually developt Ash's team. God it's so frustating. Why can't these Pokémon just have arcs??? Or Idk, just exist on-screen??? Lucario took over an over 30 ep break between it's last battle and it's most recent one and wasn't allowed to be used for anything up until now where they are gonna shove an undeserved Mega Evolution that rings super hollow because the narrative didn't care about Lucario up until now. Gengar spent more than a year (a year!!!) without battling and wasn't even allowed a win in the Volkner battle. Sirfetch'd evolved and is yet to battle again. Dragonite fairs a bit better than the rest but it's not that better. And I'm still unsure as to whether or not Dracovish didn't cooked in the sun somewhere down the line.

And wanna know what's worse???? The worst of all?

This is the team Ash is taking against regional Champions???? He's battling Cynthia with these guys??? And Leon??? How do you wanna convince me this team is Champion-level and has a shot in winning if you don't show me their traning, their arcs, their development, their battles???

JN is an absolute trainwreck.
This is my biggest gripe as well. Poor Infernape, Charizard, Greninja, Sceptile, Krookodile, Incineroar, Bulbasaur, Lycanroc, etc.

Pulling their weight only to be eternally shafted by an underdeveloped and badly written team who are likely going to win it for Ash, sigh. A part of me hopes that Ash brings reserves but the writers really hate and want to erase all of Ash's old Pokemon from existence and relevance for some reason nowadays
 
This talk about Ash's team getting shafted just makes me so angry ngl.

Like, JN refuses with all it's might (I'm talking stomping the ground with both feet and screaming-crying level of refusal) to actually developt Ash's team. God it's so frustating. Why can't these Pokémon just have arcs??? Or Idk, just exist on-screen??? Lucario took over an over 30 ep break between it's last battle and it's most recent one and wasn't allowed to be used for anything up until now where they are gonna shove an undeserved Mega Evolution that rings super hollow because the narrative didn't care about Lucario up until now. Gengar spent more than a year (a year!!!) without battling and wasn't even allowed a win in the Volkner battle. Sirfetch'd evolved and is yet to battle again. Dragonite fairs a bit better than the rest but it's not that better. And I'm still unsure as to whether or not Dracovish didn't cooked in the sun somewhere down the line.

And wanna know what's worse???? The worst of all?

This is the team Ash is taking against regional Champions???? He's battling Cynthia with these guys??? And Leon??? How do you wanna convince me this team is Champion-level and has a shot in winning if you don't show me their traning, their arcs, their development, their battles???

JN is an absolute trainwreck.
This is true. As much as I love Journeys and Ash’s Pokemon, it’s only some of their personalities that are likeable, not their development. Pokemon like Dracovish haven’t done much. In fact, it wasn’t seen or mentioned until JN060 and was physically shown in JN063. Gengar is worse. It was given an arc leading up to its capture and then has lost most of its battles since. Goh should have caught it then, because at least it spends its time in a lab and not losing with Ash. Farfetch’d was seen as Riolu’s punching bag which should have been a red flag, but next, it battles Bea and loses. Then Ash neglects it. We see it in a cameo during JN039, yet he doesn’t use it for the Bea Rematch instead using Pikachu. Then during the Darkest Day, it was the ONLY Pokemon of Ash’s not seen. Dragonite,Riolu,Gengar and Pikachu got some action there. Then in JN051, it finally gets some development, but I hated how quick it was. Give it at least 5 episodes and that’ll make the evolution more believable. Now although this is true, Pokemon like Lucario got a lot of spotlight as a Riolu, so I think its ok for it to take a backseat for a while, now that the Bea rematch and Mega episodes are coming, maybe Lucario will develop more with Ash to be in sync with him for Mega Evolution. If this series wants to be good with fans, they need to quickly develop the Pokemon or call in the old ones from Oak so older fans will watch.
 
The amount of screentime and use it gets is fine and not that different to at least what I've seen from previous series.
Not entirely related, but this reminds me of how I liked how Kalos handled Pikachu's gym battles. Some might not agree with me, but I did feel as if Pikachu's roles in each of them genuinely felt important to the narrative.
  • The first gym battle was a given, as Pikachu was Ash's starter and this was Ash's "starter" to the Kalos league, in a way. It also gave Pikachu and Fletchling more experience on ice, which was clearly utilized in the final gym battle against Wulfric. If you ask me, Froakie and Fletchling should've been the ones to battle here, but I can understand why Pikachu was used, if it was only for a minor reason.
  • The second gym battle was actually utilized later on in the Kalos league, in Pikachu's battle against Tyranitar. It also, to me, felt like it was to establish Pikachu as a "threat", in way. Incidentally, the strategy that Pikachu used in this battle and later used in the Kalos league against Alain's Tyranitar is what led to Alain realizing Pikachu was a threat as well.
  • The third gym battle against Korrina again had subtle justification, like the parallels set between Korrina/Lucario and Ash/Pikachu. The parallels weren't Lucario and the Mystery of Mew good, but it was still interesting to watch. And I'd like to say that this was technically the last battle in which Pikachu was the main star, so it was best to leave it off with a bang. If not a very shaky bang, but a bang nonetheless.
  • The fourth gym battle against Ramos didn't have Pikachu being used, but he did help provide moral support from the sidelines. It was nice to me because Pikachu helped Ash regain his focus in this battle and remember to think calmly.
  • The fifth gym battle had Pikachu vs Bunnelby, which was a fight important to both Ash and Clemont because of how they started with that battle. The reference to the first episode was clear here and I honestly can't really see the battle being done without adding closure to that battle. It was a nice touch in my opinion.
  • The sixth gym battle didn't really place Pikachu in an important role as much, but he did indirectly help Valerie realize the strong bond Ash had with his pokemon, and once again provided support from the sidelines. Not as notable of a role as the other battles, but for what its worth, he didn't even battle here, so I don't think it matters.
  • The battle against Olympia in Ash's seventh gym battle in Kalos was honestly one of my favorites, not gonna lie. I really liked how Pikachu's character was showed off here in a positive light as he wasn't upset about being unable to battle so much as he was being unable to help his friends and Ash. It was also nice to see the parallels between him and Ash, as well as how he played an integral part of the team. Also, also, the dynamics between Frogadier and Talonflame just made me so happy to see here, and hearing Pikachu cheer for them at the sidelines was so amusing to me, since he got a bit over-excited too.
  • The rematch against Wulfric was perfect because it not only was Ash's last gym battle-once again being understandable as to why he'd use Pikachu for it-but also ended the same way Ash started: with Pikachu, Greninja, and Talonflame. Heck, Pikachu battles first, then Talonflame, then Greninja-the battle was just set up perfectly from the very beginning since Ash used these three in his first two gym battles, as well as having them work together in the battle against Olympia.
Is this perfect? No, it's not. But all in all, I do like how Kalos handled Pikachu's character. It was nice to see Pikachu have subtle importance in the narrative in a way that wasn't shoe-horned in for once, and I really appreciated Kalos for doing that. That, and, the only gym battle where Pikachu didn't do anything at all was against Valerie, which in my opinion is nice because some people don't even realize this.
 
This is my biggest gripe as well. Poor Infernape, Charizard, Greninja, Sceptile, Krookodile, Incineroar, Bulbasaur, Lycanroc, etc.

Pulling their weight only to be eternally shafted by an underdeveloped and badly written team who are likely going to win it for Ash, sigh. A part of me hopes that Ash brings reserves but the writers really hate and want to erase all of Ash's old Pokemon from existence and relevance for some reason nowadays
Considering that we've had two episodes that featured Ash's older Pokemon, mainly the first Alola trip and the Infernape episode, saying that they want to erase his reserves from existence doesn't make sense. I can understand the relevance issue since the chances are pretty good that he isn't going to use them for any PWC match, but they aren't ignored completely either.

As much as I can understand and agree with the issues on Ash's team, I don't see how binging in his reserves would be necessarily better or an improvement, especially for new fans watching Journeys who don't have the emotional attachment to those reserves. It wouldn't really fix the issues people have with Ash's Journeys team either. The solution should ideally be to give Ash's current team something to do. I understand why people are frustrated when they seemingly aren't interested in doing that and to be fair, this issue is related to all of the Pokemon in the series, not just Ash's team. Unless Pokemon are captured or evolving, they don't usually get much focus, but I think that hoping for Ash to just use his older Pokemon isn't really a good solution to this problem either.
 
I'm strongly in favor of reserves less due to issues with the current teams screentime and more because I think if he's entering a world championship he should take it as seriously as the Battle Frontier.
Plus it would be excellent for his older Pokémon to get a shot to redeem their league defeats instead of them being stuck as also-rans.
 
I fully believe we’ll see Ash use older Pokemon when we hit Master Class. The season has been reminding us of Ash’s old Pokémon regularly with the Oak’s lab ep, Alola lab ep, Infernape, Bayleef during the Chuck flashback, Torterra during the Volkner flashback, and I think we’ll see Greninja at some point. The writers wouldn’t be bothering to bring them up and would just ignore them if they didn’t want to remind kids Ash has an arsenal of old Pokémon.

I don’t believe at all his current team will be used only at the end. It’s happening now because they never have Ash use old Pokémon as a series is going on. Remember this season isn’t locked into any generation, so to show Pokémon from all gens he’ll use some old ones.

The only surefire thing so far is Pikachu vs Leon’s Charizard will likely be the final climatic match of the series.
 
As someone who's been watching this show since the 90's i'd love to see some reserves that aren't Charizard, but as people will point out that'd just take away from the already minuscule screen-time his current team already has. THat, and considering how said team is being handled i'm not sure how well they'd handle the rest of Ash's Pokemon. Infernape came back for a bit but from what I know it didn't really do much against Moltres, the rest of his reserves that had shown up at Oak's lab did even less. Also lets not forget that they brought Charizard back in the Unova Saga where it didn't really do much, if anything it just took time away from Unfeazant, who was already underused.
 
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