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Controversial opinions

Ash doesn't have a traveling party, a rival, or even an evil team boss to deal with in Journeys

And it doesn't detract away from literally everything else I said

And this doesn't contradict anything I said.

Your initial claim Ash in Journeys should get the same criticism as he did in XY because he's "worshipped" doesn't hold up when Goh is the only example you can bring up. Whereas I can bring up several from XY.

That’s just on paper. Has the character treated it as anything more notable than he’s done before? No. It got forgotten for a decent chunk of the saga.

Yes, actually. He has a fixation on Leon he's not had for any one trainer for a while. From the beginning, he gave a public declaration of challenge to Leon. He gets invited to a random contest by Opal and is convinced to go because Leon is there. He's into his battle vs Bea but gets even more into it because Leon is watching. Winning the PWC isn't more important for Ash than winning any other tournament, but beating Leon is.

There's a significant difference in aspiring to win a regional league, and aspiring to beat the Champion, one who is considered the best trainer in the world.

In general, Ash knows he has to be on top of his game in this tournament. He got his Z-Ring just to fight Volkner because he knew he needed the extra power. He got a Mega Ring so he could use Mega Lucario. Now he's getting G-Max Gengar. This is a different mentality to previous seasons when he was more content to work with what he had.

I cannot see how functionally, based on on screen material, PWC is big for Ash as a character based on his behaviour rather than the show telling us it’s important for him and the scale of it.

What should he be doing then? Because as I see it, he's behaving as I'd expect him to. He's working with his Pokemon, battling people, and setting his standards high.
 
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What should he be doing then?
I think it's less of what he should be doing specifically and more so of what the writers should be doing. I, for one, would love to see Ash get a focus episode that looks further into his character in some manner, like the zeraora arc in SM did. Even better would be Ash's pokemon interacting with each other and having meaningful focus episodes. The Iris episode, for instance, is the reason why I like Dragonite. It was a unique way to look into Dragonite as a character that I really wished would be explored more. Ash's goal doesn't feel meaningful to me because so far nothing it's done held my interest in him as a character. The PWC hasn't effected him specifically in any new or unique way that fleshes out his character. So, Ash feels one note as a result and it's hard to get invested in the goal of a character you don't find all that interesting in the first place.
 
Journeys Satoshi is just a ditzy excuse of a trainer, a character that has become flatter than ever.
He is fixed on a single trait per episode.

Off-screen and hypothetical, supposed, developments don't count.
Be it him training or bonding with his Pokemon.
This only makes the moments when he gets the upper hand look very contrived.

We also don't have team dynamics, they are very disjointed from each other.
Then there's the issue of the Mascot and the Shillmon, that get overexposure and pampering. While the rest are sidelined or reduced to jobbers.

The PWC is not an appealing plot at all.
With all the issues it has, especially after getting rushed due to being an afterthought in a series that is more focused on derailing and pandering.

Edit:
I don't mind XY Satoshi receiving that much admiration, because he did inspire all those people despite his flaws.
Gou's worshipping feels forced, but that's expected since that 'friendship' is not genuine.
 
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Yes, actually. He has a fixation on Leon he's not had for any one trainer for a while. From the beginning, he gave a public declaration of challenge to Leon. He gets invited to a random contest by Opal and is convinced to go because Leon is there. He's into his battle vs Bea but gets even more into it because Leon is watching. Winning the PWC isn't more important for Ash than winning any other tournament, but beating Leon is.
And yet we have no reason to be invested in this dynamic beyond seeing Leon as the next wall to climb. Why is Ash so hellbent on battling him? Because he’s powerful. That’s as deep as this series encompassing motivation goes.
 
Gou's worshipping feels forced, but that's expected since that 'friendship' is not genuine.
It's not perfect, but Ash and Goh's friendship not being genuine just doesn't feel right to me. Goh doesn't "worship" Ash as much as people say, and at least there's some level of dynamic present. If we're talking a friendship not feeling genuine, then I'd argue Ash and Pikachu should be the first one on that list. They aren't equals in terms of partnership anymore, their friendship so far has only been used in contrivances or plot devices(e.g when Ash and Pikachu's partnership was emphasized a lot during the Raboot arc thingy), their dynamic itself isn't very consistent, the trust that the two have for each other-their biggest strength that has been emphasized time and time again since 1997-is often told to us instead of shown, and at this point all that's left is what are supposed to be "cute" moments, I guess??? Ash and Goh are better than that, at least.
And yet we have no reason to be invested in this dynamic beyond seeing Leon as the next wall to climb. Why is Ash so hellbent on battling him? Because he’s powerful. That’s as deep as this series encompassing motivation goes.
Ash wanting to battle Leon simply because he's powerful doesn't really bother me as much as the effects it has on his character does. We don't see him training extra hard in other episodes, we don't see him coming up with new strategies, we don't see him bonding with his team, we don't see him wanting to learn more about Leon himself...I don't know, there really doesn't seem to be an actual dynamic present here. Actually, wait, does anyone know what Leon thinks of Ash? Why haven't we gotten an episode yet about Leon learning more about Ash as a character? Something that firmly establishes Leon as more than just a goalpost Ash wants to reach?
 
I think it's less of what he should be doing specifically and more so of what the writers should be doing. I, for one, would love to see Ash get a focus episode that looks further into his character in some manner, like the zeraora arc in SM did. Even better would be Ash's pokemon interacting with each other and having meaningful focus episodes. The Iris episode, for instance, is the reason why I like Dragonite. It was a unique way to look into Dragonite as a character that I really wished would be explored more. Ash's goal doesn't feel meaningful to me because so far nothing it's done held my interest in him as a character. The PWC hasn't effected him specifically in any new or unique way that fleshes out his character. So, Ash feels one note as a result and it's hard to get invested in the goal of a character you don't find all that interesting in the first place.
This is all well and good, and I'm not saying it's wrong (I've complained about a lack of team bonding as well, for example), but the interest of the PWC lies in its escalating difficulty and how that will test Ash as a competitor. More than any other series, Journeys' priority for Ash is his skill as a trainer, with the cavaet that Ash is no longer a rookie underdog climbing his way up the ranks. Right now, it may seem Ash isn't struggling much, but what about when he battles Raihan? Lance? Cynthia? As far as I'm concerned, this is where the meaning of the arc lies. It's working up to a point where Ash can believably rub shoulders with the very best trainers and compete on somewhat even footing, rather than be creamed like he usually is. It's simplistic but I don't think it needs to be anything more than that.

I don't view Ash as one note, either. That gives the impression Ash only cares about the PWC, but we know this is demonstrably untrue. This isn't about you specifically, but I'm seeing complaints Ash is boring, he's too focused on battles, the PWC is boring, it doesn't get enough focus, etc., while all the while we're getting episodes which show the other parts of Ash's personality. You have to appreciate the irony of complaints of Ash being one-dimensional just weeks after an episode where Ash himself felt put out because Goh presented him to his class as one-dimensional.
And yet we have no reason to be invested in this dynamic beyond seeing Leon as the next wall to climb. Why is Ash so hellbent on battling him? Because he’s powerful. That’s as deep as this series encompassing motivation goes.
Why does Ash want to be a Pokemon Master? Because he wants to. That's how deep it this series-wide motivation goes.

Why does Ash want to win any league, ever? Because he wants to be a Pokemon Master. That's it.

So how is the shallowness of Ash's motivation this time around any more of a problem than it was before?
 
Goh doesn't "worship" Ash as much as people say
Gou worships Satoshi so much that he, literally, turned into Satoshi-Nigou/#2.
Coming to me many cases of people emulating their idols.

I concede that they had an excellent set-up, back then before that.
Because Gou offered a counterpoint, they could have kept on that contrast.
And that would have made their friendship feel genuine. With clashes over their PoVs that would have evolved into dynamics.

But alas, they turned Gou into a Satoclone. He just absorbed too much and changed so fast to be believable.
I don't take seriously the argument that they may have interacted off-screen, that needed to be shown.
People don't grow in that way; it takes time, if they are willing to, and the more probable result is an agreement.

Edit: Then there is the issue with people only doing that change to be liked or avoid conflicts.
 
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Go having some of Ash's traits rub off on him is the same thing that happened with May and Dawn, and to a lesser extent Serena and it's done to show the impact Ash has on his friends. They all learn from him and they take his better aspects but still have a different dynamic from him. Saying Go is just an Ash clone is as wrong as people calling Dawn a female Ash during DP.

As for Ash wanting to battle Leon and the tournament in general this is the same thing he wants to do every series. Why did he challenge the Battle Frontier? For no reason other than Scott telling him there were strong trainers. Why did Ash do the Alola Kahuna challenge? For no reason other than Kiawe and Hala telling him about it. Ash's initial reason to go to Hoenn and Sinnoh was because Harrison and Gary told him there were leagues there. Ash simply hearing about strong trainers and wanting to battle them is what he's always done all 20 years.

I also like Journies Ash most of the time. He feels like a happy medium between XY Ash and SM Ash as if the writers merged the personalities of the last two sagas into one so he feels like the best of both worlds. He's not as laid back and serious as he was in Kalos and not as overreactive/silly as he could be at times in SM, but feels like the best of both. He actually feels like a kid excited to be on an adventure again and when he's battling he feels like he channels the old Ash. Besides that most of Ash's "original' personality died down by the end of DP so we haven't seen that Ash for about a decade anyway.
 
Also this show has the WORST illiterations of Ash and Pikachu by FAR

Yes even moreso than BW. I said what I said

I literally can't even recognize Pikachu in this show.
They literally turned Pikachu into a jerk. Not the kind of funny lovable rogue he was in the OS but like an actual jerk who gets jealous of newborn babies (No. I will not ever let that go)
And the directors actually had the audacity to claim he was an "Angel" because of it.
If that doesn't go to show how grossly they misinterpreted Pikachu's character for the sake of cuteness idk what does

Meanwhile Ash is just so fucking boring. People complain about XY Ash but JN Ash is almost the exact same?

- He's hyper competent in battles and almost never loses except for like 2 episodes (and keep in mind that he used a Baby Riolu to Battle)

- Other characters like Goh worship him almost as much as people claim Serena does
(Hell even he has his own Fanclub in Alola)

- He has a Team of ridiculously Strong and Powerful Pokemon that literally look like it came out of an Edgy Fanfic writers Wet Dream
(He was literally just handed a fucking Dragonite)

Only difference is his stupidity is cracked up to 11
This is why I hate JN Ash. I think SM Ash was slightly worse because of how they made him the butt monkey much more often plus the art style rubbed me the long way.

SM Ash and JN Ash make BW Ash look like XY and DP Ash, that’s how bad they are.
 
SM Ash was slightly worse
I disagree. SM Ash was looked into as a character far more than JN Ash has been so far. SM Ash was put in unique situations that he never was compared to series past and developed a never seen before love for an actual region. He was treated like a normal kid in SM compared to the rest of the cast. Sure, they thought he was a little strange and admirable in some areas, and of course there was the protagonist syndrome present, but other than that, his environment allowed him to act like a normal kid his age. We see him take charge on many occasions, develop unique and unorthodox ways of training and strategies, showcase his love and care for pokemon, and on one such occasion even saw a rare instance of him acting homesick. Ash Ketchum was acting homesick. I may personally take issue with his design, which is often a hit or miss for me, and him often being the butt monkey of jokes: but if we're being fair, he's not exactly the ONLY one considering the overall tone of Alola.

Compared to all of that, what has JN Ash done that stands out compared to other series? The PWC? Sure, it's more challenging on paper, I guess, but Ash going after something new for the purpose of battling isn't really that unique. Compared to JN Ash, SM Ash is refreshing and is much better written in terms of actual character.
 
Why does Ash want to be a Pokemon Master? Because he wants to. That's how deep it this series-wide motivation goes.

Why does Ash want to win any league, ever? Because he wants to be a Pokemon Master. That's it.

So how is the shallowness of Ash's motivation this time around any more of a problem than it was before?
Touché
 
- He has a Team of ridiculously Strong and Powerful Pokemon that literally look like it came out of an Edgy Fanfic writers Wet Dream
(He was literally just handed a fucking Dragonite)

Only difference is his stupidity is cracked up to 11
Ash's current team is literally the opposite of edgy:

Ash's Dragonite is warm and caring and gives people hugs. This isn't Iris Dragonite which on the other hand WAS edgy and angry/power hungry all the time. If they made Ash's Dragonite like that I'd agree but they did the opposite.

Gengar isn't really edgy either whenever we see it.

Lucario basically has the same stock personality of any Lucario we've seen in the series.

Sirfetch'd is like a proud knight

Dracovish is literally the silliest looking pokemon in existence.

Other than them all being evolved I don't see any of them as edgy. The writers basically gave Ash two popular Kanto Pokémon he never had before, a DP pokemon since they knew remakes were coming, and of course at least two Galar pokemon for the current gen. In theory the choices given to Ash this gen were sound. They just needed to give his pokemon better screentime outside of battles.

I also think JN Ash is the best he's been in years. Outside of a few silly moments like looking for pokedex data under the couch (honestly that felt like a scene better suited for SM) he's more energetic and enthusiastic than he's been in a long time.
 
Ash's current team is literally the opposite of edgy:

Ash's Dragonite is warm and caring and gives people hugs. This isn't Iris Dragonite which on the other hand WAS edgy and angry/power hungry all the time. If they made Ash's Dragonite like that I'd agree but they did the opposite.

Gengar isn't really edgy either whenever we see it.

Lucario basically has the same stock personality of any Lucario we've seen in the series.

Sirfetch'd is like a proud knight

Dracovish is literally the silliest looking pokemon in existence.

Other than them all being evolved I don't see any of them as edgy. The writers basically gave Ash two popular Kanto Pokémon he never had before, a DP pokemon since they knew remakes were coming, and of course at least two Galar pokemon for the current gen. In theory the choices given to Ash this gen were sound. They just needed to give his pokemon better screentime outside of battles.

I also think JN Ash is the best he's been in years. Outside of a few silly moments like looking for pokedex data under the couch (honestly that felt like a scene better suited for SM) he's more energetic and enthusiastic than he's been in a long time.
She didn’t say Ash himself is edgy. She was talking about the writing looking like it came from a fanfic written by an edgy writer.
 
Nothing about his team feels edgy at all either way though. He doesn't have preevolved starters this gen but his team doesn't give me the impression of anything he couldn't normally get. Lucario is simply the most dp pokemon he's never had. Dragonite isn't a big deal anymore when Iris had one for the second half of BW.

Usually Ash beats Gym leaders with unevolved starters for half the series ( even in DP and XY he still had Monferno and Frogadier up to the 7th Gym) so I guess people are used to Ash battling with cute pokemon defeating evolved pokemon for 20 years.
 
Not all of Satoshi's Pokemon are cute either. There had been some oddballs along the way.

The underdog winning is also a very old trope, that many writers like to use.
It's not going to vanish anytime soon.

Though, when Satoshi commanded Kairyuu to use Dragon Claw, he did have a similar vibe/air to Alan.
 
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I disagree. SM Ash was looked into as a character far more than JN Ash has been so far. SM Ash was put in unique situations that he never was compared to series past and developed a never seen before love for an actual region. He was treated like a normal kid in SM compared to the rest of the cast. Sure, they thought he was a little strange and admirable in some areas, and of course there was the protagonist syndrome present, but other than that, his environment allowed him to act like a normal kid his age. We see him take charge on many occasions, develop unique and unorthodox ways of training and strategies, showcase his love and care for pokemon, and on one such occasion even saw a rare instance of him acting homesick. Ash Ketchum was acting homesick. I may personally take issue with his design, which is often a hit or miss for me, and him often being the butt monkey of jokes: but if we're being fair, he's not exactly the ONLY one considering the overall tone of Alola.

Compared to all of that, what has JN Ash done that stands out compared to other series? The PWC? Sure, it's more challenging on paper, I guess, but Ash going after something new for the purpose of battling isn't really that unique. Compared to JN Ash, SM Ash is refreshing and is much better written in terms of actual character.
While I'm not a big fan of the Alola saga, your comment did make me think of some of the things Ash got to experience there such as the death of a Pokémon and the marriage of his adoptive parents, as well as his feelings from those. We haven't really had events like those in Journeys for his character to grow from or handle. Which is a shame.
 
I disagree. SM Ash was looked into as a character far more than JN Ash has been so far. SM Ash was put in unique situations that he never was compared to series past and developed a never seen before love for an actual region. He was treated like a normal kid in SM compared to the rest of the cast. Sure, they thought he was a little strange and admirable in some areas, and of course there was the protagonist syndrome present, but other than that, his environment allowed him to act like a normal kid his age. We see him take charge on many occasions, develop unique and unorthodox ways of training and strategies, showcase his love and care for pokemon, and on one such occasion even saw a rare instance of him acting homesick. Ash Ketchum was acting homesick. I may personally take issue with his design, which is often a hit or miss for me, and him often being the butt monkey of jokes: but if we're being fair, he's not exactly the ONLY one considering the overall tone of Alola.

Compared to all of that, what has JN Ash done that stands out compared to other series? The PWC? Sure, it's more challenging on paper, I guess, but Ash going after something new for the purpose of battling isn't really that unique. Compared to JN Ash, SM Ash is refreshing and is much better written in terms of actual character.
I can agree that JN’s writing, especially with Ash, has been a train wreck. Really SM and JN are two sides of the same coin
 
While I'm not a big fan of the Alola saga, your comment did make me think of some of the things Ash got to experience there such as the death of a Pokémon and the marriage of his adoptive parents, as well as his feelings from those. We haven't really had events like those in Journeys for his character to grow from or handle. Which is a shame.
I'm not too big a fan of SM either, but you have to give credit where credit's due. Alola ties in the family theme throughout its narrative like a work of art. It's a fun, loving, adventure story that really feels like it reaches out to its target demographic. There isn't as much traveling as other regions, yet somehow so much of Alola feels more explored and developed as a region compared to others. I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is the standard for world-building. Believe it or not, setting is a lot more important of a story element than people think, because it creates numerous possibilities for what direction a story can be taken. It also helps keep the story grounded at the same time, which is extremely helpful in terms of organization. Sun and Moon isn't perfect, nor is it the best, but in terms of world-building, I can't really see a single other series that can compare-or is even on the same level.
 
but the interest of the PWC lies in its escalating difficulty

Right now, it may seem Ash isn't struggling much, but what about when he battles Raihan? Lance? Cynthia? As far as I'm concerned, this is where the meaning of the arc lies.
You showed that there isn’t much difficulty here. The writers have themselves said that Ash will get more "unbeatable" as we go on. Doesn’t give me a hint of challenge?

That gives the impression Ash only cares about the PWC,
Didn’t you yourself show in the above post that Ash doesn’t care about the PWC as such, but only the prospect of beating Leon?
Winning the PWC isn't more important for Ash than winning any other tournament, but beating Leon is.
So… to summarise. Ash uses PWC as a way to beat Leon, and we've seen him face no struggles so far, nor have the writers given Ash any character arcs to reflect how PWC might be different than A league in terms of stakes (no, I don’t count the Bea "arc". Ash's slump went and came as per plot requirement). Even if we were to take the PWC at face value- a way to beat Leon, narratively it isn’t an interesting goal apart from Leon being the "strongest trainer in the world". Leon has no relationship with Ash, there are no personal stakes, and Ash doesn’t even know anything else about Leon apart from he’s passionate about battles.
 
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