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Controversial opinions

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.
This might sound true on paper, but each series adds it’s own spin on it so it isn’t true in practice. Each series gives its own depth to these goals via rivals/general themes.

Ash's goal in Sinnoh was a personal stake against Paul, to win so that he proves that his training ideology is better than Paul's and he's not a failure. If Ash lost against Paul I’m the league, to him, that would be an invalidation of everything Ash as a character has stood for so far.

His motivation in Alola was to overcome the Masked Royal. And why? Because Torracat wanted to. The Masked Royal was the reward for winning the league, and Ash wanted to achieve that because, while the Masked Royal is a strong trainer, his Pokémon have personal stakes in beating it’s Incineroar. Also, the identity of this trainer is Professor Kukui, so this also turns into a saga for Ash to knowingly surpass his parental figure in Alola, intervening with the family theme of the show.

Kalos flipped the entire thing on its head, while Ash still remains a person who wants to win the league just because he wants to, he turns into a catalyst for the other characters to discover themselves. He also wants to defeat Sawyer to show that Greninja is capable of getting even stronger, and a defeat isn’t enough to get him off its flow. Alain rediscovers his actual passion for battle thanks to Ash, instead of turning them into a mindless grind for Mega Evolution Energy. And enough has been said about Ash-Sawyer rivalry on these forums.

Each series adds its own spin, story and themes to this cookie cutter uninteresting goal you describe, while Journeys has failed to do so apart from "Leon is the strongest trainer."
 
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Why does Ash need to know anything personal about Leon? We could get more backstory if Hop ever shows up and we would probably get some flashbacks of him and Leon growing up together but otherwise it doesn't really matter.

A lot of the stuff you mention also only happened at the tail end of each series, as of course Alan didn't even appear in XY or meet Ash till the last year of the series, so there is likely going to be time for that with Leon anyway. You're looking at every saga that's already completed but when it was airing we had no idea Kukui would be the final challenge of SM as we didn't even know there would be a league until the latter half of the series. There was never even any indication Litten would evolve for most of SM and most didn't believe Ash would win the Alola league to face Kukui.

So similarly you can't compare whatever will happen with Leon with completed series since all that stuff only happened in literally the last year of the series especially for Alan and Kukui in their sagas.
 
Why does Ash need to know anything personal about Leon?
Because they refuse to give us meaningful rivalries, or motivations for Ash beyond "I need to defeat him." If there’s so much fixation on a character, to the point that there’s nothing else involved in the goal we should know about it.
A lot of the stuff you mention also only happened at the tail end of each series, as of course Alan didn't even appear in XY or meet Ash till the last year of the series, so there is likely going to be time for that with Leon anyway. You're looking at every saga that's already completed but when it was airing we had no idea Kukui would be the final challenge of SM as we didn't even know there would be a league until the latter half of the series. There was never even any indication Litten would evolve for most of SM and most didn't believe Ash would win the Alola league to face Kukui.
Correction: the Masked Royal rivalry was built throughout the saga. In fact, all Litten battles were against it and focused on overcoming the Masked Royal and his Incineroar. And throughout the other series, we saw Ash facing issues reaching the league itself- in Kalos he faced the Wilfric setback, we saw Ash questioning himself about Paul throughout Sinnoh. Meanwhile all we have for Journeys is the writing team teasing Ash become "more unbeatable", which is the last thing we need in a narrative that’s so far been totally devoid of character driven conflict for Ash.

The fact remains that the other series had at least one of these-
1. A motivation for Ash beyond a hollow "I want to become the strongest".
2. Rivals that he had personal stakes with.
3. A meaningful character arc based on his goal.

JN has so fat given us none of the above. In every region Ash faced at least one setback till now (I again, don’t count Bea since that setback was a plot device rather than an actual arc). The PWC as a goal has nothing going on about it rather than being an emotionless pitch other than being the "strongest".
 
- 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)

To be honest, this doesn't have to be an issue. I understand that people see it that way but depending on the execution, and the character in question's personality, goals, and ways to achieve that goal, determine whether it's an issue or not. You can still have a 'Edgy Fanfic Writers Wet Dream' team but still have it be a team with great execution and a good landing. From there you can decide whether you actually like the team or not but that's something else.

It's the way it happens that makes it an "Edgy Fanfic Writers Wet Dream". Like you said, being just handed this, or just being given a cookie cutter personality Lucario, without no work going into them whatsoever and no other interesting gimmick or trait to go off of. (People will likely bring up Dragonite, but there's a bunch of Dragonite in works that are insanely friendly or dopey based on its appearance. It's not a first or an exception. It's pretty common.)

Then again, I get most my info from Bulbapedia and what I read here cause I don't really watch the anime but I still like to check in to see hwat happens to stay up-to-date with the franchise and other possible tie-in events with other media.

That's also kind of why I don't watch the anime anymore. I just think it's genuinely not good and Ash's team shows it. "Oh, time for Ash to become the World Champion. Let's give him 6 strong and popular Pokémon that everyone will like, have no effort go into it whatsoever and then play it off like a great display of skill when he wins."
 
"Oh, time for Ash to become the World Champion. Let's give him 6 strong and popular Pokémon that everyone will like, have no effort go into it whatsoever and then play it off like a great display of skill when he wins."
I mean the show is at least partly there to show off the games and that's how Sw/Sh work; you can get a level 60 wild Gengar without training it who is 100% ready to go through the league, and a level 70 wild Dragonite if you have Crown Tundra.

It's just that now following the games like that is working in his favour instead of sabotaging him.
 
I mean the show is at least partly there to show off the games and that's how Sw/Sh work; you can get a level 60 wild Gengar without training it who is 100% ready to go through the league, and a level 70 wild Dragonite if you have Crown Tundra.

It's just that now following the games like that is working in his favour instead of sabotaging him.
At least in the games you have to get all 8 badges before you can catch those high level pokemon so you still have to work for it. JN Ash on the other hand barely worked for the Dragonite and Gengar.
 
Because they refuse to give us meaningful rivalries, or motivations for Ash beyond "I need to defeat him." If there’s so much fixation on a character, to the point that there’s nothing else involved in the goal we should know about it.

Correction: the Masked Royal rivalry was built throughout the saga. In fact, all Litten battles were against it and focused on overcoming the Masked Royal and his Incineroar. And throughout the other series, we saw Ash facing issues reaching the league itself- in Kalos he faced the Wilfric setback, we saw Ash questioning himself about Paul throughout Sinnoh. Meanwhile all we have for Journeys is the writing team teasing Ash become "more unbeatable", which is the last thing we need in a narrative that’s so far been totally devoid of character driven conflict for Ash.

The fact remains that the other series had at least one of these-
1. A motivation for Ash beyond a hollow "I want to become the strongest".
2. Rivals that he had personal stakes with.
3. A meaningful character arc based on his goal.

JN has so fat given us none of the above. In every region Ash faced at least one setback till now (I again, don’t count Bea since that setback was a plot device rather than an actual arc). The PWC as a goal has nothing going on about it rather than being an emotionless pitch other than being the "strongest".
True but again you're viewing this in a lens of retrospect from when series had ended. When SM was first airing we had no idea there would be a league, we had no idea Ash would have a climatic battle with Kukui at the end of the series. Back during the first two years of SM people used to say the series just felt aimless or a "slice of life" series. Even most of the SM trials from the games were ignored and the Kahuna battles were all there was.

We did have Litten battling or taking notice of Incineroar but back then we had no idea that would lead to anything, I remember people thinking the Masked Royale eps were just fillers at first because we had no idea they were going to lead to something. It's the same reason a lot of people's opinions on SM improved after the league and Kukui battle because then we realized the writers were building up to something all along but it wasn't noticeable the first time around.

Same for XY where Ash had no rival for like 60% of the series and Alan didn't even meet Ash till the last year. We had no idea there would ever be a battle between Ash and Alan so Ash was just doing Gyms and we didn't know what the climax would be.

I expect as we get into the last year we'll see Leon and Raihan appear more frequently and start to build into their stories and what the PWC was established for like past series didn't develop their final characters motives till the last year of the series. If anything both SM and the end of XY prove this.
 
It's funny because my nephew has never watched Pokemon before, but I found him watching clips on Youtube today. When I mentioned it, he said he was watching specifically for Charizard and nothing else. And the only reason he likes Charizard is because he has a Charizard plush and it resembles a dragon/dinosaur.

He also likes Pikachu and Eevee, incidentally.

It put things into perspective. Shilling this, pandering that... but there's a reason they do it. Kids adore these Pokemon and likely always will.
 
There's also a much more deeper reason for why Leon has a Charizard besides shilling for the sake of shilling.

As I explained a few weeks ago Charizard is meant tell us about the type of person Leon is

Since we're talking about Grookey, here's a quick question

What does Grookey tell us about Goh?


A common theme in Pokemon is that you can tell a lot about a Trainer's Personality by the kinds of Pokemon they usually have by their side.

For example: Why does Cynthia have Spiritomb and a Female Garchomp?

Cynthia uses Spiritomb based on her studies on Sinnoh's relics and a Female Garchomp to obviously show how Powerful she is but also Female Garchomps don't have the reckless scar on her fin unlike Male Garchomps which symbolizes Cynthia's Strength is also balanced with Calm Maturity

Another example: Why does Kukui have a Lycanroc?

Because Kukui has 2 identities.
Professor Kukui and the Masked Royal!
Lycanroc also has multiple identities in the form of Midday, Midnight, and Dusk.
(I don't think I even need to explain Incineroar)

Why does Leon have a Charizard?
Because Leon’s Charizard is due to his status as the most popular in the Galar region, so he not only uses a pokemon even more popular than any of the Galar pokemon, he uses the BIGGEST Shillmon in the entire Franchise to cement his status as the Undefeated Champion who everybody loves.

Ash having Pikachu needs no explaining:
He's the Main character of the series. It's only natural he gets the Franchise's Mascot as his Starter




BUT let's get back to Goh:

Goh having Cinderace tells us about Goh's Optimism, Silliness, Fun loving side, occasional cockiness and tendencies to get in a little over his head.

Also Cinderace is the current Generation's Biggest Shillmon.
Goh having Cinderace as his Starter also cements Goh's status as a Protagonist on the same level as Ash (for Journeys anyways)

While people complain about Inteleon's capture, it also tells us a lot about Goh. As a Researcher and a Project Mew enthusiast, a Secret Agent Pokemon being handed assignments makes obvious sense (Also notice how Project Mew was only introduced to us literally right after Sobble evolved? :unsure: )

Inteleon are also known for being highly intelligent Pokemon. Goh is a highly intelligent trainer

And when it was still a Sobble/Drizzile it represented Goh's tendency to cry a LOT and how he grew out of his timid nature (admittedly rather quickly lol Like Trainer like Pokemon)


So what does Grookey say about Goh?

(Theres also another fact to take into account that the developers likely had no idea which Galar Pokemon were going to be popular when they were making SwSh so that's probably another reason why Leon didn't get a Galar Pokemon as his Ace)
 
At least they were sawy this time.

In some past generations they utterly failed to guess which species would become popular.

Me picking either Fushigidane or Zenigame, in the games, is my way to channel my dislike of Lizardon.
 
we had no idea Ash would have a climatic battle with Kukui at the end of the series.

We did have Litten battling or taking notice of Incineroar but back then we had no idea that would lead to anything, I remember people thinking the Masked Royale eps were just fillers at first because we had no idea they were going to lead to something. It's the same reason a lot of people's opinions on SM improved after the league and Kukui battle because then we realized the writers were building up to something all along but it wasn't noticeable the first time around.
You seriously didn’t think they’d give resolution to the only rivalry they've actively built on through the series? It was incredibly obvious the moment Litten evolved.
 
You seriously didn’t think they’d give resolution to the only rivalry they've actively built on through the series? It was incredibly obvious the moment Litten evolved.
Back when we were in mid SM? At the time nobody predicted Ash and Kukui would have a battle at the end of SM. Sure they could have battled in a one off filler, but we had no idea Torracat/Incineroar would be one of the big climatic matches of SM.

Same thing with Gladion, we had no idea he would be made a rival till the last part of the series.
 
It's funny because my nephew has never watched Pokemon before, but I found him watching clips on Youtube today. When I mentioned it, he said he was watching specifically for Charizard and nothing else. And the only reason he likes Charizard is because he has a Charizard plush and it resembles a dragon/dinosaur.

He also likes Pikachu and Eevee, incidentally.

It put things into perspective. Shilling this, pandering that... but there's a reason they do it. Kids adore these Pokemon and likely always will.
It’s a vicious cycle. You market Charizard > A generation grows up with lots of Charizard marketing > likes Charizard > more Charizard marketing for this generation > a new generation grows up with Charizard > rinse and repeat.
By generation I mean literal generations of children.
Nothing else would shine it you don’t market anyone other than Charizard. I grew up in the generation with the least amount of Charizard pandering, Gen 4. I grew up with Infernape and Staraptor as favourites because that’s what I saw on the anime.
The lack of Galar promotion will inherently result in lesser children being exposed to it.
 
Back when we were in mid SM? At the time nobody predicted Ash and Kukui would have a battle at the end of SM. Sure they could have battled in a one off filler, but we had no idea Torracat/Incineroar would be one of the big climatic matches of SM.

Same thing with Gladion, we had no idea he would be made a rival till the last part of the series.
There was clearly a rivalry built up in SM. We didn’t know how that rivalry would be resolved, by a climatic battle at the end or not, but the anime has literally never left a rivalry unresolved so how exactly did people think it would be resolved? A pancake competition?

And by the way, the Alola league was teased back in SM043, so if you put in these facts together, it’s fairly obvious the rivalries would be resolved by battling.

And, Alola had the theme of family throughout to compensate and tie the series together even without a tangible goal, whereas JN provides no themes like that in terms of forming personal stakes between the characters involved in Ash's goal, returning to the actual topic.
 
There was clearly a rivalry built up in SM. We didn’t know how that rivalry would be resolved, by a climatic battle at the end or not, but the anime has literally never left a rivalry unresolved so how exactly did people think it would be resolved? A pancake competition?

And by the way, the Alola league was teased back in SM043, so if you put in these facts together, it’s fairly obvious the rivalries would be resolved by battling.
If you go back and read threads from when SM was airing, you'll see that most weren't expecting anything out of Kukui until the last third of the series. The league wasn't made a big deal till the last third of the series, most expected SM to just continue on as a slice of life series or those Ultra Guardian eps. At most people expected another random Masked Royale ep for the two pokemon to battle, but nothing on the climatic scale the writers gave to it.
 
If you go back and read threads from when SM was airing, you'll see that most weren't expecting anything out of Kukui until the last third of the series. The league wasn't made a big deal till the last third of the series, most expected SM to just continue on as a slice of life series or those Ultra Guardian eps. At most people expected another random Masked Royale ep for the two pokemon to battle, but nothing on the climatic scale the writers gave to it.
I happen to be an active poster from the SM-era btw. You seem to be too hung up on the "climatic scale", but the scale was not a part of my argument at all. The part I wanted to borrow from was the actual relationships and stakes between Ash and the Masked Royale, which have been set up throughout the saga. The battle would be just as impactful to me even if it wasn’t a part of the league.

The battle can be off the charts in terms of scale and contain all kinds of sparkles but it will ring hollow without any personal stakes. And that, is the issue with PWT in Journeys. SM set up the personal plots, and then added the scale when no one expected it. The climatic setup just happens to be the cherry on the cake, but it doesn’t change that the rivalry, the stakes and everything else was woven up throughout the saga. Even a random masked Royal battle in the battle Royale dome would fulfil the same purpose, but they went for more of a spectacle which is an added plus.

The league, or the fancy moves used or the mechanics isn’t my point. The father-son symbolism, the reason why Ash wanted to defeat the Masked Royal, Torracat's stakes in the battle were the parts that I wanted to include in my argument. The climatic nature or a lack thereof is a irrelevant tangent.
 
Back when we were in mid SM? At the time nobody predicted Ash and Kukui would have a battle at the end of SM. Sure they could have battled in a one off filler, but we had no idea Torracat/Incineroar would be one of the big climatic matches of SM.

Same thing with Gladion, we had no idea he would be made a rival till the last part of the series.
Wasn't Gladion always considered a rival for Ash? I could be misremembering the details, but I don't think he wasn't considered a rival until the Alola League. I'm pretty sure he would have been considered a rival at least by the time we had Lycanroc vs. Silvally.
 
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