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Controversial opinions

For a work intending to have any sort of drama I think you need to either hide the wizard behind the curtain as much as you can OR make the wizard symbolic of something important (at least to the writer), and I feel that one of this series' major flaws (that I don't see vocalized much but I think is one of those things people notice without consciously thinking about) is that it's really, really bad at doing either; a number of things are either bordering on deus ex machina or require sudden character changes for the sake of convenience, and we all know "the wizard" symbolism is just about trying to sell merch and not wanting to give up an iconic character so it's hard to give unrealistic or strange story decisions a pass on that basis.
It's a tricky one for the writing team because they're working within a strange space where the series is neither a continuation or a stand-alone thing. They inevitably write themselves into a corner where the narrative progression suggests Ash should win whatever league he's participating in but they have to transition into a new series where Ash is once again taking on gym leaders. It doesn't make sense for Ash to win the big one but return to doing gyms afterwards, but a lot of time it doesn't make sense for Ash to lose, either. All the staff know this, but it's not an easy dilemma to solve. The fact nobody wants to commit either creates a tonne of problems for the writers who have to maintain some form of consistent internal logic while at the same time introducing a whole bunch of new elements to the show that screw with that logic.

I think it's noticeable Ash won the Alola League when they knew Journeys would do away with the gym quest format entirely. There was no longer any concern about justifying Ash going from champion to badge collector, so they could go with the narrative choice that made the most sense. Because of this, Ash's losses were likely a result of being strong-armed into following the games' narrative structure as closely as possible without being able to swap him out as the protagonist. For instance, had they decided to follow Sword and Shield more closely, I truly believe Ash would have lost to Gladion. It's why I was happy they opted against that this time, as much as people have been disappointed by the lack of Gen 8 representation.
 
I think it's noticeable Ash won the Alola League when they knew Journeys would do away with the gym quest format entirely. There was no longer any concern about justifying Ash going from champion to badge collector, so they could go with the narrative choice that made the most sense. Because of this, Ash's losses were likely a result of being strong-armed into following the games' narrative structure as closely as possible without being able to swap him out as the protagonist. For instance, had they decided to follow Sword and Shield more closely, I truly believe Ash would have lost to Gladion. It's why I was happy they opted against that this time, as much as people have been disappointed by the lack of Gen 8 representation.
Here's a easy way to fix this have him lose to the E4 and as for justifying it he does the badge quest as a way to grow as a trainer. Starting from DP have him lose to the E4, for BW (for this to work BW as a whole will need a rewrite) have him barely lose to the last E4 member, XY have him win and become champion or barely lose to the champion and both ways he still becomes the champion in SM.
 
Here's a easy way to fix this have him lose to the E4 and as for justifying it he does the badge quest as a way to grow as a trainer. Starting from DP have him lose to the E4, for BW (for this to work BW as a whole will need a rewrite) have him barely lose to the last E4 member, XY have him win and become champion or barely lose to the champion and both ways he still becomes the champion in SM.
DP established the Champion's League, which seems to just be the E4, but who knows. I don't know why they haven't just let Ash win leagues and further explore exactly what the Champion's League is. They've made tons of bad decisions over the years and I still think having him lose in Kalos was one their worst. Its as you say. Let him win, then go onto the E4 and struggle there.
 
I think it's noticeable Ash won the Alola League when they knew Journeys would do away with the gym quest format entirely. There was no longer any concern about justifying Ash going from champion to badge collector, so they could go with the narrative choice that made the most sense. Because of this, Ash's losses were likely a result of being strong-armed into following the games' narrative structure as closely as possible without being able to swap him out as the protagonist. For instance, had they decided to follow Sword and Shield more closely, I truly believe Ash would have lost to Gladion. It's why I was happy they opted against that this time, as much as people have been disappointed by the lack of Gen 8 representation.
I don't know if he would have lost to Gladion if they decided to follow Sword/Shield more closely. It's possible that they could have made Gladion into another Alain, in that he would be a rival that Ash never had a proper victory over despite all of the buildup, but I'm not convinced that the format change in Journeys is the only reason Ash won the Alola League. It took them over seventy episodes to even bring it up in Journeys, so I don't think that was a major factor in their decision to change things up. It wasn't even the reason why Ash took part in the PWC. He just wanted to battle Leon again. It's likely that Ash's Alola League victory boiled down to wanting to stay faithful to the games where the player character becomes the first Alola Champion too.

They could have still easily given Ash a bigger challenge while still winning the Alola League too. A common theory after the Alola League victory was that it was going to lead into Ash getting a sponsorship for the Galar region. Yeah, it would have been a badge collecting journey, but I think that they could have easily made it into a bigger deal by establishing that the Gym Leaders in Galar are more powerful than other Gym Leaders. Raihan is in the Master Class and at least in the games, would be strong enough to become a Champion in another region. Bea, the third Gym Leader in the game, was so strong that it took Ash multiple attempts to defeat her. If just two of the Galar Gym Leaders are presented as such powerful trainers, I think that they could have still made the Galar Gym quest look more difficult and impressive, especially when the Gym Leaders effectively take the place of Elite 4 members in the games too. I just don't think it had to be one or the other when it comes to giving Ash a new goal after winning the Alola League, especially when the PWC still doesn't really feel like it's pushing Ash into new heights or giving him much of a challenge.
 
It's a tricky one for the writing team because they're working within a strange space where the series is neither a continuation or a stand-alone thing. They inevitably write themselves into a corner where the narrative progression suggests Ash should win whatever league he's participating in but they have to transition into a new series where Ash is once again taking on gym leaders. It doesn't make sense for Ash to win the big one but return to doing gyms afterwards, but a lot of time it doesn't make sense for Ash to lose, either. All the staff know this, but it's not an easy dilemma to solve. The fact nobody wants to commit either creates a tonne of problems for the writers who have to maintain some form of consistent internal logic while at the same time introducing a whole bunch of new elements to the show that screw with that logic.

I think it's noticeable Ash won the Alola League when they knew Journeys would do away with the gym quest format entirely. There was no longer any concern about justifying Ash going from champion to badge collector, so they could go with the narrative choice that made the most sense. Because of this, Ash's losses were likely a result of being strong-armed into following the games' narrative structure as closely as possible without being able to swap him out as the protagonist. For instance, had they decided to follow Sword and Shield more closely, I truly believe Ash would have lost to Gladion. It's why I was happy they opted against that this time, as much as people have been disappointed by the lack of Gen 8 representation.
Well people thought Ash was going to win Kalos was all but confirmed because Alola had no gyms (trials instead) and had no league and look what happened. Ash taking a vacation to Alola after winning in Kalos would have made so much sense, so why didn’t they do that? Then JN could go on as normal. Basically Ash should have won both Kalos and Alola.
 
You know, changing the subject rather abruptly lol, but Idk how it was possible, but I think JN straight up made me destest Grookey with all my might, which is mind-boogling to me because Grookey was actually my fav of the Galar Set.

But the ultimate thing about Grookey, is that the real reason I personally think it doesn't stops running amok nor does it suffers any sort of consequences, or even gets an arc it's cuz Grookey is not a character, it's a plot device. It's meant to easily create trouble for the ep to happen and it doesn't requires too much thought behind it: it's causing trouble because it's just a baby monkey who likes to hit stuff with it's stick and looks good and cute doing it. It's a simple and effective way to kickstart any conflict, which is mainly why I think it won't evolve at any point. It's too good and easy of a plot device to pass on.

This is definitely something I'll work on when I have the time to do so, but do you know which character Grookey reminds me of? Poof, from the Fairly Odd Parents. There's a lot of similarities there between the two of them, specially in their role in the narrative, and I'm seeing that specially after those two last eps. But if you've ever watched Fairly Odd Parents, you'll know that being a Poof-like character... is not a good thing. At all. (Don't worry y'all, the essay will come lol)
 
Which is weird because being a plot device to cause conflict in a episode is literally the entire reason Team Rocket exists like...that's what they're there for and you completely neglect them for a worse alternative. So you end up making TR fans and Grookey fans mad and you just end up making people dislike the show, it's a lose lose all around
 
You know, changing the subject rather abruptly lol, but Idk how it was possible, but I think JN straight up made me destest Grookey with all my might, which is mind-boogling to me because Grookey was actually my fav of the Galar Set.

But the ultimate thing about Grookey, is that the real reason I personally think it doesn't stops running amok nor does it suffers any sort of consequences, or even gets an arc it's cuz Grookey is not a character, it's a plot device. It's meant to easily create trouble for the ep to happen and it doesn't requires too much thought behind it: it's causing trouble because it's just a baby monkey who likes to hit stuff with it's stick and looks good and cute doing it. It's a simple and effective way to kickstart any conflict, which is mainly why I think it won't evolve at any point. It's too good and easy of a plot device to pass on.

This is definitely something I'll work on when I have the time to do so, but do you know which character Grookey reminds me of? Poof, from the Fairly Odd Parents. There's a lot of similarities there between the two of them, specially in their role in the narrative, and I'm seeing that specially after those two last eps. But if you've ever watched Fairly Odd Parents, you'll know that being a Poof-like character... is not a good thing. At all. (Don't worry y'all, the essay will come lol)
I actually didn't mind Poof

Now Sparky and Chloe on the other hand, I hated those two with a passion
 
It's a tricky one for the writing team because they're working within a strange space where the series is neither a continuation or a stand-alone thing. They inevitably write themselves into a corner where the narrative progression suggests Ash should win whatever league he's participating in but they have to transition into a new series where Ash is once again taking on gym leaders. It doesn't make sense for Ash to win the big one but return to doing gyms afterwards, but a lot of time it doesn't make sense for Ash to lose, either. All the staff know this, but it's not an easy dilemma to solve. The fact nobody wants to commit either creates a tonne of problems for the writers who have to maintain some form of consistent internal logic while at the same time introducing a whole bunch of new elements to the show that screw with that logic.
Oh, yeah. I think it's a structural problem that's beyond the authority of writers to deal with; at the end of the day Ash wasn't intended to last for more than two years and his story turned into a mess because of him subbing in for various game protagonists who were separate people in those and since all those were retellings of the same "become a champion" story he had to fail at the end of every story then restart at square one.
(I sort of wonder how it would end up if Ash kept winning leagues than restarting his team over for a new region. In some ways I think that would make more sense than the current situation since the current one has the weird thing where his old Pokémon sort of get screwed out of accomplishing anything under him since he stopped using them).

I think it's noticeable Ash won the Alola League when they knew Journeys would do away with the gym quest format entirely. There was no longer any concern about justifying Ash going from champion to badge collector, so they could go with the narrative choice that made the most sense. Because of this, Ash's losses were likely a result of being strong-armed into following the games' narrative structure as closely as possible without being able to swap him out as the protagonist. For instance, had they decided to follow Sword and Shield more closely, I truly believe Ash would have lost to Gladion. It's why I was happy they opted against that this time, as much as people have been disappointed by the lack of Gen 8 representation.
I suspect Gladion would have lost to Ash earlier and an anime OC would win the league instead, likely one from Kanto. The show so consistently used those to knock Ash out of leagues that I assume there's a reason for it.
(Side note: I find it unfortunate he only won right after so many of the old writers left. I wonder why exactly so many left at once--was there a budget cut or something?).

Let him win, then go onto the E4 and struggle there.
Honestly, it's strange to think that despite spending over twenty years following the plot of the games the anime never adapted the actual climax of any of them in full. Kukui was the closest we got as the last boss of both the Sun/Moon games and anime series, but he didn't have to go through the Elite Four first.
 
I actually didn't mind Poof

Now Sparky and Chloe on the other hand, I hated those two with a passion
Oh, don't get me wrong: Sparky and Chloe are way worse.

But Poof still had it's issues to me, and Grookey's overall narrative role is a little too similiar to his for my comfort.
 
Which is weird because being a plot device to cause conflict in a episode is literally the entire reason Team Rocket exists like...that's what they're there for and you completely neglect them for a worse alternative. So you end up making TR fans and Grookey fans mad and you just end up making people dislike the show, it's a lose lose all around
There's one very simple reason why they left the TRio in the back of the closet this time: it's cuz, differently from Grookey, the TRio are characters. You actually have to write them.

Grookey's whole deal is precisely because you don't need to write Grookey. It already had it's basic backstory that stabilish it that was laid out in it's capture episode, and, considering the way they like to use Grookey, they don't need anything else. There's no arc for it, it doesn't battles, it's not a Contest/Showcase Pokémon, nothing. It's intended role doesn't requires anything else.

On the contrary: it's most obvious arc, which would be about it calming down and suffering consequences for what did/does and maturing actually steers away from what they want it to do, which is to wreck havoc. Grookey having any resemblance of an arc or character development actually shatters it's function as a plot device, hence why it never learns anything: it's not supposed to.

It's all by design. With the TRio, you have to actually write them, their arcs, even to just explain why they did X thing on an ep. With Grookey, it causes trouble squarely because it likes to hit stuff with it's stick. No rhyme or reason, no motive or anything. And as quickly and easy as it begins, it ends.
 
I know I complained about the way Water Starters are handled in the Anime but can we talk about Grass Starters for a bit?


While Water Starters were always a weak link Grass Starters were initially off to a great start with Bulbasaur, Bayleef and Sceptile

But after Sceptile it feels like they really began to fall off...

We all saw how Torterra went

Snivy got no development

Chespin was Le comedy relief

Rowlet was...just Okay. It started off as comedy relief but it actually got some development in Alola's final year but even so it had one of the most controversial matches in the Anime's history

The less I say about Grookey the better.
 
I know I complained about the way Water Starters are handled in the Anime but can we talk about Grass Starters for a bit?


While Water Starters were always a weak link Grass Starters were initially off to a great start with Bulbasaur, Bayleef and Sceptile

But after Sceptile it feels like they really began to fall off...

We all saw how Torterra went

Snivy got no development

Chespin was Le comedy relief

Rowlet was...just Okay. It started off as comedy relief but it actually got some development in Alola's final year but even so it had one of the most controversial matches in the Anime's history

The less I say about Grookey the better.
Snivy@, I kind of miss the ol' smugleaf...
 
Snivy@, I kind of miss the ol' smugleaf...
She should have evolved, no question. There was literally no reason as to why she couldn't have. She could have kept her personality too, as Snivy's line only gets more regal and graceful with evolution. A good time for her to evolve would have been the battle against Riolu/Lucario.
 
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Man, I've been away from this thread for ages again, and have missed a ton of stuff.

I'd probably like to say something about Grookey too, but it seems everything I would've wanted to say about it has already been said. Oh, well.
 
It's a little sad that Reiko Yoshida has seemingly left the series after writing the "Pikachu runs away and hitchhikes with Mr. Mime" episode. I know a lot of people hated that episode, and for good reason, but I wish she had a chance to redeem herself afterwards.

(Especially since she wrote JN001, the first series opener since AG to not be written by the head writer at the time.)
 
Major Unpopular Opinion

I don't wanna see Greninja return in this series..

If Ash's Greninja does return for Journeys it'll probably be for one episode or a random two parter where like Infernape it doesn't do much of anything of lasting consequence and then leaves again at the end.
 
Major Unpopular Opinion

I don't wanna see Greninja return in this series..

If Ash's Greninja does return for Journeys it'll probably be for one episode or a random two parter where like Infernape it doesn't do much of anything of lasting consequence and then leaves again at the end.
It’s never going to beat Alain’s Charizard or any major opponent since that’s the only thing I want it to do.
Pretty ironic that Ash got depressed because he thought he was a bad trainer with the Greninja when in the ultimate match he trusted Greninja over Pikachu and look what happened... and he still smiled over the loss.
 
It’s never going to beat Alain’s Charizard or any major opponent since that’s the only thing I want it to do.
Pretty ironic that Ash got depressed because he thought he was a bad trainer with the Greninja when in the ultimate match he trusted Greninja over Pikachu and look what happened... and he still smiled over the loss.
Imagine being the only Ash Pokemon to lose to its rival not once, not twice, but 3 times and still never get a win
 
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