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Controversial opinions

Weddingbells

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His refusal to evolve happened after he went from Pichu to Pikachu. When battled Lt. Surge's Raichu and lost badly, everyone started doubting him until Nurse Joy approached and offered them a Thunder Stone. He slapped the stone away when Ash was about to use it and started, which Meowth translated as Pikachu wanting to prove he can be strong without needing to evolve, which he did as he beat Raichu in their second battle. And since then he's always hated the thought of evolving, a trait the anime staff'll likely never get rid of.
Oh okay then, thanks for the explanation. I thought the refusal was even before he met LT. Surge. Although we all know the real reason is marketing

This is never gonna happen, but it'll be funny if Raichu suddenly becomes even more popular than Pikachu. I could see Pikachu doing a complete 180 on his mindset just so they can start having Raichu around lol
 

Daren

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Pikachu's early popularity making it the mascot means poor Raichu never had a chance; it's a reinforcing cycle where Pikachu gets a lot more appearances and focus and prominent ones will basically never evolve.
Gou getting one is probably the most prominent classic-flavor Raichu has been allowed to be in a while.
 

Sai

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If Go really does leave by the fall he'll only have a little over 100 captures by the time he departs. I also imagine his captures will slow down during the Master Class battles since he doesn't do much in those eps like the Drasna, Marnie and Bea matches prior.

They had been slowing down his captures for the most part over the last year, he did make 3 captures in the Articuno ep but other than that it's like they slowed him down from the first year considerably.
 

Enzo

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I think the refusal from evolving from Pikachu's part is something that is a bit too prickly to me, personally. I love Raichu, and I've always had. But the thing is, Pikachu cannot evolve, both from the out-of-universe reason (which is the major reason, may I add) and the in-universe reason of him ultimately deciding that evolution is not the only way of, you know, evolving, on the broader sense of the word.

And like,,, I like it. I do think it's a great question to ask and answer on the anime. The ultimate problem is because they realized that giving "Pikachu just doesn't wants to evolve" as an aswer isn't enough, as this is basically just the lil fella's opinion, and it sort of creates an opening cuz hey, opinions can change over time, so what's to say Pikachu won't ever change his opinion and resolution? And this is the thing. Simply stating it as Pikachu's opinion is not something that completely cauterizes the question completely, nor does it closes it off forever.

(Something else that I find interesting is because Ash isn't opposed to Chu evolving, and he decided is not up to him, basically making Pikachu's own opinion being the ultimate deciding factor.)

This is why I believe the earlier portrayals of Raichu were the way they were. Raichu was either portrayed as a bully or a wimp. I know not all of them, but it happenned way too much in-between OS-DP. And it's funny because, even in modern days, even if the Raichu in question is not shown as inherently "bad", it's not shown as great, precisely, as it almost always is placed on an antagonistic role against Pikachu, with Nina's A-Raichu being a good example, and maybe even Visquez's Raichu fitting the bill.

Raichu is consistently and frequently presented as this sort of "Pikachu's dark reflection", so they have a justification of Pikachu never evolving in "See, kids? Pikachu will either become a bully or a wimp if he evolves! You don't him becoming either of this things, don't you????"
 
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Daren

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(Something else that I find interesting is because Ash isn't opposed to Chu evolving, and he decided is not up to him, basically making Pikachu's own opinion being the ultimate deciding factor.)
Funny enough in the early days of the fandom it was bizarrely common for people to claim Ash refused to let Pikachu (and his other Pokémon) evolve but they wanted to.
I have no idea which weird fansubs people were watching to get that impression but it was actually oddly common. Even as late as the post Sun/Moon league media attention people acted like he has a choice but refuses to let them evolve for some inscrutable reason, possible because they're unable to realize it doesn't work the same was the games do, where normal evolution happens with reliable level triggers.
Along with the "if Ash is gone the show will improve because the next MC will definitely evolve every Pokémon because marketing and protagonist underdog syndrome will be slain forever."

Raichu is consistently and frequently presented as this sort of "Pikachu's dark reflection", so they have a justification of Pikachu never evolving in "See, kids? Pikachu will either become a bully or a wimp if he evolves! You don't him becoming either of this things, don't you????"
I do sometimes wonder if Electric Shock Showdown--a great episode--may have harmed Raichu in the long term.
I mean it sort of stands out it's the only member of his line that isn't playable in Smash Bros. We don't even have a Raichu-coloured alternate costume.
Also I sort of suspect Mega Raichu would have been a thing otherwise, because GameFreak admitted Raichu is very popular when designing the Alola variant--but it doesn't get treated too well despite that popularity.
 

Enzo

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Funny enough in the early days of the fandom it was bizarrely common for people to claim Ash refused to let Pikachu (and his other Pokémon) evolve but they wanted to.
I have no idea which weird fansubs people were watching to get that impression but it was actually oddly common. Even as late as the post Sun/Moon league media attention people acted like he has a choice but refuses to let them evolve for some inscrutable reason, possible because they're unable to realize it doesn't work the same was the games do, where normal evolution happens with reliable level triggers.
Along with the "if Ash is gone the show will improve because the next MC will definitely evolve every Pokémon because marketing and protagonist underdog syndrome will be slain forever."
I'll tell you what I'm sure it is:

1) Especially in the beginning (Idk if it still exists as much nowdays), people were adamant that the anime had to be this 1:1 adaptation of the games and were pissed when the anime refused to limit itself that way, and evolution was one of the biggest points of controversy. The anime has the philosofy of Pokémon not necessarily needing evolutions to evolve on the broader sense, which is something that, within the games, is needed;

2) People have always tried to paint Ash as this dumb, ditzy, idiotic trainer who was too much of a moron to know what's best (as in, because of the aformentioned warped viewpoint, they think evolution is always the best, and Ash is dumb for not "seeing the truth"), so they just convinced themselves and others that Ash was a bad, awful trainer for both "limiting his Pokémon" by "refusing to let them evolve" (which is factually false, as Ash has always, ever since day one, let his own Pokémon make their own decisions) and to "handicap himself by refusing to have more firepower".
I do sometimes wonder if Electric Shock Showdown--a great episode--may have harmed Raichu in the long term.
Oh, it did, absolutely. Both because it was the first introduction of the species and because the anime never really did too much of an effort to change that afterwards.
 
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Sai

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As someone watching since 1998, back then people were mad Ash didn't capture every wild pokemon he saw like Go does now or didn't evolve all his pokemon. You used to see these complaints a ton back in the late 90's, I also remember people hating on Ash because he didn't try to capture any legendaries, lol

People had very strange expectations of the anime back then. Some people thought Ash had to catch them all and complete all 151 entries in his Pokedex and were mad he wasn't doing the same thing you did in the games. It didn't help matters that "Gotta catch 'em all" was heavily pushed by the 4kids dub when that didn't exist in the original
 

Weddingbells

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If Go really does leave by the fall he'll only have a little over 100 captures by the time he departs. I also imagine his captures will slow down during the Master Class battles since he doesn't do much in those eps like the Drasna, Marnie and Bea matches prior.

They had been slowing down his captures for the most part over the last year, he did make 3 captures in the Articuno ep but other than that it's like they slowed him down from the first year considerably.
Which is good. I'm pretty sure the anime staff knew implementing his goal is just not feasible in the anime. Which is why I'm baffled that people justify goh might stay because he isn't close to complete the dex, which was obvious it was never gonna happen in the first place. Or continue project mew, which I find weird to stretch it again for another 3 years
 

Daren

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1) Especially in the beginning (Idk if it still exists as much nowdays), people were adamant that the anime had to be this 1:1 adaptation of the games and were pissed when the anime refused to limit itself that way, and evolution was one of the biggest points of controversy. The anime has the philosofy of Pokémon not necessarily needing evolutions to evolve on the broader sense, which is something that, within the games, is needed;
Honestly I still find this a bit odd because it seemed a lot less prominent in other video game adaptations fanbases.
Like I don't recall people being furious about how little Monster Rancher had to do with the games, and it aired at about the same time with a very similar target demographic.

As someone watching since 1998, back then people were mad Ash didn't capture every wild pokemon he saw like Go does now or didn't evolve all his pokemon. You used to see these complaints a ton back in the late 90's, I also remember people hating on Ash because he didn't try to capture any legendaries, lol
I remember that era well. Early Pokémon fandom in general could be a trip. Large swathes of the fandom acted like Ash was supposed to be the worst trainer in the world (and game-only fans often still do, like that meme "explaining" that Ash is actually based off Youngster Joey rather than Red, who the fanbase sometimes treats like Aragorn or Superman) and all his wins don't count for whatever convenient reason they could dig up, and it was like that at least until the end of DP.

People had very strange expectations of the anime back then. Some people thought Ash had to catch them all and complete all 151 entries in his Pokedex and were mad he wasn't doing the same thing you did in the games. It didn't help matters that "Gotta catch 'em all" was heavily pushed by the 4kids dub when that didn't exist in the original
To be fair a huge portion of people had no idea about the original due to being the 90s and the internet being young. I was unusually plugged into the internet for that period and knew about the Japanese version early enough that I knew about a few episodes like "Go West, Young Meowth" ahead of their English airing, but I still didn't know about how different a lot of things were.
 
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I find the people that say Ash “doesn’t evolve his pokemon” so hilarious, because like… do they expect Ash to completely ignore Pikachu’s desires and chuck a Thunder Stone on his face? Do these people really think this doesn’t have any horrifying implications you wouldn’t want your kids to learn?
 

Daren

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I find the people that say Ash “doesn’t evolve his pokemon” so hilarious, because like… do they expect Ash to completely ignore Pikachu’s desires and chuck a Thunder Stone on his face? Do these people really think this doesn’t have any horrifying implications you wouldn’t want your kids to learn?
I literally saw people in the OS era saying Ash should ambush Pikachu with a Thunderstone and toss it into him to force evolution.

These people did not seem to consider either the moral implications or the practical ones of making someone
a: Angry at you to the point they might stop listening to you at all
b: Much stronger
in the same act.
Because in the games non-traded Pokémon are 100% loyal no matter what, and they somehow missed that it doesn't work that way in a narrative where characters have personal agency.
 
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I literally saw people in the OS era saying Ash should ambush Pikachu with a Thunderstone and toss it into him to force evolution.

These people did not seem to consider either the moral implications or the practical ones of making someone
a: Angry at you to the point they might stop listening to you at all
b: Much stronger
in the same act.
Because in the games non-traded Pokémon are 100% loyal no matter what, and they somehow missed that it doesn't work that way in a narrative where characters have personal agency.
… I hope none of these people have children nowadays
 

FluffleFi

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and game-only fans often still do, like that meme "explaining" that Ash is actually based off Youngster Joey rather than Red, who the fanbase sometimes treats like Aragorn or Superman
More reasons as to why I hate Red, cause I doubt most kids these days are gonna know who he is. GameFreak themselves like to hype the hell out him like when they aged him up and brought him back in the Sun and Moon games, or Pokemon Masters(god damn does Masters hype him up, people on the other side of the world can hear them kissing his ass). So its really only adults who A: Follow the trend of hating on Ash cause 'lol funny', or B: People who seriously can't tell that the anime and games are different. Some things, like levels and stats, just don't carry over into a more realistic adaptation. Goh's trying to 'catch them all' like people wanted Ash to do, but look how abysmal that is, most of the Pokemon he catches are just background props with next to know personalities. And I bet if Ash was the type to force his Pokemon to evolve, those very same people would be calling him cruel.
 

Daren

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… I hope none of these people have children nowadays
Honestly I assume it was mostly children who didn't think through the implications. Heaven knows ten year old me (and twenty year old me...) had some questionable ideas.

More reasons as to why I hate Red, cause I doubt most kids these days are gonna know who he is. GameFreak themselves like to hype the hell out him like when they aged him up and brought him back in the Sun and Moon games, or Pokemon Masters(god damn does Masters hype him up, people on the other side of the world can hear them kissing his ass).
I'm mostly neutral to Red himself (he's just a player avatar in R/B/Y and has zero characterization in G/S/C--he might be more interesting in some of the manga) but I do find his cult-like worship another oddity I just don't see in other game fandoms towards their primary/first protagonist.


Edit: I don't recall where, but I remember when one person on reddit went over Ash's W/L rate they claimed that even in his worst performing series' it would be a very good record for a professional athlete.
Of course although these lists generally leave out Team Rocket people keep trying to cliam that TRio battles tilt it in his favor and apparently genuinely believe that he only won 60% percent of his DP battles even including TR blastoffs.
 

Weddingbells

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More reasons as to why I hate Red, cause I doubt most kids these days are gonna know who he is. GameFreak themselves like to hype the hell out him like when they aged him up and brought him back in the Sun and Moon games, or Pokemon Masters(god damn does Masters hype him up, people on the other side of the world can hear them kissing his ass). So its really only adults who A: Follow the trend of hating on Ash cause 'lol funny', or B: People who seriously can't tell that the anime and games are different. Some things, like levels and stats, just don't carry over into a more realistic adaptation. Goh's trying to 'catch them all' like people wanted Ash to do, but look how abysmal that is, most of the Pokemon he catches are just background props with next to know personalities. And I bet if Ash was the type to force his Pokemon to evolve, those very same people would be calling him cruel.
Yup, you realize it's mainly the people who just play the games are usually on the "ash is a stupid trainer".
 

A Wild Luxray

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I'm mostly neutral to Red himself (he's just a player avatar in R/B/Y and has zero characterization in G/S/C--he might be more interesting in some of the manga) but I do find his cult-like worship another oddity I just don't see in other game fandoms towards their primary/first protagonist.
I personally don't like how people compare Red to Ash to simply say Ash is a bad trainer. I just don't get the worship. Red is constantly over-glorified. He's not even that interesting of a character in most media. I think the manga fixes that, but outside of that, Red is very bland in most cases.
 

Weddingbells

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I personally don't like how people compare Red to Ash to simply say Ash is a bad trainer. I just don't get the worship. Red is constantly over-glorified. He's not even that interesting of a character in most media. I think the manga fixes that, but outside of that, Red is very bland in most cases.
And that's the reason why. Red, similar to link, has no personality so it's easy for the trainer to project themselves into him. They see themselves in red, so of course there gonna overrate him because his successes are in a way, theirs as well
 

Weddingbells

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Also another unpopular opinion but I never understood the whole snivy empathizes with tepig being abandoned. Didn't she leave her trainer? I remember cilan saying "snivy so had problems with her trainer" but it's odd and kinda hypocritical because she left him
 
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