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Controversial opinions

Sai

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I never expected it to be more than a character Ash would have to beat. We knew Leon was the endgame of the series so obviously Bea wasn't going to be relevant for much longer especially when we had to get to stronger trainers after like Raihan. They probably wanted to give one Galar Gym leader besides Raihan a bigger role
 

Broseph08

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The PWC has been handled very poorly. Lot of random/CotD opponents, fighting Bea three times, fighting Iris (a Champion!) very early, fighting Marnie so late and only a 1v1. The idea that Ash will battle the regional champions is the saving grace of it so far so it needs to nail those battles
 

Sai

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Fighting Iris early actually makes sense, they both battled in Super Class and Iris had to work her way up like Ash did. If Iris was in Master Class to begin with that would have been jarring. Now we know she started at the bottom like Ash did and worked her way up. Also Ash and Iris getting their battle out of the way early free Ash up to battle other people later.

As for Marnie, the battle itself being good is why it doesn't really matter it was 1 on 1. It probably would have just been Pikachu vs Morpeko if it was another fight.
 

Hidden Mew

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As for Marnie, the battle itself being good is why it doesn't really matter it was 1 on 1. It probably would have just been Pikachu vs Morpeko if it was another fight.
For me, I just don't think winning one-on-one battles is particularly impressive. That's been one of my big problems with the PWC, especially for its first two classes. These battles can still be good, but when they're supposed to be matches to determine the top ranked trainer in the world, you'd think that they wouldn't be relatively short battles. It isn't really difficult or impressive to win a one-on-one match and it can be difficult to really make either trainer or their Pokemon really shine. Making the matches three-on-three from the start would have gone a long way to making the PWC more impressive, more of Ash's Pokemon could have gotten a chance to shine and winning his matches could have felt like more of an accomplishment.

It also doesn't help that this was in the Hyper Class. I remember people thinking or claiming that the matches would be longer or more consistent once Ash got to the Hyper Class, but they weren't. As far as I know, they didn't give Ash more off-screen victories and his opponents in the Hyper Class have also been established characters, which are definitely improvements, but the fact that they were still giving him shorter matches is still kind of a problem. As cool as it was for them to feature some Galar characters like Marnie and Piers, the latter being one of my favorite Galar Gym Leaders, I think it would have made more sense for Ash to battle Marnie in the Great Class. I like Marnie, but I don't know if it really makes sense for her to be that high in the PWC, at least for her first and most likely only appearance.
 

Sai

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It didn't really matter for me for Marnie. Any Pikachu vs Morpeko fight would have just wasted time as you can see how the writers breeze through some lesser pokemon battles to get to the main fight.
 

Broseph08

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Fighting Iris early actually makes sense, they both battled in Super Class and Iris had to work her way up like Ash did. If Iris was in Master Class to begin with that would have been jarring. Now we know she started at the bottom like Ash did and worked her way up. Also Ash and Iris getting their battle out of the way early free Ash up to battle other people later.

As for Marnie, the battle itself being good is why it doesn't really matter it was 1 on 1. It probably would have just been Pikachu vs Morpeko if it was another fight.
Ash's new Pokémon beating Iris so early just devalued what it means to be a Champion in the series. That should have been a hyper class battle and it'd be more believable once Ash's new Pokémon had more experience. Also, I agree with Hidden Mew that 1v1s in such an important tournament make the whole competition less impressive. I'll even reluctantly accept Marnie being hyper class (even though she always felt a tier lower than that in the games) but if so, give us a better match.
 

Hidden Mew

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I don't think that Ash beating Iris devalues a Champion title. Putting aside how I feel about Iris becoming the Unova Champion aside for a moment, she would be the least experienced Champion, so Ash beating her with his current team wouldn't be a huge stretch, especially when I don't think that they're inexperienced either.

That being said, the show didn't really make a big deal about Ash defeating a Champion, which is arguably a bigger issue. It wasn't given a lot of fanfare since they were in a Gym as opposed to a stadium. Having a noteworthy battle to determine who goes to the Ultra Class isn't a bad idea, but I do think that it should have been three-on-three. Two-on-two matches are still a step up from the dull one-on-one battles. Ash vs. Korrina was honestly first PWC match that I actually liked and I did like Ash's first two battles against Bea as well, but I still think that three-on-three should have been the standard format for these PWC matches from the start. It gives both the trainers and their Pokemon a chance to shine, showcase a trainer's skill, give some screentime for Ash's Pokemon and can be a more impressive victory than just beating one or two Pokemon.
 

Rainbow-Rain

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Here's a real Controversial Opinion

I don't care about the Masters 8.

I know Ash is going to beat whoever he goes up against.

I know Ash isn't going to use reserves

I know that these battles will be all bait and very little substance

I know these battles will be incredibly underwhelming in the end

I know Ash vs Cynthia isn't going to live up to the hype

Sorry for being a downer but JN has just kinda made me a little more jaded than usual
 

Hidden Mew

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That is another aspect of the PWC that really doesn't work for me. Despite how it sounds like it would be a huge and difficult tournament, Ash has just been breezing right through it. Aside from losing to Bea and the brief losing streak he had afterwards, Ash really hasn't had much of any noticeable challenges to overcome. It isn't just from having one-on-one battles, although that's certainly a part of it. For a world wide tournament to determine the top ranked trainer in the world, you'd think that it would be more challenging than a traditional badge quest.

And yes, Ash usually only lost once or twice during most of his Gym badge quests, but a good portion of those Gym quests actually made the Gym Leaders look like strong trainers and it felt like a big accomplishment when Ash got a new badge as a result. Climbing the PWC ranks or getting to a new class just doesn't really feel like that, especially when so many of his opponents from the first two classes were just one shots. Having more of a constant rival figure could have helped too, although I can kind of see why that didn't happen. Ash losing frequently to another trainer could have just made it harder for him to climb up to the ranks and if his off-screen battles were any indication, they really wanted Ash to get to the Hyper Class as soon as possible. Plus, they couldn't really have any huge buildup for a final confrontation when they probably planned the characters for the Master 8 awhile ago, if not when the series began.
 

Blob

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I'm gonna say it, Normal and Great Classes were kinda pointless in the grand scheme of things. Probably would have been better to either cut them out completely or have Ash allowed to leap-frog into a harder division because of his Champion status.
I also don't like how Ultra and Master classes are the same. At least in Normal and Great classes you use a different amount of Pokémon.
 

Hidden Mew

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I'm gonna say it, Normal and Great Classes were kinda pointless in the grand scheme of things. Probably would have been better to either cut them out completely or have Ash allowed to leap-frog into a harder division because of his Champion status.
Admittedly, I think using Ash's Champion status to make him jump through the ranks would be kind of annoying, mainly because I still don't think that winning the Alola League was that impressive, but it might have been worthwhile if it actually gave Ash more challenging opponents more consistently. It really did seem like they wanted to get Ash to the Hyper Class as quickly as possible, which just made the first half of the tournament feel really lackluster. It gave a bad first impression for the PWC for me and despite some areas of improvements in later matches/classes, I don't think it ever fully recovered from stuff like off-screen battles and battling one shot characters. Problems like that just paints the PWC in a much more negative light than it should and leading to Ash battling against Champions doesn't really change it either.
 

CharizardFan7

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Admittedly, I think using Ash's Champion status to make him jump through the ranks would be kind of annoying, mainly because I still don't think that winning the Alola League was that impressive, but it might have been worthwhile if it actually gave Ash more challenging opponents more consistently. It really did seem like they wanted to get Ash to the Hyper Class as quickly as possible, which just made the first half of the tournament feel really lackluster. It gave a bad first impression for the PWC for me and despite some areas of improvements in later matches/classes, I don't think it ever fully recovered from stuff like off-screen battles and battling one shot characters. Problems like that just paints the PWC in a much more negative light than it should and leading to Ash battling against Champions doesn't really change it either.
You can attribute that to the first half of Journeys having some of the worst writing I've ever seen in Pokemon. They're doing better now, but they had a rough start.
 

Enzo

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I hope that the Master 8 battles won't be 3x3, but it seems like it, unfortunately.

I'm sorry, but the idea of a battle between Champions having anything less than a full 6x6 does not sits right with me. I know it's still up in the air atm, but I hope I'm wrong and we have full battles that span over 1 episode.
 
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I hope that the Master 8 battles won't be 3x3, but it seems like it, unfortunately.

I'm sorry, but the idea of a battle between Champions having anything less than a full 6x6 does not sits right with me. I know it's still up in the air atm, but I hope I'm wrong and we have full battles that span over 1 episode.
I know the company is stingy with full battles, but they oughta throw us a bone for what’s essentially the climax of the whole anime.

… phrasing it like that makes it sound so much more exciting than it is.
 

CharizardFan7

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I hope that the Master 8 battles won't be 3x3, but it seems like it, unfortunately.

I'm sorry, but the idea of a battle between Champions having anything less than a full 6x6 does not sits right with me. I know it's still up in the air atm, but I hope I'm wrong and we have full battles that span over 1 episode.
You and me both. 3v3 is fine for semi-serious battles and all, but these will be battles against the strongest trainers in the entire world. Anything less than full 6 on 6 battles would feel a little insulting if you ask me.
 

Daren

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That is another aspect of the PWC that really doesn't work for me. Despite how it sounds like it would be a huge and difficult tournament, Ash has just been breezing right through it. Aside from losing to Bea and the brief losing streak he had afterwards, Ash really hasn't had much of any noticeable challenges to overcome. It isn't just from having one-on-one battles, although that's certainly a part of it. For a world wide tournament to determine the top ranked trainer in the world, you'd think that it would be more challenging than a traditional badge quest.
As of the Master Eight revelation I think I may see what's going on here and why the tournament has come across as surprisingly easy.

Traditionally, the Pokémon anime hasn't really done the full David and Goliath thing that much; Ash's main rivals were not that strong until Alain, and Ash didn't beat him. Ash still had some wins over Gary and Paul before their big match. Paul in particular got stomped down hard when he actually tried to go against the real top-tier trainers back in DP. Ultimately the show kept Ash as something of a small fish, though not entirely consistent about it that was his main portrayal for most of the show.
Journeys changed that; Leon is officially the best trainer in the world and the rest of the tournament bracket are the regional champions and the Kalos League Any% speedrunning record holder.

That means Ash can't be a small fish anymore if he battles these people and doesn't get run right over like when he took on Flint; he's a big fish now, and big fish brush past the small ones to get to where the other big fish are.

It really is a jarring change that does feel very odd, but it arguably fits better with how the plot goes in the games, and I do see a lot of excitement for how far Ash has come (mixed with the usual "he'll lose in the first round" pessimism).
 

Weddingbells

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As of the Master Eight revelation I think I may see what's going on here and why the tournament has come across as surprisingly easy.

Traditionally, the Pokémon anime hasn't really done the full David and Goliath thing that much; Ash's main rivals were not that strong until Alain, and Ash didn't beat him. Ash still had some wins over Gary and Paul before their big match. Paul in particular got stomped down hard when he actually tried to go against the real top-tier trainers back in DP. Ultimately the show kept Ash as something of a small fish, though not entirely consistent about it that was his main portrayal for most of the show.
Journeys changed that; Leon is officially the best trainer in the world and the rest of the tournament bracket are the regional champions and the Kalos League Any% speedrunning record holder.

That means Ash can't be a small fish anymore if he battles these people and doesn't get run right over like when he took on Flint; he's a big fish now, and big fish brush past the small ones to get to where the other big fish are.

It really is a jarring change that does feel very odd, but it arguably fits better with how the plot goes in the games, and I do see a lot of excitement for how far Ash has come (mixed with the usual "he'll lose in the first round" pessimism).
Honestly this is why I feel they are gonna give ash rookies in next gen. It's honestly the only way to realistically give him the underdog status while keeping his prior experience
 

Hidden Mew

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I hope that the Master 8 battles won't be 3x3, but it seems like it, unfortunately.

I'm sorry, but the idea of a battle between Champions having anything less than a full 6x6 does not sits right with me. I know it's still up in the air atm, but I hope I'm wrong and we have full battles that span over 1 episode.
Honestly, I think I'd be fine with three-on-three matches. I can understand the disappointment and frustration since going all out with a tournament full of Champions would be cooler, but I think that would just use up too much of their budget. Not to mention I don't think that they'd be willing or interested in having that many multi-part battles given how fast paced Journeys has been. Plus, they generally don't have that many full battles per series. Three-on-three battles should have been the standard for PWC matches, so getting that at least in the last stretch is better than more one-on-one battles.

As of the Master Eight revelation I think I may see what's going on here and why the tournament has come across as surprisingly easy.

Traditionally, the Pokémon anime hasn't really done the full David and Goliath thing that much; Ash's main rivals were not that strong until Alain, and Ash didn't beat him. Ash still had some wins over Gary and Paul before their big match. Paul in particular got stomped down hard when he actually tried to go against the real top-tier trainers back in DP. Ultimately the show kept Ash as something of a small fish, though not entirely consistent about it that was his main portrayal for most of the show.
Journeys changed that; Leon is officially the best trainer in the world and the rest of the tournament bracket are the regional champions and the Kalos League Any% speedrunning record holder.

That means Ash can't be a small fish anymore if he battles these people and doesn't get run right over like when he took on Flint; he's a big fish now, and big fish brush past the small ones to get to where the other big fish are.
I'd still say that Paul was still pretty strong despite losing to Brandon. The only victories Ash had against Gary and Paul before their big matches were in smaller competitions, so I don't think that really weakened their credibility as rivals, especially for Paul. Alain is still probably the strongest rival Ash had, but I don't know if that really means that much when he was ridiculously overpowered with his Mega Charizard X.

Still, the point about Ash being a big fish now does fit with he's been presented in Journeys. Even early on in that Hoenn tournament episode, people were pointing out how his skills weren't regressed like they often have been in past series. That really does make me wonder why they bothered to have most of his PWC opponents for the first half of the tournament be one shot characters if they just wanted him to get to the bigger opponents sooner. They easily could have had the Normal and Great Classes full of different Gym Leaders from around the world instead. It would have been more impressive, we could have potentially seen characters that didn't get appearances in their respective generations and it would have made the PWC feel like a bigger deal from the start. Making the PWC exclusive to high ranked trainers from the start instead of making it open to everyone would have helped. It does make sense that Leon would effectively want everyone to have a chance to battle, but I think that structure just held it back. A big reason why I still give the Battle Frontier victory a lot of credit was because it was only offered to certain trainers instead of being something anyone could do.

It really is a jarring change that does feel very odd, but it arguably fits better with how the plot goes in the games, and I do see a lot of excitement for how far Ash has come (mixed with the usual "he'll lose in the first round" pessimism).
I've seen plenty of excitement for how far Ash has come too. Perhaps not as much as when he won the Alola League and I'm not sure if that excitement could be recaptured even if he does somehow defeats Leon, but I do like seeing people happy about the anime and excited for Ash getting to stand alongside regional Champions. I still think a lot of my problems with the PWC makes it difficult for me to get excited for it, but I can understand why other people would be more hyped about it. I could easily enjoy the last stretch more depending on what the matches are and how the battles turn out. The structure of the PWC and how the goal has been handled overall just makes it a lot more frustrating to me than it honestly should be given the characters in the Masters Class.
 

Daren

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I'd still say that Paul was still pretty strong despite losing to Brandon. The only victories Ash had against Gary and Paul before their big matches were in smaller competitions, so I don't think that really weakened their credibility as rivals, especially for Paul. Alain is still probably the strongest rival Ash had, but I don't know if that really means that much when he was ridiculously overpowered with his Mega Charizard X.
Paul was a credible opponent but he was still Ash's peer; he didn't have any major accomplishments Ash didn't, Ash beat him directly once and was able to tie him before. It's not a situation where Paul was clearly and consistently better at everything--they just sort of gave him a huge win at Lake Acuity to generate drama (I believe there was actually some backlash as some felt like Paul was just getting a cheap power-up out of nowhere to seem more threatening). It wasn't a situation where Ash was going up against someone out of his league and needed to catch up--especially since Ash was handicapping himself every time they battled by not using his reserves while Paul was fine with using his. Ultimately, Paul and Ash were both normal trainers in terms of skill (if on the upper end), and a grade or two below Elite Four.
Alain was not written as a normal trainer; he won eight badges at breakneck pace, breezed through most of the league, and defeated an Elite Four member when Ash had never managed that. He was clearly on a different tier from Ash, and Ash never managed to defeat him because despite the hype XY was not willing to really break away from Ash being a normal trainer by letting him actually win a major competition.

That really does make me wonder why they bothered to have most of his PWC opponents for the first half of the tournament be one shot characters if they just wanted him to get to the bigger opponents sooner. They easily could have had the Normal and Great Classes full of different Gym Leaders from around the world instead. It would have been more impressive, we could have potentially seen characters that didn't get appearances in their respective generations and it would have made the PWC feel like a bigger deal from the start.
The low number of really noteworthy PWC opponents until Hyper Class is a good question, and one I honestly can't figure out.

I've seen plenty of excitement for how far Ash has come too. Perhaps not as much as when he won the Alola League and I'm not sure if that excitement could be recaptured even if he does somehow defeats Leon, but I do like seeing people happy about the anime and excited for Ash getting to stand alongside regional Champions.
There wasn't too much hype for Alola until after he won, while the PWC does seem to be getting some (though not to Kalos extents--I think XYZ poisoned the well to an extent that won't be fixed without another win or two), so I believe if Ash wins it will be very big on social media.
As I saw it put once or twice, Ash entering a tournament of this calibur is the sort of thing people used to put down as an impossible fan dream because of the nature of the series.
 
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