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Controversial opinions

Ghost Diplocaulus

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I don't know if we can say that for the Kanto starters, but when it comes to Johto, Totodile certainly got the short end. Torterra certainly got it bad after first evolving, then Snivy and Oshawott were handled poorly through Unova. Then you have Popplio's weak development in Alola. I still think it was a huge mistake to give Goh all 3 starters and that they should have been split between Ash, Goh, and Chloe.
Yeah, that's why I listed the Kanto starters as the sole exception to the rule. Popplio's development might have been weak, but considering the fact that it was a companion's Pokemon, it got it pretty darn good. Certainly worlds better than Brock's Marshtomp and even Clemont's Chespin.
 

Hidden Mew

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Well what they do with other characters is a different issue. Dawn could have gotten a new pokemon but I don't mind she didn't win a Grand festival. Misty of course has never really been one to enter leagues or anything like that, she just wanted to improve the Gym from her sisters which she did. If Iris just wanted to focus on battling, training her dragons, etc. then it fits for her to have more progress. She beat Claire and Drayden somewhere along the way, Axew evolved, and then went on to win the Unova league.
It really doesn't fits Iris to have more progress when she was never shown to be as good as BW tried to make her out to be. Iris clearly wasn't even into the idea of becoming a Gym Leader, despite that Drayden wanted her to be one. Going from that to Iris being the Unova Champion, a role that would require more responsibility and strength than being a Gym Leader would involve, doesn't work. Like I've said before, it requires fans to make a lot of assumptions just to find justification for this sudden development when the only real reason it happened was because video game Iris being the Unova Champion. If anyone else was the Champion in B2/W2, Iris would have most likely become a Gym Leader instead, which I'd argue would have been more believable. Even though she didn't want to become Gym Leader, the idea that she could have changed her mind through more off-screen training with Drayden would have bee more believable, at least compared to her winning the Unova League, the Elite 4 and Alder.

Misty's progress was perfectly fine and believable. She was shown to be an improved battler, but not an insane leap like becoming an Elite 4 member or anything like that. Much like Iris, Misty never showed interest in getting into the Pokemon League or climbing the ranks. She just wanted to become a better Gym Leader, which she did and was shown through her off screen development. Dawn's problem isn't just that she didn't get a new Pokemon. She really had nothing to show for her amount of off-screen adventures. If she had the same team, but still won a Grand Festival or had something more noteworthy than a bunch of new ribbons, then people would have been fine with it.

The main reason I brought up Dawn and Misty isn't necessarily because I had problems with their developments. I do have issues with how they handled Dawn, but that's besides the point at the moment. My point is you can't really use the amount of time Iris was off-screen to justify her huge leaps of off-screen progress when that doesn't apply to other characters who have been gone for about as long as Iris was, if not longer.

Dracovish in general is one of the most popular Galar pokemon/fossils from the games. That thing is a very useful in the games. Also I gather they wanted to give Ash a pokemon that has no evolutions to give him a capture they wouldn't have to spend much time on.
Unfortunately, I can totally believe that they wanted to give Ash a Pokemon with no evolution to avoid spending much time on it. Unless a Pokemon is being captured or evolving, they don't tend to get much focus in this series. That isn't exclusive to Ash or Goh's Pokemon, but an issue with the writing in general. Even though Ash got Dracovish fairly early on in the series' run, I'm sure giving him a single stage Pokemon meant that they'd have less to worry about as far as screentime goes. Which is exactly why it feels like a waste of a capture. It's popular and it does get credit for being a rare and distinct kind of Pokemon, but when it has little to no personality, has such little presence and its battles aren't well done from the sound of things, it just makes me wish that they would have given Ash a different Pokemon.

So far, I haven't found Grookey to be annoying. It is weird that they waited so long for it to appear in the series only for it to do virtually nothing, but I still think it's rather cute so far. That being said, I would have greatly preferred for Ash to get it instead. It would have given Ash a Galar starter, it would have battled at least a decent amount, would have gotten maybe a decent amount of screentime to explain its evolutions and it would have explained why they didn't have Grookey appear sooner. That was a big reason why people were upset when Goh captured it too. I still like its capture episode, but I would also say that Grookey has the weakest capture episode out of the Galar starters, mainly due to how I think Scorbunny and Sobble's episodes were more effective. It also would have given Ash some much needed Galar representation, which I think Rillaboom would have stood out more in that regard than Dracovish.

Plus, Goh would have kept Sobble, which I would have been fine with. Despite the misleading marketing for its initial capture and how little screentime Drizzile had, I really liked the Sobble capture episode and I still adore Drizzile's evolution episode. That rooftop scene still hits me hard every time, so if we could have kept that while handling Sobble's evolutions more effectively and giving Ash Grookey instead, I probably would have been happy about it.
 
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Sai

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It really doesn't fits Iris to have more progress when she was never shown to be as good as BW tried to make her out to be. Iris clearly wasn't even into the idea of becoming a Gym Leader, despite that Drayden wanted her to be one. Going from that to Iris being the Unova Champion, a role that would require more responsibility and strength than being a Gym Leader would involve, doesn't work. Like I've said before, it requires fans to make a lot of assumptions just to find justification for this sudden development when the only real reason it happened was because video game Iris being the Unova Champion. If anyone else was the Champion in B2/W2, Iris would have most likely become a Gym Leader instead, which I'd argue would have been more believable. Even though she didn't want to become Gym Leader, the idea that she could have changed her mind through more off-screen training with Drayden would have bee more believable, at least compared to her winning the Unova League, the Elite 4 and Alder.


Excadrill was always strong, she beat multiple other characters in the Don battle tournaments and some outside. Axew was a weak baby but every female lead has some sort of pokemon that's borderline useless at first (Togepi, Torchic, Vulpix, etc). If you even compare Iris to OS-era Misty, Iris definitely seemed a lot stronger than Misty did in Kanto or most of Johto. Even with fewer Pokemon.

We only see champions as unbeatable because that's how the older seasons portrayed them. Now they're not anymore. Alder made short work of Trip, but c'mon, it's Trip a literal rookie. While I would have liked some sort of flashback to Alder or something like that, it's not too out of the question to me. As an aside, it also makes Iris' development feel complete. BW just left her unfinished with an untrained Dragonite, she lost to Claire and Drayden, and then BW ended with the pointless Declora Island arc where she got no further development. Now everything people wanted to see back in BW, Axew finally evolve and Iris prove her worth finally happened (along with Ash finally beating her in a proper battle). While most of it was off-screen, it's better than where we left her off at the end of BW where it felt like the writers just gave up on her.
 

Hidden Mew

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Excadrill was always strong, she beat multiple other characters in the Don battle tournaments and some outside. Axew was a weak baby but every female lead has some sort of pokemon that's borderline useless at first (Togepi, Torchic, Vulpix, etc). If you even compare Iris to OS-era Misty, Iris definitely seemed a lot stronger than Misty did in Kanto or most of Johto. Even with fewer Pokemon.
While I would consider Excadrill one of her few consistently strong Pokemon, beating trainers in the Club Battle tournaments isn't really that impressive. I never found those tournaments to be particularly noteworthy or winning them to be a major accomplishment. Bringing up how other female leads has useless Pokemon feels like a moot point. It doesn't change the fact that Axew was virtually useless during BW or make its writing any better. Not to mention Torchic actually evolved on-screen, had a fairly consistent progression of strength and Lillie even wasn't a battler in the first place. The only fair comparison out of that list was Togepi.

Honestly, I wouldn't say that Iris was that much better than Misty. I'd probably put them around the same level mainly because they both felt average at best despite how they'd try to hype themselves up. Misty had a similar problem where she'd talk a big game about her skills as a trainer and how much she love Water Pokemon, but she couldn't really back it up. The main reasons why Misty isn't as insufferable as Iris is because the original series didn't hype her up as this special gifted Water Pokemon Master in training and her personality wasn't nearly as insufferable. It's really hard for me to see Iris as that strong when pretty much all of her accomplishments were handed to her with little to no effort on her part. Iris' skills never felt particularly consistent compared to someone like Misty.

We only see champions as unbeatable because that's how the older seasons portrayed them. Now they're not anymore. Alder made short work of Trip, but c'mon, it's Trip a literal rookie. While I would have liked some sort of flashback to Alder or something like that, it's not too out of the question to me. As an aside, it also makes Iris' development feel complete. BW just left her unfinished with an untrained Dragonite, she lost to Claire and Drayden, and then BW ended with the pointless Declora Island arc where she got no further development. Now everything people wanted to see back in BW, Axew finally evolve and Iris prove her worth finally happened (along with Ash finally beating her in a proper battle). While most of it was off-screen, it's better than where we left her off at the end of BW where it felt like the writers just gave up on her.
I don't think that the fact that Trip was a rookie would really mean anything when he made quick work of Ash too, but that's another issue entirely. I'm not saying that Iris defeating Alder is unbelievable because of how older series portrayed them, although that probably doesn't help matters either. I'm saying it's unbelievable because it's still too much of a huge leap to make off-screen. Even if we factor in how Champion aren't shown to be unbeatable anymore, becoming a regional Champion is still a big deal and still wouldn't be an easy accomplishment. She'd have to beat eight Unova Gym Leaders, win the Unova League, defeat the Unova Elite 4 and defeat Alder. That is a lot for the audience to hand wave away as off screen development, especially when her team was not particularly good, Iris herself never really lived up to the hype BW created for her and she had no real interest in battling more than Dragon type Gym Leaders. There is just not enough on-screen evidence to make this development work. When you have to rely so heavily on assumptions to justify development, it just falls flat and makes it feel even more forced.

Considering how I feel about Iris in general, it's hard for me to see it as making her development feel complete. It feels way more like just forcing her to match her video game counterpart. I can see the appeal if you like Iris and I'm sure I'd be happier about this if I was a fan of her character or found her storyline more engaging. Since I don't, it all just feels too forced to me. Axew evolving similarly feels kind of hollow when it suddenly learning to enjoy battling doesn't really work. Admittedly, that would be easier to believe than Iris becoming the Unova Champion, but I think that the poor writing in BW just didn't help to make Iris finally getting a Haxorus feel worthwhile or meaningful. It feels less like Iris proving her worth and more like the anime continuing to overhype her as the special gifted Dragon Master in training. Saying that it's better than when the writers gave up on her isn't really a huge bar to reach either.
 

Enzo

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If it were by me, Ash would only have Pikachu, a Rillaboom, and perhaps another Galar mon (Say, something like a Dragapult, a Hatterene, etc) as the main stays of the team and the other 3 slots would be of his reserves being swapped out and about.

I both think it's the perfect set up to have Ash using his reserves with the perfect excuse and because him not using his other mons in the PWC, especially in the M8, is a massive slap in the face of all of them.
 

Sai

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Honestly, I wouldn't say that Iris was that much better than Misty. I'd probably put them around the same level mainly because they both felt average at best despite how they'd try to hype themselves up. Misty had a similar problem where she'd talk a big game about her skills as a trainer and how much she love Water Pokemon, but she couldn't really back it up. The main reasons why Misty isn't as insufferable as Iris is because the original series didn't hype her up as this special gifted Water Pokemon Master in training and her personality wasn't nearly as insufferable. It's really hard for me to see Iris as that strong when pretty much all of her accomplishments were handed to her with little to no effort on her part. Iris' skills never felt particularly consistent compared to someone like Misty.


I don't think that the fact that Trip was a rookie would really mean anything when he made quick work of Ash too, but that's another issue entirely. I'm not saying that Iris defeating Alder is unbelievable because of how older series portrayed them, although that probably doesn't help matters either. I'm saying it's unbelievable because it's still too much of a huge leap to make off-screen. Even if we factor in how Champion aren't shown to be unbeatable anymore, becoming a regional Champion is still a big deal and still wouldn't be an easy accomplishment. She'd have to beat eight Unova Gym Leaders, win the Unova League, defeat the Unova Elite 4 and defeat Alder. That is a lot for the audience to hand wave away as off screen development, especially when her team was not particularly good, Iris herself never really lived up to the hype BW created for her and she had no real interest in battling more than Dragon type Gym Leaders. There is just not enough on-screen evidence to make this development work. When you have to rely so heavily on assumptions to justify development, it just falls flat and makes it feel even more forced.

Considering how I feel about Iris in general, it's hard for me to see it as making her development feel complete. It feels way more like just forcing her to match her video game counterpart. I can see the appeal if you like Iris and I'm sure I'd be happier about this if I was a fan of her character or found her storyline more engaging. Since I don't, it all just feels too forced to me. Axew evolving similarly feels kind of hollow when it suddenly learning to enjoy battling doesn't really work. Admittedly, that would be easier to believe than Iris becoming the Unova Champion, but I think that the poor writing in BW just didn't help to make Iris finally getting a Haxorus feel worthwhile or meaningful. It feels less like Iris proving her worth and more like the anime continuing to overhype her as the special gifted Dragon Master in training. Saying that it's better than when the writers gave up on her isn't really a huge bar to reach either.
BW era Iris was MUCH stronger than Kanto era Misty and even Johto Misty. Even ignoring the change in writing since the OS, Misty was portrayed as barely above a beginning trainer in the OS. She only had 3 pokemon when we met her and Ash was already nearly beating her as early as the 7th episode. Then she just gets Horsea, Togepi and Psyduck all which couldn't battle properly and Starmie is dumped. Goldeen was always mostly useless outside water.

Iris would have destroyed Misty in battle if they met in their first respective sagas. I'd say the same for Cilan and OS-era Brock too. The Don battle tournaments definitely felt like regular battles for trainers at the time, nothing about them felt weaker than other tournaments at all.
 

Blob

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Anyone else hate the team Paul used against Ash?? What's worse is he uses the aces of Cynthia, Lance and Steven so he just comes across as a copycat. I was hoping his Ursaring somehow evolved, giving us a glimpse of Hisuii Pokémon in the present, so it ties in with the Spanish region having Hisuiian Zorua.
 

Sai

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Anyone else hate the team Paul used against Ash?? What's worse is he uses the aces of Cynthia, Lance and Steven so he just comes across as a copycat. I was hoping his Ursaring somehow evolved, giving us a glimpse of Hisuii Pokémon in the present, so it ties in with the Spanish region having Hisuiian Zorua.
He literally explained that in the episode, he was purposely using the Pokémon of the champions.
 

Blob

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He literally explained that in the episode, he was purposely using the Pokémon of the champions.
Again, I haven't seen the episode yet and I just think it would been more meaningful if Paul fought Ash with the first team he saw him use. Not to mention it would likely show Torterra in a good light.
 

Sai

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Again, I haven't seen the episode yet and I just think it would been more meaningful if Paul fought Ash with the first team he saw him use. Not to mention it would likely show Torterra in a good light.
Paul purposely came to Oak's to make sure Ash was ready for the PWC. He was using Pokemon the champions have on purpose.

It wasn't about Paul using his older pokemon which is why Electrivire didn't battle.
 

Blob

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Paul purposely came to Oak's to make sure Ash was ready for the PWC. He was using Pokemon the champions have on purpose.

It wasn't about Paul using his older pokemon which is why Electrivire didn't battle.
I still think that's stupid and lazy. It's especially dumb since there's a good chance Ash won't even FIGHT Cynthia, Steven or Lance.
 

Hidden Mew

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If it were by me, Ash would only have Pikachu, a Rillaboom, and perhaps another Galar mon (Say, something like a Dragapult, a Hatterene, etc) as the main stays of the team and the other 3 slots would be of his reserves being swapped out and about.

I both think it's the perfect set up to have Ash using his reserves with the perfect excuse and because him not using his other mons in the PWC, especially in the M8, is a massive slap in the face of all of them.
Personally, I kind of wish that Ash had caught more than the usual five Pokemon he typically gets per series. It probably would have made the screentime issue for his team worse, but it also might have been easier for him to rotate his team members given how often he'd leave his Pokemon at the Cerice's lab. If he wasn't going to use his reserves, then it would have given him more options to use for the Master Class too. Plus, it felt kind of weird for Ash to catch few Pokemon when Goh catches a lot of Pokemon. I know that's part of Goh's goal and I'm fine with that, but it just felt weird to limit Ash's team while Goh captures plenty of Pokemon.

I still don't really mind Ash not using his reserves. It could have made his victories over Champions more believable, but when they haven't really been used for anything more than fanservice or tying into Sinnoh remakes like Infernape, I didn't think that would change for the last stretch of the series.

BW era Iris was MUCH stronger than Kanto era Misty and even Johto Misty. Even ignoring the change in writing since the OS, Misty was portrayed as barely above a beginning trainer in the OS. She only had 3 pokemon when we met her and Ash was already nearly beating her as early as the 7th episode. Then she just gets Horsea, Togepi and Psyduck all which couldn't battle properly and Starmie is dumped. Goldeen was always mostly useless outside water.

Iris would have destroyed Misty in battle if they met in their first respective sagas. I'd say the same for Cilan and OS-era Brock too. The Don battle tournaments definitely felt like regular battles for trainers at the time, nothing about them felt weaker than other tournaments at all.
The main reason I wouldn't consider Iris to be that stronger than Misty is because her team wasn't really good and her skills never felt consistent. She is the same character who won nearly one hundred battles in a row with Drilbur, but also couldn't properly train her Axew when she officially became a trainer. That isn't to say that Misty is far better since her team was pretty bad too and I'd still say that she suffered a similar problem with how she couldn't really back up her talk of her skills. I'd just put them around the same level. BW Iris really only had two consistently strong Pokemon by the end of the series and even then, I don't think Dragonite ever won a battle once it started to obey her.

The Club Battle tournaments were regular battles, but the reason why I don't think winning them was that impressive was because they were tournaments of one-on-one battles. It wouldn't look that impressive to win those battles. Defeating one Pokemon doesn't necessarily indicate who has better skills or give their Pokemon enough time to shine. It isn't nothing, but I wouldn't use it to establish how strong a character is either. In the case of Iris, it doesn't help that the vast majority of her victories in these tournament arcs felt really forced and undeserved.

Anyone else hate the team Paul used against Ash?? What's worse is he uses the aces of Cynthia, Lance and Steven so he just comes across as a copycat. I was hoping his Ursaring somehow evolved, giving us a glimpse of Hisuii Pokémon in the present, so it ties in with the Spanish region having Hisuiian Zorua.
I can't really judge the episode, but Paul using different Pokemon sounds like it fits with his personality just fine. He was shown to always rotate his Pokemon, so of course he wouldn't have the same team from the past. Wanting to test if Ash is ready for the PWC doesn't sound lazy or dumb to me. While getting to see a Hisuian form would be cool, I'm not surprised that they didn't give him a Ursaluna. It's probably a bit too late to just throw in that Hisuian forms exist in the present time. They might be able to feature them in the next series, but it's just a bit too late for that to happen now.
 

Sai

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Excadrill was definitely the strongest pokemon owned at the introduction of a female companion. Emolga was probably on par with the other Pika-clones and Dragonite was powerful from the start but not unbeatable.

I still think that's stupid and lazy. It's especially dumb since there's a good chance Ash won't even FIGHT Cynthia, Steven or Lance.
Why don't you watch the episode before complaining and he is fighting 2 out of those 3.
 

Blob

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Excadrill was definitely the strongest pokemon owned at the introduction of a female companion. Emolga was probably on par with the other Pika-clones and Dragonite was powerful from the start but not unbeatable.


Why don't you watch the episode before complaining and he is fighting 2 out of those 3.
Because it just seems like the animators are too lazy to animate any Pokémon besides those aces.
 

Alola

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I do think there may be a certain amount of cost-savings by having Paul use three of the Pokémon that will be featured in the next several episodes; his Gyarados' Ice Fang was near verbatim animated like Lance's, down to the spinning-rapidly-around-the-foe motions.

I don't have any big issues with the Pokémon Paul used, but I do still find it random that he has them. The implication is that he specifically gathered them for Ash when he learned who the Masters 8 would be, which insinuates he may not have even had them that long. Idk - I think randomness is similar to what I felt regarding the team he used against Ash during the Sinnoh League: random Pokémon with little to no foreshadowing or characterization in comparison to Ash's team who we've come to watch over an entire saga. Froslass, Gastrodon, and Drapion going down wouldn't be as cathartic for me as Ash soundly beating Ursaring, Honchkrow, and Torterra - heavily recurring staples of Paul's who have given Ash trouble before. And that sentiment existed here with Garchomp, Metagross, and Gyarados (esp. when it came to light Paul wasn't even originally written for the episode).
 

Emmy

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It would have been cool if Paul used different Pokémon but had them use the same moves as the Champions’ aces to where Ash has to visualise say Garchomp or Red Gyarados over whatever Paul was using, then bookend it by having Ash see an image of Paul standing beside Steven as they’re battling and Pikachu dodges Metagross in the exact same way as during training which gives Ash a confidence boost. :unsure:
 

Sai

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Paul always rotated his Pokemon even back in DP. He used different pokemon in the lake battle with Ash as the one he used in the Sinnoh league. He also had new pokemon randomly appear like Magmortar, a Nidoking, his own Gliscor, etc. that we only really saw for 1 episode. Paul having his current Pokemon suits him fine, he probably has 50+ pokemon like Ash does stored up somewhere that we don't even know about.
 
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also had new pokemon randomly appear like Magmortar, a Nidoking, his own Gliscor, etc. that we only really saw for 1 episode.
Just for the sake of nitpicking, we knew about his Magmar before it showed up and Gliscor was caught onscreen, so these weren’t really random.
 

prog rocker

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