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Controversial opinions

Sai

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Since a number have brought it up, I never really liked how some of Ash's rivals weren't league opponents like Barry, Tierno, Bianca, etc. Like the writers built these characters up as secondary rivals in their series, and then Ash doesn't even face them in the league anyway. Barry could still be a Paul fanboy without being crushed by him, etc.

In a way it makes all the secondary rivals feel useless in the end since Ash never gets a final battle with them. Like imagine if Shota was taken out by Alan in the Kalos league instead of by Ash, it would have been the same thing. But instead Tierno and Trevor were the "fodder" characters that time so Shota was still left for Ash.

I was kinda bummed Ash and Barry never had a final official battle in the Sinnoh league. Their last 3 on 3 was good (if I remember right it happened before Barry beat Gible in a 1 on 1), but that was the last time they battled. In the end they're all secondary rivals but it feels like building them up as Ash opponents doesn't matter when they lose to other people in the league.
 

Hidden Mew

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Since a number have brought it up, I never really liked how some of Ash's rivals weren't league opponents like Barry, Tierno, Bianca, etc. Like the writers built these characters up as secondary rivals in their series, and then Ash doesn't even face them in the league anyway. Barry could still be a Paul fanboy without being crushed by him, etc.

In a way it makes all the secondary rivals feel useless in the end since Ash never gets a final battle with them. Like imagine if Shota was taken out by Alan in the Kalos league instead of by Ash, it would have been the same thing. But instead Tierno and Trevor were the "fodder" characters that time so Shota was still left for Ash.

I was kinda bummed Ash and Barry never had a final official battle in the Sinnoh league. Their last 3 on 3 was good (if I remember right it happened before Barry beat Gible in a 1 on 1), but that was the last time they battled. In the end they're all secondary rivals but it feels like building them up as Ash opponents doesn't matter when they lose to other people in the league.
That never really bothered me to be honest in large part because usually defeats his secondary rivals. He defeated Barry and Bianca in their first battles and defeated Tierno in the middle of XY, so compared to the main rivals, I don't think that he really needed to have a final battle with them. We already saw Ash win, so it's better to save the League matches for characters that he hasn't battled against before or hadn't already defeated before. I don't think that this necessarily makes the secondary rivals feel useless or pointless. They just aren't built up as someone that Ash has to have a climatic final battle like most of his main rivals are.

Having Ash battle against Bianca in the Unova League would have been a complete waste in my opinion. She never really came off as a good trainer. She felt like a more comedic and less competent version of Barry. I might hate BW Bianca even more than Iris, or at least I find her more frustrating when Bianca is one of the best rival characters from the games and the anime barely did anything with her character. I can understand wanting Barry to get more of a big sendoff since people were kind of disappointed with him being defeat fodder for Paul, but I still think he was handled relatively well in spite of that.
 

Alola

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I was kinda bummed Ash and Barry never had a final official battle in the Sinnoh league. Their last 3 on 3 was good (if I remember right it happened before Barry beat Gible in a 1 on 1), but that was the last time they battled. In the end they're all secondary rivals but it feels like building them up as Ash opponents doesn't matter when they lose to other people in the league.
Barry Vs. Paul was unceremonious and disingenuous to Barry. I understand him losing, but he should have been able to put up a better fight than that.
  • The inclusion of Hitmonlee and Skarmory was incredibly random and unnecessary, especially as the writers were doing well with keeping Barry's team consistent with his game counterpart's. Which I was a large fan of because it's one of the best rival teams due their diversity and individual strengths.
  • Barry not knocking out a single one of Paul's Pokémon (but having his Skarmory, of all Pokémon, be one shot) undermined everything he did to even get in the Pokémon League. They couldn't have even given him one victory? The writers having Ursaring endure all of those Fighting attacks from Hitmonlee was incredulous. As was Empoleon's big moment with Torrent, which Paul dampened with Protect.
  • Back to your point, they could have had Ash fight Barry instead of Nando, to give him a more impactful sendoff and final battle. It also would have been a callback to their first 3v3 fight when they first met; nothing of value would have been lost by having Paul defeat Nando (it'd actually be quite funny that he was knocked out of both major tournaments by Ash and Dawn's main rivals, respectively).
 

JinksChow

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Barry Vs. Paul was unceremonious and disingenuous to Barry. I understand him losing, but he should have been able to put up a better fight than that.
  • The inclusion of Hitmonlee and Skarmory was incredibly random and unnecessary, especially as the writers were doing well with keeping Barry's team consistent with his game counterpart's. Which I was a large fan of because it's one of the best rival teams due their diversity and individual strengths.
  • Barry not knocking out a single one of Paul's Pokémon (but having his Skarmory, of all Pokémon, be one shot) undermined everything he did to even get in the Pokémon League. They couldn't have even given him one victory? The writers having Ursaring endure all of those Fighting attacks from Hitmonlee was incredulous. As was Empoleon's big moment with Torrent, which Paul dampened with Protect.
  • Back to your point, they could have had Ash fight Barry instead of Nando, to give him a more impactful sendoff and final battle. It also would have been a callback to their first 3v3 fight when they first met; nothing of value would have been lost by having Paul defeat Nando (it'd actually be quite funny that he was knocked out of both major tournaments by Ash and Dawn's main rivals, respectively).

Well, Barry was one of the trainers who took the free badge from Sunyshore Gym, right? During the time when Volkner was unenthused about battling.

Perhaps the writers just want to hammer in the point that Barry was unworthy since one of his gym badges was not earned, the same way people view Ash's first league loss.
 

Beatsy Ray

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Barry Vs. Paul was unceremonious and disingenuous to Barry. I understand him losing, but he should have been able to put up a better fight than that.
  • The inclusion of Hitmonlee and Skarmory was incredibly random and unnecessary, especially as the writers were doing well with keeping Barry's team consistent with his game counterpart's. Which I was a large fan of because it's one of the best rival teams due their diversity and individual strengths.
  • Barry not knocking out a single one of Paul's Pokémon (but having his Skarmory, of all Pokémon, be one shot) undermined everything he did to even get in the Pokémon League. They couldn't have even given him one victory? The writers having Ursaring endure all of those Fighting attacks from Hitmonlee was incredulous. As was Empoleon's big moment with Torrent, which Paul dampened with Protect.
  • Back to your point, they could have had Ash fight Barry instead of Nando, to give him a more impactful sendoff and final battle. It also would have been a callback to their first 3v3 fight when they first met; nothing of value would have been lost by having Paul defeat Nando (it'd actually be quite funny that he was knocked out of both major tournaments by Ash and Dawn's main rivals, respectively).
I actually like Barry getting stomped in this battle. His whole deal was that he was was impatient and overconfident, which is a major weakness that Paul identified and took advantage of. Intentionally or not, it actually mirrors the way Paul behaved earlier in the series. He arrogantly challenged great trainers like Cynthia and Brandon, only to get absolutely crushed by them (without getting a single KO). There seems to be a consistent message against underestimating your opponents, or overestimating your own abilities, and Barry's crushing defeat could be seen as an important wake-up slap for him.

I think a lot of people don't give Paul enough credit for his development in DP, but by the Sinnoh League, he had completely changed his tune. He shut down Barry's assertion that the two of them were the only possible candidates to win, and humbly admitted that every contestant there had earned 8 badges, and thus should be respected as a viable threat. Paul even studied Barry's League history before their match, further cementing the fact that he was taking every battle seriously, and not taking his victories for granted like he would in the past. This research also explains why Paul had an automatic upper hand in the battle. Despite what Barry might claim, his battle strategy did not evolve every second, and in fact he acted quite predictably, never managing to pick up any momentum during the battle as a result.

Paul vs Barry was like a competitive Pokemon player battling a PVE player. Sure, Barry had strong Pokemon, but he was so outclassed in terms of strategy that he couldn't even understand why he lost. It makes sense that Barry faired better against Ash, who tends to favor head-to-head, "honorable" battles of will, rather than tricky tactics.
 
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Enzo

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I see journeys in a similar situation. The fact that the final is already apparent leaves few opportunities for innovation or paths to be followed, as well as a high chance of frustration. Like, if, for example, the final is not between Leon and Ash, the tournament will already have been a failure.
For the record, I do see Ash in the finals against Leon, but imagine if they pullled the rug on us at the last second and Ash loses against Cynthia in the semi-finals and doesn't gets to the finals.

Again, I don't see this happening (even if I'm not quite 100% sure), but JN has done so many cop-outs already and I learned to not trust these writers for absolutely jack.
 

Sai

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Another good point is the writers reveal these rivals other pokemon and then they are never used. Anyone remember Tierno had a Politoed and Ludicolo? And then we never see these pokemon used in the league? So why reveal those pokemon in the middle of a series?

Remember how Barry had all these other pokemon and we never saw them used again? Bianca had different pokemon as well. You can even say for Trip, as BW reveals he has a whole bunch of pokemon but then the league match is just Pikachu vs. Serperior so it's like the rest of his team didn't matter.

For the record, I do see Ash in the finals against Leon, but imagine if they pullled the rug on us at the last second and Ash loses against Cynthia in the semi-finals and doesn't gets to the finals.

Again, I don't see this happening (even if I'm not quite 100% sure), but JN has done so many cop-outs already and I learned to not trust these writers for absolutely jack.
Too much of the narrative of Journey's overall has been about Ash and Leon. There's no way it's not happening.
 
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For the record, I do see Ash in the finals against Leon, but imagine if they pullled the rug on us at the last second and Ash loses against Cynthia in the semi-finals and doesn't gets to the finals.

Again, I don't see this happening (even if I'm not quite 100% sure), but JN has done so many cop-outs already and I learned to not trust these writers for absolutely jack.
I mean, this battle has literally been in the opening lines this whole saga, no writer/producer with half a brain cell would pull out something like this… hopefully.

Another good point is the writers reveal these rivals other pokemon and then they are never used. Anyone remember Tierno had a Politoed and Ludicolo? And then we never see these pokemon used in the league? So why reveal those pokemon in the middle of a series?
Ludicolo did get used, actually. It battled Sawyer’d Aegislash.
 

Enzo

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I mean, this battle has literally been in the opening lines this whole saga, no writer/producer with half a brain cell would pull out something like this… hopefully.
Again, I'm also 99,999% it will happen, but well,,, let's be real, the JN writing team sucks enough to do something like this. To reiterate: I'm not claiming that they will pull this bs, but their credibility ran out very quickly because of all the shit they pulled. So really, I'm not the one to trust them too much, but that's just me.
Bianca had different pokemon as well.
To be fair to Bianca, she only had 3 Pokémon during the League (unless she got herself some more off-screen that we don't know about), and the first round was a 1X1 and the second was a 2X2. Of course, she could've used her Mincinno, but it's understandable that she didn't when her Emboar and Escavalier were both clearly much better than Mincinno was.

Well, as good as a Pokémon owned and trained by Bianca can be, of course.
 

Unireon

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imagine if they pullled the rug on us at the last second and Ash loses against Cynthia in the semi-finals and doesn't gets to the finals.
I mean, this battle has literally been in the opening lines this whole saga, no writer/producer with half a brain cell would pull out something like this… hopefully.
Remember, we are talking about Journeys.

Where the staff goes out of their way to create hype/expectation, but never delivers.
 

Sai

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Remember, we are talking about Journeys.

Where the staff goes out of their way to create hype/expectation, but never delivers.
Why would you not expect Ash to battle Leon when it's in the opening and the whole point of the series? Besides that all the more recent eps and returns have all been consistently good.
 

Hidden Mew

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Despite my issues with the series, I honestly don't think that the writing in Journeys is nearly that bad. Certainly not to the point where they'd hype up Leon throughout the entire series, even if it was primarily through the opening segment explaining both Ash and Goh's goals, only for them to not have Ash even battle him in the Master Class. Admittedly, I think doing that would be hilariously bad as opposed to frustratingly bad if that makes any sense, but I don't see them actually doing that.
 

Enzo

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Despite my issues with the series, I honestly don't think that the writing in Journeys is nearly that bad. Certainly not to the point where they'd hype up Leon throughout the entire series, even if it was primarily through the opening segment explaining both Ash and Goh's goals, only for them to not have Ash even battle him in the Master Class. Admittedly, I think doing that would be hilariously bad as opposed to frustratingly bad if that makes any sense, but I don't see them actually doing that.
Well, I can see our opinions really difer here because I personaly think JN's writing is absolutely dogshit atrocious at it's worst and barely average at it's best lol.

I always felt like one of JN's biggest problems (if not, the biggest issue) is because it's the direct result of the "Hype Culture virus" infecting the Pokémon franchise. I genuinely feel like 99,9% of JN's issues can be explained if you see through this perspective.

Again, I'm sure Ash will fight Leon in the finals, if that wasn't clear enough.
 

Hidden Mew

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Well, I can see our opinions really difer here because I personaly think JN's writing is absolutely dogshit atrocious at it's worst and barely average at it's best lol.
Admittedly, I'm still catching up with the Netflix releases. I'm just about to get to Dawn's first return two parter, so I'm still far behind on even the dub, but generally speaking, the writing doesn't come off as especially bad to me. There are some bad writing, decisions and episodes like with every series. Most of the two-in-one episodes are pretty bad and I think the Pluse and Minin filler episode might be the worst episode I've seen thus far, but I wouldn't say that the writing is really that bad. Despite my major issues with it, most episodes are pretty enjoyable and I do think that there are plenty of good aspects to the series too. Journeys is probably more frustrating to me than flat out bad compared to something like BW.

I always felt like one of JN's biggest problems (if not, the biggest issue) is because it's the direct result of the "Hype Culture virus" infecting the Pokémon franchise. I genuinely feel like 99,9% of JN's issues can be explained if you see through this perspective.

Again, I'm sure Ash will fight Leon in the finals, if that wasn't clear enough.
I'm curious what you mean by Hype Culture virus. I don't think I've heard it before, so I'm not sure exactly what that means or how it connects to the franchise at large.
 

Daren

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I'm curious what you mean by Hype Culture virus. I don't think I've heard it before, so I'm not sure exactly what that means or how it connects to the franchise at large.
I think this is referring to the modern trend of companies wanting things to go viral and built up tons of anticipation. You see it in a lot of marketing these days. Little teasers that give away little intended to build up excitement for the generally disappointing reveal.

For JN we know they did that Pikachu backstory episode in hopes of going viral and a lot of other weird things in JN fit with that pattern, like the infamous "Ash with a rainbow wing" image (they're going to do something with Ash's Ho-oh connection! Actually it's a character of the day episode).
It could be argued this started as early as XY with things like the bait and switch Kalos league buildup for Ash-Greninja (the special shuriken, managing to do okay against a champion--but in the end Greninja doesn't do anything every series didn't do), or the "Ash and Serena date" episode that turned out to be about Eevee. But it seems more prominent now.
 

nickdt

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There’s also the fact that only a handful of them could realistically keep up in this stage of the tournament. I mean, do we really want to see Totodile or Snivy going up against champions?

A handful is six.... i can already list more than them
Charizard
Snorlax
Krookodile
Infernape
Sceptile
Talonflame
Glalie
Tauros
Swellow
Staraptor
Hawlucha
Heracross
Bulbasaur

Then we have the maybe's
Donphan
Leavanny
Incineroar
Rowlet
Lycanroc
Melmetal
Pignite

The rest obviously can't
 

Hidden Mew

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I think this is referring to the modern trend of companies wanting things to go viral and built up tons of anticipation. You see it in a lot of marketing these days. Little teasers that give away little intended to build up excitement for the generally disappointing reveal.

For JN we know they did that Pikachu backstory episode in hopes of going viral and a lot of other weird things in JN fit with that pattern, like the infamous "Ash with a rainbow wing" image (they're going to do something with Ash's Ho-oh connection! Actually it's a character of the day episode).
It could be argued this started as early as XY with things like the bait and switch Kalos league buildup for Ash-Greninja (the special shuriken, managing to do okay against a champion--but in the end Greninja doesn't do anything every series didn't do), or the "Ash and Serena date" episode that turned out to be about Eevee. But it seems more prominent now.
Oh that makes sense. There was quite a bit of hype for those early episodes due to the official art they made for them. That kind of promotion probably ties in with some of the misleading promotion throughout Journeys too. Sobble is the more infamous one, but I remember people being upset when Chloe didn't capture Galarian Ponyta after seeing that poster too.
 

cricketlaxwolvesbandy

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I think this is referring to the modern trend of companies wanting things to go viral and built up tons of anticipation. You see it in a lot of marketing these days. Little teasers that give away little intended to build up excitement for the generally disappointing reveal.

For JN we know they did that Pikachu backstory episode in hopes of going viral and a lot of other weird things in JN fit with that pattern, like the infamous "Ash with a rainbow wing" image (they're going to do something with Ash's Ho-oh connection! Actually it's a character of the day episode).
It could be argued this started as early as XY with things like the bait and switch Kalos league buildup for Ash-Greninja (the special shuriken, managing to do okay against a champion--but in the end Greninja doesn't do anything every series didn't do), or the "Ash and Serena date" episode that turned out to be about Eevee. But it seems more prominent now.
Idk, the dance thing and especially the Kalos League Victory seem like the biggest examples of hype bait. XY was way worse because everyone was sucked into the hype and got let down.
Also Ash and Serena should have danced in that episode. Period. Idc that it was about Eevee, they could’ve added that. And Ash should’ve won the Kalos League.
 
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A handful is six.... i can already list more than them
Charizard
Snorlax
Krookodile
Infernape
Sceptile
Talonflame
Glalie
Tauros
Swellow
Staraptor
Hawlucha
Heracross
Bulbasaur

Then we have the maybe's
Donphan
Leavanny
Incineroar
Rowlet
Lycanroc
Melmetal
Pignite

The rest obviously can't
Semantics.

Also, Tauros?
 
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