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Controversial opinions

- Johto wasn't as bad as many think it was in the Anime. Sure, it had quite a few filler hell episodes, but they were mostly just generic and boring. I think looking back, the problem was how many fillers there were that makes it drag on & on. The Saga definitely ended better than it started, though, for the most part.

- The 4Kids dub of Pokemon (TAJ + 4Kids for the first 2/3rds, then 4Kids for the remaining 1/3rd of the run) was overall more enjoyable and superior to the TPCI dub of Pokemon (TAJ/PUSA for the beginning, DuArt middle, Iyuno now). While they still obviously did stupid stuff at times and it's not at all perfect or anything (especially censorship, the food edits were pointless and M01 is a freaking mess that's indefensible tbh), it was pretty evident they cared about the main Series show and films a whole lot more in regards to how much passion and energy they had for it, if you ask me. There were even these cute little ads they did and crossover ads with other Series when it was on now defunct Kids WB! in the United States, just so much dedication and enthusiasm that seems to have vanished in the modern day dub. It was a genuinely good dub for a made for TV Series, and still is watchable/decent holding up today, outside a few missteps at times.

In contrast I can't even watch the last few seasons of the dub without cringing at how abysmal the music situation has gone, the return of the censorship you would've hoped would've gone with 4Kids' departure but is still very much back in the TPCI dub since Season 19-ish, as well as some pretty bad vocal direction & writing at times.

I have been watching the Series in Japanese with English subs for close to the last decade now avoiding the dub like the plague unless it's to check out random clips to see how it's doing tbh, but I can still watch the first few years of the English dub and find at least something to enjoy about it.

I know a lot of the fanbase actually agrees with this opinion, but it's still controversial because many kids who grew up with the current dub either don't or it's a base breaking issue in the fandom (much like which female lead is the best, Misty or others, which is the best Ash incarnation be it OS, AG, DP, BW, XY, SM, or JN, etc. etc.).

- Neither DP or XY is all that great as a saga of this Series, relative to the others, my opinion is each Series has had good and bad episodes: cool as well as mature Ash is fine and all, but DP is imo really the Ash/Dawn show while everyone else got side-railed or back burnered (especially Brock & Meowth!).

Re: XY, it's the Ash show for the most part, starring Serena as his love interest- Clemont starts to fade into the background as it goes on, as does Bonnie, aside from some filler eps. TR goes back to comedic in XY vs serious "robots" in BW, but they still aren't as funny as before at all.

- Hoenn/AG is way better than people claim it was, as is Battle Frontier/BF (not my favorite Series, but it deserves better IMO). This Series goes under the radar, as the most inoffensive/bland to the fandom at least, but it really had a lot of firsts at the time (i.e. Ash in the mentor role to someone, TR releasing mons for the first time save James' Victreebel) and it still had nostalgic throwbacks to OS with Misty many times too. Max is still annoying at times, but he's a likable character in other parts (e.g. the Ralts ep is fantastic with him, shockingly).
 
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As someone who grew up with them, the problem with all the older seasons is they all rely on the TR formula for fillers between each Gym battle. Ash and co. would meet a trainer, resolve a quick problem, and TR would come in and steal the pokemon of the day and Pikachu till they get blasted off. Of course there was some variation to these eps so they weren't all the same, but it was basic the structure. It honestly blows my mind it took until BW for the writers to realize Team Rocket didn't have to appear in every single episode. So many Hoenn and DP eps especially they only had less than 5 minutes of screentime in and their appearances just felt forced.

And of course, Brock is there for almost 13 years straight doing very little. Even if the new male companions don't always get much screentime either, at least they're NEW characters. They have a different dynamic among the group (like Cilan and Clemont especially), and you don't feel like you're watching the same character for 600+ episodes like Brock.

You could tell back then the writers were reluctant to change much about the anime, because even something as switching out the female companion (Misty) was a big deal at the time, so they barely changed anything else. The older seasons being Ash-centric (besides a lot of DP), also made his companions feel like afterthoughts in most of the episodes outside the ones that focused on them.
 
As someone who grew up with them, the problem with all the older seasons is they all rely on the TR formula for fillers between each Gym battle. Ash and co. would meet a trainer, resolve a quick problem, and TR would come in and steal the pokemon of the day and Pikachu till they get blasted off. Of course there was some variation to these eps so they weren't all the same, but it was basic the structure. It honestly blows my mind it took until BW for the writers to realize Team Rocket didn't have to appear in every single episode. So many Hoenn and DP eps especially they only had less than 5 minutes of screentime in and their appearances just felt forced.

And of course, Brock is there for almost 13 years straight doing very little. Even if the new male companions don't always get much screentime either, at least they're NEW characters. They have a different dynamic among the group (like Cilan and Clemont especially), and you don't feel like you're watching the same character for 600+ episodes like Brock.

You could tell back then the writers were reluctant to change much about the anime, because even something as switching out the female companion (Misty) was a big deal at the time, so they barely changed anything else. The older seasons being Ash-centric (besides a lot of DP), also made his companions feel like afterthoughts in most of the episodes outside the ones that focused on them.
On that note, I'll say this: I actually liked the supposed "robotic" BW TR change IDEA in theory (Dogasu and co would kill me for this, don't care). I think it was a "brilliant idea, bad execution" thing for me, a much needed change of pace that could've done something new with the group. The serious mission-style thing had so much potential instead of "We're gonna capture PI-KA-CHU" after literally 1000+ episodes, the problem is in the process they didn't mix in enough personality, but it was a refreshing change of pace for the TRio and I hope if it's ever explored again they execute it better this time.
 
- Johto wasn't as bad as many think it was in the Anime. Sure, it had quite a few filler hell episodes, but they were mostly just generic and boring. I think looking back, the problem was how many fillers there were that makes it drag on & on. The Saga definitely ended better than it started, though, for the most part.
At some point during AG I caught a bunch of Johto reruns and was surprised how much I generally enjoyed it. I think it's bad reputation is partly that it came right after the much brisker paced gen 1 series and was part of the general drift away from Takeshi Shudo's more cynical take.

- Hoenn/AG is way better than people claim it was, as is Battle Frontier/BF (not my favorite Series, but it deserves better IMO). This Series goes under the radar, as the most inoffensive/bland to the fandom at least, but it really had a lot of firsts at the time (i.e. Ash in the mentor role to someone, TR releasing mons for the first time save James' Victreebel) and it still had nostalgic throwbacks to OS with Misty many times too. Max is still annoying at times, but he's a likable character in other parts (e.g. the Ralts ep is fantastic with him, shockingly).
It had flaws but in a lot of ways I think it improved on the Johto formula and tried to shake up Ash's role in some ways that they backtracked on afterwards. Gen 3 anime is my second favourite after gen 1 to be honest, though part of that is less an unbiased interpretation and more of DP returning to the Kanto/Johto formula burning me out on the show to a great extent.
 
Johto just went on too long, and Ash's Johto pokemon should have been handled better. Cyndaquil should of evolved during Jasmine's Gym battle, would have been the perfect time. Phanpy and Heracross also needed to stay on the team or get caught/hatched a lot earlier.

I think the other problem is Misty/Brock and Gary just don't get focused on much or have much to do. This was the last saga for Gary as the main rival and he barely appears, this is the last saga with Misty as the lead female and she only gets a handful of eps each Johto season dedicated to her, and Brock is well...Brock. Johto should have been an epic sendoff to the OS era of Pokemon, instead it really wasn't until the league.
 
Johto just went on too long, and Ash's Johto pokemon should have been handled better. Cyndaquil should of evolved during Jasmine's Gym battle, would have been the perfect time. Phanpy and Heracross also needed to stay on the team or get caught/hatched a lot earlier.

I think the other problem is Misty/Brock and Gary just don't get focused on much or have much to do. This was the last saga for Gary as the main rival and he barely appears, this is the last saga with Misty as the lead female and she only gets a handful of eps each Johto season dedicated to her, and Brock is well...Brock. Johto should have been an epic sendoff to the OS era of Pokemon, instead it really wasn't until the league.
In spite of all its problems, the Johto saga still holds a special place in my heart. :giggle: (Though I agree, a lot of stuff should have happened differently (like Cyndaquil evolving.)
 
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I still clearly remember watching the Jasmine battle for the first time and I fully expected Cyndaquil to evolve after struggling against Steelix and running up to Ash afterwards, only to be confused when it didn't happen. Cyndaquil was used so often during Johto and had just been in a difficult battle that becoming a Quilava would have felt so natural and fitting. I'm glad that they did evolve it eventually, even if it didn't do much afterwards in the Sinnoh League, but it was still baffling why they didn't evolve it during Johto. I think that the writers might have been a bit more hesitant on giving Ash more evolved Pokemon during the original series.
 
I still clearly remember watching the Jasmine battle for the first time and I fully expected Cyndaquil to evolve after struggling against Steelix and running up to Ash afterwards, only to be confused when it didn't happen. Cyndaquil was used so often during Johto and had just been in a difficult battle that becoming a Quilava would have felt so natural and fitting. I'm glad that they did evolve it eventually, even if it didn't do much afterwards in the Sinnoh League, but it was still baffling why they didn't evolve it during Johto. I think that the writers might have been a bit more hesitant on giving Ash more evolved Pokemon during the original series.
In general it feels like a lot of things that happened, especially in OS, can be explained by Ash being written as an underdog as much as possible--Charizard's disobedience (and then getting semi-released after that was resolved), and probably most of the releases, or even Snorlax barely being used despite his massive power and being perfectly loyal. XY was the first series they seemed comfortable let him have a fully evolved party (sans Pikachu), and it was only in JN where they let him have one for most of it's run.

By that logic I guess they felt having two middle stage starters would be too much--which might sound strange but seems to fit OS preference for his main battlers to be small and cute.
 
Am I the only one that hates JN Ash art style? Like every time he smiles it looks so offputting. I dislike SM’s more but JN’s is pretty bad for Ash. It looks completely different from the way OS-XY Ash looked.
Trust me, you're not the only one. SM and Journeys are in my opinion, without a doubt, the worst Ash has ever looked. :cautious:
 
I don't know if it counts as controversial or slightly unpopular, but while Shudo had good ideas and some plans shouldn't be dismissed, anyone think his planned ending for the anime stinks of shame for the type of show it is?

Like writers who work on a comic series and try to downplay the fun elements so they can take it serious.

Sure being toyetic doesn't meant that the anime has to lack heart or substance, but I feel the Pokémon Adventure manga accomplishes that without coming off as apologetic or try to hardy.

Heck, one thing I like when Linkara talks a bit about the anime or game story is how the enslavement thing is really debatable when you look at how even in Non-Shudo works you have:

1. Pokémon that leave a trainer that rebels against them.

2. Pokémon that get out of their Pokéball on their own.

3. Pokémon not obeying their (current) trainer 100% like with the badge system from the game.
 
I also disliked Shudo's plans. A lot of them sound like dark fics or just don't... fit.

Was it necessary having Ash give up? Was it necessary the weird "three strikes and you're out" system leaders had? Was it necessary making it a crapsack world?

Yeah and it's trap some fall into. Sure happy endings are often times done to give good feels and at the expense of a good story.

But you have people on the flipside who mistake dark for art 100%.

Especially to the point of contradicting thyself. Like my example of how Pokémon even captured ones feel agency, yet Shudo's suggested ending hinges on the idea that they are slaves finally striking back.
 
Am I the only one that hates JN Ash art style? Like every time he smiles it looks so offputting. I dislike SM’s more but JN’s is pretty bad for Ash. It looks completely different from the way OS-XY Ash looked.
I don't have major problems with Journeys' art style. Although I don't dislike SM art style as I initially did, especially in the early episodes it was still more out of proportion than the rest of the series, but JN at least has had a better start off with adjusting the art style.

Even Pikachu is fixed better.

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Watching today's Japanese episode I'm reminded how little focus Misty's Poliwag/Poliwhirl got. She catches it in the last 4 eps of Orange Islands and it gets very little focus till it evolves. As a Poliwhirl it had about 2-3 good episodes, then it becomes Politoed and doesn't do much since Johto is over by then.

If she had captured Poliwag in early Kanto instead of say Horsea, it could have evolved around the middle and been a big battler for her through the series. For a pokemon seemingly as popular in Gen 1 as Poliwhirl was, Misty's could have been a bigger deal than it was.
 
To be fair to Shudo the basic premise of the franchise is 100% designed around a gameplay loop that gets very awkward if you think about it. They tell you a lot that Pokémon are friends and companions but you can trade them away to other people if you feel like it and the mechanics increasingly encourage mass capturing to find ones with good natures, abilities, IVs, or rare factors like Gigantimax.
It's not like the fandom didn't have similar ideas about the setting being sort of dark from the beginning.
 
To be fair to Shudo the basic premise of the franchise is 100% designed around a gameplay loop that gets very awkward if you think about it. They tell you a lot that Pokémon are friends and companions but you can trade them away to other people if you feel like it and the mechanics increasingly encourage mass capturing to find ones with good natures, abilities, IVs, or rare factors like Gigantimax.
It's not like the fandom didn't have similar ideas about the setting being sort of dark from the beginning.
I think Shudo had a very creative mindset, even if a very dark and somber one- I think a bit too dark at times, and gloomy. But I'll say this in his defense, he did have some of the most memorable EPs in the franchise (EP001, 002, 134, and 244 his last one).

He knew how to write some really emotional stories, at his best, very emotional eps storyboarded by him that weren't fillers. I find it ironic Shudo's final episode was a filler about enlightenment and meditation, that said, amazing.
 
I think Shudo had a very creative mindset, even if a very dark and somber one- I think a bit too dark at times, and gloomy. But I'll say this in his defense, he did have some of the most memorable EPs in the franchise (EP001, 002, 134, and 244 his last one).
Years later I learned a bit about some of his pre-Pokémon work. He worked on another toyetic series called Minky Momo where, well, something interesting happened. Although the show had good ratings the merchandise wasn't selling well, so the toy company helping to fund it pulled out.
In response, the show had the main character killed after being hit with a truck carrying toys. She apparently got better.

Shudo seems a strange fit for a Pokémon show but I suspect it may not have taken off to the same degree without him--certainly I found his somewhat cynical version of the setting compelling and helped make the Pokémon world feel larger and more alive than could be managed on a gameboy title.
I wrote about this in an earlier thread but episode 1 was very interestingly written--it's pretty much a comedy for the early parts where we see Ash blundering around--then the Spearow stuff happens and it turns out there's a limit to how much foolishness you can get away with and there are consequences (something I think was done very well in the gen 1 part of the show--Ash's loss in the Indigo League had issues but was more about his flaws finally catching up than him just being overpowered like in later leagues). Even Pikachu coming around and saving him ends rather somberly with the mouse severely injured and Ash roughed up at the end, even as a rainbow signals the possibility of hope in the future.
 
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