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Controversial opinions

I'm not saying that Leon being so strong is a good thing, I just think the main difference between him and some other rivals is that Leon's a champion so being much stronger than everyone else in his tier makes him much stronger than everyone else period (except possibly until Scarlet/Violet). I even recall during late DP that there were very similar complaints about Paul; that Ash could never hope to beat him after how OP he'd been made and that important game characters were made to look bad to favour him (Hi, Barry!).

The cheerleaders were mostly played for laughs and there were often moments when Gary got handed his a** pretty frequently.
Gary is a bit of a weird case because we know the show wasn't supposed to go on past Kanto originally; I think it's a safe guess that a big chunk of Gary's earlier scenes were written under the assumption that he was going to battle Ash in the finals of the league as the "last boss" of the show, but the most likely original plan for him follows the same general outline as Paul; constantly outshines protagonist with one or two small victories for Ash, then loses to him in the league.

If Alain could defeat Greninja and still is like 1% of Leon’s power; how is Ash even supposed to beat him?
Being strictly fair here, Ash has had six (realtime) years since his battle with Alain, so if Pikachu is the one that beats Charizard it could be argued that type advantage+Z Move+Charizard possibly being weakened by other party members isn't the most implausible thing the show has done since Pikachu has gotten plenty of combat since Kalos (even another Legendary battle).
 
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At the very least, Ash isn't struggling to battle rookies in the same region anymore:

1. Barry was a beginning trainer in DP, he was shown to fight mostly on Ash's level

2. Trip, Bianca, Cameron and maybe Stephen were all beginning trainers in BW, somehow they were all treated similar to Ash or at least BW Ash

3. Shota was a literal beginner in XY. Somehow this kid who just started with a Treecko halfway into XY, managed to have this all powerful Mega Sceptile that rivaled AshGreninja by the league.

4. Gladion, Hau, etc. all likely were beginning as trainers given Alola had no real league yet.


It was always weird to me that in every gen not counting Kanto, Ash is battling alongside literal rookies who managed to always be on par with him no matter how much experience he has at the time. You even see stuff like Tierno/Trevor who start off with unevolved Kanto starters and get powerful enough to be in the Kalos league later.
 
You know, a part of me wonders if the real reason on why Leon is written Like That he is is because not only do they want us to feel like he's the ultimate challenge for Ash, but also because they're already laying down that Ash isn't gonna beat him no matter what.

But if that's the case, they chose the worst possible way to do it: shilling Leon to the highest heavens and disrespecting other characters isn't the way to do it.
They did the same thing with Alain but unlike Gary, Paul, and Trip, they still forced Ash to lose to him, despite building Alain up as an unstoppable trainer for Ash to overcome. And despite it making no sense for Ash to lose to him. It really feels now like there's no chance for Ash to defeat Leon.
 
They did the same thing with Alain but unlike Gary, Paul, and Trip, they still forced Ash to lose to him, despite building Alain up as an unstoppable trainer for Ash to overcome. And despite it making no sense for Ash to lose to him. It really feels now like there's no chance for Ash to defeat Leon.
Strange as it may be, a good portion of why I think Ash could win is that Leon is a game character. They've always used anime-original characters as the league kicker.

I also can't help but wonder if they'd really do that with a Charizard again after the last time went over so badly staff responded to the backlash on twitter (although this is not on average a franchise that seems to take fan comments into account much if at all).
 
Strange as it may be, a good portion of why I think Ash could win is that Leon is a game character. They've always used anime-original characters as the league kicker.

I also can't help but wonder if they'd really do that with a Charizard again after the last time went over so badly staff responded to the backlash on twitter (although this is not on average a franchise that seems to take fan comments into account much if at all).
I think the core of the issue here is that the writers went so ridiculously overboard with Leon that literally every possible potential outcome will be unsatisfactory no matter what:

Ash wins? Gonna look contrived seeing how he's younger than most competitors and using a team he's only had for a few months at most in-universe yet this is the team that finally beats Leon when older and more experienced people using Pokemon they've had for years not only lost to Leon but lost badly.

Ash loses but comes closer than anyone to beating Leon? Still gonna look contrived for the same reasons about Ash and his Journeys team being inexperienced fledglings compared to everyone else, so for them to come closer to beating Leon than actual seasoned veterans is still difficult to believe.

Ash loses just as badly or even worse than everyone else who dared face Leon did? Despite this being the most realistic outcome, realism does not automatically good writing make, so this result would still be a bad one because let's be honest, nobody wants to see the protagonist lose badly so close to the end of the saga regardless of if it makes sense or not (and to drive this point home, Tobias and Cameron remain the two most hated League Kickers precisely because of how badly they beat Ash). Besides, Leon's invinicibility has been drilled into our heads so much by this point that I'm pretty sure a lot of people want to see him lose or at the very least struggle just because watching an OP character effortlessly steamroll over everyone constantly gets boring to watch really fast, so it's always cathartic when someone finally gives OP characters a real challenge or a taste of defeat for once.
 
I think the core of the issue here is that the writers went so ridiculously overboard with Leon that literally every possible potential outcome will be unsatisfactory no matter what:

Ash wins? Gonna look contrived seeing how he's younger than most competitors and using a team he's only had for a few months at most in-universe yet this is the team that finally beats Leon when older and more experienced people using Pokemon they've had for years not only lost to Leon but lost badly.

Ash loses but comes closer than anyone to beating Leon? Still gonna look contrived for the same reasons about Ash and his Journeys team being inexperienced fledglings compared to everyone else, so for them to come closer to beating Leon than actual seasoned veterans is still difficult to believe.

Ash loses just as badly or even worse than everyone else who dared face Leon did? Despite this being the most realistic outcome, realism does not automatically good writing make, so this result would still be a bad one because let's be honest, nobody wants to see the protagonist lose badly so close to the end of the saga regardless of if it makes sense or not (and to drive this point home, Tobias and Cameron remain the two most hated League Kickers precisely because of how badly they beat Ash). Besides, Leon's invinicibility has been drilled into our heads so much by this point that I'm pretty sure a lot of people want to see him lose or at the very least struggle just because watching an OP character effortlessly steamroll over everyone constantly gets boring to watch really fast, so it's always cathartic when someone finally gives OP characters a real challenge or a taste of defeat for once.
Its honestly what made me dislike Alain so much and part of this why his victory in the Kalos League pissed me off so much. I get that Leon is meant to seem unbeatable, but when he steamrolls actual Champions, that's taking it a bit far. Those battles should be closer than they are. This right here is a no win situation for the anime staff. Either way people will be angry, win or lose.
 
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I think the core of the issue here is that the writers went so ridiculously overboard with Leon that literally every possible potential outcome will be unsatisfactory no matter what:
I believe Ash winning would have the least blowback overall, as the plausibility issues would be balanced out by people being happy to see him win the world championship (remember how much the Alola win blew up in the general fandom even though there were complaints about the league itself).

The major objection to it being contrived is also, I think, softened a bit because it's pretty much how the games work; you get your starter then maybe a month later you beat up the champion and take his title, and Ash has, of course, been at this decades in real time despite in-universe him being trapped in a time vortex (funnily enough if the show were going in real time I think he'd actually have significantly more experience than Leon, who seems to be twentyish to me).
 
Its honestly what made me dislike Alain so much and part of this why his victory in the Kalos League pissed me off so much. I get that Leon is meant to seem unbeatable, but when he steamrolls actual Champions, that's taking it a bit far. Those battles should be closer than they are. This right here is a no win situation for the anime staff. Either way people will be angry, win or lose.
I think this situation has been there since Alola... And winning there was the least bad outcome. Just imagine the backlash if he lost against, say, Gladion...
 
I think this situation has been there since Alola... And winning there was the least bad outcome. Just imagine the backlash if he lost against, say, Gladion...
It definitely would have been disastrous if he did. I mean, he lost to Gladion two or three times prior and that would have been the 7th major league he lost. I'm still glad he did win though. We would have never got that incredible battle against Professor Kukui if Ash lost.
 
At the very least, Ash isn't struggling to battle rookies in the same region anymore:

1. Barry was a beginning trainer in DP, he was shown to fight mostly on Ash's level
To be fair, by the time Ash first met Barry, he already had an Empoleon, Staraptor and Roserade. He was still on his first journey through Sinnoh, but I don't think he'd be considered a rookie or beginning trainer once he had his first battle with Ash.

2. Trip, Bianca, Cameron and maybe Stephen were all beginning trainers in BW, somehow they were all treated similar to Ash or at least BW Ash
I'd disagree about Bianca and maybe Cameron. Despite getting two badges with just her Pignite by the time she had her first battle with Ash, Bianca was never really shown or treated as a particularly strong trainer, let alone someone on Ash's level. Bianca was a complete and utter joke character. She was basically a less competent version of Barry practically. As for Cameron, I think he also came off as too much of a joke character to really be put on the same level as Ash. He had some evolved Pokemon by the time the Unova League started, so how much of a rookie he was in that regard is a bit debatable. I don't recall Stephen being a rookie trainer, but he was one of the few competent rival characters in BW.

3. Shota was a literal beginner in XY. Somehow this kid who just started with a Treecko halfway into XY, managed to have this all powerful Mega Sceptile that rivaled AshGreninja by the league.
Admittedly, I never liked how Sawyer got so fast so strong during XY. I understand that was kind of the point since Sawyer's new skills really caught Ash off guard and contributed to his losing streak near the end of the series, but it was still a bit too fast. This could have been dealt with by just having Sawyer appear after Ash's third badge as opposed to when he was about to get his sixth badge. Since he exists for OR/AS promotion, I can see why that might have been too difficult to do, but that just would have made his sudden strength more believable.

4. Gladion, Hau, etc. all likely were beginning as trainers given Alola had no real league yet.
I'm not sure about Hau when he barely exists in SM, but Gladion most likely had his Umbreon for a long time based on the flashback when he found it as an Eevee. He was still most likely ten when he appeared in SM, but I'm not sure about him being a beginning trainer at that point.

It was always weird to me that in every gen not counting Kanto, Ash is battling alongside literal rookies who managed to always be on par with him no matter how much experience he has at the time. You even see stuff like Tierno/Trevor who start off with unevolved Kanto starters and get powerful enough to be in the Kalos league later.
Honestly, it never really bothered me. Yeah, Ash is more experienced than most of the trainers he meets in new regions, but when he's battling with a new team and Pikachu has never been a durable battler, it generally puts him on more equal footing with other trainers just starting out on their journeys. Admittedly, I wouldn't put much stock into Trevor when he didn't have any interest in battling and he was just there to hype up Mega Charizard X some more, but other characters improving off-screen is not necessarily an unbelievable concept or a problem. Trainers getting stronger with more evolved Pokemon by the time they reach their first Pokemon League doesn't really sound like a stretch or an issue to me.
 
Honestly I hated the idea of Chloe’s Eevee staying an Eevee. Hopefully Chloe’s Eevee evolves if Chloe does return in the next series.
I think it we should care about Babasaur and Totodile more.. we wont even remember that eevee in the future
 
Leon's writing would make perfect sense if he was the Final Boss of the entire series

But obviously the show will go on after this and Leon will fade into obscurity until we get Gen 8 remakes in the next 2 decades

So it doesn't make any sense why they're hyping him up so damn much.
 
Leon's writing would make perfect sense if he was the Final Boss of the entire series

But obviously the show will go on after this and Leon will fade into obscurity until we get Gen 8 remakes in the next 2 decades

So it doesn't make any sense why they're hyping him up so damn much.
Who knows, he might be the final boss for Ash (hopium)
 
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