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Controversial opinions

Right after I watched JN136, I decided to begin a rewatch of the Indigo League. I just finished rewatching Bye Bye Butterfree, and unfortunately, it made me realize how weak Butterfree's character arc is.

The best moment for Butterfree by far, in my opinion, happens after Ash catches Caterpie in Ash Catches a Pokémon. We see an amazing scene where Caterpie and Pikachu bond, and how Caterpie both wants to evolve into Butterfree, as well as become friends with Misty. After that, it evolves into Metapod in the same episode, and is already a Butterfree in the very next episode. Butterfree then battles Misty in a gym battle, with no sign that Misty likes it at all. After that, we don't really see it again until the St. Anne episode, where Ash offers to trade his Butterfree for a Raticate. We see that Ash heavily regrets the trade, worrying if Butterfree will be treated well, and makes an effort to get it back despite the ship sinking. This was a great moment for Ash, because it shows us viewers that his Pokémon are really important to him, especially his very first one. Unfortunately, this is the last major appearance of Butterfree before its release episode. So far, we know that Butterfree wanted to evolve all the way, that it wanted to become friends with Misty, and that Ash cares about the Pokémon he caught a lot. It would appear here and there, like against AJ's Sandshrew and the giant Tentacruel, but overall it was not very prevalent. It wasn't even in Island of the Giant Pokémon, would could have given it a great showcase of its personality.

Bye Bye Butterfree introduces quite a few problems to Butterfree's character. First of all, Misty suddenly likes Butterfree and is comfortable around it. There was absolutely no indication that Misty was ever working on getting over her fear of bugs for Ash's Butterfree in previous episodes, so it was very jarring that she is suddenly okay and supportive of it in this episode, and she continues to keep her fear of bugs afterwards. There's also the fact that, if Ash never found the Butterfree mating season, he would have never released it. After Ash gave serious thought with the Raticate trade and did anything he could to get Butterfree back, why is he suddenly okay with the idea of Butterfree finding a soulmate? There's also the fact that Ash's Butterfree wanting to find love was never established at any point before this episode. For Ash's Butterfree to win the pink Butterfree over, it had to defeat Team Rocket. That's fine and ultimately harmless, but it doesn't give much depth to Ash's Butterfree's love either. The pink Butterfree likes Ash's Butterfree because it saved it's life, and while that's a good excuse for it to fall in love, it's ultimately a very simple story. There just isn't much weight to Bye Bye Butterfree in my opinion. Butterfree evolved too fast, Misty suddenly likes it with no explanation, Ash had a hard time letting it go before but is suddenly okay with it now, and the idea of Butterfree wanting to pursue love was never established before this episode. Not to mention that only Ash and Pikachu cry when Butterfree get released, Misty and Brock don't show much sad emotion at all.

I hate saying this about an iconic childhood episode, but when you take the nostalgia googles off, Ash's Butterfree was not that well written of a character. It will always have a history for being Ash's first capture, and for being the first ever goodbye for a main character. I just wish Ash's Butterfree had more weight to its character, because the reasons people love it have moreso to do with Ash's growth of a character than anything. Ash catching his first Pokémon and releasing his first Pokémon are global concepts that could have happened with any Pokemon, and Butterfree is a good choice for that, because Caterpie is one of the earliest Pokémon you can find in Red and Blue. However, Butterfree just has a lack of individuality to it that didn't really shine in most of the episodes it was in. Moments like its conversation with Pikachu in Ash Catches a Pokémon were amazing, but other moments like Ash wanting Butterfree back made Butterfree more about Ash than itself. In my opinion, that's a good thing for Ash, but not exactly the best thing for Butterfree, mostly because we don't get to see Butterfree's opinion of the gentlemen he was given to. Ash just assumes that the Butterfree will continue to be traded by that gentlemen, instead of trying to see if it would actually be happier with him.

There honestly aren't that many reasons for me to feel sad about Ash's Butterfree getting released in Bye Bye Butterfree. It stings when Misty says "have lots of healthy babies", because when Ash's Butterfree miraculously reappears in Journeys, we don't see any offspring at all. It's still just Ash's Butterfree and the Pink Butterfree. Brock also says "Hope your relationship goes well" when Ash's Butterfree leaves, which gives the implication that there's a chance a breakup could happen between the two Butterfree. Considering Ash's Butterfree and the pink Butterfree didn't actually know each other that well when they first met, what if they had a breakup off-screen? Would Ash's Butterfree be left stranded? Ash's Butterfree was released with the assumption that it would get along and be happy with the pink Butterfree, and it's good that Journeys confirms that they are still together after all this time. However, the fact that Butterfree's entire character is determined by the fact that Ash caught it as his first Pokémon, and it being his first release, makes his overall character feel shallow to me. I'm glad that there are many fans all around the world that love Ash's Butterfree, but even as a kid, I was never terribly saddened by it. It teaches us an important lesson that nothing lasts forever and we need to learn to let things go, which is great, but I just wish it was written much better than it was.
Hot take: Ash’s Butterfree character arc is better and more satisfying than Ash Greninja’s
 
Right after I watched JN136, I decided to begin a rewatch of the Indigo League. I just finished rewatching Bye Bye Butterfree, and unfortunately, it made me realize how weak Butterfree's character arc is.

The best moment for Butterfree by far, in my opinion, happens after Ash catches Caterpie in Ash Catches a Pokémon. We see an amazing scene where Caterpie and Pikachu bond, and how Caterpie both wants to evolve into Butterfree, as well as become friends with Misty. After that, it evolves into Metapod in the same episode, and is already a Butterfree in the very next episode. Butterfree then battles Misty in a gym battle, with no sign that Misty likes it at all. After that, we don't really see it again until the St. Anne episode, where Ash offers to trade his Butterfree for a Raticate. We see that Ash heavily regrets the trade, worrying if Butterfree will be treated well, and makes an effort to get it back despite the ship sinking. This was a great moment for Ash, because it shows us viewers that his Pokémon are really important to him, especially his very first one. Unfortunately, this is the last major appearance of Butterfree before its release episode. So far, we know that Butterfree wanted to evolve all the way, that it wanted to become friends with Misty, and that Ash cares about the Pokémon he caught a lot. It would appear here and there, like against AJ's Sandshrew and the giant Tentacruel, but overall it was not very prevalent. It wasn't even in Island of the Giant Pokémon, would could have given it a great showcase of its personality.

Bye Bye Butterfree introduces quite a few problems to Butterfree's character. First of all, Misty suddenly likes Butterfree and is comfortable around it. There was absolutely no indication that Misty was ever working on getting over her fear of bugs for Ash's Butterfree in previous episodes, so it was very jarring that she is suddenly okay and supportive of it in this episode, and she continues to keep her fear of bugs afterwards. There's also the fact that, if Ash never found the Butterfree mating season, he would have never released it. After Ash gave serious thought with the Raticate trade and did anything he could to get Butterfree back, why is he suddenly okay with the idea of Butterfree finding a soulmate? There's also the fact that Ash's Butterfree wanting to find love was never established at any point before this episode. For Ash's Butterfree to win the pink Butterfree over, it had to defeat Team Rocket. That's fine and ultimately harmless, but it doesn't give much depth to Ash's Butterfree's love either. The pink Butterfree likes Ash's Butterfree because it saved it's life, and while that's a good excuse for it to fall in love, it's ultimately a very simple story. There just isn't much weight to Bye Bye Butterfree in my opinion. Butterfree evolved too fast, Misty suddenly likes it with no explanation, Ash had a hard time letting it go before but is suddenly okay with it now, and the idea of Butterfree wanting to pursue love was never established before this episode. Not to mention that only Ash and Pikachu cry when Butterfree get released, Misty and Brock don't show much sad emotion at all.

I hate saying this about an iconic childhood episode, but when you take the nostalgia googles off, Ash's Butterfree was not that well written of a character. It will always have a history for being Ash's first capture, and for being the first ever goodbye for a main character. I just wish Ash's Butterfree had more weight to its character, because the reasons people love it have moreso to do with Ash's growth of a character than anything. Ash catching his first Pokémon and releasing his first Pokémon are global concepts that could have happened with any Pokemon, and Butterfree is a good choice for that, because Caterpie is one of the earliest Pokémon you can find in Red and Blue. However, Butterfree just has a lack of individuality to it that didn't really shine in most of the episodes it was in. Moments like its conversation with Pikachu in Ash Catches a Pokémon were amazing, but other moments like Ash wanting Butterfree back made Butterfree more about Ash than itself. In my opinion, that's a good thing for Ash, but not exactly the best thing for Butterfree, mostly because we don't get to see Butterfree's opinion of the gentlemen he was given to. Ash just assumes that the Butterfree will continue to be traded by that gentlemen, instead of trying to see if it would actually be happier with him.

There honestly aren't that many reasons for me to feel sad about Ash's Butterfree getting released in Bye Bye Butterfree. It stings when Misty says "have lots of healthy babies", because when Ash's Butterfree miraculously reappears in Journeys, we don't see any offspring at all. It's still just Ash's Butterfree and the Pink Butterfree. Brock also says "Hope your relationship goes well" when Ash's Butterfree leaves, which gives the implication that there's a chance a breakup could happen between the two Butterfree. Considering Ash's Butterfree and the pink Butterfree didn't actually know each other that well when they first met, what if they had a breakup off-screen? Would Ash's Butterfree be left stranded? Ash's Butterfree was released with the assumption that it would get along and be happy with the pink Butterfree, and it's good that Journeys confirms that they are still together after all this time. However, the fact that Butterfree's entire character is determined by the fact that Ash caught it as his first Pokémon, and it being his first release, makes his overall character feel shallow to me. I'm glad that there are many fans all around the world that love Ash's Butterfree, but even as a kid, I was never terribly saddened by it. It teaches us an important lesson that nothing lasts forever and we need to learn to let things go, which is great, but I just wish it was written much better than it was.
Few things I want to address

1. Misty liking Butterfree did not come out of nowhere. She called it beautiful in the very episode he was introduced in.


2. There's a big big difference between Ash trading Butterfree to a complete stranger for a Raticate and letting Butterfree go to be with his mate and have offspring. It's absolutely believable that Ash would have traders remorse when giving Butterfree away for another Pokemon but ultimately be fine with Butterfree leaving with his mate for the sake of his own happiness.

3. Butterfree doesn't need to have some sort of strong character arc. Its a butterfly that says beeee freeee over and over and makes sleeping dust come out of its wings. It's not really meant to have a character arc as much as its part of Ash's growth as a person. His first Pokemon, his first Pokemon to evolve, and his first Pokemon he had to let go for the pursuit of its own happiness. It's not all that deep but uh its a kid show where the target audience is like 4-8 years old.
 
Few things I want to address

1. Misty liking Butterfree did not come out of nowhere. She called it beautiful in the very episode he was introduced in.


2. There's a big big difference between Ash trading Butterfree to a complete stranger for a Raticate and letting Butterfree go to be with his mate and have offspring. It's absolutely believable that Ash would have traders remorse when giving Butterfree away for another Pokemon but ultimately be fine with Butterfree leaving with his mate for the sake of his own happiness.

3. Butterfree doesn't need to have some sort of strong character arc. Its a butterfly that says beeee freeee over and over and makes sleeping dust come out of its wings. It's not really meant to have a character arc as much as its part of Ash's growth as a person. His first Pokemon, his first Pokemon to evolve, and his first Pokemon he had to let go for the pursuit of its own happiness. It's not all that deep but uh its a kid show where the target audience is like 4-8 years old.
I'm 100% sure you did not read all of my post. I rewatched Ash Catches a Pokémon and Challenge of the Samurai a second time just now just to double check, and Misty gets livid at Caterpie and Metapod. When Metapod evolves at the end of Challenge of the Samurai, Misty has no interactions with the newly evolved Butterfree at all. I'm not sure where you're getting Misty calling Butterfree beautiful from. There was no foreshadowing that Butterfree needed a soulmate to be happy either, which I also mentioned in my previous post. If we saw Caterpie envision two Butterfree in Ash Catches a Pokémon instead of just one, then I could buy the fact that Caterpie was seeking love. However, the fact remains that Butterfree was already happy being with Ash, and Ash was happy to get it back from the Raticate trainer. I have a hard time believing that seeking love with a pink Butterfree it just met would actually make it happier, because the show doesn't tell us why mating with a pink Butterfree is so important for its character. It just comes off as forced to me. I also already mentioned that Butterfree is a part of Ash's growth as a person, along with its purpose being that it's his first capture and release. Yes, Butterfree does not have deep character development, but that's exactly why I don't have to be super attached to it. This show has multiple characters with deep writing that came later, like Paul, Dawn, and Serena, so I don't really buy the "this is a kid's show, so they don't have to try" thing. Pokémon can create deep and layered characters if it wants to. Butterfree just came in at a time when the show was still brand new and figuring itself out, and the quality of Butterfree's story reflects that for me.
 
I'm 100% sure you did not read all of my post. I rewatched Ash Catches a Pokémon and Challenge of the Samurai a second time just now just to double check, and Misty gets livid at Caterpie and Metapod. When Metapod evolves at the end of Challenge of the Samurai, Misty has no interactions with the newly evolved Butterfree at all. I'm not sure where you're getting Misty calling Butterfree beautiful from.
My dude, she literally says "It's so beautiful" after it evolves. Its in the actual episode. Sorry you missed it?

Fun fact did you know animals mate in the real world all the time? This very basic function doesn't need to be justify by showing Butterfree looking for love or whatever lmao
 
I'm kind of looking forward to Riko and gang if only because it removes the super-toxic weirdo nerds who basically hate anything that vaguely modifies Ash, like the creepy ship flame wars, the people sending death threats over Goh, etc etc.

Wipe the slate clean.
You'd better be prepared for the endless debates on how she's a better/worse protagonist. God help us if she wins a League earlier than Ash did.
 
You'd better be prepared for the endless debates on how she's a better/worse protagonist. God help us if she wins a League earlier than Ash did.
That is fair, but I think after a certain point, the young zoomers and their kids are only going to remember Riko.

Wait. Crap. There are definitely going to be people still insisting Pokemon Adventures > Riko. nvm
 
That is fair, but I think after a certain point, the young zoomers and their kids are only going to remember Riko.

Wait. Crap. There are definitely going to be people still insisting Pokemon Adventures > Riko. nvm
If you want to feel old the main target audience for Pokemon's new phase would be Generation Alpha. The youngest of zoomers is going to be turning 11 in 2023. Even zoomers are pretty much outside the target audience for Pokemon.
 
Considering that I highly doubt that Ash will just disappear forever after the specials, I don't think we'll get to a point where only the younger generation remembers Riko and any of the new leads.

Considering Journeys itself didn't get any movies dedicated to them (We got AU Ash)... what if movies is the way they are gonna showcase Ash's journey from now on, while still making some cameo's in the anime without showing the journey itself.
 
Apologies for my previous posts in this thread. After pondering about it, I was trying to figure out why I had a hard time crying at Bye Bye Butterfree, which made me feel agitated. The reason has nothing to do with the episode itself; it’s the fact that this has been a very emotionally taxing year for me in terms of watching Pokémon. I feel like I’m finally experiencing some emotional numbness, and it’s really ruining my enjoyment of the show in a way. Ever since JN105 aired back in April, crying at this show became a regular occurrence for me throughout this year. I also watched all of both XY and Sun & Moon throughout the year, as well as most of the Pokémon movies. Here’s a list of examples where I cried at this show throughout the year:

• When Serena returned in Pokémon Journeys.
• When Lillie and her family reunited with Mohn.
• When the crowd chanted “Champion” in Alola.
• When Serena cried on the pier and cut her hair.
• When Ash released Goodra.
• When Bonnie had to say goodbye to Tyrantrum.
• When Bonnie singed to Zygarde to calm it down.
• When Clemont destroyed Clembot to save the gym.
• When Ash released Greninja.
• When Bonnie’s speech to Dedenne and Serena’s kiss happened.
• The credits of the Volcanion movie (Soul-Heart is a beautiful ending song, plus it was hard to see the XY group looking so happy together when their time together was almost over. I included the XY movies in chronological order during my XY rewatch)
• When Stoutland died.
• When Mallow and her mother got to talk to each other.
• Ash defeating Tapu Koko.
• The last Sun & Moon episode.
• When Celebi wouldn’t eat the berry and was dying in Pokémon 4Ever.
• When Lucario died in The Mystery of Mew.
• When Oricon played at the end of The Rise of Darkrai.
• When Aim to Be a Pokémon Master played during Ash vs. Steven.
• The Pikachu vs. Charizard showdown in Ash vs. Leon, with Ash’s friends and all of Ash’s Pokémon on top of that.
• The last Journeys episode.
• The news that Ash Ketchum is now retired as the main character.

As you can see, in just eight months, I cried at over 20 different moments in the Pokémon anime within the last eight months! If we count how many episodes I watched this year as well, we can see how I’m starting to feel a lot of burnout:

• JN093 - JN136
• XY001 - XY140 + 4 Mega Specials
• SM001 - SM146
• EP001 - EP039 and counting (Just started an Indigo League rewatch. I watched Electric Soldier Porygon for the first time in my life last night, that was… something.)
• Movies 3 to 19

That is over 130 hours of content, and 372 episodes plus 16 movies. I am spent. Maybe jumping into Indigo League right now wasn’t the best idea. Ever since the news broke out that Ash is retiring as the main character, I have been feeling this emptiness inside of me. It really feels like the death of a long time friend. This is on top of how many tears I shed this year, it’s honestly one of the most I have ever cried in my entire life. When JN105 aired, I cried every day for a week, nothing has ever done that to me before. After that week, my head felt drastically more calm and clear, and I learned the value of what a good cey could do to a man. It’s been making me crave sad content all year, and I feel like I’m finally burning out after 8 months.

Again, apologies for my comments on Bye Bye Butterfree. I’m about to watch Snow Way Out and Pikachu’s Goodbye, and I don’t know if I can take this anymore. I’m going to go on a family vacation starting today, so maybe I should take a week break from watching and come back feeling ready to watch more. As soon as I saw myself hyper analyzing why I thought Bye Bye Butterfree was not sad, I knew something was wrong with me. I overthought it instead of accepting it for what it was, and it ruined my enjoyment of the episode. It’s a sign that I need a loooooooong break from Pokémon after all of this. I need to hang in there and wait for the last 11 Ash episodes early next year, but after that, I’m not going to be looking at the Pokémon anime for a long time. The legacy of these episodes will always be here, so even if Ash’s story is over, we can always revive it and go back in time to enjoy them all over again.
 
I don't know if this controverisal or not, but as now, I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Ash and Pikachu yet. I wanted them to journey to Paldea.

At least...one more formulaic romp throughout a region and its games' events would have been nice, imo.
Specially because… in my opinion, if you remove the Masters 8, JN was arguably the worst saga for what Ash stood for. This series minimised the value of a capture, the quality of which Ash is borderline known as a character for. "Befriending and catching your Pokémon" is synonymous with the anime because of Ash. Also, this series minimised the screentime of Ash's Pokémon. While they got constant background character development almost every episode, here, it was fixed into dedicated focus episodes with Pokémon not appearing unless it was to learn a move or evolve.
This series has very little of what makes Ash… Ash. The Masters 8 has reserves in a cheering role only and a lot more small gripes. I could excuse them if all of that was coming back in Paldea, but as a goodbye to Ash, Journeys is arguably the second worst point after Unova. I couldn’t even process this news and am not prepared to deal with the toxic negativity, as well as toxic positivity (yes, it exists) in the fandom.
 
I don’t usually cry about shows, I might cry when I’m mad about something, but I cried:
When Pikachu lost Electro Ball for Volt Tackle
And of course when Stoutland dies
I’ll probably cry during the dance episode and when Ash loses the Kalos League, also during the Kalos finale
 
I don’t usually cry about shows, I might cry when I’m mad about something, but I cried:
When Pikachu lost Electro Ball for Volt Tackle
And of course when Stoutland dies
I’ll probably cry during the dance episode and when Ash loses the Kalos League, also during the Kalos finale
When I rewatched XY earlier this year and saw Ash lose to Alain, I had uncontrollable laughter for about five minutes. The entire thing is just so ridiculous and painful to watch, that laughter somehow emitted from me as a way to cope with how stupid it is. Yes, I agree that Greninja should have beat Charizard, and I could write an essay why. But we’ve all heard that discussion multiple times before, so I’ll spare it. All I’ll say is that, no matter how much we want to move on and forget something, we remember why it bothers us so much when we revisit it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling sad about Greninja losing to Charizard, because not only did redemption never happen, but now Ash’s story is over as well. All we can do is move on, but it does sting regardless.
 
When I rewatched XY earlier this year and saw Ash lose to Alain, I had uncontrollable laughter for about five minutes. The entire thing is just so ridiculous and painful to watch, that laughter somehow emitted from me as a way to cope with how stupid it is. Yes, I agree that Greninja should have beat Charizard, and I could write an essay why. But we’ve all heard that discussion multiple times before, so I’ll spare it. All I’ll say is that, no matter how much we want to move on and forget something, we remember why it bothers us so much when we revisit it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling sad about Greninja losing to Charizard, because not only did redemption never happen, but now Ash’s story is over as well. All we can do is move on, but it does sting regardless.
If Amour becomes canon I’ll forgive the Kalos League loss and I’ll forgive everything, even shitty SM and JN
 
I don't know if this controverisal or not, but as now, I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Ash and Pikachu yet. I wanted them to journey to Paldea.

At least...one more formulaic romp throughout a region and its games' events would have been nice, imo.
Honestly, I really wanted to see Ash travel to Paldea, catch some of its Pokemon and I really wanted him to get a Fuecoco. Part of the fun of speculating on each new series is wondering what Pokemon Ash will get, so losing that is kind of disappointing. It also probably doesn't help that I thought I'd never have to prepare myself for their departure from the anime.

I know plenty of people have argued that this is for the best for his character and I can understand some of those arguments, but it still feels less like they wanted to send Ash off on a high note or give him a satisfying conclusion to his story and more like they were tired of trying to write around his experience, which is a pretty big difference to me. It still feels like they could have figured out a way to keep him around like always without negating his accomplishments or nerfing him, if only because they've done that before. Maybe if it felt like Journeys was always planned to be his swan song as the main lead, this wouldn't bother me as much, but given how Ash, his team and Team Rocket have been handled, it still felt like this decision was made more like around the middle of Journeys instead of its main objective.
 
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