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Controversial opinions

They could have brought his Charizard (or his Gible) back
I don't think that they would have rushed through Gible's evolutions to give Ash a Mega Garchomp. It made more sense to give one of the new characters like Professor Sycamore a Garchomp to do that instead. I do remember thinking that they brought back Ash's Charizard in BW partly because they were going to showcase one of its Mega Evolutions. It seems even weirder to bring it back to Professor Oak's lab if they were never going to do anything meaningful with Ash's Charizard. Although, maybe they just wanted Ash to have easier access to it in case they did decide to use it past BW. They also had Sceptile and Galile to use for Mega Evolution, but they wouldn't have been as marketable as Mega Charizard Y.
 
They also had Sceptile and Galile to use for Mega Evolution, but they wouldn't have been as marketable as Mega Charizard Y.
Nice possibility. Mega Glalie and Sceptile were the mega evolutions used in the Oras demo to promote the games (however for Mega Glalie it was only outside of Japan)
 
With that said, you can’t be too hard on the Indigo League, as it’s the very first one. The people working on the show were still figuring out its world, and what they wanted the world of Pokémon to be. However, the fact of the matter is that I simply like the later series more. More specifically, XY is my favorite due to moments like XY067, where the Kalos group puts their hands together as a truce.
Yeah, I watched many episodes lately with my son ( from Kanto, Kalos, Jns). The pace and the jokes and almost anything feels nostalgic but wierd.
It is not the same after all that time. For them kids it is kind of another story, cause they are not at the same position we were. But I would say it is not that bad for new gen kids either. I guess it is not perfect and as you said it- this world was as narrow as hell for the crew. For aure we could rewrite some..
Pace back then was so unpredictable. Though in the movie 'I chose you' it showed respectively how fast they all evolved for Ash ; they could have make some events in a dif way but it did show more of the same. They prob liked how their work turned to be back then. Me too.
 
Yeah, I watched many episodes lately with my son ( from Kanto, Kalos, Jns). The pace and the jokes and almost anything feels nostalgic but wierd.
It is not the same after all that time. For them kids it is kind of another story, cause they are not at the same position we were. But I would say it is not that bad for new gen kids either. I guess it is not perfect and as you said it- this world was as narrow as hell for the crew. For aure we could rewrite some..
Pace back then was so unpredictable. Though in the movie 'I chose you' it showed respectively how fast they all evolved for Ash ; they could have make some events in a dif way but it did show more of the same. They prob liked how their work turned to be back then. Me too.
When I was a kid, I watched most of the Indigo League episodes through VHS tapes. If you look at them as a Saturday Morning Cartoon that shouldn’t be taken seriously, the episodes are perfectly enjoyable and fun. I feel like the Indigo League episodes were designed to be watched when you had the free time to watch them, like in the morning before school or when you had friends over at your house on weekends. They have this cozy and casual feel to them, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, now that I enjoyed later series like XY and Sun & Moon, I can’t help but compare my childhood to them. Specifically, I was impressed with Serena’s story in XY, how she gives up her comfort zone and takes risks, and her motivation to become a performer being to give back to society and make people smile. When there’s a character that Serena that feels relatable to me in multiple ways, to the point where I see her more as a person than a drawing, then it makes characters in Indigo League like Brock and Gary feel much more flat to me. Other characters in later series, like Dawn, Paul, and Lillie, also have great character development. I guess, at this point in my life, I really value a well written story that makes you think critically, and the Indigo League episodes heavily lack that compared to later series.

One more thing I will say about these early episodes in Japanese, is that they can be… very inappropriate? It’s revolting how many times the early episodes have comments like “I can’t wait to see what you’ll look like in 8 years from now”. It doesn’t just happen in the banned Beauty and the Beach episode, it happens in other instances as well. Brock even says it a couple of times, which makes his obsession with girls way more creepy. Like, why does the old man in Beauty and the Beach say that to Misty, then Misty is perfectly fine with being around that old man for the rest of the episode? There’s also a few shots where the camera zooms in on the chest or butt areas, and it even happens again in the Orange Islands with characters like Professor Ivy and Loreli. Scenes like this really take away from the purity and innocence of the Pokémon world, and I can’t really bring myself to say that the original series is my favorite one when such scenes and dialogue exist. Later series never have issues like that, even in the original Japanese version.
 
When I was a kid, I watched most of the Indigo League episodes through VHS tapes. If you look at them as a Saturday Morning Cartoon that shouldn’t be taken seriously, the episodes are perfectly enjoyable and fun. I feel like the Indigo League episodes were designed to be watched when you had the free time to watch them, like in the morning before school or when you had friends over at your house on weekends. They have this cozy and casual feel to them, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, now that I enjoyed later series like XY and Sun & Moon, I can’t help but compare my childhood to them. Specifically, I was impressed with Serena’s story in XY, how she gives up her comfort zone and takes risks, and her motivation to become a performer being to give back to society and make people smile. When there’s a character that Serena that feels relatable to me in multiple ways, to the point where I see her more as a person than a drawing, then it makes characters in Indigo League like Brock and Gary feel much more flat to me. Other characters in later series, like Dawn, Paul, and Lillie, also have great character development. I guess, at this point in my life, I really value a well written story that makes you think critically, and the Indigo League episodes heavily lack that compared to later series.

One more thing I will say about these early episodes in Japanese, is that they can be… very inappropriate? It’s revolting how many times the early episodes have comments like “I can’t wait to see what you’ll look like in 8 years from now”. It doesn’t just happen in the banned Beauty and the Beach episode, it happens in other instances as well. Brock even says it a couple of times, which makes his obsession with girls way more creepy. Like, why does the old man in Beauty and the Beach say that to Misty, then Misty is perfectly fine with being around that old man for the rest of the episode? There’s also a few shots where the camera zooms in on the chest or butt areas, and it even happens again in the Orange Islands with characters like Professor Ivy and Loreli. Scenes like this really take away from the purity and innocence of the Pokémon world, and I can’t really bring myself to say that the original series is my favorite one when such scenes and dialogue exist. Later series never have issues like that, even in the original Japanese version.
I think this is a very cultural thing that we westerners just don’t understand it the way the Japanese do. I watched the original Dragon Ball series, and it is 120 times worse, and the demographic is not even different. This is just… the way it is in Japan, I guess?
 
Edit:
Scenes like this really take away from the purity and innocence of the Pokémon world, and I can’t really bring myself to say that the original series is my favorite one when such scenes and dialogue exist.
I understand the manga adaptation (Electric Tales of Pikachu) has even more of that kind of thing, mostly censored from the English release.

I think this is a very cultural thing that we westerners just don’t understand it the way the Japanese do. I watched the original Dragon Ball series, and it is 120 times worse, and the demographic is not even different. This is just… the way it is in Japan, I guess?
I recall seeing people say that Pokémon is officially a "Kodomomuke", which is aimed at lower audience than Dragon Bal's "Shonen", but that Pokémon had shonen elements during some of the series', especially XY. I can't confirm if it's accurate and being a Westerner have to rely on what I see people claim about how it works on the internet.
Certain Dragon Ball had much more extreme violence and sexual content than Pokémon to the point I'd find it odd if they were the same age rating.
 
I recall seeing people say that Pokémon is officially a "Kodomomuke", which is aimed at lower audience than Dragon Bal's "Shonen", but that Pokémon had shonen elements during some of the series', especially XY.
Dragonball's manga is shounen, mainly targeting a teen/preteen male demographic, but the anime is still targeting the kids. Think it like Batman cartoons, based on comics but still targeting the kids. Pokémon having shounen elements is similar to how cartoons like Ben 10 are inspired by american comic books.
 
However, now that I enjoyed later series like XY and Sun & Moon, I can’t help but compare my childhood to them. Specifically, I was impressed with Serena’s story in XY, how she gives up her comfort zone and takes risks, and her motivation to become a performer being to give back to society and make people smile
It reminds me the thought I had about how Ash is his core is nothing like Goh's character. I saw the XY chapter Rayhorn Race (ep 7?) And on the start Clemont suggested to Ash to catch a pokemon before the next Gym battle. Ash was acting like it was a great idea and it is the next step to find one. In that moment a Raihorn came in a rush (a trainer on it). In that ep Ash was training with one for the race... BUT Ash did nof catch any. Goh on the other hand would have been9 throwing balls forever in order to catch one.
 
I've often said that it was twenty years too late to replace Ash and I still stand by that. He may not be the main draw to the anime for a lot of people, but he is still iconic, recognizable and marketable. Waiting this long to replace him just makes the transition more of a risk than it needed to be. I don't think it's better late than never like people have often said. Plus, I still really doubt that this was planned from the start of Journeys. Even if they say that it was in a future interview, I don't think that would necessarily make it any better, if only because they still couldn't give Ash's team better development or give better structure to the PWC despite having that end goal in mind.

Now it's more than possible that the mini-series will make the transition feel more natural or understandable than it does on paper for me right now. Having a fresh slate might provide more freedom for the writers since they don't have to write around Ash being an experienced trainer. Since I never really thought that keeping Ash the main lead for so long was really a problem, having new lead characters doesn't really excite me, especially when I have my doubts about it leading to better writing for the anime.
I mean, just because of an exec decision an entirely different management took 15 years ago, doesn’t mean that anyone who ever inherits the Pokémon anime to work on is beholden to work with Ash. The people who kept Ash after BW aren’t the same ones making the choice to replace Ash right now.
Also, the staff opinions change and I don’t think we should be holding this decision in scrutiny using "But they didn’t replace Ash when the time was right!"
 
I mean, just because of an exec decision an entirely different management took 15 years ago, doesn’t mean that anyone who ever inherits the Pokémon anime to work on is beholden to work with Ash. The people who kept Ash after BW aren’t the same ones making the choice to replace Ash right now.
Also, the staff opinions change and I don’t think we should be holding this decision in scrutiny using "But they didn’t replace Ash when the time was right!"
My point isn't so much that they didn't replace him when the time was right. It's that replacing him now is a far bigger risk than it necessarily needed to be. They aren't under obligation to keep using Ash if the staff or someone higher up decides that the anime needs a new lead, but that's besides the point I was trying to make. I've said multiple times that the specials could make the transition feel more natural and having new leads doesn't mean that the anime is doomed to fail, but given how I still don't think that this decision was planned out well and the issues I had with Ash's story in Journeys itself, I'm not too optimistic now about that at the moment.
 
It reminds me the thought I had about how Ash is his core is nothing like Goh's character. I saw the XY chapter Rayhorn Race (ep 7?) And on the start Clemont suggested to Ash to catch a pokemon before the next Gym battle. Ash was acting like it was a great idea and it is the next step to find one. In that moment a Raihorn came in a rush (a trainer on it). In that ep Ash was training with one for the race... BUT Ash did nof catch any. Goh on the other hand would have been9 throwing balls forever in order to catch one.
Interestingly, catching-rate-wise, the most similar previous character to Goh was none other than Gary. It's no wonder they end up together.
 
Imo Serena’s crush on Ash and Amourshipping is more important and more of a priority to me than her personal development and career. I’m disappointed that we didn’t see the old Serena (she didn’t blush at all or show any signs that she still has feelings for Ash, plus the ribbon was deleted) during JN.
 
I feel like Serena's kiss goodbye to Ash was almost like her letting go of that part of her past and moving on to the next stage of her life. She found a new purpose and dream to chase with her partner Pokemon. At least, that's how I always saw things.
 
Imo Serena’s crush on Ash and Amourshipping is more important and more of a priority to me than her personal development and career. I’m disappointed that we didn’t see the old Serena (she didn’t blush at all or show any signs that she still has feelings for Ash, plus the ribbon was deleted) during JN.
So instead of wanting Serena to become a confident person, making stride in her own goal and able to inspire people around her, you wanted Serena to stay the same? You wanted her to be the shy girl, blushing whenever Ash glances at her and struggling to confess her feelings? This feels like such a poor way to look at her character. Not to mention it's still treating Serena more like an object than her own actual character, something that has always bothered me. It just feels so baffling for even fans of the pairing to treat her like that.

I'm probably going to regret asking this, but why is the crush so important to you? Why should the crush matter more than Serena's own personal development and goal? Shouldn't it be ideally at least equally important? If you don't care about Serena's personal development, then why bother being so obsessed with her crush. To be clear, I'm not saying that it's bad or wrong to like this pairing so much. There are pairings that I really like too, but if the pairing matters more than the individual characters or their own personal development, then that would make me far less likely to be invested in the pairing. I should ideally like both characters on their own and as a couple. If one is just there to be the love interest without anything else to make them likable, engaging or interesting, you might as well just have half of the pairing be a cardboard cutout for the other character to kiss.
 
I'm probably going to regret asking this, but why is the crush so important to you? Why should the crush matter more than Serena's own personal development and goal? Shouldn't it be ideally at least equally important? If you don't care about Serena's personal development, then why bother being so obsessed with her crush. To be clear, I'm not saying that it's bad or wrong to like this pairing so much. There are pairings that I really like too, but if the pairing matters more than the individual characters or their own personal development, then that would make me far less likely to be invested in the pairing. I should ideally like both characters on their own and as a couple. If one is just there to be the love interest without anything else to make them likable, engaging or interesting, you might as well just have half of the pairing be a cardboard cutout for the other character to kiss.
In my experience dealing with shippers, people care more for upholding the idea of the perfect couple and then superimposing the characters onto it. That’s not writing a story; that’s building a shrine. You can see how many fanfics go “Ash will basically be invincible and he’s 14/16/18/22”

The other reason I’ve seen people obsessively ship is the false sense of finality. People believe once a ship is solidified, it can never be undone. The characters and timeline can only move forward. I defer anyone who believes this to read Spider-Man: One More Day.
 
I mean I can understand people that are disappointed that after Serena left XY giving him a kiss and we got an interview after seemingly doubling down on the ship that they barely interacted when she appeared in JN.

That’s not writing a story; that’s building a shrine. You can see how many fanfics go “Ash will basically be invincible and he’s 14/16/18/22”
I actually think that's a different thing entirely; I once suggested on the writer's workshop fandom that "overpowered Ash" stories pop up fairly commonly out of frustration with how the canon series constantly sabotages him and resets his progress; the show has serious issues with Ash's buildup havingvery weak payoffs.
Back in the day I read tons of Dragon Ball fanfiction (and dipped into a number of other fandoms), and that was much rarer in them.
 
I mean I can understand people that are disappointed that after Serena left XY giving him a kiss and we got an interview after seemingly doubling down on the ship that they barely interacted when she appeared in JN.
I can understand that disappointment too, but I think that's different than saying that the ship is more of a priority than Serena's own character.
 
Imo Serena’s crush on Ash and Amourshipping is more important and more of a priority to me than her personal development and career. I’m disappointed that we didn’t see the old Serena (she didn’t blush at all or show any signs that she still has feelings for Ash, plus the ribbon was deleted) during JN.
Here's another way of looking at it; If Serena was the same character at the end of XY as she was at the start of it, what reason would Ash have to love her? Serena falls for Ash because Ash demonstrates confidence right off the bat, when Ash says "never give up until the very end" when they first meet. As soon as they first met, it was established that Serena was already inspired by him. By Serena being afraid to go to a summer camp that she never wanted to go to, she met someone who was not afraid of being there. In other words, Amourshipping is driven by taking risks, motivating each other, and self-improvement right off the bat. That is the core of what makes Amourshipping so great in my opinion.

Throughout XY, we can see that Serena lacks confidence with her feelings towards Ash. She is too shy to give him back his backpack, she is too anxious to hold his hand during the first date episode, and she's too nervous to ask him to be her dance partner. However, her confidence grows in other aspects throughout XY. She learned from Ash during the summer camp arc that "nothing you do is pointless", encouraging Serena to keep trying new things until she finds a goal. She learned from Ash to "never give up until the very end", and remembering that advice resulted in her first Showcase win. She learned from Ash that "You're not alone, your Pokémon are there to support you", showing that her Pokémon are her friends and will give her company no matter where her journey takes her. Lastly, she learns from Ash that "if you're not sure what to do, you should try making a move". This quote is my favorite, because it represents that if Serena is anxious about something, she should just give it a try. Even if it ends in failure, it still produces a result. I'll demonstrate what I mean by responding to this post:

I feel like Serena's kiss goodbye to Ash was almost like her letting go of that part of her past and moving on to the next stage of her life. She found a new purpose and dream to chase with her partner Pokemon. At least, that's how I always saw things.

This is certainly one way of looking at it, but I feel like the kiss actually has a deeper meaning. As Serena goes down the escalator, we see her looking really sad, then she closes and opens her eyes, displaying excitement. I like to think that she was actually thinking of the "if you're not sure what to do, you should try making a move" quote in this moment. After all of the times where Serena didn't commit to her actions before, she knew that this was going to be her last chance for a long time to express how she feels to Ash. It was a now-or-never situation. Serena must have thought that, if she wanted her love to Ash to be made known, she had to give it a shot right then and there. If Ash didn't reincorporate, that would be that, and Serena could say that she at least tried. However, there was nothing she could do that would be a waste of time. Living with the regret that she never tried would've been too much of a burden, and she is happier having the closure of making her feelings known. When she does try, we see that Ash doesn't back away, he accepts the kiss, and then his eyes sparkle and he gives a smile. Serena's kiss embodies how she overcome her shyness, it portrays her gained confidence, and it lets her completely focus on herself as she gives a satisfactory, temporary closure to her time with Ash. There's also the fact that, when Serena first tried to give Ash back his backpack, there was no one around to judge Serena approaching Ash. Not only was Serena nervous back then, but no one was around for her to be conscious about. When she kisses Ash at the airport, Clemont and Bonnie are watching, as well as various bystanders that are also at the airport. Serena kissing Ash is symbolic in that she learned to stop caring about what others think of her, and she should have full faith and confidence in her decisions.

Also, for Ash to love Serena, he would have to notice traits in her that he would appreciate. In other words, core values. Based on what we know from the very first episode, Ash is a selfless person, he cares deeply about Pikachu, he's willing to give others a chance, and he's not afraid to take risks. Throughout the XY series, we see Serena embody similar traits. The fact that Serena relates to Ash's kindness and determination shows that she is a selfless person in her own way. We also see Serena look out for and take care of Bonnie multiple times. She also learns to care for her Pokémon throughout XY, and this is best shown with her Eevee. She risks her chance at performing to go looking for Eevee, she tells Eevee not to dwell on its mistake when it messes up in a performance, and it evolves into Sylveon through the strong bond that Serena had with it. This also goes into how Serena is willing to give others a chance, and she helps characters like Mairin and Chloe in a similar way that Ash has helped out various other people. Serena is not afraid to take risks, because she left her comfort zone with her home, she tried things like Poképuffs and fishing until she found a goal in Showcases, and she's willing to not take up a mentorship in order to try out Pokémon Contests. These are all traits that are similar to what Ash has. Even though Ash is dense, I do think he would appreciate a person that has so many similar core values to him.

Serena is allowed to love Ash, but if Ash doesn't see many reasons to love Serena back, the ship falls flat in my opinion. The fact that Serena gained confidence throughout XY and let her traits really shine makes the idea of Amourshipping even more appealing to me. If Serena was the exact same character at the end of XY as she was at the beginning of it, then we would have a character that has no sense of direction on her life, no accomplishments to make her an equal to Ash, and never gaining the confidence to overcome her shyness. It would make Serena come off as a really insecure character that would be dependent on others for her happiness, and that does not make her a strong main character to me. Instead, what we got was a character that took what she loved about Ash, made it her own, and found a path in life that will lead to her becoming an equal to Ash in her own unique way. By JN105, Serena not only still loves Ash, but she also loves herself. That is what makes her such a strong main character in my opinion, as we should all have some sort of individuality to us to succeed in life. I hear that people are disappointed with JN105, but I personally was never disappointed in it. It did an amazing job of encapsulating Serena's story, and it really showed how we can all improve our lives when we take what we learned from others and make it our own. It heavily inspired my self-improvement in 2022, and it will continue into this year. JN105 embodies how we can all love a hard working and passionate person in real life, instead of loving a person who has no life direction and a lack of confidence.

Overall, I am an Amourshipper, but my reasons for liking it run deep. To be honest, I never heavily supported shipping in anything in general my whole life, until JN105 aired last year. If you look at my post history, you'll notice that I almost never commented on Amourshipping at all until last year. JN105 made me remember how amazing Serena's character was, and it was the most emotional I ever got at an episode of Pokémon. It made me realize that, after growing up myself more since XY first ended, it made me realize that I'm at a point in my life where I really want to focus on my future. Amourshipping works for me because I heavily relate to both Ash and Serena, and it shows how we have a lot to live for, in terms of both finding an amazing person and focusing on your dream career to make people happy. If people like Amourshipping just because Serena has a crush on Ash and nothing more, I don't have a problem with that. I also don't have a problem with things like people wanting Pokéshipping to become the real endgame, or people hating Serena as a character. People can think whatever they want, it's not my problem. As long as Amourshipping drives my self-improvement in real life, and as long as the Amourshipping moments make me happy, think critically, and give me a deeper understanding of the character's motivations, that's all I really care about. Amourshipping guided me in a good direction for my life going forward, and for that, I am grateful.
 
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