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Controversial opinions

Sarah Natochenny's Ash voice was noticeably lower pitched & deeper than Veronica Taylor's for a vast majority of her tenure, and that's part of why I tend to agree with the majority of fans and not against the grain, that Taylor/McInerney's performance was more believable as a ten year old boy overall. It is only in MoMP, early BF, and SM-JN that Natochenny's Ash goes higher pitched than some of Taylor's variants, and even then, it is more effeminate and older sounding around a teenager to a young adult in all of these instances regardless IMHO.

Veronica Taylor was indeed the superior Ash Ketchum/Satoshi in English of the 3 VAs he had to me like most...so nothing controversial about that from me per se, with Rogers lasting the least time and Natochenny the longest in the part ironically, but what might give rise to heated disagreement here is that I felt that her best performances were in the middle of Kanto & after that, in late Johto through all of AG/early BF respectively, that said. And I grew up with Season 1's dub first...so for me to say this, is...well, Dogasu is in the 5% of people who think Kyle Hebert's Oak is impressive whereas most find it bland and generic at best like me (doesn't take much to me to topple BW+ JCC + especially Diskin in the part, though)...and at worst, ask R.O.B. about it so I'm content with this stance.

These two variants are quite different, the "cute" sounding one is the one that comes later (I think when Ash's dub voice hit its peak in quality, too, generally speaking I not only find it a match for Rica Matsumoto's Satoshi in a lot of ways BUT it is also capable of toppling her in emoting sometimes which is rare for me to say about ANY dub VA in ANY Series) while the former is the more "standard" sounding one, but nonetheless you get the picture and feeling you are hearing a 10 year old boy with both takes.

Neither variant is too high pitched, or too low pitched, stuck in a medium to medium-high range and yet, Taylor was also able to maintain and keep the voice consistently whether Ash laughed (Sarah couldn't), yelled (see before), had to elicit a myriad of different emotions (sadness, fear, etc.) while also really bringing out Ash's warmth & humanity in a way that never surfaced in the English dub after Season 8/2006 IMO. The latter variant came about when his vocal pitch began coming back down from high pitched boyish in OI/Early Johto, around mid Johto, while the former variant came about when Taylor dropped the stuffy nose/cold voice from the early Kanto episodes.
 
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It's been 11 episodes of Horizons and I can't say I'm all that impressed or too invested. I am just not a fan of these anime original plotlines (and anime-only characters) the writers have shifted to following the conclusion of XY - I still do not think they know how to pull off engaging "off the script" material; you would think they would have learned from Journeys.

There's barely any battling*, no one has caught anything aside from their Starters (!), there are too many characters about clamoring for relevance & screentime, no rivals have been introduced, there's a reliance of non-Paldean Pokémon (Rayquaza, Pikachu, Charizard, etc.), and we have no tangible goals in sight for Liko or Roy. Which is frustrating because I think Scarlet & Violet has one of the best stories (and cast of characters) core series-wise and they appear to be eschewed in favor of whatever Roy & the Rising Volt Tacklers are supposed to be (doing). Bring on the Gym Challenge, or Team Star, or the hunt for Mystica Herbs! Even venturing to Paldea had little fanfare - we just sailed right through Mesagoza and skipped the South Province one would need to journey through to reach Artazon. I miss the journeying aspect of the show.

*Before someone comes and argues against the battling comment, you know what I'm talking about. Proper, complete battles, with a start and a finish - ergo, there are several minutes spent animating a (dynamic) fight sequence where a Trainer's Pokémon gets KOed. In my opinion Roy Vs. Brassius (which I liked), that only recently happened, has been the only thing to properly fit that mold akin to battles of old; I suppose you could argue Sprigatito Vs. Fuecoco round 2, but that was meh.

Obviously, things could change or improve. But so far, I have little hope from what's been shown.
 
I feel the same way and frankly I'm struggling to understand the obsession so many people seem to have with Horizons - I'm liking it well enough, but it just doesn't scratch that itch that the Pokemon anime typically has for me in the past. The characters are all perfectly likeable but really don't have too much personality and are doing nothing to make me invested in any of them. The villains are boring as hell. Nothing interesting has been happening in general - that long stretch where they were just on the airship for however many episodes straight was so dullllll oh my god. I cannot figure out what it is that people are loving about this series, genuinely. It's not terrible, and I plan to continue watching for the time being, but they need to start introducing some engaging storylines and some personalities for these characters beyond cute and friendly or I'm probably going to drop it in the future.

I do love Fuecoco, though. Cute little bastard stole my heart.
 
I am liking Pokemon Horizons, but the one thing I will say is it feels as if the plot is moving along a bit too slowly. I know its early, but I feel as if we should at least have a solid goal set up for Liko and Roy and how they'll reach it by now. The next episode potentially might go into that though. I'm still waiting also for their first capture that's not their starter.
 
There's barely any battling*, no one has caught anything aside from their Starters (!), there are too many characters about clamoring for relevance & screentime, no rivals have been introduced (....) and we have no tangible goals in sight
To be honest, Sun & Moon had the same problems at this point. Yes, Ash had battled Hala but he went back to doing nothing afterwards.

there's a reliance of non-Paldean Pokémon (Rayquaza, Pikachu, Charizard, etc.),
I don't really think that's true when the Paldea starters have 10000% more screentime than Pikachu himself. Yeah, it could be more diverse, but this is definitely a Paldean/Gen IX series.
 
To be honest, Sun & Moon had the same problems at this point. Yes, Ash had battled Hala but he went back to doing nothing afterwards.
No, it didn't. By this point in Sun & Moon (within the first 11 episodes):
  • Ash made his first Alolan capture.
  • Ash had a Totem Battle.
  • Ash had a Kahuna Battle.
  • Ash used the new generational/regional gimmick in a Z-Move.
  • All of Ash's Alolan friends barring Mallow each got focus episodes that delved into their background or character (unlike the cast of the Rising Volt Tacklers, such as Orla, Murdock, and Ludlow).
    • Lillie, who had no Pokémon, gained an Egg she began to care for. She even displayed substantial growth in character, getting over her fear of touching Pokémon in the same episode.
SM had much more promise and interest at this point, in my opinion. A more apt comparison would be Johto (which we all know is infamous for its filler episodes, and was rectified going forward for the next couple sagas) or Journeys (which is panned for this exact reason).
I don't really think that's true when the Paldea starters have 10000% more screentime than Pikachu himself. Yeah, it could be more diverse, but this is definitely a Paldean/Gen IX series.
Roy's goal revolves around a non-Paldean Legendary (and one of the, if not the most, popular Legendary Pokémon to date). Rather than focusing on either Miraidon or Koraidon, the hallmark Pokémon of Paldea. Also, the fact that Friede's Pokémon are Pikachu and Charizard (which got heavy focus in the saga's beginning episodes; moreso than Fuecoco or Quaxly), who just came after the climatic Pikachu Vs. Charizard Journeys battle and are some of the world's most famous Pokémon, is telling. It was clearly an informed marketing decision to include them all based on their popularity, to help boost the new show. These elements weren't present in other sagas such as Sinnoh, Hoenn, Unova, Alola, or Kalos.

Also, the series can still be Paldean with a focus or recurrence on previous Generation Pokémon; they're not mutually exclusive. And if I recall, wasn't the show advertised as being the same as Journeys? As in, they'll be traveling to different regions rather than primarily staying in Paldea? Which does beg the question of how "Paldean" Horizons will truly be.
 
I don't really think that's true when the Paldea starters have 10000% more screentime than Pikachu himself. Yeah, it could be more diverse, but this is definitely a Paldean/Gen IX series.
Regarding this point, to be fair the fact that Captain Pikachu is the one who's done most of the truly cool stuff (to the point that the series has constantly gone out of its way to show off how much stronger he is than Sprigatito and Fuecoco combined) kinda evens out the fact that technically the Paldea Starters have more screentime. I do hope/expect this to be rectified as Horizons goes on, but imo it's still quite noticeable to me that Captain Pikachu has literally all the quality, which imo is way more important than just appearing a lot: I mean, just look at Misty's Togepi, who at the time was every bit as prominent as Pikachu (and was part of the main cast for two whole regions in a row. Three if you count the Orange Islands) yet remains one of the most contested shouldermons for the fact that it never really did much anything of note with all that screentime.
 
Regarding this point, to be fair the fact that Captain Pikachu is the one who's done most of the truly cool stuff (to the point that the series has constantly gone out of its way to show off how much stronger he is than Sprigatito and Fuecoco combined) kinda evens out the fact that technically the Paldea Starters have more screentime. I do hope/expect this to be rectified as Horizons goes on, but imo it's still quite noticeable to me that Captain Pikachu has literally all the quality, which imo is way more important than just appearing a lot: I mean, just look at Misty's Togepi, who at the time was every bit as prominent as Pikachu (and was part of the main cast for two whole regions in a row. Three if you count the Orange Islands) yet remains one of the most contested shouldermons for the fact that it never really did much anything of note with all that screentime.
But...Pikachu hasn't done anything in the Paldea Arc, and in the Island Arc he did less than Sprigatito and Fuecoco, I think you're extrapolating his role in episodes 2&3 to the rest of the series, we should wait for the next Explorers battle to see how they fare.

And even if Pikachu "keeps getting the cool moments" I'd think Sprig&Fue would be closer to Bulbasaur & Squirtle than Togepi, which wouldn't be that bad.
No, it didn't. By this point in Sun & Moon (within the first 11 episodes):
  • Ash made his first Alolan capture.
  • Ash had a Totem Battle.
  • Ash had a Kahuna Battle.
  • Ash used the new generational/regional gimmick in a Z-Move.
  • All of Ash's Alolan friends barring Mallow each got focus episodes that delved into their background or character (unlike the cast of the Rising Volt Tacklers, such as Orla, Murdock, and Ludlow).
    • Lillie, who had no Pokémon, gained an Egg she began to care for. She even displayed substantial growth in character, getting over her fear of touching Pokémon in the same episode.
The seeds are already planted in Horizons for the RVT to get more focus, for Liko to get a goal and for Roy to get access to Terastalazing. I am a bit impatient with the slow pacing too, but I feel just because it's not there now doesn't mean it'll never be. I'm hopeful that Horizons will have lots of cool things to show later.
 
But...Pikachu hasn't done anything in the Paldea Arc, and in the Island Arc he did less than Sprigatito and Fuecoco, I think you're extrapolating his role in episodes 2&3 to the rest of the series, we should wait for the next Explorers battle to see how they fare.

And even if Pikachu "keeps getting the cool moments" I'd think Sprig&Fue would be closer to Bulbasaur & Squirtle than Togepi, which wouldn't be that bad.
Would this even be a problem, though?

We had a Pikachu in the main cast for 25 whole years and he frequently hijacked glory from lesser-used teammates throughout that time, so this newest one having to take a backseat to the Paldea Starters is more than fair imo.
 
Would this even be a problem, though?

We had a Pikachu in the main cast for 25 whole years and he frequently hijacked glory from lesser-used teammates throughout that time, so this newest one having to take a backseat to the Paldea Starters is more than fair imo.
Like I said in my post that was just a worse case scenario that isn't reflecting what is happening in the series, we can safely rule it out if things like the Arboluva battle keep happening.
 
May's pokemon tended not to get much screentime outside of their specific contest battles or the eps leading up to them almost similar to the way Journies handled Ash's Pokémon. Beautifly barely appeared in mid/late Hoenn for example. Skitty was used for a bit then got overshadowed by her Bulbasaur, and then all 3 of her Hoenn pokemon were dropped after Hoenn ended. Munchlax didn't do much till the middle of BF despite being captured before the Hoenn Grand Festival and Eevee hardly did anything of note outside the one contest it had against Brock. And of course Torchic was barely used for the first 80 episodes of Hoenn till it evolved.

Obviously May's pokemon were handled a bit better than Misty/Brock's pokemon from the OS (with the exception of Psyduck maybe) but never really got featured as much as Dawn or the later girls, despite the later female leads only having small teams or in some only 1 pokemon.
 
Diamond & Pearl is one of the most boring sagas: absolutely feminized & flanderized Brock (except in the dub, WTF did they do to him?!), the most idiotic TR up to that point in time (everyone has beaten TPCi's Rockets to death who made it 1000x worse tbf, but I'll just say I hated the nonstop rhyming too + alliterations, Meowth especially sucks IIRC), and a host of unmemorable COTDs that were dry as paint.

I felt it was a worse version of Advanced Generation, whereas most thought it was a better one. I also felt the chemistry was more genuine in the AG group too.

(Keep in mind the English dub of DP was my first exposure to the saga, though, was the first full saga with the current TPCi dub crew & I hated it so much that I dropped the Series for the first time during that Era- I don't hate Ash nearly as much in Japanese whereas he sounds like a grouch + rude half the time even after Sarah "improved" to me, and I actually do like Dawn more than May, though, I guess?).
 
I cannot stand that Veronica Taylor voice for May
A vast majority of people disagree with that, myself included, I thought Taylor’s May was great (past her first few episodes, I’ll give you it had an initial rough start) and truly fit the character most like many. Knotz, if I said what I thought I might get banned, so no comment. Melody is really boring, meanwhile, keeping that opinion here since that seems to be somewhat controversial. She is a difficult character to get right, apparently.
 
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May's pokemon tended not to get much screentime outside of their specific contest battles or the eps leading up to them almost similar to the way Journies handled Ash's Pokémon. Beautifly barely appeared in mid/late Hoenn for example. Skitty was used for a bit then got overshadowed by her Bulbasaur, and then all 3 of her Hoenn pokemon were dropped after Hoenn ended. Munchlax didn't do much till the middle of BF despite being captured before the Hoenn Grand Festival and Eevee hardly did anything of note outside the one contest it had against Brock. And of course Torchic was barely used for the first 80 episodes of Hoenn till it evolved.

Obviously May's pokemon were handled a bit better than Misty/Brock's pokemon from the OS (with the exception of Psyduck maybe) but never really got featured as much as Dawn or the later girls, despite the later female leads only having small teams or in some only 1 pokemon.
I never really got the impression that May's Bulbasaur was overshadowing any of her other Pokemon. Both Beautifly and Skitty were her main Pokemon for Contests throughout Hoenn. I didn't have a problem with May not using Munchlax during the Grand Festival. Wanting to use the Pokemon she was more familiar with made sense. Although, it didn't make her look good when she was caught off guard with Skitty's Assist turning into Solar Beam since May really should have known about what attacks it had by that point. I didn't mind leaving her Beautifly and Skitty behind for the Battle Frontier, but she really should have kept Bulbasaur. It didn't have much screentime and keeping it around for the rest of the series would have made the Venusaur cameo less jarring.

Smaller teams or having one Pokemon would potentially make it easier for the writers to develop as opposed to a nearly full team. For what they were going for, I think May's team generally worked. I think she could have gotten maybe another evolution or two, but it was serviceable. I think that they were able to make better use of future female leads' teams because they figured out what does and doesn't work with characters like May.
 
I think both Dawn and May should have only had 3 Pokemon each. After all, contests never required a full team. Sure, a full team would allow the person to have more variety.
I really disagree. Having more variety would greatly benefit a Coordinator, especially when the Grand Festivals had double performances and double battles. A character could still potentially get far as a Coordinator with three Pokemon, but it would still limit what kind of combinations they could do compared to those with larger teams. Serena only having three Pokemon made perfect sense when Showcases didn't require battles and they didn't give her a proper goal until near the end of XY's first year anyway. I don't think May or Dawn would have been able to stand out with only three Pokemon on their teams for their whole respective series.
 
I think both Dawn and May should have only had 3 Pokemon each. After all, contests never required a full team. Sure, a full team would allow the person to have more variety.
Yeah. I agree. While I don’t mind Dawn having three extra Pokémon (Mamoswine, Ambipom, Quilava), I think May really should have kept it as Blaziken, Beautifly and Skitty.
 
I think both Dawn and May should have only had 3 Pokemon each. After all, contests never required a full team. Sure, a full team would allow the person to have more variety.
Them having more Pokemon meant more variety of Content appeal combos though. In theory anyway; I know that May tended to overuse Ice Beam and Bubble combos during the Battle Frontier arc, but I still think that Dawn having a full team by the Sinnoh GF was the right choice.
 
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