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Controversial opinions

I think its just a matter of it being something people have wanted to see for years. We finally got a confrontation in BW but Ash didn't really get to beat him. To this day, Team Rocket is the only major villainous organization that still stands. The rest were either defeated or turned over a new leaf. It was a loose end that never got tied.

I'm more annoyed though with the conclusion to Jessie, James, and Meowth's story though. Personally I wish they just retired to Alola and started up a business there rather than continuing to follow Ash and Pikachu. They saw a taste of a Team Rocket-less life with Butch and Cassidy. They should have got that happy ending rather than just continuing on following Ash.
Honestly, ETOP had the best ending for TRio:

 
There are plenty of issues I have with the ending, but I don't understand why people wanted Ash to take down Giovanni so badly. If they had built it up in JN, maybe it could have worked, but there was no way it was gonna happen in an 11-episode mini-series like some had thought. Would have been so forced.
I think people were expecting a grand finale for the Aim To Be A Pokemon Master mini series in general. On one hand, I can't really blame people for having high expectations given that it was advertised as the final chapter for Ash and Pikachu. But on the other hand, there wasn't really any buildup in the mini series for wrapping up Ash's story. It always felt like extra adventures with Ash, Misty and Brock as a special sendoff to me. It wasn't supposed to be a grand conclusion wrapping up plot threads from various series. It doesn't really provide a conclusion for Ash but just have him continue to travel off-screen.

I think its just a matter of it being something people have wanted to see for years. We finally got a confrontation in BW but Ash didn't really get to beat him. To this day, Team Rocket is the only major villainous organization that still stands. The rest were either defeated or turned over a new leaf. It was a loose end that never got tied.

I'm more annoyed though with the conclusion to Jessie, James, and Meowth's story though. Personally I wish they just retired to Alola and started up a business there rather than continuing to follow Ash and Pikachu. They saw a taste of a Team Rocket-less life with Butch and Cassidy. They should have got that happy ending rather than just continuing on following Ash.
It never really felt like a loose end to me since getting rid of Team Rocket never felt like an objective in the series, even if it was largely in part to keep the trio around. I can understand why fans wanted Ash to confront Giovanni. It was weird that they never got a proper confrontation until BW, but defeating Team Rocket once and for all never really felt like it was something that they'd have to do eventually. Maybe it also helps that all of the other evil teams had their storylines from the games adapted. They aren't faithful adaptations and some of them aren't really good either, but the original series wasn't quite interested in covering much of the Team Rocket's storylines from R/B and G/S.

I can see the appeal of the Team Rocket trio retiring to Alola. They have their Alolan Pokemon back there and they've always been better selling stuff than being thieves, but I don't think that would have worked as their conclusion. Much like with Ash, I don't think that there had been any buildup in the mini-series that would make a more definitive ending for their characters feel natural. It especially wouldn't work when Journeys treated Team Rocket pretty terribly. I still don't believe for a second that they planned for Journeys to be Ash's sendoff series from the start, but at least he still had a new goal and became a World Champion trainer. Team Rocket largely got nothing in Journeys. Jessie didn't even capture a new Pokemon and I keep forgetting that Morpeko exists. I don't think seeing Butch and Cassidy live their lives after leaving Team Rocket would have been enough setup for Jessie and James to do the same thing. At the very least, I think that they would have needed to expand more on that notion after the episode.

Besides all that, Jessie, James and Meowth still being determined to chase after Ash and Pikachu is the most fitting sendoff they could have gotten. They love being part of Team Rocket, even if they can't really steal much of anything and are better small business owners by comparison, and they would want to get Pikachu. It makes as much sense for their characters to chase after Ash and Pikachu as it does for Ash to keep traveling off-screen.
 
The comments there about how Ash was going to lose the Alola league aged like either milk or wine, depending on one's choice.
I think people were just so fed up with the constant losses and tired of Ash by that point (I think personally, though I sat through all of it from EP001-JN147, the English dub of the Series went downhill after the original 4Kids VAs & script writers got sacked in S09, and the Series itself got stale after DP191 post-S13 w/Ash/Satoshi on a never ending quest for 25 years with no end in sight for decades), they thought it'd be the same old same old fare so predicted the norm.

Ash & Misty (Satoshi & Kasumi) got much more satisfying conclusions than Brock (Takeshi) or Rocket Dan (TRio- JJM) got in my eyes, but I still wish Ash aged at the end of it all.
 
I think people were just so fed up with the constant losses and tired of Ash by that point
Oh, I understand it and don't blame them; during XYZ and especially the Alola league I was one of the people cautioning everyone not to be optimistic until the infamous image leak.
 
I’m not a fan of the direction that the writers have taken with Liko. While I’m glad that she’s finally started to be more proactive, pretty much everything about her just feels like she’s type cast as the stereotype of a female. She started out shy, meek and unsure and often had to be the one protected. And now that they’ve finally had her decide the path she’ll take, it’s another stereotype of female characters where the girl isn’t the fighter but instead is the nurturer to the point of them having her path just be about understanding the feelings of Pokémon, something that’s always been an underlying theme but never the totality of a character.

With the display of Galarian Moltres, I just can’t see any future non-Explorer conflicts for her being resolved in a manner that isn’t essentially sitting down and singing Kumbaya. With how much they emphasize how winning battles isn’t the only path for a trainer with her, I don’t even really see her taking part in low stake trainer battles because that’s not the kind of trainer she is. What really just twists the knife further for me is that her roommate Anne meanwhile is the total opposite; she was open and social from the gate and based on her dialogue, she enjoys the action based path of being a trainer in battles. It almost feels like a monkey’s paw with the writers where girls are allowed to be action based just as long as they aren’t among the main cast.
 
I’m not a fan of the direction that the writers have taken with Liko. While I’m glad that she’s finally started to be more proactive, pretty much everything about her just feels like she’s type cast as the stereotype of a female. She started out shy, meek and unsure and often had to be the one protected. And now that they’ve finally had her decide the path she’ll take, it’s another stereotype of female characters where the girl isn’t the fighter but instead is the nurturer to the point of them having her path just be about understanding the feelings of Pokémon, something that’s always been an underlying theme but never the totality of a character.

With the display of Galarian Moltres, I just can’t see any future non-Explorer conflicts for her being resolved in a manner that isn’t essentially sitting down and singing Kumbaya. With how much they emphasize how winning battles isn’t the only path for a trainer with her, I don’t even really see her taking part in low stake trainer battles because that’s not the kind of trainer she is. What really just twists the knife further for me is that her roommate Anne meanwhile is the total opposite; she was open and social from the gate and based on her dialogue, she enjoys the action based path of being a trainer in battles. It almost feels like a monkey’s paw with the writers where girls are allowed to be action based just as long as they aren’t among the main cast.
Honestly, I'm not too surprised by the sound of this. I was never particularly confident about Liko being a battler in large part because the anime hasn't had battle active female leads in years. That isn't to say that she can't or won't battle, but I just never had a lot of faith that they'd have Liko be really into battles when that isn't something they've done with the female leads since arguably Dawn. Even if you consider Iris to be the last battle active female lead, BW was over ten years ago and none of the following series really gave the female leads an interest in battling either. I didn't really think that Liko being one of the new leads instead of a female companion would drastically change how they've written female characters, especially when Roy's goal makes it easy to use him to showcase more traditional battles by comparison.
 
The show has made it clear Liko is willing to fight when it's necessary and there aren't any other options.

Seems a bit overly pessimistic to immediately jump on the "Liko's going full (semi?) pacifist" route.
If anyone can help her by giving tips to on how to deal with people constantly showing up to steal your Pokemon, it would be Ash.
 
True. You would think after the hundredth time, he would immediately recognize the three since they don't even try to disguise their voices.
Yeah that trope only makes sense in cartoons like Aosth(Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog)when the villains are dumb enough that it's believable that they keep getting duped, but Ash and co getting fooled that many times makes you question their intelligence.
 
I never really had a problem with Ash and his friends always falling for Team Rocket's disguises. While there would be cases where it felt really bizarre that they didn't pick up on it, that was the joke. The anime always had a bit of cartoonish logic behind it. Team Rocket continue to be shocked and blasted off hundreds of feet into the air and they don't die as a result. They'll treat falling from a great height as a potential danger when it happens to the main cast, but if it's Team Rocket, they can be literally hanging above a cliff and be perfectly fine the next episode.
 
I’m not a fan of the direction that the writers have taken with Liko. While I’m glad that she’s finally started to be more proactive, pretty much everything about her just feels like she’s type cast as the stereotype of a female. She started out shy, meek and unsure and often had to be the one protected. And now that they’ve finally had her decide the path she’ll take, it’s another stereotype of female characters where the girl isn’t the fighter but instead is the nurturer to the point of them having her path just be about understanding the feelings of Pokémon, something that’s always been an underlying theme but never the totality of a character.
At least she doesn’t have an Eevee
 
The show has made it clear Liko is willing to fight when it's necessary and there aren't any other options.

Seems a bit overly pessimistic to immediately jump on the "Liko's going full (semi?) pacifist" route.
“When necessary”. Yea I know that hence why I excluded Explorers conflict from the nonviolence. It genuinely feels like that’s the only point when we’ll get to see her battle. Literally any non battler in the past was shown to step into battle when it’s necessary. But battles haven’t always been just for the sake of self defense or boss battle situations, they’ve been a core aspect of the series whether for sport or for fun so to have a protagonist relegated to “will only battle if it’s life or death” just feels boring to me especially when this being a fresh start, they had the opportunity to do something new with the girl only to adhere to stereotypical gender roles which is made worse by it coming in a generation that really leans into having female battlers.

And if I sound pessimistic about the prospect of Liko battling, it’s because the writers basically drilled in over the span of 4 episodes that Liko isn’t a battler because that’s not her path as a trainer, solving things pacifistically is. So I really don’t have much hope.
 
“When necessary”. Yea I know that hence why I excluded Explorers conflict from the nonviolence. It genuinely feels like that’s the only point when we’ll get to see her battle. Literally any non battler in the past was shown to step into battle when it’s necessary. But battles haven’t always been just for the sake of self defense or boss battle situations, they’ve been a core aspect of the series whether for sport or for fun so to have a protagonist relegated to “will only battle if it’s life or death” just feels boring to me especially when this being a fresh start, they had the opportunity to do something new with the girl only to adhere to stereotypical gender roles which is made worse by it coming in a generation that really leans into having female battlers.

And if I sound pessimistic about the prospect of Liko battling, it’s because the writers basically drilled in over the span of 4 episodes that Liko isn’t a battler because that’s not her path as a trainer, solving things pacifistically is. So I really don’t have much hope.
Yeah I don't know why I got my hopes up that a female protagonists in this franchise would do anything but act sterotypically, sigh.
 
Yeah I don't know why I got my hopes up that a female protagonists in this franchise would do anything but act sterotypically, sigh.
To be fair, it is still a little early in the series' life cycle. However, with it being about 1 year since Scarlet and Violet came out and assuming we get a new generation in 2 or 3 years, we may be stuck with this version of Liko. The one that doesn't battle unless she absolutely has to battle.
 
I can't imagine Horizons being particularly shorter than previous series, so theres still plenty of time for Liko to change like every other around for only one series character had time.

I'm fine with it because I would much rather have this even if its maybe steriotypical over having the new (main) protag that was just a slightly different take on the same idea as Ash. (Like if Liko and Roy's personalities were switched. There is more to Roy than that but you get what I mean.)
 
I can't imagine Horizons being particularly shorter than previous series, so theres still plenty of time for Liko to change like every other around for only one series character had time.

I'm fine with it because I would much rather have this even if its maybe steriotypical over having the new (main) protag that was just a slightly different take on the same idea as Ash. (Like if Liko and Roy's personalities were switched. There is more to Roy than that but you get what I mean.)
Considering how much emphasis the writers placed on this being the path Liko has chosen, I don’t see them changing that. And while you say that this is preferable to getting a different flavor of Ash, that’s like saying that every character in anime who take similar roles are super similar because they fill a similar role. Davis/Takato/Takuya filled the same role as Tai in Digimon but they’re completely different types of characters with different character arcs. Jaden/Yusei/Yuma aren’t Yugi despite filling a similar role. Boruto isn’t Naruto despite taking a similar role and literally being his son. Dawn wasn’t May despite having the exact same goal and coming right after her. Just becomes a character is in the same role as their predecessor doesn’t mean the writers can’t craft the character in a way that’s different and fresh.

On top of that, Pokémon battle is a core element of the series so it especially makes no sense having a concern of a character being similar to Ash because they’re a battler. At that point you might as well complain about a new protagonist of a Beyblade series blading or a Yugioh protagonist dueling.
 
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