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Controversial opinions

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-Pikachu should have evolved either in the first season or Johto. I mean, Raichu is not what you could call unmarketable. However, it's too late now.
-I hate Paul. I still feel he is a bootleg Silver. I read all the posts in this thread about him. They didn't make me change my opinion. The fact he's possibly based on competitive players actually makes things worse in my mind.

I'm going to put this apart since it's more what I think happened in development: I feel that the SM anime was based on an earlier version of Gen VII. Then again, I'm basing this on the fact that the only game characters that showed up for a lot of episodes where the first ones revealed. Also, it wouldn't be the first time something from a beta showed up in the anime (Blaine's original appearance and Blue being a researcher).
 
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Both Gladion and Hau are nice rivals in the games, but their animé-counterparts aren't eager to fight. Ash didn't battle Gladion much and Hau either (since he just appeared once), and for me, Ash and Gladion and Hau don't have a rivalery like Paul, Alain, Sawyer or Gary. And I don't see Kukui as a rival either, because I think Kukui would more enjoy watching the league than appearing in it.

The LGPE-Eevee episodes feel like a waste thb, don't you think?
 
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I was always kind of annoyed by how Zekrom came in randomly at the start of BW and ended up screwing Pikachu over just because, so I feel like BW could've potentially been more interesting if they flat out made it Zekrom's fault that Pikachu's power seemed "reset" even after his electricity was restored.

Then Ash could want to hold Zekrom accountable for what it did to Pikachu, and part of his goal would be to track it down again and gain its respect. In this case, it wouldn't be that Ash hates Zekrom, and he wouldn't want it to straight up suffer or anything. He would just want it to actually acknowledge that what it did was wrong.

Still, it would become apparent that part of the issue was that Zekrom simply saw them as so beneath it that it has no reason to care about them, necessitating Ash to get much stronger simply so he can make Zekrom actually see that he's worthy of respect.

Other things that could happen here, optionally:

1: Trip learns about what happens too. Maybe even with proof through his own Zekrom issue, like he gets a good Electric-type but it gets nerfed by Zekrom too... Then he has to be humble enough to accept advice from Ash, and admit that he was wrong for dunking on Ash when Pikachu was affected by something outside of Ash's control

2: Ash is driven to take his training seriously enough that he still wins his second battle with Trip. (although Pikachu himself still loses)

3: In general, Ash is still humorous, but makes less stupid mistakes and less of his humor is about being a butt monkey/slapstick victim. (Especially redo the wonky Elesa Gym battle where it felt like he didn't even deserve to win in canon)

4: Do something else with Pikachu's moves rather than having him learn Electro Ball, as part of him training to try and make up for what happened to him. Preferably, I'd like to see him learn a way to make Volt Tackle safer. It's always bugged me that the anime can take a million and one other liberties, but once it comes to Volt Tackle, the drawback suddenly has to be so utterly non-negotiable that Pikachu ends up dropping it. And then they don't even acknowledge Electro Ball's special effect, on top of that? It's just frustrating.
 
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I personally have nothing against friendly rivals. Sure, Blue was an iconic rival, but that doesn't mean that rivals unlike him are automatically bad. Let's have a rundown on all the rivals introduced after Generation II:

  • Brendan/May: I admit, these are probably the blandest rivals to date, but thanks to OR/AS, they're perfectly respectable in my books. They're not competitive against you, but still want to battle against you just for the fun of it, helping you advance in your journey.
  • Wally: Like Brendan/May, Wally got a much-needed facelift in OR/AS, pulling him out of obscurity and giving him a ton of more character. Also, need I mention that he's one of the strongest Trainers in terms of level outside of battle facilities? That alone is a big plus for me.
  • Barry: This guy is loved despite him not being an a-hole, and I think it's because he's still competitive towards you, not to mention of his hilarious personality and behavior.
  • Cheren and Bianca: These rivals represent the game's theme of truth and ideals, and they truly develop as characters throughout the game. Plus, when we revisit Unova two years later, it's nice to see how they've advanced in their respective lives and attained professions they're perfectly happy with. Also, given Unova's heavy emphasis on story, these two naturally contribute a lot to it.
  • Hugh: Probably the best blend of competitive and friendly rival, combined with a great story and motivation. This guy deserves more recognition.
  • The Kalos rivals: Sigh... These guys. They seem to get all the hate in the world when it comes to friendly rivals in Pokémon. But the thing is: they have a reason for being like they are. Each of them enjoys a different aspect of Pokémon: Shauna enjoys the journey she gets to make when she has a Pokémon on her side; Tierno enjoys just being with Pokémon, regardless of where he's going; Trevor enjoys filling up the Pokédex; and Calem/Serena enjoys the classic training and competitive parr of Pokémon. I think these four deserve way more respect.
  • Hau: This malasada boy is a nice guy. Especially in US/UM, in my opinion. He starts his journey by with the intention of nothing but enjoy it, but as the story advances, he understands that he needs to train much harder to become a stronger Trainer and be able to protect those he cares about, like Lillie. And in US/UM, this results in him facing you in a battle for the literal Champion throne, effectively making him the second-strongest Trainer in Alola. I also like the relationship between him and his grandfather. He's probably my favorite "friendly" rival.
  • Gladion: This guy honestly already gets a lot of respect. I really don't know what to say about him that hasn't already been said. He's already beloved enough by the fandom to not need any defense.
  • Trace: Despite Trace effectively being a replacement for Blue, I still don't hate him for being that. He's a respectable rival and overall a nice character. One of his defining traits must be him adopting the orphaned Cube, using it to fight Team Rocket at Silph Co., and eventually evolving it into a Marowak. I also don't mind him becoming the Champion like Blue did, even if they did miss the most opportune chance to make Professor Oak the Champion.
Also, I'll share with you all the thing that I randomly found and inspired me to make this post in the first place.
The title alone ticked me off, to be honest...
 
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I gotta tell you, @FinnishPokéFan92, I liked your post just because I've seen that same video and also ended up totally disagreeing with them, lmao.

Hau is honestly one of my favorite characters so far, along with Gladion and Lillie, because I just imagine that if I were literally, physically in a Pokemon world, on a journey...

I would feel that I honestly have way better things to do than have some kind of pissing contest with a rival who doesn't respect me, over a competition that is essentially just a big sports game. I have actual people to help, a team to raise, friends to make, evil to defeat... Why should I give a crap about Jerk Boy 3 and his stupid superiority complex? If I wanna battle jerks, the bad guys are Right Over There.

Blue was okay more because things were simple enough back then that they could get away with it. Silver was really good IMO not just because he was mean, but because the whole point was to redeem him. Now, to make another good jerk, they'd have to go pretty far out of their way to actually make someone who isn't just a rehash of either one of them, and I'm not even sure how they'd do that without making it sort of trite compared to everything else going on.
 
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Blue was okay more because things were simple enough back then that they could get away with it.
I've actually heard that Blue was made a jerk in the first place because the games weren't graphically that good back then and that kind of personality was easy to portray with the limited capabilities of the Game Boy. Or something along those lines, at the very least.
 
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I personally have nothing against friendly rivals. Sure, Blue was an iconic rival, but that doesn't mean that rivals unlike him are automatically bad. Let's have a rundown on all the rivals introduced after Generation II:

  • Brendan/May: I admit, these are probably the blandest rivals to date, but thanks to OR/AS, they're perfectly respectable in my books. They're not competitive against you, but still want to battle against you just for the fun of it, helping you advance in your journey.
  • Wally: Like Brendan/May, Wally got a much-needed facelift in OR/AS, pulling him out of obscurity and giving him a ton of more character. Also, need I mention that he's one of the strongest Trainers in terms of level outside of battle facilities? That alone is a big plus for me.
  • Barry: This guy is loved despite him not being an a-hole, and I think it's because he's still competitive towards you, not to mention of his hilarious personality and behavior.
  • Cheren and Bianca: These rivals represent the game's theme of truth and ideals, and they truly develop as characters throughout the game. Plus, when we revisit Unova two years later, it's nice to see how they've advanced in their respective lives and attained professions they're perfectly happy with. Also, given Unova's heavy emphasis on story, these two naturally contribute a lot to it.
  • Hugh: Probably the best blend of competitive and friendly rival, combined with a great story and motivation. This guy deserves more recognition.
  • The Kalos rivals: Sigh... These guys. They seem to get all the hate in the world when it comes to friendly rivals in Pokémon. But the thing is: they have a reason for being like they are. Each of them enjoys a different aspect of Pokémon: Shauna enjoys the journey she gets to make when she has a Pokémon on her side; Tierno enjoys just being with Pokémon, regardless of where he's going; Trevor enjoys filling up the Pokédex; and Calem/Serena enjoys the classic training and competitive parr of Pokémon. I think these four deserve way more respect.
  • Hau: This malasada boy is a nice guy. Especially in US/UM, in my opinion. He starts his journey by with the intention of nothing but enjoy it, but as the story advances, he understands that he needs to train much harder to become a stronger Trainer and be able to protect those he cares about, like Lillie. And in US/UM, this results in him facing you in a battle for the literal Champion throne, effectively making him the second-strongest Trainer in Alola. I also like the relationship between him and his grandfather. He's probably my favorite "friendly" rival.
  • Gladion: This guy honestly already gets a lot of respect. I really don't know what to say about him that hasn't already been said. He's already beloved enough by the fandom to not need any defense.
  • Trace: Despite Trace effectively being a replacement for Blue, I still don't hate him for being that. He's a respectable rival and overall a nice character. One of his defining traits must be him adopting the orphaned Cube, using it to fight Team Rocket at Silph Co., and eventually evolving it into a Marowak. I also don't mind him becoming the Champion like Blue did, even if they did miss the most opportune chance to make Professor Oak the Champion.
Also, I'll share with you all the thing that I randomly found and inspired me to make this post in the first place.
The title alone ticked me off, to be honest...
Yes! Thank you for saying this, especially the part about Hau. I've noticed so many people not noticing or outright ignoring key stuff about Hau and his development, and then calling him a terrible rival even though they don't have all the facts.
 
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I find Pikachu's win against Mimikyu during the trial very contrived.

Mimikyu's Z-Move is blocked by a move Pikachu learnt and perfectly used on the spot. The anime has recently made a point on how tedious it is to learn new moves with Rowlet's seed bomb/bullet seed (I forgot which one it ended up learning) and Lycanroc's Stone Edge, and now Pikachu just converts an older move into a newer one without Ash even being aware of it and with zero training.

And this newly learnt zero-training move can defend completely against a fully charged Z-Move from Mimikyu. And then the Pikashunium Z activated out of no where and defeated Mimikyu.

I personally feel Mimikyu's Z-Move should have either defeated Pikachu or significantly damaged it and not just shrugged the move off.

I literally avoid watching the Mimikyu Z-Move clip on Instagram (even though I love Mimikyu) just because the crushing unfair defeat makes me cringe.
 
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Yeah, that battle was good up until the ending for me. Team Rocket actually spent time practicing their Z-Move with Mimikyu. Ash did spend the previous episode training some of his other Pokemon, but out of all of the new moves learned during that arc, only Lycanroc learning Counter felt natural. It did help that Lycanroc got so much focus, but Rowlet learning Razor Leaf was due to absorbing some energy from a tree that Tapu Bulu created. Since Rowlet is so sleepy and useless, I guess that there wasn't another way for Rowlet to learn a new move, but it just felt so cheap and hallow when Rowlet didn't do anything to warrant a new move. Not to mention it's kind of sad that Rowlet took that long to learn something as similar as Razor Leaf.

Mimikyu actually pushed Pikachu to its limit and it really felt like Team Rocket should have won if they weren't battling against Ash. It was one of the few times where they put in hard work instead of trying to trick Ash. Pikachu just learned a new move out of nowhere. Learning a new move in a middle of a battle can work depending on how much attention that Pokemon has had or if there was a good enough buildup to the move, but it really felt like Ash won just because he needed to get to his Grand Trial instead of actually deserving to win.
 
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The anime has never been particularly good/consistent with moves, IMO.

I do like that Pokemon get all their TM/Tutor moves without actually needing those, because in the games that basically just feels like a mechanic to keep you from breaking the game and give you something to do at the same time. The same concept becomes unnecessary in a world that isn't a video game... But at the same time, it seems like more training should be the tradeoff required for this increased freedom.

But still, the anime is so wildly inconsistent about what is and isn't easy to learn, and it feels like there's only the barest modicum of actual rules to it. It's like how Hoenn had Snorunt struggle to master Ice Beam, but then in Sinnoh, Dawn's got an Ice Beam Buneary by episode 9? Even though Snorunt's the one who was actually an Ice Type? Similarly, Swellow struggled with Aerial Ace, but by Kalos, Frogadier can learn it just by being a Frogadier... Giving us a similar issue with how you would think Swellow should be the one who learns it more easily.

Not to mention how having so many sudden mid-battle new moves sometimes feels like it cheapens the importance of training new moves until it suddenly becomes convenient for pacing or character development. It kinda comes off like "Oh, I just have to keep on battling and eventually my Pokemon will come up with something new by itself anyway, no need to be more proactive about it..."

And there was that annoying thing with how Oshawott struggled with Aqua Jet and Trip once again made Ash look frustratingly incompetent by pointing out a really obvious-looking mistake... Nevermind that Ash actually already has a lot of experience with seeing Aqua Jet due to Buizel.

Basically, the anime for a long time now has felt like it just uses new moves to influence the pacing/conflict as needed, and it's always been kind of annoying to me.
 
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I watched the entire Pokémon anime from episode 1 and I reached to the updated one. I watched Best Wishes series twice and I'm watching XY series for a second time at the moment. It took me a while but I kind of wasted too many times on the anime watching all those episodes. It is not that good to begin with (for my expectations, at least) and I could use that time doing better things. I kind of regret spending the world of the time for Pokémon anime.
 
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But still, the anime is so wildly inconsistent about what is and isn't easy to learn, and it feels like there's only the barest modicum of actual rules to it. It's like how Hoenn had Snorunt struggle to master Ice Beam, but then in Sinnoh, Dawn's got an Ice Beam Buneary by episode 9? Even though Snorunt's the one who was actually an Ice Type? Similarly, Swellow struggled with Aerial Ace, but by Kalos, Frogadier can learn it just by being a Frogadier... Giving us a similar issue with how you would think Swellow should be the one who learns it more easily.
I see it as less of anime being inconsistent with how easy/hard different moves are to learn, and more of it being realistic with how something easy to learn for one Pokemon would be harder for another - like how many Pokemon with long, flexible, sometimes even prehensile tail can easily learn Iron Tail, but Pikachu, whose tail is rather rigid and used mostly for balance, needed several episodes to master it. Another example, purely hypothetical, but IMHO it's even better for getting my point across: Seismic Toss. We see both Charizard and Golem using it (in, respectively, "Volcanic Panic" and "Fourth Round Rumble") in the exact same way - grabing the opponent, jumping as high as possible, then suplexing them. However how does Charizard learn it? Well, simple: Ash asks him to do it against Magmar, Charizard listens to him for once and nails it on the first try despite never having used said move before. Meanwhile Golem... we never see it learning said move, but it's pretty safe to assume that it was much, much harder. Does it mean that anime is inconsistent with how hard it is? No - it's simply because Charizard is a) unbelievably strong, b) pretty fast, agile and dexterous and c) can fly - all the things that would make pulling this trick out far easier rof him than for Golem - slow, heavy Pokemon with arms set far to widely to securely grab anything and round body that would prevent him from suplexing anything on ground and make air suplexes very hard and dangerous.
Regarding Aerial Ace... I'm yet to watch either episode, but many issues regarding said move in both anime and games (like why Pokemon that have nothing to do with flying can learn it) steem from not really that good translation of its name - and I think it's also case here. Basically, Aerial Ace's japanese name - Tsubame Gaeshi (Swallow Cut) - is name of certain fencing technique, and going by its description and animation in games, Pokemon really preforms that technique when using said move (as for why it's flying type rather than fighting - terrible justification IMO, but said technique is inspired by movement of swallow's tail in flight, which is also the source of its name). With that in mind, it makes sense that Frogadier - a ninja Pokemon - would have much easier time learning it than Swellow the swallow Pokemon - who is the move's namesake, alright, but it doesn't really mean much in this particular case.
 
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I think we’re forgetting something with the whole Electroweb situation. During Pikachu and Lycanroc’s training battle at the beggining of the episode, Pikachu’s Electro Ball — rather than hitting Lycanroc directly — exploded in its face. This was obviously meant to be a hint that Electro Ball was changing into Electroweb. Thus, Electroweb actually was learned via training.

Also, why would Pikachu need to train for Electroweb to block Mimikyu’s move? Pikachu’s a powerful enough Pokémon for that happen the first time around, I’d say.
 
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I see it as less of anime being inconsistent with how easy/hard different moves are to learn, and more of it being realistic with how something easy to learn for one Pokemon would be harder for another - like how many Pokemon with long, flexible, sometimes even prehensile tail can easily learn Iron Tail, but Pikachu, whose tail is rather rigid and used mostly for balance, needed several episodes to master it.
Regarding Aerial Ace... I'm yet to watch either episode, but many issues regarding said move in both anime and games (like why Pokemon that have nothing to do with flying can learn it) steem from not really that good translation of its name - and I think it's also case here. Basically, Aerial Ace's japanese name - Tsubame Gaeshi (Swallow Cut) - is name of certain fencing technique, and going by its description and animation in games, Pokemon really preforms that technique when using said move (as for why it's flying type rather than fighting - terrible justification IMO, but said technique is inspired by movement of swallow's tail in flight, which is also the source of its name). With that in mind, it makes sense that Frogadier - a ninja Pokemon - would have much easier time learning it than Swellow the swallow Pokemon - who is the move's namesake, alright, but it doesn't really mean much in this particular case.
I'm still not convinced you're right as a whole, but I at least see what you're saying about Aerial Ace. Overall though, it feels like you're kind of just injecting more of your own thoughts to try and further justify it, when the show itself should've taken more of the responsibility for that kind of stuff.

And even with Frogadier, I still think it should've been more like what they've done before, where a Pokemon can use something new out of high adrenaline/necessity, but then needs more time to make it 100% reliable. Especially given that it's based on a very specific technique, something that doesn't really come off as pure instinct.
 
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I think we’re forgetting something with the whole Electroweb situation. During Pikachu and Lycanroc’s training battle at the beggining of the episode, Pikachu’s Electro Ball — rather than hitting Lycanroc directly — exploded in its face. This was obviously meant to be a hint that Electro Ball was changing into Electroweb. Thus, Electroweb actually was learned via training.

Also, why would Pikachu need to train for Electroweb to block Mimikyu’s move? Pikachu’s a powerful enough Pokémon for that happen the first time around, I’d say.
Z-Moves are supposed to be really strong. For context, Rowlet's bloom doom defeated its evolved form in spite of a 4x resistance.
And Electroweb was used for literally the first time and a first time used move shouldn’t be able to block what is basically Mega Evolution for moves.
 
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Z-Moves are supposed to be really strong. For context, Rowlet's bloom doom defeated its evolved form in spite of a 4x resistance.
And Electroweb was used for literally the first time and a first time used move shouldn’t be able to block what is basically Mega Evolution for moves.
But — again — Pikachu’s been battling for a long time. He’s one of Ash’s most powerful Pokémon. Moves used by him should be extremely strong, whether in terms of offense or defense. I...don’t get how this counters my argument. (Also, Pikachu has defeated Mega-Evolved Pokemon before.)
 
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But — again — Pikachu’s been battling for a long time. He’s one of Ash’s most powerful Pokémon. Moves used by him should be extremely strong, whether in terms of offense or defense. I...don’t get how this counters my argument. (Also, Pikachu has defeated Mega-Evolved Pokemon before.)
I could have understood if it were an old move, but again, it’s a newly learnt move and this series has put a huge emphasis on learning moves being a complex process.

Learning and perfecting a new move in an unorthodox unplanned manner gave it a deux ex machina and cheap feel to me specially when this is one time Team Rocket ended up with a good Pokémon and proper means to defeat Ash.

The anime also doesn’t consider Pikachu's long term battling skills during new series, as seen by it struggling during early battles of each series.

It is a bit too convenient that the 20 year experience is suddenly acknowledged just when Pikachu was about to be defeated.

I could even excuse Pikachu protecting itself against Mimikyu's move, but with a little damage, but it just shrugged the move off like its nothing.
 
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The blue brat getting Popplio and now Eevee as well is such a waste. Those two barely suit her imo. Dewpider is clearly a better fit. Popplio's popularity also suffered being with her imo.
 
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