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Controversial opinions

more afraid of you
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It wasn't referred to by name, but I don't see it being similar to Jasmine's Steelix. He mentioned that "a certain challenger of his" taught him this tactic, while looking at Ash, so yeah, it was Counter Shield. And remember, with Geodude it also blocked the incoming attack completely. And with Steelix, I dare say that it blocked at least most of the damage.
It's not really a big deal, but I just can't agree that it was counter shield. The gyro ball was a completely normal gyro ball, just used to deflect a move. Its like using water gun to deflect flamethrower, a steel type move to neutralize an ice type move. We have seen countless examples of one move being used to neutralize another, the difference with counter shield was that it was using a move while spinning to create a moving "shield" that would also do damage to the opponent. Gyro ball is a spinning move, so that was literally just a 100% normal gyro ball. Ash thought outside the box throughout every region he was in and came up with creative methods, so just saying Brock learned it from Ash doesn't prove its counter shield. I feel like people really want this to be a reference to Sinnoh, but I just don't think it is.
 
The fluffiest boi you'll ever squeeze!
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So I feel like there's two battles in this series where Ash should have been disqualified or at least reprimanded in some way. First is that battle he had with Elesa. He brought a single Pokemon to a three-on-three and had none of the others on his person.. Palpitoad got knocked out, so why was he allowed to leave the arena and get another Pokemon? Shouldn't that be against the rules?

Second is Anabel, though I can't really remember that battle. But didn't he return Corphish in the middle of the battle and send it right back out to bring it back to his side of the field? I wouldn't know if something like that is against the rules, but I feel like he should have at least been called out on it.
 
Gone batty.
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Second is Anabel, though I can't really remember that battle. But didn't he return Corphish in the middle of the battle and send it right back out to bring it back to his side of the field? I wouldn't know if something like that is against the rules, but I feel like he should have at least been called out on it.
Actually he did it to cure Corpish's confusion. While in games something like this is impossible, in anime it's actually a perfectly legal method of dealing with it, with many characters doing it and nothing implying it's illegal.
 
A Pokémon Enthusiast
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Actually he did it to cure Corpish's confusion. While in games something like this is impossible, in anime it's actually a perfectly legal method of dealing with it, with many characters doing it and nothing implying it's illegal.
Calling back in the Pokéball and resending cures Confusion in the Gen III games. I am not sure if it is still a thing, but it is obviously the case in Gen III.
 
Flame Trainer
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Calling back in the Pokéball cures Confusion in the Gen III games. I am not sure if it is still a thing, but it is obviously the case in Gen III.
It still happens now but it’s impossible to send out a Pokemon right after recalling it. If someone were to replicate Ash's strategy in-game they’d have to send out a Pokemon other than Cornish first.
 
The fluffiest boi you'll ever squeeze!
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I think its absolutely ridiculous that people give Ash a lot of flak for 'abandoning' his Pokemon. Aside from maybe Primape, each one he's released has had a legitimate reason for leaving. Charizard wanted to get stronger for Ash, Butterfree wanted to live the rest of his life with a mate, Pidgeot wanted to protect all those Pidgey and Pidgeotto, Lapras wanted to go back to its family, Goodra wanted to protect its home, Greninja had a special task and i'm pretty sure Poipole had to go back to Ultra Space. Who looks at any of these departures and think 'My Pokemon happily fulfilling their own goals? No way! They're stuck with me forever!'? Its stupid and its just people looking for an easy and poor excuse to ridicule Ash. And just what kind of trainer puts their own happiness over their Pokemon? They're the ones doing all the heavy lifting, after all, a trainer wouldn't be where they are if they didn't have the love and trust of their partners.
 
Aqua Ninja Frog
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I think its absolutely ridiculous that people give Ash a lot of flak for 'abandoning' his Pokemon. Aside from maybe Primape, each one he's released has had a legitimate reason for leaving. Charizard wanted to get stronger for Ash, Butterfree wanted to live the rest of his life with a mate, Pidgeot wanted to protect all those Pidgey and Pidgeotto, Lapras wanted to go back to its family, Goodra wanted to protect its home, Greninja had a special task and i'm pretty sure Poipole had to go back to Ultra Space. Who looks at any of these departures and think 'My Pokemon happily fulfilling their own goals? No way! They're stuck with me forever!'? Its stupid and its just people looking for an easy and poor excuse to ridicule Ash. And just what kind of trainer puts their own happiness over their Pokemon? They're the ones doing all the heavy lifting, after all, a trainer wouldn't be where they are if they didn't have the love and trust of their partners.
Yeah, I saw the episode where Ash released Greninja. It was clear that Ash was doing it because Greninja itself wanted to. If Ash didn't release Greninja, I'm sure Greninja would hate Ash. Same with Butterfree, Pidgeot, and Lapras.
 
Master of the Shadows
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I think its absolutely ridiculous that people give Ash a lot of flak for 'abandoning' his Pokemon. Aside from maybe Primape, each one he's released has had a legitimate reason for leaving. Charizard wanted to get stronger for Ash, Butterfree wanted to live the rest of his life with a mate, Pidgeot wanted to protect all those Pidgey and Pidgeotto, Lapras wanted to go back to its family, Goodra wanted to protect its home, Greninja had a special task and i'm pretty sure Poipole had to go back to Ultra Space. Who looks at any of these departures and think 'My Pokemon happily fulfilling their own goals? No way! They're stuck with me forever!'? Its stupid and its just people looking for an easy and poor excuse to ridicule Ash. And just what kind of trainer puts their own happiness over their Pokemon? They're the ones doing all the heavy lifting, after all, a trainer wouldn't be where they are if they didn't have the love and trust of their partners.
Not only that, but people also blow the number of Pokémon he’s actually released way out of proportion. Like, I get that the anime’s not perfect and sometimes makes odd decisions, but it feels as though people sometimes like to invent problems in areas where there really aren’t any. Take the “Ash never remembers old Pokémon/moves” myth, for example.
 
The fluffiest boi you'll ever squeeze!
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Just people trying to find even poorer reasons to crap on Ash. Just cause he points a Pokedex at a Pokemon he's seen before doesn't mean he's magically forgot. And even if he does forget a Pokemon or too, can you really blame him? Some Pokemon he's only seen maybe once or twice through all his journies, so you can't expect him to remember every single one of the 800+ that he's run into.
 
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Just people trying to find even poorer reasons to crap on Ash. Just cause he points a Pokedex at a Pokemon he's seen before doesn't mean he's magically forgot. And even if he does forget a Pokemon or too, can you really blame him? Some Pokemon he's only seen maybe once or twice through all his journies, so you can't expect him to remember every single one of the 800+ that he's run into.
That’s not to mention that the pokedex is constantly being updated, that it doesn’t say all the information stored each use, and that Ash might forget details in the way.

Hell, I have to double check names of huge historical figures every time I’m studying and people find it absurd that he doesn’t remember (often random and unreliable) info of one of the 800 species he’s met in the past months/years (some of which are very similar).
 
Making a Splash
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It's not really a big deal, but I just can't agree that it was counter shield. The gyro ball was a completely normal gyro ball, just used to deflect a move. Its like using water gun to deflect flamethrower, a steel type move to neutralize an ice type move. We have seen countless examples of one move being used to neutralize another, the difference with counter shield was that it was using a move while spinning to create a moving "shield" that would also do damage to the opponent. Gyro ball is a spinning move, so that was literally just a 100% normal gyro ball. Ash thought outside the box throughout every region he was in and came up with creative methods, so just saying Brock learned it from Ash doesn't prove its counter shield. I feel like people really want this to be a reference to Sinnoh, but I just don't think it is.
You may think it doesn't look like it, but evidence speaks otherwise. Both Pokémon used Gyro Ball to deflect the opposing attacks without hitting the opponent. Sounds like countering to me.
 
Hear me roar!
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Yeah, I saw the episode where Ash released Greninja. It was clear that Ash was doing it because Greninja itself wanted to. If Ash didn't release Greninja, I'm sure Greninja would hate Ash. Same with Butterfree, Pidgeot, and Lapras.
The problem with Greninja’s release though is it was extremely forced. The issue is that suddenly needing Greninja to find the vines not only heavily downplays Zygarde’s power, but the problem was already resolved when the vines were already destroyed when Zygarde did a Kalos wide sweep of them. Greninja shouldn’t have even been needed for it.
 
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Aqua Ninja Frog
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The problem with Greninja’s release though is it was extremely forced. The issue is that suddenly needing Greninja to find the vines not only heavily downplays Zygarde’s power, but the problem was already resolved when the vines were already destroyed when Zygarde did a Kalos wide sweep of them. Greninja shouldn’t have even been needed for it.
What's wrong with asking for a hand?
 
Aqua Ninja Frog
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The anime showed us though that Zygarde has enough power to handle the vines, and Zygarde already took care of them. They just needed an excuse to get rid of Greninja and I thought it was very forced.
I guess. But, the vines weren't completely gotten rid of. I recall three instances in the episode where they appeared:
The scene where the Zygarde save Team Rocket
The scene with Ash and co before Clemont gets captured
And the scene near the end when Xerosic gets arrested and one almost hits Bonnie.
 
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I am one of the few who liked Dawn's rival Kenny. I've seen many people calling him bland and boring, and while I understand where they're coming from, I think Kenny was a nice rival who served his purpose and provided some very good moments.

One of the things I like about Kenny is that he is a childhood friend of Dawn. That alone makes him interesting in my opinion. If you look back to May's journey, she faced a lot of ordinary people. A victory against someone she has no prior connection with is still a victory, but it's not the same as defeating a person who teases you constantly ever since your childhood. The mere fact that Kenny exists and was allowed to appear regularly throughout the series was a good thing because Dawn didn't have to face Timmy Grimm, the boy who had to hide his Pokémon from his mother, or Jeremy, whose family was against him competing in Pokémon Contests. May faced a lot of Coordinators who were competing occasionally, as opposed to dealing with contestants who were on a journey to collect five Ribbons just like her.

Don't get me wrong, I love that the writers showed us that Pokémon Contests are meant to everyone. A businessman can showcase the skills of his Pokémon on a stage. A mother who presides over a local fan club can do that as well. But let's face it, May was up against people who weren't regular competitors. They used their Contest Passes once in a blue moon, and that makes her victories feel kinda cheap in my opinion. Dawn, on the other hand, was entered in the same competition as Kenny a total of four times. She defeated him once, he defeated her once, they both were in a competition where they saw the other failing to pass the Performance Stage and they became genuinely sad to see their friend in such an awkward position. It gives so much more weight to it.

Another thing I liked is that Kenny showed us the evolved forms of Piplup so Dawn wouldn't have to. We have some mid and final forms of starter Pokémon lacking representation in the anime, such as Typhlosion and Swampert, but Kenny made sure Prinplup wouldn't go down this way. Kudos to that. Kenny also had nice interactions with characters other than Dawn. He had battles with Ash, he taught Ash's Turtwig to use Energy Ball, he was a total dork when he wanted Zoey to remember him, he acted shy when Brock talked to him about his crush on Dawn, and he was an instant BFF to Barry. I thought these were nice little moments.

Although I was disappointed to see his early elimination in the Grand Festival, and I wanted the arc to have at least one more episode just so he could have another battle with Dawn, even his loss served a purpose. The writers would almost skip the Performance Stage in the Advanced Generation series, but that changed in Diamond & Pearl. Dawn failed to advance to the Battle Stage twice in a row, Ursula was revealed to have similar troubles, and Kenny's elimination showed once and for all that performances really do matter.

Lastly, I was glad that he was brought back after the Grand Festival was over (in an episode that wasn't particularly good, and I have issues with how Dawn was apparently treated as a prize in that battle against Ash) but Kenny getting a goodbye episode means that, contrary to what others might say, the writers cared about him. It was definitely better than being abandoned after the Junior Cup (Burgundy and Georgia, I'm looking at you).
 

yab

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My problem with Kenny is his entire character, from design to role in the show, was just completely forgettable. I think they should have introduced Ursula a lot earlier and just focused on Zoey and Ursula being Dawn's main two rivals. If you were to remove Kenny from the story almost nothing would change, besides Dawn knowing him from when she was a kid, but even that aspect was barely touched upon more than once or twice so it didn't matter. One of the reasons you see a lot of people say Dawn's rivals were kinda boring is always mostly because of Kenny. Zoey wasn't the most interesting character in the world but at least she had a good design and a nice foil to Dawn.
 
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