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Dogasu's Backpack Discussion

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(from Spoon.2Di interview of series producer Mr. Tomoya Negishi, when asked about difficulties Ash and Gou will face in the future)

"For Gou, it's how he's coming across more and more Pokémon whom he has to actually face off against in battle instead of just chucking Monster Balls at them and calling it a day. This is a challenge for us on the production side as well; since we set it up so that Gou wants to get all the Pokémon then that means we're eventually have to figure out what to do with the legendary and mythical Pokémon, you know?"

This is the most interesting part of the interview for me, because it implies that they haven't even decided what they plan to do with Gou. They hadn't even considered what to do with Legendaries at this point, I wonder if they even know if Gou will catch Mew or not. It really looks like they haphazardly came up with the "catch all the Pokemon" character and threw him into the series, thinking "we'll just figure out what to do with him later". Of course that doesn't mean that the character won't be well written eventually, but I think it certainly explains why Gou has kind of been all over the place, with minimal lasting development. They're just winging it.

Not to mention, if Gou encountering and battling more powerful Pokemon is meant to represent a "wall" in the same way that Bea was for Ash, than I think it's a complete failure. Instead of serving as a setback or a moment of character growth, these encounters have actually awakened his inner battle-prodigy, and he's come off as more competent than Ash in these episodes.
 
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Well, the show has always, always, ALWAYS been "we're just making this all up as we go along." Having a TV series centered around the release of new video games necessitates this. Sometimes they're good at hiding this, sometimes they're not.

But, I saw Mr. Negishi's comments to be less "we have no idea what the eff we're doing" and more of an acknowledgement that yes, we do realize that we'll have to deal with the legendary "problem" at some point down the road. Which is something I don't think we'd ever heard from the TV show staff up until that point. That's significant.
 
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I don't really see how the writers possibly not knowing if Goh will capture Mew yet is any different with the writers possibly not knowing if Ash is actually going to battle against Leon. I'm pretty sure the latter was mentioned in another interview. They don't usually have a clear end goal for a character in mind, especially this early on in a series, so I don't see how Goh is that different in that regard. Besides that, I also think that this is just acknowledging that they'll have to do something about Legendary Pokemon down the road if they do want Goh to capture more Pokemon rather than admitting that they have no idea what to do with Goh or his goal.
 
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I don't really see how the writers possibly not knowing if Goh will capture Mew yet is any different with the writers possibly not knowing if Ash is actually going to battle against Leon. I'm pretty sure the latter was mentioned in another interview. They don't usually have a clear end goal for a character in mind, especially this early on in a series, so I don't see how Goh is that different in that regard. Besides that, I also think that this is just acknowledging that they'll have to do something about Legendary Pokemon down the road if they do want Goh to capture more Pokemon rather than admitting that they have no idea what to do with Goh or his goal.
I'm pretty sure by the time the series began, they had already decided for Leon to be Ash's main goal this series. In every series (sans SM), his goal has been clearly laid out early on, get 8 badges and compete in the league (or in this case rise to Master Class and defeat Leon). The same can be said for supporting characters like May and Dawn. It's a little concerning that an actual main character like Gou was given so little forethought. "He's an awkward kid, he wants to catch all the Pokemon and get Mew. We'll improvise the rest." Sure, it's not impossible to pull off that style of writing, but you need to have very strong and collaborative writers.

There's no denying we've already seen the consequences of this. His pacing and character development have been a total clustercuss so far; with Ash it's simple, he get's stronger as he rises rank and it culminates in a final battle. With Gou, there's no beginning, middle and end, he constantly learns important lessons and then forgets them two episodes later. He wet himself during his first Pokemon battle, but with zero training he managed to beat a powerful veteran trainer in his second battle (offscreen), and now he practically rivals Ash. Despite supposedly having learned the importance of battling Pokemon before capture, he still insists on chucking Pokeballs at everything that moves, and you can't blame him because his success rate is stupid.

At some point, a character needs to face obstacles and grow. I'm sure that Dawn's depression arc was conceived towards the start, and her, May and Serena all faced crushing defeats early on to put their upcoming challenges into perspective. These moments are instrumental in creating characters that the audience can actually care about. 47 episodes in and Gou has yet to face any legitimate adversity. The Rabifoot conflict only mattered for one episode and it basically resolved itself. The sad part is that the interviewer actually asked about this, and all the director could come up with is, "He's actually going to have to battle a couple Pokemon before catching them, look forward to it!"
 
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I'm pretty sure by the time the series began, they had already decided for Leon to be Ash's main goal this series. In every series (sans SM), his goal has been clearly laid out early on, get 8 badges and compete in the league (or in this case rise to Master Class and defeat Leon). The same can be said for supporting characters like May and Dawn. It's a little concerning that an actual main character like Gou was given so little forethought. "He's an awkward kid, he wants to catch all the Pokemon and get Mew. We'll improvise the rest." Sure, it's not impossible to pull off that style of writing, but you need to have very strong and collaborative writers.
I meant that they hadn't decided if Ash will end up battling Leon in the PWC, not that Leon is his main goal for the series. They've been pretty clear on the latter. That was a mistake on my part since I should have been clearer. May and Dawn definitely weren't supporting characters. It's especially strange to claim that for Dawn when she was basically the first co-protagonist. I'm still not sure about the writers not having any idea of what to do with Goh, especially with this quote in mind.

Beasty Ray said:
There's no denying we've already seen the consequences of this. His pacing and character development have been a total clustercuss so far; with Ash it's simple, he get's stronger as he rises rank and it culminates in a final battle. With Gou, there's no beginning, middle and end, he constantly learns important lessons and then forgets them two episodes later. He wet himself during his first Pokemon battle, but with zero training he managed to beat a powerful veteran trainer in his second battle (offscreen), and now he practically rivals Ash. Despite supposedly having learned the importance of battling Pokemon before capture, he still insists on chucking Pokeballs at everything that moves, and you can't blame him because his success rate is stupid.
I can't really judge Goh's battle skills since I don't think that the dub has got up to any of that yet. I haven't really gotten the impression that he forgets important lessons shortly after learning them though. Goh's goal not having a clear beginning, middle and end is an understandable complaint, but I think that's the nature of most non-battle active goals in the show's run. Being the best Water type or Dragon type Master didn't have a clear path of progression compared to Gyms, Contests and even Showcases either. The progression for Ash's current PWC is there, but I wouldn't really say it's clear despite the rank system, mainly because of how defeating mostly one shot trainers doesn't really look or sound like it would make Ash stronger to face off against Leon. I'm not saying that this excuses the problems behind Goh's goal, but just that I don't think that this kind of problem is unique to Goh.

Beasty Ray said:
At some point, a character needs to face obstacles and grow. I'm sure that Dawn's depression arc was conceived towards the start, and her, May and Serena all faced crushing defeats early on to put their upcoming challenges into perspective. These moments are instrumental in creating characters that the audience can actually care about. 47 episodes in and Gou has yet to face any legitimate adversity. The Rabifoot conflict only mattered for one episode and it basically resolved itself. The sad part is that the interviewer actually asked about this, and all the director could come up with is, "He's actually going to have to battle a couple Pokemon before catching them, look forward to it!"
While I understand and agree with your points on how characters need to face challenges and grow from them, I loved how the Raboot conflict was resolved. It made perfect sense that Raboot was just being a moody teenager since that's basically how it acts in the games too. Admittedly, I do wish that there was a bit more emotional conflict behind Raboot's initial standoffish behavior and I'm sure part of that is due to the whole episodic nature the writers wanted to take with this series, but it was genuinely touching and easily one of the best episodes of the series for me thus far. I can understand being upset that Goh hasn't faced any major challenge thus far since that can make it harder to be invested in his character or his goal. I just haven't really felt like that myself due to how I how I think Goh is really likable.
 
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I meant that they hadn't decided if Ash will end up battling Leon in the PWC, not that Leon is his main goal for the series. They've been pretty clear on the latter. That was a mistake on my part since I should have been clearer. May and Dawn definitely weren't supporting characters. It's especially strange to claim that for Dawn when she was basically the first co-protagonist. I'm still not sure about the writers not having any idea of what to do with Goh, especially with this quote in mind.
That's what I meant too, if it was established that Ash wanted to face Leon in the PWC on only the tenth eleventh episode, then of course that's something they decided months before the series aired. They aren't going to have Ash promise to face Leon in the PWC and not deliver on that.

When I said supporting characters, I meant secondary, non-lead protagonists. Gou is the only companion ever to have been classified as co-protagonist, so I labeled the others as supporting, however I agree that there is a strong case to be made for Dawn being a co-protagonist as well.
I can't really judge Goh's battle skills since I don't think that the dub has got up to any of that yet. I haven't really gotten the impression that he forgets important lessons shortly after learning them though. Goh's goal not having a clear beginning, middle and end is an understandable complaint, but I think that's the nature of most non-battle active goals in the show's run. Being the best Water type or Dragon type Master didn't have a clear path of progression compared to Gyms, Contests and even Showcases either. The progression for Ash's current PWC is there, but I wouldn't really say it's clear despite the rank system, mainly because of how defeating mostly one shot trainers doesn't really look or sound like it would make Ash stronger to face off against Leon. I'm not saying that this excuses the problems behind Goh's goal, but just that I don't think that this kind of problem is unique to Goh.
The more recent battling episodes are where most of my frustration comes from. I gave Gou the benefit of the doubt for quite a while, but his winning streak is really becoming absurd, especially next to Ash's decreased success and lack of focus in recent episodes. Gou was a beginning trainer at the start of the series, but instead of following his growth throughout the series they just hit fast-forward and had him develop his skills off screen so they could instead focus on "exciting" scenarios that always result in him looking good. Speaking of episode 22, the source of Raboot's rebellion was implied to be a result of Gou's neglect. However, in the end they just chalked it up to teen angst, so turns out it wasn't Gou's fault after all. It was just a natural event, and for all intents and purposes the solution ended up being "do nothing".

Misty and Iris definitely are not co-protagonists. There is a higher expectation for Gou, and it will be pretty sad if he remains as aimless and static as those two were.
 
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(It's worth noting that Kasumi's "I want to be a Water Pokémon Master" goal was actually just a 4Kids dub invention up until about 1/3 of the way into the Orange Islands. In Kanto she didn't really have any goal at all)
 
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That's what I meant too, if it was established that Ash wanted to face Leon in the PWC on only the tenth episode, then of course that's something they decided months before the series aired. They aren't going to have Ash promise to face Leon in the PWC and not deliver on that.

When I said supporting characters, I meant secondary, non-lead protagonists. Gou is the only companion ever to have been classified as co-protagonist, so I labeled the others as supporting, however I agree that there is a strong case to be made for Dawn being a co-protagonist as well.
I could kind of see them not having Ash battle Leon in the PWC despite setting it up so early on. This is mainly due to how the PWC has been handled and how I don't see Ash getting to Master Rank. Part of it could just be how I'm much less interested in the PWC based on what I've seen of it thus far. Although, reminding the audience with every episode that Ash wants to battle against Leon does make the notion that they won't deliver on it sound less likely. I hadn't factored that in before.

Labeling them as supporting characters because of how Goh is classified is pretty strange to me. Neither May and especially Dawn weren't written or treated as supporting characters in their respective series, so I don't see why they should be considered as such retroactively because of how Goh is described. Plus, I'm pretty sure that DP starts off with describing how this is the story of Ash and Dawn, or something along the lines in the Japanese version, so that effectively makes Dawn a co-protagonist in all but name.

Beasty Ray said:
The more recent battling episodes are where most of my frustration comes from. I gave Gou the benefit of the doubt for quite a while, but his winning streak is really becoming absurd, especially next to Ash's decreased success and lack of focus in recent episodes. Gou was a beginning trainer at the start of the series, but instead of following his growth throughout the series they just hit fast-forward and had him develop his skills off screen so they could instead focus on "exciting" scenarios that always result in him looking good. Speaking of episode 22, the source of Raboot's rebellion was implied to be a result of Gou's neglect. However, in the end they just chalked it up to teen angst, so turns out it wasn't Gou's fault after all. It was just a natural event, and for all intents and purposes the solution ended up being "do nothing".
Like I said, I can't really judge much of Goh's battling skills, but I'm not sure how much stalk I can take into the whole Ash having a lack of focus. I know that this has been a frequent complaint throughout the series, but based on what I've seen, it does feel like a bit of an overreaction. Or at least I haven't really noticed any significant lack of focus for Ash, even at the start of the series, so I'm automatically unsure about that complaint for later episodes. To be fair, since I watch these episodes after they land on Netflix instead of watching them weekly, that might affect how I view the series compared to people who do watch the Japanese version. Binge watching a series or watching it in chucks is different than watching a show from week to week after all.

I wouldn't really describe it as Goh's neglect. It came off like he was too inconsiderate of Scorbunny's feelings, was immediately called out for it after he yelled at it and was able to work together to make use of Scorbunny's strength in order to learn Ember in a pretty fitting way considering Cinderace's signature move. That being said, I do wish that was more of a factor as to why Raboot was so distant right after it evolved too, but I don't think that bothered me too much given that Goh still blamed himself until Raboot showed up and his relief at seeing Raboot smile in front of him was genuinely touching. I wouldn't say that the solution was to do nothing exactly. Goh supporting Raboot after finding out that it was helping out those wild Pokemon was pretty key in resolving the conflict and making Raboot a bit more comfortable around him again.

Beasty Ray said:
Misty and Iris definitely are not co-protagonists. There is a higher expectation for Gou, and it will be pretty sad if he remains as aimless and static as those two were.
It's true that Misty and Iris weren't co-protagonists. I was just bringing up them as examples for how goals tend to work better with a clear competitive format in mind, although it isn't a guarantee.
 
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I could kind of see them not having Ash battle Leon in the PWC despite setting it up so early on. This is mainly due to how the PWC has been handled and how I don't see Ash getting to Master Rank. Part of it could just be how I'm much less interested in the PWC based on what I've seen of it thus far. Although, reminding the audience with every episode that Ash wants to battle against Leon does make the notion that they won't deliver on it sound less likely. I hadn't factored that in before.
Given how early they set up a battle between Ash and Leon on an official stage, it's more likely to happen lest another Kalos finale type of meltdown happens again. I doubt they set up any similar conflict this early in any past series, with Paul being an exception I guess. And although I do get your point about Ash battling random trainers at the moment, he's still far too low in the rankings and I can't see experienced (past) trainers, Gym Leaders, Elite 4s etc. being competitors anywhere in early Super Tier (much less the Normal Tiers). I assume that we'll see better competition the higher Ash's rank climbs and the slower that climb gets. For a comparison, could you seriously see Ash winning the Kalos League in early XY (or even getting to the finals)?

Regardless, the point Beatsy made is that we can see proper beginning, middle and an end for Ash's path in this series. And unlike the other co-protagonist, Ash actually had roadblocks (even if some parts were poorly/OOCly written).
Labeling them as supporting characters because of how Goh is classified is pretty strange to me. Neither May and especially Dawn weren't written or treated as supporting characters in their respective series, so I don't see why they should be considered as such retroactively because of how Goh is described. Plus, I'm pretty sure that DP starts off with describing how this is the story of Ash and Dawn, or something along the lines in the Japanese version, so that effectively makes Dawn a co-protagonist in all but name.
Labelling them as such comes down to their role in the series and how it was handled. Dawn was pretty much, for all intents and purposes, the titular co-protagonist of DP. While May did step up in that aspect in later AG, for the first half of AG, she was relatively 'quiet' (in a manner of saying) when it comes to her role in the series. Goh on the other hand is flat out called a 'co-protagonist' for this series.
Like I said, I can't really judge much of Goh's battling skills, but I'm not sure how much stalk I can take into the whole Ash having a lack of focus. I know that this has been a frequent complaint throughout the series, but based on what I've seen, it does feel like a bit of an overreaction. Or at least I haven't really noticed any significant lack of focus for Ash, even at the start of the series, so I'm automatically unsure about that complaint for later episodes. To be fair, since I watch these episodes after they land on Netflix instead of watching them weekly, that might affect how I view the series compared to people who do watch the Japanese version. Binge watching a series or watching it in chucks is different than watching a show from week to week after all.
If you're following the dub, you're still in the mid-20s in the total episode count. The lack of Ash focus becomes more jarring the moment you enter into the 30s, especially when you factor in the Ash-Bea mini-arc which barely gets any time to shine with disconnected Goh episodes in between. This chart (switch to the EPISODE FOCUS tab at the bottom) should help you know how the key focus is spread out. It's definitely not an overreaction given how legitimate the issue is, and probably yes, it may have something to do with you binging the episodes at once rather than watching the original release weekly.
I wouldn't really describe it as Goh's neglect. It came off like he was too inconsiderate of Scorbunny's feelings, was immediately called out for it after he yelled at it and was able to work together to make use of Scorbunny's strength in order to learn Ember in a pretty fitting way considering Cinderace's signature move. That being said, I do wish that was more of a factor as to why Raboot was so distant right after it evolved too, but I don't think that bothered me too much given that Goh still blamed himself until Raboot showed up and his relief at seeing Raboot smile in front of him was genuinely touching. I wouldn't say that the solution was to do nothing exactly. Goh supporting Raboot after finding out that it was helping out those wild Pokemon was pretty key in resolving the conflict and making Raboot a bit more comfortable around him again.
Yes, Goh was inconsiderate rather than outright neglectful. But given how young and naive Scorbunny was portrayed as, the stem of the issue came off as that particular angle with Raboot disliking Goh's attitude towards it (the only time it smiled in JN017 at the end was at mastering Ember rather than working together with its trainer). So to chalk it all up as mere 'teen angst and edginess' was a cheap cop out that robbed Goh of potential character development on respecting their Pokemon's decisions and treating them as individual. The entire thing amounted to "Goh did nothing wrong, there was no problem at all". Which pretty much ties into what Beatsy said about Goh being good at everything and none of his flaws ever hindering him or him never encountering any roadblock.
 
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Given how early they set up a battle between Ash and Leon on an official stage, it's more likely to happen lest another Kalos finale type of meltdown happens again. I doubt they set up any similar conflict this early in any past series, with Paul being an exception I guess. And although I do get your point about Ash battling random trainers at the moment, he's still far too low in the rankings and I can't see experienced (past) trainers, Gym Leaders, Elite 4s etc. being competitors anywhere in early Super Tier (much less the Normal Tiers). I assume that we'll see better competition the higher Ash's rank climbs and the slower that climb gets. For a comparison, could you seriously see Ash winning the Kalos League in early XY (or even getting to the finals)?

Regardless, the point Beatsy made is that we can see proper beginning, middle and an end for Ash's path in this series. And unlike the other co-protagonist, Ash actually had roadblocks (even if some parts were poorly/OOCly written).
I think that they could afford to have a few more established characters within the Normal Rank, especially when everyone entering the tournament starts off that way. It doesn't make me more confident that they'll decide to include more established trainers later at least. Not to mention it doesn't make the PWC look nearly as impressive as fans have made it out to be if Ash has mostly battled one-shot characters. There was so much hype for this new goal that I thought I'd be into it, but now, I just think it's boring and is a step down from Gym battles in a few ways despite being on a grander scale. Even the ranking system doesn't give a proper beginning, middle and end for Ash's path in the series to me, but I think that's mainly because the number ranks themselves seem a bit random to me thus far.

Panky.. said:
Labelling them as such comes down to their role in the series and how it was handled. Dawn was pretty much, for all intents and purposes, the titular co-protagonist of DP. While May did step up in that aspect in later AG, for the first half of AG, she was relatively 'quiet' (in a manner of saying) when it comes to her role in the series. Goh on the other hand is flat out called a 'co-protagonist' for this series.
May didn't have as much prominent focus compared to Dawn, but saying that she was a supporting character is still a pretty huge stretch. She still got more attention than Misty ever did in the original series.

Panky.. said:
If you're following the dub, you're still in the mid-20s in the total episode count. The lack of Ash focus becomes more jarring the moment you enter into the 30s, especially when you factor in the Ash-Bea mini-arc which barely gets any time to shine with disconnected Goh episodes in between. This chart (switch to the EPISODE FOCUS tab at the bottom) should help you know how the key focus is spread out. It's definitely not an overreaction given how legitimate the issue is, and probably yes, it may have something to do with you binging the episodes at once rather than watching the original release weekly.
I've heard people complaining about Ash not getting enough focus since the start of the series though. As soon as Goh started to capture Pokemon, that complaint started to pop up and never really went away. I've seen the chart breaking down the amount of focus into percentages. If you get to the point where you're spending time making a spread sheet determining the amount of focus between Ash and Goh, then that feels like a bit much to me. A part of me can understand it when people are excited for Ash's goal for the first time in ages and if you don't like Goh, then you're most likely not going to like any kind of attention he gets. But on the other hand, it still reads more as an overreaction to me than anything else at the moment. I haven't really noticed a significant lack of Ash focus and based on what I've seen of the PWC, I'm not excited thrilled to see more of it either. Maybe it will be more apparent when I watch some of the later episodes, but I just don't think it's a major issue.

Panky.. said:
Yes, Goh was inconsiderate rather than outright neglectful. But given how young and naive Scorbunny was portrayed as, the stem of the issue came off as that particular angle with Raboot disliking Goh's attitude towards it (the only time it smiled in JN017 at the end was at mastering Ember rather than working together with its trainer). So to chalk it all up as mere 'teen angst and edginess' was a cheap cop out that robbed Goh of potential character development on respecting their Pokemon's decisions and treating them as individual. The entire thing amounted to "Goh did nothing wrong, there was no problem at all". Which pretty much ties into what Beatsy said about Goh being good at everything and none of his flaws ever hindering him or him never encountering any roadblock.
I wouldn't say that there wasn't a problem at all. Raboot needed some kind of indication that Goh still supported it or else it might not have started to warm up to him again. At the very least, it would have taken longer to do so. I can understand seeing it as a cop out, but it still felt natural given Raboot's design and behavior in the games. If it wasn't for that, then maybe it would have bothered me more, but I still think it worked. My takeaway wasn't that Goh is perfect at everything he does and that he did nothing wrong. He still blamed himself until Raboot showed up, so he at least believed that he was the problem and not his Pokemon. My takeaway was that Goh genuinely cares about Raboot and because he still supported Raboot even after being frustrated over its more aloof behavior, Raboot was able to open up to him again. I do think that it would have been good to factor in Goh getting upset at Scorbunny for Raboot's sudden attitude change, but the resolution still works and was emotionally satisfying. I already liked Goh prior to that episode, but his reunion with Raboot cemented it, made me love their bond more and he is easily a highlight of the series in my book.
 
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I think that they could afford to have a few more established characters within the Normal Rank, especially when everyone entering the tournament starts off that way. It doesn't make me more confident that they'll decide to include more established trainers later at least. Not to mention it doesn't make the PWC look nearly as impressive as fans have made it out to be if Ash has mostly battled one-shot characters. There was so much hype for this new goal that I thought I'd be into it, but now, I just think it's boring and is a step down from Gym battles in a few ways despite being on a grander scale. Even the ranking system doesn't give a proper beginning, middle and end for Ash's path in the series to me, but I think that's mainly because the number ranks themselves seem a bit random to me thus far.
Drawing out the normal class and all the 10k+ trainers in it would be counter-productive though. And Ash, for the most part, easily outclasses most trainers here so it wouldn't make sense to spend much time or have higher caliber trainers here. I can see the skill level being normalized somewhere around mid-high Super Class. And so far, we've only had three major PWC battles so far so of course it hasn't gotten time to shine or be fleshed out further (hence your boring comment). The last point ties in to the bad focus balance.

May didn't have as much prominent focus compared to Dawn, but saying that she was a supporting character is still a pretty huge stretch. She still got more attention than Misty ever did in the original series.
I didn't say she was a supporting character? What I meant was that May wasn't a co-protagonist and her overall role in the AG series wasn't that grand in scale.

I've heard people complaining about Ash not getting enough focus since the start of the series though. As soon as Goh started to capture Pokemon, that complaint started to pop up and never really went away. I've seen the chart breaking down the amount of focus into percentages. If you get to the point where you're spending time making a spread sheet determining the amount of focus between Ash and Goh, then that feels like a bit much to me. A part of me can understand it when people are excited for Ash's goal for the first time in ages and if you don't like Goh, then you're most likely not going to like any kind of attention he gets. But on the other hand, it still reads more as an overreaction to me than anything else at the moment. I haven't really noticed a significant lack of Ash focus and based on what I've seen of the PWC, I'm not excited thrilled to see more of it either. Maybe it will be more apparent when I watch some of the later episodes, but I just don't think it's a major issue.
The first point you made is true, Ash was relatively shafted quite early with his first focus episode being 7 and first capture being in 10. After that, he got a decent amount of focus with him getting more captures and the exposition on his path. But from the late 20s onwards, his focus declines much more again with him being treated akin to a supporting character.

Again, your opinions and points of view stem from an incomplete perspective since you're just over halfway into the series whereas I'm up to date with it and the fact that we have different means of watching the episodes (including staying in tune with the previews, summaries, cast lists etc.). If you were to start watching the original airing and stick with the schedule, you'd start to see these issues better. And you'd also see that the reason (as I pointed in the first paragraph) that the PWC not being 'grand' enough is because it hasn't been given much focus so far.
I wouldn't say that there wasn't a problem at all. Raboot needed some kind of indication that Goh still supported it or else it might not have started to warm up to him again. At the very least, it would have taken longer to do so. I can understand seeing it as a cop out, but it still felt natural given Raboot's design and behavior in the games. If it wasn't for that, then maybe it would have bothered me more, but I still think it worked. My takeaway wasn't that Goh is perfect at everything he does and that he did nothing wrong. He still blamed himself until Raboot showed up, so he at least believed that he was the problem and not his Pokemon. My takeaway was that Goh genuinely cares about Raboot and because he still supported Raboot even after being frustrated over its more aloof behavior, Raboot was able to open up to him again. I do think that it would have been good to factor in Goh getting upset at Scorbunny for Raboot's sudden attitude change, but the resolution still works and was emotionally satisfying. I already liked Goh prior to that episode, but his reunion with Raboot cemented it, made me love their bond more and he is easily a highlight of the series in my book.
I'm not going to use the games as an example for design and behavior, rather the content and development that we've seen within the anime is what matters for the assumption to be made on what Raboot's problems (prior to the cop out) would have been. They should have stuck with that particular issue for a bit longer and actually have either character learn from it, eventually coming to terms and making up. While what happened was... okay(?), when you factor in the cop out, it's serious disappointment to think about what could have been and how it would have been far better in the long term. The point about the 'perfect' and 'good at everything' factors here because they could have shown that Goh's own (unwitting) actions caused him problems and that he would actually put in effort to rectify his mistakes.
 
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Drawing out the normal class and all the 10k+ trainers in it would be counter-productive though. And Ash, for the most part, easily outclasses most trainers here so it wouldn't make sense to spend much time or have higher caliber trainers here. I can see the skill level being normalized somewhere around mid-high Super Class. And so far, we've only had three major PWC battles so far so of course it hasn't gotten time to shine or be fleshed out further (hence your boring comment). The last point ties in to the bad focus balance.
Ash outclassing most trainers in the Normal Rank isn't really a good thing. Or at least I don't think that makes the PWC compelling or more noteworthy compared to Gym badge quests. The notion that PWC hasn't had enough time to be fleshed out makes sense, but I don't think that's the main issue I have with it. The setup is a double edge sword. Ash can potentially run across a trainer anywhere in the world to have an official PWC match and increase his rank, but there's no buildup. These are random encounters with one shot characters for the most part, which makes it boring and uninteresting.

Having more focus could help, but the problem seems to be more within the foundation of the PWC rater than just Ash not having more major PWC battles. They're not making much use of the concept if Ash has only battled against two established characters thus far. Even if they wanted to save on Gym Leaders for later ranks, they could still include some old rivals, maybe even characters that hadn't been in the anime before. Admittedly, that might be hoping for too much given that the anime doesn't really do a lot with even previous main characters, but they have this setup where Ash can face trainers from all over the world and instead of making use of the franchise's huge amount of characters, they've made one-shot characters who only exist to boost Ash's rank.

Panky.. said:
I didn't say she was a supporting character? What I meant was that May wasn't a co-protagonist and her overall role in the AG series wasn't that grand in scale.
I was referring to the previous notion that May was considered a supporting character, not that you were saying that she was, but I should have made that point clearer.

Panky.. said:
The first point you made is true, Ash was relatively shafted quite early with his first focus episode being 7 and first capture being in 10. After that, he got a decent amount of focus with him getting more captures and the exposition on his path. But from the late 20s onwards, his focus declines much more again with him being treated akin to a supporting character.

Again, your opinions and points of view stem from an incomplete perspective since you're just over halfway into the series whereas I'm up to date with it and the fact that we have different means of watching the episodes (including staying in tune with the previews, summaries, cast lists etc.). If you were to start watching the original airing and stick with the schedule, you'd start to see these issues better. And you'd also see that the reason (as I pointed in the first paragraph) that the PWC not being 'grand' enough is because it hasn't been given much focus so far.
Or maybe I'd still feel the same way regardless of how I watched the show. You're acting as if the lack of focus is a universally agreed upon opinion by everyone watching the Japanese version, but I've seen other people who do watch the show weekly who also don't think that this is a major issue, or at least don't think that Ash hasn't really had that much of a lack in focus. Now I admit that watching the show the way I do does affect how I view it compared those who watch it weekly, but it sounds like you think I'm wrong for having a different opinion. Regardless of your intent, it does come off as rude and condescending. I like Goh while you dislike him, so that immediately is going to make us feel different about the series as a whole regardless of how I watch it. Like I said before, the lack of focus for the PWC isn't the major issue for me as much as the foundation of the PWC being built upon mostly random one-shot trainer battles.

If you're going to act like I'm wrong and you're right like this, then I don't feel any need to continue this conversation. I don't want to derail the thread anymore either, especially when we're both going to just go around in circles at this point.
 
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Ash outclassing most trainers in the Normal Rank isn't really a good thing. Or at least I don't think that makes the PWC compelling or more noteworthy compared to Gym badge quests. The notion that PWC hasn't had enough time to be fleshed out makes sense, but I don't think that's the main issue I have with it. The setup is a double edge sword. Ash can potentially run across a trainer anywhere in the world to have an official PWC match and increase his rank, but there's no buildup. These are random encounters with one shot characters for the most part, which makes it boring and uninteresting.
The issues you described in the latter half of this paragraph would only be multiplied 100-fold by the points you made in the former part, if they were to stay in the Normal Class for longer. It's actually a good thing that Ash outclasses everyone in the Normal Class since the opponent pool is here far too large, and the fact that the PWC is supposed to be an open competition rather than a closed-off invitational. Sure, it seems like it's hit-and-go against random trainers on the streets at the moment, but I don't see this happening in the Hyper Tier which has an opponent pool of only 90 people which means more travelling would be needed to be seek them out (applies even to upper Super Tier for that matter).
Having more focus could help, but the problem seems to be more within the foundation of the PWC rater than just Ash not having more major PWC battles. They're not making much use of the concept if Ash has only battled against two established characters thus far. Even if they wanted to save on Gym Leaders for later ranks, they could still include some old rivals, maybe even characters that hadn't been in the anime before. Admittedly, that might be hoping for too much given that the anime doesn't really do a lot with even previous main characters, but they have this setup where Ash can face trainers from all over the world and instead of making use of the franchise's huge amount of characters, they've made one-shot characters who only exist to boost Ash's rank.
Considering that ever since the hiatus ended, Ash has only been the star of 5 episodes and the fact that 3 of those 5 episodes are PWC related, clearly points out more focus is very much vital to this issue instead of merely helping out. I can see several episodes that could have better served in the little Bea mini-arc instead of being random and disconnected in between. Then there's the fact that most of this series has been situated in Vermillion which means the many past characters that could have been present in that particular location being pretty low. If they were to spread out the regional focus better then that particular part could have been resolved a bit. Though I'd rather not any past characters only appear to be punching bags and boosting Ash's rank in a quick match, it would be insulting if that's all their appearances get relegated to. That's pretty much what Korrina is starting to feel like now.
I was referring to the previous notion that May was considered a supporting character, not that you were saying that she was, but I should have made that point clearer.
Fair enough.
Or maybe I'd still feel the same way regardless of how I watched the show. You're acting as if the lack of focus is a universally agreed upon opinion by everyone watching the Japanese version, but I've seen other people who do watch the show weekly who also don't think that this is a major issue, or at least don't think that Ash hasn't really had that much of a lack in focus. Now I admit that watching the show the way I do does affect how I view it compared those who watch it weekly, but it sounds like you think I'm wrong for having a different opinion. Regardless of your intent, it does come off as rude and condescending. I like Goh while you dislike him, so that immediately is going to make us feel different about the series as a whole regardless of how I watch it. Like I said before, the lack of focus for the PWC isn't the major issue for me as much as the foundation of the PWC being built upon mostly random one-shot trainer battles.

If you're going to act like I'm wrong and you're right like this, then I don't feel any need to continue this conversation. I don't want to derail the thread anymore either, especially when we're both going to just go around in circles at this point.
I'm not even factoring in the PWC when I said anything about Ash having reduced focus. Just watch the past 10 or so episodes to know what I mean, where Ash is either relegated to being a side character or share focus with other characters instead of having key focus of his own. Like I mentioned earlier, since the hiatus ended, he's only been the star of 5 episodes without sharing focus (Korrina rematch, Pikachu 'jealousy', Alola revisit and the 2 Bea matches). It may or may not be universally agreed upon, but the issue of the lack of focus for the titular protagonist is definitely there, it's all up to whether people choose to notice it and bring it up or not. And I never even intended to sound rude or condescending, so apologies for that.

For that matter, I wonder if you're confusing between appearance and character focus, because the latter is all that I've been pointing out. If it came down to pure appearance alone then there's no problem and if your observation is based off that then I can see why you'd have no problem with it.
 
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Honestly had no idea that the routes themselves could have real-life counterparts as well. I think you should specify which locations appear in which game like Pal Park in Fuchsia only appearing in HGSS
 
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Honestly had no idea that the routes themselves could have real-life counterparts as well. I think you should specify which locations appear in which game like Pal Park in Fuchsia only appearing in HGSS
That's a good suggestion, thank you.

Those Kanto and Galar pages aren't done, by the way. There's still tons of detail and other information I could have added, but then if I had taken the time to include everything I wanted then that section would have never seen the light of day. At some point you have to draw a line and be like "this is good enough for now," y'know? I'll definitely be revisiting those pages again in the future.
 
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Even though there's a bike shop in Cerulean City, her hometown, which was visited on the seventh episode? Maybe she actually stuck around for Brock's cooking.
She liked Ash and Brock, but not so much her sisters. I am not sure what the big mystery is.
 
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