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Expectations/Wishlists from "Aim to Be a Pokémon Master"

My current thoughts/expectations/wishlist now that we've seen the finale...

Part One: Satoshi & Pikachu

I see fans’ wishes for a grand ending involving these characters – discovering what happened to Satoshi’s father, clashing with Team Rocket in a battle for the fate of the planet, Satoshi picking his favorite ten-year-old girl from his harem of ten-year-old girls to impregnate in the epilogue or whatever – and I don’t share any of these wishes. What we saw today is the only conclusion I can imagine for Satoshi and Pikachu: one that doesn’t conclude at all. And not because of cynical “we need a backup in case the new show fails” reasons. All these two want to do is adventure; I want an ending that gives them what they want. The journey will continue. Satoshi and Pikachu will always be Satoshi and Pikachu. And like so many traveling companions before us, this time it’s our turn to part ways with them. They’ll keep going. We’ll keep going.

I appreciate the tone their final episode takes; the characters themselves don’t treat this “finale” as a big deal because, to them, it’s not. Life goes on. But Tomioka understands that this is all important to us and throws in contemplative moments to make it feel special. The moment when they’re sitting underneath the tree in the rain to reflect is also our moment to reflect. To breathe. To take in everything that’s happened over 26 years. I appreciate that. I appreciate the quick peek at the beginning of their new journey that we’ll likely never see. I’m satisfied leaving them here. I don't believe I have anything else on my wishlist in this regard.

Part Two: Traveling Companions

Again, I see what fans wanted for Satoshi’s friends – a grand gathering where everybody meets each other, fulfills their longtime goals, has a big party, teams up to defeat Team Rocket once and for all – and that just isn’t on my wishlist. I don’t need to see new goodbyes for each of these characters because, well… they already received their goodbyes in the series proper. Many of them even received special solo episodes depicting their lives away from Satoshi as they settled into their new status quo. There’s nothing else that can be told to further their stories. Kasumi, Iris, and Citron have become fine Trainers. Kenji’s become a fine researcher. Haruka, Hikari, and Serena have become fine performers. Takeshi shows a lot of promise as a future doctor. Masato and Eureka show a lot of promise as future Trainers. Goh, Koharu, and the Alola gang are portrayed to possess the confidence they need to start traveling and experience the world for themselves. And Dent? Dent simply is.

The 2019 series brought them back for a quick hello, and that’s all I wanted. As of the last episode, every traveling companion except for Haruka and Masato returned with their original voice actor for a final encore appearance. A cast reunion of that scale for a 26-year-old series is a herculean task, and I don’t believe we give them enough credit for pulling that off. I still wish Masato could have returned separately from Haruka because he’s his own character and Fushigi Yamada deserved to take part in the fun, but I’m willing to overlook it because that would’ve drawn attention to Kaori’s absence and respecting her privacy was the ultimate goal.

Part Three: Team Rocket

This is probably the one area in which I’m disappointed because there was just so much ground to cover with the Rocket Trio and I don’t believe we sufficiently covered any of it. I was very frustrated that Tomioka decided to depict Musashi, Kojiro, and Nyarth arguing for most of the three-part finale. Not because of the argument itself, but because it was seemingly orchestrated simply to give them something to do. And it’s like, hello? There’s an abundance of unresolved plot threads that need to be addressed here! And I’m not talking about silly things like “What about that bike gang they joined that one time, is that ever coming back?” None of that matters. I’d even go so far to say that Musashi’s problematic past, Kojiro’s problematic family, and Nyarth’s problematic love life don’t matter, because those things simply exist to frame how these three lost souls found each other in the first place.

I’m talking about actual important, ongoing threads like “Why can’t we explore the idea that the Trio clearly feel their most happiness and fulfillment when they’re doing things outside of Team Rocket, like their Alola food truck or their radio show?” Or “Why can’t we explore the idea that the Trio, and especially Nyarth, obviously care about Satoshi and Pikachu on some level, and kinda-sorta like them?” Or, most importantly, “Why can’t we explore the idea that the Trio are blindly devoted to some guy who clearly doesn’t care about them and, for most of the series’ run, had absolutely no idea who they were?” All three of those plot points seemed continuously built up, especially in recent years, to dovetail perfectly into an ending that points in a vastly different direction that what we received. And make no mistake, I have absolutely no problem if Musashi, Kojiro, and Nyarth decide that their ultimate happiness is pursuing "Jari Boy". I'm certainly not displeased with what we saw from them today. I simply believe there were a few important conversations that needed to take place before we got here, and they didn't take place.

Part Four: Pokémon Master

I feel like the answer to what a “Pokémon Master” is has been pretty consistently hinted at since AT LEAST the Best Wishes days, but I feel compelled to talk about this because there seems to be quite a bit of controversy surrounding the “big reveal”. What did some of y’all want, exactly? The fandom’s expectations for what a Pokémon Master should be, along with other fanfic-y things like Satoshi’s father or in-depth Shipping arguments, leaves me wondering if some people are engaging more with Pokémon anime YouTubers than they’re engaging with the Pokémon anime itself. On multiple occasions, we’ve had characters ask Satoshi if accomplishing _____ or _____ will make him a Pokémon Master, and he nonchalantly brushes the question off with “Nah, it’s more than that!” each and every time. It was only ever going to come down to two possibilities: a Wizard-of-Oz-style “You had it all along!” answer, or a “It’s something that can’t ever truly be accomplished!” answer. That the real answer is a mix of both of those things isn’t surprising in the least.

As long as there’s a new challenge to overcome, a new place to explore, a new Pokémon to befriend, the journey to become a Pokémon Master will continue. It really is as simple as that. And that's okay.

Part Five: Random Thoughts

  • Wow, so Takeshi's Cuwawa (Brock's Comfey) really only appeared during that one scene of that one SM episode, huh? Poor thing.
  • Actually, if we combine Sun & Moon and the 2019 series, every single member of Takeshi's active party appeared in a "modern" Pokémon episode. That's insanely cool.
  • The first scene of Satoshi's very first series (after the opening theme) and the last scene of Satoshi's very last series (before the ending theme) feature the exact same piece of BGM. Awesome bookend.
 
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Honestly it’s genuinely a shame that May as a character gets the short end of the stick due to her voice actress and just how strongly Japan sticks to their ways when it comes to their VAs. Maybe it’s just my American sensibilities talking but a voice actor should not come at the expense of a character especially when they are not physically capable of performing the role any longer and I’m sure no performer wishes for the character they brought to life to be shelved due to their limitations. It becomes especially jarring when, in Ash’s last series, May (and Max by association to her) is the only previous main character to never make an appearance beyond a cameo which is genuinely a shame.
 
Honestly it’s genuinely a shame that May as a character gets the short end of the stick due to her voice actress and just how strongly Japan sticks to their ways when it comes to their VAs. Maybe it’s just my American sensibilities talking but a voice actor should not come at the expense of a character especially when they are not physically capable of performing the role any longer and I’m sure no performer wishes for the character they brought to life to be shelved due to their limitations. It becomes especially jarring when, in Ash’s last series, May (and Max by association to her) is the only previous main character to never make an appearance beyond a cameo which is genuinely a shame.
I'll keep on hoping we'll see her again someday.......if not, she'll always live on in our memories, I guess. :cry:
 
I suppose it's not possible for Max to have some of the appearance for May? It will be exposition filled, but I guess it will be something for the viewers.

Regarding the MPM Journeys epilogue here, the only episode I had a problem with was the Squirtle episode, where to me it feels confusing to see him feel isolated when even they were glad to see him, and then meet him. The rest I enjoyed, regardless of fillers, as they were executed wonderfully.
 
Honestly it’s genuinely a shame that May as a character gets the short end of the stick due to her voice actress and just how strongly Japan sticks to their ways when it comes to their VAs. Maybe it’s just my American sensibilities talking but a voice actor should not come at the expense of a character especially when they are not physically capable of performing the role any longer and I’m sure no performer wishes for the character they brought to life to be shelved due to their limitations. It becomes especially jarring when, in Ash’s last series, May (and Max by association to her) is the only previous main character to never make an appearance beyond a cameo which is genuinely a shame.
In Japan, as far as I know, it would be deemed disrespectful to replace May's VA, even despite the situation. It does frustrate me as someone who genuinely likes May and makes me wish things were different. Yeah, that's just the Western viewer in me speaking as well, but I do genuinely wish it was deemed more acceptable to replace a VA in a situation like this rather than shelving the character beyond cameos.
 
I suppose it's not possible for Max to have some of the appearance for May? It will be exposition filled, but I guess it will be something for the viewers.

Regarding the MPM Journeys epilogue here, the only episode I had a problem with was the Squirtle episode, where to me it feels confusing to see him feel isolated when even they were glad to see him, and then meet him. The rest I enjoyed, regardless of fillers, as they were executed wonderfully.
Yea that one was definitely a strange one. The misunderstanding would have made a lot more sense had both sides been given misinformation that led them to believe the other was being a jerk but Squirtle’s anger and concern should have been curbed the second that Ash and crew had shown up at the restaurant considering that showed right there that they were thinking about him enough to want to come meet up with him.
In Japan, as far as I know, it would be deemed disrespectful to replace May's VA, even despite the situation. It does frustrate me as someone who genuinely likes May and makes me wish things were different. Yeah, that's just the Western viewer in me speaking as well, but I do genuinely wish it was deemed more acceptable to replace a VA in a situation like this rather than shelving the character beyond cameos.
It’s a shame that such a thing can’t be accomplished with the VA giving their blessing on someone filling their shoes, even if temporarily, to allow the character a chance at life once more.
 
  • I want Ash to act more mature than in Journeys and to seriously question what it means to be the strongest and a Pokemon Master. Deep stuff in the vein of "Will I get any fun If I continue getting stronger?" or "After becoming a Pokemon Master, then what?"
  • All companions reappearing again, even the ones that got decent focus in Journeys.
  • Misty's Politoed and Brock's Marshtomp reappear.
  • Max to act more independently from May and receiving focus on his dreams.
  • A regular contest with May, Serena and Dawn all being involved.
  • Cilan's hobbies returning.
  • Ambipom revealing she returned to contest after realizing Ping pong sucks and that it was a terrible decision
  • Mallow doing something. On retrospect she was the classmate that did the least in Journeys.
  • Like others I want Team Rocket to settle down yet to stay together. My dream would be if they become police people so they can keep their motto and their style of doing things, but I would be okay if they end up with a small business like the Bewear honey one. And at least Arbok and Weezing should reappear.
  • More reanimated flashbacks from all series.
Ouch, 2.5/10...Though Marshtomp appearing makes up for some of them.
 
The fact that May and Max both show up in JN132 makes it clear that May is actually still alive, meaning that we wouldn't have to slap her face onto the photograph of Francine's late grandma in the penultimate episode of Arthur, where they actually kill of Francine's grandma out of respect for the death of her voice actress Joan Rivers, who passed away in 2014.
 

I think you're the one who is genuinely misinformed, the vast majority didn't believe in the character reapparition. However, that doesn't stop them from expressing their wishes for the character's return.

Furthermore, May was also referenced in the Serena/Wallace episode, JN105. And a plethora of AG characters also had cameos during Ash and Steven's battle.
 
Please note: The thread is from 11 months ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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