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How popular do you think Koharu is with Japanese fans?

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Her reception in the West seems mixed, at least if we're considering the reactions of older fans in their teens and twenties (absolutely no clue what kids might be thinking of her since the dub isn't even out yet).

Do the Japanese fans like her?

Honestly, I didn't really like her at first but now I'm starting to empathize with that girl since it seems people don't really respect her own personal desires very much and I know how that can feel when you're Koharu's age, also Ash doesn't read the atmosphere lol give her space dude
 
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I don't know if I would say she is disliked but rather it's disappointing to reduce the female characters to side characters.

I think Pokémon has always been very gender neutral since it has featured female protagonists in the games, the manga and the anime since Gen 1-2. I wonder why they decided to change this now? Especially since both XY and SM featured multiple female protagonists.

Although I guess it's good that they are trying to include more androgynous characters like Bede and Gou. But I don't think they should exclude the female characters because of that even if androgynous boys/bishounen seem to be popular in Japan.
 
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I can't speak for Japan but personally, Koharu has the potential and I hope she gets more focus down the line

Probably best to ease her in then just have her join straight away like the other girls
 
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Though I do admit that entire thing with Ash making Koharu uncomfortable in the 17th episode (entire bun sticking out of mouth) is the writer (Deko Akao) fooling around with Ash's characters like he has been doing for a while now.
Minor correction; I believe Deko Akao is a woman.
 
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I don't know if I would say she is disliked but rather it's disappointing to reduce the female characters to side characters.

I think Pokémon has always been very gender neutral since it has featured female protagonists in the games, the manga and the anime since Gen 1-2. I wonder why they decided to change this now? Especially since both XY and SM featured multiple female protagonists.

Although I guess it's good that they are trying to include more androgynous characters like Bede and Gou. But I don't think they should exclude the female characters because of that even if androgynous boys/bishounen seem to be popular in Japan.
Yea that’s one thing I definitely don’t get about this series. Ever since the beginning there’s always been a girl in the group. Even if you cut the group down to 2, why suddenly remove the female element from the group of all things? Is it supposed to be some way to curb the shippers since at that point all interactions are now on a 1 on 1 level as opposed to having a third wheel so to speak? It’s especially weird considering Pokémon is a series aimed at both boys and girls rather than just being a boys series.
 
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Well she's a girl and she's mildly cute, so I think it's safe to say that she has a fandom. She's probably not on Misty's or Serena's level of popularity since Koharu barely does anything, but I'm sure there's someone out there who has a Koharu shrine in their closet.
 
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Really hope Koharu gets the chance to spend more time with Pokemon, I loved her story in SS011 and her interactions with Yamper, it was just cute and adorable
 
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Well, an indicator of character popularity is the amount of fanart a character gets. For this, we can look to pixiv to get an idea of Koharu's popularity among Japanese fans. Pixiv uses tags to keep track of artwork, so we can see how much artwork has been tagged with her name.

(Keep in mind that pixiv's demographic definitely skews towards the... older side, so this would not give us much of an idea about her popularity among kids)

Since we have to account for a character's length of stay on the show, we can only really compare characters who have been around for the same amount of time to get a fair comparison. So for this comparison, I'm using Go and Koharu.

The tag ゴウ(アニポケ) or Go(anipoke) has a total of 578 pieces of fanart; while the tag サクラギ・コハル or Koharu Sakuragi has a total of 212 pieces of fanart.

That's a pretty huge discrepancy, but there are some possible reasons for this.

On one hand, this might just be the outcome of Koharu not getting that much screentime compared to Go.

In addition, a lot of artwork prominently feature Ash and Go together, so that might be what's propelling the bulk of his fanart.

Keep in mind, pixiv is sort of like the DeviantArt of Japan. That should give you an idea of what that website is like, so go there at your own risk.
 
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Yea that’s one thing I definitely don’t get about this series. Ever since the beginning there’s always been a girl in the group. Even if you cut the group down to 2, why suddenly remove the female element from the group of all things? Is it supposed to be some way to curb the shippers since at that point all interactions are now on a 1 on 1 level as opposed to having a third wheel so to speak? It’s especially weird considering Pokémon is a series aimed at both boys and girls rather than just being a boys series.
Although Pokemon franchise has a mixed fanbase, the main audience is likely boys.

The reason why it is two boys this time is because they really are working with the co-protagonist aspect.

In previous seasons, even if the Pokegirl has prominence and a important role, her goal was still secondary compared to Ash. This season they seem to give similar importance to the goal of Ash and Go.


Is it problematic that they feel is necessary to choose another boy when they want a co-protagonist? Of course, but it is likely the reason.
 
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Although Pokemon franchise has a mixed fanbase, the main audience is likely boys.

The reason why it is two boys this time is because they really are working with the co-protagonist aspect.

In previous seasons, even if the Pokegirl has prominence and a important role, her goal was still secondary compared to Ash. This season they seem to give similar importance to the goal of Ash and Go.


Is problematic that they need to choose another boy when they want a co-protagonist? Of course, but it is likely the reason.
Dawn's Contest arc was equally important as Ash's Sinnoh journey though. Dawn was considered the co-protagonist of DP right alongside Ash. Granted, that is the only time where the female lead's goal was more than just secondary, but this isn't the first time another character's goal has equal importance compared to Ash's goal. I would be pretty annoyed if that was the reason behind their decision to just make the series about Ash and Gou. It would be especially frustrating when the previous two series had multiple female leads and they've already had a female co-protagonist in the past. Maybe this will make more sense as we see more of the series and what they possibly do with Koharu, but it seems so annoying that they couldn't be bothered to just make Ash's new friend a female character instead.
 
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Although Pokemon franchise has a mixed fanbase, the main audience is likely boys.

The reason why it is two boys this time is because they really are working with the co-protagonist aspect.

In previous seasons, even if the Pokegirl has prominence and a important role, her goal was still secondary compared to Ash. This season they seem to give similar importance to the goal of Ash and Go.


Is it problematic that they feel is necessary to choose another boy when they want a co-protagonist? Of course, but it is likely the reason.
Except nothing about either the fact of them going with a co-protagonist angle or the character opposite Ash having a goal of catching all the Pokémon necessitates that the other character be male. Diamond and Pearl was the closest that they had to the prospect of a co-star and Dawn was still a female with Contests being presented as just as important as the Gyms, not secondary.
 
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I'd say that she's slightly above Mallow,Bonnie and Iris,
I think Iris would be more “popular”. She attracts extreme opinions which provides publicity. After all; negative opinions attract attention. People would remember her given how polarising she ended up being.
 
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Dawn's Contest arc was equally important as Ash's Sinnoh journey though. Dawn was considered the co-protagonist of DP right alongside Ash. Granted, that is the only time where the female lead's goal was more than just secondary, but this isn't the first time another character's goal has equal importance compared to Ash's goal. I would be pretty annoyed if that was the reason behind their decision to just make the series about Ash and Gou. It would be especially frustrating when the previous two series had multiple female leads and they've already had a female co-protagonist in the past. Maybe this will make more sense as we see more of the series and what they possibly do with Koharu, but it seems so annoying that they couldn't be bothered to just make Ash's new friend a female character instead.
I don't think they promote the co-protagonist aspect in DP at the level of Pokemon 2019 (I don't think they directly say Ash and Dawn were co-protagonists in DP). The writing maybe has a good focus Dawn's goal, but I don't think she was considered a equal co-protagonist to Ash.

In the case of SM, it isn't weird that an anime mainly directed to boys have many (cute) female companions.

An anime directed mainly to boys that have opposite gender co-protagonists, where both characters goal receive similar promotion and focus, that would be uncommon.



Except nothing about either the fact of them going with a co-protagonist angle or the character opposite Ash having a goal of catching all the Pokémon necessitates that the other character be male. Diamond and Pearl was the closest that they had to the prospect of a co-star and Dawn was still a female with Contests being presented as just as important as the Gyms, not secondary.
It is true that the co-protagonist does not need to be a male.

However, as I mentioned, the biggest audience for Pokemon anime is still male. So, they surely decided that if they want a co-protagonist with similar prominence to Ash, this character must be a boy.



PS: As I said, it is problematic, but it's likely the reason.
 
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It is true that the co-protagonist does not need to be a male.

However, as I mentioned, the biggest audience for Pokemon anime is still male. So, they surely decided that if they want a co-protagonist with similar prominence to Ash, this character must be a boy.



PS: As I said, it is problematic, but it's likely the reason.
I don’t believe there are any statistics which state that the biggest audience for the series is male and even if it was, I doubt that it is by such a margin to simply lower the representation of females from main character status to side character especially after over 22 years. Now if this were a Shounen series such a move would at least be excusable as it would have been targeted towards boys. Pokémon however isn’t and is made for both hence why such a move makes no sense, especially following SM which had so many females within the main cast.
 
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I don’t believe there are any statistics which state that the biggest audience for the series is male and even if it was, I doubt that it is by such a margin to simply lower the representation of females from main character status to side character especially after over 22 years. Now if this were a Shounen series such a move would at least be excusable as it would have been targeted towards boys. Pokémon however isn’t and is made for both hence why such a move makes no sense, especially following SM which had so many females within the main cast.
One thing, an anime being a Kodomo does not mean that it is not directed primarily at one gender. It is pretty likely the creators of a Kodomo still work with a gender as main audience.

It's just that Kodomo anime (unlike Shonen or Shoujo) won't reveal the gender of the main audience only with the name.


Pocket Monster 2019 manga is currently published in Coro Coro Comics. This magazine has kodomo mainly directed to boys.

There is a manga of Daisuki Pocket Monsters in a Kodomo magazine for girls (Ciao). However, if I'm not mistaken, this manga will be just 4 issues.

So, I think it is pretty likely the audience of Pokemon anime is mainly boys.
 
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