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If Kanto had been a three year series what sort of changes would you want/expect?

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For numerous reasons such as coming out closer to the next game and not knowing what a hit it would be, Kanto originally got a much smaller number of episodes than subsequent series' (though between the Battle Frontier and the new series that's becoming less true and it might actually be above Johto now) and a much faster pace for the early portions, to the point that Ash had six badges in episode 32; for comparison he got his second AG badge in 31.

However, if Kanto had gotten three year run with about 140 episodes what sort of changes do you picture? A few thoughts:
*All the Gym Leader rematches that took place in the same episode would have two (Brock, Surge)
*Gym Leaders who only got one episode would probably have at least two.
*We may have seen more of the game's Team Rocket appearances (such as the Game Corner in some fashion, or the Silph Co takeover), though it's not certain.
*Obviously there would be significantly more filler episodes.
What other changes do you think we might see, and what would you like to see?

Also, do you think Kanto would be better off overall with three years, or do you believe it's comparatively brisk pacing worked out better and later series' could afford to be shorter?
 
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I definitely think that not only would the gym battles have better pacing, but we would've been able to learn more about the gym leaders. I definitely feel like that was one of Kanto's weakest points since it was such a short series compared to later series. You basically learn nothing about any of the gym leaders save for Brock and Misty, and that's only because they were travelling with Ash. As the series have progressed, the way gym leaders were portrayed got much more detailed and generally much more interesting. I think if the series was a three year affair, the gym leaders would've been able to be more fleshed out and not come across as so cookie cutter.

I feel like they could've also incorporated some more multi-episode arcs, including a big villainous plot point. Something Team Rocket centric would've been really interesting to see in Kanto, and they could've built it up over time. Obviously, that would've been much harder to do with the time they initially had.

It's hard to say if Kanto would've been better off with the three year format since it was the very first series. The shorter run does feel like it fits Kanto, but that's probably just because I've watched it so many times since I was a kid. I definitely do prefer the three year format that was adapted later on, and I think it probably would've benefited Kanto in a lot of ways the shorter run didn't.
 
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The pacing would have been slower and that definitely would have been an improvement. They could have spent more time showcasing the Gym Leaders, having more satisfying buildup to the Gym battles and the battles might have been better since they weren't cramming so many within a short span of time. I don't know how much the battles could have improved given that this was the first series, but spending more time with each match would have helped, especially if they spent multiple episodes dealing with Ash's defeat and rematches against Gym Leaders.

I think Ash's team would have been handled better. It's strange that he didn't really have a full team after he released Primeape despite having other Pokemon at Professor Oak's Lab. Squirtle didn't really get to do much either since I don't think it was used in too many of Ash's Gym battles. While there was a point to rushing Charmander's evolutions, having a longer running time could have given them more time to flesh it out. They could have explained that Charmeleon's attitude change was the result of its previous trainer instead of having it be just a fan theory. If they still wanted to send Primeape away after it started to listen to Ash, then they could have given him a different sixth Pokemon like Grimer instead of Muk.

I think that they also would have either cut down on Misty and Brock's Pokemon or just found something for them to do with the longer length. Despite having a pretty solid capture episode, Brock's Vulpix did virtually nothing and his Zubat practically disappeared between Kanto and Johto. Most of Misty's Pokemon were pretty forgettable too. As much as I liked his Politoad, I would have wanted her to keep Horsea. It had a memorable capture episode and seeing her raise it into a Kingdra would have been really cool. Although, I'm not too surprised that didn't happen considering how long it took for one of the main characters to capture a Dragon Pokemon in the first place. I'm not sure what they could have done with their respective goals, but I think that they would have gotten more focus episodes at least.

I like the idea of multi-episode arcs. I could have seen them doing that for some of the Team Rocket encounters from the games. I would have loved it if they did include something like the Silph Co takeover. That was one of the highlights of the first generation games for me. There have been other better/more intense climax in later games, but something about targeting a company building full of employees still left inside always felt intense, especially compared to most of the other parts of the game.

It's hard to say if it would have been overall better with the three year structure. Part of the reason why that works well now is because the writers have more experience writing for the series. Granted, I think that four years would be more ideal for a number of reasons. That extra year really helped DP do more than it could have done in three years and I still think that AG would have been overall better if they had been able to stretch the Hoenn journey into four years too, but I think both XY and SM show that the three year structure for the anime can generally work. I think it could have helped in a lot of ways, particularly with the battles and the main cast's teams, but the faster pace does kind of fit with Kanto. This was the start of the anime, no one involved expected it to last for so long and the release window for the games weren't as predictable as they are now.
 
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I definitely think that not only would the gym battles have better pacing, but we would've been able to learn more about the gym leaders. I definitely feel like that was one of Kanto's weakest points since it was such a short series compared to later series. You basically learn nothing about any of the gym leaders save for Brock and Misty, and that's only because they were travelling with Ash. As the series have progressed, the way gym leaders were portrayed got much more detailed and generally much more interesting. I think if the series was a three year affair, the gym leaders would've been able to be more fleshed out and not come across as so cookie cutter.
The pacing would have been slower and that definitely would have been an improvement. They could have spent more time showcasing the Gym Leaders, having more satisfying buildup to the Gym battles and the battles might have been better since they weren't cramming so many within a short span of time. I don't know how much the battles could have improved given that this was the first series, but spending more time with each match would have helped, especially if they spent multiple episodes dealing with Ash's defeat and rematches against Gym Leaders.
I definitely agree that seeing more of the Gym leaders would be a big advantage.

I feel like they could've also incorporated some more multi-episode arcs, including a big villainous plot point. Something Team Rocket centric would've been really interesting to see in Kanto, and they could've built it up over time. Obviously, that would've been much harder to do with the time they initially had.
I think Ash's team would have been handled better. It's strange that he didn't really have a full team after he released Primeape despite having other Pokemon at Professor Oak's Lab. Squirtle didn't really get to do much either since I don't think it was used in too many of Ash's Gym battles. While there was a point to rushing Charmander's evolutions, having a longer running time could have given them more time to flesh it out. They could have explained that Charmeleon's attitude change was the result of its previous trainer instead of having it be just a fan theory. If they still wanted to send Primeape away after it started to listen to Ash, then they could have given him a different sixth Pokemon like Grimer instead of Muk.
It feels like after releasing Butterfree they were unsure what to do with that last slot. My best guess is during Kanto and Johto the biggest emphasis was on showing off Pikachu and the starters; Pidgeotto was kept for balloon duty and they didn't need a permanent sixth member who'd take screen time from the more important ones. I do wonder if the potential sixth would have been Primeape, Kingler, Muk, Tauros, or a different capture entirely.

I think that they also would have either cut down on Misty and Brock's Pokemon or just found something for them to do with the longer length. Despite having a pretty solid capture episode, Brock's Vulpix did virtually nothing and his Zubat practically disappeared between Kanto and Johto. Most of Misty's Pokemon were pretty forgettable too. As much as I liked his Politoad, I would have wanted her to keep Horsea. It had a memorable capture episode and seeing her raise it into a Kingdra would have been really cool. Although, I'm not too surprised that didn't happen considering how long it took for one of the main characters to capture a Dragon Pokemon in the first place. I'm not sure what they could have done with their respective goals, but I think that they would have gotten more focus episodes at least.
Yeah, the companion's Pokémon didn't get great use. My brother and I have a running joke about how useless Starmie was and Horsea felt like it was going to do more than it did.
Onix was also sort of a joke--losing to Meowth was not a great moment for a character who had few good moments to begin with.

I like the idea of multi-episode arcs. I could have seen them doing that for some of the Team Rocket encounters from the games. I would have loved it if they did include something like the Silph Co takeover. That was one of the highlights of the first generation games for me. There have been other better/more intense climax in later games, but something about targeting a company building full of employees still left inside always felt intense, especially compared to most of the other parts of the game.
Silph could have been a great two part episode. It could be fun seeing the group having to sneak around the building to rescue the president.

It's hard to say if it would have been overall better with the three year structure. Part of the reason why that works well now is because the writers have more experience writing for the series.
Yeah, this is why I'm unsure how it would turn out; the show had trouble making the three year story work the first time around with Johto, so Kanto could have ended up suffering the issues Johto had instead.

*
Now, there's two other things I wonder about.

Firstly, if Team Rocket (the organization; when I mention Team Rocket for now I'm talking about the group in general; if I need to mention the trio I'll call them "the trio" or similar) had a bigger role like later evil teams tended to get it points to the chance of the group actually being disbanded like in the games. The big strike against this is they'd probably want to keep the trio around, though if they knew about Team Rocket's GS goal they could do a variant of that to keep them in.

Secondly is Charizard's arc. Would he still evolve fairly early and the disobedience arc ends up lasting years, or would he be won over maybe in the last year and Ash's loss in the Indigo League is caused by something else?
Actually, this raises the question of whether or not we'd even see the Orange Islands.
 
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It feels like after releasing Butterfree they were unsure what to do with that last slot. My best guess is during Kanto and Johto the biggest emphasis was on showing off Pikachu and the starters; Pidgeotto was kept for balloon duty and they didn't need a permanent sixth member who'd take screen time from the more important ones. I do wonder if the potential sixth would have been Primeape, Kingler, Muk, Tauros, or a different capture entirely.
I was looking over a list of first generation Pokemon and I couldn't really tell what other Pokemon would have worked for Ash at the time. There were plenty of popular Pokemon from that generation, but I don't know what else they could have used for the sixth slot. Scyther could have been neat, especially if it led to Ash getting a Scizor in Johto. Otherwise, I think that they probably would have kept either Primeape or Muk for the sixth slot. I don't think that they'd be interested in Ash having two Water types, especially when Squirtle is more popular and marketable.

Daren said:
Yeah, this is why I'm unsure how it would turn out; the show had trouble making the three year story work the first time around with Johto, so Kanto could have ended up suffering the issues Johto had instead.
It might have been compounded with how there wasn't a lot from the games that they could have adapted to give Misty and Brock something to do. That was a big reason why Johto had a lot of pacing issues. Having a problem like that from the start of the series would have been pretty rough.

Daren"}Now said:
Secondly is Charizard's arc. Would he still evolve fairly early and the disobedience arc ends up lasting years, or would he be run over maybe in the last year and Ash's loss in the Indigo League is caused by something else?
Actually, this raises the question of whether or not we'd even see the Orange Islands.
I think that the disobedience arc would still happen, but I think it would last from about the middle of the arc until the Indigo League. The arc itself lasted a little over a year as it was, which I think is part of the reason why I still think it is the most successful disobedience arc thus far, so doing that during the course of Kanto's three year run might have worked. They could have Charizard just get too much damage during the last match similar to what happened in the Johto League, which might have been better in the long run too.

As for the Orange Islands, we probably wouldn't have gotten that arc. It was designed to fit the bridge between the first and second generation games. With a three year arc for Kanto, I assume that they wouldn't have needed that. Brock wouldn't have been replaced most likely. I guess that they could have had Tracey for Johto instead, but since Kanto would have lasted longer, I'm pretty sure that they'd realize that Brock's design wasn't offensive like Jynx's original design was by that point. Charizard's disobedience would have been resolved during Kanto proper, we wouldn't have gotten the Orange Island League and the transition from Kanto to Johto might have been rather short. Whlie they could have fit some events like Charizard listening to Ash just fine, losing Ash vs. Drake would have been a major loss in my book.
 
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Nothing would change as Shudo never cared that much about the gyms.
 
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I wonder if Shudo would have had nearly enough influence if the series was intended for a 3 year run. Some of his plans were incompatible with the nature of the show anyway (the Pokemon rebellion thing, and so on).
 
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I guess the anime works so good cause it is different from the games.
 
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I wonder if Shudo would have had nearly enough influence if the series was intended for a 3 year run. Some of his plans were incompatible with the nature of the show anyway (the Pokemon rebellion thing, and so on).
His influence seemed to start waning by Johto, and even during the OI the series became a lot less cynical. I can definitely see the same thing happening later on in a three year Kanto run (maybe even from the beginning if the show was intended to run three years instead of just one).
 
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I don't think we'd have seen better battles or lack of pity badges even with a longer Kanto saga, as for me it was clear they were starting to develop the series and didn't know where to take it.

But with more time I bet places that got completely ignored would most likely show up. Nibi Museum, the trainer's bridge where you fight Green and that disguised Rocket grunt (I could see an interesting episode based on it), the Yamabuki doujou, Sekichiku City (completely ignored in OS lol), Guren Lab, etc etc... Maybe we'd get more time in Shion Town too.

Now, even though Silph Company had a brief appearance (along with a warp tile), I really don't think we'd get a Rocket takeover. Idk, doesn't seen the kind of plot Kanto would give us.
 
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Accidentally responding out of order here, but:

Whlie they could have fit some events like Charizard listening to Ash just fine, losing Ash vs. Drake would have been a major loss in my book.
I'd definitely miss that one. I think it was thematically very important for Ash's Kanto-OI story arc and losing it would hurt a lot.

I don't think we'd have seen better battles or lack of pity badges even with a longer Kanto saga, as for me it was clear they were starting to develop the series and didn't know where to take it.
I think it depends on how certain behind the scenes events went. We started seeing the larger focus on battles partway through the OI (note how the first two Orange gyms weren't battle focused, then the next two were battles were special rules before Drake was simply a normal six on six match), so I think we could see the same partway through a larger Kanto depending on how things developed.

But with more time I bet places that got completely ignored would most likely show up. Nibi Museum, the trainer's bridge where you fight Green and that disguised Rocket grunt (I could see an interesting episode based on it), the Yamabuki doujou, Sekichiku City (completely ignored in OS lol), Guren Lab, etc etc... Maybe we'd get more time in Shion Town too.
Nugget Bridge is something in particular I thought of as a game event we might have seen in a larger Kanto, though I could imagine it being run by the TRio instead of a normal rocket.
 
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It would probably have been very similar to Johto.
  • Gym leaders: Possibly the same. Many of those episodes were surrounded by fillers so they didn't have much interest in exploring those cities and characters more. Maybe they'd have Erika or Sabrina pull a Watson and rematch Ash, but the series had this "beginner luck" philosophy so I doubt it.
  • Episodes: More Pokemon of the Week episodes. We would have seen the legendary birds towards the end too.
  • Team Rocket: I can see them doing more Mewtwo tie-ins, perhaps we would have seen an animated version of Jessie's backstory. Cassidy & Butch would have had more appearances for sure and their rivalry with JJM would be more developed.
  • Elite Four: Lorelei would have her Orange Islands role. Agatha would be Oak's old friend and would beat up Gary in a battle (well, maybe not given Kanto's treatment of Gary). Lance...I don't know, all of his Pokemon got decent roles in Kanto. Maybe a Flying-type race or something.
  • Ash: The idea of rotating teams would have been expanded, and maybe they would even turn Ash into Goh and he would have actually completed the Pokedex as a side goal by always capturing the Pokemon of the Week. Butterfree could have returned later if the writers saw his popularity.
  • Misty: Horsea wouldn't have been left at the gym and could have evolved, and we could also have seen the transition from Poliwag to Poliwrath.
  • Brock: Geodude would have evolved, Zubat I have my doubts. Vulpix wouldn't have evolved either but it would have had more focus.
  • Gary: He would definitely had his battle with Ash in the league, I doubt they would troll the audience for 6 years, so he would have had a more active role. In Johto he would have been replaced by Silber.
 
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if they would want do series one from new or with a new character then:

- pokemon would gain abilities and moves better effects
- gym leaders per 2 or 3 pokemon
-league would take longer and be done better, the episodes where we got to see only squirtel vs nidorino or arcanine vs kingler and pikachu would be seperate ones and longer with full battles maybe
- ash would win with ritchie or have a 6vs6 with Ritchie...
-we would see Ritchies battle better and longer vs the female trainer
-more training and catching episodes
-learning new moves during traininngs or battles
- if we take now megas and dynamax then uuuu
-Kanto would have tournaments
- Ash would have used more some pokemon before ditching or would trade them with other trainers and friends more... ratticate, butterfree only those I remind now...

-Orange islands would look totaly diffrently with more battles too probably...
 
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It would probably have been very similar to Johto.
  • Gym leaders: Possibly the same. Many of those episodes were surrounded by fillers so they didn't have much interest in exploring those cities and characters more. Maybe they'd have Erika or Sabrina pull a Watson and rematch Ash, but the series had this "beginner luck" philosophy so I doubt it.
  • Episodes: More Pokemon of the Week episodes. We would have seen the legendary birds towards the end too.
  • Team Rocket: I can see them doing more Mewtwo tie-ins, perhaps we would have seen an animated version of Jessie's backstory. Cassidy & Butch would have had more appearances for sure and their rivalry with JJM would be more developed.
  • Elite Four: Lorelei would have her Orange Islands role. Agatha would be Oak's old friend and would beat up Gary in a battle (well, maybe not given Kanto's treatment of Gary). Lance...I don't know, all of his Pokemon got decent roles in Kanto. Maybe a Flying-type race or something.
  • Ash: The idea of rotating teams would have been expanded, and maybe they would even turn Ash into Goh and he would have actually completed the Pokedex as a side goal by always capturing the Pokemon of the Week. Butterfree could have returned later if the writers saw his popularity.
  • Misty: Horsea wouldn't have been left at the gym and could have evolved, and we could also have seen the transition from Poliwag to Poliwrath.
  • Brock: Geodude would have evolved, Zubat I have my doubts. Vulpix wouldn't have evolved either but it would have had more focus.
  • Gary: He would definitely had his battle with Ash in the league, I doubt they would troll the audience for 6 years, so he would have had a more active role. In Johto he would have been replaced by Silber.
Brock might have gotten another Pokemon. If Kanto was three years, Orange Islands wouldn't have been a thing.
 
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I'd expect more filler. I mean we already had so much filler in the Kanto saga especially between Fuchsia and Cinnabar and I think the writers would've spent the extra time stalling until GS came out by giving us filler after filler and maybe a couple new captures but that's it.
 
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There are a lot of things I would have changed, but the one thing I would change is change the way Ash lost the Pokemon league on account that Charizard wasn't obeying orders. Actually, I'd remove Richie completely, have Ash lose to Gary instead thus setting the stage for the rematch and bittersweet victory over Gary in Johto.
 
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I suppose since no one mentioned it yet, seeing the other two Pallet Town trainers.
I wonder if those two were going to be used in the original ending plan or were always intended to drop out as part of the original intent that a lot of trainers fail?
 
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Some things would've been switched around to make use of the extra time but mostly I would expect a longer Kanto saga to be a bad thing. A lot of my favorite episodes took place in the Orange Islands too so if those hadn't existed I would've been less of a fan of the show most likely.
 
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